Former intelligence whistleblower turned federal MP Andrew Wilkie has accused the federal government of exploiting fears about terrorism to rush through new national security laws that push Australia towards a "police state".
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appeared to back a ban on the burqa being worn in Parliament House but at the same time said no-one has ever sought to enter the building "so attired".
The face of the Australian Federal Police in recent times, Andrew Colvin, has been appointed the new Commissioner of the organisation.
Treasurer Joe Hockey has confirmed the government is searching for additional savings ahead of the mid-year economic update, but dismissed reports the government has given up $30 billion in savings contained in its budget.
Labor leader Bill Shorten has called on Tony Abbott to show leadership and tackle head on the socially divisive views of some of his backbench MPs.
Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus has dismissed claims his inquiry into the Queensland government is part of party leader Clive Palmer's vendetta against Campbell Newman, saying it was "just something that I had to do".
The Abbott government was warned that the Australian Tax Office was ill-equipped to tackle a potential multibillion-dollar international tax dodge as it prepared to cut 3000 ATO staff.
A move within the Abbott cabinet to establish a homeland security super-ministry drawing together several major departments and functions looks to have been scuttled because senior figures viewed it as an attempt by backers of Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to elevate him to future leader status.
The ABC must accept full responsibility for any controversial program cuts rather than blaming the Abbott government, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has warned.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott's most senior advisor, Peta Credlin, has told Liberal National MP George Christensen she is sympathetic to a burqa ban in Parliament House on security grounds, but warned him not to inflame community tensions while debating the head wear.