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Opinion June 15, 2019

Richard Cooke
Free speech, censorship and media raids

One of the first political books I bought was a faded copy of Australia’s Censorship Crisis, edited by Geoffrey Dutton and Max Harris. I picked it up more for its cover than its contents, and this turned out to be serendipitous. Though …

Opinion June 7, 2019

Jane Caro
Flaws in Coalition’s schools funding

The Coalition won the recent federal election at least in part on its reputation as the better economic manager. It claimed it could be trusted to take care of taxpayer dollars. But does this stand up to scrutiny? Frankly, not when it comes to the way …

Opinion June 1, 2019

Sarah Krasnostein
Character assessment in sentencing decisions

Some time between 8.58am and 10.43am on June 29, 2016, after Borce and Karen Ristevski’s daughter, Sarah, left for work, Borce killed Karen, his wife of 27 years, in a manner known only to himself. He then moved her body from their home, placed …

Opinion June 1, 2019

Kon Karapanagiotidis
Saving asylum seekers’ lives

As the doors of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) opened on the Monday after the election, it was clear the lives of refugees and people seeking asylum had been profoundly altered. Once again, their fate had been determined by other people, …

Opinion May 18, 2019

Stan Grant
The Uluru Statement is a source of hope

The man who loomed up beside me was like the north Queenslander from central casting. He had big canecutter’s hands, and a neck burnt red from the sun, which may also have reflected his politics. “You can have all the government-paid steak …

Opinion May 25, 2019

Bri Lee
Time to reform Queensland consent laws

On or about December 13, 2003, a man named Basil Adam Soloman consumed approximately “a carton of stubbies of full-strength beer … a dozen cans of rum and cola, and about five cones of cannabis” before initiating intercourse with a …

Opinion May 11, 2019

Danielle Wood
Major parties diverge on economy

In any other election, Australia’s headline economic figures would have the incumbent popping champagne corks. Twenty-eight years of uninterrupted economic growth, unemployment at 5 per cent, record-low interest rates and a budget in balance are …

paul bongiorno

Opinion 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 …

Opinion 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 it …

Opinion June 1, 2019

Morrison and Albanese set out their plans

Already, the race is on for the next election. Both a jubilant Scott Morrison and a perky Anthony Albanese are off and running. Morrison has set himself the task of winning a fourth term for the Coalition, while Albanese is determined to learn from the …

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Opinion June 15, 2019

Setting the record straight

The first missive from Sally McManus was brief. So veiled in its construction, the statement obscured the deeper issue with Setka. And in pushing to expel the union boss from the Labor Party, Anthony Albanese skirted the detail entirely.

Opinion June 8, 2019

Getting to the truth

It is important to remember that these stories did not risk national security. They invited criticism, not danger. The raids on the ABC and the home of a News Corp reporter were about government embarrassment.

Opinion June 1, 2019

Women at risk

The ritual has a familiar shape by now. Four women killed in Melbourne, four public deaths in less than a year. Eurydice Dixon, Aya Maasarwe, Natalina Angok and Courtney Herron. With each there was a shading in of the question of vulnerability – of the violence faced by women of colour, and international students, and the twin complications of addiction and homelessness. But all four of these women were killed by men.

gadfly

Opinion June 15, 2019

Security counsel

Senior members of the Commonwealth’s cop squad have been working overtime on coming up with fresh meanings for the phrase “national security”. To paraphrase Humpty Dumpty, it really means just what the government chooses it to mean, neither more nor less. Certainly it covers things such as bugging the Timor-Leste ministerial offices, or soldiers shooting the wrong people in Afghanistan, or plans by spooky public servants to spy on the entire population. All of that comes under the Humpty Dumpty definition, which really has nothing to do with national security at all, but more to do with government embarrassment.

Opinion June 8, 2019

Morris dances to many tunes

Poor Gaven Morris, the man in charge of “news, analysis and investigations” at Your Aunty. No sooner was he having to bat away allegations he closed down a radio current affairs story about the loss-leading economics of Adani’s Carmichael coalmine than he had Constable Plod of the Australian Federal Police at his door, saying, “Ullo, ullo, ullo, wot’s going on here, then?” With a breathtakingly broad warrant, Plod was hunting for the sources connected to ABC stories published in 2017 about Australia’s clandestine special forces operations in Afghanistan.

Opinion June 1, 2019

Ministry of silly dorks

Schmo has unveiled his ministry littered with any number of stale and pale third-raters. In particular, we’ll have to keep our eye on Stuart “Train Crash” Robert and Fantastic Angus Taylor. Gus is already out of the box with a cry that he has a “clear mandate” to do nothing much about carbon emissions. It seems we’re still stuck with the Abbott-era strategy of no carbon price and a few trees as a way of meeting the 2030 target of a 26 per cent greenhouse gas reduction.

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Opinion June 15, 2019

Obfuscation over public interest

Thank you, Karen Middleton, for the next chapter in the history of Prime Minister Scott Morrison (“Fresh documents in Morrison’s sacking”, June 8-14). “The minutes of that meeting were provided under FOI, but mostly redacted…” …

Opinion June 8, 2019

Change for the better?

It was dismaying to read Anthony Albanese’s vague and platitudinous vows of a new beginning (Karen Middleton, “Starting again: the Albanese interview”, June 1-7). What many are desperately but quietly hoping for is an opposition that …

Opinion June 1, 2019

Malakootis’ plight a crying shame

Tearfully, I read Abdul Karim Hekmat’s “Hearts in darkness” on Sadoullah Malakooti (May 25-31). Tearfully, I mowed the bourgeois lawn and pondered. Who can be happy in a country where this happens to a struggling father and his children? …