Monday afternoon's news in under 5 minutes.

We’ve rounded up all the biggest headlines around this afternoon, so you can catch up on the most important news in just a few minutes.

1. Tony Abbott uses Press Club speech to warn against ‘infighting’; says he has ‘listened and learned’ over unpopular ‘captain’s picks’.

By ABC News

Tony Abbott has used a crucial speech at the National Press Club to reset the budget debate and deliver a veiled message to critics within the Coalition, saying Australians do not deserve “infighting” from the Government.

In his first formal address at the National Press Club since winning the election 16 months ago, the Prime Minister dumped his signature paid parental leave policy and removed himself from the process of selecting knights and dames under the Order of Australia.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses the National Press Club this afternoon.

He also indicated that households will be protected from further budget pain in the Government’s next budget in May, when a new “families” policy will also be announced.

Small businesses will also receive a tax cut of at least 1.5 per cent from July 1, as the Government pursues a broader look at the taxation system through a white paper process.

Mr Abbott has been battling criticism – both internal and external – which peaked last week in the wake of his announcement that Prince Philip would be awarded a knighthood under the Order of Australia.

Mr Abbott conceded he “probably overdid it” and has announced future decisions will be made by the same council that awards other honours in Australia.

“I just want to make it clear that all awards in the Order of Australia will henceforth be entirely a matter for the Order of Australia Council,” he said.

“I accept that I probably overdid it on awards and that’s why as of today I make it crystal clear that all awards in the Order of Australia will be wholly and solely the province of the Council of the Order of Australia. I have listened, I have learned, I have acted, and those particular captain’s picks which people have found difficult have been reversed.”

The National Press Club address in Canberra is seen as a bid to shore up his leadership and reset the Government’s agenda, as the Coalition grapples with a crushing loss in the Queensland election and poor polling for the Prime Minister.

When asked whether he had considered resigning to make way for a new prime minister, Mr Abbott responded “no”.

“It’s the people that hire and frankly it’s the people that should fire,” he said.

A version of this article originally appeared on ABC News here and has been republished with full permission.

2. Three dead, boy critical in Ourimbah car crash on the NSW Central Coast.

By ABC News

Three people have died and a child has been taken to hospital after a car crash at Ourimbah on the New South Wales central coast.


Police said the car, with two adults and two boys on board, veered off the road and hit a tree, travelling at a speed of up to 100 kilometres an hour.

Police believed the occupants were a young family.

The accident is believed to be a single vehicle crash which happened around 12:30pm (local time) on Sunday at Enterprise Drive.

A man, a woman, and the youngest of the boys died at the scene. The older boy was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition.

Inspector Colin Lott said it was a terrible incident.

“At the time, it’s estimated the vehicle was travelling at approximately 90 to 100 km an hour,” he said.

“It was seen not to brake and as it went to the side of the roadway it collided with a tree heavily.

“It is always a difficult scene for any fatality but to see potentially a whole family lost it makes it even more distressing.”

A version of this article originally appeared on ABC News here and has been republished with full permission.

3. Ex Power Ranger arrested for murder.

Actor Ricardo Medina Jr — best known for his role in “Power Ranger’s Samurai” — has been arrested after allegedly stabbing his housemate to death with a sword, TMZ reports.
The pair were involved in a brawl at their Los Angeles home, which resulted in Medina barricading himself in his bedroom with his girlfriend.

Former red power ranger Ricardo Medina Jr.

According to investigators Medina, 36, stabbed Joshua Sutton in the abdomen with a samurai sword after Sutton tried to force his way into the room.

The former red power ranger called 911 and Sutton was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Medina is currently in jail and bail is set at one million dollars.

4. Scott Morrison cancels Federal Government’s relationship counselling voucher program.

By ABC News

The Federal Government’s new Social Services Minister Scott Morrison has dumped the relationship counselling vouchers championed by his predecessor.

Mr Morrison confirmed the Stronger Relationships trial will end next week and the $17 million saved will be spent on frontline social services instead.

Social Services Minister Scott Morrison.

Former minister Kevin Andrews introduced the voucher plan for couples who wanted advice on issues like parenting, conflict resolution and financial management.

But Mr Morrison said 90 per cent of the vouchers remained unused and the money would be better spent elsewhere.

“During the first seven months of the trial, which began on 1 July last year, only around 10,000 couples had registered for the scheme and only one-third of these had gone on to attend a relationship education or counselling service,” Mr Morrison said in a statement.


“This uptake is well below the 100,000 subsidies available under the trial.”

Couples who already registered will have until the end of June to attend their counselling sessions.

Last July when the plan was announced, Mr Andrews said the Federal Government wanted to reduce the country’s divorce rate.

In 2012, 49,917 divorces were granted in Australia, an increase of 2 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

A version of this article originally appeared on ABC News here and has been republished with full permission.

5.  Queensland election 2015: Hung parliament possible.

A hung parliament in Queensland is still a possibility with tight contests underway in three seats even as the Labor Party claims it is confident of winning the 45 seats needed to govern without the support of crossbenchers.

The ALP achieved one of the biggest swings in Australian political history in Saturday’s state election, which saw Liberal National Party (LNP) leader and Premier Campbell Newman, along with a swag of his MPs, lose their seats.

Annastacia Palaszczu is confident Labor will be able to form majority government.

Labor has so far secured 43 electorates in the poll but the final result in some seats may not be known for a week.

Labor’s campaign director Anthony Chisolm said his calculations showed the party should scrape over the line.

“We think it is still possible for the Labor Party to achieve 45 seats; we are ahead in 44 at the moment and there are still probably another five in doubt, so you would much prefer to be in our shoes,” he said.

“We are optimistic we can get to that 45.”

However, the ABC’s election analyst Antony Green said a hung parliament was a real possibility with predictions Labor would win 44 seats this election and the LNP 42.

Green said all eyes would be on tight contests playing out in three seats — Mansfield, Whitsunday and Maryborough.

At the close of counting on Sunday night the LNP was leading in Mansfield and Whitsunday and the ALP was ahead in Maryborough.

A version of this article originally appeared on ABC News here and has been republished with full permission.

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