July 13 – 19, 2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.


The reality behind Morrison’s tax cuts

“The budget plan is to reduce government outlays from the current level of 24.9 per cent of GDP to 23.6 per cent over 10 years. While this may not sound like much, it will involve an unprecedented austerity in government spending.”

Scott Morrison says there will be no cuts to health, education or services to pay for his tax package. The numbers tell a different story.



Murray–Darling recovery in peril

“Australian National University hydrologists Dr John Williams and Dr Quentin Grafton are calling for an urgent audit of water use in the Murray–Darling Basin, echoed this week by some of those who were involved in early moves towards a basin plan, decades ago.”

As attempts to restore water to the river basin fail to meet their targets, scientists warn irrigator subsidies may cost 10 times initial estimates.

Image for article: The rise of building defects


The rise of building defects

Sydney and Melbourne’s real estate boom, falling standards in oversight and a reticence to report flaws have combined to create a defects crisis in the cities’ residential apartments.

Image for article: Queensland mining industry reckons with spate of deaths


Queensland mining industry reckons with spate of deaths

After the death of six workers in the past 12 months, Queensland’s mining industry is desperately searching for solutions to improve the safety of its worksites.


Jeffrey Epstein and his famous friends

“The two most direct ties between Trump and Epstein relate to their time in Palm Beach, Florida, where Epstein has another large estate.”

The latest arrest of Jeffrey Epstein on charges of sex trafficking minors has again focused world attention on the multimillionaire’s relationships with the rich and powerful.

Image for article: Violence compounds DRC Ebola outbreak


Violence compounds DRC Ebola outbreak

Australia’s joint war games. Vanuatu deports Chinese citizens. Greek election results. Ebola rages in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Tanya Levin
What Scott Morrison’s faith means

“Despite claiming that his ‘faith is not a political agenda’, the prime minister’s religious values are evident in his speeches and policies. Scott Morrison talks about his Christianity all the time. Listeners might not be faulted for absorbing his analogies and colloquialisms as metaphors. For Morrison, however, they are facts. The Pentecostal faith does not describe itself in the abstract: a miracle is literally a miracle. His language is full of references to evangelical fundamentalism and the supernatural.”


Paul Bongiorno
Scott Morrison, prayers and Hillsong

“Rapturous applause welcomed Scott Morrison to the annual Hillsong conference. Twenty-one thousand delegates bowed their heads as the prime minister led them in prayer for our nation – for veterans doing it tough, young people considering suicide, those facing the challenges of middle age, remote Indigenous communities, people with disability, and drought-breaking rain.”


Gus’s power play defused

Fantastic Angus has been so busy with explanations about the poisoning of endangered grasslands on a family spread that he’s taken his eye off the ball. Both carbon emissions and power prices have gone in the opposite direction to that promised by Schmo Morrison’s junta. Emissions are up, up, up, and so too are power prices. Fantastic. Great move. Well done, Angus.

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke
Section 116

in grade eleven, our legal studies teacher

fired up the overhead projector


and fuzzy grey handwriting shone

                                        on the classroom wall


the constitution:

separation of church and state,

section 116


                    and finally, i felt seen

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A matter of respect

The photo is red earth and a line of bodies, snaking the length of the frame. Climbers locked shoulder-to-shoulder in a desperate push to summit. They fill the surrounding campgrounds, and every motel for a hundred kilometres. Their rubbish on the roadside, their black waste dumped in the backyards of unsuspecting properties. For so long, the Anangu people have asked visitors not to climb Uluru. They never banned the practice, asking only for respect, “that, as a guest on Anangu land, you will choose to respect our law and culture by not climbing”. Wanyu Ulurunya tatintja wiyangku wantima.


Tax there for the taking

Yes, the Laffer curve is a laff-a-minute, a total concoction, and it is as nasty as you portray it (Editorial, “Destroying Australia”, July 6-12). But for the Grattan Institute to buy into the “pay …

A teaching resource

Congratulations on your editorial, which is a rare statement of fact to reveal the truth. Put it in every classroom to guide our future voters.

– Sue Ingleton, Castlemaine, Vic

Mission …

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Michael Armitage.


Artist Michael Armitage

With his bold, sumptuous paintings, Michael Armitage is intent on challenging colonial assumptions about East Africa and revealing the region’s complexities. “Sex, poverty and dictators: if you are talking about this part of the world, you always come up against those stereotypes and that’s been very difficult … For me, it’s been important to use an exotic language but show that it is also a form of dumbing down.”

Image for article: Material Place and The Gas Imaginary

Visual Art

Material Place and The Gas Imaginary

As mining interests continue to dominate Australia’s landscape, two exhibitions at UNSW Galleries consider humanity’s exploitation of the planet’s resources.


Image for article: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Ocean Vuong
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Image for article: The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy

Vince Scappatura
The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy

Image for article: Nganajungu Yagu

Charmaine Papertalk Green
Nganajungu Yagu


Image for article: Mont blanc


Mont blanc

Image for article: Dementia and the ageing brain


Dementia and the ageing brain

As we age, so does our brain. But new research shows healthy lifestyle choices can dramatically slow the process and reduce the risk of diseases such as dementia.

Image for article: Lisa Alexander sets Diamonds for World Cup


Lisa Alexander sets Diamonds for World Cup

In this year’s Netball World Cup, Australia aims to bounce back after losing the gold medal to England at the Commonwealth Games. It’s a challenge that Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander is relishing.




“I think that idea is divisive.”

Craig KellyThe Liberal MP says he will not support any constitutional reform that enshrines a First Nations “voice to parliament”. Few know a divisive idea better than the man who called Cardinal Pell’s conviction a “witch-hunt”.


“I suspect you would advance a position where the government was in a no-win situation.”

Marise PayneThe foreign minister attends a media freedom conference in London. She says she’d be criticised for not doing her job if she didn’t show, which is still preferable to getting raided by the Australian Federal Police for doing your job.


“I’m pleased to announce today the formation of a Commission on Unalienable Rights.”

Mike PompeoThe United States secretary of state announces a renewed American commitment to human rights. One can only assume this will not include the right to seek asylum.


“Suck it up.”

Tim CostelloThe senior fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity weighs in on the religious freedom debate by suggesting Christians do what Jesus did. Some would prefer to take the Lord’s other lead, turning themselves into martyrs who are persecuted for their beliefs by the frenzied mob.


“As Alan Dershowitz wrote recently, ‘feeling unsafe is the new mantra for McCarthyism’.”

Janet AlbrechtsenThe News Corp columnist quotes the controversial lawyer to support her claim Me Too has failed. An interesting choice, given Dershowitz stands accused of assaulting two teenage girls allegedly trafficked by his former client, Jeffrey Epstein.


“I want to put a positive spin on it as well and not just say Australia’s in a housing crisis when it affects a very, very small percentage of the population.”

Luke HowarthThe assistant community housing minister looks for the upside of rising homelessness figures. Real estate agents describe Australia’s social housing program as a “renovator’s delight”.