- Hockey warns of crisis without tough measures to cut budget spending
Treasurer Joe Hockey has warned next month's federal budget will introduce tougher means testing of support payments and more upfront costs for government services.
In a speech entitled The Case for Change in Sydney, Mr Hockey began to unveil the findings and recommendations of the Government's much-anticipated Commission of Audit, which the Government is using to frame the May 13 budget.
Mr Hockey says the report makes it clear the nation has "a serious spending problem" and recommends "substantial spending restraint".
- Material washed ashore probed for links to MH370
Authorities are examining material that has washed ashore south of Perth to identify if it is related to the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
Police secured the material that washed ashore 10 kilometres east of Augusta, in the South West of Western Australia.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is examining photographs of the material, believed to be metallic and about 2.5 metres long, to see if it is related to the search for the aircraft.
- Buddy Franklin questioned over car smash
AFL star Lance "Buddy" Franklin has been questioned by police after he crashed into four parked cars in Sydney's east.
- Prince William and Catherine to spend day in Canberra
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be in Canberra today, as their family tour of Australia and New Zealand draws to a close.
- Russia blames US for Ukraine political unrest
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has accused the United States of being behind the political upheaval in Ukraine and said Moscow would respond if its interests came under attack.
Mr Lavrov's comments came a day after US vice president Joe Biden was in the Ukrainian capital with promises of support for the pro-Western government, and a warning to Russia not to interfere in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's government has re-launched a security operation to crack down on the pro-Russian armed groups after an Easter pause and said it had the backing of the US.
- Hockey was concerned GrainCorp bidder 'not of good character'
The Federal Treasurer has revealed he blocked a foreign takeover bid for GrainCorp partly because the US-based company was "not of good character".
- Police to hold 'information caravan' following Melbourne murder
Detectives will be at Sunshine in Melbourne's west today to ask the public for more information on the murder of a mother-of-four last week.
- Moyes says he understands 'frustration' of Man U fans
David Moyes has spoken out for the first time since his sacking as Manchester United manager, saying he understood fans' frustration after his ill-fated 10-month spell in charge at Old Trafford.
- Rival Palestinian factions reach unity government deal
Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and president Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organisation have agreed to implement a unity pact.
- $12bn for extra Joint Strike Fighters 'not new spending'
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the multi-billion-dollar program to purchase new jet fighters for the Defence Force does not involve any new spending by taxpayers.
The Government has given the go ahead for the purchase of 58 more F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs) at a cost of $12.4 billion - making it the nation's most expensive Defence asset.
"I want to stress that this is money that has been put aside by government over the past decade or so to ensure that this purchase can responsibly be made," Mr Abbott said.
- Peter Dutton fuels speculation of Medicare co-payment
Health Minister Peter Dutton has fuelled speculation the Federal Government is poised to introduce a new payment for GP visits by indicating high income earners should not expect to see a doctor for free.