Greg Hunt named "best minister in the world"

Judith Ireland 8:38 AM   Australia's own Greg Hunt has been singled out as the "best minister in the world" by a high-powered international conference.

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Latest political news

The Pulse Live from Parliament

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull departs Close the Gap breakfast event at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 10 ...

Stephanie Peatling 1:39 PM   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivers the tenth annual address to Parliament on indigenous disadvantage.

Comments 368

Labor offers new East Timor deal

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek addresses the National Press Club.

Tom Allard 1:04 PM   ALP says it will submit to international adjudication on disputed sea border.

Judges 'hard to recruit, retain': Brandis

The Federal Circuit Court is under increasing pressure.

Jane Lee 11:54 AM   Attorney-General George Brandis says it is difficult to recruit and retain Federal Circuit Court judges because they are not offered a pension.

Don't rely on tax modelling: treasury boss

Treasury secretary John Fraser said modelling prepared for the government to help guide the tax debate was "useful in ...

Peter Martin 11:47 AM   Treasury secretary John Fraser has played down the reliability of economic modelling due to be released by the government to help guide the tax debate.

We need an early election: Truss

Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce in Parliament on Wednesday.

Tony Wright 12:42 PM   The federal government needs an early double dissolution election to "sort out" the troublesome Senate, according to Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss.

Comments 6

Senator: 'Learn from China' on corruption

PUP senator Zhenya 'Dio' Wang: "Entire dynasties fell because of corruption."

Heath Aston 11:39 AM   Parliament is set to hear months of evidence of corruption and lawlessness across all sectors - wider than just the union movement - with the imminent establishment of an inquiry into the need for a national integrity watchdog similar to the Independent Commission Against Corruption in NSW.

Medicare payments to be privatised

John Deeble says the outsourcing suggestion would not alter Medicare but would profit the private sector.

Mark Kenny, Jane Lee, Adam Gartrell 8:13 AM   The Turnbull government is preparing to privatise a swath of government payments.

Comments 57

Australia failing to close the gap

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull departs Close the Gap breakfast event at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 10 ...

Michael Gordon, Fergus Hunter 12:18 PM   Malcolm Turnbull has vowed to be guided by the "wisdom, the ingenuity, the insights" of Indigenous people to tackle profound disadvantage.

Robert refuses to answer key questions

Labor ramped up its attack on Stuart Robert during question time on Tuesday.

Adam Gartrell 12:00 AM   Embattled Turnbull government minister Stuart Robert has refused to answer key questions about the secretive China trip that has put his frontbench future in doubt.

Modernising Medicare needed but Labor gift

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during question time. He has given Labor a consolation prize with Medicare after taking ...

Mark Kenny 8:13 AM   For conservative governments at least, Medicare is pretty much a no-go-zone. They're seen as reluctant conscripts to universal health insurance raising legitimate concerns about their motives.

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Comment & Analysis

Let Aborigines take control of their destiny

Illustration: John Spooner

Ben Stephens and Matthew Tyler 12:00 AM   Australia will move forward when it cedes power to Indigenous people and demands accountability.

Comments 21

Parties need money, business supplies it

Ross Gittins

Ross Gittins 9:00 PM   According to the Labor Party's rising star, Senator Sam Dastyari, 10 big companies control our political process. You don't need to look far to find evidence of the power wielded by "the big end of town".

Comments 80

Nauru pledge has captured the mood

Daniel Andrews

Josh Gordon, Analysis 6:05 PM   Daniel Andrews' offer to "accept full responsibility" for the asylum seekers facing the prospect of deportation has undeniably had a big impact.

Public servant steps over the line

Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Michael Pezzullo and Senator Michaelia Cash in ...

More evidence, courtesy of an extraordinary overreach by Department of Immigration and Border Protection secretary Mike Pezzullo that Australia's harsh and secretive border protection system is straining at the seams.

Could compassion politics make a comeback?

Daniel Andrews' action should not amaze. It shouldn't be extraordinary, but it is.

Liam Byrne   Daniel Andrews' offer to accept refugees due to be returned to Nauru has touched a nerve.

Comments 162

North Korea has pushed Seoul too far

Peter Hartcher dinkus

After North Korea tested a ballistic missile on the weekend, worried nations searched for new ways to respond to an old fear - the fear that the rogue nation will one day have a nuclear bomb and a missile capable of delivering it.

Comments 26

The real test of tax reform is still ahead

Peter Reith

It's a good idea to encourage a public discussion about increasing the GST but it's also good that it looks like the Turnbull government will dump a GST increase.

Comments 25

Killing off authors the Australian way

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

Books are central to our lives, yet the outlook for authors, their readers and Australian literary culture has never been more bleak.

Comments 13

Tax debate? What tax debate?

Peter Martin dinkus

Peter Martin   Of all the questionable claims in the tax debate, the biggest it's that it's been a debate.

Is Malcolm Turnbull insane? We'll find out

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has yet to make any hard choices.

Paul Sheehan   Some brutal things have been said about Malcolm Turnbull during his long career in public life - that he's narcissistic, bullying, volatile, duplicitous, disingenuous  - but no-one has yet proposed that he is certifiably insane.

Disregard for UN ruling a blow to human rights

Julian Assange, pictured on the balcony of Ecuador's London embassy, with the UN report that says he is being ...

Melinda Taylor   In September 2014, Julian Assange filed a complaint against Sweden and Britain before the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD).

When Turnbull's agenda was hit by realities 

Square, dink, dinks, dinkus, head shot,federal politics, federal, Heath Aston

Heath Aston   The threat of a 'double-D' is supposed to instil fear in senators, but this was a hollow threat.

Looking for a national leader

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

On the tax debate and asylum-seeker policy, we need better than what we've got.

The day our hopes for justice were dashed

A frame from Nowhere Line, an animated documentary about asylum seekers on Manus Island.

A detainee in the offshore "prison" tells the inside story of frustration, fear and hopelessness.

'It's more complex than where you live'

Monash University Professor of Politics and International Relations, specialising in Islam, Indonesia and terrorism, ...

Terrorism and migration experts have warned that radicalisation is "more complex than where you live" in response to a draft cabinet document that suggests refugees should be settled outside of major cities.

COMMENT

Tax reform a test of PM’s courage

Peter Hartcher dinkus

Peter Hartcher   What is the point of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister if he is merely a more personable salesman selling the Abbott government’s policies?

How long can we keep lying to ourselves?

"Samuel" is one of 90 children, including 37 babies, who may be sent back to Nauru.

Waleed Aly   The history of asylum seeker policy in Australia will be remembered as a story of how successive governments legislated their lies to justify a world of make-believe borders and compliance.

GST: political hot potato chips away unity

Mark kenny

An unpopular policy could deal a blow to the goodwill that Malcolm Turnbull's government has so far enjoyed.

GST rise does not tackle fundamental problem

Victoria's Treasurer,  Tim Pallas, says the news showed confidence had returned after years of economic inertia.

Josh Gordon   Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has a point. If we are going to "reform" the tax system let's be very clear about what we are trying to achieve. Because reform for its own sake isn't really reform at all.

From climate denial to climate outsourcing

Stormy times for the CSIRO: On board RV Investigator .

Marcus Strom   If the Abbott era was about climate-change denial it seems that with the Turnbull zeitgeist it is all about climate-change outsourcing.

GST hike is a solution in search of a problem

Peter Martin dinkus

Peter Martin   We need a clear goal if the attempt to change the tax system is to succeed.

Special features

Greatest minister in the world accepts acclaim

Poor Greg Hunt. No one deserves this. Least of all Greg.

Parties need money, business supplies it

According to the Labor Party's rising star, Senator Sam Dastyari, 10 big companies control our political process. You don't need to look far to find evidence of the power wielded by "the big end of town".

Let Aborigines take control of their destiny

Australia will move forward when it cedes power to Indigenous people and demands accountability.

Public servant steps over the line

Mark Kenny More evidence on Monday, courtesy of an extraordinary overreach by secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Mike Pezzullo, that Australia's harsh and secretive border protection system is straining at the seams.

Ruddock: from wet to unknowable hard man

Sketch Early on the warm morning of January 24, 1995, John Howard and Alexander Downer were in earnest conversation in a locked room upstairs in a motel in Ferntree Gully, east of Melbourne.

Malcolm Turnbull's tax task

With the GST apparently off the table, the Prime Minister is forced to look elsewhere to deliver substantial reform, argues Mark Kenny.

The real test of tax reform is still ahead

It's a good idea to encourage a public discussion about increasing the GST but it's also good that it looks like the Turnbull government will dump a GST increase.

Turnbull lands on a snake on tax reform

Judith Ireland It's a classic game of luck. You roll the dice and depending on where you land you may get a boost - or you may get a kick in the teeth.

Flux Party offers radical model for democracy

When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull encouraged Australia's young innovators to go out and disrupt traditional industries, he may not have been expecting anyone to propose an alternative model to the entire party-political system.

North Korea has pushed Seoul too far

After North Korea tested a ballistic missile on the weekend, worried nations searched for new ways to respond to an old fear - the fear that the rogue nation will one day have a nuclear bomb and a missile capable of delivering it.

The day our hopes for justice were dashed

A detainee in the offshore "prison" tells the inside story of frustration, fear and hopelessness.

Tax reform a test of Turnbull’s courage

What is the point of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister if he is merely a more personable salesman selling the Abbott government’s policies?

Leaked revamp a threat to most national values

Michael Gordon The most powerful case against the radical revamp of Australia's resettlement program for refugees is included in the draft "cabinet sensitive" document Peter Dutton insists he has not seen.

Abbott leaves behind a dawn promise kept

Should a cure be found for diabetes type I be found, Tony Abbott must take some of the credit.

History wars fought inside ourselves

In her new book Private Lives, Public History, Anna Clark looks at how the "history wars" divided and delighted and politicised and polarised the nation.

God bless High Court for legalising gulags

Compared with the "big" countries, we don't have an immigration problem, we have an immigration neurosis.

Nauru: How long can we keep lying to ourselves?

The history of asylum seeker policy in Australia will be remembered as a story of how successive governments legislated their lies to justify a world of make-believe borders and compliance.