Labor wants Parliament recalled, promises co-operation on legislation

MPs and senators will return to Parliament House for the first two weeks of August.

MPs and senators will return to Parliament House for the first two weeks of August. Photo: AAP

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has called for federal Parliament to be recalled next week to urgently deal with legislation to resolve the coronavirus crisis.

The Labor leader has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison asking for the next sitting to be brought forward so the federal government’s stimulus package can be rushed through Parliament.

“Labor will expedite any passage of legislation through both houses of Parliament,” Mr Albanese said in Brisbane on Friday.

Mr Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg released details of multibillion-dollar the stimulus package on Thursday.

Spending from the package is split between business  – which will get $6.19 billion between now and June 30 – and welfare and pension recipients, who will get another $4.5 billion over the same period.

Vulnerable regions will also get $1 billion in two years, and the overall business spend will be $10.95 billion by 2021.

Mr Albanese said the escalating COVID-19 pandemic would have an economic impact.

“That’s why we have been positive about the government’s announcement … and we said we will be constructive,” he said.

“Of course, we want to examine the legislation to see if improvements can be made, but we want to be constructive.”

He said Labor would pay particular attention to measures that affected casual workers and low-income earners. It would also examine the regional investment fund “to make sure that the sort offences that we have seen in the sports rorts won’t happen”.

If there are no amendments to the calendar, Parliament will resume on March 23.

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