Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been handed a double dissolution trigger, meaning Australians could be heading to the polls as early as July 2.
This evening, the Senate voted down the federal government’s legislation to re-establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
Turnbull has previously said he would call a double dissolution election should the ABCC legislation not pass the Senate.
The bill was knocked back by the Senate by just two votes.
Crossbench senators Jacqui Lambie, Ricky Muir, John Madigan and Glenn Lazarus sided with Labor and the Greens to vote down the bill.
Crossbench senators Nick Xenophon, David Leyonhjelm, Bob Day and Dio Wang, meanwhile, voted with the government.
Speaking on ABC television this evening, Tasmanian independent Senator Jacqui Lambie said the ABCC legislation was not an appropriate trigger for an election because most people on the street do not know what the Australian Building and Construction Commission is.
“I think Malcolm Turnbull’s called it wrong,” Lambie said.
“They didn’t want to consult over it. It was either their way or the highway.”
Now is the time for small businesses to stand up
Kate Carnell, the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, tonight called on politicians to keep small business front of mind in the policy debates that lie ahead.
“Now we know there’s going to be a double dissolution, it’s really important for all sides of politics to focus on policy positions that will allows small businesses to grow and employ,” Carnell told SmartCompany.
“Without government getting out of the way for small businesses, the economy simply can’t grow to the extent needed to address the budget problems currently experienced. It’s time for real policy.”
Peter Strong, chief executive of the Council of Small Business of Australia, told SmartCompany he hopes this election sees small business friendly tax policy announcements, as well as all sides of politics cracking down on big business.
“We need transparency for multinationals,” Strong says.
The Coalition and Labor are tied at a 50% two-party preferred vote, according to Roy Morgan Research published today.