Paul Bongiorno

economy 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...

health 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 the...

politics August 29, 2020

Aged-care failures continue to plague government

Red-faced and contrite, the minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians and minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck, apologised in the senate and offered his “sincere condolences” to hundreds of grieving families. That he cut a sorry figure...

economy 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...

health August 22, 2020

Inquiry sinks ministerial responsibility

Any notion that ministers, state or federal, are responsible for anything much appears sunk in the wake of the Ruby Princess. And the ramifications are significant for the quality of our democracy and what we as citizens can rightly demand of our...

politics August 15, 2020

Our hands-off prime minister

Scott Morrison could have picked up the phone to two members of his much-vaunted national cabinet this week, to sort out what was truly a bizarre situation. But he didn’t, and his decision not to says a lot about his approach to the pandemic...

politics August 8, 2020

Morrison backtracks on WA border closure

Scott Morrison keeps misreading the mood of a nation gripped by fear. Nowhere is this more obvious than his now-abandoned legal case against state border closures – or, to be more precise, against the lockouts in the Labor-governed states of Western...

health August 1, 2020

Aged-care failings hurt Morrison

Scott Morrison went into disaster management mode this week as the coronavirus pandemic came awfully close to home, both personally and politically. The “catastrophe”, as his political opponents described it, was the Covid-19 outbreak spreading...

economy July 25, 2020

Economy in the deep freeze

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s hands were blue as he stood behind his lectern, physically distanced from Scott Morrison in the prime minister’s courtyard on Tuesday. The pair were holding an outdoor news conference on an icy Canberra morning, and...

health July 11, 2020

Labor scrapes through in Eden-Monaro

Four days after the voters of Eden-Monaro kept the marginal seat in opposition hands, the Reserve Bank governor summed up the nation’s predicament: we are all flying by the seat of our pants. Scott Morrison, too, put it succinctly: “This is a global...

politics July 4, 2020

Test for PM in Eden-Monaro

Unfailingly, since World War II, the voters in the New South Wales seat of Eden-Monaro have picked the mood of the nation at every federal election. Well, almost every election – 2016 and 2019 were the exceptions. Today those of the seat’s 114,000...