Political news

Barnaby's intervention in Rinehart court battle 'dangerous'

Latika Bourke and Adele Ferguson 6:02 PM   The son of billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart has lashed out at cabinet minister Barnaby Joyce's "dangerous" intervention in the court battle over a $5 billion trust and questioned whether the potential Nationals Leader is fit to serve as a Minister.

Don't burden future generations by leaving emissions cuts to them: Garnaut

Professor Ross Garnaut says Australia must not leave the burden of deep emissions cuts to future generations.

Tom Arup, Environment Editor 4:54 PM   The former climate adviser to two Labor governments, Professor Ross Garnaut, says Australia should ensure the heaviest burden of cutting greenhouse gases is not pushed onto future generations, and new emissions targets should be set accordingly.

Blanchett to speak at Plibersek fundraiser

Cast member Cate Blanchett attends a news conference for the film "Carol" in competition at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, May 17, 2015.              REUTERS/Yves Herman

Latika Bourke 4:52 PM   Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett will appear as the star attraction at a major fundraising event for the opposition's most senior woman in Federal Parliament – Tanya Plibersek.

Shorten releases details of same-sex marriage bill

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will introduce his same-sex marriage bill to Federal Parliament on Monday.

James Massola 4:41 PM   The words "man and woman" and "husband and wife" will be replaced by "two people" in the Marriage Act under Bill Shorten's proposal to redefine marriage in Australia.

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Lay off Gina says former federal MP

Gina Rinehart, chairwoman of Hancock Prospecting.

Latika Bourke 4:16 PM   Former federal Liberal MP Alby Schultz has launched a passionate defence of his longtime friend and billionaire Gina Rinehart, urging the Australian media to lay off the country's most successful businesswoman.

Treasury to spend $36m on advertising campaigns

Science broadcaster Karl Kruszelnicki - Dr Karl - fronted the campaign for the controversial Intergenerational Report.

Matthew Knott 4:06 PM   The Abbott government plans to spend over $36 million on advertising campaigns promoting the Intergenerational Report, this year's budget and its white paper on tax reform.

Bitter fight ensues over education funding

Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

3:57 PM   A fight about federal education funding is either over $30 billion or absolutely nothing, depending on which political party you believe.

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School officials join radicalisation fight

Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne is meeting in Brisbane with his state and territory counterparts.

2:23 PM   ​Senior education officials will support law enforcement agencies to prevent Australian schoolchildren from being radicalised and lured overseas by foreign fighters.

ALP push to clip negative gearing

There is a push from within Labor for negative gearing to be scrapped

Mark Kenny 1:57 PM   A new push within the Australian Labor Party for a change to Australia's generous negative gearing laws looks set for discussion at July's national conference in a development which could add to the degree of electoral difficulty for Bill Shorten heading into the next election. 

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'Dangerous': John Hancock blasts Barnaby Joyce's intervention in Rinehart trust case

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Latika Bourke Lisa Cox, Louise Hall 12:36 PM   The son of billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart has lashed out at cabinet minister Barnaby Joyce's "dangerous" intervention in the court battle over a $5 billion trust.

Warren Entsch, LGBTI champion

Warren Entsch has been a vocal advocate for the rights of LGBTI Australians.

Matthew Knott 11:57 AM   The politician's long-running advocacy has somewhat humble origins.

Greens confirm talks with Labor and Liberal MPs about same-sex marriage bill

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young: "Tony Abbott needs political cover on this issue and the way for him to achieve that is for a tri-partisan bill."

James Massola 11:24 AM   Momentum for a cross-party same sex marriage bill is growing, with Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young confirming she has also had discussions with Liberal MP Warren Entsch and Labor MP Graham Perrett about backing a "tri-partisan bill" that would end the political impasse over the issue.

Indigenous groups mount fresh legal challenge to coal mine

Traditional owners will travel to the US and Europe to urge international banks not to finance the Adani project.

Lisa Cox 10:12 AM   Indigenous landholders will mount a fresh Federal Court challenge to the development in the Galilee Basin of Australia's largest coal mine.

The videos that won the Irish same-sex marriage vote

Screenshot of James Mitchell's Ring Your Granny YouTube video in support of marriage equality.

Josephine Tovey 7:14 AM   We take a look at some of the most powerful videos released in the lead-up to the successful Irish referendum for marriage equality.

Driverless cars: closer and safer than you think

The interior of the Mercedes F 015, a driverless model.

Richard Willingham 6:01 AM   The age of driverless cars and trucks is rapidly approaching and will help improve road safety by wiping out human error, a global transport summit has heard. And Australia's Deputy PM backs their use.

Government slams Labor over siege politicking

Mark Dreyfus during question time at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday.

Mark Kenny 1:53 AM   The federal government has accused the opposition of breaching the normal bipartisanship over national security during heated opposition questioning over intelligence failures in the lead-up to the Martin Place siege in December 2014.

Same-sex marriage circuit-breaker emerges as Liberals, Labor MPs propose compromise

Warren Entsch

James Massola 1:52 AM   Liberal MP Warren Entsch and Labor MP Graham Perrett are prepared to team-up on a same-sex marriage bill in a potential circuit-breaker that would end the political impasse over the social reform.

Ban Ki-Moon challenges the transport sector to take action on climate change

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: "All of us most do more, the global thermostat continues to rise."

Richard Willingham 12:41 AM   Australian Deputy PM Warren Truss says any action at December's Paris meeting needs to include a commitment from developing nations to do their bit for climate change.

Will Great Barrier Reef be declared endangered by UN?

Climate change still poses the biggest risk to the Great Barrier Reef.

Tom Arup and Lisa Cox 11:05 PM   Early on Saturday morning we get the biggest clue yet to whether the Great Barrier Reef will be deemed a world heritage site "in danger".

Too early to consider fresh World Cup bid, says Ley

Sport  Minister Sussan Ley said it was ''inappropriate to be talking about putting more taxpayers' funds into a rebid when we have serious allegations about corruption unfolding''.

Dan Harrison 9:23 PM   Federal Sport Minister Sussan Ley said it was too early to consider Australia making another World Cup bid while corruption allegations cast a shadow over the sport's governing body.

Economic outlook bleak

A Chinese ship is loaded with soybeans at Port of Santos May 19, 2015.

Peter Martin 9:03 PM   Two weeks after the budget, Australia's economic outlook is bleak.

Australia must choose between strategic, economic security: expert

National security issues

David Wroe 8:01 PM   Australia will have to choose between safeguarding itself against a strategic "storm brewing" and economic "dark clouds" gathering, the nation's leading independent defence economist says.

State and federal ministers head for education showdown

Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne.

Josh Gordon   Victorian and South Australian governments say states may be unable to deliver "high quality" standards for all students because of federal budget cuts.

Government denies starving FOI watchdog of funds

Transparency secrecy generic

Markus Mannheim   Former Supreme Court judges say inadequate funding makes government 'less transparent and accountable'.

Home insulation scheme was 'appalling policy', says Combet's chief of staff -

Allan Behm

Latika Bourke    Kevin Rudd's home insulation scheme was "appalling public policy, appallingly executed" and drove advisers working on the program "close to despair", says former climate minister Greg Combet's chief of staff.

Dole no 'Ikea catalogue': Morrison

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison.

Lisa Cox   A proposal that relaxes a government plan to make young people wait six months for the dole should not be treated like an "Ikea catalogue to go shopping for benefits", Social Services Minister Scott Morrison has said.

Don't put competition policy reform in the too-hard basket, says small-business lobby

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry boss Kate Carnell is worried about the government's decision to ditch the small business commissioner at the ACCC.

Nassim Khadem   ACCI chief Kate Carnell hopes the government will be brave enough to implement Harper's proposed reforms, backing most of the proposals.

Defence pay offer could leave military short-staffed: expert

The Abbott government's approach to defence pay could lead to recruitment problems.

David Wroe   The Abbott government is conducting a "brave experiment" by giving military personnel below-average pay rises.

Australians expect a Liberal conscience vote: Shorten

Shocked if no free vote: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

James Massola   Australians will be "shocked" if Prime Minister Tony Abbott fails to grant Liberal MPs a conscience vote on same-sex marriage, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says, while conceding the issue has to be handled in a bipartisan fashion.