Opinion August 17, 2019

Lidia Thorpe
Protecting the Djab Wurrung trees

The impact of the colonial invasion on Aboriginal peoples was never swifter nor more brutal than in western Victoria. The deep volcanic soils and gentle rolling hills of the region, combined with active land management by thousands of generations of …

Opinion August 17, 2019

Stan Grant
Adam Goodes and writing a new Australia

There are those people who can get away with saying things others dare only to think. That’s Gilbert McAdam. The former AFL player has a cheeky glint in his eye; he always looks as if he’s going to put a comforting arm around your shoulder …

Opinion August 10, 2019

Andy Marks
The legacy of Graham Freudenberg

War is readily characterised as a failure of reason. But that’s not quite true. It is, in fact, a failure to hear reason. The recent loss of Graham Freudenberg – Australia’s greatest speechwriter – compels us once again to listen. …

Opinion August 3, 2019

Russell Marks
Rough justice in the Northern Territory

Sources close to the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) say its lawyers were surprised to learn neither the Department of Justice nor the Territory’s chief judge had received a formal complaint from the agency about Alice Springs …

Opinion July 20, 2019

Bob Brown
The Robbins Island wind farm debate

The Australian moved in for the kill last week. Back-to-back front pages, on Monday and Tuesday, after I sounded the alarm about the impact on endangered birds if the Robbins Island wind farm in Tasmania’s north-west goes ahead. Backed …

Opinion July 27, 2019

Casualisation of academic teaching

This year, seven Australian universities made it into the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings. Their vice-chancellors cheered. International students use this, as well as the Times Higher Education league table, to guide their choices, …

Opinion July 20, 2019

Jess Hill
Stopping coercive control and family violence

There is a deep underground in this country, invisible to the naked eye. More than two million women alive today have lived there, and countless children. Some have escaped. Some will never leave. Some won’t be allowed to leave. This is the world …

paul bongiorno

Opinion 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 South …

Opinion 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 Morrison …

Opinion 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 …


Opinion August 17, 2019

Crowd cover

It’s an old, persistent lie: that traffic is a race issue, that failing infrastructure is the responsibility of migrants rather than the governments that build it. Said often enough, it allows politicians to blame congestion on people who look different. This is a useful trick and it’s one Scott Morrison is playing.

Opinion August 10, 2019

Women’s fights

“Abortion re-establishes the patriarchy.” “Abortion has been a don’t ask; don’t tell issue for as long as I can remember. Why would any government want to legislate pregnancy termination?” If the arguments offered up by those opposed to the decriminalisation of abortion in New South Wales weren’t entirely circular, they were so twisted around themselves it was impossible to see the logic.

Opinion August 3, 2019

Watchdog with teeth

ICAC has seen monumental success and failure in New South Wales. By no stretch of the imagination has it stamped out corruption in the state, but its reputation has always been formidable. No one covets the prospect of facing an ICAC investigation. An independent watchdog, with real power, which can do its work in public, changes the mathematics of corruption. The balance tips slightly towards risk from reward.


Opinion August 17, 2019

Raising the steaks

Well, that was a fine start to the post-Hayne banking royal commission litigation. The regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, went down in a heap in its action against Westpac, where it alleged the bank was in breach of responsible lending laws in relation to more than 260,000 home loan applicants. ASIC claimed the lending formula applied by the bank meant borrowers could be led into hardship because their ability to service the loan was insufficiently appraised. Not at all, said Justice Nye Perram in the Federal Court. Borrowers could simply refine their spending habits when times got tough, citing a money-saving move away from wagyu and shiraz to something more affordable – Spam and rice, perhaps.

Opinion August 10, 2019

Furphy Brown

Sadly, Gadfly’s invitation to hear Minister for Minerals Matteo Canavani at Chuckles Henderson’s Institute got lost in the mail. It promised to be a spellbinding evening, with the topic “The Link Between Pope Pius XI and Bob Brown”. The theological possibilities are intriguing, especially when you consider Pius XI – formerly Achille Ratti – and the regime of Benito Mussolini had a lot in common.

Opinion August 3, 2019

Grassy-eyed Gus

Things have got to a pretty rancid state if Pauline Hanson has to ride to your rescue. And rancid they are with #Grassgate. Fantastic Gussy Taylor, the squillionaire MP whose family is under investigation for allegedly squirting pesticide on endangered grasses, is significantly off the hook, thanks to Hanson.


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Opinion August 17, 2019

Where to draw the line

It was quite revealing to analyse the empirical evidence in your article “Murdoch media feeds far-right recruitment” by Rick Morton (August 10-16). The disturbing influence of conservative think tanks such as the Institute of Public Affairs …

Opinion August 10, 2019

Independent thinkers

I note that Richard Ackland believes that “full disclosure” requires that journalists and commentators should declare any association with the spouse or partner of a politician they discuss on a program such as Insiders (Gadfly, “Grassy-eyed …

Opinion August 2, 2019

Paying the job network

It was interesting to read the article about the push to increase the Newstart allowance at long last (Mike Seccombe, “Newstart: Thaw in senate may end 25-year freeze”, July 27-August 2). Even John Howard and Barnaby Joyce think it is a good …