In a televised address to the nation tonight, Mr Turnbull accused the government of failing to heed the warning signs earlier in the year that pointed to the scope of the problem.
“With the benefit of hindsight, government should have acted a lot earlier,” Mr Turnbull said.
The Liberal leader was speaking in response to a similar address given by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last night.
“Regrettably, Mr Rudd’s government missed the warning signs at the beginning of the year and talked up inflation, and consequently interest rates, at precisely the wrong time,” he said.
Mr Turnbull called on the government to release the advice it received which prompted its $10.4 billion economic stimulus package announced yesterday.
He also maintained the opposition was willing to work with the government in a bipartisan fashion to deal with the economic crisis.
“We recognise that our economy is slowing, and we’ve given support to the government’s $10 billion stimulus package.
“But just as Australian families are careful in the way they manage their budget, so the Australian government must take great care not to squander the savings from a decade of responsible management.
“That’s why we’ve asked for Mr Rudd to share with the Australian people the economic advice he has received which convinced him that the $10 billion was not larger than was needed and will not reduce the ability of the Reserve Bank to keep cutting interest rates.”
Mr Turnbull said safeguards must be put in place so that government guarantees offered to banks do not result in taxpayers picking up the tab for bank loses.
The opposition would continue to make constructive proposals to protect and strengthen the economy in an effort to help all Australians through the financial crisis, he said.
“Above all, we believe that the energy, the enterprise, and the optimism of 21 million Australians will ensure that, while we are in the midst of this storm and will get wet, we will not sink.”