Opinion | Comment & Analysis | The Age


Support for the ALP has dropped in Victoria

Please Explain podcast: Victoria 'winning the coronavirus battle' as some restrictions set to ease

In this episode, senior culture writer Nathanael Cooper is joined by The Age's City editor Bianca Hall to talk us through the mood in Melbourne as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews prepares to relax some of the coronavirus restrictions this weekend.

  • by Nathanael Cooper


Gittins illo - supply and demand 25/9/20
Australian recession

It won't be just the budget that determines the speed of our recovery

As well as trying to increase demand, the government needs to reinvigorate our production of goods and services to recover from the coronacession as quickly as possible.

  • by Ross Gittins
Human rights abuses on both sides of Asia raise questions about the strength of the Olympic charter.
Advocatus Diaboli

Beijing won't lose 2022 Games, but China never should have won rights

There’s a core rottenness in the way the Chinese state treats its people, entirely in breach of the utopian ideals of the Olympic Charter.

  • by Darren Kane
Paul Gallen watches from the sideline in his last NRL game.
NRL 2020

The joke's over as NRL moves to put the scrum out of its misery

The rugby league scrum had gone from a lawless free-for-all to a collegial gathering where forwards swapped gossip. Bequeathing it to rugby union is long overdue.

  • by Malcolm Knox
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg
Hayne fallout

The government's move to trash lending rules during a recession is a recipe for disaster

It was pitched as an 'adrenalin shot into the economy' but the Morrison government’s decision to trash responsible lending laws could spell trouble.

  • by Adele Ferguson
The correct decision was made by the Racing NSW appeals panel in the case of Hugh Bowman.
Horse racing

Stipes got it right with Bowman appeal in sad week for racing

The Hugh Bowman case prompted a return to an arena first visited six decades ago in a week where racing lost a larger-than-life figure.

  • by Max Presnell
Newspaper seller Roy Sheppard sold The Sun at Circular Quay for 55 years.

How porn and a price hike helped this newsagent's son

On National Newsagent Week, it's time to remember the tricks of the trade.

  • by Richard Glover
The vaunted EU recovery plan risks becoming little more than political theatre.
Coronavirus pandemic

Italy's economic chance of a lifetime may be wasted

No Italian government has ever had so much cash at its disposal as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte but it could become the biggest missed opportunity of a generation.

  • by Alessandra Migliaccio and Chiara Albanese
Brisbane had plenty of fans in the stands at the Gabba by the end of the season.
AFL 2020

AFL fixture 2020: Who won and who lost from the revised schedule?

Richmond got a major leg-up, while Hawthorn didn't have any luck. And how much help did the South Australian and Queensland teams have?

  • by Daniel Cherny
Elon Musk has been taking to Twitter to add to interest in the event.
Electric cars

It is not wise to bet against Elon Musk

Eyebrows have been raised Elon Musk's latest grand Tesla plan, but we should know by now he has a knack of achieving what many see as impossible.

  • by Robin Pagnamenta
Dean Jones was one of the first cricketers to wear sunglasses on the field.

Childhood hero to colleague: Deano was the player you wanted to be

There is an expression you should never meet your heroes, the inference being they will disappoint. This was not true of the man known simply as 'Deano'.

  • by Andrew Wu
Wayne Bennett isn't going anywhere ... or is he?
NRL 2020

Why the Bennett circus is becoming a distraction for Souths

The supercoach says he's staying at Redfern. Or is he? The typical circus that follows Bennett is starting to become a distraction for the Rabbitohs.

  • by Andrew Webster
The federal budget could be $30 billion better off over the next 4 years.

Tax reform and open borders: the budget needs to get people working again

The federal government can either spend $10 billion a year to encourage businesses to invest or keep spending around $12 billion a month on JobKeeper subsidies.

  • by Jeniffer Westacott and Peter Strong
It's easy for inner-city types to reject gas.

Labor's failure to back workers on gas is not just morally indefensible, it’s strategically moronic

The Coalition has shifted its vision towards a future of gas-backed renewables. Labor should meet it in the middle.

  • by Daniel Walton
Westpac is one of many banks around the world to fall afoul of anti-money laundering laws, but until recently that didn't mean much in Australia.
AUSTRAC crackdown

Hardening up: How AUSTRAC became the toughest cop on the beat

AUSTRAC has secured a record-breaking fine from Westpac and is now cemented as the toughest regulator in Australia. But up until a few years ago it was barely on the radar of Australian companies.

  • by Sarah Danckert
Work therapy

Dilemmas of a feline tantrum

Question to myself - how do I manage moggy during Zoom meetings?

  • by Jonathan Rivett
Cathy Freeman encouraged Elaine to pursue her modelling career and represent the Aboriginal community in fashion.
Best Games ever

On that night, Cathy Freeman gave us more than gold

I was there in the Sydney Olympic Stadium on that cool evening. Me and 112,000 others, all crammed in to watch Cathy Freeman carry the hopes of an entire nation.

  • by Stan Grant
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2014.
US Supreme Court

Winning isn’t everything: how you win matters, too

If we want reforms in our politics to be durable, and we want our society to emerge from them intact, we must always consider how they look from the losing side.

  • by Waleed Aly
Col Hogan and Sergeant Schultz from TV show Hogan's Heroes.
Coronavirus pandemic

'I know nothing' becomes hotel quarantine inquiry catch phrase

Sergeant Schultz would have been proud of the brigade of public service heads giving evidence to the hotel quarantine inquiry.

  • by Dee Ryall
Dean Jones

'Deano's' passing will leave the cricket world a greyer place

Australian and world cricket has been left stunned by the sudden death of Hall of Famer Dean Jones.

  • by Greg Baum
This year’s local government elections may prove to be the most important yet
Victoria Votes

Diverse representation matters and we need more of it

While local government elections tend to get very little attention, this year’s elections may prove the most important.

  • by Jieh-Yung Lo
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is announcing rules to make it easier for banks to lend for mortgages.
Australian recession

The steak and wine court case behind new bank lending rules

A court case over steak and red wine is at the heart of Josh Frydenberg’s changes to the way customers get a bank loan.

  • by David Crowe
Health Minister Jenny Mikakos giving evidence at the hotel quarantine inquiry on Thursday.
Coronavirus pandemic

Hands-off ministers must face consequences

The parade of senior ministers who fronted the hotel quarantine inquiry this week showed a glaring lack of mastery over decision-making within their departments.

  • The Age's View
Jencke said that while the decision not to play Mi Mi was "the right one from a game strategy perspective" it was an error in judgment. 
Super Netball

Liz Ellis: The Mi Mi debacle can't happen again

With all due respect, I don’t know how the Queensland Firebirds' management could have misread the community expectations around playing Mi Mi.

  • by Liz Ellis
University of Sydney has provided the documents to the Attorney-General's department under the foreign influence scheme.

Kiara had the best month of her life. Then everything was cancelled: How COVID-19 killed the uni experience

Student politics, newspapers, debating clubs, Quiddich societies and comedy revues have all been affected by the pandemic. By the time life returns to normal, will anyone at university remember what they have lost.

  • by Nick Bonyhady
Great Britain's Annika Reeder crashes on the vault, which had been set 5cm too low.
Best Games ever

'Does the vault look low to you?': The Aussie teen who spotted Sydney's stunning gymnastics fail

From years of sizing up vaulting horses in gyms around the world, the whole thing looked off to Allana Slater at the 2000 Olympics. And she was dead right.

  • by Sarah Keoghan
A health union is calling for Premier Daniel Andrews to sack Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.
Coronavirus pandemic

Factional games at play in health union's call to sack Jenny Mikakos

If Lisa Fitzpatrick, of the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation, had called for the Health Minister to resign, she would probably have been clearing her desk by lunchtime. Instead, Daniel Andrews has backed her.

  • by Ben Schneiders
Hero to many: a vigil in Washington for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who died Friday night.
Please Explain podcast

Please Explain podcast: What does the death of RBG mean for the US Supreme Court?

In this episode, climate and environment editor Nick O'Malley is joined by US correspondent Matthew Knott to discuss the aftermath of RBG's death and the implications for not only the Supreme Court but the upcoming election. 

  • by Nick O'Malley
Is there a reasonable tradeoff between the lives of young people and risks to old people?
Coronavirus pandemic

'QALY' quality of life pandemic argument is intellectual malpractice

It is intellectual malpractice to pretend that judgments about how to value different impacts of the pandemic on different individuals is an Excel-spreadsheet-level exercise that doesn’t force us to grapple with weighty moral choices that should give us all pause.

  • by Richard Holden, Emilia Tjernström and Bruce Preston
Coronavirus pandemic

Slow death spiral: Europe's economy is in fundamental crisis

The recovery of Europe's economy was already fading before the second wave of COVID-19 struck, now the road ahead is looking treacherous.

  • by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Elon Musk had been hyping 'Battery Day' for months, but investors were underwhelmed.
World markets

Tesla's 'Battery Day' letdown puts $452 billion stock gain at risk

Elon Musk had been hyping the event for months, helping to send its share price soaring. But the end result was grandiose plans that have underwhelmed the market.

  • by Dana Hull, Akshat Rathi and Gabrielle Coppola
"The risk factor is the US election in November, which is expected to provide a lull in the float frenzy as the market awaits the outcome and whether it yields a surprise result for President Donald Trump."
Mergers & acquisitions

Trump wants to show China the art of making a deal

The Oracle-TikTok deal appeared close to being finalised. But as the US and China continue to butt heads in their bid to claim victory, it appears much is up in the air.

  • by Hannah Boland
NBN CEO Stephen Rue said the plan would "open up the market for all internet providers".

NBN fibre upgrade a defence against looming 5G assault

NBN Co's $3.5 billion fibre upgrade plan is designed to make Telstra and the other telcos reconsider their ambitions ahead of next year's 5G spectrum auctions.

  • by Supratim Adhikari
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor during his address to the National Press Club.
Carbon pricing

Carbon price needed to make energy roadmap believable

A genuine emissions trading scheme would give the Technology Roadmap the substance it lacks.

  • by John Hewson
In the New Year, some households will be forced to confront the harsh reality that either by joblessness, or reduced income, they are unable to keep up with their old loan payments.
Coronavirus pandemic

House prices: the sleeper issue that threatens our economy now

At some point, our economy – suspended in mid-air, carefully frozen in time – must stand on its own two feet again. Then the real pain begins.

  • by Jessica Irvine
We don't know how to get life back to normal.
Coronavirus pandemic

There will be no return to a pre-COVID world; it has changed forever

While the voice of religious communities has gone largely unheeded in recent years, at this time of great fear it turns out religious people are motivated by something positive and inspirational.

  • by Peter Comensoli
COVID-19 has brought closer big questions about death and life’s meaning.
Coronavirus pandemic

Week what? Day what? I’ve lost count

It's just another day in the life of Rona Lockdown.

  • by Aubrey Perry
Marcus Bontempelli is the captain of Jake Niall's 2020 All-Australian side.
AFL 2020

Bont supplants Pendles, no Fyfe, Max gone in this All-Australian side

In a shortened season, Bontempelli overtook Pendlebury to be skipper of my team of the year, writes Jake Niall.

  • by Jake Niall
Coronavirus pandemic

Extended detention powers are a bridge too far

Planned legal changes that could dramatically increase the number of state officials with the authority to detain people considered a high risk of negligently spreading COVID-19 have rightly caused consternation.

  • The Age's View
Major changes ... Bryson DeChambeau poses with the US Open trophy.
The Fitz Files

Swing state: DeChambeau's revolution is here and will continue in November

Bryson DeChambeau's US Open victory marked a change in how golf could be played. The question now is what will happen at the Masters in mid-November?

  • by Peter FitzSimons
Jobs Minister Martin Pakula gives evidence to the hotel quarantine inquiry on Wednesday.
Coronavirus pandemic

Ministers, and Victorians, in the dark on hotel quarantine decision

Police Minister Lisa Neville and Jobs Minister Martin Pakula were not consulted about Victoria's hotel quarantine. Nor did they seek to find out.

  • by Chip Le Grand
Shore School in North Sydney has alerted police to a crime-filled rampage being planned by year 12s.

Parents are responsible for crime-filled muck-up day

This is a group of kids whose moral compass is seriously off.

  • by Kerri Sackville
The recession Paul Keating said we had to have has shaped voter perceptions of Labor.
Australian recession

The 'Reverse Bank' has to quickly rediscover the gear stick

When a real crisis is upon us, the RBA is invariably late to the party, writes former prime minister Paul Keating.

  • by Paul Keating
Malka Leifer in court.
Please Explain podcast

Please Explain podcast: Israel rules alleged pedophile Malka Leifer can be extradited to Australia

In this episode, Sunday Age editor David King is joined by The Age's investigations editor Michael Bachelard to discuss the likelihood of Malka Leifer's extradition to Australia. 

  • by David King
Westfield operator Scentre has priced its debt market raising
Capital raising

Scentre Group's unconventional $4b option fits the peculiar times

The market expected equity but Westfield operator Scentre Group gave it debt as it shored up its balance sheet during the pandemic. It’s not for everyone, but it will appeal to some in these most peculiar and uncertain times.

  • by Stephen Bartholomeusz
Father with baby.

The loneliness of a long distance pram walker

As I navigate my suburban slice of Victoria, my anxiety is ever-present.

  • by Niall Seewang
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor during his address to the National Press Club .

There are more horses in the energy race, but are they fast enough?

The ideas outlined in the energy road map may well one day reduce Australia's carbon emissions, but critics say the plan lacks the urgency crisis required.

  • by Nick O'Malley
Economists failed to predict the crash of 2008.

Thinking economists are grappling with why their profession has made our lives worse

Well-known economists are coming to similar conclusions about the ideas of “neoliberalism”.

  • by Ross Gittins
Jess Price-Purnell will always have a soft spot for the Nats.
Political infighting

'Battles recklessly played out in public': Why I quit the NSW Nats

One of the reasons I joined, was that it was not a party of ideology but rather of geography. Sadly, it feels like those days may be over.

  • by Jessica Price-Purnell
Coronavirus pandemic

'Poverty shock' looms for newly unemployed single parents

When the government reduces its coronavirus payments, it could cause hardship for families who have not previously relied on government benefits.

  • by Caitlin Fitzsimmons