October 17 – 23, 2020

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference at Brendale, north of Brisbane, on Tuesday.


Exclusive: War on refugees moves to final phase onshore

“In the middle of a recession and a pandemic, this decision leaves people without any prospects for work and without any means to support themselves.”

Without warning, the government has removed all support from hundreds of refugees in community detention – denying them housing and income support.


Image for article: ‘Poor Gladys’ rings hollow after premier’s ICAC grilling


‘Poor Gladys’ rings hollow after premier’s ICAC grilling

The real story this week is not Gladys Berejiklian’s relationship with Daryl Maguire but whether she knew the details of his deal-making – although her supporters would rather you focus on the former.

Image for article: Politics in a pandemic


Politics in a pandemic

Following the death of her mother from Covid-19, the author has encountered the ugly ways in which the virus has been politicised by the Victorian opposition and even strangers in the street.


Challenging the secrecy of national cabinet

“It is fundamentally flawed reasoning to suggest that the ‘national cabinet’ is itself a genuine cabinet that attracts cabinet conventions or, even worse, that it is a committee of the Commonwealth cabinet.”

Legal experts are questioning the basis on which national cabinet deliberations are deemed to be secret, and the issue has led to an Administrative Appeals Tribunal case.


Auditor-general takes PM&C to task

“The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is the worst-performing government agency, particularly in Indigenous affairs, according to the auditor-general.”

As well as criticising the performance of the prime minister’s department, the auditor-general’s midterm review has a warning about unethical behaviour in the public sector.

Image for article: Ardern on track for a resounding victory


Ardern on track for a resounding victory

Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail after Covid-19. A weeping Kim Jong-un apologises to North Korea. Anwar Ibrahim asks Malaysian king to appoint him prime minister.


Where Victoria’s second-wave cases are still occurring

Months into Victoria’s second wave, healthcare workers, cleaners and other front-line staff continue to be at greatest risk of contracting Covid-19, as concerns remain over infection control and the government’s transparency about outbreaks in vulnerable settings.

Image for article: Where Victoria’s second-wave cases are still occurring

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Natasha Stott Despoja
After the virus: A plan for women

“If ever we needed a gender lens on government policy, it is now. The impact of Covid-19 is being felt severely by many, but it is affecting women and men differently. This pandemic has highlighted, and exacerbated, existing inequalities in the home and the workforce.”


Paul Bongiorno
Dark clouds descend on PM in the Sunshine State

“A beaming Scott Morrison gave the TV news crews the sort of picture opportunity they really appreciate. Perched behind a machinegun in the turret of a military tank, the prime minister was having a fun ride. The fun, however, didn’t last and the image became an apt metaphor for Morrison’s six days of scheduled campaigning in Queensland.”


Murdoch in a blather

Maureen Dowd’s New York Times interview in her garden with James Murdoch didn’t exactly set the world on fire with searing insights into the greenie billionaire who is now on the loose from his father and brother’s “hate-for-profit racket”. There was plenty of hedging from the younger Murdoch heir amid the ducking and weaving, yet also moments that revealed James drowning in search for words.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


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Taylor’s super grass

Imagine a federal minister who has a stake in a company alongside other members of his family. Imagine that company is accused of illegally poisoning more than 28 hectares of critically endangered grassland. Imagine the minister talks to senior officials in the office of the future treasurer.


No reason to smile

I look at the picture on the front page (October 10-16). Two men – both loving fathers, I believe – smiling benignly. They seem pleased with what they have achieved. Juxtaposed with this photo is …

Refugees are ready to work

The ongoing and unnecessary torture of refugees claiming asylum by the Morrison government is an obscenity in any democracy and a stain on the human decency of Australia. The government claims it is seeking …

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Colombian curator José Roca, the artistic director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney.


José Roca, artistic director of the 23rd Sydney Biennale

In his first interview since his appointment, celebrated Colombian curator José Roca speaks about bringing a sense of radical urgency to his new role. “I intend to look for practices that are already under way and let the biennale be a catalyst for the process. One of my guiding principles is to build upon what is already built.”

Jessica O’Donoghue and Andrew Goodwin in The Diary of One Who Disappeared.


The Diary of One Who Disappeared

The Sydney Chamber Opera discovers a new intimacy in its filmed performance of Leoš Janáček’s feverish song cycle.


Image for article: Mayflies

Andrew O’Hagan

Image for article: Song of the Crocodile

Nardi Simpson
Song of the Crocodile

Image for article: In Search of the Woman Who Sailed the World

Danielle Clode
In Search of the Woman Who Sailed the World


Image for article: Tiramisu



Image for article: Spring hopes eternal


Spring hopes eternal

While the coronavirus pandemic has altered the world as we know it, nature carries on regardless, and with spring comes fresh hope.

Image for article: Vixens defender Jo Weston gets serious


Vixens defender Jo Weston gets serious

As the Melbourne Vixens compete for the Super Netball premiership this weekend, quirky defender Jo Weston will trade the jokes for a serious role in wearing down the opposition.




“Good to see you.”

Pope FrancisThe pontiff welcomes Cardinal George Pell back to the Vatican. Embezzlement, it seems, is the only truly unforgivable sin.


“If he wants to come, I’m more than happy, but I don’t need someone to hold my hand for a week.”

Annastacia PalaszczukThe Queensland premier says she doesn’t need Anthony Albanese to campaign with her. She does, however, need sexist clichés to upbraid her opponent, Deb Frecklington.


“The Supreme Court can’t control whether or not the president obeys.”

Amy Coney BarrettDonald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee is asked whether the United States president has “absolute power”. To confirm, the court can control whether women have reproductive freedom.


“My efforts and sincerity have not been sufficient enough to rid our people of the difficulties in their life.”

Kim Jong-unThe dictator becomes emotional as he apologises to the North Korean people for failing to improve their lives. He went on to say their suffering is the fault of the rest of the world, and typhoons.


“We’re all human, and particularly in those areas of our lives…”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister throws his support behind New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian after it was revealed she had had a secret five-year relationship with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire. If only Barnaby Joyce had thought of this defence.


“Do you know what is heartless? Thinking that someone else can cure these issues.”

Judith CollinsThe New Zealand opposition leader says obesity is a “personal choice”, just like torpedoing your own election campaign.