Di Natale elected Greens leader following Milne resignation

Lisa Cox 1:43 PM   Richard Di Natale has been elected the new leader of the Australian Greens. Queensland senator Larissa Waters and WA senator Scott Ludlam have been named "co-deputy leaders.

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Latest political news

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 2:25 PM   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.

Online jihadist hails power of social media

An FBI crime scene investigator outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas.

David Wroe and Nick O'Malley 6:32 AM   An Australian Twitter user and Islamic State supporter who appeared to encourage the terrorist attack on an anti-Islamic cartoon event in the US says his movement is "winning the minds of the young generation".

'Disgraceful': Lib challenges report of PM snub

Prime Minister Tony Abbott met with French President Francois Hollande during his visit to Paris last month.

James Massola 10:09 AM   Liberal front bencher Alan Tudge has leapt to the defence of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, describing as "disgraceful" a Fairfax Media report of a "bizarre" incident that saw the gay partner of Australia's ambassador to France snubbed.

Urgent search for Senate successor to Milne

Greens leader Senator Christine Milne and Greens MP Adam Bandt address the media.

Andrew Darby 12:38 PM   Surprised Tasmanian Greens will start a priority search for a Senate candidate to succeed Christine Milne, despite her assurance she will stay in the chamber after resigning as leader.

Senate voting reforms facing resistance

Senator Ricky Muir, who was elected with half of one per cent of the primary vote in Victoria.

Heath Aston   Prime Minister Tony Abbott could be forced to cut a deal with the Greens if the Coalition is to realise plans to eradicate "feral" crossbenchers through changes to the Senate voting system.

Foreign aid to Indonesia to be slashed

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.

Sarah Whyte 10:05 AM   Aid to Indonesia will be considerably cut by the Abbott government in next week's budget, but is unlikely to be directly linked as retribution to last week's executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

'Toughen the f--- up': Shorten attacked


ALP backbencher Steve Gibbons during question time at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 28 November 2012.  Photo: Andrew Meares

Heath Aston   Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been urged to "toughen the f—k up" by a retired Labor MP.

Hockey looks on bright side as RBA cuts rates

Treasurer Joe Hockey has called on households and business to use debt to fund new opportunities.

Mark Kenny and Gareth Hutchens   The Reserve Bank has put fears of an overheated housing market to one side, slashing the cash rate to 2 per cent just one week before the federal budget and citing low investor confidence and a low inflation outlook as factors.

Emissions safeguards 'designed to fail'

The Grattan Institute has recommended the Abbott government set strong financial penalties to deter polluters from increasing their emissions.

Lisa Cox and Tom Arup   Proposed safeguards to limit greenhouse gas emissions from big polluters have been designed by the Abbott government to fail, according to the Grattan Institute.

Go spend, Hockey urges after rate cut

Treasurer Joe Hockey: RBA and the federal government are in lock-step.

James Massola   Treasurer Joe Hockey has urged Australian households and businesses to borrow and invest money ahead of a "terrific" second budget, following the Reserve Bank's decision to cut the cash rate to a new record low of 2 per cent.

Comment & Analysis

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

Peter Martin dinkus

Peter Martin 12:06 AM   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.

Comments 43

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". 

Comments 13

Broken political system in dire need of reform

Andrew Dyson

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

Comments 78

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. 

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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.

Foreign affairs put ahead of citizens

Mark Kenny

Mark Kenny   They were in jail for more than a decade and people convicted of crimes of this type in Australia would often have served their sentences by now, said Tony Abbott.

Cold comfort in diplomatic deep freeze

Ambassador withdrawn: Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop address the media after the executions.

Mark Kenny   When Tony Abbott took over as Australian Prime Minister, he flagged a new regionalism in our foreign policy focus - Canberra's allegiances and affections would henceforth become "more Jakarta, less Geneva".

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.