Latest National news

Estimates targets 'misleading' public service union

Phillip Thomson 9:51 AM   Public servants are missing out on pay rises up to 7 times better than one cost of living index, senator says.

'Dipshit': senior public servant lets loose

Senator Bill Heffernan during a Senate Estimates Hearing at Parliament House Canberra on Monday 26 May 2014. Photo: Andrew Meares

Phillip Thomson 9:14 AM   Angry bureaucrat kept waiting at Senate estimates hearing uses the time to pen letter.

Game changer

New emoji are about to be added to the Unicode family.

7:38 AM   A new legion of emoji are about to arrive. 

Border Force faces pay mutiny

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood says the anger was palpable among frontline Customs officers in particular.

Noel Towell 12:29 AM    Public servants transferring from Customs are 'going ballistic' over a move they say will leave them thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Spending on Parliament House security shows "incompetent budgeting"

Paid parking at Parliament House was introduced to discourage public servants from trying to park for free.

Ross Peake 11:30 PM   The failure to spend money earmarked for the security upgrade at Parliament House was incompetent budgeting, a Senate estimates hearing was told on Monday.

Another APS wage deal crushed in vote

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood  claimed the vote as a significant win for her union.

Noel Towell 11:30 PM   Public Servants at the Department of Industry have rejected a new wage deal in three-to-one workplace ballot drubbing.

First rats, then bog rolls

Toilet paper.

Noel Towell 11:30 PM   Department replaces controversial rats icon ... with toilet paper.

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Doctors hope new treatment for brain cancer will spare people's memories

Patients with brain tumours can be treated with new technology that spares the memory.

Julia Medew Health Editor 8:49 PM   Every year, thousands of Australians are diagnosed with brain tumours and usually they are secondary to other cancers found in their bodies.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher defends Catholic Church and Cardinal George Pell over response to child abuse claims

Archbishop Anthony Fisher has written a letter to the Sydney archdiocese.

Kate Aubusson 7:55 PM   Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher has defended Cardinal George Pell over his handling of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Pressure on car parks at Parliament House escalates

Parking at Parliament House is under pressure.

Ross Peake 11:30 PM   Pressure on reserved car parks at Parliament House has risen after paid parking was introduced, including in the public car park, although most don't stay long enough to pay the fee.

Monis spent his life trying to achieve 'significance'

Man Haron Monis first came to attention when living in Perth, where he staged a protest at Parliament House

Paul Bibby, Nick Ralston 6:39 PM   In September 2014 he wrote a letter to George Brandis 'seeking legal advice to send a letter to Caliph Ibrahim, head of Islamic State'.

Senators question giving private data to research company

Katy Gallagher.

Ross Peake 11:30 PM   Labor senators have questioned how their email addresses, and those of their staff, were provided to a private research company. The company is being paid around $22,000 to survey Senators, MPs and their staff on the work of the Parliamentary Budget Office.

Single FoI costs taxpayers $80,000

Doug Cameron says a review into freedom of information requests is a waste of money.

Phillip Thomson 4:28 PM   It's an average Australian's yearly salary, but one request for information sent this amount of money into the pockets of consultants.

Short shelf life in digital age

The iPod has passed its peak, new data shows.

Esther Han 4:04 PM   We're prone to thinking old box TVs and film cameras are antiquated technologies. But DVD players, digital cameras and iPods have also passed their zenith.

Young doctor blows the whistle on senior 'bully' neurosurgeon

Helen Maroulis.

Julia Medew 4:00 PM   A young doctor has accused a senior Melbourne neurosurgeon of being "extremely abusive" towards staff at Monash Medical Centre and says the hospital did not want to know about the constant fear she felt while working there.

$6000 a year pay cut for DFAT cleaners

Cleaning with bleach has been linked with incidences of the flu and tonsillitis.

Phillip Thomson 3:55 PM   Tony Abbott made a 'crystal clear' promise to cleaners last year. Now they've taken at a 15% pay cut.

We won't go: public servants won't relocate to rural towns

Barnaby Joyce wants to move public servants from the Grains Research Development Corporation's Barton office to Wagga.

Phillip Thomson 3:48 PM   $400/sqm in Canberra versus $200/sqm in Wagga, but the bureaucrats want nothing to do with it.

The great 'who am I' question answered in a spit second

Hands across the water: Isabella Nancarrow, the Australian-born niece of her faraway namesake aunt who settled in America.

Kate Nancarrow 3:08 PM   Ancestry's DNA test reveals the author's ancestry but also connects her with relatives she has never met, and probably never will.

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Furry fury as public servants depicted as rats

Is being depicted as a mouse less offensive than a rat?

Noel Towell 2:20 PM   Departmental bosses say it was a mouse, not a rat.

Friends and family mourn 'cheeky' car crash victim Spencer Botting

Wodonga teenager Spencer Michael Botting, who was killed in a crash at Staghorn Flat.

Sarah Dean, Tahlia McPherson 2:17 PM   A Wodonga teenager has died and another is fighting for his life in a Melbourne hospital after a crash at Staghorn Flat.

Boy with autism allowed to stay in Australia

Success: Maria Sevilla and her son Tyrone, 10, will be granted permanent visas.

Michael Koziol 12:16 PM   A 10-year-old autistic boy slated for deportation will be allowed to stay in Australia with his mother, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed.

Medibank dumps GP access trial

Medibank said while 13,000 members who used the service were pleased with it, "they didn't feel it added additional value to their private health insurance".

Dan Harrison 11:56 AM   Medibank has abandoned a controversial trial which gave its members preferential access to GPs.

Australia's most popular books

Civic Library manager Jelena Vokovic with the some of the Library's most popular cook books.

Primrose Riordan and Emma Kelly 11:53 AM   Australia has a thing for Jamie Oliver, if the most popular library books are anything to go by.

Westpac asks Gen Y to help it find the next fintech start-up

Westpac is turning to non-bankers as it tries to be more innovative.

Clancy Yeates   As banks grapple with the impact of huge technological shifts, Westpac hopes to get an edge over rivals by tapping into the ideas of bright, young non-bankers.

Popular books list will help library borrowers

Lily Davis, 10, reading one of her favourite books <i>Diary of a Wimpy Kid</i> at the Ballarat Library.

Lily Partland   Any avid reader knows the worst thing about a good book is finishing it, and understands the curse of the seemingly perpetual hunt for the next fix, the next great read.

Australian thalidomide managers knew drug was killing babies 'for five months'

Melbourne lawyer Michael Magazanik has written a book about the thalidomide scandal.

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker   Australian managers of the firm that sold Thalidomide to pregnant women in the 1950s and 60s actively covered up concerns it was causing birth defects, according to an explosive statement provided by a company insider.

Zed and Abbott disagree on same sex marriage referendum

At odds? Senator Zed Seselja, left, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Ross Peake   ACT Liberal Zed Seselja called on Sunday for a referendum on same sex marriage, before Prime Minister Tony Abbott ruled out holding the national vote.

Senate to question plan for security fence at Parliament House

Australian Federal Police officers at the entrance to Parliament House.

Ross Peake    The embattled Department of Parliamentary Services is expected to be questioned at Senate Estimates on Monday (may25) about the $108 million security upgrade at Parliament House.

Public servants' family lives under attack

Former federal department secretary Stephen Duckett.

Phillip Thomson   Senate estimates hearings are a "disgraceful experience" which need reforming, according to former federal department secretary Stephen Duckett.

Luxury townhouses to be built on site of abandoned embassy

Macedonian ambassador Vele Trpevski  in front of the abandoned Yugoslavian embassy in Red Hill.

Ross Peake   Luxury townhouses to be built on site of former embassy