immigration August 21, 2021

Scott Morrison is stuck

Scott Morrison has an answer for everything and a solution for nothing. Like the neoliberalism of which his party was once so proud, he is all promise and no delivery. His press conferences have long been a masterclass in dictating the terms of...

defence July 3, 2021

Investigative reporting and defamation

The Ben Roberts-Smith case may be the greatest show in town, yet the consequences for the media defendants cannot be overstated. The future of investigative reporting is held in the balance. It may not yet have sunk in how significant the case is to...

defence November 21, 2020

The politics of deploying the SAS

The decision to use the SAS on high-tempo deployments was political: it made Australia a useful ally to the US. It may have also contributed to a culture of abuse.

defence June 8, 2019

Morrison goes from royals to rate cuts to raids

As it was for his many predecessors, Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, were ushered into the Buckingham Palace parlour the Queen reserves for meeting her prime ministers. The antique two-bar electric heater was not turned on in the fireplace but...

immigration July 22, 2017

Security and Malcolm Turnbull’s bluff

A bloke named Craig Morgan got his 15 minutes of fame this week. Barnaby Joyce identified him as the man who once knocked out his front teeth. “You remember his name?” the journalist at GQ magazine asked. “When someone removes your front teeth, you...

defence August 1, 2015

Boots on the ground, head in the clouds

Nearly a year ago Daesh fighters herded Yazidi men and women to the top of Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, killing hundreds along the way. That series of massacres, along with the capture of Mosul a month earlier, catalysed global attention and...

defence July 4, 2015

Tony Abbott’s ABF and excessive use of higher force

The last thing the prime minister wanted to talk about on the first day of the new financial year was the economy. Firmly on his agenda is the existential threat to Australia posed by a “death cult”, and boat people. Both politically more fertile...

defence July 4, 2015

Vulnerable, brutalised and returned to Nauru

In this story Requiring medical treatment Sorrow and frustration I have known Arezo for a little over 15 months now. This is not her real name. For her own sake, it cannot be. For most of the time I have known Arezo, she has been held in the...

defence June 6, 2015

China building islands, not bridges

Midway through the weekend and I was asking if it was all worth it: the hundreds of delegates; the heavy security checkpoints clustered around every approach to Singapore’s Shangri-La Hotel; the multitude of defence ministers and their entourages...

defence May 2, 2015

The new Space Race

Beneath George Clooney’s steely gaze, the crisis at the heart of the 2013 movie Gravity begins when a major global power recklessly shoots down a satellite, creating a chain reaction of rolling debris that destroys most of the space infrastructure...

defence February 21, 2015

Time for decisions on navy’s new submarine fleet

When new personnel board one of the Royal Australian Navy’s Collins-class submarines, the crew has a novel way of outlining the high stakes of operating beneath the sea. As a senior naval officer once explained to me at Australia’s West Coast...