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Federal Politics

Political News

Medibank Private sale could unleash cutthroat competition, critics warn

DEBORAH SNOW 12:15am Opponents fear the Medibank Private sale will put profits before patients.

Scheme to help protect 457 visa workers from injuries quietly shelved

Injured: Chinese migrant Andy Zhang, whose arm was mangled in a work accident.

Nick Toscano, Workplace Reporter Andy Zhang's arm is cased in skin-coloured bandages that mask the reality of the mangled flesh beneath.

Bill Shorten to confront Christian lobby over same-sex marriage

JAMES MASSOLA 12:15am Bill Shorten will reach out to the Christian Lobby in a speech in Canberra on Saturday, but the Opposition Leader will directly confront the group by declaring support for same-sex marriage.

MH17: the first 100 days

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

JAMES MASSOLA Australian federal police are working with their Dutch, Belgian, Malaysian and Ukrainian counterparts to get to the bottom of the MH17 disaster and are expected to report back in the first half of next year.

Reform the Federation to give all states 'a fair go': PM

Tony Abbott has issued a call to arms to state premiers to debate reforming the Federation.

JAMES MASSOLA 11:45pm Prime Minister Tony Abbot has issued a call to arms to state premiers to participate in a grown-up debate about reforming the Federation, the funding of health systems and the tax system in a Sir Henry Parkes commemorative address to be delivered on Saturday.

George Brandis needs to explain terror law urgency, Labor says

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus is calling on the government to better explain the counerterrorism laws.

DAVID WROE 11:45pm The federal government needs to do more to explain to the Australian people why the sweeping new counterterrorism measures it wants to turn into law next week are necessary, Labor says.

Ricky Muir loses second chief of staff in three months

And one remains: Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party senator Ricky Muir (second from right) in July with advisers Peter Breen (left), Sarah Mennie and Glenn Druery. All three advisers have now left the team.

JAMES MASSOLA 6:18pm Motoring Enthusiast Senator Ricky Muir has lost his second chief of staff in three months after Sarah Mennie quit on Friday.

Government failing on Ebola, says Australian Medical Association

Sick of the government's talks on Ebola: AMA president Brian Owler.

Matthew Knott, Latika Bourke, Lisa Visentin 6:00pm The peak medical body has accused the Abbott government of acting too slowly to tackle the Ebola crisis because of concerns about the political consequences of an Australian health worker being infected with the disease.

Jacqui Lambie blasts Christopher Pyne's pork-barrelling universities package

Jacqui Lambie.

MATTHEW KNOTT 5:38pm Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie says she rejected overtures from the Abbott government to strike a special deal for her home state in exchange for support for university fee deregulation.

Gough Whitlam memorial: Public service announced

Former prime minister Gough Whitlam.

LATIKA BOURKE 3:38pm A state memorial service will be held for the late Labor prime minister Gough Whitlam in Sydney on Wednesday November 5.

Industry warns NSW could lose 10 wind farms, $2.5 billion under Tony Abbott's plan to cut clean energy

New wind farms: Out of reach?

PETER HANNAM 3:00pm Confusion over Canberra’s plans to cut the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will cost NSW at least $2.5 billion in investment by 2020 and mean the state will fall short of the Baird government’s own target for clean energy, industry groups say.

What's watt? The Renewable Energy Target explained

Solar eclipse? What's the future for the RET?

PETER HANNAM 5:12pm Confused by the jargon about gigawatts and "real 20 per cent"? Here are some basics in the debate over the Renewable Energy Target.

Australian War Memorial's Last Post a potential terror target: Tony Abbott

War Memorial threat: Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Friday.

LATIKA BOURKE 11:17am The Australian War Memorial in Canberra is a new potential terror target in the wake of the Ottawa shooting, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.

Tourism Australia aware of Andrew Robb's links to restaurant before launching marketing campaign

Tourism Australia concedes Tourism Minister Andrew Robb's family restaurant benefited from featuring in a taxpayer-funded campaign.

JAMES MASSOLA 12:11pm Tourism Australia knew Tourism Minister Andrew Robb and his family owned the Boathouse Palm Beach restaurant before it launched a taxpayer-funded campaign that featured the establishment as part of a $40 million marketing push.

Australian Youth Climate Coalition removes anti-coal poster after backlash

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition image.

LATIKA BOURKE 11:23am Young climate activists have been accused of comparing coal miners to paedophiles in a poster that has since been taken down from the internet after a social media backlash.

'I want her to be PM for 10 years': Christopher Pyne slips up while playing down Julie Bishop as potential leader

Julie Bishop

LATIKA BOURKE Cabinet Minister Christopher Pyne has tried to hose down praise of his colleague Julie Bishop as a potential Liberal party leader but accidentally bungled his defence of Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the process.

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Abbott government moves closer to deploying personnel to African Ebola fight

Prime Minister Tony Abbott: One step closer to deploying Australian personnel to West Africa.

DAN HARRISON The Abbott government appears to be moving closer to deploying Australian personnel to West Africa to combat the Ebola virus.

Government backs down on some higher education reforms

Education minister Christopher Pyne during question time in Parliament House Canberra on Tuesday 30 September 2014. Photo: Andrew Meares

MATTHEW KNOTT The Abbott government is offering to ditch or delay the most controversial elements of its sweeping higher education reforms to secure a deal with the Senate cross-benchers to allow universities to set their own fees.

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Abbott government in talks with banks about welfare cards


JUDITH IRELAND The federal government is in talks with banks about a controversial proposal to issue welfare recipients with a card that would ensure they used their benefits for things like food and clothing and ban spending on gambling and alcohol.

Clean energy jobs and investments are at risk, says industry group

Moving out: NSW could miss out on billions of dollars of investment in clean energy.

Peter Hannam, Mark Kenny NSW stands to lose as much as $2.5 billion in investment in 10 approved wind farms that won't proceed if the federal government achieves its goal of slashing the renewable energy target, an industry group said.