News National Prime Minister to call election ‘this weekend’

Prime Minister to call election ‘this weekend’

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has all but confirmed he will visit the Governor General this weekend to officially call a double dissolution election for July 2.

Speaking to Sunrise on Wednesday morning about Treasurer Scott Morrison’s first Federal budget, Mr Turnbull revealed he would formally call the election in just a few days.

Host David Koch asked the PM: “Have you booked a car to go down the road this weekend? Call the election, visit the Govenor-General?”

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Mr Turnbull responded: “Yeah I think your timing is pretty accurate but we’ll await events. But I can assure you there will be an election on the second of July.”

“So it will be this weekend?,” the host followed up.

Mr Turnbull: “This weekend is looking pretty good I would say, yes.”

If the PM did call the Federal poll this coming Saturday May 7, for July 2, it would set into motion a marathon 56 day election campaign.

In April, Mr Turnbull said the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) reforms, twice rejected by the Senate, would be the “trigger” he needed for a double dissolution election.

Mr Morrison's first budget has been widely judged as a subdued announcement. Photo: AAP
Mr Morrison’s first budget has been widely judged as a subdued announcement. Photo: AAP

“After the budget, I will advise the Governor-General to dissolve both houses of parliament and I will advise him to call an election on the second of July,” he said on April 19.

The PM has said the ABCC was a “very important part” of his party’s economic plan.

“When we go to election, the Australian people will decide whether there should be an Australian Building and Construction Commission,” he said.

The bill to re-establish the ABCC was voted down for the second time in April, by a margin of 36-34 in the Senate, handing the government its trigger for a double dissolution election.

Mr Turnbull also told Channel Nine he was “quietly confident” of winning the election.

“I’m quietly confident that the Australian people will give us another term in government, but you can’t take anything for granted and it’s a two-horse race and it’s a choice,” he said.

Speaking to ABC’s Radio National program on Wednesday morning, Mr Turnbull said the budget’s cut to the company tax rate was designed to make Australia more “competitive” and “innovative”.

“Ensuring that our company tax rate is competitive, ensuring it is competitive with other economies, particularly those in our region, is absolutely critical to attract the investment into businesses in Australia,” he said.

– with ABC

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