National cabinet takes a step towards compulsory jabs for aged care workers

Originally published on AAP/Mick Tsikas National cabinet has taken a step towards making it compulsory for aged care and disability workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This is despite continued hesitancy on the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee – the federal-state expert advisory group – about such a move. Regardless of its doubts, the […]

Here’s what the budget did to get Australians into homes (hint: not much)

Originally published on Among the bolder claims in last month’s budget was that “under the Coalition, home ownership will always be supported”. Since the Howard government took office in 1996, the proportion of Australian households owning the home they live in has fallen from 70% to 66%. The proportion having paid off their mortgage […]

From the Caribbean to Queensland: re-examining Australia’s ‘blackbirding’ past and its roots in the global slave trade

Originally published on South Sea Islander children in Queensland, around 1902-05. Queensland State Library There are moves afoot to scrub colonial businessman Benjamin Boyd’s name from the map. The owners of historic Boydtown on the NSW south coast are planning to change its name, while Ben Boyd National Park may also be renamed. Residents […]

Journalists are not going to stop tweeting. But should media outlets exert more control over their posts?

Originally published on “Not a great week for journalism at the ABC”, News Corp’s Sharri Markson tweeted on Monday, when the week was barely a day old. It is hard to remember the last time a News Corp columnist declared it was a great week for journalism at the ABC. Markson’s tweet linked to […]

Yes, dogs can sniff out COVID. But not after dinner, when they need a nap

Originally published on from The idea of cute puppy dogs playing a role in leading us out of this pandemic is about as tantalising a story anyone could conjure up right now. It’s the type of good-news story you see at the end of the evening news bulletin involving cute animals making us […]

Grattan on Friday: Bringing Scott Morrison to heel

Originally published on Scott Morrison operates on former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson’s well-tried “whatever it takes” principle. “What it takes” in the COVID era is never-ending public money and policy flexibility. We’ve seen both from the Morrison government. It also takes highly competent implementation, of which we are not seeing enough at the moment. […]

Israel’s new government doesn’t give Palestinians much hope. It could be time for a radical approach

Originally published on Even by the standards of previous Israeli coalitions, the new government that’s just been announced includes strange bedfellows. The eight parties in the coalition range from the right-wing nationalist Yamina party to social-democratic Labor and left-wing Meretz. And for the first time in Israeli history, the coalition includes an Arab-Israeli party, […]

There’s a new temporary COVID disaster payment – who can get it? Who is missing out?

Originally published on Mick Tsikas/AAP Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a new temporary payment to support workers locked down in Melbourne. This follows growing pressure to provide specific support to those without work and heading into their second week of lockdown — particularly since JobKeeper ended in March. What is it, who can […]

Belvoir’s The Cherry Orchard is a laugh-out-loud tragedy for uncertain times

Originally published on Peter Carroll and Mandela Mathia in The Cherry Orchard, Belvoir St Theatre. Belvoir/Brett Boardman Review: The Cherry Orchard, directed by Eamon Flack, Belvoir. In 1904, when Anton Chekhov wrote his last and greatest play, The Cherry Orchard, Russia was still 13 years away from the Bolshevik Revolution. But the conditions for […]

Whakaari tragedy: court case highlights just how complex it is to forecast a volcanic eruption

Originally published on Phil Walter/Getty Images While today’s pre-trial hearing over the Whakaari White Island tragedy revealed most of the 13 parties charged have yet to enter pleas, there is no disputing the basic facts. The December 9 2019 eruption struck when 47 people were on the small island; 22 people died and survivors […]