• Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra
Pauline Hanson's One Nation blindsided the government by voting with Labor against the Ensuring Integrity Bill in the Senate. AAP/Mick Tsikas

The Morrison government hates being publicly humiliated. So its fury at unexpectedly losing its Ensuring Integrity legislation on Thursday isn’t just because the bill – targeting recalcitrant unions and officials - is core business.

It’s also the embarrassment of being, as Senate leader Mathias Cormann put it, “absolutely blindsided”.

When Pauline Hanson and her Senate colleague Malcolm Roberts lined up with Labor to vote against the bill, which was lost on a tie, the government was caught completely unawares.

It’s one thing to lack the numbers to control the Senate, quite another not to see a disaster about to hit you.

If the vote hadn’t seemed in the bag, the Coalition wouldn’t have brought the bill forward. Going down in heroic defeat is not its preferred modus operandi.

Incandescent with rage, the government on Friday was suggesting a possible One Nation deal with the CFMMEU; insisting Hanson had looked multiple ministers in the eye and flagged support for the bill, and claiming there were text messages to back its case.

Industrial relations minister Christian Porter said he’d been through weeks of negotiation with Hanson and Roberts. “I considered that the process was to be conducted in good faith but I think ultimately, that was an error in judgment,” he said with more than a touch of bitterness.

“Why would you propose 11 amendments to a bill, ensure that the entirety of the week in the Senate was devoted to debating the very amendments that you, One Nation, put up, and then ultimately to have them all accepted and not support the bill? I’ve actually not seen anything like it. It is exceedingly strange.”

It is a reasonable point.

But Hanson is equally insistent that “at no stage did I tell them they had my guaranteed vote on it”.

“They took me for granted,” she said on Friday. (She does admit saying to the government to bring the bill on.)

So why had she worked so hard to the end to get her amendments, including voting with the government on them? According to the Hanson camp, so that if the bill passed, its impact would be softened.

It is easy to assume that Hanson would naturally incline to this legislation. But there are reasons why that would not necessarily be her default position, and opponents of the legislation put in a lot of work to ensure it wasn’t.

One part of her populist base includes low income workers disillusioned with Labor, some of whom would be dubious about legislation critics cast as anti-worker and say could be used well beyond just attacking rogue unions.

With the Queensland election coming up next year, Hanson has reason to keep an immediate eye on these voters. And a strong interest in dissuading unions from campaigning against her.

The union movement has been lobbying very actively in Canberra, showing its softer (and female) face, seeking to counter the government’s argument that this is just about thugs, and warning benign unions might be caught in the net.

Labor’s Anthony Albanese bought into the effort to persuade Hanson to vote against the bill, inviting her for afternoon tea in his office on Monday. Hanson says he went to her office just before the vote but she was too caught up to see him and he was turned away.

Labor was surprised by Thursday’s result, but not quite as surprised as the government.

A range of factors fed into Hanson’s final position, including her concern about the administrators who might be put into unions (which Porter said she didn’t raise in their discussions), her dissatisfaction with some of Scott Morrison’s comments on Westpac, and her discontent with the entry of foreign workers under trade agreements.

The bill needed only one more vote to get through. Some time ago the government thought it would get that from Jacqui Lambie, after she said she would support the legislation if construction union official John Setka didn’t resign his union position.

A primary target of the bill is the CFMMEU and Setka (although it is not retrospective).

Setka is still in place, but Lambie voted against the legislation. She lamented on Friday the government hadn’t paid her enough attention, suggesting if it had, it might have got somewhere. Apparently the government did make an effort, but getting face time with Lambie proved to be difficult. She put in some amendments at the last minute, which Porter says were “totally unworkable”.

The government will reintroduce the legislation next week, the last of the parliamentary year. This is a gesture to signal determination more than anything else, because there is no opportunity to have it considered before the new year.

Necessity means by then the government will have swallowed hard and be ready to settle down for another round of battle, if the signs look at all promising. Militant unions have won a reprieve but they remain in the government’s sights.

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Read more http://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-did-hanson-mislead-the-government-on-union-bill-or-did-it-misread-her-128070

Painting Laminated Doors: Tips for Professional & Long-Lasting Results

Planning and Preparation Planning and preparation are crucial steps when you’re looking to paint laminated doors. Different factors have to be looked into. Are your laminated doors still i...

News Company - avatar News Company

Cleaning Tips for Kitchen Cabinets

Your kitchen cabinets take a lot of abuse every day. They get accidentally kicked, they get splattered with grease, and they get opened using dirty hands. After a while, all that accumulated dir...

News Company - avatar News Company

The Ultimate Guide to Air Conditioning Service

When it’s scorching hot outside, the last thing you’d want is for your air conditioner to break down. To prevent this, it’s important to schedule your unit for regular maintenance and inspecti...

News Company - avatar News Company

Styling your home with Porter’s new Capsule Collection

Introducing Porter’s Paints Capsule Collection: Jono Fleming’s living room transformation and styling secrets revealed Introducing colour on to your walls is an exciting first step for a...

Media Release - avatar Media Release

All About Coverage Under Plant And Equipment Insurance

Many general insurance companies usually offer plant and equipment insurance. The insurance plans offered by different companies can fulfil the requirements of both tradesmen and contractors. Wh...

Daisy Bell - avatar Daisy Bell

Car Experts Reveal the Secrets How to Test Drive Cars Like a Pro

Cars have become more of a necessity than a fad. Especially during this quarantine period where public transportation is risky, you need a personal vehicle to run errands. Why not look for Mitsubishi ...

News Company - avatar News Company

A Guide to Buy Home Appliances on Budget

A new home comes up with the need for new appliances, but where should one begin? Check our list that lets you find what you need first. Congratulations on getting your new dream home! If this is you...

News Company - avatar News Company

How to Create A Legal Will Online

A will is an essential legal document that clearly states the desires of someone after the person passes away. With a will, you can successfully choose the beneficiaries of your properties and e...

News Company - avatar News Company

Roborock Launches Long Lasting Cordless Stick Vacuum

Leading technology and robotics company Roborock has launched the first cordless vacuum cleaner in the world to use a Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery. Roborock’s H6 uses a lightweight battery w...

Belinda Luby - avatar Belinda Luby

Viw Magazine

Taking A Look Into The World Of Single Dating

No-one dreams of being alone one day, there isn’t a little girl or boy hoping to never meet someone and living their lives with no-one to share it with. We all want that person we can run to, count on in tough times, and be the first one we t...

News Company - avatar News Company

Free Educational Apps for Students

Before improved technology, smartphones were viewed as bad habits in the lives of the students. No parent nor teachers wished their students to access phones because their education would be severely affected. However, with time, mobile app dev...

Elizabeth Horrell - avatar Elizabeth Horrell

Financial Frustration - 5 Things To Consider Before Touching Your Super After The COVID-19 Crash

Though your main focus throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has likely been the health and welfare of your friends, family, and the community at large, you’ve probably also noticed that your super account has taken a hit. Additionally, the govern...

News Company - avatar News Company



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion