May 18 – 24, 2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison


Election 2019: the final hours

“If Morrison believes he is going to lose, he is determined not to let it show, although the final week of his campaign also did not reveal the frisson and anxiety that surface when victory is clearly within reach, signals that had begun flickering in the other camp.”

As election day neared, Scott Morrison proved to be relentless on the chaotic campaign trail, despite what the polls predict for his prime ministership.


Exclusive: Labor tax plan faces block by Centre Alliance

“The Centre Alliance now has confirmed its opposition to Labor’s biggest revenue measure – franking credits – and is lukewarm at best about the second-biggest measure, negative gearing. In the case of franking credits, this is a very recent development. ”

If the Labor Party wins today’s election, it will likely need support to pass its reforms from Centre Alliance, whose senators have vowed not to back changes to franking credits.

Image for article: Police raid at Hares & Hyenas building


Police raid at Hares & Hyenas building

For Melbourne’s LGBTQIA community, the police raid above the Hares & Hyenas bookstore – and subsequent serious injury of queer party organiser Nik Dimopoulos – has triggered memories of darker times.


Unusual secrecy around 1950s nuclear testing

“Why, more than 60 years after the last nuclear test in Australia, had the British government suddenly vanished previously declassified documents about the tests from its national archives? The Campaign for Freedom of Information, a British not-for-profit organisation, described it as worrying. ”

Files documenting British nuclear testing in the 1950s have suddenly gone missing. Many who have studied this questionable period of history wonder why.

Image for article: The campaign for Warringah


The campaign for Warringah

In the face of a serious challenge by independent candidate Zali Steggall, Tony Abbott is fighting to hold on to his place in parliament – and some of the campaign tactics have turned nasty.

Manila election workers feed ballot papers into a vote-counting machine during the country’s midterm elections this week.


Midterms shore up Duterte stronghold

China–US trade war ramping up. Fiji holds forum on climate change. Philippine midterm election results. Trump pressures Iran.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Stan Grant
The Uluru Statement is a source of hope

“As politicians look to exploit the fringes, and governments are reluctant to implement reforms, what chance do Indigenous issues have? Yet these questions are fundamental to who we are as a nation, as a people: identity, the legacy of history, the challenges of diversity and pluralism, whether government can be truly representative.”


Paul Bongiorno
A brooding reluctance in voter-land

“Bill Shorten began the week on an upbeat note, saying he had detected a mood for change. Constant opinion polling has reinforced his discerned wisdom but there is a brooding reluctance in voter-land. One of Shorten’s key strategists was quietly confident midweek of a Labor win, “but it’s a white-knuckle ride”. It is because Scott Morrison has proved a formidable campaigner and has been able to mobilise Australian voters’ fear of change.”


Cast from the past

You’ve got to admire the way the Nasty Party steadfastly wheels out Little Winston to wave, grin and hug people during election campaigns. He’s a reminder of things past and in a climate change election it’s good to be reminded that Winston for such a long time was a climate denier (aka sceptic). He resisted the Kyoto Protocol and stood against the implementation of legally binding carbon reduction targets.

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke

so we’ll go to the polls

        lined round winter street corners

pushy leafleteers

        shoving how-tos in our hands


we’ll elbow past smiling placards

        and straight-talking spruikers

still wearied with the bickering

        of campaign attack ads


Read More

Time to choose

Both leaders have attempted to cloak themselves in the charisma of their predecessors in this campaign. Scott Morrison with Menzies, then Howard. Bill Shorten first with Keating, now Whitlam. Neither has managed to breathe life into the public imagination in the way these leaders did. The way Bob Hawke, who passed away on Thursday, was able to do so effortlessly – with his extroversion and his boundless energy.


Election grants

“Promise land” (Karen Middleton, May 11-17) left me even more despondent (is that even possible?) about probity and pork barrels, and prompts me to think: “My Kingdom, my Kingdom, a car park/Scout …

Looking to the future

Paul Bongiorno’s “Mother of all misfires” (May 11-17) raised a big question for democracy. “It’s difficult to know where the government ends and News Corp begins,” a Labor …

Read More


Hugo Weaving on stage in STC’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.


Stage advice from actor Hugo Weaving

During his illustrious career, Hugo Weaving has consistently returned to the STC stage, where he currently stars in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The actor discusses his upbringing, his concerns about the local film industry, and sharing the stage with his son. “I thought Harry would be really good in the role. But I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want any sense of nepotism. I just don’t think that’s right.”

Image for article: Malthouse Theatre’s Cloudstreet


Malthouse Theatre’s Cloudstreet

Although the Malthouse Theatre’s production of Cloudstreet is flawed, its failings cannot overshadow the fundamental power of Tim Winton’s novel.


Image for article: Exhalation

Ted Chiang

Image for article: Stop Being Reasonable

Eleanor Gordon-Smith
Stop Being Reasonable

Image for article: Things Nobody Knows But Me

Amra Pajalić
Things Nobody Knows But Me


Image for article: Persimmon and beetroot confiture


Persimmon and beetroot confiture

Image for article: Bias-free dietary guidance


Bias-free dietary guidance

Canada’s new 2019 healthy food guidelines illustrate what public dietary advice might look like without the influence of powerful food industries. Should Australia follow suit?

Image for article: Working to reduce ACL injury rates


Working to reduce ACL injury rates

Australia has the highest incidence of ACL injuries in the world, with figures soaring in the past 15 years. So what are key sporting bodies and medical experts doing to reduce the risk?




“I’m not running for pope, I’m running for prime minister.”

Scott MorrisonThe Liberal leader responds to a question about whether he thinks gay people will go to hell. In fairness, aspirant pope hopefuls stopped stabbing their predecessors in the back centuries ago.


“Put a face on your politics. Know who you are voting for and why. Understand the power of your preferences. Be safe out there. Have a grand week.”

Russell CroweThe Oscar winner gives his fans some sage advice ahead of polling day and he makes it all sound so easy. If only working out preference flows didn’t require some Beautiful Mind-level wall calculations.


“We will take this emergency seriously.”

Bill ShortenThe Labor leader says his party will not leave climate change for the next generation to deal with. He’s so serious about it that he’s pledged $1.5 billion to support fracking in northern Australia.


“I’m not looking to get a government job. I’m very happy to pursue opportunities in the private sector.”

Julie BishopThe former foreign minister bats away speculation about her future at a Liberal campaign event in Perth. By pursue opportunities, she means double her salary.


“Paul Keating almost destroyed my dad’s small business with his heartless mismanagement of the economy and he inspired me to join the Liberal Party.”

Peter DuttonThe Home Affairs minister lashes out at the former prime minister after Keating called him the most “mean-spirited” politician he’d seen in 50 years. Finally, someone to blame for Dutton getting into politics.


“The one, the only, the woman who inspired so much of what I do... Doris Day I love you, my calamity Jane.”

Stella McCartneyThe British designer farewells the iconic actor, who died this week aged 97. Vale.