July 6 – 12, 2019

The leader of The Family cult, Anne Hamilton-Byrne.


‘She’s with Lucifer now – her master’

“Anne created a community that was totalitarian, that pulled people in through promising to meet their emotional, physical and spiritual needs but never delivering on them in full. And when people woke up to the lie, she did all she could to destroy them.”

Since the death of cult leader Anne Hamilton-Byrne, survivors of The Family are reckoning with loss and meaning.



Pyne, Bishop and the Big Four

“Professor Anne Tiernan argues undue reliance on big consultancy firms has actually narrowed the range of advice to government. ‘Public servants will tell you – and they’re right – that ministers want to go external because that way they will get the answer that they want.’ ”

The major consultancies are not just a preferred employer for former ministers – they have helped privatise the bureaucracy by stealth.

Image for article: Dutton’s stance on citizenship laws


Dutton’s stance on citizenship laws

Despite recommendations from parliament’s security watchdog, Peter Dutton will press ahead with plans to ban Australian citizens with terrorism links from returning home.


House prices and zoning

“According to research the Reserve Bank published last year, zoning restrictions raised the price of a detached house in Sydney in 2016 by 73 per cent above the marginal cost of supply. ”

The latest figures suggest that house prices are rising once more. According to Reserve Bank research, zoning restrictions contribute to high prices – but planning experts disagree.

Image for article: Japan resumes commercial whaling


Japan resumes commercial whaling

On Monday, Japan recommenced commercial whaling for the first time in three decades. But could this actually mark the beginning of an end to the country’s whaling program?

Image for article: History made as Trump runs DMZ


History made as Trump runs DMZ

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Korean Demilitarized Zone. Indonesians filing lawsuit against government over Jakarta smog. Carrie Lim urged to quit as Hong Kong chief. Kamala Harris’s moment.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Richard Denniss
Money, votes and the ‘pendulum’

“What if money didn’t matter much in Australian politics? Clive Palmer just spent $53 million on ads for his United Australia Party and had zero candidates elected. And Jacqui Lambie won a senate seat having gone through a lot of shoe leather but spent only $50,000.”


Paul Bongiorno
Faith and tax cuts as 46th parliament begins

“In politics, so the wisdom goes, ‘perception is reality’. And this week, with the opening of the 46th parliament, the perception and the reality of the federal election hit home, particularly for the vanquished Labor Party. But for the victors, not everything is as it seems.”


A slice of Evan

How good is Australia? Gadfly returns home after three weeks on a global escapade and finds nothing whatsoever has changed. Schmo Morrison, Fantastic Angus and Benito Dutton are still strutting their half-baked stuff, and on we stagger. The only noticeable excitement on the horizon is that Schmo has his ears back for a good old beano with Iran.

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke

no one likes a politician


no matter how good you are, no matter

how hard the job, no matter

               how you serve the public

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Destroying Australia

And so it passes, the greatest assault on the safety net from which Australian life is built. Scott Morrison’s tax cuts are through and the revenue base that provides for health and education and social welfare is shredded. The legacy of the 46th parliament is there in its very first week: the destruction of the social compact that made this country stable.


Morrison’s helping hands

Having just read Karen Middleton’s article “Scott Morrison’s inner circle” (June 29-July 5), I am bemused at the plotting, scheming and protestations of loyalty, followed in short …

A matter of description

Can we please stop referring to Scott Morrison as a Christian? The man attends a Pentecostal Church, full stop. This does not make him a Christian. I attend Melbourne Symphony Orchestra concerts – …

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Zahra Newman in Malthouse Theatre’s Wake in Fright.


Actress Zahra Newman takes on Wake in Fright

Renowned Australian actor Zahra Newman knows what it feels like to be an outsider. In bringing that experience to the Malthouse Theatre’s one-woman adaptation of Wake in Fright, she shines a light on discrimination and toxic masculinity in our society. “Part of the thing that is nightmarish about Wake in Fright is the culture having to stomach the reality of that reflection without just lashing out against it.”

Image for article: Parasite



Bong Joon-ho’s impeccable technical skills are on show in Parasite, his Palme d’Or-winning comic thriller, but the film’s social commentary doesn’t quite hit the mark.


Image for article: The Yield

Tara June Winch
The Yield

Image for article: A Constant Hum

Alice Bishop
A Constant Hum

Image for article: Yellow City

Ellena Savage
Yellow City


Image for article: Oat crumble, oatcakes and steel-cut oat pilaf


Oat crumble, oatcakes and steel-cut oat pilaf

Image for article: Cannabis tourism in Toronto


Cannabis tourism in Toronto

Canada’s legalisation of recreational cannabis last year has created a market for marijuana tourism. Even on a guided tour the details may become a little hazy.

Image for article: Lydia Williams, the conqueror


Lydia Williams, the conqueror

An early exit from the FIFA Women’s World Cup left the Matildas bitterly disappointed. But for Indigenous goalkeeper Lydia Williams it just offers another opportunity to overcome adversity.




“The food may have been spoiled, but we remain solid.”

Imee MarcosThe daughter of Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos responds to a food poisoning outbreak at her mother’s 90th birthday, after more than 260 people were hospitalised. As ever, you can fill a lot of shoes at a party for Imelda Marcos.


“As the department’s briefing noted, this balancing exercise was for me to do.”

Melissa PriceThe former environment minister explains why she approved a uranium mine in Western Australia the day before the election was called, despite a risk the project could lead to the extinction of 12 species. She has the balance of a gymnast, standing on top of countless dead stygofauna.


“Prayer is my response.”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister explains his approach to the rescue of Alek Sigley, an Australian tour guide missing in North Korea. Sigley was later found in China, a country known for its close relationship with Morrison’s god.


“What the government are talking about is an issue that goes to protecting religion in an affirmative way as a freedom.”

Kristina KeneallyThe Labor senator confirms support for a religious discrimination bill. In keeping with tradition, the bill will be poorly translated and open to myriad destructive and repressive readings.


“We will work with the G20 in finding consensus to resolve world crises.”

Mohammed bin SalmanThe Saudi crown prince celebrates his kingdom’s presidency of the G20. Consensus is easy enough to reach when you are dismembering journalists and imprisoning critics.


“This is a test of the prime minister’s integrity.”

Penny WongThe shadow foreign minister questions Julie Bishop’s new role with private aid contractor Palladium. It’s almost quaint to think you would need $500 million in government contracts to test Scott Morrison’s integrity.