August 1 – 7, 2020

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.


Could Frydenberg ease this crisis by printing money?

“This is the essence of modern monetary theory – that government budgeting is nothing like household or business budgeting, for the simple reason that government can create money.”

As the treasurer lauds supply-side economics, a once-controversial recovery theory is gaining traction.



Lost function: Long-term consequences of surviving coronavirus

“I don’t want people to think that this is not a problem for young people,” says Professor Peter Doherty. “… I don’t think we understand any of the neurological manifestations at this stage.”

New research shows coronavirus may have lasting impacts on cognitive ability.

Image for article: Suing for climate action


Suing for climate action

In the face of the government’s inaction on the climate emergency, activists are turning to ‘world first’ lawsuits in an attempt to bring about change.

Image for article: ‘New mode’ for Covid-19 board


‘New mode’ for Covid-19 board

Despite the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission having produced few tangible results thus far, Scott Morrison has appointed six new directors with a view to jobs creation.

Image for article: Consulates close as US–China tensions rise


Consulates close as US–China tensions rise

US post in Chengdu shut in retaliation for Houston closure. Port Moresby enters 14-day lockdown over Covid-19 cases. Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak found guilty of corruption. Far right infiltrating security forces in Germany.


Gadfly: Kiwis flying high

As went to bed on Friday, 649 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in Australia in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total for the past seven days to 3513. The majority of those were in Victoria, with new hotspots in some restaurants and gyms in Sydney’s Potts Pointless, which looks like the Nile Delta in terms of population density. The total confirmed cases in the Wide Brown Land stood at 16,904, and the death toll at 196. Over the way in New Zealand, the numbers look miles better. On Friday the number of active cases fell by four, to 20, with the total at 1560 and 22 deaths.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Richard Denniss
The true cost of a traumatised nation

“Some economists in Australia are trying to force a debate about whether we ‘should’ let Covid-19 kill tens of thousands of people or ruin the economy and force millions of Australians into unemployment and poverty. What would you do? As a year 12 debating topic it would make for an interesting spar, but as a contribution to public policymaking in a pandemic it is juvenile.”


Michael Wesley
The Canberra–Washington bubble

“Amid a once-in-a-century pandemic that has closed borders and deflated economies, two of Australia’s most senior cabinet ministers flew to Washington this week for talks with their American counterparts. The day they arrived, Washington, DC, recorded 11,858 Covid-19 infections and 582 deaths from the virus; both ministers will undergo two weeks of quarantine when they return to Australia. In an era when G20 meetings and leaders’ summits have taken place by video link, what is so compelling about these talks that justifies chewing up three weeks of two senior ministers’ time?”


Paul Bongiorno
Aged-care failings hurt Morrison

“Scott Morrison went into disaster management mode this week as the coronavirus pandemic came awfully close to home, both personally and politically. The ‘catastrophe’, as his political opponents described it, was the Covid-19 outbreak spreading through some private Victorian aged-care facilities – something that happens to be the direct responsibility of Canberra. No longer does the prime minister have the luxury of being a helpful but innocent bystander in the crisis.”

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

The turning point

It is difficult to better Tom Calma’s original formulation. In 2005, as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner, he said this: “It is not credible to suggest that one of the wealthiest nations in the world cannot solve a health crisis affecting less than 3 per cent of its citizens.” Calma was pushing for targets to Close the Gap. Three years later, he would have them. Fifteen years later, none of the targets would be met. This is not credible. It cannot be.


Morrison’s choice

Let me get this straight. Neville Power is one of the least narcissistic chief executives, but it’s his way or the highway. He speaks respectfully to Aboriginal people, but doesn’t want to pay royalties …

Gas sure to be the solution

The appointment of mining executive Neville Power as National Covid-19 Coordination Commission chair typifies the simple ruse of disguising longstanding policy proposals as independent expert advice. …

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Riding trains with Thelma Plum

“Penrith Station was as broken as the shattered heart I carried. The few of us waiting on the train to central Sydney provided each other with more than the required distance. Some of us were sad, others miserable. The coronavirus had beaten us into a state of defeat, even though we’d finally been let out of the house, the chosen few tagged essential workers by the government. It was our job to drip-feed an economy twice fucked, first by iso, then by the elusive market. None of us would have chosen early release of our own accord. Not me, for certain, Mr Job-Seeker-Keeper, who’d been lounging at home for three beautiful months in my flannelette pyjamas and house socks, choreographing my TikTok to the Phil Collins hit ‘Against All Odds’.”


Image for article: The Labyrinth

Amanda Lohrey
The Labyrinth

Image for article: After Australia

Michael Mohammed Ahmad (ed.)
After Australia

Image for article: The Most Beautiful Job in the World

Giulia Mensitieri
The Most Beautiful Job in the World


Image for article: Slow-roasted pork shoulder with braised red cabbage


Slow-roasted pork shoulder with braised red cabbage

Image for article: Super Netball chair Marina Go


Super Netball chair Marina Go

As chair of the national Super Netball league, former Bauer Media executive Marina Go couldn’t have faced a more fraught run-up to the 2020 season. Finally, the first pass is set to be thrown.




“… if you are not giving people an option to exercise then you are effectively putting them in prison …”

Brett SuttonVictoria’s chief health officer explains why people who test positive for Covid-19 are still allowed to exercise in public. Must have slipped his mind during the hard lockdown of Melbourne’s housing commission flats.


“So Mr Goers, what I want to know is, what should a woman in politics wear?”

Nicolle FlintThe South Australian Liberal MP dons a garbage bag in response to comments from ABC Radio host and Sunday Mail columnist Peter Goers that she is overly fashion conscious. Her new line, Derelicte, will launch later this year.


“This is not about any great love or any great dislike for Clive Palmer.”

Christian PorterThe federal attorney-general says the government siding with Clive Palmer in his court case against Western Australia’s border closure has nothing to do with the mining magnate having helped deliver the 2019 election to the Coalition.


“Quarantine mode.”

Nico LouwThe prime minister’s adviser shares on his Instagram that he was forced to self-isolate. Louw’s penchant for sharing previously landed him in the headlines when he circulated 59 embargoed copies of Malcolm Turnbull’s memoir.


“It would have been nice if she told me.”

Gladys BerejiklianThe New South Wales premier says she was not warned about Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s decision to close Queensland’s border to everyone from Greater Sydney.

Aged care

“I will not hear a word against them.”

Greg HuntThe Health minister refuses to hear a word against aged-care workers, which doesn’t bode particularly well for the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.