November 24–30, 2018

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton in Sydney this week.


Exclusive: Metadata requests top 350,000

“Both the IGIS and the ombudsman said the proposed legislation to let agencies legally crack encryption lacks specific detail of oversight provisions – it fails to spell out their monitoring roles – and needs extensive revision and improvement.”

Government agencies are using a loophole to access individuals’ metadata without warrants, as Peter Dutton attempts to rush through further security agency powers.



Political stacking leaves appeals tribunal in chaos

“Many of those appointed dubiously had very significant Coalition connections and, what was really scandalous, some of them were given seven-year appointments ... Overall, the number of decision-makers in the AAT has fallen significantly. ”

The purging of experienced members at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and the abandonment of merit-based appointments, has created a backlog of 53,000 unresolved cases.

Julian Assange speaking from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy, London.


Russian online trolling reaches Australia

Russia and China have sought to influence opinion in Australia using social media, a parliamentary joint committee heard this week, in operations ranging from advocating political positions to ‘fake news’.

A Victoria Police officer fitted with an Axon body camera.


More cameras on police coming

Victoria Police are expanding the use of body cameras despite concerns from community and legal groups about a lack of rules over their use and uncertainty about the accessibility of footage to support complaints about police conduct.


Power plays over green energy subsidies

“AEMO says that this year it ‘did not need to procure the same level of strategic reserves as last summer’, thanks in part to new energy generation coming online.”

As the Victorian government goes to the polls promising $1.24 billion in household solar subsidies, and federal Labor proposes a renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030, the nation heads into summer with a partisan argument over what causes blackouts.

Papua New Guinea’s prime minister Peter O’Neill and Scott Morrison during a barbecue at the end of the summit in Port Moresby last weekend.


China and US talks hit a snag at APEC

US and China clash at APEC ahead of G20. Trump won't pursue Mohammed bin Salman. Theresa May’s next Brexit deadline.

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Nyadol Nyuon
The Victorian election and the politics of fear

“When the voting is done, and political careers are secured or lost, when the journalists put down their “pens” and head to their families or bed, and when the publishers are onto the next story, the resultant scars from this episode of moral panic will still be carved into our lives. And they will still be there, weakening the ties that bind us into a shared identity as Victorians.”


Paul Bongiorno
Populist Morrison reverses policies

“Politicians staring down the barrel of defeat inexplicably think the way to avert the harsh judgement of the voters is to abandon the policies and positions that they have argued are best for the nation and do whatever it takes to give the mob what it wants. Consider this: as treasurer, Morrison spent most of the past 12 months arguing against a cut in the migrant intake and for an energy policy called the national energy guarantee. ”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Nine circles of Herald

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Fear factory

Scott Morrison is afraid. He fears losing the prime ministership he fell into. He fears Muslims. He fears the looming threat of Australia being caught out with no baseload power. This week, the familiar spectre of gender stirred fear in our prime minister. Not the “gender whisperers” being deployed into our schools, but the choice by Tasmania to change its laws around gender on birth certificates.


Same old model

The chair of the Australian Republic Movement, Peter FitzSimons, has demonstrated why Australians remain uncertain about a “true” Aussie head of state (Mike Seccombe, “Republic disturbance”, November 17–23). …

The PM and church policy

At the time of Scott Morrison’s ascension to the prime ministership, the minister at his church claimed it was a miracle resulting from fasting and prayer, and would ensure that Australia’s …

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Saskia Boddeke.


The passions of artist Saskia Boddeke

The immersive works of multimedia artist Saskia Boddeke reflect her belief in the need for deep, emotional engagement in art. It was a passion shared by Matisse’s Russian patron Sergey Shchukin, the subject of Boddeke’s film installation in the Masters of modern art from the Hermitage exhibition. “Art is an absolute necessity; it is a universal thing we share. All over the world, we express ourselves in painting, in music, in speaking, in putting words in an order that touch your heart. That is how we recognise things. Art makes us civil. Art makes us look – not only at paintings, but at other people. It shows us the beauty in difference.”

Image for article: House of Cards


House of Cards

The final season of House of Cards may have lost every plot save for the one the former president is buried in, but with Robin Wright’s perfectly costumed and coiffured Oval Office connivances it remains a delight to the eye.

Image for article: Opera director Sarah Giles


Opera director Sarah Giles

“When we speak, Giles is in the home stretch of rehearsals for Lorelei, an opera-cabaret that subverts the traditional German tale of a drowned woman who lures sailors to their death. Comparing their version with the original fable, Giles smiles and says: ‘We just like the idea of going, “Maybe the boats crash because the sailors are shit at, you know, sailing” – as opposed to, you know, blaming everything on women.’ Giles studied directing at NIDA and works in both theatre and opera – a combination that, she tells me, is actually quite common. She asks me about Elysium – a dystopic film where most of the human race is left to languish on an overpopulated Earth while a select few live in luxury in a space habitat called Elysium – because there is a good comparison to be made. ”


Image for article: My Country

David Marr
My Country

Image for article: The Patch

John McPhee
The Patch

Image for article: I Might Regret This

Abbi Jacobson
I Might Regret This


Image for article: Fennel tortas and lemon pot de crème


Fennel tortas and lemon pot de crème

'Portrait of Behrouz Boochani, Manus Island, 2018', by Hoda Afshar.


This human being

In a recent profile in The Saturday Paper, photographer Hoda Afshar spoke about her collaboration with journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is on Manus Island. Here, he describes the creation of an image that stands on the threshold of civilisation and barbarism.

Image for article: No sound barrier: Sean Walsh, 21, cricketer


No sound barrier: Sean Walsh, 21, cricketer

From a local pitch in Rockhampton to the Deaf T20 World Cup in India: Sean Walsh on his pride at inspiring deaf kids and the planning and awareness that is necessary in his sport.

The Quiz

1. Which American singer and songwriter released their 36th studio album, Walls, this month?
2. Last month 20-year-old cricketer Will Pucovski achieved what rare feat in a Sheffield Shield match?
3. Which actress links the films Ocean’s Eight, Valentine’s Day and Brokeback Mountain?
4. Which Australian city is home to the Big Banana?
5. Bauer Media last month announced it was closing which Australian women’s magazine?
6. What is Pantone’s Colour of the Year for 2018?
7. Which Banjo Paterson character “struck the Sydney town/ He wandered over street and park, he wandered up and down”?
8. Psephology is the study of what?
9. What does the acronym OPEC stand for? (Bonus point for naming the city where its headquarters are located.)
10. Robert Clive was a statesman and general who founded which empire?

Click through for answers.



“There once was a former prime minister / who held the seat of Warringah / he sold out to the crazy/ voters thought he was lazy / and at the election their verdict was nah!”

Alex TurnbullThe son of the former prime minister continues to criticise his father’s party. Like Malcolm, the rhyme starts with promise but loses its rhythm and perhaps even confidence in what it set out to do.


“This is a very mischievous Opposition playing politics with the lives of very vulnerable children.”

Pru GowardThe NSW minister for family and community services rejects a suggestion that her bill on foster care could produce another Stolen Generation. Coincidently, Goward has rejected calls for a special commissioner to reduce forced removal of Indigenous children and another Stolen Generation.


“We want people out of cars, spending more time with their families.”

Peter DuttonThe Home Affairs minister attempts to explain his prime minister’s migration cut. Scott Morrison’s not racist, he just hates all modes of transport: cars, boats, buses...


“We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Donald TrumpThe United States president sides with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the killing and dismemberment of a journalist. Lying to America is like getting kids to eat vegetables: you just have to cut everything into small enough pieces.


“We are in the position of the battle of Stalingrad … we have retreated to such an extent we need to hold our ground.”

Maurice NewmanThe global cooling advocate announces the foundation of centre-right advocacy group Advance Australia. Casting right-wing activists as communists and left-wing voters as Nazis demonstrates his trademark disregard for facts, salesmanship and history, which is odd, because that’s clearly where he’d rather be living.


“Our courts and judges must be in touch with public sentiment.”

Matthew GuyThe Victorian Opposition leader pledges a tough-on-crime approach ahead of today’s election. To start with, he’s going to be meeting with criminals frequently.