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One Nation links union laws to Clinton

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016 Belinda Merhab

One Nation's Malcolm Roberts has used the defeat of Hillary Clinton to urge support for the federal government's workplace legislation, insisting the world would dodge two bullets.

Senator Roberts was speaking in support of legislation to tackle union misconduct through the establishment of a Registered Organisations Commission - one of the bills used to trigger the July 2 double-dissolution election.

"The world dodged the Clinton bullet, and holds out hope that by passing this legislation we can dodge the union bullet as well, the union bosses bullet," he told the Senate on Monday.

Senator Roberts used his speech to launch a tirade against Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, the Greens and union bosses.

The legislation was about bringing the rule of law to "elite" union bosses, he said, accusing Labor of trying to protect those with their snouts in the trough by opposing the bill.

"Stopping this bill is what an elite would do.

"In Bill Shorten's Labor, theft and malfeasance is encouraged and flourishes unpunished with complete abandon."

Senator Roberts accused Mr Shorten of "dirty dealings" with the construction union in order to become Labor leader.

"The leader of the Labor party, a man who would not be Labor leader if it were not for the shady dealings he has engaged in with the most ill-reputed union, the CFMEU."

Senator Roberts was repeatedly warned and forced to withdraw some comments.

Senior Labor figure Doug Cameron accused the government of ignoring corruption by big banks while attacking unions.

"This is the mob that wanted to get rid of penalty rates ... trying to deny women decent maternity leave," he told parliament.

Labor is proposing several amendments, seeking to make the Australian Securities and Investments Commission the regulator rather than the separate entity the government proposes.

"Not some mate of the coalition put in there on hundreds of thousands of dollars to run the coalition's agenda," Senator Cameron said.

"They rail against red tape and big government, but when it comes to attacking the union movement or paying off their mate Bob Day there's no limit to the amount of taxpayer money that can be splashed around."

Greens senator Lee Rhiannon said the government was lying about the true intent of the legislation, insisting its real agenda was to make it harder for workers to improve their conditions and get higher wages, in order to help out their big business mates.

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