October 28 – November 3, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull and Christopher Pyne in 2009.


Exclusive: Turnbull sought GetUp! help before spill

“Pyne had specifics in mind. He offered to provide GetUp! with a list of about 10 undecided MPs, whose votes might be swayed by a lobbying campaign.”

As the Coalition steps up its campaign against GetUp!, it is revealed Turnbull leant on the group to do numbers for his leadership.



Inside the debate over Victoria’s assisted dying bill

“Opposition to assisted dying comes fundamentally from canon law, but the parliamentary inquiry says clearly that the status quo is unacceptable.”

With Victoria’s upper house preparing to debate Daniel Andrews’ euthanasia bill, supporters argue opponents such as Paul Keating have misread the public mood.

A now-deserted section of the Manus Regional Processing Centre.


Closing Manus Island

“We feel as if the Australian government will simply dust its hands of us and dump us here forever.”

As the October 31 closure deadline looms on Manus Island, the asylum seekers held there fear for their uncertain future.

Image for article: The politics of the NBN


The politics of the NBN

The government’s plan to sell the NBN at a profit makes getting answers about the true cost of its rollout and what it provides exceedingly difficult.


Exploitation of backpacker labour

“She was continually approached for sex. When she said no, the next day she was put on the farm for 15 hours straight. When she wanted to leave he refused to pay her.”

Stories of upfront bonds, failure to pay wages, harassment and deplorable conditions are being heard by the parliamentary inquiry into whether a modern slavery act is needed to protect working backpackers from exploitation.

A procession of white elephants marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej.


China welcomes era of Xi Jinping

Election win for Shinzō Abe. Thai king farewelled. Still no government comment on ICAN's Nobel peace prize.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Dice keeps rolling on


Paul Bongiorno
What’s NXT without Nick Xenophon?

“While Xenophon would dearly love to run 30 candidates in SA, finding the right ones takes more than wishful thinking. The infrastructure has to be constructed from scratch and the money has to be found to fund it. Other minor parties, such as Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, are testament to the car crash it can become. ”


Clem Bastow
Me too, myself and I

“While #MeToo may be an organic social media campaign, it carries with it the same expectation to perform trauma as personal narrative, and the same expectation that not doing so is somehow a betrayal. This is a culture of confession as substitute for systemic analysis – what the writer and activist Yasmin Nair calls the liberal feminist “imperative to reveal oneself as the wounded subject”.”

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Breaking the heart

Noel Pearson says, “Malcolm Turnbull has broken the First Nations’ hearts of this country, expressed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart”. He calls the cabinet’s rejection of the proposal for an Indigenous voice, “dog whistling about third chambers of parliament”. He calls it a “hoary line”.


Attacks on ABC against national interest

It says a lot about the Coalition government that it would use as a bargaining chip the independence and integrity of one of our national treasures – the ABC (Mike Seccombe, “The …

Poor choice of image

The front-page story on the ABC was the usual excellent journalism from Mike Seccombe, however the photo of Michelle Guthrie is distressing. It is the usual photo of frowning bewilderment, and in semi-profile. …

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Joseph Kosuth.


Conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth

As a pioneer of conceptual art, Joseph Kosuth’s reflections on the world’s great thinkers glow with deeper meaning. “It’s not about how, it’s about why,” he says. “So I think – not to be vainglorious about it – I instituted, for very selfish reasons, a view of art as something quite different from the inherited tradition.”

Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam of Kllo


Kllo’s ‘Backwater’

Electronic band Kllo draw listeners in to their downbeat soul with intricate melodies and meticulous sound design.


Danny’s outback tours

“It is two years since he left Sydney’s Newtown to work as a tour guide in the desert. He begins his days early, under a thousand stars tossed like fairy lights across an endless expanse of sky. Rising, he lights the fire around which his charges sleep in swags, before playing a recording of the rhythmic drone of the didgeridoo.”


Image for article: Quail with pistachio sauce


Quail with pistachio sauce

“The flavours that I’ve used for this recipe are vaguely Moorish. I’ve been obsessed with the flavour combination of quail and pistachios since eating a quail flatbread served with yoghurt and pistachio nuts at a restaurant in London named Moro. That would have been almost 20 years ago.”


Image for article: The Passage of Love

Alex Miller
The Passage of Love

Image for article: Atlantic Black

A. S. Patrić
Atlantic Black

Image for article: The Smell of Fresh Rain

Barney Shaw
The Smell of Fresh Rain


Image for article: Life and death at Niagara Falls


Life and death at Niagara Falls

A trip to Niagara Falls provokes contemplation of the force of nature and the fragility of life.

Image for article: Virtual reality for charities


Virtual reality for charities

Charities are increasingly turning to virtual reality experiences of lives in developing countries to motivate support, but critics say it’s creating poverty porn.

Image for article: Swimming’s lessons: Brenden Hall, 24, swimmer


Swimming’s lessons: Brenden Hall, 24, swimmer

Three-time Paralympic gold medallist Brenden Hall on losing his leg at six, and why swimming is such an important part of his life.

The Quiz

1. How many colours are in a rainbow?
2. A tabby named Telemachus appears on the cover of which iconic 1970s album?
3. The Indian city once known as Madras is now named…? (Bonus point for naming the body of water it lies on.)
4. In which year was the original Blade Runner film set?
5. Which salad of Lebanese origin mainly comprises cracked wheat, chopped parsley and tomatoes?
6. How many gold medals did Australia win at the 2000 Sydney Olympics? 
7. The Roman numerals XLIX represent which number?
8. Who was deputy prime minister of Australia from 1996 to 1999?
9. Buffalo Girls is Larry McMurtry’s 1990 book about the historic figure Martha Jane Cannary, who is better known as …?
10. What does a campanologist study?

Click through for answers.



“Do you want to know who my favourite magician is? David Cop-a-feel.”

George H. W. BushThe former American president jokes about groping an actress during a photo opportunity. His hobbies include invading personal space and Middle Eastern countries.


“You have sparked a totally unusual behaviour in my dog.”

Emmanuel MacronThe French president blames a junior minister for making his dog urinate on a fireplace at the Élysée Palace. At this point, his dog could defecate on the carpet and he could step in it and then walk it through the house and then put his feet up on the couch while he ate dinner in front of the television and he still would not be the least statesman-like leader in the world.


“I am the furthest thing from a playboy there is … If I am a playboy, where are all the pictures of pretty girls?”

James PackerThe billionaire complains about his public image. Strong point from a casino owner who periodically marries models and becomes engaged to pop stars.


“I think that both sides have their own results, from their studies, and I appreciate and I respect both sides of the science.”

Kelly CraftThe US ambassador to Canada explains her position on climate science. You should see her play two-up.


“Criminally overlooked Canberra packs a big punch for such a small city.”

Chris ZeiherThe Lonely Planet spokesman names Canberra in third place on the guide’s 2018 list of cities to visit. In fairness, the entertainment this week has been better than usual.


“Our analysis is that the national redress scheme … was going to cost in total about $4 billion, and of about $4 billion we think our exposure is $1 billion.”

Francis SullivanThe chief executive of the Catholic Church’s Truth and Justice Healing Council responds to legislation providing for a national redress scheme for victims of child sexual abuse. There is no joke for this, just appalling suffering.