manus nauru asylum seeker


Returning Médecins Sans Frontières health workers have called for the immediate evacuation of all remaining refugees from Nauru, reporting 78 cases of attempted suicide, suicidal ideation, or self harm amongst refugees as young as nine years old.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, MSF watched the mental health among people seeking asylum housed on Nauru deteriorate at an “absolutely devastating” state over their 11 months of psychological and psychiatric work on the island, particularly after the US rejected about 70 people under “extreme vetting” in May. MSF’s eviction follows multiple allegations that Nauru has begun criminilising suicide and mental illnesses.

The reports also come as the Queensland coroner prepares for a year-long inquest into the death of 24-year-old Omid Masoumali, who died after setting himself on fire in front of UN officials in 2016, in order to determine intent.

For anyone seeking help, Lifeline is on 13 11 14, and Beyond Blue is 1300 22 4636. Headspace and ReachOut have useful mental health resources for young people.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has accused Fairfax Media of deliberately misrepresenting the religious freedoms review in a Sky News interview, and argued against expelling children on the basis of their sexuality or gender.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Morrison has also claimed that the (still unreleased) report recommends tightening laws to focus on child welfare, a claim echoed by Attorney-General Christian Porter and review chair Philip Ruddock. However, Fairfax Federal Editor Bevan Shields has also hit back at claims that earlier reports were inaccurate.

Either way, Morrison plans to keep the report confidential until cabinet has finalised its position, a decision slammed by everyone from the IPA to Labor. Finally, crossbench senator Derryn Hinch will move a motion next week calling to strip funding from schools that discriminate against LGBTIQ students or teachers.


Australian opening batsman Usman Khawaja has helped deliver an incredible draw in the first test against Pakistan overnight.

The ABC reports that, facing a 462 run deficit, Australia managed to survive the final innings eight wickets down, largely on the back off Khawaja’s 141-run, eight-and-a-half-hour streak. After Pakistan’s legspinner Yasir Shah took Khawaja, Mitchell Starc, and Peter Siddle within the space of eight balls, Australia captain Tim Paine and number 10 batsman Nathan Lyon held out for a tense final hour.


It’s a very brave state that is going into a summit that is going to be tough, that says ‘we’re not going to support the reliability obligation’.

Angus Taylor

Australia’s energy minister holds out on the idea that ignoring emissions targets at the upcoming COAG meeting counts as brave or tough ($).


“In retrospect, that Morrison has some obsession with LGBTIQ issues emerged just days after he became prime minister, when, out of the blue, he used social media to share a false, transphobic Daily Telegraph story, adding ‘we do not need “gender whisperers” in our schools. Let kids be kids.’ That was shortly after he agreed with broadcaster Alan Jones that classroom references to bisexuality and lesbianism ‘made his skin curl’ [sic]. Jones himself is a supporter of marriage equality, in contrast to Morrison, who strongly opposed it.”

“Most of the public relations experts Crikey has spoken to think that, overall, the kerfuffle was good for the race. Former Age editor and communications expert Mike Smith said that while the adage ‘all publicity is good publicity’ doesn’t always apply, it does in this case — for Racing NSW, at least.”

“‘Sexually active people take fewer sick days.’ This statement, made by one Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD, is specifically of the type I take care to avoid when visiting the website WebMD, which I do usually at 2AM on a weekday morning and always to moor my anxiety in some sort of serious disease. I’m there for pictures of tumours. I’m not looking for upbeat hints from sexperts. Not then. Not ever.”


Outlook conference: Bill Shorten to shake up bank superannuation ($)

‘All hell breaks loose’ as rain, hail, tornadoes, lash SEQ

Labor vows to redraft My Health Record legislation

Ian Henderson tried to leave the ABC — but the studio refused to let him go

Nurses warned over industrial disruption, with hospital strike threat bound for tribunal ($)

Energy chief says electricity would continue uninterrupted if coal phased out within 30 years

The NT Children’s Commissioner has launched an Own Initiative Investigation after alleged sexual assault of 5-year-old girl ($)

NSW Young Nationals stacked by Clifford Jennings and Neo-Nazis

ANZ failed to meet human rights standards: government report

Outlook conference: Morrison soaks up Costello criticisms over economy ($)

This week from the New York Times

Horse Racing Ad on Sydney Opera House Ignites Debate: Is All Australia for Sale?

The End of the Australian Miracle?

Khashoggi’s Disappearance Puts Kushner’s Bet on Saudi Crown Prince at Risk

What makes ‘The Good Place’ so good?

A Wild Country Party in Australia Proves a Balm for Rural Loneliness

Sign up for the Australia Letter from The New York Times, a free weekly dispatch with global perspective from bureau chief, Damien Cave.


Uniting Church’s Fair Treatment: sensible drug policy ($) — Richard Branson (The Australian): “Almost a half century ago, US president Richard Nixon launched the ‘war on drugs’. It has been an irredeemable global disaster ever since. Wind back another 50 years and there was a clue that prohibition wouldn’t work. Criminalising the use of alcohol had led to the rise of the mafia and Al Capone’s murderous regime. A ruthless underworld brewed toxic hooch in bathtubs and decent Americans died.”

Why the Opera House backlash was so fierce: we’ve just had enough — Waleed Aly (Sydney Morning Herald): “The most instructive part of this week’s Opera House furore was the parade of politicians who seemed so baffled it had even become an issue. ‘People should chill out a bit,’ advised Labor’s Anthony Albanese – himself so chill about it he apparently went to the trouble of calling into ABC radio to make the point. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison couldn’t understand ‘why people are getting so precious about it’. That, of course, is precisely what’s so damning: he couldn’t even understand it.”

Earthquake families will rebuild, but we can do better ($) — Tim Costello (The Australian): “Seeing the huge need of people affected by this destruction reminds me again of how Australia must do more to help the world’s most vulnerable. The Australian government has cut its aid dramatically during the past five years. The savings to its budget have come at the expense of our international reputation and the world’s poorest people. They don’t vote, so our government can get away with it.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Sir Richard Branson will head a Uniting-led campaign to lobby the NSW government to decriminalise drugs.

  • The ICAC inquiry into claims of improper conduct at the now-defunct Canterbury City Council will hear from next witness Peter Jackson.

  • Planners and developers from Battersea Power Station, London and New York’s Hudson Yards will headline alongside local Sydney property experts at the Urban Taskforce’s Creating Communities conference.

  • The Art Gallery NSW will preview Masters of Modern, an exhibition from the Hermitage, with senior Russian dignitaries from the St Petersburg State Hermitage Museum and Dutch visual artist Saskia Boddeke.


  • Day two of the Outlook Conference 2018 will include panellists such as Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge and Shadow Minister Anthony Albanese.

  • A 30,000-strong petition will be presented to Road Safety Minister Luke Donnellan to demand horse-drawn carriages be banned from Victorian roads.

  • After three years, local street-art collective Juddy Roller and artist Matt Adnate will finish the tallest mural in the Southern Hemisphere on the 20-storey, city-facing wall of the Collingwood Housing Estate.


  • Chief of joint operations Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld will conduct a round table briefing on the Australian Defence Force’s domestic, regional and global operations.

  • Senate inquiry reports will be tabled on: Social Security Legislation Amendment (Community Development Program) Bill 2018; Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2018; and My Health Record laws and system.

  • ANZ Bank will appear before the Standing Committee on Economics’ review of the four major banks.


  • Former foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop will address a Business News Success and Leadership event.

  • Senators Pauline Hanson and Peter Georgiou will speak at a media conference on One Nation’s call for a Royal Banking Commission to be held in Perth.

  • WA 2018 Australian of the Year Dr Tracy Westerman will speak on destigmatising Indigenous mental health at an Auspire event.


  • Open Minds Australia will present the 2018 Queensland Mental Health Week Achievement Awards.


  • Day one of EnergyLab’s two-day “Future of Energy in Tassie” hackathon.

Launceston, Tasmania

  • Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation members will stop work over a pay and conditions dispute with the government.


  • Today is World Arthritis Day.

Windsor, England

  • Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie will marry Jack Brooksbank.