Abbott averse to early ballot
TONY Abbott says he does not want an early election but has left open the option if he cannot pass tougher workplace relations laws.
Talking down the prospect of an early rush to the polls, Mr Abbott insisted the Parliament was working well and he did not want to cut it short.
Describing the last fortnight of Parliament before the winter break as the “best” since he was elected, Mr Abbott said the media was “hyperventilating” about a possible early election.
“Can I just say that we’ve had the best fortnight in the life of this Parliament,” Mr Abbott said
“We’ve just had a fortnight where a lot of legislation was passed, where some $ 14 billion worth of much- needed savings were realised through sensible decisions at last by the Greens and by the Labor Party to support Government initiatives.
“Why would you want to close the Parliament down just when it’s starting to work?”
But Mr Abbott said he wanted the Senate to pass two Bills putting tougher guidelines on unions and re- establishing the Howard government- era building industry watchdog.
“I don’t want our workplace relations legislation blocked,” he said. “I want to see unionism in this country cleaned up.”
Both Bills have been blocked once and could provide a trigger for a double dis-
Can I just say that we’ve had the best fortnight in the life of this Parliament
solution election if they are rejected again.
A renewed focus on these Bills would also allow the Government to capitalise on Bill Shorten’s recent stumbles and grilling by the royal commission into union corruption.
Labor, the Greens and key crossbenchers are likely to vote the measures down, creating a trigger for a double dissolution election if the Government wanted one.
The Government needs a Bill rejected twice by the Senate in the same form if it wants to go to an election late this year or early 2016.
The Coalition is still behind in opinion polls but has narrowed the margin in its primary vote and some in the Government want an early election if this trend continues.
Mr Shorten said he would welcome an election battle on workplace relations.
Mr Shorten said he was “happy to compare my record of standing up for workers against his record of cutting away the conditions of millions of Australians.”