Rinehart’s secret millions to the IPA

“It was revealed in proceedings before the New South Wales Supreme Court that Rinehart donated $2.3 million to the IPA in 2016 and another $2.2 million in 2017.”

Unexpected disclosures in Gina Rinehart’s protracted family legal battle have revealed the mining magnate funds up to half of the Institute of Public Affairs’ activities.



Grubby tactics in the Super Saturday byelections

“In the United States, they call it opposition research. Here, its product has a plainer name – the dirt file.”

Further revelations of political bastardry in this weekend’s byelections, including accusations of solicited interviews, show how much is at stake for all parties.


Fairfax journalists surprised by Nine merger

The announcement of the Fairfax–Nine Entertainment merger took the industry by surprise. It has journalists worried about media diversity and the future of Fairfax’s flagship mastheads.


The positives and perils of My Health Record

“Is My Health Record fit for purpose, or another accident waiting to happen? Multiple experts have raised concerns about weaknesses in the system’s security and privacy controls. ”

As the government rolls out its My Health Record database, a major hack of a similar system in Singapore has highlighted the vulnerabilities of high-tech record sharing.


Malcolm Turnbull in Tennant Creek

In remote Australia, locals have a term for politicians who fly in, squawk a bit, and fly out – they’re called cockatoos. Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to Tennant Creek this week showed all the signs.


Plans afoot for Trump visit to Australia

US president to visit Australia after APEC? Iran responds in kind to Trump threats. US allies working around its global trade war.

The big story. Every day. Listen now.

7am is a daily news podcast from Schwartz Media. Every day it tells you what you need to know: who's involved, what it means and why it matters. It's news with narrative, every weekday. Follow 7am wherever you get your podcasts.



Gillian Triggs
Laa Chol and racist fear

“Anti-association laws, similar to those proposed by Victoria, were adopted by the NSW government in 2012. During a review of these laws in 2016, the NSW ombudsman found that 7 per cent of “consorting warnings” were directed at children. Indigenous Australians were subject to 40 per cent of such warnings, more than half of them directed at Aboriginal women. Two thirds of the 83 children aged between 13 and 17 years old who received consorting warnings were Aboriginal. In 2011, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders comprised 2.9 per cent of the total NSW population.”


Sean Kelly
Negative reinforcement for Super Saturday

“This was not just negative campaigning as it is usually understood – attacking your opponent rather than focusing on your own strengths. Instead, each side put its case in terms of what couldn’t be done if the other side got its way. On company tax cuts, a Liberal source told Tillett, ‘If you don’t have a strong economy, you can’t afford to fund hospitals.’ On the same topic, a Labor source said: ‘When you tell people you can’t give any more money to health care because it is going to the banks, that goes down badly.’ This campaign is literally twice as negative as usual.”


An abhorrent affair

We now see the shining brilliance of the Liberal–One Nation media reform agenda: the absorption of Fairfax newspapers into Nine Entertainment’s culture of chequebook journalism, hidden cameras, patsy interviews and Eddie McGuire game shows. All under the chairmanship of Peter Costello, one of the smuggest Nasty Party politicians in living memory. The quid pro quo for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation’s support of the “reform” legislation was to do over the ABC. Bingo, two “reforms” in one hit.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial



Fairfax to middling

Journalism depends on diversity. It is too expensive a craft for a single company to do it alone. The merger of Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment imperils hundreds of jobs. It also weakens our democracy. Our media is in terrible strife. The government is untroubled by this. Indeed, it has encouraged it. The reason for this is simple: The less the public knows, the better it is for politicians.


It’s best to bow out

After seeing Paul Murray sit there and let a former numbers man and the one-time leader of the party they both embraced exchange blows on pay TV, I am convinced that people who are no longer politicians best …

Energy summit set up to fail

Karen Middleton’s article on the looming meeting on August 10 to consider national energy policy (“Emissions impossible fallout”, July 21–27) does not instil great confidence …

Read More



Director Thomas M. Wright and ‘Acute Misfortune’

On the eve of the release of his directorial debut, Acute Misfortune, adapted from Erik Jensen’s book about artist Adam Cullen, Thomas M. Wright talks about how his reaction to Cullen turned from revulsion to deciding he was the perfect subject. “Adam seemed to stand for so many things that I just can’t. And I think, particularly, cloaking that behaviour and those attitudes behind a veil of art is just fucked.”


Hannah Gadsby’s ‘Nanette’

Hannah Gadsby’s show Nanette has been met with rave reviews. But can it deliver on what others promise for it?


Artist Jake Walker

“Inside Jake Walker’s studio, a black cat is tracing figure eights around his legs. She gives a soft purring meow as she rubs up against his calves. Walker pays her no mind and, without a pat, she eventually gives up and flops into the sunshine at the studio doors. Outside, the lawn is strewn with plastic bikes, scooters and balls. ‘I guess being here, and having kids and having lots of other stuff to do, I’m trying to work out ways to make paintings more quickly or efficiently. For years, and it still is a huge part of my painting process, painting was about obliterating imagery, as much as making imagery.’”




Oxtail parcels

“There are times when I really feel my 20th-century Australianness, and not always in a good way. Often it is when I am thinking about, or cooking, offal. With my suburban Anglo-Saxon upbringing, I was not brought up with even a notion of nose-to-tail eating. But I have developed a great fondness for the place the “offaly bits” hold in everybody else’s culture, and have tried to embrace them as part of my own. As with so many traditional offal dishes, it always seems to come down to finding ways to use absolutely everything from an animal after it has given its life.”


Julianne Schultz and Peter Mares, eds.
Griffith Review 61: Who We Are

Robert Drewe
The True Colour of the Sea

Angela Meyer
A Superior Spectre



Schools and childhood obesity

Australian governments are to consider recording the height and weight of all primary school children in an effort to reduce rates of obesity, but critics warn such a scheme could prove to be detrimental.


A village in Europe

A sabbatical to visit relatives in Eastern Europe brings a chance to discover the language of a small village.


In the zone: Jock Landale, 22, basketballer

A latecomer to basketball, Australian big man Jock Landale has soared to success with the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Summer League.

The Quiz

1. In education, STEM is an acronym for what?
2. Name the singer mother of actress Maya Rudolph. (Bonus point for naming Rudolph’s filmmaker husband.)
3. Clive Palmer last month changed his party’s name from the Palmer United Party to the …?
4. The first official national flag of the Confederate States of America was often called the Stars and Bars. How many stars were on it?
5. Name the American author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
6. Pilsner beer derives its name from a city – Pilsen – in which country?
7. What is a tarn?
8. For how many days had the Wild Boars soccer team been trapped in a Thai cave before they were first located?
9. What was the nationality of psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung?
10. What was the scoreline in the 2018 FIFA World Cup final between France and Croatia?

Click through for answers.



“I’m here announcing my own redundancy for a change.”

Greg HywoodThe Fairfax Media CEO briefs the Sydney newsroom on the company’s merger with Nine Entertainment. Here’s hoping his future career as an insult comic proves less cruel than his tenure as a media executive.


“I thought SBS would just fire me one day so I’d never have to make the decision.”

Lee Lin ChinThe veteran newsreader announces her retirement after more than 30 years with SBS. If it’s possible, Australian television just got more badly dressed.


“In the corners of my mind where my subject matter exists, it’s too dark for even a flashlight to light, let alone photography.”

Gerald MurnaneThe writer responds to a request from the Miles Franklin Literary Award for photographs that inspired his short-listed novel Border Districts. In those very dark corners, there is no one to laugh at you either.


“We had a flag that we’ve had for a long time, copied by Australia, and they should actually change their flag and honour the fact that we got there first with this design.”

Winston PetersNew Zealand’s acting prime minister alleges Australia stole the design of its flag. It truly is the Russell Crowe of ensigns: ugly, parochial and probably someone else’s.


“Pay with cash.”

Donald TrumpThe United States president suggests paying off a former Playboy model in a recording made by his then personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in September 2016. Honestly, when a man’s comb-over is the least suspicious part of him...


“The victim of the offences was not only your wife but the mother of your children.”

Glen CashThe Queensland judge sentences former One Nation adviser Sean Black to five years’ jail for raping and assaulting his former wife. Prison is basically a rite of passage in the party now.