Heath Aston

Heath Aston

Heath Aston is a political reporter in the Canberra bureau. Most recently Heath was the state political editor for the Sun-Herald. Before joining the NSW press gallery he worked for newspapers in Sydney and London.

Sidelined Harper competition law review cost $3m in pay and travel for authors

Heath Aston The 550-page Harper review of competition laws, which Labor claims has been "punted off into the never never" due to divisions in the Abbott cabinet, cost $3 million in salaries and travel costs...

Abbott government shipping changes will sink 1000 jobs: research

Opponents to the shipping industry changes say they will cost jobs.

Heath Aston More than nine in ten domestic seafarers will lose their jobs if the Abbott government's plan to relax shipping regulations passes Parliament, research suggests.

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Cruise operator takes aim at Tony Abbott over shipping and border policy

Cruise ship

Heath Aston A cruise operator says government plans to allow foreign-crewed, foreign vessels to operate on the Australian coastline could threaten the Coalition's border security policy.

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Tony Windsor poised to challenge Barnaby Joyce for New England

Former independent MP Tony Windsor says he's a

Heath Aston The battle for Barnaby Joyce's seat of New England is shaping as the most closely-watched contest of the next election, with rural independent Tony Windsor now more likely than not to mount a...

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Super: Government under fire on plan to cut penalties on businesses that shortchange workers

Government has proposed

Heath Aston, Gareth Hutchens Industry super funds have accused the Abbott government of quietly watering-down penalties designed to encourage employers to pay their workers' super on time.

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Review finds Kyle Sandilands did nothing wrong calling Barnaby Joyce an 'insensitive wanker'

Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson.

Heath Aston Regulator also sided with Kiis FM that the description of Mr Joyce as "gerbil of a thing" was a "reference to a small mammal and nothing more".

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Dyson Heydon: tortuous timeline of the royal commission saga

 Dyson Heydon

Heath Aston When royal commissioner Dyson Heydon wants documents those in his sights are left in no doubt as to what is required.

Crossbench senators slam Greens over environment law phone campaign

Greens leader Richard Di Natale

Heath Aston The novice leadership team of the Greens has made a potentially damaging tactical blunder after party members "bombarded" crossbench senators with phone calls urging them to oppose the Abbott...

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Liberal Democrat candidate in Canning a spanner in the works for Liberal Andrew Hastie

Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm says that the positioning of his party on the Canning ballot paper will be crucial.

Heath Aston The task facing Andrew Hastie, the former SAS soldier hoping to retain the seat of Canning for the Liberal Party at next month's crunch byelection in Western Australia just got trickier.

Tony Abbott offers Jacqui Lambie confidential union briefing

Jacqui Lambie

James Massola, Heath Aston The Abbott government has offered a briefing on a secret report by the trade union royal commission - the contents of which pose "grave threats to the power and authority of the Australian state" -...

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'Disastrous': BlueScope Steel closure would trigger loss of 5000 jobs in the Illawarra

SMH. MERCURY. Bluescope worker George Papaconstantinos.

Heath Aston, political correspondent Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has convened a roundtable meeting with unions and Bluescope Steel after the company warned slumping global prices could force the closure of its...

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Halal certifiers subject of confidential government review

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Heath Aston More than 20 Islamic organisations that are paid to certify Australian meat as halal are among food certifiers being quietly reviewed by the Abbott government.

Clive Palmer eyes Senate switch and preference deal with the Liberal Democrats and Family First

A number of sources have confirmed Clive Palmer has given serious consideration to a tilt for the Senate amid doubts he will hold on to his lower house Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax.

Heath Aston Clive Palmer has moved to lock in a powerful preference deal with two crossbenchers as the mining magnate weighs up a dramatic switch to the Senate at the next election.

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'Likeable rascal': Malcolm Turnbull's Oxford report cards uncovered from the archives

After 'buckling down', Malcolm Turnbull returned to Sydney 'having used Oxford well', according to a report card.

Heath Aston Malcolm Turnbull does not suffer from shyness. This is not just a statement of the obvious in 2015; it is also the assessment an Oxford don made in a 1979 report card on the 25-year-old Rhodes...

Joe Hockey promises tax avoidance bill amid anger over leaked Senate report

Joe Hockey

Heath Aston, political correspondent Treasurer Joe Hockey has promised to introduce legislation to combat multinational tax avoiders to Parliament next month.

Dyson Heydon was on panel that awarded Tony Abbott his prized Rhodes Scholarship

A screen grab showing Tony Abbott at an Oxford v Cambridge invitational match in 1981.

Heath Aston, political correspondent Dyson Heydon, the royal commissioner under mounting pressure to quit over his links to the Liberal Party, was on a panel that awarded a young Tony Abbott a life-changing scholarship to Oxford...

Former Wallaby Bill Calcraft wants Bronwyn Bishop's seat

Challenger: former Wallaby Bill Calcraft.

Heath Aston Businessman, who has experience in financing wind farms and solar power, says it could help Liberals.

Senate aims to out tax dodgers with register of offending corporates

The corporate tax avoidance inquiry, chaired by Labor Senator Sam Dastyari?, will table its first report in Parliament on Monday.

Heath Aston Tax-dodging companies would be named and shamed under landmark transparency measures proposed by a Senate committee investigating multibillion-dollar corporate tax evasion.

Tackling ice scourge needs more than police crackdown, say experts

The ice problem requires a health as well as a law perspective.

Chloe Booker, Heath Aston Leading drug experts lament the nation's ice scourge won't be solved with a law and order crackdown alone.

Price of private post to double but ACCC to monitor two-tier system

Australia Post predicts by 2020 it will be delivering only a quarter of the amount of mail it handled in 2008.

Heath Aston The cost of sending letters through the post will as much as double within months.