Senate votes down control over unions, providing possible double dissolution trigger

Senate votes down control over unions, providing possible double dissolution trigger

The Senate has set up another trigger for a double dissolution election, after again rejecting a bill for greater oversight of unions.

The legislation proposes to set up a Registered Organisations Commission to regulate unions, a move Labor opposes.

Under the law, the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill would impose the same disclosure and transparency obligations that company directors follow on union officials.

Employment Minister Eric Abetz told the Senate unions and companies should be held to the same standard.

“Why should a corrupt union official who has ripped off hundreds of thousands of dollars from a union only be liable for a fine of $10,800, when for the same corrupt conduct a company director would be liable for five years’ imprisonment or a fine for $360,000 for ripping off shareholders?” he said.

But the bill was knocked back 34 votes to 33.

It was the second time the legislation has been voted down, making it a possible double dissolution election trigger.

But Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has denied suggestion the government is considering going to an early election.

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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