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The South and North islands of New Zealand, snapped from above by the International Space Station crew. Earth Observatory NASA

New Zealand joins a growing global Conversation

We're delighted to announce the appointment of The Conversation's first New Zealand Editor, who will share NZ's best academic research and analysis with millions of readers worldwide each month.
The government is making frantic efforts to seal a deal on its school plan before parliament adjourns for the winter break. Rob Blakers/AAP

Government reaches out to Catholics on Gonski 2.0

Simon Birmingham met Catholic education representatives on Monday night, receiving such a haranguing that at times it was difficult for him to get a word in.
The government is counting on a deal with the Greens or the support of most of the other Senate crossbenchers to pass its schools funding package. Brendan Esposito/AAP

Liberal backbenchers arc up on behalf of Catholic schools

Critics are expected to speak out in the partyroom on Tuesday, demanding more information about the effects of the schools package on the Catholic sector.
Josh Frydenberg’s task of garnering broad support for the Finkel scheme is proving to be more difficult than expected. Lukas Coch/AAP

Critical backbenchers push back on Finkel clean energy target plan

The degree of pushback against a clean energy target was stronger than had been anticipated, given the intense lobbying of the backbench Josh Frydenberg had done ahead of the meeting.
Federal and state leaders will convene as soon as practicable for a special COAG meeting on counter-terrorism. AAP/Rob Blakers

COAG agrees to new push on security after Melbourne attack

States and territories have agreed to strengthen their laws to ensure a presumption against granting bail or parole when people had 'demonstrated support for, or have links to, terrorist activity'.
Delegates to the Australasian Federation Conference, Melbourne, 1890, where being white, male and bearded was standard form. National Library of Australia

How Australia became a nation, and women won the vote

This year is the 120th anniversary of the Australasian Federal Convention through which, with rancour, prejudices and vested interests, the Australian nation was eventually born.
ACTU secretary Sally McManus has pushed for MPs to pass a bill to stop the phasing in of penalty rate cuts. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Sunday penalty rates to be phased down

The Fair Work Commission said reductions in rates were more significant in retail and pharmacy than in hospitality and fast food.
One Nation is in hot water over the leak of a secret recording that reveals James Ashby suggesting a plan to scam public funds. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Malcolm Turnbull seeks legal advice on Hanson’s staffer Ashby

At an extraordinary news conference, Hanson staffer James Ashby admitted the revelation was 'embarrassing', adding that it was a 'poor choice of words on my behalf'.
The drilling project at New Zealand’s Alpine Fault is the first to investigate a major fault that is due to rupture in a big earthquake in coming decades. John Townend/Victoria University of Wellington

New Zealand’s Alpine Fault reveals extreme underground heat and fluid pressure

An international team discovers extreme underground conditions at New Zealand's Alpine Fault, which is due to rupture in a major earthquake in the next few decades.