Sri Lankan asylum seekers who were sent back by Australia cover their faces as they wait to enter a magistrate’s court in the southern port district of Galle. Photograph: Reuters

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott’s campaign for election last year was largely based on three-word slogans such as “Axe the tax” (a promise to(...)

Quentin Bryce inspects the Federation Guard during a ceremony to mark the end of her term as Australia’s governor general, in Canberra last month. Prime minister Tony Abbott subsequently announced that Ms Bryce had been made a dame. Photograph: Stefan Postles/Getty Images

The walk of shame to the Independent Commission Against Corruption’s offices on Sydney’s Castlereagh Street has in recent years been the almost(...)

Surfers carrying their boards walk past two women sunbathing and a sign warning swimmers of dangerous surf conditions on an autumn day at Sydney’s Manly Beach today. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

After 22 years of unbroken prosperity, Australia now faces “serious economic challenges”, the inaugural Australia Lecture in Dublin heard last nigh(...)

An unidentified man  is bustled  off the stage by security staff after Australia’s conservative leader Tony Abbott poses for pictures with his family after his victory speech   in Sydney. Photograph: Reuters/Rob Griffith

    Australia’s new prime minister Tony Abbott has declared the country ‘‘is under new management and . . . once more open for(...)

Australian prime minister-elect Tony Abbott is surrounded by his family after acknowledging his victory in the election today. Photograph: Lisa Maree Williams-Pool/Getty Images

Australia’s conservative leader Tony Abbott has swept into office today in a landslide election as voters punished the outgoing Labor government for s(...)

Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott shares a joke with members of Mernda football club in Melbourne while on the election campaign trail today. Photograph: Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Australia’s opposition, tipped to win next month’s general election, promised today to revive tough laws barring thousands of asylum seekers already i(...)

Australian prime minister Kevin Ruddgreets students after visiting the facilities of Macquarie University in Sydney as part of his election campaign. Photograph: Daniel Munoz/Reuters

With three weeks to go before the Australian election, the minority Labor government is fast running out of time to improve its poll standing and reta(...)

Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd (left) and opposition leader Tony Abbott shake hands at the beginning of the leaders’ debate at the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday.  Photograph: AP Photo/Andrew Meares

The Australian prime minister has used the first election debate to promise legislation on gay marriage within 100 days were he to be re-elected, “as (...)

Mining trucks and machinery operate in the Fimiston Open Pit, known as the Super Pit, in this photograph taken with a tilt-shift lens in Kalgoorlie, Australia. Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

For two decades, Australia has deserved its reputation as a “lucky country”. Alone in the developed world, since 1991 it has been recession-free.It ad(...)

The Dáil chamber. “Our parliament could do with an injection of vitality.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Ireland is now one of the few parliamentary democracies in which members of parliament are not allowed free votes on issues of conscience. It’s(...)