Unions, marriage to dominate parliament

Union corruption and same-sex marriage will dominate the start of four days of parliament next week.


Employment Minister Eric Abetz is in talks with crossbench senators to secure the passing through the Senate of two bills – one to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission and the other to set up a registered organisations commission.

He says a special “cop on the beat” will clean up the construction industry and help boost investment and jobs.

However, crossbench senators want more safeguards in the laws including a time limit on the ABCC’s coercive powers.

Labor says police and anti-corruption authorities have all the powers they need to deal with misconduct by unions and employers.

Also on Monday, Liberal National Party MP Warren Entsch will introduce his bill – which has cross-party support – to allow for same-sex marriage.

The bill is unlikely to come on for a vote before the end of the parliamentary term.

Intelligence committee chairman Dan Tehan will update the parliament on when he expects his inquiry into the controversial citizenship bill to conclude.

The China free trade agreement will come under the spotlight on Monday, with dairy industry representatives and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade giving evidence at a public hearing of the treaties committee.

The Senate will receive reports on out-of-home care, community service tendering processes by the Department of Social Services, violence against women and the circumstances surrounding a letter sent to Attorney-General George Brandis by Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis.