July 27 – August 2, 2019

Department of Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo appears before a senate estimates hearing.


Home Affairs pushes for cyber spy powers

“The move is designed to protect essential services from sabotage, terrorism or organised crime … The proposed changes would enable the ASD to disrupt activity onshore – a significant extension of the disruption powers it was given in March last year.”

A new proposal would give the Australian Signals Directorate access to the IT systems of Australian companies, but the agency didn’t ask for these powers.



Newstart: Thaw in senate may end 25-year freeze

“Deloitte Access Economics senior partner Chris Richardson called the failure to increase Newstart payments ‘our standout failure as a nation … What we have is a society that is unnecessarily cruel.’ ”

As the upper house this week backs an inquiry into raising Newstart, analysis shows it is Australian seniors who are most likely to be living on just $38 a day.

Image for article: Visiting Manus Island


Visiting Manus Island

For the author and Greens senator, a recent return visit to Manus Island confirmed that conditions have worsened in an already unspeakably cruel environment.


Probe into ex-ministers’ jumps to private sector

“There is a long list of former ministers who have gone from politics straight to senior jobs in the sectors for which they had responsibility in government.”

With public dissatisfaction simmering over Christopher Pyne’s and Julie Bishop’s new jobs in the private sector, a senate inquiry will investigate former ministers’ compliance with their code of conduct.

Image for article: Farm activists face tougher laws


Farm activists face tougher laws

As federal and state governments impose tougher laws to deter animal activists from trespassing on farms, there is growing concern that journalists and whistleblowers will be unable to report on unethical farming practices.

Image for article: Ardern has gun law reform in her sights


Ardern has gun law reform in her sights

Iran tensions increase. Jacinda Ardern tightens gun controls. Hong Kong protests continue. Boris Johnson begins as Britain’s PM.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Casualisation of academic teaching

“This year, seven Australian universities made it into the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings. Their vice-chancellors cheered. But on staff-student ratio Australian universities scored dismally. Of those top seven Australian universities, the Australian National University had the highest score for teaching. It was ranked 417th in the world. Three of Australia’s ‘top’ universities were ranked outside the world’s top 600 for their student-staff ratios.”


Paul Bongiorno
Opposition ignore PM, focus on Taylor

“Scott Morrison, who famously shrank the Liberal Party to near-invisibility to win the May election, was this week confronted by his party’s reappearance, and he doesn’t much like it. In just the second government party room meeting since polling day, Morrison read the riot act to backbenchers for unhelpfully freelancing in the media. In parliament, he sat frustrated as Labor mostly ignored him in question time.”


Out of saddle and addled

Little wonder Nick “Goosebumps” Cater very quickly lost the plot on Monday’s Q&A. The poor fellow from the Menzies “Research” Centre had just stepped off his Pollie Pedal bicycle, after he and a bunch of other ageing, angry, white reactionaries in Lycra and dyed hair roared into towns in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, sweatily inspecting war memorials and other remnants of past glories.

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke

we know all this,

      because we’ve done all this



                          sweet mercy,

                                  set them free

Read More

Zero idea on suicide

Hypocrisy is claiming a plan to end suicide while scores of people self-harm in offshore detention. It is doing so while you ignore advice that says your own policies have caused this harm – that the men on Manus Island have one of the highest rates of mental illness in the world, and that most of these men were asymptomatic when they arrived.


Read the Uluru statement

I accept that there are a range of views within our community regarding the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the debate around constitutional recognition of Australia’s First Peoples (Editorial, “A …

Ending domestic violence

For women in situations of domestic violence, whether physical or psychological, it can feel like throwing dice looking for a set of sixes. Jess Hill (“Demote control”, July 20-26) poignantly …

Read More


Julie Gough.


Artist Julie Gough on untold histories

Throughout her career, artist Julie Gough has shone light on Tasmania’s colonial history and the genocidal war against Aboriginal people, including her ancestors. With a major solo exhibition at TMAG, Tense Past, she speaks about her remarkable work. “Art is not only a visual outcome; making each artwork is my way of proceeding through the quagmire of the past.”

Image for article: Shaun Gladwell: Pacific Undertow

Visual Art

Shaun Gladwell: Pacific Undertow

The largest survey of Shaun Gladwell’s work – on display at the MCA – not only showcases his trademark slow-motion video practice and his newer ventures into AR and VR, but also heightens a viewer’s consciousness of the ways bodies move.


Image for article: The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead
The Nickel Boys

Image for article: See What You Made Me Do

Jess Hill
See What You Made Me Do

Image for article: Empirical

Lisa Gorton


Image for article: Pumpkin curry


Pumpkin curry

Image for article: Childless men


Childless men

A new study into men who choose not to have children looks at the third-party scrutiny and judgement – and communication difficulties – that accompany the decision.

Image for article: Two-time Tour de France stage-winner Caleb Ewan


Two-time Tour de France stage-winner Caleb Ewan

Once heralded as ‘cycling’s next big thing’, Caleb Ewan was controversially left off his team’s 2018 Tour de France roster. Given a start this year with Lotto Soudal, the Australian sprinter has now rewarded the Belgian outfit with two stage wins.




“Meet Winter, Arabella’s birthday dream come true and the newest member of the Kushner family.”

Ivanka TrumpThe American first daughter introduces the world to her new family pet. The dog is, perhaps unsurprisingly, extremely white.


“Emissions go up and down.”

Angus TaylorThe energy minister seeks to address the confusion around his assertion that Australia’s emissions are going down. To clarify, they are not not going up.


“People have to be prepared to move sometimes out of their comfort zone.”

Michael McCormackThe deputy prime minister suggests Newstart is “meagre” but enables people to move towns to find a job. Politicians also have a travel allowance, which works out to a week of Newstart for every day they are in Canberra.


“We would like to thank Gary, George and Matt for their contribution over the past 11 years.”

Paul AndersonThe Network Ten chief farewells the MasterChef hosts who walked away from contract negotiations after being denied a 40 per cent pay rise. The trio were only demanding $1.5 million each a year, merely a fifth of what Calombaris grifted from his workers.


“I don’t censor his art, if I can be a muse for it.”

Nicole KidmanThe actress laughs off a lyric sung by her husband, Keith Urban: “She’s a maniac in the bed, but a brainiac in her head.” One of those rare occasions where censorship isn’t such a bad thing.


“Look at your own likeable and unlikeable behaviours and try to reduce the list of unlikeable behaviours.”

John MarsdenThe author stirs controversy with his advice for students. Telling kids who are being bullied to look at themselves would go on the “unlikeable” list.