Opinion | Comment & Analysis | Brisbane Times


Following a relatively carefree summer, Boris Johnson's Britain faces a rapid return to a war footing against the coronavirus.

You don't need hindsight to see Boris Johnson has made the same mistake twice

In trying to protect the economy by delaying a lockdown, the Prime Minister has probably inflicted even greater harm on it.

  • by Bevan Shields


Queensland border
Coronavirus pandemic

Winning was easy for Palaszczuk - but now there is nowhere to hide

The next four years are going to be tough for Queensland's returned Labor government and playing the old political games of border closures will not create one job.

  • by Peter Beattie
President Trump at a campaign rally in Florida.

Don't get too fixated on Trump's America. We trade much more with others

Our fascination with the US election is understandable. Why we pay much less attention to Asian politics and society is harder to fathom.

  • by Matt Wade
An investigation is underway into what happened at Doha airport.

Payne must ensure travellers have rights respected at Middle East airports

The internal examinations of Australian women at Doha airport was an absolute violation of their human rights and they deserve more than just an expression of regret.

  • by The Herald's View
DMA's cover of Believe has more than 24 million streams but it wasn't enough to please the AFL fans.
Australian music

Turn the car around and go home: sport fans don't deserve music

Given nothing seems to please those who watch grand finals, the time may have come to withdraw their entertainment access.

  • by Nathanael Cooper
The long reach of Operation Fox Hunt ... these men are among six accused fugitives taken back to China under escort from Indonesia in June 2015.
China's Spy Secrets

Why we should suspect China’s secret police are at work on our streets

Xi Jinping’s “Operation Fox Hunt” has been caught tracking down Chinese citizens living in the US. We have strong reasons to believe they are doing the same here.

  • by Clive Hamilton
Richie Mo’unga scored two tries in Sydney.
Bledisloe Cup

Dreadful Wallabies drubbing proves Wellington was no more than false dawn

Australia were diabolical in a record-breaking loss to the All Blacks. It proved once and for all the draw in Wellington was a blip rather than a sign of things to come.

  • by Sam Phillips
Refunds are also influenced by the amount of tax deductions you are claiming.
Money Makeover

Income tax returns are due on Monday. Here are seven ways I minimise my tax

Tax deductibility reduces the cost of something by whatever marginal tax rate you would have otherwise paid on that money. You still incur a cost.

  • by Jessica Irvine
Don’t ask your lender to calculate your fortnightly repayment: they will set it up so you pay the scheduled full amount of interest.
Home loans

Switching to fortnightly mortgage repayments can save you $48,000

The strategy requires you to find more money but is a way of psychologically tricking yourself into making overpayments.

  • by Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon
Centrelink has a “reasonable test” for granny flats limited to about $276,900.
Ask an expert

Complex granny flat plan has its drawbacks

If you build a property in someone else’s name, Centrelink would deem it to be gifting in excess of the limits and would count the gift for five years.

  • by George Cochrane
US election

Puppies, alcohol and bullet-proof vests: an anxious US readies for election storm

As the pandemic and US election collide, Americans are living in fear about what will happen post election.

  • by Anne Summers
Kids get ready for a bang on Empire Night in 1957.
Coronavirus pandemic

Ready for a rocket?: No one's laughing as a new Bonfire Night nears

The hundreds of deaths in aged care homes amount to a bonfire of problems not just for the Victorian government but the federal government too.

  • by Tony Wright
Jozef Maragol and Anet Eyvazians with their daughter Arianna Maragol who died without explanation.

'Why does no one care?': the tragic flaws in the childcare system

We trust our childcare services to provide the highest quality care. But as one traumatised family learned, our expectations aren't always met.

  • by Julia Baird
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet.
icare investigation

'Too much spin': icare board papers reveal business is a 'shambles'

The inner workings of scandal-ridden icare’s board read like an insiders club, where bad news was buried and directors were being spun by management.

  • by Adele Ferguson
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

COVID-deniers are still living in the Dark Ages

15th-century astronomer Copernicus came up against similar attitudes when he published his theory of the planets.

  • by Jim Bright
SAS soldiers on patrol in Afghanistan.
Secrets of War

Who knew, and who was responsible for alleged special forces atrocities in Afghanistan?

In the report by sociologist Samantha Crompvoets that is now four years old, but remarkably prescient, there is the outline of an answer.

  • by Chris Masters and Nick McKenzie
Finally cracking a smile ... Craig Bellamy with Cameron Smith after the grand final triumph.
The Fitz Files

Bellamy is still barking – but you can't say it doesn't work

If you were wondering what makes Craig Bellamy such an outstanding coach - the final minutes of last Sunday's grand final can give you a glimpse.

  • by Peter FitzSimons
Illustration: John Shakespeare
National security

Trump and China force Australia to secure its defence closer to home

Australia can no longer put all its faith in the US alliance as its best defence. It is turning to regional neighbours in what the Defence Minister calls "the most consequential realignment since World War II”.

  • by Peter Hartcher
Richmond celebrate their third premiership in four years earlier this month.

Adaptability key to Richmond dynasty

Richmond's unique achievement is to have continued winning premierships when changes to the game mean it shouldn't have.

  • by Waleed Aly
The sky turns red near Lexton, Victoria, on December 20, 2019.
Climate policy

A call to arms on greenhouse gas emissions

The bushfire royal commission report shows that the time has come for the Prime Minister Scott Morrison to address global warming.

  • The Age's View
Queenslanders have been seeing a lot of the state election over the past few weeks.
QLD Votes 2020

Labor talks COVID, while for LNP it's jobs and crime

Analysis of campaign media coverage lays bare the conflicting strategies of the major parties as Labor has sought to ensure a pandemic-focused election.

  • by Conal Hanna
A major work: winner of the Roberts Family Prize in the Wynnes, Nyunmiti Burton's Seven Sisters

Wynne winners: Standout Indigenous works dominate in bushfire year

Surprisingly few landscape painters tackled the bushfires. But as Indigenous artists continue to dominate the Wynne Prize, there is some sideline grumbling.

  • by John McDonald
 I, for instance, happen to be quite handsome, with a noble jawline and large ears that can swivel in any direction.

Act like a dog! A fine appearance can't make you morally superior

The human obsession with appearance is perplexing and shallow.

  • by Richard Glover
Dave Rennie runs his eyes over players in Christchurch before the side departs for Wellington.
Bledisloe Cup

Team Rennie has the chance to end Wallabies' identity crisis

It’s been a long time since spectators can confidently (without swearing) finish the sentence that starts ‘The Wallabies are…’. The current crop can change that.

  • by Malcolm Knox
A French police officers stands near Notre Dame church in Nice, southern France, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that he will more than double number of soldiers deployed to protect against attacks to 7,000 after three people were killed at a church Thursday. (Eric Gaillard/Pool via AP)
Please Explain podcast

Please Explain podcast: France reeling from terror attacks as COVID rages across Europe

In this episode, national editor Tory Maguire and Europe correspondent Bevan Shields discuss the COVID threat in Europe and the atrocities France has experienced overnight. 

  • by Tory Maguire
US election

Toppling Trump: Grab 'em by the... selfie?

"Now that I have your attention": How celebrities are using the "thirst trap vote" to try and save American democracy.

  • by Samantha Selinger-Morris
Seven months down the road, this patient still has a long road ahead to full health, with a lot that could yet go wrong.
Coronavirus pandemic

The world's largest economy was hit by a bus. It’s healing, but slowly.

To understand what the latest numbers on US gross domestic product are telling us, imagine you were spending the last two weeks of March in a hospital room with catastrophic injuries. Now you can move around a little bit, cut back on pain medication.

  • by Neil Irwin
Donald Trump addresses a campaign rally in Arizona on Wednesday.
US election

It's up to people power to mend a system that Trump has trashed

Historians looking back on this US election may see the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the critical turning point. Or they may see a reassertion of people power that even an activist judiciary could not overcome.

  • by Chloe Ward and Emma Shortis
Inflation has been slayed.

Rise and fall: How the inflation dragon has been slayed

There’s been a fundamental shift in the factors bearing down on the economy – the implications of which we’re yet to fully realise, let alone fix.

  • by Ross Gittins
The Trump administration has weighed in on a piece of legislation that would regulate US tech giants Google and Facebook.

A Trump win is bad news for Big Tech break-up

The US technology giants are in for a reckoning irrespective of who wins the race to the White House, the only consideration is which administration hit them harder.

  • by Supratim Adhikari
It's been 25 years since I was witness to blatant cheating by a manager at work.

Why cheaters at work suffer the most

The shame that follows dishonest behaviour has the power to rip teams apart.

  • by James Adonis
“Nothing less than the transformation of the state itself" ... Michael Pezzullo, secretary of the Department of Home Affairs.
National security

The most powerful mandarin in our 'extended' security state

Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo has advocated that the state must "embed itself invisibly" to defend its citizens. The liberal tradition might prefer the state derived its powers from the consent of the governed.

  • by Brian Toohey
Illustration by John Shakespeare
Work therapy

How to maintain a quiet space in a chatty office

What can a company do to help people concentrate during a busy day?

  • by Jonathan Rivett
The Minister for Women, Marise Payne.
Political Leadership

Why Morrison needs to quickly fix the Liberal Party's gender imbalance

An analysis of women in politics that shows Labor has the edge. But it also shows things don't have to stay that way.

  • by David Crowe
A COVID-19 patient at Avignon  is evacuated on a French Air Force plane to Brest. As hospitals near capacity in France, patients requiring urgent treatment are being transferred across the country.
Coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19 gap widens between Australia and the rest of the world

The news coming out of Europe and the United States is shocking. The graphs are startling. Don't count on travel beyond the Asia-Pacific region any time soon.

  • by Michael Toole
Game one on Wednesday at Adelaide Oval will be the first time in the series' history the anthem will not be played. 

Fossil fuels are the new cigarettes - and sport must take a stand

Using sport to advertise cigarettes to children is unthinkable these days. But another cashed-up, unhealthy industry is taking its place. And the latest target is the State of Origin.

  • by Belinda Noble
 Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations Christian Porter during Question Time at Parliament House.

Reasons for delaying an integrity commission are blatant nonsense

To stubbornly ignore the views of experts and enlightened parliamentarians is to place personal and party interests before the public interest.

  • by Colleen Lewis
The NRL announced it was to go without the national anthem for the State of Origin series ... then hours later said it would be played.
State of Origin

PM tackles the NRL over Origin national anthem and forces a turnover

The NRL attempted to swing the ball wide to skirt controversy - but just ended up turned around by none other than the Prime Minister.

  • by Peter FitzSimons
Essendon players take in their loss to Geelong on Sunday.
AFL 2020

Richardson sacking raises questions of Bombers

Essendon's decision to sack Dan Richardson raises searching questions for chairman Paul Brasher's review of the club about other senior positions and direction.

  • by Michael Gleeson
DFAT Secretary Frances Adamson on Thursday.
China relations

An intolerant, divisive Australian image is damaging us in China

"The cameras in Beijing will form an opinion of us which is very different I think of the way we would want ourselves to be portrayed."

  • by Eryk Bagshaw
South Sydney boss Blake Solly appears to consider himself a future NRL CEO.
NRL 2020

How did South Sydney let Joseph Suaalii slip through their fingers?

Souths chief executive Blake Solly thinks he can run the NRL —then he missed out on signing the hottest talent in decades.

  • by Andrew Webster
Myer shares surged as its results came through stronger than expected.
Executive shake-up

The 11th hour coup: how Myer's board got rolled

Only hours before Myer's virtual annual meeting was set to begin, chairman Garry Hounsell had no choice but to be counted as a no-show.

  • by Elizabeth Knight
This is it - the final debate.
Please Explain podcast

Please Explain podcast: Presidential strategies differ as crunch-time nears

National editor Tory Maguire joins North America correspondent Matthew Knott to discuss the impact of vastly different presidential campaigns.

  • by Tory Maguire
Photo of ANZ Australian and New Zealand Banking Corp building on Castlereagh Street, Sydney, 2 October 2020   Credit: Will Willitts
Big four

ANZ's bad news day better than expected

A surprise element of the result has been the way customers have responded to the dire threats to their finances.

  • by Stephen Bartholomeusz
An image of Trump stands over his supporters at a Michigan rally.
US votes 2020

Trump's narrow - but not impossible - path to victory

If Donald Trump scores a second upset election victory next week, how will it happen? Two states hold the key: Florida and Pennsylvania.

  • by Matthew Knott
The US economy is showing signs of recovery but risks being battered again if a  stimulus deal is not reached.
Global economy

'Hole is getting bigger': The grim economic reality facing Trump and Biden

The winner of the race for the White House will have millions of Americans struggling to get back to work because of a health crisis not seen in more than 100 years.

  • by Jonnelle Marte
Markets are on edge reading the signs of the bond market.
World markets

Investors fearing a catastrophic market crash more than they have in years

The coronavirus crisis and the November election have driven fears of a major market crash to the highest levels in many years.

  • by Robert J. Shiller
Jack Ma is set for a battle with an old foe.

The world's biggest float comes with question marks

Jack Ma's Ant Group is poised to break the record as the world's biggest float but faces many challenges that investors have to consider.

  • by Matthew Field
Reducing the number of Australians in residential aged care could be cost-effective - and kinder to the elderly.
Aged care

A more humane, less costly solution for aged care: stay at home

The Netherlands, like Australia, had 7.5 per of its elderly people in residential aged care. Then it worked hard to cut that to 3 per cent.

  • by Pru Goward
President Donald Trump on the campaign trail this week.
US votes 2020

If Biden wins, he will not inherit a foreign policy crisis from Trump

Before Trump came 30 years of US foreign policy disorder and aggression - from Democrat as well as Republican presidents.

  • by Timothy Lynch