A foreign intelligence service sent a “sleeper” agent to Australia, who provided logistical support for visiting spies, the head of ASIO has revealed in a speech pledging to intensify the fight against the threat posed by espionage and foreign interference.
Nationals leader Michael McCormack has seen off a challenge from Barnaby Joyce but now faces the formidable task of trying to bring together a fractured party that lost two cabinet ministers this week.
Scott Morrison will use his first major 2020 speech to press his plan for more federal government power to intervene directly when there are natural disasters, including by deploying the defence force without requests from the states.
The government appears set to secure Senate support this week for tough legislation to crack down on bad behaviour in the union movement, after the near finalisation of an agreement with Centre Alliance for several significant changes.
Scott Morrison has a good deal riding on Donald Trump winning re-election next year, and tied himself to the President to a remarkable degree during his week in the US – but it’s a trip that will carry some costs, writes Michelle Grattan.
Arthur Sinodinos, former minister and Australia’s ambassador-designate to Washington, has warned that the media is becoming a polarised “battleground”, which is dangerous for democracy and science.