The Abbott government plans to give itself the option of calling a double-dissolution election based on trade union corruption when Parliament resumes in mid-August, according to Phillip Coorey and Patrick Durkin in the Fin Review. Abbott will try to reap the reward for his $80 million investment in the royal commission.
So far the Government has only the Clean Energy Finance Corporation dissolution bill as a DD trigger. When parliament returns in August it plans to press forward with two anti-union bills.
One bill would restore the powers of the Australian Building and Construction Commission, which were diluted by the previous Labor government.
The second is the Registered Organisations Commission Bill, already rejected once by the Senate. Its purpose is to subject corrupt officials of unions and employers’ groups to the same penalties that apply to corrupt business executives.
- On Sunday, Mr Shorten challenged Mr Abbott to a town hall debate on workplace relations, rather than “hiding behind” the “low-rent” Royal Commission into trade unions to do his “political dirty work” in the lead-up to the election.
“I answered over 900 questions in Tony Abbott’s Royal Commission,” Mr Shorten said. “I’m happy to talk about workplace relations. I do say this though – it is $80 million spent to smear its political opponents, and I say if Mr Abbott has the courage of his convictions, he shouldn’t be hiding behind a Royal Commission to do his political dirty work.
If Labor is to be hurt beyond Shorten losing some bark it should show up in the opinion polls. Newspoll didn’t publish anything this week.
Roy Morgan conducted a poll over the last two weekends. It showed the TPP gap narrowing from Labor ahead 53.5-46.5 to 51-49. Labor still leads, however Labor’s support at 34.5% is the lowest since April 2014.
Roy Morgan has the ALP’s support ‘crumbling’ but no-one else writes headlines about the Morgan poll, or reports it much.
Essential poll has Labor ahead 52-48, the same as last week and three weeks ago. Two weeks ago it was 53-47.
That’s just as well, because Shorten’s approval rating has tanked to its lowest-ever level of just 27%, while disapproval is at a game high of 52%.
Also Tony Abbott has opened up his highest lead of 37-30 as Preferred PM, with one third of voters still refusing to endorse either man.
Shorten has certainly lost some bark, but while Labor is ahead on the TPP poll I dare say the troops will not panic.
The public have a very poor opinion of the performance of the LNP Government. Essential poll (page 2) has one category in positive territory – Supporting Australian businesses with a net rating, good v poor, of +15.
Other categories are Relations with other countries -2, Managing the economy -5, Treatment of asylum seekers -7, Industrial relations -8, Education and schools -13, Supporting Australian jobs -17, Health services -19, Social welfare -21, Protecting the environment -21, and Climate change -24.
BTW Phil Coorey doesn’t think Abbott is planning a double dissolution, he just wants to have a few decent trigger options in his back pocket.