August 5 – 11, 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Perth this week.


Parliamentary push for same-sex marriage

“Conservatives who oppose the agitators’ activities are threatening privately to ensure they face retribution at preselection. Wilson and Entsch both dismiss the threats.”

After weeks of cross-party communication, a plan has formed to bring legislation for same-sex marriage into its final phase.


Labor MP Sam Dastyari in the senate.


Selling Labor’s Sam Dastyari

In the week of a friendly ABC profile and the launch of his confessional memoir, Sam Dastyari’s speedy rehabilitation after his Chinese donations scandal has irked many, even within his party. Is his brash style a positive or a flaw?



Family trusts and tax dodges

“Tax avoidance is like a balloon. You squeeze it in one place and it bulges out somewhere else.”

As politics comes to reckon with inequality, Bill Shorten’s former defence of discretionary trusts has morphed into a policy to more harshly tax them.

Image for article: Exporting Australia’s offshore detention policy


Exporting Australia’s offshore detention policy

The Manus Island detention centre may be closing, but its legacy lives on in Europe, where leaders have looked to Australia for lessons on how to stop the boats – no matter the human cost.



The assisted dying campaign in Victoria

“When you pick a fight with ethnic communities and faith-based communities over a social policy issue like this, it’s likely to have electoral ramifications.”

As the Victorian government makes the case for assisted dying legislation, a strategic campaign from social conservatives and religious groups hopes to torpedo the proposed amendments.

Image for article: John Kelly moves to White House chief of staff


John Kelly moves to White House chief of staff

Talisman Sabre and US strategy; new head of defence; Boris Johnson addresses Lowy Institute dinner.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Paul Bongiorno
Turnbull’s conviction problems

“There are three policy areas that hitherto have been identified with Turnbull: climate change, marriage equality and the republic. While it is true that politics is the art of compromise, any accommodation becomes dangerous if it is seen as a sellout. Voters are weary of the betrayal of a belief for no other purpose than realising an ambition.”


Ruby Hamad
Misunderstanding Islamophobia

“Faith is immaterial to Islamophobia. Blanket suspicion of Islam is not really about what Muslims do and do not believe. It is a means of asserting “Western” values above Islamic ones, based on the predication that the two are inherently incompatible.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: A hardman’s tale

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Lost in the past

The right in this country is living inside a poisonous cartoon. So desperate are they to hold a contrary view, they can look at a report into widespread abuse on university campuses and instead of wronged survivors see only ideological enemies.


Manus is Australia’s problem to fix

The account of conditions on Manus Island by Behrouz Boochani (“Breaking camp”, July 29-August 4) shows the cruelty and vicious treatment of the refugees by the Australian government. …

Noam Chomsky’s telling words

Thank you again for giving Behrouz Boochani a voice from Manus. It is up to us to pile on the pressure to stop this horror. The forced transfer of these innocent men to dangerous East Lorengau …

Read More


Amiel Courtin-Wilson and Uncle Jack Charles.


Filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson

Almost a decade after making Bastardy with actor Jack Charles, filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson refuses to see himself as a detached observer, instead drawing in his subjects as collaborators.

Jen Cloher.


‘Jen Cloher’ review

That Jen Cloher’s inventive fourth album is self-titled reflects its personal themes, as she writes with candour about her relationship and her place in the world.


Photographer Jonny Lewis

“Jonny guides me through his collection of portraits, reliving moments in time. One after the other, their faces appear, strangely familiar, yet random, unknown. Nameless people documented in black and white. A mother with her swaddled baby, Buddhist monks and men from Nepal, an Egyptian woman, two Aboriginal men who have travelled from Moree.”


Image for article: Scallops roasted with seaweed butter


Scallops roasted with seaweed butter

“What makes the live scallop quite spectacular is not just the sweetness and freshness of the flavour but also the firm texture. When we clean the scallops we release the muscle and remove the lid, leaving the muscle and entrails intact. The muscle is what we know as the scallop – the white parcel in the middle of the shell.”


Image for article: Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash

Eka Kurniawan
Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash

Image for article: Pulse Points

Jennifer Down
Pulse Points

Image for article: Her

Garry Disher


Image for article: Panboola wetlands, NSW


Panboola wetlands, NSW

As a child, the author spent time at Alexandra Seddon’s farm in southern NSW, unaware of her connections to Russian royalty. Now he visits the the Panboola Wetlands she established with her inheritance.

Image for article: Colonics at a Philippines health retreat


Colonics at a Philippines health retreat

How a trip to a health farm in the Philippines became a test of intestinal fortitude.

Image for article: Setting goals: Jayden Warn, 23, wheelchair rugby player


Setting goals: Jayden Warn, 23, wheelchair rugby player

Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medallist Jayden Warn on the sporting passion that grew out of adversity.

The Quiz

1. Is a granadilla (a) a fruit, (b) an animal or (c) a dance?
2. Where in Canada would you find the Butchart Gardens?
3. What is the world’s largest lizard?
4. What is the name of the mystical place described in James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon?
5. What is the lowest male singing voice?
6. What European war was fought from 1936 to 1939?
7. How many Wimbledon men’s singles titles has Roger Federer won? (Bonus point for naming the year he won his first Wimbledon title.)
8. An American naval hero and the bassist for Led Zeppelin share what name?
9. Who has been given the new cabinet position of Home Affairs minister?
10. What, according to the ballad, was the first name of the Wild Colonial Boy?

Click through for answers.



“Completely uncomfortable.”

Gladys BerejiklianThe NSW premier explains how the homeless people camped in Martin Place make her feel. Discomforting is one way to describe the human expression of your government’s punitive approach to social disadvantage. Ashamed works, too.


“Young boys don’t want to do things with girls. It’s just natural.”

Raymond BurkeThe American cardinal blames the involvement of women in the church for the presence of clergy abuse. Still tempting to consider the responsibility of paedophile priests and the hierarchy that actively protects them, though.


“I’ve had to pick up the pieces from an organisation that was run incompetently and by people who were not up to doing the job.”

Pauline HansonThe leader of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation blames the workers of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation for electoral breaches by Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. Hate has always been a terrible bookkeeper.


“I think that Western culture, Australian culture, is superior to other cultures.”

Cory BernardiThe turncoat senator explains his insularity and tendencies towards bigoted positions. He also believes privilege is superior to disadvantage and that boys are better than girls.


“This brings to an end a long and comprehensive process. I thank my family and colleagues for their support throughout.”

Arthur SinodinosThe Liberal senator greets news that the Independent Commission Against Corruption made no findings against him. It recommended charges against Joe Tripodi and Tony Kelly for attempting to doctor a cabinet minute.


“She loves it.”

Darren McGradyThe former royal chef confirms that the Queen drinks about six units of alcohol a day: a gin and Dubonnet just before lunch, a glass of wine, a martini and a flute of champagne. The rest of the time she’s drunk on inherited power.