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Today in federal parliament: Nov 9

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016

TODAY IN FEDERAL PARLIAMENT

* Both the House of Representatives and Senate are sitting.

* Local politics is likely to be overtaken by counting in the US presidential poll with ramifications for Australia and the region.

* The government introduces its package of changes to superannuation tax concessions.

* Question time in both houses at 2pm (AEDT).

WHAT'S MAKING NEWS

* The government may have to compromise if it wants its legislation banning refugees who use people smugglers from ever visiting Australia to pass the Senate.

* Treasurer Scott Morrison is seeking rapid parliamentary approval for a $3 billion tax hike on superannuation by the end of the year.

* Australian fruit pickers will be worse off than foreigners working alongside them if the so-called backpacker tax rate is halved, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has warned.

* Kevin Rudd has hit back at Malcolm Turnbull amid accusations the prime minister lied about personal conversations concerning asylum seeker policy.

* Gay Liberal backbencher Dean Smith says the issue of same-sex marriage should be tested at least once in the life of the 45th parliament.

* A Labor-dominated parliamentary committee has found George Brandis misled parliament and is unfit to be attorney-general.

* The PM has agreed to a parliamentary inquiry into watering down racial discrimination laws.

* Australia's ambassador for people smuggling has never travelled to Nauru in the two years since his appointment, Freedom of Information documents show.

WHAT'S ON THE AGENDA

* House of Reps: Government introduces new legislation including a package for a $3 billion cut in superannuation tax concessions; civil nuclear transfers to India; MPs debate planned visa ban on refugees who arrive by boat.

* Senate: Debate on counter-terrorism measures; TV and radio licence fees; overhaul of the vocational education and training loans scheme; register of foreign ownership of agricultural land.

* Elsewhere: Labor leader Bill Shorten meets victims of dodgy financial sector practices; parliamentary inquiry hearing into the 2016 election; Senate inquiry hearing into retirement of coal-fired power stations.

COMPETING ARGUMENTS:

* What the coalition wants to spin: It's vitally important the government and opposition stand as one on border protection, and we call on Labor to recognise the tragic failure that it made in government, and not repeat it now in opposition.

* What Labor prefers to pursue: What does the PM want people to be allowed to say if changes are made to race hate-speech laws? Why is he is opening the door to changes that even his own MPs think are a waste of time?

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"It means you are better suited under the Australian Labor Party if you come from Provence or the steppes of Ulan Bator or Bavaria than if you come from Burnie or Geraldton." Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce on a Labor-Jacquie Lambie plan to nearly halve the backpacker tax rate.

"Barnaby Joyce telling fibs again." Opposition agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon responds.

"Australia is a big country with a big heart - I would like to see an even bigger increase in our humanitarian intake." Senator Nick Xenophon on what he might require in return for supporting the government on a lifetime visa ban on refugees arriving by boat.

TWEETED

@StephenJonesMP.: "I'm not in to gesture politics" says Turnbull- we all still laughing on the Labor side

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