May 11 – 17, 2019

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at last weekend’s Labor campaign launch in Brisbane.


The Shorten interview

“Shorten confirmed a Labor government would not end offshore detention of asylum seekers and refugees and would consider shifting the Manus Island centre if Papua New Guinea wanted it moved. This is the first time he has suggested he might contemplate moving the detention centre elsewhere.”

In a one-on-one interview ahead of next week’s election, Bill Shorten has proposed he would, if necessary, set up a new regional processing facility in Papua New Guinea.



Are the Nationals still the party of the bush?

“ ‘There is a long-term problem for the Nationals,’ says ABC’s electoral analyst, Antony Green, ‘which is that those seats are no longer rural … They are like outer-suburban seats. The social milieu, the political history of those electorates is being wiped out by the arrival of people who have no long-term connection with the party.’ ”

With the election poised to be a referendum on climate policy, the junior Coalition partner finds itself out of touch with voters, even in its traditional strongholds.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Scott Morrison at an LNP campaign rally in Brisbane.


Election cash splash coming from government grants

The funding for many promises in this election campaign appears to be coming out of government grants with vague criteria.


Mortgage brokers oppose changes to trail commissions

“Peter White, managing director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia, said there was no doubt the royal commission was highly influenced by CBA. ‘I think CBA has deliberately pushed forward commentary that they would like to see play out … It has not given the full picture.’ ”

The mortgage broking industry is questioning a key recommendation of the Hayne royal commission, saying it was based on incomplete evidence submitted by Commonwealth Bank.

Image for article: Testing Israel Folau's faith


Testing Israel Folau’s faith

As Israel Folau awaits sanction from Rugby Australia over his social media posts, arguments over religious freedoms, hate speech and employers’ rights rage on the sidelines.

Image for article: Journalist Maria Ressa and the Philippine election


Journalist Maria Ressa and the Philippine election

Rappler co-founder Maria Ressa discusses the political situation in the Philippines ahead of the country’s May 13 midterm elections, the first test of Rodrigo Duterte’s continuing hold on popularity.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Danielle Wood
Major parties diverge on economy

“In any other election, Australia’s headline economic figures would have the incumbent popping champagne corks. Twenty-eight years of uninterrupted economic growth, unemployment at 5 per cent, record-low interest rates and a budget in balance are close enough to a beautiful set of numbers. But the disconnect between the economic data and people’s sense of economic wellbeing has rarely been larger. And this economic ennui is proving fertile ground for both parties to push very different visions for the Australian economy and what the government’s role in it should be.”


Paul Bongiorno
Murdoch papers give Shorten his moment

“Labor has been the frontrunner in the published opinion polls for the past three years. This week was no different, with the tightening since the election was called reaching a plateau. But Bill Shorten has supplied a powerful campaign moment in an otherwise lacklustre affair. He spoke emotionally about his mother Ann’s life and its key motivating force for him. It was in response to an attack on him, and her career, in several Murdoch papers. And it is a development that has rebounded badly on his opponents.”


Egging to differ

The history of citizens egging their politicians is long and distinguished. When Billy Hughes was egged at Warwick, Queensland, in 1917 he ordered the local copper to arrest the offender, Patrick Brosnan. Senior Sergeant Kenny refused, saying that the PM had no jurisdiction over him – hence we got the Commonwealth Police, which morphed into the Australian Federal Police.

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke

folktale has it

         new arrivals,

they’ll throw any queen

or kingdom

             into spin


angered uninvited guests

will conjure curses

Read More

Equal measures

In rebuking The Daily Telegraph’s editorial about his mother, Ann, Bill Shorten conjured a rare moment in Australian politics. He said: “My mum would want me to say to older women in Australia that just because you’ve got grey hair, just because you didn’t go to a special private school, just because you don’t go to the right clubs, just because you’re not part of some backslapping boys’ club doesn’t mean you should give up.” It is not rare, of course, for male politicians to relate the discriminations faced by women to their own families, to flatten to the personal: I wouldn’t want this to happen to my daughter/my wife/my mother. The test for Shorten, if elected, is how broadly his empathy can be cast.


Missing the points

It is clear that consideration of morality is lacking in this federal election. There are two outstanding matters, neither being properly addressed by the media or the two major parties. The first is the imprisonment …

Climate change costs

Dear Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten, could you please supply us with the cost of the extraordinary floods in Townsville, the extraordinary fires in Tasmania, the extraordinary droughts in so many parts of Australia, …

Read More


Herbie Hancock.


Herbie Hancock’s chord of appeal

At the age of 79, Herbie Hancock has had a long and fruitful career, but the legendary jazz pianist remains forward-thinking. “There’s so much division happening globally and I actually believe that this is one of the final stages we need to solve, and fix, and learn from in order to be able to tackle climate change. That’s either going to do us in or we’re going to fix it.”

Image for article: The Essential Duchamp

Visual Art

The Essential Duchamp

At the Art Gallery of New South Wales, The Essential Duchamp casts the work of the iconoclastic artist Marcel Duchamp in a contemporary light.


Image for article: #MeToo

Natalie Kon-yu, Christie Nieman, Maggie Scott and Miriam Sved (eds)

Image for article: Greek to Me

Mary Norris
Greek to Me

Image for article: On David Malouf

Nam Le
On David Malouf


Image for article: Pain perdu


Pain perdu

Image for article: Studying language, history and culture in Toledo, Spain


Studying language, history and culture in Toledo, Spain

As a descendant of Sephardic Jews forced to leave Spain during the 15th-century Inquisition, the author visits Toledo seeking citizenship, only to discover ties to the ancient city can sometimes be set in stone.

Image for article: Australian cycling team’s world stage


Australian cycling team’s world stage

How Mitchelton-Scott, Australia’s only World Tour cycling team, is scaling the heights of road racing.




“Small men with small ideas.”

Penny WongThe shadow foreign minister shares her opinion of Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, Scott Morrison and Michael McCormack at the Labor launch. To be fair, Joyce is about 6'1" with his tallest Akubra on.


“If you want me to remove the weeds from my garden, one option is to use a nuclear weapon. Yeah it would remove the weeds from the garden, but it would have a lot of consequences.”

Alexander StewartThe United Australia Party candidate explains why his party is “undecided” on whether vaccines are effective. In doing so, he highlighted something else more dangerous than vaccines – politicians attempting to use analogies.


“Politics isn’t about tactics; politics is about what you believe.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister denies speculation about the passing of the franking credits overhaul during this week’s leaders’ debate. Poll numbers suggest his best tactic at this stage is believing a deus ex machina is imminent.


“He neglected to mention that Mrs Shorten, who sent him to Melbourne’s elite Xavier College, graduated with a law degree from Monash University.”

Anna Caldwell

The Daily Telegraph’s state political editor launches a roundly criticised barb at Bill Shorten’s mother, Ann. Australia’s political media descending into “your mama” jokes feels at once inevitable and apocalyptic.


“He’s a good man, he’s an incredible person. I love him.”

Pamela Anderson

The actress visits Julian Assange in jail. You would think a former Baywatch star declaring her love for the WikiLeaks founder would be the most bizarre twist in this story, but it probably doesn’t even break into the top 10.


“They don’t know where Adani is! They don’t! I asked someone the other day and they said, ‘It’s on the Great Barrier Reef.’ Actually, it’s not.”

Anthony AlbaneseThe senior Labor MP decries left-wing groupthink or, as some might call it, believing the expert consensus of the world’s climate scientists.