August 29 – September 4, 2020

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash.


Exclusive: Jobactive virus kickbacks top $500 million

“As the rest of the country descended into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the government made it easier for job agencies to claim bonus payments, fees and other rewards for the work of ‘servicing’ the unemployed.”

Government policies have seen the ‘unemployment industry’ paid millions during the pandemic, while jobless rates soar.


Image for article: How branch stacking drags policy to the right


How branch stacking drags policy to the right

Another branch stacking scandal shows the practice is not just about numbers: in both parties, it is about furthering conservative agendas.


NSW Health rebukes feds on aged care

“In its formal response to an independent review of the coronavirus outbreak at Newmarch House, NSW Health says an ‘apparent lack of preparedness’ of residential aged-care facilities – for which the federal government has responsibility – had forced the NSW government to take steps to oversee ground-level planning.”

The state’s criticisms echo those levelled by Victoria and the royal commission.


National watchdogs’ warnings about security laws

“Dr James Renwick concluded the encryption laws are necessary but placed caveats on his support … He also said the power to access encrypted data should be extended to anti-corruption bodies, including the proposed national integrity commission.”

Two federal watchdogs leave their positions, raising issues on access to encrypted data and questioning of minors.


People with disabilities left behind in Covid-19 response

“Persons with disabilities in general were an afterthought in the state responses to the pandemic; they were not engaged in the decisions for persons with disabilities and their organisations, and that contributed to their further exclusion.”

At the latest disability royal commission hearings, witnesses testified to how little regard has been given to people with disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Image for article: Putin critic in coma after likely poisoning


Putin critic in coma after likely poisoning

Alexei Navalny is in a serious condition in a Berlin hospital. The Trump family dominates Republican convention week. Christchurch terrorist sentenced to life without parole.


Lessons of the NZ mosque attacks

As the Australian-born terrorist who killed 51 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques was sentenced to life without parole this week, questions are being raised about the Australian government’s ability and willingness to monitor far-right extremism.

Image for article: Lessons of the NZ mosque attacks

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Louisa Bochner
China’s influence on our campuses

“Last month, the University of New South Wales published on its website an interview with Human Rights Watch Australia’s director, Elaine Pearson, who also holds a position as an adjunct lecturer at the university. The interview focused on how the international community can respond to Hong Kong’s new authoritarian national security law imposed by China. UNSW posted a link to this article, with a quote, on its Twitter account on July 31. By that evening, individuals on the Chinese social media platform WeChat were encouraging one another to get on Twitter and demand the university delete the post.”


Paul Bongiorno
Aged-care failures continue to plague government

“Red-faced and contrite, the minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians and minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck, apologised in the senate and offered his ‘sincere condolences’ to hundreds of grieving families. That he cut a sorry figure in the red chamber, though, was not all his own doing. This government, with its failures in aged-care policy and delivery, must share a good deal of the blame.”


House of pixelated representatives

While Covid-19 may have halted proceedings at the true home of Australian democracy, The Masked Singer, it has failed to stop parliament, which resumed this week after a nine-week hiatus. The break has been devastating for the ABC, which has been battered in the coveted 2pm time slot since losing its flagship Question Time program to tide viewers over to their afternoon nap. It was relatively smooth sailing for the “virtual parliament”, although Oculus Rift is not yet sold on the concept as a game for consumers. There was brief alarm when a Twitter troll appeared to hijack proceedings; however, it was soon explained that Senator Malcolm Roberts was, in fact, entitled to be there.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

To uphold the right

No police officer will face criminal charges over the death of Tanya Day. No officer will be investigated, charged or held personally responsible, despite the coroner finding an “indictable offence may have been committed in connection” to her death. Foremost in the coroner’s findings was a recommendation that Victoria’s public drunkenness laws be repealed, similarly called for by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody three decades earlier.


Detained and voiceless

Karen Middleton’s article (“Exclusive: 4115 assaults in immigration detention”, August 22-28) highlights Australia’s continued maltreatment of detainees. The behaviour of guards and detainees …

Christmas Island is no refuge

It is not surprising that the Home Affairs minister, Peter Dutton, wants to send the remaining refugees to Christmas Island, where wi-fi and mobile phone service is poor. If it wasn’t for the …

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Image for article: Summer

Ali Smith

Image for article: The Grot

Pat Grant
The Grot

Image for article: The Mountains Sing

Nguyen Phan Que Mai
The Mountains Sing


Image for article: Standing rib roast with potatoes, brussels sprouts and Yorkshire pudding


Standing rib roast with potatoes, brussels sprouts and Yorkshire pudding

Image for article: Uni students’ mental health


Uni students’ mental health

With university students suffering academic pressures, career insecurity, mounting debt and social isolation, what is being done to protect their mental health?




“If actions speak louder than words, Scott Morrison is truly the quietest Australian of all.”

Anthony AlbaneseThe Labor leader finally remembers that he is a member of the opposition during an address to the National Press Club on Thursday.


“It doesn’t help anyone. It just depressed me more.”

Pauline HansonThe One Nation leader reflects on the 11 weeks she spent behind bars in 2003 before her conviction was quashed on appeal. Her experience of unwarranted incarceration clearly gave her empathy and compassion for refugees held indefinitely in Australia’s detention centres.


“I apologise without reservation to those I have offended, and hope I’ll be wiser and kinder in my thirties.”

Marcus BastiaanThe Liberal wunderkind resigns from the party amid a branch-stacking scandal. Wiser and kinder in his 30s, no doubt prime minister by 45.


“I take full responsibility for not having that information available to me at the time.”

Richard ColbeckThe Aged Care minister apologises for being unable to recall the number of people in aged care who have died from Covid-19. Just for his reference, as of Wednesday this week, it was 353.


“We’re gonna make America great again, again.”

Mike PenceThe United States vice-president speaks at the Republican National Convention. Like most sequels, this one really doesn’t need to be made.


“The changes that took effect in February were about reducing barriers and improving clarity for victims who want to talk about their experiences…”

Jill HennessyVictoria’s attorney-general responds to outrage over law changes that threaten sexual assault survivors with a $3000 fine if they publicly identify themselves.