Netflix tax: GST to hit online shopping

Peter Martin 12:15 AM   Exclusive The federal government will move to impose the goods and services tax on services such as Netflix under new rules set to be included in next week's budget. 

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Latest political news

I want to get things done: new Greens leader

Christine Milne with the new Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

Michael Gordon 8:07 AM   New Greens leader Richard Di Natale has vowed to get climate change policy "back on track" and champion "mainstream progressive values" after the surprise resignation of Christine Milne.

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Ovarian cancer symptoms 'not recognised'

Bridget Whelan underwent genetic testing after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Dan Harrison 12:15 AM   Almost half of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer presented to a GP with symptoms at least twice before being referred to a specialist, a new study has found.

Census saved, $250m investment in ABS

Census thumb

Peter Martin 8:07 AM   The census has been saved and the Australian Bureau of Statistics will get a $250 million funding boost as part of the biggest technology upgrade in its 110-year history.

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Disclosure push for corporate tax consultants

United Voice's David O'Byrne.

Heath Aston 5:37 PM   The major accounting firms and other consultants would be forced to disclose all meetings with the federal government and the Australian Tax Office under a policy proposal to be debated by the ALP National Conference.

Harsh lessons as students wait for aid

The Age, News, picture by Justin McManus. 06/05/2015. Delays in Centrelink student payments. Student Nadege Hamdad at Melbourne Uni.

Beau Donelly 5:34 PM   Students are struggling to pay for textbooks, class materials and student fees and could not afford their rent and food because of delays in processing their Centrelink applications.

Australia must move away from coal: UN

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), listens during a news conference after a week long preparatory meeting at the U.N. in Geneva February 13, 2015.  The United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP21 or CMP11, will be held in Paris November 30 to December 11, 2015.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND  - Tags: POLITICS ENVIRONMENT HEADSHOT)

Tom Arup 12:31 AM   Australia shares a similar challenge in moving away from coal as Saudi Arabia does in reducing its economic dependency on oil, the United Nations' top climate negotiator says.

Australian alcohol consumption at 50-year low

The nation drinks more white wine than red.

Dan Harrison 1:51 AM   Australians appear to be drinking less alcohol now than at any time in the past 50 years, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Uncertainty lingers over federal Link cash

Contractors will receive $339 million after the Victorian government abandoned plans to build East West Link

Josh Gordon 6:37 PM   The East West Link has been scrapped but uncertainty remains over the $3 billion given to Victoria for the project.

ACTU warns of disruptive campaign

ACTU secretary Dave Oliver.

Gareth Hutchens 3:59 PM   The Australian Council of Trade Unions has warned the Abbott government to expect a disruptive political campaign from the union movement at the 2016 federal election, claiming unions are "still here and we're not going anywhere."

Abbott: I don't concern myself with trivia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 9 February 2015. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

James Massola 8:08 AM   Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he "doesn't concern himself with trivia" and was unaware that the French ambassador Stephen Brady's partner of 32 years, Peter Stephens, was asked to wait in the car rather than greet him at a Paris airport.

Comment & Analysis

Resignation a win for Tony Abbott

Christine Milne and Richard Di Natale face the media on Wednesday.

Mark Kenny 6:18 PM   Even in politics it turns out that good things come to those who wait. Eventually.

Departure leaves women in second place

Kath Kenny dinkus

Kath Kenny 10:29 PM   As the government prepares to announce its plans to reform childcare subsidies for working families, it was interesting to see how the issue of children appeared to be impacting on one of the parties it will be negotiating with to get its changes through the Senate.

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Why the RBA cut cash rate to an all-time low

Peter Martin dinkus

Peter Martin   The last time the Reserve Bank cut interest rates ahead of a budget the man who is now treasurer said this: "Wayne Swan says the economy is doing just fine. If that is the case the Reserve Bank would not be cutting interest rates today."

The budget circus isn't the whole show

Ross Gittins

Ross Gittins 11:25 AM   The budget is worthy of the attention the media give it, but not for the reason many people imagine.

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Budget needs plan for nation's confidence

Peter Reith.

Peter Reith   Liberal Party boss and strategist Lynton Crosby was so keen on having a plan and selling it to voters that in one election he offered me a bottle of red for every time I said "we have a plan". 

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Broken political system in dire need of reform

Andrew Dyson

Nick Bryant   After a decade of dysfunctional performance, Australian politics has reached crisis point.

Expect do-nothing budget with long-term costs

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey arrive for question time at Parliament House.

Peter Martin   The Coalition's biggest mistake was not to tackle super in its first budget. If it had, it could have argued it was inflicting pain all around. 

For equality, spurn organised religion

Jimmy Carter.

Clementine Ford   The influence of Christianity in affairs of state is intolerable in a progressive society.

'Immigration for sale' could stir hornet's nest

Skilled migrants should remain the primary source of new entrants says Australian Industry Group chief Innes Willox.

Deborah Snow   The Productivity Commission's examination of a fees-based migrant entry system, in place of the current emphasis on skills and family reunion, will light up yet another hot button on the federal government's policy dashboard.

Let's fight death with diplomacy

Michael Fullilove dinkus

Michael Fullilove   Indonesia's executions of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, along with six other drug convicts, has thrown light on what George Orwell called "the unspeakable wrongness of cutting a life short when it is in full tide".

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Abbott's climate delays come full circle

Illustration by John Shakespeare

John Hewson   The Coalition once led the way but is now an international laggard.

Who dares get climate change wrong?

Queensland has suffered through a hot, dry summer despite the deluge from Cyclone Marcia.

Markus Mannheim   We can't afford to miscalculate the costs of runaway climate change.

Bjorn Lomborg polarises opinion

Academics and students at the University of Western Australia don't want Bjorn Lomborg's new centre.

Andrew Podger   Policymakers need a measured response to claims of impending doom.

Abbott veers towards the centre line

Peter Hartcher dinkus

Peter Hartcher   The Government has learned from its radical policy failures of 2014 and is treading an emphatically centrist path with its new childcare plan.

Gender equality begins at home 

Judith Ireland

Judith Ireland   I always thought I was lazy for doing the barest of bare minimums when it comes to household chores.

Lest we forget ... the women who marched 

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Anne Summers   Attitudes have changed for the better since 300 brave women marched in Sydney on Anzac Day in 1983, and that vindicates what they did.

The meaning of Anzac Day, beyond Twitter

The Last Post, at Anzac Cove.

Martin Flanagan   Why do we never talk about the part played by the Iraq military misadventure in the creation of ISIS?

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Rich mates creaming the political favour bank

Jessica Irvine

Jessica Irvine   Australians like to tell a story of ourselves as a homogenous, happy-go-lucky nation of equals. But we confess a different story to the Tax Office.

Argument over AFP role ugly but necessary

Mark Kenny

Mark Kenny   The Abbott government's reaction was too strident to be fully convincing, even if the rapid resumption of political point-scoring was jarring to Australians.

Australia may have to ride out Joko

Domestic politics is dictating Indonesian President Joko Widodo's decision-making.

David Wroe   Nobody thought Joko Widodo would be as easygoing towards Australia as his fondly remembered predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. But his behaviour has been a jolt.

Right is far from absolute in our law

Gillian Triggs.

Gillian Triggs   "Whoever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter"? So asked John Milton in his "Areopagtica", in 1644.

Special features

Like ripping off a Bandt-aid

Judith Ireland Leadership contests in Canberra are like reality cooking shows.

Who is the new Greens leader Richard Di Natale?

Matthew Knott In a party often accused of being doctrinaire and extreme, he presents as a moderate, reasonable and relatable - the type of guy you could imagine watching the footy at the pub with.

Milne leaves a party striving to grow into one with broader appeal

Stephanie Peatling Christine Milne will leave Federal Parliament at a time when momentum for action on climate change is building once again.

Five defining moments of Milne's career

The five defining moments of Christine Milne's political career.

Backbencher calls out minister

Nationals MP Andrew Broad accuses minister Michaelia Cash of issuing 'a fluffy press release' instead of acting to prevent the exploitation of backpackers.

The budget circus isn't the whole show

The budget is worthy of the attention the media give it, but not for the reason many people imagine.

Behind the art of the pre-budget photo opportunity

Stephanie Peatling Believe the pictures – these photo opportunities are as awkward as they look.

Expect do-nothing budget with long-term costs

Peter Martin Abbott's and Hockey's idea of a fair budget is one that does not offend anyone.

Bali Nine: we don't have 'blood on our hands' says AFP

The AFP has defended its role in the arrest of Bali 9, and revealed the personal toll the case had on its officers.

Broken political system in dire need of reform

Nick Bryant After a decade of dysfunctional performance, Australian politics has reached crisis point.

Budget must show a plan for the nation to have confidence

Treasurer Joe Hockey needs to look purposeful when he presents this year's budget.

Key answers from the AFP on Bali 9 arrests

Fergus Hunter While a storm of debate has raged around their role, the AFP have remained tight-lipped until now.

NBN moving faster, but what are they hooking you up with?

Matthew Knott The National Broadband Network has greatly improved its numbers for household access and activation, but questions remain about its use of mixed technology.

Testing the friendship

Early on, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran​ did everything wrong write Michael Bachelard and Mark Forbes.

The checkout agenda

Like the Dutch boy and the dyke, might Joe de Bruyn be holding back the inevitable - gay marriage? Royce Millar and Ben Schneiders report.

Nanny's here to help

Kelsey Munro A nanny has long seemed a luxury only the very wealthy could afford. Until now.

Argument over AFP role ugly but necessary

The Abbott government's reaction was too strident to be fully convincing, even if the rapid resumption of political point-scoring was jarring to Australians.