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Turnbull desperate to distract from chaotic and divided government

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 21 Mar 2016

The Australian Greens say Malcolm Turnbull is using the ABCC as an excuse to dissolve Parliament and distract from his divided government.

“In my short time in parliament I’ve seen a political system rife with chaos and division, with 5 Prime Ministers in 5 years. Malcolm Turnbull promised an end to that but he is actually presiding over an even more chaotic and divided government than his predecessor,” said Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

“The failure to pass the ABCC and Registered Organisation bill is about nothing more than the government’s stubbornness in repeatedly putting forward bad legislation. The Senate is supposed to be the house of review and it’s our job to prevent bad bills like that from passing, just like we prevented the GP co-payment and $100,000 degrees.

“It’s rare for a government to have control of both houses but most find a way to negotiate with the Senate without having to run to a double dissolution. So to take the extraordinary step of asking the Governor General to add additional sitting weeks against the will of the Senate and then use the threat of a double dissolution as an ultimatum smacks of desperation and panic.

“The disgraceful capitulation to the dinosaurs inside the Coalition over Safe Schools is proof of the Prime Minister’s lack of internal authority. Malcolm Turnbull’s desire for a double dissolution has more to do with trying to regain control over his bitterly divided government than it does about trying to pass any bill.

“The Prime Minister should go full-term and put a positive agenda forward to the Australian people, rather than running panicked to a double dissolution election. But if he does, the Greens are ready,” Senator Di Natale said.

Greens Industrial Relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP said the Greens won’t give into Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s bullying and reiterated the Greens will steadfastly oppose the ABCC and Registered Organisations bills.

“Malcolm Turnbull is the ultimate workplace bully,” Mr Bandt said.

“He is holding a gun to the crossbenchers’ heads and saying ‘vote for my attacks on unions and people’s rights at work or I’ll pull the trigger’.

“There’s only one way to beat bullies and that is to stare them down.

“The Greens remain steadfastly opposed to the ABCC and Registered Organisations bills and any attack on people’s rights at work.”

Media contacts:
Senator Di Natale – Jennifer Faerber 0438 376 082
Mr Bandt – Adam Pulford 0429 019 054

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