New Abbott ministry sworn in by Governor-General 

Gareth Hutchens 12:03 PM   The Abbott government's new-look cabinet has been sworn in, bringing to a close a tumultuous first calendar year for the Coalition.

Latest political news

Independent body slams Direct Action

Climate change is prompting the search for some unconventional solutions.

Matt Wade 5:30 PM   The government's Climate Change Authority has questioned the efficiency and effectiveness of the Emissions Reduction Fund, the centre piece of the Abbott Government's "Direction Action" plan to reduce carbon pollution.

Comments 102

From punk rocker to health minister

Sussan Ley

Gareth Hutchens 3:20 PM   Who is Sussan Ley, the rising star of Australian politics many voters may have never heard of?

Comments 7

Tony Abbott set to reshuffle his office

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is said to have been angered by a leak of information about his planned frontbench reshuffle.

James Massola 7:39 PM   Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to reshuffle his own office, with three key staff members including his communications chief to move over summer.

Emergency housing groups lose funding

Moving on from Immigration: Scott Morrison.

Heath Aston 7:36 PM   The Abbott government has quietly signalled a retreat from the homelessness and low-income housing sector.

Comments 168

Kevin Andrews takes flak for 'no interest' jibe

Declaration: Incoming Defence Minister Kevin Andrews does not recall making the "no interest" remark.

Heath Aston, Latika Bourke 9:57 PM   Incoming Defence Minister Kevin Andrews is under fire for an apparent lack of interest in all things military.

Bishop defends PM over women comments

Julie Bishop

Latika Bourke 9:51 PM   Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been forced to defend the Prime Minister's views on women after Tony Abbott nominated repealing the carbon tax as his biggest contribution for women in 2014.

The Abbott government ministry in full

Tony Abbott.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has refreshed his team. FInd out who's who in the new Abbott government ministry.

All babies and children off Christmas Island

A child held in detention on Christmas Island.

Sarah Whyte   Every asylum seeker child on Christmas Island has been transferred to a Darwin detention centre.

Port Arthur survivor slams call for gun reform

"Ridiculous": Walter Mikac, whose wife and two daughters died in the Port Arthur shooting in 1996, has slammed calls for new gun reforms.

Fergus Hunter   A survivor of the Port Arthur massacre and a man whose family was murdered at the shooting have slammed the idea of allowing people to carry guns for self-defence after the Martin Place siege.

Bruised Hockey promises a fair go

No going back: 'As my mum has always said to me, the sky is always darkest before the dawn,' says Joe Hockey.

James Massola   Treasurer Joe Hockey says it's "completely incorrect" his first budget was too ideological or unfair, but promised fairness will be central to political debate about tax and federation reform in 2015.

Comment & Analysis

Abbott should have demoted himself

Tony Abbott should have demoted himself.

Adele Ferguson 6:34 PM   When the Abbott Government shuffled the ministry at the weekend he should have blackballed himself as minister for women.

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Abbott's new line-up seeks a new year bounce

Mark Kenny dinkus

Mark Kenny   This is the reshufffle Tony Abbott had to have.

Women in cabinet: power of two

Second woman in cabinet: Sussan Ley.

Jacqueline Maley   It must have been awkward, all this time, commencing cabinet meetings with the greeting: "Good morning, lady and gentlemen".

Our sovereignty put to the test

Peter Hartcher dinkus

Peter Hartcher   The foundations of Australia’s nationhood - solvency and security - are under challenge at the same time.

Let there be no doubt: Monis was a terrorist

Jacqueline Maley dinkus

Jacqueline Maley   Beyond the sickening confirmation of the two innocent dead, there have been few certainties this week. But being human, we have had to assert them anyway, to impose some order on the inchoate.

Leyonhjelm shoots from the hip

John Birmingham dinkus

John Birmingham   Guns protecting us? It's nothing but a fetid fantasy, not backed up by facts.

Julie Bishop and the empathy deficit

Michael Gordon.

Michael Gordon   Julie Bishop has presided over the biggest cuts to Australia's foreign aid budget in history.


Ignoring Kathy Jackson undermines inquiry

The credibility of the Royal Commission into trade union governance and corruption should suffer a serious blow from its glaring omissions on the allegedly corrupt behaviour of Kathy Jackson.

Ben Schneiders   What do you do when your star witness in a politically motivated inquiry turns out to be an alleged thief who may have stolen more than $1 million? Just ignore it

Commissioner can't answer biggest question

As Julia Gillard discovered, Australia seems not to be ready for women leaders.

Michael Gordon   Beyond the question of just what has been achieved by using a royal commission to pursue Julia Gillard is one that will not be answered for a decade or two.

Sinodinos saga: tragedy wrapped in a mystery

Arthur Sinodinos: The modest, backroom man from the Treasury.

Tony Wright   For Arthur Sinodinos, and the Liberal Party he came to serve, here is a tragedy in three parts, the end not entirely clear.

Acknowledge errors to prepare for the future

Police towards the siege's end.

Mark Kenny   John Howard used to say it and Tony Abbott does too: the first responsibility of government is national security, identifying potential threats and protecting to the maximum extent possible. Judged against this criterion, the government has failed.

We lack the courage to go after older Aussies

Gareth Hutchens dinkus

Gareth Hutchens   On the ABC's 7.30 this week, former Treasurer Peter Costello said major tax reform in Australia had become almost impossibly hard.

We need to sort out our immigration mistakes

Paul Sheehan.

Paul Sheehan   Australians are entitled to know who the lawyers and officials were who advocated that Man Haron Monis be granted Australian citizenship, despite red flag after red flag that he was trouble.

Pity those dealing with an armed madman

Mark Kenny

Mark Kenny   The pointless deaths of two outstanding individuals in the Martin Place siege has produced an upwelling of grief, fear, and frankly, of public anger that this violence occurred.

Has the Lucky Country lost its ambition?

<i>Illustration: Kerrie Leishman</i>

Ross Gittins   The end of last year was too early to make judgments about Tony Abbott and his government, but now we can make a reasonable assessment.

MYEFO news not as bad as it seems


Ross Gittins   The news isn't as bad as it might seem. And I give Joe Hockey high marks for his wise response to it.

Straight bat served PM well

Mark Kenny

Mark Kenny Chief Political Correspondent   Tony Abbott fronted reporters in Parliament House on Monday 20 minutes later than expected, but nobody minded.

Some gentle advice for Joe Hockey

Joe Hockey.

Peter Martin   Sooner or later Joe Hockey is going to do what's needed. He is running out of other options.

Welcome to post-mining boom Australia

Peter Hartcher dinkus

Peter Hartcher   The party is over. The mining boom is behind us. What does Australia have to show for an unprecedented 23 years of unbroken growth, including the biggest mining surge since white settlement?

Sisters must break silence on Credlin attacks


Louise Adler   The furore around Tony Abbott's chief of staff, Peta Credlin, seems to show Australia is not ready for women leaders.

Special features

The 2014 federal politics awards sit well with Christmas turkeys

Judith Ireland Everyone was predicting that this year in politics was going to be humdrum, business as usual and DULL.

What’s lurking in your metadata?  

  Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonjhelm gave permission for metadata from his business address, an agribusiness consulting company, to be captured and analysed. Here's what we found out.

Tony Abbott: the face of power

The narrative of his first full year as Prime Minister is written in the face of Tony Abbott in this photo montage.

Revealed: Politics' big three issues

Eleven federal politicians list their three big issues of 2014

Hockey may never deliver a surplus

Peter Martin Someone has to pay, and the Treasurer has determined that it won't be us. At least not yet.

Stepping up

Jane Cadzow Labor leader Bill Shorten is counting down the sleeps until the next election.

Broken promises and false starts

Video animation As the political year comes to its end and we take a look back we see a littered landscape of broken promises and false starts from all sides.

The enigma that is Peta Credlin

Judith Ireland As speculation flies about Tony Abbott's increasingly visible chief of staff Peta Credlin, there are grave dangers for the Coalition.

Curing the system

Tony Wright Here we are, in Australia, embroiled in a debate about a $5 fee to see the doctor. A fair and efficient price signal? Depends who you ask.

Faulkner's final act of respect to Parliament

Stephanie Peatling It says much about John Faulkner that he paid one final act of respect to Parliament by announcing his retirement in the Senate caucus room.

GP co-payment plan clever politics, but it will cost you

Amy Corderoy Tony Abbott has not given you a Christmas bonus in scrapping his widely disliked co-payment plan – he's given himself one.

When tumbling, ministers should look to cheerleaders for backflip tips

Tony Wright When in doubt - which seems the Abbott government's starting position these days - ministers descend into gibberish rather than attempt a leap into the blue sky.

Should Shorten be PM?

Mark Kenny The flip side to Tony Abbott's personal poll dive through 2014 is the phoenix-like rise of an opposition from the ashes of political rejection to preferred party in less than a year.

The backlash the papers did not see coming

Heath Aston Treasurer Joe Hockey woke last week to an unwelcome invitation from the government's most ardent supporter in the media, The Australian. Hand over to Malcolm Turnbull if you are "not hungry enough" for the job, the newspaper editorialised.

A question time Christmas special

The last day of parliament saw politicians try their best to get into the festive spirit...