Abbott baulks at pulling poll trigger
Abbott baulks at pulling poll trigger

Struggling in the polls, the Abbott Government has baulked at pulling its first double dissolution trigger, claiming voters want it to "get on with the job" rather than rush to another election.

For the second time, Labor, the Greens and independents combined yesterday to defeat a coalition attempt to abolish the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

This gave the Government its first opportunity to call a double dissolution election, under which both houses of Parliament would be dissolved for an early election.

For months, the coalition has said a double dissolution is a live option.

But Foreign Affairs Minister and Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop yesterday effectively ruled out this option.

"Just because you've got a trigger, it doesn't mean you've got to pull it," Ms Bishop told the National Press Club.

"And I think the Australian people, from my judgment were sick and tired of the instability and the uncertainty that is the hallmark of the last at least five years of the previous government.

"For business confidence, for investment confidence, for consumer confidence, we owe it to the Australian people to get on with the job they elected us to do."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Australians would prefer it if the Prime Minister kept his election promises.

"Tony Abbott is all talk - if he wants an election, he should bring it on," Mr Shorten said.

"He won't even talk to people in the street about how much this Budget is hurting them, let alone face their anger at the ballot box."

The Government will move next week to include the CEFC's abolition in its carbon tax repeal legislation.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Labor and the Greens were defying voters' judgment at the last election.

The West Australian

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