What does a second lockdown mean for us all?
JULY 11, 2020

As the country’s full attention turned to the coronavirus resurgence in Melbourne this week, so did ours in the Crikey bunker. Like most Australians, we’ve been thinking about what a second lockdown means for us — for the community, for the economy, for universities. We’ve been asking how we got here at all, with David Hardaker investigating the security companies contracted to police quarantine hotels in Melbourne.

This week we also wrapped up our Inq investigation into Geoffrey Rush’s defamation case against The Daily Telegraph, and shared the questions we still have for the Tele. If you missed the series, you can binge the whole lot here, and listen to the companion podcast too.

Plus, we had Michael Bradley on Today’s decision to give Pauline Hanson airtime; Gina Rushton on how abortion access actually improved for some women during the pandemic; and Janine Perret on how an AMP director “guards” himself against accusations of sexual harassment.

We’d love to hear what you think of these, or any of our other stories from this week. You can write and let us know at [email protected].

Have a great weekend,

Emily Watkins
News Editor

Victoria’s COVID-19 misfortune will repeat elsewhere — again and again

GUY RUNDLE 5 minute read

Other states were quick to condemn Victoria for its second COVID-19 spike, but the second wave is coming for them too, and it will be worse than they imagine.

Channel Nine knows exactly who Pauline Hanson is. And it always has

MICHAEL BRADLEY 4 minute read

When producers at Channel Nine invited Senator Hanson to speak about the lockdown of public housing blocks in Melbourne, they knew exactly what they were doing.

A question of security

Inside the messy world of the security firms at the heart of Victoria’s COVID-19 crisis

DAVID HARDAKER 4 minute read

Daniel Andrews' government has been very aware of the security industry's dodgy behaviour for at least five years.

Foreign ownership and cut corners: hotel quarantine debacle leaves security firms with big questions to answer

DAVID HARDAKER 5 minute read

The disastrous handling of Melbourne's hotel quarantine effort has put security firms firmly in the spotlight.

The sad political epitaph of Mathias Cormann: here lies the man who knifed his PM in the back

AMBER SCHULTZ 3 minute read

Mathias Cormann once had an impeccable reputatation. But as he announces his retirement, he's instead remembered for turning on Malcolm Turnbull.

Why a second lockdown will test governments to the limit

STEPHEN BARTOS 3 minute read

A second lockdown is not the first lockdown on rewind. Governments and their advisers need to show they understand this.

Me Too playbook: how John Fraser ‘guards himself’ against sexual harassment

JANINE PERRETT 3 minute read

An ageing, white man has a plan to guard himself against sexual harassment. For his female staff though? Not so much.

Like an unstoppable virus, neoliberal demands for ‘reform’ are spreading once again
These ideas of austerity, deregulation and punishment of workers are resilient and aggressive. They defy all evidence that they don’t work and they continue to lurk out of sight, for years if need be, waiting for any moment of policymaker weakness to start spreading once again. — Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer

Australia’s economy is under threat from something hard to kill, that lurks unseen, ready to emerge and destroy lives at any opportunity. Also COVID-19.

Sorry Dan, pandemics need clear messages, not media massages


Victoria's leaders left a lot to be desired in letting their citizens know about the lockdowns. Playing media management games showed a serious lack of respect and compassion.

Anatomy of a racist Trump tweet

EDEN GILLESPIE 4 minute read

Crikey talks to the experts about the US president's use of racist language on social media.

Nightmare scenario looms for higher education — but there’s no obvious solution

BERNARD KEANE 2 minute read

Closed borders and a stressed quarantine system are signs of a devastating time ahead for universities dependent on foreign students.

The government has improved abortion access during the pandemic. Doctors are fighting to keep it that way

GINA RUSHTON 3 minute read

To help women safely access abortion services via telehealth, the government would need only to keep doing what services say it has been for decades: nothing.

We asked News Corp what it learned from the Geoffrey Rush case. Here’s what we got back

GEORGIA WILKINS 3 minute read

As the dust settles on News Corp's Geoffrey Rush defamation battle, Inq put some questions to The Daily Telegraph to find out what, if anything, has been learned.

Tax-dodging PwC has no credibility in GST debate

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

PwC and others like it enable companies around the world to avoid paying hundreds of billions of tax dollars, making the poor poorer and the rich richer.

Writing Geoffrey Rush: Trial by Media — and learning the balance of power

AMBER SCHULTZ 4 minute read

Whatever the circumstances of the Geoffrey Rush defamation trial, it's clear that one thing is stopping the momentum of the Me Too movement in Australia: power.