Australia

Income tax tops agenda for new parliament

Australia's 46th parliament will be officially opened next week, paving the way for a debate on tax. (AAP)

Australia's 46th parliament will be officially opened next week, paving the way for a debate on the government's income tax cuts.

Income tax cuts will be at the top of the re-elected Morrison government's agenda after pomp and ceremony mark the start of a new parliament.

Australia's 46th parliament will spring into life in Canberra's cold winter, with 151 MPs and 42 of the country's 76 senators to be sworn in after a welcome to country ceremony on Tuesday.

New governor-general David Hurley will address a joint sitting of parliament in the afternoon after he officially becomes head of state on Monday.

Condolences for legendary Labor prime minister Bob Hawke will be the sole item of business on Wednesday before parliament moves to legislation on Thursday.

That's when $158 billion in personal tax cuts are expected to dominate proceedings in the Senate.

Labor's caucus, due to meet on Monday, is expected to endorse the shadow cabinet's decision to allow the first stage to pass and bring forward the second stage of the tax plan.

But the opposition has reserved its position on the third and final stage of the cuts, which won't come into effect until 2024/25.

With the government playing hardball in refusing to split the package, the coalition will need the help of four crossbench senators to secure the bill's passage.

The possibility of a late-night sitting on Thursday, which could possibly drag into the early hours of Friday, looms with government senators told to hold fire on travel plans.

The coalition's other priorities are expected to include laws to force energy companies to drive down prices and ensure reliability, and tougher sanctions on rogue unions and union bosses.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised to urgently pursue measures to stop and control foreign fighters returning to Australia, and crack down on farm invaders during the election campaign.

The government has also flagged its intention to repeal laws which make it easier for refugees in offshore processing to be brought to Australia for medical treatment.

Amid dozens of new faces in both chambers, House of Representatives Speaker Tony Smith and Senate President Scott Ryan are expected to be re-elected.

In the Senate, unpredictable Tasmanian independent Jacqui Lambie will take her place on the crossbench after winning her way back into parliament.

Ms Lambie is one of three people regaining her seat after being disqualified during the dual citizenship debacle, with One Nation's Malcolm Roberts and Labor's Katy Gallagher also returning.

Tony Abbott won't figure for the first time since 1994 after the former prime minister lost his seat to independent Zali Steggall, who is set to take her place on the crossbench in the lower house.

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