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Political news and analysis from the ACT and Federal Parliaments

Grattan on Friday / Liberals sweat over timing of next tilt against Abbott

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra CANBERRA, thanks to politics being its main industry and the politicians being non-residents, is the quintessential fishbowl. When a leadership change is contemplated, people watch keenly to see who dines out with whom. So it was duly noted when Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison and Greg Hunt were together on […]

Corbell floats child sex offence proposals

SIMON Corbell is seeking community views on proposals to strengthen the ACT’s child sex offender laws. He says the proposed amendments will give police special powers to better monitor and manage registered sex offenders. “The reforms aim to reduce the likelihood of convicted child sex offenders re-offending, and provide more support to authorities during the […]

Peter Slipper not guilty

JUSTICE Burns has judged that former Speaker of the House of Representative Peter Slipper is not guilty of rorting cabcharge vouchers to visit Canberra Region wineries. I accept that the evidence before the Magistrate was capable of raising, as a rational inference, the proposition that the appellant undertook each of the three journeys for purposes […]

Grattan / When is an offer not an offer? Ask Julie Bishop

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE government’s war on Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs has deepened into a major test of credibility, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop flatly contradicting evidence given by a senior public servant. Bishop was asked in parliament on Wednesday what role the government had offered Triggs – who it […]

Mick Gentleman wants to hammer out a new ACT PS workers’ comp scheme in six weeks

MICK Gentleman says consultation has commenced on the design of a new workers’ compensation scheme aimed at providing improved outcomes for injured ACT public sector employees. “The ACT Government continues focus on assisting its injured workers recover and return to employment as soon as possible, and we wish to work with our staff and their […]

Shane on a train as the ‘City of Canberra’ gets under steam

SHANE Rattenbury has launched the ‘City of Canberra’, a historic 6029 Beyer-Garratt steam locomotive, the largest and most powerful of its class in Australia. (It should be noted this naming was news on December 15 last year.) “The locomotive has been lovingly restored over the past seven years by the Australian Railway Historical Society – […]

The CPSU and its ballots, Zed weighs in

LIBERAL Senator Zed Seselja kicked off a fight this morning attacking the public sector union for not using the Australian Electoral Commission for its ballots. “The Community and Public Sector Union was last night outed at Senate Estimates for outsourcing all of its Protected Action Ballots (PABs) in the current public service bargaining round to […]

Grattan / Labor refers Brandis to police over offer to Human Rights Commission president

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AFTER a day-long government assault on Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs, she’s still in place. But Labor has asked the police to investigate the conduct of Attorney-General George Brandis. It’s not exactly been a political triumph. An embattled government has embarked on an unnecessary fight, all because it […]

Andrew Barr off to New Zealand to plead the airport’s case

ANDREW Barr says he’s heading to New Zealand this week to meet Ministers in New Zealand and their tourism and aviation industry representatives to discuss a range of visitor economy issues, including international flights from Canberra airport. “New Zealand visitors are the highest contributor to Australia’s tourism industry in annual visits, however the country ranks […]

Grattan / Credlin crisis escalates with an outburst by the Liberal Party’s treasurer

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott’s leadership is now so fragile that he seems nearly beyond being able to rebalance himself. Abbott is the victim of leaks and general destabilisation, and the continued miscalculations by himself and his office. The Liberals’ crisis over Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, escalates by the day. […]

Grattan / Abbott’s message to Muslim leaders: speak up and mean it

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott has urged Muslim leaders to speak out more – and sincerely – in the fight against terrorism, as he unveiled tough new measures that would remove or curb the citizenship rights of those linked to terrorist activity. Delivering his national security statement, Abbott said: “I’ve often heard […]

Major parties united by the dollars in their eyes

SIMON Corbell is celebrating the passage of his electoral changes. “The Electoral Amendment Act 2015 makes significant improvements which strengthen the integrity of our electoral system as the cornerstone of a robust democracy and a society in which citizens can truly participate,” Simon said. “The government carefully considered various interests across the community before proposing […]