LEGISLATION aimed at changing federal IR laws have been defeated, after the government failed to secure the crucial votes of One Nation and independent Jacqui Lambie.

The result of the vote on the Ensuring Integrity Bill appeared a shock to most pundits, with the government tipped to have the numbers despite the opposition of Labor and the Greens.

Australian Council of Trade Unions national secretary Sally McManus said members from unions all over the country campaigned to stop the law.

“Workers from all walks of life made the case to the Senate cross bench about why the bill was bad for workers, jobs, wages and Australia,” Ms McManus said.


“Working people have stood up against an attack on democratic rights and won.”

Industry body Australian Resources and Energy Group expressed disappointment at the result.

“The Ensuring Integrity Bill would simply have promoted compliance with Australia’s workplace laws and acted as a deterrent to the recidivist law-breaking of a minority group of union officials,” said AMMA chief executive Steve Knott.

“These are important measures that would have considerably improved our nation’s industrial relations environment and lowered the exorbitant cost of public infrastructure projects borne by the taxpayer.”

Mr Knott said he was encouraged by comments from the Attorney General and industrial relations minister Christian Porter that the Government would seek to reintroduce the Bill when “the time is appropriate”.