Opinion | Comment & Analysis | The Sydney Morning Herald

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Ministerial moan will not help to save our reef

The Australian government’s whingeing at UNESCO’s declaration that the Great Barrier Reef is in danger will not help fix the problem.


Over the past decade, Victoria’s economic growth had become increasingly dependent on population growth.

Bosses must keep tabs ... on their workers’ COVID-related fears

Being in and out of lockdown is straining relationships in the office.

  • by Jonathan Rivett
In the Herald

In the Herald: June 24, 1976

Arrests at Kerr protest, ACTU cargo ban, and sounds of silence

  • by Harry Hollinsworth
The prototype Lego brick made from plastic PET bottles.

Kids shouldn’t be forced to play away their future

The amount of waste that goes into toys generates a tonne of landfill, which will inevitably make the lives of children much, much harder.

  • by Alice Clarke
Column 8 granny dinkus
Column 8

1970s theatre: Nida here nor there

While winter solstice leaves some brassed off.

The outgoing secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Frances Adamson, addresses the National Press Club on Wednesday.

The insecure superpower: a volatile mix that will make China our challenge for decades

The outgoing secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade gives her frank assessment on the rise of China - and the winding back of its clock on civil rights.

  • by Frances Adamson
Australia’s white-ball tours of the West indies and Bangladesh are still uncertain.

IPL pits stars against national tours – but might just be perfect World Cup preparation

Far from hindering Australia’s Twenty20 World Cup campaign, the IPL shapes as an ideal warm-up for non-touring big names.

  • by Malcolm Conn
Ben Roberts-Smith arrives at the Federal Court on June 23.

Ben Roberts-Smith asked if stamps could be traced: trial

Former soldier Ben Roberts-Smith offered explanations over several agreed facts put to him during Wednesday’s proceedings.

  • by Harriet Alexander and Deborah Snow
ICAC Chief Commissioner Peter Hall, QC.

Secret access of lobbyists undermines trust in government

ICAC is right: NSW must reform the rules on lobbyists and access to decision makers.

  • The Herald's View
Australia -the land of McMillionaires

Who wants to be a millionaire? Almost one in 10 Australians already are

The number of people joining the millionaires club in Australia is so high it has almost taken the cache out of what was once a financial status symbol.

  • by Elizabeth Knight
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces new COVID restrictions, including mandatory masks indoors.

Why we should all be barracking for Sydney

That NSW is allowing businesses to stay open and people to leave their homes should give hope to lockdown-weary Victorians that there may be another way.

  • by Chip Le Grand
Spotify and Apple have both been increasing their focus on podcasts.

Spotify now the podcast app to beat

But over the last year Apple and Spotify have increased their focus on podcasts.

  • by Peter Wells
The cost of services considered essential, such as education, have risen while the price of non-essential items has dropped.

The economy is working well for some, but not for all

A rise in the cost of goods and services needed to maintain living standards combined with a drop in the price of items bought with disposable income is putting ordinary working families at a disadvantage.

  • by Emma Dawson
Refugee Mostafa ‘Moz’ Azimitabar, second from left, with Midnight Oil members Jim Moginie, Martin Rotsey, Peter Garrett and Rob Hirst.

Banding together to cry freedom

A Midnight Oil band member writes on a Wednesday night concert that will feature fellow musician Mostafa ‘Moz’ Azimitabar, a refugee Australia detained for eight years.

  • by Jim Moginie
Please Explain podcast.

UNESCO’s Barrier Reef warning is ‘where the rubber hits the road’ for Australia and climate change

Today on Please Explain, climate and energy correspondent Mike Foley joins Tory Maguire to discuss UNESCO’s draft decision to downgrade the Great Barrier Reef’s World Heritage status to “in danger.”

  • by Tory Maguire
The flood of money in response to the pandemic hasn’t really made its way into the real economy.

Where have all those central bank trillions gone?

Central banks have pumped trillions of dollars into their financial systems and economies during the pandemic, but only relatively modest amounts have found their way into the real economy.

  • by Stephen Bartholomeusz
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets children attending skiing camps as he inspects preparatory work for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Winter Olympics a new excuse for Beijing’s crackdown on everything

COVID-19 has provided a blanket of security for an increasingly restrictive state.

  • by Eryk Bagshaw
Bernard Collaery leaving the ACT Magistrate’s Court during one of the hearings.

Australia only digging deeper hole by pursuing East Timor spying case

The Bernard Collaery bugging case should at the very least be heard in open court, if not, abandoned all together.

  • by Gareth Evans
A payment could help cover the impact of missed work and lost pay for those with side effects.

Getting the jab changed my mind: we should be paid to get vaccinated

Mostly the side effects are non-serious, but some recompense for getting the jab would be welcome.

  • by Vivienne Pearson
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth, who features in one of the government vaccine ads.

Vaccine hesitancy horse has bolted. We need a powerful campaign.

When it comes to government ads to promote vaccination, informing is not enough. We need high emotion, designed to trigger action.

  • by Russel Howcroft
Apartments in the now-privatised Sirius public housing building are now selling for big money.
City life

I designed the Sirius building but I wish the government had knocked it down

The original vision has been ruined by the sell-off of the building for private profit.

  • by Tao Gofers
Full house in NSW Parliament on Tuesday,
NSW budget

Once COVID is over, there is one overlooked budget measure that could hurt the Coalition

This budget shows the government’s ability to steer NSW through turbulent times. But once the cloud of COVID-19 lifts, any measures overlooked to address the cost of living pressures could become a significant weakness for the Coalition.

  • by Alexandra Smith
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce

Joyce’s resurrection makes a mockery of democracy

Have National Party members who returned Barnaby Joyce to leadership considered how it might look to the general population?

In the Herald

In the Herald: June 23, 1956

Fewer wait for telephones, the best of intentions, and stopping T.V.“blackout”

  • by Lyn Maccallum

Are you a corona moaner or a winner in the pandemic shake-up?

How will you remember 2020? That will depend on many things, but I suspect mostly your social class.

  • by David Hayward
Following last year’s pandemic-induced sell-off, Australian shares have been on steroids, but can the rally last?

Share prices race ahead, but what’s next?

Australian shares have risen strongly since last year’s sell-off as the economy powers ahead, although nervousness remains over the prospects of rising interest rates.

  • by John Collett
Failure to engage with your super fund could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement.

Super reforms mean you need to become more engaged with your fund

Disengagement could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement savings over the long haul or loss of valuable life insurance.

  • by Noel Whittaker
With higher, winter electricity bills kicking in, we should all be looking for a cheaper energy plan.

Shop around to beat July 1 electricity price reset

The government-set electricity “reference price” will be cut in New South Wales, South Australia and in south-east Queensland on July 1. However, that does not mean you will pay less for your power. Here’s why.

  • by Joel Gibson

Asset rich but cash poor? Reverse mortgage may be the answer

The whole point of any form of reverse mortgage is to help asset-rich, cash-strapped seniors draw on the savings in their home to fund their retirement.

  • by Noel Whittaker
Profit reporting season not as bad as some were expecting

Harsh lesson for those who turned super to cash during COVID-19 crash

Australians who switched their superannuation to a cash investment option last year have paid a heavy price, with most funds set for double-digit returns this financial year.

  • by Charlotte Grieve
The performance testing of super funds will become law

Super reforms boost to help weed out dud funds

The latest reforms to superannuation that take effect from July 1 will help to protect members from underperforming funds.

  • by John Collett
Anyone can top up their super and include the contribution as a tax deduction.

The impactful tax deduction that is often overlooked

Topping up your super with a lump sum before the end of each financial year can save you tax.

  • by Paul Benson
Column 8 granny dinkus
Column 8

Kohli gets a bag

But it’s just not cricket.

Jane Malysiak, then 84, was the first  Australian to receive a COVID-19 vaccination back in February.

Is Australia’s vaccine rollout ageist?

When it comes to COVID-19 in Australia, age is everything. But who is truly put first in our vaccine rollout and why?

  • by Aisha Dow
Las Vegas defensive end Carl Nassib is the first active NFL player to come out as gay.

Bravo, Carl Nassib ... and let’s hope that, one day soon, no one cares

Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to come out as gay - a milestone on the road to equality and another step towards the day when a player’s sexuality does not count as news.

  • by Peter FitzSimons
NSW budget seven graphs
NSW budget

The state budget in seven charts

A complex mix of spending and revenue decisions underpins the Treasurer’s political sales pitch. Here is how it works.

  • by Nigel Gladstone and Matt Wade
Fed chief Jerome Powell has consistently indicated that high inflation was transitory. He may have been proved right. .

Keep calm and carry on: The Fed might have been right about inflation

Inflation panic has been rife but the fears have been wildly disproportionate to the actual risks — and those risks now seem even smaller than they did a few weeks ago.

  • by Paul Krugman
NSW budget

NSW must not delay return to surplus forever

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet is not planning to get the budget back in the black until 2024-25.

  • The Herald's View
Iron ore magnate Gina Rinehart’s company Hancock Prospecting is getting into pot stocks.

From coal to cannabis: Gina Rinehart branches out with her investments

What does an army of Millennial investors have in common with Australia’s richest person? An appetite for investing in cannabis.

  • by Elizabeth Knight
Dominic Perrottet has delivered his fifth budget.
NSW budget

The $100b budget: no brakes on spending just yet

While the state has made a stellar economic recovery from the pandemic, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet will spend an additional 7.3 per cent in the next year and the forecast deficit will reach $8.6b.

  • by Matt Wade
Please Explain podcast.

Experts confident Australia will have enough doses to vaccinate the population by the end of the year

Today on Please Explain, federal political reporter Rachel Clun joins Nathanael Cooper to discuss what we learned from Monday’s national cabinet meeting.

  • by Nathanael Cooper
Coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.

Outrage at UN’s Barrier Reef warning a sideshow to climate catastrophe

The crowning glory of the world’s coral reefs is being torn apart by global warming but Australia’s anger over UN listing process doesn’t address the damage.

  • by Mike Foley
Barnaby Joycer is back - but has he learnt the lessons that he should have learnt in puberty?

The man who was the id of Australian politics is once again deputy prime minister

Barnaby Joyce has been given that most rare of things in public life - a second chance - he would be wise not to waste it.

  • by Chris Uhlmann
Trader Michael Milano works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, where stocks opened sharply lower on Thursday.

When good news is bad news: Investors have become addicted to low rates

Investors have become so dependent on the monetary policies that have helped drive sharemarkets to record levels that good economic news is a sign to sell.

  • by Stephen Bartholomeusz
June (Elisabeth Moss) once again falls into the hands of Gilead in season four of The Handmaid’s Tale. 

I don’t want to keep watching The Handmaid’s Tale but I can’t turn away

The show is well past its prime, but a surprising number of us can’t turn it off. Warning, spoilers ahead.

  • by Karl Quinn
Russian President Vladimir Putin has cracked down on charities.

I did not dissuade Vladimir Putin from his crackdown but now Australia is employing the same tactic

Targeting charities is a tried and true political tactic deployed by autocratic and authoritarian regimes to quash dissent and gag critics.

  • by Tim Costello
Dogs continue to be seriously injured, but the greyhound industry has government support.

Has there ever been a more craven collapse to a lobby group than this?

The Coalition is giving another $25 million to the greyhound industry.

  • by Peter FitzSimons
Apple News founder Jimmy Lai is among the seven Hong Kong activists found guilty of subversion.

The contradiction at the heart of China’s rise

We need to understand what Isaiah Berlin called “the most important, most inhuman and still the most imperfectly understood phenomenon of our times”.

  • by Peter Hartcher
The Hawks take on Essendon at University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston.
AFL 2021

It’s time Tassie got a bite of the AFL pie

The sell-out crowd at the Hawks versus Bombers game furthers the case for Tassie to get its own team.

  • by Marnie Vinall
Mr Joyce gave few clues about this latest thinking on farm-based carbon abatement or a net zero target by 2050.

Nats re-Joyce but Barnaby’s baggage will nag Coalition

The re-emergence of Barnaby Joyce as a political leader will impair meaningful action on climate change by the Coalition.