Political news

Why Abbott is yet to criticise Labor MP on entitlements

Mark Kenny 2:33 PM   Malcolm Turnbull doesn't like the term "travel entitlement". The communicationally gifted Communications Minister is a former journalist and barrister, so he knows a thing or two about the power of words in conveying the correct meaning.

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No evidence for dole wait, welfare groups tell Senate


Judith Ireland 2:14 PM   Community and welfare groups have slammed the Abbott government's plans to make young unemployed people wait four weeks to get the dole, telling a Senate committee there is no evidence it will help vulnerable youths find work. 

Kokoda aid program of 'limited value'

Entering Naduri Village, Kokoda.

Rory Callinan 12:22 PM   Australian taxpayer funded projects on the Kokoda Track were poorly coordinated and some were unsuccessful, an internal government report has revealed.

Federal Court overturns approval of Adani's Carmichael mine


Lisa Cox 11:48 AM   Environmentalists have had a big win in their case against Australia's largest coal mine after the Federal Court overturned federal environmental approval granted to Adani.

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Pyne cautions against 'Salem witch trial' over expenses

Education Minister Christopher Pyne says if Liberal colleagues want to given Bronwyn Bishop advice about her future "they should do it to her face".

Latika Bourke 9:49 AM    Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne has hit out at his "cowardly" colleagues privately briefing the media urging former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop to retire.

Labor, unions in fresh scare campaign over workplace law report

Peter Harris, Chairman of the Productivity Commission.

Mark Kenny, Anna Patty, Jane Lee 7:01 AM   A proposal for a new take-it-or-leave-it class of "enterprise contracts" reminiscent of the Howard government's much-loathed Work Choices laws has sparked a fresh scare campaign by Labor and the unions, despite the Abbott government distancing itself from the idea and another to cut Sunday penalty rates.

Coalition rejects call by own advisers for extra scrutiny on polluters


Nicole Hasham 1:15 AM   The Abbott government has rejected a call by its own independent advisers to impose extra scrutiny on polluters to ensure billions of taxpayer dollars are not spent on emissions cuts that would have occurred anyway.

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Power sector emissions jump most in decade as black coal use surges

Carbon emissions are climbing in the power sector.

Peter Hannam 10:05 PM   Carbon emissions from the country's main electricity grid have jumped at an annual rate of about 2 million tonnes in the past two months, the quickest pace in more than a decade, according to analysis by energy consultancy Pitt & Sherry.

Nothing much wrong with workplace relations system, says Productivity Commission

Peter Martin dinkus

Peter Martin 7:53 PM   The most important finding of the Productivity Commission's workplace relations inquiry is perhaps the most surprising, given how keen the government was to set it up: "Australia's recent labour market performance does not suggest a dysfunctional system".

'He'd be tarnished': Bishop's helicopter aide could succeed her

Bronwyn Bishop has held the seat of Mackellar since 1994.

James Robertson 7:50 PM   Former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has not announced her retirement from federal parliament but speculation about a replacement for her blue ribbon seat reached fever pitch on Tuesday.

South Australia wins in $40b shipbuilding plan

Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets with Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday 28 July 2015. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Lisa Cox 7:47 PM   The government has unveiled an $89 billion plan to cement South Australia as Australia's ship building hub.

How to save $9 billion: cut negative gearing, trim capital gains tax concession

Negative gearing and capital gains tax have been examined in a Parliamentary Budget Office inquiry.

Peter Martin 12:00 AM   Limiting negative gearing to new properties and cutting the discount on capital gains tax would save the budget $9 billion over four years, the Parliamentary Budget Office has found.

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Canberra's 18,000 empty desks cost the taxpayer $5000 a pop

Canberra already has one of the highest office vacancy rates in the country.

Phillip Thomson 11:30 PM   It's a time of austerity. But here are the phantom work stations Aussie taxpayers are footing the bill for.

Brisbane MP Teresa Gambaro rules out Speaker run

Brisbane MP Teresa Gambaro has waved goodbye to her chances of becoming Speaker.

Cameron Atfield 6:07 PM   Brisbane MP Teresa Gambaro has ruled herself out of the running for the vacant Speaker's position in Federal Parliament.

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All volunteer work should qualify parents for childcare payments, providers say


Judith Ireland 3:43 PM   Volunteering for activities such Meals on Wheels and at school tuck shops should count as "work" that will qualify parents for childcare payments, major childcare providers say.

Leak investigation kept secret, as committee dissolves

Wind turbine, windfarm

Nicole Hasham 3:34 PM   The Senate committee that examined the health effects of wind farms has vanished without a trace – and so too has an investigation into who leaked its draft findings.

Abbott tried to shut down motion on 18C

Federal Director of the Liberal Party: Brian Loughnane.

Latika Bourke   Tony Abbott wasted no time in the days after the Labor Party's national conference to rip into the opposition for being "dangerously divided" on issues including border security and same sex marriage.

Productivity Commission recommends partial deregulation of penalty rates

Cafe workers

Jane Lee, Mark Kenny   Employees would be able to take public holidays at a different time with full penalty rates and negotiate for longer annual leave in lieu of pay rises under a wide range of proposed changes to Australia's workplace relations framework.

'Don... No, he's dead': academic's embarrassing blunder

Scott Burchill's blunder has been described as "painfully awkward".

Appearing on live television in the early hours has its perils as academic and political commentator Dr Scott Burchill​ discovered on Tuesday morning when he named a dead MP as a potential replacement for outgoing speaker Bronwyn Bishop.

Abbott to announce SA shipbuilding program

New major shipbuilding projects are expected to include frigates.

Lisa Cox   Prime Minister Tony Abbott is set to announce a $20 billion plan to build future frigates in Adelaide as the government looks to restore its political fortunes in South Australia.

Bishop's parliamentary career all but over: Abbott

Bronwyn Bishop was another of Tony Abbott's failed "captain's picks".

Latika Bourke   Prime Minister Tony Abbott has all but declared Bronwyn Bishop's political career over, following her resignation from the Speakership in disgrace over her lavish use of taxpayer-funded travel perks.

Strong field to contest speakership as doubts surround Bishop's political future

Mrs Bishop's office says the former Speaker intends to recontest her seat at the next election.

Mark Kenny and Peter Hartcher   Victorian Liberal Tony Smith and South Australian Liberal Andrew Southcott have emerged as the most promising chances to fill the void left by disgraced former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop.

Tougher rules: the MP entitlements facing scrutiny

Bronwyn Bishop was another of Tony Abbott's failed "captain's picks".

Lisa Cox   Prime Minister Tony Abbott has promised a sweeping review of parliamentary entitlements after the resignation of Bronwyn Bishop as speaker. But what rules and perks could be put under the inquiry's microscope?

Senate inquiry calls for new national rules to curb wind farms

The Capital Wind Farm near Canberra.

Tom Arup   The Abbott government should draw up national rules dictating how wind farms are built and operated and punish states that do not accept them, a Senate committee inquiry into wind turbines has urged.

Abbott's tweet comes back to bite him

Never tweet: Prime Minister Tony Abbott is being reminded of an unfortunate four-year-old tweet.

Michael Koziol   The internet is an unforgiving beast. It makes fact-checking simple, scrutiny constant and history impossible to erase. In such circumstances words can easily come back to bite you.

Bishop allegations 'no different' from Slipper's: Lawyer

Former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper leaves court after being sentenced to 300 hours community service last year. He was later cleared on appeal.

Christopher Knaus   Peter Slipper's lawyer says his client was denied the opportunity to deal with expenses claims internally.

Security laws on asylum seekers, foreign fighters 'should be reviewed'

George Brandis

Jane Lee   National security laws to boost the Abbott government's powers over returning foreign fighters and asylum seekers who arrive by boat, and the controversial section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act are among those that interfere with "traditional freedoms" and should be reviewed, the Australian Law Reform Commission says.

Monis letter oversight tip of the iceberg

Back to the drawing board: Attorney-General's Department Secretary Chris Moraitis acknowledged staff voted down the offer.

Jane Lee   All of Lindt Café gunman Man Haron Monis' correspondence with ministers in the Attorney-General's Department since 2010 was overlooked when it passed documents to a review into the Lindt Café siege, due to an administrative spreadsheet error, a senate inquiry has revealed.

PM puts Indigenous support for recognition at risk

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon   Tony Abbott has endangered Indigenous support for constitutional recognition of the first Australians by ignoring the advice of Noel Pearson, the Indigenous leader he has called a visionary and a prophet.