Labor prepares its long-promised economic outlook after the worst inflation figure in more than two decades

At least the first Question Time of the 47th parliament resolved one question: we’re not about to see a new “elevated tone” or “new era of cooperation”. At least not in this hour or so of each parliamentary sitting day.

The Opposition Leader went in hard early over the government’s long-promised plan to abolish the building industry watchdog (which has had its powers gutted before it can be scrapped altogether). There was a brief attempt by Peter Dutton to link this issue to rising construction costs, but the real motive was darker.

The Opposition Leader wanted to know if the Prime Minister had met any CFMMEU officials accused of “sexual assault, harassment or rape.”

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Question Time begins with heated arguments

Dutton didn’t name any of the accused individuals and had no evidence to suggest any links to the Prime Minister. I have kicked up some dust but had no follow-up. The day one attack fell flat.

Still, the tone was set, and the government responded in kind. Ministers used every opening (including the Dorothy Dixers, who haven’t gone anywhere) to go after their opponents.

A refreshing new chapter of parliamentary standards it was not.

Peter Dutton and Anthony Albanese face off across a table in parliament.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton in parliament. (ABC News: Matt Roberts)

Inflation rate surprises nobody

The Coalition largely avoided the big cost of living news of the day — the 6.1 per cent inflation figure that dropped just a couple of hours earlier. The worst inflation figure in more than two decades.

A figure which mostly covers the Morrison Government’s time in office, but confirms Labor’s talk of fixing real wage growth is a way off from being realised.

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