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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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Face masks – the million dollar question
Ten key questions on the science of face masks, as experts hunt for consensus.
The broke and the brittle
As the government reveals the extent of the budget deficit, Scott Morrison has become increasingly short in answering questions.
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.
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.
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.
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 Prime Minister for NSW
As the pandemic worsens in Victoria, Scott Morrison has been careful to distance himself from bad news.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zali Steggall’s climate breaker
How a British model to end climate dysfunction is being introduced in parliament and could work here.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Barnaby Joyce’s failed coup
Barnaby Joyce lost his leadership tilt but has reopened a schism in the Coalition on climate policy.
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?
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.
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.
The prime minister and the dung beetle
Don Watson on why Scott Morrison is not really a politician, and how meaning left politics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inside the Westpac scandal
As the fallout from the Westpac scandal continues, attempts are already underway to limit corporate responsibility.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To Howard with love
Paul Bongiorno on how the Liberal Party celebrates and how the National Party brawls.
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.
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.
An error at the Department of Human Services caused the original robo-debt algorithm to restart, issuing thousands of unchecked debt notices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Exclusive: Forfeited to state care
A dispute over funding and the NDIS has forced 500 families to forfeit their children into state care.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Death of the speech
Don Watson on the end of speech making in politics, and how the loss of narrative undermines bold policy.
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.
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.
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 Morrison’s poverty fix
As Scott Morrison announces punitive welfare plans, Rick Morton asks what happens when you treat poverty as a moral problem.
Holding onto Gladys Liu
As some backbenchers express doubt that Gladys Liu can stay in parliament, Scott Morrison is digging in behind his MP.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
As Brian Toohey releases his major book on national security in Australia, he reveals that American spies have been working here without detection.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What Morrison did next
Two weeks after the election, Scott Morrison has identified 10 seats the Coalition wants to win.