Opinion February 16, 2019

Kerryn Phelps
A bill of human rights

The Australian parliament has taken decisive action to ensure sick refugees held in indefinite detention on Manus Island and Nauru receive prompt and proper medical treatment. Prime Minister Scott Morrison lost the first government vote in the house …

Opinion February 9, 2019

Clementine Ford
The demise of independent media

After last year’s federal leadership spill, the newly anointed prime minister, Scott Morrison, wasted no time asserting his deeply conservative convictions. After a hand-wringing “report” in The Daily Telegraph about training …

Opinion February 9, 2019

Bob Brown
The Stop Adani Convoy

I am 74 and acutely aware that every minute of every day our planet is hotter than when I was a boy, due to the burning of fossil fuels. Storms, droughts and bushfires are all the worse, as predicted 30 years ago. Yet the rate of burning of fossil fuels …

Opinion February 2, 2019

Neela Janakiramanan
Opting out of My Health Record

I remember one warm evening in 2003, when I was still a medical student based in the emergency department of a major metropolitan hospital. An elderly woman walked in to the waiting room and collapsed. The team transferred her to a resuscitation bay, …

Opinion December 22, 2018

Wesley Enoch
Australia Day: Past, present and future

Noel Pearson says there are three narratives that make Australia – the story of the longest continuous living culture on Earth; the tale of the British colonial project and the institutions that have helped shaped our society; and the narrative …

Opinion January 26, 2019

Claire G. Coleman
Bloody Australia Day

When I wrote my debut novel, Terra Nullius, back in 2015, I couldn’t have imagined it would lead to January becoming a month during which I cannot breathe. It is January when I am busiest. While kids are on school holidays, and their parents …

Opinion December 15, 2018

Anne Summers
The dead policy scrolls

It is perhaps easy, given the pitiful state of our federal politics, to forget just how much worse is the state of our policies. They are connected, of course, those principles and pathways. We need them to frame and guide the way we are governed and …

paul bongiorno

Opinion February 16, 2019

Morrison doubles down on security

What a week for the Morrison minority government. It started with the prime minister promising to keep Australians safe and secure. It ended with him and his government looking less assured they will be around long enough to deliver. Tuesday’s historic …

Opinion February 9, 2019

The beginning of the end game

Australia’s part-time federal parliament resumes next week, with just 10 sitting days scheduled before an election in May. To say the government is running scared would be an understatement. Equally, to say Labor is calmly in cruise control is wrong. …

Opinion February 2, 2019

A trip down memory pain

Scott Morrison wants us to forget why he is prime minister. Instead, he assured a national TV audience he was “getting on with it”. The problem is his own MPs, party members and supporters – and the electorate – remain vividly …


Opinion February 16, 2019

Our women

Scott Morrison says he will protect our women. Inherent in his choice of words is the paternalism of a prime minister who doesn’t think his party has a “women problem”, even as it sheds female MPs at record speed. Of a man who starts sentences that describe his concern about the harassment and abuse women face with the caveat, “As a father…”

Opinion February 9, 2019

Loyal commission

Two numbers tell the same story. One is zero and the other is 19 billion. The first is the number of prosecutions recommended by the Hayne royal commission. The second is the amount invested in a record day for bank stocks following the release of its report. One is like the other: craven, predictable and depressing. The report is eviscerating, as were the hearings. Its recommendations are conservative, as was its commissioner.

Opinion February 2, 2019

The breakfast club

“Black children aren’t safe in their own homes.” It’s a line that stretches deep into this country’s history, stringing together atrocities to justify paternalism and refuse self-determination. Kennerley's comment is a familiar straw man, to reach for the worst abuse suffered by First Nations people and then use it to deny action on any other issues.


Opinion February 16, 2019

Justice married

In a week of political panic stations it was touching to see news of Michael Kirby’s marriage to Johan van Vloten, 50 years after their first meeting on Tuesday, February 11, 1969, at the Bottoms Up Bar of the Rex Hotel in Kings Cross. It’s been onwards ever since, with Kirby’s vaulting career as a lawyer and a judge and Johan moving for a time into the newsagency business. On AIDS, discrimination, equality and a fair go even if you don’t have a go, Kirby was unbending, which brought him into conflict with some pretty grisly fossils on the bench.

Opinion February 9, 2019

Greg expectations

The appointment of a new chair for the ABC is in the wind. Names of the contestants have been handed in a sealed envelope to SloMo and the Human Toilet Brush. Speculation suggests the final three are Fairfax’s beloved Greg Plywood, Danny Gilbert from law shop Gilbert + Tobin and ex-Murdoch man Kimbo Williams. Plywood, we know, was in tune with Lord Moloch’s playbook – harping about the free digital news content of the ABC stealing the lunch of newspapers and commercial TV networks.

Opinion February 2, 2019

Leading from behind

Let’s try to keep a sense of proportion about the recent performances of a few of our most adorable contenders. First, The Mad Monk, sportsman and all-round fitness freak, who is raring to have another crack at winning Warringah for the Nasty Party, was in the Palm Beach to Whale Beach 2.8-kilometre swim last Sunday, where he finished 1013th out of 1050.


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Opinion February 16, 2019

Bipartisan agreement on torture

Every time I see a picture of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (on the cover of No. 239, Karen Middleton, “The pain in Hayne stays mainly...”, February 9-15) I also think of Tanya Plibersek, two parliamentarians of the major parties who have refugee …

Opinion February 9, 2019

Award for Manus journalist

Congratulations to Behrouz Boochani for winning the Victorian Prize for Literature and to The Saturday Paper for bringing his disturbing and powerful book No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison to the attention of its …

Opinion February 2, 2019

UN should act on West Papua

The Indonesian embassy’s response to “Chemical weapons dropped on Papua” (Letters, January 26-February 1) is an example of misdirection and government evasion, obscuring and misrepresenting an oppressive and illegal situation in …