Political news

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

Peter Martin 7:56 AM   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 - he says doing nothing is not an option when it comes to tax reform.

Peter Hartcher 5:39 AM   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.

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Joyce elected Nationals leader

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

Mark Kenny 1:01 AM   Barnaby Joyce has been elected as the leader of the Nationals in a party room meeting in Canberra, following Warren Truss' decision to retire.

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How a politician changed the national conversation on mental health

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb addresses the media during a doorstop interview at the Press Gallery in ...

Matthew Knott 11:11 PM   He's landed major trade deals and held some of the most senior roles in federal politics. But Andrew Robb's real legacy is not the most obvious.

'Vital' climate work not for chop: CSIRO chief

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

Peter Hannam 9:20 PM   The Senate has grilled CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall for two hours over the number and process of scientist job cuts.

Work for the dole barely works: review

Minister for Employment, senator Michaelia Cash.

Heath Aston 9:09 PM   The Coalition's $1 billion work for the dole scheme has improved the probability that an unemployed person will find a job by just two percentage points, a government-commissioned review has found.

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AFP officers have contracted Zika virus

A pregnant woman has tested positive for the Zika virus in south-east Queensland.

David Wroe 9:00 PM   Several Australian Federal Police officers have contracted Zika virus – the subject of a global health emergency – while on deployment overseas, including in the Solomon Islands to Australia's north.

Speaking out about asylum seekers: Talk about confusing!

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton took exception to an article published by Fairfax Media this week.

Bianca Hall and Henrietta Cook 7:17 PM   Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has lashed out at suggestions that principals and others could be jailed for speaking out about the treatment of asylum seekers in their care, under tough federal laws.

Gender discrimination 'isn't just about a few sexists jokes'

Kate Jenkins

Judith Ireland 6:30 PM   Australia's new sex discrimination commissioner is Kate Jenkins, the Turnbull government announced on Thursday.

'World War III': the race to replace Robb

Alexander Downer's daughter, Georgina Downer, is a front-runner in the race to take Andrew Robb's seat.

Adam Gartrell, Richard Willingham and Mark Kenny 5:07 PM   The race to replace outgoing Trade Minister Andrew Robb in his blue-ribbon Liberal seat "will be World War III" as frontrunners Georgina Downer and Tim Wilson and a swath of other contenders battle it out.

Letter from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to Fairfax Media

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton on Thursday

4:49 PM   Your front page states: "…principal Paul Dingle risks being jailed to speak out for three asylum seekers…." Later the article goes on "…he could run foul of the Border Force Act which threatens imprisonment for 'entrusted persons' who disclose information about detention centres….".

Why tinned tomatoes will cost more

Granora tinned tomatoes

Esther Han 4:27 PM   The days of cheap tinned tomatoes are over, with the federal government backing a decision to slap anti-dumping measures on two Italian giants that account for half of Australia's tinned tomato market.

Church snub over MP's same sex marriage stance

Independent MP Cathy McGowan has had her invitation to give the Mary Mackillop Oration withdrawn due to her views on ...

Adam Morton 4:14 PM   Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has intervened this week to cancel a planned keynote speech at a Catholic Church conference by independent MP Cathy McGowan due to her support for same sex marriage.

New Nationals leader to be chosen on Thursday

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says decentralisation is "a real priority for this government".

James Massola 2:21 PM   Barnaby Joyce is favourite to be chosen as Nationals leader and deputy prime minister by the end of Thursday, after a dramatic escalation of current leader Warren Truss' exit timetable.

Call for death tax on 'super rich' families

Charitable giving in Australia from the rich is low compared to Britain and America.

Nassim Khadem 1:48 PM   Tens of thousands of 'super rich' Australians would feel the burden of a new death tax, according to Community Council for Australia chairman Tim Costello.

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Parliament pays tribute to retiring deputy PM Warren Truss

Warren Truss will retire from politics at the 2016 election and will stand down as leader immediately.

Adam Gartrell 1:46 PM   Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Warren Truss has confirmed he is leaving politics.

Childcare changes: 45,000 families to lose out because of high childcare fees

About 184,000 families would lose support in the new childcare package.

Judith Ireland 12:41 PM   About 45,000 families will be worse off under the Coalition's childcare reforms because they pay childcare fees that are higher than the upper limits of the government's new subsidy rate.

'Maybe I'm naive': CSIRO's Larry Marshall tries again to explain deep staff cuts

Trying again: CSIRO chief Larry Marshall makes an internal video that the staff union dubs a "puff piece".

Peter Hannam 12:16 PM   CSIRO chief Larry Marshall has stepped up efforts to convince staff that the plan to lop 350 jobs will be good for the organisation, according to a transcript of an internal video leaked by disgruntled employees.


"What?" Katy Gallagher explains mansplain to Mitch Fifield

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is keen to introduce a media reform package to Parliament.

Judith Ireland 11:40 AM   The Senate's community affairs committee is not usually one associated with fireworks. 

Robb all but endorses Downer to replace him in Parliament

Georgina Downer

Adam Gartrell and Mark Kenny 10:04 AM   Outgoing Trade Minister Andrew Robb has indicated he wants to see a woman replace him in his Melbourne seat, all but endorsing Georgina Downer - daughter of former foreign minister Alexander Downer - for the role.

ATO warns 60 multinationals 'enough is enough' on tax avoidance

Australian Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan says there is no intention to move large numbers of public servants away from ...

Heath Aston   The Australian Tax Office has warned 60 multinational companies to "stop gaming the system" and start paying their tax.

Bungle leaves 42 mining approvals in sensitive oceans unlawful, Josh Frydenberg says

The bureaucratic error has rendered 42 approvals for oil and gas operations in sensitive marine areas invalid.

Nicole Hasham   A bureaucratic error has rendered eight years' worth of approvals for oil and gas operations in sensitive marine areas invalid, Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg has revealed, forcing the government and Labor to rush through laws to make the projects legal.

Ministerial exodus unbalances Turnbull team

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during question time at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 10 February 2016. ...

Mark Kenny   What's going on? Suddenly, the smooth and toboganable brow of the Turnbull administration is furrowed as a series of ministerial crises, dismissals and resignations wreaks havoc.

Senator Wang: 'Learn from China' on corruption

PUP senator Zhenya 'Dio' Wang: "Entire dynasties fell because of corruption."

Heath Aston   Parliament is set to hear months of evidence of corruption and lawlessness across all sectors - wider than just the union movement - with the imminent establishment of an inquiry into the need for a national integrity watchdog similar to the Independent Commission Against Corruption in NSW.

Fears of dam collapse in Iraq spurs emergency plan by military

Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin says the collapse of the Mosul Dam would be a humanitarian ...

David Wroe   The threat of a collapsing dam in Iraq that could send water flooding over millions of people has forced Australia's military to make emergency plans to protect soldiers and diplomats.

Recognition next year 'achievable': PM

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during question time. He wants a referendum worded to 'sing' to Aboriginal and Torres ...

Michael Gordon and Fergus Hunter   Malcolm Turnbull has declared that a referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution is achievable next year, saying the first hurdle is to come up with a form of words that "sings" to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Closing the Gap: Five numbers that should shame Australia

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivers his Closing the Gap report speech in Parliament.

Fergus Hunter   Indigenous Australians continue to die younger, be out of work more and have less education than other Australians, the annual Closing the Gap report has again revealed.

$440,000 to model tax, but the results shouldn't be taken literally

Senator Arthur Sinodinos says the results will be released soon.

Peter Martin   The government is paying private consultants $440,000 to model the effects of tax changes in an exercise the head of the Treasury says shouldn't be taken too literally.

SBS chairman resigns

SBS chairman Nihal Gupta has resigned for 'personal family reasons'.

Matthew Knott   SBS chairman Nihal Gupta will resign from the broadcaster after a controversial 16 months in the role.