Australia

  • Banned CFC emissions traced to eastern China

    Researchers say they have traced the major sources of a global increase in emissions of the ozone-depleting gas CFC-11 to eastern China. According to research published in Nature, global emissions of the banned chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) have increased since 2013, and the results indicate a violation of the universally-ratified 1980 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Montreal Protocol has been successful in reducing CFC emissions and restoring the ozone layer, which absorbs most ... ► Read more

  • Election: Albanese unopposed in bid for Labor leadership

    Labor frontbencher and former party leader Anthony Albanese is currently unopposed in his bid for the Labor leadership, as senior party figures withdraw from the race. Following Labor’s failure to secure enough seats to form government at the recent federal election, Bill Shorten announced he would step down from the leadership once a replacement was found. Although a number of candidates announced their intention to seek the leadership early this week, all but Mr Albanese ... ► Read more

  • Coalition to form majority government after securing 76 seats

    The Coalition has secured a majority after the Liberal candidate for Chisolm, Gladys Liu, made history by becoming the first Chinese-Australian woman elected to the Lower House. Ms Liu’s victory hands Prime Minister Scott Morrison the 76 seats required to govern in majority, and it appears the Coalition is on track to win a further two seats. If the current trends continue in the remaining four seats, the Liberal Party will secure 78 in total ... ► Read more

  • Blue Mountains back burning postponed following health warnings

    The Rurual Fire Service (RFS) has announced all hazard reduction burns will be postponed for the next 24 hours following health warnings issued by the NSW Health Department. For days now Sydneysiders have woken to the smell of smoke because of back burning in the Blue Mountains, with air quality reaching “hazardous” levels yesterday afternoon. Smoke is expected to linger in Greater Sydney until around midday, at which point the air should clear. The RFS ... ► Read more

  • Who will contest the Labor leadership?

    Labor leader Bill Shorten will step down when a replacement leader is chosen. Anthony Albanese and Chris Bowen have confirmed they will stand for the leadership. Shadow finance minister Jim Chalmers is considering contesting the leadership. Deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has confirmed she will not seek the leadership. Environment spokesperson Tony Burke has given his support to Mr Albanese. Agriculture spokesperson Joel Fitzgibbon may contest the leadership if there are no suitable candidates. Following last ... ► Read more

  • Morrison may not deliver key tax cuts this year as promised

    The Coalition’s tax cuts of up to $1080 per person will likely be delayed until next financial year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison admitted on Monday night. The tax cuts played a central role in the Coalition’s election campaign. Because the election was not called earlier, the bureacratic processes required to return Federal Parliament and pass the tax cuts through the Senate are unlikely to be completed by 30 June. “We obviously have to wait for ... ► Read more

  • One Nation truck set alight; Hanson blames “the left”

    A One Nation campaign vehicle was set alight at a shopping centre in Hobart on Sunday. The truck was being driven by One Nation Senate candidate Adam Lambert, who was buying groceries at the time. A bar attendant at the nearby Shoreline Hotel said she saw flames erupt from the car park and called police shortly after 5:00 pm. Tasmanian Police said the fire looked “suspicious” and were investigating its cause. One Nation leader Pauline ... ► Read more

  • Election roundup: Liberal-National Coalition to form government

    The Liberal-National Coalition is expected to form government with an outright majority of 77 seats. Labor is expected to win no more than 68 seats and cannot form government. The Liberal-National Coalition took four seats from incumbent MPs. Three Labor MPs are still at risk. Labor has lost Lindsay and could lose Lilley, the seat of former MP Wayne Swan. Gilmore has swung against the Liberals, with Warren Mundine trailing the Labor candidate. Former PM ... ► Read more

  • Australia took in accused Rwandan terrorists as part of US “people swap”

    Australia reportedly resettled two Rwandan men accused of murdering eight tourists as part of the “people swap” deal with the United States that was brokered by the Coalition Government. American news outlet Politico reported that Leonidas Bimenyimana and Gregoire Nyaminani were relocated to Australia and accepted as “humanitarian” entrants. In 1999 the two men were charged with terrorism offences by US prosecutors for murdering the tourists, including two Americans, with machetes and axes. They were ... ► Read more

  • Pacific Islands ask “bigger countries” to do more to tackle climate change

    A delegation of Pacific Island nations has called on “bigger countries” in the region to take a stronger approach to climate change. During a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday, Australia’s pacific neighbours warned that rising sea levels will destroy their communities unless more is done to respond to climate change. Nauruan President and chair of the Pacific Islands Forum Baron Waqa implied Australia could be doing more to make climate change ... ► Read more

  • Serial killer Ivan Milat diagnosed with terminal cancer

    Convicted serial killer Ivan Milat will remain hospitalised after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Milat, Australia’s most notorious serial killer, was transfered from the supermax Goulburn Correctional Centre on Monday to undergo diagnostic tests at Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick. It was initially thought organ failure may be behind the 74-year-old’s rapid weight loss and that he would return to solitary confinement at Goulburn, but the tests revealed he is in the “advanced stages” ... ► Read more

  • Election: Labor promises new wage theft tribunal

    Labor opposition leader Bill Shorten has promised to establish a new tribunal that will crack down on wage theft if his party forms government after the upcoming federal election. “It shouldn’t be too hard, it shouldn’t be too costly, to get what you are owed for a day’s pay,” Mr Shorten said. Workers who have been underpaid by employers could have claims of up to $100,000 resolved in a day by the tribunal. Mr Shorten ... ► Read more

  • “A little squabble”: Trump downplays trade war with China

    United States President Donald Trump has downplayed the US-China trade war following Beijing’s counter-tariff hike announcement, which saw over $US1 trillion wiped off stock values around the world yesterday. “We’re having a little squabble with China because we’ve been treated very, very unfairly for many decades,” Mr Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday (local time). “I think it’s going to turn out extremely well, we’re in a strong position.” He described his ... ► Read more

  • Serial killer Ivan Milat transfered to Sydney hospital

    Convicted serial killer Ivan Milat has been transfered from the supermax Goulburn Correctional Centre to undergo diagnostic tests at Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick, the Department of Corrective Services confirmed on Tuesday evening. The 74-year-old is being housed in a secure annex and is expected to return to Goulburn in the coming days as his condition is not deemed life-threatening. “We’ve made very strong security arrangements for that, we’ve got specialist teams to ensure ... ► Read more

  • Sweden reopens rape investigation involving Julian Assange

    An investigation by Swedish prosecutors into a rape allegation made against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2010 has been reopened. The inquiry was revived at the request of the alleged victim’s lawyer. Mr Assange, who denies the accusation, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012. The 47-year-old was evicted last month and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions. ... ► Read more

  • Greenpeace activists arrested following Sydney Harbour Bridge protest

    Police have arrested 13 people after removing Greenpeace activists dangling from the Sydney Harbour Bridge as part of a climate change protest. Three activists used cables to suspend themselves below the bridge at about 5:30am. According to NSW Police, security personnel prevented a “number of people” from climbing the bridge as part of the protest. The three who did unfurled banners calling for action on climate change. Police removed the last of the three suspended ... ► Read more

  • US-China trade war: global markets tumble

    Global equities have tumbled amid an escalation in the United States-China trade war that saw more than $US1 trillion wiped off stock values overnight. China announced it will impose tariffs of 5%-25% on $US60 billion worth of US goods, including frozen vegetables and liquefied natural gas. “China’s adjustment on additional tariffs is a response to US unilateralism and protectionism,” the Chinese Ministry of Finance said. “China hopes the US will get back to the right ... ► Read more

  • Election: PM promises subsidies for low-income first-home buyers

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised up to $500 million in subsidies to help low-income first-home buyers ahead of the federal election this coming Saturday. A Liberal-National Coalition Government would offer guarantees to reduce the required deposit for first-home buyers to 5% of the purchase price, instead of 20%, Mr Morrison announced at the Liberal Party’s campaign launch in Melbourne on Sunday. Singles earning up to $125,000 and couples with a combined income of up ... ► Read more

  • Adani’s Carmichael coal mine faces Qld Gov’t hurdle

    Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal mine project faces another hurdle, with the Queensland Government seeking a further review of the company’s groundwater plans for the project. Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price approved Adani’s groundwater plans just before the start of campaigning for the federal election. The approval followed eight months of assessment, including reviews by the CSIRO and Geoscience Australia. However, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) requested a further review last Friday, according ... ► Read more

  • Victorian Liberal candidate resigns over rape comments

    Federal Liberal candidate for the Victorian seat of Scullin, Gurpal Singh, has resigned over comments he made last year on Facebook dismissing a woman’s claim she had been raped by her husband. Mr Singh said he had “no sympathy” for the woman who shared her experience in an SBS Punjabi article, and called the alleged rapist the “real victim”. “It’s shameful that a married woman suffering family violence can go to such extent,” he wrote. ... ► Read more

  • Chinese media mocks Australian Government in WeChat posts

    The Australian Government has been targeted by online propaganda emanating from social media accounts linked to the Chinese Communist Party, a research paper delivered at today’s Safeguarding Australia Summit found. “Our evidence suggests that accounts aligned more closely with the Government in Beijing have a clear anti-Liberal story coming out of them,” said Dr Michael Jensen, a senior research fellow at the University of Canberra’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, who co-authored the paper ... ► Read more

  • M4 in chaos following fatal crash

    Citybound traffic on the M4 is backed up 15km following a fatal crash near Parramatta involving a truck and eight cars this morning. The incident happened at the 5.50am at the Church Street off-ramp at Mays Hill. All four citybound lanes have been closed and one westbound lane has been reserved for emergency vehicles. Investigators are still examining the scene but it is understood at least one person has died. Transport Management Centre Dave Wright ... ► Read more

  • Shorten hits back at News Corp for “gotcha shit” story on his mother

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has slammed The Daily Telegraph for its Wednesday front-page story about his mother. Under the headline “Mother of Invention”, the popular News Corporation tabloid accused Mr Shorten of skipping parts of his mother’s career while talking about the sacrifices she made to raise her children. During his appearance on the ABC’s Q&A on Monday, Mr Shorten spoke of how his mother, Dr Ann Shorten, continues to inspire him despite her passing ... ► Read more

  • Election: PM egged by protester in Albury

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison was egged by a protester at a Country Women’s Association (CWA) event in Albury. A 25-year-old woman walked up behind the Prime Minister and threw an egg at him, which bounced off his head without smashing. The protester, who the CWA says is not a member, had a carton of eggs with her and was tackled to the floor by security. An elderly lady was knocked over during the struggle was ... ► Read more

  • Morrison admits budget remains in deficit

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has acknowledged that the budget will be in deficit as Australians go to the polls despite repeatedly declaring the country’s finances are “back in black”. It took four questions from Leigh Sales on ABC’s 7.30 program, before the Prime Minister admitted that a deficit would be recorded for this financial year. “The accounts, as of right now, are still in deficit and next year they go into surplus and it’s taken ... ► Read more

  • First charges laid under Western Australia’s new “revenge porn” law

    A man who posted intimate images of his ex-girlfriend on social media has become the first person charged under Western Australia’s new “revenge porn” legislation. During their relationship the 24-year-old took consensual intimate images of his ex-girlfriend. WA Police allege that after the couple broke up, the man created an Instagram account in the victim’s name and posted seven intimate images of her without her consent. “It will be further alleged when the Instagram account ... ► Read more

  • Election: MP Kerryn Phelps targeted with “disturbing” emails

    MP for Wentworth Dr Kerryn Phelps says she has referred “disturbing” emails about her to the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Emails sent yesterday to an unknown number of voters contained incorrect voting information, claims that Dr Phelps is ineligible for election, and several anti-Semitic remarks. The emails falsely claim that Dr Phelps is ineligible to stand for election because she is an Israeli citizen. The emails say “Kerryn Phelps has been disqualified from election, she ... ► Read more

  • Facebook was right to ban Milo & company

    This is a conversation I have had many times with many people, and one thing I’ve observed is that there never seems to be one answer. That isn’t surprising because both core arguments make compelling cases. Basically, it comes down to whether you believe we should live in a society where individuals are allowed to say whatever they think or a society where community standards restrict what can be said. Here in Australia, section 18C ... ► Read more

  • Election: scandals, gaffes, resignations and disendorsements

    As Australia approaches a federal election on 18 May, there have already been plenty of scandals, gaffes, resignations and disendorsements. OPMagazine has helpfully made a summary of the current scandals and gaffes that are yet to be resolved and the resignations and disendorsements that have already happened barely a week after nominations closed — including the overt racists, sexists, homophobes, liars and dodgy dealers that have somehow made it onto ballot papers. Candidates clinging onto ... ► Read more

  • Assange sentenced to 50 weeks’ imprisonment over bail breach

    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks’ imprisonment for disobeying an order to surrender to court in 2012. Mr Assange sought asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012 after the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling that he should be extradited to Sweden for questioning over an alleged sexual assault. He claimed he was seeking political asylum because he believed his extradition to Sweden would eventually see him extradited ... ► Read more

  • Fresh modelling suggests Labor climate policy could shrink economic growth by 0.8%

    Labor’s climate targets could cost the Australian economy $542 billion, according to new modelling from economist Brian Fisher. The modelling estimates that by reducing carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, Australia’s economic growth could decrease by 0.8% over the next decade. However, Dr Fisher also says that by increasing the carbon emissions offset threshold for major polluters through international credits, the impact on growth could be halved. Labor’s climate policy spokesman Mark Butler has dismissed ... ► Read more

  • Sydney’s median house price to drop below $1 million, say analysts

    Sydney’s median house price has continued its slow fall, with leading real estate website Domain saying it is on track to dip below $1 million for the first time in four years. According to Domain’s latest house price report, Sydney’s median house price is $1,027,962 — down 3.1% over the past three months and 11.5% over the last year. The company’s senior research analyst Nicola Powell said that prices are likely to drop below $1 ... ► Read more

  • One Nation “family man” candidate Steve Dickson resigns over strip club videos

    Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Senate candidate for Queensland Steve Dickson has resigned after the Nine Network’s A Current Affair aired footage of him making lewd comments and touching a dancer at a United States strip club. Mr Dickson has issued a statement apologising for his behaviour. “The footage shown does not reflect the person I am. It shows a person who was drunk and not in control of his actions and I take full responsibility for allowing ... ► Read more

  • ASX to open flat despite Wall Street gains

    Australian shares are expected to open flat despite gains on Wall Street overnight. The SPI200 futures contract was down 1 point, or 0.02%, at 6,341.0 at 0800 AEST, suggesting a little-changed start for the benchmark S&P/ASX200 on Tuesday. Wall Street closed at new record highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.04%, the S&P 500 up 0.11% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite up 0.19%. The Reserve Bank of Australia is due to release data ... ► Read more

  • Sniper at Lindt Café siege sues NSW Police

    The chief sniper during the Lindt Café siege in Sydney in December 2014 has filed a civil lawsuit against NSW Police. The officer, who can only be identified as Sierra 3-1, alleges he and his team were hampered by senior officers, and the lives of café manager Tori Johnson and barrister Katrina Dawson could have been saved. A police spokesperson said NSW Police are aware of the matter, but said “it is inappropriate to comment” ... ► Read more

  • IT issue sparks long delays at Australia’s international airports

    The Australian Border Force (ABF) and the Department of Home Affairs are working quickly to resolve an “IT systems outage” that has caused chaos across Australia’s international airports this morning. Travellers have reported lines being over 200 metres long at Melbourne Airport and waiting times as long as 90 minutes at Sydney Airport. “Additional ABF staff have been deployed to process passengers and to minimise delays,” the ABF said in a statement. “Passengers are encouraged ... ► Read more

  • Newspoll: Coalition gains ground on Labor

    Voter support for the Government has continued to recover, with the latest Newspoll leaving just 1% between the two major parties. The Australian published the poll on Sunday night, revealing Labor’s two-party preferred lead has slipped to 51-49 just three weeks out from the federal election. The poll is good news for the Coalition, which in May was down 54-46 by the same measure. Meanwhile, Labor leader Bill Shorten has climbed two points as preferred prime ... ► Read more

  • Election: Liberals and United Australia agree how-to-vote preference deal

    The Liberal Party has struck a deal with the United Australia Party to exchange how-to-vote preferences for the upcoming federal election. Under the agreement, the Liberals will place Clive Palmer’s party second or above Labor on its how-to-vote cards for both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Although how-to-vote cards are not binding, they can influence the way that voters cast their ballots. In the House of Representatives, votes for the weaker of the ... ► Read more

  • Turkish nationals banned from Anzac Day Gallipoli dawn service

    The Turkish Government has announced a ban on Turkish nationals attending the Anzac Day dawn service on the Gallipoli peninsula. Turkish nationals, including bus drivers and tour guides, will be barred from the peninsula during the dawn service amid heightened security fears. Australian Veterans’ Affairs Minister Darren Chester defended the ban. “It’s not actually unprecedented for the Turkish authorities to recommend that Turkish nationals not attend the service, it’s happened in previous years,” Mr Chester ... ► Read more

  • Morrison, Shorten risk WeChat ban

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten are among the Australian politicians who could be kicked off Chinese social media platform WeChat for violating its terms and conditions, according to an ABC investigation. Both Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten had their official WeChat accounts set up by Chinese citizens, a practice that seems to be in breach of the platform’s rules. By using accounts registered in China, they are subject to Chinese censorship ... ► Read more

  • Helloworld boss gave $200,000 to Liberal Party during government tender

    A private company co-owned by Helloworld CEO Andrew Burnes donated $200,000 to the Liberal Party during the tender process for a $1 billion government accommodation contract that was awarded to Helloworld. Mr Burnes, who is also the Liberal Party’s federal treasurer, co-owns Burnewang Pastoral Company, paid a further $120,000 for tickets to a Liberal Party dinner in 2017, while contract negotiations remained ongoing. This money was treated as an attendance fee rather than a donation. ... ► Read more

  • Election: Labor will raise minimum wage for skilled migrants to boost local employment

    The Australian Labor Party will increase the minimum wage for skilled migrants to prevent them being used as cheap replacements for local workers, opposition leader Bill Shorten announced today. Speaking in Queensland, Mr Shorten told reporters that Labor will reduce the number of foreign workers by increasing the minimum wage and enforcing skill shortage tests more strictly. “We want to make sure that short-term skilled migration doesn’t just become an excuse for cheap labour, exploitation ... ► Read more

  • “My wife and my daughter were on the floor”: Australian man describes moment bomb detonated in Sri Lanka

    An Australian man whose wife and daughter were killed in the Sri Lankan terrorism attacks has described the moment a bomb went off during an Easter Sunday church service. At least 290 people were killed and 500 injured in a series of coordinated blasts in churches and hotels, in Sri Lanka’s deadliest violence since a devastating civil war ended in 2009. Australian woman Manik Suriaaratchi and her 10-year-old daughter Alexendria were killed in the attack ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 14 April – 20 April 2019

    2019 election: Morrison and Shorten to debate on 29 April Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will go head-to-head in a debate set for 29 April. See OPMagazine’s coverage of this story here. Fire tears through Notre Dame Notre Dame’s spire has collapsed after a fire engulfed the iconic Parisian cathedral on Monday (local time). See OPMagazine’s coverage of this story here. North Korea tests new “tactical” weapon, says DPRK state media ... ► Read more

  • 2019 election: Morrison and Shorten to debate on 29 April

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will go head-to-head in a debate set for 29 April. The debate, set to be hosted in Perth, will be the first election debate held in Western Australia. Details like where and when it might take place, and who will moderate it are yet to be confirmed. However, it is likely the debate will cover the economy, taxation and healthcare. ► Read more

  • American man charged with Sydney murder to remain in custody

    An American man charged over a murder in western Sydney last year will remain in custody until his next court appearance in June. Alex Dion, 38, was extradited from California yesterday and faced Sydney Central Local Court this morning, where he did not apply for bail. Mr Dion, a former tiler, is accused of murdering 33-year-old Thai national Wachira “Mario” Phetmang and dumping his body on the side of Sydney’s Homebush Bay Drive. On 6 ... ► Read more

  • One Nation support plummets following guns-for-funds scandal: Newspoll

    Recent Newspoll figures show support for One Nation has plummeted, boosting the predicted results for Labor and the Liberal-National Coalition ahead of the 18 May federal election. One Nation’s primary vote has dropped to just 4% following the “guns-for-funds” scandal, in which Al Jazeera revealed the party sought millions in donations and access to campaign support from the American National Rifle Association (NRA). In return, Queensland leader Steve Dickson and chief-of-staff James Ashby promised to ... ► Read more

  • Leyonhjelm misses out as One Nation secures final NSW seat

    Former Senator David Leyonhjelm has missed out on a seat in the New South Wales Parliament, as the results of the recent state election confirmed today. Two weeks ago the former Liberal Democrat Senator prematurely claimed a NSW upper house seat, but the final distribution of preferences shows he will not be taking a seat in the Legislative Council. Half of the 42 seats were up for election this year. Elected to the Legislative Council ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 7 April – 13 April 2019

    2019 election: Australians to vote on 18 May Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced 18 May as the date of the 2019 federal election, giving parties just over five weeks to sell their plans for the nation. See OPMagazine’s coverage of this story here. Construction of Adani mine receives final federal approval, despite allegations Minister was threatened Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price has given Adani the final federal approval needed to begin construction of its ... ► Read more

  • Shorten demands Dutton apologise for disability slur against rival

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has taken aim at Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton over comments he made about his Labor opponent in the seat of Dickson. Mr Dutton accused his opponent Ali France of using her disability “as an excuse” for not living in the electorate. The comment was made after Ms France said she had not been able to find a wheelchair-accessible house in the electorate ahead of the campaign. Mr Dutton told The Australian: ... ► Read more

  • Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange arrested in London, faces US extradition request

    Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange was arrested in London yesterday after almost seven years of refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy. Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, took refuge in the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over sexual assault allegations that have since been dropped. He claimed that the extradition proceedings were a ploy to facilitate eventual extradition to the United States on espionage charges. In May 2012 the Supreme Court of the ... ► Read more

  • 2019 election: Australians to vote on 18 May

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced 18 May as the date of the 2019 federal election, giving parties just over five weeks to sell their plans for the nation. At a 8:00am news conference Mr Morrison kicked off the campaigning, telling reporters that “there is a clear choice” for voters this election. “It is a choice that will determine the economy that Australians live in, not just for the next three years but for the ... ► Read more

  • The Gurdies: shooting off to Mars

    Consisting of mates from Melbourne, The Gurdies deliver a unique, raw energy. Their live show is undeniably remarkable. The sheer passion and grit these guys exude is immense! But before we get into that, there’s a bit of context. We were recently split up for a couple of weeks — can you believe it?! You see, one of us was in Melbourne while the other was in Sydney. Knowing The Gurdies were Melburnians, the twin deployed ... ► Read more

  • Melbourne CBD shut down for workers’ rally

    Melbourne CBD was shut down today as an estimated 50,000 workers marched for better wages and increased job security. The “Change the Rules” rally began at Trades Hall at about 10:30am, marching to the Victorian Parliament via Bourke Street in the city’s CBD. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews marched alongside workers as part of the Australian Council of Trade Union’s nationwide campaign. Unions claim the current Federal Government has overseen the most significant decline in living ... ► Read more

  • Christchurch terror suspect sent death threat two years before mosque attack

    A Melbourne man has revealed suspected Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant sent him a death threat after he criticised the far-right United Patriots Front (UPF) extremist group in 2016. Screenshots of a Facebook Messenger conversation between the man and Mr Tarrant show the alleged right-wing terrorist defended the anti-Islamic UPF as “the leading ethno-nationalist group within Australia.” “When you speak against the UPF you speak against my right to a home for my people and my ... ► Read more

  • Labor plans to resurrect Australia’s car manufacturing industry

    Labor will offer tens of millions of dollars to the world’s auto giants in a bid to revive Australia’s car manufacturing industry, according to a yet-to-be-revealed plan uncovered by the ABC. According to an ABC exclusive, the plan centres around building electric and hydrogen-powered cars in an attempt to tap into the rapidly increasing global demand. The plan has reportedly been in the pipeline for years, with high-ranking executives from the United States travelling to ... ► Read more

  • Crown Resorts $10bn buyout talks cancelled abruptly

    High end American casino and hotel giant Wynn Resorts has abruptly cancelled buyout talks with Australian rival Crown Resorts over “the premature disclosure of preliminary discussions”. Controlled by James Packer’s Consolidated Press Holdings, Crown Resorts confirmed on Tuesday that Wynn had offered $10 billion for the company, but said there was no certainty of a deal. After Crown confirmed the offer yesterday, its stock jumped 19.7%, closing at $14.05. However, Wynn appears displeased that word ... ► Read more

  • Construction of Adani mine receives final federal approval, despite allegations Minister was threatened

    Federal Environment Minister Melissa Price has given Adani the final federal approval needed to begin construction of its proposed coal mine in central Queensland. The project now requires final approvals from the Queensland State Government before construction can commence. The proposed coal mine in central Queensland’s Galilee Basin has been controversial, with environmentalists clashing with MPs and Senators who want it approved to bring jobs to the area. The Environment Minister was under pressure from ... ► Read more

  • Double murderer who breached parole conditions taken into custody

    New South Wales Police have tracked down a convicted double murderer who removed his ankle monitor while on parole. On Sunday afternoon Damien Anthony Peters disappeared from the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick, and his tracking device was later located outside a monastery in Kensington. Mr Peters was living freely in the community while being tracked by the electronic device. Detective Superintendent Rohan Cramsie confirmed that “Mr Peters was free to come and go ... ► Read more

  • Chinese billionaire paid lobbyist “tens of thousands” for private meeting with Dutton

    Pro-Chinese Communist Party billionaire Huang Xiangmo paid “tens of thousands of dollars” to former Liberal minister-turned-lobbyist Santo Santoro to arrange a private meeting in 2016 with then-Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. According to a joint investigation by the ABC’s Four Corners, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Mr Huang was trying to secure Australian citizenship at the time. Despite the meeting — which took place inside the private suite of a Sydney Chinese restaurant — Mr ... ► Read more

  • 38 arrested as animal rights protest causes chaos in Melbourne

    Police have arrested 38 people over an animal rights protest that blocked a major Melbourne intersection during the morning peak hour. The protesters blockaded the intersection of Flinders and Swanston streets on Monday morning, with more than 100 activists chanting “what do we want? Animal liberation — now!” and holding signs that read: “This is a peaceful protest” and “SOS animal emergency climate emergency.” Protesters also sat on the tram lines near the intersection, causing ... ► Read more

  • Australian residents interrogated by Chinese officials over ASIO investigation

    Two Australian residents have revealed they have been interrogated by Chinese officials about an investigation into China’s influence in Australia. Chinese intelligence agents interrogated Yang Hengjun and Feng Chongyi for information on John Garnaut, who led the top-secret investigation with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) in 2016. A joint investigation by the ABC’s Four Corners programme, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald revealed both men were detained and interrogated over the ASIO probe. Mr Yang, a former Chinese ... ► Read more

  • NSW Police search for convicted double murderer on parole

    New South Wales Police are searching for a convicted double murderer who removed his electronic ankle bracelet while on parole. Damien Anthony Peters was last seen at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick at about 4:15 pm yesterday, and NSW Police said he would have needed “a great deal of effort” to remove the tracking device. The 50-year-old pleaded guilty to murdering and dismembering two ex-lovers in 2001, and received a 21-year sentence. He ... ► Read more

  • Abbott faces 12% swing against in Warringah

    Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott could lose the federal seat of Warringah, with internal Liberal Party polling indicating he is facing a 12% swing against in the electorate. The North Sydney seat has been held by the Liberal Party or its predecessors since it was created in 1922, and has been held by Mr Abbott since 1994. Mr Abbott currently holds the seat by a margin of about 11.5%, meaning Warringah could potentially change hands ... ► Read more

  • Assange set to be expelled from Ecuadorian embassy, says WikiLeaks

    WikiLeaks says high-level sources within Ecuador are signalling that Australian Julian Assange will be expelled from the country’s London embassy within “hours to days”. In a tweet, WikiLeaks said Ecuador already had an agreement with the United Kingdom for Mr Assange’s arrest. Another tweet, posted an hour later, confirmed it had received “secondary confirmation from another high-level source”. It has been reported that Ecuador’s President is trying to surrender the Australian in exchange for debt ... ► Read more

  • Melbourne factory fire blankets suburbs with smoke

    The waste storage business at the centre of an inferno spewing thick, “acidy” smoke over Melbourne had its licence to operate suspended last month by the environmental watchdog. More than 175 firefighters have been battling the blaze — which is likely to burn for several days — at Bradbury Industrial Services in Campbellfield after a fire broke out about 6:40am. Stu, who works as a welder at a business next door, told the ABC he ... ► Read more

  • Backlash over laws targeting “abhorrent” social media content

    Lawyers, rights groups and the technology industry have criticised legislation passed by Parliament on Thursday that requires Internet companies to quickly remove “abhorrent” content or face criminal penalties. The Criminal Code Amendment (Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Bill 2019 is aimed at preventing the “weaponising of social media platforms” and will become law once it receives Royal Assent. It is part of the Government’s response to the Christchurch terror attack that took place in New ... ► Read more

  • Labor to promise low-income tax cuts and billions for health

    The Australian Labor Party will promise tax cuts for those earning less than $40,000 a year and billions in additional health spending if it wins the May federal election. Some three million of the lowest-paid Australians would benefit from the tax cuts, which will be formally announced in Labor leader Bill Shorten’s budget reply speech on Thursday night. Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said Mr Shorten would unveil Labor’s tax relief plan in a “classic” ... ► Read more

  • Senator Fraser Anning censured over Christchurch terror attack comments

    The Senate has censured independent Senator Fraser Anning for anti-immigration comments he made following the Christchurch terror attack. Senator Anning said, shortly after the attack, that New Zealand’s immigration programme had contributed to the attack by allowing Muslim fanatics to migrate to the country. His comments were condemned in the upper house, and Senator Anning was formally censured after an hour of debate led by Senate party leaders Mathias Corman (Liberal) and Penny Wong (Labor). ... ► Read more

  • Budget 2019 at a glance

    The budget bottom line will surge to a surplus next financial year on the back of higher than expected revenues from commodities, strong corporate profits and low unemployment. The estimated surplus of $7.1 billion for 2019-20 will be the first time the budget has entered positive territory since 2007-08. How will the Government spend this unexpected windfall of revenues? Simplifying the tax system will cost the government $158 billion over the next ten years. The ... ► Read more

  • Government to close Christmas Island mere months after reopening it

    Less than four months after reopening Christmas Island detention centre, the Government has announced it will close the facility. The centre’s reopening was a $185 million knee-jerk reaction to the passing of the Medevac bill, which gives doctors a greater say in refugee medical transfers to Australia from Manus and Nauru, but ultimately leaves the decision to transfer in the hands of government. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the legislation would encourage people smuggling and ... ► Read more

  • Sydney fog prompts weather alert, domestic flight delays

    Sydney motorists are being urged to drive with extreme care following a road weather alert issued by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) this morning. Fog has blanketed most suburbs but is heaviest in the west. BOM says the fog has been caused by clear skies, light winds and high humidity from recent showers. “There’s a number seeing visibility down to the 100 to 200-metre mark, which is why there’s a road weather alert out,” forecaster ... ► Read more

  • Macquarie Park scaffolding collapse kills apprentice

    One man has been killed and another critically injured after scaffolding at a Macquarie Park high-rise collapsed on Monday. The deceased, Christopher Cassaniti, was a formwork apprentice who only just turned 18 last week. Despite efforts to save him, he died at the scene. The second worker, 39, was freed from the rubble and taken to Royal North Shore Hospital under a police escort. Mr Cassaniti’s parents attended the scene shortly after the collapse. NSW ... ► Read more

  • Woolworths to close 30 Big W stores

    Supermarket giant Woolworths will close 30 Big W stores and two distribution centres, taking a $370 million hit. Chief executive Brad Banducci announced the closures, which represent about 16% of the Big W network, as Woolworths attempts to stem its losses. Despite seeing sales revenue increase by 6% in the March quarter, Big W is forecast to lose another $80–$100 million this year, only a slight improvement on the $110 million deficit last year, and ... ► Read more

  • Police offer $1m reward for fresh information about Janine Vaughan’s disappearance

    Police are offering $1 million for fresh information about the disappearance of Janine Vaughan 18 years ago. The 31-year-old woman was last seen entering a red car on Bathurst’s Keppel Street after leaving a nightclub in the early hours of 7 December 2001. In 2009, a NSW coroner concluded Ms Vaughan had been murdered, however the circumstances remained a mystery. Her family have pleaded Bathurst residents to share anything they know with investigators. “Janine was ... ► Read more

  • Flights grounded as Sydney Airport control tower evacuated

    Smoke from an overheating computer system has caused chaos at Sydney Airport, forcing the evacuation of the air traffic control tower and grounding flights for an hour. Firefighters cleared about 20 staff to return to the tower at Australia’s busiest airport at about 12:30pm, about 50 minutes after they were evacuated when a fire alarm sounded. Air Services Australia (ASA) — the national air navigation service provider — said smoke was detected in the building ... ► Read more

  • Election: Liberals will preference One Nation below Labor, declares PM

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared that the Liberal Party will put Labor ahead of One Nation on its how-to-vote cards for the upcoming federal election. The move comes in response to increasing anger toward the far-right One Nation party following the release of the first two instalments of Al Jazeera’s How to Sell a Massacre documentary that shows the minor party courting the American gun lobby. In the second part of the documentary, which was released last night, ... ► Read more

  • IS sympathiser Saeed Noori sentenced to life for 2017 Flinders St attack

    Islamic State sympathiser Saeed Noori was today sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2017 Flinders Street attack that killed an 83-year-old grandfather and injured 15 others. On 21 December 2017 Mr Noori, 37, drove his mother’s SUV into pedestrians outside Flinders Street station in Melbourne’s CBD. He was sentenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 30 years. Justice Elizabeth Hellingworth said it was “sheer good fortune” that ... ► Read more

  • PM tries to lure One Nation voters amid Coalition split on preferences

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made a pitch to One Nation voters after Al Jazeera revealed that the far-right party sought millions in donations from the American National Rifle Association (NRA) by promising to weaken Australia’s gun laws. “I know that people who have voted for One Nation in the past have done so because of frustrations on a whole range of issues … managing the population, ensuring that our regions have jobs, that we’re ... ► Read more

  • One Nation sought millions in political donations from US National Rifle Association

    An investigative report conducted by Al Jazeera has revealed senior One Nation figures met with representatives of the powerful American National Rifle Association (NRA), as well as Koch Industries, in a bid to secure donations. Pauline Hanson’s Chief of Staff James Ashby and One Nation Queensland leader Steve Dickson were secretly filmed during the meetings in Washington DC back in September. Mr Ashby and Mr Dickson are seen during a meeting with the NRA seeking ... ► Read more

  • Daley resigns as NSW Labor leader but will recontest leadership

    New South Wales Labor leader Michael Daley has stepped down as the state’s opposition leader until after the upcoming federal election. On Monday the NSW branch of the Labor Party confirmed it would wait until after the May federal election to hold a leadership ballot. In the interim, deputy leader Penny Sharpe will act as leader. “This is the right and proper thing to do,” Mr Daley said, adding that it is “in keeping with ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 17 March – 23 March 2019

    Coalition wins NSW election, minority government possible Gladys Berejiklian and the Coalition have been returned by the people of NSW for a third term in office, winning 46 of the 47 seats required for majority government so far. See the ABC’s coverage of this story here. EU agrees Brexit delay plan All 27 European Union leaders have backed a Brexit delay plan that gives the United Kingdom two options — pass Prime Minister Theresa May’s ... ► Read more

  • Sydney bars to hold election eve drink freeze

    About 34 Sydney bars will stop serving drinks for up to 15 minutes at 6:00pm tonight to draw voters’ attention to the future of Sydney’s night-time economy, ahead of tomorrow’s state election. The New South Wales Government has been criticised for introducing lockout laws and additional restrictions of liquor licensing, which has become a key election issue. In a statement Sydney’s Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said the bars involved will “turn up the lights” ... ► Read more

  • Thousands evacuated in NT as Cyclone Trevor approaches

    More than 2000 residents have been evacuated from Northern Territory communities located in the path of a massive tropical cyclone. Cyclone Trevor is likely to cross the Northern Territory coast on Saturday as a category four severe tropical cyclone throwing out gale-force winds, rain and tidal surges 300 kilometres from its eye and is headed towards the town of Borroloola. A state of emergency has been declared in the Gulf country, with schools closed and ... ► Read more

  • Mass evacuations in NT as Cyclone Trevor heads across gulf

    The Northern Territory has begun its largest mass evacuation since Cyclone Tracy in 1974, as Cyclone Trevor is expected to strengthen to at least a category four system. The cyclone is predicted to move across the southwestern coast of the Gulf of Carpentaria on Saturday, and the Bureau of Meteorology said it could develop into a category five system by the weekend. About 10,000 people are believed to live in the current NT cyclone watch ... ► Read more

  • Erdogan’s Christchurch comments “taken out of context”

    The senior spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the leader was “unfortunately taken out of context” in comments in which he appeared to threaten violence to Australians and New Zealanders after the Christchurch massacre. Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a white supremacist, was charged with murder after a lone gunman opened fire in attacks on the two mosques during Friday prayers, killing 50 people. In a campaign rally ahead of local elections on 31 ... ► Read more

  • Teen released without charge after egging Senator Fraser Anning

    The Melbourne teen who egged Senator Fraser Anning on Saturday has been interviewed and released by police without charge, pending further investigations. Will Connolly — dubbed “Egg Boy” — was hit in the face by Senator Anning after the teen slapped an egg on the Senator’s head. The 17-year-old’s action came after the Queensland Senator blamed Muslim immigration for the Christchurch Mosque attacks that killed 50 people on Friday. Mr Connolly’s lawyer Peter Gordon said ... ► Read more

  • “Very offended”: PM to summon Turkish ambassador over Erdogan’s ANZAC comments

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison will summon Turkey’s ambassador today after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mocked the Gallipoli campaign and threatened Australian and New Zealand citizens. Mr Erdogan said the terror attacks in Christchurch last Friday were part of a wider attack on Turkey and indicative of global anti-Muslim sentiment. The Turkish President took aim at the Anzacs’ participation in the Gallipoli campaign, threatening that Australians and New Zealanders with anti-Islam sentiment who visit Turkey ... ► Read more

  • Tropical Cyclone Trevor continues across far north Queensland

    The far north Queensland communities of Aurukun and Weipa are next in the firing line as Tropical Cyclone Trevor continues to track across Cape York Peninsula. The system crossed the coast just south of Lockhart River late yesterday afternoon and evening as a category three system with winds of up to 133km/h. Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher said there had not been any reports of injuries but police and authorities were yet to assess the ... ► Read more

  • Morrison Government set to cut migration rate

    The Federal Government is set to slash Australia’s annual migration intake as Prime Minister Scott Morrison denies concerns about congestion are driven by racism. Cabinet has authorised the changes, which would slash the targeted annual intake of permanent migrants by up to 30,000, The Australian reports. It is understood the Prime Minister has held off on announcing the plan in the wake of the Christchurch attacks. Since the far-right terrorist attack that killed 50 people, ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 10 March – 16 March 2019

    49 killed in NZ mosque shootings Three suspects are in custody following deadly shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday. See OPMagazine’s coverage of this story here. Major parties launch NSW election campaigns On Sunday the New South Wales branches of the Liberal and Labor parties officially launched their election campaigns, two weeks ahead of the 23 March polling date. See OPMagazine’s coverage of this story here. George Pell ... ► Read more

  • PM says Australian IS members will not return home

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reiterated that his government will not allow Australian Islamic State members to return to the country. In response to pleas for help from an Australian woman trapped with her two children in a refugee camp for IS families, Mr Morrison declared that he would not put Australians at risk by helping home-grown extremists to return from the Middle East. The woman is being held at a refugee camp in north-east ... ► Read more

  • Australia, EU and others suspend 737 MAX 8s following Ethiopian Airlines crash

    Australia, the European Union and other jurisdictions have indefinitely banned the Boeing 737 MAX 8 airliner from their airspace, following a second fatal crash within five months. On Sunday a new Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX 8 crashed en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, killing all 157 crew and passengers on board. Investigators are looking for similarities between the Ethiopian Airlines crash and that of a Lion Air MAX 8 that crashed in Indonesia, killing ... ► Read more

  • George Pell sentenced to 6 years in gaol

    Cardinal George Pell has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing two choirboys during his tenure as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s. Mr Pell, 77, will serve a minimum of three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole. County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd described the cardinal’s offences as “a brazen and forcible sexual attack on the victims”. “The acts were sexually graphic, both victims were visibly and ... ► Read more

  • Privacy pivot: Facebook wants to be more like WhatsApp. But details are scarce

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg delivered a 3,000+ word post last week, spelling out a new vision for the social network. It prompts just one small question: Facebook, who are you? Zuckerberg’s essay, entitled “A privacy-focused vision for social networking”, signals a radical shift. Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has encouraged openness, connection and sharing. But now, it would be “privacy-focused”, featuring encrypted services and content that “won’t stick around forever”. Facebook will, says Zuckerberg, transform from open ... ► Read more

  • The internet is now an arena for conflict, and we’re all caught up in it

    Most people think the internet operates as a kind of global public square. In reality, it’s become a divided arena where conflict between nation states plays out. Nation states run covert operations on the same platforms we use to post cat videos and exchange gossip. And if we’re not aware of it, we could be unwittingly used as pawns for the wrong side. How did we get here? It’s complicated, but let’s walk through some ... ► Read more

  • Controversy as Minister for Western Sydney linked to $27 million NSW Government purchase

    The New South Wales Government’s purchase of an historic estate in Western Sydney has triggered questions from the Labor opposition after it was revealed that the registered proprietors are close friends with the Minister for Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres MP. Last year Mr Ayres announced that the NSW Government had acquired the 385-hectare Fernhill estate in Mulgoa for $27 million. The property includes a sandstone homestead built in 1845. At the time the NSW Government ... ► Read more

  • Major parties launch NSW election campaigns

    On Sunday the New South Wales branches of the Liberal and Labor parties officially launched their election campaigns, two weeks ahead of the 23 March polling date. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian spoke to Liberal Party members in Penrith about the Government’s investment in public transport, referring to the 45 major projects — each worth more than $100 million — underway across the state. Ms Berejiklian promised to invest $120 million in before- and after-school care. ... ► Read more

  • “A form of madness”: Turnbull says party rivals feared he would win election

    Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he was ousted by his Liberal colleagues because they thought he would win the next federal election. Mr Turnbull told the BBC “internal politics of the Liberal Party” led to his demise as Australia’s 29th Prime Minister. “As I said at the time it was essentially a form of madness that occurred, whipped up internally and also amplified by voices in the media,” Mr Turnbull told the Politics Live ... ► Read more

  • NSW Government announces $500M for private schools

    New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes announced on Thursday that independent and Catholic schools will receive $500 million over four years to build, extend and upgrade their classrooms. The funding for private schools is intended to help them cope with rapidly increasing enrolments. Ms Berejiklian said her government will support parents, regardless of whether they choose to send their children to a public, Catholic or independent school. “We have provided ... ► Read more