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Bill Shorten’s gay marriage push has been described as “all about Bill”. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Gay marriage heading to cross-party bill

Some pro-gay marriage Liberals might be railing against Bill Shorten's pre-emptive move but its effect has been to suddenly raise the prospect of common political ownership of the issue.
Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Philip Ruddock at parliament house on Tuesday. AAP/Lukas Coch

Abbott gets push back on part of his radical citizenship plan

The government will soon introduce legislation to give the immigration minister wide discretionary power to strip Australian citizenship from dual nationals involved in terrorist activities.
Joe Hockey made policy on the run when he appeared on ABC television’s Q&A. AAP/Lukas Coch

Hockey’s expensive night out

Treasurer Joe Hockey has always been wary of going on Q&A. He was right. Hockey made policy on the run on the program when he agreed that GST shouldn’t be applied to women’s sanitary products and promised…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who casts the conflict against Islamic State in terms of a crusade against evil, simplifies and sloganises it. AAP/Lukas Coch

Abbott prefers to stay on the high moral ground in a war mired in murkiness

Tony Abbott was asked on Monday whether, if the United States increased its troop numbers in the fight against Islamic State (IS) Australia would consider boosting its commitment.
Greg Moriarty will become the first co-ordinator of national counter terrorism. AAP/Karlis Salna

Former diplomat to co-ordinate counter terrorism

A former ambassador to Indonesia and Iran, Greg Moriarty, will become co-ordinator of national counter terrorism, leading a new office in the Prime Minister's department.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has released modelling showing that lower income families are hit hardest by Coalition policies. AAP/Lukas Coch

Worst off hit hardest by Coalition policies: NATSEM modelling

NATSEM modelling to be released by Bill Shorten shows nine out of ten of the lowest income families with children are losing out under Coalition policies.

VIDEO: Michelle Grattan on a 2015 federal election

University of Canberra Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Frances Shannon and Michelle Grattan discuss the week in politics including the latest bump in the Fairfax Ipsos poll and the chance of an election in 2015, Andrew Forrest lobbying for an inquiry into iron ore prices, and the conditions at the Nauru detention centre.
Transfield Services Chief Executive Operations Kate Munnings during the Senate inquiry into recent allegations relating to conditions and circumstances at the regional processing centre in Nauru. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Grattan on Friday: Nauru detention centre needs its own Ombudsman

Australian taxpayers are providing Transfield Services with $1.2 billion over 20 months to operate the detention facility on Nauru.
Treasurer Joe Hockey has announced that the government will not pursue an inquiry into iron ore prices. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Iron ore inquiry off but row continues

The government has given into the pressure from the big miners and formally abandoned the idea of a parliamentary inquiry into the iron ore sector.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is in a nasty squeeze, with Andrew Forrest, founder of Fortescue Metals Group, and some of the other smaller miners on one side, and the big producers, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, on the other. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

War between miners catches government in the crossfire

Tony Abbott has got into a terrible tangle over whether there should be an inquiry into iron ore prices.
Shorten is right to see the importance in science, technology and maths, but his policies don’t have proven efficacy. AAP/Lucas Coch

Labor’s plans for science, technology, maths education well-meaning but misguided

A heavy focus of Bill Shorten's budget reply speech was preparing for the future with science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. While this focus is a step in the right direction, the policies probably aren't the right way to go about it.
Voters can be fairly confident Prime Minister Tony Abbott will aim to stay in the middle ground until the election. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Grattan on Friday: Which Tony will voters decide is the ‘real Tony’?

This week's budget has helped entrench Tony Abbott's leadership. That's a blow for the Liberal aspirants but not necessarily for Labor, because it would prefer him to be the opponent at the election.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has unveiled $350 million of new planned spending under a Labor government. AAP/Lukas Coch

Small business tax should be cut by 5%: Shorten

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has called for a bipartisan push to reduce the company tax rate for small business from the budget's promised 28.5% to 25%.

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