Tony Abbott

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The prime minister described Labor’s renewables pledge as “truly bizarre”. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

FactCheck: Would Labor’s renewable energy plan cost consumers $60 billion?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this week that Labor's pledge to source half the nation's power from renewable energy by 2030 will "mean a massive bill, perhaps $60 billion or more, that will have to be carried by the consumers of Australia." Is that right?
Either Tony Abbott’s deep ideological and religious beliefs, or his fears of doing anything that weakens his support in the party’s right wing, are strongly driving him on same-sex marriage. Dean Lewins/AAP

Abbott should say what he intends on same-sex marriage

If Tony Abbott wants to defer indefinitely the issue of same-sex marriage, he really should come out and say so. As things stand, he seems just to be trifling with colleagues in the Liberal Party. The…
The governments’s proposed new labelling system doesn’t allow for clear statements about where food comes from if it’s not Australian. Cascadian Farm/Flickr

Government’s proposed country-of-origin labels leave you to guess where your food comes from

The new country-of-origin labels are supposed to change a confusing system that led to public outrage about hepatitis infections from frozen berries earlier this year. They fall considerably short.
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird is one of the more reasonable and well-performing politicians in the country. David Moir/AAP

That GST debate: is it game over, game on, or just a never-ending game?

On Sunday, June 28, New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill breakfasted at an Adelaide cafe. Baird had flown to SA for the meeting. Their discussion was about Tony…
It’s unsurprising that Tony Abbott grabs onto any scrap of Labor’s planned emissions trading policy, but the crudity of the attack insults the public’s intelligence. AAP/Lukas Coch

Grattan on Friday: Our system is being consumed by the politics of demolition

Tony Abbott strode down the parliamentary press gallery corridor towards the welcome bank of cameras. A Labor options paper on carbon pricing had appeared in tabloids, under derogatory headlines.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Environment Minister Mark Butler say the ALP supports renewables but haven’t yet decided whether and how to price carbon. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

The latest turn in the twisty history of Labor’s climate policies

Labor says it hasn't yet decided what climate policy to take to the next election, although this week's leak has bolstered the idea that it will involve carbon pricing – a subject with a long and vexed history for the party.
Speaker Bronwyn Bishop will pay back entitlements for a charter helicopter flight from Melbourne to Geelong, return. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Bishop pays back more than $5000 for Geelong helicopter trip

Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has promised to reimburse A$5227 in taxpayers' money that she spent on a helicopter flight between Melbourne and Geelong to attend a Liberal fundraiser in November.
Barnaby Joyce has been outspoken in opposition to a government decision to build a coal mine in his electorate of New England. AAP/Lukas Coch

Joyce breaks cabinet rules, but his fate is PM’s call

Collective responsibility – or cabinet solidarity – is an axiom of political prudence that has mutated into a constitutional convention of how ministers should behave.
The ban on government frontbenchers appearing on Q&A will be lifted by the Prime Minister when the program is transferred into the news and current affairs department. ABC

Abbott to ABC: put Q&A under news division and ministers will return

Tony Abbott on Friday told the ABC that ministers will appear again on Q&A if and when the program is brought under its news and current affairs umbrella.
Bill Shorten has emerged from the royal commission with wounds that are not mortal for his leadership but serious enough to set it back. AAP/David Moir

Grattan on Friday: Abbott’s lucky to have a damaged Shorten

Bill Shorten's appearance at the royal commission has not only damaged him but diverted a good deal of attention from the signs of division and tension at senior levels of the Abbott government.
Malcolm Turnbull has called for a more robust dialogue on national security, where measures are free to be challenged. AAP/Stefan Postles

Placing the terror threat in perspective may help provide a nuanced response

The continual use of colourful language when talking about terrorism exaggerates the threat in Australia and could play into the hands of Islamic State's sophisticated recruitment strategies.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is still unsure if he will be able to appear as scheduled on Q&A next Monday. AAP/Stefan Postles

Q&A affair has become theatre of the absurd

Has Q&A put some spell of madness over the government and their media mates?
Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten pose for a photograph with Indigenous leaders before a meeting to consider the process for a referendum on Indigenous recognition. AAP/David Moir

Indigenous recognition: Abbott announces community consultation process

Tony Abbott, Bill Shorten and Indigenous leaders dealt primarily with process rather than substance in their Monday meeting on constitutional recognition of the first Australians. This made it a whole…
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Boycotting Q&A, boycotting democracy

Politicians who boycott media organisations with whom they disagree politically rarely come out looking good. UK Labour leader Neil Kinnock tried it with News Corp in Britain 25 years ago, and never won…

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