The Employment Minister, Kevin Andrews, says the legislation deals with the power of unions to negotiate work conditions with employers.

Mr Andrews says he’ll also be introducing legislation before Christmas to change unfair dismissal laws and protect independent contractors.

He says even if the Senate blocks the laws the changes will become law after July next year.

“Our agenda is to have passed by the parliament either before the 30th of June next year if we can do so, or afterwards those bills which have been stalled in some cases for a number of years and secondly to implement our election policy promises.”

The Australian Council of Trade Unions claims up to five million small business employees could be sacked for no reason under the proposed new laws.

Labor’s workplace relations spokesman, Stephen Smith, says Mr Andrews’ remarks show the Government intends to introduce laws that will divide the nation when it controls the Senate.

“It’s quite clear what the Government does after the first of July will bare no relationship to any of their election commitments, proceeding in an arrogant fashion, unbridled power and we’ll all cop the adverse consequences.”

The Attorney General, Philip Ruddock, has also introduced a number of bills aimed at boosting the powers of Australia’s intelligence agencies to asses and act on security threats.

“The bill expands and clarifies the circumstances in which ASIO can furnish security assessments to states and territories while also looking to the future. The measures in the bill ensure as far as possible the security assessment regime will continue to operate flexibly and effectively in our changing security environment.”