Can the Plan Rally
Can the Plan Rally

PM won’t back down on union laws

A CONTROVERSIAL crackdown on law-breaking unions will be back on the table less than a week after it was dramatically shot down, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison declaring he will "not back down".

Anger is still simmering in government ranks over One Nation's last minute move to block the proposed Ensuring Integrity Bill last week.

Targeting its renewed push directly at the CFMEU, Attorney-General Christian Porter said the construction union had made an "art form" of law-breaking.

He told his colleagues at a party room meeting that women in the workforce had increased in almost all sectors except construction, which he put down to bullying and misbehaviour.

Attorney-General Christian Porter says the CFMEU has made law-breaking an art form. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Attorney-General Christian Porter says the CFMEU has made law-breaking an art form. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

"The reason these reforms are so difficult is also the reason it's so important," he said.

"It's achievable because the need for it is so clear."

Mr Morrison told his colleagues the government was "not backing down" on the proposed laws.

The Bill, which would allow courts to deregister unions or officials that repeatedly break industrial laws, will be put back to parliament today.

But it is unlikely to be voted on again until at least next year.

Despite tensions between the Coalition and One Nation, Mr Porter moved to wipe the slate clean with the crossbench.

It will include all the amendments demanded by Centre Alliance and One Nation, with Mr Porter saying it was a "strong starting point" for fresh talks.

"The Morrison Government remains willing to engage constructively with all crossbench Senators in order to ultimately secure this important reform," he said.

"We all know that it is the militant CFMMEU, particularly in Victoria and increasingly in Queensland that has made an art-form of law-breaking."

The Coalition Government wants One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson to drop her opposition to the Ensuring Integrity Bill. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
The Coalition Government wants One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson to drop her opposition to the Ensuring Integrity Bill. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

LNP Senator Paul Scarr urged Senator Hanson to reconsider her position.

"Queenslanders deserve the right to go to work without facing threats, abuse and intimidation," he said.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has repeatedly rejected claims from the government that she gave assurances she would support the proposed laws.

"I don't do deals and sell my soul like a lot of the other pricks in this place. This is about the people," she said this week.

The Coalition needs either One Nation or Senator Jacqui Lambie to change positions to secure enough support to pass the laws.

Australian Council of Trade Unions boss Michele O'Neil last week said the Ensuring Integrity Bill's defeat was a "victory for democracy".



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