December 15 – 21, 2018

Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin.


Fourth AFP officer suicides at work

“Employees who are acutely mentally unwell may be emotionally or mentally incapable of telling how their psychological injury occurred. Indeed, to do so may cause them additional harm.”

After a fourth officer’s suicide in just 18 months at Australian Federal Police headquarters, staff hold little hope the organisation will change.



Ruddock religious freedom report backfires

“Although the review panel supported strengthening protections against religious discrimination, it questioned the extent to which religious rights were overriding other human rights across Australia.”

Established ahead of last year’s marriage-equality vote to quell conservative fears, Philip Ruddock’s long-awaited report has called for religious exemptions from discrimination laws to be scrapped.

Image for article: The truth behind housing market forecasts


The truth behind housing market forecasts

As the media, politicians and those with a vested interest scaremonger over the housing market, the reality is far less bleak – for those who aren’t renting, at least.

Then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull visiting the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme in Talbingo, NSW, last year.


Inside the economics of Snowy 2.0

While Snowy Hydro has declared its readiness to develop the massive Snowy 2.0 expansion, the federal government has yet to decide on its economic feasibility.

Image for article: Portugal’s medical model of drugs


Portugal’s medical model of drugs

Drug policy reform in Portugal, from pill testing to decriminalisation, may provide a model for Australia. Lisbon’s ‘dissuasion commissioner’ Nuno Capaz talks about understanding drug use as a medical, rather than a moral, issue.

Image for article: Conservatives vote for Theresa May to remain


Conservatives vote for Theresa May to remain

Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou bailed in Canada; Donald Trump’s lawyer jailed.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Anne Summers
The dead policy scrolls

“Australia needs government. Unless there is urgent action, we will be entering the third decade of the 21st century more directionless and unfocused than we have ever been, at a time when global politics is in chaos. This is not the time to be drifting, hanging on to hope that our (economic) luck will continue to hold. If it is the case that these feckless and mostly fear-based politics have really taken hold only within the past two federal election cycles, they should not be so difficult to dispense with. Especially as voters now seem able – and willing – to apply the bullshit detector more liberally than they were inclined to in the past.”

Paul Bongiorno
Morrison government’s surplus baggage

“The fact is they believe, as does John Howard, that the Opposition leader is the chink in Labor’s armour and they will keep attacking Shorten in the hope that wary voters will not risk him. Except negative views of the Labor leader pale into insignificance when compared with the disgust at the government’s disunity and dysfunction over the past five-and-a-half years. One marginal seat-holder pointed to swings of up to 30 per cent against the Liberals in New South Wales byelections and in the Victorian state election. Another Liberal says: “We are fucked, fucked, fucked.””


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Stricken in the Fox house

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Mighty men of values

We know, now, a little more of what the election will look like. We know that it will be desperate. We know the Morrison government will do anything to win, except develop policies that address the concerns of the electorate. The stories are already being placed. In The Daily Telegraph is spurious legal advice that says Labor’s “softened border policy” would invite criminals into Australia.


Christian values ignored by politicians

Watching the rage and fierceness of the speech Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave last week, declaring he would use anything to stop the Urgent Medical Treatment Bill from being successful, I …

Catholic Church opts out of redress scheme

The utter hypocrisy of the Catholic Church has now been laid bare as the organisation refuses to join the National Redress Scheme established to assist survivors of institutional child …

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Melissa Lucashenko


Author Melissa Lucashenko aims for the heart

Melissa Lucashenko’s latest novel, Too Much Lip, exhibits a sharp defiance inspired by the author’s discovery of a gutsy family matriarch. She talks about family, country and mysterious mergings of fact and fiction. “I’ve only once started a novel I didn’t go ahead with. A novel is a huge undertaking, so I’m loath to rush in. It’s like waiting for fruit to ripen. There’s a certain berry that ripens at Easter, and there’s no point looking for it at Christmas time.”

A selection of Australian albums released in 2018, clockwise from left: New War, Amy Shark, Kasey Chambers, Abbe May, Psycroptic and Odette


Revisiting 2018’s best albums

In his final review for the year, Dave Faulkner looks back at the best Australian albums of 2018 that he missed along the way.

Image for article: Artist Oki Sato


Artist Oki Sato

“The exhibition has been living and evolving in Oki Sato’s mind for an intense 11 months. ‘We had to work on every single aspect,’ he tells me. They designed the exhibition furniture, the layout of rooms and even the soundscape. This, on top of creating large-scale, intricate and ambitious original artworks to complement Escher’s. ‘It’s all about details.’ In some ways to see his design made real, to be sitting in the middle of it, is like having his mind turned inside out, his inner world flipped. When I ask him what it’s like to see his art realised in this way he can’t put it into words. ‘I’m still trying to understand what’s happening,’ he says with a laugh. ‘I don’t know. I think it happened the way we wanted it to happen. Yes.’ He pauses, and the gap in our conversation is filled by Bach’s Goldberg Variations – a favourite of Escher’s and the only music not created by Nendo to feature in this exhibition. ‘I think I need a bit more time to digest what I’ve made.’ ”


Image for article: The Feral Detective

Jonathan Lethem
The Feral Detective

Image for article: Ohio

Stephen Markley


Image for article: Mussels with kombu butter


Mussels with kombu butter

Image for article: Lessons from manual labour


Lessons from manual labour

Subsistence labour in a small village in Slovakia teaches a valuable lesson about the relationship between time and work.

Image for article: Down to a fine dart: Kyle Anderson, 31, darts player


Down to a fine dart: Kyle Anderson, 31, darts player

With a world ranking of 27, Kyle Anderson has hit the bull’s-eye as a professional darts player.

The Quiz

1. Who won season 1 of American Survivor in 2000? (Bonus point for naming the series’ catchphrase.)
2. What starting with ‘j’ is the name of a measure for alcohol used in cocktails?
3. Who preceded Mark Latham as federal Labor Party leader?
4. Name the twin sister of the Greek god Apollo?
5. Which song’s lyrics include the line: “Why in the world would anybody put chains on me?”
6. What is the standard electricity voltage in the United States?
7. In which country is the archipelago of Langkawi?
8. Does the word obdurate mean: (a) heart-shaped; (b) hard-hearted; or (c) obscure?
9. Which composer wrote what is known in English as the “Minute Waltz”?
10. True or false: ligament is the connective tissue that holds together a joint?

Click through for answers.











“Originally it was going to be HoMo (Hotel MONA); after consultation with the MONA staff force, and with the community beyond, we decided to ditch it.”

MONAThe Tasmanian gallery opts to name its new hotel Motown. They might not be comfortable with queer slurs, but they are A-okay appropriating black culture.


“I’m all for this kind of stuff but when they do it and ruin my show, I’m really mad.”

Tanya “Busking Becky” GeorgeThe Bourke Street busker vents about her set being interrupted by Indigenous protesters commemorating deaths in custody. George later apologised for being “ignorant, narrow-minded and self-centred” but not for her acoustic cover of Sia’s “Chandelier”.



Kate McClymontThe veteran investigative journalist, whose reporting exposed Eddie Obeid’s corruption in New South Wales, responds to the news Scott Morrison’s proposed federal anti-corruption commission won’t hold public hearings for politicians. For those wondering, the abbreviation stands for “What the actual fuck”.


“It’s like a manhood thing with him – as if manhood can be associated with him – this wall thing.”

Nancy PelosiThe Democratic house minority leader derides Donald Trump after a televised standoff in the Oval Office. To be clear, the wall is half as long as he said it would be and he lied about someone being willing to pay for it.


“If you support a multicultural Australia, you’ll be a supporter of religious freedoms.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister announces his plan to defend religious freedoms. Someone should tell him the Trojan Horse wasn’t filled with Christians.