November 28 – December 4, 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at The Lodge last week, in an official photograph distributed by his office.


How Australia’s leaders are preparing for climate change

“After a hiatus caused by coronavirus, the twin issues of climate change and energy have resumed their place, secured over two decades, as the most intractable and dangerous in Australian politics.”

While the Biden presidency pushes forward international climate action, both the Morrison government and its Labor opposition are fractured over emissions policy.


Image for article: Andrews budget wedges Morrison on aged care


Andrews budget wedges Morrison on aged care

After Victoria was ravaged by a second wave of Covid-19, Premier Daniel Andrews has targeted his state’s budget to address the crisis’s key drivers: insecure work and aged care.

Image for article: The Woodville Pizza Bar incident


The Woodville Pizza Bar incident

As South Australian Premier Steven Marshall promises to ‘throw the book’ at a student who allegedly misled contact tracers, epidemiologists fear a punitive response could undermine efforts to trace and contain future outbreaks.


Doubts raised over ADF reports

“Reports frequently did not truly and accurately report the facts of engagements, even where they were innocent and lawful … This may be a manifestation of a wider propensity to be inclined to report what superior commanders are believed to want to hear.”

Amid the Brereton report’s findings that military reports have been ‘routinely embellished’, the IGADF is reassessing concerns raised by David Savage, a civilian who sustained serious injuries during a suicide bombing in Afghanistan in 2012.


Population decline and the economy

“The main reason the Australian economy appeared to be robustly growing was that the population was increasing by nearly 400,000 people every year, mostly due to immigration. And now that has stopped, the government’s cover has, quite suddenly, been blown.”

Australia’s fertility rate is the lowest it has been in history. While successive governments have paid scant attention to this, Covid-19 has made the issue more urgent than ever.

Image for article: Kylie Moore-Gilbert released after 804 days in Iranian prison


Kylie Moore-Gilbert released after 804 days in Iranian prison

Kylie Moore-Gilbert freed from Iranian prison. Key White House appointments announced by Joe Biden. Solomon Islands leader looks to ban Facebook. Benjamin Netanyahu flies to Saudi Arabia for meeting on normalisation.

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Leanne Smith and James Cockayne
Why we need a feminist foreign policy

“Seventy-five years ago, Australia committed to a rules-based international order. Our continuing commitment to that order is based both on pragmatism – the peace and prosperity it has provided; and on principle – the ‘fair go’ that the rules-based order promises. The problem with continuing to champion that order, however, is that it may not offer a ‘fair go’, but rather entrench privilege.”


Paul Bongiorno
Can Australia’s relationship with China be healed?

“China’s ‘Wolf Warrior diplomacy’ is proving more than a menacing howl for Australia, and what to do about it seems beyond the gumption of the Morrison government. It is one thing for the prime minister to dismiss a list of grievances from the Chinese embassy in Canberra as ‘unofficial’, but it is an entirely painful reality when they are accompanied by unofficial trade bans and restrictions on about $6 billion of Australia’s yearly exports.”


Cormann the barbarian

Citizens have been kicking up a dreadful fuss about Mathias Cormann spinning around Europe in an RAAF jet while lobbying to land his well-padded backside on the top chair at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in not-so-gay Paree. The Belgian Waffle (hat tip, Mike Carlton) has been clocking up $4300 an hour for taxpayers as part of this global pocket-moistening tour. The Europeans have been warned that Cormann may not be all he seems – despite what passes for an Australian charm exercise.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


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No pants, no target

Scott Morrison’s response to climate change is to take off his pants. It is not yet summer and his office has released pictures of him dressed for press conferences from the waist up. Below his jacket are a pair of shorts and rubber thongs.


Political casualties

Karen Middleton’s two commentaries on our Afghanistan horrors (“How ‘prestige, status and power’ led to Australia’s war crimes” and “The politics of deploying the SAS”, …

Leaders make the culture

Although the Brereton report into war crimes in Afghanistan claims it would be a gross distortion to blame poor leadership, ADF chief Angus Campbell said, “It starts with culture … Not correcting …

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Playwright Kendall Feaver.


Playwright Kendall Feaver

At 31, Kendall Feaver continues her brilliant career with her new adaptation of Miles Franklin for Belvoir. “I’m wary of black-and-white thinking … I’m interested in the ‘why’. Why is this fracture happening? Why is this so divisive, so deeply felt and fought over?”

Matthew Ianna in Queensland Theatre’s The Holidays.


The Holidays

Behind the dad jokes, Queensland Theatre’s The Holidays is an ambitious play about family connection through dark times.


Image for article: Collected Stories

Shirley Hazzard
Collected Stories

Image for article: Leave the World Behind

Rumaan Alam
Leave the World Behind

Image for article: Factory 19

Dennis Glover
Factory 19


Image for article: Lavash



Image for article: Manufacturing pharmaceuticals


Manufacturing pharmaceuticals

The pharmaceutical supply chain – from raw ingredients to the bathroom cabinet – is a complicated science in itself. The onset of Covid-19 has also highlighted how fragile it can be.




“What Scott has to do now is pivot or dismount, whatever you want to call it. Whether it’s done elegantly or not it doesn’t really matter, as long as he does it.”

Malcolm TurnbullThe former prime minister predicts his successor will sign up to a 2050 net zero emissions target. He can be forgiven for the hackneyed metaphor but not the mental image of Scott Morrison struggling to get down from a balance beam.

Law and order

“This was a misunderstanding that our agency must accept.”

Somsak ThepsuthinThailand’s Justice minister explains how the country’s biggest drug bust, which he had said was the seizure of $US1 billion worth of ketamine, turned out to be just a large supply of stain remover. Same thing after 2am, really.


“This candidacy is a high priority for the government.”

Department of Foreign Affairs and TradeA spokesperson admits Scott Morrison has set up a taskforce of eight full-time staff and a private plane to help his former Finance minister Mathias Cormann land a job running the OECD. Jobs for mates goes global.


“I have no intention of accepting an unproven vaccine into my body.”

Pauline HansonThe One Nation senator refuses to fly Qantas unless they cease their “no jab, no fly” Covid-19 rule. The airline might consider a new ad campaign promising passengers they never have to worry again about being seated next to Pauline Hanson on a flight.


“Perhaps in hindsight I should’ve shut my door and not seen anybody for those 90 minutes to two hours.”

Gladys BerejiklianThe New South Wales premier is caught out for failing to isolate while awaiting the results of a Covid-19 test. Not seeing Daryl Maguire for five years might have been a good idea, too.

Hand of God

“I have lost a dear friend, and the world has lost a legend ... One day, I hope, we will play football together in the sky.”

PeléThe soccer great farewells his long-time rival, the icon Diego Maradona, who died this week at the age of 60. Vale to a true legend of the game.