Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Attorney-General Christian Porter announced that sabotaging food will now attract a penalty of up to 15 years’ imprisonment. AAP/Lukas Coch

Why the increased penalties for strawberry sabotage will do little to prevent the crime

After a spate of sewing needles being found in strawberries, the federal government has moved quickly to tighten penalties for those who sabotage fruit. But it is unlikely to be a strong deterrent.
CFMMEU workers protest on September 6, demanding the abolition of the federal government’s Australian Building and Construction Commission. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

What the stoush between the federal government and the CFMMEU is really about (spoiler: there’s an election coming)

The stand-off between the Morrison government and one of the country's largest unions, the CFMMEU, should be seen as a contest of politics and ideology rather than simply one of industrial relations.
Funding boosts to private schools will not necessarily result in lower fees. www.shutterstock.com

Public schools losing out in political power plays

Increased funding to Catholic schools won't necessarily make them more accessible for low-income families.
Whatever’s driving the popularity of SUVs like the Toyota Kluger, crash tests and accident data show people are mistaken if they think they increase safety on the road. Toyota/AAP

I’ve always wondered: are SUVs and 4WDs safer than other cars?

Perceptions about safety might be one of the reasons more and more people are buying SUVs. The evidence from crash data, though, is troubling – particularly for other road users.
Transparency isn’t a silver bullet, but increasing it would go some way to changing the secrecy around who has access – and how much – to the government of the day. AAP/Lukas Coch

Influence in Australian politics needs an urgent overhaul – here’s how to do it

A new report from Grattan Institute argues the secrecy and inequality surrounding who has "say" and "sway" in Canberra can be remedied – if politicians can just find the will to do it.
Most people never have the chance to see how animals live in laboratories. from www.shutterstock.com

Is it time for Australia to be more open about research involving animals?

Since 2012, more than 120 of Britain’s universities, research institutions and pharmaceutical companies have signed a public pledge committing them to greater openness in their animal research programs.
Prosecution rates of sexual assault cases remain low, with fewer than 50% of cases brought to court in NSW resulting in conviction. Shutterstock

New laws help juries understand why victims of sexual violence struggle to recall their assaults

The change in law is part of broader reforms that came out of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse in both NSW and Victoria.
Liberal women such as those in the Morrison ministry, pictured here, should organise to achieve structural change - the only kind that ever sticks. AAP/Lukas Coch

Quotas are not pretty but they work – Liberal women should insist on them

The Liberal Party is at a crossroad in its history. It must take bold steps to ensure better representation in its ranks by introducing gender quotas.
Everyone was up in arms about a lack of privacy with the My Health Record, but the privacy is the same for other types of patient data. from www.shutterstock.com

If privacy is increasing for My Health Record data, it should apply to all medical records

New laws mean My Health Record data is more protected than other patient data. Privacy policies should be the same across the board.
Morrison’s brush strokes on his own portrait are designed to create the image of a leader tuned to the voters’ concerns, rather than the “Canberra bubble”. Lukas Coch/AAP

Grattan on Friday: Morrison aims to make agility his prime ministerial trademark

Morrison is tactically quicker than Turnbull, just as in his messaging he can cut through more sharply. He's more attuned to the emotional and knee-jerk drivers of today's politics.

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