December 20

We’re well behind the world’s new climate debate

December 16

Voters vulnerable as luck deserts Coalition

December 12

The curse of Rudd descends onto Abbott’s office

December 11

John Faulkner to leave the Senate

December 10

‘Pressured’ politicians headed back to school

December 9

Abbott gets out the pooper scooper

December 8

Poll decline signals open season on Abbott

December 7

Financial system inquiry’s housing take shows thinking that’s out of the box

December 6

Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey ask ‘what went wrong?’

December 5

PM backs Hockey: I’m right behind you

December 5

Carol Mills found to have misled Senate over CCTV spying

December 5

‘The other side’s worse’ doesn’t cut it in politics any more

December 3

A government all blustered out, nowhere to go

December 1

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s outing more Margaret Thatcher than John Howard

December 1

Victorian election should serve as a wake-up call for Abbott

November 28

Just own up and say that budgets are really hard

November 27

PM’s credibility comes under assault

November 21

The long path to the Australia-China FTA

November 21

Global triumph conceals a house of disorder

November 18

China now a good mate in a changing world

November 16

Abbott’s G20 diplomacy not wild success

November 16

G20 leaders back $US2 tn global growth boost

November 15

Barack Obama delivers a lesson in power

November 15

G20 leaders say growth target at risk

November 15

Australia’s agenda versus the world

November 14

China-US deal is a tipping point

November 11

Abbott: Private sector will deliver on 2pc G20 target

November 10

Youth need help, too, as big jump in young population brings challenges

November 7

‘It’s time’ still strikes a chord though times have changed

November 6

Another link gone, but a lifetime of achievement

November 3

Foreign focus, terrorism shifts poll balance

November 1

The tax carve-up

October 30

Avalanche of legislation leaves voters reeling

October 30

New head for Prime Minister’s Department

October 30

Government seeks to widen crackdown powers over Australian jihadists

October 29

Labor seeks changes to foreign fighters bill

October 29

Security trumps economy for voters

October 28

This tax debate is not going to go away

October 27

Security bill changes to give agencies more teeth

October 27

Clive Palmer may back direct action plan on climate change

October 27

From pugilist to peacemaker: PM’s makeover

October 27

Abbott puts GST hike on the table

October 24

PM intervenes in Morrison scrap

October 23

Security services must be kept accountable


October 22

Unlikely legend who changed the nation

October 20

Confusion over Parliament’s U-turn on burqas

October 18

Bipartisan push to wind back powers of foreign fighters bill


October 17

Pyne condemns academic over racist, sexist rant

October 17

Run silent, run deep in Canberra’s naval battles

October 15

Hockey contemplates sales pitch for labour reform

October 15

Abbott’s denying G20 debate on climate change

October 15 Smoke, but little fire and few industry winners

October 14 Leigh warns on changes to federalism

The winding back of federal responsibilities implicit in the Abbott government’s proposed federation white paper poses a risk to Australian concepts of equality, according to assistant shadow treasurer Andrew Leigh.

October 8 Strip power from faceless men: John Faulkner

Labor Party elder John Faulkner has called for a radical rewrite of the party’s relationship with the union movement as part of reforms which he says are crucial if the ALP is to lead the way in restoring faith in politics.

October 4 Coalition’s budget cuts: $25b passed, $23b stalled

Almost $23 billion of the Abbott Government’s budget savings face an uncertain future in the Senate, while just over $25 billion of cuts have been passed.

October 4 Blowing up the budget

For a government that told voters that the grown-ups would be able to put the federal budget back on track, things are looking more and more dismal by the week.

October 3 Coalition flails against grip of budgetary tar baby
The old cycle of cutting spending in the first budget after an election and then going easy on voters no longer works.

October 2 Hockey waves red rag instead of white flag

Even in politics, or perhaps especially in politics, just saying something over and over doesn’t make it true, or make it happen.

 October 1 Hockey’s budget retreat

The Abbott government has raised the white flag on up to $30 billion of budget savings, deciding to push the remaining few measures which have Senate support through the Parliament before recasting its budget strategy in December.

September 29 Homeland security rejig on the way

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has dismissed the prospects of a ministerial reshuffle, saying Prime Minister Tony Abbott is happy with the performance of his team.

September 29 IS strike details to be finalised

Australia is finalising the legal framework under which it would undertake military action in Iraq before federal cabinet commits to the move this week, foreign minister Julie Bishop says.

September 29 No budget crisis, no need for cuts, says Clive Palmer

Clive Palmer said there was no budget crisis in Australia and debt levels are very low, indicating his Palmer United Party feels no pressure to shift its opposition to around $10 billion of budget savings.

September 26 Voters give leeway to get tough on terrorism

It is fair to say there is an unseemly, if understandable, rush about introducing new national security laws.

September 26  Tony Abbott leads On Capital Hill top 5 list

Last year’s political sector power list was a rather strange affair, featuring not one but three prime ministers and two contenders for the opposition leadership. This year’s list is more orthodox.

September 26 Can good policy be good politics?

2014 Power Issue | Five years of bitter politics have left many Australians wondering just what is needed to achieve occasional consensus – or whether it is even possible.

September 25 Financial advice rules face new threat

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is under intense pressure to get new financial advice laws through the Senate, after a committee gave notice it intended to throw out the existing rules.

September 25 Albanese tackles the suburban issue

Labor will seek to make the development of Australia’s cities “one of the great divides” in politics, arguing Canberra must take a role in cities policy and encourage business to the urban fringes.

September 24 Macfarlane’s green paper does little for energy policy

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says his green paper sets the policy directions for Australia to be ‘an energy superpower’.

September 24 No alternative but to dump Rudd, says Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard believed Kevin Rudd would be relieved by the weight of losing the prime ministership in 2010, “because he had found it so difficult in those last few months”.

September 23 Palmer set to back $2.7b in welfare budget cuts

The possibility that the Coalition will get some of its welfare cuts through the Senate has improved after Clive Palmer said the Palmer United Party was prepared to back $2.7 billion in savings also backed by Labor.

September 22 Choice: the simple but radical idea in the Harper report

The Harper competition review is unlikely to be at all what many Coalition supporters, small businesses or farmers were expecting, but it’s reset the terms of a somewhat stale competition debate.

September 22 G20 ministers move beyond GFC agenda

Laura Tingle | The G20’s finance ministers and central bankers seem confident the back has now been broken on complex questions of financial regulation and tax thrown up by the global financial crisis.

September 22 Social welfare reforms to be ditched

The Abbott government appears set to split up its contentious social welfare reforms – presenting measures it can get through the Senate this week but putting off indefinitely measures worth billions.

September 20 ATO leads project to map multinationals’ tax schemes

Hockey warns G20 on plan

Treasurer Joe Hockey remains committed to seeking a commitment from G20 finance ministers to a 2 per cent economic growth target but admits it is “ambitious”.

September 16 Coalition misses G20 leadership opportunity, says Andrew Leigh

Australia has missed an opportunity to show true leadership in dealing with multinational profit shifting by delaying adoption of international bank transparency measures until 2017, according to the federal Opposition.

 September 16 US should improve ties with Saudi and Gulf states: Christopher Hill

The United States’ relationships with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states could help resolve the wars in Syria and Iraq, says former US ambassador to Iraq ­Christopher Hill.

Laura Tingle | Australia has once again become involved in a major conflict in Iraq – this time against an uncertain foe in a long-term war without boundaries but with bipartisan support very different to 2003.

September 15 Australia to adopt common reporting standard

Australia will adopt a common reporting standard designed to stop multinationals shifting profits to avoid tax from 2017, after federal cabinet approved the move before this week’s G20 finance ministers meeting.

September 13 Federation reform key to productivity boost: issues paper

National productivity could get a massive boost from the reform of the Federation as federal and state roles are rationalised, according to an issues paper.

September 12 Industry policy submerged under pragmatism

The Abbott government is prepared to wear the backlash on sub orders. But its long-term industry policy needs a lot more work.

September 11 No gain, just pain, in Gillard witch hunt

There have been two scenarios put forward over the years about the tortured case of Julia Gillard, the union slush fund and the house renovations.

September 9 Clerk Harry Evans, a passionate defender of democracy

The former Clerk, who served the federal Parliament in total for 40 years, died last weekend. He treated all those who sought his advice with the same patience, good humour and intelligence.

September 6 On the world stage

New governments often strike turbulence in their early years in government, and the turbulence is usually fanned by an opposition living off the knowledge of internal processes gained in government.

September 6 Intervening in Iraq and Ukraine may blow budget

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has not ruled out increasing the budget deficit to fund an expanded military role in Iraq and potentially Ukraine.

September 6 Tony Abbott: the first year

The economy will most determine if Tony Abbott can persuade voters of new “golden days”.

September 5 Sunni leaders’ buy-in critical to success in Iraq: Hill

Former US ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill has warned the West will struggle to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq unless it can buy off moderate Sunni Muslim tribal leaders to turn against the barbaric movement.


September 5 Both sides dig in for a war of policy attrition

The Prime Minister is in deep trouble on his biggest election promise.

September 3 PUP deal puts super in the shade

Were voters really paying attention to the finer detail of Coalition policy when they went to polling booths in 2013?

September 2 BCA criticises Coalition’s welfare plan

The Business Council says the Abbott government needs to reconsider key aspects of its welfare changes, including plans to make all job seekers work for the dole and for those under 30 to wait six months for benefits.

August 29 There is much wisdom in a crowd of ministers

The night before the Budget a strange exchange took place between Tony Abbott and his backbenchers.

August 25 Labor tackles hump in road funding with private member’s bill

Labor will move this week to end a parliamentary deadlock which is threatening to leave already cash strapped local councils without road funding from next month.

August 25 Coalition set to yield on health and education to save budget

The Abbott government appears poised to make major concessions on budget health and education reforms, and the mining tax package, in order to win Senate crossbench support when federal parliament resumes this week.

 August 23 Coalition behind in budget blame game

With Parliament due back, the pressure is on the Abbott government to not just get some budget measures through for the sake of it, but to reassure ­people it is actually in control of things.

August 22 Budgetary return fire may burn Hockey

Federal Parliament sits again next week after a five-week break which doesn’t seem to have been much of a break at all.

August 22 Government to blame for health policy mess

The Australian Medical Association’s alternative proposal to the $7 Medicare co-payment has perhaps even fewer friends than Joe Hockey’s budget.

August 15 A government that fails to marshal its thoughts

Apart from the political stupidity of his comments about poor people, Joe Hockey keeps saying things that suggest he has a numeracy problem.

August 9  Treasurer Joe Hockey struggles to build a bankable image

Less than a year ago, newly minted Treasurer Joe Hockey had a ‘narrative’ about the End of the Age of Entitlement. This week he committed one of the cardinal sins of politics.

August 8 Bill Shorten says CV deluge will cost small business $2.1b

The federal government’s plan to force the unemployed to apply for 40 jobs a month will cost the small business sector $700 million a year, according to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

August 8 Liberal Party cuts 18C loose rather than get dragged under

“Just kill it” was the advice to Tony Abbott from a disparate group.

August 1 Working for the dole plan will simply not work

The opening salvos in the tabloids had all the subtlety of the now infamous Israeli ten minute warning missile.

July 28 BCA urges PM to share ‘vision for Australia’

The Prime Minister should make an annual “vision for Australia” speech that outlines goals for the next five to 10 years, the Business Council of Australia says.

July 28 Australia must ‘confront complacency’: BCA

Australian governments need to rethink their role in the economy by encouraging industries that have natur­al advantages – such as agri­culture, mining, tourism and education, the ­BCA says.

July 28 Shorten coy on party reform at Labor conference

Only a government that sets aside vested interests to seize the future can succeed, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told a NSW Labor conference at the weekend.

July 28 Tony Abbott sends unarmed police to Ukraine crash zone

Unarmed Australian Federal Police will be deployed to Ukraine to finalise the retrieval of the dead from the crash of MH17 after negotiations in Donetsk with separatists on the weekend.

July 26 Off-script Abbott flourishes in troubled times

The national security committee of federal cabinet provides one of the best examples of the Australian ­government at work, a long-time public servant observed this week.

 July 25 Joe Hockey opens the book on a misfiring government

Context is playing a grotesque game with the portrait of Joe Hockey painted in Madonna King’s new book.

July 24 Climate change, tax dodging must be on G20 agenda: Shorten

Climate change and energy security, as well as concrete action multinational tax avoidance, need to be on the agenda at this year’s G20 meetings, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has told a US audience.

July 24 Hockey still thinks budget cuts should have been deeper

Revelations Treasurer Joe Hockey believes the budget was not tough enough was evidence he is out of touch and is planning even bigger cuts than already announced, opposition finance spokesman Chris Bowen says.

July 24 Tony Abbott briefed Rupert Murdoch on paid parental leave before party room

July 21 Poll reveals toll on Tony Abbott as voters cite weak leadership

July 19 Labor, Coalition already eyeing next election

July 18 EU set to adopt Joe Hockey’s G20 growth target

July 18 Punting Martin Parkinson a symbol of Tony Abbott’s folly



June 27 Climate policy roulette wheel is spinning

Club rung with an echoey emptiness when Bernie Fraser rose to speak there in March this year.

June 26 Tony Abbott outplayed by populist Clive Palmer

Clive Palmer’s stunning wedging of not just Tony Abbott but Labor and the Greens means climate change remains on the table as an issue for the next election. But not in the way the prime minister envisaged.

June 25 Labor wrong to second-guess reindexation

If there was one budget measure which Labor and the Greens really should have supported, it was the move to reinstate indexation on fuel excise.

John Edwards’s fresh take on what we’re calling a crisis

The economic crisis has become an important prop in our national debate about reform.

Government’s failure to sell budget shows in poll numbers

Six weeks on from the budget, the rage is being maintained: the majority of voters still think the budget is unfair.

East Jerusalem debacle just another sign of dysfunction

The fog has been thick in Canberra this week and has been hanging about until late in the day.

Budget own goals give Labor chance to regroup

The Coalition’s political klutziness is outstripping Julia Gillard’s “chaotic minority government”.

Why budget reforms are now in intensive care

Australians will respond to an argument for change and reform but they have two requirements, former prime minister John Howard observed this week.

We need to talk about our relationship with the US

With changing dynamics in east Asia, Australians need to carefully reflect on the nature of our close ties with the US.

Tick tick, time bomb may be set

If you can’t run a parliament, what hope of running a country?

Scott Morrison outsources responsibility

Australia engages the providers who deliver welfare, medical and garrison services at the Manus Island detention centre, the report on events at the centre in February which left one man dead notes.

Coalition gets a brutal lesson in policy on the run

Budgets are a bit of a “right and left side of the brain” thing, where one side is the policy, and the other the politics. With this budget, one side of the brain doesn’t seem to have been functioning all that well.

Abbott’s budget promises, then and now

May 2010 may have been only four years ago but in political time feels as far away as the paleolithic era.

Abbott trapped by budget time bombs

The political practice of outlining spending and tax problems for some years into the future started in the late 1980s era and since then, promises have been extended even further into the future. Now, the whole process has started to come back to bite both sides of politics.

Budget quake puts PM on shaky ground

Every so often in politics there is a moment when you can almost hear the tectonic plates shift.

Don’t dismiss the double dissolution theatrics

Conventional wisdom has been that Tony Abbott would have to have rocks in his head to contemplate a double dissolution election but senior Liberals believe he’s serious.

Budget for a government willing to take time


Laura Tingle | This is a budget written by a government that thinks it has all the time in the world. Its short term gradualism jars spectacularly with all the hysteria it hurled about from opposition about budget crisis and debt.

Ethanol policy goes full circle despite lobbying

Joe Hockey has been quite cross this week. But perhaps he has not been as cross as Dick Honan.

Hockey’s pre-budget talk open to interpretation

The deficit levy may have outraged the Coalition’s voter base and provoked a slump in consumer confidence but, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey, it“won’t dominate the headlines” after he delivers his first federal budget next Tuesday.

May 2 Budget and ICAC cost Abbott the high ground

The combined shocks of the unravelling of the clothes of Emperor Abbott and his party on both budget management and political probity will have inevitable repercussions on the way politics plays out long into the future.

May 1 Tingle | Blueprint takes us back to 1901

Shorten’s reform-or-perish pitch

Gutful of major parties turns voters green

Carr more honest unplugged and off reservation

Labor back doing what it does best: infighting

Palmer the winner in murky WA protest vote

Sinodinos standing his ground for now

Two elections down, back to point scoring

Poll results confirm change is afoot within the electorate

Logic lost as state polls paralyse decision making

March 7 The House where nothing much happens 

March 5 National carrier: it’s a matter of definition

March 4 Abbott hopes three days in China will begin to ease tension 

March 3 The Abbott and Hockey show: fighting but not much cohesion  

February 28 More action, less name-calling on asylum seekers 

February 24 Treasurer’s domestic agenda goes global

February 22  Joe Hockey’s big moment 

February 21 Audit report delivery sparks rumours of cuts

February 17  Makeover shortcut to ALP comeback 

February 7 Coalition talking tough in run-up to May Budget

February 14 Abbott turns industrial relations from liability to potent weapon 

February 10 Toyota could be Abbott’s biggest test 

February 5 Hockey finds the same fight on different fronts

February 1 The name is Gonski – don’t come knocking 

January 31 Coalition’s sights are set far beyond the IR Club 

January 24 Navy blunder could sail nation into dark waters 





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