There’s a lot we don’t know about the UK trade agreement we are about to sign

Originally published on We’re being told about the new Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement, but not a lot about most of what’s in it. After an in-principle agreement overnight, Australia released a five-page summary. Australian farmers will benefit from tariff-free access to the UK for limited amounts of Australian beef, lamb, sugar and dairy […]

Let’s talk about what each uni does, but don’t make it a choice between teaching or research

Originally published on Shutterstock Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge has called on Australian universities to “start a conversation about how we can support greater differentiation and specialisation in the university sector. We have 39 comprehensive universities, which may not be an optimal model for the quality of teaching or research in this country.” This […]

Friendlyjordies producer arrest: what is the NSW Police Fixated Persons Investigations Unit and when is it used?

Originally published on (YouTube: Friendlyjordies) A producer for YouTube comedian Friendlyjordies was recently arrested for allegedly stalking and intimidating NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, following investigations by the Fixated Persons Investigations Unit (FPIU) of the NSW police. This unit, set up in the wake of the Lindt café siege, was created to monitor extremists […]

In neglecting the National Archives, the Morrison government turns its back on the future

Originally published on Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND Why didn’t the federal government increase funding for the National Archives of Australia in its recent budget? We know it wasn’t because of budget discipline. Money was splashed around on all sorts of worthy causes. And the emergency funding to save film and magnetic tape recordings […]

The debate over transgender athletes’ rights is testing the current limits of science and the law

Originally published on The petition presented to parliament last week calling for trans women to be excluded from women’s sport is simply the latest round in a difficult and volatile global debate. Organised by Save Women’s Sport Australasia, the petition challenges Sport New Zealand’s “draft guiding principles for the participation of transgender players […]

Boris Johnson overstates Morrison’s climate ambition, as Australia-UK trade agreement reached

Originally published on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson put Scott Morrison on the spot when he told their joint news conference he thought the Australian PM had “declared for net zero by 2050”. When Johnson made the statement a journalist interjected to point out Morrison’s policy was to get to net zero “preferably” by […]

Word from The Hill: the Biloela Tamil family, G7 and the upcoming parliamentary fortnight

Originally published on As well as Michelle Grattan’s usual interviews with experts and politicians about the news of the day, Politics with Michelle Grattan now includes “Word from The Hill”, where all things political will be discussed with members of The Conversations’s politics team. In this episode, politics + society editor Amanda Dunn and […]

Biloela family to be released into community detention – what happens now?

Originally published on Federal immigration minister Alex Hawke has exercised his power to allow the Murugappan family from Biloela to live in the Perth community. The Tamil asylum seeker family was previously held in an “alternative place of detention” (APOD) on Christmas Island. Residence determination, also known as “community detention”, was introduced in 2005 […]

Climate explained: could biofuels replace all fossil fuels in New Zealand?

Originally published on Aleksandar Malivuk/Shutterstock CC BY-ND Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Could biofuels replace all fossil fuels in New […]

The COVID-19 lab-leak hypothesis is plausible because accidents happen. I should know

Originally published on Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images At the conclusion of the G7 summit yesterday, leaders called for a fresh and transparent investigation to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic began. I welcome the renewed interest in the potential “lab-leak” origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It wouldn’t be the […]