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Surprise: the status quo election
Scott Morrison’s win should not have been a surprise - Australia has been stuck on the same voting divide since 2010. We fractured first, before Trump or Brexit.
The Mothers’ Resistance
Since its introduction, ParentsNext has been a controversial welfare program – but there is a mothers’ resistance mounting against it.
Death of a president
Before his death, the former president of Nauru explained how a deal with Australia to open a detention centre destroyed democracy in his country.
From the Heart
Having once been rejected by government, the Uluru Statement from the Heart is readying for referendum.
What Morrison did next
Two weeks after the election, Scott Morrison has identified 10 seats the Coalition wants to win.
Anthony Albanese didn’t always expect to be Labor leader but now he’s in the job, he’s not going anywhere.
Morrison’s broad church
Scott Morrison’s cabinet is a careful balance between those who backed him during last year’s leadership spill, and those who backed Peter Dutton.
A mistake of fact
How “Mistake of Fact” makes drunkenness a legal defence for serious crimes, and the campaign to change that.
Charlie Teo, virtuosic rebel
Charlie Teo is Australia’s best-known surgeon. His career asks difficult questions about the balance between hope and orthodoxy.
Rates, raids and meeting the Queen
Scott Morrison flies back from meeting the Queen to a flagging economy and concern over raids on the ABC and other reporters.
Sacking Scott Morrison
Before entering parliament, Scott Morrison ran Tourism Australia. He was sacked by the minister, but the details of what happened have never been made public.
Breaking up big tech
Once a radical thought, the idea of breaking up tech giants to help regulate them is gaining traction with politicians and tech entrepreneurs.
Trade war now
As the trade war escalates between China and the United States, it’s the US that has become the radical actor.
The Morrison vacuum
As Scott Morrison searches for a path to legislate his tax cuts, concerns over press freedom continue to trouble his government.
A shooting in Darwin
The mass shooting in Darwin was the worst in Australia since Port Arthur, but it received little attention. What happens to the people left behind?
Looking for Mike Cannon-Brookes
As Al Gore continues his fight against climate change, Mike Cannon-Brookes has become the movement’s Australian face.
Turnbull’s stray dog
The election result has put faith back on the national agenda. But the issue is dogged by a review Malcolm Turnbull commissioned and never had the chance to answer.
Gaming the gaming industry
Australia records higher gambling losses than any country in the world, while the sector uses faulty research to avoid regulation.
Double bluffs and Cory Bernardi
As Labor and the Coalition explore a double bluff on tax cuts, Cory Bernardi wants back into the Liberal Party.
The insecurity machine
The election was shaped by the character of two men. Its outcome shows us how the country reacts to insecurity, and what that means for change.
Rosie Batty’s private grief
Rosie Batty talks to Martin McKenzie-Murray about grief and healing.
Protest in Hong Kong
As millions protest on the streets of Hong Kong, the democratic freedoms promised in the handover to China are being tested.
Israel Folau’s cycle of sin
Following the sacking of Israel Folau by Rugby Australia, a fissure has opened up in the debate over equality and freedoms.
Condemned to interesting times
As Labor loses party discipline over tax cuts, the Coalition enters into an ugly post-mortem of its leadership change.
Morrison’s inner circle
Scott Morrison’s inner circle is a group linked by faith and friendship – and now, the front bench. Their ties were confirmed during the leadership spill last year.
Mine on the moon
The discovery of water ice on the moon has started a new space race – and opened a legal frontier in which Australia has a unique role.
The sperm donor question
The high court has found that sperm donors can have fathers’ rights, but the ruling is inherently conservative.
As the government pushes to repeal the medivac legislation, lawyers and doctors contradict the arguments put against it.
Faith and taxes
As Scott Morrison’s tax cuts make their way through the parliament, there are fresh questions over religious freedoms.
The broken pendulum
The pendulum that is used to predict outcomes in elections is broken. One unexpected consequence is for the role of money in politics.
As the government produces legislation to temporarily ban foreign fighters from returning to Australia, there is growing concern over whether existing citizenship legislation is unconstitutional.
Scott Morrison and the Laffer napkin
Scott Morrison’s tax cuts are based on an American theory of economics trialled in the 1970s, but the evidence since suggests it does not work.
Surviving Australia’s biggest cult, The Family
Following the death of cult leader Anne Hamilton-Byrne, surviving members of The Family reckon with judgement.
A Voice and a prayer
Scott Morrison began the week praying in front of 21,000 people. He closed it promising a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.
The extinction rebellion
Extinction Rebellion is not focusing on one project; it’s focusing on the system as a whole. And change can come from just a small segment of society participating in sustained non-compliance.
The truth about small government
Scott Morrison’s signature achievement could be the tax cuts he legislated earlier this month – although not for the reasons he believes.
Guarding the henhouse
Almost two years since changes were implemented following a royal commission into youth detention, tear gas is again being used on children in the Northern Territory.
Understanding Scott Morrison’s Pentecostalism
To understand Scott Morrison, it helps to understand his faith. Tanya Levin is a former Pentecostal who argues that the church informs every aspect of his politics.
The ballad of Trump and ScoMo
With Scott Morrison emerging as a Donald Trump favourite, there are questions to ask about the meaning of their association.
China’s military and the plan for dominance
As China seeks to assert dominance, Australia finds itself upping the stakes in a game it doesn’t want to play.
Despite hopes that were placed in Ken Wyatt as minister, Scott Morrison says there will be no constitutional enshrinement of an Indigenous Voice to parliament. Karen Middleton on the campaign to keep the Voice alive.
A softening in the housing market has shown up defects and flaws that were being hidden by demand.
The march of the older voter
As older voters become a larger and more powerful voting bloc, they are also becoming more organised.
Labor strategy and ‘the secret agenda’
The Labor Party has come back to parliament with a plan to ignore Scott Morrison, making the most of an ill-disciplined backbench.
Ending domestic violence
Australia is ahead of the world in some of its responses to domestic violence, but its national plan has no measurable targets.
Cyber spy powers
Home Affairs is pushing for new powers to allow the Australian Signals Directorate to embed in corporate computer systems – transforming the body into one that disrupts crime and other attacks.
Cooling in the Pacific
Climate change is now the defining issue for the Pacific. It is also one of the factors undermining Australia’s relationship with the region.
The case for raising Newstart
As the campaign to raise Newstart intensifies, details emerge of who is actually living on the payment and for how long.
Betting against integrity
Amid claims of misconduct against Crown Casino, Labor and the Coalition voted down a parliamentary inquiry into the affair.
The Latham Moment
Just on 15 years ago, almost half the country voted for Mark Latham. Now, the former Labor leader is a One Nation representative who could play a significant role in the new right.
Game, Setka, match
As the Morrison government pushes for legislation to more easily deregister unions, there are questions over timing and the new laws’ real intent.
Racism and the judge
As a judge’s comments about Aboriginal people cause outrage, lawyers in the Northern Territory wonder why a key body hasn’t made a complaint.
A question of dignity
After Kate O’Halloran’s grandmother was placed in residential care, her family complained about her treatment. The centre responded by threatening to withdraw her place.
Rodney Rude diplomacy
A visit from US ministers gives a clearer picture of what America wants. But as Trump’s trade war with China escalates, it also sets the stakes for Scott Morrison’s visit to Washington.
Murdoch and the far-right
For the first time ever, individual articles can be linked to far-right recruitment drives. High on the list is reporting from The Australian, in stories about Safe Schools as well as about race.
On politics and gambling
The refusal of the major parties to hold a parliamentary inquiry into Crown Casino speaks to a larger relationship between politics and the gambling lobby. It’s not just donations: Labor draws millions in profits from poker machines it owns.
In the past decade, reports of teachers and principals being abused by parents have increased. Jane Caro on accounts that range from intimidation to stalking.
Sperm in the time of Facebook
A strict legal framework means there is a shortage of sperm donors across Australia. But online there is a huge and unregulated market of people willing to donate.
Hastie and Morrison
As the Morrison government begins its inquiry into press freedom, there is concern about the bipartisanship of the committee hearing it. At the centre is Andrew Hastie.
Booing Adam Goodes
Adam Goodes’s AFL career was played at the intersection of race and politics. Stan Grant on what his story says about white Australia.
Is China a threat?
As Xi Jinping increases his power and ambition, there is tension over the influence China has in Australia. Progressive critics finds themselves aligned with right-wing voices.
Saving the birthing trees
As the Andrews government attempts to negotiate treaty with First Nations people in Victoria, it is proceeding with a plan to bulldoze hundreds of sacred Djab Wurrung trees.
Drugs in swimming
The furore over Australian swimmer Mack Horton’s stand against long-time rival Sun Yang underscores confusion about how drug testing in sport actually works.
Scott Morrison vs. the World
As he arrives for talks in Vietnam, Scott Morrison is struggling to match his attempts at diplomacy with his position on climate change.
Grief, anger and climate change
Joelle Gergis is one of Australia’s leading climate scientists. She says there is resistance to talking about emotions around science, but she feels grief and anger.
Scott Morrison’s middle class
Scott Morrison says the middle class doesn’t trust the public service. The problem is available research says the opposite.
Inside the Greens
The Greens is a party with a leader who many think is too mainstream, struggling with the growing pains of infighting and factionalism. It is also on the cusp of another step change.
Home Affairs’ propaganda machine
When a communications agency started contacting Muslim Australians for social media training, no one realised they were being pulled into Home Affairs’ propaganda machine.
Timor bug, China spy
While Australia remains belligerent over the Witness K case, Canberra is standing up to Beijing over the imprisonment of Yang Hengjun.
Badiucao, Chinese dissident
Months before the latest protests in Hong Kong, the Chinese government shut down an art exhibition by Chinese-Australian dissident Badiucao. This is his story.
Reporting the Panama Papers
The reporter behind the Panama Papers, Bastian Obermayer, on how he handled the leak and what he has found in Australia.
As Brian Toohey releases his major book on national security in Australia, he reveals that American spies have been working here without detection.
The truth about wages
The reality of the wage debate in Australia is that companies are geared to pay dividends rather than to invest in growth – and the treasurer’s intervention does nothing to change that.
What Morrison didn’t expect in Biloela
How support for a Tamil family in Biloela blindsided the government and caused the prime minister to panic.
The revolving door
Inside the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, a place that is dysfunctional, inflexible and underfunded.
Inside the Adani blockade
There is fresh momentum behind the Adani mine in central Queensland. What happens next could define Australia’s relationship to climate change both here and globally.
Christian Porter’s integrity commission
As ICAC exposes apparent corruption in NSW, focus is drawn on the government’s integrity commission, which, among other things, could not make findings of corruption.
The Daddy Quota
When Annabel Crabb decided to find out what happens to men’s work habits when they have children, she discovered a huge store of gendered norms and inequality.
Holding onto Gladys Liu
As some backbenchers express doubt that Gladys Liu can stay in parliament, Scott Morrison is digging in behind his MP.
Inside the meat disco
When the impresario behind Earthcore died last year, he left behind a legacy of paranoia, intimidation and financial mismanagement.
Scott Morrison’s poverty fix
As Scott Morrison announces punitive welfare plans, Rick Morton asks what happens when you treat poverty as a moral problem.
Return to Timor-Leste
Twenty years after Timor-Leste’s vote for independence, the country’s relationship with Australia remains fraught.
What’s eating Philip Lowe
Philip Lowe is the governor of the Reserve Bank. He is a conventional person who’s been pushed by the economy to make unconventional choices.
Scott goes to Washington
Tomorrow, Scott Morrison will be received in Washington on a state visit. It highlights his special relationship with Donald Trump and his difficulty with Beijing.
Inside the Tanya Day inquest
Tanya Day died after being arrested for drunkenness. A coroner is now asking whether systemic racism contributed to her death.
Death of the speech
Don Watson on the end of speech making in politics, and how the loss of narrative undermines bold policy.
Running the NDIS
As a royal commission into disability care begins, it emerges that key emails relating to the NDIS are held on a private bank server and cannot be accessed.
Convicting a Newcastle priest
When former Anglican dean Graeme Lawrence was found guilty of child sexual abuse, his victim, Ben Giggins, made the unusual decision to request that the court name him publicly.
Part one: The murder of Eurydice Dixon
One of the terrible facts about the day Jaymes Todd killed Eurydice Dixon is that for him it was almost all very ordinary.
Part two: The sentencing of Jaymes Todd
The judge who sentenced Jaymes Todd for the rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon was asked to consider Todd’s age, autism diagnosis and early guilty plea.
Almonds are the devil’s nut
The Murray–Darling Basin is being ruined by cronyism and incompetence. But there is a new problem, too: high-yield almond crops.
What drives Penny Wong
Penny Wong is the intellectual leader of the Labor Party. Now the subject of a major biography, her politics is shaped by her experiences of difference and her belief in compassion.
Trump, Morrison, money and the drought
As Scott Morrison tried to shift Australia’s focus to the drought, and the cash rate fell below 1 per cent, Donald Trump’s paranoia followed the prime minister home.
Who is Scott Morrison?
Scott Morrison shares a rhetorical lineage with Robert Menzies and a suburban one with John Howard. But what worked then might not work now.
Growing old in a pyramid scheme
The aged-care sector is on the brink of collapse. The major providers have been propped up by a government bailout, but without reform they cannot keep operating.
Carbon, beef and the underground economy
The latest IPCC report says current farming practices are unsustainable. But there are solutions, if farmers want to change.
The Monthly Awards 2019
Each year, The Monthly assembles a panel of critics and artists to decide The Monthly Awards. This episode showcases the winners.
The luck and the chutzpah
As the Liberal Party slides further on climate change, the Labor Party fights an internal push to abandon its platform.
Spies and Chinese money
Australia’s relationship with Chinese investment has been remade in the past six years. David Uren on how ASIO helped transform the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Exclusive: Forfeited to state care
A dispute over funding and the NDIS has forced 500 families to forfeit their children into state care.
Peter Dutton’s war on dissent
From anti-protest legislation to funding cuts, this government has waged war on dissent. In recent weeks, its rhetoric has intensified.
Cash and the black economy
New legislation will restrict the way Australians use cash. But there are concerns the laws could jail people for using legal tender.
That won’t feed one cow
As Scott Morrison attempts to control the message on handling the drought, there is bad news for his claims to strong economic management.
A classroom full of dollars
The boom in international education has seen students become commodities. It has also changed the way universities operate - chasing rankings and casualising teaching staff.
An error at the Department of Human Services caused the original robo-debt algorithm to restart, issuing thousands of unchecked debt notices.
Out of office
As Labor waits for a review of its election loss, and another into the operations of its NSW branch, Anthony Albanese is wrestling with divisions inside the party.
Lock ’em up
Australia is almost alone its willingness to lock up primary-school-age children for criminal offences, but “tough on crime” politics means there is little will to change this.
To Howard with love
Paul Bongiorno on how the Liberal Party celebrates and how the National Party brawls.
Swallowed by the sea (part one)
A decision to hand planning about sea-level rise to local council has opened up a war around science, property values and influence.
Swallowed by the sea (part two)
How the American anti-climate-science lobby hijacked local councils in Australia, changing sea-level benchmarks as it went.
Strip-searched in Newtown
As the number of police strip-searches rises in NSW, a law enforcement commission considers whether many of them are actually legal.
Rosie Batty’s next fight
Rosie Batty on Pauline Hanson’s family law inquiry, and why governments won’t do more to stop domestic violence.
The surplus disease
The Morrison government is committed to a budget surplus above all else. But as Paul Keating points out, this commitment can be a kind of sickness.
Looking for Albanese
Anthony Albanese was shaped by the circumstances of his childhood. The question now is if his working-class background can help Labor reconnect to its working-class base.
Ross Garnaut – the man who wrote the Rudd government’s response to climate change – says Australia has more to gain from a zero-carbon future than any other developed country.
The death toll of inequality
In Australia, the gap in life expectancy between the rich and poor has reached 10 years – the outcome of “savage capitalism”.
The sniff, the scent of victory
As Labor responds to an internal review of its election defeat, some in the party feel they have already lost the next election.
What’s happening in Queensland?
Lech Blaine grew up in country Queensland. After the 2019 federal election, he spent several weeks driving around the state, trying to understand what makes it different.
Morrison’s darkest speech yet
Scott Morrison’s speech to the Queensland Resources Council has been called a defining moment in his leadership. Mike Seccombe on what it says about his “ordinary bloke” mask.
Sums in a notepad: mental health and work
The federal government spends twice as much on income support for people affected by mental illness as it does on treatment. Rick Morton on living inside these figures – and the “arithmetic of existence”.
ASIO officers broke law on warrant
We don’t know what exactly happened or what ASIO was investigating; those details are secret. We do know that early last year the spy agency broke the law while conducting an operation.
The burning truth
As fires burn through NSW and Queensland, a fundamental shift can be detected in Canberra: the politics of climate change have altered.
Thoughts and prayers are not enough
Last week, a million hectares of eastern Australia was burnt in catastrophic bushfires. In the main, politicians refused to acknowledge the science that links these fires to climate change.
Changing consent law
A review of consent laws in New South Wales is recommending changes to how juries interpret sexual assaults and the onus that is placed on defendants. Bri Lee on the response from frontline organisations and the woman whose case triggered the inquiry.
The cabinet maker
Since becoming prime minister, Scott Morrison has stamped himself on the cabinet process. There will be more PowerPoints, and less debate about issues he sees as being routine.
The next fight on Uluru
Summary: Scott Morrison’s co-design process rules out the key aspirations of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. But there are signs that a new political fight is about to begin.
Robo-debt and China (a week in two acts)
The Morrison government has halted its robo-debt program, finally confronting issues with the troubled scheme. Separately, the government has affirmed its reliance on Chinese trade – irrespective of human rights concerns.
The red princeling
Xi Jinping’s ambitions for China are paranoid and expansionist. His mindset mirrors that of the guerrilla fighters in the Chinese Civil War.
Peter Ridd’s European adventure
A speaking tour of Europe has revealed the strategy behind Peter Ridd’s rejection of reef science: he believes that if people doubt the reef is dying, they will doubt climate change more broadly.
The politicians fighting to bring Assange home
As Julian Assange fights against extradition to the United States, an unlikely group of politicians is working to have him returned to Australia.
Fascism and troll culture
According to Jeff Sparrow, a new fascism is emerging from the internet – one rooted in meme culture, but that harnesses mass shootings as a political tool.
Defending Angus Taylor (the lone wolf and the albatross)
Scott Morrison has put himself in a difficult position, calling the NSW police commissioner to check on an investigation into his own minister.
Inside the Westpac scandal
As the fallout from the Westpac scandal continues, attempts are already underway to limit corporate responsibility.
Andrew Bolt vs Dark Emu
Andrew Bolt has led a campaign against Bruce Pascoe and his book Dark Emu. But after reading the explorer journals on which the book is based, Rick Morton was unable to find any errors.
George Megalogenis on Australia’s next decade
As the first two decades of the 21st century come to an end, George Megalogenis considers Australia’s place as a middle power and the demographics that will change our parliament.
Angus Taylor’s hydrogen scandal
How the government – led by Angus Taylor and Matt Canavan – is ensuring Australia’s hydrogen industry is controlled by fossil fuels.
Jacqui Lambie’s secret deal
Jacqui Lambie says she has a deal with the government to repeal medevac. She won’t say what it is, and the government says it never existed.
The man who didn’t kill Colin Winchester (part one)
David Eastman was thought of as a serial pest, until he was convicted of killing Australia’s police chief. The problem was, he didn’t do it.
The man who didn’t kill Colin Winchester (part two)
Following his wrongful conviction for the murder of Canberra’s top police officer, David Eastman sought compensation. But bigger questions remain, about mental health and the law.
The big wedge (Or: How Murdoch lobbies government)
Following an inquiry into digital platforms, the government finds itself wedged between News Corp and the tech giants. Both sides are lobbying heavily.
What happened to David Savage
Seven years ago, David Savage was injured while working for the Australian government in Afghanistan. He has fought since to have his compensation settled and the truth of what happened acknowledged.
Where there’s smoke, there’s climate change
As fires burn across the east coast and Sydney suffers catastrophic air pollution, the Coalition government is arguing to do less on climate change.
Return to Stasiland
Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Anna Funder on how understanding the Stasi can help us comprehend the age of surveillance in which we live.
Brian Houston, we have a problem
As the Hillsong Church booms internationally, its local arm is still dealing with the fallout from the royal commission into child sexual abuse.
Helen Garner’s diary
Helen Garner has been keeping a diary for as long as she has been a writer. She published extracts from last year’s in the latest issue of The Monthly.
What is Labor doing on coal?
Anthony Albanese says ending Australian coal exports won’t halt climate change. He says we need to cut emissions, but Adani should get on with it and start digging in the Galilee Basin.
A very Morrison Christmas
As fires continue on both sides of the continent, and the government succeeds in putting off commitments at the UN climate talks, Scott Morrison has gone on holidays.
Fighting fire with... what?
The bushfire season still has months to run. The question is whether volunteers can make it through another crisis without radical changes to how they work.
Brendan Nelson’s gravy sandwich
As minister for defence, Brendan Nelson controversially spent $6.6 billion on Boeing fighter jets. Now he is running the company’s Australian division.
Sports grants are the tip of the iceberg
As the government deals with the Bridget McKenzie scandal, questions are being asked about other larger grant programs.
Exclusive: Red Cross staff speak out
Current and former Red Cross staff have criticised the way the organisation is handling donations during Australia’s bushfire crisis.
Scott Morrison’s eternal present
As Scott Morrison pivots to the coronavirus evacuation and deploys the military to the fire zone, questions are being asked about the management of both responses.
The prime minister and the dung beetle
Don Watson on why Scott Morrison is not really a politician, and how meaning left politics.
Honouring Bettina Arndt, men’s rights activist
Controversial men’s rights activist Bettina Arndt has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia. Feminist academic Eva Cox considered giving back her AO in protest – and says it’s more evidence the system needs to change.
What happens if we don’t stop coronavirus?
As coronavirus shuts borders and creates global panic, Rick Morton explains where the virus originated and looks at attempts to combat it.
Australia’s secret emissions target
Every state and territory government in Australia has a target of net zero emissions by 2050. What are the benefits, and the risks, of the states defying the federal government?
Barnaby Joyce’s failed coup
Barnaby Joyce lost his leadership tilt but has reopened a schism in the Coalition on climate policy.
Profiting from Auschwitz: How 4 million books were sold on fabrications
Australian author Heather Morris has made millions selling books about the Holocaust, but the people in them are unrecognisable to their families.
Did Clive Palmer buy an election for $84 million?
From the point of view of his failed candidates, Clive Palmer’s campaign was a success. So what does $84 million buy you at an election?
The love story behind Australia’s biggest political donation
Scott Morrison received the biggest individual political donation in Australian history. Behind it was a love story – and a man who asked for nothing in return.
The tiny town where Scott Morrison is building a nuclear dump
Australia’s first nuclear dump is set to be built in a small town in South Australia. The government has spent millions trying to win over locals – but the community is viciously divided.
Llew ‘Who’ O’Brien and the National Party turducken
Why the chaos that installed Llew O’Brien as deputy speaker is really about Queensland state politics - and how it’s set the clock on nine months of dysfunction from the Coalition.
Zali Steggall’s climate breaker
How a British model to end climate dysfunction is being introduced in parliament and could work here.
Plants, mental health and an unrecognised humanitarian crisis
Asylum seekers who have been cut off from government support are finding solace in an unexpected place: their own community garden.
Suing over Howard’s camps
The government has spent more than a decade fighting compensation claims launched by more than 60 former asylum seekers detained in Australia’s notorious detention centres. Today, we ask why it’s taking so long.
The minister for nuclear power
Meet Keith Pitt - climate sceptic, coal evangelist and the parliament’s most strident nuclear advocate. He’s also the new minister for Water and Resources.
Does Scott Morrison finally have a climate policy?
Scott Morrison is sandwiched between the climate deniers in his own government on one side and Russell Crowe on the other, as he tries to come up with a new climate policy.
How billions in government spending could be unlawful
In the past year, the government has directed nearly $5 billion to various schemes using a process lawyers say is likely unconstitutional.
The prison riot sparked by climate change
A prison riot sparked by an intense heat wave shows how vulnerable prisoners are to the impacts of extreme weather. Stella Maynard on how climate change is making prisons even more punitive.
We need to talk about St Kevin’s
In today’s episode, we speak to former St Kevin’s student Luke Macaronas about what stops elite private schools and other powerful institutions from addressing issues of abuse.
How coronavirus feeds Australian racism
The panic generated by coronavirus has reignited an older, deeper panic about Chinese migrants. Today, we look at what coronavirus can tell us about racism in Australia.
Scott Morrison’s fortunate disaster
Coronavirus has provided Scott Morrison with an opportunity to re-establish his leadership credentials, but will it work? Today, Paul Bongiorno on how the prime minister is making the most of this crisis.
The town without abortion
A consortium of powerful religious doctors has made it impossible to choose a surgical abortion in one of Australia’s largest regional towns – even in the public hospital there.
Could we end domestic violence?
The murder of Hannah Clarke and her children has put Australia’s failure to grapple with domestic violence back on the national agenda. Today, Bri Lee on the changes we need to make to keep women and children safe.
Labor’s climate smokescreen
Labor has now got an emissions target, but no mechanism for getting there. The party’s current position is a far cry from the world-leading climate policies the party used to champion. Mike Seccombe on how Labor lost its nerve.
A fear at the end of the earth
After speaking to scores of ordinary people about climate change, James Button reflects on the anxieties and contradictions in our approach to the future.
My name’s Scott Morrison, and I have a truth problem
Scott Morrison has admitted he attempted to invite Hillsong founder Brian Houston to a White House dinner. But why did he deny it for so long? And is he telling the truth about his office’s involvement in the sports grants scandal?
White terror, part one: 35 widows
A year on from the Christchurch massacre, survivors face isolation and economic hardship. In part one of a three-part special, we speak to the men and women living through the aftermath.
White terror, part two: The dossier
A secret ASIO document warns of the threat of far-right terrorism in Australia. In detail never before published, it outlines the risk Australia faces from those who believe in an impending “race war”.
White terror, part three: The itch at your back
A year on from the Christchurch terrorist attack, Muslims in Australia are still wrestling with a new level of fear. Many are questioning the way the media and politics have stoked division.
Can Team Australia beat the coronavirus?
With economic and social effects of the coronavirus outbreak accelerating, the government has finally released the details of a $17.6 billion stimulus package. Today, Paul Bongiorno on whether the government’s actions will be enough to stave off a recession.
The future of dairy
Animal-free milk could wipe out the traditional dairy industry within the decade. Today, Lesley Hughes on the future of alternative milk and what it means for Australia.
Trust in the time of coronavirus
Public trust in government is at an all time low, just as we’re turning to our political leaders to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.
George Pell’s last stand
Last week the High Court heard George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for child sex abuse. Today, Rick Morton discusses Pell’s last bid for freedom and what could happen next.
Ten questions about coronavirus
What are the symptoms of coronavirus? What can people do to stay safe? What kind of responses will be the most effective? Today, Rick Morton answers some of our basic questions about coronavirus.
The day coronavirus swallowed Scott Morrison
With the cost of coronavirus growing everyday, will Scott Morrison’s stimulus be big enough and fast enough? Today, Paul Bongiorno, on the future of the economy, and the Prime Minister.
Coronavirus, part one: The frontline
As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases grows in Australia, Dr Nenad Macesic describes how doctors are handling the pandemic and what the future holds. This is part one of a five-part special.
Coronavirus, part two: How the government failed
Medical experts say that the government’s slow response to the coronavirus outbreak has left Australia exposed. In part two of our series on COVID-19, Mike Seccombe on the challenge our country and health system is facing.
Coronavirus, part three: the economics of a shutdown
With hundreds of thousands of Australians losing their jobs, the economic cost of coronavirus is becoming clear. Today, chief economist at The Australia Institute Richard Dennis on how we can get through the next 18 months.
Coronavirus, part four: the Australian scientists who could beat it
A team of Australian scientists are working around the clock to find a vaccine against coronavirus, and they’re on the verge of a breakthrough. Today, Rick Morton on the race to find a vaccine.
Coronavirus, part five: One month in
Scott Morrison’s first national address on coronavirus was one month ago. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the decisions his government has made since then and how they stack up.
How to survive the shutdown
As more of Australia goes into coronavirus isolation, advice is being offered on how to manage mental health during a viral pandemic that forces us to separate. We speak to a Melbourne family who have been in isolation for almost 80 days.
Hoaxes, lies and coronavirus
With misinformation about coronavirus rampant, we look at what the spread of the virus is telling us about news, social media, and who we trust.
Should we bail out the airlines?
Australia’s airlines have been hit hard by coronavirus, and they’re asking the government for billions of dollars in financial support. Today, Royce Kurmelovs, on whether it’s time the government nationalised the airline industry.
A Nobel prize winner explains coronavirus
Professor Peter Doherty won the Nobel prize for his research on how our bodies fight off viruses. Today, we ask him what makes Covid-19 different from other infections, and what we should be doing now to prepare for the next pandemic.
How Scott Morrison became an accidental socialist
The past week has completely changed the way politics works in Australia, with a right-wing government introducing the most radical economic measures in a generation. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the political earthquake that rocked Parliament House.
Bonus episode: Behind the scenes at The Saturday Paper and The Monthly
In a special bonus episode of 7am hear from the show’s editor, Osman Faruqi, editor of The Monthly, Nick Feik, and editor of The Saturday Paper, Maddison Connaughton about how they’re adapting to the shutdown, and what role journalism can play in a crisis.
Surviving the economic turmoil of coronavirus
What happens when everyone in a household loses work because of coronavirus? Today we look at the human cost of unemployment and what the government is doing to help people survive.
Policing a pandemic
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, police have been granted extensive new powers to crack down on public association, private gatherings and travel. Today, Mike Seccombe on how Australia is policing a pandemic.
The women and children at risk in a lockdown (plus, the Pell verdict)
The coronavirus lockdown has led to an increase in domestic violence reports, but many victims aren’t able to access support services. Today, Rick Morton on how life has become even more dangerous for some women and children.
How coronavirus could break the NBN
The NBN is facing it’s most crucial test yet, and there are serious questions over whether the network will handle the unprecedented demand. Today, Paddy Manning on our virtual lifeline, and how it’s holding up.
Spotlight: Tracing the source of coronavirus
As coronavirus shuts borders and creates global panic, Rick Morton explains where the virus originated and looks at attempts to combat it.
Spotlight: Looking back at Christchurch
A year on from the Christchurch massacre, survivors face isolation and economic hardship. In part one of a three-part special, we speak to the men and women living through the aftermath.
Spotlight: Inside Australia's biggest cult
Following the death of cult leader Anne Hamilton-Byrne, surviving members of The Family reckon with judgement.
Spotlight: Badiucao, Chinese dissident
Months before the latest protests in Hong Kong, the Chinese government shut down an art exhibition by Chinese-Australian dissident Badiucao. This is his story.
The other holes in Australia’s quarantine
Confusion between different levels of government has exposed flaws in Australia’s strict quarantine measures, and they go beyond the case of the Ruby Princess. Today, Karen Middleton on the other holes in Australia’s quarantine.
Taking back control of our super
Australian superannuation accounts are tumbling because of the coronavirus pandemic. Today, Richard Dennis on how our secretive $2 trillion super industry is spending our money and what needs to change.
What governments are hiding behind coronavirus
While the country’s attention has been focused on the fight against coronavirus, Energy Minister Angus Taylor has forged ahead with a plan to prop up a coal-fired power generator. Today, Mike Seccombe on the push to undermine environmental protections during this crisis.
Virus economics: you and whose numbers
With the global economy facing its biggest downturn since the Great Depression, the Treasury and the IMF are at odds on the extent of the damage in Australia. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the competing economic forecasts for the country, and the way forward.
“I can survive until the end of May, maximum.”
There are over 1 million migrant workers in Australia who aren’t eligible for any financial support from the government as they try to navigate their way through this crisis. Some face destitution and homelessness. Today, we speak to one migrant worker negotiating this new reality.
The coronavirus endgame
As the number of coronavirus infections in Australia stabilises, talk has turned to how and when this crisis might end. Today, Mike Seccombe weighs up the different exit-strategies and analyses the coronavirus end game.
The truth about coronavirus fines
Analysis of the fines for the Covid-19 public health orders reveals a disproportionate number have been issued in places where Indigenous Australians and those from migrant backgrounds live. Today, what the pandemic is revealing about racial bias in policing.
The inside story of Australia’s coronavirus supercluster
Tasmania’s Covid-19 supercluster has forced hospitals to close and lead to thousands of residents being quarantined. Today, we investigate how a severe shortage of protective equipment and the encouragement of dubious practices preceded the deadly outbreak.
Malcolm Turnbull’s last word
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull went on a media blitz this week to promote his new book. In the memoir Turnbull shares his brutally honest opinion on the current prime minister and senior cabinet ministers. Today, Paul Bongiorno on Malcolm Turnbull’s return to centre stage.
Anthony Albanese’s pandemic response
Labor leader Anthony Albanese is juggling the need to appear constructive while holding the government to account. But what does the public actually want from their opposition during this crisis? Today, Karen Middleton on the Opposition’s tactics in a pandemic.
How Indigenous communities got in front of the pandemic
Remote Aboriginal communities across Australia reacted swiftly and effectively to the Covid-19 outbreak, reflecting the disproportionate burden these communities carry when it comes to infectious disease. Today, Amy McQuire on the pandemic and self-determination.
The generation “done over” by coronavirus
Younger workers are bearing the brunt of the current economic downturn, just like they did during the GFC. Today, Mike Seccombe on how the pandemic is fuelling generational inequality.
Evangelical Christianity in the age of coronavirus
The Prime Minister’s relationship to the founder of Hillsong has focused attention on the church. But what does evangelical Christianity look like in an age of climate change and coronavirus? Today, Lech Blaine on the appeal of Hillsong and how it influences the most powerful politician in the country.
How Scott Morrison sparked a new war with China
Scott Morrison’s push for an inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak has further strained Australia’s relationship with China. The Chinese government has expressed concern and threatened retaliation. Today, Paul Bongiorno on a new low in Chinese–Australian relations.
Bonus episode: Morry Schwartz on starting The Monthly
To celebrate The Monthly’s 15th birthday, we hear from its publisher, Morry Schwartz, and its current editor, Nick Feik, on the magazine’s journey and what it contributes to Australia’s media landscape.
The real reason supermarket shelves were empty
When the pandemic hit Australia stores across the country were stripped of food and other essential items. The situation revealed deep vulnerabilities in our food supply system. Today, Margaret Simons on why our supermarkets weren’t prepared for this crisis.
The 160,000 jobs lost while the government waited
Serious questions are being asked about whether the timing of the government’s economic relief packages may have actually led to job losses. Today, Mike Seccombe on the flaws in our rescue package that could have cost 160,000 jobs.
Making sense of the Black Summer
Thousands of Australians had their homes and lives destroyed by last summer’s bushfires, and now Covid-19 is shattering their plans to rebuild. Today, Rick Morton on what happens when a pandemic follows a natural disaster.
Jane Caro on reopening schools
The Prime Minister is arguing that school closures are leaving the most disadvantaged students behind, and he’s calling for schools to reopen. Today, Jane Caro on how the political debate over coronavirus is reframing the inequality in education funding.
Snakes in the garden of Eden-Monaro
Infighting within the Coalition has been exposed as candidates emerge and then quit in the race for the seat of Eden-Monaro. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the divisions laid bare, and the first real test for Scott Morrison’s popularity.
Inside the Newmarch cluster
An aged care facility in NSW is the site of one of Australia’s biggest clusters of Covid-19. Now, with 16 dead, the centre’s owners have been threatened with sanctions and the loss of their licence. Today, Rick Morton on what went wrong at Newmarch House.
Adam Bandt’s green capitalism
Three months since becoming leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt has begun articulating a plan for the party that embraces “green” capitalism, and sees their future in partnership with Labor. Today, Margaret Simons on what we need to know about Adam Bandt.
Australia’s worst coronavirus cluster
The decision to allow passengers on the Ruby Princess to disembark led to Australia’s biggest coronavirus cluster, and it’s now being investigated by a number of inquiries. Today, Karen Middleton on what happened in the hours leading up to the ship’s docking.
The ABC’s funding crisis
ABC staff are revealing the pressure they are under as the public broadcaster absorbs huge budget cuts. Today, Mike Seccombe on the role the ABC plays during a national crisis and the future of the national broadcaster.
Back in black. Cough, cough.
As the federal government struggles to rebuild Australia’s battered economy, the threat of a trade war with China risks hampering our recovery. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the twin challenges of rebuilding the economy, and managing our relationship with our largest trading partner.
The push to expand ASIO’s powers
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has recently introduced legislation to expand the surveillance powers available to Australia’s domestic spy agency. Lawyers and civil rights groups are concerned the proposed laws are too broad. Today, Karen Middleton on the attempt to expand ASIO’s powers in the midst of a pandemic.
How Covid-19 united conspiracy theorists
Conspiracy theorists have been energised by Covid-19, with misinformation on everything from 5G to vaccinations spreading online. Today, Rick Morton on where these theories really begin and the groups actively encouraging them.
Back on the tinnies
Pubs, restaurants and other businesses across the country are reopening and the government is predicting an economic comeback. But will the recovery be fast as hoped? Today, what one territory’s reopening can tell us about the path ahead.
Who is really planning Australia’s economic comeback?
The Prime Minister has appointed a panel of business leaders to develop a blueprint for the country’s economic recovery, but there are serious questions over how they were picked. Today, Mike Seccombe on the vested interests leading this panel and what they’re pushing for.
Don’t mention the trade war
The Morrison government’s excitement about a coronavirus inquiry cannot cover over the trade war opening up with China.
‘In my new home, I am loved.’
After five years on Manus Island, Imran Mohammad was resettled in Chicago. But the coronavirus shutdown has brought back memories of detention and isolation.
The crisis universities should have seen coming
Almost overnight, Australian universities lost billions of dollars in international student fees. Some are asking how they could have been so reckless in depending on this money in the first place.
Uber but for government money
How a private company won millions in government funding for an aged-care app with “no duty of care”.
The Accord according to Morrison
Scott Morrison’s appeal for a new compact between workers and business has reminded some of Bob Hawke’s 1980s Accord.
Morrison’s economy (unplugged)
Scott Morrison is strongly against further economic stimulus. But as a $60 billion hole shows up in the JobKeeper program, questions are being asked about whether enough is being spent.
The screens that ate school
Big Tech has become an integral part of education. But there are questions over how much private companies are influencing curricula and what data they are collecting.
When is a bushfire like a coronavirus?
Instead of making us forget the bushfires, evidence suggests coronavirus will make us more conscious of the need for change. The urgent response to the pandemic makes political arguments against climate action less credible.
Killed during the pandemic
Domestic violence workers warned that the pandemic would put women at risk – especially women on temporary visas. Last month, a woman was killed in exactly that situation.
Like a scene from ‘The Castle’
The Queensland town of Acland has been all but swallowed by a coal mine. There is only one resident left. Tomorrow the High Court will decide if he’ll be swallowed, too.
Tear gas in the Rose Garden
As protests against police violence and inequality continue in the United States, Scott Morrison had a private phone call with Donald Trump.
Spotlight: Inside the Tanya Day inquest
As the world protests the killing of George Floyd, Darumbal and South Sea Islander journalist Amy McQuire confronts Australia’s national silence on black deaths in custody.
Black Witness, White Witness
As the world protests the killing of George Floyd, Darumbal and South Sea Islander journalist Amy McQuire confronts Australia’s national silence on black deaths in custody.
How coronavirus is reopening the wage gap
As the recession upends convention on gendered job losses, there is fear decades of progress on wage equality could be lost overnight.
The theme park and the trillion dollar investment scheme
As Scott Morrison resists signing up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the country has begun focusing on lower levels of power - even the Gold Coast council.
Does Scott Morrison want an early election?
As Scott Morrison looks at a bleak five years economically, some in his own party think he’s gearing up for an early election.
Meet Australia’s marijuana terrorist
George Dickson is a cannabis law reformer. After an altercation with police, he was also classed as a high risk terrorist offender.
The power of tradesmen
As Scott Morrison announces his HomeBuilder scheme, there are serious questions about who it serves and how powerful tradesmen have become as a political bloc.
How we organised Melbourne’s Black Lives Matter rally
Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance had five days to organise a huge Black Lives Matter rally in Melbourne. Under threat of fines and sustained criticism in the press, they coordinated one of the largest protests the city has seen.
The racism case Victoria Police didn't want
As debate over police accountability continues, research suggests predictive policing may be targeting racial minorities in Australia.
Everything you need to know about the Somyurek scandal
The Adem Somyurek scandal has now involved the federal Labor party, and poses a big question: who leaked?
What George Pell knew...
As the final pages of the royal commission into child sexual abuse have been unredacted, it’s become clear what George Pell knew and when.
The last family on Nauru
After almost a decade in detention, Mustafa and Salah are the only family left on Nauru. This is the story of their wait.
Justin Hemmes, the treasurer and the $100m wages case
New details have emerged in the Justin Hemmes wages case, as the treasurer confirms he consulted the businessman over the country’s largest ever spending measure.
It’s not about statues or Chris Lilley...
Osman Faruqi on how politics in Australia deliberately recasts racism as a matter of symbols and gestures - and how the media helps.
Politics and Dyson Heydon
The harassment allegations against Dyson Heydon have reminded some in Canberra of the royal commission that traded on his “stainless reputation”.
Donald Trump didn’t drop from the sky
As Donald Trump comes to the end of his first term, it is clear he has benefitted hugely from America’s divisions - in fact, he is the perfect expression of them.
Dyson Heydon and the misogyny of the law
As allegations mount against former High Court justice Dyson Heydon, Bri Lee has written about the way misogyny and harassment are embedded in the legal profession.
Existential threat: Murdoch and the ABC
As the ABC absorbs hundreds of job cuts, the government has commissioned another report into its operations – closely mirroring the concerns of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
The truth about Australia’s coal curse
Australia’s economy is at a crossroads. Its current dependence on coal has its roots in a model built on wool exports, and it needs to change.
The Eden-Monaro Missile Crisis
The timing of Scott Morrison’s $270 billion defence announcement is being linked to votes in Eden-Monaro as much as it is to the country’s strategic future.
The case for moving Cook
The City of Sydney is being petitioned to remove Thomas Woolner’s Cook statue from Hyde Park, and place it in a public museum.
The other side of the glass
Seven years after the NDIS was established, thousands of young people are still being forced to live in aged-care homes.
Locked in the nine blocks
Five days ago, the Andrews government used police to lock down nine public housing towers. We spoke to one resident, Hulya, about what is happening inside.
Morrison’s rule by ‘Henry VIII’ clauses
During Covid-19, the government has been increasingly using ‘Henry VIII’ clauses to bypass the parliament and make laws that are never voted on.
Morrison to the virus: ‘Ich bin ein Melburnian’
As Victoria enters a second lockdown, Scott Morrison has offered an apolitical response to the Labor state.
The man inside (part one)
When Ramzi Aouad went to prison for life, it was on the basis of evidence from one man - a violent enforcer who had been offered financial incentives for his testimony.
The man inside (part two)
The sentencing of Ramzi Aouad came at a tense moment in racialised policing – and there are now people asking if the politics around “Middle Eastern crime” played a part.
Setting up for the second wave
With Victoria one week into its second shutdown, and NSW on high alert, there are new fears about what a second wave could mean for Australia’s coronavirus recovery.
If you are queer - or care about queer people - listen to this story
Daniel van Roo spent 18 months trying to convince his doctors he was sick. As his undiagnosed cancer worsened, they continued to test only for STIs - he says because he was gay
The Prime Minister for NSW
As the pandemic worsens in Victoria, Scott Morrison has been careful to distance himself from bad news.
Why we need to “feel” climate change
As climate models predict even worse outcomes for the planet, some scientists believe the way to change what is happening is for people to “feel” the emotion of it.
The moment Australia almost beat coronavirus
In the middle of last month, Australia had its last chance to contain the coronavirus pandemic. One strain of the virus was all but defeated, but then a second broke out.
A night at the opera: How Whitlam and Kerr fell out
After a 10-year legal battle, the “palace letters” were finally released last week. They show exactly how Gough Whitlam’s relationship with the governor-general broke down.
Scott Morrison and the invisible woman
The decision to pull subsidies from childcare has caused alarm in the sector - especially because it is the only industry where this has happened.
The broke and the brittle
As the government reveals the extent of the budget deficit, Scott Morrison has become increasingly short in answering questions.
Face masks – the million dollar question
Ten key questions on the science of face masks, as experts hunt for consensus.
Penny Wong on what happens after coronavirus
Penny Wong warns that coronavirus could unravel the rules-based system on which the modern world is founded. The shadow foreign minister says we must guard against trends towards nationalism and xenophobia.
Who is Neville Power, the man leading Australia's coronavirus recovery?
The Prime Minister has revamped the National Covid Coordination Commission, the body he tasked with leading Australia’s pandemic recovery. But what do we really know about Neville Power, the man in charge? Today, Margaret Simons on Power’s background, and what the Commission is actually doing.
Coronavirus and the rise of "zombie charities"
With volunteers staying at home due to Covid and donations drying up, there are serious concerns about the viability of Australia’s charity sector. Today, Mike Seccombe on the challenges charities are facing, and what we might lose if they collapse.
Pandemic politics: Morrison vs. Andrews
Throughout the Covid pandemic traditional political hostilities have been dialled back, and governments have tried to project a sense of national unity. But that’s starting to fray. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the growing political stoush over the crisis in Victoria’s aged care system.
The Saturday Quiz: Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney
Kate McLennan and Kate McCartney from Get Krack!n solve The Saturday Paper’s quiz. Who would invite Hitler to open the Olympics? Does the existence of a Henry VIII suggest a Henry VII? What do you learn at private school?
How Morrison is using coronavirus to destroy his critics
What drives Scott Morrison? And what can we learn about his ideology from the way he’s governing during this moment? Today, Richard Cooke on how the Prime Minister is using the pandemic to fulfil his political objectives.
The Covid crisis in aged care
Aged care has been one of the hardest hit sectors during this phase of the Covid pandemic, with residents and their carers making up a large proportion of those catching the virus. Today, Rick Morton on the crisis in our aged care facilities, and why we should have seen it coming.
Reaganomics is back, baby
As Treasurer Josh Frydenburg praises Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan’s economic policies, a controversial recovery plan is gaining traction. In today’s episode, Mike Seccombe discusses whether Australia can spend its way out of the crisis.
What happens if you survive coronavirus
Today, we look at the people who call themselves coronavirus ‘long-haulers’ and the emerging research into their long lasting symptoms.
Morrison’s coronavirus backdowns
While most of the focus has been on Victoria, behind the scenes the federal government has been sending mixed-messages on economic policy and state border closures. Today, Paul Bongiorno on whether Scott Morrison is accurately reading the mood of the electorate during this phase of the crisis.
The Saturday Quiz: Sarah Snook and Dave Lawson
Recent Emmy nominee Sarah Snook and the guy from the 7-Eleven ads, Dave Lawson, take on The Saturday Paper’s quiz. What’s the best use for a Logie? What’s your middle name? And if you just repeat the question back to the quizmaster, will they answer it for you?
“I am always going to be an ex-prisoner.”
As calls for police reform and prison abolition grow across the world, a new campaign in Australia led by formerly incarcerated women is seeking to combat the stigma of criminalisation. Today, Tabitha Lean, one of the organisers of that campaign, on life after prison.
The young Australians suing for climate action
Two Australians have launched court cases in an attempt to radically overhaul the way our government and big corporations are responding to climate change. Today, lawyer Kieran Pender on the story of climate litigation in Australia and what’s at stake.
Anatomy of a state of disaster
Ten days ago, Melbourne entered the strictest shutdown the country has seen so far. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on the extraordinary powers a state of disaster bestows on the government, and how we got here.
Supercharging the generational wealth gap
The federal government’s decision to give workers access to their superannuation accounts risks dramatically increasing Australia’s generational wealth gap. Today, Mike Seccombe on how the government is reshaping the fundamental purpose of superannuation.
Scott Morrison, a man of inaction?
At the beginning of the pandemic Prime Minister Scott Morrison was keen to project himself as a unifying leader. But as the crisis has stretched on he’s adopted a much more reserved approach. Today, Paul Bongiorno on Morrison’s strategy of inaction and if it will work.
The Saturday Quiz: Zoë Coombs Marr and Kate Jinx
Comedian Zoë Coombs Marr and programmer for the Melbourne International Film Festival Kate Jinx work their way through The Saturday Quiz.
Australia’s love of cops
This is a story about Australia’s psyche and the way our connection to policing makes us unique. During this pandemic, police have been handed unprecedented new powers, in stark contrast to the response elsewhere in the world. Today, Osman Faruqi on the nexus between police, politicians and the media.
Inside the race for a coronavirus vaccine
The federal government has announced that Australia is in “advanced discussions” with a number of companies over acquiring a potential coronavirus vaccine. But how close are scientists to actually making one, and does it matter who gets there first? Today, Rick Morton on the global race for a vaccine.
Inside the Ruby Princess: What went wrong
An inquiry examining the Ruby Princess saga has delivered its findings, six months after the ship docked. The cruise ship remains Australia’s largest coronavirus cluster. Today, Malcolm Knox, on who was responsible and what the inquiry found.
Another death in detention
The Australian government is currently holding over fifteen hundred people in immigration detention centres across the country, and many have been detained for years. Today, Karen Middleton on the fate of one those detainees, and the secrecy surrounding our immigration detention.
Look over there! A vaccine!
As a number of inquiries interrogate how prepared state and federal governments were for the coronavirus pandemic, the Prime Minister has evaded criticism by changing the topic to a potential coronavirus vaccine. Today, Paul Bongiorno on Scott Morrison’s attempt at distraction.
The Saturday Quiz: Briggs and Tim Minchin
Rapper Briggs and musician Tim Minchin answer the ten questions from The Saturday Paper’s quiz, and spend an unusually long time talking about Winter Olympic gold medallist Steven Bradbury, considering there isn’t even a question about him.
Spying in the age of coronavirus
The coronavirus is ushering in a new era of international relations, and intelligence agencies and spycraft are a key part of that change. Today, former intelligence officer Andrew Davies on the world of spies during and after the pandemic.
Why coronavirus could mean fewer nurses
As our hospitals face pressure from coronavirus outbreaks, we’re relying on nurses more than ever. But at the same time, the pandemic means many nursing students may not be able to graduate. Today, Santilla Chingaipe on the looming shortfall in our health workforce.
Bob Brown and the end of the environment
As the federal government tries to hand power over environmental regulations to state governments, parallels have been drawn to the battles fought between activists and big business during the Howard years. Today, former Greens leader Bob Brown on how the legacy of John Howard’s environmental policies is shaping the current fight.
The phone call that caused the aged-care crisis
The ongoing crisis in aged care has become one of the defining elements of Australia’s second wave. There are currently over 1500 active cases linked to aged care in Victoria, and hundreds have died. Today, Rick Morton on the new details that explain what went so wrong, and what the government could have done to save lives.
The minister for not caring
In a week where the minister for aged care was unable to answer questions about the crisis in his portfolio, and details emerged about a branch stacking scandal in his own party, the Prime Minister is finding himself under increasing pressure. Today, Paul Bongiorno on whether we should be expecting more from our politicians.
The Saturday Quiz: Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor
In this episode of The Saturday Quiz, host John Leary is joined by the creators and stars of Rosehaven, Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor. They attempt to answer questions ranging from presidents of African nations to how many children Rupert Murdoch has.
After Christchurch: the calm before the storm
Last week the Christchurch terrorist was sentenced to life without parole, the first time the sentence has ever been handed down. But even though he’s behind bars, his atrocities continue to inspire far-right extremists around the world. Today, Osman Faruqi on the increased threat of violent white nationalism and what happens after Christchurch.
Note: This episode contains use of the attacker’s full name.
Snapback: Scott Morrison's pandemic optimism
For months the prime minister has been projecting a return to normality, but what kind of Australia is waiting for us on the other side of the pandemic? Today, Sean Kelly on the type of society Scott Morrison envisions, and what might lie ahead.
Profiting off the unemployment boom
As Australia grapples with an unemployment crisis corporate job agencies are benefiting from a boom in government payments. Some are being accused of pressuring those looking for work. Today, Rick Morton on who is profiting from Australia’s unemployment industry.
How branch stacking helps conservatives
Serious allegations of branch stacking and factional warfare have engulfed both major parties in recent months, and the latest example even implicates senior federal ministers. Today, Mike Seccombe on why branch stacking has become more common, and how it’s influencing key policies.
Here comes the recession
The Treasurer Josh Frydenberg started this week by launching an extraordinary attack on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, and ended it by presiding over the biggest fall in economic activity in decades. Today, Paul Bongiorno on Australia’s economic predicament and who’s really to blame.
Bonus: How we make 7am
To celebrate 300 episodes, we produced a special, behind-the-scenes feature on how we make 7am. We followed host Ruby Jones and senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton as they put together an episode on the crisis in aged care.
The doctors, the Scientologists, and the journalist
A federal court has been re-examining controversial psychiatric treatments used in a Sydney hospital in the 1960s. The treatments drew the attention of the Church of Scientology, and led to a Royal Commission. Today, Lane Sainty on what happened at Chelmsford, and the journalist caught in the middle 30 years on.
5 Reasons Facebook Is Ditching News (You Won't Believe Number 3)
After lobbying from the Murdoch press and Nine newspapers, the government is trying to force Google and Facebook to pay for journalism. The tech giants have responded by threatening to stop sharing news from Australian outlets. Today, Mike Seccombe on the battle that will shape the future of media in this country.
Death tax for booty
Inheritance taxes are a feature of most advanced economies, including the UK and the US. But in Australia they haven’t been levied for 40 years, and their abolition has contributed to growing inequality in the country. Today, James Boyce on why now is the right time to restart the conversation on death taxes.
How to collect coronavirus
Cultural institutions in Australia have begun to collect evidence of how coronavirus is changing the country in real time, as part of a movement to collect ‘social histories’. But how difficult is the task, especially when there’s no national vision for collecting culture in our country.
Scott Morrison’s shattered cabinet
Scott Morrison is waging a war on two fronts this week. He’s locked in a battle with state governments to reopen borders, and he’s increasingly blaming the Victorian government for the severity of the state’s second wave. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the growing political divide across the country.
The Saturday Quiz: Miranda Tapsell and James Colley
John Leary is joined by actor and writer Miranda Tapsell and writer and comedian James Colley in this episode of The Saturday Quiz. There’s film quotes, fast bowlers and young adult fiction.
Exclusive: Brett Sutton's leaked call
A leaked briefing from Victoria’s chief health officer has contradicted public statements on contact tracing, and highlighted flaws with the privatised response to coronavirus in the state. Today, Osman Faruqi details the extraordinary call, and what it means for Victoria’s roadmap out of the pandemic.
The politics of a coronavirus vaccine
A coronavirus vaccine is the best chance the world has of returning to some kind of normal, but the stalling of one of the most viable candidates last week was a reminder that nothing is guaranteed. Today, Karen Middleton on the Australian government’s plans and the likelihood of a vaccine in 2021.
Rupert Murdoch's next move
Australia has one of the most concentrated media markets in the world, and that concentration could worsen as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp launches a new service. Today, Mike Seccombe, on how the Australian Associated Press was nearly shut down, and now faces the prospect of being starved out.
The calm before the recession
Australia’s economy has taken its biggest hit since the Great Depression, but so far government stimulus measures have cushioned most people and businesses from the worst impacts. Those stimulus measures are about to dry up. Today, the upcoming danger zone for Australia’s economy, and how we can avoid it.
The cliff and the climate
The federal Opposition is seeking to capitalise on the current economic downturn by arguing that the government’s policies are making things worse. Meanwhile, the prime minister is pinning his hopes on a gas-led recovery. Today, Paul Bongiorno on how Labor fired up, and the political battle over energy policy.
The Saturday Quiz: Belinda Bromilow and Tony McNamara
John Leary is joined by husband-and-wife team Belinda Bromilow and Tony McNamara in this episode of The Saturday Quiz. In between answering questions, they find time to share an anecdote about the Queen, reminisce about 1980s and ’90s TV commercials, and insult the host on his French pronunciation.
The grey pyramid scheme (part one)
For decades, we’ve been warned about a crisis in Australia’s aged care sector, and the coronavirus pandemic has exposed its failures. In the first half of a special two part series Rick Morton traces the problems in aged care to Howard-era reforms, demanded by private, for-profit providers.
The grey pyramid scheme (part two)
A Royal Commission has heard hundreds of aged care centres are facing financial collapse, as the crisis in the sector takes its toll. In the second half of this special two part series, Rick Morton investigates what happened to the aged care sector under the leadership of Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison.
The truth about hospital transmission
Confidential documents leaked to The Saturday Paper show that hospitals remain a key area of coronavirus transmission, while doctors and nurses in Melbourne complain that they’re still not getting access to proper protective equipment. Today, Osman Faruqi on how healthcare worker infections are contributing to the length of Victoria’s second wave.
Kids' radio: live from lockdown
Staff and students at Brunswick North West Primary school have endured one of the longest school shutdowns in the world, and they’ve created their own community radio station to help through it. Today, Ruby Jones talks to the students and the teacher behind BNWPS radio.
Escape from Tony Abbott
Scott Morrison has spent the week untangling himself from Tony Abbott’s policies, on both climate change and the NBN. Today, Paul Bongiorno on new roadmaps and old problems.
The Saturday Quiz: Anne-Louise Sarks and Sean Kelly
How did James Dean die? What are the horn-like structures on a giraffe’s head? And who won this year’s men’s and women’s US Open tennis singles titles? Theatre maker Anne-Louise Sarks and political commentator Sean Kelly join host John Leary to get the answers to these questions and more.
The new virus hotels
Victoria’s second wave has been attributed to an outbreak of Covid-19 amongst private contractors working in hotel quarantine, and now government documents reveal more contractors at quarantine hotels have tested positive for the virus. Today, Osman Faruqi on Melbourne’s ‘hot hotels’ and the risks they might still pose.
Welcome to the dumb country
Australia’s universities have been hit hard by the pandemic, with thousands of job losses. Now the federal government wants to change the way the sector is funded, and how much students will pay. Today, Rick Morton on the crisis facing our universities, and why we’re on the brink of destroying our national research capacity.
The NSW Koala War
When the NSW National Party threatened to break up the state’s Coalition over the issue of koalas many were mystified. But behind the political fireworks lies a story about a party being squeezed from both the right and the left. Today, Mike Seccombe on the Nationals fight for survival.
The journalists siding with the virus
Throughout the pandemic, there’s been a vocal group of journalists who are adamant the risk of Covid-19 is being overblown. But what drives this kind of thinking, and is it changing anyone’s mind? Today, Richard Cooke on the Covid contrarians, and what they tell us about the state of the Australian media landscape.
“The most important budget since World War II”
As the Treasurer prepares the upcoming federal budget he’s facing pressure to spend big and keep the economy afloat. But can a government historically preoccupied with cutting spending invest more in economic stimulus? Today, Paul Bongiorno on the challenge facing Josh Frydenberg, and the country.
The Saturday Quiz: Ali McGregor and Claire Hooper
In a truly collaborative effort, host of online cabaret “Choose Your Own Variety” Ali McGregor and comedian Claire Hooper are let down only by the self-confessed sports-shaped hole in their knowledge. Still, they know the chemical formula of table salt, they work out the cube root of 729, and via a circuitous route, through pop culture, they arrive at which vaccine was invented by Jonas Salk.
Helen Garner’s lockdown diaries
Helen Garner is one of Australia’s most celebrated authors, and today on 7am she talks to host Ruby Jones about the diary she kept during lockdown in Melbourne and what she experienced during her months of isolation.
Jacqui Lambie fires up
The future of Australia’s universities hangs in the balance, with radical reforms to funding and student fees due to be voted this week. The government has been negotiating furiously behind closed doors to pass its legislation through the Senate. Today, Rick Morton, on the surprising stance taken by Senator Jacqui Lambie.
Budget 2020: Getting on with the jobs
Josh Frydenberg’s second budget is a world away from the surplus he was predicting last year. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, debt is on track to hit $1 trillion and the Treasurer is talking up a jobs-led recovery.
After the virus: Lidia Thorpe wants to change the system
Lidia Thorpe entered the Senate this week, becoming the first Aboriginal Senator representing Victoria. Today, she talks to Ruby Jones about rebuilding after the pandemic, and what we can learn from the communities that she represents.
Albanese draws the political battlelines
In his budget reply speech last night Opposition leader Anthony Albanese outlined his response to the economic crisis and criticised the federal government for spending in the wrong places. Today, Paul Bongiorno on how the political battlelines between the major parties are being drawn.
The Saturday Quiz: Shari Sebbens and Gemma Bird Matheson
Actors Shari Sebbens and Gemma Bird Matheson take on the quiz this week. Gemma can tell you how many minutes there are in half a day, and Shari knows the name of Tara June Winch’s 2020 Miles Franklin award-winning novel. But neither of them have any idea where the inventor of the Rubik's Cube was born.
The school fighting to save its language
For decades, students in Footscray in Melbourne’s West, have been taught in Vietnamese alongside English. But now, the program is under threat. Today, André Dao on why we value some languages more than others, and what it says about where Australia sees its place in the world.
The people the government left behind
Experts have accused the government of failing to properly fund the aged care sector in this year’s federal budget. Advocacy groups are also concerned about the lack of support for young people, women, the unemployed and migrants. Today, Rick Morton on the groups left behind by the Morrison government’s recovery plan.
James Packer shows his hand
Over the past few weeks an inquiry into Crown Resorts, Australia’s largest gambling company, has laid bare a culture of risk taking and threats. It’s also embroiled one of the company’s biggest shareholders. Today, Mike Seccombe on James Packer’s extraordinary evidence, and what’s at stake for Crown.
Australia’s medicine shortage
A reliance on imports has left Australia with dwindling supplies of some essential medicines and now experts are warning that manufacturing capabilities at home need to be boosted. Today, Margaret Simons on Australia’s pharmaceutical vulnerability.
Mr. Morrison goes to Queensland
With the Queensland state election looming, the Prime Minister has hit the campaign trail. But just as he arrived it was revealed that the LNP Opposition leader had been referred to the election watchdog for alleged impropriety. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the growing political scandals around the country.
The Saturday Quiz: Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall
All the way from their home in Los Angeles, actors Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall provide more information than is entirely necessary as they stumble across the answers to this week’s quiz. We get an insight into safe work practices on film sets in the time of Covid-19, and a special bonus question about Cats.
The new path out of lockdown
After more than 100 days of strict lockdown, Victorians finally have a new path out of restrictions. It signals a more gradual easing than the government originally hoped. Today, Osman Faruqi on the story behind the slower path out of lockdown and where the risk now lies.
Public office with (alleged) benefits
A week after her secret relationship with a politician being investigated over corruption was first revealed, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is still facing questions over what she knew. Today, Mike Seccombe on what the premier’s connection to a disgraced MP means for her political future.
Dutton’s new war on refugees
In recent weeks refugees and asylum seekers living in Australia have received letters from the federal government stripping them of financial support and threatening them with deportation. Today, Rick Morton on the newest frontline in the government’s war on refugees.
Short back and emotional asides
After enduring one of the world’s longest lockdowns, Melbourne is slowly reopening and hairdressers are some of the first businesses allowed to welcome customers back. Today, Rick Morton on the return of hairdressers, and the intimate role they play in our lives.
Scott Morrison’s Labor obsession
As political battles over the government’s stimulus measures and proposed industrial relations reforms loom, Scott Morrison has been taking aim at the federal opposition. Today, Paul Bongiorno on how the prime minister is drawing influence from his political predecessors.
The Saturday Quiz: Meg Mason and Trent Dalton
Authors Meg Mason and Trent Dalton have both just released their second novels, but apparently neither of them are very big readers. So they don’t know who wrote the 1990s novel The Reader, but they can tell you who won the Academy Award for Best Actress in the film adaptation. And like a lot of authors, they know a great deal about formula one racing. Also Meg shows off with her truly impressive recall of all 17 books of the Old Testament.
Australia’s diplomatic blind spot
Australia’s relationship with Indonesia has a significant impact on our culture, economy and national security. But despite our proximity, it’s often been a relationship defined by tension as well as indifference. Today, Karen Middleton on Australia’s regional blind spot, and why it’s time we started engaging more closely with South-East Asia.
The teenagers taking on Adani
The controversial Adani coalmine in Queensland has already been approved by both state and federal governments, but a new legal challenge by two teenagers could be one last roll of the dice to stop it from going ahead.
What went wrong at Australia Post?
As an investigation into Australia Post’s leadership gets underway, a deeper crisis at the organisation is threatening to jeopardise the way it operates. Today, Rick Morton on what went wrong at Australia Post.
Cutting down the Djab Wurrung trees
This week, the Victorian government began cutting down sacred Djab Wurrung trees to make way for a highway expansion between Melbourne and Adelaide. Today, Djab Wurrung woman and Greens senator Lidia Thorpe on the fight to save her peoples’ heritage.
Not by the Hehir of my political sin
Pressure has started to mount on the federal government following a string of scandals involving senior public officials. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the government’s attempts to use Covid-19 to deflect criticism.
The Saturday Quiz: Brendan Cowell and Damon Herriman
Besides complaining about how much harder their questions are compared to previous episodes, Australian actors Damon Herriman and Brendan Cowell do manage to get some clean answers away. But they don’t know what’s made in the Dutch city of Delft, nor what branch of zoology ornithology deals with, nor the novelist who wrote ‘Fahrenheit 451’. They can tell you all about luge in Queenstown, New Zealand, though.
Australia’s new convict age
In recent years Australia has seen an acceleration in law and order style electioneering, and it’s led to a record high incarceration rate. Today, Mike Seccombe, on who gets jailed in Australia and what needs to change.
Can Anthony Albanese beat Scott Morrison?
After losing last year’s election the Labor party turned to Anthony Albanese to rebuild. But what does he actually stand for? Today, Richard Cooke on how Albanese compares to leaders like Jacinda Ardern, and whether he can find his party a path out of the wilderness.
Election 2020: Trumpism is here to stay
The outcome of the US Presidential election still remains in doubt, with Donald Trump holding on to key states that delivered him victory in 2016. Today, Oscar Schwartz on what drove voters to each candidate, and what the results mean for a nation already exhausted by division.
Trump 2020: How to steal an election
As voters in the US head to the polls, President Trump has warned that a close or uncertain result could spark chaos. Today, Rick Morton, on the fight against voter suppression, and why, no matter who wins, the US is facing a fractured future.
Trump’s last stand
Protests have broken out across the US in response to Donald Trump’s attempts to cling to power. But as counting continues in key states, Joe Biden’s position is becoming stronger. Today, Oscar Schwartz on what a potential Biden presidency could look like, and whether Trump will succeed in hijacking the result.
The Saturday Quiz: Emily Barclay and Tom Ward
Emily Barclay and Tom Ward like going to amusement parks. But Emily is too scared to go on any of the roller-coasters, so Tom has to do so on her behalf. Their approach to the quiz is much the same. Tom goes hurtling towards answers he clearly doesn’t know, while Emily chimes in from a safe distance. The daffodil is the national flower of which British country? What nationality was Hans Christian Andersen? And in what year were white Australian women given the right to vote?
How Australia will live with the virus
Australia has managed to effectively suppress Covid-19, but with more international arrivals experts predict that outbreaks will continue. Today, Amy Coopes on the measures that will keep Australia safe from here on.
When police charge the victim
A new report collating the experiences of hundreds of frontline workers has revealed how criminal and judicial systems are failing victims of family violence. Today, Rick Morton on how we’re still letting down survivors, and what needs to change. This episode contains descriptions of family violence.
Who is Joe Biden?
After one of the most tumultuous periods in recent US history, voters have chosen Joe Biden to try and reunite a divided country. Today, Jonathan Pearlman on Joe Biden’s life, his upcoming presidency, and what it means for important issues like climate change.
Yanis Varoufakis on making billionaires richer
The world is struggling to contain the fallout of the coronavirus, but has the pandemic exposed something more fundamentally broken about our economic system? Today, Yanis Varoufakis on where things went wrong, and how to envisage a fairer world.
How Biden is changing Australian climate policy
Joe Biden’s victory in the United States has already had ramifications for Australian politics, particularly on the issue of climate change. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the political shockwaves rolling across the Pacific.
The Saturday Quiz: Nakkiah Lui and Gabe Dowrick
In this episode, writer, actor, activist, and recently one of Who magazine’s sexiest people of 2020, Nakkiah Lui and her tv editor husband, Gabe Dowrick, tell us how many teeth an adult human should have, figure out which European nation owns the Dodecanese islands, and discuss the number of presidents of the United States who have died in office.
Rudd, Turnbull and the Murdoch cancer
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is under assault, with two former Prime Ministers, from opposite sides of politics, uniting in their criticism of the media company. Today, Mike Seccombe on whether the world’s biggest media empire might actually be under threat.
Sacked after speaking up
Recent scandals and allegations of workplace bullying have put the spotlight on the treatment of women in Parliament. Today, Karen Middleton on the unique power dynamic between politicians and the people who work for them.
Here come the vaccines
A huge, global effort to try and find a vaccine for coronavirus is showing growing signs of success. A number of possible candidates are moving into final stages of testing, and some are even hitting production lines. Today, Rick Morton on when Australians might see a coronavirus vaccine.
Why is Australia deporting this man?
Mojtaba is 29 years old. He’s lived in Australia for nearly a decade, but last year he was placed into detention. Since then he hasn’t been able to see his wife and young son. Today, journalist Abdul Hekmat on how Mojtaba’s life has been shaped by Australia’s immigration policies, and the way our system continues to punish the most vulnerable.
The truth about robodebt and political responsibility
The federal government has settled the largest class action in Australian history, over the unlawful robodebt program. Today, Paul Bongiorno on who was responsible and whether anyone in the government will be held accountable for this policy.
The Saturday Quiz: Wesley Enoch and David McAllister
The outgoing artistic directors of Sydney Festival and the Australian Ballet, Wesley Enoch and David McAllister, combine forces to battle against their impending irrelevance, by doing extremely well at the quiz. Whether it’s questions about WWII tanks or Greek mythology, these two pass with flying colours. They even ace the sports question. But like everyone else, they come undone with geography.
Who is responsible for Australia’s war crimes?
Detailed accusations that Australian soldiers in Afghanistan committed war crimes have drawn widespread condemnation from around the world. But who is ultimately responsible? Today, Karen Middleton on the disturbing and shocking allegations involving Australia’s most elite military unit, and our collective shame.
Enemy of the state
West Papuan separatists have been fighting for independence from Indonesia for decades. Now independence activists have been targeted by the Indonesian government for posting on social media. Today on 7am, Zach Szumer on the woman who fought back, and became an enemy of the state.
How the government makes your mental health worse
A landmark report has quantified the economic and social cost of Australia’s mental health crisis. Today, Rick Morton on how the government’s social policies are causing harm to our most vulnerable communities.
The laws letting miners destroy sacred sites
Rio Tinto’s destruction of the Juukan Gorge caves sparked a global backlash, and now a parliamentary inquiry is exploring what needs to change. Today, Mike Seccombe on how the system locks out traditional owners, and the cross-party alliance of federal politicians pushing for reform.
How to lose a trade ally in 14 ways
Australia’s relationship with China is at its lowest point in decades. Trade boycotts are impacting local businesses, and now the Chinese government has issued a fourteen point list of grievances it has with Australia. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the challenges Scott Morrison faces trying to navigate a tense moment in global politics.
The Saturday Quiz: Agatha Gothe-Snape and Alison Bell
Try as they might, old friends Agatha Gothe-Snape and Alison Bell just can’t seem to find the answers to the questions in this week’s quiz. But there’s plenty of laughter along the way as the artist and actor struggle to name Australia’s deputy opposition leader, the solar system’s hottest planet, and the No.1-ranked golfer in the world.
Waleed Aly on what happens *after* cancel culture
From boycotting celebrities to calling out poor behaviour, cancel culture has become a controversial phenomenon in the age of social media. But the ideas behind it have been around for a long time. Today, Waleed Aly on the origins of cancel culture and what’s really driving it.
What Scott Morrison can learn from Daniel Andrews
The pandemic has exposed big cracks in the way Australia’s economy and social services operate, particularly when it comes to insecure work and aged care. Today, Rick Morton on how the Victorian state government is trying to lead the national conversation on what needs to change.