Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, second left, talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing Friday, April 15, 2016
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, second left, talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing Friday, April 15, 2016 Kenzaburo Fukuhara - Pool Photo via AP

Turnbull returns from China to likely double dissolution

MALCOLM Turnbull has returned from China to a split crossbench and the likelihood of a double dissolution election.

The Prime Minister's 36-hour whirlwind trade mission to the Asian superpower was marked by tensions over China's growing military presence in the South China Sea.

He faces another dilemma at home, with the Senate divided on whether it will support the Federal Government's Australian Building and Construction Commission bill, aimed at making union officials be treated as board directors.

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm has accused Mr Turnbull of pretending to negotiate with crossbenchers with the hope of securing an early double dissolution election.

"Frankly I don't think the government even wanted it to pass," he told Sky News.

"This is the weirdest way of negotiating I've ever encountered, the way they've gone about it."

Senator Leyonhjelm has indicated he is one of the few crossbenchers likely to support the bill, along with Family First's Bob Day.


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