The Coalition has taken aim at the Albanese Government over its decision to abolish Australia’s construction watchdog, rolling out a post-election slogan: “Why is Labor making a bad situation worse?”
The Opposition has given an early insight into its tactics against the Labor Government during the first Question Time of the 47th parliament on Wednesday, attacking the party’s union links.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton used his first question to press Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on his party’s move to scrap the Australian Building and Construction Commission.
Labor promised to abolish the construction watchdog before the Federal election, with legislation set to be introduced later this year.
The commission was set up in 2016 by the Coalition to oversee the construction sector.
Mr Dutton said its removal would drive up the price of housing and construction — putting further pressure on cost-of-living for households – and accused Labor of prioritising union bosses.
“It will drive up construction costs,” Mr Dutton told parliament.
“Has the Prime Minister met with any of the union bosses accused of criminal behaviour, including sexual assault, harassment and rape?
“Why is Labor making a bad situation worse?”
Mr Albanese hit back, saying the watchdog represented a waste of taxpayer funds.
“Why should workers in one sector be treated differently from workers in another sector,” he told parliament on Wednesday.
“If people commit a crime, actions should be taken by the appropriate authorities.
“ABCC spent over $500,000 of taxpayers’ money, enforcing a blanket ban on putting stickers and posters with union logos up on websites and worksites.”
The Prime Minister went on to criticise the Liberal-National Party for focusing its questions in Question Time on the ABCC.
“They can ask questions about inflation, they can ask questions about cost-of-living, they can ask questions about the health pandemic, they can ask questions about foot and mouth disease, they can ask questions about a whole range of issues, and what do we get?” Mr Albanese said.
“Back to the same old bucket.”
The trend continued with Mr Dutton, Opposition Deputy Leader Sussan Ley, and National Leader David Littleproud all finishing their questions directed at the government with “why is Labor making a bad situation worse?”.
Meanwhile Mr Littleproud said Labor was not doing enough to prevent foot and mouth disease from entering Australia.
“Indonesia seems to be getting ahead of it… Why is Labor making a bad situation worse?” he asked.
There was commotion on both sides after Home Affairs Minister Claire O’Neill accused the Coalition of acts of “cowardice” and breaching the trust of the Australian public over information released on Election Day that an asylum seeker boat had been interception.
It comes after the Home Affairs Department last week released a report, confirming the office of former Prime Minister Scott Morrison put pressure on officials to confirm the interception of the boat on May 21 as millions of Australians were casting their votes.