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We must prepare for economic shocks: GG

AAP logoAAP 29/08/2016 Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics Correspondent

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove has warned the new parliament that failure to prepare against any shocks in the global economy will leave the Australian economy and living standards vulnerable.

Opening the 45th parliament on Tuesday, Sir Peter said it was prudent for the government to strengthen the economy's resilience while committing to maintaining strong fiscal discipline and supporting policies to encourage jobs, growth and investment.

"My government will continue to bring the budget back into balance, by controlling expenditure growth and by strengthening economic growth," he said in an address prepared by the prime minister's office to a joint sitting of MPs and senators.

His comments came as Treasurer Scott Morrison again raised the alarm about government debt blowing out to $1 trillion if the budget isn't brought under control.

One economist described debt as a "ticking fiscal time bomb".

However, the political gloves are already off with Labor accusing the government of lying about a $6.1 billion budget savings bill.

The so-called omnibus bill, containing a range of savings measures, will be one of the first issues of business when the new parliament gets down to work on Wednesday.

The government overnight provided Labor with a copy of the bill containing 24 previously announced but not-yet legislated savings measures, which the opposition assumed in its election costings document for the July 2 election.

But manager of opposition business Tony Burke says the draft bill contains three extra measures - including welfare cuts Labor rejected in the previous parliament.

The government was being "entirely deceptive" about its omnibus bill, he said.

"Lying about your legislation, thumping the table and getting angry and heated the way they do, it's not the way to get co-operation."

Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh says Labor needs time to work its way through the 600-page "door-stopper" of a bill.

"Frankly if Malcolm Turnbull wanted true bi-partisanship ... we would have had (the bill) two weeks ago," he told Sky News.

Mr Morrison said Labor should "stop making excuses".

"We're simply asking the Labor Party to support measures they've already agreed to," he told reporters.

The savings measures would arrest the growth in government debt, which was increasing by $1.4 billion a week.

"If we do nothing the debt goes to a trillion (dollars) and that is not an outcome that I intend to preside over," Mr Morrison said.

TD Securities chief strategist for Asia-Pacific Annette Beacher described it as a "ticking fiscal time bomb".

She expects a $100 billion debt program for the next three years if "reformist fiscal policy is stonewalled by populist politicians".

Mr Burke scoffed at Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's description of budget repair as a "fundamental moral challenge".

"It's a bit much describing it as a moral challenge from a government that's tripled the deficit and added $100 billion to the net debt," he said.

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