editorial October 24, 2020

In our Defence

The Australians had seven prisoners. Afghans, captured during a drug raid in the country’s war-torn Helmand province; hogtied, hands bound behind their backs. Their mission complete, the soldiers were awaiting a United States aircraft to pick them up. What happened next remains unproved, but the recollection of one US soldier is chilling.

editorial October 17, 2020

Taylor’s super grass

Imagine a federal minister who has a stake in a company alongside other members of his family. Imagine that company is accused of illegally poisoning more than 28 hectares of critically endangered grassland. Imagine the minister talks to senior officials in the office of the future treasurer.

editorial October 10, 2020

Zero interest in the climate

On climate policy, the evidence is clear: ambition isn’t dictated by size, density, population or wealth. It comes down to one factor – how willing a government is to accept that rapid action is needed to avert catastrophic climate change. For nearly a decade, Australia’s government has been allergic to this fact.

editorial October 3, 2020

Clown duels

Early in his presidency, or perhaps just before it, a video circulated of Donald Trump grappling with an older man on the edge of a wrestling ring.

editorial September 26, 2020

A price is right

It’s strange to watch Ross Garnaut talk about a carbon price so many years after Tony Abbott succeeded in tearing it apart.

editorial 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”.

editorial 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.

editorial 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.

editorial August 29, 2020

To uphold the right

No police officer will face criminal charges over the death of Tanya Day. No officer will be investigated, charged or held personally responsible, despite the coroner finding an “indictable offence may have been committed in connection” to her death. Foremost in the coroner’s findings was a recommendation that Victoria’s public drunkenness laws be repealed, similarly called for by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody three decades earlier.

editorial August 22, 2020

A revenge on theory

It has been said that Scott Morrison’s great skill is for accidents. He even made his leadership look like one, moving a column of votes at the last minute. For a while now he has pretended that the destruction of the university sector is an accident, too. He ignored the calls to offer JobKeeper, and waited for the staff to be sacked. He pretended not to notice, as a sector dependent on international students lost its key revenues.

editorial August 15, 2020

Instead they saved the Dish

The same week Sussan Ley refused to give protection to the Djab Wurrung trees, she gave special heritage status to the Parkes radio telescope. This is how culture is preserved in Australia.