September 29 – October 5, 2018

Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Sydney.


Exclusive: Morrison set reef grant terms

“This is about the revenue windfall. The money can only be expensed in government if the money has left the government.”

The terms of Malcolm Turnbull’s $444 million Barrier Reef grant were set by Scott Morrison, who as treasurer insisted the money not go to a Commonwealth agency.



Guthrie dismissal triggers chaos at the ABC

“The rest of the ABC board is still there. This is the group that backed Milne against Guthrie, even after she shared with them the evidence of his political interference. ”

As former managing director Michelle Guthrie considers legal action against the ABC, leaked details of Justin Milne’s conduct may aid her fight.

Image for article: Five years in Manus purgatory


Five years in Manus purgatory

The passing of the fifth anniversary of offshore detention on Manus has seen those incarcerated on the island sink further into mental despair and physical surrender.


Bettina Arndt’s campus tour

“In the wake of the Sydney University protests, Arndt has gone further than the regular culture war back and forth. This week, she set up a page on the website, naming five female students as the ‘key organisers of the protest’.”

Commentator Bettina Arndt is publicly petitioning to have Sydney University take action against five students who demonstrated outside a speech on her “Fake Rape Crisis Campus Tour”.

Image for article: Inquest on Wayne Fella Morrison


Inquest on Wayne Fella Morrison

As an inquest into the death in custody of Wayne Fella Morrison continues, his family hopes for justice while the South Australian government cuts funding to key Aboriginal legal services.

Image for article: Trump’s Iran stance silences UN laughter


Trump’s Iran stance silences UN laughter

Russia upgrades air defences. UN warns of famine in Yemen. EU seeking sanctions on Poland.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Jane Caro
Enemies of public schooling

“It is the secular nature of public education that Morrison and his fellow conservative believers don’t like. It’s why conservative prime ministers from John Howard onwards have sneered at the lack of values in public schools. What they really mean is the lack of their particular brand of rigid Christian values. It’s the greatest strength of public education that they reject – inclusivity, the fundamental belief that there are as many ways to live a good life as there are people living lives.”


Paul Bongiorno
Morrison raises the flag again

“The Scott Morrison version of the Liberal government continues to be one of relentless activity and half-baked ideas. Morrison’s hand-waving, an early feature of his prime ministership, became flag-waving during the week as he replanted the Union Jack on the shores of Botany Bay. The arrival of the First Fleet on January 26, 1788 was, the PM proclaimed, “the birthday of modern Australia”. He also raised the prospect of another national day to celebrate the first 60,000 years of the continent’s history. ”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: One for the ageds

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Aunty maimed

The chaos at the ABC this week is not simply one of personalities. It is the result of five years of concerted interference by government, of public criticism and censure. Perhaps the Coalition did not direct former chairman Justin Milne to “shoot” ABC political editor Andrew Probyn or “get rid of” chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici. They didn’t need to.


A horse of a different colour

A clarification for those cruciverbalists who may yet be reeling in confusion from 1 down (The Cryptic, September 22–28). Roy Rogers rode Trigger; the Lone Ranger rode Silver.

– Gary …

Abortion law long awaited

The current legal situation of abortion in Queensland and the proposed legislation to decriminalise this 19th-century law are well described by Bri Lee (“Labor push”, September 22–28). …

Read More


Liam Scarlett.


Choreographer Liam Scarlett

Choreographer Liam Scarlett, a former dancer with the Royal Ballet whose Midsummer Night’s Dream will soon tour China, seems destined to join the ranks of the all-time greats. “With every premiere you sit back and watch it for what it is. You think I could tweak this or I could tweak that. But I was happy with it, it was such a relief when it was over but it’s probably the thing I’ve done which I felt most proud of.”

Image for article: Ladies in Black


Ladies in Black

Bruce Beresford’s Ladies in Black is not just a homage to classical filmmaking and 1950s Sydney, it is also a window into the cultural richness brought by post-World War II refugees. If only it had pushed darker themes further.


Image for article: Shell

Kristina Olsson

Image for article: On J.  M. Coetzee

Ceridwen Dovey
On J.  M. Coetzee

Image for article: French Exit

Patrick deWitt
French Exit


Image for article: Vegan sausage rolls


Vegan sausage rolls

Image for article: South Korea reacts to ‘Aim High in Creation!’


South Korea reacts to ‘Aim High in Creation!’

When an Australian filmmaker visited South Korea for the release of her controversial documentary film Aim High in Creation! – which she made in North Korea – she heard starkly different views on the future relationship of the two countries.

Image for article: Game changer: Michael Dickson, 22, American football player


Game changer: Michael Dickson, 22, American football player

He’s the Aussie sensation punting up a storm in the NFL. Here, Michael Dickson talks about his road from Australian rules to the Seattle Seahawks.

The Quiz

1. Li Cunxin is renowned in which field of the arts?
2. Which British royal is currently fourth in line to the throne?
3. Queso is the Spanish word for what?
4. Where in the human body is the humerus bone?
5. Helsinki is the capital of which country? (Bonus points for naming which country’s capital city lies nearest to it and the name of that city.)
6. American Eli Whitney is best known for inventing what during the Industrial Revolution?
7. The name of which animal signifies a sharemarket in which prices are rising?
8. Activist Malala Yousafzai was born and raised in which country?
9. Which cricketer this month became the most successful fast bowler in Test history?
10. Who were named outstanding lead actress and actor in a drama series at the 2018 Emmy Awards?

Click through for answers.



“A few scars, a few mistakes, a few things you could have done better.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister offers his take on the colonisation of Australia, which sounds less like violent frontier wars and more like an attempt to assemble Ikea furniture.


“He’ll be having nightmares tonight.”

Gadrian HoosanThe Borroloola school council member explains why Indigenous envoy Tony Abbott was booted out of the Northern Territory community. In Abbott’s recurring nightmare, he wastes his prime years in politics stoking infighting and effecting little to no meaningful policy change. And then he wakes up and realises that’s exactly what happened.


“I think I do it to try to relax people.”

Justin MilneThe former ABC chairman insists he only calls women “chicks” in a colloquial way, not in an “oh gosh, your shoulders are so tense” way.


“We’re in 2018, not in 1942.”

Moana HopeThe AFLW star slams comments made by Mick Malthouse. The former Collingwood coach’s commitment to that moustache–soul patch combination would suggest he cares little what year it is.


“This is a real danger of #MeToo. That people start making wild accusations, unproven accusations, they destroy people’s lives without due process.”

Judith Sloan

The commentator weighs in on the allegations levelled against United States Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, on The Drum, a show that highlights the real danger of letting people espouse their loosely formed opinions on subjects they know little about, five nights a week.


“They were laughing with me.”

Donald TrumpBlurring the line between optimism and delusion a little further, the US president insists his derided United Nations speech was actually warmly received by his fellow world leaders.