Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek.
Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek. Chris Ison

Governor-General Peter Cosgrove snubs Plibersek

SHE'S the deputy leader of the opposition he's the Nation's former chief of army but when they came across each other on the floor of the senate this morning Peter Cosgrove appears to have left Tanya Plibersek hanging.

The Governor-General was at Parliament House to open the extraordinary session of parliament most people are expecting will be the curtain raiser on an early election.

And as Mr Cosgrove did the rounds of the Senate floor he shook hands with Prime Minister Malcolm  Turnbull, then the Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce, then Labor's Bill Shorten.

The final clasp was supposed to be with Ms Plibersek but as she stood, smiling with her paw affably extended the G-G appeared to eyeball her palm ... then keep walking.

Apparently protocol only obligated Mr Cosgrove to shake hands with the PM and the Leader of the Opposition however, that leaves the question - why's Barnaby's mit okay when Tanya's not?

Later a spokesman for Ms Plibersek downplayed the matter.

"Ms Plibersek's position is that no apology is necessary, and that the whole thing's a storm in a teacup," he said.

However the spokesman also said Mr Cosgrove had rung to talk things through.

"The Governor-General did call," he said. 

"Ms Plibersek doesn't discuss details of private conversations."

The Governor-General's office declined to comment on the matter, however, it's understood Mr Cosgrove's contention is that he didn't see Ms Plibersek stick out her hand.