Busted union bill will come back next week

Daniel McCulloch
Senator Pauline Hanson withdrew support for the federal government's union-busting legislation

Scott Morrison is refusing to take no for an answer on his signature union-busting legislation, with plans to reintroduce the reforms to parliament next week.

The prime minister was dealt a humiliating defeat on his "ensuring integrity" bill when the Senate shot it down on Thursday night.

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter said the government wasn't giving up on the proposed laws.

"I'll bring this (bill) back to our party room next week and in all likelihood it will come back into the House of Representatives next week," he said on Friday.

"But this isn't over."

The legislation makes it easier to deregister unions and ban officials.

Pauline Hanson has warned the government not to take her vote for granted after helping defeat the workplace bill.

"If they think they can take me for granted, well, think twice about it," the One Nation leader told Sky News.

"I'm sick and tired of the government's arrogance. And that's what it is, sheer arrogance."

Senator Hanson said she couldn't support the bill unless more was done to crack down on banking misconduct after the Westpac money-laundering scandal.

The government's leader in the Senate, Mathias Cormann, was blindsided by One Nation's last minute manoeuvre.

"We put the bill on the way we did because we had been given very firm undertakings of support for the bill," Senator Cormann said.

"Senator Hanson and Senator Roberts, the two One Nation senators, voted with us all throughout the week on every contested vote - in relation to time management, in relation to amendments - every vote until the last one.

"We were absolutely blindsided and taken by surprise with that final vote, given all the undertakings we were receiving all throughout the week and before."

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said the government negotiated in good faith.

She pointed to Senator Roberts' conclusion in his speech on the bill, when he said it was time for improved accountability and integrity for unions.

"If Senator Hanson and One Nation had the significant concerns that they say they had, they had every opportunity to raise that with the government, with Minister Porter," she told Sky News.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese declared it a victory for working people.

"This was bad legislation, that's why it was defeated," he told reporters in Melbourne.

Mr Albanese had hoped the bill would be toppled.

"Obviously there was a lot of discussions going on, but (One Nation) didn't at any time indicate what they were going to do. I don't think anyone knew until the bells rang and the vote happened."

The legislation could be back before the Senate early next year.