Opinion April 13, 2019

Paddy Manning
The funding gap on education

If you’ve lost track of the frustrating schools funding debate lately, it’s time to start paying attention. The difference between the offerings of the two major political parties at the federal election is sharp and it boils down to one number …

Opinion April 6, 2019

Richard Ackland
The media and contempt of court

Not since Derryn “The Human Headline” Hinch was sent down for 50 days in 2014 for contempt of court has there been such heightened anticipation in the Australian media, as it waits to learn the fate of 36 journalists and media organisations …

Opinion March 30, 2019

Barry Jones
The death of political debate

In Australia, in the decades after World War II, politicians were generally ahead of public opinion – on the mass migration program and ending the White Australia Policy, on abolishing the death penalty, divorce law reform, the decriminalisation …

Opinion March 23, 2019

Judy Courtin
Fixing the National Redress Scheme

Although I have worked with victims of institutional abuse and their families for more than 12 years, initially through my doctoral research into sexual assault and the Catholic Church and more recently as a lawyer, I could never have imagined the fall …

Opinion March 9, 2019

Arthur Moses, SC
Suppression orders and open justice

The rise of the digital age has virtually thrown open the doors of Australian courts far wider than the jurists who first wrote of the need for open justice could have imagined. Much has been said in recent weeks about the operation of suppression …

Opinion March 16, 2019

Nayuka Gorrie
Sobering statistics

In December last year, Aunty Tanya Day’s death in custody came to public attention with the beginning of a coronial inquest into her death. A year earlier, the Yorta Yorta grandmother was kicked off a train from Echuca to Melbourne by a V/Line staff …

Opinion March 2, 2019

Robert Manne
The myth of the great wave

It is as certain as anything in politics can be that during the next three months, as the federal election looms, the Morrison government will claim time and again that if Australians want to prevent a new wave of asylum seekers on boats they have no …

paul bongiorno

Opinion April 13, 2019

PM sets tone for May 18 election

The 2019 election campaign is off to an inauspicious start. The tone has been set by the prime minister, who admits he is the underdog and seems to have decided the best way to win over voters is to treat them like mugs, launching an absurd attack on …

Opinion April 6, 2019

Coalition banks on infrastructure

“Scott’s giving it his best shot.” That was the generous assessment of one of the prime minister’s troops, who voted for him reluctantly in last year’s leadership coup. The prompt for the observation was the Morrison government’s …

Opinion March 30, 2019

Morrison gears up for last-ditch budget

The government is rushing at breakneck speed towards its date with destiny. On Tuesday night the treasurer will unveil the first budget of the Morrison government, which the polls suggest will almost certainly be the last fiscal prescription of the shambles …


Opinion April 13, 2019

Untold damages

Eryn Jean Norvill never wanted to be there. And yet there she was, sitting in the front row of the packed Sydney courtroom, waiting for the judgement to be handed down in Nationwide News Pty Limited v Rush. There she was, against her wishes, waiting to hear Justice Michael Wigney label her an incredible witness, one “prone to exaggeration and embellishment”.

Opinion April 6, 2019

Turning a blind eye

On the United States news site The Verge, a story recently appeared, a months-long investigation, in which content moderators employed by Facebook detail the cruel nature of their work for the tech giant. Witness to the most violent impulses of humanity on a daily basis, they spoke of emotional strain, paralysing anxiety, panic attacks and even PTSD-like symptoms that have stemmed, they believe, from their work. Not least from the brutal videos and images they must review – one after another – for hours on end.

Opinion March 30, 2019

Rise of the outsiders

In 2002, Mark Latham delivered the Menzies Lecture at London’s Kings College, canvassing the rise of Pauline Hanson, among other things. Pointing to the growing divide in our politics, he sought to explain her accumulation of power. “I would argue that the political spectrum is best understood as a struggle between insiders and outsiders,” he said, “the abstract values of the powerful centre versus the pragmatic beliefs of those who feel disenfranchised by social change.”


Opinion April 13, 2019

The A-Team’s heroes for hire

There’s a sense of relief that the nation is now in caretaker mode – a nice change from the usual arrangement where the affairs of state are conducted with unremitting carelessness.

Opinion April 6, 2019

Not beyond regional doubt

Already the leaflets from people chasing votes are flooding into citizens’ inboxes. Former Labor man Warren Mundine, now the Liberal Party pea for Gilmore, is up and at it. His email to electors claimed: “I’ve spent my entire life in regional Australia, helping to create jobs and build communities. I’ll fight for you and stand up for our region’s needs.”

Opinion March 30, 2019

Howard makes his points

There they were, Little Winston Howard and Fabulous Phil Ruddock, like two grizzled Muppets at the Liberal Party’s party at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth hotel on Saturday night. Howard has engaged Pig Iron Bob’s personal groomer to try to train his eyebrows to levels of imperial magnificence. On Pig Iron, the tufts looked impressive. On Winston they resemble small furry bush insects that have fallen asleep on his face.


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Opinion April 13, 2019

The video hit on Michael Daley

As a long-time New South Wales Labor supporter, I am grateful to the Liberals for spilling the beans on Michael Daley (Paddy Manning, “Inside the Liberal Party’s dirt unit”, April 6–12). He was clearly not equipped to lead our …

Opinion April 6, 2019

Time for courageous leadership

Thank you, Barry Jones (“Death of debate”, March 30–April 5), for reminding us of the need for long memories to see and understand the changes in our nation’s politics. I also remember when Australia’s visionary political …

Opinion March 30, 2019

Long history of targeting minorities

There has been much apportioning of blame over the massacre in Christchurch, but I am afraid the malaise goes much deeper than anyone has mentioned yet and that the attitude and actions that led to this atrocity are in fact an integral part of Western …