Way clear for IR, anti-corruption showdown

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Black Friday's least captivating clearout has paved the way for the government to pass its controversial workplace laws before Christmas.


The government forced a vote on remaining legislation in the Senate on Friday to clear the bills backlog and clean the slate ahead of next week's final sittings for the year.

The clearout included passing laws to incentivise pensioners to downsize and free up housing stock, electric car discounts, biosecurity amendments and sex discrimination laws.

The government's anti-corruption commission and industrial relations laws are expected to come to the Senate next week.

The latter may not even be brought on for debate if the government doesn't have the numbers to pass it, with independent senator David Pocock continuing negotiations over the bill.

Senator Pocock and independent Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie have chastised the government for trying to ram through complicated multi-employer bargaining legislation.

Both have called for more time to consider the impact of the legislation. 

Senator Pocock hasn't ruled out pulling support for the bill despite agreeing with 90 per cent of its contents, therefore giving parliament more time to consider what the changes mean for small businesses. 

The government needs the vote of either Senator Pocock or Senator Lambie on top of the Greens to pass the legislation. 

Laws to establish the national anti-corruption commission are expected to sail through the Senate with the support of the opposition despite a push for crossbench amendments.

The Greens and crossbenchers are unlikely to succeed in their push to lower the threshold for public hearings.

Time has also been put aside on Thursday for laws to remove the handbrake on territories legislating on euthanasia, with debate to go as long as needed before coming to a vote.

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