Labor renews attack on Abbott over ABC cuts

Dan Harrison 9:50 PM   Prime Minister Tony Abbott has denied he has broken a pledge not to cut funding to the ABC and SBS, telling Parliament his government had "fundamentally kept faith with the Australian people".

Latest political news

ABC's Mark Scott will stay the course 

Staying: The head of the ABC Mark Scott.

Judith Ireland 4:33 PM   The head of the ABC Mark Scott has committed to sticking around for the remaining 18 months of his contract to oversee a tumultous period at the broadcaster.

How the ABC cuts will hit TV, radio news

Kate Torney, ABC news director, says some staff will be targeted for retrenchment.

Michael Lallo 5:01 PM   The ABC's news division has been hit particularly hard by the Abbott government's budget cuts, with an estimated 100 job losses expected and cuts to flagship programs and news bulletins.

New Senate blow for Abbott government

Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie announces her resignation from the Palmer United Party.

4:46 AM   Government dealt a surprise defeat on a temporary scheme after Jacqui Lambie's decision to become an independent.

Our unequal workplaces

Gender pay gap.

Michael Gordon 2:18 AM   Tony Abbott is set to seize on the most comprehensive study of gender inequality in the workplace to press the case for his signature paid parental leave scheme.

Australia, we need to talk about your health

meth

Dan Harrison 1:00 AM   Australians in remote areas are twice as likely to smoke daily, engage in risky drinking and use methamphetamines than those in cities, according to figures to be 

Lambie won't achieve much alone: Palmer

Clive Palmer: "I don't think (Jacqui Lambie will) achieve very much as a senator generally."

Lisa Cox 9:46 PM   Clive Palmer has welcomed Jacqui Lambie's resignation from the Palmer United Party describing it as a "good outcome" and one which "pre-empted" any move by the party to force her out.

Thomson warned sentence could increase

Craig Thomson

Adam Cooper 7:19 PM   Craig Thomson has been warned by a judge she has the power to increase the sentence imposed on the former federal MP if she rules against him in his appeal against a jail term.

ABC to lose staff and shows

ABC managing director Mark Scott announced the cuts on Monday.

Judith Ireland 2:07 PM   Close to 10 per cent of the ABC's permanent work force could lose their jobs as the broadcaster grapples with a $254 million funding cut.

Abbott's $7 Medicare co-payment on hold

generic thumbnail, doctor, medicine, hospital, GP, general practitioner

David Wroe   The government is chasing a pre-Christmas legislative victory, but that doesn't look to be co-payments.

Comment & Analysis

Nincompoops consign ABC to churnalism

Quentin Dempster dinkus

Quentin Dempster 5:54 PM   There are forces at work out to destroy Australia's unique public broadcasting system.

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Mark Scott's two hats make trouble for ABC

Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes 12:00 AM   The broadcaster's combined managing director and editor-in-chief role is misleading and potentially unhealthy.

A spur for action

Embracing change: Improved paid parental leave is just one part of the solution.

Michael Gordon 11:59 PM   From almost the moment Tony Abbott announced it, his generous paid parental leave scheme was a policy in need of third party endorsements.

The ABC has flab to be cut

Pockets of the ABC have been allowed to get too fat, flabby, wasteful and unaccountable.

Louise Evans   When Louise Evans joined Radio National, the staff were like free-range chickens, wandering around at will, pecking at this and that, content that laying one egg constituted a hard day's work.

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The regime more dangerous than IS

<i>Illustration: Michael Mucci.</i>

Paul Sheehan   While the Western world rightly fears Islamic State, it has long faced a greater threat – a radical muslim theocracy edging ever closer to nuclear capacity.

Mighty duo scale tallest structures

Peter Hartcher dinkus

Peter Hartcher   Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek are both deputy leader. Can they gain the ultimate political promotion?

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A tale of two Tonys

Prime Minister Tony Abbott with Chinese President Xi Jinping

Michael Gordon   There may be some collateral damage over the contradictions flowing from the Abbott government.

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Dinky politics OK, but not parboiled policies

Judith Ireland

Judith Ireland   Brisbane's G20 Summit was Australia's chance to assert itself as a global player. Judith Ireland assesses its success.

What drug is Mark Latham on?

Jacqueline Maley dinkus

Jacqueline Maley   Mark Latham, former Opposition leader and distinguished Australian Financial Review columnist, is most certainly not on anti-depressants.

Satire died and your ABC isn't too chipper

John Birmingham dinkus

John Birmingham   The doctor in charge of an elite medical team which failed to save the life of Australian satire apologised to fans last night, saying there was nothing he could do.

Abbott decides climate thing needs a dust

Mark Kenny dinkus

Mark Kenny   At last the prime minister has changed gear and done what appears to be a neat U-turn on climate change.

Beware of cover for making bigotry OK

Most Muslim Australians are law-abiding and loyal Australian citizens who shouldn't be tarred by the brush of prejudice.

Tim Soutphommasane   When we see verbal and other attacks against Muslim Australians, it is often accompanied by a nastiness that resembles racial hatred.

Absence of morality in the Nauru netherworld

Nick Feik   Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's reaction to claims refugees on Nauru were self-harming and being molested was to attack those who made the allegations.

Nation state is key to peace and prosperity

world map

Peter Varghese   The great paradox of our time is that we live in a globalised and ever-connected world, yet we guard our sovereignty zealously.

Trade deal boosts negligible G20 legacy

Ross Gittins.

Ross Gittins   Treasurer Joe Hockey's shock jock tactics add little to the debate about carbon emission strategies.

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ABC's poor satire not proof of political bias

Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes   An attempt to insert a light note into the current affairs program 7.30 fell flat, but political skits do have a place in public broadcasting.

Applaud men who learn from their mistakes

Elizabeth Broderick

Elizabeth Broderick   True equality for women will come when men become champions of change.

Who'll be the next judge of the High Court?

George Williams dinkus

George Williams   The Abbott government will soon make two very significant appointments. They arise due to the retirements of Justices Kenneth Hayne and Susan Crennan from the High Court.

Forget the F-word, action is what counts

Anne Summers dinkus

Anne Summers   Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will have a strong interest in ensuring the gender targets in the draft communique are agreed to by the G20 leaders in Brisbane this weekend.

G20: Words from the wise?

Illustration: Andrew Dyson.

Michael Gordon   A conga line is unlikely, but the leaders' summit in Brisbane still promises to be captivating.

Special features

He who laughs last...

Who will be laughing after the year's final two weeks of parliament? Analysis with Chris Hammer and Mark Kenny.

Budget, ABC cuts and the Senate crossbench

Labor MP Pat Conroy and Liberal Andrew laming join Breaking Politics to discuss the news of the day.

Nothing - except a handbag - gets in Bishop's way

Lattika Bourke Though short of sleep, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop keeps calm and focused while representing her country abroad.

Latham's put-down of Pryor a positive point in disguise

There are, essentially, three kinds of newspaper columns. All three kinds cost the writer something. And all three – if done well – deliver something to the reader.

ABC budget cuts: The fallout

Bloodletting is expected as the ABC absorbs a $254 million funding cut. The government argues programming should not suffer, but the organisation's future may be at stake, write Judith Ireland and Rick Feneley.

Dairy farmers ready to make FTA work

Down on the dairy farm they're talking about what the China free trade agreement will mean for them.

Abbott's 'conversion' to climate change exposed

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's apparent, if modest, conversion to the idea that climate change was an "important subject" was greeted with no small measure of cynicism.

Iron maiden

Julie Bishop can't seem to put a well-heeled foot wrong as Australia's foreign minister. Madonna King meets the woman behind that famous stare.

The art of pricking balloons like Palmer and Assange

Tony Wright Prick a balloon and it'll disappear right in front of your eyes. The ABC's Emma Alberici proved that with Clive Palmer Thursday night, just as the ABC's Sarah Ferguson discovered a few months ago.

The sound bite that bit back

In 10 seconds and 25 words, Tony Abbott delivered the soundbite that bit back.

Abbott, the ABC and SBS: when promises become lies

Ms Gillard, Tony Abbott declared over and over regarding the carbon tax promise, was a liar. If that were so, then so now is he.

Palmer disunited? send in the COCs

Mark Kenny Who's running this ramshackle operation we call the Australian Senate? Is it the PUPs or the COCs?

New senate paradigm forces FOFA changes

A so-called 'coalition of common sense' in the senate has reversed government changes to financial advice laws. Labor Senator Sam Dastyari explains how the coalition came to be, and what the changes mean.

How Narendra Modi turned Parliament House into a rock star's stage

Judith Ireland You got the sense there was something about Narendra Modi when world leaders had their official handshakes with Tony Abbott at the G20 summit.

Gough Whitlam: 1916-2014

See our complete coverage of the former Labor prime minister, including news, reflections, tributes, analyses, picture galleries, videos and cartoons.