April 18 – 24, 2020

A bicycle delivery man wears a face mask to limit the spread of Covid-19 in Sydney.


How this crisis will end

“The evidence suggests a quick recovery is unlikely, and that the health crisis will continue longer than the government has planned for. ”

As Australia curbs coronavirus infection rates, some are calling for an ‘elimination’ strategy that would seal our borders, while other countries are taking a ‘let it rip’ approach.


Image for article: Tasmanian hospitals caught in coronavirus storm


Tasmanian hospitals caught in coronavirus storm

While rumours swirl over how the North West Regional and Private hospitals became the epicentre of Tasmania’s Covid-19 battle, evidence has emerged of a severe shortage of personal protective equipment and encouragement of dubious practices throughout the state.


Compliance fines under the microscope

“You need to keep track of the potentially problematic exercise of strong government powers. That means keeping clear information on the demographic background of people who are subjected to law enforcement.”

As police enforce Covid-19 health orders, a disproportionate number of fines have been issued in areas largely populated by Indigenous or migrant Australians.


Resilience NSW commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons

“We know the best recovery is localised, community led, and endorsed and supported by the state. There is a massive amount to do.”

After leading the NSW Rural Fire Service through the summer’s bushfire crisis, Shane Fitzsimmons has now taken up a new challenge – how the state will recover from Covid-19.

Image for article: Opposition tactics in a pandemic


Opposition tactics in a pandemic

Working with the government to deliver the Covid-19 economic stimulus package has forced the opposition to consider a change of tactics.

Image for article: Biden leads polls as Trump lays blame


Biden leads polls as Trump lays blame

Bernie Sanders backs Joe Biden’s presidential bid. The Pacific cleans up after Cyclone Harold. Repressive regimes downplay Covid-19. Locust infestation in east Africa.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Andrew Robb and Tania de Jong
Innovation needed in mental health treatment

“In the wake of Covid-19, mental health experts are warning the trauma caused by the lockdown, employment loss and anxiety associated with the pandemic could be far higher than the physical health impacts of the virus itself, with younger people particularly vulnerable.”


Paul Bongiorno
IMF forecasts dire economic outcomes

“The ‘Great Lockdown’ – as the International Monetary Fund dubbed the coronavirus crisis this week – is plunging Australia and the world economy into the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Just as that cataclysmic economic event seared itself into the psyches of those who lived through it, this episode is sure to do the same.”


Warranted confusion

The High Court, exhausted after its unanimous feat in the Pell appeal, broke into clusters to come up with its thinking on The Sunday Telegraph’s challenge to Constable Plod’s warrant to search and seize data and documents from journalist Annika Smethurst’s home. After all, Smethurst was the reporter who brought us news of plans being hatched to extend the powers of the Australian Signals Directorate to covertly access data about the life and movements of Australian citizens – a story that was fair and square in the public interest.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Pyrrhic victory

The High Court’s decision to invalidate the warrant used by the Australian Federal Police to raid journalist Annika Smethurst’s home presents no victory for press freedom. It serves to only further highlight the ersatz nature of Australia’s meagre whistleblower protections.


Why aren’t feds in charge of quarantine?

I’m so pleased I have (re)subscribed to The Saturday Paper. In these troubled times, it’s great to have access to factual media outlets. I have been very pleased with Karen Middleton’s …

Work together to find solutions

While to my mind the Commonwealth government has effectively greased the wheels of what we knew as “business as usual” to keep the economy on life support in the hope it will resurrect …

Read More



Image for article: Friends and Rivals

Brenda Niall
Friends and Rivals

Image for article: The Octopus and I

Erin Hortle
The Octopus and I

Image for article: Stone Sky Gold Mountain

Mirandi Riwoe
Stone Sky Gold Mountain


Image for article: Quail eggs with celery heart remoulade


Quail eggs with celery heart remoulade

Image for article: Pet adoption booms in lockdown


Pet adoption booms in lockdown

As the RSPCA reports a boom in pet adoptions during the coronavirus lockdown, the author and his partner have also welcomed a new addition to their household.

The Quiz

1. Which 1974 song by The Three Degrees begins with the words, “Precious moments”?
2. Who wrote the 2018 memoir Becoming?
3. What, beginning with ‘s’, is the name of a female demon believed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping men?
4. French historian and linguist Jean-François Champollion played a major role in the decipherment of what?
5. Who is secretary of the ACTU? (Bonus point for naming what ACTU stands for.)
6. The Wimbledon Championships have been cancelled this year for the first time in how long: (a) 65 years; (b) 70 years; (c) 75 years; (d) 80 years?
7. Umber is what colour?
8. Which Chinese form of exercise translates to “absolute fist” in English?
9. True or false: the fictional character Tintin is a dog.
10. Which actor is nicknamed the Muscles from Brussels?

Click through for answers.



“To be honest, I just wanted to get some kilometres up for NSW in the interstate indoor regatta. It was just a good way to do it – put on 21km, put some music on and just go for it.”

Georgie RoweThe athlete explains how she managed to accidentally break a world record for rowing while simultaneously shaming the rest of Australia for its lacklustre lockdown exercise efforts.


“Journalism should be about exposing truth ... But in this post-modernist age that proposition has become a sad joke.”

Chris KennyThe Australian’s columnist displays the expected lack of self-awareness.


“We’re happy to admit when we are wrong. When we do get it wrong, we will fix it.”

Shane PattonThe Victoria Police deputy commissioner says he will personally review every Covid-19 fine. Ostensibly this new policy of openness will also apply to deaths in custody and use of police informants.


“I’ll go quietly. I’ll probably do a little bit of writing, keep reading, I’ll certainly stay in Sydney. I might go to Rome for a while. I might grow a few cabbages …”

George PellThe cardinal details his idyllic post-acquittal plans to Andrew Bolt.


“Freedom of choice is every human’s right. I don’t trust the path of vaccination.”

Isabel Lucas

The Home and Away actress decides the moment in which the world has come to a standstill because of a novel virus is the time to rail against immunisation.


“Love you mate.’’

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister signs off a letter he sent to Malcolm Turnbull the morning after replacing him.