Malcolm Turnbull will take it on himself to introduce to parliament the contentious bills he used to call a double-dissolution election.

The prime minister also signalled he and Employment Minister Michaelia Cash are willing to consider crossbench amendments to legislation reinstating the building and construction watchdog in a bid to win parliament’s approval.

An eight-year sunset clause and restrictions on coercive powers are among changes being proposed.

“This is a fundamental economic reform that if it’s not enacted will continue to impose higher costs on Australians, reduce Australian standards of living,” Mr Turnbull told reporters at a building site in Canberra.

The new parliament gets down to business with a dozen government bills set to be introduced in the lower house.

Mr Turnbull will introduce three major bills including legislation that reinstates the Howard-government Australian Building and Construction Commission, and tougher governance rules on trade unions and their officials.

Senator Cash said the ABCC bill would address an industry marred by bullying, thuggery and intimidation where the rule of law had been ignored and not applied.

“Well, today that all stops,” she told reporters alongside Mr Turnbull.

Master Builders chief Wilhelm Harnisch said it was time parliament stood up to the bullies in the industry.