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What’s in the Turnbull government’s first budget for cities, defence, social services, the ABC and more? AAP/Lukas Coch

Federal budget 2016: political experts react

On reform, the 2016-17 budget is a holding one, with tinkering on the sides.
This year’s federal budget will be a tricky affair for government and opposition. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Election budgets can only ever be a charade

The impending election will mean a lot of spin and little substance from both sides of government in this year's federal budget.
The DCNS Shortfin Barracuda is a large submarine, but that might suit our needs. AAP/DCNS Group

Why does Australia need submarines at all?

Submarines possess a number of unique capabilities that make them ideal to protect Australia's interests.
If Tony Abbott is disappointed by the failure to choose Japan to build Australia’s new submarines, the only one he can blame is himself. AAP/Ben Macmahon

Submarines decision ultimately shows the merits of partisan debate on defence

Like oil and water, party politics and good defence policy are presumed not to mix. And the process to buy Australia's next fleet of submarines has been all about party politics.
DCNS' ‘Shortfin Barracuda’ was the winning design for Australia’s next submarine fleet. AAP/DCNS Group

French company DCNS wins race to build Australia’s next submarine fleet: experts respond

The Conversation’s experts respond to key aspects of the announcement that French company DCNS will be build Australia's next fleet of submarines.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull must put some substance behind their climate rhetoric. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Shorten can wedge Turnbull on climate

It was all a bit much for me to see Environment Minister Greg Hunt wallowing in the signing of the Paris Agreement on emissions reduction in New York this week. His commitment to its ratification by year…
The Coalition government has moved to rapidly alter the balance of Australia’s foreign policy spending. AAP/Rashida Yosufzai

Ideas for Australia: Sold short – Australia’s aid cuts have foreign policy consequences

A reduced aid budget equates to the forsaking of real opportunities in foreign policy terms. In the long term, this could make the savings look miniscule compared to opportunity costs.
Chinese businesses are unsure about how import duties will be applied, and so removed some imported products. Michael Reynolds/AAP

China’s e-commerce laws not a ‘crackdown’ but closing a loophole

China's newly introduced "e-commerce laws" are actually just closing a loophole in regulation and shouldn't be seen feared by Australian businesses trading with the country online.

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