March 10 – 16, 2018

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney this week.


Turnbull’s parliamentary circus

“Every parliamentary session devolves into incompetence, scandal and white-anting, and every legislative achievement is overshadowed by scandal or made insubstantial by its pettiness.”

The legislative record of the 45th parliament is hidden behind a sideshow of scandal and division – and even then it’s not very impressive.



ASIO changes hidden in ‘sloppy’ amendments process

“In the 40 years of ASIO’s existence, legislation related to its operations has always been made public to enable scrutiny before it is passed.”

As questions continue over new powers for the Home Affairs Department, a suite of legislative amendments goes missing.

Children wait for their evening meal at a private evacuation centre in Iligan City in the southern Philippines.


The battle for Marawi

As terrorism and politics collide in the southern Philippines city of Marawi, evacuees go hungry while new battlelines are drawn.

Barnaby Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull celebrate Joyce’s  re-election to the seat of New England in December.


Bungle of Joyce

Two years since Barnaby Joyce became deputy prime minister and three months since his byelection victory, a look at the spectacular flame-out that put the former Nationals leader on the back bench.


Environmental regulators

“The 2018 Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators Network (AELERT) conference asked the question, ‘Is being right enough?’”

In the wake of the murder of NSW compliance officer Glen Turner, environmental law enforcers are tackling resistance to regulation born not just of corporate greed but of human nature.

Image for article: Duterte to miss ASEAN summit in Sydney


Duterte to miss ASEAN summit in Sydney

Australia and Timor-Leste finally sign treaty; Italy’s poll results.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Natalie Cromb
The economics of reparations

“The success of the Australian economy is not down to economic management. Despite what the constant political posturing would have us believe, it is because a benefit has been derived from the Indigenous people and cultural lands without any payment. Only a small portion of the cultural lands have been returned to traditional owners and almost all of the land “returned” is vulnerable to native title extinguishment for mining if they are not already subject to the 99-year lease provisions.”


Paul Bongiorno
Malcolm Turnbull’s poll count looms

“Of course preferred prime minister is not an indicator of an election outcome – it is not unusual for a premier or prime minster to be preferred right up until the time voters dump them and their party. But this metric was for a long while a morale booster for Turnbull and his team. Now even that shield has gone and the PM is left languishing with Shorten in deep negative territory of disapproval.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Planet of the gripes

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Neighbour hoods

Here is a headline from Tuesday: “Australia to train Myanmar military despite ethnic cleansing accusations”. And here is one from Wednesday: “Australian spy who revealed bugging of Timor-Leste cabinet under ‘effective house arrest’ ”. Here is a headline from 2014: “Axe falls on foreign aid spending, nearly $8 billion in cuts over next five years”. Here is Australia, irresponsible neighbour and opportunist.


Representatives are not listening

I enjoy reading your editorials as they write of things as they are. None more so than “Four sore years” (March 3–9). How succinctly worded. Both our major parties seem incapable …

Seeking some answers

Are the politicians playing a game? It is more serious, a deadly competition. You are correct in listing in your editorial all the important issues and problems being ignored and the way trivia is exploited …

Read More


Gail Jones


Gail Jones and the art of words

Author Gail Jones’s latest novel, The Death of Noah Glass, reflects the cross-cultural interests of an enthusiastic traveller who finds inspiration in getting lost. It also revisits her original passions of art and art history.

Image for article: ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’ and ‘The Show Goes On’


‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’ and ‘The Show Goes On’

While the cast of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical fails to deliver an uplifting experience, Bernadette Robinson, in her solo performance of The Show Goes On, is transcendent as she channels the great women of song.


Glass artist Emma Camden

“I watch Emma Camden through her studio window. She’s water blasting and she looks fit for a storm: bright yellow plastic pants and coat, gumboots, a face mask and industrial green gloves that reach above her elbows. When she’s finished she carefully sloughs off this protective skin and clocks me.”


Image for article: Kasoundi



“Kasoundi is like a magic addition to so many things. It’s a sort of spiced tomato sauce, originating in the Bengal region of India but bastardised and plagiarised until it became a sort of staple on school fete counters the country over. Or so I thought. Kasoundi, it seems, is not recognised by some of my colleagues. ”


Image for article: The Shepherd’s Hut

Tim Winton
The Shepherd’s Hut

Image for article: The Book of Joan

Lidia Yuknavitch
The Book of Joan

Image for article: The Everlasting Sunday

Robert Lukins
The Everlasting Sunday


Image for article: Elder abuse


Elder abuse

Attending a conference on elder abuse, the author is confronted to realise how readily a carer’s frustration, or the ingratitude of an aged cohabitant, can escalate to a harmful relationship.

Image for article: Whale-watching in Tonga


Whale-watching in Tonga

Looking into the eyes of humpback whales in the seas off Tonga can make a visitor feel omnipotent and inconsequential all at once.

Image for article: Full board: Joany Badenhorst, 23, Para-snowboarder


Full board: Joany Badenhorst, 23, Para-snowboarder

Champion snowboarder and Australia’s Winter Paralympics opening ceremony flagbearer Joany Badenhorst on the joys of proving her doubters wrong.

The Quiz

1. Which former Australian senator’s memoir is titled Rebel with a Cause?
2. In Greek mythology, what did Narcissus fall in love with?
3. Richard Umbers was forced to step down as CEO of which Australian company last month?
4. Roger Federer regained the ATP world No. 1 ranking last month. In which year did he first become world No. 1? (Bonus points for naming Federer’s current age and the year in which he most recently was No. 1.)
5. Which three pieces does each player have a total of two of at the start of a chess game?
6. Which singer’s debut studio album, The Kick Inside, was released 40 years ago last month?
7. What word means dinner in Italian?
8. Lumiere and Mrs Potts are characters in what animated film?
9. The condiment turmeric turns white rice what colour?
10. Which Lord of the Rings characters live in the Shire?

Click through for answers.



“Am so sorry. Guess that’s why I have few friends who are politicians. He seemed very open and excited about Mardi Gras and LGBTI community.”

CherThe singer apologises for posing with Malcolm Turnbull at Mardi Gras. Turnbull learnt a simple lesson: don’t leverage politics off celebrity, or subject an entire community to a debate on their worth, purposely giving voice to decades of suppressed homophobia.


“How many Mongolian models did we have to bury in the jungle for this pricing.”

Alex TurnbullThe prime minister’s son complains of a shadowy deal done to benefit Malaysia’s elites while he was at Goldman Sachs. The negotiations were still only slightly worse than Julia Gillard’s refugee swap with the country.


“Look, once you start having these sorts of exemptions, where does it end? Where does it end?”

Tony AbbottThe former prime minister questions Labor’s commitment to remove the tax levied on tampons. Where it ends is something approaching financial equality, which is admittedly terrifying.


“Rick Morton’s article in The Australian today highlights braod multicultural agreement that English is key to intergration.”

Alan TudgeThe citizenship minister continues his campaign for a strengthened English test to exclude migrants. You can’t misspell “broad” and “integration” without also spelling “bigot” – and “inbred” if you use the “b” twice.


“I’m a little worried about what often sounds like an anti-man agenda.”

Tony AbbottThe former prime minister expresses his fear of quotas. And women. And progress. And, probably, birds.


“I must be the only one not in the bonking circle because I’m certainly not getting any.”

Jacqui LambieThe former senator reflects on the prime minister’s changes to the ministerial code of conduct. Elsewhere, she said Nick Xenophon took her on a date to KFC – a claim Xenophon denies, although he admits they shared chicken nuggets.