February 9 – 15, 2019

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg at a press conference following the release of the banking royal commission report this week.


Hayne’s ‘disinfectant’ sees banks’ share prices rise

“As banking insiders describe it, the share price rises reflected the industry’s response to Hayne’s decision not to tear them apart – ‘phew’.”

In the wake of the Hayne royal commission, the big banks’ share prices rose, raising questions of how much the culture of greed is threatened by its recommendations.



Phelps fight reveals govt’s Nauru deceit

“Morrison ratcheted up the fear campaign to Trumpian levels, claiming the proposed legislation would bring rapists, paedophiles and murderers into the country.”

As the last children are transferred off Nauru, the government is claiming compassion. But its attempts to kill off Kerryn Phelps’ medical transfer bill set the scene for an ugly fight in parliament next week.

Image for article: Alex Bhathal and discord in the Greens


Alex Bhathal and discord in the Greens

The resignation of Greens stalwart Alex Bhathal has again shone a spotlight on the party’s infighting and dysfunction.


The Stop Adani Convoy

“I am 74 and acutely aware that our planet is hotter than when I was a boy, due to the burning of fossil fuels. Storms, droughts and bushfires are all the worse, as predicted 30 years ago. Yet the rate of burning of fossil fuels is still growing in 2019, as is the consequent heating. Now is not the time to give in to despair. Now is the time to take action.”


War in West Papua

“This latest militarised push-back is being led by A new generation of Papuans with deeply held frustrations about perceived exploitation of their lands by the Indonesian government.”

West Papuan rebels have declared their province a war zone and appealed to the United Nations for assistance, as they vow to violently resist Indonesian rule until independence talks are entered into.

Image for article: Misstate of the Union


Misstate of the Union

Trump's State of the Union address shows no sign of compromise. Turnaround for reputation of Fiji’s Frank Bainimarama. Messaging service used for attacks in India. Trump suspends missile treaty with Russia.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Clementine Ford
The demise of independent media

“I hadn’t realised the depths to which a once proudly independent news organisations had sunk in its attempts to appeal to the right wing. Some have argued this shift to the right is a result of Fairfax’s merger with Nine, a deal that was completed in December last year. But the change in political culture at Fairfax began long before the television network set its sights on establishing a newspaper presence, and my story is just a small example of it. ”


Paul Bongiorno
The beginning of the end game

“Morrison’s hyperbolic warning – that any show of compassion to the 1000 or so refugees still holed up on Manus and Nauru will destroy the border protection regime and lead to a new influx of boats – is of the same genre as his repeated warnings against a banking royal commission. And while he can chalk up ‘stopping the boats’ as an achievement, the government’s handling of the banks is an entirely different matter.”


Greg expectations

The appointment of a new chair for the ABC is in the wind. Names of the contestants have been handed in a sealed envelope to SloMo and the Human Toilet Brush. Speculation suggests the final three are Fairfax’s beloved Greg Plywood, Danny Gilbert from law shop Gilbert + Tobin and ex-Murdoch man Kimbo Williams. Plywood, we know, was in tune with Lord Moloch’s playbook – harping about the free digital news content of the ABC stealing the lunch of newspapers and commercial TV networks.

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke

he calls them

              union thugs


              the prime minister-unelect

who got the job with a dirty knife

and a smug lopsided smile

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Loyal commission

Two numbers tell the same story. One is zero and the other is 19 billion. The first is the number of prosecutions recommended by the Hayne royal commission. The second is the amount invested in a record day for bank stocks following the release of its report. One is like the other: craven, predictable and depressing. The report is eviscerating, as were the hearings. Its recommendations are conservative, as was its commissioner.


Award for Manus journalist

Congratulations to Behrouz Boochani for winning the Victorian Prize for Literature and to The Saturday Paper for bringing his disturbing and powerful book No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison …

Killing our river system

My eyes filled with tears of rage and grief on reading Maxine Beneba Clarke’s red-raw, damning poem, “Ancient Giants” (February 2-8). Thank you for publishing her scorching words. How …

Read More


Karina Utomo


Metal singer Karina Utomo’s roar history

Whether singing about the bloody past of the country of her birth in metal band High Tension, or in the wordless growls and screams of Speechless, a new opera about the Forgotten Children, Karina Utomo finds catharsis in unleashing her powerful voice. Etched into her memory is the burning down of a music store, which sold cassettes because CDs remained a luxury item. The shop, she says, was targeted because it was owned by Chinese Indonesians, the long-time targets of racist scapegoating. “Buying music with my father was a treat. That was somewhere we had gone every week and it symbolised access to music, to engage in a culture with which I connected.”

Image for article: Escape at Dannemora


Escape at Dannemora

Ben Stiller’s small-screen directorial debut, Escape at Dannemora, a dramatisation of a real-life prison break, invites viewers’ sympathy for two violent criminals and then churns it into a grim vision of Trump’s America.


Image for article: Black Is the New White

Nakkiah Lui
Black Is the New White

Image for article: Fusion

Kate Richards

Image for article: Green Shadows and Other Poems

Gerald Murnane
Green Shadows and Other Poems

Image for article: Into the Fire

Sonia Orchard
Into the Fire


Image for article: Almond cream with salted cucumber and dill oil


Almond cream with salted cucumber and dill oil

Image for article: Sibling sexual abuse


Sibling sexual abuse

Sexual abuse at the hands of a brother or sister is not as uncommon as society would like to believe. But it is a crime that must be acknowledged – by parents and authorities – in order to help both victims and perpetrators.

Image for article: AFLW brings positives for sport


AFLW brings positives for sport

Season three of AFLW has kicked off, but beyond the on-field results and player performances, there’s a lot at stake for women in general.

The Quiz

1. Which word meaning any fortunate and profitable occasion rhymes with a type of sheer fabric?
2. What is the first name of Tara Morice’s character in the 1992 film Strictly Ballroom?
3. According to legend, after the Pied Piper rid Hamelin of its rats, what did he lure from the town? (Bonus point for naming which country is home to Hamelin.)
4. What is Zambia’s official language?
5. What are the two main ingredients of the Greek dip tzatziki?
6. The Golden Bear is the nickname of which champion golfer?
7. Which Australian prime minister was the Queensland winner of the “Youth Speaks for Australia” contest in 1974?
8. What Sydney band took top spot on this year’s Triple J Hottest 100 with the song “Confidence”?
9. Which playwright links the plays Private Lives, Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit?
10. The Socceroos lost their Asian Cup quarter-final to which country late last month?

Click through for answers.



“Geoff and Tim do share a mutual love for the mighty Melbourne Demons.”

Tim WilsonThe embattled MP explains his relationship with fund manager Geoff Wilson. Some would say using your parliamentary committee chairmanship to help a relative is a sign of bad judgement; others would say the same thing of supporting Melbourne.


“No wonder the share prices of the big banks are on the up.”

Judith SloanThe Australian columnist reflects on why traders may have snapped up stocks in the Big Four before the banking royal commission’s report was released. Insider trading, we can be assured, had nothing to do with it.


“This does my heart and my soul good. This is real.”

Steven TylerThe Aerosmith singer, who once took guardianship of a 16-year-old, only to impregnate her, opens a refuge for abused girls.


“I don’t want to give a dollar to Adani.”

Chris BowenThe shadow treasurer explains Labor will allow the Adani mine to proceed because it doesn’t want to compensate the company for a breach of contract. Which makes about as much sense as letting a national magazine do a “gym-themed” photoshoot with you, just because you agreed to a profile piece.


“It’s very important to remember that going to the bank is not like going to the doctor.”

Caroline OveringtonThe journalist says banks have a duty to their shareholders. Unlike doctors, banks can keep charging after you die.


“I behaved like an idiot on a parliamentary exchange last year and I recognise how inappropriate my actions were.”

Scott BuchholzThe Liberal MP apologises for his actions towards a female RAAF member. Described as a “known hugger”, Buchholz last made news for offering Kelly O’Dwyer unsolicited breastfeeding advice.