Abbott standing by 'chastened' Speaker

Latika Bourke 9:52 AM   Tony Abbott has said he understands voter anger over politicians' use of taxpayer-funded entitlements, saying he himself had flown economy to Europe with his family, as "that's what the people do".

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Latest political news

Plan to fast-track refugees for $19,000

Children eat sandwiches near their parents, all migrants from Syria, while waiting to board a train to Serbia, at the railway station in the southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija.

Nicole Hasham 12:28 PM   A refugee's visa application would be fast-tracked if they paid a potential $19,000 fee and their family in Australia promised to cover health and welfare costs, under proposals the Abbott government is weighing to cut refugee costs.

Bishop expenses probe should be public: ALP

Labor says if Speaker Bronwyn Bishop is genuinely sorry about her expense claims she should make a Department of Finance investigation into the issue public.

Latika Bourke 11:47 AM   Labor has upped the stakes in the scandal surrounding embattled Speaker Bronwyn Bishop demanding she agree to release the findings of the investigation into her use of expenses.

Goodes deserves respect and civility, says PM

Adam Goodes

Latika Bourke 10:31 AM   Prime Minister Tony Abbott has stopped short of describing the booing of Indigenous footballer Adam Goodes as racist but called on AFL fans to treat the former Australian of the Year with respect.

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Trade deal may force new rules on Aus Post

 Trade Minister Andrew Robb: searching for a compromise.

Peter Martin 6:45 PM   Leaked details of the Trans Pacific Partnership talks suggest companies such as Australia Post and NBN Co could be caught up in provisions designed to impose "additional disciplines" on state-owned enterprises.

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Bishop to meet Indonesia's foreign minister

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop is expected to meet with her Indonesian counterpart in Kuala Lumpur next week.

Tom Allard 10:32 PM   The Australian and Indonesian foreign ministers will meet next week for the first time since Australia's ambassador was recalled from Jakarta.

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Manus: deadline passes on arrest threat  

Tensions remain high at Manus Island detention centre

Nicole Hasham 8:26 PM   Arrogance rather than the threat of the death penalty drove the federal government’s decision to allow three Australian workers on Manus Island accused of sexual assault to return home, a national lawyers group says.

Russia kills hopes of MH17 criminal tribunal

MH17 wreckage: 298 people, including 39 Australians, were killed in the tragedy.

James Massola   Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have launched a blistering attack on Russia after it killed off a UN push for an international criminal tribunal to prosecute those who shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Milne's Senate seat handed to Nick McKim

Nick McKim

Andrew Darby   The widely tipped Nick McKim will take over the Tasmanian Greens Senate seat vacated by former federal leader Christine Milne, the party announced on Thursday.

Abbott evokes past ALP leaders on trade deal

Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets with Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday 28 July 2015. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Mark Kenny   Tony Abbott plans to double-down against opposition doubts over his government's free trade agreement with China, claiming it is consistent with the ambitions of previous Labor prime ministers.

Bishop apologises, will repay wedding claims

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has repaid the money for the helicopter ride to a Liberal fundraiser in Geelong last year, but has refused to apologise over her use of expenses.

Latika Bourke   Bronwyn Bishop has apologised to voters for billing them for a $5000 private helicopter trip and says she will repay all entitlements she claimed to attend colleagues' weddings but is refusing to resign as Speaker.

Comment & Analysis

Abbott's loyalty to Bishop invites calamity

Mark kenny dinkus

Mark Kenny 12:28 PM   In a spectacular own goal, the Prime Minister's hand-picked Speaker is now his greatest liability.

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Marriage: a bourgeois bargain for men

Julie Szego

Julie Szego   When same-sex marriage is legal, we'll dump the baggage of an outdated institution.

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What's to fear from donation transparency?

Justin Di Lollo dinkus

Justin Di Lollo   Corporate donors don't fear transparency because by-and-large they don't expect anything concrete in return for their donation.

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Labor now setting policy agenda

Bill Shorten

Nicholas Reece   Labor is finally on the right side of the debate. Watch the Coalition fumble now.

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Broken promises can come back to haunt

Jonathan Holmes

Jonathan Holmes   Bronwyn Bishop promised to be impartial as Speaker. Rupert Murdoch promised to be a climate-change hero. They didn't really say that, did they?

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Political donations: why voters are tuning out

John Hewson

John Hewson   The demand is real for the resolve to reform electoral funding and lobbying.

Shorten creates a ticking bomb

Paul Sheehan

Paul Sheehan   Bill Shorten wants Labor to fight the asylum-seekers war again. He remains deluded about the electorate's unwavering majority support for genuinely tough border security policies, not posturing.

Ground control to Major Bron

Annabel Crabb.

Annabel Crabb   The Speaker has no time for namby-pamby rules and colleagues when it comes to saving the government.

Bishop wings clipped but she's still in box seat

Bronwyn taking the bus: Bronwyn Bishop meme

Adam Gartrell   Bronwyn Bishop has survived the choppergate controversy, and so has the broken parliamentary entitlements system.

Shorten shores up his position with win

Bill Shorten

Mark Kenny   In politics, nothing unites like the prospect of electoral success. So it is perhaps unsurprising that Labor's notoriously rambunctious internal agitators have tamed themselves at the party's National Conference.

Bill Shorten's trifecta bet

"Bring it on": Bill Shorten addresses the ALP national conference in Melbourne on Friday.

Michael Gordon   The Labor conference is likely to do more to help than hinder the Shorten cause.

First the booing, then leader's triumph

Bill Shorten greets his deputy, Tanya Plibersek, during the conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre.

Tony Wright   Who would have thought? A deal carrying Bill Shorten through his first national conference as leader, even if there was a scattering of ritual booing first?

Trick or treat: pollies' perks under scrutiny

<i>Illustration: John Shakespeare</i>

Deborah Snow and James Robertson   Australians want to know why, if the age of entitlement is really over as Joe Hockey declared in February last year, it's not also over for their elected representatives.

It's time to reclaim the flag

Judith Ireland

Judith Ireland   Beyond its official, non-controversial use in government buildings and at sporting events, in a day-to-day sense, the Australian flag has become intertwined with a certain brand of intolerance.

Getting to 50%: building our renewable future

RayGen Resources' concentrated solar photovoltaic power station in Victoria.

Peter Hannam   Labor wants renewables to supply half of Australia's electricity by 2030, but is that feasible?

Your cheat sheet to ALP's national conference

Labor's national conference is the place where the policy direction for the next three years is determined.

Matthew Knott, Adam Gartrell   Labor's national conference is the party's pre-eminent decision making forum - the place where the policy direction for the next three years is determined.

Baird fills Abbott's leadership vacuum

Peter Hartcher dinkus

Peter Hartcher   There is a world of difference between the NSW Premier's pragmatism and the Prime Minister's track record.

Stop using stereotypes to slam private schools

Education
Photo Michele MOssop
Wednesday 30th September 2009
Mamre Anglican School, Erskine Park western Sydney
Generic education private school learning lunch childhood uniform teaching reading writing study classroom religious plaits SPECIAL 114943

Michelle Green   Education is not a zero-sum game where choosing a private school for your child equates to a state school student losing out.

PM's climate responses not conservative

Richard Benyon dinkus

Richard Benyon   British Conservatives value climate science and finding market solutions to address the biggest environmental challenge of our era.

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Renewables brawl needs to get real

Reducing emissions will come at a financial cost but we need to do it.

David Blowers and Cameron Chisholm   Both sides of politics have drawn up the battlelines over renewable energy and each side has its head in the clouds.

Special features

11 questions Bronwyn Bishop still needs to answer on expenses

She's apologised, but there are still a number of questions for Speaker Bronwyn Bishop to answer over her expense claims.

College visit a lesson in eating humble pie

Konrad Marshall There were no questions form the students, but Mrs Bishop did have an answer conspicuously prepared, just in case travel expenses were raised.

Bishop's apology is too little, too late

Michael Gordon Bronwyn Bishop's belated mea culpa is too little, too late and will not save her.

The texts driving Bishop to seek MH17 justice

James Massola Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's hopes of establishing a criminal tribunal to prosecute the murderers of the 298 people killed when Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down a year ago have been dashed.

The age of entitlement is alive and well in Canberra

Allan Behm Politicians need rules to clarify the difference between entitlement and rorting.

New trade deals - good, bad or indifferent?

Liberal, Labor and Greens politicians give their verdict on new trade deals, like the China FTA and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Politics Live: Bernardi v Wong

Stephanie Peatling Government senator Cory Bernardi debates Labor frontbencher Penny Wong on marriage equality today.

No choppers here: Turnbull takes the train to Geelong

How many train fares to Geelong can you get for a $5000 helicopter ride? More than 300 return trips, if you're travelling off peak.

Abbott now has Bishop in his pocket

Mark Kenny By putting Bronwyn Bishop "on probation", Tony Abbott has cynically extinguished what remained of the Speaker's independence.

Shorten gets a lifeline on boat turnback policy

There is much to like about the policy but there are also many unanswered questions.

Albanese factor wanes as Shorten shines and Left loses its way

There seems little doubt Albanese has lost some friends over the weekend, despite being the "people's choice".

Ten striking pictures from Labor's emotional same-sex marriage debate

Bill Shorten has narrowly avoided an attempt to bind Labor MPs to support same-sex marriage equality, triggering emotional scenes at the party's national conference in Melbourne.

Shorten might not be Labor's best bet to beat Abbott

Kenneth Davidson Rather than beating up on the Abbott government's enemies, a more worthy royal commission target would by political funding.

Meet the opposition's five rising stars

The rising stars of Labor are an intelligent, literate group, with some fire in the belly.

Trick or treat: pollies' perks and entitlements under scrutiny

Deborah Snow and James Robertson It seems the age of entitlement is not over for everyone.

It's time to reclaim the Australian flag

Have you noticed the spurt of reclaiming that has been going on recently?

First the booing, then leader's triumph: ALP ritual observed

Tony Wright Who would have thought? A deal carrying Bill Shorten through his first national conference as leader, even if there was a scattering of ritual booing first?

Bill Shorten's trifecta bet

Michael Gordon The Labor conference is likely to do more to help than hinder the Shorten cause.

Question Time: Weekly politics quiz

Were you paying attention? Test yourself with 10 questions on the week in Australian politics.