Sitting down with Albanese and Morrison: week one of the legislative agenda

by Julia Bergin
The Albanese government is heading to Parliament with a stash of bills at the ready. How does it compare to Morrison's first sitting week?

The Albanese government is heading to Parliament with a stash of bills at the ready. How does it compare to Morrison’s first sitting week?

(Images: AAP)

The Albanese government has declared there is much to do and no time to waste as it heads into the first sitting week of Parliament with 18 bills under its belt. Big-ticket items include climate change, cost of living, aged care, and a constant reminder of the government’s one trillion dollar debt.

As the new PM embarks on week one of Parliament with an ambitious agenda, Crikey decided to revisit Morrison’s (more mediocre) first sitting week back in July 2019.

The star of the show in 2019 was now Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, who introduced a raft of legislation under the Home Affairs portfolio. He wanted more power for ASIO, a tightening of anti-terror legislation, and more stringent rights for reentry into Australia.  

The “Tax Relief So Working Australians Keep More Of Their Money” Bill was also front and centre, as were the undoing of medivac and a high-priority piece of legislation that would prevent farms from being “invaded” by animal rights activists.

The week ended with a cordial consensus between Morrison and Albanese on Indigenous recognition and a spot of optimism from Morrison about bridging bipartisan divides: “I think Anthony and I are both very optimistic about the partnership that can be forged.” That spirit of cooperation didn’t last very long, and it is unlikely that Albanese will come away from this first week of Parliament with much faith in Dutton’s collaborative capacity.