Union Bill busted by rebel Senators
THE Federal Government has suffered an embarrassing loss after its union-busting Ensuring Integrity Bill was blocked by the Senate. The vote was locked at 34-34, meaning it failed to pass, with One Nation and independent Senator Jacqui Lambie siding with Labor and the Greens. Government powerbrokers had believed they had secured support for the Bill from One Nation and Centre Alliance crossbenchers. But One Nation’s senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts blindsided the Coalition and voted against the Bill with Labor. It would have empowered the Registered Organisations Commission to deregister unions and disqualify officials. Labor and the Greens denounced the Bill, saying it was draconian and would allow unions to be deregistered for “paperwork breaches’’.