CANBERRA – With a 19 gun salute, an Indigenous welcome and a very long, agenda-setting speech by the Governor General, the 45th Parliament is off and running.
And they better run fast.
In his traditionally dry official opening speech, written by the Prime Minister's Office, Sir Peter Cosgrove has warned parliamentarians they have a full agenda of work ahead.
"This will be a government that delivers," Sir Peter said.
"Senators and members, you have a full agenda of work to complete over the coming three years."
Westminster tradition. Queen does it too. https://t.co/jyk7mxtpqm— David Speers (@David_Speers) August 30, 2016
From the President's chair in the Senate chamber, the Governor-General outlined the legislative agenda of the Turnbull Government, including tax reform, national security and fixing mobile phone black spots.
The"fundamental moral challenge" of budget repair, as expected, was a big ticket item with the Governor-General echoing the Treasurer's recent warning about a possible recession.
"It is prudent that this Parliament prepares for any significant shocks from the global economy by strengthening our economic resilience," Sir Peter said.
"Failure to prepare will leave our economy and our living standards vulnerable."
GG on Medicare - every element of Medicare currently delivered by gov will continue to be delivered by govt. Chuckles from Labor backbench— Frank Keany (@FJKeany) August 30, 2016
The Turnbull Government is seeking to pass the $6.1 billion worth of savings in the Omnibus Bill as well as its plans to restore the building industry watchdog and bring in a ten year $50 billion company tax cut plan.
"My government is committed to its program of ensuring that all taxpayers, businesses and individuals pay the right amount of tax," the Governor-General said.
MPs and Senators on the edge of their seats listening to this riveting recap of the election— David Speers (@David_Speers) August 30, 2016
Parliament returns on Wednesday with the first question time of the 45th parliament, a fight over marriage equality and the first of many maiden speeches.