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Brandis in focus rather than ABCC

AAP logoAAP 27/11/2016

The Turnbull government will be hoping it can quickly get legislation to re-establish the building industry watchdog passed by the Senate when parliament sits for the final week of the year.

However, rather than the Australian Building and Construction Commission being the initial focus of attention, the Greens will be seeking to gain support for a Senate inquiry into Attorney-General George Brandis.

Senator Brandis reportedly struck a deal with WA allowing the state to claw back $1 billion from Alan Bond's collapsed Bell Group earlier this year rather than the commonwealth.

The government will also be seeking to get a result over its controversial backpackers tax, although Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says it has compromised as far as it sensibly can already.

Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers voted in favour of a 10.5 per cent rate rather than the government's 19 per cent rate, but the coalition used its numbers in the lower house on Thursday to reject this amendment.

If no agreement can be made, the rate will soar to 32.5 per cent from January 1, putting fruit picking this summer at risk.

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