August 15 – 21, 2020

A resident of a Melbourne aged-care facility being moved into an ambulance.


Exclusive: The phone call that denied elderly patients access to hospital

Two months ago the government set its response for Covid-19 outbreaks in aged care – controversially, it was ‘about keeping the hospitals for the young’.


Image for article: Daniel Harvey’s death in detention


Daniel Harvey’s death in detention

The death of a man in immigration detention has raised questions about the length of time people are being held onshore, and the impact of coronavirus on visiting and other rights.


Politics and messaging across borders

“Bottom line, says Kosmos Samaras, is that the conservatives badly misread the public mood. Most people are more concerned about contagion – ‘literally a life and death issue’ – than about the economy.”

The politics of dealing with coronavirus are beginning to come into view, as the stakes in each state become clearer.


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.

Image for article: The international search for a vaccine


The international search for a vaccine

As the world doubts Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine announcement, there have been promising developments in trials from China and Britain.

Image for article: Government quits as Lebanon smoulders


Government quits as Lebanon smoulders

Beirut’s port blast adds to economic problems and chronic corruption. Parliamentary and presidential elections begin in Bougainville. Senator Kamala Harris chosen as VP candidate by Joe Biden.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Bri Lee
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.”


Paul Bongiorno
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


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Instead they saved the Dish

The same week Sussan Ley refused to give protection to the Djab Wurrung trees, she gave special heritage status to the Parkes radio telescope. This is how culture is preserved in Australia.


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 …

Read More


The Guaia

“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.”


Image for article: Surviving Autocracy

Masha Gessen
Surviving Autocracy

Image for article: Flyaway

Kathleen Jennings

Image for article: Overland, #238

Evelyn Araluen and Jonathan Dunk (eds)
Overland, #238


Image for article: Vegan cauliflower pie


Vegan cauliflower pie

Chronic pain scientist Professor Lorimer Moseley.


Chronic pain and Covid-19

For sufferers of chronic pain the uncertainty and stress surrounding the Covid-19 crisis is exacerbating their anxiety and contributing to their torment.




“He’s an assistant librarian ... The camera is bored by him.”

Liberal figureSenior 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.”

Brad HazzardThe 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.”

Dan TehanThe 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.”

Donald TrumpThe 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.”

Nigel FarageThe 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.”

Dr Adam CossetteThe 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.”