November 16 – 22, 2019

Firefighters from the ACT on watch and act near Possum Brush, just south of Taree, NSW, on Tuesday.


Actually, it is climate change

“There are areas now burning at an intensity and in a season at which they never have before. And there are communities where fire has simply never occurred, moist refuges in the landscape since before the break-up of Gondwana, back 60, 80, 100 million years.”

As the prime minister refuses to discuss the science linking climate change and the bushfires burning in eastern Australia, former Howard adviser Geoff Cousins compares the political strategy to the tactics of the American gun lobby. With photography by Stephen Dupont.


Image for article: Co-designing the Voice to Parliament


Co-designing the Voice to Parliament

Despite an early promise by the Morrison government to deliver better outcomes for Indigenous Australians, they remain no closer to being recognised in the constitution.


Proposed reforms to NSW consent law

“The draft includes specific mention of the ‘freeze’ response and an entire page of proposed jury directions designed to encourage jurors to question their own perspectives and prejudices … However, there are ongoing concerns about the efficacy of the draft amendments to the relevant sections of the act.”

The draft proposals on consent law in NSW contain some vital reforms, but experts maintain that further action is needed to combat sexual violence.

Image for article: Scott Morrison imposes discipline


Scott Morrison imposes discipline

Scott Morrison has gone on the front foot, rewriting the cabinet handbook and setting the agenda for how decisions in his government will be made.

Image for article: Holocaust survivor targeted by racist abuse in Italy


Holocaust survivor targeted by racist abuse in Italy

Hindu nationalism in India. Press freedoms under threat in Vanuatu. Evo Morales ousted as Bolivian president. Racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism on the rise in Italy.


Gadfly: Nationals’ treasures

Some people have been unkind enough to criticise former New Zealander, man of weatherboard and iron, drought envoy and one-time deputy prime minister the Honourable Barnaby Joyce, MP, after he claimed Green voters not only caused the catastrophic fires this week but also made the ultimate sacrifice for their beliefs. Did he go too far, you ask? Not at all. In the scheme of utterances from Cockies Corner, this is sensible stuff and goes down a treat.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Russell Marks
George Pell’s appeal to the High Court

“The High Court’s decision to hear George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for five counts of sexually assaulting altar boys was met with dismay by survivors of clergy abuse and their advocates. But lawyers had expected the court would grant leave, given the way it has determined cases of historical child sexual abuse since 1994.”


Marly Wells Naparngardi, Harry Jakamarra Nelson, Valerie Napaljarri Martin, Ned Jampijinpa Hargraves
The killing of Kumanjayi Walker

“What has happened in Yuendumu is an outrage, an injustice, and an event that we must not allow to be swept under the rug … We are hurt. We are angry. We are suffering. We stay strong and we stay together – but we should never again have to be connected by grief like this.”


Paul Bongiorno
A burning issue

“It has been a long time coming and it has taken the biggest fire front in Australia’s history to do it, but climate change denial has finally lost its political potency. The pressure is now on Scott Morrison to resolve the fierce resistance in his own government’s ranks and respond with policies that persuade voters – thousands of them victims of this week’s inferno – that the federal Liberals and Nationals get it.”

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

A lonely place

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs “blue book” – given to the Morrison government after the election – the threat of “populism, nationalism and authoritarianism” is only growing in the region. “We need to work hard to respond to the challenges,” the document warns, “enhancing global co-operation and limiting coercive power.” The world it describes is a troubled one. Tensions are rising. Orthodoxies are breaking down.


A better-informed market

Mike Seccombe draws attention to a number of unarguable realities facing Scott Morrison and the Liberal–National Coalition in their attempts to criminalise consumer advocacy (“Bruised by boycotts”, …

Hope for another miracle

Will it be just another miracle if Morrison jails those Australians boycotting corporations backing himself?

– Bob Brown, Cygnet, Tas

Our vulnerable elderly neglected

Rick …

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Tommy Murphy (left) and Brandon McClelland.


Empires of the sons

Packer & Sons looks at the extremes of Australian masculinity through the lens of its two most successful media dynasties. “It would be impossible to stage Packer & Sons, a play about three generations of Packer power, without the Murdochs. The two competing families have brawled, collaborated and defined themselves against each other. The Murdochs are the Greeks to the Packers’ Roman gods.”

Image for article: The Crown


The Crown

Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter shine in the third season of The Crown, which sees the royal family facing greater public criticism amid unrest in Britain.


Image for article: Damascus

Christos Tsiolkas

Image for article: Coventry

Rachel Cusk

Image for article: Field of Poppies

Carmel Bird
Field of Poppies


Image for article: Mince pies and Fergus Henderson’s Eccles cakes


Mince pies and Fergus Henderson’s Eccles cakes

Image for article: Coved-shaped waves (Part one)


Coved-shaped waves (Part one)

An early-morning visit from the author’s mother delivers news that could affect her life and the lives of her children.

Image for article: The smashing success of women’s wrestling


The smashing success of women’s wrestling

The demand for women’s wrestling is growing, and along with it a coterie of ambitious proponents following their squared circle dreams.




“Tony loves his steak – and the leftover portion of your steak as well. Even if it’s only the rib bone off the rib eye with a skerrick of meat left on, he was still very happy to oblige.”

Peter DuttonThe minister for Home Affairs describes Tony Abbott’s relationship with steak. And his relationship with the leftovers of the DLP.


“Many Americans want to hear directly from Rudy Giuliani. He is considering several options.”

Christianné AllenA spokeswoman for Rudy Giuliani confirms the Trump adviser is considering hosting a podcast about the impeachment proceedings. His other idea is for one that’s just two mates talking about funny stuff that happens to them – it will be great.


“Abraham Lincoln was famously ... surrounded by people who were former political adversaries.”

Ivanka TrumpThe daughter of the US president explains why colleagues may testify against her father. The men are just so similar – mercifully, they have different tastes in theatre.


“There is an unfairness at the core of the program’s approach and coverage.”

Russell BaldingThe chairman of Racing NSW sends a 21-page letter of complaint to the ABC after a program detailing cruelty towards racehorses. Balding is sure the issue could be resolved humanely if the journalist just joined him behind this white curtain.


“Our media is full of images of brave men fighting the ferocious fires. As always, it’s usually men who do the really dangerous, difficult work.”

Bettina ArndtThe sex therapist continues her increasingly bizarre campaign against women. Truly, the really dangerous, difficult work is pretending gendered violence doesn’t exist.


“I acknowledge that the two people who died were most likely people who voted for the Green party, so I am not going to start attacking them. That’s the last thing I want to do.”

Barnaby JoyceThe former deputy prime minister links the deaths of two people to their political affiliations. If he does have a relationship with decency, he’s cheating again.