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News

Exclusive: Red Cross employees speak out

“Concerns have been raised about how that money will be used, and if enough of it will reach people in need and reach them quickly. ”

As the Australian Red Cross faces criticisms over its bushfire efforts, current and former employees question the broad scope of its fundraising appeal.

News

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News

Sports grants expose broken system

“Increasingly, the government is opting to run closed, non-competitive or restricted grants programs in which it reserves the right to make decisions based on more than just merit.”

Following the auditor-general’s damning report on the sports grants scheme, questions are being raised about other programs.

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News

Doubts about tree-planting programs

Experts warn that the government’s tree-planting projects may have limited effectiveness as a climate strategy – particularly in the wake of this summer’s bushfires.

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News

Migrants and aged care

“Older culturally and linguistically diverse Australians in care need fully funded interpreter services available to help them properly communicate with medical practitioners and other essential service providers to ensure their needs are met.”

As the aged-care royal commission rolls on, community groups fear that the welfare of elderly migrants who do not speak English is being forgotten.

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News

Close ties between government and military industries

In Australia’s quest to become one of the world’s leading weapons exporters, the line between government and industry is becoming increasingly blurred.

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World

Coronavirus fears spread across globe

Donald Trump’s impeachment trial begins. UN rules on Kiribati climate refugee. Vladimir Putin’s plan to ‘rule forever’. China acts to stop spread of coronavirus.

Opinion

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Opinion

Nick Feik
Climate and the Coalition’s new denialism

“In recent months the federal government’s position on climate change has shifted. Not in policy terms: the change has been restricted to its rhetoric. It has a new strategy to avoid responsibility. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has become adept at evading questions on climate change and its links to bushfires and judging by his satisfied expression as he fronted up for ABC’s 7.30 recently, he remains confident he has a form of words that, like armour, journalists will be unable to penetrate.”

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Opinion

Sean Kelly
Scott Morrison’s efforts at hazard reduction

“Not once, before this latest foray, as far as I can tell, had Morrison been pulled into line by an interviewer on his claims about hazard reduction. This comes after an election campaign in which he managed to make the cost of Labor’s climate change policies an issue. The cost of not doing anything – which has now, tragically, been the focus of two months of wall-to-wall coverage – was largely ignored.”

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Diary

Gadfly
A Scott in the dark

It’s not been an easy time for Scotty from Marketing. He is supposed to be a PR genius, yet the art of public relations suddenly got too complicated for him. PR is the place people end up when all other professional options fail, and now Schmo has failed at the failures’ last resort.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial

Cartoon

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Editorial
Empathy deficit

What Scott Morrison lacks most is not intelligence or good advice: it’s empathy. He cannot feel what the country is feeling, and so he plays cricket and takes his kids to Hawaii. This is what happens when politics divorces itself from policy, when you campaign to win rather than to govern. Without a real agenda, you are left with personality, and it is not enough. The country’s anxieties seem alien to Morrison, because they are not his own. He knows he will be okay. He cannot grasp the scale of the calamity we face, because he does not feel it or feel for the people it will most affect.

Letters

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Comcar or caring for the Commonwealth?

Firestorms in Australia have severely stressed our Rural Fire Services and volunteers. Rick Morton (“The long, hot summer”, December 21, 2019–January 24, 2020) reported: “Fire …

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A reader’s feast

What an excellent edition of The Saturday Paper. Plenty of holiday reading and the Summer Quiz. Gadfly is always hilarious and I loved his “Prefects and prizes” with Andrew Bolt getting …

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Culture

Profile

Writer Alice Pung

More than a decade after her best-selling debut, Unpolished Gem, Alice Pung remains one of Australia’s most beloved authors for her gentle yet forthright prose. She speaks about racism, role models and motherhood. “As a writer, I don’t know if you can really see from another person’s perspective … It is important to try and put yourself in someone else’s shoes, but I’ve realised in the last five years you can never really do it.”

Art

Vernon Ah Kee’s The Island

The power of Vernon Ah Kee’s latest show, The Island, lies in its ability to spotlight the experiences of First Nations people and refugees as the antithesis of privileged white Australian culture.

Music

Mac Miller’s Circles

No sense of impending tragedy emanates from Mac Miller’s posthumous album, Circles. But it does offer some degree of satisfying closure for fans of the American rapper.

Poem

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Ellen van Neerven
Paper ships, many fires

I know what you’re thinking

           how can we save the world?

                when we have barely

                      just survived it

when we have been disposed of

     raped and murdered

           erased and orphaned

                 and lost 90 per cent or more of our kin


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Life

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Food

Blackberry and beetroot salad

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Travel

Tourism in Damascus, Syria

It may seem like an unlikely holiday destination, but as peace returns to Syria, the struggling nation hopes tourists will too.

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Sport

Clout of Africa

Where once Australia’s soccer success rode on the shoulders of European migrants, a new generation of African Australians has started to kick serious goals.

Books

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J. P. Pomare
In the Clearing

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Kiley Reid
Such a Fun Age

Puzzles

The Quiz

1. Which former Australian cricketer is nicknamed “Punter”?
2. How many stars are on the flag  of the European Union: (a) eight;  (b) 10; or (c) 12?
3. A volcanic eruption on which New Zealand island claimed the lives of 20 people last month?
4. What is 4995 divided by 15?
5. Who wrote the memoir A Long Way Home, on which the 2016 film Lion was based? (Bonus point for naming Lion’s lead actor.)
6. What is the Spanish el perro in English?
7. Which British city will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games?
8. What is the chemical symbol for sodium?
9. Complete this 1972 song lyric from Steely Dan: “I’m a fool to …”
10. Which Scottish poet was born on January 25, 1759?

Quotes

PREDICTIONS

“I’d love to see Peter Dutton in there as the leader of this nation.”

Pauline HansonThe One Nation leader announces her hopes for 2020. She said “there could be a leadership challenge by the end of the year” – but then, she’s also predicted her own death at least once.

AMERICA

“Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done.”

Hillary ClintonThe former presidential candidate gives her assessment of fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders. Having said all that, there’s no way he would know how to run his emails off a different server.

STANDARDS

“Given the lack of any conclusive view offered by the auditor-general, the prime minister has sought further consideration of the issue, which I am attending to.”

Christian PorterThe attorney-general announces he will investigate the government’s sports grants program, despite his own electorate receiving nearly $1 million in funding.

LITERATURE

“One of the reasons I did what I did when I wrote The Hand that Signed the Paper and pretended to be Helen Demidenko was to expose this claim for the hooey it is.”

Helen DaleThe author joins criticism of Bruce Pascoe and “positive discrimination”. Here we were thinking she did it to win a Miles Franklin Award.

LEADERSHIP

“I worked with him very closely, I’ve known him for 20 years, at least, and I can’t explain his conduct.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe former prime minister criticises Scott Morrison’s response to the bushfires. One way to explain it is that he doesn’t care about climate change.

PHILANTHROPY

“The science has so far to go.”

Andrew ForrestThe mining magnate rejects climate science, unless the climate science is conducted by his brand new bushfire charity, which requires public donations.