National

Tax, Wentworth to focus MPs’ attention

By AAP Newswire

Small business tax cuts and the Wentworth by-election are set to dominate federal parliament which sits from Monday.

After three weeks away from Canberra, MPs will present a rare display of bipartisanship when the government and Labor agree on fast-tracking a new 25 per cent corporate tax rate for businesses with turnovers under $50 million.

The draft laws are expected to be presented to parliament mid-week.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said on Friday it was "one less issue for the nation to have to waste time arguing about".

However, the opposition will press the government on school and hospital funding and the coalition's commitment to further big business tax cuts, which Labor opposes.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says lower businesses taxes are key to more investment and higher wages.

"The top end of town might have their disagreements with us from time to time, but what we do is we back small and family businesses, medium sized businesses," Mr Morrison said on Friday.

The My Health Record system will return to the spotlight with Labor pushing for further changes to ensure private health insurers can never get their hands on its data.

Labor will seek changes to better protect the privacy of employees and women fleeing domestic violence.

The October 20 by-election in Malcolm Turnbull's former Sydney seat of Wentworth will loom large.

The Liberal candidate Dave Sharma is facing off against independent Kerryn Phelps, with polls showing the race is extremely close.

A loss for the government will upset its one-seat majority.

Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers will seek to exploit rifts within the coalition over religious freedom protections, following the leaking of former minister Philip Ruddock's report into the issue.

The Greens plan to introduce a private bill to amend the Sex Discrimination Act to bar religious schools from discriminating against students and teachers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification.

Independent senator Derryn Hinch will seek Senate support for a motion calling for government funding to be stripped from private schools that discriminate against teachers or students on sexuality grounds.

Within the Labor caucus the issue of support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership continues to simmer, as the Senate moves closer to a vote on enabling legislation.

A report into why the government handed a charity almost $500 million for reef projects without a proper tender process is set to be tabled.