The passing of the carbon tax bill through the lower house has also weighed on the market.
Despite last-minute efforts by the opposition to delay the bills and late pleas for amendments from some business groups, the government squeezed the bill through (74 votes to 72) just before 10am this morning.
Most sectors are in negative territory, with materials, energy and industrial plays suffering the heaviest falls.
In company news, Fletcher Building (FBU) is down 13% after reducing their outlook, whilst Tabcorp (TAH) is up more than 3% after reporting that 1Q revenue is up 2.7% on year.
In economic news, consumer confidence edged higher in October, rising 0.4% to 97.2, after recording an 8.1% jump the month before.
Around the region, Asian markets are all trading lower; the Hang Seng is down more than 1% whilst the Nikkei is off 0.6%.