July 20 – 26, 2019

Josh Frydenberg (left) on the campaign trail in May.


How seniors became our most fierce lobby

“In the end, the election was not a referendum on wages, as Bill Shorten predicted. Nor was it the climate change election, as progressives hoped and science demanded. Instead, it became a generational contest between the aged and the rest.”

Organised, connected and efficient, older voters have campaigned hard for concessions from the government and won time and again.



Coalition divided on First Nations voice

“ ‘The Uluru Statement from the Heart was issued to the Australian people because it was understood that this reform needed the Australian people’s support to have momentum, like 1967,’ Professor Megan Davis told The Saturday Paper. ”

While Ken Wyatt tries to find a model for recognition that will appease his party, a grassroots movement is hoping to win public support for a voice to parliament.

Image for article: The broken private health insurance system


The broken private health insurance system

While a new report claims Australia’s private health system is in a ‘death spiral’, the crisis actually began with the introduction of Medicare in 1984.

Image for article: Music festival deaths inquest


Music festival deaths inquest

As the NSW deputy state coroner examines the MDMA-linked deaths of six young music festival-goers, security precautions, pill testing and overdose procedures come under scrutiny.

Image for article: Boris Johnson feels bite of Brexit trade unease


Boris Johnson feels bite of Brexit trade unease

Boris Johnson aligns with Trump over leaks. Tribal killings in PNG. Staying shtum on China abuses. India aborts moon mission.


Gadfly: Reinventing their spiel

“Cry Freedom” echoes through the wide, brown land as reptiles and hacks try to throw off the shackles of oppression. Some of them have been, or still are, Moloch employees whose newspapers cheered on the slate of overwrought post-September 11 national security laws that bit by bit tightened the noose around the reporting of politically sensitive matters that had received the green elephant stamp of “top secret”.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Jess Hill
Stopping coercive control and family violence

“Many of the most dangerous coercive controllers use physical violence sparingly, or not at all. Their system of fear and control requires only the believable threat of violence – to the victim or her loved ones. Savvy perpetrators know to avoid physical violence because while “incidents” of domestic violence are a crime, the system of coercive control is not.”


Bob Brown
The Robbins Island wind farm debate

The Australian moved in for the kill last week. Back-to-back front pages, on Monday and Tuesday, after I sounded the alarm about the impact on endangered birds if the Robbins Island wind farm in Tasmania’s north-west goes ahead. Backed up by the usual cronies at Sky News, the boilover raised a question about the impending extinction of measured public debate.”


Chris Wallace
Scott Morrison faces Trump test

“Remember this quiet week. It is the origin moment of the biggest test of national character Australia has faced in 50 years. Some may have sensed it, others deduced it. But before 2020 arrives, anyone with contemporary historical perspective will know, understand and have had to take a position on the United States and its president. The choices are appeasement or action, with little scope to hover in between.”

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke
The rate

caught skint

                    at the iga counter


frantic hands searching threadbare jeans

                    sorry, guess i’m short on change today

                    forgot my card

as you put the tampons, washing liquid,

and your pride


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Serving justice

No dessert has entered the Australian public consciousness more aggressively than the towering croquembouche. George Calombaris called it one of the hardest challenges ever put to MasterChef contestants. Built on little more than air and sleight of hand, it foiled many an aspiring chef and seems to have inspired the Melbourne business operations of the celebrity chef’s sprawling restaurant empire.


Preaching his values

Thanks to Tanya Levin (“Hillsong and a prayer”, July 13-19) for her analysis of Scott Morrison’s Pentecostalist affiliations. Australians have a right to know about their prime minister’s …

The clash of symbols

Craig Kelly said if Ken Wyatt wanted to pursue “words in the constitution that don’t really mean anything, that are symbolic, then that’s fine”. But if the proposal included an idea …

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Peter Polites.


Novelist and playwright Peter Polites

In his second novel, The Pillars, Peter Polites uses Australia’s fixation on home ownership to explore the intersection of race, class and sexuality – as well as a growing conservatism within the queer community. “If you look at the generic images coming out of the queer community, there is a very specific aesthetic going on that’s obviously tied to race and class … You can be a total slut monster but still operate within a hegemonic discursive framework. There’s nothing radical about reinforcing dominant discourse. To me, that’s the opposite of sexual liberation.”

Image for article: Solaris



Although Stanisław Lem’s classic novel Solaris provides rich source material for a stage adaptation, there’s a disappointing banality to Malthouse Theatre’s production.


Image for article: Three Women

Lisa Taddeo
Three Women

Image for article: Disappearing Earth

Julia Phillips
Disappearing Earth

Image for article: From Here On, Monsters

Elizabeth Bryer
From Here On, Monsters


Image for article: Persian vegetable stew


Persian vegetable stew

Image for article: The Johannine Library and Mafra Palace


The Johannine Library and Mafra Palace

A journey to see the majestic libraries of Coimbra, Portugal, may make the visitor wonder at the hand of fate.

Image for article: The fans and freedom of speech


The fans and freedom of speech

While sporting bodies vow to embrace diversity and uphold a policy of maximal inclusion, the fans cheering from the sidelines may have very different priorities.




“No more gate barriers – just a smooth journey.”

Andrew ConstanceThe New South Wales transport minister spruiks the introduction of face-recognition technology on Sydney’s public transport system. Like Minority Report, this is sure to have a satisfying ending.


“The Commonwealth is not an ATM for the states.”

Karen AndrewsThe industry minister says the government will not pay to remove combustible cladding from Victorian high-rise apartments. To recap, the government will only be an ATM for high-income earners, the Big Four accounting firms, self-funded retirees, mining giants, Lockheed Martin, French submarine manufacturers and George Christensen’s love life.


“I have enough to have you go bye bye.”

Anton BlassThe son of winemaker Wolf Blass responds to questions about his income during his Gold Coast trial. He faces charges over allegedly punching a woman – always a good time to threaten a prosecutor.


“It is our priority to ensure all of our employees feel respected, rewarded and supported in their roles.”

George CalombarisThe restaurateur is fined by the Fair Work Commission for underpaying his staff to the tune of $7.8 million. It’s a shame that paying his employees wasn’t one of his priorities.


“I just don’t get it; I really don’t get it.”

Pauline HansonThe One Nation leader describes her expertise as part of an all-white panel assembled by Channel Nine to discuss the Uluru climbing ban. Hanson has no problem with being places she shouldn’t, as her multiple runs for parliament attest.


“You simply cannot use that kind of language.”

Boris JohnsonThe future British prime minister scolds the United States president for telling four female Democrats of colour to “go back where you came from”. The Brit prefers a more diplomatic turn of phrase, such as describing women who wear burqas as “looking like letterboxes”.