May 30 – June 5, 2020

Glenn Beutel and Aileen Harrison in Acland.


How one mine ate a town

“This is a story about what happened to a once-prosperous town, which because of the mine can be said to ‘functionally no longer exist’, according to Queensland’s Land Court.”

A Queensland town’s decades-long legal fight against being subsumed by a coalmine could end next week as the case reaches the High Court of Australia. But not before a final turn of the screws.


Image for article: Bushfire hearings spotlight climate change


Bushfire hearings spotlight climate change

Experts called during the opening week of the bushfires royal commission warned the Black Summer will not be an isolated event.

Image for article: Economic fallout of the $60b JobKeeper error


Economic fallout of the $60b JobKeeper error

As the government tries to justify how its JobKeeper forecast was out by $60 billion, two economists who questioned the initial figures explain what might be next for Australia’s economy.


How Covid-19 will change cities

“Walking around, it is clear that the CBD has become an estranged place. Its mood has dampened; it is no longer convivial and lively … It feels that there is an undercurrent of social anxiety.”

With Covid-19 restrictions easing, plans are afoot to revitalise Australia’s city centres, even though international students and office workers may never return in the same numbers.

Image for article: Temporary visa holders at risk


Temporary visa holders at risk

For women living in Australia on temporary visas, the Covid-19 lockdown has placed them at greater risk of domestic violence and coercive control.

Image for article: Beijing security laws reignite HK protests


Beijing security laws reignite HK protests

United States belts Victoria over Beijing ties. Deal to broadcast Australian television content across the Pacific. China’s national security law reignites Hong Kong protests. Boris Johnson’s chief adviser keeps job despite lockdown trip.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Patricia Turner
Collaboration on Closing the Gap

“It was only three months ago that the prime minister stood up in parliament to make his latest report on the progress of Closing the Gap. Just two of seven targets, he revealed, are on track to be met by 2025. The gap itself is a difficult concept. By its very nature, improvements do not always mean it is narrowed. For instance, while Indigenous mortality rates and child mortality rates have improved slightly, so have those for non-Indigenous Australians, meaning the gap remains – and Indigenous children still face a mortality rate twice that of their non-Indigenous peers. ”


Paul Bongiorno
Unplugging the economy’s life support

“At the National Press Club on Tuesday, Scott Morrison went all medical as he framed his prescription for economic recovery. Key ministers in the room smiled their nodding approval when he said: ‘At some point you’ve got to get your economy out of ICU. You’ve got to get it off the medication before it becomes too accustomed to it.’ ”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Grouper stupor

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Reform agenda

First there was the ceasefire, ushered in by the pandemic. Now, Scott Morrison says, is the time for unions and the government to lay down their weapons and come to the table to negotiate the terms of the peace. As a show of good faith the prime minister has put away the stick – shelving the Ensuring Integrity Bill, for the time being. What’s being offered as a carrot is less clear.


Politicians and envy

Margaret Simons (“The end of the university boom”, May 23-29) reports that government ministers and senior bureaucrats feel aggrieved when university vice-chancellors on $1 million salaries call on …

University blues

Australian universities were once distinctive – in character, their relationship to national society, and their special connections to our region (epitomised by but going well beyond the Colombo Plan). But …

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Sophie Payten, who records as Gordi.


Singer-songwriter Gordi

Since releasing her first album, Gordi has experienced three years of emotional upheaval, which she has channelled into a new record, Our Two Skins. She speaks to Nick Buckley about losing her grandmother, falling in love over the phone and creating music in self-enforced isolation. “That’s when I feel most creative, when I don’t have everything at my disposal. You know, how I might make one sound if I don’t have that thing. It’s like creating unique moments out of nothing.”

Image for article: Young Vic’s A Streetcar Named Desire


Young Vic’s A Streetcar Named Desire

The Young Vic’s 2014 production of A Streetcar Named Desire, recently rebroadcast during the Covid-19 lockdown, reminds this viewer of the work’s power but also of the test of matching the smouldering energy of Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh.


Image for article: Throat

Ellen van Neerven

Image for article: A Theatre for Dreamers

Polly Samson
A Theatre for Dreamers

Image for article: The Dragons and the Snakes

David Kilcullen
The Dragons and the Snakes


Image for article: Poached chicken and pomelo


Poached chicken and pomelo

Image for article: The art of seeing


The art of seeing

For the author, the Covid-19 lockdown has allowed time to contemplate art’s ability to bring life into sharper focus, and to remember what beauty lies in simplicity and stillness.




“I hate this dictatorship.”

Pauline HansonThe senator threatens to file a legal challenge unless Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk reopens the state’s borders, continuing One Nation’s storied legacy of advocating open borders.


“Open your eyes, look up to the skies.”

Elon MuskThe Tesla founder and father of X Æ A-Xii tweets ahead of his company SpaceX’s first crewed flight. Liftoff was cancelled on Thursday due to bad weather.


“Here’s a message for those on Twitter who buy the crazy conspiracy theory about me working as a spy for Hillary Clinton.”

Alexander DownerThe former Foreign minister tells his followers that it’s “lucky I’m not litigious”.


“Rio Tinto has worked constructively together with the PKKP People on a range of heritage matters.”

Rio Tinto statementThe mining giant commemorates National Reconciliation Week by demolishing a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal sacred site in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.


“I don’t think I am so different and that there is one rule for me and one rule for other people.”

Dominic CummingsThe special adviser to Boris Johnson defends his breaching of Britain’s lockdown laws after driving 400 kilometres to his father’s country estate.


“Turns out that studying acting at university doesn’t make me a lawmaker.”

Celeste BarberThe comedian responds to a court decision that the $51 million she raised for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service cannot be shared with other charities.