On Monday Australia’s upper house, the Senate, rejected a piece of government legislation for a second time.
This provided Mr Turnbull with a trigger for a so-called double dissolution election.
Mr Turnbull said at a press conference on Tuesday that he intended to ask the governor general to dissolve parliament after the budget on 3 May.
A double dissolution election is a mechanism in the Australian constitution that allows the government to call for an election if a piece of legislation is blocked twice in the upper house.
Mr Turnbull said calling the double dissolution was about “giving the people their say”.
“It means it’s an occasion when the House and the Senate can’t agree, persistently and so then everyone goes to the polls,” he said.
“And when we win the election as I believe we will, we will return and the reforms to registered organisations and the reintroduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) will be made law.”
Earlier in the day opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten addressed the party’s caucus, reportedly saying of the government that “beyond Turnbull’s popularity, they now have nothing”.
“They are going to have a civil war. It’s a choice about whether they have it in government or in opposition,” Mr Shorten was quoted as saying.