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Governor-General urges focus on economy

AAP logoAAP 30/08/2016 Rashida Yosufzai

Governor-General Peter Cosgrove has implored politicians to put budget repair and the economy front and centre at the opening of the new parliament.

Sir Peter said it was important the 45th parliament be prepared for any significant shocks from the global economy by strengthening the nation's economic resilience.

"Failure to prepare will leave our economy and our living standards vulnerable," he told the group of MPs and senators in the upper house chamber.

Sir Peter said his government would work constructively with all parliamentarians to bring the budget back into balance by controlling expenses and strengthening economic growth.

He cited crackdowns on multinational and superannuation tax concessions as among some of the key policies.

Sir Peter also touched on national security, saying it was the highest responsibility the parliament bore.

That's why legislation further strengthening counter-terrorism laws to be introduced soon was so important, he said.

On new trade agreements, Sir Peter pledged the government would focus on a new pact with Indonesia and Pacific island countries.

It would also seek to launch talks on an European Union pact early next year.

He also spoke about new roads and rail projects, environment and energy priorities and education policies including needs-based schools funding.

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