Australia

Australia must stay cool on China, and press the reset button

Australia’s response to China’s continuing rise mixes anxiety, even a touch of paranoia, with anticipation of the riches that derive from the sale of vast quantities of commodities. Economic dependence on China is two-edged and potentially policy-distorting. To put this in perspective: Australian exports of goods and services to China in 2016-17 were worth $110.4 billion. That accounts for nearly 30 per ...

Richest taxpayers get $12.7bn windfall from Coalition plan, thinktank says

The final stages of the Turnbull government’s plan to dramatically flatten Australia’s income tax scales will provide a multibillion-dollar boon to the top 20% of income earners, and they deserve further scrutiny by parliament, a progressive thinktank says. The Australia Institute has produced new modelling of the most expensive elements of the government’s income tax plan, saying the Senate needs ...

Australia to seek diplomatic backup against Russia over MH17 atrocity

Australia could ask European and American allies to help with a mass diplomatic retaliation against Russia, if Moscow refused to accept responsibility for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, an atrocity which killed 298 innocents, including 38 Australians citizens and residents. The push is likely to poison relations with Russia even further after Moscow’s Ambassador to Australia on Sunday angrily denied ...

Golden age for Kylie as Australia’s pop princess turns 50

SYDNEY — From teenage soap sensation to pop royalty, over Kylie Minogue’s three-decade career she has sold 80 million records, survived breast cancer and become a gay icon whose fanbase spans generations. The pint-sized Aussie superstar celebrates her 50th birthday on Monday, another milestone for the singer who is one of the few celebrities known simply by their first name. ...

Malcolm Turnbull’s by-election candidates face uncertain futures

Malcolm Turnbull has kick started his Super Saturday by-election blitz with an embarrassing cloud hanging over a likely Coalition candidate. And, another female government MP faces a likely pre-selection challenge from a male. The prime minister was in the Tasmanian seat of Braddon today, supporting the Liberals’ Brett Whiteley. But the favoured candidate for the Longman by-election, Trevor Ruthenberg, still ...

Australia completes world’s largest cat-proof fence to protect endangered marsupials

The world’s largest cat-proof fence has been completed in central Australia, creating a 94 square kilometre sanctuary for endangered marsupials. The 44km fence – made of 85,000 pickets, 400km of wire and 130km of netting – surrounds the Newhaven wildlife sanctuary, a former cattle station that has been bought by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. Endangered species such as the bilby, the burrowing bettong ...

Contaminated Australian defence sites put spotlight on environmental record

Most of the non-residential sites being offloaded by the Department of Defence in its land disposal program are contaminated, a legacy of past environmental failings. Defence has eight unwanted non-residential properties listed for disposal across Australia, including former rifle ranges and armaments factories. Defence has confirmed it is conducting investigations at the majority of the sites to determine the “nature and extent” of contamination. ...

Australia’s high earners will benefit most from tax reforms, says thinktank

The Turnbull government’s plan to pursue billions of dollars in income tax cuts over the next seven years will radically alter Australia’s progressive income tax system, shifting more than 80% of workers to a flat tax, according to analysis. The analysis shows the major beneficiaries of the government’s plan will be Australia’s highest income earners, with the top 10% of ...

Australian police find 7 dead, including 4 children, with gunshot wounds

Seven people were found dead with gunshot wounds at a property near the tourist town of Margaret River in Australia’s southwest on Friday in what could be the country’s worst mass shooting in 22 years, police said. The bodies of three adults and four children and two guns were found at a property at the village of Osmington, Western Australia ...

Waste crisis: Australia isn’t recycling, we’re ‘just collecting’

“If you collect rubbish and ship it to China that’s not recycling, that’s just collecting.” Dr Karl Williams, head of the centre for waste and resource management at the University of Central Lancashire, says he’s looked at a lot of rubbish in his career. And though Europe is going through its own crisis at the moment, like Australia, he suspects that the ...