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Tony Abbott’s sister Christine Forster believes the Liberal Party should look at moving to a conscience vote on gay marriage this year. AAP/Newzulu/Hugh Peterswald

Abbott’s sister urges Liberals to consider gay marriage conscience vote this year

As Labor steps up its internal debate on whether its MPs should be "bound" on a vote for marriage equality, Tony Abbott's gay sister Christine Forster believes that would "certainly improve the numbers" to pass the reform.
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.
Chinese workers are often aided by NGOs and usually receive little to no help from the main Chinese trade union. EPA/ALEX HOFFORD

China’s growing labour movement offers hope for workers globally

The growing labour movement in China, as fragmented and repressed as it is, offers hope for workers everywhere as an example of organising against incredible odds.
To Tolkien, the machine represents a means to attain power over others. His orcs – deformed and ugly creatures, whose hands are sometimes replaced with weapons – embody this lust for power. LOTR Wikia

Tolkien and the machine

My grandfather was a carpenter, and I don’t think he ever developed much of a sense of trust in machines. I remember him laboring away at our home one summer, transforming our screened-in porch into a…
Labor, under opposition leader Bill Shorten, leads the Coalition by ten points in the latest Newspoll. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

ALP leads Coalition 55-45%

Labor’s support is at its highest for nine months in the latest Newspoll and Bill Shorten is ahead of Tony Abbott as better…
After federal and state tensions between Labor and Greens, it’s unlikely that we’ll again see a formal alliance between the two parties any time soon. AAP/Alan Porritt

Labor and the Greens: on again, off again, never again?

When sitting down to dinner late last month, Tasmanian voters were given the clearest insight yet into the shape of their island’s Labor-Greens relations. In a remarkably blunt piece of campaigning ahead…
You might have never heard of them but the Dawkins reforms changed pretty much everything about higher education in Australia. AAP Image/National Archives of Australia

Book review: The Dawkins Revolution, 25 Years On

Why is Australian higher education the way it is today? To answer this we must go back to Labor minister John Dawkins, who initiated a radical suite of reforms a quarter of a century ago. His impact on…
Would business leaders pay to see Anthony Albanese (pictured) debate Bill Shorten for the Labor leadership? AAP/Dan Peled

Let business pay to hear from ALP contestants: Albanese

Anthony Albanese has suggested Labor should help pay for its leadership contest by running a forum for business people to…
Both the Labor and Liberals see infrastructure as a crucial economic driver; but Chinese investment in this area has been politicised. AAP

Infrastructure prime minister must face Chinese elephant in room

Tony Abbott wants to be known as the infrastructure prime minister. He could be remembered for building roads and scrapping high-speed rail. But the role of Chinese finance and technical expertise in infrastructure…
Research on work and family policies support an approach that responds to the intensive demands of early childhood, as well as birth. Image from www.shutterstock.com

A family affair - good policy is more than paid parental leave

When the Labor government introduced a national paid parental leave (PPL) scheme on 1 January, 2011, it was late to the international party. The International Labour Organisation had been recommending…
There are two visions for the National Broadband Network, but what are the long-term costs? Lukas Coch/AAP

Can Australia afford the Coalition’s NBN?

Consumers know well that buying a cheaper product often costs more in the long term when the cheaper product has to be replaced. This is true of the Coalition’s vision for the National Broadband Network…
Does Labor’s most recent attack ad pass the truth test? Labor Party

FactCheck: Labor’s ‘If Abbott wins, you lose’ attack ad

Election FactCheck is checking key claims in political advertisements. Here we look at the “If Tony Abbott Wins, You Lose” ad from Labor. Families will lose the Schoolkids Bonus The Coalition has made…
Foxtel and the NBN … why all the noise of late? Gaye Gerard/AAP

News Corp Australia vs the NBN – is it really all about Foxtel?

No-one would describe News Corp Australia’s view on the National Broadband Network (NBN) as rosy. But if it’s true the company has engaged in repeated attacks on the government because it “hates” its network…

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