Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been returned to government thanks to a slim win in parliament's lower house, but he will face up to a dozen diverse groups including a strident anti-Muslim party in the upper house to get legislation passed.

Controversial former fish and chip shop owner Pauline Hanson has been elected to the Senate from Queensland where her right-wing One Nation Party got 9 per cent of the vote.

She may be joined by several members of her party in the Senate thanks to a national vote of 4 per cent, but it will be a month or more before the 76 new senators are known.

Hanson won a seat in parliament in 1996 and caused an uproar when she warned Australia was "being swamped by Asians" and condemned assistance for Aboriginal people.

She lost her seat in 1998 but now is back in parliament leading a strident nationalist anti-Muslim party which wants to ban new mosques, ban the burqa and niqab in public, ban halal certification, ban Muslim immigration, and hold a Royal Commission into whether Islam is a religion or political ideology.

Turnbull has said the rise of her party was "not a welcome presence" and former Labor Foreign Minister Bob Carr told the Sydney Morning Herald her election would harm Australia's image overseas as she was a "troublemaker and racist."

While Turnbull's Coalition will be the largest single party in the senate, if Labor and the Greens combine to block legislation Turnbull will have to secure support from Hanson's One Nation senators or some of the other diverse groups to get legislation passed.

Among them is former radio shock jock Derryn Hinch who spent time in jail for revealing a paedophile's criminal record while he was still facing court.

Anti-gambling advocate Nick Xenophon is likely to be joined by a couple of his team in the Senate becoming a significant bloc.

Former Tasmanian soldier Jacqui Lambie will be re-elected even though, or perhaps because, she once revealed she liked her men with a "package between their legs." She also wants to ban the burqa and opposes same-sex marriage.

She may be sharing the Senate bench with a Sex Party senator, who could be elected under the complex preferential voting system. The party advocates legalizing same-sex marriage, personal drug use, Viagra on the national health service, an increase in the refugee intake, churches paying tax and equal rights for sex industry workers.

In Victoria, the Sex Party will be in a close finish with the Animal Justice Party, which wants to represent the rights of animals in the Senate.

Whoever wins in Victoria could be sitting beside the conservative Christian Democratic Party from New South Wales that strongly opposes same-sex marriage and the burqa.

Turnbull called the election largely to try and win a clearer path to governing in the Senate. It appears his challenge has only become tougher.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.