Political news

Govt slammed for dumping popular electrician apprenticeship program

Matthew Raggatt 10:30 PM   Program had doubled the retention rate of apprentice electricians to more than 90 per cent. 

Turnbull faces his toughest crowd

Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull.

Harriet Alexander 4:16 PM   Newly minted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull faced his toughest audience in his address to the NSW Liberal Party State Council on Saturday.

Tony Abbott's parting gift: an $80,000 catering bill

Parting gift: Tony Abbott's visit to Cape York.

Adam Gartrell 11:25 AM   Tony Abbott's final visit to remote indigenous communities left taxpayers with an eye-watering $80,000 food and catering bill.

Philippines better than Cambodia for refugees 'losing their minds': advocates

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and Major General Andrew Bottrell at Parliament House on Friday.

Nicole Hasham 2:31 AM   A potential deal to resettle Manus Island refugees in the Philippines would be better than Australia's trouble-plagued deal with Cambodia and may offer solace to detainees who are "losing their minds", refugee advocates say.

Turnbull defends use of personal email

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said

Matthew Knott, Ben Grubb   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended his use of a personal email account and self-destructing messaging applications to communicate with colleagues, despite concerns about the security and transparency implications of the practice.

Push for post-Abbott boost to ABC

ABC managing director Mark Scott.

Matthew Knott   The ABC will try to seize on Tony Abbott's demise as prime minister to push for fresh funding from the Turnbull government to pay for its news and current affairs services.

Turnbull announces anti-terrorism summit

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney on Friday.

David Wroe and Judith Ireland   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will hold an urgent stocktake meeting on counter-terrorism policy next week as he seeks to reach out to Muslim Australians as the nation's frontline against extremists.

Turnbull pleads for mutual respect in wake of terror attack

"If we want to be respected ... then we have to respect others": Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday.

Judith Ireland   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has issued a plea for unity and tolerance in Australia, describing violent extremism as a "challenge to the most fundamental Australian values".

Politics quiz: Were you paying attention?

Immigration minister Peter Dutton

Fergus Hunter   10 questions on all things TPP, Liberal politics and penalty rates.

'It's going to blow': Fears of more violence as detention centre opened

Asylum seekers on Nauru fear living in the community more than in detention.

Tom Allard   As Nauru opens its detention centre, its helps the Australian government more than asylum seekers.

Turnbull government appoints Australia's first wind farm commissioner

The Turnbull government has appointed a wind farm commissioner to handle complaints against the industry.

Tom Arup   Australia's first wind farm commissioner has been appointed by the Turnbull government, with the former chairman of the telecommunications industry watchdog, Andrew Dyer, to take the role for three years.

Victim of Nauru rape likely to receive abortion: Dutton

Immigration minister Peter Dutton

Latika Bourke   Did you sign an online petition demanding the Government act? Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says he they have no effect on how Australia treats refugees.

Indonesia close to annual figure for live cattle

Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce

Jewel Topsfield   Indonesia appears to be moving towards an annual figure for the import of live cattle with an upbeat Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce announcing "I know the outcome but I am not going to say what it is" following a meeting in Jakarta.

Australia should welcome Wilders: Bernardi

Anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom, says he has been granted a visa to Australia.

Latika Bourke   Liberal senator Cory Bernardi says Australia should welcome Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders to Australia because he could be the Netherlands' next prime minister.

Questions raised over Turnbull's use of private email

Conciliatory: Malcolm Turnbull.

Ben Grubb   Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull continues to use a non-government email server to conduct communications with others.

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Australia in talks to resettle refugees in the Philippines

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

Latika Bourke, Lindsay Murdoch   Refugees who travelled to Australia by boat could be permanently resettled in the Philippines under a deal being negotiated, but senior government sources fear the premature leaking of the deal to the media could see the proposal scuttled.

Loughnane exit the end for power trio

Following the 2013 election Loughnane foreshadowed that the Abbott government would spend the next 18 months rebuilding Australia's economy and strengthening the budget.

James Massola   His relationship with Peta Credlin attracted the headlines, but behind the scenes Brian Loughnane was regarded as a steady hand during 12 years at the helm of the Liberal Party.

Nauru detention camp 'not controlled by Australia': government lawyers

The High Court has been told Australia does not control the Nauru detention camp.

Nicole Hasham   Australia does not control the controversial Nauru detention camp and a Bangladeshi mother and baby who are "terrified" of being returned there would be free to come and go, the High Court has heard.

Hinch weighs election bid as anti-paedophile candidate

Derryn Hinch is set to announce he is running for the Senate in the 2016 federal election.

Heath Aston   Derryn Hinch wants to be part of the democracy show.

Defence Minister rejects expert concerns of 'rushed' subs bidding process

Defence Minister Marise Payne.

David Wroe   Defence Minister Marise Payne has dismissed a growing chorus of expert concern that the government's process for choosing a new submarine is rushed and will lead to a decision based on scant information.

$50b sub building program 'would bring Japan and Australia closer together'

Japan says its bid to build Australia's replacement for the Collins Class submarine would bring the countries' two navies closer.

David Wroe   Japan sees its bid for Australia's $50 billion submarine program as just one step in deepening defence ties that would also see the two nations' navies work closely together on joint-operations such as enforcing freedom on the seas.

Shorten's bid to be Qld's infrastructure hero

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 08:  Opposition leader Bill Shorten addresses the Queensland Media Club at the Royal International Convention Centre at the Brisbane Showgrounds on Thursday October 8, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Michelle Smith/Fairfax Media)

Amy Remeikis   Bill Shorten wants to be the new infrastructure prime minister.

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Fall in women on government boards

Minister for Women Michaelia Cash.

Judith Ireland   The number of women on federal government boards has dropped slightly over the past year, with only 39.1 per cent of positions held by women. 

Treasury to Turnbull: We've got your back on tax

The head of Treasury's tax analysis division, Roger Brake, says that tax reform involves tradeoffs.

Nassim Khadem   A top Treasury official has publicly pledged the department will help Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sell the case for difficult tax reform.

One quarter of Nauru asylum seekers face order to go home

Asylum seekers on Nauru

Nicole Hasham   About 150 asylum seekers on Nauru face being sent home as the island's government concedes its promise to process all remaining refugee claims this week will not be met.

Loughnane quits as Liberal Party federal director

Brian Loughnane has been federal director of the Liberal Party since 2003.

Latika Bourke   Brian Loughnane has quit as federal director of the Liberal Party but insists his decision to go was in train well before last month's leadership coup, which saw his wife, Peta Credlin, and her boss Tony Abbott ousted from the Prime Minister's office.

Federal climate authority may be spared the axe

Wendy Craik, the new chair of the Climate Change Authority, when she was head of the National Farmers Federation in 2000.

Peter Hannam   The Turnbull government has appointed former National Farmers Federation head Wendy Craik and four others to the board of the Climate Change Authority for five-year terms, indicating the agency may yet be spared the axe.

Shorten calls on Turnbull to do stop dithering over refugee rape case

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Latika Bourke   Bill Shorten hits out at Malcolm Turnbull's dithering.