• Independent senator Jacqui Lambie has accused Defence top brass and politicians of abuse cover ups. (AAP)Source: AAP
Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie fears people with poor literacy skills will struggle if Australia is brought to an early election by Malcolm Turnbull.
Philip Ly

The Point
22 Mar 2016 - 2:07 PM  UPDATED 22 Mar 2016 - 2:07 PM

Jacqui Lambie has questioned how processes could be explained four months from a possible double dissolution election, flagged for July 2, to those who cannot read and write.

"They deserve their right to vote like anybody else,” she says. "They need to understand [how to vote]."

The Federal Government's Close the Gap program, which works to ensure Australians have equal opportunity, shows literacy rates in the Indigenous population is lower compared to the national average.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says Parliament has three weeks from April 18 to reach a decision over the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) bills. 

If the bills pass, an election will be held between August and October. But if they fail, a double dissolution election will be called for July 2.

A double dissolution election means the House of Representatives and Senate will be dissolved and face an election to end a deadlock over legislation. Rather than voting for 38 senators in a usual election, a double dissolution puts all 76 senator positions up for grabs.

Debate over the ABCC 

Mr Turnbull says the ABCC will be a critical economic reform, "absolutely vital for growth".

In 2015, he said the law reform will not weaken the union movement, but rather strengthen it.

On Monday he added the commission’s reforms would help ensure unions are held to account and transparent.

He says the Australian economy, which receives strong contributions from the construction industry, is paying a high price for the lawlessness and high level of industrial disputation.

A strong construction industry watchdog would bring increased productivity, he adds.

But Ms Lambie told The Point she believes a national independent Commission Against Corruption is a better option than reinstating the ABCC.

“It’s all about corruption when it comes to the ABCC and unless you go after all the corruption in Australia, you’re not getting the job done,” she says.

The ABCC was set up in 2005 following the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry. But it was abolished during the Gillard Government in 2012. 

The Abbott Government moved to bring the commission back in 2014 but this bid was blocked in the Senate by one vote.

In March, the legislation re-emerged again.

Jacqui Lambie will speak about the issue in depth with Stan Grant on 
The Point at 9.30pm tonight.