Rules of Royal Commission into unions to be hashed out

THE details of what powers will be given to a Royal Commission into union corruption and criminal links are likely to be hashed out in Cabinet today (MONDAY).

Although promised ahead of the September Federal election, Tony Abbott's government is expected to have former High Court judge Dyson Heydon to look beyond union "slush funds" to also cover bribes and corruption.

The broadening of the inquiry follows allegations that officials in the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union's construction division has received kickbacks.

Attorney-General George Brandis made no announcement about the inquiry on Sunday, but told Sky News there was "growing public concern about corruption in the trade union movement" which the government would address "in a very thorough way".

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said a taskforce led by Australian Federal Police would be better suited to root out the apparent criminal activity plaguing the construction industry.