New Senate crossbenchers will again be centre-stage this week when the government seeks their backing to repeal the carbon tax.
The government’s bid to deliver on its key election promise – to scrap the carbon tax – spectacularly failed on Thursday when Palmer United Party senators voted with Labor and the Greens.
PUP leader Clive Palmer, who went to the 2013 election saying he would scrap the tax, accused the government of “double-crossing” his party over an amendment to toughen sanctions against businesses which do not pass on price cuts from the abolition.
However, the government is expected to adopt the Palmer amendments and fast-track the repeal bills through the House of Representatives on Monday.
This will set them up for another debate in the Senate as early as Monday afternoon.
The coalition is banking on the votes of the three PUP senators, Victoria’s Ricky Muir, Family First’s Bob Day and Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm to pass the amended laws.
However, senators Day and Leyonhjelm have raised concerns about the breadth of the new powers sought by Mr Palmer and their impact on business.
While it waits for the lower house, the Senate is scheduled to debate the abolition of the Climate Change Authority.
PUP wants to amend the bill to launch an emissions trading scheme if Australia’s trading partners act in the same way.
If the parliament repeals the carbon tax the government will quickly bring on the mining tax repeal bills for debate and a vote.
Also on Monday, Labor will launch its bid to disallow the government’s financial advice regulations which the opposition expects will pass with crossbench support on Tuesday.
The government says its regulations will make advice more affordable and accessible while safeguarding consumers.
But Labor says its rules, which were set to take effect from July 1, provide greater protections, including banning commissions and giving consumers more detailed information.
“If the minister wants to seriously look at reforming some of the rules in financial services he should do it properly and bring legislation to parliament and have that legislation debated,” Labor senator Sam Dastyari told AAP.
Attorney-General George Brandis is expected to bring to parliament legislation to give intelligence agencies more powers to deal with Australians who train and fight with radical Islamist groups.
Current laws make it hard for the domestic spy agency ASIO and its overseas counterpart ASIS to co-operate and share intelligence when dealing with such cases.
The government also wants to shore up the legal basis on which Australians returning from battlefields can be charged and jailed.
The Senate will hear first speeches from West Australian Liberal Linda Reynolds on Tuesday, and Queensland LNP senators Matt Canavan and James McGrath on Wednesday.