Political news

Morrison downplays report Turnbull offered him Treasury post in February

Latika Bourke 10:34 AM   Scott Morrison has attempted to downplay fresh reports Malcolm Turnbull first offered him the Treasury position in February before an unsuccessful spill motion which Mr Turnbull did not end up contesting.

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Loyalty, power and the plan to replace a PM

Tony Abbott

Peter Hartcher 9:12 AM   As Tony Abbott ignored the views of those with his best interests at heart, Malcolm Turnbull hatched a secret scheme.

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Attacks on Grand Mufti 'work of Hansonites', says Muslim moderate

SMH/NEWS.  Portrait of Dr Jamal Rifi before he spoke at a Rotary Club of Sydney Luncheon.  Pic by Nic Walker.  Photographed at the Boutique Hotel in Sydney.  Pic by Nic Walker.  Date 27th Jan 2015.

David Wroe 7:48 AM   A Sydney GP praised by Turnbull Cabinet Minister Josh Frydenberg as a key moderate Muslim voice has slammed the minister's own attacks on Australia's Grand Mufti as "doing the dirty work of the Hansonites".

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Grandparents exempt from childcare changes

Labor MP Kate Ellis is concerned the government's childcare package will make childcare less affordable for many families.

Stephanie Peatling 7:44 AM   Government under pressure to release details of childcare package ahead of its introduction to Parliament.

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Never getting back to surplus: Budget billions worse than forecast as revenue crumbles

Treasurer Scott Morrison said this month the government did not have "a revenue problem" if the term meant a need to tax people more in order to raise more revenue.

Gareth Hutchens and Peter Martin 7:44 AM   The Australian budget is facing deficits $38 billion worse than forecast and on present settings will never return to surplus, an authoritative new analysis finds.

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Turnbull pays respect to Paris terror victims in memorial visit

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joins New Zealand's John Key to lay flowers for victims of the Paris terror attacks.

Tom Arup 6:56 AM   Malcolm Turnbull has paid his respects to the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks with an evening visit to the Bataclan theatre, the site of the most deaths during the November violence on the streets of the French capital.

Optimism as 140 world leaders gather for change summit

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrives for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta.

Adam Morton 6:05 PM   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is coming from the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta, where he lobbied other Commonwealth leaders and criticised Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's uncosted pledge on greenhouse gas emissions.

Is this Malcolm Turnbull's moment to stand up on climate change?

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrives for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta.

Tom Arup 4:00 PM   For a political figure once defined by his strong stance on climate change, Malcolm Turnbull has kept his powder remarkably dry on the issue since becoming Prime Minister

Government minister accuses Grand Mufti of a failure of leadership

Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg.

Stephanie Peatling 2:29 PM   A senior cabinet minister has broken ranks with his colleagues and criticised the Grand Mufti of Australia for failing to adequately condemn the Paris attacks.

Turnbull dismisses Shorten's emissions target as both head to Paris

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrives for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta.

Lloyd Jones, AAP   Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed Bill Shorten's 45 per cent emissions reduction target as a "heroic offer" that is too expensive, as he prepares to fly to Paris for key climate change talks.

Syrian refugee crisis likely to get worse: Peter Dutton

Bleak assessment: Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

David Wroe   Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says the Syrian refugee crisis will likely "get worse before it gets better", signalling a pessimistic assessment of global efforts to find a political circuit-breaker for the war-torn nation.

$600,000 windfall for wind farm watchdog

Andrew Dyer is Australia's first National Wind Farm Commissioner.

Adam Gartrell   The Turnbull government's controversial wind farm watchdog will earn more than $600,000 in the part-time role.

Special childcare help for parents on irregular hours

Parents who work irregular hours will not miss our on childcare subsidies under the forthcoming Jobs for Families package.

Adam Gartrell   EXCLUSIVE: Special arrangements will be put in place to ensure parents who work irregular hours – such as fly-in fly-out workers – don't miss out on the Turnbull government's new childcare subsidy.

Consultant costs cancel out salary savings

Have public servants made redundant just been replaced by more expensive consultants?

Adam Gartrell   EXCLUSIVE: The money federal government departments are saving through job cuts is being cancelled out by a massive increase in expenditure on high-paid consultants and contractors.

Re-Joyce! What a card – Barnaby re-enacts Christmas past

Barnaby Joyce and Warren Truss  during question time at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 26 November 2015. Photo: Andrew Meares

Adam Gartrell   He's a little rounder, his hair has thinned and his grinning face is an even brighter shade of red. But overall, 10 years in politics hasn't done too much physical damage to Barnaby Joyce.

Republican PM Malcolm Turnbull meets the Queen

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrives for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta.

Lloyd Jones   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, an avowed republican, has met the Queen at the opening of the CHOGM leaders' meeting in Malta.

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi mistakenly quotes neo-Nazi

Senator Cory Bernardi.

Kate Aubusson and Fergus Hunter   Liberal senator Cory Bernardi was the toast of Twitter on Friday as it was revealed he mistakenly quoted an American neo-Nazi charged with child pornography offences.

Between a rock and horse stud: coalmine verdicts divide communities

The location of two stud farms close to Anglo American's Drayton operations in the Hunter Valley could stymie expansion plans.

Peter Hannam   The Baird government has been accused of ranking the health of horses above humans after a coal mine near famous studs got knocked back but another near a Hunter village won approval.

Consumers lose as banks snub Apple's 'digital wallet' system: MP

Labor MP Ed Husic believes Australians are being denied choices in digital payments.

Heath Aston   The Reserve Bank has been urged to examine potential anti-competitive behaviour in the emerging card-free payments market amid claims the banks have frozen out newcomer Apple Pay.

Poll finds Abbott's assumed security strength a misconception

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday.

Heath Aston   Tony Abbott's principal perceived strength over Malcolm Turnbull – his uncompromising approach to national security – is an illusion, according to a surprise national poll.

12,000 disappointed students as Vocation collapses

Vocation is widely expected to be liquidated and its financial affairs examined thoroughly.

Sarah Danckert and Eryk Bagshaw   The push for reform of the vocational education sector has ramped up in the wake of the collapse of Vocation.

How Australia plans to stop radicalisation in its tracks

Dr Hass Dellal: The programs build local networks to "identify who in the community you feel confident going to with a particular concern you have".

David Wroe   "Let's be realistic. Not many people are going to ring up the [national security] hotline and dob in a son."

Mystery asylum seeker boat 'pushed back by Australian navy' found

Asylum seekers whose boat was pushed back to sea by the Australian Navy have been found stranded in Indonesia.

Jewel Topsfield, Karuni Rompies and Amilia Rosa   Sixteen asylum seekers whose boat was pushed back to sea by the Australian Navy last week were found stranded near West Kupang in Indonesia on Thursday night.

Police guidelines on death penalty nations should be codified: Ruddock

Restrictions on police would require them to seek permission from elected officials before sharing information that could lead to the death penalty, says Philip Ruddock.

Jane Lee   Police should face tighter restrictions on when they can share information with nations that impose the death penalty in the wake of Indonesia's execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, says Philip Ruddock, who was attorney-general when the Bali nine were arrested.

Indonesia protests boat push-back policy

The male asylum seekers, who are from India, Nepal and Bangladesh, at Nusa Tenggara Timur police station.

Jewel Topsfield   Tensions have once again flared between Indonesia and Australia over asylum seeker policy after a boat that was pushed back from Christmas Island by the Royal Australian Navy ran out of fuel off Indonesia.

Filipinos "on $150 a week" replace Portland's seafarers: protest grows

Save Our Ships: crewmen on the MV Portland protest.

Tony Wright   The Senate has rejected the government's proposed Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill which would have allowed foreign flagged ships paying third-world wages to undercut Australian-flagged ships on the domestic cargo trade.

Push for inquiry into Australia's $24 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter purchase

An F-35 in flight off the coast of Florida.

Daniel Flitton   A push to examine the wisdom of Australia's planned $24 billion fleet of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters - ranking as the nation's largest ever defence purchase - is underway in the senate.

Attacks on Labor's climate plan 'nonsense': expert

Bill Shorten announced Labor would seek substantially tough cuts to emissions.

Nicole Hasham   It is a "nonsense" to claim deep emissions cuts would smash the economy while ignoring the economic cost of floods, heatwaves, and other climate change fallout, an expert says, as the Turnbull government and industry attacked Labor's plan to dramatically slash greenhouse gas pollution.

Federal politics quiz: The week ending November 27

Mal Brough during question time at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday.

Fergus Hunter   Mal Brough is under pressure, conservative MPs are angry and the PM's travelling the world. Here are ten questions.