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Not a day 'wasted' as parliament returns

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Almost 20 pieces of legislation will be introduced this week by the federal government as parliament returns for the first time since the May election, with Anthony Albanese pledging not to “waste a day”.

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The prime minister said 18 bills will be put forward in the first week of the 47th parliament, which begins on Tuesday.

“Australia has had a decade of neglect and drift. We want to make sure we get on with the reforms that are necessary in order to advance Australia’s interests in order to create a better future,” he told Sky News on Sunday. “We don’t want to waste a day.

“I want parliament to be able to legislate properly, and I want it to function much better.

“I want governments to be accountable as well, and that’s the approach that I’ll take.”

Albanese defended his government’s decision to cut staff for the crossbench, with the independents set to lobby for its reversal.

“This was a matter of fairness,” he said.

“We have a trillion dollars of debt, we need to make sure that there’s equity in terms of the way that staff are allocated.

“But that also we don’t see government expenditure continue to climb at the time when we’ve had cutbacks in permanent public service.”

Labor Minister Tony Burke confirmed on Sunday the crossbench will get three questions each sitting day.

In the last parliament, only one question from the six-member crossbench was permitted per sitting day.

Climate change, cost of living and a “confronting” budget update are set to dominate the first week of Australia’s new parliament.

Tackling the aged care, labour and domestic violence crises are also high on the agenda.

 – AAP

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