BBC News
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has urged the government to reconsider tax concessions for property investments. The RBA said negative gearing - tax concessions for buy-to-let property investors - may be encouraging debt-fuelled investment. Its recommendation to a parliamentary inquiry comes amid rising house prices in Australia's major cities. The government has pledged not to change the concessions,...

BBC News
Australia is playing a key role in the world's biggest search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. An Australian radio telescope in operation for more than 50 years will be one of the primary instruments used in a new $100m (A$137m; £64m) search for life elsewhere in space. The 10-year project - known as the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) - was...

BBC News
Nearly half of Australia's digital users illegally download movies, TV shows and music on a regular basis, a government survey has found. Illegal downloads would lessen if content was cheaper and available at the same time as in other countries. In comparison, the research found, a fifth of British digital users illegal downloaded at least one digital file. The...

BBC News
Thousands of Sydney dental patients may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis, according to health authorities. A New South Wales (NSW) Health spokesman said at least 11,000 patients of two dental operators were at "low risk" because of poor cleaning and sterilisation practices. Patients who had invasive procedures at four practices in the Sydney region could be at...

BBC News
Australian experts are split over whether smoking bans are a crucial advance in prison health or "a bridge too far" that can only spark unrest. On Tuesday, hundreds of prisoners lit fires, broke walls and smashed windows in a 15-hour riot at a Melbourne prison in what authorities believe may have been a reaction to a smoking ban at...

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