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Tony Abbott leads a cabinet meeting earlier this year, flanked by the only woman currently in his senior ministry, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. AAPImage/Alan Porritt

Abbott should be bold with his reshuffle

Tony Abbott’s imminent ministerial reshuffle has become a serious test of the Prime Minister’s leadership. Will he wimp it, or make the most of the opportunity? Now that the Independent Commission Against…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott needs to contain the backbiting and discontent in the higher reaches of his government. AAP/Lukas Coch

Grattan on Friday: Being a ‘better government’ will be a big job

After getting a serious bollocking from Ray Hadley on Thursday, Tony Abbott told the Sydney shock jock that he’s determined to be “a better prime minister with a better government and a more effective…
Man Haron Monis had a history of violence and radical behaviour. AAP/Sergio Dionisio

Political leaders ask how gunman was on the loose

When Tony Abbott was asked what he’d say to people wondering how Sydney’s siege had been allowed to happen given gunman Man Haron Monis was well known to police, the Prime Minister said cabinet’s National…
In an otherwise fraught policy landscape, ‘cheapness’ has been one of the cold hard facts of Indigenous affairs. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Cheap in the deep sense: the sorry business of Indigenous affairs

Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a bold move in September when he ran the country for four days from a tent at Gulkula in far northeast Arnhem Land in remote Australia. While there, he observed that although…
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…
A people’s convention could be the circuit-breaker that constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians needs. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

A people’s convention can make Indigenous recognition a reality

Important steps have been made in 2014 in the campaign to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia’s Constitution. Prime Minister Tony Abbott affirmed his commitment to hold…
Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton announce changes to the government’s GP co- payment policy. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Back to the future with Coalition attacks on Medicare bulk billing

In the government’s latest “scraping away the barnacles” of unpopular and blocked policies, prime minister Tony Abbott and health minister Peter Dutton have announced they’re abandoning the plan to have…
To bolster women’s employment participation as Tony Abbott so desires, better funding for child care would be a good way to go. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott should dump, not ‘refine’, his paid parental leave scheme

Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed over the weekend that he will use the parliamentary summer break to review his paid parental leave (PPL) scheme, which has so far proven to be a large political liability…
Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott have presented a less controversial Medicare co-payment that should be easier to sell to the public. AAP/Lukas Coch

Co-payment compromise puts extra burden on doctors

The government has stepped back from its A$7 proposed co-payment for visiting the GP but still aims to skin the Medicare cat, putting the onus on doctors to send a $5 price signal to non-concessional patients…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s leadership style emphasises his masculinity. Andrew Meares/AAP

The larrikin lives on at the expense of Australian female leadership

Whoever is advising Prime Minister Tony Abbott understands something of the place of the larrikin in the Australian national consciousness. Abbott’s threat to shirtfront Russian President Vladimir Putin…
Victoria’s voters have spoken – and they have said no to Melbourne’s new freeway tunnel. AAP Image/Julian Smith

The East-West Link is dead – a victory for 21st-century thinking

Labor’s state election victory in Victoria has fatally undermined Melbourne’s most controversial tunnel, the now-doomed East-West Link, with new Premier Daniel Andrews pledging to rip up the contracts…

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