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News

Bank penalties disguised as charitable donations

“For the past 10 years, rather than being penalised for breaches, it appears the banks have been receiving tax deductions for their crimes and misdemeanours.”

As the banking royal commission’s hearings conclude, it can be revealed the banks have made $88 million in tax-deductable donations to avoid major penalties.

News

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News

Inside the Victorian election dirt files

“The parameters of these attacks are rarely drawn in good faith – they resemble arms races more than any sincere attempt to improve political culture. ”

In the wake of the Victorian election, billed as a triumph of positivity over negative campaigning, staffers reveal the lengths political parties went to in releasing dirt on their opponents.

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News

Senate chases Tourism Australia documents

The senate has ordered the tabling of Tourism Australia contracts from the time leading up to Scott Morrison’s sacking, but the prime minister continues to argue their confidentiality.

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News

Government presses on for wider security powers

While security chiefs are supporting Peter Dutton’s call for new powers to access encrypted data, they have declined to support the government’s claim such changes are made more urgent by the recent terror attack and arrests in Melbourne.

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News

Christian Porter lashes integrity commission proposal

“These statements are false and are not borne out by the wording of the bill. The fact is that Mr Porter has made a basically unfounded, reckless and incorrect statement and has misled parliament.”

As the increasingly powerful crossbench this week pushed for an anti-corruption body, Attorney-General Christian Porter scrambled to find excuses as to why it would be dangerous.

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World

Awkward meetings at the G20

Heat on Paul Manafort to tell all. Republicans hold on in Deep South. Nancy Pelosi under pressure.

Opinion

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Opinion

Steve Bracks
The duel in the Liberal crown

“What is now happening to the Liberal Party – at least at the state level in Victoria – is reminiscent of the split Victorian Labor went through after the 1950s, which resulted in 27 years of continuous opposition. The split radicalised Victorian Labor and hampered our ability to speak to Victorians on mainstream issues. Sounds familiar. Sixty years later, it is the Liberal Party suffering the same internal tensions – between their alt-right and small “l” liberal members, atrophying their party, narrowing their base and hindering their ability to speak to mainstream Victorians.”

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Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Julia Banks and the Coalition’s loss of a sensible centre

“The day the Morrison government sank deeper into minority with the desertion of backbencher Julia Banks, the Opposition leader went for the jugular. Bill Shorten asked, ‘Given that his minority government is consumed by division, dysfunction and chaos, was it a mistake for the current prime minister to replace Malcolm Turnbull?’ Scott Morrison denied the premise by asserting his government was getting on with the job followed by a long, detailed list of achievements. One member of the visibly forlorn Liberal backbench later said: ‘The trouble is the voters have stopped listening.’”

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Diary

Gadfly
Otto asphyxiation

The theme for this week is “Fear”. Let’s start on Monday night when Tasmanian senator Otto Abetz appeared in the lounge rooms of the nation on the ABC’s Q&A show. Otto invariably looks and sounds as if he’s eaten a live animal and there he was crunching on a mouthful of bones as he addressed the terrifying issues of the day: Muslims, terrorism, Safe Schools, Peter Dutton and Liberal Party leadership spillages.

Letters & Editorial

Cartoon

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Editorial
The man who wasn’t there

It is as if Scott Morrison is getting smaller. With each passing week, the member for Cook shrinks into his leadership. His government has lost its majority. It intends hardly to sit next year. Its early budget seems to promise a May election, and on all accounts Morrison will likely lose it. His prime ministership is set to last no more than nine months.

Letters

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Telling the story of Indigenous youth

Credit to The Saturday Paper for giving a voice to the marginalised each week. Dylan Voller has the kind of lived experience that those who make decisions affecting thousands of young …

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A compelling advocate and activist

I was impressed by the article by Dylan Voller. I still remember the shocking footage of him shackled in a restraining chair with a spit hood over his head at the Don Dale detention centre. It …

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Culture

Profile

Boots Riley’s latest coup

Boots Riley has turned from music to film to raise consciousness of the need for collective struggle against capitalism, as seen in Sorry to Bother You, his satire set in the dispiriting world of telemarketing. “Unless you engage in collective class struggle, you’re not making things better. You’re not making things better by making some art that exposes the way things are. You’re not making things better by not buying Starbucks and buying this other thing instead. The way you make things better is by being involved in class struggle, which is kept out of so many films. Any rebellion, especially class struggle, is just not in that world.”

Art

9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art

The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane eschews the Western art world’s reliance on checkbox diversity in favour of genuine immersion in our region.

Film

I Used To Be Normal

Tracking four boy-band-obsessed young women over several years, a new Australian documentary, I Used To Be Normal, turns the spotlight off the stars and onto the fangirls in an effective and sensitive paean to blind infatuation.

Portrait

Big hART’s Scott Rankin

“The feeling of isolation, or of being separate from the community, is familiar to Rankin. He grew up on a Chinese junk on Sydney Harbour. As a child living “gently illegally” on a boat, he had to be quiet. He wasn’t able to have visits from friends, or birthday parties. His family, he says, were outsiders. To appease the council, Rankin’s parents said they lived on the boat; to appease the water police, in the boat shed. For 16 years Rankin lived on the boat with his family, until they were “chucked out”. The chucking out involved six squad cars of police. I ask Rankin about Big hART’s focus on culture and about the importance of cultural rights. Before answering, he apologises. ‘I’m probably going to rant,’ he says.”

Life

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Food

Strawberry and rose geranium cordial and lemon and f ig leaf cordial

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Health

Ovarian cancer: Survivors Teaching Students

A program sparked by an ovarian cancer survivor is bringing fellow patients into medical schools to help guide professionals in their approach to the deadly but often undiagnosed condition.

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Sport

Hockey mountains: Blake Govers, 22, hockey player

Kookaburras forward Blake Govers on the hurdles faced by professional hockey players and the bittersweet moment he was selected for the 2018 World Cup.

Books

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Kate Devlin
Turned On

The Quiz

1. Which Australian band links the albums East, Circus Animals and The Last Wave of Summer?
2. Which United States city is home to the Gateway Arch?
3. In which year did the provisional (Old) Parliament House open in Canberra? (Bonus point for naming the year New Parliament House opened.)
4. What 11-letter word meaning someone who is an innovator ends with the name of an item of clothing?
5. Name the American comic book writer and creator of the Hulk, Iron Man, Daredevil and the Fantastic Four who died, aged 95, last month.
6. The headquarters of the Australian Defence Force’s Special Air Service Regiment is based in which city?
7. What word beginning with ‘v’ means the yolk of an egg or ovum?
8. By what name was singer Shuhada’ Davitt formerly known?
9. In home entertainment, what does the abbreviation VCR stand for?
10. In 1948, which famous couple led the Old Vic Theatre Company on a tour of Australia and New Zealand?

Quotes

REMUNERATION

“We sincerely apologise for the error.”

News Corp The company apologises for leaking the salary and redundancy entitlements of staff, including the $357,000 annual wage for Judith Sloan. That works out to about $357,000 for every good opinion Judith Sloan has.

SILVER LINING

“Homophobic, anti-women, climate-change deniers.”

Kelly O’DwyerThe minister for women explains the public image of the party to her colleagues during Victorian crisis talks. On the upside, Jim Chalmers’ description of the government as “a dumpster fire of cuts, chaos, disunity and division” now seems a glowing reference by comparison.

CANBERRA

“We are lost.”

Lyle Shelton The Australian Conservatives party member bemoans new crosswalk lights in Canberra’s Braddon that depict same-sex couples. Presumably he’s still standing on that suburban street corner, straining to think of a way to cross the road without letting the gays win.

SCHOOL

“What we want is more learning in schools and less activism in schools.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister lambasts students striking this week for action on climate change. If politicians acted on everything kids skipped class for, smoking marijuana in the toilets would have been legalised decades ago.

JOURNALISM

“The big cow is a lie.”

The Washington Post

The newsroom that broke Watergate lands what may well prove to be its scoop of the year. Knickers, the internet’s favourite giant cow, is reportedly “too big to be slaughtered” and, according to The Post, which contests that the cow is not really that big, is the same weight as 14-and-a-half Danny DeVitos.

DEFAMATION

“Due to Federal Court ruling a few months ago, it’s basically a win for lawyers, as lawfare always tends to be.”

Mark LathamThe former Labor leader settles a defamation action brought against him by ABC journalist Osman Faruqi. It’s weird that members of One Nation have to comprehensively embarrass themselves in court as part of the preselection process, but those are the party rules.