ANTHONY ALBANESE STIMULUS PACKAGE RESPONSE
The Morrison government has rebuffed Labor's request to recall federal parliament urgently to rush through a coronavirus stimulus package.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking the government to reconvene parliament next week to pass bills relating to the package.
But it is understood the government won't back the move because the legislation is still being drafted and the soonest payments can get to people is March 31.
A number of measures including the instant asset write off for businesses and investment incentives kicked in on Thursday when Mr Morrison announced the package.
Under Mr Albanese's proposal, partyroom meetings would have been held on Monday and legislation debated from Tuesday, six days earlier than scheduled.
Labor is set to back the bulk of the Morrison government's $17.6 billion in stimulus designed to guide the economy through the coronavirus shock.
"Labor will expedite any passage of legislation through both houses of parliament," Mr Albanese told reporters in Brisbane on Friday.
Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said passing the stimulus bills would give them a greater chance of having a positive impact on the economy.
"Our overriding objective here is to do what we can to inject a sense of urgency here," he said.
"These are serious and challenging times in the economy."
He said the stimulus measures were not perfect, with Labor set to push the government for clarity on a $1 billion tourism fund.
The opposition is also critical of the measures to help casual workers, arguing $40 a day isn't enough to convince people to call in sick.
Mr Albanese said it was critical for chief medical officers to provide the latest information and advice to the nation.
"This is absolutely critical and I believe is what Australians are asking for," the Labor leader said.
"The most important thing is keeping Australians as safe as possible."
He pointed to the unwarranted toilet paper panic to show the need for clear and transparent expert health advice.