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Federal Politics

Political Opinion

Paid parental leave, childcare: worth doing despite the economics

Peter Martin dinkus

PETER MARTIN Opinion Ask the minister responsible to explain Australia's present system of support for childcare and she can't.

Comments 36

Tony Abbott's next diplomatic challenge over MH17

Michael Gordon dinkus.

MICHAEL GORDON Opinion Having been firmer and sterner than all other leaders in his initial response to the MH17 catastrophe, Tony Abbott is now cautioning against 'facile optimism' in the difficult days ahead.

Comments 391

Double-standards let Jacqui Lambie off the hook for inappropriate 'well-hung' comments

PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie arrives for an interview in the press gallery at Parliament House as a Senator, in Canberra on Thursday 3 July 2014. Photo:

JUDITH IRELAND Opinion If a male politician offered a similar opinion to the PUP senator it would be a career-ending offence.

ANALYSIS

China looms large over MH17 debate at UN Security Council

Power of two: Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin speaks with his Chinese counterpart Liu Jieyi at a UN Security Council meeting on Syria on July 14.

JOHN GARNAUT Opinion It was no accident that Tony Abbott talked about “countries” in the plural form when he fronted Parliament to lambast the kind of behaviour that led to the MH17 disaster.

Tony Abbott must regain voters' trust, Bill Shorten needs strength

Michael Gordon dinkus

MICHAEL GORDON Opinion The voters' ranking of Tony Abbott on the last of 11 leadership attributes is the one that offers the Coalition most comfort as he faces awesome challenges on multiple political and social fronts.

Comments 30

Local tax rules rendered toothless without multinational co-operation

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Paul Malone Opinion Australia's largest coalminer, Glencore, was last month rocked by a report by Michael West, business columnist for Fairfax Media, saying it had paid almost zero tax during the past three years on its income of $15 billion.

MH17 means it is time for Australia to help shape a global response

A piece of a plane with the sign

Peter Hartcher Opinion Putin must discover that Russian recidivism will not be tolerated by the world.

Tony Abbott's government srsly needs to get a handle on the Senate

Judith Ireland

JUDITH IRELAND Opinion It was Thursday evening and a weary Senate was deep in the throes of a debate on the mining tax.

Joe Hockey needs to change tack in budget offensive

Mark Kenny dinkus

MARK KENNY Opinion The Treasurer is still fighting for his budget nine weeks after it was handed down. Perhaps it's time for another approach.

Comments 90

Battle lines drawn: carbon politics are not going away any time soon

Mark Kenny.

MARK KENNY Opinion The imaginary banner behind Tony Abbott might have read ''Emission accomplished!'' such was his obvious delight as he strode to the lectern on Thursday.

Tony Abbott's Japan remarks open old wounds

Hamish McDonald

HAMISH MCDONALD Opinion Tony Abbott stirred an old and painful issue with his remarks welcoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Australian parliament last week.

Senate passions run deep in the face of government's carbon tax repeal

Greens leader Senator Christine Milne speaks on the Carbon Tax Repeal bill in the Senate at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 16 July 2014. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

CHRIS JOHNSON Opinion The death of the carbon tax may well have been an inevitability, but it took the new Senate its entire first sitting fortnight to finally vote it down.

Tony Abbott battles the future by axing carbon tax

Tom Arup dinkus

TOM ARUP Opinion Australia is in a climate coma. The bitter five-year political tussle over carbon pricing has left us numb and weary of the debate.

Comments 368

Sunday roast was lamb to the slaughter of the carbon tax

Peter Martin.

PETER MARTIN Opinion The good news is that without the carbon tax you won’t be paying $100 for a Sunday roast. But you never did.

Comments 120

Does Clive Palmer have a women problem?

Jacqueline Maley dinkus

JACQUELINE MALEY Opinion Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer has many politically incorrect quirks, but his alleged bullying of female Senate staff has observers asking: Does everyone's favourite jolly billionaire have a women problem?

Comments 68

Analysis

Financial dossier sheds light on super and retirement incomes

JohnCollett_dinkus

JOHN COLLETT Opinion The Financial System Inquiry's interim report is not just about the banks. The inquiry has a surprising amount to say about superannuation, retirement incomes and financial advice. For example, the report questions whether gearing, or borrowing to invest inside a super fund should be allowed.

Why did a Chinese newspaper call Julie Bishop a 'complete fool'?

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop in her office at Parliament House.

JOHN GARNAUT Opinion The personal attack raised eyebrows in the diplomatic corps both in Australia and abroad. So what was Ms Bishop’s sin?

Can Abbott escape the trap?

Nicholas Stuart

NICHOLAS STUART Opinion Tony Abbott’s had a long, slow weekend in which to mull over Palmer’s newly critical role in the civic life of this nation.

Under the dome: what is Australia's climate policy?

Adam Morton

ADAM MORTON Opinion Just what is Australia's policy now towards climate change? The past week throws little light on the answer.

Comments 54

Lessons from the new Senate

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JUDITH IRELAND Opinion I’m not sure about you, but I was looking forward to a laidback week.

Coalition's contempt returned with interest

Martin

PETER MARTIN Opinion The Coalition is reaping what it sowed. It has repeatedly treated Parliament with contempt in its effort to neuter parts of Labor's law before they had full force on July 1.

Content in recline, Emperor Clive knows how to get a head

Opinion Clive Palmer could not have appeared more content if a dozen handmaidens had appeared bearing racks of pork chops, a gallon or so of caramelised banana and coconut ice cream, the keys to a 1939 Maybach limousine and Tony Abbott's head on a plate.

Conniving Coalition falls into a trap of its own making

Peter Martin dinkus

PETER MARTIN Opinion The Coalition is reaping what it sowed. It has repeatedly treated the Parliament with contempt in its effort to neuter parts of Labor's financial advice laws before they had full force on July 1.

Comments 86

The emperor in the check shirt, Clive Palmer makes Tony Abbott wait

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TONY WRIGHT Opinion Clive Palmer could not have appeared more content if a dozen hand-maidens had appeared bearing racks of pork chops, a gallon or so of caramelised banana and coconut ice-cream, the keys to a 1939 Maybach limousine and Tony Abbott's head on a plate.

Tony Abbott puts a positive spin on Clive Palmer's political tornado

Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer.

MARK KENNY Opinion Buoyed by the successful visit of Japan’s Shinzo Abe and the expectation of finally expunging the carbon tax, Tony Abbott was in a positive mood on Thursday morning, describing the tax’s expected demise as ‘‘good news’’ for the country. Wisely, he stopped short of counting his chickens.

Comments 278

Tony Abbott's caution has let Japanese whaling off the hook

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe address the media during a joint press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday 8 July 2014. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

ANDREW DARBY Opinion Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Australia was always going to be overwhelmingly about the things that united the two countries.

Independent thinkers shake Coalition's strength in numbers

Tony Wright dinkus.

TONY WRIGHT Opinion It seemed such a good idea at the time: devote the first week of July purely to the fresh Senate, allowing the rookie crossbenchers to assert their new power over Labor and the Greens by happily and compliantly sweeping away the carbon tax and the mining tax before they quite knew what they were doing.

Rookie senators gallop in and deliver a good kicking

TONY WRIGHT Opinion It seemed such a good idea at the time: devote the first week of July purely to the fresh Senate, allowing the rookie crossbenchers to assert their brand new power over Labor and the Greens.

Comments 53

Upper house unpredictability leaves Coalition stalled

Mark Kenny dinkus

MARK KENNY Opinion The uncomfortable truth about the unrivalled verity of election 2013 is that the promise to scrap the carbon tax is more costly than was ever explained.

Comments 368

The union royal commission is too little, too late

BUILDING AFR PHOTOGRAPH BY GLENN HUNT 190310.
GENERIC- building, construction, houses, housing market, homes, frames, workers, mortgages, interest rates.
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NICK MCKENZIE Opinion Any watcher of the union royal commission should be questioning why police and regulators appear to be missing in action in the building industry.