May 26 – June 1, 2018

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visits the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Queensland.


Who is the group awarded $443m to save the reef?

“It’s not really getting to the root cause of the problem with the bleaching, and that’s climate change.”

The largest government grant for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef has been awarded, without tender, to a tiny foundation with no details on why.



Britain lobbies Defence to take risk on warships

“Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs has twice offered a public, personal view that defence procurement should shy away from untested technology and hardware. But the pressure on the government to go with the British ship has been mounting.”

The British government is employing diplomatic pressure over a $35 billion warship contract, despite the design existing only on paper.

ANZ executive Kate Gibson leaves the banking royal commission on Wednesday.


Small business at the banks royal commission

The small business testimonies to the banking royal commission revealed a more nuanced area of questionable practices, but one that still turns up stories of personal hardship.

Gosford Anglican priest Rod Bower.


One billboard outside Gosford, amusing

Following the storming of his church by far-right activists, Father Rod Bower vows to continue his liberal preachings.


Diplomacy à la Kim Jong-un

“No one in North Korea is better informed about the outside world, including politics in Washington, than Kim Jong-un. That allows him to play South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and maybe Trump.”

While some may see Kim Jong-un as ill equipped to broker deals on the world stage, nothing could be further from the truth.

Former prime minister Najib Razak appears at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission office this week.


Hastie drops bombshell on China relations

Australian MP alleges FBI suspect. Italy prepares for far-right/far-left coalition government. Najib Razak investigated.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Jini Maxwell
Labour failures in the arts industry

“The maxim holds that arts work shouldn’t feel like work if you love it enough. We don’t have to treat your work as work if we can treat it as your passion. If there is funding, it should go to the art, and paying workers is optional. We would if we could, the organisation says. This divestment of responsibility does more than harm arts workers; it actively reproduces prevalent and exclusionary power structures within the arts. The explicit currency on which arts organisations are run is passion, but the implicit currency is personal privilege. ”


Paul Bongiorno
Pauline Hanson’s need for attention

“Consistency is not Hanson's strong suit, but on Tuesday she sounded Trumpesque in the way she was contradicting herself. She capped off her Hobart news conference by saying “business needs immediate relief, not seven or eight years down the track”. It seems that, when you are a vehicle for protest, or anger or resentment, you don’t need the credibility of other mere mortals.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Striking a chord

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Dutton’s moral twilight

Salim Kyawning was a Rohingya refugee, the 14th person to die in offshore detention. It fell to a charity to tell his family of his death. The Home Affairs office had not bothered. It put out a single line statement: “This is a matter for the PNG government.” This was the suicide of a man transformed by cruelty into a non-person. He was killed by the instruments of Australia’s border protection policy.


Dogma has no place in our schools

Pastoral care is undoubtedly a worthwhile and necessary aspect of education in all Australian schools. Juliette Armstrong is to be commended for her challenge to the legality of discrimination against …

Oh, the humanities

Guy Rundle (“The bonfire of the humanities”, May 19–25) pinpointed yet another of our civilisation’s institutions that is in decline, the university. His analysis is odd; perhaps …

Read More


Image for article: Ai Weiwei's lens on humanity


Ai Weiwei’s lens on humanity

The artist Ai Weiwei refuses to shy away from tragedy or grief, working with an uncomfortable proximity between art and subject. He speaks on the release of his film on the refugee crisis, Human Flow. ‘It’s not just understanding. It requires you to find a language, so that you can give dignity to the subject matter.’ The line is cotton-thin.

Image for article: David Capra's ‘Sheer Fantasy’

Visual Art

David Capra’s ‘Sheer Fantasy’

In the delineated zones of David Capra’s exhibition-cum-installation Sheer Fantasy, the visitor is led to contemplate intersections of time and space.


Attachment phase

“My daughter and her partner are equal parts excited and anxious – about the birth, about everything that comes afterwards. I am anxious for them, for all that being a parent entails. I hold my own secret hopes and dreams for this child, my own fears, not only for her as an individual, but for the world into which she is born. I hope that she is born without incident or injury, that she has the strength and resilience to cope with adversity. I hope she lives a life of kindness, empathy and loyalty.”


Image for article: Salt-baked celeriac with mustard cream and salmon roe


Salt-baked celeriac with mustard cream and salmon roe

“Keeping vegetables whole and intact for as long as you can yields similar benefits to meat on the bone, but for me cooking in a self-sealing dome of salt – or clay and hay – is the pinnacle. In this recipe I serve the celeriac with mustard cream and salmon roe, but it is really adaptable. It would sit well with sautéed livers, for instance. ”


Image for article: Motherhood

Sheila Heti

Image for article: Calypso

David Sedaris

Image for article: Get Up Mum

Justin Heazlewood
Get Up Mum


Image for article: Australian law and data protection


Australian law and data protection

With the EU’s new data protection laws taking effect this week, the world’s biggest internet companies are scrambling to update their approach to personal information. Unfortunately, in Australia, privacy protections are still languishing in the dark ages.

Image for article: The smashing success of rage rooms


The smashing success of rage rooms

While they may present what seems like a cathartic opportunity to release suppressed anger, are ‘rage rooms’ actually good for the psyche?

Image for article: Vaulting ambition: Chris Remkes, 21, gymnast


Vaulting ambition: Chris Remkes, 21, gymnast

From a Filipino orphanage to the pinnacle of his sport in the Commonwealth: meet champion gymnast Chris Remkes.

The Quiz

1. Singer-songwriter Amy Louise Billings performs under what stage name?
2. Is Minsk north or south of Warsaw?
3. Which pope was responsible for introducing Vatican II?
4. Christopher Wray is director of what United States organisation?
5. Dutch artist Dick Bruna created which picture-book rabbit?
6. The flag of Pakistan is white and which colour?
7. In imperial measurements, how many miles are in a league?
8. Which pop group’s albums include Please, Actually and Very?
9. What is the currency of Israel?
10. Madeleine Madden, who is starring in the Foxtel series of Picnic at Hanging Rock, is the granddaughter of which Indigenous activist? (Bonus point for naming the college at the heart of the mystery.)

Click through for answers.



“I challenge anybody who’s visited the war memorial in the last two or three years to walk away and think, ‘Well, I can’t wait to have another war.’ ”

Brendan NelsonThe head of the Australian War Memorial defends taking money from weapons manufacturers to support exhibits. It seems only fair, given the efforts they put into casualties.


“She’s playing the Asian card, she’s playing the female card, and I’m sick and tired of it.”

Pauline HansonThe senator lays into Penny Wong. It’s not quite news that Hanson is sick of people being Asian, but being tired of them being female is kind of new.


“It would appear this has been deliberately designed to disadvantage the Labor Party.”

Tanya PlibersekLabor’s deputy leader complains that the byelections resulting from the dual citizenship scandal will be held on July 28, the same weekend as Labor’s national conference. A bigger disadvantage was having multiple candidates contravene the Constitution, to be honest.


“This is a class issue more than a race issue.”

Luke FoleyThe New South Wales Opposition leader defends his use of the term “white flight” – a few hours before apologising for it. It’s not so much a class issue, as a votes one, stoked by a gutless opportunist.


“What would that allow me to do, if I declared that my gender status was female? … Can I go into the ladies’ loo loo then?”

Barry O’SullivanThe Queensland senator debases Senate estimates with a question about gender inclusivity in the public service. He has neither the intelligence nor the decency to be in the parliament.


“He was an incredibly generous person. Always very exigent, and he held you to a very high standard – and he held himself to an even higher standard.”

Judith ThurmanThe writer confirms the death of author Philip Roth. He was 85, almost old enough to have found a conventional use for cooked liver.