Australia

South Australia election: seat polls dampen Xenophon surge

Statewide polls have the vote for SA Best at up to 32% but seat polls point to 20% Nick Xenophon’s new SA Best party has done quite well in statewide polls, suggesting that he could wreak havoc on the South Australian party system by winning a large number of seats and forcing the major parties to work with him in ...

Australia and America should forge a mineral alliance

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and four of Australia’s premiers visited Washington last week to build trade connections with the US and discuss a range of security-related issues. For the most part, however, the talks failed to cover an increasingly important potential dimension of cooperation between the two nations that considers the comparative advantage of both countries rather than a zero-sum ...

Who is Michael McCormack? The life and controversies of Australia’s new deputy PM

Michael McCormack is the new Nationals leader and deputy prime minister. Never heard of him? Never fear. We’ve compiled this handy assortment of tidbits and controversies to bring you up to speed. The McCormack basics From Wagga Wagga in New South Wales’ Riverina region, McCormack is a Nationals MP with a fairly typical history. He grew up on family farms at Marrar and ...

Australian Federal Police seize 313kg of ice destined for South Australia, arrest three men

MORE than 300kg of the destructive drug ice has been stopped from making its way to South Australia — the largest haul of methamphetamine destined for Adelaide streets in state history. The investigation which led to the record bust involved the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Taxation Office ...

Australia maintain tough immigration stance

The Australian Foreign Minister isn’t budging on her country’s tough stance on the detention and deportation of New Zealanders. Julie Bishop was in Auckland yesterday for formal talks with her New Zealand counterpart, Winston Peters. The New Zealand Government has previously raised concerns about New Zealanders being treated unfairly as a result of Australian immigration policies that mean non-citizens can ...

Philip Ruddock’s religious freedom review holding secret hearings

The religious freedom review headed by Philip Ruddock has started secret hearings with evidence taken in private sessions, despite a commitment in January to be “as open as possible in its approach to submissions”. Ruddock has brushed off concerns that the process of private hearings reduces transparency, telling Guardian Australia “it’s not a trial” and the panel was more likely ...

Australian government underwriting arms exports is ‘baffling’, expert says

The financial aspects of the Turnbull government’s plan to turn Australia into an arms exporting powerhouse are baffling, a leading defence expert says, but the decision to promote defence products overseas is welcome. Andrew Davies, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s director of defence strategy, said the Coalition’s plan to use a $3.8bn fund to underwrite an expansion of arms exports made little ...

Most Australians say cost of living rising

Voters think cost of living pressures, particularly energy prices, have increased over the past 12 months, and a majority of Australians earning below the average weekly wage believe their income is going backwards, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll. The new poll, which maintains the 2017 trend of Labor in an election-winning position on the two-party preferred measure (54% to the Coalition’s ...

Buyer’s remorse: Australia’s sorry record on defence hardware

Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled an “ambitious, positive plan” to make Australia one of the world’s largest weapons exporters. Unveiling the new “defence export strategy” on Monday, the prime minister said Australia would raise its profile in the international arms trading game by helping private firms sell weapons in “priority markets” such as the Middle East. Military budgets are increasing around the world, ...

Australian mother accused of murdering adult children

An Australian woman has been accused of murdering two of her children and torturing a third, in alleged crimes that spanned at least five years. Maree Crabtree, 51, was arrested on Queensland’s Gold Coast on Wednesday. Police allege she killed her daughter, 18, in 2012, and her son, 26, last year. Both had disabilities. Authorities alleged Ms Crabtree was motivated ...

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