April 20 – 26, 2019

The GetUp! meeting at Balgowlah Bowling Club  in Sydney.


Inside the GetUp! election machine

“In 2016, GetUp! activists made 216,000 phone calls to electors; this time, the goal is one million.”

The progressive group is gearing up to spend its $12.7 million war chest on unseating six key members of the Coalition’s hard right and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.



Exclusive: Taxpayer millions spent on Coalition mailout

“DHS did not respond to questions about the letters having been printed on a weekend or whether this incurred extra cost. It is also not clear whether they were sent standard mail or at a premium.”

A mailout from the federal government to age pensioners on the eve of the election campaign cost taxpayers $2.1 million and raised concerns about the timing of the correspondence.

Image for article: Julian Assange: master of disguise


Julian Assange: master of disguise

“Assange has long been an assiduous, if imperfect, manager of his image.”

The arrest of Julian Assange is just another chapter in a story of complications and contradictions.


The long road home from Syria

“The impending election has made the government reluctant to act quickly on the issue of Daesh returnees but it’s further complicated by question of complicity – how to draw lines between the willing participants and the others. ”

Repatriating from foreign conflict zones the Australian women and children who became caught up in Daesh’s now-defunct reign of terror will require exacting planning and consideration.

Image for article: Money not all an ailing health system needs


Money not all an ailing health system needs

Labor’s cancer plan, backed by a $2.3 billion pledge, has put the healthcare debate on the frontburner, and divided the medical profession.

Image for article: Women and youth rise up in Sudan


Women and youth rise up in Sudan

Venezuelans suffering in superpower standoff. Red Cross reveals New Zealand nurse is a Daesh hostage. Joko Widodo looking the winner in Indonesia election.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Jill Abramson
Murdoch plays the Trump card

“Of all his holdings, Murdoch has always loved his papers the most, even if some are money pits. His empire began with the inheritance of his father’s papers, Adelaide’s The News and its Sunday edition, The Mail. Now he controls two-thirds of daily newspaper circulation in Australia. He publishes the only national broadsheet, The Australian. As in the US, and in Britain too, he has used his papers in Australia as political bludgeons. ”


Paul Bongiorno
Dutton serves as Labor’s Easter bunny

“Peter Dutton’s war chest to save his seat is believed to be in the vicinity of $1 million. He refuses to say how much he is spending but his face is splashed across every billboard in Dickson. A Labor insider says, ‘We are delighted to see his visage everywhere.’ ”


Bill’s joint adventure

So good to see the Shortens among the shorthorns, baby goats and bottled preserves at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show. But it was on the Central Coast where the leader of the opposition made a lasting impression while participating with a whole pile of little kids in a “slip, slop, slap” awareness moment. Gadfly has been unable to get out of his mind Shorten’s eccentric use of his knuckles in applying sunscreen to his face. I suspect there’s a lot we don’t know about this man but the sunscreen incident was a valuable insight.

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke
Liber Pauperum

on the western façade

     the archangel michael

grand wings aloft,

was weighing souls


and the serpent hissed down

     at eve, regal

and adam

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Nothing to see here

Scott Morrison is a man without promise or promises. It is not clear why he wants to lead the country. He has yet to lay out a plan for it and gives no sign that he will. When he talks about Bill Shorten, he warns Labor will change everything. His own undertaking is that he will not. His proposition is the status quo.


Unhappy Gilmore

Driving in congested traffic makes me console myself with extremely foul language. Driving through Nowra at any time of the day can produce this effect as I negotiate the narrow, hostile road to the Deep South. Recently, …

Overcrowding in Hong Kong

Elizabeth Flux’s piece (“Apartment complexities”, April 13–19) evoked many fond memories from my 10 years living in Hong Kong in the early 1980s. As a young civil engineer …

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Janet Laurence.


Artist Janet Laurence and the cost of living

Artist Janet Laurence explores the relationship between the metaphysical and the physical by giving voice to our fraught but soul-deep relationship with the world in which we live. “My first review read, ‘Janet Laurence deals with nature and the dark side of life and this is not where a woman should be.’ ” She dissolves into peals of laughter. “It was a female writer!”

Image for article: Māori Markings: Tā Moko

Visual Art

Māori Markings: Tā Moko

At the National Gallery of Australia, a new exhibition honours the power of tā moko, the Māori art of body-marking.


Image for article: The Island of Sea Women

Lisa See
The Island of Sea Women

Image for article: Tired of Winning

Richard Cooke
Tired of Winning

Image for article: Unspeakable

Harriet Shawcross


Image for article: Cullen skink


Cullen skink

Image for article: Whisky business at the Laphroaig distillery


Whisky business at the Laphroaig distillery

A wee dram at the Laphroaig distillery in the Scottish Hebrides turns into an invocation of a whisky-loving soul.

Image for article: The Winx effect


The Winx effect

During an unprecedented period of scandal in Australian racing, one horse carried on her back the hopes and dreams of a sport-obsessed nation.




“Opinions are like arseholes – everyone’s got one. In politics, it sometimes seems a lot of people have more than one.”

David LeyonhjelmThe former politician blames the Liberal Democratic Party for his election failure in NSW. Leyonhjelm sticks to a strict 1:1 opinion-to-arsehole ratio and that opinion is that we should have more guns.


“The Chinese people come to Australia because … they want good things for their next generation, not to be destroyed ... by these sort of concepts of same-sex, transgender, intergender, crossgender and all this rubbish.”

Gladys LiuThe Liberal candidate for Chisholm shares a view she doesn’t hold but has heard in the Chinese community. In the same way that we don’t think Gladys Liu a bigot, it’s just a thing we’ve been told.


“I’ve always been interested in what it tastes like.”

Matt CanavanThe MP shares a video of himself eating a raw onion. Goddamn it, Matt, if Tony Abbott jumped off a bridge...


“We have no plans to introduce any new taxes on superannuation.”

Bill ShortenThe opposition leader misrepresents his position on superannuation. What he meant was no new “new taxes” other than the new taxes already announced.


“Mr Dutton, after all, is a thug. Mr Dutton is the most toxic man in the Liberal party. Mr Dutton is mean and despicable.”

Kristina KeneallyThe senator hits back at the Home Affairs minister over his comments about Labor candidate Ali France. On background, several sources confirmed she doesn’t think much of Peter Dutton.


“He’s not the member for Dawson, he is the member for Manila South.”

Chris BowenThe shadow treasurer offers George Christensen a new title after it was revealed the Liberal MP spent more days in the Philippines visiting his fiancée than in parliament. Who knew Christensen was such a romantic?