Australia’s treasurer Joe Hockey said fuel excise would not affect the poor because they “don’t have cars or actually drive very far”. Photograph: Mark Graham/Bloomberg

Australia’s capital Canberra has had its first snow of the year, the city is waking up to sub-zero temperatures and parliament is in its last sitting (...)

Australia has vowed to stop asylum-seekers reaching its shores, turning boats back to Indonesia when it can and sending asylum-seekers to camps in impoverished Papua New Guinea and Nauru for long-term detention. Photograph: Saeed Khansaeed/AFP/Getty Images

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott declined to comment on Friday on reports the Australian navy paid a group of people-smugglers thousands of dolla(...)

 Divers on  the Great Barrier Reef, which Unesco’s World Heritage Committee called on the Australian government to protect. File photograph: Jeff Hunter/Photographer’s Choice/Getty Images

A heritage committee of the Unesco cultural agency stopped short on Friday of placing Australia’s Great Barrier Reef on an “in danger” list, but raise(...)

Royal Malaysian Navy personnel during a search and rescue mission for boat-people, near the Thai-Malaysia border. After fierce international criticism, Malaysia has reversed its policy of sending boats back to sea. Photograph: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

An emergency international summit called to tackle the migrant boat crisis in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea, convening in Bangkok on Friday, may p(...)

Philip Lynch: ‘Many Australians are being forced to do a double-take and to question their age-old stereotypes of the Irish.’ Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

The news that Ireland has voted for same-sex marriage is being greeted with barely concealed awe and astonishment here in Australia. Perhaps this r(...)

Australia’s prime minister Tony Abbott said questions of marriage were the preserve of the federal government but it was for the supporters of same-sex marriage to bring the matter before parliament. Photograph: Mark Graham/Bloomberg

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has all but ruled out a referendum on same-sex marriage because referendums are only required for a proposal to (...)

Officers wearing bomb suits raid a home in north Melbourne last week.Photograph: Tracey Neartmy/EFP

A 17-year-old boy arrested after police foiled a suspected bomb plot in Australia’s second-largest city has appeared in court charged with terror offe(...)

Acting on a tip-off from the national security phone line, police and security agencies began investigating 17-year-old teenage boy and later raided his home in Greenvale, 20 km north of Melbourne. Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/EPA

Australian police said on Saturday they had thwarted an imminent terror attack after discovering explosives at a Melbourne home and arresting a 17-yea(...)

 Under Tony Abbott’s leadership, Australia has been reluctant to engage in global climate change politics, unsuccessfully attempting to keep the issue off the agenda of the Group of 20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane last year. Photograph: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief business adviser has accused the United Nations of using debunked climate change science to lead a new w(...)

An ambulance carrying the coffin of a death row prisoner arrives at Wijayapura port after returning from the prison island of Nusakambangan in Cilacap, Central Java, Indonesia. An Indonesian firing squad executed eight convicted drug-traffickers from several countries on Wednesday, prompting Australia to recall its envoy to Jakarta and bringing an angry reaction from Brazil. Photograph: Beawiharta/Reuters 1:37

Australia will withdraw its ambassador from Indonesia in protest at the execution of two of its citizens for drug smuggling.Prime minister Tony Abbott(...)