Opinion | Comment & Analysis | The Sydney Morning Herald

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Please Explain co-host Nathanael Cooper.

Inside ICAC: What the Berejiklian inquiry has revealed so far

Today on Please Explain, legal affairs reporter Michaela Whitbourn joins Nathanael Cooper to bring us up to speed on what’s happened so far at the ICAC.

  • by Nathanael Cooper


The trading debut of the first crypto ETF on the New York Stock Exchange has been closely watched.

Wild West comes to Wall Street: The mainstreaming of crypto assets is underway

The listing of the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund is an early step in the process of bringing crypto assets into a more regulated environment.

  • by Stephen Bartholomeusz
Pace like fire: James Pattinson during his first international summer.

Farewell Patto, Australia’s biggest ‘what if’ since Bruce Reid

It’s a long time since a top-class Australian fast bowler finished without being able to give full account of his ability.

  • by Daniel Brettig
Ben Simmons has been suspended for one match by the 76ers.

Enough B.S. Suspend Ben Simmons indefinitely

The only punishment that fits, the only recourse the Philadelphia 76ers have, is to bench Ben Simmons until he starts to earn his money.

  • by Marcus Hayes
Mark Zuckerberg will be hoping a name change will distract from growing anger at Facebook’s business practices.

Last resort: Facebook is taking a big risk if it rebrands itself

Rebranding after a series of missteps or bad press can be a Hail Mary attempt to change public perceptions. But history shows that launching a new name can go wrong.

  • by Parmy Olson and Ben Schott
Novak Djokovic has been reluctant to share his COVID-19 vaccination status.

No thanks Djokovic: Vaccine rules must apply no matter how big a star you are

It will be a shame if Novak Djokovic doesn’t play in Australia because of the government’s vaccination policy, but we’ll live - and that’s the point.

  • by Peter FitzSimons
A vandalized tomb, tagged with a swastika, is pictured in the Jewish cemetery of Quatzenheim, eastern France, Tuesday, Feb.19, 2019. Marches and gatherings against anti-Semitism are taking place across France following a series of anti-Semitic acts that shocked the country. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

Fighting anti-Semitism needs solidarity, not definitions

Adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism doesn’t make Jewish people one iota safer, nor acts of anti-Semitism any less likely.

  • by David Zyngier and Daniel Coleman
The Juukan Gorge site after the explosions in 2020.

Juukan Gorge recommendations will help protect First Nations’ culture

The Commonwealth must rise to the challenge set by the Juukan Gorge recommendations and co-design heritage protection laws with our First Peoples.

  • by Jamie Lowe
Illustration by Dionne Gain.

Prime Minister faces challenge to manage the enemies within

NSW Premier Perrottet will make his own decisions then announce them as he sees fit without giving a fig if anyone’s ego is bruised in the process. If that means Morrison’s, so be it.

  • by Niki Savva
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in question time on Monday.

We must fix a few problems before we can increase immigration

To reach the very high targets suggested this week, we would need to make it easier for older people and people with more limited English and/or lower skill levels to migrate to Australia. And that has consequences.

  • by Abul Rizvi
Independent MP Alex Greenwich delivering a petition in favour of  voluntary assisted dying to the NSW Parliament this month.

From assisted dying to unassisted high-wire act: Perrottet risks losing vital independents’ support

Gladys Berejiklian knew how critical crossbench MPs were to the stability of her government. Dominic Perrottet may be about to find out.

  • by Alexandra Smith
Scott Morrison meeting engineers working on a roads project in the 2019 federal election. He had recently announced a cut in migration numbers, citing pressure on the nation’s infrastructure.

A political debate over migration is coming, but will it be rational?

There was no debate over the government’s pre-COVID cut in immigration. Now businesses are calling out for migrants. It means a debate over the issue is coming.

  • by Shane Wright
Once again, Australia is the holdout among developed nations when it comes to commitments on emissions.

Australia is running dead last among rich nations in the most important race humanity has ever faced

Ten days out from the global climate summit, Australia is again acting like a handbrake. No other developed nation has performed as badly in terms of past emissions or commitments to cut them.

  • by Tim Flannery

Delay of bill causes more pain and needless suffering

It is very disappointing to see that the assisted dying bill has been delayed. It means that suffering people at the end of life will have to suffer a bit longer.

In the Herald dinkus

In the Herald: October 21, 1935

Getting the lead out, love duel, and lorry blast.

  • by Harry Hollinsworth
A skills shortage is affecting the construction industry.

We need more immigration – Perrottet is right to seek a big Australia

Some argue the pandemic has applied the brakes to unsustainable population growth. But in a country as massive as Australia, the argument that we are “too full” is ludicrous.

  • by Shane Geha
Column 8 Granny dinkus with mask.
Column 8

The three-month scenic route

Just make a left.

Former NSW Premier Mike Baird after giving evidence at ICAC in Sydney on Wednesday.

‘Devastated’ Baird’s evidence builds case against Berejiklian

Her former mentor has helped put another brick in the wall of ICAC’s case against Gladys Berejiklian.

  • by Deborah Snow
Novak Djokovic is the King of Melbourne Park and perhaps the greatest male player of them all.

Heard immunity: No-vax Novak saying nothing

Australia still treats COVID-19 as an emergency. This attracts criticism here and scorn around the world, but it’s saved thousands of lives. The world’s No.1 tennis player is likely to find that the Australian Open is shut to him.

  • by Greg Baum
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will not attend the Glasgow summit.

Jacinda Ardern’s climate summit problem is the opposite of Scott Morrison’s

Why is Ardern, who called climate change the nuclear-free issue of her generation, not making the trip to Glasgow?

  • by Henry Cooke
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced permanent relief for corporates.

Migration is the lazy way to boost economic growth

Calls are mounting for a major increase in migration but it should not be a substitute for real economic reform.

  • The Herald's View
Nathan Cleary will undergo surgery next Wednesday.
NRL 2021

Why the NRL shouldn’t bother calling Nathan Cleary next season

Despite a public apology, the premiers are furious about the treatment of their captain.

  • by Andrew Webster
Australia’s casino sector - cue the fireworks

Cue the fireworks: The casino sector nears its day of reckoning

The clock is ticking for Crown Resorts, as the Victorian state government mulls over the findings of the royal commission. Meanwhile, Star Entertainment’s management can expect a serious public grilling next year.

  • by Elizabeth Knight
The NSW government will make its single largest investment in tackling domestic violence.

At last, action on domestic violence that should save lives

Not only is it biggest investment in NSW’s history to address the problem, it acknowledges the critical role of specialists.

  • by Delia Donovan
Please Explain guest host, Archie.

Kids and vaccines: Your questions answered

Archie Miles, 10, steps in as a guest host, asking co-host Bianca Hall about COVID-19 vaccinations and whether kids should be worried about them.

  • by Bianca Hall

A ghost from the 1970s haunts the post-pandemic future

The prospect of stagflation, which plagued the world in the 1970s, is starting to be seriously debated by economists and policymakers.

  • by Stephen Bartholomeusz
Dave Chappelle on stage performing his Netflix special, ‘The Closer.’

Dave Chappelle’s comedy controversy is a stoush about power

As a jihad against cultural elites, Netflix special The Closer starts with low-value targets and works its way up.

  • by Julie Szego
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has an enormous challenge ahead of him.

Problems abound, but we could yet emerge as winners

The keys to making life in Australia better rather than worse are to face up to all the change being forced upon us, and to unite in finding fair solutions.

  • by Ross Gittins
Conservative MP David Amess was murdered while meeting constituents

The life of an MP is inherently dangerous

Most of us have received death threats and random threats of violence.

  • by Meredith Burgmann
Scott Morrison has announced he will attend the Glasgow climate talks from October 31.

Morrison is a man of the people but with no firm policy convictions

Turnbull had his Snowy Hydro 2.0 and Gillard her NDIS while this Prime Minister has an election win and a range of props.

  • by Shaun Carney
Then-treasurer Scott Morrison with a lump of coal in Parliament in February 2017.

Net zero push meaningless without bolder 2030 target

Scott Morrison is trying to claim that voters are not in favour of a 45 per cent cut to emissions by 2030 by saying that voters rejected Labor’s embrace of this target at the last election.

In the Herald

In the Herald: October 20, 1928

Imperfect talking films machine, disastrous conditions at Amsterdam Olympics and bird lovers unite at Town Hall.

  • by Stephanie Bull
Qantas has reported “extraordinary demand” from people wanting to fly to see family and friends.
Travel tips

Airlines gear up, but how much will it cost?

Domestic and international airlines are gearing up for a flood of tourists, as well as thousands of people that have not travelled to see their families in almost two years, when borders re-open.

  • by Emily Chantiri
Lenders continue to increase their fixed rate mortgage interest rates while cutting their variable rates for new customers
Home loans

Super-low fixed rate mortgage party looks over

Australia’s biggest banks are expecting a rise in their cost of funding within the next two years.

  • by John Collett
Retirement villages often have great facilities, including bowling greens.
Aged care

The great dilemma: Who will look after mum or dad?

A good option is to move a parent into a community of connected like-minded people – either a traditional retirement village or one of the fast-growing lifestyle communities.

  • by Noel Whittaker
You can build your retirement war chest by making extra payments into your super fund.

How to get your post-pandemic finances back on track

Four ways to avoid a financial crisis and set you on the right path to being free of debt.

  • by Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon
National house prices are rising at their quickest pace since 1989.
Home loans

High-debt borrowers in regulatory crosshairs

The financial regulators are reaching into a toolkit that can have a powerful impact on the biggest asset class in Australia: the $9 trillion housing market.

  • by Clancy Yeates
Column 8 Granny dinkus with mask.
Column 8

Wizard is cast out

It was time for a spell anyway.

Is news coverage of the pandemic too negative?

Is media coverage of COVID-19 too negative?

Is it possible the news coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic has been too negative? Some curious research should at least make us consider the question.

  • by Liam Mannix
Peggy O’Neal will replace Ziggy Switkowski as chancellor of RMIT University.

From rescuing Tigers to RMIT Chancellor, who is Peggy O’Neal?

Peggy O’Neal - the first woman to be president of an AFL club - can see strong parallels between her new role as RMIT Chancellor and Richmond.

  • by Jake Niall
Accumulating a deposit to buy a first home is taking ever longer, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne

Want to improve housing affordability? Here’s the solution

The federal government should provide incentive payments to state and local governments prepared to reform their planning systems and build more housing.

  • by Peter Tulip
Rio Tinto had WA government approval to destroy  Juukan Gorge rock shelters as part of an iron ore mine expansion.

Protection of Indigenous heritage sites needed

A federal inquiry into mining giant Rio Tinto’s destruction of the rock shelters at Juukan Gorge in May last year has revealed glaring gaps in state and national laws.

  • The Herald's View
The Apple Music Voice plan works on Siri-enabled devices like HomePods, iPhones and AirPods.

With Voice Plan, Apple pays you to use only Siri for music

With Voice Plan, users can pay less for their music subscription if they’re willing to lock themselves in to Apple’s ecosystem.

  • by Tim Biggs
Andrew Forrest - a green campaigner

The green wars: Nickel stoush between BHP and Andrew Forrest heats up

Copper and nickel are the new black of environmentally sought after commodities. BHP and Andrew Forrest are chasing one small Canadian company sitting on both.

  • by Elizabeth Knight
Hillbrook Anglican School, Enoggera, Queensland was among the winners of the 2021 AILA National Landscape Architecture Awards for its reimagined campus.

Students could have a field day with more outdoor learning

The pandemic is our opportunity to rethink school spaces and make better use of outdoor areas. Evidence suggests al fresco learning has many benefits for students.

  • by Gweneth Leigh
Emma Watkins with Nikoletta Tsoukani.
Live music

Emma, you brought us so much joy, like a veggie stir-fry with some soy

Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins has announced she’s going to leave the popular children’s band, but her legacy will live long with her most devoted fans.

  • by Niki Tolios

How to navigate super traps after partner’s death

Superannuation fund rules usually allow for a benefit to be taken partly as a lump sum and partly as a pension.

  • by Noel Whittaker
Bianca Hall, co-host of Please Explain

Scott Morrison on the verge of locking in net zero by 2050 target

Chief political correspondent David Crowe joins Bianca Hall to discuss the Morrison government’s long and arduous path to net zero emissions by 2050.

  • by Bianca Hall
Xi Jinping’s economy is facing a number of challenges.

China’s economy is cooling rapidly and Australia could feel the chill

China’s economy is confronting many challenges, some of its own making. How it deals with them will have flow-on effects to the rest of the world and, most particularly, Australia.

  • by Stephen Bartholomeusz
At odds over the climate: US Senator Joe Manchin and US President Joe Biden.

How one US senator could sink Biden’s climate agenda and COP26

With Biden’s climate legislation at risk of collapse in Congress, the US President’s ability to deliver on his emissions reduction target is in serious doubt. 

  • by Matthew Knott