Canberra, March 21 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday announded the country will hold an early election in July if the Senate fails to pass laws aimed at curbing union corruption.
Turnbull will bring back both houses of Parliament for a sitting in April to deal with industrial relations legislation, and said he will call a double dissolution election to be held on July 2 if the bills are not passed, ABC reported.
Under Australia’s constitution, a double dissolution is used to break a deadlock between the upper and lower houses of parliament.
The prime minister said he would also bring forward the federal budget by one week to May 3, saying he had informed his Cabinet colleagues about his decision.
“The time has come for the Senate to recognise its responsibilities and help advance our economic plans, rather than standing in the way,” he said.
“The restoration of the ABCC (Australian Building and Construction Commission) is a critical economic reform.”
Under the existing schedule, the House of Representatives was set for an extended break until May 10, when the budget was due to be handed down.
Now both houses will be sent back to Canberra on April 18 to deal with the ABCC legislation and the registered organisations bill.
If the bills are rejected by the Senate during the three-week sitting period, Turnbull is adamant he will call a double dissolution election.
The decision for an early poll was taken when the Senate passed voting reforms on Friday after a marathon session.
An election is due by January 2017 but had been widely expected by political pundits to be called for the second half of 2016.