News in five.

1. Covid long haul for Sydney

The Sydney lockdown is set to be extended by four weeks today with concessions including a singles bubble, as Victoria and SA lift stay-at-home orders.


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2. China turns off tap for wine exporters

Australia will no longer be able to export wine into China as a result of tariffs imposed by Beijing, according to federal government forecasts.


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3. Crown pays back the house

Crown has announced it will pay $61m to the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation for unpaid taxes.


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4. Booze on ice in Antarctic

Alcohol consumption at Australia’s Antarctic stations will be ­almost halved, as part of a bid to improve health and safety and make the facilities more female-friendly.


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5. Astronomers look for intelligent life

An international team of scientists led by a controversial Harvard astronomer have announced a new project to look for evidence of technology built by extraterrestrial civilisations.


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News

How power and factionalism work in Berejikliand

“In former times, the Morrison–Hawke faction tended to play off the moderates against the hard right...but the peace pact between the other two has seen this third faction increasingly marginalised. The left–right–out faction, as one joke goes. ”

A power-sharing relationship inside the NSW Liberals has given the party stability – and edged out the influence of Scott Morrison.

News

News

What drives Dr Kerry Chant?

Dr Kerry Chant is on the front line in the fight against Covid-19. She is described by colleagues as someone who abhors small talk and will give advice regardless of the impact on her career.

News

Welcome to the heat dome

A slow-moving heat dome is bringing record-breaking temperatures to the northern hemisphere. Climate scientists are alarmed by how bad it is – and what might follow in Australia.

News

The militarisation of the public service

“Frewen’s appointment highlights a genuine capability gap. For the past year, Defence has been called on continuously, responding to bushfires, floods and the pandemic … Some fear this legitimate civil role could undermine its main job: defending Australia from external threat.”

The government’s appointment of a three-star general to head the vaccine rollout is part of a larger trend that risks politicising the Defence Force.

News

The car park fund was ‘a rort’

“A departmental officer who worked in the area that managed the government’s controversial Commuter Car Park Fund says the way money was allocated is part of a larger trend in directives given to the public service.”

As more details emerge about the government’s car park fund, a former departmental officer describes it as ‘a rort’.

News

Can Mark Scott transform universities?

A former journalist and son of a line of management consultants, Mark Scott arrives at the University of Sydney as an unlikely vice-chancellor. Can his curious talents turn around a struggling sector?

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News

China and the Australian wool industry

As relations with China remain strained, Australian wool exporters used the pandemic to shore up a market that takes 90 per cent of their product.

World

England parties like it’s 1999

China gets blamed for global email hacking. Indonesia struggles to cope as Covid-19 numbers worsen.

Opinion

Opinion

Saul Eslake
Pop goes the rental

“Australia is in the middle of a 30-year property bubble. It is a bubble inflated by government policy, and every time it looks as if it might burst, governments rush to blow it up further. All bubbles pop eventually, but few are maintained as carefully as this one.”

Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Delta variant’s political toll

“There is an increasing likelihood that the Delta strain of the Covid-19 virus has dealt a fatal blow to the prospects of the Morrison government retaining office at the next election, whenever it is held. The prime minister has spent the week holed up in isolation back at The Lodge in Canberra ahead of the scheduled parliamentary sitting in two weeks’ time. His colleagues have no doubt he is ruminating on the findings of a string of opinion polls this week showing a fall in support for the government and his own declining approval ratings – none more disturbingly than the Newspoll.”

Diary

Gadfly
The Hopkins solution

There is a moment in Alan Moore’s seminal comic book series, Watchmen, when the genius mastermind controlling the world from the shadows reveals that the only thing that can bring humanity together is fear of something new. We are bound most tightly when we are bound by a hatred of the unknown. To that end, he engineers the conclusion of the Cold War by manufacturing evidence of an alien invasion, persuading the proverbial superpowers to unite against a new foe, which doesn’t actually exist.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial

Cartoon

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Editorial
The price of ignorance

As you read through the latest intergenerational report, the section on climate change stands out for the simple reason that it contains no projections. The numbers exist, just as they do for population growth and productivity, but they are not included. The Saturday Paper understands Treasury was pressured by the Morrison government to leave them out.

Letters

Another job for Carr and Cousins

Following the success of Bob Carr and Geoff Cousins in accessing the Chinese embassy to assist in blocking lines of finance and insurance to Adani (Mike Seccombe, “Exclusive: How three men stopped …

Voting for the environment

In his book Optimism, Bob Brown candidly reflected on his life of action. Environmentalists and supporters will need every ounce of optimism as well as fighting spirit to overcome the great threat …

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Culture

Books

Vanessa Berry
Gentle and Fierce

Larissa Behrendt
After Story

Harrison Christian
Men without Country

Life

Food

Mud crab with curry leaf butter

Life

Princess Diana, the dress, and other fairytales

In 1981, with Britain in the grip of Thatcherism and IRA unrest, the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer to Prince Charles was like a dream come true. Forty years on, an exhibition of royal fashion offers a fresh antidote to uncertain times.

Sport

Andrew Hoy saddles up for Tokyo 2020

At 62, three-time Olympic gold medallist Andrew Hoy is in Tokyo for his eighth Games – the most of any Australian athlete in history.

Puzzles

Quotes

Politics

“I was used as a prop to push something that to be honest they haven’t done the due diligence on to make sure it’s actually getting to the people that need it.”

Guy SebastianThe singer expresses his distress at being used to launch belated support for the arts. The man who became an AirAsia brand ambassador at the same time as the airline was being investigated for safety breaches knows where to draw the line.

Olympics

“You are going to the opening ceremony. I’m still the deputy chair of the candidature leadership group.”

John CoatesThe Australian Olympic Committee president uses a press conference to bully Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk into the opening ceremony. He was worried she might miss “traditional parts” such as “ladies bring a plate”.

Music

“I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present.”

Eric ClaptonThe guitarist announces he will not perform at any venues that require attendees to prove they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19. He used up all his care for human life on that one song about his son falling out a window.

Space

“I want to thank every Amazon employee, and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all of this.”

Jeff BezosThe richest man in the world thanks his underpaid staff after returning from a brief journey into space. He experienced a few moments of weightlessness before being confronted again by his soul.

Security

“Our spies are your neighbours and friends and members of your community. They are carers, parents, grandparents and community volunteers.”

Mike BurgessThe director-general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation launches a recruitment drive for the spy agency. He also unfortunately describes the worst of the Stasi.

Apologies

“No country gets everything right; no prime minister gets everything right as well. So, my job is to keep getting on with the job.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister says he is “sorry” about the vaccine rollout, after spending most of the week refusing to do so. For a man who says “job” that often, he hasn’t looked very far into what the work entails.