Dutton’s plan for a surveillance state

“The proposed facial recognition database would include anyone who has a passport, driver’s licence or other photographic identification held by federal, state or territory governments. That is to say, almost everyone.”

Privacy experts fear the Home Affairs minister will ignore a warning from parliament’s most powerful committee and push ahead with his plan for national surveillance.



Morrison government paid empathy consultant $190,000

“The Department of Infrastructure’s Inland Rail project had contracted consultants to advise how to best show unhappy landowners that the government cares.”

In a week of senate estimates marked by obfuscation, one official revealed the cost of teaching bureaucrats to interact humanely with farmers facing drought.


Shortage of Auslan interpreters in NT

“The majority of deaf people have low English literacy levels and lack a wider understanding of systems and processes. Aboriginal deaf people have a whole other layer of issues and of disadvantage.”

The Northern Territory will soon be without a single full-time Auslan interpreter, stranding the deaf community – and particularly its Indigenous members – without the support they need to navigate the health and legal systems.


The fight to save Victoria’s last forests

A report that recommends turning forested areas of central west Victoria into national parks has been met with silence by the Andrews government, prompting fears of a return to logging.


Justin Trudeau faces a hung parliament

Brexit deadline nears. Joko Widodo chooses new Indonesian cabinet. Chaos erupts in Chile. Justin Trudeau narrowly returned in Canadian election.


Protesters push their lock

It feels as though Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen is back in town, what with new anti-protest laws aimed at locking up Queenslanders who disturb the peace for decent Banana Benders. The Queensland Labor regime has thrown in its lot with the hewers of coal and burners of fossils – with climate taking the hindmost.



Rosie Batty
Keeping children safe in the family law system

“When I heard there was going to be another family law inquiry, I couldn’t believe it. After so much loss, so many hearings and so many experts warning, again and again, that the family law system is not safe for children. Instead of urgent action, we have yet another inquiry. ”


Saeed Maasarwe
Aiia’s dream

“My beautiful daughter had many plans in her life, many dreams like young people everywhere. One of her dreams was to see peace between Israel and Palestine in her lifetime. Although that is no longer possible for Aiia, I can honour her dream in a different way. One of my duties in returning to Australia is to be present at the launch of the Aiia Maasarwe Memorial Medical Fellowship program.”


Paul Bongiorno
The shadowy corridors of power

“A citizen’s right to know should be a motherhood statement in our liberal democracy, but too much vested interest gets in the way. Most essentially, the pursuit of power – and the holding on to it – is the primal force distorting the way our Commonwealth operates. Ideally those in power are there to serve the public interest; however, the nation’s largest mainstream media companies are accusing governments – particularly the federal government – of treating voters with contempt by hiding what they are really up to most of the time. ”

Letters, Poem & Editorial


Maxine Beneba Clarke
Last Octobers

then it’s full-bloom calendar-crash



tired-in-the-bones tinsel

in the aisles choose your tree

early here we go round the

                              trick or treat

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Moot caught

Perhaps a better question is why is the Energy minister writing to a lord mayor about her air travel? Is this the state of climate policy in Australia – a schoolboy snipe about planes, using grotesquely distorted figures? You might ask where he gets the time, except it is obvious: he isn’t doing anything else. His portfolio is a joke to him, and his days are empty of responsibility. The climate changes without Angus Taylor.


Prayer service

Not so long ago, the prime minister sought to boot both his ministerial colleagues and their bureaucratic armies closer towards goalposts that would deliver fewer impediments and more solid, down-to-earth outcomes for …

Chemical restraint has its place

As an emergency medicine consultant who regularly manages acute agitation and confusion in residents sent in from aged-care facilities for assessment and acute care, I can attest to the harm behavioural …

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Irish comedian and actor Dylan Moran

Almost two decades after the wild success of Black Books, Dylan Moran returns to Australia with a new stand-up show, Dr Cosmos. He talks about finding his place in the world and what a Charlie Chaplin film has to say about modern life. “What was extraordinary to me throughout Modern Times was how inclusive it was. Chaplin was laughing in the most general sense at the way we’re living, what we’re doing to ourselves, how we’re fucking up our priorities, you know? We need a film just like that about now. I think how we live is pretty screwy right now.”


Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson: Step Into Paradise

Local fashion icons Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson took Australiana to the world with their spirited explosions of colour, shape and texture. A new exhibition of their work captures the quirk and romance of their heyday.


Heather Rose

J. M. Coetzee
The Death of Jesus

Heather Morris
Cilka’s Journey



Broad bean falafel with tahini dressing and salad


A whisky quest in Japan

Seven years after hearing about a one-off bottle of a 1961 Japanese single malt whisky, blended in honour of a famed conductor’s 50th birthday, the author tracks it down in a bar named Keith.


Rick Kelly’s driving forces

Having saluted the chequered flag on many occasions, Supercar driver Rick Kelly knows what it’s like to push himself – and his car – to the limit. The former King of the Mountain talks about ambition, and becoming older and wiser.




“Was I invited? I genuinely don’t know.”

Brian HoustonThe Hillsong pastor seems as confused as the rest of the country about whether Scott Morrison tried to get him invited to a dinner at the White House.


“We will in future take into account the size of the underpayment as a major factor.”

Sandra ParkerThe Fair Work Ombudsman concedes the fine imposed on George Calombaris was too low, while allegations emerge that Rockpool restaurants underpaid staff by at least $10 million.


“At this stage, we are not aware of other countries intending to use carryover.”

Kushla MunroThe Department of the Environment and Energy official admits Australia is the only country using “carryover credits” to meet its international climate commitments. And they say Australia is falling behind on climate innovation.


“Well, I think lying is bad.”

Mark ZuckerbergThe Facebook founder responds to a question from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about whether the site will be fact-checking political advertisements in the 2020 election.


“I can no longer stand by and watch Anthony Albanese trash the traditional values of the Labor Party and the union movement.”

John SetkaThe CFMEU boss, a noted enthusiast of traditional values, exits the Labor Party.


“For us, this is really just us doing our job.”

Jessica MeirThe American astronaut weighs in on the media hype around the first all-female spacewalk.