There are questions the government must answer
JUNE 20, 2020

Like we often do at Crikey, this week we’ve been thinking a lot about integrity, and about trust in our leaders and authorities.

For Inq, David Hardaker has been investigating the Order of Australia honours. Yesterday it was the politicisation of the awards, and today in a Weekender exclusive he breaks down the numbers on which side of politics has received more of the most prestigious awards in the past two years. No prizes for guessing who comes out on top.

Elsewhere, Amber Schultz returned to the story of David Harris — a man whose family trusted his care to the mental health system, but who died when his support services were cancelled. More than a year later, his death is yet to be fully investigated.

Plus, Bernard Keane and Guy Rundle looked at the (latest) Victorian Labor branch stacking scandal, and the rot within politics.

Best of all, for one more week, all this (and the rest of the website) is out from behind the paywall. If you’re enjoying free access to Crikey and think our journalism is worth backing, there’s still time to choose what you pay when you jump on board, renew your membership or sign up your friends.

There’s never been a more important time for independent, Australian-owned journalism, so we hope you will continue to support us.

Have a great weekend,

Emily Watkins
News Editor

Ann Marie Smith’s death triggered a taskforce. Why hasn’t David Harris’? 

AMBER SCHULTZ 3 minute read

David Harris died more than a year ago after his NDIS funding was cut off. Yet the NSW government has yet to launch an inquest into his death. Inq's Amber Schultz investigates.

Disorder of Australia

Disorder of Australia: how our national awards are coloured by partisan politics

DAVID HARDAKER 6 minute read

Analysis by Inq has revealed that the Council of the Order of Australia has become stacked with Liberal Party veterans, insiders and sympathisers. Have the awards themselves become partisan?

Top tier Tories: how politics is colouring the Order of Australia honours

DAVID HARDAKER 2 minute read

The Coalition comes out well and truly on top in this full list of Order of Australia honours given out to politicians over the past few years...

JobEnder: the unemployment scheme that Australia should bet on

JASON MURPHY 3 minute read

The odds are against the parasitic gambling industry being anything other than bigger and stronger and richer after the pandemic. We need a program that makes sure it won't be.

Rio Tinto rethink: it’s time for the miner to cut colonial baggage, pay more

STEPHEN MAYNE 4 minute read

Rio Tinto could do worse than relocating its global headquarters to Australia if it wants to repair its rocky image, writes Stephen Mayne.

Court brings LGBTIQ people in under the civil rights umbrella and leaves Trump out in the cold

MICHAEL BRADLEY 4 minute read

The US president and his conservative base will be crushed by this decision, which shows that civil rights law has teeth, and that those teeth bite hard.

Somyurek scandal

Somyurek is gone but another much like him will come along before too long

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

There'll be another Adem Somyurek along before too long. Our modern political parties are designed to produce them.

Glee and envy greet the political death of a Labor warlord. But is this really the end?

GUY RUNDLE 4 minute read

Labor factional power broker Adam Somyurek has been sacked from the Andrews government following a damning investigation by Nine. So what's next?

How ethnic power replaced unions in the Victorian ALP — and what might happen next

GUY RUNDLE 6 minute read

If the Adem Somyurek scandal isn't the occasion for a thorough reconstruction of the ALP, the faction-ridden party will come out of it worse than before.

It costs taxpayers millions to fund the factional system. It’s time to cut down on political staffers

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

It's time to curb political staffers: taxpayers shouldn't be paying for the footsoldiers of factional warfare to collect money in car parks.

Chinese police are collecting DNA samples of every male citizen. Should Australia try to stop them?

GEORGIA WILKINS 2 minute read

A report highlights a drastic escalation in China’s DNA surveillance system. But will foreign governments do anything about it?

Six-trillion-dollar man: Trump is the worst economic manager in US history

ALAN AUSTIN 3 minute read

Every significant indicator of the health of the US economy has declined since he became president.

Campus chaos: students come to terms with the semester from hell

BENJAMIN CLARK 4 minute read

If universities and government don't give students a voice on dealing with the pandemic's impact, not only will their education be compromised but their job prospects will be savagely diminished.

Slavery, massacre and genocide are not part of the national curriculum. Should they be?
“There is very little attention to the actual ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were treated.” — Dr Melitta Hogarth, Melbourne University

When even the prime minister is muddled about Australia’s history of slavery, it’s time to ask if our dark past should be addressed head-on.

Why are our universities so powerless? Maybe it’s time to buy some influence…

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

Universities are one of Australia's biggest exporters and a major employer, but are treated with contempt by the government. Is it because they don't fill the coffers of political parties?

After travelling the world, COVID-19 is sowing chaos in India


COVID-19 is set to wreak havoc on the economies of India and its neighbours, and it couldn't have come at a worse time for Australia.

The Murdoch media is in a moral panic about the one cultural war it didn’t start


News Corp (and some of its traditional rivals) is in a tailspin over recent anti-racist protests. Once again, old media is showing its age.