A key cross-bench senator has threatened to hold the Turnbull government hostage, over a deal on gun imports he says they reneged on.

It came as the Parliament debated an industrial relations reform bill.

The bill aims to crack down on union corruption, but Labor says any compromise means the PM is weak.

Cheryl Tung reports.


A video released by the Prime Minister’s Office shows a union leader lashing out at a construction worker on the Gold Coast.

Work site video: “I’m telling you now, if you don’t do your job to protect those workers… You’re trespassing, mate.”

The footage intends to garner support for a construction industry watchdog.

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister: “It’s vital that we have a construction sector where the rule of law prevails.”

Without support from Labour and the Greens, the government needs to negotiate with nine senate cross benches to pass the bill.

However, Senator Leyonhjelm will only give his vote if the government lifts the import ban on the controversial Adler shotgun.

Bill Shorten, Opposition Leader: “This is a disgrace and it must be stopped now.”

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister: “Trying to use this as a distraction… is a disgrace”

Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister: “It is not a temporary ban… it is permanent. It is set in stone”

Senator David Leyonhjelm, Cross Bencher: “I feel like as if I’ve been deceived.”

Senator Leyonhjelm says the government promised to lift the ban last year, in exchange for new migration laws, but changed its mind at the last minute.

Cherlyn Tung, QUT News.