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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.
Hostage diplomacy: Freeing Kylie Moore-Gilbert
In 2018 Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert was arrested and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment in an Iranian jail. Last week, she was released in a prisoner swap involving four different countries. Today, Jonathan Pearlman on what her freedom means for the other foreign citizens still jailed in Iran.
The climate threat to Australia’s leaders
Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese are caught between a global shift towards more serious climate action and pro-coal members of their respective parties. Today, Karen Middleton on how Australia’s political leaders are grappling with climate policy.
Scott Morrison feeds the trolls
The growing diplomatic dispute between China and Australia took an ugly turn this week, after a Chinese government official posted an incendiary tweet. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the realities of dominant China, and whether Scott Morrison can navigate Australia through a period of growing tension.
The Saturday Quiz: Amrita Hepi and Jason Phu
Artists Amrita Hepi and Jason Phu do extremely well at the quiz, even though the one question in Arita’s expert category nearly trips her up. We never find out what Jason’s expert category might be, but he does know what colour Mickey Mouse’s shoes are and which part of the body tinnitus affects. He also thinks Nicholas Nickelby sounds like the name of an annoying person.
Laura Tingle on where Australia went wrong
New Zealand’s rapid response to Covid-19 and the political success of Jacinda Ardern has seen the world start to pay more attention to our neighbour’s political culture. Today, Laura Tingle on what Australia can learn from New Zealand.
What’s really behind China’s break-up with Australia?
This year we’ve seen relations between Australia and China plummet. But the story of Australia’s increasing friction with China goes back much further than the recent fracas over a tweet. Today, Jonathan Pearlman on how serious the current situation is, and whether there’s a solution to the tension.
The plot to undermine the NDIS
After years of careful manoeuvring, the Coalition government is laying the groundwork to make radical changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The revised system could make it harder for people to get the support they need. Today, Rick Morton on the Coalition’s bid to reshape the NDIS.
Locked up for being sick
The passage of the medevac legislation last year allowed sick refugees in offshore detention to travel to Australia. The legislation was bitterly opposed by the federal government. Now those refugees say they’re being punished as a result. Today, Karen Middleton on what happens when a government is forced to implement a law it opposed.
Morrison gears up for a summer brawl
Just as parliament was wrapping up for the year, the government introduced radical and controversial proposed changes to workers' rights. The new legislation looks set to dominate the political agenda in the new year. Today, Paul Bongiorno on how the political battlelines are being drawn.
The Saturday Quiz: Nancye Hayes and Mitchell Butel
The two guests joining John on this season’s penultimate episode are show business royalty. Mitchell Butel is an actor, singer and the artistic director of the State Theatre Company of South Australia, and Nancye Hayes AM is currently starring in Mitchell’s production of the play Ripcord to socially-distanced packed houses. Nancye was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2014 for significant service to the performing arts, particularly musical theatre - and the Hayes theatre in Sydney is named in her honour. Together they go a long way towards answering every single question, including: Which American jazz singer was nicknamed ‘Lady Day’, what a katana is, and whether or not Dunedin is North or South of Hobart.
John Hewson on what’s wrong with politics
Scandal after scandal has battered the authority of the government and diminished the trust the public has in our democratic institutions. Today, former leader of the federal Liberal Party John Hewson on how rorts, mates and marketing took over politics, and how we can take it back.
The Liberal minister forcing action on climate
The Liberal party has historically been handbrake on serious climate action, but in NSW one minister is pushing through ambitious environmental policy. Today, Mike Seccombe talks to Matt Kean, the Liberal minister forcing action on climate change.
Australia's responsibility for the Christchurch massacre
The Royal Commission report into the Christchurch terrorist attacks led to an apology from the New Zealand government. But in Australia, there’s been an unwillingness to grapple with how the shooter was steeped in a culture of far-right extremism. Today, Shakira Hussein on Australia’s responsibility for the Christchurch massacre.
Dutton’s new plan to spy on Australians
The federal government has proposed new laws that would give federal police the power to spy on Australian citizens. But the decision contradicts the government’s own review into national intelligence. Today, Karen Middleton on the controversial expansion of national security laws.
The year that was (plus, Buon Natale from Paul Bongiorno)
Scott Morrison started the year bruised by his response to the bushfire crisis. But the pandemic has seen a big bounce in his approval ratings. With an election predicted for next year, will it be enough to secure another term? Today, Paul Bongiorno on how federal politics played out in 2020, and what’s coming next.
The Saturday Quiz: Zoë Coombs Marr, Kate Jinx, Sarah Snook and Dave Lawson
Four times as many questions plus two times as many guests equals more laughs than it’s possible to quantify. In this final episode of The Saturday Quiz, two teams of returning guests - Zoë Coombs Marr and Kate Jinx, and Sarah Snook and Dave Lawson - go up against each other in the ultimate battle of general knowledge. How does Dave’s expert category of “colours” fare against Zoë’s encyclopedic mastery of Xena: Warrior Princess? And what is better quiz preparation: Staying up late on a Sunday night in a different time zone, like Sarah? Or singing Christmas carols in the car on a long drive, like Kate?
Climate change will kill you, part one: heat
In this new series, journalist Paddy Manning investigates the link between climate change and human health, and tells the stories of those who have become some of the first casualties of the climate crisis. Today’s episode is part one: heat.
Highlight: 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.
Climate change will kill you, part two: flood
In 2011 the Queensland town of Grantham was inundated with rain, causing flash flooding. It had a devastating impact on the town’s residents. But events like this are predicted to become more common, as the planet warms leading to more extreme weather events. Today, Climate change will kill you, part two: flood.
Highlight: 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.
Climate change will kill you, part three: sickness
From thunderstorm asthma to the increasing prevalence of infectious disease, a warming planet is already making us more sick. In the final part of this series, we investigate how climate change puts us more at risk of disease. Today, Climate change will kill you, part three: sickness.
Highlight: ‘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.
How Trump changed Australian politics forever
As Joe Biden takes the reins in the US, the legacy of Donald Trump continues to cast a shadow across the world. Today, Richard Cooke on how the ideas and policies that came to define Trump have found a welcome home in Australia.
Invasion Day: Why white Australia won’t reckon with its past
On Invasion Day, Wirlomin Noongar author Claire G. Coleman discusses how tokenistic gestures from our federal government have replaced the real change demanded by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
When are we getting the vaccine?
Last year Scott Morrison announced Australians would be first in line for the Covid-19 vaccine. But with 50 million people now vaccinated around the world, the rollout here is yet to begin. Today, Rick Morton on when Australians can expect to be vaccinated, and if it’s happening fast enough.
The Australian Open has divided the country. But could it save sport?
While thousands of Australians are still stranded overseas, 1,200 tennis players, officials and support staff have flown into Melbourne to take part in the Australian Open. Today, Ben Rothenberg on the debate over the decision to go ahead with the tournament, and what it could mean for the future of global sports.
Has Labor already given up the next election?
Labor’s Anthony Albanese has been facing growing criticism of his political strategy and there’s renewed speculation over his leadership. With 2021 shaping up as an election year, what is Albanese’s plan? Today, Rachel Withers on how Labor is placed to take on Scott Morrison.
The sailors stranded at sea because of Australia's trade war
Right now dozens of ships carrying Australian coal are stranded in Chinese ports. More than 1,000 sailors have been trapped on board for months now because of one reason: Australia’s escalating trade war with China. Today, Anna Krien on the men trapped at sea and the question of who is responsible for them.
The world is embracing climate action. Why isn't Australia?
All over the world governments are abandoning fossil fuels like coal and gas, and embracing renewable energy, leaving Australia isolated and economically vulnerable. Today, Mike Seccombe on the new climate policies sweeping the globe and how Australia is already being left behind.
Is GameStop a win for the good guys?
Financial analysts and investors are scrambling to understand what is actually going on with GameStop, Reddit and the sharemarket. But in this battle between the internet and Wall Street, who are the good guys? Today, Ariel Bogle on what happened to GameStop, and what it could tell us about the future of our economy.
China is warning against a new Cold War. Will Australia listen?
Diplomatic and trade tensions between Australia and China are at an all time high, and China’s president has even warned against the risk of a new cold war. Today, Rick Morton on where Scott Morrison is getting his advice from when it comes to our relationship with China, and whether his strategy will work.
The miseducation of Craig Kelly
Scott Morrison’s attempt to restart the political year was blown off course after one of his backbenchers was criticised for promoting misinformation about Covid-19. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the problems rogue Liberal MPs are making for the Prime Minister, and why it took him so long to rein them in.
The world's newest dictatorship
Myanmar’s democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, was arrested last week as part of a military coup. The country is now back under complete army control. Today, Jonathan Pearlman on what led to the coup, and what happens next in Myanmar.
Inside Australia’s military fetish
While Australians grapple with shocking allegations of war crimes levelled against our armed forces, the federal government is moving ahead with a $500 million redevelopment of the Australian War Memorial. Today, Mark McKenna, on what our preoccupation with war tells us about who we are.
The Liberal MP who wants to empty your super
The Coalition’s surprise win at the last federal election is largely attributed to a relentless campaign targeting Labor’s key economic policies, led by Liberal MP Tim Wilson. Now Wilson has launched a new campaign to reshape the four trillion dollar superannuation industry. Today, Rick Morton on the Liberal vision for our retirement savings, and how it would impact all of us.
Eddie McGuire’s gone but Australia’s racism problem isn’t
Eddie McGuire’s resignation as the President of Collingwood is the culmination of a decades-long story of racism at the club. But the story isn’t just about Collingwood, the AFL or even sport. Today, Daniel James on how racism in sport can’t be divorced from racism across our society.
The Coalition’s climate standoff
The Prime Minister is trying to calibrate his climate policy to better fit into a post-Trump world, but he faces a conservative revolt on his own backbench. On the other side, Australia faces trade sanctions if it doesn’t implement serious emissions reduction targets. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the Coalition’s climate standoff.
How Covid-19 keeps escaping hotel quarantine
Victoria has been plunged back into lockdown after a new strain of Covid-19 escaped from hotel quarantine into the community. In recent weeks leaks have occurred across the country, leading to lockdowns in Brisbane and Perth. Today, Rachel Withers on whether our key defence against the virus is working as well as it should.
The colonisation of space
The early era of space exploration was dominated by romantic ideas of universal connectedness. But the increasingly privatised nature of the space industry has obscured that vision. Today, Ceridwen Dovey on the new space industry entrepreneurs, and why we should be worried about what they’re planning.
James and the giant breach
A damning report has found Crown Resorts unfit to hold a casino licence in NSW. But what does that mean for James Packer’s operations in other states?
Tanya Plibersek: Labor after Covid-19
As Labor prepares for a possible early election, Tanya Plibersek says the party is ready to confront the government over shortcomings in its handling of the pandemic.
Episode 400: Sitting week
The Brittany Higgins case has dominated the week in Canberra. This is the story of how the prime minister has responded to her alleged assault, and how he has tried to manage the coverage that followed.
Robo-debt: the origin of the supervillain
Two long-forgotten High Court cases warned the government that robo-debt might be illegal. Rick Morton on what they knew - and when they knew it.
‘I was a staffer, and so was my perpetrator’
Eighteen months ago, Dhanya Mani spoke to the press about being assaulted while working as a Liberal Party staffer. This week, she reflected on how little has changed - and how culpable the prime minister is for that.
Why won’t house prices go down?
Australian property prices have just hit a record high -– despite predictions the market would crash during the pandemic. So what will it take for prices to go down?
Living with a disability through the pandemic
For some people living with disabilities, the pandemic triggered feelings of being different and even dispensable. Micheline Lee on living through coronavirus, and what it revealed about Australia’s priorities.
A Neanderthal on the crossbench
This week, Craig Kelly quit the Liberal Party to sit on the crossbench. It’s a huge risk for the Coalition - and any action on climate change.
Young people v. the Queensland police
Following a series of fatal car accidents, Queensland has announced a major crackdown on youth crime. According to youth advocate Siyavash Doostkhah, policy is being dictated by the police union, emboldened by the tabloid media and both sides of politics.
A refugee prison in Carlton
Across Australia more than one hundred asylum seekers are being detained in hotel rooms. This is the story of two friends - one who the government released, and the other who is still arbitrarily detained.
The sexual assault crisis that rocked Australia
A cabinet minister in the federal government has been accused of rape, but he hasn’t been publicly identified and the Prime Minister has so far refused to initiate an inquiry into the allegations. Today, Karen Middleton on the sexual assault crisis that has rocked the country.
Christian Porter names himself (plus, Australia’s university crisis)
The federal Attorney-General Christian Porter has identified himself as the cabinet minister accused of a sexual assault that allegedly took place in 1988. He strongly denied the allegations and refused to resign or step aside. Also on today’s show, Judith Brett on the crisis facing Australia’s university sector.
Inside the Christian Porter strategy
The Attorney-General has so far refused to resign, denying the rape allegation levelled against him. He’s been supported by senior ministers and the Prime Minister. Today, Paul Bongiorno on how Scott Morrison fought alongside Christian Porter to keep him in his job, and what happens next.
Bruce Pascoe's vision for the future: 'Leon Musk is welcome to Mars'
For the past three years author and farmer Bruce Pascoe has been trying to establish a sustainable practice on his land, informed by the Indigenous farming techniques he researched for his bestseller Dark Emu. Today, he speaks to Ruby Jones.
Fixing a broken system
Last week, the most significant report to examine aged care in Australia was released. The Saturday Paper’s senior reporter Rick Morton has been covering every step of the journey to get here. Today, he tells us why this could be the moment we change a broken system.
Why is Australia’s vaccine rollout taking so long?
Australia’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout is already behind schedule, but while the headlines have focused on issues with supply and delivery, there are much deeper problems. Today, Mike Seccombe on the challenges to the federal government’s vaccination plan, and what’s at stake if we don’t get it right.
What police are getting wrong about the far-right
Growing concern about far-right extremists in Australia has led to the creation of a new federal inquiry, but the inquiry has revealed that one police force is out of step with our national security agencies. Today, Osman Faruqi on the emboldened far-right in Australia, and whether enough is being done to counter them.
tHe RuLe oF LaW
The Prime Minister has declared Christian Porter “innocent” and said any inquiry into the allegations of sexual assault would undermine the rule of law. Today, Rachel Withers on what exactly the rule of law means, and whether it’s a sufficient enough justification to stop an inquiry from going ahead.
The end of Hong Kong
On Thursday night the Chinese government passed new laws effectively stamping out democracy in Hong Kong, significantly strengthening the Communist Party’s grip on the territory. Today, Jonathan Pearlman on whether this is really the end of Hong Kong and what happens next to those who have been fighting for freedom.
As Australians march for justice, Christian Porter sues
Thousands of Australians marched in cities and towns across the country yesterday. The protests were sparked by allegations of sexual harassment and assault in federal parliament. Today, Karen Middleton on the march for justice, and whether the government is taking notice.
The billionaire who went bust, and the town on the brink
For years the rise of Lex Greensill, a farmer’s son turned billionaire investor, seemed unstoppable. But now things are falling apart, and the economic carnage threatens the livelihood of an entire town. Today, Rick Morton on the business deal that could cost 7,000 jobs in Australia.
The new law that could censor the internet
The Online Safety Bill is being framed by the government as a way to modernise how Australia regulates the internet. But concerns have been raised about what the consequences could be for freedom of expression. Today, Lizzie O'Shea on the new laws that could change how every Australian uses the internet.
Christian Porter goes back to parliament
Christian Porter is still facing calls for an inquiry into allegations of sexual assault levelled against him, allegations he denies. But Porter has announced he will return to parliament in his role as the nation’s first law officer. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the conflicts of interest facing the attorney-general.
“The system isn't broken. It was never set up for women.”
Last week’s march for justice highlighted how the justice system stacked against women, from the law, to the police, to the courts. Today, Bri Lee on the barriers to justice, and the steps being taken to reform the system.
The catastrophe unfolding on our doorstep
Australia’s closest neighbour, Papua New Guinea, is on the verge of a Covid-19 crisis. Thousands of people in the country are now infected, pushing the local health system to the brink. Today, Jonathan Pearlman on the danger facing Papua New Guinea and whether it can be avoided.
First came the fires, then the floods
Nearly 20,000 people have been evacuated as Australia’s east coast suffers from the worst floods in more than half a century. NSW’s mid-north coast, one of the worst hit regions, was also devastated by the Black Summer bushfires. Today, a first-hand view of the floods, and what the increasing severity of wild weather events is telling us about climate change.
The backlash engulfing an Australian arts festival
One of Australia’s biggest arts festivals is facing an intense backlash after announcing a work that called for the blood of First Nations people. Today, Tristen Harwood on what this controversy tells us about the way Australia’s cultural institutions are operating.
Scott Morrison says he’s listening. Should we believe him?
Scott Morrison told the women of Australia this week he was listening to their concerns. But since then the Liberal Party has been rocked by more and more allegations of bad behaviour and sexism. Today, Rachel Withers on what this week revealed about Australian politics, and whether Scott Morrison’s actions are living up to his words.
The plight of the platypus
The platypus is one of Australia’s most iconic and intriguing animals, but like so much of our natural wildlife it’s under threat. Today, James Bradley on what makes the platypus so special and whether we’re at risk of a future without them.
One month, four more Aboriginal deaths in custody
Over the past month there have been four Indigenous deaths in custody across Australia. Now, a new organisation has been created to help their families fight for justice. Today, Madeline Hayman-Reber on the grassroots group supporting families whose loved ones have died in police custody.
How these billionaires doubled their wealth during a pandemic
For many Australians the pandemic has led to some kind of economic hardship, but while workers have suffered some of Australia’s billionaires doubled their wealth during one of the worst global recessions on record. Today, Mike Seccombe on how badly implemented government policy combined with pure luck to make the country’s richest even richer.
The story behind Australia's mouse plague
After suffering through record-breaking bushfires, a pandemic, and floods, big parts of Australia now have a new problem: a plague of mice. Today, the CSIRO’s Steve Henry on the origins of the mouse plague, the impact it’s having, and when it might finally end.
Highlight: Bruce Pascoe on how to build a sustainable Australia
For the past three years author and farmer Bruce Pascoe has been trying to establish a sustainable practice on his land, informed by the Indigenous farming techniques he researched for his bestseller Dark Emu. Today, he speaks to Ruby Jones.
Alan Finkel on the electric planet
As Australia’s former Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel has been on the front line of Australia’s climate wars. This year he was appointed special advisor to the federal government on low emissions technology, but some of Australia’s leading climate scientists have expressed concern about Dr Finkel’s plan. Today, Alan Finkel on his plan for our energy future, and whether the Australian government should be moving faster.
The plan to lock up more Indigenous children
In 2015 the Northern Territory government announced a Royal Commission into Youth Detention, but six years on almost every single young person in prison in the NT is Indigenous. Now, the NT government has announced new laws that could see even more young Indigenous people locked up.
Today, Sophie Trevitt, on why the Northern Territory is undoing the recommendations of the Royal Commission.
The new 'God power' that will upend the NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Scheme was established to provide people living with a disability high quality and tailored support, but leaked documents have revealed the federal government is proposing radical reforms to the scheme. Today, Rick Morton on the battle for the future of the NDIS.
Scott Morrison’s vaccine shambles
The federal government promised that by the end of March four million Australians would be vaccinated against Covid-19 but as of this week we’ve barely hit a quarter of that target. Today, Paul Bongiorno on whether Scott Morrison is doing enough to vaccinate the country.
The crisis we should have seen coming
There are growing fears that homelessness could soon rise in Australia. One of the most at risk groups in the country is older women, who face both age and gender discrimination. Today, Kristine Ziwica on the homelessness crisis Australia should have seen coming.
A doctor explains the risks of the AstraZeneca vaccine
Australia no longer has an official vaccination target, and one reason for the delay is our reliance on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been associated with health risks. Today, Dr Melanie Cheng, on weighing up the risks of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and what it all means for Australia’s rollout.
Big government is back, but not in Australia
Both the United States and the UK have recently announced policies to increase their tax rates, and spend the revenue on new social policies, as part of their economic response to the pandemic. But Australia is bucking the trend. Today, Mike Seccombe on what Australia’s economic recovery plan is, and who stands to benefit.
The fight to end Indigenous deaths in custody
Thirty years ago Australia held a Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, but most of its recommendations still haven’t been implemented and hundreds more Indigenous people have died in custody. Today, Gary Foley on what led to the Royal Commission, and why white Australia needs to face up to its own history.
The real story behind Christine Holgate’s exit
Six months after the chief executive of Australia Post, Christine Holgate, was forced out of her job, she’s now broken her silence. Holgate claims that she was bullied, and has revealed the real reason she believes she was targeted. Today, Paul Bongiorno on what really happened at Australia Post.
Closing the loophole in Australia’s sex discrimination laws
The recent wave of allegations in federal parliament have highlighted that the law that’s supposed to protect women from harassment doesn’t actually apply to politicians. Today, Chris Wallace on the surprisingly dramatic history of Australia’s sex discrimination act, and the moves to update it for this current moment.
The fight to overhaul Australia’s vaccine rollout
Federal and state governments are locked in a high stakes battle over the future of Australia’s vaccine rollout. On Monday Scott Morrison held an emergency meeting of the national cabinet to develop a new vaccine strategy. Today, Karen Middleton on where Australia’s rollout went wrong, and the plan state governments are pushing for.
The scientist investigating Covid's impact on the brain
Scientists researching Covid-19 have discovered that the physical impacts of the virus on the body go far beyond what we might have originally thought. The results could have profound impacts for how we respond to and treat Covid-19. Today, Rick Morton on our growing knowledge of how the virus changes our bodies, and our brains.
How Australia is blocking global climate action
World leaders are preparing to meet for a historic global climate change summit, to try and limit the catastrophic impacts of global warming. But Australia has already been singled out as a roadblock to taking serious climate action. Today, Mike Seccombe on the global shift towards tackling climate change, and how Australia could hold everything back.
Will this verdict change the US?
Over the last three weeks the world watched and waited as one of the most significant trials in recent history took place. And on Wednesday George Floyd’s murderer was found guilty. Today, Mary McGuire on the trial of Derek Chauvin, the verdict, and the future of the movement against police violence.
Richard Flanagan on Tasmania's toxic secret
The billion dollar Tasmanian salmon industry promotes itself as environmentally friendly, healthy, and good for the state. But when you look a little closer, the environmental and social impacts are alarming. Today, Richard Flanagan, on the real impacts of Tasmania’s salmon farms and the failures in regulation that have allowed them to keep growing.
What’s behind the violence engulfing Northern Ireland?
For much of the 20th century Northern Ireland was marred by violence, as Irish republicans and forces aligned to the United Kingdom fought over the future of the region.
That conflict, known as the Troubles, officially came to an end with a peace agreement in 1998.
But now the violence is flaring up again, and there are concerns the fragile peace deal is on the verge of being shattered.
Today, world editor for The Saturday Paper Jonathan Pearlman on what's behind the new wave of violence across Northern Ireland and what might happen next.
What Peter Dutton did next
Peter Dutton has long been one of the most controversial ministers in the federal government. Now, at a time of rising global tension, especially in our region, he’s become the minister for Defence. Today, Karen Middleton on Peter Dutton’s new job, and the concerns already being raised in the Defence community.
The Murdoch plan to save Fox
Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is one of the most powerful corporate influences right around the world, but in recent years it’s been through radical changes. Now it looks like Rupert is starting to hand power over to his son Lachlan. Today, Paddy Manning on Lachlan Murdoch’s ambitious plans for the family’s business empire, and how they compare to those of his father.
A sermon from the Church of Morrison
At a recent appearance at the Australian Christian Churches conference Scott Morrison referred to social media as evil, and said he believed he was doing God’s work as Prime Minister. Those comments have ignited debate over the role of faith in political leadership. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the Prime Minister's Pentacostal faith and how it fits with some of his policy decisions.
Weekend Read: Bri Lee on consent and sex education
Author and activist Bri Lee regularly runs workshops on consent and sex in schools. In the upcoming issue of The Monthly Bri writes about those workshops in the context of a growing national conversation about sexual harassment and assault. In this special weekend episode of 7am Bri reads her article, 'Ill-informed consent'.
The government vs. Grace Tame
The Morrison government has ordered an urgent review of the Australian of the Year award process. It denies the review is linked to Grace Tame’s appointment, but comes after criticism from the outspoken Australian of the Year.
The end of Chinatown?
Australia’s restaurant industry has been devastated by lockdowns and the loss of international tourism. Some of the hardest hit businesses are those in Chinatowns across major cities. Today, Jess Ho on what’s at stake, and how the cities we live in might change forever.
When Hollywood came to town
From Crocodile Dundee to Marvel blockbusters, Australia’s film industry is being rejuvenated by an influx of international productions as the pandemic forced major film and TV productions to relocate to Australia. Today, Rick Morton on who really benefits from the current film and TV gold rush, and the importance of telling Australian stories.
Australia abandons its own
Right now thousands of Australian citizens are trapped in India unable to get home because of an unprecedented ban on travel announced by the Australian government. Today, Gabriela D’Souza on the situation in India right now, and what the federal government’s new travel ban says about how we treat our own.
Who foots the bill?
The federal government is about to drop its highly anticipated budget, laying out its priorities for the next 12 months. The stakes couldn’t be higher, as Australia reckons with the global economic fallout from the virus, and plots an uncertain future. Today, Paul Bongiorno on what the Treasurer is planning, and what it might tell us about who should pay for Australia’s pandemic recovery.
Does Dutton really want war with China?
The relationship between Australia and China has already reached an all time low, but now senior political figures are starting to talk publicly about war. Today, Hugh White on how likely a hot war with China really is, and why our government seems to be talking up the possibility.
The terror arrests you missed
Australia’s security agencies have introduced new terminology to talk about the threats we face but they are carefully avoiding the term "right-wing". Today, Lydia Khalil on what’s behind this change and why the language we use to describe a threat matters.
Josh Frydenberg's big-spending budget
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has handed down what is expected to be the government’s last budget before the next federal election. Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton on what’s in the budget, and what it says about the government’s political priorities.
The website the government doesn’t want you to see
Leaked documents show the Morrison government is actively undermining respectful relationships education and preventing expert materials from being taught. Today, Kristine Ziwica on the question of whether the government's social conservatism is influencing sex education for young people.
Fighting racism in Australian sport
For Rana Hussain, being a young Muslim woman and an Aussie rules fan was a tough match. But instead of turning away from the game, she forged a career fighting for inclusion and diversity. Today, Rana Hussain on the racism problem in Australian sport, and how to fight it.
Kate Manne on why we don't believe women
Five years on from when MeToo went global, high profile allegations of assault and harassment still make headlines but justice rarely seems to be served. Today, writer and philosopher Kate Manne on why we need to not only believe women, but create a society that actually cares when they are harmed.
Gaza’s deadliest day
For the past week the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip has been under an intense aerial bombardment. Today, world editor for The Saturday Paper Jonathan Pearlman on why the violence in Israel and Palestine is at its worst point in years.
The politician behind a new anti-abortion push
Scott Morrison’s choice for Australia’s new Assistant Minister for Women, Amanda Stoker, has raised concerns from women’s health advocates due to her hardline, and conservative, views on abortion. Today, Rachel Withers on the rise of Amanda Stoker.
Facing prison for cultural fishing
Many Aboriginal people whose ancestors have fished along the coast for tens of thousands of years have been locked out of the lucrative abalone trade. They’re described as “poachers” and face jail time for selling what they catch. Today, Paul Cleary on the trial of Yuin elder Keith Nye and his fight against the criminalisation of his culture.
Morrison doubles down on Fortress Australia
Travel restrictions have played a crucial role in keeping Australia relatively safe from the worst of the pandemic, but the federal government has been reluctant to announce their end date. Today, Paul Bongiorno on why Prime Minister Scott Morrison is so intent on keeping our borders closed.
Are Australians too complacent about Covid-19?
Australia’s rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine has been stymied by a combination of different factors including supply, distribution and vaccine hesitancy amongst the public. Today, Dr Melanie Cheng, on where Australia went wrong with its vaccine rollout and what the federal government needs to do to avoid a third wave.
The government's war on charities
The Morrison government is contemplating new laws which could see charities held responsible for minor legal breaches by their members and supporters. The sector says the changes are an attempt to stifle protest. Today, Mike Seccombe on why the government is targeting charities, and what the changes could mean.
Why isn’t Labor cutting through?
As the major parties gear up for an impending federal election, which could be held this year, questions are being asked about whether Anthony Albanese is capable of securing Labor victory. Today, Chris Wallace on Labor’s election chances, and what they’ve learnt from the last two years.
The frontline women’s services at risk of collapse
The federal budget promised $3.2 billion dollars to be spent on policies that improve the lives of Australian women. But, despite that pledge, a critical front line service that supports women at work now faces closure. Today, Royce Kurmelovs on the future of the Working Women’s Centres.
Who's to blame for Victoria's lockdown?
Victoria has been plunged back into lockdown, the state’s fourth since the start of the pandemic. But this time there’s one big difference: vaccines that were supposed to help keep us safe and avoid outbreaks like this are now available, but in Australia take up has been slow. Today, Paul Bongiorno on how Victoria entered lockdown and who shoulders the blame.
How to make a law for consent
For years, advocates against sexual assault have been pushing for law reform, particularly on the issue of consent. Now they’ve had a win, with sweeping new changes announced in NSW. Today, Bri Lee on what the changes mean, and the politician leading the charge.
The vaccine race Australia is losing
As Covid-19 case numbers in Victoria continue to rise, attention has turned to the slow pace of the vaccine rollout, and the question of whether or not more vaccinations could have stopped this outbreak. Today, Rick Morton on where the rollout went wrong and what the consequences have been.
Australia breaches international law, again
Last month, under the cover of the federal budget, the Coalition government rushed through new laws legalising the indefinite detention of refugees. Today, Mike Seccombe on how Australia got to this point, and what it means for those seeking safety in our country.
Why it keeps happening to Victoria
Victoria’s lockdown has been extended for another week, as health authorities race to contain Covid-19. Today, Dr Melanie Cheng on what went wrong this time and what it will take to control this outbreak.
Scott Morrison dodges responsibility
For the past week the federal government has been locked in a tussle with Victoria over who is responsible for financially supporting those suffering the economic consequences of another lockdown. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the fresh political challenges facing the federal government.
Weekend Read: Sarah Krasnostein on the most hated man
Today, Sarah Krasnostein, the best-selling author of ‘The Trauma Cleaner’, reads her essay from the latest issue of The Monthly. It’s called ‘The most hated man’ and it explores the sentencing of Richard Pusey, who was convicted of outraging public decency after he filmed the horrific aftermath of a car crash that killed four police officers.
The Australian spy novelist charged with espionage in China
Australian writer Yang Hengjun has been detained by the Chinese government since 2019. He’s been charged with espionage offences and could face the death penalty. Today, Linda Jaivin on the mysterious case of Yang Hengjun and what his treatment says about the Chinese government's approach to human rights.
What’s next for Christian Porter
Christian Porter’s decision to settle his defamation suit against the ABC is the end of one battle. But the former attorney-general, accused of a historic rape he strenuously denies, is still fighting on at least two other fronts.
You had one job, Greg Hunt
A third spread of Covid-19 in Victorian aged-care homes was not just a possibility: it was almost a given. Even before a vaccine was available, the federal government ended the support payment intended to stop casual staff working across multiple sites.
It’s textbook ‘how not to run a war’
After 20 years of war, Australia gave three days’ notice before closing its embassy in Kabul. But the decision leaves hundreds of local staff vulnerable to retaliation by the Taliban.
Australia’s biggest ever crime sting
This week, Scott Morrison announced Australia’s involvement in a massive organised crime sting coordinated by the FBI. But was the extraordinary press conference more about bad news and poor polling?
The Biloela family speaks out
Speaking from a hospital in Perth, Priya Murugappan details her daughter’s sickness and her family’s struggle in detention. More than three years after they were taken from their home in Biloela, the Tamil family just want to be settled.
The Americanisation of Australia’s health system
Australia’s public health systems are under unprecedented pressure due to decades of cuts. Today, Rick Morton on why some health experts are worried that Australia’s health care system is becoming more and more like the expensive, privatised model in the US.
You and Q’s army?
The QAnon conspiracy theory, focused on a belief in the existence of a Satanic child sexual abuse ring, has been collecting followers worldwide. Here in Australia one of its adherents happens to be a long-time friend of Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Today, Richard Cooke on what drives people to QAnon, and the threat it poses in Australia.
Australia backs coal as the G7 pledge climate action
As the leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies gathered to discuss climate change, and pledged further action, the Australian government chose to reiterate its commitment to fossil fuels. Today, Rachel Withers on how the Coalition is increasingly out of step with both the international community and voters at home.
Science is evolving, but are our ethics keeping up?
New scientific developments are challenging long established ethical guidelines around the use of embryos, or embryo-like cells. Today, Elizabeth Finkel on the latest scientific breakthroughs, and the argument that our ethics need to evolve alongside our knowledge of the world.
The government vs Friendlyjordies
YouTuber Friendlyjordies has built up a significant audience in recent years through his pointed and acerbic political videos. Now, one of the comedian’s producers has been arrested by a controversial police unit established to explicitly focus on ideological extremists. Today, Rick Morton on the Friendlyjordies saga, and why a state government seems intent on turning him into a martyr.
The world’s first pandemic games
Tens of thousands of athletes and officials are about to descend on Tokyo as the city prepares to host the 32nd Olympic games. But with Covid-19 cases surging in Japan, health experts and the majority of the Japanese public are opposed to the event being held at all. Today, Kieran Pender on the vested interests behind this pandemic Olympics.
Behrouz Boochani on the detainees we forgot
Behrouz Boochani spent six years detained on Manus Island, a victim of Australia’s Pacific Solution. Last year he was granted refugee status in New Zealand, and since then has used his freedom to advocate on behalf of the hundreds of other asylum seekers detained by Australia. Today, Behrouz Boochani on the refugees we aren’t speaking about, and the reasons why.
Barnaby Joyce sinks to the top… again
After two years on the backbench, Barnaby Joyce is back as leader of the Nationals and as Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister. His return to power has put the spotlight on the tense relationship between the two Coalition parties. Today, Paul Bongiorno on what triggered Barnaby Joyce’s return and what it means for the future of Australian politics.
The story behind the Wuhan lab-leak theory
As Australia grapples with new outbreaks of Covid-19, questions about the origins of the virus have been re-emerging. And at the G7 summit, world leaders formally discussed the controversial Wuhan lab-leak theory: the idea that the virus didn’t emerge naturally, but came out of a laboratory. Today, Linda Jaivin on what we know about the origins of Covid-19 and why conspiracies are flourishing.
Cancel culture hits the High Court
Physicist Peter Ridd was fired after he publicly criticised his colleague’s research on the Great Barrier Reef, but what started as an employment dispute has become a test case on climate denial and cancel culture. Today, Kieran Pender on Peter Ridd’s day in court and what the outcome could mean for academic freedom.
10 million Australians back in lockdown
In the past few days over 10 million Australians have been plunged back into lockdowns, as fresh outbreaks of Covid-19 spread across major cities. The current crisis forced the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, to announce a radical overhaul to the vaccine rollout. Today, Rick Morton on how Australia ended up on the verge of a national lockdown and whether the federal government’s new plan goes far enough.
The exploitation of Australia’s forgotten workers
Australia’s meat processing industry is one of many that relies heavily on migrant workers, to do jobs that Australian residents often aren’t willing to do. Many of those workers are promised that hard work will lead to permanent residency in Australia. But for some that promise is never delivered on. Today, André Dao on how Australia’s immigration system exploits the hopes and hard labour of migrant workers.
How a slip of the tongue changed the vaccine rollout
This week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, previously only available for people over 60, could now be accessed by anyone. The announcement led to significant pushback, particularly from the Queensland government, who are still advising younger Australians to avoid AstraZeneca. Today, Rachel Withers on what's behind the government decision making on vaccine eligibility.
The judgement that changed climate law in Australia
In a recent landmark judgement, the federal court has found that the government owes children a duty of care in preventing harm from the impacts of climate change. The case, which centred around the proposed expansion of a NSW coal mine, could have far reaching legal implications in Australia. Today, Kieran Pender on the case that saw a group of teenagers take on the Minister for the Environment.
The scientist who predicted the death of the reef
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but now it’s on the cusp of being declared “in danger” by UNESCO. But scientists have been warning for decades that rising sea temperatures could kill off the Reef. Today, Mike Seccombe on the scientist who predicted the end of the reef, and why the Australian government doesn’t want to listen to him.
The $660 million election slush fund
A scathing new report has found that in the lead-up to the last election the federal government spent more than half a billion dollars on infrastructure projects heavily targeted to seats held by the Coalition, or seats they were trying to win. Today, Karen Middleton on what happens when hundreds of millions of dollars and 47 car parks meet a federal election.
As the world opens, Australia seals itself off
For most of the past 18 months, Australia has been hailed as a world leader in terms of its handling of the pandemic. But now, some of our biggest cities have been plunged back into lockdowns, restrictions and border closures, while Europe and the United States reopen.
Today, Rick Morton on whether Australia wasted its good luck, and when we might finally reopen.
The “menacing” and “controlling” Scott Morrison
For most of the past year the Coalition government has faced sustained criticism over its treatment of women. Now a former Liberal MP has added fuel to the fire, lashing a culture of sexism and bullying in the Liberal party, and accusing a cabinet minister of sexual harassment. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the latest allegations levelled against the Morrison government and why there seems to be no consequences.
The growing Australian surveillance state
Over the past few years the federal government has passed more and more laws granting police and security agencies greater access to our private communications. Now there are growing concerns that these laws actually weaken our online security. Today, Lizzie O’Shea on Australia’s ever expanding surveillance powers, and if they could actually make us more vulnerable.
Why Frydenberg lobbied to sack Australia’s biggest energy boss
Six years ago one Australian energy company tried to shift from coal to renewables. Now, new details have emerged showing the role played by the federal government in stopping that from happening. Today, Mike Seccombe on how ideology keeps trumping economics when it comes to Australia’s climate policies.
The case that could help close the gender pay gap
It's been over 50 years since equal pay for equal work became law in Australia, but in recent years, efforts to better value women's work and increase wages have stalled. Now, a new case being brought to the Fair Work Commission by a group of aged care workers could change that. Today, Kristine Ziwica on the case that could help close the gender pay gap.
A psychologist's guide to surviving lockdown
A few days ago psychologist Chris Cheers began sharing advice on social media about getting through lockdowns, as a way to support those in Sydney. His posts quickly went viral. Today, Chris Cheers on how those of us not in lockdown can support our friends and family who are, and why listening is one of the most helpful things we can do right now.
I get locked down, and I'm locked down again... something, something, something whiskey drink
This week Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new COVID-19 financial support package for Sydneysiders currently in lockdown. But the announcement was met with frustration from other states, particularly Victoria, who had been asking for help during their own lockdowns. Today, Rachel Withers on why it took an outbreak in his own backyard for Scott Morrison to act.
Bob Brown on the fight to save Tasmania’s wilderness from a toxic waste dump
The Tarkine rainforest, in Tasmania's north west, is Australia's largest temperate rainforest and home to some of the country’s most endangered species. But now a mining company has started clearing the Tarkine, to build a new dam. Today, Bob Brown on the fight to save the Tarkine, and why the Morrison government is so hesitant to intervene.
Australia has vaccines. Why aren’t people taking them?
The rapidly spreading Delta variant has forced nearly half of Australia’s population back into lockdown. The slow uptake of vaccinations has been pointed to as a key factor behind the latest outbreaks, and how fast they spread. But why is vaccine uptake so slow in Australia? Today, Rick Morton on how shifting medical advice, poor communication and careless journalism created a perfect storm for this latest wave of Covid-19.
How an unlikely trio stopped China funding Australia’s biggest coal mine
Four years ago the mining giant Adani was struggling to fund its massive coal project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. So they turned to the Chinese government to try and secure financing. Today, Mike Seccombe on how a group of Australians stopped China from backing Adani, and what the story says about our approach to fossil fuels.
The debate over vaccinating children
Throughout this pandemic one group in particular have been at the forefront of key policy debates: young people. But as we’ve learnt more about the virus, a new fault-line has emerged: the question of how and when to vaccinate young people.
Front row seats to the world’s biggest experiment
After being postponed last year, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games officially begin tonight in the middle of Japan’s third wave of Covid-19 and amidst a pandemic that is still raging across the world. But, with athletes pulling out and more and more participants testing positive for Covid-19, are the games worth it? Today, Kieran Pender on what it’s like to have front row seats to the biggest experiment in the world right now.
How one DNA test kept this family apart for a decade
In Australia, DNA testing has been routinely used for decades in deciding who can and can’t enter the country. The story of one couple trying to make a new home in Australia has raised new questions about how exactly the tests work, and if they discriminate against people from certain racial backgrounds. Today, Oscar Schwartz on the faulty science that is keeping families separated.
The Liberal factions pushing out Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison has regularly praised NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for her government’s so-called ‘gold standard’ approach to contact tracing, and unwillingness to enter lockdown. But behind the surface there are growing tensions between key Liberal party figures in NSW and the federal government. Today, Mike Seccombe on how factionalism and mishandled pandemic are weakening Scott Morrison’s influence in his home state.
Welcome to the heat dome
Over the past few weeks a slow-moving weather event has led to record high temperatures across North America.This kind of event is known as a heat dome, and it’s breaking existing models that try to predict the weather. Today, Max Opray on why this particular heat even is alarming climate scientists, and what it means for the next Australian summer.
Who are Australia’s anti-lockdown protestors?
Last weekend thousands of people marched across Australia to protest against lockdowns. The sheer size of the protests suggests that the anti-lockdown movement might be crossing over into the political mainstream. Today, Ariel Bogle on the different groups behind these marches, why they’re growing, and the Australian politicians trying to capitalise on lockdown discontent.
Labor’s great surrender
While many Australians were focused on watching the Olympics this week, the federal Labor Opposition quietly made some significant policy changes. The party has now fallen in line with the government's tax cuts for the wealthy, despite previously labelling them unfair and ineffective. Today, Paul Bongiorno on Labor’s small-target strategy, and if it will work.
War games and an espionage arms race
Every two years the Australian and US defence forces engage in a massive military exercise called Talisman Sabre. This year, many observers say the focus has been on China. The wargames haven’t gone unnoticed, in fact the Chinese navy sent two spy ships to monitor the situation. Today, Brian Toohey on the danger of these military maneuvers and the espionage arms race taking place in our region.
Is hosting the Olympics worth it?
Hosting the Olympics is an honour that cities have competed for over a century. It’s seen as recognition of a nation’s economic superiority, and a source of national pride. But, is winning the bid to host the Games really worth it? Today, Mike Seccombe on the power of the IOC, and its vice president, John Coates.
The millions of Australians let down by our health system
More than three million Australians face a health crisis that can severely impact their quality of life:chronic pain. It’s a system that frustrates both patients and doctors, so is it time for a radical overhaul of how public health operates in Australia? Today, Beth Atkinson Quinton speaks to Dr Mel Cheng and Shakira Hussein about how we ended up with a system that fails to address chronic pain.
The frontline of Australia's strictest lockdown
Sydney has been in lockdown for six weeks now, but the number of Covid-19 infections is still continuing to rise. While most residents are able to stay at home, thousands of essential workers are traveling to their place of employment everyday, to keep the city turning. Today, we speak to Paloma, an essential worker living in Sydney’s south-west, about what the government could be doing to help the most vulnerable.
Scott Morrison’s in the race of his political life
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is now facing the consequences of a slow and messy vaccine rollout. To try and claw back public support the PM has tried to tap into the country’s Olympic spirit, describing our vaccine challenge as a “gold medal” race. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the intertwined fates of the vaccine rollout and the Prime Minister’s political fortunes.
Weekend Read: Scott Ludlam on Julian Assange
Scott Ludlam, ICAN ambassador and former Australian Greens Senator, reads his cover essay from the latest issue of The Monthly.
'Magic mushrooms treated my depression'
In Australia there are a number of trials currently underway investigating the use of psychedelics as a way to treat depression and addiction. But right now there are doctors and patients who are taking matters into their own hands. Today, James Bradley on his personal experience of how psychedelics are transforming mental health therapies.
Does Australia have a pandemic ‘Freedom Day’?
Eighteen months into the pandemic the Prime Minister announced a plan for the way out.The plan itself is based on vaccination rates, and predicts we could be living almost as normal when we reach 80 percent of the population fully vaccinated. But how likely are we to reach that target, and when?
The tax cuts that could bankrupt Australia
No matter which major party wins the next federal election, the top 5 percent of income earners in Australia will receive tax cuts worth 180 dollars a week. These tax cuts will cost the budget 300 billion dollars over 10 years. According to those in the social service sector, the tax cuts will be funded from cuts to education, health and welfare. Today, Cassandra Goldie on the origin of these tax cuts and what their real cost will be.
The rise of Afterpay
In seven years, Afterpay went from an idea to help an internet jewellery business to a company worth $39 billion. But just how different is it’s business model compared to traditional credit cards and loans? Today, James Hennessy on the rise of Afterpay, and the regulatory loopholes it’s exploited to build a multi-billion dollar business.
The anti-lockdown movement reaches Parliament
Australia’s anti-lockdown movement reached federal parliament this week, when a rogue Coalition MP took to the floor to blast public health measures used to limit the spread of Covid. The comments highlight growing divisions in the government over Australia’s approach to the pandemic. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the challenges Scott Morrison is facing from his own party.
A climate scientist offers us hope
Australian scientist Joëlle Gergis was one of the lead authors on a landmark climate report by the IPCC. The report has been described as “code red” for humanity, a desperate attempt by the world’s best climate scientists to force political leaders to take action and stop runaway climate change. Today, Joëlle Gergis explains the science behind it, what it tells us about the future of our planet, and how we can all maintain some hope.
NSW abandons Covid Zero
Unlike the rest of the country, NSW appears to be abandoning its intention of eliminating the virus and reaching zero cases of community transmission. Today, Mike Seccombe on the NSW strategy to deal with the virus and what it might mean for the rest of the nation.
Kevin Rudd on Murdoch’s plan for Sky News
Sky News has grown into a media powerhouse reaching millions of people, primarily on YouTube. Now it’s broadening its reach even further, into the homes of thousands of Australians living in the regions, further solidifying Rupert Murdoch’s control of news media in Australia. Today, Kevin Rudd on what Murdoch is planning with Sky News and its impact on Australian politics.
Curfews, police, more fines: Is there another way to fight lockdown fatigue?
Eighteen months into the pandemic many Australians are feeling exhausted, and compliance with public health measures is dropping off, leading governments to ramp up policing efforts. Today, infectious disease and pandemic response expert Dr Alexandra Phelan on how governments can maintain public trust and what the end game looks like.
Scott Morrison is late to the rescue
This week the federal government was caught out without a clear plan on two of the biggest crises facing the world right now: the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Today, Paul Bongiorno on whether being underprepared is now a feature of Scott Morrison’s leadership.
What’s next for Afghanistan
After twenty years of war, invasion and occupation, US and Australian defence personnel have finally withdrawn, ending one of the longest military engagements in modern history. The Taliban swept the country, seizing the capital, Kabul, and retaking control. Now there are fears for millions of Afghans facing life under a repressive regime. Today, Karen Middleton and Ramish Salimi on the latest developments in Afghanistan, how we got to this point, and what the future looks like for Afghans.
The document predicting Covid-19 hospitalisations
As Covid-19 case numbers continue to reach record highs in NSW, so too do hospitalisations and intensive care admissions. Now, a leaked document from the National Cabinet has revealed that the state’s hospitals could soon reach a tipping point. Today, Rick Morton on exactly who is being hospitalised with Covid-19 and how close our hospitals are to capacity.
“This is a wake-up call”: The pandemic hits regional Australia
When Covid-19 first hit towns and remote communities across western NSW, only eight percent of Indigenous people were fully vaccinated. Now, with the virus spreading fast, there are serious concerns for the community. Today, Bhiamie Williamson on the situation on the ground in western NSW.
Angus Taylor's fossil fuel handouts
As scientists continue to warn about the impacts of climate change, the federal government is spending big to help prop up the gas industry. One company which has links to the Liberal Party, has been the sole beneficiary of a government fund established to help drill for gas in the Northern Territory. Today, Mike Seccombe on why Australia continues to subsidise fossil fuels.
Scott Morrison’s coming out of his cave, and he’s doing just fine
A couple of weeks ago the Prime Minister, along with state and territory leaders, signed off a plan to end lockdowns and border closures when vaccine rates reached 80% of the adult population. But it didn’t take long for the so-called national plan to fall apart. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the Prime Minister’s odd decision to invoke a movie to help argue his case for opening up.
How Australia is holding back vaccine supply
As wealthy countries like Australia race to vaccinate their population, many other nations in our region are falling behind due to the high cost of vaccines: a cost set by big pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer. As a result, South East Asia is now the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, Lyndal Rowlands on the proposal that could speed up vaccinations around the world, and why Australia is holding it back.
Can our hospitals cope with Covid-19?
As hospitals in NSW and Victoria prepare to deal with an influx of Covid-19 patients, there are fresh concerns that our healthcare system might not be up to the challenge. Today, Rick Morton on the situation in hospitals right now, and what might happen when we come out of lockdown.
What went wrong with Australia’s withdrawal from Afghanistan
Coalition forces had been planning their withdrawal from Afghanistan for months, but it’s now emerged that intelligence reports failed to forecast how quickly the country would fall, and the impact that would have on the evacuation. Today, Karen Middleton on what went wrong with Australia’s withdrawal plan and what it means for those trapped in Afghanistan.
Are we heading towards a pandemic election?
The country might still be in the grip of a pandemic and ongoing lockdowns, but our major parties are already planning for a looming federal election. The Prime Minister has strongly hinted the nation could be heading to the polls in just a few months, and the political battle lines are now being drawn. Today, Paul Bongiorno on what the election will be fought over.
The charity feeding Sydney during lockdown
Ongoing lockdowns have put many Australians under extreme financial pressure. Without adequate government support the responsibility is falling on community organisations to help thousands of people receive the basics, like food.
Today, Rosanna Barbero, on the massive food relief operation underway right now in Sydney and how it exposes a broken system.
What we can learn from the world’s reopening
As our political leaders fight over the proposed national plan to re-open the country, health experts are imploring us to learn from the experiences of places like the UK and Israel. But, there is another country whose reopening could prove to be a much better blueprint for Australia. Today, Hannah Ryan on what we can learn from the ongoing global experiment.
Just how stretched are our hospitals?
As Australia grapples with its biggest outbreak yet of Covid-19 the focus is shifting to hospitalisation figures and deaths. But even though Covid-19 wards are becoming busier, it isn’t easy to get a clear picture of just how bad things are in our hospital system. Today, Rick Morton on what might happen if things get worse.
Why your next car will be electric
Governments and car manufacturers all over the world are preparing for a future where most vehicles will be powered by electricity. But in Australia there’s no national policy on electric vehicles and, as a result, the country is falling behind the rest of the world. Today, Mike Seccombe on how electric cars are poised to take over and what Australia needs to do to keep up.
Generation 9/11: A soldier, a refugee and a Muslim Australian
Twenty years ago the terrorist group Al-Qaeda hijacked four planes, flying them into New York City’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3000 people. Two decades on the legacy of the attacks still reverberates all over the world. Today, Osman Faruqi speaks to three people whose lives were changed forever by 9/11.
How to cure homesickness
Lockdowns and border closures have led to a specific kind of grief and yearning - homesickness. While homesickness isn’t an official medical condition it was once, with soldiers fighting on foreign soil regularly diagnosed after suffering debilitating symptoms. Today, Dr Melanie Cheng on the origins of homesickness and whether there’s a cure.
How bad is Australia’s mental health crisis?
Despite government promises to fix Australia’s mental health system, experts have identified that young people in particular are still struggling to access urgent care and support. Today, Santilla Chingaipe on why this could be our one chance to fix the ailing mental health care system.
What have we learned from the War on Terror?
The anniversary of 9/11 this week, along with the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has seen politicians, military leaders and the public reflect on the past two decades. But what has really been learned from these events that shaped world history? Today, Karen Middleton on the aftermath of 9/11 20 years later.
What happens after we're vaccinated?
From this week residents in NSW, who have been locked down for nearly three months, will finally be able to leave their homes. But the new freedoms are contingent on one important factor: their vaccination status. Today, Hannah Ryan on the plan to provide freedoms only to fully vaccinated, and what that means for the next phase of the pandemic.
Does anyone trust Scott Morrison?
After a slow and delayed start, vaccination rates across Australia are finally gaining momentum, with NSW and Victoria hitting 80 percent and 70 percent single dose targets this week. Today, Paul Bongiorno on whether the Morrison government has the trust and credibility to maintain the goodwill of the Australian public throughout the rest of the pandemic.
The healing power of MDMA
A major new study has found that the therapeutic use of the illicit drug MDMA, more commonly known as ecstasy, could cure people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Now an Australian psychologist is finally embarking on Australia’s first ever clinical trial using the drug. Today, James Bradley on the healing power of MDMA - and why Australia has been so slow to explore its possibilities.
Everything wrong with Australia's nuclear submarine deal
Australia has entered into a new trilateral military alliance with the United Kingdom and the United States, called AUKUS. The partnership was sealed with the announcement that Australia would, for the first time, construct and operate a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. Today, Hugh White on why this new submarine deal puts Australia at risk.
Why Labor is sending Keneally to Cabramatta
The move to parachute Labor frontbencher Kristina Keneally into the western Sydney seat of Fowler has exposed the rifts and rivalries within the party. But it's also raised a bigger question, is Labor doing enough to make sure its candidates actually represent their voters? Today, Karen Middleton on what is really driving the battle for Fowler, and what it says about the Labor party.
Can Australia actually reach its vaccination goal?
Australia is steadily marching towards the magic number of 80 percent of the eligible population being fully vaccinated. But given how few countries have reached that target so far, even with a significant head start, how likely are we to actually get vaccination coverage that high? Today, Hannah Ryan on whether Australia can reach 80 percent, and what might happen even if we get there.
Morrison's French kiss off
Scott Morrison has hailed Australia’s military alliance and new submarine deal with the United Kingdom and United States as a landmark achievement. But it’s already led to a global diplomatic standoff. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the fallout from Australia’s nuclear submarine deal and why the President of France won’t return Scott Morrison’s phone calls.
Who polices the police?
As a law professor at the University of Sydney, Simon Rice went to observe a rally on campus with his students. But then police moved in, and Simon was physically restrained, arrested and fined. When he tried to challenge the fine, he discovered a serious lack of accountability at the heart of the police force. Today, Simon Rice on the loophole that lets police avoid scrutiny.
Inside the Covid-19 outbreak in our prisons
As a Covid-19 outbreak continues to spread throughout the NSW prison system, family members of those inside Parklea correctional centre are now speaking out about their concerns over the level of care and treatment Covid positive patients are receiving. Today, Denham Sadler on what happens when you test positive for Covid-19 inside prison, and how this outbreak could have been prevented.
Australia’s next top Covid model
NSW and Victoria, now have clear roadmaps out of the pandemic. Those pathways are heavily influenced by modelling conducted by the Doherty Institute. But there are other influential bodies projecting their own numbers that contradict the national plan. Today, Rick Morton on the models deciding our future and who we should trust.
The battle inside the Catholic Church
The Catholic Church has historically been one of the most powerful institutions in Australia, but in response to its current crisis, a once-in-a-century meeting is being organised to discuss its future. This plenary is pitting church reformists against conservatives, with Cardinal George Pell making a surprise return to the country to try and influence the debate. Today, Mike Seccombe on the influence the Catholic Church has on Australia and the battle for its future.
How Scott Morrison turned Australia into a climate pariah
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing pressure over his reluctance to attend this November’s climate change conference in Glasgow. But what’s really driving the PM’s unwillingness to participate in the most important international climate event in years? Today, Paul Bongiorno on the climate policy paralysis plaguing the Morrison government and what it means for Australia’s international reputation.
Why Gladys Berejiklian resigned
On Friday the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian suddenly resigned. Her shocking departure from the top job has left the state in political turmoil in the midst of a pandemic. It's also raised important questions about political accountability and transparency. Today, Mike Seccombe on why Gladys Berejiklian resigned and what happens next in New South Wales.
The people most at risk when lockdown ends
Australia’s two largest states are getting ready to end their long lockdowns and reopen when 80 percent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. But what does reopening with that target mean for the 20 percent who are yet to receive their vaccines? Today, Rick Morton on how some of our most at risk communities fell through the cracks.
Everything you need to know about NSW's new Premier
On Tuesday, Dominic Perrottet won the support of his Liberal Party colleagues to become the 46th Premier of NSW. But he’s already facing criticism for his socially conservative views on issues ranging from abortion to voluntary euthanasia. Today, Hannah Ryan on Dominic Perrottet’s life and career so far and what kind of leader he will be.
Inside the Coalition’s climate war
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has so far refused growing international pressure to commit to net zero emissions by 2050. Now he’s facing a concerted push from MPs in his own party to embrace the policy. But on the other side of the Coalition, right-wing Nationals are refusing to budge. Today, Mike Seccombe on how climate politics has wedged Scott Morrison.
The real 'Succession': Who will replace Rupert Murdoch?
Rupert Murdoch’s 90th birthday has focused discussion on who will take over the world’s largest media empire. Murdoch’s son Lachlan is making major strategic moves in his role as News Corp’s co-chair. Today, Paddy Manning on Rupert Murdoch’s succession plan, and what the media empire will look like under Lachlan’s control.
‘I'll be on the frontline and I might die’
Eighteen months into the pandemic, Australia has more case numbers than ever, and our doctors, nurses and other health professionals are reporting alarmingly high rates of exhaustion, burnout and mental health issues. Today, Dr Natasha Smallwood on the stress that healthcare workers are facing and what that means for the health system after the pandemic.
Why Scott Morrison is scared of an anti-corruption commission
In the lead up to the last federal election Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised a national anti-corruption commission, but the model he’s put forward has been criticised for being too weak. Today, Rachel Withers on the renewed calls for a national anti-corruption commission, and why it’s taking so long to set one up.
The management consultants that ate Canberra
Since coming to power the federal Coalition has chipped away at the public service, increasingly outsourcing key functions of government to private companies. The trend has raised important questions about transparency, and the long-term sustainability of government services. Today, Rick Morton on how private management consultants took over the public service.
‘I just want to look at you’: The sisters reunited after lockdown
This week, after more than 100 days in lockdown, NSW residents were officially allowed back into restaurants, bars, shops and gyms. But for many, the end of lockdown wasn’t about being able to drink beer in a pub again but the chance to see family after months of isolation. Today, Kara Jensen-Mackinnon speaks to two sisters finally reunited after lockdown about what opening up means to them.
From a lump of coal to net-zero: Morrison’s climate makeover
Four years ago Prime Minister Scott Morrison wielded a lump of coal in the Australian Parliament, demonstrating his commitment to fossil fuels. Now he’s trying to pivot, shifting his government towards a position of supporting net-zero emissions by 2050. Today, Paul Bongiorno on Scott Morrison’s newfound enthusiasm for net zero, and whether his own ministers will back him.
A temporary stay in a ‘land of fairytales’
When Afghanistan fell back under Taliban control earlier this year, the Australian government announced it would evacuate more than 4000 people. But despite being promised safety here, some are concerned they could be sent back to the country they fled. Today, Anu Hasbold on one refugee’s journey from Afghanistan to Australia, and the uncertainty they now face.
Closing the vaccination gap
While the national vaccination rate continues to surge, many vulnerable groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are being left behind in the race to get vaccinated. Today, Rick Morton on the leaked government documents that reveal the disproportionate burden Indigenous communities have borne during this pandemic.
The new Cold War over the origins of Covid-19
The Wuhan lab leak theory has recently been given new prominence thanks to a controversial book written by Australian journalist and Sky News commentator Sharri Markson. Today, writer and contributor to The Saturday Paper Linda Jaivin, examines the credibility of Markson’s claims, and explores how ideology has impacted our ability to get to the truth of how this pandemic first started.
The corruption inquiry exposing Labor's culture
Victoria’s anti-corruption commission has heard damning evidence about the political culture at the heart of the state’s Labor party. The investigation has already forced the resignation of a number of state government ministers. Today, Karen Middleton on what the consequences might be for the Labor party both in Victoria and federally.
Barnaby Joyce is holding Australia hostage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is under pressure, both from voters and Australia’s international allies, to publicly support a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050. But his coalition partners, the Nationals, are yet to support the policy. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the Coalition’s war over net zero, and how Barnaby Joyce’s National party is holding the country’s future to ransom.
The billionaire and the conspiracy theorist
Clive Palmer's party, the United Australia Party, is back with a new leader - Craig Kelly. Kelly, a former Liberal MP known for his controversial views, says that under his leadership the United Australia Party is stronger and bigger than ever. Today, Mike Seccombe on what impact the Palmer-Kelly alliance could have on the next federal election.
A war over Taiwan
The world’s two superpowers, China and the United States, have been steadily building up their military presence in the Taiwan Strait. President Xi Jinping has made it clear that he wants to bring Taiwan back under China’s control - a move the US seems likely to resist at all costs. Today, Hugh White on how Australia could be drawn into a war over Taiwan.
The High Court judgement that could change the internet
A landmark judgement by the High Court of Australia has reignited debate over whether or not our legal system is fit for purpose in the age of social media. The Court found that news organisations are liable for the comments posted on their Facebook pages, forcing many news sites to disable comments. Today, Richard Ackland on how our courts are out of step with the online world.
How Australia could wreck the Glasgow climate summit
Right now, world leaders are gearing up for the COP26 climate summit. While many developed nations are preparing to commit to strong emissions reduction targets, Australia remains an outlier. Today,Mike Seccombeon how Australia might undermine global efforts to stop runaway climate change.
A climate change election?
After an agreement was struck with his National party colleagues, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will bring with him a carry-on luggage sized climate policy to COP26 in Glasgow. With an election on the horizon, Labor has branded his agreement as “a steaming pile of nothingness”. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the problems with Scott Morrison’s climate plan.
The Gladys Berejiklian phone taps
Last week former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian fronted the Independent Commission Against Corruption and was asked candid questions about the nature of her relationship with former MP Daryl Maguire. Today, Mike Seccombe on what happened when Gladys Berejiklian went to ICAC, and what the corruption investigation reveals about NSW politics.
How the government silences charities
Frontline charity workers say that the sector's dependency on government funding means that the people they’re supposed to be helping are instead sidelined and betrayed. Today, contributor to The Monthly Russell Marks on how charities are becoming complicit in their own silencing.
Nobel prize winner Peter Doherty on the end of the pandemic
With international travel resuming and our biggest states re-opening, life in Australia is finally returning to normal. So, is this really the beginning of the end of the Covid-19 pandemic? Today, Peter Doherty on what surprised him most about the pandemic, and what we should expect in the months to come.
How the gas industry shaped Australia’s climate policy
Australia’s gas industry has undergone a massive expansion, and it’s been supported by federal and state governments. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s roadmap to net zero emissions includes ongoing support for gas mining. Today, Marian Wilkinson on how the gas lobby is shaping Australia’s climate policies and the unproven technology the industry is relying on.
The Prime Minister, the President and the leaked texts
Scott Morrison returns from the G20 in Rome and COP26 in Glasgow with less domestic and international credibility than he left Australia with. While a stoush over a $100 billion submarine contract plays out on a global stage, it casts a shadow over the PM’s domestic political ambitions. Today, Paul Bongiorno on Scott Morrison’s damaged international standing, and the impact it has on Australia.
Joe Biden’s honeymoon is over
Just one year after winning the election, US President Joe Biden is facing political obstruction from within his own Democratic party and plummeting approval ratings. After losing key election races last week, the Democrats could be annihilated at the midterms next year. Today, Bruce Wolpe on what Joe Biden can do to turn things around and what happens if he can’t.
How Crown Casino became too big to fail
Earlier this year, a blistering Royal Commission report found that Crown Casino in Melbourne had links to organised crime and enabled money laundering. Despite that, Crown has managed to keep its licence. Today, senior fellow of the Centre for Public Christianity, Tim Costello, on the relationship between politics and gambling, and how Crown Casino became too big to fail.
Inside Australia’s postal service crisis
Over the past few months, Australians ordering goods online have been waiting longer than ever for their packages to arrive. So what is going wrong at Australia Post? Today, Hannah Ryan, on what these delays tell us about the vulnerability in Australia Posts’ business model.
The fight for a minimum wage in 2021
In a landmark decision, the Fair Work Commission has ruled that every farm worker in Australia must be guaranteed the minimum wage. Today, Director of Policy at the McKell Institute Edward Cavanough on how Australia’s farming industry came to depend on wage theft, and whether this decision will finally end the exploitation of Australia’s farm workers.
COP26: Have we missed our moment?
After two weeks, COP26, the international climate summit in Glasgow is wrapping up. The primary goal of the conference was to reach a consensus that would keep levels of global warming below 1.5 degrees needed to avoid catastrophic climate change. So has it worked? Today, climate scientist Joëlle Gergis, on what happened at COP26 and what it means for the fate of our planet.
Who is Scott Morrison, really?
As the next federal election approaches, the question of whether the Prime Minister Scott Morrison can pull off another ‘miracle’ win looms large. But how much do we really know about our Prime Minister? Today, journalist and author Sean Kelly on what’s underneath the persona that Scott Morrison presents publicly, and what his Prime Ministership tells us about our national identity.
The politicians suing voters
Australia has become well known as the defamation capital of the world. But recently there’s been a new trend: politicians using defamation law against ordinary people. Today, Bri Lee on how the current wave of defamation threats is impacting the ability of regular people to criticise their elected officials, and what that might mean for our democracy.
Scott Morrison’s secret climate weapon
According to the Prime Minister, the economic impact of the Coalition's plan to reach net zero won’t be that significant. But at the last election Scott Morrison had a very different position when he was opposing Labor’s emissions reduction policy. Today, Mike Seccombe on the documents that reveal who’s behind the federal government’s climate modelling and what it tells us about the way science is being spun for political purposes.
Death threats and nooses: How a pandemic bill sparked far-right protests
Protesters have camped outside the Victorian Parliament for a week, protesting a new bill that would extend the state’s public health orders. While some of them are far-right extremists, who have threatened violence against politicians, the bill has also been criticised by human rights lawyers. Today, Julia Kretzenbacher on why the bill sparked such an intense backlash.
The Liberal MP abandoning Scott Morrison
The federal Coalition government holds office by the barest of margins - just one seat. Now, a popular and high profile Liberal incumbent has announced he won’t be recontesting his electorate, throwing the party’s election preparations into jeopardy. Today, Paul Bongiorno on why the Liberal MP abandoning Scott Morrison thinks Anthony Albanese might be a better Prime Minister for the country.
Is there still hope for the planet after COP26?
The COP26 climate summit in Glasgow was seen as the world’s ‘last best chance’ to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. On that measure it failed. World leaders have agreed to meet again next year to revisit their targets. Tim Flannery, one of Australia’s most well known environmentalists, had a front row seat at the negotiations, and to what he describes as Australia’s ‘embarrassing’ contribution.
The towns the pandemic just hit
Australia’s latest Covid-19 outbreak began in the town of Katherine and is now spreading to remote communities across the Northern Territory. Almost everyone who has tested positive so far is Indigenous, and the region is facing a health crisis.
The historic reforms to sexual consent laws
On Tuesday the NSW Parliament passed historic reforms to sexual consent laws. Now, similar laws are being introduced in Victoria, and advocates are calling for national reform. Today, campaigner and contributor to The Saturday Paper Saxon Mullins, on the push to update Australia’s laws around sexual assault, and why it’s taking so long.
Inside Australia’s most dangerous hotel
As Australia wraps up its hotel quarantine program, one group of people remain confined in hotel rooms indefinitely: people seeking asylum. A recent outbreak of Covid 19 at a hotel detention facility in Carlton has raised serious questions regarding the safety and treatment of those inside. Today, Elle Marsh on who is responsible for protecting the detainees, and why the government should have seen this outbreak coming.
How Pauline Hanson fractured the Coalition
The Coalition government has fractured on a number of issues this week, most significantly in response to a bill introduced by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.
As parliament enters its final fortnight of the year, a number of Coalition senators crossed the floor to vote against the government, in favour of One Nation’s legislation - which aims to oppose vaccine mandates.
The disappearance of a Chinese tennis star
Earlier this month, Peng Shuai, one of China’s most successful tennis stars posted a statement on social media, detailing allegations of sexual harassment. Half an hour later, the post, and her entire feed disappeared. Then she did too. Today, Linda Jaivin on what happened to one of China’s biggest sports stars.
The takeover of a green energy company by an oil giant
Powershop’s focus on renewables investment and political advocacy is responsible for its rapid rise in popularity in the Australian energy market. In a shock announcement to its customers, Powershop announced it had been sold to one of the world’s biggest polluters. Today, Mike Seccombe on the sale of Powershop, and what it tells us about the future of green energy in Australia.
The proposed law that could legalise discrimination
The federal government has finally introduced a religious discrimination bill to parliament. And there are concerns that they could make it easier for individuals to discriminate against marginalised communities, like the queer community, without consequence. Today, Karen Middleton, on what the religious discrimination bill actually entails, and why Scott Morrison is so desperate to pass it.
Are rich countries to blame for Omicron?
For months scientists have been warning us that if global vaccination rates didn’t lift - new, potentially more dangerous strains of Covid-19 could emerge. Now it looks like their fears might have been realised, with the emergence of the new Omicron variant. Today, Rick Morton on how vaccine hoarding by rich nations is helping prolong the pandemic.
Parliament ends in disunity and disarray
This week, two of the nation’s highest profile politicians have announced that they will be quitting politics. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the departure of the Health Minister Greg Hunt and former Attorney-General Christian Porter - and the internal division plaguing the Coalition.
A spy scandal and a secret trial
The former attorney-general for the ACT, Bernard Collaery, has been charged with conspiracy, but the details of the case have been hidden from journalists and the public. Today, senior lawyer for the Human Rights Law Centre, Kieran Pender, on the trial of Bernard Collaery, and why the government is trying so hard to keep it as secret as possible.
The independent insurgency threatening the Liberals
Traditionally the Liberal Party’s biggest threat at federal elections is the Labor Party, but this time they’re facing an insurgency in their heartland. Today, Mike Seccombe on what is motivating this wave of independents, and how they could end up shaping the future of Australian politics.
The toxic culture in Parliament House
A new report released by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner has revealed a toxic workplace culture in Parliament House, with nearly half of the women working there experiencing sexual harassment and bullying. Today, Karen Middleton on what the Jenkins Report tells us about Australia’s political culture.
The mystery of the vanishing Christmas beetles
Every year, in the lead up to Christmas, thousands and thousands of native flying insects, known as Christmas beetles, would emerge and attach themselves to trees, street lights and crawl into homes across Australia. But in recent years Christmas beetles have disappeared. Today, Kara Jensen-Mackinnon on what happened to Australia’s Christmas beetles.
Scott Morrison prepares for the fight of his life
As 2021 comes to end, most of us are winding down. But in Canberra, with the election on the horizon, the contest is just beginning. Today, Paul Bongiorno on what we’ll see as both leaders fight for their political future.
How the fossil fuel industry is gaslighting Australia
Australia has largely fallen behind the rest of the world when it comes to action on climate change. But while polls show a majority of Australians actually want to phase out our reliance on fossil fuels and move to renewables, there are some who are uncertain on how this future looks. Today, Rebecca Huntley on how the fossil fuel lobby has influenced their hearts and minds.
The scientist who saved your life
The Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the most disruptive and devastating events in recent history. But it also led to a series of incredible scientific breakthroughs. Today, Rick Morton on the woman who spent decades advocating for the unproven technology behind the vaccine, and how it helped save humanity.
Scott Morrison vs. the Liberal Party
When Gladys Berejiklian spectacularly resigned as Premier of NSW, most people expected that would be the end of her political career. But then - she was publicly encouraged by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to make a comeback - to run for federal parliament. Today, Mike Seccombe on the real reason Scott Morrison wanted to enlist Gladys.
Australia detained him, but these Australians are trying to set him free
For more than ten years hundreds of people seeking asylum in Australia have been detained on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. The Australian government has made it clear that none of them will be resettled here. But now a group of refugee advocates have a new plan to help them - involving a third country: Canada. Today, the story of one refugee advocate and the refugee she is trying to free.
The Sound of 2021
Capitol riots, the Delta strain, sexual assault allegations rocking Parliament, the war in Gaza, the Olympics, COP26 and humanity’s last chance, the world’s longest lockdown, freedom days, and now Omicron and the start of a federal election campaign. Today, we look back at the news events that defined 2021 - in sound.
Original music and composition in this episode by Alex Gow.
Our hot Omicron summer
As Australia enters year three of the Covid-19 pandemic, case numbers are higher than ever, hospitals are being pushed to their limit and rapid tests are extremely difficult to find. Today, Rick Morton on how Covid-19 caught up with Australia this summer, and what the federal government could have done to better prepare for this moment.
The cost of Australia’s shadow lockdown
Every day tens of thousands of people are being forced into isolation. Supply chains are falling apart, consumers are staying home either because they’re sick or simply because they don’t want to risk contracting the virus. Today Mike Seccombe, on how this so-called shadow lockdown is much worse than any government mandated shutdown of the past two years.
Four men and a beach umbrella
Fifty years ago today a group of four Aboriginal men planted a beach umbrella on the lawns out the front of Parliament House. That action marked the beginning of the longest ever Indigenous land rights protest in history: the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. Today, Kamilaroi Uralarai woman Frances Peters-Little on why land rights is fundamental to the campaign for Indigenous justice.
The week the world saw Australia's cruelty
When world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic arrived in Australia earlier this month, he intended to defend his title at the Australian Open. Instead, his visa was cancelled and he was detained at a hotel in Melbourne alongside dozens of refugees and asylum seekers. Today, we speak to one of the refugees still detained at the Park Hotel, and what happens now most of the media have moved on.
What to expect this election year
This year Australians will head to the polls and cast their judgement on the performance of the federal government. According to the latest polls the Labor opposition are the favourites to win, yet predicting Australian politics is notoriously fraught. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno, on what kind of surprises might be in store this election year.
The real crisis inside our hospitals
With the worst-case projections of the Omicron wave yet to be realised, Australia’s health system is still buckling under the pressure, leaving hundreds of thousands of Australians with inadequate or interrupted care. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on the crisis in our health system, and how our governments didn’t see it coming.
What going back to school actually looks like
After two years of disrupted learning, students across the country are finally heading back to school. But the decision to reopen schools right now, in the middle of the Omicron wave, has been fraught and divisive. Today, journalist Hannah Ryan on the debate over when, and how, to return to in-class learning, and what going back to school actually looks like.
‘The largest invasion since World War Two’
As Russia amasses troops on the border of Ukraine, speculation is mounting over whether the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, plans to invade the country. Today, Jonathan Pearlman on the escalating tension in Europe, and the likelihood of war.
Inside Australia’s hottest prison
Recently Roebourne Regional Prison marked its hottest day on record - reaching 50.5 degrees. Former prisoners and advocates have warned that it’s not a matter of if someone at Roebourne will die from heat - it’s a matter of when. Today, Dechlan Brennan on what it’s like in Australia’s hottest prison, and why the government is refusing to act.
Bread, circuses and the ‘psycho’ text about the PM
Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed the National Press Club in Canberra this week, hoping to reset his relationship with the public ahead of the federal election. Instead, it raised a series of questions about just how out of touch Morrison is. Today, Paul Bongiorno on what the price of bread and a series of leaked text messages have to do with Scott Morrison’s leadership
Australia’s largest new fossil fuel project
Right now, in Western Australia, plans are underway to build Australia’s largest new fossil fuel project. Woodside’s Scarborough gas plant would jettison Australia’s emissions and also threaten the existence of some of the oldest - and most significant - rock art in the world. Today, Jesse Noakes on the threat that’s being called Juukan Gorge in slow motion.
Morrison's Covid hotline sting
If you contract Covid-19, the federal government’s advice is to contact the national coronavirus helpline. But the hotline is staffed by workers with limited training, who don’t have access to the information they need and is administered by a company that chased welfare recipients caught up in the infamous robo-debt program. Today, Rick Morton on the outsourcing of a key frontline health service and the impact of privatisation during the pandemic.
The dark money funding politics
Every year millions of dollars flows into the bank accounts of Australia's political parties - from individuals, businesses and unions. But loopholes and weak federal election laws mean that the source of more than half of the money political parties receive remains a mystery. Today, Hannah Ryan on what these mystery donations mean for the way our democracy works.
The power struggle threatening Scott Morrison’s re-election
Time is running out for the Liberal Party to select candidates in a number of key seats, ahead of the federal election. And there are allegations that one senior minister - close to the Prime Minister - may be holding up the process to deliberately engineer a crisis. Today, Karen Middleton on the power struggle within the Liberal Party that is threatening their re-election chances.
When Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins came to Canberra
On Tuesday, Scott Morrison formally apologised to all those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault or bullying while working in federal parliament. The next day former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, alongside Grace Tame delivered an explosive address to the National Press Club questioning just how seriously we should take the Prime Minister’s words. Today, Rachel Withers on why Scott Morrison’s apology might be too little, too late.
The revolution will be electrified
Australia has long been considered an international pariah on climate policy. But one Australian - a former climate advisor to US President Joe Biden - thinks that we’re uniquely positioned to become one of the most successful zero emission economies in the world. Today, inventor and scientist Saul Griffith, on his plan to transition Australia into a clean energy future.
The revolt over the Religious Discrimination Bill
The political debate around the the religious discrimination bill has exposed enormous divisions in the Liberal party and raised important questions about how we treat some of the nation’s most vulnerable children. Today, Mike Seccombe on the revolt over the Religious Discrimination Bill, and the political faultlines the bill has exposed.
The High Court case that could change your job
Uber and Airtasker have transformed the ‘gig economy’ by hiring workers as independent contractors, which denies them basic rights like a minimum wage, superannuation or leave. Recently, two workers pushed back against this model of employment and took their case all the way to the High Court. Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Kieran Pender on how the court’s decision could fundamentally change the nature of work.
The trial of Zachary Rolfe
In 2019, police constable Zachary Rolfe shot a 19-year-old Walpiri man Kumanjayi Walker in a remote community in the Northern Territory. Last week, the murder trial for that shooting began, and if he’s found guilty, Zachary Rolfe will be the first police officer in Australia ever convicted of killing an Aboriginal person in custody. Today, Hannah Ryan, on what it was like covering this historic trial from Northern Territory.
Scott Morrison hits the panic button
With the government trailing in the opinion polls, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has attempted to improve his image. But will these last ditch efforts work, or do they just appear desperate? Today, Paul Bongiorno on how Scott Morrison is attempting to claw back ground as the election inches closer.
'The New Cold War' Part One: The US vs Russia
While in recent days, some of Russia’s troops have begun withdrawing from the Ukraine border, US officials are still warning that Russia is on the cusp of invading Ukraine. But Russia has repeatedly rejected that claim. Today, former head of DFAT Michael Costello, on the real origins of the dispute between Russia and Ukraine, and what the US and its allies are getting wrong.
'The New Cold War' Part Two: The US vs China
In recent months senior Australian politicians have talked openly about a potential military conflict with China over Taiwan. The increasingly tense rhetoric follows a series of incursions by China into Taiwanese air and naval space. Today, Hugh White, on the changing power dynamics in our region, and the risks of war between the US and China.
What happened to the Greens?
Climate change might be one of the biggest political issues on the agenda for the upcoming federal election, but the party most associated with environmental policy is struggling to cut through. According to the latest opinion polls, the Greens are finding it hard to connect with voters. Today, Mike Seccombe on the challenges facing Australia’s third party.
The real cause of Australia's mental health crisis
The pandemic has led to a significant spike in the number of Australians experiencing mental health issues. But when people try to seek treatment they are faced with a complicated, under-resourced and expensive system. Today, Rick Morton on the real causes of Australia’s spiralling mental health crisis and the recent bungle that made it worse.
Russia moves on Ukraine, plus how prepared is Scott Morrison for conflict?
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing the challenge of a global military conflict. His government’s increasingly aggressive stance towards both Russia and China has put the spotlight on Australia’s defence policy, and its preparedness for a potential war. Today, Paul Bongiorno on how equipped Scott Morrison is to handle escalating tensions in both Ukraine and in the Pacific.
The end of Covid restrictions_Final_FinalFinal
All over the world countries are winding back, and in some cases completely removing, their pandemic restrictions and Australia is following suit. But there’s debate over whether these changes are based on public health, political pressure or business lobbying. Today, journalist Hannah Ryan on the global easing of pandemic restrictions despite ongoing concern over the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Why Putin is risking it all on Ukraine
In the last 48 hours thousands of Ukrainians have fled their homeland and crossed into neighbouring Poland, seeking refuge from war and invasion. But millions more remain trapped in the country as Russian forces continue to advance and occupy towns and cities across Ukraine. Today, Jonathan Pearlman on why Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin is risking it all on Ukraine.
The bill that could end class actions
Class action lawsuits are one of the only ways ordinary people can get justice and compensation if they’ve been mistreated by powerful corporations and institutions. But now, their future is under threat. Today, journalist and lawyer Kieran Pender on the new government legislation that could spell the end of class actions in Australia, and what that would mean for access to justice.
Morrison's plan to deport thousands of migrants
Since the last election, the federal government has deported more than 4,000 non-citizens from Australia. Now the Morrison government is trying to pass new laws that could see the number of deportations increase dramatically. Today, Hannah Dickinson on why Australia is deporting so many long-term residents.
Floods, war and the PM’s Covid-19 diagnosis
This week, record breaking floods in Queensland and New South Wales have left thousands of homes decimated, with tens of thousands of residents forced to evacuate, and a number of people dead. Meanwhile, overseas, Russian forces have been intensifying their attacks on Ukraine. So how is the Prime Minister Scott Morrison dealing with these challenges? Today, Paul Bongiorno on Scott Morrison’s performance and plummeting popularity.
Will house prices ever crash?
For decades, house prices in Australia have been accelerating and defying every prediction of a crash. The pandemic has done nothing to slow down that trajectory, with prices continuing to go up, despite economic uncertainty. Today, Russell Marks on why Australia’s housing market continues to confound expectations and what might actually make a difference.
Why no one’s calling Angus Taylor
Across Australia, energy companies are beginning to realise they need to rely less on fossil fuels, and redirect their strategy to renewables and green energy. But there’s one big barrier to this transition: the federal government. Today, Mike Seccombe on how the Morrison government lost the trust of the energy sector.
The Russia-Ukraine war fakes
Right now, much of Ukraine is in the cross hairs of war. But as the war on the ground in Ukraine escalates, there is another battle playing out: a coordinated series of fake videos and social disinformation - produced by Russia as justification for the invasion. Today, Ukrainian media scholar Eugenia Kuznetsova on what’s real and what’s fake - and how disinformation could affect the outcome of the war.
The end of public housing in Australia
All across the country, waitlists for public housing are on the rise. In the meantime, state governments are selling off public housing estates to developers - doing nothing to reduce these ballooning waitlists. Today, Rick Morton on how governments and developers are exacerbating the housing crisis in Australia - and what it means for people who need a place to live.
Is Scott Morrison about to be toppled?
As criticism mounts over the government’s response to the floods in Queensland and New South Wales, Scott Morrison is facing another problem: disquiet within his own ranks about his leadership. Today, Paul Bongiorno on how precarious the Prime Minister’s position might be.
Keeping up with Jacqui Lambie
When Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie entered politics, her speeches on Sharia law, and her op-shop outfits, marked her out for ridicule. Since then, Jacqui Lambie has had a remarkable turnaround. She’s become known as one of the most fierce, and outspoken conviction politicians in the country. Today, Chloe Hooper on the real Jacqui Lambie.
The empty plan to end violence against women
The Morrison government has released a draft plan that seeks to end violence against women and children. However, survivors and experts have demanded it be withdrawn and amended. Today, Kristine Ziwica on the shortcomings of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children and what it means for women over the next decade.
‘Where was the help?’: The Northern Rivers flood rescues
Almost two weeks on from the catastrophic flooding on the east coast of Australia, residents have begun the slow process of rebuilding their lives. But they’ve been left with a lingering question: where was the help?
Understanding the Zachary Rolfe verdict
In November 2019, 19-year-old Walpiri man Kumanjayi Walker was killed by Northern Territory police constable Zachary Rolfe. Rolfe was charged with murder - and the trial has been playing out in the Darwin Supreme Court. Today, Anna Krien on the acquittal of Zachary Rolfe, and what this case reveals about the state of policing in Australia.
The Albanese glow-up
As an election inches closer, both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese are seeking to define their public images. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the battle lines being drawn, and just how personal this contest is likely to get.
Scott Morrison’s economic lies
Many of the federal government’s claims about the economy don’t stack up. Economist and contributor to The Saturday Paper Richard Denniss explains how economic language is used to trick voters.
Sarah Krasnostein on Australia’s mental health crisis
For a long time, we’ve known Australia’s mental health system is overwhelmed and under-resourced. As a result, those who need help can end up trapped in the criminal justice system. But these outcomes aren’t new; they can be traced back to colonisation. Today, Sarah Krasnostein on how Australia’s history of incarceration and shame informs the current crisis.
The day Morrison went silent
As details emerge about the federal response to the flood crisis in Northern NSW, it has become clear that the government did not send troops when it could have. Since then, Scott Morrison has gone silent on a recovery package already finalised by the NSW state government. Today, Rick Morton on Morrison’s blame shifting and the consequent fallout.
Why Angus Taylor tanked Australia’s carbon market
A few weeks ago, Energy Minister Angus Taylor made changes to the Australian carbon market that crashed the value of government-issued carbon credits. The changes made it cheaper for big companies to pollute. They also cost the government as much as $3.5 billion. Today, Mike Seccombe on why Taylor did it and what it means.
The death of Kimberley Kitching
The death of Labor senator Kimberley Kitching has ignited claims of bullying within the party. Meanwhile, heavy losses for the Liberals in the South Australian election could have dire implications for Scott Morrison.
The teen who sued for climate action
Last year, the federal court found the environment minister has a duty of care to young Australians when making decisions regarding climate change. This month, that decision was overturned. But for the teenagers involved in the case, it is not the end.
How the war in Ukraine will end
As the war in Ukraine enters its second month, it’s clear that a swift and easy victory for Russia was never a possibility. So did Russian President Vladimir Putin underestimate Ukraine’s strength? And if so, what is he likely to do next? Today, Mark Edele on how the war in Ukraine will end.
Budget ‘22: All hat, no rabbit
Last night, Josh Frydenberg delivered his last budget before the Morrison government goes to the polls. It was a pitch to voters worried about the cost of living, with new payments and bold claims about an economic turnaround.
The abusers hiding their money in super
One of the ways survivors of child sexual abuse or violent crime can seek redress is through compensation. But, at that point, some discover that the perpetrators have hidden their assets - in their superannuation funds, where it can’t be reached. Today, Bri Lee on the loophole being exploited, and why the government has failed to act.
Morrison’s counterfeit carbon economy
Australia's pledge to achieve net zero carbon emissions relies in part on the success of the federal government’s carbon market. But explosive claims show almost all the money spent on emissions reduction has gone to projects that did not contribute to reductions. Today, Mike Seccombe on the man blowing the whistle on the Morrison government’s sham carbon projects.
The outsiders who could dominate the election
More than in any other election, next month’s poll will feature a defining number of independent candidates. They represent a new, well-organised reaction against the major parties. For the Liberals, they also represent a threat that may one day see the party split. Today, Margaret Simons on the independents who could go on to hold the balance of power.
The killing of Ann Marie Smith
Ann Marie Smith died from staggering neglect in her Adelaide home. Her carer was sentenced for manslaughter, but many in the Disability community believe that the charge should have been murder.
The true story of how Scott Morrison got to parliament
Fifteen years after winning the safe seat of Cook, the true story of Scott Morrison’s ugly preselection fight can now be revealed. For the first time, statutory declarations show how Morrison allegedly used race and religion to undermine a rival.
Is there anything we can do about surging Covid-19 cases?
Across the country, COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise. Yesterday, NSW recorded more than 24,000 new cases and in Victoria there were more than 12,000. So, what’s driving the spread of Covid-19 right now? Today, Professor Raina MacIntyre on what we’re misunderstanding about the current wave of infections.
The Liberal Party turns on Scott Morrison
With the countdown to the federal election on, both sides of politics are attempting to shore up internal support and reassure voters. Labor is still firmly ahead in the polls, but the race is getting tighter, at least according to newspoll. In an unprecedented development, however, members of the Liberal Party has begun turning on Scott Morrison. Today Paul Bongiorno on the fight ahead.
The Vote: Who is Scott Morrison?
After years in public life, Scott Morrison can still seem hollow and one-dimensional. According to his biographer, this is deliberate. But with the election now running, Morrison faces one of the strange truisms of politics: that what helped him win last time could be what costs him victory this time.
The Vote: Who is Anthony Albanese?
With an election called, Labor leader Anthony Albanese has six weeks to convince Australia he would make a better prime minister than Scott Morrison. The challenge is to avoid the mistakes of the last Labor election campaign, but as a small target, can he still be inspiring enough to win over voters? Today, Karen Middleton on Anthony Albanese’s rebrand and what it tells us about Labor’s strategy.
Inside Morrison’s pre-election appointments
In the final days of a Government, before an election is called, last-minute appointments are often made. Last week, the Morrison government made 19 of those, to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Half of the people appointed have ties to the Liberal Party or to conservative politics. Senior Reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the case of one young man, who never got his chance at redress.
Putin’s new plan in Ukraine
As Russian forces have withdrawn from around Kyiv, Ukrainians have found shocking scenes of civilians executed and evidence of alleged war crimes. But Russia isn’t leaving these towns to give up on its war in Ukraine. Today, world editor for The Saturday Paper Jonathan Pearlman on the race to gather evidence of war crimes and Vladimir Putin’s new plan to win the war in Ukraine.
Love and politics put the High Court in a tricky position
Two years ago, the High Court made a landmark decision that prevented the deportation of non-citizen Aboriginal Australians. Now, the federal government is seeking to overturn that decision. Today, Kieran Pender, on the case of Shayne Montgomery, and concerns around the potential politicisation of the High Court.
The fall of two of Hillsong’s most powerful men
Hillsong Church’s growth and success has faltered in recent years. Founded by Brian Houston in New South Wales, the global megachurch has outposts in 30 countries, including the United States. But mounting scandals at home have led Brian Houston to step aside and now, sensational allegations of misconduct in its US operations have been made public.
The Human Rights Commission could flunk its next exam
An international body recently threatened to downgrade the status of Australia’s Human Rights Commission. Today, Mike Seccombe on the state of the Human Rights Commission and what a downgrade would mean for Australia’s voice on the world stage.
Who would select a candidate like Katherine Deves?
With a crucial deadline now passed, Liberal candidate Katherine Deves will almost certainly remain the Coalition’s pick for the seat of Warringah. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the Katherine Deves controversy and how it looks to the independents who could be shaping up as kingmakers.
The Vote: ‘The last time I spoke to Morrison he told me to go get f—ed’
As the election tightens, there is a very real possibility that neither major party wins the 76-seat majority they need to govern in their own right. For independents in this scenario, it’s an enormous choice – who do they support, what do they ask for, and who do they make prime minister? Today, we speak to someone who has made that choice, former Independent Tony Windsor, on how to navigate a hung parliament and how Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese would act in those negotiations.
What happened to ‘raising the age’
In the Northern Territory, there’s a youth detention centre that has been subject to multiple reports, complaints, and a Royal Commission. That Commission recommended it be shut down, but children as young as 10 years old are still being held there, some say they’ve been locked inside their cells for 23 hours a day. Today, Esther Linder on the grandmother who is campaigning for the closure of Don Dale detention centre.
The Vote: All the Clive Palmer ads are written by… Clive Palmer?
This election, one person is having more of a say than anyone else when it comes to the political advertising Australians are seeing everyday. Clive Palmer is not only outspending the major political parties by a significant margin, he’s also got a huge personal say in the ads he’s putting onto billboards and TV screens. That’s because he writes them all himself.
The Vote Panel: Three weeks in and it’s all about to start
Today, Anthony Albanese is set to end his isolation and return to the campaign trail after he tested positive for Covid-19 last week. As he returns to campaigning in-person, the cost of living has become an even more pressing election issue and a deal between China and The Solomon Islands has opened up a surprising avenue of attack on the Coalition.
The Vote: The climate kids are doomscrolling
As we enter the final weeks of the election campaign there’s one group of people more stressed, more disillusioned than most. Teenagers, desperate to see change but unable to vote to get their voice heard. Today, 7am producer Kara Jensen-Mackinnon on a day in the life of a teenager trying to make change happen before it’s too late.
The Vote: What are Labor actually offering?
The Labor Party officially launched their campaign on Sunday, unveiling new policies and making their most comprehensive pitch to voters so far. But the policy offering remains slimmer than it was three years ago, which is part of what has been described as the party’s small target strategy. Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper, Mike Seccombe on the Labor Party’s policy platform and the demographic data that shaped it.
A Russian oligarch and a British publisher walk into an Australian court
Lawyers and bankers in London have been warned by the British prime minister not to defend the wealth and reputations of Russian oligarchs who have ties to Vladimir Putin’s government. And one of those oligarchs actually has a connection to Australia as well. Today, Kieran Pender on why a Russian oligarch launched a lawsuit in an Australian court.
The Vote: The Adam Bandt Interview
Adam Bandt sits down for an one-on-one interview with 7am’s Ruby Jones. This election, issues the Greens have championed for years, like an integrity commission and reducing emissions, are now finding a lot of popular support. But the party finds itself at a crossroads. It’s been unable to increase the number of lower house MPs and senators it has at the federal level for over a decade. As the party’s leader, Adam Bandt has ambitions to change this.
The Vote Panel: Everyone is promising houses
As we close in on election day, housing affordability has become a central issue of this campaign. People’s mortgages are going up and it could put upward pressure on rents.
So, how are cost of living pressures factoring into the decision voters will make in just two weeks time?
The Vote: Fighting for coal votes
Hunter is just that; it’s a seat that spans some of Australia’s oldest coal mines, and the questions in Hunter have huge consequences for us all. How seriously we are taking the climate crisis, how quickly we can transition to renewable energy and whether workers in these industries will be looked after. Today, investigative Marian Wilkinson on the race for Hunter, what the parties are promising people there and what that means for all of us.
The Vote: Why you won’t see a debate on the ABC
The latest leaders debate has been described as “messy” and a “joke” by observers. There’s one more debate to go before the election — but it won’t be hosted by the public broadcaster, the ABC — despite the organisation’s best efforts. In fact, the ABC has been effectively sidelined, as the rocky relationship between the government and the national broadcaster continues to play out. Today, Rick Morton on the ABC’s doomed bid to host an election debate and what it says about the relationship between the Morrison government and the media.
The Vote: Hiding the Aboriginal vote (Part One)
When Australia heads to the polls in a couple of weeks, 1 in 5 Indigenous people who are eligible to vote won’t be enrolled and so, they won’t be able to cast a ballot. Today, producer for 7am Ruby Schwartz travels to remote Australia to find out why some people are more enrolled than others.
The Vote: Fighting for the Aboriginal vote (Part Two)
A complaint lodged with the Human Rights Commission alleges that there is a pattern of indirect discrimination and voter suppression in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory. Today, in the second of this two part series, 7am producer Ruby Schwartz on a historic human rights complaint - and the man behind it.
The Vote Panel: Wage wars and leaked polls
With just one week to go until election day, the debate over the minimum wage has taken the spotlight. And the polls are showing some Coalition strongholds are at risk of falling. So what can we glean about how Labor and the Coalition are gearing up for the final days of the campaign, and should we trust the polls this time around?
The Vote: Monique Ryan vs The Treasurer of Australia
On election night, the Melbourne seat of Kooyong could be one of the most fiercely contested in the country. The Treasurer of Australia, Josh Frydenberg, is facing what he’s described as the fight of his political life. His opponent was virtually unknown to most Australians a few months ago, but now polls show she has a chance at victory. So who is the woman taking on the Treasurer?
The Vote: What are the Coalition actually offering?
On the weekend, the Coalition launched its campaign, just six days before the election. The centrepiece of the launch was a new housing policy, which it promises will help more young people to buy a home, by allowing them to take money out of their superannuation. But will the scheme really help new home buyers or is it too little, too late?
The Vote: Confessions of a former Liberal politician
What happens when the cause you’ve dedicated your life to, turns into something you can no longer support? That’s the question Fred Chaney, the former deputy leader of the Liberal Party, has had to confront this election. Now, he’s hoping people like his niece, who is running as an Independent in Western Australia, can teach the major parties a lesson.
The Vote: Inside the campaign bus on the final days
At this stage of the campaign, the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader can travel to three different states in a single day, visiting key seats and making announcements to win over undecided voters. Where are they going, what’s their pitch, and which campaign is more confident heading into election day? Today, Karen Middleton takes us inside the whirlwind final days of the campaign trail.
The Vote Panel: Could Scott Morrison win again?
It’s all come down to this. On Saturday night, Australia will decide it’s next government and next Prime Minister. The final week of the campaign saw Scott Morrison, who is trying not to be a bulldozer, bulldoze a child during a media appearance at youth soccer training in Tasmania. And Labor released the costings on its policies, just two days out from the election.
The Vote: How to watch the election
It’s election day, but when will the results start coming through? When will we start to know who’s winning? And what should we all look out for, which seats should we pay attention to? To answer these questions, we decided to speak to election analyst, Ben Raue, about the most important races to pay attention to and how we should be watching results.
The Vote: Inside Anthony Albanese’s election night
Almost a decade of conservative government in Australia has ended. Votes are still being counted, but it looks like the Liberal and National Party have suffered their worst result in decades. The Greens, independents and minor parties have had historic wins and will wield significant power in the new parliament.
The witnesses for Ben Roberts-Smith
Right now, one of Australia’s most decorated soldiers, Ben Roberts-Smith, is suing Nine newspapers over a series of articles alleging war crimes. Some witnesses have told the court they saw Ben Roberts-Smith unlawfully kill people, others say he was acting inside the rules of engagement. Today, Rick Morton on the latest evidence in the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation case.
Is Peter Dutton the future of the Liberal Party?
As the Liberal Party examines its electoral defeat, questions are being asked about the party’s future. The frontrunner for the leadership is Peter Dutton. But what kind of Opposition would he lead? And is the moderate wing of the party, all but wiped out by independents, now dead?
The Hillsong family emails
Leaked emails show how the Houston family responded to the scandal that may have ended their reign at the top of the Hillsong megachurch.
How did the Liberal Party get it so wrong?
As votes are still being counted in an election that has reshaped the political map. What do the results mean for the future of Australian politics? What will the greatest challenges for the new parliament be? And where will the battle lines be drawn?
How the teals really won, with Simon Holmes à Court
The stunning victories of six new teal independents, in seats the Liberal Party thought were unloseable, has redrawn the political map in Australia. Today, Simon Holmes à Court, founder of climate lobby group Climate 200, on the challenges the Independents faced, and how they managed to win.
Finally going home to Biloela
For four years, one Tamil family, with their two small children, have been living in community detention. How did they learn they would be able to return to their home in rural Queensland? And what does the decision say about the future of immigration policy in Australia? Today, journalist Rebekah Holt, who spent election night with the Nadesalingam family, on the moment the family realised they could finally go home.
China and Australia’s race around the Pacific
This week China tried to sign up 10 pacific nations to a new regional security pact. Pacific leaders walked away from the deal – but just for now, and Chinese diplomats are hopeful they’ll get the deal done eventually. If it happens, it would be another huge shift away from Australia by Pacific leaders.
How can you follow an act like Barnaby Joyce?
Barnaby Joyce has been rolled as leader of the National Party and replaced by David Littleproud. Joyce says he’s not sad about it, but unlike Scott Morrison he did try to hang on to his party’s leadership after the election. So what state has Joyce left the Nationals in? Will his successor be any different? And is there a chance that Joyce could make yet another political comeback?
Why Albanese is demanding discipline
As the new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attempts to set the agenda and tone of the next parliament, Labor’s challenges are crystallising. Climate policy is shaping up as a key battleground, with Labor confronted by a Greens dominated senate, and an Opposition that won’t back Labor’s targets. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on Albanese’s agenda and why he’s demanding discipline from the Labor party room.
Could a phone call stop Julian Assange’s extradition?
Right now, the UK government is deliberating on whether to sign-off on the extradition of Australian Julian Assange to the US. If that happens, Assange — who was charged with espionage offenses in relation to material published on Wikileaks — faces charges that could result in a 175-year sentence. But the Australian election has given Assange’s family and supporters renewed hope. So, will a change in government change the fate of the wikileaks founder?
How Peter Dutton blocked Indigenous names for bases
An exclusive report by Karen Middleton has revealed that last year, Peter Dutton intervened to cancel an Australian Defence Force plan to give military bases dual English and Indigenous names. Today, Karen Middleton on Peter Dutton’s decisions as Defence Minister and what they tell us about his approach to change.
Students are paying for uni. Teachers are marking for free.
University students don’t read detailed feedback, so what’s the point in paying academics to give it? That’s the position of one of Australia’s most prestigious universities. Now, staff are striking and battlelines are being drawn in one of the biggest industrial disputes in the history of the university sector. So is there an end in sight to the crisis in universities? Today, Rick Morton on the battle for the soul of a university.
How do you heal a moral injury?
What does standing by while bad things happen do to us? That’s the question Father Rod Bower has been asking himself. For almost 10 years, Father Rod, wrote messages in support of refugees, climate action and same-sex marriage on the sign out the front of his Gosford Church. But, according to him, years of political point scoring on these issues has done more than just delay action – it’s injured us all.
The first steps towards integrity
A fully independent commission to investigate federal corruption was one of the biggest issues for voters at the recent election. Now, the new Labor government has given us a first glimpse of how they plan to set one up. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno, on the first steps towards integrity.
Spotlight: Keeping up with Jacqui Lambie
We revisit our episode from earlier this year on Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie. Today, Chloe Hooper on the real Jacqui Lambie.
How YouTube behaves when it goes to court
Last week, a legal battle involving the Australian YouTube sensation Friendlyjordies and the former deputy premier of NSW John Barilaro came to an end. But it wasn’t the comedian Friendlyjordies who was in court this time, it was the owners of YouTube, Google. Today, Hannah Marshall, on Barilaro versus Google and what the outcome of the case reveals about one of the most powerful companies in the world.
The truth about the ‘gas crisis’
There are power interruptions forecast around Australia and gas prices are skyrocketing. But the strange thing about high gas bills arriving at Australian households is that we’re one of the biggest gas exporters worldwide. Today, journalist Jesse Noakes on eye watering energy bills and why the one state that’s avoiding them is not necessarily the example the rest of us should follow.
Inside the chaos Morrison left behind
As new Labor ministers begin their jobs in earnest, they say they’re discovering an unexpected challenge — the depth of disarray left behind. According to some ministers that looks like negligence, delayed decisions, and a demoralised workforce. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton on the state of the public service, and the task of the new government to fix it.
The energy crisis just got serious
This week, the wholesale energy market was suspended. It’s the first time the Australian energy market operator has ever had to take that step to keep electricity flowing to homes and to businesses. But this crisis has been decades in the making, caused by a policy vacuum that both sides of politics share responsibility for.
Is the road to recession paved with $7 lettuce?
Right now, our grocery bills are soaring, with some common vegetables more than doubling in price. Part of the reason is that there’s a nation-wide shortage of leafy greens, but there’s also a bigger force at play: inflation.
Why nuclear power won’t solve the energy crisis
Why is there a conversation about nuclear power right now? Is it safe? And could it even work in Australia? Today, former Greens senator and anti-nuclear activist Scott Ludlam on the Nuclear fantasies of conservative politicians and why they continue to make headlines.
Airport chaos: The true story of the Qantas debacle
In recent weeks, we’ve seen chaos at airports around the country, and it’s about to get worse.Of course, there’s one Australian airline that used to fly above all the chaos: Qantas. It’s long been one of the safest and most reliable airlines in the world. But now is its reputation at risk? Today, Rick Morton, on how Qantas became one of the country’s worst performing airlines and the future of the company.
The men who killed the Liberal Party
The Liberal Party is now in the political wilderness. The immediate reaction to the recent federal election focused on Scott Morrison’s personal approval and a series of scandals in the last term of government. But is there a bigger decline happening? Is something irreparably broken inside what was once Australia’s most electorally successful political party?
How much do you crossbench, bro?
Australia has a new emissions reduction target. But the Prime Minister wants to turn that target into law, by passing it through parliament. Whether he can, will come down to the historic new senate crossbench, which was finalised this week. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the battle lines in Australia’s new Senate.
The crisis in our hospitals is not about Covid
This winter flu, colds and Covid are all pushing hospitals to breaking point. Across the country, hospital staff are overworked and frustrated. And tomorrow nurses and midwives across NSW will stop work over pay and conditions. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton on a devastating winter for our healthcare system.
What Murdoch asks from new prime ministers
When you become prime minister, a lot changes. But there’s only a few people who know exactly what that's like. One of them is Kevin Rudd, and according to the former prime minister, one of the most drastic changes is the way you’re treated by News Corp. Today, former prime minister Kevin Rudd on the way News Corp brings new governments to heel.
How the Christian right overturned Roe v Wade
How did a small minority of religious conservatives overturn the rights of millions to choose? Today, author of Beyond Belief: How Pentecostal Christianity is Taking Over the World, Elle Hardy, on how the Christian right plotted for years to overturn Roe v Wade and why they are not done yet.
The ruling that could end trans inclusion in sport
Trans athletes have effectively been banned from elite swimming. The decision and the document released by FINA could have an impact not just on swimmers, but on how other sports around the world handle participation and inclusion. So what does it say? How have the people it affects most – trans athletes – reacted?
Can Albanese win over world leaders?
Four Asia-Pacific nations, including Australia, have been given a seat at the table at the latest NATO summit because NATO is keen to engage partners around the world. But it’s also an opportunity for Albanese – to reset relationships with NATO members like the United States, France, Spain and the UK. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace on Albanese’s attempts at a reset.
The lessons of Roe v Wade for our health system
The decision of the US supreme court to overturn Roe v Wade, and the winding back of abortion rights in America has led to reflection on the rights and access to reproductive healthcare.
So are women treated equally in Australia’s healthcare system and what still needs to be fought for?
Today, writer and professor of public health at UNSW Gemma Carey on the gender gap in our healthcare system.
The police crackdown on Blockade Australia
Last week, environmental activists Blockade Australia shut down traffic in Sydney, causing hours of chaos in the city.
But it was the police response to the blockade that could have the longest legacy, with Human Rights Watch calling the police crackdown and the use of new anti-protest laws “an alarming new trend”.
Today, journalist Wendy Bacon, on the ways police are targeting protestors, before they’ve even begun to protest.
The Reserve Bank doesn't know what it's doing
Yesterday afternoon, the Reserve Bank of Australia lifted rates for the third time in three months – raising the cash rate by a full 50 basis points to 1.35%.
The RBA’s decision comes just as questions are being asked about how the institution is working, and whether it’s acted too slowly in the past.
Meet the Australian leading our search for life on Mars
NASA’s latest mission to Mars has the explicit aim of discovering whether or not there has been life on the red planet.
It’s led by Abigail Allwood, the first Australian and the first woman to lead a major mission like this for NASA.
Today, contributor to The Monthly Will Higginbotham on the Australian leading NASA’s search for life on Mars, and what she is discovering.
What Anthony Albanese needs to do about Covid-19
Floods have devastated communities on the east coast, and now two new subvariants of Omicron have health authorities warning another wave of Covid-19 infections is only ramping up.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace on the end of Anthony Albanese’s honeymoon and the urgent work ahead for the new government.
How Boris Johnson broke Britain
Boris Johnson has announced he will resign as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. But how did one man do so much political damage?
Today, world editor of The Saturday Paper, Jonathan Pearlman on Boris Johnson’s incredibly predictable downfall.
On trial for telling the truth
Late last week, the attorney-general dropped charges against whistleblower Bernard Collaery. It was a sensational development in a case that has outraged many.
But Collaery is not the only whistleblower on trial for revealing shocking misconduct by the government, the public service, or the army. What’s next for those cases?
Today, lawyer and contributor to The Saturday Paper Kieran Pender on the people still facing prison for telling the truth.
What happens when you leave Hillsong
Hillsong is in crisis. More and more people are leaving. But what happens after someone leaves the church? And what does it tell us about how the church operates?
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Tanya Levin on why former Hillsong members are increasingly reporting that they suffer PTSD and what’s known as religious trauma syndrome.
Living with long Covid
At its worst, long Covid can lead to complete debilitation. It can cause fatigue and an inability to complete basic tasks.
But understanding the cause and the cure for the illness has been a challenge for scientists. This challenge becomes more urgent as case numbers rise.
What Tony Abbott did next
This week, Tony Abbott re-emerged in a string of radio and television interviews. Some Liberals speculate it is part of a push Abbott is making to become president of the NSW Liberal Party.
In the course of this, he has also become a surprise backer of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s foreign policy. Another big week of international meetings was met with applause by a former prime minister better known for tearing down Labor leaders.
Scott, Boris and Donald walk into a pandemic
The rise of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison was seen as a triumph for a special kind of opportunistic populism.
Much was written about what their success meant for democracy. So what does their decline mean? Was the repudiation about their politics - or about a world in crisis?
Succession S4: The Murdoch divorce
New details have emerged in the divorce of Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall.
After speculation their marriage ended over everything from smoking and drinking to Hall controlling how much Murdoch could see of his adult children, it is now clear that the real disagreement was over the division of the $71 billion deal to sell his film and television interest to Disney.
Mutual obligations: ‘What they're selling is poor people’
Many were surprised when the new employment minister, Tony Burke, announced it was “too late” to end mutual obligations.
The decision was made to preserve billions of dollars in contracts already signed with companies that profit from the system. But there is no evidence it helps people find work.
The first law of holes: stop digging
The Albanese government is partway through a successful reset of its relationship with China. The incredible thing is, they haven’t changed any policies.
But will a change in language be enough to fix a diplomatic rift? And what’s next for Australia’s relationship with the Pacific, where it is trying to balance China’s influence?
It’s pronounced ‘climate targét’
When parliament returns next week, Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party will sit on the government benches for the first time. It’s a significant test for what has changed since the election.
Albanese has already made clear that the agenda will be focused on legislating his climate targets. If he fails, it will be a blow to his credibility.
The mess is the point: Nyadol Nyuon on Peter Dutton
Last week, opposition leader Peter Dutton called for policy reform to regulate social media due to its impact on civil discourse.
But who gets to define what is and isn’t “civil” in the public sphere? And what does that say about power?
Earn $20k EVERY MONTH by being a Liberal Party hack
New figures show that the Morrison government stacked government boards and tribunals at a level unprecedented in Australian politics. These appointees were sometimes unqualified and incompetent.
They particularly affected the Administrative Appeals Tribunal - where members can be paid up to $500,000 a year. Now it is clear that they have badly altered decision making processes.
Who is that unmasked man? Covid-19 and the politics of fatigue
As Covid-19 hospitalisations break records in almost all states there is a curious absence of political leadership.
Frontline workers wonder why there is no greater attempt at community mitigation. What has shifted? Why are politicians no longer following the health advice, at least on masks?
‘He saw the sky turn crimson the day the bomb was dropped’
Labor is working through the specifics of the nuclear submarine deal Scott Morrison set up before he lost office. Some in the party believe AUKUS was established in part to wedge Labor on the issue of non-proliferation.
So what is next for the plan to buy nuclear submarines? And what can Labor do to ensure their purchase doesn’t undermine a commitment to ending nuclear wars?
Another test for Anthony Albanese
After five years of inaction, the Albanese government has made implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart a key item of business. Anthony Albanese has described it as a hand held out to the country.
But there are still questions over whether a referendum will succeed. Senator Patrick Dodson is telling colleagues they should put it up regardless - if the vote is lost, the country will have to live with it.
Omicron #3: Stuck between anger and denial
As Australia faces a new wave of Covid-19 variants, experts say the country has a chance to plot a different course with the virus.
That involves acknowledging that it is not going away - that it will be here for a long time, and that masks and ventilation will be needed to manage it.
The party within a party: How Labor’s factions work
An investigation into factional misconduct in Victoria has created debate about how the Labor Party is structured and how it can be reformed.
The stakes are incredibly high for the party: not only is some of the conduct illegal and undemocratic, but it also risks losses in seats where independents are likely to run on integrity.
For some renters, being evicted is a death sentence
In the wealthiest state in Australia, more than 120 people have died on the streets in the past two years. And while the causes of homelessness are complex, there’s no doubt Western Australia’s tenancy laws are making things worse: especially when it comes to ‘no grounds’ rental evictions.
Today, writer and campaigner Jesse Noakes, on the deadly consequences of evictions, and the new push to protect renters.
Inside the Greens' climate deal with Labor
For more than ten years, the Greens and the Labor Party have been blaming each other for holding back progress on climate action.
Now, things have shifted — Labor’s new emissions reduction target will almost certainly become legislation, after the Greens announced that they’ll support it.
How Peter Dutton is making himself irrelevant
Labor's first fortnight in power has been marked by a significant win — a successful agreement to pass a bill that would see a 43 per cent emissions reduction target become law.
That agreement was made entirely without the opposition, with Peter Dutton removing his party from negotiations at the beginning of the week.
The threat to our food is here to stay
Our food supply is facing violent shocks — pandemic, war, and floods. And the threat to food security is unprecedented.
Underpinning the problem is the catastrophe of climate change, which will impact not only us but our neighbours too — creating implications for national security. Today, Esther Linder on a looming food crisis that Australia isn’t prepared for, and what it means for the way we eat.
The school funding gap the Coalition left behind
The new government has inherited a problem that no one wants to talk about: the deep inequality of funding between public and private and independent schools.
That discrepancy is most evident when it comes to the way that students with disabilities are funded. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton reveals the $600 million funding shortfall for students with a disability in the public system.
The secret jailing of an Australian spy
A former intelligence officer in Canberra was charged, sentenced, and jailed in complete secrecy in 2018.
It was only after he brought his own legal complaint, and a couple of journalists noticed some security guards in the courthouse, that anything about his case was made public.
Megan Davis on what’s next for the Voice
Australians could soon get to vote in a referendum and we will be asked whether Australia should amend its constitution to create an Indigenous Voice to parliament.
Today, someone who has spent years working towards constitutional recognition: chair in constitutional law at the University of New South Wales, Megan Davis.
China warns Australia to pipe down on Taiwan
China has a message for Australia: be quiet and take the trade money.
In a chilling speech, China’s ambassador to Australia laid out his nation’s aims with startling honesty – including that China would pursue what he called ‘reunification’ with Taiwan at any cost.
One year since the fall of Kabul: Who was left behind?
It’s been one year since the Taliban swiftly took control of Afghanistan as the US pulled out after 20 years of war. In the days following the takeover, foreign countries rushed to evacuate diplomatic staff from Kabul.
Thousands of Afghans were also airlifted out, but many, even those who worked directly with Australia and other foreign nations, remain trapped.
How the John Barilaro ‘sh**show’ engulfed a government
It began with a job offer: $500,000 a year to be a ‘trade envoy’ in New York. Now, an entire state government has become embroiled in a scandal over job appointments and how they get made.
As Australia prepares to implement a federal anti-corruption body, in New South Wales – the state that first put in place an independent anti-corruption commission – we're learning a lot about why we need more transparency in politics.
What the FBI found at Donald Trump’s home
An FBI raid that uncovered classified government documents at Donald Trump’s Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, has opened the floodgates of anger among his right-wing supporters.
Trump has now called for calm, but maintains the FBI’s raid was part of a witch-hunt and that he has done nothing wrong. So, what was the FBI looking for?
Australia’s biggest tax bludgers REVEALED
Australia’s wealthiest postcodes, and the millionaires who pay no tax have been revealed in the latest data drop from the Tax Office.
It gives us new insight into who has wealth in Australia, how they keep a hold on that wealth and whether the taxation system is fair.
Scott Morrison’s secret ministries: everything you need to know
It's the rolling scandal that has dominated the week in politics, and permanently marked Scott Morrison’s legacy. This week it emerged that while in power the former prime minister secretly swore himself into five different ministries: Health, Finance, Resources, Treasury, and Home Affairs.
The public didn’t know, his former government colleagues didn’t know, and in most cases, the very ministers in those portfolios didn’t know.
What you need to know about monkeypox
The spread of monkeypox is testing public health officials worldwide. It’s a virus that is challenging both our ability to get vaccines and medicines to the people who need them most - and the ability of health authorities to send the right message.
So what is the right health message? And how do we empower communities, after they have been through two years of a Covid-19 pandemic?
What’s next in the Morrison ministries saga?
Today, the Prime Minister will reveal legal advice on Scott Morrison’s secret appointment to five ministries.
While the country waits to hear about what legal dilemmas the affair entails, the former prime minister’s colleagues are responding both privately and publicly.
The state that elected Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer is changing
The dynamics within the Greens party room have dramatically transformed – out of 16 Greens parliamentarians, five are now from Queensland. So how will they change the Australian Greens and what agenda do they represent?
Today, journalist Paddy Manning on the Brisbane Greens and how their “radical agenda” began to appeal to Queenslanders.
Not getting paid enough? It's not just a feeling
Wages aren’t rising fast enough to keep up with inflation, and it means that many workers are actually falling behind.
Next week, businesses, unions and economic experts will sit down with the new government – whether they come up with a plan to address Australia’s wage stagnation, remains to be seen.
Secret ministries are legal. Now what for Scott Morrison?
What Scott Morrison did was legal, but it fundamentally undermined principles of the constitution. So is that it? Should the country and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese move on? Or are there more questions to be answered?
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the inquiry to come and if Anthony Albanese is overplaying his hand.
Your order for employment rights has been cancelled: Deliveroo v Franco
Diego Franco was a food delivery rider. He worked for Uber, door dash and Deliveroo, to transport food in Australia.
What happened to him, and his subsequent case at the Fair Work Commission was supposed to set a powerful precedent for people who work across the whole gig economy – and give workers in these industries the same rights as employees.
Ghost cities: Is China’s economy about to crash?
A crisis that began in China’s housing market is now threatening to drag down the country’s entire economy.
If that happens, the repercussions will be felt across the globe, and nowhere more so than Australia.
New questions over whether Scott Morrison acted lawfully
Amid the controversy over Scott Morrison’s secret ministry appointments a new question has emerged: did the former Prime Minister act unconstitutionally?
Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton on the question of whether Scott Morrison may have acted unlawfully.
‘If they want to survive, time for them to run’: Ukraine’s new plan
There are signs that Ukraine has begun its biggest counter-offensive yet to win back territory held by Russian forces.
It's too soon to know if the operation will succeed or how concerted the effort will be - but there’s no doubt that a new battle in the war would be difficult and costly.
The truth about the jobs summit: it's the descent that kills you
Will Labor’s Jobs and Skills Summit live up to the hype?
Anthony Albanese wants to make policy that’s good for workers and for employers, but the days leading up to the summit were full of tension between business and the unions.
Can Tanya Plibersek save the environment?
Once described as the next female prime minister, Tanya Plibersek rose through the ranks to become deputy leader at one point, and was most recently the party’s education spokesperson.
But Labor’s election to power after almost a decade in opposition has had unexpected consequences for Plibersek – she’s found herself as minister for the Environment, something she didn’t expect.
What do the 35 new members of parliament believe in?
The federal election marked a change in direction for the country but it also signalled the beginning of 35 new political careers.
As parliament returns once again, many of these newly elected parliamentarians are making their first speeches. So what are they saying? And what do their speeches tell us about the challenges facing Australia right now?
Scott Morrison and the secretive $18m grant
Before he was voted out, the former Prime Minister, Scott Morrison received a pitch from the Governor-General David Hurley: the taxpayer should fund a foundation for ‘future Australian leaders’.
We don’t know much about the merits of the program, who would get selected and what kind of training they would get – but it was promised the funding.
Will Lachlan Murdoch beat Crikey in court?
Rupert Murdoch’s son, co-chair of News Corp, Lachlan Murdoch is suing a small independent publisher in Australia over an article it published on its website.
The defamation suit, filed against Crikey a couple of weeks ago, could test Australia’s new public interest laws.
Albanese's race to ease the cost of living
This week, rates rose to seven-year-highs and inflation still won’t be easing off anytime soon.
Cost of living is a problem the government has promised it’s aware of, but there will be increasing pressure for it to start implementing practical solutions that actually help people who are struggling.
The end of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign
Late last week, news broke that England’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II had died at the age of 96. During her 70-year reign the Queen has steered the royal family through immense social and political change, and there are many who mourn her death.
But there is also a complex legacy of colonialism to grapple with, and questions are already beginning over whether Australia should now re-consider becoming a republic.
Why a third wet summer could be the most dangerous yet
The chances of another La Niña weather event are growing and that could make it the riskiest summer yet for flooding, with catchments still full and communities still regrouping.
Today, climate scientist and lead author on the IPCC’s most recent climate assessment, Joëlle Gergis, on our never-ending stretch of rainy summers and what they mean for the climate disaster.
Why being a renter is getting more expensive
Across the country, rents are going up. But it’s not because the value of the properties has risen - in fact values are largely going down.
Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton on what’s happening to our rents.
Russia suffers a stunning collapse in Ukraine
The Ukrainian army has swept across areas in north-eastern Ukraine.
The stunning Russian collapse could be a turning point in the war, but it’s also increasing pressure on Vladimir Putin at home, with previously loyal politicians and media figures criticising the leadership and decision making by the Kremlin.
Australia is mourning the Queen longer than the UK
The Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will be in London on Monday, joining other world leaders at the funeral for the Queen.
He has suspended parliament in Canberra for a period of mourning that is longer than that of the UK Parliament.
The Charles formerly known as Prince
King Charles III is now Australia’s head of state.
How much do we know about what he intends to do with the throne? What does he believe in? And how will that affect Australia?
The dirty secrets inside one of our biggest casinos
For decades we’ve been reassured that everything at Australian casinos was above board.
But what we were told is now unravelling and we’re getting staggering insight into how regulators can be misled and the strange schemes that have been allowed to flourish inside our biggest gambling businesses.
How much will Labor pay to hold refugees on Nauru?
It would be easy to assume that with a change of government, and deals with the US and New Zealand to take refugees – that offshore processing was a thing of the past.
It’s not, and the Albanese government looks like it is on the verge of signing a multi-million dollar deal to keep detention facilities in Nauru running.
Spotlight: A night at the opera — How Whitlam and Kerr fell out
After a 10-year legal battle, the “palace letters” were finally released. In full, they show how Gough Whitlam’s relationship with the governor-general broke down - and how involved the Queen was through this collapse.
Today, we revisit our episode from 2020 with chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper, Karen Middleton.
How agencies access personal phone data
Police and security agencies often have access to a wealth of personal information about the people they’re investigating — including phone calls, texts, emails and metadata.
Access to that information is supposed to occur under very controlled circumstances. But there’s evidence that’s not what’s happening.
‘Collective delusion’: Why Britain can’t face up to the empire’s past
Not all Britons participated in the scenes of public grieving that have been seen around the world.
Today, the United Kingdom’s first Professor of Black Studies and author of The New Age of Empire, Kehinde Andrews, on what the monarchy represents today.
'This is not justice': the law keeping more people locked up after their sentence
If you are ever jailed for a crime, you would hope to do your time in jail and be released at the end of it, but not if you get caught up in something called “preventative detention”.
Today, journalist Kieran Pender, on the question of who gets to walk free at the end of their sentence.
‘A shell of a hospital’: opening new facilities without more staff
What good is a building without staff? What good is a bed without the nurses and doctors to care for someone in it?
The Saturday Paper’s Rick Morton has revealed that NSW Health believe they will need billions more in operational budgets to sufficiently staff the new hospitals that are being opened.
The Optus hack: How 10 million people got pwned
Millions of Australians will need new drivers licences and passports, after Optus’s lax data management exposed the details of around 10 million Australians to a hacker.
So why did Optus hold so much data on millions of Australians? Why wasn’t it held more safely? And what do we need to learn from this? Today, Toby Murray on how millions of Australians are now exposed.
The trauma of robo-debt is finally being investigated
Kath Madgwick said her son took his own life just hours after learning he owed a Centrelink debt through the scheme – she’ll be making a submission to the new royal commission into robo-debt.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper, Paul Bongiorno, on how the commission is trying to find the truth, for the victims of robo-debt, and the future of integrity in our parliament.
Nigel Farage, the pornographer and their weird Australian tour
Nigel Farage has become increasingly irrelevant in British politics, but he is commanding speaking fees and being given a hero's welcome by Sky News presenters and One Nation politicians.
It could be a cynical money-grabbing exercise, a play for political influence in Australia… or both.
Reducing good teachers to a single test
All of us know that a great teacher can make a huge difference in a person’s life – and a bad one can be a disaster for a young person who’s trying to find their way.
So how do we make sure the best people become teachers? Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on the testing regime for Australian teachers that was inspired by an American consultancy firm.
Decline of the IPA: How the right’s favourite think tank ran out of ideas
One of the most influential think tanks in Australia is the Institute of Public Affairs, the IPA, a right-wing think tank that prides itself on being the policy brain of the conservative movement.
But the organisation is in decline, it’s generating less new ideas and it’s finding it harder to get the support of business.
Vladimir Putin has unleashed dangerous forces in Russia
Even as Russia continued to lose ground in his war in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is defiant; calling the west satanic and making the case for a greater Russian empire.
It is a turn to the ultra-nationalism of the Russian far-right, says Associate Professor Matthew Sussex.
Is Albanese about to axe the stage three tax cuts?
They are the tax cuts Scott Morrison promised, and Anthony Albanese said he would deliver as part of his election commitments.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on whether Labor could be ready to slowly ditch the stage three tax cuts.
Zoe Daniel on the power of Julia Gillard's misogyny speech
Ten years ago the then-prime minister Julia Gillard delivered a speech to parliament about misogyny. At the time, within Canberra, that speech was not particularly well received.
But online, it took on a life of its own. Today, Independent MP for the seat of Goldstein, Zoe Daniel on the forgotten history of the speech and why it still resonates with so many people today.
What Labor says about unemployment behind closed doors
Labor has been shy to propose any major changes to the unemployment system.
But now we have new insight into what Labor is saying behind closed doors and the new government appears far from happy about what it’s discovered in the unemployment sector.
Are we on the brink of global recession?
Yesterday, Treasurer Jim Chalmers offered a grim warning to Australia: we could be on the brink of a global recession.
What does it mean for us? And if a downturn happens, who will be worst affected?
Will we ever be dry again?
Much of the country has been hit by torrential rain, and communities across Victoria and New South Wales are inundated with flood waters.
But this is just the start, as according to the Bureau of Meteorology we could be facing an entire summer of floods and cyclones.
Albanese can’t be haunted by Labor’s ghosts
The Labor party keeps saying this coming budget is full of hard decisions. Anthony Albanese has vigorously ruled out dumping the expensive stage three tax cuts.
So what is left on the table for Labor to turn to?
Setting the cultural agenda: The Monthly one-on-one with Tony Burke
Arts policy in Australia has been virtually non-existent for ten years, and in those ten years the arts have suffered enormously.
Today, we bring you an exclusive one-on-one interview between the editor of The Monthly, Michael Williams, and the man who says he wants to save the arts: Arts Minister Tony Burke.
China’s 'leader for life': Kevin Rudd on Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping is the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, which has 95 million members, and is the most powerful president of China since Chairman Mao.
Now, he is becoming what some experts have called China’s ‘leader for life’. Today, former prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd on the coronation of Xi Jinping and how his ideology has changed China forever.
Kylie Moore-Gilbert on the Iranian protests
Protests that began over the death of a woman in police custody have now morphed into a broad anti-government movement – the most significant in years.
Today, scholar of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and one-time detainee at Evin Prison, Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert on how far the Iranian protesters are willing to go.
Sea Shepherd loses its pirate captain
What happens when an organisation founded on radical activism decides to work with, instead of against, authorities? For Captain Paul Watson that conundrum has led to an acrimonious split from the organisation that he started, Sea Shepherd.
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe on whether this is the end for Paul Watson’s brand of high-stakes environmentalism.
When your identity is no longer your own
It's been two weeks since millions of Australians learned their data might have been compromised in the Optus hack.
Since then other data breaches have been revealed, and the precarious nature of the way our personal information is often stored is becoming clear. So what actually happens when someone tries to steal your identity?
Listen to this before budget night
Ahead of the budget, the Labor party is in a tricky position by promising no tax hikes, no excessive borrowing, but fixing funding to services.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the storm clouds gathering as we go into budget week.
Australia is getting a wellbeing budget. What is that?
An idea that Australia discarded a decade ago, will return on Tuesday night. That idea is a so-called “wellbeing budget”. It is being talked up by the Treasurer Jim Chalmers.
Today, social researcher and director of research at 89 Degrees East, Rebecca Huntley on whether a budget can actually make us happier.
The Bureau of Meteorology: Chaos at the forecaster
The Bureau of Meteorology has called on all media to change the name they had used to refer to it: the BoM. Instead it wanted to be called The Bureau.
What seemed like an odd branding announcement at first, has led to a series of revelations about working conditions for Australia’s official weather forecasters. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on the culture at the Bureau of Meteorology and how science got sidelined.
What’s inside Labor’s first budget?
A Labor government has handed down a budget for the first time in nine years. It isn’t the budget that many might have imagined in May when the party won the election.
Now, a global economic storm appears to be gathering momentum. So what’s in this budget? Who’s getting money? Who is missing out? And how does it set up this term for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Will mashed potato on a Monet solve the climate crisis?
Paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet have been doused in food by climate activists trying to draw attention to the urgent climate crisis.
So is this plea for action working? And why are activists turning to this kind of protest?
PM Rishi Sunak: Will this one last more than 45 days?
Third time’s the charm: this week, Rishi Sunak became the UK’s third prime minister in as many months, after his predecessor Liz Truss resigned amid the financial chaos caused by her economic proposals.
Will the UK’s new, ultra-rich PM save ordinary Britons from a welfare crisis?
House prices are dropping faster than ever
The prices of Australian houses are dropping faster than ever before – but is this a blip on the way to higher prices, or an actual value crash?
And if it is a real crash… could that actually be a good thing?
Can a fossil fuel company go net-zero?
Unlike in almost every other country in the world, Australia’s government actively helps some of our biggest carbon emitters make claims to consumers that they are “green” or even “carbon neutral”.
Today, senior researcher at The Australia Institute’s climate and energy program, Polly Hemming, on how the government gives green credentials to fossil-fuel companies.
Did the home of the Melbourne Cup make the city’s floods worse?
When an inner suburb of Melbourne was hit by flooding a few weeks ago, attention turned to Flemington Racecourse: home of the Melbourne Cup. This year, a new flood wall protected it.
But could the wall that saved Flemington racecourse have doomed nearby houses? Or is that debate obscuring the bigger problems facing our cities as the climate crisis closes in?
‘You’re not imagining it’: Why the weather forecast could be wrong
Internal tensions at the organisation that tells us about the weather — the Bureau of Meteorology — appear to be going from bad to worse. Fresh revelations include that the Bureau’s daily forecasts, which many of us rely on, might be getting less accurate.
Today, senior reporter at The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton joins us again, with the latest on the agency formerly known as the BoM.
Wages and power prices: A wake up call for Albanese
Peter Dutton, with help from the Murdoch media, has seized on Labor’s “restrained” and “responsible” budget to attack Labor for not doing enough to lower power prices and raise wages.
How Peter Dutton was created
Peter Dutton – best known as a tough-talking conservative – has been trying to soften his image since becoming the opposition leader.
Today, The Monthly writer Malcolm Knox on the man auditioning to be Australia’s next prime minister.
Could Trump win in 2024? What the midterms will tell us
Today, Americans head to the polls in the country’s midterm elections. At stake is control of the US House of Representatives and the Senate.
Both are on a knife's edge and major losses for the Democrats could make the next two years of Biden’s presidency incredibly difficult and bring major reform to a standstill.
They were warned, and did it anyway: Inside robo-debt
Not long ago, the Australian government was forced to abandon a scheme it was using to pursue welfare recipients for money after the solicitor-general advised it was unlawful.
So who else knew about the potential illegality of robo-debt? How early did they know? And why did it go ahead at all?
Elon Musk’s half-baked Twitter takeover
Elon Musk says he plans to turn Twitter into his ideal version of a public square, and use it to advance the evolution of human communication. But his vision of that public square also involves people paying to be prominent – and the public are not allowed to parody Musk, unless they clearly state they’re making a joke.
So what does the chaotic week at Twitter tell us about the world’s richest man, his ideas about speech and how far he’ll go to influence the way we communicate?
‘Air of possibility’: Surely not in Canberra?!
The Labor government’s workplace reform package, which it promises will increase wages, has passed the lower house.
But it may struggle to pass the senate. There’s frustration mounting between crossbenchers, unions and government ministers – and that’s threatening to derail the most important reform package this government has put forward.
Why nuclear submarines can’t save us
Australia is spending hundreds of billions of dollars on eight nuclear-powered submarines. It’s estimated to be one of the biggest spends in the history of the Australian government.
So why are we buying them? Are they the best use of taxpayer money? And will they even be able to do the job they’re meant to do?
Climate justice: Should countries like Australia pay compensation?
As the world gathers at COP27 to decide on the next steps in our response to the climate crisis, the biggest point of contention is one idea: climate justice.
It’s an idea that could force the richest nations – such as Australia – to pay for the damages and loss that climate catastrophe is causing in poorer countries.
How not to fund your future leaders, Scott Morrison-style
It was the governor-general’s pet project, a foundation that promised to nurture the future leaders of Australia. But the elite foundation never came to be – the new government has axed it.
So why did the governor-general put his name to it? Why did Scott Morrison decide to fund it before it was viable? And who was advocating for it?
Charlie Teo: The media’s ‘maverick, miracle doctor’
Dr Charlie Teo is known for his incredible brain surgeries, taking on operations that other doctors won’t touch. But now, several families have come forward, who allege they were misled about the risks and that Teo’s operations left their loved ones worse off than before.
Teo denies any wrongdoing, and says he treats his patients like he would want to be treated. But there’s another player in this story that hasn’t been subject to scrutiny: the news media.
Albanese’s meeting with Xi Jinping: Will Australia get a second date?
Australia was one of the first western nations to recognise the communist government of China, almost 50 years ago. But more recently, China appeared to freeze out Australia diplomatically, and for six long years Chinese President Xi Jinping did not meet an Australian prime minister.
This week, that changed. But how did the meeting come about? What was said?
‘Use of force’: How Medibank changed the fight on hackers
Some of the most sensitive data to be obtained by hackers in Australian history has been published. A Russian network of hackers has put online private medical data including names, records of pregnancy terminations, HIV status and treatment for drug and alcohol problems.
The data was obtained in an attack on Medibank, and that has now convinced the Australian government to unleash new capabilities against hackers around the world.
How Mike Cannon-Brookes staged a climate coup
Last week, Mike Cannon-Brookes succeeded in staging what amounts to an internal coup at Australia’s largest climate polluter, AGL.
Having failed in his attempt to take over the company, the tech billionaire used its annual general meeting to get four new directors onto its board.
Did Australia live up to expectations at COP27?
At COP27 in Egypt, measures to tackle damage and loss in countries affected by climate change have been decided upon. The summit also marked a turning point for Australia — a chance for a new government to bring its new targets to the international stage.
Today, a former diplomatic adviser during the Paris Agreement negotiations, on Australia’s role at COP27, and the next challenge: meeting our commitments.
Migrant workers died to bring us this World Cup
The World Cup is the most watched sporting event on earth. Some predict that this year’s matches in Qatar could be watched by 5 billion during the month-long tournament.
But the grand spectacle of the World Cup is stained with allegations that migrant workers have died to make it happen. So what happens when sport and politics can’t be separated?
A referendum on Dan Andrews: Inside the Victorian election
The Victorian election is about a lot of things, including being a referendum on Dan Andrews and his premiership. But the election also could tell us more about how the electoral forces in Australia are shifting, and how alternatives to the major parties are rising.
Today, host of The Tally Room podcast Ben Raue on tomorrow’s election, the fate of Dan Andrews and the redrawing of the electoral map.
David Pocock’s vote: The most valuable thing in Canberra
The government’s new industrial relations packages promises to make pay more transparent and strengthen the hand of workers in negotiations. But whether this passes, comes down to the decision of one man: David Pocock.
His vote has become the most valuable commodity in Canberra. Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, takes us inside how David Pocock made his decision to back Industrial Relations reform.
How much Christianity do we need in our military?
The military employs 158 full-time chaplains, 150 of whom are ordained Christian ministers. But as the military becomes more diverse and more secular, who are these chaplains serving?
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Amy Fallon on the role of religion in the ADF and what happens when it’s challenged.
The biggest protests in China since Tiananmen
They’re the most significant protests China has seen for 30 years, according to analysts. But how have they happened under the surveillance regime of the state? And what do they mean for the future of the Chinese Communist Party and for Xi Jinping and the China he’s trying to shape?
Today, journalist Louisa Lim on the protests igniting across China, despite the shadow of Tiananmen.
When bureaucrats try to understand human behaviour
There are people inside government departments who want to use insights into human behaviour to influence us. At its best, it can help design systems to get the best outcomes for people.
But at its worst, it can ‘nudge’ people into accepting bad outcomes; from not appealing decisions and not getting the services they’re entitled to.
Scott Morrison makes history (for all the wrong reasons)
A prime minister will never again be able to secretly appoint themselves to act in multiple ministries. The practice will be made unlawful, with new rules to make appointments public – even Scott Morrison agrees with that.
He said as much, when he rose in front of the parliament to explain his actions. But the speech he delivered was hardly an admission of guilt.
‘We exist 365 days a year’
In 1992, the UN General Assembly agreed that 3 December every year would be International Day of People with Disability. But thirty years later, how much progress has been made? And has society really stopped viewing disability through the lenses of medicine or charity?
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper, writer and critic Olivia Muscat – on what the day means to her – and how it could be done better.
This generation is an existential threat to the Liberal Party
The Liberal Party is trying to resurrect its popularity after a devastating loss this year, under the leadership of Scott Morrison. But can changing the personalities at the top of the party make a difference? Or is there something deeper behind the decline in its fortunes?
A study published yesterday indicates that only one in four voters under the age of 40 voted for the Coalition – and that could be unlikely to change.
Can Tanya Plibersek stop new fossil fuel projects?
Australia is one of the world’s biggest exporters of fossil fuels, and there’s no plan from the government to reduce that. But could that change? And will Environment minister Tanya Plibersek begin to consider those emissions and the damage they cause to our climate when new projects are approved?
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Tom Morton on whether Australia is ready to take responsibility for the coal and gas we sell.
What happens next for Brittany Higgins?
The trial of Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins will not see a court room again, and a verdict will never be reached.
It leaves both parties in limbo, and already there is rampant speculation that civil lawsuits could be filed.
Anthony Albanese’s race to get energy prices capped
There’s one last thing Anthony Albanese has to do before the end of the political year. Energy prices are still out of control, and they’re only set to get worse.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the race to cap electricity prices before we see more damage to the economy.
15 months in jail after a climate protest
Up to 15 months in jail, with a minimum non-parole period of 8 months – that’s the sentence that a climate protester was handed recently in NSW.
It caused widespread alarm from human rights and civil liberties groups, and heralds a new era in sentencing as anti-protest laws are passed around the country.
Why Australia’s lobbying rules just don’t cut it
When our politicians are making decisions, they’re often lobbied. But what happens when the rules don’t apply? What happens when the people who are talking to our politicians simply deny that they are lobbyists?
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe on former minister Stuart Robert and when personal relationships cross into the public interest.
The trial of Hillsong’s founder
The founder of Hillsong Church, Brian Houston is on trial. He faces charges of concealing historic child sexual abuse by his father, Frank Houston – who was also a Pentecostal pastor.
Houston has returned to Australia and is fighting the charges in a Sydney court, with his defence team arguing that he didn’t conceal the crime from police.
How are we having another Covid wave?
Today, Nobel laureate Professor Peter Doherty on what we can still learn from Covid and what it’s teaching us about the future of global pandemics.
How Albanese, Bandt and Dutton ended the political year
We’re seeing a fitting end to the political year – parliament was urgently recalled to thrash out an energy deal, and a former prime minister grilled in front of a royal commission.
This week’s showdowns were stark reminders of just how much our politics has transformed since January. But have the major parties learnt the right lessons from 2022? Who has listened to voters? And who’s at risk of losing touch?
Spotlight: Russia moves on Ukraine, plus how prepared is Scott Morrison for conflict?
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has launched a military operation in Ukraine. Today, we cover the latest in Ukraine conflict and the political debate in Australia over our defence strategy.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing the challenge of a global military conflict. His government’s increasingly aggressive stance towards both Russia and China has put the spotlight on Australia’s defence policy, and its preparedness for a potential war. Today, Paul Bongiorno on how equipped Scott Morrison is to handle escalating tensions in both Ukraine and in the Pacific.
Spotlight: Who is Scott Morrison?
After years in public life, Scott Morrison can still seem hollow and one-dimensional. According to his biographer, this is deliberate.
But with the election now running, Morrison faces one of the strange truisms of politics: that what helped him win last time could be what costs him victory this time.
Spotlight: Why Britain can’t face up to the empire’s past
Not all Britons participated in the scenes of public grieving that have been seen around the world.
Today, the United Kingdom’s first Professor of Black Studies and author of The New Age of Empire, Kehinde Andrews, on what the monarchy represents today.
Spotlight: Monique Ryan vs The Treasurer of Australia
On election night, the Melbourne seat of Kooyong could be one of the most fiercely contested in the country. The treasurer of Australia, Josh Frydenberg, is facing what he’s described as the fight of his political life.
His opponent was virtually unknown to most Australians a few months ago, but now polls show she has a chance at victory. So who is the woman taking on the Treasurer?
Spotlight: Inside Anthony Albanese’s election night
Almost a decade of conservative government in Australia has ended. Votes are still being counted, but it looks like the Liberal and National Party have suffered their worst result in decades.
The Greens, independents and minor parties have had historic wins and will wield significant power in the new parliament.
Spotlight: The dirty secrets inside one of our biggest casinos
For decades we’ve been reassured that everything at Australian casinos was above board.
But what we were told is now unravelling and we’re getting staggering insight into how regulators can be misled and the strange schemes that have been allowed to flourish inside our biggest gambling businesses.
Spotlight: How the teals really won, with Simon Holmes à Court
The stunning victories of six new teal independents, in seats the Liberal Party thought were unloseable, has redrawn the political map in Australia.
Today, Simon Holmes à Court, founder of climate lobby group Climate 200, on the challenges the Independents faced, and how they managed to win.
Spotlight: How the Christian right overturned Roe v Wade
How did a small minority of religious conservatives overturn the rights of millions to choose?
Today, author of Beyond Belief: How Pentecostal Christianity is Taking Over the World, Elle Hardy, on how the Christian right plotted for years to overturn Roe v Wade and why they are not done yet.
Spotlight: What Murdoch asks from new prime ministers
When you become prime minister, a lot changes. But there’s only a few people who know exactly what that's like. One of them is Kevin Rudd, and according to the former prime minister, one of the most drastic changes is the way you’re treated by News Corp.
Today, former prime minister Kevin Rudd on the way News Corp brings new governments to heel.
Spotlight: Megan Davis on what’s next for the Voice
Australians could soon get to vote in a referendum and we will be asked whether Australia should amend its constitution to create an Indigenous Voice to parliament.
Today, someone who has spent years working towards constitutional recognition: chair in constitutional law at the University of NSW, Megan Davis.
Lachlan Murdoch: The successor, with Paddy Manning
Lachlan Murdoch is the presumptive heir to the global Murdoch media fortune – and with his father, Rupert, now aged 91, Lachlan’s time could be imminent. But Lachlan’s rise to the top has not been smooth.
After a bright start, the first-born son fell out of grace with his father and was exiled to Australia, only to return to favour when the family was in crisis. Now it seems that Lachlan could be the successor to the empire after all. So what does Lachlan Murdoch stand for?
The crime deep in the forest, with Sophie Cunningham
Deep in Australia’s oldest forests there are criminal gangs operating: illegally chopping down trees and selling the wood. The authorities know it’s happening, but the problem is catching the perpetrators in the act.
The old growth forests are sprawling, and these gangs know how to evade rangers and police.
What to be watching right now, with Clem Bastow
This year has seen an explosion of film and TV releases – as sound stages fill with productions, following the end of lockdowns that threatened the industry.
But if you’re like us, this summer you might just be taking a breath and getting a chance to catch-up on the things you missed throughout the last year. So with that in mind, we’ve invited writer and critic Clem Bastow to share some of her favourite releases.
Can the Voice to Parliament deliver radical change? With Gary Foley
While the Uluru Statement from the Heart includes truth-telling and a treaty, a constitutionally enshrined Voice to Parliament is the first step that the government plans to take. If it goes ahead, it will be the first referendum since the republic vote just over 20 years ago.
Today, Professor Gary Foley, senior lecturer of history at Victoria University, on the lessons we should take from history and his hope for genuine change.
Surfing the little breaks, with Sarah Walker
Today, on the Weekend Read, writer and artist Sarah Walker with her piece, “Little Breaks”, from The Monthly. It’s a story of joy and sadness in the ocean.
She writes of her time in the water as a beginner surfer, finding glee in shallow breaks. But beyond the break, in the deeper water, there’s also loneliness, isolation and vulnerability.
How death became the fight of Andrew Denton’s life
When Andrew Denton committed to a lecture on the topic of assisted dying, little could he suspect it would lead to a political fight that would consume his life, and change a country.
From a debate paralysed for decades to a year of major legislative change, Denton speaks about the campaign that changed how Australians might die, and how they might understand care.
Travel advice and race, with Santilla Chingaipe
Each year, around a million visits to the US are made by Australians. But it's becoming a more dangerous place, especially for people of colour.
But you won’t find that statistic in the guidance for Australians travelling to the US.
The search for the very first star, with Dr Alan Duffy
When we talk about the most significant events of the last year, the one that might have the biggest impact on humanity actually took place far above the Earth’s atmosphere. Up there, in orbit around earth, is one of the most powerful tools humans have ever had to hunt for the origins of our universe – and for alien life.
Today, Director of the Space Technology and Industry Institute at Swinburne University, Dr Alan Duffy on why the last year marked a new beginning for our understanding of the universe.
How counter-terrorism turned a blind eye to the far right, with Lydia Khalil
Australia’s domestic security agency, ASIO, says right-wing extremism now makes up half of its priority cases. So just how big a risk is this movement today? And how did we allow this discredited and dangerous ideology to get a foothold once again?
Today, author Lydia Khalil on how counter-terrorism turned a blind eye to the far right and how we all need to solve that problem.
‘A patch of land’: Gardening with Laura Tingle
On this Weekend Read, chief political correspondent for the ABC’s 7.30 program Laura Tingle, with her piece from the summer issue of The Monthly.
It’s called ‘A patch of land’, and in it she writes of the joys of tending and surrendering herself to a native garden, before bidding it a fond farewell after nearly 20 years.
Elon Musk’s guide to losing $US200 billion in net worth
Elon Musk has lost more money than any human being who has ever lived. It’s not because of his purchase of Twitter – well, not directly, anyway. It’s because in the last 12 months, the share price of his other company, Tesla, has plummeted.
Today, veteran Tesla-watcher and financial journalist, Antony Currie, on the unshakeable faith in Elon.
The detail on the Voice is right here
This year Peter Dutton has begun to spread doubt about the Voice to Parliament. His question is: where’s the detail? One woman has spent years fleshing out the proposal.
Marcia Langton co-authored a report on the Voice, and briefed every party room in Canberra about what the model could look like. Today, Professor at the University of Melbourne Marcia Langton.
George Pell could have helped. He made it worse.
To his supporters, George Pell was a guardian of traditional faith and doctrine, whose conviction on charges of child sexual abuse was overturned by the High Court.
To thousands of survivors of child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests across Australia, Pell was the leader who oversaw an era when the Church moved too slowly, and protected itself rather than children.
Julia Banks on how politics fails women
When Liberal MP Julia Banks quit the Morrison government in 2018, her resignation was cited as an example of how hostile the political environment can be towards women. But Banks’ story and her resignation happened to coincide with a landmark report: Respect@Work.
Today, former politician Julia Banks, on the report she watched be pushed aside, and her hope that this year it’s finally going to change our workplaces for the better.
How Australian billionaires got richer during the pandemic
This week, we have been warned that inequality got worse throughout the pandemic.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper, Chris Wallace on how Covid-19 made the wealthy richer and why we can’t be complacent about the virus.
The premier, the Nazi costume and the pokies
The premier of New South Wales Dominic Perrottet wore a Nazi uniform to his 21st birthday party. But why did Perrottet come out and admit the scandal? Does it have anything to do with the looming election? And who was circulating the rumours about the premier’s 21st birthday?
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper, Mike Seccombe on what’s going on behind the Perrottet scandal and what links it may have to the gambling industry.
Trauma therapy for children in Ukraine
The Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhia has been a battleground for months now, it’s the target of Russia’s newest offensive. Fighting there could be about to get a lot worse. Ukrainian forces are readying a defense, but the war effort in this part of southeastern Ukraine involves more than fighting back on the frontlines.
Dr Natalya Mosol is a psychologist, and for the past year, she’s been working with people who have seen the worst of the war.
What made Jacinda Ardern unique might also explain her shock exit
Jacinda Ardern’s decision to resign as the Prime Minister of New Zealand shocked her country and the world. She had seemed almost universally beloved. And the young, empathetic and energetic politician was the most world-renowned prime minister New Zealand has ever had.
So what made Ardern unwilling to continue? And does she leave her country with the kind of meaningful change she set out to make?
The case for returning crown land
It’s been over 30 years since the high court acknowledged that terra nullius was a lie, that this country was not empty – that Indigenous Australians had an ongoing claim to the land beneath our feet.
But still today, officially, large swathes of Australia are held as what’s called ‘crown land’. What is it? And what do the assumptions about crown land say about the attitude to land ownership in modern Australia?
Alice Springs: The crisis that shouldn’t have happened
A crime wave in Alice Springs grew into a national crisis this week, with politicians jumping on planes in a last-ditch effort to listen to a community whose concerns have fallen on deaf ears.
But how did the crime rate in Alice Springs become an issue for Anthony Albanese? And how could the situation have deteriorated so far? Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace on how giving communities a voice could force politicians to face complex challenges.
‘Politicians are naturally weak’: Tony Windsor versus the gas industry
Tony Windsor was a politician, and as an independent helped hand Julia Gillard minority government and the prime ministership.
Despite being a politician, he says that at the end of the day, politicians are, by their nature, weak. And if there’s any example that’s taught him that, it’s the decades-long fight over our water and how we protect it.
The attorney-general on ditching outdated and “deliberately cruel” policy
Mark Dreyfus sat down for an extended interview with our national correspondent, Mike Seccombe, about Labor’s plans to overhaul Australia’s legal system.
'Catholic Mafia': How George Pell won over Murdoch
Why is the Murdoch media so invested in how the former Catholic cardinal is remembered? And what are they willing to ignore to make their case?
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Richard Ackland on how Pell built his influence with journalists, and how he wielded it.
Why it’s so expensive to see a doctor
More and more people have to pay to see a doctor, GPs are leaving the profession, and the cost of seeing a specialist is rising at an alarming rate.
That’s why the government is promising the biggest overhaul to Medicare in its 40-year existence – the details of the plan could be released any day now.
Thought the climate wars were over? A sequel’s out next week
Australia is supposed to be reducing its emissions at a rapid pace, and last year, the Albanese government put a new target into law.
Now, we will finally get to see exactly how Labor plans to force our biggest polluters to reduce their emissions. But will the proposal win the support it needs? And how will it shape the political year to come?
The war on drugs’ worst slaughter is going underground
When Rodrigo Duterte became president of the Philippines in 2016 he promised to slaughter drug dealers – and his hardline anti-drug regime lasted until last year, when he was beaten in elections.
But has the end of Duterte really ended the slaughter? Has the new government lived up to its promises? Or do the bodies in Manila’s morgues tell us the war has gone underground?
Robo-debt: Minister leaked dead man’s data
Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on how the robo-debt royal commission is revealing one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the Australian government.
Warning, this episode includes discussion of suicide.
Can artists finally eat?
The federal government has unveiled the first major injection of funding in a decade: under a new national cultural policy it’s calling “revive”. So, what will it mean for artists? Will arts work finally be treated like real work? And will this policy help Australia create good art?
Today, Editor of The Monthly Michael Williams on whether the Albanese government’s arts policy can revive the sector.
Lidia Thorpe and the Greens: How did it come to this?
Tension in the Greens over the Voice to Parliament has culminated this week in the abrupt defection of high-profile Senator Lidia Thorpe.
Publicly, Greens Leader Adam Bandt is calling her resignation ‘sad’. Privately, other Greens members are reportedly calling it a catastrophe.
‘We can change 500,000 lives’: Jordon Steele-John’s ADHD mission
If you think you might have ADHD, it can take months, maybe even a year to get a diagnosis. A public conversation about the condition, led by advocates, has meant more people are seeking help — but the system for getting assessed is laborious and costly.
Now, Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John, a key force behind getting the disability royal commission set-up, is taking on ADHD and will use a parliamentary inquiry to advocate for an overhaul in how the condition is treated.
How the Adani empire keeps critics silenced
Indian businessman Gautam Adani is best known here for the controversial Carmichael coal mine – but his empire also spans airlines, media networks and, crucially, what he is best known for in Australia: coal.
But now, Adani’s fortune is tumbling, questions about whether he has been protected by powerful political allies in India are being raised – all because of a single report.
What’s behind the youth crime blame game?
Youth crime has become a national issue once again – front page stories from Queensland, to the Northern Territory, to Western Australia are all raising the alarm that young people in regional towns are making the streets unsafe.
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Jesse Noakes on the children who get caught up in the criminal justice system and what happens when they’re locked away.
‘I complained about abuse and the governor-general vilified me…’
He was one of the most senior members of the Anglican Church, then became the governor-general of Australia. But last week Peter Hollingworth sat in secret hearings which could decide his legacy.
Those hearings are investigating his handling of child sexual abuse claims – with several complaints being heard about his decisions, while he ran the Brisbane diocese.
Has Rupert Murdoch actually given up on his legacy deal?
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is cutting 5% of its jobs around the world, with over a thousand employees in the newspaper business about to be let go.
But it’s not the only upheaval within the Murdoch media empire. Plans to merge Fox Corporation with the newspaper side of the business have recently been shelved. So what does that mean for Rupert’s successor, his eldest son, Lachlan?
The by-election that will define Dutton’s opposition
Speculation is swirling about who will be selected to run for the seat being vacated by Alan Tudge. While the pressure is on for the Liberal party to pick a woman, factional infighting means nothing is guaranteed.
So can the Liberals retain the seat of Aston, which it barely clung on to at the last election? Or is the seat within Labor’s grasp?
The day the Reserve Bank got grilled
Philip Lowe, the governor of the RBA, has already had to apologise for his forecast that interest rates weren’t likely to rise until 2024. It was under that pressure that Lowe made his way to Canberra last week to answer questions about his decision-making.
Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton on what Philip Lowe said in Canberra, and whether his job is on the line.
What's really happening in Alice Springs
Violence and vandalism in Alice Springs became a national fascination this year. One community meeting, held by a group calling itself ‘Save Alice Springs’, became a focal point of the media’s coverage.
But another meeting took place as well. On the edge of town, hundreds of Indigenous leaders and community members came together to discuss the crisis.
Chris Minns' recipe for a vanilla victory
In recent years, Labor governments have swept into power in most states across the country… with the exceptions of NSW and Tasmania. But that might be about to change.
Chris Minns, the leader of the opposition in NSW, looks likely to lead the party to its first victory in the state since 2007 – but many voters still don’t know much about him.
Once the United States military started looking for them, they couldn’t stop finding them. Unidentified balloons were everywhere. The military and President Joe Biden decided the best course of action was simple: to shoot these unknown objects out of the sky.
But weeks later, we’re finally learning that only the first of these balloons to be shot down has anything to do with China – the others, likely belong to scientists and hobby clubs.
Superannuation: Is the government breaking a promise?
This week, the treasurer said he wants to start a national conversation about super – but will it lead to reform, or will this conversation end up in the political graveyard?
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the future of our super.
‘My existence is not temporary’: The refugees who are finally allowed to stay
Zaki Haidari is one of 19,000 people who Australia has kept in limbo, but will now get the certainty of a permanent place in Australia.
Temporary protection visas allowed people who arrived by boat to come to Australia, but denied them the rights of other visa holders, and hanging over them was the threat that they could be sent back to where they came from.
Exposing robo-debt: Why Rhys Cauzzo’s mother never gave up
Rhys Cauzzo was one of hundreds of thousands of Australians who received unlawful and false debt notices under robo-debt. The 28-year-old died by suicide in January of 2017, as debt collectors pursued him for $17,000 dollars.
After his death, his mother Jenny began to unravel just how many debt notices Rhys had received, and she decided to go public – speaking to The Saturday Paper about what happened to her son.
How corporate profits are making inflation worse
Australia has seen a series of record corporate profits posted in the last few weeks. They come as millions of average Australians are being squeezed. Mortgage repayments, rent, and the cost of almost everything is going up – but wages aren’t keeping up.
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe on how corporate profits are driving the cost-of-living crisis.
Abortion is legal in Australia, but is it accessible?
It's being called the most important case for reproductive rights in the United States since Roe vs Wade was overturned. A judgement in a court case in Texas that could ban access to a non-surgical abortion medication is due any day now.
Closer to home, the exact same medication could become more widely available. The Therapeutic Goods Administration is currently considering appeals to widen its accessibility, with a decision expected in the next few weeks.
What convinced Albanese to tackle superannuation
A week ago, superannuation reform was just an idea, a national conversation and the prime minister certainly wasn’t proposing anything. But the conversation was brief, and a decision was swift.
So what convinced Anthony Albanese his government had to act? And why was it worth the risk of being accused of breaking a promise?
ASIO is worried you’re helping foreign spies
Our intelligence community used to believe terrorism was the greatest threat to Australians. But today, Australia’s domestic intelligence agency, ASIO, says the biggest threat we’re facing is actually from foreign spies.
According to the agency, it’s not just politicians and military officers who are being targeted – it’s everyday people, who might not know they’re giving away information that could cost lives.
‘Disaster capitalism’: What’s happening after climate catastrophe
It’s one year since the Lismore floods, but the scheme to get people back into homes, and to move those homes away from the floodplain, is taking far too long. And in the absence of real recovery, what’s happening in Lismore is being described as “disaster capitalism” – houses on the floodplain are being sold to investors looking for a bargain.
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Royce Kurmelovs on what happens when the government doesn’t step up, and the market steps in.
It's all about money: Rupert Murdoch's Fox News deposition
We now have the clearest insight into the inner workings of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. The mogul was forced, under oath, to answer questions about Fox News in a $1.6 billion dollar lawsuit against the company.
What’s been revealed is that Murdoch and some of his most famous hosts knew they were putting lies to air, and allowed it anyway.
How the family court is failing traumatised women
The family court is a place of last resort for spouses and parents, to settle the legal, financial and parenting disputes that can sometimes arise. But lawyers and mothers have been warning that when abuse or violence is part of the equation, the court is failing.
Today, author and contributor to The Saturday Paper Jane Caro on the women who feel silenced by the family court, and the changes the Federal government now wants to make.
Why can't Labor and the Greens get along?
Australia’s climate future is again hanging in the balance. And once more, it could all depend on a Labor government negotiating with the Greens. As it stands, they’re at loggerheads. The Greens want no new coal and gas developments to be approved, the Government are accusing the Greens of being unrealistic.
Today, contributing editor of The Politics, Rachel Withers on the impossible choice facing the Greens.
How we’re betting our climate future on a scam
After decades of inaction, the Labor government has brought their proposal forward, adjusting the awkwardly named safeguard mechanism.
But this bets our climate future heavily on emission offsets – or carbon credits. They’re a convoluted way of making up for emissions, by doing good elsewhere. But are they actually a scam?
‘Web of cowardice’: What we learned from the final robo-debt hearings
The Royal Commission into robo-debt is over.
With over 100 witnesses and nine weeks of hearings, the commission into one of the greatest failures in the history of the Australian government has already given us unforgettable insight into the thinking of our public servants and leading politicians.
But there are still questions to be answered: like how could so many — find themselves in lock-step behind a policy that was unlawful?
Being John Hughes: Inside literature’s plagiarism scandal
John Hughes was once hailed as a young literary genius, and won a scholarship to Cambridge. But he found himself back in Australia working as a librarian and a teacher before his writing found acclaim.
Hughes was shortlisted for some of the greatest honours in Australian writing. But under the scrutiny of greater acclaim, a strange web of inconsistencies and copying struck one reader: Anna Verney.
Why the AUKUS submarines will never arrive
This week, the government committed up to $368 billion over the next 30 years to acquire nuclear submarines — the single biggest defence spend in Australian history. But big questions remain about whether these subs will ever be delivered at all.
Today, Hugh White on what could still go wrong — and why these submarines might never actually be delivered.
Will Albanese and Dutton agree on the $368 billion question?
The AUKUS agreement has brought a rare political sight this week: the government and the opposition are agreeing with each other. Both major parties support the deal, if anything they’re competing to show who can support it more strongly.
But how will we pay for it? Will we cut spending on other services? Or try to increase tax revenue?
Bob Brown on the fight Tanya Plibersek needs to have
Bob Brown, the founding leader of The Greens, is ready to make a plea to Tanya Plibersek: stand up in cabinet and be a voice against coal and gas.
While the party he used to lead is locked in a tense battle with the Labor party today over the safeguard mechanism, Brown says he believes Tanya Plibersek could actually become the best environment minister Australia has ever had – she just needs the support of the prime minister.
‘Treating private jets like Ubers’: Inside the Hillsong papers
A few weeks ago, Independent MP Andrew Wilkie stood up in parliament and dropped a bombshell on Australian megachurch Hillsong. He exposed Hillsong’s finances, and how purchases were made for some of its leaders.
Now, several days after the speech, we have access to these documents and the potential damage to the church is becoming clearer.
The climate protestor who beat a 15-month prison sentence
Last year, Deanna ‘Violet’ CoCo was standing on top of a truck on Sydney Harbour Bridge with a flare in her hand. She was prepared to be arrested; prepared to face harsh anti-protest laws – but she wasn’t prepared to be the target of national angst and passion about climate protest.
Today, fresh from beating that prison sentence on appeal, Violet CoCo on protest, justice, and the future of the climate movement.
We tried to fit all the NSW scandals into 20 minutes. Here's how far we got.
This Saturday, the longest-reigning coalition government in the country heads to the polls. Dominic Perrottet hasn’t been premier of NSW for long, but he’s hoping to extend the Coalition to a historic 16-year term in office – despite a torrent of scandals and resignations dogging his government.
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, on every scandal and resignation we could fit into a single episode.
The dissent in Labor ranks over the US alliance
Australia’s AUKUS deal was supposed to have unanimous support, but it has thrown up unexpected challenges for the Labor government — with senior party figures breaking ranks to criticise its scope, price and impact on our relationships.
So, will there be a showdown over the $368 billion dollar plan? And if so, how will the Prime Minister handle it?
Why is Australia importing anti-trans activists?
A speaking tour claiming to quote ‘let women speak’ has been at the centre of disturbing scenes across Australia. Last week in Melbourne, neo-Nazis stood on the steps of Victorian parliament and openly performed the nazi salute.
So, who is the British woman touring Australia, provoking these scenes? And why is she here?
Banks are failing around the world. Could it happen here?
When you think about a bank run, you might think of lines around the block – of regular workers eager to get their hard-earned wages out of a troubled bank. But recently there’s been another kind of bank run, one that plays out over group chats and email threads involving Silicon Valley billionaires and cryptocurrency investors.
The panic among this group of depositors has already led to the collapse of several small and medium-sized banks in the US, and now that anxiety is hitting other banks as well.
It won’t stop climate catastrophe. So why are the Greens voting for it?
Adam Bandt stood in front of TV cameras this week and announced a decision that could define the future of the Greens.
The party will support Labor’s climate policy, after winning a series of concessions, even though it means new coal and gas can go ahead and it doesn’t meet the pleas of climate scientists around the world.
Trump 2024: Why Republicans want to vote for him, even if he’s arrested
Donald Trump officially launched his campaign to be president again on a stage in Waco, Texas. Despite the likelihood of an imminent arrest and a campaign in disarray he is still, somehow, the frontrunner to face Joe Biden at the 2024 election.
So, how can Trump still command the Republican base? Can the party, and America, ever be rid of him? And will he be the first former president to be indicted?
Inside Peter Dutton’s leadership test in Aston
The Liberal Party is in disarray. This weekend questions could multiply as the federal party faces the ballot box under Peter Dutton’s leadership for the first time, at the Aston by-election.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the must-win contest and how pressure is mounting inside the Liberal Party.
Is Murdoch media about to turn against the Voice?
Questions being asked about the Voice to Parliament by conservative commentators, mostly in the Murdoch-owned national newspaper.
But The Australian wasn’t supposed to be opposed to the referendum, there was a time when it was one of the Voice’s biggest allies.
The state locking up more children than any other
One state in Australia locks up more children than any other: Queensland. And new laws will send more children into custody than ever before. The laws go against its Human Rights Act, but the state has chosen to override those protections in response to growing media pressure about youth crime.
Can a deal be done to get us affordable homes?
Renting or buying a home is not getting any easier in Australia – and the future could get even worse if we don’t do something.
The government wants to build new houses with an investment fund, the Greens want a rent freeze and more guaranteed funding for affordable homes – and negotiations are becoming the latest flashpoint in a bitter dispute between the two parties.
No Voice and no votes: the future of the Liberal Party
The Liberal Party has formally announced their opposition to the Voice to parliament. The announcement comes in the wake of two election defeats in two weeks, first in NSW and then the Aston by-election.
With the future of the Liberal party under scrutiny, what lessons is Peter Dutton taking from his election losses?
Spotlight: How death became the fight of Andrew Denton’s life
Australia is one of just a handful of countries around the world that have legislated in favour of euthanasia. Every Australian state has now legalised voluntary assisted dying - and the territories are expected to follow after the federal government granted them freedom to legislate.
Today, we revisit our conversation with voluntary assisted dying campaigner Andrew Denton, on how to change a debate, combat misinformation and the voices that really changed the law across Australia.
Spotlight: How counter-terrorism turned a blind eye to the far right
In recent weeks, we’ve covered an appearance by neo-Nazis at a rally in Melbourne, as well as ASIO’s decision to steer away from labels like ‘right’ and ‘left’ when talking about radicalisation here in Australia. The issue of far-right extremism has often been covered in Australia as a political issue, but what about as an issue of safety and security?
Today, we revisit our conversation with the author of ‘Rise of the Extreme Right’, Lydia Khalil, on the far right in Australia, its connections around the world and the best way to stop it from growing.
Can Penny Wong stop us from going to war?
Penny Wong assumed the role of foreign affairs minister at a crucial time in Australian history. For years, China has been on the rise, but now it’s beginning to challenge the dominance of the United States in the Pacific.
World leaders and military planners are openly weighing the risk the two superpowers could stumble into war. How does Australia navigate a path to peace? That question now rests on Wong’s shoulders.
Why Australia won’t ban TikTok before the US does
After Australia announced banning TikTok from government devices last week, there could be more steps to restrict the app in the pipeline.
Today, associate editor of The Saturday Paper Marty McKenzie-Murray, on how the company behind TikTok learned to walk the party line.
Forget inflation. Inequality is the real economic problem.
Cost of living pressures and interest rate rises mean that millions of Australians are struggling. But what often isn’t acknowledged by the Reserve Bank, its governor, or many of our political leaders, is that some people are doing just fine under these economic conditions – in fact, they can benefit from them.
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe on why financial pain isn’t distributed evenly and how rate rises can make that inequality worse.
How Peter Dutton’s ‘No’ is tearing the Liberals apart
If the Liberal Party’s announcement that it would oppose the Voice to Parliament was meant to take attention away from their internal fractures– the result has been very different. This week, the party’s spokesperson on Indigenous Australians resigned his post, and the party’s most high-profile Indigenous figure tore up his party membership.
So how did it come to this? And have these splits torpedoed Peter Dutton’s case just as he’s begun to make it?
We were told to recycle plastic. Now it’s stockpiled around the country.
Australians were told to sort through their bins, and take plastic bags and packaging to dropoffs at the country’s biggest supermarkets to have them recycled. But instead of being recycled, tonnes and tonnes of this plastic was shoved into storage. Now, authorities are still trying to track it all down. So how did it all go so wrong?
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, on the impossible promise of REDcycle and what we do now with tens of thousands of tonnes of plastic that has nowhere to go.
#MeToo and Canberra’s reckoning: how a mix of scandals and leadership led to change
Kate Jenkins has finished up as Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner after seven years in the job. During that time, she’s responded to the global #MeToo movement, along with the reckoning in Canberra sparked by allegations from former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins.
Today, Kate Jenkins on the highs and lows of making change.
A mental health crisis at Australia’s mental health commission
Australia has a body that’s supposed to look after all of our mental health, and make recommendations to the government on how to make the situation better. It’s called the National Mental Health Commission.
But inside the commission, some of the staff that are supposed to be coming up with solutions have faced layoffs, stress, anxiety, and worse.
Who is Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price?
After a week that forced a reshuffle on the Coalition front bench, Peter Dutton had to announce a new spokesperson for Indigenous Australians – he needed someone who would enthusiastically support his ‘No’ position on the Voice to Parliament.
His choice was Jacinta Nampijinpa Price – a first-term senator. So who is Dutton’s new pick?
51 ways the RBA has to be better
It’s independent of government, has enormous power over our lives and hasn’t been reformed in 25 years. But yesterday, the Reserve Bank bowed to scathing criticism and even Governor Philip Lowe conceded parts of the RBA had been out of step with modern expectations.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno, on why the government took such bold action on the RBA, but won’t stop it inflicting more pain.
When Julian Assange’s lawyer met Penny Wong
In the last couple of weeks, Assange has received his first visit from an Australian high commissioner in London, and foreign minister Penny Wong is publicly saying that he has been locked up for far too long.
But is there more the Australian government could be doing? Or is this really a matter for the courts alone? And what are the limits of diplomacy?
Spotlight: The search for the very first star
Something going on far above us, in orbit, might be doing more to shape the future of humanity than any events here on earth. Up there is one of the most powerful tools humans have ever had to hunt for the origins of our universe – and for alien life.
The James Webb Space Telescope has the ability to look so far and with such clarity that we can get an insight into a period of time that our best scientists have only ever speculated about: the cosmic dark ages.
Why the Murdochs settled Dominion and abandoned Crikey
From settling the biggest payout in US libel history, to the abandoned defamation claim against Australian website Crikey – It’s been a tumultuous week in the courts for the Murdochs.
By avoiding open court, they have tried to draw a line under the furore around Fox News presenters’ claims the 2020 US election was stolen. But will the Murdoch empire be able to move on?
Just how ‘elite’ are the people behind the Voice?
Criticism of the Voice to Parliament from the conservative side of politics has ratcheted up ever since Peter Dutton’s decision to oppose it. The main accusations are: the proposal for the Voice is coming from elites and not ‘regular’ Indigenous Australians, and it won’t achieve practical change.
Today, union organiser and member of the referendum working group, Thomas Mayo, on the loudest voices against the Voice.
Why can the government spend money on weapons but not welfare?
This week, the way the government chooses to spend its money came into sharp focus. On Monday, it announced a bold new plan for military spending, but soon after, it found itself besieged by calls to raise the rate of JobSeeker – for Australians struggling with poverty.
So, why can we afford to spend money on one, but not the other? And is it a question that voters will start asking?
How to fix the budget to lift people out of poverty
At this time of year, in the lead up to budget, governments can often be heard saying they don’t have enough money – particularly when it comes to raising the rate of income support.
But is it true? And if it is, are there ways to repair the budget that would leave enough money to help raise people out of poverty? Today, economist Danielle Wood on how we can fix the budget.
From fatal negligence to a new $33 million contract
Imagine being arrested and put into custody – and in desperate need of medical care. Who is responsible for helping you? Who are you meant to turn to for healthcare?
For Veronica Nelson, who died in custody in 2020, a private company was responsible – Correct Care.
How HECS became a debt trap
If you went to university and you’re listening to this, there’s an increasing likelihood you could be carrying HECSs debt into your 50s.
There are now 300,000 people carrying HECS into their 50s, which is six times higher than what it was just over 15 years ago. And this June, HECS debts are set to rise again at a historic pace.
Why is the ADF ‘not fit’ to deter China?
Missiles that can precisely target enemy forces 500 kilometres away are the future of the Australian defence forces, according to the recent defence strategic review. What we are defending ourselves with today is woefully inadequate for our strategic circumstances, the review found.
But other big questions are emerging: how will we pay for the changes it’s proposing? Can we save money on purchases we’ve already agreed to? And how will our neighbours react to a more capable Australian military?
Is Albanese going to ignore young people?
The economic news got worse this week, with the RBA unexpectedly raising interest rates and some dire economic forecasts. So far, it looks like the economic assistance the government will offer in the upcoming budget will be targeted. It probably won’t raise JobSeeker — except for over 55s — and it’s unlikely to pause rising HECS debt.
So, after a decade or more of young people falling behind economically, will we see any help at all on budget night? And what are the political risks if the government doesn’t offer something?
So, the coronation was pretty weird – with Craig Foster
The coronation was pretty weird. So, how relevant is King Charles? Is a Republic now possible? And how quickly could another referendum be upon us?
Today, co-chair of the Australian Republican Movement and human rights activist Craig Foster on the coronation, Anthony Albanese’s decision to attend, and the path to a Republic.
Finance Minister Katy Gallagher reveals the toughest budget decisions
Tonight’s budget promises relief for Australia’s single parents, who will receive extra income support until their youngest child turns 14.
Today, Finance Minister and Minister for Women Katy Gallagher on how her own time on the single parent payment shaped her views and what the government is doing about the housing crisis.
The Budget: What’s in it for you
Treasurer Jim Chalmers promised a responsible budget, and one that helped Australians as costs soar. There was some relief, but it wasn’t as generous as some advocates hoped.
Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton, on Treasurer Jim Chalmers’ first full May budget.
Peter Dutton’s Liberal party is turning on its closest ally
As the Liberal Party finds itself in electoral crisis. its federal leader, Peter Dutton, is speaking out against heads of business on a surprising topic: the Voice to Parliament.
Today, former Liberal MP and contributor to The Saturday Paper Julia Banks, on how the Liberal Party is losing corporate Australia.
The middle class vs. the poor: Why the Coalition wants them to fight
Since the budget dropped on Tuesday night, the Coalition and some parts of the media have begun to pick a very strange fight. It’s over whether some of the most vulnerable in the community should really get more help than middle-class Australian households with two incomes.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper, Paul Bongiorno on the strange politics at play and why there are bigger questions we should be asking.
Farewell, Stuart Robert. We hardly knew ye.
Often they depart the stage without anyone really noticing, other times it’s worth pausing and marking their storied parliamentary careers.
That’s the case for Stuart Robert, who has called time on politics after 16 years – during which time he presided over the robo debt scandal, a bag of Rolexes, and made his name as Scott Morrison’s ‘brother Stewie’.
Inside the inquiry into the Lehrmann trial
The trial of Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins never reached a verdict – and Lehrmann still strenuously maintains his innocence. The actions of one juror might have led to the mistrial, but there was more to the story: concerns about how the media covered the trial were followed by explosive allegations against the ACT police and how they handled the case.
Now, an inquiry is trying to get to the bottom of how justice failed to reach a verdict.
Australia’s first women’s advisor on why she left the country
Australia can claim a significant world first: a special government adviser on Women’s Affairs. Fifty years ago,Elizabeth Reid stepped into the newly created role in Gough Whitlam’s government.
What motivated her? How did the job change her? And why did she leave Australia once it was over?
How Putin’s henchmen started fighting with each other
The public face of Russia’s Wagner group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is openly feuding with Putin’s generals and embarrassing stories are emerging in the Western press.
How long can this go on? And what are the consequences?
How Anthony Albanese’s doing a year after winning
It’s almost a year since Anthony Albanese did what no Labor leader had done in 15 years: win an election from opposition. It was a momentous time for him personally, and one that shifted the political landscape after a decade of conservative government.
Just how much has he accomplished? Is Albanese living up to the promises he made on election night? And is he willing to go beyond them?
Inside Australia’s cocaine trade
The global cocaine business is controlled by cartels worth tens of billions of dollars – and in that world, Australia is drawing more and more attention as a particularly lucrative market.
Today, Four Corners reporter Mahmood Fazal on his investigation into the cocaine trade and how he came face-to-face with the people responsible for it.
Is Labor gaslighting voters on climate?
After more than half of voters at the 2022 federal election said climate change was a top concern, helping Labor take power, it became known as the ‘climate election’. and more than half of voters at the 2022 election said it was a top concern.
Today, director of the Australia Institute’s climate and energy program Polly Hemming on what a year of Labor has delivered for the climate.
The real reason the robo-debt royal commission asked for a delay
The Commissioner for the robo-debt hearings quietly wrote to the attorney general, delaying the publication of the royal commission’s final report. But this is no mere bureaucratic hold-up, there are other reasons behind it. And one of them has to do with when Australia’s new National Anti-Corruption Commission will be ready to receive referrals.
Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on how robo-debt could become one of the first topics for the brand new integrity watchdog.
The PwC tax scandal: Should private consultants be trusted?
The very people meant to be closing loopholes in the Australian tax system have been using that information to advise their big corporate clients.
Today, associate editor of The Saturday Paper Martin McKenzie-Murray, on what happened when the Australian government trusted PwC to fix our tax system.
Dutton's dangerous rhetoric unleashed in parliament
This week, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton stood to address parliament on the bill that will allow a referendum on the Voice to parliament.
What he said in that speech has alarmed many, and at least one spokesperson for the Voice said Dutton’s words have been echoed in the abuse he’s received from racist opponents online.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on what Dutton’s rhetoric will do to the debate on the Voice.
The big myths about the housing crisis
Everyone knows we have a housing crisis – rents are spiralling, homelessness is growing and more and more of our income is going towards keeping a roof over our heads.
But did you know that on any given night more than a million homes in Australia sit empty? That’s more than 10 per cent of Australia’s housing stock.
The shortage is not in homes, but in affordable homes.
Today, National correspondent at The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, on how Australia lost its way on housing – and why the current plan only addresses one part of the problem.
The Tasering of a 95-year-old woman
The police officer who allegedly Tasered 95-year-old great-grandmother Clare Nowland reportedly said three words before firing: “No, bugger it”.
He will now face court, where we will learn more about what led up to the incident and what contributed to Nowland’s death.
But the biggest question is how the police ended up confronting an elderly person in aged care, who was distressed and in need of help.
Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on the systemic failures that surround the death of Clare Nowland.
Stan Grant and Australia's failure to talk about racism
When Australia’s most high-profile Indigenous journalist was forced to step away from his role because of racist abuse – it made headlines around the world.
But here in Australia, most of the media and our political leaders have struggled to comprehend the meaning of the moment – and appear to be trapped in a cycle of well-wishes, apologies and outright denial instead of taking action.
Today, Yorta Yorta writer and contributor to The Saturday Paper Daniel James, on whether Australia is mature enough to have a national conversation about racism and justice for Indigenous people.
Anthony Albanese: Bold reformer or cautious operator?
Anthony Albanese’s government faces significant challenges – looming climate disaster, a widening wealth gap and international security concerns. But a year after the election, it is hard to judge how it will respond to these circumstances.
Today, contributor to The Monthly Sean Kelly, on trying to pin down the real intentions of the Albanese government.
The politicians who think the sky is falling
Anthony Albanese says politicians are running around Canberra claiming the sky is falling. “Chicken littles”, he’s calling them, doomsayers trying to whip up unfounded fears about the Voice.
Opposition leader Peter Dutton has reacted as if the reference to the old folk tale is a deeply insulting slur, but it’s hardly the most charged language that’s been used by one of our politicians in recent weeks.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the latest political skirmish – and whether WA premier Mark McGowan’s resignation is a sign the sky really is falling
We can say it now: Ben Roberts-Smith is a war criminal
Ben Roberts-Smith dined with prime ministers, attended the Queen’s funeral as a hero and was held up as an icon of the Australian Defense Force. In fact, a huge portrait of him still hangs in the Australian War Memorial today.
But now, a court has found that allegations Ben Roberts-Smith is a murderer, a war criminal and a bully who disgraced his country have been proven.
Today, Chief Political Correspondent for The Saturday Paper and author of ‘An Unwinnable War’, Karen Middleton on how the truth about Ben Roberts-Smith was proven and what it means for the legacy of Australian action in Afghanistan.
How the Pentagon plans to mine Australia’s minerals
A new green energy agreement with the US, signed by President Biden and Prime Minister Albanese, will allow the Pentagon to fund mining projects in Australia. It’s part of a race to control the energy sources of the future and secure minerals for the US military.
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, on what it means for our security, as the US tries to match China’s progress using Australia’s natural resources – and are we getting a good deal?
The people who knew the truth about PwC for years
The Australian Tax Office suspected that PwC used confidential information to help their big corporate clients get richer – seven whole years ago.
But they did shockingly little about it. They didn’t even share that information with government ministers.
The reason, they say, is that their hands were tied – that bureaucratic rules kept them from exposing one of the biggest scandals in the history of our tax system.
The dysfunction inside the NDIS watchdog
It’s the department that’s supposed to watch over the support system for Australians with a disability – and ensure the care they’re receiving is good.
But the very people doing this job, at the Quality and Safeguards Commission of the NDIS, could be in an unsafe workplace.
Philip Lowe thinks you should do more work
Is Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe pushing Australia into a recession?
That has now become the biggest question in the Australian economy – as household budgets are squeezed even further by an interest rate rise that almost no-one wanted to see.
Spotlight: Why is Australia importing anti-trans activists?
A speaking tour claiming to quote ‘let women speak’ has been at the centre of disturbing scenes across Australia. In Melbourne, neo-Nazis stood on the steps of Victorian parliament and openly performed the nazi salute in March.
So, who is the British woman touring Australia, provoking these scenes? And why is she here?
Why the Voice can’t be the only answer
While the push towards a Voice to Parliament continues, mines continue to open on traditional lands, and the gap is not closing. There are plenty of things that governments across the country could be doing right now to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, but politicians seem to be focused only on the future.
Today, Ben Abbatangelo, on why governments can’t get away with saying the Voice is the only answer.
Who leaked Brittany Higgins' texts?
Personal text messages between Brittany Higgins and her partner, David Sharaz, have been splashed over the news for days – reopening questions about the lead up to the interview when Higgins first went public with the allegation she was raped in a ministerial office.
But as the political scandal spirals, the source of the texts, the motives for the leak and the consequences of them being published have remained mostly unexamined. Today, Rachel Withers on the leak of Brittany Higgins’s texts, and what it really proves about our media.
The people willing to face jail time for forests
Activists around Australia have proven willing to risk jail time and fines of tens of thousands of dollars under new anti-protest laws, as states and territories rush to crack down on climate and environmental protests. Victoria has said the state will end native logging by 2024, but it remains committed to harsh anti-protest laws aimed at protecting the industry.
Today, Elle Marsh on the harsh penalties for environmentalism and the people willing to face them.
Lidia Thorpe alleges sexual assault in Parliament House
Parliament began this week with bitter arguments over the handling of Brittany Higgins’ rape allegation, but it took only two days for accusations of another sexual assault to emerge.
Liberal senator David Van has been advised he will no longer sit in the party room, following accusations of sexual harassment and assault from independent senator Lidia Thorpe, which he denies. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the standards and culture within Parliament House.
Why private schools are ruining Australia
One way that inequality becomes baked into Australian society is through education. For decades, the school system has become increasingly stratified - to the benefit of private schools and detriment of public ones.
Today, Jane Caro on the consequences of this divide and how the past twenty years of education policy will shape the Australia we see tomorrow.
Peacock in the Pacific: Inside Australia’s bid to host COP31
The Albanese government is campaigning to host the next United Nations Climate Conference in partnership with Pacific nations, but there is real concern it’s just an exercise in public relations and greenwashing Australia’s climate policies.
Pacific countries are now demanding Australia do more on climate action before agreeing to be part of the bid. Today, Polly Hemming on how Australia is peacocking in the Pacific.
How the justice system failed Kathleen Folbigg
Kathleen Folbigg has been pardoned after an inquiry that examined new scientific evidence, but there are other issues that drove the media and the justice system’s condemnation of her. The way her psychological state, her grief and her reliability were questioned speak to the treatment of women accused of murder.
Today, Wendy Bacon on the fight for Kathleen Folbigg’s pardon and why it points to more wrongful convictions within our justice system.
Max Chandler-Mather on why the Greens blocked the housing fund
Today, Greens spokesperson on housing and homelessness Max Chandler-Mather reveals why the Greens blocked the bill, the conversations with Labor behind the scenes and what he thinks could have won his party’s support.
Crimes and Misdemeanours: Donald Trump and Hunter Biden
We learned this week that US president Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, will accept a plea deal on federal tax crimes. Republicans are calling the deal evidence of nepotism and corruption – none more loudly than Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
Of course, he is facing a much more lengthy federal indictment, with 37 charges against him.
Australian police and their use of excessive force
A string of recent incidents involving the use of force has raised questions about the way in which Australia’s police forces wield power. The officer who allegedly Tasered a 95-year old woman will see court next month, and a Queensland police officer is under investigation after being caught on video punching and tasering a man who’d been in a car crash.
Today, Russell Marks, on the use of force and the relationship between the police and the public.
Will Vladimir Putin survive the year?
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s future is uncertain, after an attempted armed mutiny plunged his government into crisis. Wagner group, a private military force that has flourished with Putin’s blessing, has exposed just how disorganised Putin’s government is after marching from the Ukrainian front towards Moscow.
Today, fellow at the ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Matthew Sussex.
Why Peter Dutton referred David Van to a body without real powers
Parliament is struggling with how to handle the case of Senator David Van, who continues to strenuously deny allegations of sexual harassment and assault levelled by Senator Lidia Thorpe and others.
The case shows how, more than a year after the Jenkins review into the culture at parliament house, it remains uniquely incapable of handling complaints, finding the truth and providing a safe workplace for all.
Thomas Mayo on the Voice, the polls and the critics
Since the Voice to Parliament referendum was announced, the Voice has enjoyed majority support, according to the biggest opinion polls – that is, until this week.
Today, the author The Voice to Parliament Handbook with Kerry O’Brien and board member of Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition, Thomas Mayo, on whether the ‘Yes’ campaign message is cutting through and if it needs to be clearer.
Stuart Robert, we thought we said goodbye
Stuart Robert may have resigned from parliament – but this parliament might not be done with him yet.
New allegations, which he strongly denies, paint a picture of a lobbying firm setting up arrangements to profit Robert if he helped them win government work.
Why Berejiklian’s corruption goes deeper than a bad relationship
Once there was public outcry from some quarters that ICAC would even investigate Gladys Berejiklian – one of the most popular premiers in New South Wales history. Flowers were left at her electoral office after she stepped down, and talkback radio callers were furious with ICAC for precipitating her resignation.
But now we know that Berejiklian was seriously corrupt when she was treasurer and later the premier.
What people inside the Yes campaign really think
The ‘Yes’ campaign has intensified its efforts this week, with thousands of people turning out for rallies nationwide to back the Indigenous Voice to Parliament on Sunday. Organisers hope momentum will build despite recent polls showing a drop in the ‘Yes’ vote over the last three months, from 58 to 49 per cent.
Today, Marty McKenzie-Murray takes us inside the ‘Yes’ campaign as it struggles to deal with declining support.
The anti-corruption commission has a weakness: whistleblowers.
Australia is being promised a new era in federal politics, with a brand new anti-corruption watchdog now operating in Canberra. Between opening on Saturday and Monday morning, the National Anti-Corruption Commission had already received 44 referrals for investigation.
But there are concerns the way the NACC has been designed could mean it fails the same whistleblowers the body relies on. Today, senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre Kieran Pender.
El Niño is coming, at the worst possible time
The UN’s World Meteorological Organization declared this week that the extreme weather event has begun, and the impacts will be felt across our health, ecosystems and economy.
Today, climate scientist, contributor to The Saturday Paper and a lead author for the IPCC Joëlle Gergis, on what’s headed our way and what we have to do to avert crisis.
Who will the NACC nick?
Some of the biggest stories and characters in Australian politics could soon be under the scrutiny of the National Anti-Corruption Commission. It’s already had hundreds of referrals and more seem likely in the coming days.
But not everyone is warmly welcoming the new corruption watchdog to federal politics.
Inside Robo-debt: The Shorten interview
Australia was gaslit by its own government. From ministers to public servants – they backed something that was illegal, just to shake down innocent people for money, then lied about it for years.
So today we speak with the minister who will have to implement many of the recommendations and pursue many of the findings in this royal commission – Bill Shorten – about what this report means, and if the machinery of government can truly be fixed.
Inside Robo-debt: The Whistleblower
Those who imagined, designed and delivered robo-debt put their personal ambition above the wellbeing of the people they were meant to serve. But there were some on the frontline who knew from the very beginning that this government shakedown was wrong.
One, Colleen Taylor, came forward at the royal commission. While senior leaders failed to recall, or refused to say how robo-debt happened, she told the truth and helped crack one of the biggest scandals in Australian government history wide open.
Inside Robo-debt: The Social Engineering of Shame
How did robo-debt ever make it out of the lab?
We may never get a perfect answer to that question. But there is one person who can help piece together how this astounding period of public service fakery was uncovered.
Inside Robo-debt: The Minister’s Adviser
In late 2016, without warning, more than 100,000 people across Australia were swamped by life-altering debts stretching back years. That became a political problem. But instead of fixing it, the politicians decided to spin it. Against all the evidence, they tried to convince people robo-debt was working; that the illegal practice was fair and good.
Today, we speak to one of the people whose job was to create this alternate reality: Rachelle Miller, the former media adviser to human services minister Alan Tudge.
Inside Robo-debt: The Mother
There is one story that had radiated through the witness list at the robo-debt royal commission, which profoundly altered the shape of that inquiry: the story of Rhys Cauzzo.
One woman, his mother, Jenny Miller, never gave up on finding the truth about what happened to her son.
Can the Teals fight for the poor while representing the rich?
The 2022 federal election saw a historic loss for the coalition and a shift towards independent candidates. Elected on promises to fight climate change, advance gender issues, and advocate for more integrity in politics, the Teals won over some of the wealthiest and safest Liberal seats. But as the cost of living becomes the most pressing issue for voters, the Teals' views on social inequality are being tested.
Today, Rachel Withers on the seven Teal independents and their potential as Australia's best solution for addressing inequality.
Will Michele Bullock fix the RBA?
The Reserve Bank of Australia is getting a new governor: Michele Bullock, who is the first woman ever to hold the position and was, until now, second in charge. Her predecessor, Philip Lowe, provoked public anger for suggesting interest rates wouldn’t rise before 2024, and then hiking them 12 times in just over a year.
Today, Mike Seccombe on whether a new boss at the RBA will make a difference to mortgage holders, or if an appointment from inside the bank means nothing much will change.
Jacqui Lambie on referring ADF commanders to The Hague
The international criminal court in the Hague looks at some of the gravest war crimes and crimes against humanity. Now, Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has asked it to investigate senior Australian Defence Force commanders.
Today, Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie on why she thinks the Brereton report let senior ADF commanders off the hook.
How the Matildas are taking on the world
The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off tonight, with the Matildas playing Ireland in Sydney.
But, as the game’s popularity explodes and the players cement themselves as household names, the Matildas are still fighting for basic rights – like equal pay.
Albanese’s media blitz as Voice support drops
Anthony Albanese concedes support for the Voice to Parliament has slipped. Polls taken around this time last year showed around 60 per cent of Australians would vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum. Now, it’s as low as 41 per cent. Each side of the debate has just published their official case, which will be posted to every Australian household ahead of the vote.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno, on the arguments laid out in the pamphlets and why Anthony Albanese is feeling the need to go on a media blitz.
Beyond PwC: The big consultancy rip-off
It started with PwC, but now accusations are being levelled at the other big consultancy firms in Australia. Over the last 10 years, more and more government decision-making has been outsourced to multi-billion dollar firms in lucrative contracts.
Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton on the big four consultancies – and why one contract between Deloitte and the Home Affairs department had to be terminated.
Does the Voice actually need a referendum?
In recent days, there has been speculation over whether the government should abandon the referendum and instead legislate the Voice through parliament.
Campaigners say legislating the Voice – rather than enshrining it in the constitution – would weaken its standing and risk repeating mistakes of the past.
Who axed a sexual consent campaign for students?
Who would axe a campaign to promote consent on university campuses? We know that sexual assault of students is an enormous problem, and a national campaign designed by experts is exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to be part of the solution.
Well, not if you’re one of the university vice-chancellors who put a stop to it.
Green groups getting cosy with government
Environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund and the Australian Conservation Foundation are some of the biggest recipients of donations from Australians who want to make a difference for the planet.
But increasingly the biggest groups are working with the government and corporate Australia – instead of resisting them.
Elon Musk and the letter X: A love story
The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, has a new pet project. He is reinventing, and possibly destroying, the site formerly known as Twitter. Now known simply as X, the iconic blue bird logo is no more.
But Musk’s rebrand isn’t purely for aesthetics. It’s the beginning of the billionaire’s vision to create a ubiquitous ‘everything app’ of the future.
Taxing big business to fix the housing crisis
This week, the Albanese government will begin its second attempt to pass its key housing policy. The bill is being reintroduced to parliament unrevised, but will need the Greens support – with their position unchanged, all signs point to a political stalemate.
Today, contributing editor of The Politics and The Monthly online Rachel Withers, on an idea to fix the housing crisis that’s gaining traction and why it could break through the paralysis in Canberra.
Cooking with gas is about to become a hate crime
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has taken a big step in phasing out gas by banning it in new homes from January 1, 2024. But the announcement provoked anger and outrage among conservative commentators, and some members of the public, who insist gas is best.
So, does Australia have any hope of reaching net zero if our kitchen stoves have become politicised?
Does Peter Dutton have a secret on Nauru?
Australia’s offshore processing facility on Nauru now sits empty. The detention centre was a feature of Nauru’s identity for over a decade, but now we’re learning extraordinary details about how millions of Australian taxpayer dollars were spent in questionable deals to keep the facility running.
Today, Martin McKenzie-Murray, on what impact Australia has really had on Nauru and whether we’ve spent a fortune to make a tiny island nation worse off.
Scott Morrison reckons he’s blameless for robo-debt
Scott Morrison was found, by the royal commission into robo-debt, to have allowed cabinet to be misled. It took a few weeks, but the former prime minister this week addressed those findings head-on: denying it all.
Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper and host of 7am’s special Inside Robo-debt series, Rick Morton on Scott Morrison’s return to Parliament and how much longer he’s likely to have a seat there.
Albanese vs the ‘Noalition’: It’s about to get spicy
Parliament is back, and the government is once again sparring with the Greens as it pushes ahead with its contentious housing bill. Meanwhile, the Coalition has a new strategy for encouraging a ‘No’ vote in the Voice referendum.
So will the combative nature of this parliament stop Labor from being productive in government and could they lose key bills in the senate? Today, Paul Bongiorno on what lies ahead for the second half of the year in Canberra.
David Pocock on voting for ‘not great’ policy and how he wants to fix it
David Pocock admits that sometimes he has had to vote for policy he doesn’t fully agree with. The first-term Senator came into parliament with the best intentions to avert the climate crisis, but has sometimes found himself having to work to make legislation he thinks is bad, a little bit better.
Today, Independent Senator David Pocock on his new bill and whether he’s always lived up to his own duty of care for future generations.
Why Peter Dutton is stealing from Martin Luther King Jr
The iconic words of Martin Luther King Jr are now being used to further the exact causes that the civil rights activist would have opposed. In the United States, conservatives quoted him to celebrate the supreme court’s ban on affirmative action based on race in university admissions.
Here people like Peter Dutton and the former attorney-general George Brandis are invoking MLK to rally opponents of the Voice to Parliament.
Inside the leaking of the Lehrmann trial inquiry
It was an inquiry meant to get to the bottom of why the trial of Bruce Lehrmann had to be abandoned. Its goal was to improve the justice system and how it handles sexual assault cases. Instead, the inquiry has ended in a complete shambles.
Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton, on how an inquiry meant to bring healing, ended up doing so much damage.
Why politicians are doomed if they ignore renters
The rental crisis in Australia shows no signs of slowing – rents have spiralled and many tenants are at breaking point. But in a country where renters have been overlooked, is there political will to address rising rents? And would capping rents actually even work?
Today, former Labor campaign strategist turned pollster, and director of the Redbridge Group, Kos Samaras, on why the major parties could face a rebellion from voters if they ignore renters any longer.
‘What about me?’: Why support for the Voice is slipping
A win in the referendum is looking less assured than ever and the cost of living crisis has almost everyone feeling miserable.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace on how economic pain is hurting the Voice campaign and what Labor will do if the referendum is lost.
‘More likely to store carbon on the moon’: Australia’s deep sea dump
What if solving the climate crisis was as easy as dumping and burying our carbon emissions in the ocean? Capturing carbon and storing it under the seabed is an idea that the Labor government is trying to legislate in parliament — and they’ll likely have enough support to get it up.
If it seems like it’s too good to be true, climate experts say, that’s because it is.
The deal for teachers that went horribly wrong
The teacher shortage across Australia has left public school educators feeling burnt out and undervalued – that’s if they haven’t already quit. In NSW, a plan to make the state’s teachers among the highest paid in the country helped Labor win the election this year.
But months after entering into pay negotiations and on the verge of announcing a historic deal, the union is accusing the NSW government of reneging, breaking a core election promise to teachers and severely wounding a relationship that helped the premier to power.
The Matildas will have to battle friends and rivals to win
Tonight, the Matildas face some familiar foes when they go up against England in Sydney. Many in the Matildas squad play club football in England, and in some cases they’ll be going toe-to-toe with their club teammates.
Today, Fox Sports News presenter and women’s sports advocate Sam Squiers on the battle ahead for the Matildas.
Centrelink’s dodgy maths goes well beyond robo-debt
Centrelink used the same bad maths as the illegal robo-debt scheme to raise debts estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars from more than 100,000 welfare recipients – with some even facing prosecution. The revelation shatters any illusion that defective administration was contained to a single program, and points to deep structural issues in our welfare system.
Today, Rick Morton on who was responsible and the damage it has caused.
Why it’s important to listen to Lidia Thorpe. Even if you’re voting Yes.
A war is still being waged against Indigenous Australians by a colonial state to this day. That is the vision sketched out by Senator Lidia Thorpe this week in a landmark speech. So is a Voice to Parliament really an extension of Australia’s shameful past? Or could it help overcome that trauma?
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Daniel James, on why it’s important to listen to Lidia Thorpe – even if you’re voting yes.
How Australia inspired the UK’s floating detention centre
Asylum seekers in the UK may face a new fate once they arrive: being loaded onto an enormous 10,000-ton barge, floating in a port on the south coast of England. It’s part of a new hardline-migration policy being rolled out by the British government, and it’s being sold to the public with a slogan that will sound familiar to Australians: ‘Stop the boats’.
Today, lawyer Madeline Gleeson from the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW, on how ideas from Australia led to Britain’s floating detention centre.
Leaks reveal abuse in aged care
The aged-care regulator is dismissing thousands of serious incident reports regarding abuse, sexual assault, neglect and even deaths without a proper assessment or, in some cases, any human assessment at all. Staff say serious risks are going unnoticed as a result.
Today, Rick Morton on why the aged care regulator hasn’t been doing its job properly – and how that is failing vulnerable people.
Alan Jones’ radical online comeback
A channel to the right of Sky News has launched in Australia, with powerful and cashed-up backers. ADH TV has all the hallmarks of far right American platforms, but with a very well known Australian at its centre: Alan Jones.
Today, Martin McKenzie-Murray on who’s behind ADH TV and whether Australians have an appetite for far right news.
Surviving in Australia’s hottest towns
In the Northern Territory, remote communities with large Indigenous populations know how to live in extreme heat. But even they say they’re seeing the climate change before their eyes, making their homes less and less liveable. So what lessons can First Nations peoples impart about surviving a hotter future?
Today, Dechlan Brennan on how Indigenous resilience and cultural knowledge can help us cope in a climate crisis.
Albanese’s wasted opportunity
Australia is ageing rapidly, and our country will look very different by the turn of this century. That’s the prediction laid out in the government’s latest intergenerational report, which forecasts the state of the nation.
So, what vision does Labor have in guiding Australia into the future? And how urgently are they addressing these issues?
The Voice: How other countries do it
A Voice to Parliament would be a first for Australia, but it’s not the first of its kind in the world. Norway has had an indigenous-led parliament for more than three decades.
Closer to home, New Zealand has a Maori Voice in Parliament, with specially established seats for indigenous MPs.
Why the mushroom mystery captivates us all
The mysterious case of the suspected death cap mushroom poisoning has left three people in regional Victoria dead – and an international audience wondering how it happened.
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Chloe Hooper on what’s known about the case and why stories like this are so hard to resist.
How China’s tanking economy will hurt Australia
As China’s economic troubles deepen, it’s clear Australia can no longer rely on its largest trading partner to pull it out of trouble. So how did a country known for lifting millions of people out of poverty go so wrong?
Today, Mike Seccombe on China’s financial woes – and the impact it will have on our own economy.
“Yes” chair Rachel Perkins on truths, lies and the Voice
Yesterday, in front of cheering “Yes” campaigners in Adelaide, Anthony Albanese announced the date when Australians will vote on the Voice to Parliament. This is the first referendum to happen in the age of social media and misinformation – making truth in reporting more important than ever.
Today, co-chair of the “Yes” campaign and Arrernte and Kalkadoon woman, Rachel Perkins, on the media’s failings and why it has to do better before polling day.
Can the government fix the gig economy?
Australian workplaces are set to change again – with the Albanese government introducing its second round of industrial relations reform since it was elected.
It could change conditions for casuals and gig economy workers like food delivery riders – but not everyone is happy.
Qantas: the spirit of corporate greed
Qantas has been forced to ditch expiry dates for Covid credits, and faced questioning over its prices and tickets allegedly sold for flights that had already been cancelled. Meanwhile, the government is accused of unfairly propping up Qantas and putting its profits ahead of consumers’ interests.
Today, Rick Morton on chaos at Qantas and whether the government is too cosy with our national carrier.
Is Australia prepared for a second Trump presidency?
Deep inside Australia’s foreign policy and defence establishment, there are whispers that we should be considering an unsettling thought – we could soon be dealing with a second Donald Trump presidency.
Today, associate editor of The Saturday Paper Martin McKenzie-Murray, on Trump, Australia’s dependence on America and the future of our alliance.
Australians have a big car problem
Australia is already off-track with its emissions targets, just one year after setting them. It’s alarming news and it’s partly because emissions on our roads are going up.
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, on Australia’s love affair with big, dirty cars.
‘Liars and cowards’ in the ADF
The royal commission into veteran suicides is probing the ugliest parts of the Australian Defence Force and casting doubt on its ability to protect the wellbeing and safety of its people. One former military chaplain says when she sought advice after being assaulted by a colleague, she was told to deal with it herself.
Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton on lies, cowardice and poor leadership in the ADF.
The second referendum nobody asked for
The first week of the referendum campaign started with an unmistakable voice: John Farnham. His iconic hit is now the anthem for “Yes” voters – but for “No” voters the ad is superficial and panders to emotions rather than giving concrete reasons to support the Voice.
Today, Daniel James on the early day strategies of both camps and the potential for things to become more toxic as the campaign proceeds.
Why speaking up in Australia is punished
Speaking up when you see something wrong is too hard in Australia. People who’ve spoken up about corporate fraud and dodgy government deals, and even those who’ve exposed war crimes, have faced life-altering consequences.
Now, for the first time, there’s a service dedicated to whistleblowers, to offer them support as they bring the truth to light for the rest of us.
Why didn't Labor agree to a rent freeze?
The government says its key policy on affordable and social housing will pass the senate this week – after securing the support of the Greens yesterday. The Greens had hoped to force the government to impose a cap on rents, but after months of tense debate, the bill will pass without a rent freeze.
So how did rent caps become such a sticking point? Are they even possible in Australia? And do they actually work?
‘Twiggy’ Forrest: Climate messiah or billionaire opportunist?
As the founder of one of the world’s biggest mining companies, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest has done more to advance global heating than some small countries. But Twiggy has more recently become an advocate for climate action, and is betting the future of his empire on a green transition.
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Marc Moncrief on the chaos at Fortescue, and whether Twiggy really is a climate messiah.
Putin, Kim Jong-Un and a luxury train ride
A secretive journey aboard an armoured luxury train has transported North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un into Russia for a meeting with Vladimir Putin. It’s a trip with a high-stakes agenda, as North Korea has something that Russia wants: weapons and ammunition to help in its fight against Ukraine.
So, what could this deal lead to in Ukraine, and could it threaten security in Australia’s region?
Leaks reveal ‘No’ tactics
It felt like only a matter of time before we’d begin to hear allegations of dirty tricks in the leadup to the referendum. This week, leaked documents and warped headlines have exposed the tactics that are being used to push the “No” vote.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on how the strategies to reject the Voice are reverberating through the halls of power.
‘The Alan Joyce slayer’: The woman taking on Qantas
When companies take advantage of consumers by misleading them, selling faulty products, or breaking promises, there’s a body that steps in – the ACCC. Its chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, has launched cases against some of Australia’s biggest corporations.
The latest, targeting Qantas, is seeking a record-breaking penalty from the airline.
What the Voice polls aren't telling you
The ‘Yes’ campaign is struggling in the Voice referendum, according to the polls. Many have already all but called the outcome of the vote for the ‘No’ side. But there is a glimmer of hope for the ‘Yes’ camp, with undecided voters numbering in the millions. Who will be able to win them over?
Today, Mike Seccombe on what we know about undecided voters, and what the polls really mean.
The media's campaign against trans kids
Transgender people in Australia are facing rising levels of hate and discrimination – and according to advocates, irresponsible media reporting is partly to blame.
Some outlets have focused on stories of transgender people transitioning back to the sex they were assigned at birth, despite this being an extremely rare and complex experience among the trans community.
‘Why I’m on trial for protesting climate change’
Earlier this year, climate activist Joana Partyka illegally spray painted Woodside Energy’s logo on a painting in the Art Gallery of Western Australia, to call for an end to the company’s controversial Burrup Hub project. She was charged and found guilty of criminal damage.
But her interaction with the police didn’t end there – Western Australia’s counter-terrorism unit soon came knocking.
Is the ‘No’ campaign imploding?
A series of contradictory public statements from “No” campaigners has shown there are divisions in the team arguing the case against the Voice to Parliament. There have been inconsistencies in their views on treaties, Australia Day and the proposal for a second referendum.
Today, Paul Bongiorno on whether the tensions in the “No” camp will make a difference on polling day.
The Albanese interview: There's still hope for the Voice
Anthony Albanese shares what makes him so personally invested in the Voice, whether he got the timing of the referendum wrong and what he thinks Australia will look like if we vote “Yes”.
Is Australia about to waste our biggest opportunity?
When US President Joe Biden was looking at how to make the world’s largest economy switch to electricity, he turned to an Australian… Dr Saul Griffith had a seat at the table as the future of American industry was sketched out.
So how will America’s plan affect Australia? Are we adapting fast enough? And what’s the cost if we don’t?
Inside Lachlan's plans for the Murdoch empire
Rupert Murdoch changed the face of global media –- now, at 92, he’s finally stepping down from his empire and giving it to his son, Lachlan. Only a few years ago, it would have been an unthinkable succession, given their estrangement.
But Rupert and his eldest son reconciled and the elder Murdoch is ready to let Lachlan’s vision take shape. So, what is that vision, and what does it mean for the media in Australia?
Olympus has fallen: Dan Andrews is gone
Dan Andrews was a premier like no other. As Labor’s longest-serving Victorian leader he provoked outrage, conspiracies and adoration beyond his state’s borders.
Today, associate editor of The Saturday Paper Martin Mckenzie-Murray on the duality of Dan and what made him into a controversial, but extremely popular leader.
The Pezzullo texts: How power really works in Canberra
Texts from Mike Pezzullo, the secretary of Home Affairs, to a Liberal Party powerbroker appear to show a bureaucrat who wasn’t adhering to his duty of impartiality. The messages show a senior public servant bad-mouthing ministers, attacking political decisions and attempting to influence portfolio appointments.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno, on how Pezzullo’s secret correspondence reveals a bigger problem in the public service.
The woman fighting to end sex discrimination in Australia
Australia has a new Sex Discrimination Commissioner. Anna Cody will be tasked with tackling discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation and gender.
Today, the country’s top protector of gender equality explains why it’s time for the country to take a wider view when it comes to building a fairer society.
How an Australian pastor is influencing the presidential race
To become the Republican nominee, Ron DeSantis knows who he needs to win over: religious Americans who oppose things like abortion and gay rights. He’s called upon an unlikely figure for help – an Australian preacher known for his outspoken conservative views.
So, who is Jesse Newman? Contributor to The Saturday Paper Elle Hardy joins the show.
Is Australia about to burn again?
Over the weekend, 85 fires blazed across New South Wales. Fires remained out of control in Victoria’s Gippsland yesterday, and more threatened homes in rural Queensland. For many, it conjures fears about a repeat of the 2019 Black Summer.
Today, the man who anticipated that catastrophe and tried to warn the government, Greg Mullins.
Micheline Lee on fixing the NDIS
It’s just over a decade since the NDIS, the scheme to support Australians living with a disability, was called the social reform of a generation. Last week, it was called out in the Disability Royal Commission report as a system in desperate need of attention.
Today, Micheline Lee on what’s wrong with the NDIS – and how we can fix it.
Is this week a turning point for ‘Yes’?
While the “Yes” camp has been losing support in the Voice to Parliament referendum campaign, polls show it’s making a comeback and has even flipped some outspoken “No” voters. So, what’s behind the change, and will the “No” camp be able to maintain its lead?
Today, Rachel Withers on how Voice supporters are convincing voters and what’s in store for the campaign’s final week.
The Fight for a Voice: The road to the referendum
On October 14, we will be asked a question to which we must answer yes or no. While the question itself is simple, the issues in and around the debate over the proposed alteration to the nation’s founding document are anything but simple.
To understand how we got here and why we are voting on a Voice to Parliament, it’s important to understand what happened to the last consultative body for Indigenous people.
The Fight for a Voice: The progressives voting ‘No’
What has been dubbed the “progressive No” case comes from a very different direction than the conservative “No” campaign, yet it reaches the same conclusion. So what is its objection to the Voice?
Today we speak to the face of the “progressive No” case, Senator Lidia Thorpe.
The Fight for a Voice: Inside the case for ‘Yes’
The “Yes” campaign set out to accomplish a rare feat in Australian politics: to win a majority of Australians and a majority of states. That is, to win a referendum.
So how was the campaign built? And can it really overcome the huge challenge in time for polling day?
The Fight for a Voice: The conservative case for ‘No’
There was a time when conservatives could have supported the Voice, by backing a proposal brought by Indigenous Australians at the request of then prime minister Tony Abbott. Instead, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, after months of equivocation, decided to reject the Voice.
So how did it come to this? What damage is the rhetoric of conservatives doing to public debate? And do they really want to do anything to close the gap?
The Fight for a Voice: The future
Tomorrow, Australia will vote on the future of reconciliation. It’s a binary question, but we’re being asked to consider the country’s relationship with the First Australians and how we want to conduct political discourse.
This final episode in the series, looks at the two different Australias we are choosing between, with someone who has spent her life in the struggle for reconciliation and understanding: Professor Marcia Langton.
'No' wins: Is this the end of reconciliation?
Australia has voted in the first referendum in over 20 years; a referendum billed as the culmination of decades of reconciliation work.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Daniel James, on what the result reveals about the country and where we go to from here.
The ‘true elite’ behind the ‘No’ win
The “No” campaign’s victory was anything but assured 12 months ago. It’s victory came from the elevation of key spokespeople and talking points, cooked up by a group most Australians have never heard of: the CIS.
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, on the secretive groups that crafted negative messaging and elevated key leaders in the successful “No” campaign.
What would an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza mean?
The international community could soon bear witness to the ground invasion of Gaza, one of the most densely populated residential areas in the world. That is how Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Israel appears to have decided to retaliate after the recent attack by Hamas.
Today, world editor of The Saturday Paper Jonathan Pearlman on what’s happening in Gaza and why this new war could reshape the Middle East.
Right-wing politics and the lie of 'activist judges'
In Australia, there’s concern an anti-court movement against our High Court is borrowing tactics from the United States.
Today, lawyer and author of Courting Power Isabelle Reinecke, on the threat of the anti-court movement on Australia’s justice system and why the High Court needs to be protected.
‘Totally f***ed you over’: Australia’s reputation on climate
At a global summit in New York last month, you’d be forgiven for thinking Australia was a climate leader, after being praised for partnering with a small pacific nation facing the worst consequences of climate change.
Today, Director of the Australia Institute's Climate & Energy program and contributor to The Saturday Paper, Polly Hemming, on how Australia’s style of climate negotiating is distracting the world from our climate truths.
Treaty: Is it possible after a Voice defeat?
After the Voice to Parliament was rejected, attention shifted to Canberra this week to ask, what’s next? But for those who held out any hope our politicians had a plan prepared to address Indigenous disadvantage, they were sorely mistaken.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper, Daniel James, on whether there’s a path to treaty, and what the debate will now look like in a new chapter of Indigenous affairs.
Thomas Mayo on what follows the Voice
Thomas Mayo, one of the most prominent “Yes” campaigners for the referendum, is still reeling from its defeat. But after observing a week of silence along with other Indigenous leaders, he’s had time to reflect on the campaign’s loss and on his own regrets.
Today, author and contributor to The Saturday Paper Thomas Mayo on what went wrong, who’s to blame and what comes next.
‘Payment suspended’: Private companies pause 400,000 welfare payments
In Australia, if you’re on welfare your payment can be suspended by a for-profit, private company – even if you’ve done nothing wrong.
Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on how this happens and the tens of thousands of jobseekers at risk in a system that’s entrenching poverty.
‘Too slow’: Zali Steggall assesses Labor’s climate action
Independent MP Zali Steggall was elected on a platform of stronger climate action. Now she is calling for urgent changes to Australia’s climate targets to include every sector in the economy.
Today, Member for Warringah Zali Steggall on what climate action she wants to see next, and why the government isn’t aiming high enough.
Secret hostage negotiations and the delayed invasion in Gaza
Calls are growing louder for a ceasefire, or at least a “humanitarian truce”, in the conflict between Israel and Hamas. But though several hostages have been freed, hundreds are still held by Hamas – can Israel invade without putting their lives at risk?
Today, world editor of The Saturday Paper Jonathan Pearlman on the secretive hostage negotiations, and why Israel’s ground invasion appears to be delayed.
What was the point of Albanese’s US trip?
This week, Anthony Albanese was given the highest honour a guest of the US president can receive, a state dinner – attended by powerbrokers from Washington and Hollywood. But while the PM was riding high in the US, back home his government is polling at its lowest levels since their election.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno, on why Labor is losing popularity, and what they’ll need to do to win it back.
Inside the new China-Australia relationship
For three years, China and Australia had virtually frozen their diplomatic ties – our largest trading partner and regional superpower was not picking up the phone. But there’s been a rapid turnaround in the relationship. Ahead of a visit this week by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, we’ve seen the release of Australian journalist Cheng Lei and the scrapping of trade tariffs.
Today, fresh from a trip to Beijing, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper, Karen Middleton, on whether we’re entering a new era in Australia’s relationship with China.
Why Australia refused to vote on a truce in Gaza
Over the weekend, Israel said it was entering the ‘second stage of war’ with Hamas. Meanwhile, a majority of countries at the UN general assembly voted in support of a humanitarian truce. So, why did Australia abstain from the vote?
Today, world editor for The Saturday Paper, Jonathan Pearlman, on what the ground invasion means for Gaza and how the rest of the world is viewing the crisis in the Middle East.
'Interests not friends': Australia's $368 billion submarine gamble
The AUKUS submarine deal isn’t just one of the biggest spends our government has ever made, it also promises to transform Australia’s military relationship with the United States. So, will it really protect us?
Today, spokesperson on Defence for the Australian Greens, Senator David Shoebridge, on whether Australia’s $368 billion submarine deal will be worth it.
Israel, Hamas and what comes next
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to destroy Hamas and prevent it from ever launching another attack like the one on October 7 – but is that even possible?
Today, Ian Parmeter on the history of Hamas, and what would take its place if it were removed from Gaza.
Are our leaders playing politics with war?
While Australians are distressing and grieving over the escalating human disaster that is the Israel-Hamas war - the political debate over Australia’s response is becoming more fractious. Splits are emerging not just between the major parties, but within them.
Today, Paul Bongiorno on the loss of bipartisanship over the conflict in the Middle East and the fault lines between friends and colleagues.
From ‘jokers’ to right-wing slogan masters
Advance, a right-wing campaigning group, has gained enormous ground in the past few years, and played a crucial role in defeating the Voice referendum. So who are they? And what are they after next?
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, on how a mysterious, once ridiculed group has become a powerful political force.
Monique Ryan on the fight to free Julian Assange
The latest attempt to free Julian Assange has united an unlikely band of politicians: members of the Greens, Labor, the Coalition and Independents recently travelled to the US to call for Assange’s release.
Today, Independent member for Kooyong and member of the delegation to Washington, DC, Monique Ryan, on whether Australia’s pleas to free Julian Assange are being heard in the US.
A game-changing victory for renters
Renters across Australia are facing a worsening housing crisis. With hikes in rents and growing complaints about the quality of living in rental homes, many are at breaking point. But now, a High Court judgement has redrawn the relationship between tenants and landlords.
Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on how one community’s fight will change the rights of renters nationwide.
'Handsome boy': Albanese meets Xi Jinping
It’s been a long time coming, but Prime Minister Anthony Albanese finally met Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. So how did it go? Why are both leaders so keen to restore ties? And can the relationship be repaired without compromise?
Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton, on Albanese’s four days in China.
The war’s impact on children in Gaza
Jason Lee is Save the Children’s country director for the occupied Palestinian territories. Now, his organisation is one of 18 international aid agencies that have jointly called for a ceasefire. Israel, however, says it can’t enter a ceasefire until hostages taken by Hamas are freed and the group is removed from power.
Today, Save the Children’s Jason Lee on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and world editor for The Saturday Paper, Jonathan Pearlman, on why a ceasefire isn’t happening in the Middle East.
Who’s driving inflation? (hint: they’re older and wealthier)
Last week, the RBA was so concerned about the cost of living it hiked interest rates for the thirteenth time, saying that’s the only way to slow down the spending that’s pushing prices higher.
But who is doing the spending? And how do they have money to throw around?
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, on the Australians still spending big and why it means more economic pain for the rest of us.
Heather was eligible for parole, but she died in custody
The parole system exists to help people in prison who are no longer deemed a risk to the community begin to re-enter society.
But the death in custody of an Indigenous woman who had been eligible for release for a year has raised questions about whether the laws are too strict.
Today, Denham Sadler on the consequences of Victoria’s parole laws, and the case for further reform.
The murder of Lilie James and the culture at private schools
The murder of a young woman at an elite private school, and the reaction from a former principal, has highlighted a broader culture of privilege in which young boys are protected from consequence or culpability.
Today, Rick Morton on the murder of Lilie James, and what it tells us about our most elite institutions.
Will the Israel-Hamas war expand to Lebanon?
If it wasn’t for the images of devastation emerging from Gaza in the Israel-Hamas war, this conflict would have the world on edge.
It is happening just a few hundred kilometres to the north of Gaza, on the border between Lebanon and Israel – Hezbollah, the most powerful non-state military force in the world, is getting involved.
Today, world editor of The Saturday Paper Jonathan Pearlman, on what happens if Israel and Hezbollah go to war.
‘Extremely dangerous’: Did Dutton’s question go too far?
This week, Anthony Albanese and Peter Dutton clashed in a fiery parliamentary confrontation some have labelled ‘extremely dangerous’.
Are our politicians equipped to moderate this divisive debate? Or are they doing more harm than good?
Ali Jan’s family speaks: We want to testify against Australian troops
In September of 2012, Australian soldiers descended on the rural village of Darwan in Afghanistan, killing four men. The events of that day were central to the defamation action brought by Ben Roberts-Smith, where the court found it was substantially true that he had kicked Ali Jan, an Afghan villager, off a cliff and ordered his execution.
Ben Roberts-Smith has appealed that decision and the allegations have never been proven to a criminal standard. Today, Michelle Dimasi on the family of Ali Jan and the justice Australia still owes them.
The ‘missing’ robo-debt recommendation
The royal commission into the robo-debt scheme delivered 57 recommendations to the government in July. Four months later, the Albanese government says it has accepted, in full or in principle, “all 56” of the commissioner’s recommendations.
So why has the government chosen to not only ignore the last recommendation, but to pretend it doesn’t exist? Today, Rick Morton on a serious flaw in the robo-debt response.
Why army whistleblower David McBride pleaded guilty
Last week, after a dramatic attempt to keep his legal defence alive, former Australian army lawyer David McBride ultimately decided to plead guilty to charges that could send him to prison.
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace, on what the failure of David McBride’s case means for truth and transparency in Australia.
The ceasefire and the Israel–Hamas war protests
Israel’s government has agreed to a four-day ceasefire with Hamas in exchange for the release of 50 hostages held in Gaza – but promises to push ahead with military operations after the pause ends. The agreement falls short of the total ceasefire that protesters have been calling for.
Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton, on the protests, the parliament and the challenges facing Foreign Minister Penny Wong.
How Australia is taking advantage of one nation’s climate crisis
As climate change threatens to sink small and vulnerable countries, large and powerful ones are seeing an opportunity. As Australia enters a new agreement with one of our pacific neighbours facing climate disaster – are we really helping them or are we just helping ourselves?
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, on the agreement between Australia and Tuvalu.
Lachlan Murdoch’s first big move
At the shareholders meetings for News Corp and Fox Corporation this month, for the first time, Rupert Murdoch wasn’t the star of the show. The meetings signified that the transition of power from the 92-year old mogul to his eldest son, Lachlan, is complete.
Today, host of Schwartz Media podcast Rupert: The Last Mogul and contributor to The Saturday Paper, Paddy Manning, on what’s in store for the next era of the Murdoch empire.
What does the Israel-Hamas ceasefire really mean?
The first brief ceasefire has taken effect in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper and Middle East correspondent for The Economist Gregg Carlstrom, on the ceasefire, how long it could hold and what will happen when the war continues.
Is Australia’s regime of secrecy over?
Critics say Australia may be the world’s most secretive democracy, with a patchwork of laws and obstacles standing in the way of transparency and press freedom.
Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton, on Australia’s secrecy laws and whether the government’s overhaul will go far enough.
The moment boomers cooked the housing market
Australia has one of the most expensive housing markets in the world, with values soaring much faster than wages. So, where did things go so wrong, and can we ever go back to normal?
Today, finance journalist and author of the latest Quarterly Essay,: ‘The Great Divide on Australia’s housing mess and how to fix it’, Alan Kohler.
Is it finally time to change immigration detention?
Over the past few years, Australia’s immigration detention policy, which was once the feature of political debates and elections, has stopped making front page news. That’s until a recent High Court decision deemed Australia’s indefinite detention policy unlawful, leading to the release of over 140 people who had been in indefinite immigration detention.
Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on calls for more accountability in Australia’s hardline immigration regime.
Bruce Lehrmann vs Channel Ten
In searching for the truth, the defamation trial between Bruce Lehrmann and Network Ten has been defined by the discovery of lies.
Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on the lies, the truth and the reputations hanging in the balance.
Why private school kids run the country
While the majority of Australians go through the public school system, pending research reveals that the majority of our politicians did not. So, which politicians went to private schools, and is their lack of lived experience in public education holding back reforms to the sector?
Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper, Mike Seccombe, on why the gap between public and private schools in Australia is widening.
The woman arrested 22 times
It had been over 10 years since anyone in the state of Tasmania was sentenced to prison for protesting. But that all changed, when Colette Harmsen faced court this year. After racking up 22 arrests, a magistrate put her behind bars.
Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Elfy Scott, on the woman who isn’t deterred by jail time and whether direct action leads to meaningful change.
Joe Biden's five 'noes' in the Israel-Hamas war
The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is well and truly over, with the war expanding to include southern Gaza, where many have already fled to escape the destruction in the north. Meanwhile, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu finds himself in disagreement with Israel’s biggest supporter, the US, over what should happen after the war ends.
Today, Middle East correspondent for The Economist Gregg Carlstrom, on the reality of the war since the ceasefire ended.
Australia is being toxic about immigrants again
A High Court decision ruling indefinite detention unlawful – leading to the release of 148 immigration detainees, some of whom are criminals – has sparked weeks of toxic political debate about refugees. In the last few days, the government raced to pass new immigration laws that will put an end to it, but the style of debate has already caused damage.
Today, contributing editor of The Politics for The Monthly online, Rachel Withers, on how parliament ended the year on ugly scenes.