September 8 – 14, 2018

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.


Exclusive: Dutton chose not to recuse

“One minister says that after Dutton declared his interest he proceeded to offer comment on the child-care industry ‘from the point of view of operators’.”

As Peter Dutton faces criticism over his intervention in au pair visas, details emerge of his involvement in cabinet discussions of child-care funding.



Nauru’s fraught Pacific relations exposed

“I always look at this summit as a great opportunity to be heard, where real core issues shall be discussed, but it didn’t turn out the way I, or we, would have thought.”

As host of this week’s Pacific Islands Forum, Nauru faced uncomfortable questions about its compromised relationship with Australia and censure of its stance towards China.

South Australian senator Rex Patrick.


Agencies spend big to block FOI requests

The government has left the position of freedom of information commissioner vacant for four years, slashing funding of its parent agency while spending almost $1 million blocking FOI requests.

Image for article: Syphilis in northern communities


Syphilis in northern communities

As an infectious syphilis epidemic continues to ravage northern Australia – now threatening the lives of newborn babies – Indigenous sexual health specialist James Ward is leading a campaign to help remote communities.


Climate inaction could affect trade deals

“In a media release issued on the day Morrison appointed her to the environment portfolio, Price omitted any mention of the words ‘climate change’.”

As the change of leadership steers the Australian government even further from action on climate change, the Coalition’s efforts to appease the powerful domestic fossil fuel industry could jeopardise trade deals with the European Union.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne (centre) with US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke (right), this week at the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru.


Trump snubs Asia-Pacific for parade

Trump no-show at Asian forums. Pacific unhappy with Australia over climate change. Xi Jinping increases African aid. Namibia rebuff s China.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Peter Greste
Speaking for freedom

“UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the international community ‘to do whatever it can’ to secure the release of the two Reuters journalists. The Netherlands, Britain, Norway, Denmark and the European Union all demanded that the journalists be freed. Canberra issued a statement expressing ‘disappointment’ over the verdict. Once again, it feels like a fatuously limp reaction to a flagrant violation of all those principles the Liberal Party apparently holds so dear.”


Paul Bongiorno
Leaks undermine Scott Morrison’s image

“There is compelling evidence a vicious ‘Scuttle Scott’ campaign is under way and, unlike the ‘Kill Bill’ strategy, this one is being mounted from inside the government itself. The new prime minister faces parliament next week for the first time since the Liberal Party toppled Malcolm Turnbull, and most of the ALP’s ammunition against Morrison will come courtesy of internal Liberal leaks and undermining.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Who’s done cannot be undone

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Gender troubles

Scott Morrison governs in the assured first person. His curiosity ends at the limits of his own experience. He speaks as a man whose imagination reaches as far as Kurnell. Like John Howard, he believes leading the country is the same as organising a barbecue. He speaks “as a parent”. For complex questions, he forms a quorum: “Jenny and I.” He defers to his faith. He rules in his own image.


A blueprint for what not to do

The verbal gymnastics exhibited by politicians to justify leadership changes make interesting reading, but surely the main reason for their short terms, at least in the past decade, has been the lack …

Fall of the emperor

Many thanks to Karen Middleton for her insightful piece. This coup was as brilliant as any in history, fooling most of the soothsayers of the press who believed the now prime minister’s claim that he and …

Read More


Director Lynne Ramsay.


Filmmaker Lynne Ramsay’s musical inspiration

Film director and screenwriter Lynne Ramsay frequently turns to books to find engaging stories, as with her adaptation of Jonathan Ames’ novella You Were Never Really Here, but it’s music that truly inspires her. “Sometimes you need to explain that sound is the bigger picture. I’m a frustrated musician at heart, because the mix to me is one of the most exhilarating parts to making a film.”

Image for article: ‘Younger’



There is happily nothing to learn from Younger, the latest series from Sex and the City creator Darren Star. It is another enjoyable series about ‘void women’ and their glamorous material desires.


Trumpet player Sarah Butler

“Growing up, the children who played brass instruments were muscular and solid. All of them – on trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba – were boys. Every. Single. One. I can recall girls playing piano, flute and violin, but the brass section of our school band, our town’s marching band, the Scout band and the church band were all entirely male. There was something instinctively masculine about those instruments, and about how they were played. Or so I thought.”


Image for article: The Billionaire Raj

James Crabtree
The Billionaire Raj

Image for article: Small Fry

Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Small Fry

Image for article: Catching Teller Crow

Ambelin Kwaymullina & Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Catching Teller Crow


Troye Sivan


Troye Sivan’s ‘Bloom’

Troye Sivan’s album Bloom delivers polished, romantic pop music laced with an appreciation of longing and regret.

Image for article: My inbox after #MeToo


My inbox after #MeToo

After writing about her experience of sexual assault, one woman found herself inundated with messages and confessions, both brave and gut-wrenching, from other survivors.

Image for article: Skipping a beat: Luke Boon, 27, rope skipper


Skipping a beat: Luke Boon, 27, rope skipper

Luke Boon on the endurance, artistry and gymnastic ability needed to become a world champion rope skipper.

The Quiz

1. Who was Australia’s first prime minister? (Bonus point for naming what number prime minister Scott Morrison is.)
2. Name the Melbourne-born actress cast to play an openly gay Batwoman in an upcoming television series.
3. Which poker hand wins: a flush or full house?
4. The songs “As Long As He Needs Me” and “It’s a Fine Life” feature in which musical?
5. Quartz is also known as what starting with ‘s’?
6. What is the real first name of former AFL player and controversial TV personality Sam Newman?
7. Which chemical element has the symbol Fe?
8. What does a vexillologist study?
9. What was the first name of the Norwegian playwright Ibsen?
10. What breed of dog is Inspector Rex?

Click through for answers.



“I do pray for that rain. And I’d encourage others who believe in the power of prayer to pray for that rain and to pray for our farmers.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister shares his feeling for farmers affected by drought. Because who needs a climate policy when you have God?


“There has been some bizarre criticisms about the quickness that one of these cases was determined by the minister.”

Eric AbetzThe Senator applauds the speed with which Peter Dutton intervened to help rich people’s au pairs stay in the country. Without irony or a soul, he noted the alternative is “keeping someone in detention unnecessarily”.


“I’m draining the Swamp, and the Swamp is trying to fight back.”

Donald Trump

The United States president rages on Twitter over an anonymous piece in The New York Times, written by a senior official from his administration. His determination to turn his presidency into a 1970s horror comic is almost admirable.


“I’ve changed my mind. There is a better way to do this.”

David Remnick

The New Yorker’s editor explains why he disinvited Steve Bannon from an upcoming festival. Around Australia, white literary types breathed a sigh of relief, comforted by the knowledge they can keep their New Yorker tote bags.


“I have seen and witnessed and experienced some appalling behaviour in parliament.”

Julie BishopThe former foreign minister addresses a culture of bullying and misconduct in politics. To think, only four years ago she didn’t “find the need to self-describe” as a feminist.


“Inaccurate (no ‘victory lap’), and only tells half the story. Panel of 4.”

Julian Burnside

The QC rejects The Saturday Paper’s perhaps gratuitous recounting of his recent tussle with IPA policy director Simon Breheny. No word yet on the reported wedgie.