Jacqui Lambie plays powerbroker as parliament returns – politics live | Australia news

Welcome back to parliament!

It’s been five weeks or so since we last gathered on the hill, and we can expect all the greatest hits – including, ‘whose side are you on’, ‘how good is….’, ‘just how safe are you’ and ‘it’s Labor’s fault despite not being in power for the last six years’, and more.

I. Can’t. Wait.

What happened during the break?

Not a lot. Which is why we are back with cashless welfare card, drug testing welfare recipients and tough on crime.

The government want to wedge Labor on mandatory sentencing. Labor hasn’t made up its mind on that one yet, but really wants to talk about the economy, the one thing the government doesn’t really want to talk about.

Newspoll is out, but I am not sure if anyone is paying attention to polling just yet – you can find the results here, but Anthony Albanese’s personal popularity didn’t come off too great. But again, I am not sure if anyone is really paying attention to that right now.

Meanwhile, the Greens and the crossbench are continuing to lead the charge on a federal corruption watch dog “with teeth”, but speaking of the crossbench, it is the Jacqui Lambie show at the moment.

The Tassie senator had the deal she struck with the government – wiping Tasmania’s federal housing debt in exchange for her support for the tax cuts – confirmed over the weekend, but she is crucial for quite a few upcoming votes. One of them – the ensuring integrity bill – comes down to her, and as she told the Guardian late yesterday – she’ll vote for it, if CFMMEU boss John Setka doesn’t step down.

So stay tuned.

You have me and Mike Bowers, as well as Katharine Murphy, Sarah Martin, Paul Karp and the rest of the Guardian brains trust. I still need a coffee, so I am working on that.

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