Governor-General outlines Australian Labor Party's agenda in new Parliament

17:28, September 28, 2010      

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Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce on Tuesday addressed the new Parliament on its opening day, and has outlined the Labor Party's agenda in coming days.

Bryce made the comment as she addressed the first sitting of the 43rd parliament in Canberra on Tuesday.

Bryce told the new Parliament it is confronting terrain not seen since World War II, when former prime minister Robert Menzies headed a minority government.

"As one of the world's oldest continuing democracies, we have it within our grasp to ensure that the challenges posed by the configuration of this Parliament become a source of renewal and change," Bryce told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

"Certainly the story of our nation tells us that nothing is impossible when we work together and seek the best in each other, drawing upon the qualities of resourcefulness and courage that are such a hallmark of the Australian spirit."

According to Bryce, the foremost challenge for the government was building the economy with measures to keep it "flexible and strong".

At the heart of those measures was the commitment to return the budget to surplus in 2012/13. There were also planned reforms to taxation, superannuation and business regulation, and investments to education and infrastructure to drive future growth.

"During this term, the government will pursue plans to reduce the tax burden on the business sector, simplify tax returns for ordinary taxpayers, and obtain a more equitable distribution of the nation's natural wealth through the Minerals Resource Rent Tax, " she said, adding that further deliberations on tax reform would be considered at a public forum by mid-2011.

Meanwhile, the election result had brought renewed attention to the needs of one-third of Australians who live outside the major cities.

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