Fed parliament sits for first time in 2019

Bill Shorten and Labor will seek crossbench support to add two more parliamentary siting weeks.
Bill Shorten and Labor will seek crossbench support to add two more parliamentary siting weeks.

Federal parliament will sit for the first time in 2019 with Prime Minister Scott Morrison putting pressure on Labor over asylum seeker medical transfers.

Parliament will also look at changes to financial laws arising out of the banking royal commission's final recommendations.

Labor is negotiating with crossbench MPs to change proposed new laws making it easier for asylum seekers in offshore detention to fly to Australia for medical treatment.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten got a security briefing on the medical transfers on Monday morning, and Labor's caucus approved the party's new position on Monday night.

Mr Morrison has told Labor there will be no deals or changes to border protection policies, but he also does not control the numbers in the lower house.

The parliamentary year will start with a church service with both leaders in Canberra on Tuesday morning, before parliament sits.

Labor is expected to push for an extra two sitting weeks to be added to the calendar to deal with legislation arising out of the banking royal commission.

The Senate will look at some legislation dealing with recommendations from the royal commission, while the lower house will consider laws making it compulsory for candidates to reveal if they are eligible to sit in parliament.

Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke has also told the coalition Labor will not pair MPs - a practice when opposition MPs sit out votes when a government member can't make it - in certain instances, to ensure numbers are even.

This will put pressure on the government for votes that require an absolute majority of 76 members, such as the legislation to bring asylum seekers to Australia for medical reasons.

Australian Associated Press