Tony Abbott

The tasteless joking between immigration minister Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Tony Abbott about the threat of rising sea levels to Pacific Islands — caught on a microphone after the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) meeting — sums up the Australian government's attitude to the victims of its climate inaction.

The 46th PIF leaders' meeting in Port Moresby ended without reaching agreement on a united position to take to the Paris climate summit later this year. Pacific Island leaders could not convince Australia and New Zealand to agree on more ambitious targets.

Few people would have shared tears — unless they happened to be chopping onions at the time — when Tony Abbott was ejected as prime minister in the latest of a string of Lib-Lab leadership spills.

Let's be honest. The rolling TV coverage of Malcolm Turnbull's political assassination of Abbott kept the nation entertained for a couple of hours on a Monday night. Who did not enjoy watching the grim faces of those Liberal MPs as they trooped into their party room for the spill, and the even grimmer faces of some as they came back out?

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dumped knights and dames from the honours system, saying they are “anachronistic and out of date”.

The imperial honours were reintroduced by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in 2014 to ongoing ridicule and controversy.

Turnbull, a well-known republican, said Cabinet agreed the titles are no longer appropriate in a modern Australia and revealed the Queen has approved his request to scrap them.

“Knights and dames are titles that are really anachronistic. They're out of date, not appropriate in 2015 in Australia,” he said.

Radical changes to university and TAFE education were announced in the federal budget on May 13.

These changes include removing the cap on university fees and changes to welfare payments. People under 25 are no longer eligible for the Newstart allowance.

Treasurer Joe Hockey said the theme of the budget was "contribution and building" and "sharing the pain", but it will make it even tougher for struggling families.



The Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below today.


A 24 year-old Iranian asylum seeker, Hamid Kehazaei, who was urgently medivacced from Manus Island to Brisbane on Wednesday, August 27 has been declared "brain dead".

By the time Hamid was medivacced to Brisbane, he was suffering septicaemia, from an infection spreading from a cut foot, and went directly into intensive care in the Mater hospital. He had sought medical attention for days on Manus Island for the pain and the infection.

When 22-year-old Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein murdered two people in Copenhagen on February 15, and was killed in a shoot-out with police, the media and politicians across the world did not hesitate to declare that an act of terrorism had taken place.

US President Barack Obama immediately phoned Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to offer condolences and invited Denmark to take part in a February 18 summit in Washington to counter violent extremism, Reuters reported on February 16.

Other Western leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, responded similarly.

In 1939, as Europe stood on the verge of all-out war, Nazi Germany, true to their promise, had issued and implemented 400 different decrees for the regulation of the public and private lives of Jews. Their properties were confiscated, and their businesses and synagogues were burned down. These laws effectively purged Jews from schools, academia, business and public life, and declared them “undesirables”. Many Jews were forced to seek asylum in other Western countries.

Tony Abbott’s government will be a dangerous time for women in Australia unless we can unite and struggle together to win a better future.

Abbott is known for his conservative views about women. His party is responsible for a range of policies and programs that have punished, isolated and oppressed women in Australia.

A big attack on Medicare is on the cards after Prime Minister Tony Abbott refused to rule out forcing all patients to pay an upfront cost when they visit the doctor.

Former health advisor to Abbott, Terry Barnes, has written a paper to the federal government's Commission of Audit recommending a $6 upfront fee to see a doctor. The commission was appointed by the federal government to propose business-friendly cuts to government spending before the May budget.

There is a lot of hype about so-called pain in this budget, and sure, not everyone comes out a winner. But, basically, as long as you are not a young person or an old person, you should be fine.

Or a middle-aged person who plans on getting old. Or a public servant. Or a farmer. Or someone who wants to study at university, or who owes money from past study.


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