October 24 – 30, 2020

Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate.


What went wrong inside Australia Post?

“Much of the week’s drama has returned to some form of the same question: Is the national postal service completely out of touch with community expectations?”

The mail carrier’s chief executive has been asked to stand aside after revelations of luxury watches gifted to executives, but the company is facing much deeper crises.



Queensland teenagers launch legal challenge of Adani mine

“These reports, says climate lawyer Ariane Wilkinson, provide Ley with strong legal grounds to revoke approval for the Carmichael mine and rail project.”

Brooklyn O’Hearn and Claire Galvin have lodged a legal request for the Environment minister to revoke approval for the Carmichael mine, citing research linking its associated emissions with damage to up to 18,000 square kilometres of the World Heritage site.

Image for article: Probe into Western Sydney airport land deal


Probe into Western Sydney airport land deal

A scathing audit of the Infrastructure Department’s purchase of land for the Western Sydney airport has led to an AFP investigation. But this is only the latest controversy in a long history of scandals relating to the Badgerys Creek site.


Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry

“Under Jeff Kennett, Victoria embraced the theory of new public management, overhauling the way public institutions were run … During the pandemic, the state government was forced to set up hotel quarantine in a single weekend. In an environment shaped by NPM, private security stood as the natural answer to the question, who is the best choice to do this work?”

While Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry has been marked by the poor recall of some politicians and senior bureaucrats, the seeds of disaster were likely sown several governments ago.

Image for article: Failures of the criminal justice system


Failures of the criminal justice system

As politicians play a tough-on-crime game to win votes, pushing Australia’s incarceration rates ever upwards, an initiative led by high-profile patrons aims to reform the justice system and end a narrow-minded reliance on prison sentences.

Image for article: Biden’s plan to make America’s influence great again


Biden’s plan to make America’s influence great again

Chinese officials in altercation over Taiwan celebration in Fiji. Protesters killed in anti-police protests in Lagos. Memorial held in Paris for murdered teacher.


Time for a haircut and catch-up

Among all the hardships of Melbourne’s lengthy Covid-19 lockdown, not being able to get a haircut has been rated by many as one of the most psychologically taxing. With salons now reopened, a palpable sense of purpose and identity is returning to the city.

Image for article: Time for a haircut and catch-up

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Wesley Enoch
After the virus: Radical optimism for the arts

“There are two potential futures I can see for the arts in Australia: one in which we emerge from the pandemic strengthened in our purpose, where the arts and cultural economies are valued for their intangible public benefits, where creativity and imagination lead us – and another where the search for financial certainty and economic returns reshapes what artists can make.”


Paul Bongiorno
Will Scott Morrison go full-term?

“It is always fascinating to watch the cat-and-mouse game that Australian prime ministers play with election dates. Unencumbered by fixed terms, convention dictates that the campaign starts whenever the incumbent believes they are in the best position to win.”


Not so glad to be Glad

Our Gladys this week played a crowd-pleasing game of Twister. With one hand on the square called “love”, a foot on “insubstantial relationship”, and another on “not really a boyfriend”. With all her might she tried to keep off the tile called “tickle from the top”. The contortion was painful to behold. Yet, there she is – still Our Glad, sort of.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

In our Defence

The Australians had seven prisoners. Afghans, captured during a drug raid in the country’s war-torn Helmand province; hogtied, hands bound behind their backs. Their mission complete, the soldiers were awaiting a United States aircraft to pick them up. What happened next remains unproved, but the recollection of one US soldier is chilling.


Time for Labor to stand up

I thought my disgust at the Coalition’s treatment of refugees could not be more vehement, but Rick Morton’s update (“Exclusive: War on refugees moves to final phase onshore”, October …

Secret cabinet

Karen Middleton’s elucidation on the pitfalls of calling a coming together of disparate heads of state and country a “national cabinet” is entirely consistent with the way a marketing mind works …

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Comedian and actor Rose Matafeo.


Comedian and actor Rose Matafeo

On the verge of international stardom, Rose Matafeo combines supremely confident ambition with deep personal doubt. “Seeing yourself on screen is the fucking worst thing ever. Your perception of yourself is the best version of yourself that you perform in the mirror, and that is not what other people see.”

Installation view of Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop.

Visual Art

Moon in a Dew Drop

Lindy Lee’s powerful MCA retrospective demonstrates both her artistic strength and her vulnerability.


Image for article: Our Shadows

Gail Jones
Our Shadows

Image for article: A Jealous Tide

Anna MacDonald
A Jealous Tide

Image for article: Home Time II:  Beyond the Weaving

Campbell Whyte
Home Time II: Beyond the Weaving


Image for article: Almond raspberry slice


Almond raspberry slice

Image for article: An AFL grand final far from the heartland


An AFL grand final far from the heartland

For footy fans struggling under lockdown in Melbourne, the 2020 AFL season has been both a welcome distraction and a reminder of what has been lost. Now it’s set to culminate with the previously unthinkable – a grand final under lights at the Gabba.




“The rendition was awful, the message was misrepresented, and Mr Palmer’s image is not good for my heavy metal image either.”

Dee SniderThe Twisted Sister singer testifies that Clive Palmer didn’t help the band sell tickets by using their song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” for his political campaign. Polls suggest the song didn’t help Palmer either.


“I just can’t see it happening again.”

Gladys BerejiklianThe New South Wales premier tells radio hosts Kyle and Jackie O that she has given up on finding love after the Daryl Maguire scandal. Presumably she couldn’t foresee her phone being tapped either, so anything is possible.


“At one point she explained to me some problems she had. I actually prayed with her.”

Rudy Giuliani

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer denies that he acted inappropriately towards an actor posing as a TV journalist for the sequel to the film Borat. The images showing the former New York mayor reaching for his groin were merely him making the sign of the cross.


“They know the youths are laughing in the face of police officers.”

Deb FrecklingtonThe Liberal National Party leader says she will introduce a curfew for teenagers in Townsville and Cairns if she wins the upcoming Queensland election. When policy announcements start to make Joh Bjelke-Petersen look compassionate, you know the polls must be close.


“I understand the aspect of competing against another football team … at the end of the day, you’ll still be mates.”

Lindsay FoxThe transport magnate breaks with other business leaders to defend Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. While scuffles are inevitable, the wealthy and the powerful will always put aside their differences in the end to face the real enemy – red tape.


“COVIDSafe is considered widely one of the finest tracing apps on the market.”

Stuart RobertThe minister for Government Services defends the much-maligned COVIDSafe app. Six months since its release, the app has helped officials identify a staggering number of Covid-19 cases – 14 by the latest count.