Plus: Liberal senator calls Morrison 'unfit to be PM'
APRIL 2, 2022

It was supposed to be Josh Frydenberg’s week. The federal budget was a final chance for the Coalition to win back voters ahead the election in May. And as Bernard Keane writes, it didn’t disappoint, with bribes for almost everyone (except, of course, every underpaid aged care worker and, you know, the entire higher education and arts sectors).

But why is the government handing out cash in what is, by their own accounts, a booming economy? Whatever the case, any hope of riding a rainbow of revenue into the election came crashing down just minutes after the treasurer finished his speech. Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells let loose on the PM under parliamentary privilege, calling him a “bully” and an “autocrat”.

Of course Morrison dismissed it as sour grapes from the senator, who had just lost her preselection. Did Crikey buy that? Of course not.

Have a great weekend,

Georgia Wilkins
News editor

A budget bulging with big bribes

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

This is a plan that will be defunct the moment polls close on election day — no matter who wins.

The fine print

Same old losers: arts sector, human rights cut deep by the federal budget


The budget had its share of 'everyone's a winner' hype, but a few sectors quietly lost out, suffering potential fatal cuts.

Aged care workers left at the station in government gravy train

BERNARD KEANE 2 minute read

The aged care sector has been overlooked in Josh Frydenberg’s big spending budget.

Josh Frydenberg’s rainbow of revenue 

BERNARD KEANE 2 minute read

The treasurer has been hit in the arse with a rainbow. But where has all the money come from?

Hip pocket relief in sight if forecasts are right

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

According to economic theory, Australia’s current sustained period of unemployment will push inflation up. The government’s budget claims the opposite.

Gender, violence and safety a priority, but unknowns remain

JOSEFINE GANKO 3 minute read

Women’s safety and health measures announced last year get additional funding, but women are yet to benefit from several currently unfulfilled commitments.

Lumpy skin and trees for the queen: Extracts from the fine print

JASON MURPHY 3 minute read

Didn't think the budget was funny? Wait until you read some of these unusual spending measures.

Morrison’s response to Houston revelations shows more truths about the PM’s character — but where’s the media?

DAVID HARDAKER 3 minute read

Australia's political commentariat has all but ignored the ugly truths the Hillsong scandal has revealed of the prime minister's character.

Australia’s anti-vaccine movement is collapsing

CAM WILSON 8 minute read

Australia's anti-vaccine activists seized on COVID-19 and grew into an energetic and active movement. Now, their cause is falling apart.

Scott Morrison lashes out at Crikey, says Australians aren’t interested in ‘juvenile debates’ about whether he’s told lies

CAM WILSON 2 minute read

Prime Minister Scott Morrison admits politicians get facts wrong but says Australian's aren't interested in whether he's told lies.

Concetta's callout

‘Morrison is not fit to be prime minister’: a departing Liberal speaks her mind…


'Morrison is not interested in rules-based order. It is his way or the highway — an autocrat and a bully who has no moral compass.'

Fake religion and no moral compass: departing Liberal senator calls out the PM’s use of religion as a ‘marketing advantage’

DAVID HARDAKER 2 minute read

Outgoing NSW Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells has performed one final public service: skewering Morrison in her exit speech.

Fierravanti-Wells opens up the weeping sore of NSW Libs’ factional warfare

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells is leaving no one in two minds about her views of the NSW Liberal Party. What will the press gallery do?

Morrison leans on scorned woman trope in his response to Fierravanti-Wells’ claims

JOSEFINE GANKO 3 minute read

The prime minister has a history of responding to claims by women of bullying by framing them as emotionally unstable.

Grace Tame holds Australian media to account over Fierravanti-Wells’ exit speech

IMOGEN CHAMPAGNE 2 minute read

The former Australian of the Year has questioned why the departing senator's takedown of Morrison hasn't been more widely reported.

Houston says sorry as US pastor blows the whistle on Hillsong’s business tactics

DAVID HARDAKER 3 minute read

An influential American Hillsong pastor has exposed the cold and calculated machinations behind the megachurch's global empire.

Morrison, Dutton and Joyce are the Coalition’s toxic trio

JOHN UTTING 2 minute read

Voting polls show that the Coalition's most prominent leaders are also its most disliked. But who else lies off-stage?

Shortest path to regime change would be killing Putin. It ain’t legal, but is it morally right?

MICHAEL BRADLEY 4 minute read

The US has assassinated many prominent figures in the name of defence and peacekeeping. Does the same precedent exist for Putin?

Full of bribes to ‘split personality’: the commentariat weighs in on the budget

JOSEFINE GANKO 3 minute read

What did the media have to say about the budget? A lot... and none of it was particularly flattering.

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