Bill Shorten

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These Rohingya women and children, rescued by fishermen in Aceh, are among thousands in need of resettlement. EPA

Australia can do better on Asian boat crisis than ‘nope, nope, nope’

A summit in Bangkok is discussing the fate of thousands of people who were stranded at sea. Australia is represented but refuses to resettle any refugees, casting doubt on its commitment to a regional solution.
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.
Even with bipartisan support, a referendum on Indigenous constitutional recognition is no certainty to succeed. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

What the record reveals of the chances of Indigenous recognition

A defeat for Indigenous constitutional recognition would be disastrous and demoralising. But history tells us that even worthy proposals with bipartisan support are not assured of success.
More mines, more roads, as the government puts its drive towards economic development ahead of all else. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

There are no green shoots for sustainability in this Budget

Amid talk of paths to surplus and investing in infrastructure, both sides of politics seem to have forgotten Australia's longstanding responsibility to govern sustainably, and not just for the economy.
A swing and a miss: instead of taking its own advice to ‘have a go’ in its second budget, the government is like the captain who sends in a nightwatchman instead of himself. AAP/Tony Ashby

Budget week reveals an appetite for government but not to govern

Joe Hockey's second budget has two large deficits: the fiscal one, plus the lack of a coherent and creative plan for Australia. The Abbott government failed to 'have a go' at building the future.
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%.
Bill Shorten faces some budget pressure too. His budget reply performance will be judged partly on whether he includes new substance. AAP/Paul Miller

Leaders shape up for debate over budget’s ‘fairness’, as Deloitte projects $45 billion 2015-16 deficit

Against the grim outlook of a continuing massive deficit, Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten are both seeking to frame the debate ahead of Treasurer Joe Hockey bringing down his second budget next week.
Bill Shorten has revealed a Labor plan to remove the tax-free concession available to people with high annual superannuation incomes. AAP/Rebecca Le May

Shorten’s superannuation policy to hit accounts over $1.5 million

A Labor government would crack down on the superannuation tax breaks enjoyed by high income earners, raising more than $14 billion over ten years, under a policy released by Bill Shorten on Tuesday.
Martin Ferguson criticised New South Wales Labor’s campaign against privatisation of the poles and wires. AAP/Paul Miller

Expelling Martin Ferguson would be a bad look for Labor

Bill Shorten should resist the witch-hunt against former ALP minister Martin Ferguson over his attacks on NSW Labor’s anti-privatisation campaign. The idea that the Labor Party should expel Ferguson…
Shadow minister for families and payments Jenny Macklin at the launch of Labor’s pensions campaign. AAP/Lukas Coch

Pre-budget battle weapons – a slogan and a slide show

Playing the slogan game might degrade the political debate, but it worked alright for Tony Abbott – so now Bill Shorten’s launched into it ahead of the May budget. Labor has unveiled its “Mr Abbott. Don’t…
Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten are united in condemning violence against women and children, but both overlook the young people who are victims too. AAP/Lukas Coch

Sidelined and scorned: young people are set up to be soft targets

Responses to family violence by Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten and the terms of reference for Victoria's royal commission fail to mention young people. Such a lack of recognition has dire consequences.
The Labor Party that Bill Shorten leads is much more professionalised in its MP make-up than its earlier incarnations. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Class warfare: would Shorten pass the test that Ed Miliband failed?

For British Labour leader Ed Miliband, defeat was yet again snatched from the jaws of victory. With the UK general election less than six months away, the recent Rochester and Strood by-election was a…
Jenny Macklin emphasises that the pursuit of inclusive growth also requires a set of economic policies that recognise the importance of human capital. AAP/Lukas Coch

Labor needs new narrative, Macklin says

Opposition frontbencher Jenny Macklin says Labor should frame its policies around delivering “inclusive growth” and needs…
The problem confronting Labor and federal leader Bill Shorten is not so much the ties with unions as the centralisation of power in the party and a handful of affiliated unions. AAP/Lukas Coch

Labor will be making a mistake if it simply divorces the unions

Proposed reforms in the Australian Labor Party aim to give members a greater voice in party governance and policy development. This is driven by the need to reverse the party’s shrinking support base after…

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