A general election in Australia on July 2 now looks a near certainty after the Senate decided in less than a day to reject again legislation to bring back the regulatory watchdog to restore order in the country’s troubled construction industry, where more than one hundred trade unionists or their supporters are facing trial for breaking the law.
The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, had given the Senate three weeks to reconsider the legislation, but it was all over in hours with the legislation defeated by two votes.
Turnbull, who had pledged to call a double dissolution of both houses of parliament in that eventuality, will wait until next month to pull the official trigger, allowing the Liberal-National Party Coalition to present its Budget on May 3. Had he acted immediately, that option would not have been available. However he confirmed the election would be on July 3.