News

24 hours on Melbourne’s lockdown front line

“It weighs on me at night. It’s not unreasonable to want to be with someone when they’re suffering or dying, and I’m saying no. I do it and I do it every day.”

From healthcare staff to cleaners, counsellors and childcare workers, the story of the coronavirus front line is one of anxiety, diligence and largely invisible labour.

News

News

Government’s aged-care payments create Covid-19 risk

“The federal government may be undermining its own efforts to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading in aged-care homes by only paying some workers in the sector to relinquish second jobs, while others can claim bonuses from multiple employers.”

Unions and aged-care providers are united by concerns the government’s payments to aged-care staff may be exacerbating the sector’s Covid-19 crisis.

News

The next fight with Google and Facebook

“Five years ago, Spain did something similar to what is being contemplated in Australia, and Google News promptly shut down its Spanish operation … Overall news consumption fell by 20 per cent.”

The ACCC thought it was leading the world in pushing major reforms – but the result might harm journalism.

News

Covid-19 response inquiry awaits answers

While the members of the senate’s coronavirus watchdog are working well across party lines, its chair, Labor senator Katy Gallagher, says the government is delaying and obfuscating to avoid scrutiny.

News

Museums collecting Covid-19 objects

In an effort to make sense of this moment in history, museums around the country have begun the work of documenting people’s experiences of the coronavirus pandemic.

World

Kushner central player in Israel–UAE deal

Fight begins to replace Shinzō Abe as Japanese PM after he steps down. A US official visit highlights partnership with Palau. Donald Trump focuses re-election campaign on law and order.

Opinion

Opinion

James Boyce
The case for a death tax

“The reason Australia doesn’t have a death tax – when almost every other developed nation does – can be traced back 40 years to a fear that old people would move to the Gold Coast to avoid paying one. On such absurd grounds, Australia has forfeited hundreds of billions of dollars and inequality has deepened.”

Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Recession and the long way out

“On Wednesday, when the national accounts confirmed Australia’s biggest economic contraction since the Great Depression, the federal government had a ready and credible excuse. But it was of little consolation to the one million Australians already out of work, or for the 400,000 people who the government expects will lose their jobs by the end of the year.”

Diary

Gadfly
Moving on to greener onions

Tony Abbott, the former prime minister who ate through Australia’s crops like an aphid, is likely to be appointed as an adviser to the British Board of Trade. While we were initially thrilled at the possibility of being able to trade Abbott for someone else – David Attenborough, perhaps? – it appears we misunderstood the nature of the arrangement.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial

Cartoon

Read

Editorial
A foot high in poster paint

It is possible that when Tony Abbott stood on the lawns of Parliament House in 2011, in front of a sea of cardboard signs and conspiracy theories, he changed the Liberal Party forever. At that No Carbon Tax Rally, he welcomed into the party a kind of madness.

Letters

Job agencies’ virus bonuses

Rick Morton’s article (“Exclusive: Jobactive virus kickbacks top $500 million”, August 29–September 4) is yet another example – as if we need any – of the failure …

Helping the helpers

I often joked that when I became “dictator” of this country the first things to go would be labour-hire companies and private job providers. After reading Rick Morton’s article I realised this …

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Culture

Life

Food

Oranges with olive oil, pistachio and black pepper

Sport

Grand slam tennis resumes … for some

Grand slam tennis has returned with Australian players including James Duckworth having headed into the US Open ‘bubble’. Journeyman Matt Reid, however, opted to sit out the tournament at home, swapping his racquet for a hammer and chisel at a Sydney quarry.

Books

Steven Conte
The Tolstoy Estate

Meg Mason
Sorrow and Bliss

Royce Kurmelovs
Just Money

Puzzles

Quotes

Lodgings

“Sydney prime ministers have Kirribilli House and it’s wonderful … And what do we have when we have a Melbourne prime minister?”

Michael KrogerThe former president of the Victorian Liberals finds a new passion after his party’s branch-stacking scandal, one more in line with his moral compass: real estate.

Justice

“The appellant, now 54 years of age, will find it difficult to find work if he loses his job as a police officer.”

Craig ChowdhuryThe Queensland judge throws out Neil Punchard’s jail sentence. The police officer’s wellbeing was considered by the court, seemingly more than he considered the wellbeing of the woman whose address he leaked to the former partner she’d made a domestic violence accusation against.

Teamwork

“I certainly think it’s the right step forward for the players, because I think it unifies the players.”

Novak DjokovicThe men’s tennis world No.  1 expresses his support for unification by forming a breakaway players’ association that excludes women.

Careers

“Even if he’s a homophobic misogynist?”

Kay BurleyThe Sky News Britain host asks whether Tony Abbott is qualified to join the British Board of Trade. Of course, the former Australian prime minister doesn’t bother himself with this kind of name-calling – just don’t call him a health dictator.

Discretion

“I don’t think there’s any media on this webinar…”

Gladys BerejiklianThe New South Wales premier breaks with Liberal climate policy, spruiking net zero emissions and saying a legislated target “is the stuff of dreams in Australia”. It appears there was media on the webinar.

Economics

“We don’t have the luxury of movements on monetary policy to boost demand.”

Josh FrydenbergThe treasurer says that with interest rates at record lows the government will have to spend big to pull Australia’s economy out of the Covid-19 recession, just a day after he cut its largest pandemic spending program.