August 15 – 21, 2020
Dissent in press freedom inquiries
“The longer it is since people were shocked at the raids on the ABC, the less people will care. I think that’s part of the government’s strategy.”
Divisions inside the parliament’s intelligence committee will ultimately decide where the government goes on the question of press freedom – but even Coalition members are split.
The old guard preventing reform to consent laws
“Community standards, particularly around gendered and sexual violence, have progressed to the point that, arguably, the older a law is, the less it is likely to represent the interests of the people it is supposed to protect. Yet this perspective runs counter to a profession built on hierarchical deference to precedent.”
Our hands-off prime minister
“Scott Morrison could have picked up the phone to two members of his much-vaunted national cabinet this week, to sort out what was truly a bizarre situation. But he didn’t, and his decision not to says a lot about his approach to the pandemic. Morrison’s reluctance to get involved in the six-day border standoff between New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory betrays a style of governance that oscillates between the passive and the reactive, always with an eye to quarantining himself from culpability.”
Recurring pipe dreams
The ghost of Rex (The Strangler) Connor lives and breathes. Gough Whitlam’s hulking Minerals and Energy minister, who slept by the telex machine waiting for news of Tirath Khemlani’s $4 billion loan, has been reborn as a modern-day inspiration. The Strangler’s plan more than 45 years ago was for a nation crisscrossed with gas pipelines. It was believed his vision went further, and that he saw a future for a massive pipeline between Australia and Japan.
Letters, Cartoon & Editorial
Financial mistake of early access
One of the original reasons for the establishment of superannuation funds in Australia was to encourage individuals to build a safety net for retirement, which not only protected the retiree but also …
Not the time for tough approach
The highly punitive coronavirus response in Australia is indeed alarming, and Osman Faruqi should be commended for his article “A nation of cops” (August 8-14). By identifying the parallels …
James Nguyen and Victoria Pham
Through their new work for BLEED 2020, artists James Nguyen and Victoria Pham reanimate the Đông Sơn drum, an ancient instrument with great cultural significance for their Vietnamese heritage. “We wanted to build a body of knowledge around this instrument in a way that just isn’t possible in academia or museums.”
“The Guaia is three-and-a-half feet tall, with arms as long as she is high. The pads of her fingers are as dark and shiny as wet wood, and splayed like a tree frog’s. Her face is forever young yet strafed, all hollow and crag, sexless. She sleeps behind a screen of holy trees, away from the people. These trees are lacquered black and glistening, even in the lush damp sunlight that strains through the forest canopy above and dusts the groves with golden velvet. The black trees sway in a breeze that no one else can feel. At night the rancid scent of their leaves breathes from her skin. Her body is tattooed with these leaves, tendrils knotting around her skin like veins. In her hut she keeps wooden bowls of different leaves, crushed, pooling at the bottom with toxins. The walls are plaited branches, woven through with black feathers. There is a sleeping mat of reeds, a hanging tangle of bone charms over the door, and, in a corner, the rusted chainsaw she took from the last woodchopper she killed.”
Click through for answers.
“He’s an assistant librarian ... The camera is bored by him.”
Senior Victorian Liberals say they are considering rolling leader Michael O’Brien over his tepid performance during the pandemic. The Liberals are even considering a return to Matthew Guy, whose tough stance on crime includes only taking mobsters to bad restaurants.
“If you raise an issue of relevance now you are as irrelevant as you will ever be.”
The New South Wales Health minister begins a tirade against Labor leader Jodi McKay. He later apologised, saying he was tired.
“These measures will ensure students can’t take on a study load they won’t complete, leaving them without a qualification but a large debt.”
The minister for Education outlines a policy that will cut government loans from university students who fail more than half their subjects. He’s not saying education is just for rich people, except that’s exactly what he’s saying.
“My hair – I don’t know about you, but it has to be perfect.”
The United States president complains about a lack of water pressure in American showers. The Trump administration has now proposed regulatory changes – truly – that will allow showerheads to boost water pressure.
“Exclusive footage of beach landing by migrants. Shocking invasion on the Kent Coast taken this morning.”
The former UKIP leader shares footage of a couple of asylum seekers, including babies, invading the British coast from a dinghy. The image is conclusive proof that racism is connected to an inability to count.
“These new specimens we’ve examined reveal a bizarre, monstrous predator with teeth the size of bananas.”
The vertebrate palaeobiologist describes his research that has identified three species of “terror crocodiles”. The animals weighed up to 5000 kilograms and had extremely large noses. Co-author Christopher Brochu says: “The reason for its enlarged nose is unknown. It was a strange animal.”