June 20 – 26, 2020

Hospitality industry billionaire Justin Hemmes.


Inside Hemmes’ $100m wage case

“Justin Hemmes concedes his billion-dollar Merivale pub empire could never have expanded so aggressively were it not for a Howard-era workplace agreement that paid some staff substantially below the modern award for a decade.”

While Josh Frydenberg personally consulted the Merivale CEO about JobKeeper’s design, court documents detail the huge underpayment suit his pub empire is facing.



End of a warlord: ‘We had to do it’

“Somyurek’s alleged stacking had a flow-on effect: other MPs stacked back, also recruiting members to avoid having their branches taken over. ‘Now I don’t have to worry about the branch stacking that’s in my seat,’ one federal MP said. ‘I’m sure all of us feel this weight [lifted].’ ”

As fallout from the Adem Somyurek scandal continues, some in Labor are celebrating the courage of those who brought him down.

Image for article: Failure of justice for Indigenous people


Failure of justice for Indigenous people

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, footage of police punching Aboriginal man Noel Henry in the head during an arrest has prompted outrage, while experts express concern about transparency in Australia’s private prisons following another death in custody in Western Australia.


Shortfalls in the Murray–Darling Basin

“Expanding almond plantations across the southern Murray–Darling Basin are increasing the risk that water entitlements cannot be met, even in years of good rain, according to a study conducted for the federal government.”

New documents reveal the Murray–Darling Basin is at risk of water shortfalls because of an increase in permanent crops, particularly almond trees.

Image for article: Autism review concerns NDIS users


Autism review concerns NDIS users

As the National Disability Insurance Agency awaits the findings of research it has commissioned into autism support and treatment, members of the autism community are concerned the report may never be made public.

Image for article: Maria Ressa found guilty of ‘cyber libel’


Maria Ressa found guilty of ‘cyber libel’

Concerns for media freedom after conviction of Philippine journalists. Australian Karm Gilespie sentenced to death in China. Vice-chancellor of Pacific university suspended. US Supreme Court finds gay and transgender workers protected by Civil Rights Act.


The impact of Covid-19 on asylum seekers

The precarious situation of asylum seekers in Australia has been heightened by Covid-19, as they struggle to find work, keep their children in school and put food on the table with little to no support from the government.

Image for article: The impact of Covid-19 on asylum seekers

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Osman Faruqi
Deflecting from the real issues of Black Lives Matter

“The morphing of a campaign focused on policing, justice and structural disadvantage into a culture war over statues, movies and TV isn’t an accident. It’s a deliberate attempt by conservatives to shift this debate onto terrain where they are more comfortable fighting. None of the demands raised by organisers of the Black Lives Matter rallies related to renaming federal electorates, felling statues or cleansing Netflix’s library of blackface material.”


Paul Bongiorno
The spectacular fall of Adem Somyurek

“It took a carefully orchestrated sting lasting 12 months to rid the Australian Labor Party of a strongman few could tolerate any longer. But the fall of factional warlord Adem Somyurek has ramifications well beyond the borders of his Victorian fiefdom. Somyurek made sure of that himself when he boasted in secret recordings that his influence went to the top of the Labor Party in Canberra.”


Richard Ackland
Gadfly: Mad Monk’s misjudgement

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

No hope of help

In politics, some things are accidental. Some only start that way. Perhaps when they began designing JobKeeper, the government couldn’t remember what casual work entailed. Perhaps they simply forgot there were migrants here on temporary visas. It is only a million or so people between the two groups.


PM repaying blue-collar backers

Mike Seccombe’s article “Who Morrison is looking after” (June 13-19) rightly points out the failed opportunities and inequities of the HomeBuilder scheme. The falling percentages of …

Memories of the Dismissal poll

Mike Seccombe writes that “It’s hard to be precise about when the political migration of the tradies began, but Ian McAllister dates it to the mid-’80s”. I can offer an earlier …

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Image for article: The Trials of Portnoy

Patrick Mullins
The Trials of Portnoy

Image for article: The Road

John Martinkus
The Road

Image for article: Rodham

Curtis Sittenfeld


Image for article: Pierogi



Image for article: Winter’s bounty


Winter’s bounty

Even in the depths of winter, or the most troubled of times, there will be a few usual suspects in the garden that can worm their way into your heart.




“I don’t mean to be offensive to South Australians, but why would you want to go there?”

Daniel AndrewsThe Victorian premier takes a moment’s respite from the scandal engulfing his party to engage in some old-fashioned interstate badinage.


“This is causing division within our nation … if people don’t stand up to this, I’m in fear of what it’s going to be like to live in this country.”

Pauline HansonThe One Nation leader vents her frustration over her failed “All Lives Matter” motion, after the senate moved to deny its debate in a rare show of unity.


“It was just language that was sort of floating around at the time and it’s what came out.”

Amanda Stoker The LNP senator attempts to explain why she described Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk as “the knee on the throat of the businesses of Queensland”. Prime Minister Scott Morrison hasn’t attempted to explain how Stoker still has a job.


“An order is thus necessary to ensure that ‘the minister’ responsible for administering the Migration Act does so in accordance with law.”

Geoffrey Flick The Federal Court judge threatens to find Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in contempt of court, because apparently Australia’s immigration system now has to comply with the law.


“I’m pleased to let the member know that’s why we have committed $150 million to upgrade the Barton Highway.”

Scott Morrison The prime minister responds to MP Alicia Payne telling him some women have had to give birth on the side of the Canberra highway due to the region’s lack of birthing facilities.


“These comments have quite rightly cost me my job.”

Adem SomyurekThe Victorian Labor MP accepts his fate after covert recordings reveal him making homophobic and misogynist comments about young party staffers and the state’s minister for Women.