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health March 28, 2020

The pandemic we had to have

Over the past 18 years or so we’ve had periodic public health warnings about one or another bad bug that’s out to get us. In 2002-03, there was severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-1), H5N1 bird flu in 2002, the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009...

health March 28, 2020

Government’s crashing failure in face of crisis

If anything crystallises the brutal impact of the coronavirus crisis in Australia, it is the thousands queued outside Centrelink offices around the country this week. The lines began forming the day after the prime minister announced that vast...

health March 21, 2020

How Australia can avoid economic collapse in the wake of Covid-19

For decades, Australians have been sold an imagined poverty. We have been told we need to “rein in” government spending – that if we want to spend more on health or education, we will need to spend less on the age pension or childcare. The Coalition...

health March 21, 2020

Morrison’s coronavirus awakening

There in the prime ministerial courtyard of Parliament House, Scott Morrison finally admitted his world had crumbled. “Life is changing in Australia, as it is changing all around the world,” he began his news conference midweek. “Life is going to...

law & crime March 14, 2020

Christchurch and the threat of right-wing extremism

I’ve thought of Haji Daoud Nabi at every Muslim social event I’ve attended since the Christchurch attack last year. He was the first to die, gunned down after greeting his killer at the doorway of the mosque with the words, “Hello, brother, welcome...

health March 14, 2020

Morrison announces ‘Team Australia’ stimulus

The coronavirus-induced panic that has caused the great run on toilet paper is not confined to the herd instinct of millions of shoppers. Fear of being the first government to preside over the end of 30 years of uninterrupted growth is gripping...

politics March 7, 2020

A fraction too much fiction

The truth, in Scott Morrison’s world, is like light. With the right forces, it can be fractured or bent out of shape. Sometimes it changes of its own accord, as the sun charts a course across the sky. As a reporter, I have followed Morrison’s...

politics March 7, 2020

Scott Morrison’s misleading hedges

It is getting harder by the week to believe a word uttered by the prime minister of Australia. And no one has done more to undermine Scott Morrison’s credibility than the man himself. This harsh judgement is shared not only by his political...

economy February 29, 2020

The inequality of the superannuation system

A part-time cleaner earning $18,000 a year will receive zero tax concessions for their compulsory superannuation contribution; meanwhile, a chief executive of a big bank can get tens of thousands of dollars every year in taxpayer support for their “...

environment February 29, 2020

Scott Morrison’s quest for immunity

There’s an old saying in politics, “Never waste a good crisis.” And it’s crystal clear Scott Morrison isn’t wasting any moment where he can be seen responding to the threat coronavirus – or COVID-19, as it’s now known – is posing to Australia and...

religion February 22, 2020

St Kevin’s College, abuse and the language of pain

An ugly wound has been opened at the heart of St Kevin’s College this week, after revelations in a Four Corners report about the school’s failures to respond to complaints of a culture of secrecy, toxic masculinity and sexual abuse. The scandal at...