Trust me: Pezzullo’s mega powers

“We, like you, are fellow Australians who cherish our liberty and we don’t want to be surveilled by the state. I don’t want to be surveilled by the state.”

Michael Pezzullo wants to embed his Department of Home Affairs into every part of Australian life. He insists there’s no cause for concern.




Inside China’s ‘united front’

“UFW can involve work with Triads who are happy to cooperate to prove their patriotism and reduce attention to their criminal activities, as we have seen recently in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. It’s certainly not out of the question.”

As China is accused of breaking into the home of an academic, the extent of its influence in Australian politics is hotly questioned.



Coalition targets Shorten’s morals

Behind Michaelia Cash’s reference to female staff in Bill Shorten’s office is a pattern of Coalition attacks on the Opposition leader over his personal morals.



Nationals upset farmers over water

“They have preferenced big irrigators upstream. And people like us have been left out to dry.”

A focus on hugely lucrative water buybacks has left the Nationals vulnerable to accusations they have abandoned family farmers.



Xenophon’s run in SA election

Nick Xenophon’s return to state politics has delivered a wild card to South Australia’s election, with the possibility his SA-Best party will decide whether Labor or the Liberals form government.



Berlusconi plying playbook of anti-immigration

Germany still dealing on coalition. Macron in trouble. Brexit chaos grows.




Behrouz Boochani
Policy of exile

“Anti-Australian sentiment grows among Manusians, as they believe Australia exploits their tiny island with a colonial mentality that never retreated. People in the forest villages beside Hillside and West Haus are kind towards refugees, but they have held demonstrations outside the camps to voice their opposition to this profound disruption to their lives.”



Paul Bongiorno
The Coalition after Barnaby Joyce

“The fate of the Turnbull Coalition government depends on McCormack holding his party together. It is no easier task than Turnbull has with his party – although the Liberals seem to have come to the realisation that Tony Abbott is no longer the answer to their problems, nor is anyone else on offer. The government’s one-seat majority makes every member – Liberal and National – capable of bringing down the whole show. ”



Daily dose of revisionism

The Daily Advertiser in Wagga Wagga has experienced some major rethinking since Michael McCormack, the current deputy prime minister, was the editor of the mighty organ. McCormack’s editorial line in the 1990s – that humanity was in danger of being wiped out by disease-spreading gays – has been starkly revised. This week, we find the paper carrying a story about the town of Hay hosting a mardi gras parade, to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the big event in Sydney.

An insider’s outside view

A new podcast from Schwartz Media

Join Richard Denniss, The Australia Institute’s chief economist, as he tackles Australia’s most important political and economic issues in a new weekly podcast.

Find The Lucky Country on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Letters & Editorial



Four sore years

To watch Michaelia Cash hide behind a whiteboard after abusing parliamentary privilege is to know one thing above all else: politics in this country is conducted as if by children. This is not the coward’s castle; it’s a creche. This week marks four years since The Saturday Paper published its first edition. The paper’s archive is a farce in weekly acts.



The answer is Albo

I can tell the admirable ALP candidate for Batman, Ged Kearney, precisely why “are they voting Green, or why have they left Labor” (Martin McKenzie-Murray, “Holy Labor crisis, Batman”, February …


Caucus at the heart of ALP problems

Regardless of Ged Kearney’s ideological credentials, the voters of Batman are clever enough to know that the ALP’s policies are not determined by the MPs or the party members, but …

Read More



‘Single Asian Female’ writer Michelle Law

Michelle Law is a prolific writer, working across stage and screen, whose biggest achievement is in telling the stories of an unrepresented migrant experience. “A lot of people would come out and be like, ‘I’ve never seen a story that I could relate to in that way’ and ‘That was me growing up’ or ‘That’s me now’.”


Dick Stusso’s ‘In Heaven’

Nic Russo’s second album as ramshackle country bluesman Dick Stusso delivers melancholic wisdom found at the bottom of a bottle.


Artist Ato Ribeiro

“Ato shows me his hands, palms up, with the kind of tenderness of a man about to hold a baby for the first time: ‘My calluses have calluses on them.’ Or a man wounded: ‘I’m killing myself. It’s all kinds of fucked up.’ He talks with grim satisfaction. His jeans and shirt are covered in pale dust, his cornrows and beard threaded with silver, though he is my age.”




Seafood salad with potatoes and fennel

“This recipe comes from the experience of standing in pintxos bars in the Basque country and eating cold seafood marinated in vinegar. There is something very hospitable about a bar top loaded with morsels of seasonal food. It’s up there with my favourite things about travelling to Spain: little bars overfilled with people and hospitableness.”




Portland, Maine

The tidiness and folksy veneer of Portland, Maine, lends a Truman Show feel to the seaside city they call ‘Vacationland’.



The future is female

At a conference styled like a Kubrick day spa, futurists and trend forecasters imagine what is next for women in business.



Leading role: Rachael Haynes, 31, cricketer

Test cricketer Rachael Haynes on the individual resilience and collaborative relationships essential to becoming a winning outfit.



Michael Mohammed Ahmad
The Lebs


Sonya Voumard
Skin in the Game


Intan Paramaditha
Apple and Knife

The Quiz

1. In which country is the city of Penang?
2. In Australian arts circles, what does the acronym NIDA stand for?
3. Name the only two Australian swimmers to win, in the one individual event, a gold, silver and bronze medal over three Olympic Games?
4. What is the only species of bird that can fly backwards?
5. Does finding the product of two or more numbers involve adding or multiplying them?
6. Is acrophobia the fear of heights or open spaces?
7. Who developed the three laws of motion that form the basic principles of modern physics?
8. In the video game Angry Birds, what animal is the birds’ enemy? (Bonus point for naming their colour.)
9. What Latin phrase means, “It does not follow”?
10. Before entering politics, what was Barnaby Joyce’s profession?



“I’ve had a few zingers myself from time to time.”

Michael McCormackThe new deputy prime minister compliments his own wit. He wasn’t drawn on whether those zingers included the time he advocated for the death penalty or when he called gay men “sordid” and “unnatural” or likened women’s football to an “egg and spoon” race.


“I’m not a particularly avid reader… They seem to have an unhealthy obsession.”

Michael PezzulloThe head of Home Affairs complains in Senate estimates about The Saturday Paper’s coverage of his office. To be fair, he seems to have a pretty unhealthy department.


“It’s not being facetious. Accusing someone of being a Nazi is a very serious thing, it’s appalling.”

James PatersonThe senator expresses upset at Kim Carr suggesting he would fit in with the Hitler Youth. The Coalition youth arm is actually the IPA, but the confusion is sometimes understandable.


“The jigaboo runs riot and out of control. The ’boo needs the lash. The ’boo wants the lash. Deep, deep down the ’boo knows the lash provides the governance and stability.”

Brett GuerinThe head of Victoria Police’s Professional Standards Command posts racist abuse online under a pseudonym. Some people just can’t help taking their work home with them.


“It’s interesting how many people have been counting back to the conception.”

Charles Wooley

The 60 Minutes reporter asks New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about conceiving a child. It’s not interesting, Charles; no one is asking; please stop; please.


“Yes. I am more than happy to withdraw the comments unreservedly.”

Michaelia CashThe minister for jobs and innovation withdraws comments musing on the sex lives of Bill Shorten’s staff. Cash does not know the difference between an apology and a stubborn withdrawal and hiding behind a whiteboard.