March 17 – 23, 2018

A mural of Bill Shorten by Scott Marsh, in the Melbourne electorate of Batman.


Batman and Labor on Adani

“Despite some suggestions to the contrary, the Carmichael mine has not had its final signoff from Josh Frydenberg, on conditions that must be met before the first coal can be extracted.”

As today’s Batman byelection brings Labor’s coal policy into relief, Adani finds it still has not got approval for its Carmichael mine.



Trump’s trade war leaves Turnbull gun-shy

“If a major trade war breaks out, Australia's trading partners might take a dim view of a government that ‘in the face of US protectionism, goes in pleading for an exemption. Like, “I’m all right Jack, and stuff everyone else.”’”

In declining to support international action against the new US steel and aluminium tariffs, Malcolm Turnbull damages our standing on trade.

Part of the advertising campaign by Australia’s banks.


Banks front up to royal commission

The banks may have tried to polish their public image, but the opening days of the royal commission shine a light on shoddy lending practices.


Bupa’s play for radical health cover changes

“Believe me, the other funds are watching. If Bupa gets this through, the other funds will follow suit. So you’ll lose the universality of the private health system.”

Plans by Bupa to significantly change the way it provides private health benefits have many doctors and analysts fearing Australian health care is heading towards an American model.

Faisal, a Rohingya from Myanmar, in Nauru.


Trapped in Nauru

“Faisal learnt about the death of his sister, who died in a Rakhine hospital while giving birth. Rohingya are regularly denied access to medical treatment.”

Faisal’s life in Myanmar was destroyed by violence and persecution. Now the Rohingya asylum seeker is in limbo.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un with South Korean national security director Chung Eui-yong during their meeting in Pyongyang last week.


Trump and Kim the madmen across the water

Trump brinkmanship on North Korea. No term limit for Xi Jinping. Shinzō Abe in trouble.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Nina Funnell
Old networks defending college abuse culture

“The old boys’ network will zealously shield their progeny from adverse consequences – not simply out of a filial loyalty, but to protect the institutions from which they drew their own power. While researching The Red Zone Report we heard from several former college students who had either self-harmed or become suicidal in response to the hazing they experienced at college. But we also discovered that the most vociferous defenders of hazing and initiation rituals were alumni groups themselves. ”


Paul Bongiorno
Shorten acts on tax as Batman votes

“Bill Shorten seized the political agenda in a dramatic way on Tuesday, overshadowing practically everything in domestic politics. He did it by homing in on a tax concession that is costing the budget billions but is a sacred cow for the Liberals. Donning his Sherwood Forest finest, the Opposition leader vowed to fight the government’s scare campaign ‘because I’m going to choose the battler over the top end of town’.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: King’s lowlanding

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Waving the white tag

The only real conclusion is that Peter Dutton is a racist. This comes as no surprise, but the starkness of it bears recording. To listen to Peter Dutton talk about white South Africans is to hear a man whose empathy is graded by colour. It took white suffering for him to realise there is injustice in the world.


A wake-up call on the environment

Natalie Cromb’s excellent article (“The economics of reparations”, March 10–16) highlights the fact that our First Nations sovereignty was the first externality of the venture …

Damages for damages

Natalie Cromb’s article is a revealing and honest precis of Australia, the nation invaded, and the plight of Indigenous Australians. Now, with further ignorant and deceptive behaviour of this Liberal government …

Read More


Ciara Phillips, centre, at her MCA Young Guides installation.


Ciara Phillips’ Biennale workshop

For the 21st Biennale of Sydney, artist Ciara Phillips is creating a collaborative printmaking studio, posters from which will run each week in The Saturday Paper. She talks about the role of art in social change. “I find it really difficult to explain: how do you make art? Basically it’s the sum total of all the things I think about.”

Image for article: New albums from Mia Dyson and Sarah Blasko


New albums from Mia Dyson and Sarah Blasko

Mia Dyson and Sarah Blasko’s sixth and career-best albums suggest neither of these accomplished songwriters has yet hit their peak.


Lorna, retired florist and grandmother

“Lorna is 81, retired florist, my maternal grandmother. Fond of cappuccinos; emojis; her rescue dog Rosie, a surprise from my aunt. Height: about 160 centimetres. Complexion: olive. Eyes: grey, I think. This began as a comical exercise based on the text messages we exchange from time to time. But our text messages, like any other words, do not exist in a vacuum.”


Image for article: Andrew McConnell's Tiramisu


Andrew McConnell’s Tiramisu

“Tiramisu has a somewhat naff mass appeal – it’s a homely dessert that should be for everyone but the addition of raw egg, coffee and alcohol excludes children and some people from the pleasures. Bringing together two things that complete every meal – coffee and alcohol – it gives the diner the chance to indulge further without raising any suspicion.”


Image for article: Two Sisters

Åsne Seierstad
Two Sisters

Image for article: Educated

Tara Westover

Image for article: Frankenstein in Baghdad

Ahmed Saadawi
Frankenstein in Baghdad


Image for article: Scavenging art for Landfall: Lorne Sculpture Biennale

Visual Art

Scavenging art for Landfall: Lorne Sculpture Biennale

For Geelong’s Ian Ballis, a life sifting through other people’s discards has led to an unlikely creative partnership with Shirin Abedinirad, an Iranian installation artist whose work is part of the Lorne Sculpture Biennale.

Image for article: Australian-Ghanaian label Yevu


Australian-Ghanaian label Yevu

Anna Robertson’s Yevu label, based in Ghana, resists the pressure to upscale production of its wax print garments in favour of a sustainable business.

Image for article: Best practice: Lachlan Penfold, 50, director of performance


Best practice: Lachlan Penfold, 50, director of performance

Melbourne Storm’s director of performance Lachlan Penfold on preparing the best team possible, his time in the NBA and the athletes he admires most.

The Quiz

1. According to legend, what was the only thing to remain in Pandora’s “box”?
2. Which star of a 2017 Hollywood blockbuster served in the Israel Defense Forces?
3. Which country topped the medal tally at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics?
4. Beta vulgaris is the Latin name for which vegetable?
5. Which US city is home to the Space Needle?
6. What does the word niggardly mean?
7. In May 1954, Roger Bannister became the first man to do what? (Bonus point for naming the city in which he did it.)
8. What is the national animal of Greenland?
9. What did Saint Patrick reputedly drive out of Ireland?
10. Who is Australia’s minister for women?

Click through for answers.



“It really proves exactly what we have been through. These are disgusting acts by a despicable man.”

Tessa SullivanThe former Melbourne councillor describes her feeling of vindication after an independent report made four adverse findings against Robert Doyle. The former lord mayor groped Sullivan and is also otherwise generally grotesque.


“There’s no conspiracy to take down Martin Shkreli. I took down Martin Shkreli with my disgraceful actions.”

Martin Shkreli The price-gouging pharmaceuticals investor is sentenced to seven years’ jail for fraud. Unfortunately for Martin Shkreli, Martin Shkreli will be forced to serve his term in the first person.


“I don’t know if he’s going to be able to sustain this flight, because he is a 10-year-old dog, and he’s never been on a flight before.”

Kara Swindle The dog owner complains United Airlines mistakenly flew her German shepherd to Japan, days after another dog died when its owner was made to put it in the overhead locker. Punching a doctor in the face and dragging him down the aisle looks pretty tame now.


“Are you not pathetic?”

Suzanne JonesThe Federal Circuit Court judge finds far-right activist Neil Erikson guilty of contempt of court for failing to return a Toll uniform he wears in racist videos. Pathetic isn’t the half of it.


“His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it’s not empty. Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating the fabric of spacetime that defies measure.”

Neil deGrasse TysonThe astrophysicist marks the death of Stephen Hawking. The British physicist and author was 76.


“I do subscribe to The Saturday Paper and Crikey.”

Andrew BarrThe ACT chief minister defends comments in which he said he hates journalists and no longer subscribes to The Canberra Times. The Saturday Paper does not endorse his view of journalism, but a subscriber is a subscriber.