August 22 – 28, 2020

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.


Exclusive: 4115 assaults in immigration detention

“Department of Home Affairs figures obtained under freedom of information confirm that detention centres have become violent places, recording 4115 assaults between January 1, 2015, and March 31 this year. Of these, 184 were reported to police.”

The Commonwealth ombudsman has warned of excessive and even illegal force used in detention centres, as figures disclosed under FOI reveal assault numbers.



Federal government holds back vital Covid-19 spread data

“The federal department unequivocally has a list of every single facility that has an outbreak. We cannot get this list … We have been particularly asking for the list of infectious facilities because it helps track staff.”

As the coronavirus crisis in aged care worsens, the federal government is withholding key information and denying it is responsible for surge staff in nursing homes.

Image for article: Student nurses struggling to graduate


Student nurses struggling to graduate

With the health system already under pressure, nursing students warn of a shortfall in graduates next year as Covid-19 hinders their ability to officially complete their placements and other course requirements.


Who allowed Ruby Princess passengers to disembark?

“The Agriculture Department has been unable to confirm whether anyone actively gave advance legal permission for passengers from the Ruby Princess cruise ship to disembark, or if it was simply deemed granted because nobody stopped them.”

Questions remain about the Ruby Princess as the federal Agriculture Department secretary contradicts the Commonwealth government’s own submission about who gave permission for passengers to leave the cruise ship.

Image for article: Hopes of a gas boom fizzle


Hopes of a gas boom fizzle

While the government continues to push for a gas-led recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession, the ACCC has another message – that Australia pays far too much for domestic gas.

Image for article: Protesters march against Belarusian and Thai leaders


Protesters march against Belarusian and Thai leaders

Alexander Lukashenko defies protesters’ calls to resign. Anti-monarchy sentiment grows in Thailand. New Zealand’s election delayed to October 17.


Govt ignores health risks of climate change

The government has been asked repeatedly to develop a plan to address the health risks associated with climate change, so why is nothing being done?

Image for article: Govt ignores health risks of climate change

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Bob Brown
The end of the environment

“The prime minister’s post-Covid-19 plan is to roar ahead with a slate of mega-projects that would be delayed by any proper consideration of their environmental and Indigenous heritage impacts. While the EPBC Act rarely leads to any project being given the thumbs down, it does require environmental impacts to be assessed, and this takes time. The government’s solution? Get rid of the federal assessment.”


Paul Bongiorno
Inquiry sinks ministerial responsibility

“Any notion that ministers, state or federal, are responsible for anything much appears sunk in the wake of the Ruby Princess. And the ramifications are significant for the quality of our democracy and what we as citizens can rightly demand of our elected representatives and the governments they form.”


Driving a hard bargain

With the speed of a sputtering meteor we’ve seen gilded careers disintegrate. So it has been with that magisterial expert on promissory estoppel Dyson Heydon as doors slammed in his face following the High Court’s findings of his inappropriate sexual harassment of young employees. Then, early this month, Melbourne silk Norman O’Bryan, a chap with plenty of smarts and entrepreneurial flair, hit the ropes.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

A revenge on theory

It has been said that Scott Morrison’s great skill is for accidents. He even made his leadership look like one, moving a column of votes at the last minute. For a while now he has pretended that the destruction of the university sector is an accident, too. He ignored the calls to offer JobKeeper, and waited for the staff to be sacked. He pretended not to notice, as a sector dependent on international students lost its key revenues.


Hospitalisation call not so simple

While it is emotionally understandable that people would expect their loved ones to be moved from aged care to hospital when they contracted Covid-19, it can be argued that this would have made no …

A choice had to be made

As I enter the second half of the last quarter of my life, I chortle at the outrage against the “amoral, hideous” idea of offering up our elderly to the natural history of coronavirus infection …

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Image for article: The Pull of the Stars

Emma Donoghue
The Pull of the Stars

Image for article: Metal Fish, Falling Snow

Cath Moore
Metal Fish, Falling Snow

Image for article: Kokomo

Victoria Hannan


Image for article: Smoked bone marrow butter with braised lentils


Smoked bone marrow butter with braised lentils

Image for article: Craig Foster, agent of change


Craig Foster, agent of change

Once best known as SBS’s face of soccer, Craig Foster has parlayed his multicultural education from the game into passionate work for human rights and social justice, becoming a genuine ‘change agent’ not just for sport but for society.



United States

“Joe and Kamala can win by three million votes and still lose. Take it from me.”

Hillary ClintonThe former presidential hopeful offers a very personal warning to voters in her speech to the Democratic National Convention. To forgive is human; to reform the electoral college divine.


“An ultimate destination for talent.”

Boe PahariThe embattled AMP Capital chief executive outlines the purpose of the company’s Inclusion and Diversity Council. Facing allegations he repeatedly sexually harassed a female colleague, Pahari has appointed himself the council’s chair.


“I don’t really know how Wikipedia works.”

Kathryn CampbellThe Department of Social Services secretary, who recently claimed not to know what robo-debt was, says neither she nor anyone in her department removed references to robo-debt from her Wikipedia page.


“There is scant acknowledgement in the report that free-to-air TV employers simply aren’t hiring culturally diverse employees because they’re not applying.”

Craig McPhersonChannel Seven’s news director blames journalists of colour for recent findings that only 11.4 per cent of on-air talent in Australian news and current affairs come from a non-Anglo-Celtic or non-European background.


“They had interacted with several staff members by the time they were discovered.”

David ByrneThe Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority investigator comments on the $90,000 fine issued to Sydney’s Star casino after a 12-year-old girl was caught gambling and a 17-year-old boy played 42 rounds of roulette.


The Australian, and Johannes, opposes racism in all of its guises.”

Chris DoreThe editor-in-chief defends the newspaper’s most recent controversial cartoon. “In all of its guises” appears to exclude cartoons, opinion pieces, editorials, racially divisive reporting and comments made by contributors on Sky News.