Paul Bongiorno

environment August 24, 2019

Testing Scott Morrison’s diplomacy

In a frank admission – rare for prime ministers, who like to impress they are confidently in charge – Scott Morrison has revealed what keeps him awake at night. That is the feud between our biggest customer and our closest friend. The problem for...

media August 17, 2019

Press freedom and Hastie words on China

Whoever chose the venue for the first day of the federal parliamentary inquiry into press freedom had a sense of humour. At least, it tickled the funny bones of journalists assigned to the story when they learnt the inquiry was to be held at the New...

law & crime August 3, 2019

Prisoners of the Crown

Tasmanian independent Jacqui Lambie has returned to the senate convinced that people don’t trust politicians. That’s the message she received anywhere she went in the island state during her enforced exile from parliament over citizenship...

economy August 10, 2019

Australia’s trade balancing act

The Trump presidency has been a wild ride for its ally Australia, and is becoming dangerously more bizarre by the day. Canberra is being railroaded into a confrontation with Beijing, which is clearly not in its economic or strategic interests. The...

politics July 27, 2019

Opposition ignore PM, focus on Taylor

Scott Morrison, who famously shrank the Liberal Party to near-invisibility to win the May election, was this week confronted by his party’s reappearance, and he doesn’t much like it. In just the second government party room meeting since polling day...

religion July 13, 2019

Scott Morrison, prayers and Hillsong

Rapturous applause welcomed Scott Morrison to the annual Hillsong conference. Twenty-one thousand delegates bowed their heads as the prime minister led them in prayer for our nation – for veterans doing it tough, young people considering suicide,...

religion July 6, 2019

Faith and tax cuts as 46th parliament begins

In politics, so the wisdom goes, “perception is reality”. And this week, with the opening of the 46th parliament, the perception and the reality of the federal election hit home, particularly for the vanquished Labor Party. But for the victors, not...

economy June 29, 2019

Labor’s contortions on tax package

This weekend Scott Morrison is rubbing shoulders with 19 other world leaders at the G20 summit in Osaka, enjoying the status of Australia’s newly elected prime minister. It’s perfect cover for the softening economy back home. Before his departure,...

ir June 22, 2019

The cost of Coalition tax cuts

The tax cuts impasse between the government and the opposition has opened the way for a familiar play from the senate crossbench. As Scott Morrison was basking in the warmth of a holiday in Fiji, it was the Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick who...

immigration June 15, 2019

All quiet on the Morrison front

Scott Morrison is assiduously doing nothing much of consequence. In fact, this week he appeared to have taken a leaf out of the opposition leader’s book and, like Anthony Albanese, is doing a lot of listening. He has apparently decided this is the...

defence June 8, 2019

Morrison goes from royals to rate cuts to raids

As it was for his many predecessors, Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, were ushered into the Buckingham Palace parlour the Queen reserves for meeting her prime ministers. The antique two-bar electric heater was not turned on in the fireplace but...