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.

MPs' 'gravy plane' from the west coast cost $10,000 each per flight

Heath Aston Air force-operated flights that transport federal MPs and senators between Western Australia and Canberra are costing taxpayers more than $10,000 per parliamentarian, per flight – five times...

Hockey backflips on tax laws to target multinational profit shifters

Joe Hockey

Heath Aston Treasurer Joe Hockey has broken a pledge to impose tough tax avoidance rules on multinational companies that have been exploiting a loophole that benefits large foreign and Australian companies with...

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Martin Place siege: Man Haron Monis has long history of hatred of politicians

Man Haron Monis outside a Sydney court in February 2010.

David Wroe, James Massola and Heath Aston The man behind Sydney’s siege, Man Haron Monis, expressed outrage about Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s “Team Australia” comments in a series of online tirades.

Martin Place siege: How Tony Abbott and the Security Committee reacted behind the scenes

Thrust into the spotlight: Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Heath Aston It was just after 10am in Canberra when government advisers interrupted a meeting of cabinet, thrusting Prime Minister Tony Abbott into the centre of another testing national security situation.

Senator who backed out of Ebola airfare offer gave money to charity instead

Nationals MP Barry O'Sullivan owns 50 properties

Heath Aston A government senator who was labelled a "welcher" for backing out of an offer to pay for Senator Richard Di Natale to fly into the Ebola zone of West Africa has quietly donated $4500 to the Red Cross...

Australian Ebola hospital opens but returning senator calls for greater contribution

Nine-year-old Nowa Paye is taken to an ambulance after showing signs of the Ebola infection in the village of Freeman Reserve, about nearly 50 kilometres north of Monrovia, Liberia.

Heath Aston Australian doctors and nurses will begin treating Ebola patients this week but a Greens senator who has returned from the infection zone in West Africa says Australia should double its human...

Joe Hockey confirms Tax Office crackdown on multinational tax 'robbers'

Treasurer Joe Hockey:

Heath Aston Treasurer Joe Hockey has confirmed the government is moving towards imposing a so-called "Google tax", warning that tax-minimising multinationals are "robbing Australians" when they don't pay tax on...

Release of ministerial travel costs could damage our international standing, government claims

The Abbott government is refusing the release documents revealing the cost of Coalition ministers' travel overseas.

Heath Aston The Abbott government is refusing to release documents detailing the cost and purpose of overseas travel by Coalition ministers, claiming they could "cause damage to Australia's international...

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The budget backlash the newspapers did not see coming

Tough year: Support for Treasurer Joe Hockey has slipped away since his delivery of the budget.

Heath Aston Treasurer Joe Hockey woke last week to an unwelcome invitation from the government's most ardent supporter in the media, The Australian.

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Barry O'Farrell's demise features in suspicious ALP Wollongong branch books

Discussion of former NSW premier Barry O'Farrell features in the minutes of an ALP Mount Keira branch meeting.

Heath Aston The minutes of the April 7 meeting of the Labor Party's Mount Keira branch in the Illawarra records a lively discussion about the resignation of NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell.

Joe Hockey eyes Britain's 'Google tax' to boost tax take

Treasurer Joe Hockey:

Heath Aston and Nassim Khadem Treasurer Joe Hockey has indicated the government will join Britain in introducing a so-called "Google tax" to force multinational companies to pay their fair share of tax in the countries where they...

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Nationals Whip Barry O'Sullivan a 'welcher' over Ebola flight offer, say Greens

Nationals whip Barry O'Sullivan 'welched' on the offer: Richard Di Natale.

Heath Aston, political correspondent National Party Whip Barry O'Sullivan has been accused of "welching" on an offer to pay for a Greens Senator to fly into the Ebola zone of West Africa.

Abbott throws a life vest to sinking Defence Minister David Johnston

Heath Aston Prime Minister Tony Abbott is defending besieged Defence Minister David Johnston against calls for his sacking over publicly denigrating the government-owned shipbuilder ASC.

ALP accused of dirty tricks to protect Wollongong MP Noreen Hay

Veteran Wollongong MP Noreen Hays.

Heath Aston NSW Labor has been warned against returning to the "Tripodi-style model of caucus" amid claims ALP head office is "pulling out all stops" to ensure veteran MP Noreen Hay survives a preselection...

Clive Palmer was warned by former Queensland PUP leader to reject Jacqui Lambie

Alex Douglas says Clive Palmer ignored his  recommendations about Jacqui Lambie.

Heath Aston Clive Palmer was urged not to endorse Jacqui Lambie as his party's senate candidate in Tasmania by the most senior elected Palmer United Party official in Queensland before last year's election.

Greens senator Richard Di Natale plans DIY tour of Ebola zone

Heath Aston, Latika Bourke He won't get consular assistance from Australia, but Richard Di Natale leaves for Liberia on Saturday.

Floating fuel tanks: Environmentalists concern for Port Phillip Bay

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Heath Aston Concerns simmering over Australia's growing reliance on flags of convenience ships.

Abbott under pressure to reverse roads-only transport policy

The Macquarie Park centre was a beneficiary of the Epping-Chatswood rail link.

Heath Aston An analysis of Sydney's Epping – Chatswood rail link has found the infrastructure has brought billions of dollars in benefits to the Macquarie Park growth centre it services, leading to calls...

How Malcolm Turnbull plans to justify the ABC's $250 million budget cut

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Heath Aston ABC staff will be forced to walk to a pigeonhole to collect their mail at the new streamlined public broadcaster.

Australia pledged Ebola workers three weeks before telling public, David Cameron reveals

A healthcare worker in  protective gear  near an Ebola isolation unit  at Kenema Government Hospital in Sierra Leone.

Heath Aston An anecdote by British Prime Minister David Cameron during his address to Parliament has inadvertently shed light on the Abbott government's much-criticised path to committing health workers to the...