MEDIA RELEASE: More chaos from the Turnbull Government

The chaos of the Turnbull Government continues today with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the House unable to say for how long the House of Representatives will sit when Parliament returns on Monday, 18 April 2016.

On Sunday, Malcolm Turnbull told Sky News:

“The lower house will sit for a portion of that time, for at least the first part of the week beginning Monday, April 18."


This morning, The Australian Financial Review reported:

"But the House of Representatives, which the government controls, is likely to sit only on Monday and Tuesday of the first week... said a senior source."


But the Leader of the House Christopher Pyne has this morning walked away from even Malcolm Turnbull’s vague commitment and the backgrounding in The Australian Financial Review.

Christopher Pyne this morning told the ABC:

"I don’t think we’ve made a decision yet about how many days the House of Representatives needs to sit."


 “That decision is something that we will make over the course of the next few days, I assume.” CHRISTOPHER PYNE - ABC RADIO - WEDNESDAY, 6 APRIL 2016

Christopher Pyne is the person responsible for managing the Turnbull Government's agenda in the House of Representatives but he’s admitted this morning even he doesn’t know if a decision has been made on how many days the House of Representatives will sit and is simply assuming a decision will be made in the next few days. 

If the Turnbull Government can't agree on when Parliament is going to sit, how can Australians trust them to manage anything? The Government has gone to all the expense and trouble of bringing MPs back to Canberra but they don’t have a plan for what they’ll do when they arrive.

What we need is the Prime Minister to decide to either govern or to campaign. If he wants to campaign, call the election and let's get on with it. If he wants to govern, get back to Canberra, recall the Parliament and let's do some governing. He can't have it both ways.

Labor's position is clear: if around 150 MPs are being flown to Canberra for Malcolm Turnbull's stunt, there should be a full parliamentary working week with Question Time every day beginning Monday. 

When Members of Parliament are in Canberra, Malcolm Turnbull has an obligation to turn up for work and be accountable. He does not have the luxury of being a part-time Prime Minister.

The Turnbull Government needs to end the chaos, stop trying to hide from scrutiny and commit to a full parliamentary working week with Question Time.

APRIL 06, 2016

Tony Burke