Australia to Go to Polls if Union Laws Rejected Again
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will bring back both houses of Parliament for an extraordinary sitting in April to deal with union corruption legislation, and says he will call a double dissolution election if the bills are not passed. Mr Turnbull called a snap media conference in his Canberra parliamentary courtyard yesterday morning to make the announcement. The Prime Minister said he would also bring forward the federal budget by one week, and had informed his Cabinet colleagues shortly before addressing the media. “The time has come for the Senate to recognise its responsibilities and help advance our economic plans, rather than standing in the way,” Mr Turnbull said. “The restoration of the ABCC [Australian Building and Construction Commission] is a critical economic reform. The time for playing games is over.”
Under the existing schedule, the House of Representatives was set for an extended break until May 10, when the budget was due to be handed down. Now both houses will be sent back to Canberra on April 18 to deal with the Australian Building and Construction Commission legislation and the registered organisations bill.
If the bills are rejected by the Senate, Mr Turnbull is now adamant he will call a double dissolution election, to be held on July 2. He says the budget will be handed down on May 3 regardless of the outcome. ABC