Helped by its massive natural resources, Australia has weathered the global financial crisis better than other Group of 20 economies. In 2012, its economy grew 3.1 per cent, compared with 1.6 per cent in the United States and 1.1 per cent in Canada. 

Australian foreign minister denies Indonesia rift

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has denied a rift with strategic ally Indonesia over spying allegations as she left on Wednesday for the Bali Democracy Forum.

Wednesday, 6 November, 2013, 2:00pm

Pilot dies fighting Australian bushfires

A helicopter drops water on a bushfire approaching homes near the Blue Mountains, near Sydney Photo: REUTERS

A pilot trying to fight one of several raging Australian wildfires died when his plane crashed, in the second fatality resulting from the fires that have ripped through the nation’s most populous state over the past week.

25 Oct 2013 - 12:58pm

Military exercise sparked big Australian wildfire

A female Rural Fire Service firefighter near the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

Fire officials defended Australia’s defence department on Thursday after investigators revealed a military training exercise ignited the largest of the wildfires that have torn across the nation’s most populous state over the past week.

24 Oct 2013 - 11:36am

Australian authorities fear worsening wildfires

Australian firefighters are battling major wildfires in New South Wales, with fears hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Photo: EPA

Firefighters battling some of the most destructive wildfires to ever strike Australia’s most populous state were bracing on Saturday for worsening conditions, with higher temperatures and winds expected to intensify the danger in the coming days.

19 Oct 2013 - 6:12pm

Abbott abolishes Australia’s climate watchdog

Australia's new Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Photo: AP

Australia’s new conservative government on Thursday abolished an independent climate change commission set up by the previous Labor administration, as part of its plans to streamline bureaucracy.

The Climate Commission was set up to provide apolitical and reliable information to the public about the science of climate change, emissions targets and international action being taken.

19 Sep 2013 - 6:27pm

Australia's poll contains message for Hong Kong

Tony Abbott. Photo: EPA

After three years of minority rule by a centre-left Labor government marked by infighting, Australians have elected a conservative Liberal-National party coalition led by Tony Abbott by a big majority in the House of Representatives. Barring political disasters, it seems assured of at least two terms of government, normally six years.

9 Sep 2013 - 2:47am 1 comment

Tony Abbott sweeps into power in landslide win in Australian election

A delighted Tony Abbott announces his party's victory last night. Photo: EPA

Conservative challenger Tony Abbott declared Australia "under new management" after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd conceded defeat in Australia's national election and said he would step down as Labor leader.

8 Sep 2013 - 4:18am

Protesters heckle Australian leaders

Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott (centre) votes at Freshwater in Sydney, Australia. Photo: EPA

Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and conservative rival Tony Abbott were both raucously heckled by refugee advocates on Saturday as Australia voted in a general election.

In south Sydney, a group of protesters tried to block the path of the poll favourite opposition leader, screaming: “Refugees welcome, Abbott is not”.

7 Sep 2013 - 4:14pm

Australian PM Rudd concedes election defeat

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, center, walks past protesters after casting his vote in Brisbane, Australia on Saturday. Photo: AP

<P> <P> Australia’s Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Saturday conceded election defeat to conservative challenger Tony Abbott, with six years of Labor rule coming to an end as he wished his rival well. <P> “A short time again I telephoned Tony Abbott to concede defeat at this national election,” he said at a party function in Brisbane.

7 Sep 2013 - 8:15pm

Conservative leader Abbott expected to win Australian election as polls open

 Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott speaks during a television interview after casting his vote in Sydney. Photo: AFP

Australia’s conservative leader Tony Abbott, expected to win national elections on Saturday and end six years of Labor rule, cast his vote at a Sydney surf club, joking he’d rather be enjoying the beach than campaigning.

A confident Abbott, who is often photographed in his swimming costume at his local Manly Beach, was accompanied by his wife and daughters in warm spring sunshine.

7 Sep 2013 - 10:50am

Assange says his bid for Australian senate seat has set off alarm bells

Julian Assange

Assange, holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London as he seeks to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges, said in a telephone interview that the prospect of his party entering the senate had set alarm bells ringing within Australia's political establishment.

7 Sep 2013 - 4:52am

Labor's Jason Li bids to win over Asian voters in Australian election

Jason Yat-Sen Li with family

Star Labor recruit Jason Yat-Sen Li, a businessman, lawyer and high-profile figure in the Chinese community, is in the fight of his life for the seat of Bennelong.

6 Sep 2013 - 2:22pm

Does Tony Abbott get China? Challenge for next Australian leader

Next Australian prime minister will have to address relationship with China

If the polls are right, conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott will be Australia's next prime minister. Abbott goes into the election with little-to-no foreign policy experience, and throughout the campaign he offered few clues to his approach - especially regarding Australia's crucial relationship with China.

6 Sep 2013 - 8:36am

Australia’s likely new PM not particularly liked

Tony Abbott. Photo: AFP

Tony Abbott, the political pugilist who leads Australia’s opposition, was once dubbed “unelectable” by a former boss, but as elections near he seems certain to become prime minister.

5 Sep 2013 - 2:50pm

Abbott vows Australia’s focus will be Asia

Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott campaigning with his daughter in Sydney. Photo: AFP

Australian election frontrunner Tony Abbott on Wednesday said Asia will be his top foreign policy priority if he wins office as the influential Fairfax Media turned on incumbent Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

The conservative Abbott, whose diplomatic credentials came under fire this week after he said the Syria conflict was “baddies versus baddies”, is on track to win Saturday’s poll.

4 Sep 2013 - 10:53am 1 comment