Jane Halton seems like an obvious choice to review Australia’s hotel quarantine arrangements. She’s an experienced bureaucrat, already sitting on the National COVID-19 Coordination Committee. But, as conflict of interest reporter Georgia Wilkins reveals today, she’s also a board member of Crown Resorts, which owns hotels involved in those very quarantine schemes. Will voters care, though? According to Bernard Keane, when the next election rolls around, voters will be more interested in how the coming recession has been handled.
As we continue our coverage of the coronavirus crisis, Amber Schultz looks at how universities here and abroad are marketing themselves to international students; Ben Clark asks whether governments should include citizens’ voices in their decisions; and we look at just how much the government’s contact tracing phone app has cost. Plus our usual Virus Watch wrap of the latest COVID-19 news.
Of course the other big story of the day is the release of the so-called Palace Letters, which reveal how much the Queen knew about the Dismissal before it happened. David Hardaker reviews the letters and talks to Jenny Hocking about her long fight to have them made public. We’ve also gone back into our archives for Guy Rundle’s series on the biggest political scandal in Australian history.
Remember Team Australia? Those halcyon days, barely a few months ago, when the nation stood as one and vowed to fight off the pandemic? Well, that intoxicating spirit seems to be seeping away. As Bernard Keane writes, it’s hard to maintain an “all in this together” feeling when some senior business figures and a major media company want a world in which we “learn to live” with a deadly virus.
Of course, learning to live with the virus can mean many things. Some people are buying luxury cars, as Jason Murphy explains. Others are facing a “shadow pandemic” brought on by a rise in unintended pregnancies and a ballooning maternal mortality rate, reports Gina Rushton. Meanwhile Crikey’s resident provocateur-in-chief Guy Rundle makes a broader point: “we are looking for certainties out of the need for certainties, and then attaching them to a situation which offers none.”
Also on COVID-19 today, Adam Schwab looks at why infections are going up while mortality is going down, and Chris Warren writes about the recent outbreak of virus-fuelled fake news. And as always there’s Virus Watch, our wrap up of what’s going on around the country and the world.
If you fancy something different try Stephen Mayne on Woolies and its pokies problem, or Michael Sainsbury on social platform TikTok getting caught up in a tech tit for tat. All that plus the latest Tips and Murmurs and Glenn Dyer’s TV ratings.
Oh, and thanks for being a subscriber to Crikey. We couldn’t do any of this without you.
We are learning a lot more now about the scientific and economic impact of COVID-19 — but what about the psychology that drives peoples’ behaviour during a pandemic?
Today in Crikey, Stephen Bartos explains why it’s much harder to run a second lockdown than a first, Kishor Napier-Raman reveals how the job of looking after residents of Melbourne’s quarantined public housing blocks fell to young volunteers, and Adam Schwab looks at the schadenfreude of non-Victorians. And we’ve got the second part of David Hardaker’s Inq investigation into the security contractors at the centre of the Melbourne outbreak.
Psychology is also central to China’s actions in Hong Kong. Bernard Keane analyses Australia’s response and Michael Sainsbury asks if Australia will come to Taiwan’s aid if it’s the next domino to fall to Chinese hegemony.
Elsewhere, conflict of interest reporter Georgia Wilkins examines who might replace retiring senator Mathias Cormann — and the interests they would be representing. All that plus Andrew P Street on the stories you may have missed this week, Crikey readers sound off in Your Say, the latest COVID-19 updates in Virus Watch, and last night’s TV ratings.
The tentacles of COVID-19 are spreading even further into Australia’s universities. As Bernard Keane and Jason Murphy each report today, there is a looming crisis for the viability of universities if, as seems likely, large numbers of Chinese and Indian students simply don’t return to Australian campuses over the coming months.
We also turn our attention to the outbreak of coronavirus infections in Victoria. In an Inq investigation, David Hardaker delves into the murky world of the security guards policing Melbourne’s quarantine hotels, and we look at how a bit more diversity among decision makers might’ve prevented the outbreak. Guy Rundle calls for some real leadership, while Keane explains why more fiscal stimulus is inevitable (and correct).
Me Too is our other topic de jour: Janine Perrett reports on the AMP director who guards himself against sexual harassment, and Amber Schultz tells what she learned from investigating the Geoffrey Rush defamation fiasco. And, as always, we have Tips and Murmurs, Virus Watch and last night’s TV ratings.
In yesterday’s Crikey, we talked about Australia’s new normal. Today, we’re living it.
Kishor Napier-Raman and Bernard Keane look at the techniques the Victorian government is using to massage its messages at this critical time. We also look at why the government’s much-vaunted COVIDSafe app is no longer vaunted, and check in on the vibe on the Victorian-NSW border, while Gina Rushton looks at one silver lining from the pandemic — how abortion access has actually improved for some women.
We also have politics editor Keane on the shaky tax credentials of the government’s tax adviser, conflict of interest reporter Georgia Wilkins on the NSW government’s rorts scandal, and economist Jason Murphy on the mysteries of Australia’s vast defence budget. And we conclude Inq’s 10-part series on how The Daily Telegraph attempted to take down Geoffrey Rush — and ask the newspaper’s editor a series of questions about its professional behaviour. (You can listen to the companion podcast here)
Welcome to the new normal. A world of starting, stopping, surging, suppressing. A world where governments and policymakers are muddling their way through a pandemic and an economic crisis without a compass. Today in Crikey, Bernard Keane and Guy Rundle delve into the entrails of this strange new reality.
Elsewhere we unbundle the curious economic new normal where the government money tap will (and should) be gushing for a long time. Yet it’s business as usual for TV producers booking Pauline Hanson. Michael Bradley descends into the racist sewer of what Hanson contributes as a commentator — and the (lack of) consequences for the broadcasters who host her.
We’re also continuing our Inq investigation into the defamation trial between Geoffrey Rush and The Daily Telegraph, while reporters Georgia Wilkins and Amber Schultz also break down just how much the case has cost the Tele (hint: it’s a LOT more than just the record damages bill). You can also listen to all four parts of the companion podcast here.
All that plus John Fitzgerald on how a NSW parliamentary staffer’s Chinese propaganda course isn’t that big a deal, along with the latest coronavirus updates in Virus Watch, Tips and Murmurs from the Crikey bunker and last night’s TV ratings.
Mathias Cormann was doing so well as finance minister: likeable, collegial, smart, pragmatic, even respected by his opponents. Then, seemingly from nowhere, he delivered a “mortal wound” to Malcolm Turnbull’s prime ministership, and he’s now announced his retirement from politics to be remembered as… a traitorous bastard. Amber Schultz looks at how a nice guy finished last.
Also in today’s Crikey we continue our 10-part reconstruction of Geoffrey Rush’s defamation case against The Daily Telegraph. Catch acts five and six below, or read the whole series, and listen to the podcast, online right now. We’ve also got Karen O’Connell on how women almost always lose in sexual harassment cases, and Christopher Warren on the tactics of tabloid trashiness in the wake of the Telegraph‘s Rush debacle.
Continuing today’s destructive theme, Toby Ralph asks whether there might be a better way to address history’s bad actors than ripping down their statues, and social media editor Eden Gillespie deconstructs Donald Trump’s racist tweets.
All that plus William Bowe on the washup from Saturday’s byelection in Eden-Monaro, Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer on what the latest trade data means for our economy and all your regular favourites including Virus Watch, Tips and Murmurs and Glenn Dyer’s TV ratings.
As gripping as our coverage of the Tele and Geoffrey Rush is, there’s a lot more than tabloid trash in Crikey today.
Meanwhile Janine Perrett digs behind the Male Champions of Change, William Bowe previews the Eden-Monaro byelection, and Clinton Fernandes looks at what this week’s defence update really means for Australia.
Today Inq kicks off a special series on the trial of Geoffrey Rush. It’s a story about reckless journalism. About one desperate Murdoch newspaper that sacrificed tried and true practice to grab a scoop. About the damage inflicted on two people, their families and friends by that scoop, the subsequent defamation trial and the newspaper’s failed appeal.
Crikey travels the borderline between healthy scepticism and downright cynicism. We really do try to keep on the former side, though sometimes the latter proves tempting.
Take, for instance, today’s defence announcement, billed as a massive military build-up — but, as Bernard Keane writes, there is no increase in spending. Likewise, Bernard offers a robust, factual take on the GST on occasion of its much-hyped 20-year birthday today. It simply hasn’t delivered what the Howard government promised. But hey, who expects the voters to remember, right?
Meantime, Michael Sainsbury looks at the dire turn of events in Hong Kong, former senior bureaucrat Stephen Bartos sifts through the RBA’s economic views, and Conflicts of Interest reporter Georgia Wilkins looks at a new report into (failed) efforts to monitor lobbying.
On the COVID front, Kishor-Napier Raman and Amber Schultz see a silver lining — fewer flu deaths so far this season — and there’s the daily wrap of what’s going around the world in Virus Watch. Kishor also takes a squiz at the career of News Corp’s latest climate warrior (talk about scepticism), Charlie Lewis brings us Tips and Murmurs, and Glenn Dyer runs the ruler over last night’s TV ratings.
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