February 19 — 25, 2022

Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg during question time.


Liberal MPs push for Frydenberg to step up

“Another option has also been floated: a left–right deal involving both Frydenberg and Dutton to force out Morrison, like the alliance forged in New South Wales…”

Key Liberal figures are pressing the case for Josh Frydenberg in a leadership ballot, worried by the prospect of Peter Dutton replacing Scott Morrison.



The truth about spiralling mental-health waitlists

“Late in January, a general practitioner from regional New South Wales received a suicide note from a man who had spent the holiday season alone and was trapped in the teeth of debt and poverty.”

The crisis in mental-health care has been exacerbated by a breakdown in the college responsible for accrediting new psychiatrists, pushing waitlists to as long as a year.

Image for article: Prisoners suffering under punitive Covid-19 measures


Prisoners suffering under punitive Covid-19 measures

Under the pretence of Covid-19 precautions, prisoners are being locked in cells without access to communication, fresh clothes, soap or sanitary products.

Image for article: The flawed logic behind the sovereign citizen movement


The flawed logic behind the sovereign citizen movement

As an increasing number of Australians invoke their rights as sovereign citizens, a law academic tries to piece together the logic of the movement.

Image for article: Greens reveal their target seats


Greens reveal their target seats

As the Greens draw up election maps, choosing seats they believe they can win, they are hoping the so-called teal independents will boost their chances of up to 12 senate spots.


Liberal MP says room for 15,000 Afghans

“There is no reason to explain this in my mind other than they’re wanting to retain some fear campaign about refugees, Afghans and people on temporary protection visas.”

Faith groups met with Alex Hawke this week to push for a commitment on accepting Afghan refugees.


US seeks Ukraine resolution but stands firm on NATO

US to reopen embassy in Solomon Islands over China influence. Libya left with two prime ministers in political standoff. Global study of pharmaceutical pollution of rivers finds risk to wildlife and humans.

US President Joe Biden

Australia's No.1 news podcast.



Michael Costello
Speak loudly and carry a big twig

“During the Cold War, fear of serried rows of Russian tanks rolling through the Fulda Gap kept European and American leaders awake at night. How is it the West finds itself back in a place it thought in the 21st century it had left far behind?”


Paul Bongiorno
At home with the Morrisons

“The raucous, shambolic penultimate sitting of federal parliament this year is all the evidence you need to know Scott Morrison is running very scared. Governments can find parliament a political killing field and never relish the scrutiny its opponents may apply. This aversion becomes all the more acute with the clock ticking down to a general election.”


John Hewson
Morrison’s two-faced approach to religious freedom

“It’s rather odd that this government is running on the idea that people want the government out of their lives, yet they seem intent on doing the opposite and restricting individual choices. The Religious Discrimination Bill opens up other interesting questions, for instance on superannuation.”

Letters, Cartoon & Editorial


ReadCartoon image, links to full cartoon page

Nurses not hearses

One placard says what all the others are saying. It does so in polite, weary letters, in the voice of a nurse after a long shift, who doesn’t have a pun or a drawing of a skeleton, just a simple observation: “We are not coping.”


Bring on the election

The revelations in Karen Middleton’s article “Exclusive: PM planned not to deliver abuse apology” (February 12-18) are a clear demonstration that Prime Minister Scott Morrison cares far more …

One family’s suffering

“The story of a life” by Rick Morton, February 12-18, is a poignant story of the pandemic’s impact on the many faceless names in our aged communities. Beautiful and shocking at the …

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Image for article: Kip Williams

The Influence

Kip Williams

Sydney Theatre Company artistic director Kip Williams says Sally Potter’s radical film Orlando has influenced all his work – especially his acclaimed production of The Picture of Dorian Gray.



“My boy glees, his face rounding and his hair feathery and fair. He stares at the TV from his high chair, his gums sweet and his eyes large. He is a bundle of soft, folded skin. He raises his arms in the air and brings them down strongly like a baby bird thrashing its wings, his fat fingers winding tight around my own. I kiss the tips of his nails. The man on the news has his face blurred. They say he killed a girl in Brunswick. My son looks past me, watches the TV with a fuzzy sense of familiarity, his eyes wet like a fish’s. I recognise the street, I think. I think I was walking down that street last week.”


Image for article: A World with No Shore

Hélène Gaudy (translated by Stephanie Smee)
A World with No Shore

Image for article: A Terrible Kindness

Jo Browning Wroe
A Terrible Kindness

Image for article: The Grass Hotel

Craig Sherborne
The Grass Hotel


Image for article: Bunya nut fruit salad


Bunya nut fruit salad

Image for article: Political interference threatens the future of Australian research


Political interference threatens the future of Australian research

COMMENT: The Morrison government’s new research funding will force universities to rearrange priorities and existing work so they can meet narrowly defined commercial interests.

Image for article: Rebirthing fashion for a good cause


Rebirthing fashion for a good cause

A Melbourne streetwear brand is taking excess and damaged stock from other labels and remaking it. Each Reborn piece – from the social enterprise HoMie – is unique and the profits fund initiatives for homeless youth.


What does the national cricket coach actually do?

Justin Langer’s departure as the Australian men’s cricket team coach sparked speculation and controversy. It also pulled focus on the requirements and necessity of the role.

Image for article: What does the national cricket coach actually do?




“Sorry is not the hardest word to say. The hardest is ‘I forgive you.’ ”

Scott MorrisonThe prime minister marks the anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. Apparently it’s their turn to make him feel better.


“Alright, I confess, we were doing a cover of ‘April Sun in Cuba’. On the oboe.”

Grace TameThe former Australian of the Year responds to a picture published of her as a teenager holding a very large bong. Advice is being taken on whether the award can be given to the same person twice or if they can take Alan Bond’s back and sling it her way.


“A lying, cheating cunt of a human.”

Emma RobertsThe former wife of Ben Roberts-Smith describes her then husband in text messages read out during his defamation case. Just a reminder: the lawsuit, brought by him, is about repairing his reputation.


“You make it sound like there’s some magical number.”

Anne RustonThe Social Services minister objects to questioning in senate estimates about whether there should be a minimum level of income that people need not to be in poverty. Fact check: there is a number and it’s not magic, it’s decency.


“First and foremost we are elected to come here in this chamber as law makers, that’s our first job.”

Joel FitzgibbonThe outgoing Labor grifter delivers his final speech. The second job, presumably, is shilling for a coal company or whatever venal, regressive future awaits the member for Hunter.


“They see a weakness in Anthony Albanese and his frontbench.”

Peter DuttonThe Defence minister compares Labor’s relationship with China to the appeasement of Nazi Germany before World War II. There are a lot of serious points to be made, but if I had Dutton’s chin I wouldn’t be talking about weakness.