February 15 – 21, 2020

Inside a Howard-era detention centre in South Australia.


Government stalling on Howard refugee compo

“It was high-tech horror: arguably the most dehumanising place I have ever been … it is not surprising that the Commonwealth wants to avoid a close examination of the place which was designed, built and run by the Howard government.”

For nearly a decade, Payam Saadat has fought for compensation over the trauma he endured in immigration detention. More than 60 other cases rely on the result of his trial.


Image for article: Canavan’s successor apt to fuel energy wars


Canavan’s successor apt to fuel energy wars

Elevated to Resources minister after Matt Canavan’s resignation, Keith Pitt has moved quickly – announcing a feasibility study into a new coalmine.

Image for article: Environment grants awarded by invitation only


Environment grants awarded by invitation only

A $100 million grants program, established by the government ahead of the 2019 election, was restricted to 25 preselected projects, most of them in key seats for the Coalition.


Decommissioning oil vessel could cost taxpayers $230m

“The Northern Endeavour is now moored in the Timor Sea north-west of Darwin with no crew on board and 89,000 barrels of oil in its holds.”

The sale of a Woodside offshore oil vessel to a fledgling company that has since gone belly up could potentially see taxpayers footing a huge decommissioning bill.

Image for article: Disability and climate disasters


Disability and climate disasters

This summer’s bushfire crisis has had a profound impact on people with disabilities, highlighting the urgent need for changes to the national disability strategy.

Image for article: Coronavirus whistleblower death sparks public anger


Coronavirus whistleblower death sparks public anger

Chinese citizens question government response to COVID-19. Amy Klobuchar emerges as serious contender in US Democratic primaries. Indonesia and Australia sign free trade deal. Sinn Féin’s success in Irish elections.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Megan Davis
The High Court and the “aliens” power

“It is likely that this case has excited such interest, and in some cases quite hysterical and exaggerated analysis, because it involves the terms “Aboriginal people” and the “High Court of Australia”. Anything “Aboriginal” intersecting with the Australian law animates a nation that has not yet addressed its original grievance.”


Paul Bongiorno
Coal-blooded attacks on Coalition unity

“When a prime minister has to appeal for unity in his ranks, not one but two weeks running, you know there isn’t any. And the awful reality for Scott Morrison is that he’s got one hand tied behind his back as he tries to restore the promised stability in the Coalition. The fate of his government lies with the fractious Nationals, and there is no prospect of the divisions racking the junior Coalition partner healing any time soon.”


Services? Oh myGov!

Pensioners were excited to get letters last month from Centrelink asking for details of their “account-based income stream/s”. After spending hours of research working out what is meant by “account-based income stream/s”, it turns out, basically, to be payments from superannuation funds. The information had to be given to Centrelink by February 6, otherwise “your payment may be stopped”.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Respect and a little bit of fear

There is something in the Australian psyche that craves punishment. Perhaps it is in the fact that White Australia began as a penal colony. Perhaps there is a deeper thread of inferiority and submission in the British settlement. Whatever it is, the society we have is an orderly one – deeply so. We created the myth of the larrikin so we might feel less bad about our deference to power. He is a sort of court jester who makes the draconian more comfortable.


The legacy of the Wakils

On so many levels, it’s a cautionary tale for the ages (Rick Morton, “The biggest party donor you’ve never heard of”, February 8-14). Childless migrants make good and seek ways to show …

Building our wall

Osman Faruqi (Comment, “Waiting to exile”, February 8-14) articulates with precision the tragic circumstances in which Australia has lost its way. While racism has been inherent and continues to define …

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Actor, writer and comedian Josh Thomas.


The likeable Josh Thomas

After charming both critics and viewers with Please Like Me, Josh Thomas made the move to Los Angeles. He speaks about the series he made in his new city, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay – a show that breaks ground in its portrayal of young autistic women. “I think having teenage girls in a show forces you into sweeter territory. The conceit of the show is so sweet, so I guess the story and the characters and the situation kinda made that decision for me.”

Image for article: The Design Plot


The Design Plot

Using dance, Shelley Lasica’s ongoing collaborative project The Design Plot maps the space between the performers and the audience, examining the macro and the micro as part of a whole.


Image for article: Flight Lines

Andrew Darby
Flight Lines

Image for article: Cherry Beach

Laura McPhee-Browne
Cherry Beach

Image for article: Unfinished Business

Vivian Gornick
Unfinished Business


Image for article: Vegetable biryani


Vegetable biryani

Image for article: Cervical cancer testing


Cervical cancer testing

While Britain introduces cervical cancer tests that women can self-administer at home, Australian experts are looking at new ways of increasing screening rates and reducing the risk of contracting this largely preventable disease.

Image for article: LPGA world No. 22 Hannah Green


LPGA world No. 22 Hannah Green

Winning the 2019 Women’s PGA Championship catapulted Hannah Green up the world rankings and into contention for the Tokyo Olympics. The rising star talks about her hunger for further success.




“I wanted to recognise the women who were not recognised for their incredible work this year, in my subtle way.”

Natalie PortmanThe actress explains the names of female directors embroidered on the cape she wore to the Oscars. Her subtlety is yet to extend to her production company producing films directed by a woman other than her.


“You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”

Joe BidenThe presidential hopeful responds to a question from student Madison Moore who asked him to explain his poor showing at the Iowa caucuses. In an inspired move, quoting John Wayne films is his campaign’s new strategy for appealing to younger voters.


“I am gutted it has come to this.”

George CalombarisThe former MasterChef  judge announces his restaurant empire is going into voluntary administration. Many a late-night diner has said the same thing while standing out the front of a Jimmy Grants.


“Thank God for drones, the Japanese Coast Guard did not know what the fu– was going on.”

Jan and Dave BinskinThe Australian couple, quarantined on a Diamond Princess cruise ship, had two bottles of pinot noir delivered by drone. The strength of the human spirit will never cease to amaze.


“I’m not thinking of anything else.”

Eddie McGuireThe Collingwood president nominates himself for another term. No doubt his next three years at the helm of the club will be as considerate and stately as the 21 that came before.


“Are they lone actors or part of a sinister collective?”

Concetta Fierravanti-WellsThe senator questions whether the summer’s bushfires were a case of ecoterrorism. Well, at least such a designation would mean adequate funding and resources from the government.