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If Prime Minister Tony Abbott fends off the spill motion the size of the margin is important. AAP/Nikki Short

Liberals do a fine imitation of Labor chaos

Liberal MPs will confront a stark choice next week between propping up a deeply wounded prime minister or trying a fresh start. They know each course is fraught with big risks. With the crucial vote not…
If the Liberal leadership comes to a crunch at some point, any “no challenge” promises from Julie Bishop become meaningless. AAP/Nikki Short

Cabinet ministers back Abbott while they wonder how events might change their fortunes

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was dispatched on Tuesday night to announce there’d been unanimous support for Tony Abbott in cabinet, which is meeting for two days. “That’s a strong message, not only…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s press club address was more pedestrian than inspiring. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Wounded Abbott casts his future as character test for colleagues

The Liberal Party remains volatile and Tony Abbott’s position precarious after a National Press Club performance that avoided disaster but did not convince the doubters among his followers. Abbott gave…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he regretted the distraction his knighthood for Prince Philip had caused in the Queensland election campaign. AAP/Wayne King

New poll blow to Abbott on eve of crucial speech

The Abbott government would face a devastating rebuff if an election were held now, losing some 36 seats on a uniform 7.5…
Handshakes as the Lima conference went into overtime to deliver an agreement. But there is still plenty of uncertainty about how next year’s Paris deal might look. EPA/COP20

Australia comes in from the cold as Lima deal leaves lots to do

The world is a step closer to a new climate agreement that will see all countries, not just developed ones, take action on greenhouse emissions after 2020. The two-week Lima climate summit, which ran two…
Treasurer Joe Hockey has sought to make a virtue of what will be a substantial worsening of the projected deficits. AAP/Lukas Coch

Some barnacles can’t be removed in time for Christmas

Some barnacles are not, it seems, able to be removed – certainly not in time for Christmas. As the political year grinds to its end, the Prime Minister’s Office is under almost as much attack as that of…
UN negotiators will struggle to balance the demands of countries that want binding emissions targets, and those that don’t. EPA/Paolo Aguilar

‘Legally binding’ demands are still the biggest climate dealbreaker

Could the preoccupation with legally binding targets sink the next climate deal in Paris in 2015? In the run-up to this week’s Lima talks, widely seen as a precursor to the Paris summit, the Abbott government…
Senior ministers have had objections about the centralisation and control by Peta Credlin in the prime minister’s office. AAP/Lukas Coch

Grattan on Friday: Abbott should ask Credlin what to do about Peta

Julie Bishop and Peta Credlin had one significant parallel experience on the way to government. They both survived three Liberal leaders. Bishop was deputy to Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony…
Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop are bidding to repair the government’s tarnished reputation on climate - but have they pledged enough? AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Australia’s $200 million climate pledge falls short of its true debt

At the United Nations Lima climate summit, Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop has pledged A$200 million over four years to the Green Climate Fund, which seeks to raise US$100 billion (A$120 billion…
Julie Bishop will need to fight to rescue Australia’s standing after a dire first week at the Lima climate talks. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Julie Bishop arrives at climate talks amid ignominy for Australia

Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop will have a lot of explaining to do when she arrives here in Lima, Peru, ahead of her address to the UN climate summit tomorrow. It will take all of her diplomatic…
Trade Minister Andrew Robb will accompany Julie Bishop to the Lima climate conference – without the environment minister. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Australia’s environment minister doesn’t get a guernsey at Lima climate change conference

Tony Abbott is sending Trade Minister Andrew Robb rather than Environment Minister Greg Hunt to accompany Julie Bishop at the United Nations climate conference in Peru. Bishop, as Foreign Minister, is…
John Howard made sure he was facing the same way as other world leaders on climate policy, unlike the current Prime Minister. AAP Image/David Crosling

How John Howard could help turn Tony Abbott around on climate

Throughout his prime-ministership, which ran from 1996 to 2007, John Howard’s perspective on climate change was informed by geopolitics more than science. The Kyoto Protocol, the key international climate…
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Coalition had concerns at the time about the detail of the agreement Labor put in place just before the 2013 election. AAP/Alan Porritt

Bishop puts no time on PNG starting refugee resettlement

The government wanted to ensure Papua New Guinea understood “absolutely” its responsibilities to resettle refugees from Manus…
Julie Bishop says Russian President Putin had responded “very constructively” to her appeal about MH17. AAP/Richard Wainwright

Julie Bishop shows the boys how it’s done

Once again Julie Bishop has demonstrated she can lay claim to be currently the best performing minister in cabinet. On her recent overseas trip, Foreign Minister Bishop secured an apparently useful meeting…

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