News

Exclusive: The seven-year plot to undermine the NDIS

“It is hard to understate the seismic nature of this shift for the NDIS – and the decision-making power it has concentrated in the hands of the federal government.”

After years of careful manoeuvring, the Coalition government is readying to make radical changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The revised system will force new assessments and tighten eligibility.

News

News

Medevac refugees: we face special punishment

“While those who came on medical transfer before the medevac legislation was passed – and since it was repealed – are being released into community detention, those who were moved to Australia under the medevac law are not.”

A year after the medevac repeal, refugees brought here under the law are still in detention and say they are being punished by the government for speaking out.

News

The Nicola Gobbo report

As the royal commission into the handling of police informants releases its final report, it’s been revealed that Victoria Police’s use of gangland lawyer Nicola Gobbo as an informant may have contaminated more than 1000 convictions.

News

Economy tests positive for recovery

“Sweden, which opted for minimal restrictions on people and businesses and embarked on a bold experiment in herd immunity – becoming the poster child for Jones and other ideologues – has been shown up in its folly.”

Despite howls from some of the loudest voices in the media and politics to ‘let it rip’ in response to Covid-19, the latest economic figures show Australia’s health-first approach saved lives and the country from a long and painful recession.

News

Morrison overrides ADF chief

Defence experts warn of a split between the government and the military after the prime minister intervened to override the chief of the Defence Force’s decision to revoke the meritorious unit citation awarded to Australian special forces who served in Afghanistan.

World

China–Australia ties worsen over Zhao tweet

Canberra strengthens defence ties with Japan. Australia tops list of countries affected by China’s coercive measures. Divided views on how to find a diplomatic fix.

News

The Vatican’s financial scandals

As the Vatican reckons with scandals involving hundreds of millions of euros, the Holy See’s former treasurer George Pell has given his first interview since returning to Rome.

Opinion

Opinion

John Hewson
How rorts, mates and marketing took over politics

“Consider some of the most notable and concerning examples of ‘bad behaviour’, excess and the abuse of power and privilege of just the past couple of decades, which have seen an alarming erosion of ministerial responsibility, transparency and accountability.”

Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
PM looks rattled as he feeds the trolls

“Upon mature reflection, it is increasingly looking as though Scott Morrison’s angry reaction to a ‘truly repugnant’ social media attack from a Chinese government official has only deepened the crisis in the relationship between the two nations … In lashing out, Morrison broke one of the cardinal rules of social media.”

Diary

Gadfly
The Fletcher, Christian show

There has been altogether too much tedious communication from Communications Minister Paul Fletcher, the man with a permanent hangdog expression. Drawing from the playbook of Richard Alston, a Howard-era Communications minister obsessed that Aunty was not 195 per cent behind the glorious battle for Iraq, Fletcher is stamping his foot and demanding answers from the ABC board to 15 silly questions about Four Corners’ “Canberra bubble” show.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial

Cartoon

Read

Editorial
Blueprint for failure

Australia faces an inevitable crisis, led by a government that couldn’t be less capable of its handling. It wasn’t impossible to plan for this moment. As its power grew, China was always going to chafe against the presence of Australia, the United States’ most loyal ally, in Asia.

Letters

More women, then what?

I fully support the call by Leanne Smith and James Cockayne (“Why we need a feminist foreign policy”, November 29–December 4). But rather than spelling out how this would change the basic assumptions …

Nature won’t wait

Karen Middleton’s take on “How Australia’s leaders are preparing for climate change” (November 29–December 4) only tells half the story. Emission targets set by nations become …

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Culture

Books

Sophie Cunningham (ed.)
Fire Flood Plague

Damon Young
On Getting Off

Clive James
The Fire of Joy

Life

Food

Grilled dry curry fish

Travel

Surviving a bypass

What happens when a regional town finds itself engineered off holidaymakers’ road maps? Instead of viewing it as a death sentence, many are revelling in the chance to reinvent themselves.

Sport

AFL draft recruiters and the pandemic

For AFL recruiters, scouting future footy stars is tough at the best of times. Now coronavirus has made the usual game of speculation and conjecture that much trickier.

Puzzles

Quotes

Resolution

“I’m sorry to cut and run – it has sometimes been a hairy career, but I hope a productive one and always fun. My gratitude for all your participation.”

Mungo MacCallum

The journalist and cruciverbalist calls time on a monumental career. Mungo, thank you – this country, and our paper, are all the better for your sharp mind. You will be missed. Mungo’s Cryptics will appear in the paper through to next March.

Scoop

“No.”

Sally NeighbourThe Four Corners executive producer responds to questions from Sharri Markson about whether the TV program hired private investigators to tail federal ministers Christian Porter and Alan Tudge. Once again, The Australian’s understanding of journalistic ethics falls short of the mark.

Truth

“The climate wars that have been going on in Australia for over a decade now are just – honestly they are such a suicidal situation.”

Christiana FigueresThe architect of the Paris climate agreement reflects on Australia’s response to the climate crisis. Surely she can’t argue we won’t reach our non-existent emission targets “at a canter”.

Diplomacy

“It is an absolutely outrageous and disgusting slur.”

Scott MorrisonOur prime minister falls victim to the Streisand effect. Lashing out at a Photoshopped meme posted by a Chinese government troll, Morrison brings the Brereton inquiry’s allegations of war crimes perpetrated by Australian special forces to global attention.

Royalty

“I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact.”

Oliver Dowden

The British culture secretary calls for Netflix’s The Crown to clearly label itself as fiction. Or will a generation of viewers know the truth – that Charles and Camilla deserved one another.

Phenomenon

“One of them looked back at us all and said, ‘Leave no trace.’ ”

Ross BernardsThe photographer recounts watching on as four men removed the strange metal monolith that appeared last week in the Utah desert. Many people believed it was taken by aliens, but it turns out it was an even rarer creature: travel bloggers who care about the environment.