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immigration July 20, 2019

Scott Morrison faces Trump test

For 10 years the Rudd–Gillard–Rudd–Abbott–Turnbull wars roiled and now this week, suddenly, all was quiet. With parliament not sitting, Scott Morrison, unassailed at the top of his Liberal–National Coalition government, was serene in command. His...

law & crime July 20, 2019

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 of...

religion July 13, 2019

Scott Morrison, prayers and Hillsong

Rapturous applause welcomed Scott Morrison to the annual Hillsong conference. Twenty-one thousand delegates bowed their heads as the prime minister led them in prayer for our nation – for veterans doing it tough, young people considering suicide,...

environment July 20, 2019

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 up by the...

religion July 13, 2019

What Scott Morrison’s faith means

On Tuesday night, Australia’s prime minister was praying for some “very important things”. He began to pray “for all of those veterans in our country who are doing it tough”, asking for protection and “peace over them”. His prayer continued: “We...

religion July 6, 2019

Faith and tax cuts as 46th parliament begins

In politics, so the wisdom goes, “perception is reality”. And this week, with the opening of the 46th parliament, the perception and the reality of the federal election hit home, particularly for the vanquished Labor Party. But for the victors, not...

politics July 6, 2019

Money, votes and the ‘pendulum’

What if money didn’t matter much in Australian politics? Clive Palmer just spent $53 million on ads for his United Australia Party and had zero candidates elected. The Greens spent about $320,000 and elected six senators and Adam Bandt in the lower...

economy June 29, 2019

Labor’s contortions on tax package

This weekend Scott Morrison is rubbing shoulders with 19 other world leaders at the G20 summit in Osaka, enjoying the status of Australia’s newly elected prime minister. It’s perfect cover for the softening economy back home. Before his departure,...

immigration June 29, 2019

Social liberalism fits Labor

John Howard once called himself the Liberal Party’s most conservative leader. His successors, however, have outdone him. Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott are easily more conservative than Howard, who has now slipped to bronze on the ranking of most...

ir June 22, 2019

The cost of Coalition tax cuts

The tax cuts impasse between the government and the opposition has opened the way for a familiar play from the senate crossbench. As Scott Morrison was basking in the warmth of a holiday in Fiji, it was the Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick who...

religion June 22, 2019

Government services and religious freedom

It is a peculiar fact that during the same period the number of practising Christians went into sharp decline, the church grew to be larger than it has ever been. Proportionally fewer Australians now attend worship than at any other time in history...