News

Vaccine rollout: how it all went so terribly wrong

“From day one, there were supply issues – both within and outside the control of the federal government. Then came a series of communication and campaign missteps, ranging from the unfortunate to the dire.”

The federal government has taken unprecedented control of Covid-19 vaccinations, but the rollout has been mired in politics, faulty numbers and unawarded tenders.

News

News

Australian government legalises ‘a crime against humanity’

“At 5.40pm on Wednesday, May 12, one member of the house of representatives stood up to speak his conscience. Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie effectively accused his major party parliamentary colleagues of implicating themselves in a crime against humanity.”

A 20-year fight over the indefinite detention of asylum seekers has culminated in a law advocates fear will strand refugees behind bars for life.

News

Mr XX marks the spot

The identities of several senior legal figures are being protected by suppression orders, even after some have been found guilty of serious offences, raising questions about secrecy and privilege in the courts.

News

Tracing paper trail of Brittany Higgins’ alleged assault

“No official has explained why finding Higgins naked and unconscious, after her companion had left the building without her, did not raise the possibility that an offence had been committed and evidence might need to be preserved.”

Senior officials faced further questions this week about their handling of Brittany Higgins’ allegation that she was raped by a colleague in Parliament House.

News

Covid-19 surges in Timor-Leste

Devastating floods over Easter sparked a coronavirus outbreak in Timor-Leste that now threatens to rage out of control. Australian aid has helped, but the nation desperately needs more vaccines and medical supplies.

News

Mark Speakman on NSW consent laws

As NSW announces major changes to its sexual consent laws, the state’s attorney-general, Mark Speakman, explains why he pushed ahead with these nation-leading reforms.

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World

Samoa’s first woman PM sworn in despite standoff

The United States and European Union condemn plane ‘hijack’ and arrest of dissident Belarusian journalist. The Israel–Hamas ceasefire is holding as opposition leader Yair Lapid tries to form a coalition to lead Israel.

Opinion

Opinion

Megan Davis
The Uluru statement, four years on

“This year marks the beginning of the second decade of constitutional recognition. Who could’ve known when Julia Gillard created the expert panel, at the urging of the Greens and independents Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, that 10 years, seven processes and nine reports later the nation would still be waiting for the Commonwealth to act?”

Opinion

Paul Bongiorno
Joel Fitzgibbon and Victoria’s virus crisis

“Scott Morrison has found a very useful ally in an unlikely place. His name is Joel Fitzgibbon, opposition member for the New South Wales seat of Hunter, and the prime minister is certainly grateful for his contribution. The veteran Labor member, whose coalmining electorate encompasses much of the state seat of Upper Hunter, went on a media blitz early in the week, which gave no comfort to his own side.”

Diary

Gadfly
Outbreak breakouts

During the height of Melbourne’s lockdown last year, many conservative commentators argued we were sacrificing our economy to protect the elderly, who would inevitably just die anyway. The federal government, it seems, has taken up the call for geronticide, even as the economy rebounds. It remains firmly committed to a vaccination strategy that’s been more of a vibe than a rollout, with confusing messaging around who qualifies, when they qualify and why they should avoid AstraZeneca even if they do qualify.

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial

Cartoon

Read

Editorial
Jab, jab, on the hook

You could call it many things but the kindest is probably incompetence. Melbourne is once again in lockdown because of incompetence. Lying, Scott Morrison says: “Our best defence is the steadfast resilience of the Australian people.” He says the country will get through this outbreak by working together and staying focused on the problem, without mentioning that the problem is his handling of the vaccine rollout.

Letters

Over-reach on charities

Thank you, Mike Seccombe, for alerting readers to this proposal (“Morrison’s ‘unconstitutional’ crackdown on charities”, May 22-28). I recently attended a forum on the for-profit …

Call to arms to save ABC

Rick Morton (“Is a former Murdoch executive the ABC’s next best hope?”, May 22-28) has reported that Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has made three appointments to the board of the …

Read More

Culture

Books

Kate Holden
The Winter Road

Sinéad Stubbins
In My Defence I Have No Defence

Ellen van Neerven (ed.)
Flock: First Nations Stories Then and Now

Life

Food

Hand-rolled semolina pasta with scallop blanquette

Health

Medical uncertainty

The act of being made aware and acknowledging that medicine is not an exact science is as important for trainee physicians as it is for worried patients.

Sport

Rising tennis star Alexei Popyrin

With Alexei Popyrin steaming towards a top-50 world ranking, all eyes are on the winner of the boys’ singles at the 2017 French Open, and his imminent return to Roland Garros.

Puzzles

Quotes

Business

“It’s a dreadful, horrible, stupid tax.”

Gerry HarveyThe retail tycoon, who refused to repay $22 million in JobKeeper despite his profits doubling during the pandemic, rails against the Victorian government’s mental health support levy. Luckily overpriced whitegoods are a proven cure for depression.

Music

“Maybe ScoMo or someone could do a bit of a rap.”

Michael McCormackThe deputy prime minister brainstorms ways to encourage young people to get the Covid-19 vaccine. This remains the most thought-out proposal in the federal government’s rollout strategy.

Health

“People have made their choices.”

Richard ColbeckThe minister for Aged Care Services suggests no resident in the 29 Victorian aged-care centres that are yet to receive any doses of the Covid-19 vaccine actually wanted to be vaccinated against the deadly virus that has killed 655 elderly people in aged-care homes across the state.

Empathy

“I haven’t received anything you’ve referred to.”

Michaelia CashThe attorney-general responds to the question, “Have you received empathy training?” during senate estimates. Her deftness in avoiding saying “I haven’t received empathy training” is matched only by her ability to manoeuvre a whiteboard.

Technology

“My client was in the course of buying a new computer and trading in the old one.”

Bruce McClintockThe barrister for Ben Roberts-Smith, who’s suing Nine newspapers for defamation over allegations he committed war crimes, explains why his client wiped his computer hard drive. With everything else going on, Roberts-Smith clearly didn’t want his eBay seller rating to take a hit too.

Safety

“I don’t think parliament is unsafe for women at all.”

Jane HumeThe minister for Women’s Economic Security is asked about the 19 accusations of sexual misconduct against parliamentarians, their staff or “official establishments” reported in the wake of Brittany Higgins’ allegations. She should have been asked for her definition of  “unsafe”.