Editor’s Note

Editor’s Note October 2015

The end of Tony Abbott’s prime ministership arrived quickly, but it wasn’t exactly a shock. His leadership had seemed stuck in the past tense for a long time – since he took over the job, in many ways.

Malcolm Turnbull and his cabinet must now address the challenges that the Abbott team dodged or denied. The most obvious of these are the slowing demand for Australian commodities and the need to rejoin the global community in climate-change action. These dovetail in the subject of this month’s lead essay: the coal crash.

Australia’s coal industry has been buffeted by falling prices, emissions-reduction efforts around the world, and an increasingly competitive export market. Paul Cleary weighs up the future of coal from Australia’s perspective. A modern economic program, such as Turnbull has promised to implement, must come to terms with the new reality of coal’s decline. Relying on its continued extraction is a bad strategy, for both economic and environmental reasons.

British author Will Self also explores Australia’s vexed relationship with the land, albeit from a very different perspective. In his provocative essay ‘Australia and I’, Self writes about his fascination with this continent, and the troubling treatment of its original owners by its European colonisers.

The October issue is notable too for its swathe of great arts writing. The nation may be facing major challenges; so too are its artists and arts organisations, in part due to the troubling interventions by the former arts minister, Senator George Brandis. Julian Meyrick explores some of these in his comment piece. Brandis will be missed by the arts community in much the same way that Tony Abbott is missed by the broader public.

The Monthly welcomes both the new arts minister and the new prime minister.

Nick Feik

Nick Feik is the editor of The Monthly.

@nickfeik

Read on

Image of Stephen Bram’s work, Untitled, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 210 x 390 cm.

Currents of joy: Stephen Bram and John Nixon

Overlapping exhibitions by the two abstract artists convey their shared radical modernism

What elitism looks like

Flagrant conflicts of interest abound at the top

Image of Anne Ferran, Scenes on the Death of Nature I, 1986

‘Know My Name’ at the National Gallery of Australia

An exhilarating exhibition considers a persistent gender bias in the visual arts

Image of Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Morrison’s climate flip

Australia has a lot of catching up to do on emissions reduction


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