September 12 – 18, 2020

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and the state’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton.


Leaked Sutton call reveals failures in contact tracing

“It was totally challenged. No question there. Even at lower numbers, there were some intrinsic challenges with contact tracing.”

Exclusive: In a private briefing, Victoria’s chief health officer has contradicted the premier on the state’s failing contact tracing system and highlighted issues with the massive outsourcing of the response to private companies.



Murdoch grab: The other story behind AAP’s sale

“AAP is bleeding cash... Realistically the Australian market has room for only one news agency. The prospect of a price war – which Murdoch could weather, and which AAP has no reserves to engage in – could see AAP go bust again.”

News Corp’s decision to launch a newswire could be part of a larger plan to torpedo AAP and further concentrate Murdoch’s media influence.

Image for article: Vaccine trials and tribulations


Vaccine trials and tribulations

As the pause in Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine trials reminds the public of the realities of medical research, the Morrison government has locked in 84 million doses of this and a second vaccine.

Image for article: Logging after the Black Summer bushfires


Logging after the Black Summer bushfires

Despite warnings from environmental experts, logging has recommenced in NSW forests ravaged by the Black Summer bushfires. Now, the EPA is investigating alleged regulation breaches by logging contractors, with habitats and wildlife at risk of irreparable damage.

Image for article: The collapse of aged care (part one)


The collapse of aged care (part one)

As the royal commission prepares findings that will likely recommend a return to an earlier system of aged care, the crisis in the sector can be linked to Howard-era reforms that stoked greed and lowered care standards, and have been worsened by successive governments.

Image for article: Journalists leave China after visits by police


Journalists leave China after visits by police

Australian correspondents asked about detained reporter Cheng Lei. Provincial leader seeking independence over Solomon Islands’ move towards China. Sentences reduced for eight convicted over killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Danielle Wood
The way out of the Covid-19 recession

“The forecasts don’t paint a pretty picture. The Reserve Bank expects unemployment to climb to 10 per cent by the end of the year and still be above 8 per cent by the end of 2021. The Parliamentary Budget Office projects the economy will run below potential for the best part of a decade. This is not inevitable though – government policy choices can change this path.”


Paul Bongiorno
The wheels fall off Morrison’s bus

“Scott Morrison emerged from last Friday’s meeting of his national cabinet a defeated leader. His hastily constructed vehicle to co-ordinate a coherent response to the coronavirus pandemic crisis had fractured. The prime minister announced that the notion of ‘100 per cent, absolute consensus on any issue’ is not the way ahead. The notion was his entirely but if consensus meant everybody agreeing with Morrison, it was always doomed to failure.”


A law unto himself

Gadfly had the temerity to turn his back for a fortnight and on reporting back for duty discovers everything has turned to mush. It’s starkly apparent that language and ideas no longer have the same meaning and value they once did. Take the “rule of law”, for instance – a well-worn notion, beloved of lawyers, meaning judges and courts as the third arm of government are independent of the other two arms. The idea is that judges, right or wrong, have authority to make binding decisions according to law.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Out of China

For nearly half a century, Australian foreign correspondents have reported from China – a period of change in the country so dramatic it reshaped global geopolitics. This week, that convention came to an end.


Hailing those on the front line

Anna Krien’s brilliant, heart-wrenching piece (“24 hours on Melbourne’s lockdown front line”, September 5–11) was both informative and timely, reminding us of the incredible …

Wealth tax not death tax

I disagree with only one thing in James Boyce’s excellent article “The case for a death tax” (September 5-11). That is, his preference for calling this tax, on estates over a certain threshold …

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Image for article: The Mission House

Carys Davies
The Mission House

Image for article: Dreams They Forgot

Emma Ashmere
Dreams They Forgot

Image for article: Body Count

Paddy Manning
Body Count


Image for article: Girdle scones


Girdle scones

Image for article: The trials of Equestrian Australia


The trials of Equestrian Australia

A tumultuous dispute at Equestrian Australia has seen the government revoke its funding and the Australian Olympic Committee withdraw recognition. With a postponed Tokyo Games looming in July 2021, where to now for the sport’s peak body?




“We are not anti-koala.”

John BarilaroThe state leader of the Nationals clarifies his party’s position on the marsupial as a spat over koala policy threatens to tear apart the New South Wales Coalition. Say something enough times and anyone will start to believe it’s true: such as how the Nats say they care about regional Australia.


“They can buy their own home so they’re not homeless.”

Tim WilsonThe Liberal MP argues against the proposed 0.5-percentage-point rise in superannuation. He instead suggests that women who are worried about becoming homeless because of inadequate superannuation should just buy a house.


“The group was a most ordinary social network platform on which members used to share jokes and funny memes...”

Professor Chen HongThe prominent Chinese scholar rejects accusations from ASIO that he was part of a plot to influence NSW MP Shaoquett Moselmane. Thankfully the spy agency is finally taking seriously the corrupting power of memes.


“If you are a lobster or a crayfish, you get a chartered flight out of Australia.”

Kristina Keneally

The Labor senator calls on the government to do more to help Australians stranded overseas. Crustaceans get private jets, Masked Singer judges get quarantine exemptions – we truly are all in this together.


“A platonic relationship … that’s very different to intimate partners, who by virtue of the fact they are intimate partners, their contact is of a different nature.”

Daniel Andrews The Victorian premier attempts to explain to reporters why couples don’t need to wear masks around one another and it isn’t awkward at all.


“Gossip is a plague worse than Covid. Worse.”

Pope FrancisThe pontiff urges Catholics to keep their grievances to themselves. He said people should instead be reprimanded privately, which was of course very effective in stopping child abuse in the church.