The Bull

Tuesday 21

August, 2018 8:22 AM



Key issues for federal parliament

Key issues for federal parliament

Federal MPs return to Canberra on Monday after the long winter break, with plenty on the agenda for parliament and the political parties.

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By AAP 09.08.2018 10:27 AM

FEDERAL PARLIAMENT RETURNS

* House of Representatives and Senate to sit for a fortnight from August 13.

* Federal Parliament has been on a winter break since June 28.

* Most of the period has been taken up by campaigning in five by-elections held on July 28.

* At least three by-election winners (in Fremantle, Braddon and Mayo) will be sworn in, but the results are still being tallied over the weekend in Perth and Longman.

* The by-elections did not change the numbers in the lower house.

* Malcolm Turnbull will ask the coalition partyroom on Tuesday to endorse the latest work on the National Energy Guarantee.

* Labor caucus will meet on Tuesday, relieved that Braddon, Longman, Perth and Fremantle remain in opposition hands and the Liberals failed to win Mayo.

* Senior government negotiators are hoping to win over crossbench senators to support the full corporate tax cut package, but may need to compromise or shelve it. Two alternatives are lift the already-law $50 million threshold to $500 million, or bring forward the 25 per cent rate for small business.

* Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm is seeking parliamentary support to restore the territories' rights, including the right to legislate for voluntary euthanasia. Senate debate will proceed but there is doubt over whether it will come on for debate in the lower house.

* The Greens are seeking to censure Senator Leyonhjelm over his "sexist and vile" slurs against Sarah Hanson-Young, who is now suing him for defamation.

* One Nation leader Pauline Hanson wants support for a plebiscite at the next election to cut migration levels.

* Valedictory speeches for retiring NSW Greens senator Lee Rhiannon.

* It will be the final sitting fortnight for Queensland Greens senator Andrew Bartlett, who is retiring to run in the lower house seat of Brisbane. He will be replaced by ex-senator Larissa Waters in the September sittings.

* Labor MP Emma Husar has signalled she will retire at the next election, bowing to pressure over a scandal around bullying and harassment in her office. The coalition will still pursue the issue in parliament.

* Labor will be pursuing why a $444 million grant was given to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation without any tender process.

* Inquiry reports due on: climate change's impact on housing and infrastructure; radioactive waste management; health and safety of offshore petroleum industry workers; obesity epidemic; for-profit aged care; cashless debit card expansion; future of work.

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