Australia Federal Government's crackdown on unions rejected by Senate after One Nation sides with Opposition

10:25  28 november  2019
10:25  28 november  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie have joined forces to deliver a shock defeat of the Government's signature union crackdown legislation.

The Government failed to gain the support of crossbenchers to pass its so-called ensuring integrity bill, which Labor had dubbed "union busting" legislation.

Jacqui Lambie, Pauline Hanson are posing for a picture: Pauline Hanson voted with the Opposition, Jacqui Lambie and the Greens to defeat the bill. (ABC News: Luke Stephenson) © Provided by ABC News Pauline Hanson voted with the Opposition, Jacqui Lambie and the Greens to defeat the bill. (ABC News: Luke Stephenson) The result prompted an immediate rebuke of Senator Hanson from the Government, which believed it had One Nation's support.

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The changes would have allowed for applications to be made to the Federal Court to deregister a union or union official if conduct was deemed inappropriate.

Anne Ruston © ABC NEWS Anne Ruston The Government said it was crucial to ensure unions were accountable for their actions, while Labor criticised it as an attack on the union movement.

One Nation, Senator Lambie, Labor and the Greens voted against the bill.

Senior Government ministers appeared shocked when the final vote was cast.

Happy Hanson © ABC NEWS Happy Hanson There were cheers from the Opposition's benches after the bill failed to pass.

Immediately afterwards, Senator Lambie and Senator Hanson spoke at the back of the chamber and were joined by members of Labor.

CFMEU protest in Brisbane © ABC NEWS CFMEU protest in Brisbane The loss means the Government will have to reintroduce the legislation, or seek to change its plans, if it wants to pursue a crackdown on the unions.

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The bill the Government presented to the Senate included amendments from crossbenchers the Centre Alliance, which the Coalition had agreed to in return for support.

The proposed laws would have made it easier for courts to sack union officials or deregister organisations if serious breaches were identified.

Penny Wong and Jacqui Lambie © ABC NEWS Penny Wong and Jacqui Lambie Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter said he was "very disappointed" with the vote.

He said the Government would seek to reintroduce the bill at an undisclosed time.

"It's for Pauline Hanson to explain why she voted against a bill that met every requirement she sought through extensive consultation," he said in a statement.

"This is important reform which seeks to ensure that registered organisations obey the law. It is as simple as that."

'I won't sell my soul': Pauline Hanson swears as she reveals why she refused to back union-busting bill in a move that left Scott Morrison's government reeling .
The Ensuring Integrity union laws would make it easier to deregister law-breaking unions and disqualify officials throughout Australia.The One Nation leader's move last week has left her relationship with the federal government on the rocks.

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