News National PM: July election up to Senate

PM: July election up to Senate

Malcolm Turnbull
AAP
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has set down the markers for a possible double-dissolution election in July.

Labor, the Greens and the crossbench could avoid that prospect if they supported government legislation restoring the building industry watchdog and tougher governance rules for trade unions, Mr Turnbull said.

“The only reason to go to a double dissolution is to resolve a deadlock (between both houses of parliament),” he told ABC radio in Sydney on Friday.

“These are two big industrial laws which will basically clean up union corruption.”They were also in the interests of the trade union movement and its members.

In a direct message to the non-government senators, Mr Turnbull said: “If they vote for those bills … we wouldn’t even be talking about the possibility of a double dissolution.”

The Prime Minister dismissed any notion that a July 2 poll could be regarded as early, saying the previous election was in September 2013.

Mr Turnbull would not respond to reports the Great Hall of Parliament House had been booked for May 3 – a week ahead of the scheduled date for the budget – adding to speculation the government wants to clear the decks for a double-dissolution election.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the Turnbull government has given up governing.

“The biggest issue keeping the government up at night is do they move the budget forward by a week, when do they have the election and when do they book the Great Hall,” he said.

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