Author Archives

On Your Bikes Back of Bourke? Right.

Never mind getting on your bike, here in Darlinghurst the prospect of taking to the street by foot is harrowing enough. Back behind the construction barricades of the new, multi million dollar bike lane, RTA traffic planners long ago placed a round about at a busy pedestrian intersection. Cars rat run across Liverpool past the […]

An Abbott Proof Fence

Wake me when it’s over. We live in the middle of a vast, yawning political divide here in 2010. On the eastside of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, in the upcoming Federal election, my neighbours and I will be asked whether or not to return the Emperor Malcolm Turnbull to his blue ribbon, right wing seat […]


The Girl of the Golden West is the world’s first spaghetti western. Set just after the California Gold Rush of 1849, La Fanciulla del West is the love story of Minny, a saloon maid (the delightful Anke Hopner) and a mysterious bandito (performed by Carlo Barricelli). Puccini wrote La Fanciulla del West in 1910 upon […]

Poles apart: what Julia can learn from her Icelandic counterpart

Just a few days after Julia Gillard became Australia’s first unwed female Prime Minister, on a distant corner of the globe -- Iceland’s first woman head of state, Johanna Sigurdardottir married her long-term partner, the writer Jonina Leosdottir in her Prime Ministerial office, becoming the world’s first national leader to enter into a same sex […]

Queens of the Realm

Bugger the blokes; women are running Sydney. How many major metropolises can boast that the head of every tier of government is a woman? Last week the Queen’s first female representative in Australia, Governor General Quentin Bryce, swore in Julia Gillard as the nation’s first female Prime Minister. Just a half-year earlier, Kristina K Keneally, […]

Not a Bad Place to Be on Planet Earth

Sydney is one of the world’s truly great cities. Over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art on a stunningly sunny Saturday at the invitation of Creative Sydney. Down at the harbour front the beaming masses strolled along the promenade past the nineteenth century heritage terraces towards the billowing […]

Porn Again Christians

In late April a 25-year-old gay man was sentenced to serve three months jail for selling X-rated videos at the Urge on Oxford Street, in the heart of Sydney’s gay ghetto. Last week, midway through the young man’s incarceration, fifteen of Kings Cross’ finest personally inspected and seized every last X-rated video at the Pleasure […]

Stacks of Trouble for State Labor

The same week the State government cancelled Sydney Metro’s “railway to nowhere” in late February, the new Kenneally government also cancelled the nation’s first air pollution filtering scheme on the M5 tunnel. For years residents have fought to have the smokestack on the tunnel filtered. The M5 tunnel stretches southwest from the airport: all vehicles […]

Missive from Morocco

Ashes, Airplanes and An Earth Day First by Elizabeth Hilts RABAT, MOROCCO, April 23, 2010 Thanks to the cloud of volcanic ash that wreaked havoc on air travel this past week, there aren’t as many international journalists in Rabat as had been expected for Morocco’s premiere Earth Day Celebration. While there is a certain delicious […]

How we lost our Voice

Three years ago Rupert Murdoch bought just about every last independent newspaper in inner Sydney, including the Wentworth Courier, the Inner Western Courier, the Southern Courier, et al. When Murdoch’s News Limited purchased the entire FPC Courier weekly newspaper chain for $180 million, he also bought the Village Voice. The 32 page monthly newspaper was […]