"What?" Katy Gallagher explains mansplain to Mitch Fifield

Judith Ireland 11:40 AM   The Senate's community affairs committee is not usually one associated with fireworks. 

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Latest political news

The Pulse Live from Parliament

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb addresses the media during a doorstop interview at the Press Gallery in ...

Stephanie Peatling 4:45 PM   Hello and welcome to the day in politics. Two senior ministers are leaving Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's ranks and another is under a cloud. There's never a more exciting time for a reshuffle.

Comments 550

AFP officers have contracted Zika virus

A pregnant woman has tested positive for the Zika virus in southeast Queensland.

David Wroe 3:44 PM   Several Australian Federal Police officers have contracted Zika virus – the subject of a global health emergency – while on deployment overseas, including in the Solomon Islands to Australia's north.

New Sex Discrimination Commissioner named

Kate Jenkins

Judith Ireland 3:46 PM   Australia's new sex discrimination commissioner is Kate Jenkins, the Turnbull government announced on Thursday.

High fees to see 45,000 families lose out

About 184,000 families would lose support in the new childcare package.

Judith Ireland 12:41 PM   About 45,000 families will be worse off under the Coalition's childcare reforms because they pay childcare fees that are higher than the upper limits of the government's new subsidy rate.

Comments 28

Robb all but endorses Downer to replace him 

Georgina Downer

Adam Gartrell and Mark Kenny 10:04 AM   Outgoing Trade Minister Andrew Robb has indicated he wants to see a woman replace him in his Melbourne seat, all but endorsing Georgina Downer - daughter of former foreign minister Alexander Downer - for the role.

Comments 127

Recognition next year 'achievable': PM

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during question time. He wants a referendum worded to 'sing' to Aboriginal and Torres ...

Michael Gordon and Fergus Hunter 8:44 PM   Malcolm Turnbull has declared that a referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution is achievable next year.

Warren Truss and Andrew Robb to quit politics

Nationals Leader Warren Truss may bring forward an announcement on his future to Thursday.

Mark Kenny, James Massola 6:19 PM   Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Warren Truss will announce his retirement on Thursday, with Trade Minister Andrew Robb set to follow.

Bungle leaves 42 mining approvals unlawful

The bureaucratic error has rendered 42 approvals for oil and gas operations in sensitive marine areas invalid.

Nicole Hasham 7:49 AM   A bureaucratic error has rendered eight years' worth of approvals for oil and gas operations in sensitive marine areas invalid, Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg has revealed.

Five numbers that should shame Australia

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivers his Closing the Gap report speech in Parliament.

Fergus Hunter 8:07 PM   Indigenous Australians continue to die younger, be out of work more and have less education than other Australians, the annual Closing the Gap report has again revealed.

Liberal pollsters to help in German subs bid

Rear Admiral Greg Sammut told the Senate hearing that further information had been requested from all bidders.

David Wroe 5:55 PM   Liberal Party pollsters Crosby Textor are poised to become involved in the submarine race with German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems planning to hire the firm to help with its bid.

Comment & Analysis

Beware, the states are about to hike up taxes

Peter Martin dinkus

Peter Martin 12:00 AM   Now that a GST rise is off the table, expect state governments to do the tax reform that the Federal Government won’t.

Comments 49

The breathtaking irony of Ruddock

Pope Francis signs a cricket bat he received from Cardinal George Pell at the Vatican. Pell's dicky heart prevents him ...

Elizabeth Farrelly 9:00 PM   I've heard of being kicked upstairs but this is ridiculous. I know people get promoted to their point of incompetence, but the UN? The Vatican? These are not incompetence-friendly situations.

Australia must commit to closing nutrition gap

Stephen Simpson

Stephen Simpson   The Closing the Gap health strategy neglects food and diet, despite the benefits of improving Indigenous communities' food supplies.

Comments 21

Let Aborigines take control of their destiny

Illustration: John Spooner

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

Comments 25

Parties need money, business supplies it

Ross Gittins

Ross Gittins   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 111

Nauru pledge has captured the mood

Daniel Andrews

Josh Gordon, Analysis   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.

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 34

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.

Special features

Turnbull will be judged by deeds, not words

Michael Gordon There was more than one gap on display when the nation's MPs gathered to hear the Prime Minister deliver his annual Closing the Gap report on Indigenous disadvantage.

Beware, the states are about to hike up taxes

Now that a GST rise is off the table, expect state governments to do the tax reform that the Federal Government won’t.

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.

Australia must commit to closing nutrition gap

The Closing the Gap health strategy neglects food and diet, despite the benefits of improving Indigenous communities' food supplies.

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.