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Canberra

Business worried over soft growth figures

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is pleased with the pick-up in annual economic growth, but business groups are far from happy, saying it should be seen as "a call for action".The latest national accounts released on Wednesday showed the…

Offshore processing costs $573k per person

Australian taxpayers are spending up to $537,000 per year on each asylum seeker and refugee held offshore.Advocacy groups have released new figures showing offshore processing will cost $1.2 billion over the next three years.The report -…

Welfare changes a cash grab, Labor says

Australians made redundant mid-career will be pushed into poverty through a revived proposal to change the welfare system, the federal opposition says.Labor's social services spokeswoman Linda Burney has condemned a government bill which…

PM disappointed with Hanson’s union switch

Scott Morrison has accused Pauline Hanson of reneging on a promise to back legislation making it easier to deregister unions and ban officials.One Nation's two senators voted against the coalition's "ensuring integrity" bill last week,…

Industry sees lessons from Westpac scandal

A parliamentary inquiry into competition and "smaller banks" has ended up focusing on one big bank - Westpac.Financial crime regulator AUSTRAC is taking Westpac to court over 23 million charges of money laundering, some linked to child…

PM call to NSW top cop ‘storm in a teacup’

Peter Dutton says concerns about a telephone call between the prime minister and NSW police chief are a "storm in a teacup".The home affairs minister has dismissed Labor's concerns about the conversation, which centred on a police…

No compensation for $85m dud fighter jet

Australia will receive no compensation after it was forced to shelve an $85 million fighter jet destroyed by a mechanical fault, an estimates committee has been told.Defence bosses have said the dud aeroplane was purchased through the…

Mental health care for dads under new plan

Medicare-backed mental health check-ups would be available to expectant fathers under a new plan aimed at involving men more during pregnancy.Victorian crossbencher Helen Haines says there should also be a review conducted into the way…

Construction work points to sluggish GDP

New figures suggest the Australian economy is still crawling along at a growth rate below two per cent, but Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has made it clear that negative interest rates are "extraordinarily unlikely" in response.Nor…

‘Greedy’ GPs blamed for insurance costs

"Greedy" doctors and hidden private hospital fees are being blamed for the rising cost of private health insurance.Researchers at the Grattan Institute have pinned private health premiums on a handful of high charging doctors,…

PM defiant against climate change debate

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is standing firm against calls to debate rising emissions, climate change and their links to bushfires.Farmers and firefighters on Monday backed a Greens push for Mr Morrison to declare a climate emergency,…
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