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Barnaby steers question time with PM away

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016 Rashida Yosufzai

When the cat's away, Barnaby Joyce comes out to play.

The colourful Nationals leader took the prime minister's chair on Monday to steer question time in federal parliament while Malcolm Turnbull was in Peru.

"I will be representing him ably and well," the acting prime minister reassured all as the show began.

Mr Joyce answered a few questions and transferred a few to the relevant ministers.

On those directed to him he roared, he laughed, was breathless and went red from the effort.

The opposition tried a few times to get him to stumble, first on a question about Mr Joyce's NSW Nationals colleague Adrian Piccoli backing Gonski funding.

The federal Nationals leader deflected to stay on-message about unions and Labor's links to the teachers' federation.

Then he was asked about controversial Murray Darling River water policy, but that too was creatively pushed back with lines like, "you haven't a hope in Hades".

"This is a very a special day," Mr Joyce said, about getting a question on water.

"Yeah, because you're in charge," a Labor MP heckled.

Some took to Twitter to poke fun.

"I feel for the Hansard transcribers who have to translate this," Labor backbenchers Tim Watts said.

"GAHfbrumbdGAHbrunglbseBAHbrondjmb."

But it was Mr Joyce having all the fun.

"Although I'd like to go on and on and on, I ask further questions be put in the notice paper," he closed question time.

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