Political news

Turnbull's rough week disguises talk about Shorten

James Massola 11:31 PM   Two resignations, one sacking, the GST off the table and a front bench reshuffle – it's been a difficult week for Malcolm Turnbull and his Coalition team.

Not making cents: five cent coin doomed

"Inevitable forces": Australia's 5 cent coin will soon die out.

Fergus Hunter 11:30 PM   The five cent piece will be withdrawn from circulation or die out naturally in the near future, according to the Royal Australian Mint and Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Alex Hawke.

Cabinet reshuffle: Malcolm Turnbull announces new frontbench as Mal Brough resigns

Replaced: Mal Brough and Jamie Briggs.

James Massola 8:53 PM   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dramatically re-shaped his frontbench and put his government on an election footing, promoting three new faces to cabinet including another woman.

Turnbull to promote younger generation to revamped frontbench

Steven Ciobo is poised to fill Andrew Robb's shoes.

James Massola 8:45 PM   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to promote a swag of younger MPs and increase the number of women in the executive.

Malcolm Turnbull's Cabinet reshuffle: who is up and who is down

The recently appointed Deputy Leader of the Nationals Senator Fiona Nash, now promoted to a cabinet role.

James Massola 8:43 PM   Some surprise faces make their way into ministry positions.


Turnbull's 'opportunity in disguise' can't hide failure of first ministry

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be hoping this cabinet performs better than his first.

Mark Kenny 8:14 PM   By definition, the biggest question posed by Malcolm Turnbull's emergency election-year reshuffle cannot be answered yet.

PM's "clever" promotion to end mooted challenge to Liberal rising star

Angus Taylor may face an internal challenge for his seat of Hume, which he won with more than 61 per cent of the ...

Matthew Raggatt 11:30 PM   The National Party's federal treasurer has warned he will push to run a candidate in Hume if sitting Liberal MP Angus Taylor is defeated in a looming preselection battle. 

Minister dumped as Turnbull eyes snap poll

Before the fall: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is all smiles the day before the sacking of Stuart Robert.

Mark Kenny 9:23 AM   Malcolm Turnbull has lost his third minister in as many months, but an imminent reshuffle, and a possible breakthrough on Senate voting reform may yet clear the way for an early double-dissolution election.

Internal tensions behind earlier release of GST modelling

Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull: overseeing the long tax debate.

Mark Kenny   Embattled minister to be sacked as tensions simmer between Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison.

MacTiernan pulls plug on Canberra... coy on WA return

Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan is coy on a return to state politics.

Ray Sparvell   Alannah MacTiernan confirmed on Friday she will quit federal politics at the next election, but has not revealed whether she will contest a state seat and – perhaps – the Labor leadership

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Late election changes a 'recipe for disaster'

Independent senator Nick Xenophon is at odds with Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm and independent senator ...

Heath Aston   The Turnbull Government has been warned it is running out of time to deliver senate voting reforms to end "preference harvesting", with one election expert saying the job of upgrading vote-counting software and reconfiguring millions of ballot papers would be a "recipe for disaster" for the trouble-prone Australian Electoral Commission if done at the last minute.

Japan denies information missing from submarine bid

Shunichi Miyanaga says Japan's bid is making "very smooth progress".

David Wroe   The Japanese consortium pitching to build Australia's $50 billion fleet of new submarines has denied reports that Australian officials have been forced to chase them for basic information including a detailed budget for their bid.

Shorten pledges no more negative gearing for existing homes

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says Labor's plans would represent "the most important structural budget reform in a decade".

Heath Aston   Negative gearing would be restricted to investments in new housing only under a Labor election policy that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says will save the federal budget $32 billion over a decade.

Negative gearing cap considered by Treasury


Peter Martin   Treasury is considering a universal cap on income tax deductions that would apply to negative gearing as well as employment-related expenses such as self education, transport, union fees and work-related clothing.

Turnbull government considering selling Australian Hearing

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says the government has yet to decide whether to privatise Australian Hearing.

Jane Lee   The Turnbull government is considering a proposal to sell Australian Hearing to a deaf children's charity, an international hearing aid manufacturer and a university.

Leaders failing to lead on tax: RBA governor

RBA governor Glenn Stevens: A failure of leadership.

Gareth Hutchens   The Reserve Bank governor has warned that Australia's political leaders are still failing to explain to voters why the standard of living they enjoy will not last without serious tax reform.

CSIRO chief Larry Marshall points his ship into a scientific storm

Nothing to see here: CSIRO plans to slash climate monitoring and modelling research.

Peter Hannam   Scientists are calling for CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall to change his mind and not slash key climate researchers by half.

CSIRO climate cuts 'devastating', almost 3000 scientists tell Turnbull

Larry Marshall, CSIRO's chief executive, has resisted calls to reconsider deep cuts to climate and other programs.

Peter Hannam   Almost 3000 scientists from nearly 60 nations have appealed to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other Australian leaders to halt CSIRO's plans to halve the number of researchers working on climate monitoring and modelling.

Nash back from the brink

NSW Nationals Senator Fiona Nash ... new deputy leader.

Matthew Knott   What a difference two years makes.

Malcolm Turnbull sacks Stuart Robert over China trip

Minister for Veterans' Affairs Stuart Robert on Wednesday

Adam Gartrell   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has sacked Stuart Robert from his frontbench for breaching ministerial rules during a trip to China.

Nationals MP compares same sex couples to randy rams

Andrew Broad

Staff Reporters   A first term Nationals MP in country Victoria has drawn the ire of his constituents after comparing same sex relationships with randy rams in a paddock.

Water, water everywhere but Nauru detainees 'missing out'

Water containers apparently left to disintegrate in open piles near the Nauru port. Photo believed to be taken late in 2015.

Nicole Hasham   Images of bottled water discarded at the Nauru tip or deteriorating outdoors have emerged, following reports that water shortages on the island mean asylum seekers use a washing machine as little as once a month and have limited access to drinking water.

Kevin Rudd's assessment of Australia's racism problem

 Sydney Swans AFL player Adam Goodes

Leesha McKenny   Former prime minister Kevin Rudd says it is "100 per cent bullshit" that the booing of Adam Goodes had nothing to do with his Aboriginality.

Financial markets are 'dropping their bundle': Reserve Bank boss Glenn Stevens

RBA governor Glenn Stevens says low interest rates and Australian dollar probably helped GDP grow at about 2.5 per cent ...

Adam Gartrell   Financial markets are "dropping their bundle" but it's unclear whether the volatility will hurt the Australian economy, Glenn Stevens says.

PM set to reshuffle as Joyce rises

Leaving: Trade Minister Andrew Robb and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss at Parliament House on Thursday.

Mark Kenny   Malcolm Turnbull has ended his most tumultuous day as Prime Minister with a new Deputy Prime Minister, another minister hanging on by his fingernails, and the pressing need for an unscheduled reshuffle expected within days.

'Vital' climate work not for chop: CSIRO chief

CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall, grilled over large-scale staff cuts.

Peter Hannam   The Senate has grilled CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall for two hours over the number and process of scientist job cuts.

Morrison's tax change: From the poor to the rich

Treasurer Scott Morrison modelled tax changes that would see the rich benefit at the expense of the poor.

Peter Martin   The most shocking thing in the treasury analysis delivered to Scott Morrison on January 25 isn't the finding that a cut in income tax funded by a lift in the goods and services tax would boost the economy not at all.

Doing nothing is not an option, says Morrison

Treasurer Scott Morrison during question time in Parliament on Wednesday.

Peter Hartcher   The tax system will automatically harvest so much extra tax from workers' pay packets that it will start to drag down economic growth over the next few years unless the government acts, according to the Treasury.

Joyce elected Nationals leader

If the hat fits... outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and his replacement Barnaby Joyce.

Mark Kenny   Barnaby Joyce has been elected as the leader of the Nationals in a party room meeting in Canberra, following Warren Truss' decision to retire.