Scott Morrison has allowed the longest ever question time to head off a potentially embarrassing vote calling for a disability royal commission.
The Senate on Thursday voted again for a royal commission into the disability sector and Labor wanted to bring on a lower house vote it may have won.
But the prime minister, who usually promptly ends question time at the earliest opportunity, allowed it to run two and a half hours - well past the previous record of 126 minutes set under Kevin Rudd in February 2009.
He said a royal commission should be called in the proper way, not through an unexpected vote in parliament.
"I'm not afraid of losing a vote in this house, I lost one on Tuesday," Mr Morrison told parliament on Thursday.
He said the coalition was already reforming disability care with new safeguards against abuse, however it was not the end of the matter.
"I will remain open to every single option there is to provide support to people with disabilities," Mr Morrison said.
"I have already demonstrated my willingness to call a royal commission when it comes to the aged care sector."
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor decided two years ago to have a disability royal commission.
"People with disability are more likely to suffer violence than people without a disability," he told parliament.
"I make it clear that whatever happens in parliament today, Labor is committed to implementing a royal commission to protect people living with a disability from abuse."
To the coalition's surprise, Labor chose not to put a Matter of Public Importance on the day's agenda, instead aiming for an opportunity to bring on the royal commission vote before parliament rose for the week.
But Mr Morrison let question time continue well past the previous record in order to stop Labor bringing on the motion.
Mr Shorten accused the government of extending question time to avoid losing the vote.
"When has the leader of the opposition ever wanted to shut down question time when you've got a government that is happy to stand here and be questioned on our record?" Mr Morrison replied.
Greens senator Jordon Steele-John, who raised the issue in the upper house, came into the House of Representatives chamber and shouted "do the right thing" before being told off.
He later said it was "rubbish" that the coalition was open to a royal commission, given it voted against it in the Senate.
Almost two hours into question time, Speaker Tony Smith revealed the "message" about the royal commission had not yet arrived from the Senate and so couldn't be dealt with until Monday's sitting in any case.