January 30 – February 5, 2021

Prime Minister Scott Morrison arriving for a press conference in Brisbane on January 22.


Exclusive: Scott Morrison misrepresents China advice

“If Mr Morrison is inferring that the current direction of Australia’s China strategy has been based on any substantive consultation with me, let alone any support on my behalf, that is a patent falsehood.”

As the prime minister tries to calm concerns about tensions with China, Kevin Rudd says the idea Morrison is taking a consultative approach is ‘nonsense’.


Image for article: 2050 net zero: Australia left behind as Asia goes green


2050 net zero: Australia left behind as Asia goes green

While the Coalition continues to stall on a net zero emissions target, the biggest buyers of our coal are rapidly shifting to renewables.

Image for article: The challenges of the vaccine rollout


The challenges of the vaccine rollout

Australia’s ambitious coronavirus vaccination schedule has already been met with scepticism by some health professionals, while others say the real priority must be keeping the public informed and confident.

Image for article: Fight to free refugees in hotel detention


Fight to free refugees in hotel detention

While dozens of refugees brought to Australia under medevac were unexpectedly released into the community on temporary visas this week, grave fears remain for the men left behind in detention.

Image for article: Tech giants push back on media bargaining code


Tech giants push back on media bargaining code

The Australian government’s bid to have Google and Facebook share revenue with local media companies has seen the tech giants threaten drastic action – with the main aim of heading off similar measures from other countries.


Pacific islands take economic hit

“Both China and the Western allies have sought to use the crisis to extend their partnerships with island nations. However, most Pacific countries are reluctant to choose sides.”

Despite having few or no coronavirus infections, Pacific island nations have not been immune to the economic devastation of the pandemic, leading to a jostling for power as Australia and the US contend with China for regional influence.


Australian hearings begin for former principal

Xi Jinping warns on meddling in internal affairs. PNG governor backing local Chinese fishery plant. Thousands flee rebel violence in Central African Republic.

Image for article: Australian hearings begin for former principal


Redrafting the NDIS

The NDIS minister is pushing for states and territories to agree on a ban on sex therapy under the insurance scheme. Disability advocates fear Stuart Robert’s plans to increase federal control are a cost-cutting exercise at heart.

Image for article: Redrafting the NDIS

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Ellen Smith
Challenging the casualisation of academia

“Last year, as the tertiary education sector reeled from the impacts of Covid-19, the University of Melbourne quietly agreed to pay millions in unpaid wages to casual teaching staff. Despite the size of the payout, the case received little attention … And, to the detriment of casuals in other universities around Australia, it did not set a legal precedent.”


Rachel Withers
Has Albanese lost Labor’s love?

“The more certain a 2021 election becomes, the less certain the leadership of the Labor Party appears. Though the next poll may be any time from August 2021 to May 2022, there’s a distinct election-year feeling in the air – and an open-season vibe in the opposition.”


A long line of thieves

In August 1786, William Roberts of Cornwall was arrested for stealing a little more than two kilograms of yarn. No one knows what he wanted with that much yarn. Whatever the case, the justice system was taking no risks with this yarn aficionado, and sent him to Sydney – a fitting punishment for anyone, even to this day. A few years later, Roberts married Kezia Brown, originally from Gloucester, who had been convicted of stealing clothing. Perhaps the two bonded over their love of fabrics.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Spit into a milkshake

Sometimes people end up where they belong. This is not how Tony Abbott became prime minister but it is how he found himself working at the Institute of Public Affairs. That a man can go from leading the country to making Facebook videos for a right-wing think tank is evidence of the great lack in our politics.


Missed chance of Moderna vaccine

The Saturday Paper is right to demand some transparency in the government’s choice of Covid-19 vaccines. Canada, Britain, Japan, the United States and the European Union have secured substantial …

Powerful forces still in play

While it’s hard not to enjoy the schadenfreude of Trump’s unwilling departure, the world is left with the same constituency whose resentments installed him in the White House (Mike Seccombe, …

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Image for article: Antipodean China

Nicholas Jose and Benjamin Madden (eds)
Antipodean China

Image for article: Repentance

Alison Gibbs

Image for article: Melbourne Circle

Nick Gadd
Melbourne Circle


Image for article: Strawberry meringue cake


Strawberry meringue cake

Image for article: Women’s mental health struggles on the increase


Women’s mental health struggles on the increase

New research has found more young women than ever are depressed and anxious. Now a recently formed alliance is calling for greater public dialogue about the influence of gender on mental health.

Image for article: AFL footballers playing concussion roulette


AFL footballers playing concussion roulette

John Barnes retired from a 200-plus-game AFL career thinking it had set him up for a comfortable future. Instead he now suffers from epilepsy and watches debilitated from the sidelines as former greats succumb to CTE brain injuries.




“This rigidly enforced conformity, aided and abetted by so-called social media, is a straitjacket on sensibilities.”

Rupert MurdochThe News Corp executive chairman slams “woke orthodoxy” in his acceptance speech for the Australia Day Foundation’s lifetime achievement award. A fairly milquetoast call for free speech, but a strong argument for banning alliteration.


“As the editorial advice states, other terms can be used when they are appropriate in certain contexts.”

ABC statementThe national broadcaster removes the term “Invasion Day” from a headline for an article that listed events happening on January 26, which apparently was not the appropriate context, even though that’s the name of the day.


“After sacrificing so much during the pandemic, Australians deserve better. They deserve real leadership, not false promises.”

Tanya PlibersekThe Labor MP pens an op-ed outlining her vision for the country. Some say it’s the launch of a leadership challenge, but she actually just wanted to see if she could write 800 words on Australia’s future without mentioning climate change.


“The questions I posed in my article were in my professional capacity – not as a candidate.”

Andrea TokajiThe Liberal candidate for the West Australian seat of Baldivis stands down after a 2019 article surfaced in which she wrote about the “undeniable correlation” between China’s 5G towers and the first case of Covid-19. Craig Kelly, meanwhile, is still in parliament.


“We need to give them every opportunity to turn to the Dark Lord.”

Samael Demo-GorgonThe leader of the Noosa Temple of Satan celebrates a pentagram being added to the religious symbols at Sunshine Coast University Hospital’s multi-faith centre. Finally, some progress while the government drags its feet on religious freedom.


“Climate adaptation is about taking practical actions to help our environment, our communities and our economy deal with ... climate change.”

Sussan LeyThe federal Environment minister signs up Australia to a global pledge to take action on climate. Meanwhile, the government continues to refuse to set a 2050 deadline for its net zero emission target.