David Wroe

David Wroe

David Wroe is national security correspondent for The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald in Canberra.

Probes of journalists' communications records 'rare', police say

David Wroe Police have confirmed they have accessed journalists' communications records to investigate leaks despite the Abbott government's insistence that journalists are not the target of its new data...

Cyclone Pam: Australia steps up aid to Vanuatu as 'widespread devastation' becomes clear

Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop and Health minister Sussan Ley announce Australian assistance to Vanuatu at Parliament House on Tuesday.

David Wroe Australian reconnaissance planes scouring the remote south of Vanuatu have spotted "widespread devastation", Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has revealed as the government stepped up relief to the...

Aid arrives on cyclone-devastated Vanuatu as death toll remains unclear

Vanuatu residents begin to clear up after Cyclone Pam roared through the Pacific nation.

David Wroe The Abbott government has flagged a possible further expansion of Australia's relief to cyclone-battered Vanuatu as aid groups warned the Pacific island nation would likely need years of...

Tony Abbott backs second push for mandatory five-year jail terms for gun traffickers


David Wroe and Amy Corderoy Prime Minister Tony Abbott plans to reintroduce legislation that Labor rebuffed in the Senate just last month.

Xenophon pours water on government's latest pension proposal

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon will talk to the government about the pension, but is not keen on the compromise.

David Wroe Social Services Minister Scott Morrison faces an uphill battle to win Senate support for a cut to the pension indexation rate with key crossbencher Nick Xenophon already casting doubt on the...

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Australian sends aid to cyclone-ravaged Vanuatu

Cyclone Pam hits Vanuatu on Friday,

David Wroe, Defence Correspondent Five RAAF planes have been deployed as part of a major relief effort to cyclone-devastated Vanuatu that also includes a Australian aid package of $5 million.

Ex-jihadists could be used to counter extremist message

David Wroe Reformed jihadists who have been to the Middle East and returned home disillusioned could be used as poster boys and girls to combat the tidal wave of extremist propaganda on the internet.

Australia's defence strategy outdated, with major defects: Lowy Institute expert

Professor Alan Dupont of the Lowy Institute.

David Wroe Australia's defence planning is outdated and lacks coherence, relying on old notions of defending the continent from conventional military attack, one of the nation's top strategic thinkers says.

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Tony Abbott still waiting on Joko Widodo to take his call over Bali nine duo

Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

David Wroe Prime Minister Tony Abbott was on Tuesday still waiting to speak to Indonesian President Joko Widodo about the Bali Nine case – five days after Mr Abbott requested the conversation.

Islamic State recruit 'wasn't on radar of authorities'

White jihadi

David Wroe, National Security Correspondent The young Melbourne man at the centre of the latest case of Islamic State recruitment was not on the radar of authorities before he turned up in the Middle East.

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DFAT lodges complaint about treatment of Bali nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran

Senior Commissioner Djoko Hari Utomo poses for a photo with Andrew Chan.

David Wroe, Su-Lin Tan The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has lodged a formal complaint at the Indonesian embassy about the "general treatment of both Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran". 

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Bali nine executions will taint Australia-Indonesia relations, says experts

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Prime Minister Tony Abbott during a candlelight vigil for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran on the forecourt of Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 5 March 2015. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

David Wroe Diplomatic spats between Jakarta and Canberra have become familiar episodes, often provoking by-the-numbers responses.

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Tony Abbott's soldier pay rise risks dispute with Defence secretary Dennis Richardson


John Garnaut and David Wroe Prime Minister Tony Abbott has risked a dispute with his most experienced official, Dennis Richardson, by undermining decades of work to build a rational and independent system for setting soldier...

Tony Abbott backs down on military pay after behind-the-scenes lobbying by backbenchers

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Defence Minister Kevin Andrews on Wednesday.

David Wroe Tony Abbott appears to have quelled a military backlash by hiking the government's pay offer to defence personnel in the wake of announcing a further planned troop deployment to Iraq.

Metadata retention a step closer as Abbott government backs changes

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis.

David Wroe The Abbott government has agreed to adopt changes to its controversial plan to force phone and internet firms to keep customers' data for two years.

Tony Abbott confirms two-year deployment of 300 Australians to Iraq

Defence Minister Kevin Andrews, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin on Tuesday.

David Wroe, Mark Kenny Australian troops will remain in Iraq for at least two years under a new and enlarged deployment that will bring a significant risk of deadly insider attacks, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced.

Tony Abbott announces extra 300 Australian troops to be sent to train Iraqis

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

David Wroe An extra 300 Australian troops are being sent to train Iraqis in the fight against the Islamic State terror group, with Tony Abbott refusing to rule out boosting the deployment further.

Australian Defence Force to get its first Muslim Imam

Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert.

David Wroe, Defence Correspondent The Australian Defence Force is set to get its first Muslim Imam as part of a push to attract more recruits from different cultural and language backgrounds.

Tony Abbott knuckles down for khaki recovery with expanded Iraq commitment

Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Parliament on Monday.

Mark Kenny, David Wroe The Coalition party room is expected to rubber stamp an expansion of Australia's military commitment to Iraq as early as Tuesday as Prime Minister Tony Abbott moves to capitalise on a poll recovery...

Travel to terrorism hotspot of Mosul in Iraq banned by Abbott government

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

David Wroe Iraq's second-largest city Mosul, which is in the hands of the Islamic State terror group, has been named as the Abbott government's second terrorism "declared zone", making it an offence to travel...