July 26, 2018
After an eight-week campaign, Super Saturday is finally here. There are five byelections being held, but the race in Longman is one of two nail-biter contests that could go either way.
Dennis Atkins, the Courier Mail’s national affairs editor, says the mood in Longman is one of political exhaustion and that the result is anybody’s guess because of preference changes.
But Atkins says the LNP and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull could well be the winners regardless of the result. “If Shorten wins both the byelections he stays, and they regard Shorten as their best asset,” Atkins says. “If Shorten loses one or both of these byelections, then there is internal fighting in the Labor party and the Coalition will benefit from the appearance of disunity.”
July 5, 2018
A recording of a conversation with Katharine Murphy, the Political Editor of The Guardian Australlia about her new book 'On Disruption'. Murphy's book is about the dramatic changes that have taken place in the media and their implications, and is published by Melbourne University Press.
This conversation was hosted by Australian National University Crawford School of Public Policy and introduced by their Director, Professor Helen Sullivan.
June 27, 2018
Deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek talks on Anthony Albanese's Whitlam oration, Bill Shorten's unexpected announcement on rolling back company tax for medium sized firms, the "tough" Braddon and Longman byelections - and really fires up about mobile phones and over connected children.
June 24, 2018
Frances Adamson is secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She was previously international adviser to Malcolm Turnbull, and served as Australia’s ambassador in Beijing between 2011 and 2015.
This interview is published in partnership with The Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
June 20, 2018
Attorney-General Christian Porter says the response to the consultations for the national apology to victims of child sexual abuse has been very strong with a total of 167 attendees at consultation sessions so far. "There are further consultations coming up in Ballarat, Melbourne, Bendigo, Newcastle and Sydney ... it is a very important process and is going very well," he said.
Porter also says there's "some level of common sense" to suggestions that former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who set up the royal commission, should have a role in the apology. "I do think those things are best dealt with by exchange of letter or meetings directly between the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister."
In this interview Porter also speaks about foreign interference laws, elder abuse, the amalgamation of the Family and Federal Circuit courts, and why he rejects calls for change to section 44 of the constitution.
May 31, 2018
The Brotherhood of St Laurence has underway a campaign with the slogan “Share the Pie” highlighting the inadequacy of the Newstart allowance. The Brotherhood is also arguing the social safety net more generally is fraying.
Executive Director of The Brotherhood Conny Lenneberg spoke to The Conversation about the inequality created by the low level of Newstart, which hasn’t been boosted for many years.
She also pointed to the systemic barriers - such as disinvestment in the TAFE system and a scarcity of entry level jobs - which contribute to youth unemployment.
May 30, 2018
With yet another round of the Barnaby Joyce affair distracting the government, the next question will be whether the beleaguered MP runs again in his New England seat at the election.
In this interview with The Conversation, Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack pointedly avoids saying Joyce should do so.
“That’ll be a matter for him and that’ll be a matter for the National party in New England. That’ll be a matter for a branch to nominate him and then that’ll be a matter for the branch members in New England as to whether or not they decide if he nominates or if anybody else nominates,” McCormack says.
“Then it becomes a preselection process as to who they think would best represent them going forward”.
McCormack also speaks about the reception for the government’s tax plans in regional Australia, lashes out at those city-dwellers “sipping lattes” who’d close down live animal exports, and declares “trust me, I am no pushover for anybody”.
May 23, 2018
Labor is facing tough tests in coming byelections in its narrowly held seats of Longman in Queensland and Braddon in Tasmania.
Later on, managing the ALP national conference will be a challenge for Bill Shorten who will be anxious to avoid damaging displays of division over controversial issues.
Labor Frontbencher Anthony Albanese is putting on a confident face about the byelections. On the conference, he predicts there will not be a "substantial change" in Labor's refugee policy. On the issue of recognition of Palestine, another sensitive issue within the party, he says "if you support a two-state solution then by definition one of those states will be Palestine."
May 22, 2018
The Liberal party is currently fighting fires on various fronts - from a revolt on the live sheep trade to preselection power struggles.
Western Australia Liberal Senator Dean Smith is putting up another push, as he challenges the decision not to run Liberal candidates in the two WA byelections.
In this podcast he also speaks about the need for rigorous debate on religious freedoms, diversity in the Liberal party, and his opposition to constitutional reform of section 44.
May 9, 2018
With the government's election focused budget released it's now a tax showdown between the two sides.
Finance minister Mathias Cormann says the government is committed to the whole of their seven-year personal tax relief plan and is determined the three-part package not be broken up.
Meanwhile, shadow finance minister Jim Chalmers says Labor is disappointed with the government's inflexibility on their tax plan. "It's a real shame that they're saying that they will hold those lower and middle income earners hostage for the rest of the package."