August 4 – 10, 2018

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton (left) and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.


The politics of racism

“Law and order campaigns are standard fare for conservative politicians, but the right is increasingly prone to mount them in the context of ethnic and religious minorities.”

The government’s rhetoric on race takes it into territory that is uglier and more targeted than even John Howard’s campaigns.



High court challenge to Walker inquiry threatens federation

“In short, it’s a very complicated constitutional issue that has never been addressed head-on by the High Court.”

A Commonwealth challenge to South Australia’s Murray–Darling royal commission has become a state rights battleground with implications for the Constitution.

Attorney-General Christian Porter.


Home Affairs’ bid to avoid visa reviews

Attorney-General Christian Porter has ordered another review of the AAT, citing issues of “public trust”. It’s the latest in a crusade to shift powers from the tribunal to Home Affairs.


Leading shipbuilder may be forced overseas

“It would be ironic if the result of the tender process was to force Australia’s most successful private-sector exporter of naval vessels overseas.”

After contracts were awarded in the Turnbull government’s $90 billion naval upgrade, the most successful local shipbuilder is being pushed closer to exiting Australia.

Doreen Nangala Carrol (left), Rieo Ellis (centre) and Allison Fuller at the Djab Wurrung Heritage Protection Embassy, Victoria.


Protecting country

Protesters against a Victorian highway project requiring the clearing of thousands of trees, including some sacred to the local Djab Wurrung people, say the issue exposes the government’s hypocrisy in treaty negotiations.

Police in Harare block opposition supporters protesting against alleged fraud in the Zimbabwe elections this week.


US offers a tight belt and a short road

US answer to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Imran Khan wins in Pakistan. Violence after Zimbabwe elections. China's support extends Hun Sen's reign in Cambodia. Trump offers Rouhani meeting without conditions.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Mike Carlton
Fairfax and Turnbull’s Potemkin village

“Abandoning any political principle that had once been his ticket to ride, Turnbull now makes only a show of leadership. He’s the mayor of a Potemkin village. Behind the facade there is nothing. His impulses are Trump-lite: a reverence for the banks and the big end of town; a blind belief in neoliberal, trickle-down economics even as it is daily more discredited; a disdain for the disabled and disadvantaged, immigrants and refugees – anyone who does not fit the Darwinian conservative matrix. He has evidently abandoned any attempt to rein back the quasi-fascist ambitions of Benito and his furious construction of a security superstate to monitor us all.”


Sean Kelly
How Turnbull is stuck in reverse

“Turnbull vowed to look “very seriously and thoughtfully and humbly” at the results. Bill Shorten explicitly said “we hear you” to those who voted for third parties, and has spent the days since the vote repeating a version of this mea culpa: “We understand that you are over politicians just fighting each other.” Both are right to be concerned. But the need to win over voters who are turned off by major-party politics is a greater problem for Turnbull, for a simple reason: he is in government. Incumbency was once a great advantage. But the mood of the electorate, encouraged by a faster, louder media cycle, is for protest. The raison d’etre of an opposition is to protest: the times suit opposition leaders. ”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Homilies of scale

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Voice and ears and heart

Dimly, against the shuffling of papers, the Voice can be heard again. In a 165-page report, an interim document, the joint select committee on constitutional recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has resurrected what the prime minister has already once killed. This is a moment of national import. It is a second chance.


Coalition coffers take a hit

Rather than concede Labors’ ability to withstand the Liberal National Party’s “Kill Bill” strategy, consider the repudiation Malcolm Turnbull has received for his negative campaigning …

Health database needs resuscitating

Tony Abbott confessed that he was “no techhead”. I think we can safely assume that if that Malcolm Turnbull types, it is with two fingers. We have to guess at Greg Hunt’s computer …

Read More


Christie Whelan Browne.


Christie Whelan Browne’s theatrical life

Actress-singer Christie Whelan Browne catapulted to the attention of theatregoers at a young age, untrained but bursting with talent. Here, she talks about fate, timing and discovering a love of musical theatre. “I was the clown, I really made people laugh. Boys told me I was ugly … I used comedy to fit in.”

Image for article: ‘All We Can’t See’

Visual Art

‘All We Can’t See’

All We Can’t See, an exhibition of works responding to the incident reports published as the Nauru Files, leaves the viewer deliberately overwhelmed in the face of the trauma it interrogates.


Artist Pierre Mukeba

“Pierre Mukeba seems relaxed as he troubleshoots our video chat. He punctuates his sentences with a laugh, amiable and resonant. My own laugh – skewed and pulled apart by some glitch – translates as a hollow, metallic scrape. I can tell he’s studying my face, perhaps in search of life, or at least a reaction. I hope I am digitally intact. I make a point of smiling back right into my webcam.”


Image for article: Sea urchin with cultured butter and toast


Sea urchin with cultured butter and toast

“I treat sea urchins as you would an oyster. One or two portions at the beginning of a meal is one of the best ways to begin an evening. The warm buttered toast is a lovely complement.”


Image for article: No Friend But the Mountains

Behrouz Boochani
No Friend But the Mountains

Image for article: My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Ottessa Moshfegh
My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Image for article: Too Much Lip

Melissa Lucashenko
Too Much Lip


Image for article: Borneo’s Gomantong Caves


Borneo’s Gomantong Caves

Within Borneo’s Gomantong Caves – slippery with teeming insects, bird droppings and guano from two million bats – fine dining is likely far from the mind. But overhead a perilous harvest ensues for the key ingredient of Chinese bird’s nest soup.

Image for article: The Sydney Women’s Film Group


The Sydney Women’s Film Group

Long before the #MeToo movement, Australian feminist film and theatre was at the forefront of the push for women’s liberation.

Image for article: Mwai, queen of shots: Mwai Kumwenda, 28, netballer


Mwai, queen of shots: Mwai Kumwenda, 28, netballer

Mwai Kumwenda’s 2018 season may have ended in injury, but her story as an inspirational and integral netballer for Melbourne Vixens and Malawi Queens is far from over.

The Quiz

1. The town of Wee Wee Rup is in which Australian state or territory?
2. Grant Featherston is best known for his work in which field of the arts? (Bonus point for naming Featherston’s nationality.)
3. In photography, SLR stands for what?
4. Which actress links the films Little Women, The Hours and Evening?
5. What is Spain’s best-known red wine grape variety?
6. A tom-tom and a hi-hat comprise part of what?
7. Sporadic uterine contractions during pregnancy are known as Braxton …?
8. The play Melancholia is an adaptation of a 2011 film of the same name by which director and screenwriter?
9. The additive or subtractive method is used in the mixing of what?
10. In which sport do players dig, block, spike and set?

Click through for answers.



“The price for having an opinion about the plastic bag ban reversal whilst being brown. Someone leaked my personal phone number and all night I received calls from strangers threatening to kill me and abusing me.”

Osman FaruqiThe ABC journalist is harassed after tweeting about the Coles about-face on its plastic bag ban. A rare opportunity to combine Australia’s national pastimes, racism and feckless consumption.


“ ‘Wait a second. You’re saying if I go on the computer, on the world wide web, there are people having sex?’ ”

Judd ApatowThe director recounts the moment Tom Cruise discovered online pornography. The actor was even more shocked to learn that, unlike Scientology, you don’t even need to pay for it.


“Maybe we need another war.”

Caleb BondThe teen conservative says wartime rations taught a generation to make the most of what they had. A loathsome thought, although still a better idea than it was for him to grow a beard.


“She’s got very big questions to answer.”

Sally McManusThe ACTU secretary calls for Senator Michaelia Cash’s resignation over the Australian Workers’ Union raid tipoffs. Cash’s only question was whether anyone had seen her whiteboard.


“My wife is Japanese... my wife is Chinese. That’s a terrible mistake to make.”

Jeremy HuntBritain’s top diplomat forgets his wife’s nationality. And yet, he is, somehow, still the most competent foreign secretary Britain has had this year.


“I was forced to strip down naked.”

Jake FinniganThe Labor whistleblower recounts his arrest, alongside 16 others, over the red shirts rort scandal to the media. With that image fresh in everyone’s mind, Finnigan also used the opportunity to announce he’ll run as an independent candidate for the seat of Footscray.