There is a growing sense around the halls of power that Malcolm Turnbull is finally starting to get somewhere, writes Mark Kenny.
Mark Kenny is Fairfax Media's national affairs editor. A director of the National Press Club, he regularly appears on the ABC's Insiders, Sky News Agenda, and Ten's Meet the Press. He has reported from Canberra under three prime ministers and several opposition leaders.
Local beef producers have won unfettered access to the giant Chinese domestic market for the first time, in a commercial breakthrough that gives Australia a unique level of entree denied to all other countries until now. But the resolution of Australia's beef over beef exports came with a gentle reminder to Canberra, and other regional neighbours, that China will not back down on the South China Sea and regards its outposts in international waters as its sovereign territory.
Politicians normally avoid airing their dirty linen in public but for Australia's longest governing leader, it was actually a laundry incident that nearly brought him undone.
Another moderate shibboleth associated with national unity has been slain. On Harmony Day. Priceless.
Home doctors fear a review of after hours services could see vital services cut.
Paul Keating has dramatically entered the debate over allowing first home buyers access to their superannuation accounts.
As the Liberal and Labor bases crumble, the temptation is to chase the strays, writes Mark Kenny
Just as dwindling unions and, by association, their parliamentary champions, were thrown a lifeline by the prospect of a WorkChoices-style campaign to protect weekend penalty rates, a union leader reminds voters what they hated about the old model of industrial relations: strikes, intimidation, and belligerent lawlessness.
A bitter slanging match has erupted on live TV.
Perhaps voters are more awake to it after the bizarre "real Julia" declaration, but when a leader suddenly promises "leadership," it grates.