Independent state senator Glenn Lazarus has accused Malcolm Turnbull of ‘blackmailing’ the Senate, with threats of a double dissolution election.
Malcolm Turnbull has forced the Senate into voting about industrial relations reforms, saying that failure to reach a decision will result in an early election.
Former PM Tony Abbott has described Mr Turnbull’s position as “intelligent brinkmanship”, which has prompted politicians to be ready for a double dissolution on July 2nd.
However, politicians like Glenn Lazarus have hit back at Mr Turnbull’s actions. “I won’t be blackmailed into voting for bills by anyone”, the Queensland senator said in a press release.
“Malcolm Turnbull can threaten me all he likes but I won’t be taking any notice”, Senator Lazarus said. “I answer to the people of Queensland, not him”.
“As I have already stated, I will only support the ABCC bill (for industrial relations reform) if Malcolm amends it to include corruption across all industries”.
At present, the proposed ABCC bill only deals with the building and construction industry. Mr Lazarus would like to see reform across banking and finance too.
“The banking sector is one of Australia’s biggest industries and is constantly on the front page of papers for corruption”, Mr Lazarus claimed.
“Mums and dads are losing money and their life savings every day at the hands of corrupt advisers and rogue bankers”.
“Why won’t Malcolm just admit he needs to do the right thing and broaden the ABCC bill to deal with corruption everywhere?”
Mr Lazarus even went so far as to accuse Malcolm Turnbull of manipulation. “Threatening to call a double dissolution if bills are not passed is an abuse and misuse of power”, he said.
According to the Australian Constitution, a double dissolution can only occur if the House of Representatives and Senate reach a deadlock when passing legislation.
It this deadlock is ‘triggered’, the Governor-General can dissolve both houses of Parliament and call a full election. Therefore, Aussies might be going to the polls this winter.
Whose side are you on? Does Australia need industrial reform? Or is threatening to dissolve government drastic on PM Turnbull’s behalf?