diary September 19, 2020

Gadfly: 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”.

letters 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 in 1998...

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”.

indigenous affairs September 19, 2020

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...

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 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...

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.

diary August 15, 2020

Gadfly: Recurring pipe dreams

The ghost of Rex (The Strangler) Connor lives and breathes. Gough Whitlam’s hulking Minerals and Energy minister, who slept by the telex machine waiting for news of Tirath Khemlani’s $4 billion loan, has been reborn as a modern-day inspiration. The Strangler’s plan more than 45 years ago was for a nation crisscrossed with gas pipelines. It was believed his vision went further, and that he saw a future for a massive pipeline between Australia and Japan.

letters August 15, 2020

Financial mistake of early access

One of the original reasons for the establishment of superannuation funds in Australia was to encourage individuals to build a safety net for retirement, which not only protected the retiree but also shifted an enormous amount of financial...

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.

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...