December 16 – 22, 2017

Gina Rinehart, chairwoman of Hancock Prospecting.


Gina Rinehart and the Galilee

“On Friday, Palaszczuk confirmed she would not object to Aurizon’s alternative railway line proposal, even though it is designed to serve Adani’s Carmichael mine as well.”

As Adani draws public ire over its Abbot Point rail line, Gina Rinehart awaits the benefits of another NAIF deal to open up the Galilee.



The year of silence breaking

“With Lance Armstrong, journalists both disgraced and honoured themselves. There were those who went along and those who did not. So it is with Weinstein. Journalists formed a part of his protective clique, but also played a major role in dismantling it.”

The allegations of sexual misconduct by men in power condemn not just the perpetrators, but the culture that protects and profits from them.

Image for article: The Gary Johns appointment


The Gary Johns appointment

Announcing strident critic of charities Gary Johns to head the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission betrays a questionable selection process and a campaign to nobble the sector.

A scene from The Doctor Blake Mysteries.


Restructuring the ABC

Sweeping changes to ABC Radio programming are being fuelled by the broadcaster’s desire to secure a thus-far-elusive younger audience. But can it be done?


The HMAS Newcastle hazing aftermath

“It was a prank and it went astray and a shipmate got hurt … I regret ever taking part in this. I understand traditions like this – there’s no place for it in the navy at all.”

When a 2011 prank against a Royal Australian Navy seaman turned into a case of alleged sexual assault, it put in train years of courts-martial hearings and disputed processes.

Democrat senator elect Doug Jones on election night this week in Birmingham, Alabama.


Nuance needed with China

Problems with One Belt One Road. Democrat wins Alabama senate seat. Australian silence on Nobel Peace Prize.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Richard Cooke
False Labor and the birth of Manus

“The Laborites’ Deep Concern has been applied to every death, rape and outrage since, along with fretting entreaties that the government be more “accountable” and “transparent”. This purely rhetorical stance evaporates the moment the Greens apply any real measure of accountability and transparency. Then, Labor rushes to protect the government, still terrified of the chimera of the western Sydney voter. ”


Paul Bongiorno
Political missteps over China

“This shift in government rhetoric and sentiment around China did not start with Dastyari and Bennelong. These two events have merely blown it out of any sane proportion. It can be traced back to the arrival of the mercurial Trump presidency worsening America’s paranoia about China’s rising economic power and influence in the Asia-Pacific region.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Tall Man pulls up short

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Church fate

When the royal commission sat for the final time, the church was not there. Senior figures were not present. It fell to a layperson to attend, to Francis Sullivan, whose self-critical stewardship of the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council has been the only redemption of an institution built on the preaching of forgiveness. The absence is terrible and unsurprising. The recurrent theme in five years of testimony at this commission has been abandonment. It is an abandonment of children and of responsibility.


Honouring Behrouz Boochani

Thank you for printing the “poet’s manifesto” of Behrouz Boochani (“A letter from Manus”, December 9-15). It is eloquent and moving. The dog that was killed is mourned by the …

APA actions above board

I write with reference to the opinion piece by Tony Windsor (Tony Windsor, “The case of the trespassing strangers”, December 9-15). Mr Windsor referred to APA land access and field survey team …

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South African artist Candice Breitz.


Video artist Candice Breitz

On the eve of the NGV Triennial, artist Candice Breitz turned a work about refugees into a work of protest directed at the gallery’s security contracts. “While I am grateful for the immense support I have received from the NGV,” she announced, “it would be morally remiss, in light of the above knowledge, for me to remain silent in the context of the current conversation that is taking place around the Australian government’s ongoing and systematic abuse of refugees.”

Image for article: The 2017 Australian Music Prize


The 2017 Australian Music Prize

The chair of the Australian Music Prize judging panel presents his highlights of this year’s album longlist.


Gender-equality activist Tasman Bain

“When I meet Tasman Bain I know, among other things, that he once gained the respect of various military advisers by eating 15 boiled potatoes at the Polish consulate in New York. I know that he is an advocate for young people and social justice, and is involved in international policy work, gender equality, human rights and sustainable development. ”


Image for article: Nougat de Montélimar


Nougat de Montélimar

“Nougat is common in Middle Eastern cuisine and Italian cuisine, but this version originated in the south of France. It’s chewy and more-ish, so be careful when you’re getting into the Christmas spirit in your kitchen that you remember you are making it to give away. Otherwise your stomach may be full but your stockings empty.”


Image for article: Curing Affluenza

Richard Denniss
Curing Affluenza

Image for article: Sisters

Lily Tuck

Image for article: The Years, Months, Days

Yan Lianke
The Years, Months, Days


Image for article: Virtual reality and dementia


Virtual reality and dementia

Using gaming technology to transport carers and family members into the mind of a dementia patient is revolutionising understanding of this debilitating degenerative condition.

Image for article: Rome’s Ghetto


Rome’s Ghetto

As a regular visitor to Rome, the author  finds the gloss taken off her romantic notions of the city by the discovery of a relative’s brutal wartime death at the hands of the SS and local Fascists.

Image for article: All-round success: Jess Jonassen, 25, cricketer


All-round success: Jess Jonassen, 25, cricketer

All-rounder Jess Jonassen on the Ashes tour, paving the way for future female cricketers and the importance of education as a fallback plan.

The Quiz

1. Which Australian tennis player was awarded the 2017 Newcombe Medal last month?
2. Which river is called Birrarung by the Wurundjeri people?
3. The Loyalty Islands are part of which French territory?
4. Which artist was most recently inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame?
5. How would you write the number 900 in Roman numerals?
6. Which actress links the films Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Frida and Divergent?
7. Who wrote the novel Finnegans Wake?
8. Is a hornpipe a type of dance, a type of coral or a type of frog?
9. What colours comprise the flag of Pakistan? (Bonus point for naming Pakistan’s capital.)
10. The IATA airport code OOL represents which airport?

Click through for answers.



“The sexual abuse of children is not just a problem of the past.”

Peter McClellanThe chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivers his final address. The commission is one of the largest and most important legal undertakings in this country’s history.


“He is a family man, he is a good man to deal with. I adore the man.”

Don BurkeThe disgraced gardener defends Barnaby Joyce over handling of a veterinary products and pesticides agency. Next up is Genghis Khan’s view of Shirley Temple.


“Don’t get too excited. It looks like I have been hacked. AFP now investigating.”

Joe HockeyThe former treasurer explains how he came to like a social media post calling Malcolm Turnbull a “cranky prick”. It’s not Christopher Pyne’s porn, but it did get some in the Coalition excited.


“I do regret having said it.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe prime minister reflects on using the measure of 30 bad Newspolls as a reason for challenging Tony Abbott. At this point, though, actually being prime minister seems the bigger mistake.


“I’ve been guided by my Labor values, which tell me that I should leave if my ongoing presence detracts from the pursuit of Labor’s mission.”

Sam DastyariThe senator and figure of the NSW Right resigns after misleading the public and sharing security information with a Chinese businessman who also happened to be an enormous party donor. After all that, he should probably stop letting “Labor values” guide him.


“You can ask me any way you want. I’m not ruling anything in or out after the polls come in on Saturday night.”

Kristina KeneallyThe former NSW premier refuses to say whether she will take Sam Dastyari’s senate spot if she loses this weekend’s Bennelong byelection. No news as to what is on offer for John Alexander should he come in short, but it is understood RSL bookers have been approached about his stand-up material.