Government looks for win on union laws
THE final parliamentary sittings of the year regularly land with a certain frisson at the prospect of summer freedom and, despite stoushes lined up over unions and asylum seekers, the next fortnight looks no different.
The government appears to be feeling confident about both pieces of legislation.
Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter late on Friday released the amendments he has negotiated with crossbenchers on unions for the "ensuring integrity".
These will increase the thresholds before unions or officials can be barred, give the courts more powers and remove some of the reasons for deregistration.
Mr Porter is confident the deal struck with One Nation and Centre Alliance - which each hold two votes - will deliver the support needed to pass the law.
"I thank the crossbench for their constructive approach to the bill - which continues to stand in stark contrast to the 'nothing to see here' approach adopted by the Labor Party which appears totally captured and indebted to the CFMMEU," he said.
The bill is scheduled for debate on Monday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was also sounding increasingly bullish about scrapping the controversial "medevac" laws when they come up for debate on Wednesday.
He's been locked in long-running negotiations with the crossbench to unwind the Labor-backed legislation, which gave doctors a greater say in granting medical transfers to sick refugees.
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie, who will ultimately cast the deciding vote, has not yet declared her position.
The government will have a new-old addition to its ranks, with Jim Molan set to be sworn in as a NSW senator, replacing Arthur Sinodinos, who has been appointed ambassador to the United States,
Senator-elect Molan lost his seat in May and has promised NSW Liberals he will only stay in parliament until the next election.
The lower house will deal with legislation to expand the cashless welfare card trials, require the ABC to focus more on regional areas, expand the presumption against bail for suspected terrorists, and changes to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.
It will also look at a private member's bill from independent Andrew Wilkie on private health insurance and another from Bob Katter that would give the auditor-general the power to investigate big banks.
In the Senate, a Centre Alliance bill cracking down on robocalls during elections is among those up for scrutiny.