News

What happens when a government chooses to lie?

“You may have thought, after the recent public health disaster in Victoria, the media advisers of the Andrews government would have realised you cannot spin away the realities of a pandemic. But apparently not.”

In the teeth of the pandemic, government spokespeople are no longer just obfuscating – they are hiding from the public the truth about what is really happening.

News

News

Millionaire visa-holders exempt from border ban

“More than 10,000 wealthy foreign investors have won special concessions to come to Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic, leapfrogging other visa-holders and potentially pushing stranded Australians further back in the ‘queue’.”

As 27,000 Australians remain stranded overseas, the Home Affairs Department has moved to allow wealthy foreign investors to enter Australia without needing special permission.

News

Jacqui Lambie’s stand on education

Jacqui Lambie has made clear she will vote against the Coalition’s controversial higher education reforms, but the government appears to be angling for Centre Alliance’s vote.

News

Victoria’s punitive fines system

“Ultimately, it’s not in the public interest at all to criminalise people with mental illness, on Newstart, who can’t pay their fines. This is illustrative of a punitive approach to these problems, when what’s so overwhelmingly needed is more support.”

As Victoria raises its Covid-19 fines to $5000, lawyers say the agency overseeing fines continues to take a hardline approach to debt collection, ignoring the devastating effects this punitive system can have on the vulnerable.

News

Timor-Leste’s gas dreams fade

Timor-Leste’s plans for developing its oil and gas industry, made possible after winning back control of offshore fields from Australia, have stalled as the coronavirus pandemic drives down prices and the country’s new leadership questions the scheme’s economic rationale.

World

Shambolic debate sets tone for final weeks

First Trump–Biden debate labelled worst ever. Almost 100 dead in fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. Bougainvilleans seek compensation over environmental damage from Panguna mine. Amnesty International suspends activity in India after accounts frozen.

Opinion

Opinion

Lidia Thorpe
After the virus: Fighting for our future

“The boundaries of what is politically possible have shifted, rapidly, during this pandemic. The conditions have been created for the most significant policy reforms in our history. No one wants to see what we are now weathering repeated. There is an appetite for change.”

Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Changing gears in a two-speed economy

“‘The first thing Josh Frydenberg should do in next Tuesday night’s budget speech is say sorry,’ says Wayne Swan, the man whom the Liberals cut no slack after he failed as treasurer to deliver Labor’s promised budget surpluses. Neither a global financial crisis nor a massive collapse in export revenues were acceptable excuses to the Coalition back then.”

Diary

Gadfly
Brush turkey at biodiversity summit

We’d almost entirely forgotten about Fabulous Mitch Fifield, until there was a brief grab of him on the telly, beamed in from New York, where he has landed softly as our ambassador to the United Nations. It’s pleasing to see the Human Toilet Brush still maintains his bristling, brush-like qualities, yet it’s to be wondered just what he’ll be doing at the UN Summit on Biodiversity. Nothing much, it seems.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial

Cartoon

Read

Editorial
Clown duels

Early in his presidency, or perhaps just before it, a video circulated of Donald Trump grappling with an older man on the edge of a wrestling ring.

Letters

Health system was already flawed

Along with his two recent front-page pieces on Victoria’s contact tracing failures and its healthcare outbreaks, Osman Faruqi’s “New Covid-19 cases among staff in hotel quarantine” …

Research cut again and again

The front-page story on the deliberate reduction of funding to Australian research and education is disgraceful, but not surprising from the Liberals and Nationals (Rick Morton, “Coalition to …

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Culture

Life

Food

Red mullet escabeche

Sport

What next for the Brisbane Broncos?

In 1988, a brash new club turned rugby league on its head and went on to become a dominant force in the NRL. But this year the Brisbane Broncos parted with the coach, left fans dispirited and finished bottom of the ladder. Where did the club lose its way?

Books

Ramona Koval
A Letter to Layla

Rawah Arja
The F Team

Kate Mildenhall
The Mother Fault

Puzzles

Quotes

Aotearoa

“Yes, I did, a long time ago.”

Jacinda ArdernThe prime minister is asked during New Zealand’s leadership debate whether she has ever smoked cannabis. In a moment of chaos akin to the United States election debate, her answer prompted polite applause from the audience.

Politics

“I’ve been in the party for almost 40 years; I am too old to rat.”

Joel Fitzgibbon The Labor right-winger says he won’t quit the opposition over its emissions target. Rather than rat, Fitzgibbon has chosen to termite, chewing away all the load-bearing beams in the party.

Advertising

“9pm, leggy. 2am, legless. Know your limits.”

Queensland Police ServiceAn anti-binge-drinking ad campaign is spotted on one of the state police’s vans, featuring a young woman passed out. The advertising agency involved suggested “1980, sexist. 2020, sexist. Queensland Police” for the force’s next recruitment drive.

Relocation

“Such a shame because I really love Melbourne.”

Jodi GrolloThe Baysider, known as “Karen from Brighton”, who shot to fame for her criticisms of the Andrews government, tells her followers she is moving to Queensland. A bright spot for Victoria after a couple of tough months.

Ablution

“I hope the cleaning of the stables continues in both the Vatican and Victoria.”

George PellThe cardinal praises the pope’s dismissal of a senior Vatican official over allegations of embezzlement. Ostensibly “cleaning of the stables” is what senior Catholics call moving abusive priests from parish to parish.

Vale

“Every word still relevant, no message dated, including we have ‘a long, long way to go’. Her legacy will endure. Hear us roar.”

Julia GillardAustralia’s first and only female prime minister pays tribute to singer and feminist icon Helen Reddy, who died this week aged 78.