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9 areas in budget 2015 are expected to see significant changes

On May 12 the Federal Government will unveil its second budget — one that is expected to be far different from last year’s “budget repair job”. While Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey have stressed the new budget will be “dull and routine”, there are several areas which are expected to see significant changes. Below are nine things ...

Super storm killed 6 left more than 100 houses uninhabitable in Queensland

More than 100 houses have been left uninhabitable in Queensland following a super storm that killed six people. A number of places in the state recorded their wettest May days since 1996, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology. The state now faces a massive clean-up and insurers say they have received thousands of claims. The government has offered support to ...

Big hole in the Australian government’s budget

China’s slowdown has gouged a big hole in the Australian government’s budget, a new report said. Slower wages growth in Australia has also hit government revenues hard, said Deloitte Access Economics. It has forecast massive budget blowouts for both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years. The budget looks like it was “written by Stephen King and painted by Edvard Munch”, thanks ...

Australia and European officials contact over the Mediterranean migrant crisis

Australia’s PM Tony Abbott says there has been “contact” between Australia and European officials over the Mediterranean migrant crisis. Mr Abbott said contact was at an “official level”, however an EU spokeswoman said she was unaware of it. Europe has recently seen a sharp increase in deaths among migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean. Mr Abbott has said Europe should ...

Australia says Europeans seek advice on stopping migrants

Europeans grappling with mass migration from Libya were seeking information about Australia’s controversial success in stopping asylum seeker boats reaching its shores, the Australian prime minister said Monday. Refugee advocates and human rights groups have criticized Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s conservative government over drastic tactics it has used under its Operation Sovereign Borders policy to stop the flow of people-smuggling ...

The ninth condemned prisoner, Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, was given a last-minute reprieve from execution

Filipina maid Mary Jane Veloso was saved from the firing squad in Indonesia at the eleventh hour after her alleged human trafficker surrendered on the day of her execution. Veloso, who was escaping a desperately poor life in the Philippines, was arrested in 2010 in Yogyakarta with 2.6 kilograms of heroin in the lining of her suitcase. The mother of two ...

Relationship between Australia and Indonesia has suffered as a result of executions

Eight prisoners, including Bali nine organisers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, have been executed in Indonesia. The ninth condemned prisoner, Filipina maid Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, was given a last-minute reprieve from the firing squad. The executions were carried out at 12.35am local time (3.35am AEST) on Nusakambangan prison island. But it took up to 27 minutes for all the prisoners to die, ...

Sydney home prices to plateau: HSBC

SYDNEY’S stellar run of double-digit home price growth looks set to run out of steam next year. HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham says he expects the Reserve Bank to hike interest rates in 2016, a move that will cool Sydney’s booming property market. “Sydney house prices are running at an unsustainable pace,” he said. “Purchasers need to be very ...

More than three quarters of a million Australians were the victims of identity theft

More than three quarters of a million Australians were the victims of identity theft in the past year, costing the average victim about $4,000, credit bureau Veda says. Illegally obtained personal information fuels cyber crimes like online theft, the company said, and globally, billions of dollars are lost to cybercrime. When thieves broke into Rhonda’s supposedly secure mailbox she thought ...

330 more Australian troops will begin heading to Iraq

About 330 more Australian troops will begin heading to the Middle East tomorrow as part of a boosted contingent in the fight against the Islamic State group. Federal Cabinet has signed off on the deployment, which was first flagged six weeks ago. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the troops will be embarking on a two-year mission, with most put to ...