February 23 – March 1, 2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Parliament House last week.


Morrison ignored boat security advice

“Pezzullo’s Monday evidence suggests the government was alerted to the repatriation issue well before Labor’s amendments were drafted and it did not act.”

The government ignored security agency advice on amendments to the medivac bill, allowing it to accuse Labor of undermining border security.


Image for article: The science of insect population collapse


The science of insect population collapse

Amid recent warnings of the mass extinction of insects in the coming decades, the global lack of research into insect populations has come into focus.


Australia’s psychedelic drug trial

“Let’s change the way we think about this in the same way as we’ve changed the way, in theory, we think about cannabis. You establish principles and those principles could be rolled out to other plant products.”

Advocates of psychedelic drug research are hoping the psilocybin trial for treating anxiety in the terminally ill, at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital, is the beginning of a new acceptance for the potential of the field.

Image for article: The aged-care royal commission


The aged-care royal commission

While the royal commission into aged care has begun by exposing distressing cases of neglect, experts warn that it is the generations currently unaffected – and uninterested – who must become engaged in order for standards to improve.


Cash not for comment

“Cash also denied that there was any political consideration in her decision to refer the AWU matter to the ROC. It was of ‘no particular interest’ to her that Shorten had been secretary of the AWU at the time.”

As the Federal Court prepares to make a ruling on the AWU raids, and it emerges Michaelia Cash refused to give a statement to the federal police over her office’s involvement, The Saturday Paper reviews the minister’s position to date.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Vice-President Mike Pence at the Munich Security Conference last weekend.


West losing its grip on the global order

Merkel attacks new ‘home alone’ approach by US, while Pence warns Europe over purchasing Russian arms. China puts limits on Australian coal imports and rebukes New Zealand. UNHCR condemns arrest of Filipino journalist Maria Ressa. Shinzō Abe nominates Donald Trump for Nobel peace prize, at White House's request.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Jennifer Robinson
Palace letters highlight undemocratic secrecy

“Despite narrow legal grounds for concealing documents under our freedom of information laws, government agencies routinely refuse to release them. Appeals are long and costly. Final decisions may take years and challenging decisions to refuse access to documents – as in this case – can run to many, many thousands of dollars. The cost is too high for most, and so the information remains hidden and unpublished.”


Paul Bongiorno
Helloworld, this is free

“No longer confident it controls the parliament of Australia, the Morrison government has shut it down for the next six weeks. And no wonder: it is reeling from revelations of cronyism, incompetence and profligate, unaccountable spending. Scott Morrison’s only defence was to accuse Labor of having its head in the “chum bucket”. If he is right, the bucket is his and he will have to do a lot of hard work to expunge the stench before the May election.”


Making another run

Ladislaus Meissner, also known as Joe Meissner, of “Love Boat” notoriety has, after a decent interval, resurfaced. Joe has moved on from his days in the 1980s as secretary of the Enmore branch of the Labor Party and former world karate champion when his putt-putt, the Kanzen, hosted riotous onboard parties, where politicians mingled with even shadier figures. Virginia Perger, a sex worker, said she had slept with the adorable Graham Richardson on board the Kanzen only to withdraw her statement, after much thought.

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke

before despair hits before the shame

before scanning job sites and uncertainty


it’s shiny writing on the wall

                                    reading centrelink

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Affairs to remember

Perhaps once the Paladin contract story could have toppled a minister. This week, it was almost overshadowed by a parade of other scandals – the 2000 Centrelink robocall deaths; the Helloworld travel scandal; the revelation both Michael Keenan and Michaelia Cash refused to give witness statements to the Australian Federal Police over the Australian Workers’ Union raid tipoffs; the apparent leaking of security advice to The Australian, which was then misrepresented.


Analysis worth the effort

As an Indonesian reader based in Jakarta who cares about domestic and international politics, I was expecting an adequately analytical and probably more balanced standpoint from the contents of The Saturday …

Lessons from Hakeem’s detention

The Hakeem al-Araibi case has exposed the absurdity inherent in the Australian state’s out of sight, out of mind offshore refugee detention policy (Jonathan Pearlman, “Refugee footballer …

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Author Kristen Roupenian.


Kristen Roupenian on short stories and viral success

Amid the spectacularly divisive response to Kristen Roupenian’s short story about a relationship gone wrong, the author’s conception of “Cat Person” as horror fiction was often overlooked. Here, she talks about reasserting her genre credentials with the release of her debut collection. “The temptation would be to turn the book into 11 stories about dating from the perspective of young women. So I was grateful that editors recognised it was a weird, dark collection of essentially horror stories. They let it be what it was.”

Image for article: Just Not Australian

Visual Art

Just Not Australian

Curated with an eye for slogans and messaging, the new Artspace exhibition Just Not Australian interrogates the mythic language of nationalism that continues to permeate the art world.


Image for article: The Year of the Beast

Steven Carroll
The Year of the Beast

Image for article: Beside Myself

Sasha Marianna Salzmann
Beside Myself

Image for article: brookings: the noun

Jennifer Maiden
brookings: the noun


Image for article: Grilled rockmelon with turmeric, fetta and mint


Grilled rockmelon with turmeric, fetta and mint

Image for article: The legacy of Karl Lagerfeld


The legacy of Karl Lagerfeld

During the ’90s there was barely a glossy magazine that didn’t feature Karl Lagerfeld draped in supermodels. His death this week offers a chance to reflect on the fashion powerhouse’s influence on design, style and feminine sophistication.

Image for article: Darren Weir and integrity in racing


Darren Weir and integrity in racing

Trainer Darren Weir’s fall from grace over the possession of electronic shock devices has stunned horse-racing enthusiasts both here and overseas. But could it help efforts to clean up the sport?




“Transfer from the Endangered Category to the Extinct Category.”

Melissa Price The environment minister announces the first extinction directly attributable to climate change, the Bramble Cay melomys. The transfer was noted in a table at the foot of a media release entitled “Stronger protection for threatened species”.


“It is astounding that Australians waste over $9.3 billion a year on drugs.”

Michael Phelan The chief executive of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission expresses his shock at the findings of a recent wastewater drug survey. According to anyone who’s seen the Portaloo lines at the Melbourne Cup, the figure is far too low.


“He’s very… charming. And, um, he’s quite good looking, like… he’s got very beautiful eyes.”

Jenny MorrisonThe registered nurse opens up about life, love and family now her husband, Scott, is the prime minister. Here, though, she is actually talking about Prince Harry.


“They have to give birth in Perth!”

Mark Dreyfus The shadow attorney-general laments the lack of medical services on Christmas Island. Unlike denying someone asylum, making them go to Perth is a true human rights abuse.


“Who is this supposed to have caused people to think bad thoughts about?”

John Bolton The lawyer unsuccessfully argues a free speech defence against Blair Cottrell’s conviction for inciting hatred, contempt and ridicule of Muslims. Definitely not his client, who chose to protest against a Bendigo mosque by beheading a dummy.


“I didn’t think it was a big deal.”

Danielle VagnerThe Kookaï co-founder pleads guilty over an incident in which she crashed into a house, causing an estimated $200,000 in damage. To be fair, someone going on an alcohol and Valium-fuelled Range Rover joyride isn’t exactly a rare occurrence in South Yarra.