Breaking: Malcolm Turnbull threatens double dissolution if union laws not passed

by Victoria Bruce21 Mar 2016
Malcolm Turnbull has threatened a July double dissolution election if new laws designed to deal with union corruption are not passed.

Turnbull has called both houses of parliament back for a special sitting in April to focus on union corruption legislation, and says he will dissolve both houses of parliament if the legislation is not passed.

Turnbull made the announcement at a media conference in Canberra this morning, also saying he will move the federal budget forward one week, to allow more time for the union corruption bills to be considered, the ABC reported.

He is championing the restoration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and says this is critical for economic reform.

"The time has come for the Senate to recognise its responsibilities and help advance our economic plans, rather than standing in the way," Turnbull was reported saying in the ABC.

"The restoration of the ABCC [Australian Building and Construction Commission] is a critical economic reform,” he said.

“The time for playing games is over."

The House of Representatives was set for an extended break until May 10, when the budget was due to be handed down, however both houses will now return to Canberra on April 18 to focus on the Australian Building and Construction Commission legislation and the registered organisations bill.

If the bills are rejected by the Senate, the Prime Minister says he will call a double dissolution election for July 2.

Turnbull told reporters the budget will be handed down on May 3 regardless of the outcome.

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