Latest National news

ACCC clears Australia Post's $1 stamp

12:48 PM   The competition watchdog approves price rise of a basic stamp by more than 40 per cent.

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We need an ombudsman to protect free state education

The long-held principle of free state education available to all is under threat

Lea Campbell 12:34 PM   The education industry is one of our biggest and most important exports and is not protected by solid governance.

APS devoid of policy? 'Crap'

Human Services and Veterans Affairs Minister Stuart Robert rubbished claims the federal public service lacked serious policy making ability.

Phillip Thomson 10:38 AM   Minister slams comment that federal bureaucracy is a policy-free zone and calls for shared services revolution.

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Victorian Liberal MP Graham Watt explains Rosie Batty snub

Rosie Batty addressing the joint sitting of  the Victorian Parliament on Thursday.

AAP, Timna Jacks, Tom Cowie 9:17 AM   A Victorian MP who refused to join a standing ovation for Rosie Batty says family violence has "incredible sensitivity" for him.

The 'hillybilly heroin' hotspots of NSW

Peter Panagiotopoulos

Harriet Alexander 8:28 AM   Parts of western NSW and the mid-North Coast are dispensing opioids at a rate 10 times higher than places such as Epping and Pennant Hills.

Discount for upfront uni fees faces axe

Discounts for students who pay fees upfront face the axe.

Matthew Knott 7:41 AM   University students would no longer be eligible for a 10 per cent discount on their university fees if they pay upfront under legislation introduced into Parliament by the Turnbull government.

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Dramatic vision shows man's drive through deadly South Australian fire

A scene from outside George Hooker's window as he approached the blaze.

11:37 PM   Dramatic vision has emerged of a man driving through the fire ground during a blaze in South Australia that has claimed two lives. 

Australia, Jakarta likley to discuss 'root causes' of people smuggling

An Australian Navy vessel approaches a suspected refugee boat off the coast of Christmas Island last week.

Gabrielle Dunlevy 9:11 PM   ​Indonesia has promised "no finger pointing" at a regional meeting on asylum seekers, which Australia is expected to attend.

Wilkie stares down pokie lobby

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie: "Bad things happen when people are forced into silence."

Royce Millar and Ben Schneiders 12:15 AM   Independent MP Andrew Wilkie will stare down Australia's most powerful gaming lobby and face bankruptcy rather than apologise over his comments about an alleged industry donation to former politician Peter Garrett.

"That's so gay": classroom lessons to battle bullying

Jamiee features in a video used to battle classroom bullying of LGBTI students.

Jill Stark 8:02 PM   It was a crush on the singer Pink that made Jaimee​ realise she was different to other girls in her Year 8 class.

Bushfire threatens homes near Perth as firefighters battle SA blaze

Wasleys Bowling Club secretary Brad McDougall holds a clock frozen in time by the fire north of Adelaide.

Timna Jacks and AAP 7:56 PM   An out of control and unpredictable fire is threatening lives and homes north of Perth.

Oats maker pulled up over 'protein, superfood' claims

Uncle Tobys traditional oats product

Esther Han 7:55 PM   A popular healthy food producer has been penalised $32k for exaggerating the benefits of its oats.

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Huge variations in surgery and mental health treatment

There are huge variations in use of psychiatric drugs across Australia.

Jane Lee and Julia Medew 5:59 PM    

Government says it will help Australian girl at risk of mutilation in Africa

Fatoumata Binta Conteh, who has fled to Sierra Leone with her mother, Fatoumata Diarriou Bah.

Beau Donelly 5:57 PM   The federal government will provide a safe house to a mother and her three-year-old Australian child at risk of being brutally mutilated overseas.

Gluten-free movement may be driving unnecessary colonoscopies

Some people could be getting unnecessary colonoscopies, new research shows.

Julia Medew 5:31 PM   The "gluten-free" movement and fast "McDonald's-style" medicine may be driving people to have unnecessary and invasive bowel investigations funded by Medicare, a leading doctor says.

Australia's colonoscopy capital


Harriet Alexander and Jane Lee 4:16 PM   One area of Sydney has the nation's highest rate for the procedure, a study has found.

Archbishop 'shut his eyes' to sex abuse allegations against priest: royal commission

Archbishop Frank Little failed to act on complaints about Father Peter Searson.

Beau Donelly 4:15 PM   Former Melbourne Archbishop Frank Little "shut his eyes" to child sex abuse at the hands of paedophile priests, the royal commission has heard.

Archbishop failed to act on serious concerns about priest

Issues concerning Doveton Parish priest Peter Searson were ignored by Catholic Church hierarchy.

Beau Donelly   A former Archbishop of Melbourne failed to act on complaints about a predator priest who carried a gun to school and made students kneel between his legs during confession, the child sex abuse inquiry has heard.

Parliament House cleaners call strike for 'party week'

The wages of cleaners at Parliament House have been frozen at 2012 levels - $21.10 a hour -  after the Abbott government scrapped Commonwealth cleaning services guidelines.

Heath Aston   It's shaping as The Hangover: Canberra for partying politicians and their staff.

Two people killed in an out of control bushfire north of Adelaide

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.

Other people, including firefighters, injured and numerous buildings destroyed as the blaze roared across more than 85,000 hectares, threatening a string of towns.

Was there a sign above your head saying 'come and get me'?

Julie Stewart told the child abuse royal commission that she was nine years old when Doveton parish priest Peter Searson forced her to sit on his lap during confession and indecently assaulted her.

Beau Donelly   A young girl who was sexually abused by a paedophile priest, after already suffering abuse at the hands of a family member, was later asked by police if she was "wearing a neon sign above your head saying 'come and get me'," the royal commission has heard.

Bosses fail to practice what they preach

There is a 24 per cent gender pay gap once bonuses are included.

Jessica Irvine   Female managers are paid 29 per cent less than their male counterparts - a gap worse than lower paid women. And bosses are failing to practise the family friendly work patterns they preach, undermining progress towards gender pay equity.

'Free range' egg fight intensifies

The Model Code of Practice defines 'free range' as eggs from farms with stocking densities of no more than 1500 birds a hectare.

Esther Han   The battle to convince politicians of what shoppers truly expect when they buy free range eggs has intensified, with consumer and industry groups attempting to quash each other's research.

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'Phuc Dat Bich' faked it: the man with awkward name turns out to be a hoax

The profile picture on Phuc Dat Bich's Facebook account.

Kate Aubusson, Timna Jacks   The Australian man who claimed his name was 'Phuc Dat Bich' has admitted it was a hoax.

Reef a great barrier against underwater landslides and tsunamis

The research team study the first underwater images from their mission off Ribbon Reef .

Peter Spinks   Australia's Great Barrier Reef is doing Queensland a great service because of its ability to absorb some of the potential wave energy released by tsunamis.

Public service money makers

Defence minister Senator Marise Payne

Phillip Thomson   They walk out one door with a redundancy package, and waltz back in as contractors. The impact has been "devastating".

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Privacy fears over 'Instagram for doctors'

Images of patient's ailments such as this one are posted to the application daily.

Amy Mitchell-Whittington   WARNING: DISTRESSING IMAGES. Half a million healthcare professionals are sharing their medical cases via an app likened to an Instagram for doctors.

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War on drugs an irrational, un-winnable 'war against our own children'

Harm Reduction Australia co-founder Tony Trimingham with a picture of his son, Damien, who died of an overdose at age 21.

Amy Corderoy   Australia is caught in an irrational, un-winnable war against drugs that is actually just a "war against its own children", according to health and legal experts.

Pharmacists to give vaccines and manage chronic diseases in Victoria

Pharmacists will take on some doctors' tasks in Victoria from next year.

Julia Medew    Pharmacists will monitor their customers' conditions and manage medications, including giving vaccinations, in a trial with a group of doctors next year.

George Pell asked for payments for paedophile priest, commission heard

Australian Cardinal George Pell at the Vatican last year.

Beau Donelly   Cardinal George Pell lobbied for payments to be made to a pedophile priest days before he was charged with sex offences, documents tendered to the child abuse royal commission show.