Opinion September 19, 2020

Marcia Langton
The destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves

Here is a fact about life in Australia in 2020: the material and geographical manifestations of Aboriginal cultures developed over more than 65,000 years are being rapidly destroyed by mining companies, urban settlement, road and infrastructure development, …

Opinion September 12, 2020

Danielle Wood
The way out of the Covid-19 recession

“The recession we had to have”. It’s the phrase Paul Keating famously used to describe Australia’s previous recession, which began in 1990, but it is far more apt for Australia’s coronavirus recession a full 30 years later. The …

Opinion September 5, 2020

James Boyce
The case for a death tax

The reason Australia doesn’t have a death tax – when almost every other developed nation does – can be traced back 40 years to a fear that old people would move to the Gold Coast to avoid paying one. On such absurd grounds, Australia …

Opinion August 29, 2020

Louisa Bochner
China’s influence on our campuses

Last month, the University of New South Wales published on its website an interview with Human Rights Watch Australia’s director, Elaine Pearson, who also holds a position as an adjunct lecturer at the university. The interview focused on how the …

Opinion August 15, 2020

Bri Lee
The old guard preventing reform to consent laws

On the last day of July, the Queensland Law Reform Commission’s (QLRC) report on consent and the “mistake of fact” excuse was tabled in parliament. In the commission’s own words, it did “not recommend extensive changes to …

Opinion August 22, 2020

Bob Brown
The end of the environment

The handgun spun around on the asphalt near my chest. It had dropped out of a security guard’s coat pocket when we were both knocked down in the melee as John Howard was driven into Forestry Tasmania’s nursery in Perth. It was November 8, …

Opinion August 8, 2020

Osman Faruqi
Policing as part of the national psyche

There are two striking aspects of Australia’s response to coronavirus: the first is that it’s being increasingly led as a police issue, and the second is that this is happening while the rest of the world works to reform and curtail police …

paul bongiorno

Opinion September 19, 2020

The case against winding back JobKeeper

Two weeks ago, during the last sitting of the federal parliament before the budget early next month, Anthony Albanese decided it was time to take up the fight against the government on the economy. The Labor leader sensed the prime minister and his …

Opinion September 12, 2020

The wheels fall off Morrison’s bus

Scott Morrison emerged from last Friday’s meeting of his national cabinet a defeated leader. His hastily constructed vehicle to co-ordinate a coherent response to the coronavirus pandemic crisis had fractured. The prime minister announced that …

Opinion September 5, 2020

Recession and the long way out

On Wednesday, when the national accounts confirmed Australia’s biggest economic contraction since the Great Depression, the federal government had a ready and credible excuse. But it was of little consolation to the one million Australians already …


Opinion September 19, 2020

This man must be freed

We cannot print his name. We know he has been in immigration detention for seven years. We know his weight has dropped to 45 kilograms. He could die within weeks. The government’s medical contractors say his condition is critical. Their assessment is plain: “at risk of death from sudden cardiac death, organ failure, overwhelming infection or other effects of prolonged starvation”.

Opinion September 12, 2020

Out of China

For nearly half a century, Australian foreign correspondents have reported from China – a period of change in the country so dramatic it reshaped global geopolitics. This week, that convention came to an end.

Opinion September 4, 2020

A foot high in poster paint

It is possible that when Tony Abbott stood on the lawns of Parliament House in 2011, in front of a sea of cardboard signs and conspiracy theories, he changed the Liberal Party forever. At that No Carbon Tax Rally, he welcomed into the party a kind of madness.


Opinion September 19, 2020

What a pity

An emotional nation has been moved by Schmo Morrison’s humanity as he fights for the freedom of citizens to cross state borders to attend funerals. Funerals and their role in salving grief over the loss of a loved one is something dear to the Coalition. Government Finance Minister and Turnbull quisling Mathias Cormann announced gutturally that Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is “so cold-hearted and so harsh and so nasty”.

Opinion September 12, 2020

A law unto himself

Gadfly had the temerity to turn his back for a fortnight and on reporting back for duty discovers everything has turned to mush. It’s starkly apparent that language and ideas no longer have the same meaning and value they once did. Take the “rule of law”, for instance – a well-worn notion, beloved of lawyers, meaning judges and courts as the third arm of government are independent of the other two arms. The idea is that judges, right or wrong, have authority to make binding decisions according to law.

Opinion September 5, 2020

Moving on to greener onions

Tony Abbott, the former prime minister who ate through Australia’s crops like an aphid, is likely to be appointed as an adviser to the British Board of Trade. While we were initially thrilled at the possibility of being able to trade Abbott for someone else – David Attenborough, perhaps? – it appears we misunderstood the nature of the arrangement.


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Opinion September 19, 2020

Getting back to quality care

Rick Morton’s article “The collapse of aged care (part one)” (September 12-18) identifies the late 1990s as when the system started to go pear-shaped. One major failing is when the ratio of registered nurses (RNs) to residents was abandoned …

Opinion September 12, 2020

Hailing those on the front line

Anna Krien’s brilliant, heart-wrenching piece (“24 hours on Melbourne’s lockdown front line”, September 5–11) was both informative and timely, reminding us of the incredible stresses and sacrifices of those thousands of workers …

Opinion September 4, 2020

Job agencies’ virus bonuses

Rick Morton’s article (“Exclusive: Jobactive virus kickbacks top $500 million”, August 29–September 4) is yet another example – as if we need any – of the failure of privatisation, not to mention the potential …