September 16 – 22, 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra this week.


Making sense of the PM’s first two years

“Turnbull has given us the unique experience of business confidence generally increasing while consumer confidence deteriorates.”

Two years after he took power, it is possible to judge Malcolm Turnbull against the standards he set when he challenged for the leadership.



Climate action stalling here and in America

“And so it is not likely to be a coincidence that almost all of the strongest hurricanes on record (as measured by sustained wind speeds) for the globe … have occurred over the past two years.”

The federal government is ignoring the realities of climate change – mirroring trends towards inaction in American politics.

Shonica Guy (right) and Jennifer Kanis, Maurice Blackburn’s head of social justice, outside the Federal Court in Melbourne this week.


Poker machines on trial

Victoria’s Federal Court will decide whether a poker machine has been illegally designed to entrap users, in the first case of its kind in the country.


Bundaberg, Australia’s Newstart capital

“Leon’s been unemployed for a year, his partner doesn’t work, and they have two small children, with the youngest four months old. His frustration is evident. ‘That’s what annoys me the most,’ he says. ‘That I can’t provide for my family.’”

As the federal government plans to expand its cashless welfare card program to Bundaberg, the residents of Australia’s ‘dole capital’ say the problem is that there simply aren’t any jobs.

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, the director of the Global Change Institute.


Farewelling coral reefs

The director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, talks about the grim realities of climate change and how we must choose which reefs to save.

Volunteers distribute food donations to Rohingya Muslim refugees in Naikhongchhari, Bangladesh, this week.


Suu Kyi’s precarious position on Rohingyas

North Korea crisis eases. Singapore gets first female president. Elgin Marbles in Brexit play.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Jane Caro
Women’s entrappings of high office

“In the past few years, almost a quarter of the small number of women who lead nations have either lost office because of charges of corruption or other criminal behaviour, or are fighting such accusations, or have members of their families who have been similarly accused. Could this be right? Could it possibly be true that so many female leaders are guilty of abusing their powers? Or is something else going on?”


Paul Bongiorno
Turnbull turns Chifley on energy

“The chutzpah of Turnbull strongarming Vesey can only be explained as desperation borne of diabolical politics within the government spilling over into the public’s perceptions of division and inertia. So, unable to enact the sort of energy policy recommended by his own Finkel report, the prime minister has begun a pantomime, hoping his finger-pointing and name-calling will fool the audience into thinking he’s doing something.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: John’s no in game of Tones

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Keilor scarring

“Hitler had concentration camps for these gay people – one of the two good things he did,” the caller said. “The other one was build the autobahn.” There is no real point to the postal survey on marriage equality except this: it licences hate speech and gives platform to views that are otherwise so despicable as to be absent from public debate.


The great divide

Richard Cooke (“Sancho Panza’s lament”, September 9-15) gives due regard to people who are victims of neoliberalism. However, the “average Joe” is depicted as a marginalised “other”, …

Media going to extremes

Antony Ault (Letters, “Christians not being given a fair go”, September 9-15) raises for me an important point about how the media reports the views of Christians on issues being debated or considered …

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Mikala Dwyer


Artist Mikala Dwyer on ‘befriending’ chemotherapy

Recovering from chemotherapy, Mikala Dwyer is using her highly personal installations to reflect her own chemical journey towards healing. “It’s really weird stuff that pulls apart your DNA, and arranges things and puts it back together again. It did definitely creep into the work.”

Image for article: ‘Angels in America’


‘Angels in America’

Gary Abrahams’ production of Angels in America is stark and shrewd, and has in Helen Morse a virtuosic display of restrained acting.


Author Melina Marchetta

“This year is the 25th anniversary of Looking for Alibrandi, and Melina is not sick of talking about it, ‘not quite’. The novel changed her life, she says. After leaving school at 15, she wrote the book in her early 20s, which gave her an “in” to teaching. ‘I remember thinking that if I’m smart enough to write a novel, then I’m smart enough to go to university.’”


Image for article: Lamb kebabs with eggplant & Turkish chilli


Lamb kebabs with eggplant & Turkish chilli

“A key flavour that makes a kebab a kebab is the coals it is cooked on. The wood infuses the meat with its greatest character. The concept of dicing the meat into two-centimetre cubes means there is more surface to take on the flavour of the coals and also of the marinade.”


Image for article: Flights

Olga Tokarczuk

Image for article: Rain Birds

Harriet McKnight
Rain Birds

Image for article: Detours

Tim Rogers


Image for article: Cultivating native orchids


Cultivating native orchids

Intent on growing native orchids, the author finds the only club that she wants to have her as a member.

Image for article: Comedy for mental health


Comedy for mental health

Can comedy be a tool in mental health care? People providing a platform for expressing personal experiences and a less clinical environment for talking about illness think it can.

Image for article: High achiever: Rory Lobb, 24, Australian rules footballer


High achiever: Rory Lobb, 24, Australian rules footballer

GWS Giants’ Rory Lobb on making the finals again and the taxing workload that goes into playing in the AFL.

The Quiz

1. To which country was United States General Douglas MacArthur on March 11, 1942 referring when he declared, “I shall return”?
2. Henley, cowl and boat are all kinds of what?
3. What is the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge?
4. Ambergris is produced where?
5. Who preceded Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa?
6. Which poet wrote the line “Tyger Tyger, burning bright,/ In the forests of the night”?
7. Who is the Greek goddess of the harvest and fertility?
8. Which artist’s forthcoming album is titled Reputation?
9. What type of animal is the brand mascot of Paddle Pops?
10. In the movie musical Grease, who is the leader of the Pink Ladies? (Bonus point for naming the actress who played her and the year of the film’s release.)

Click through for answers.



“I just don’t want people standing on the corner yelling at me, telling me if I don’t agree with them then I’m somehow less than human.”

Barnaby JoyceThe deputy prime minister complains about the debate his party is forcing the country to have. It is especially tedious for the New Zealander, given his country legislated for same-sex marriage in 2013.


“We’re dealing with it internally, but it was a mistake. It was not malicious.”

Ted CruzThe conservative US senator, who once argued against a legal right to masturbation, blames a staff member for using his official Twitter account to “like” a short pornographic film some time around midnight on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. No one said it was malicious, Ted, just very funny.


“18C on steroids, on a temporary course of steroids, to protect people from being upset.”

Cory BernardiThe conservative senator complains about a bill to limit vilification during the same-sex marriage debate. It’s rare for a former rower to be so honest about steroids, but this is a crazy parliament.


“This is a solicitation of assault in exchange for money. That is not protected by the First Amendment.”

Kiyo MatsumotoThe US district judge rescinds Martin Shkreli’s bail after the pharmaceutical speculator offered a $US5000 bounty for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. Similar bounties gave Bernie Sanders the skull he has today.


“A lot of journalists aren’t my friends.”

Pauline HansonThe One Nation leader offers a brief moment of clarity. To be honest, Pauline, a lot of journalists are appalled by your impact on this country and its politics and think you are a disgrace to the parliament.


“Now, unlocking it is as easy as looking at it and swiping up… Y’know, let’s try that again.”

Craig FederighiThe senior vice-president of software engineering at Apple launches the iPhone X by showing how the $1579 device doesn’t actually work. Miraculously, the battery lasted all the way through his presentation.