Latest National news

Slow DMO could be putting sailors in peril at sea

Noel Towell 4:36 PM   Royal Australian Navy sailors have been going to sea with potentially defective lifejackets for at least six years, while high command pleaded with Defence bureaucrats to buy replacements.

Baird tops off a sweet victory

NSW Premier Mike Baird is congratulated after newly elected MPs were introduced.

Nicole Hasham 4:32 PM   Mike Baird introduced new Liberal MPs to jubilant applause and then plunged the knife into NSW, in the sweetest way.

Another 1650 public servant jobs to be cut

"Necessary change":  Defence Department secretary Dennis Richardson says more jobs will go.

Phillip Thomson 4:00 PM   Government to crack down on "cradle to the grave" workforce at department.

White crosses to line the Hume Freeway marking the pain and passion of top traffic cop

Tammy Mills 3:52 PM   Sergeant Michael Connors believes the road toll can be reduced to zero, Tammy Mills reports.

Australia not among rich nations releasing post-2020 emission goals on time

The emissions intensity of the power sector is on the increase.

Lisa Cox and Peter Hannam 3:12 PM   The UN wants nations to release their longer-term targets well in advance of the Paris summit late this year that will aim to thrash out a new worldwide climate treaty.

Public service's security clearance addiction

Department figures show in 2014 there were 350,000 people doing government-related work who had security clearances.

Phillip Thomson 12:03 PM   Secret Canberra: At up to $9000 or more a pop, with a total bill of $350m, the cost of maintaining vetting system is set to blow out.

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Public servant's $66,649 stuff up


Phillip Thomson 11:24 AM   Public servants are under pressure because little mistakes can be costly but only after mandarins bestow grace, documents show.

The drugs don't work – medication for back pain is no better than placebo

Paracetamol: no good for back pain.

Amy Corderoy 10:39 AM   The secret to curing lower back pain is not to reach for the pain-killers.

'Blockbuster Betty' brought crowds to art

Betty Churcher.

Sally Pryor 8:22 AM   The art world is in mourning today with the news that Betty Churcher, the inimitable former director of the National Gallery of Australia, has died, aged 84.

Toddler showed no signs of paddle-boarding fall when examined by paramedics, inquest hears

Ambulance leaves southern Sydney home on Monday night.

Paul Bibby 1:39 AM   A Central Coast toddler who died from a catastrophic brain injury showed no signs of an alleged paddle boarding accident when examined by paramedics, refuting suggestions by his mother's boyfriend that this accident may have caused the fatal injury.  

Assistants to take blood from donors

Blood donors will be increasingly cared for by assistants without nursing qualifications under  changes being carried out by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

Julia Medew 1:03 AM   Blood donors will be increasingly cared for by assistants without nursing qualifications under controversial changes being executed by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service that have sparked concerns about quality of care.

Change of address left Mike Brady facing costly legal mess

Mike Brady faced possible seizure of his assets.

Steve Butcher 9:05 PM   Musician Mike Brady, of Up There Cazaly footy anthem fame, has kicked a goal in a Melbourne courtroom and settled a potential costly legal mess.

ICON sale a step closer

Slow internet connection speeds have been blamed on Telstra's use of copper, something that will be alleviated when the network is upgraded to fibre optic connections.

Noel Towell 11:30 PM   Government fibre system pioneer "flabbergasted" that a sell-off back on the agenda.

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Bureau of Meteorology to take pay row to the airwaves

Tropical low off north Queensland coast expected to form into cyclone.

Noel Towell 11:45 PM   The weathermen and women at the Bureau of Meteorology look set to take their pay dispute to the nation’s airwaves, reading out protest messages during radio weather forecasts

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Emissions 'step up' after carbon price ends

Hazy picture: Australia's greenhouse gas emissions are falling - for now.

Peter Hannam   Australia’s greenhouse emissions from the electricity sector jumped in the September quarter, reversing the industry’s declines during the two carbon tax years preceding it, the latest government data shows.

Abetz guilty of cynical ploy on Comcare reforms


Leo Grey   Employment Minister Eric Abetz got off to a poor start in spruiking his proposed amendments to the Commonwealth workers' compensation scheme, introduced into the federal Parliament on Wednesday.

Abetz accused of lurid fantasies about injured public servant

Employment Minister Eric Abetz indulged in "lurid fantasies" about a public servant who claimed workers' compensation, the woman's barrister says.

Noel Towell   Employment Minister Eric Abetz indulged in "lurid fantasies" about a public servant who claimed workers' compensation for injuries sustained while having sex in a motel room, the woman's barrister says.

Vail snaps up Perisher


Australia's biggest ski resort, Perisher, is poised to fall to Vail Resorts, America's largest mountain resort operator, which has lodged a $176.6 million bid to buy from James Packer and Transfield.

One word sparks public servant's compo claim

Look it up: Pouring over a French-English dictionary might increase your white brain cells.

Phillip Thomson   When taxpayer "complaints" became "enquiries", the relationship between an employee and manager broke down.

Craig Thomson's bid to have trial dismissed based on mental health issues rejected

Craig Thomson.

Ben Schneiders   Former federal MP Craig Thomson has walked out of a civil case after telling a court that his mental health problems were too severe for him to continue.

Public servants behaving badly


Phillip Thomson   One department has had employees who used drugs intended for animals, manipulated jury duty and swapped a biosecurity clearance for tickets.

Coca-Cola accused of 'greenwashing' with sugar-reduced Coke Life

"What we'd like to see is a cutback of promotions, particularly through sport, and remove it from schools": Jane Martin of Obesity Policy Coalition.

Esther Han   Coca-Cola has launched a green and lean spin-off to its best-selling drink in an attempt to claw back increasingly health-conscious consumers, dismaying health experts who say it is still sugar-laden.

No bull: It's all about the hair

Gavin Iseppi works on the finer details of Red Ruba's pre-judging preparation.

Julie Power   t is all about the hair. It takes months, and we get quite precious about it," said a cattle breeder as she paid $70 for a large container of hair volumiser.

'Impostor' gynaecologist could have been injecting patients with unknown animal blood products

Raffaele Di Paolo, a Melbourne man accused of posing as a gynaecologist and infertility expert.

Julia Medew and Adam Cooper   A Melbourne man accused of posing as a gynaecologist and IVF expert may have been giving his patients animal products as an alternative treatment for infertility.

Young, gay and bullied: alarming rates of homophobia among teens

Alex Taylor is a transgender man; he was bullied at school due to his sexual identity. Beyond Blue has done some research into homophobia and young people. on March 29, 2015 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Michele Mossop/Fairfax Media)

Rachel Browne   A new study from mental health charity beyondblue has revealed high levels of homophobia among teenage boys, leading to depression and anxiety among young gay people.

Homophobia rife among young men

Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School football team captain Sean Towner at Waverley Park oval.

Miki Perkins, Rachel Browne   Sean Towner at eight years old was just a tall, goofy kid. Almost a head above the pack with a Bieber-blonde bob, he was a long-limbed embodiment of enthusiasm over skill with a deep hankering to play the game like both his brothers.

Assumptions about victims colour judges' decisions

Disappointed: Justice Peter McClellan.

Jane Lee   Australian judges are using their assumptions about human behaviour, rather than scientific research, to help them decide criminal cases, the chairman of the royal commission into child sexual abuse says.

Fluffy won't halt cuts to stamp duty and insurance tax

Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

Kirsten Lawson and Tom McIlroy   ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has dismissed discussion of changing the GST.

Child sex abuse widespread in remote communities

Family abuse is a widespread problem in remote indigenous communities

Nino Bucci   Family violence is widely tolerated in remote indigenous communities, an Australian Crime Commission taskforce has found.

Internet outrage about vaccination risks making the problem worse

About 3 per cent of children are not up-to-date with vaccines  because parents have safety concerns.

Amy Corderoy   Online debates about whether vaccinations are safe are unlikely to convince doubters to vaccinate - so why do they stir such emotional responses in people?