China has a message for Australia: be quiet and take the trade money. In a chilling speech, China’s ambassador to Australia laid out his nation’s aims with startling honesty – including that China would pursue what he called ‘reunification’ with Taiwan at any cost. The reason he was sending that message has everything to do with US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan, which raised the threat of conflict in the region. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on China’s message to Australia. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram. Guest: Columnist for The Saturday Paper, Paul Bongiorno.
When a Voice to Parliament was first proposed in the Uluru Statement from the Heart – it was dismissed by then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. It seemed possible the proposal might never be put in front of the Australian people. But Australians could soon get to vote in a referendum and we will be asked whether Australia should amend its constitution to create an Indigenous Voice to parliament. Today, someone who has spent years working towards constitutional recognition: chair in constitutional law at the University of NSW, Megan Davis. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Chair in constitutional law at the University of NSW, Megan Davis.
A former intelligence officer in Canberra, known as Witness J, was charged, sentenced, and jailed in complete secrecy in 2018. It was only after he brought his own legal complaint, and journalists noticed some security guards in the courthouse, that anything about his case was made public. Now, as fragments of the proceedings against the man known as Alan Johns filter out, we’re learning what happens when our spy agencies go to court. Today, Chief Political Correspondent at The Saturday Paper, Karen Middleton, on the case of Alan Johns. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Chief Political Correspondent at The Saturday Paper, Karen Middleton
The new government has inherited a problem that no one wants to talk about: the deep inequality of funding between public and private and independent schools. That discrepancy is most evident when it comes to the way that students with disabilities are funded. Today, senior reporter at The Saturday Paper Rick Morton reveals the $600 million funding shortfall for students with a disability in the public system. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton.
Our food supply is facing violent shocks — pandemic, war, and floods. And the threat to food security is unprecedented. Underpinning the problem is the catastrophe of climate change, which will impact not only us but our neighbours too — creating implications for national security. Today, Esther Linder on a looming food crisis that Australia isn’t prepared for, and what it means for the way we eat. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Columnist for The Saturday Paper, Esther Linder.
Today on the show, journalist and author Bronwyn Adcock will be reading her piece from the latest issue. It follows the fate of Encep ‘Hambali’ Nurjaman - a man arrested as a central figure in the Bali Bombings nearly 20 years ago - and interrogates his fraught path to justice in the War on Terror, through CIA black spots and Guantanamo Bay, torture and rendition, and bureaucratic obfuscation. Guest: Journalist and author, Bronwyn Adcock Background reading: The Trial in The Monthly.
Labor's first fortnight in power has been marked by a significant win — a successful agreement to pass a bill that would see a 43 per cent emissions reduction target become law. That agreement was made entirely without the opposition, with Peter Dutton effectively removing his party from negotiations at the beginning of the week. So what is the Coalition’s strategy, when it comes to climate, or to just being in opposition? Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on what Dutton is telling his party room, and the divisions already becoming apparent in the Coalition. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Columnist for The Saturday Paper, Paul Bongiorno.
For more than ten years, the Greens and the Labor Party have been blaming each other for holding back progress on climate action. Now, things have shifted — Labor’s new emissions reduction target will almost certainly become legislation, after the Greens announced that they’ll support it. But that support has only come after fierce negotiations and several concessions from the Albanese government. Today, national correspondent at The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe on the high-stakes political games that are going to decide our climate future. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram. Guest: National correspondent for The Saturday Paper, Mike Seccombe.
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As a homelessness crisis escalates around the country, there’s one jurisdiction where the situation is particularly stark. In the wealthiest state in Australia, more than 120 people have died on the streets in the past two years. And while the causes of homelessness are complex, there’s no doubt Western Australia’s tenancy laws are making things worse: especially when it comes to “no grounds” rental evictions. Today, writer and campaigner Jesse Noakes on the deadly consequences of evictions, and the new push to protect renters. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Journalist, Jesse Noakes.
An investigation into factional misconduct in Victoria has created debate about how the Labor Party is structured and how it can be reformed. The stakes are incredibly high for the party: not only is some of the conduct illegal and undemocratic, but it also risks losses in seats where independents are likely to run on integrity. Today, Labor speechwriter and contributor to The Saturday Paper Dennis Glover on the party within a party. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Labor speechwriter and contributor to The Saturday Paper Dennis Glover.
As Australia faces a new wave of Covid-19 variants, experts say the country has a chance to plot a different course with the virus. That involves acknowledging that it is not going away - that it will be here for a long time, and that masks and ventilation will be needed to manage it. Today, lead researcher at the Kirby Institute Raina MacIntyre on hope, denial and Covid-19. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram. Guest: Lead researcher at the Kirby Institute Raina MacIntyre.
After five years of inaction, the Albanese government has made implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart a key item of business. Anthony Albanese has described it as a hand held out to the country. But there are still questions over whether a referendum will succeed. Senator Patrick Dodson is telling colleagues they should put it up regardless - if the vote is lost, the country will have to live with it. Today, columnist from The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the first week of a new parliament. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram. Guest: Columnist for The Saturday Paper, Paul Bongiorno.
Labor is working through the specifics of the nuclear submarine deal Scott Morrison set up before he lost office. Some in the party believe AUKUS was established in part to wedge Labor on the issue of non-proliferation. So what is next for the plan to buy nuclear submarines? And what can Labor do to ensure their purchase doesn’t undermine a commitment to ending nuclear wars? Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton on the one of the biggest projects Australia is undertaking. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton
As Covid-19 hospitalisations break records in almost all states, there is a curious absence of political leadership. Frontline workers wonder why there is no greater attempt at community mitigation. What has shifted? Why are politicians no longer following the health advice, at least on masks? Today, associate editor of The Saturday Paper Martin McKenzie-Murray on Covid-19 and the politics of fatigue. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Associate editor of The Saturday Paper Martin McKenzie-Murray
New figures show that the Morrison government stacked government boards and tribunals at a level unprecedented in Australian politics. These appointees were sometimes unqualified and incompetent. They particularly affected the Administrative Appeals Tribunal - where members can be paid up to $500,000 a year. Now it is clear that they have badly altered decision making processes. Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe on how key bodies have been politicised beyond recognition and what to do next. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram. Guest: National correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe.
Last week, opposition leader Peter Dutton called for policy reform to regulate social media due to its impact on civil discourse. He said debate in this country was absurd, dangerous, reckless and reprehensible. But who gets to define what is and isn’t “civil” in the public sphere? And what does that say about power? Today, lawyer and contributor to The Saturday Paper Nyadol Nyuon on Peter Dutton, social media and how impoliteness can be a radical agent of change. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram. Guest: Director of the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre Nyadol Nyuon.
When parliament returns next week, Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party will sit on the government benches for the first time. It’s a significant test for what has changed since the election. Albanese has already made clear that the agenda will be focused on legislating his climate targets. If he fails, it will be a blow to his credibility. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the state of the environment. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram. Guest: Columnist for The Saturday Paper, Paul Bongiorno.
The Albanese government is partway through a successful reset of its relationship with China. The incredible thing is, they haven’t changed any policies. But will a change in language be enough to fix a diplomatic rift? And what’s next for Australia’s relationship with the Pacific, where it is trying to balance China’s influence? Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe on the turnaround in how Beijing views Canberra. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: National correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe
Many were surprised when the new employment minister, Tony Burke, announced it was “too late” to end mutual obligations. The decision was made to preserve billions of dollars in contracts already signed with companies that profit from the system. But there is no evidence it helps people find work. Today, senior correspondent for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on the industry selling poor people. Guest: Senior correspondent for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton. Background reading: Albanese offers no relief for jobseekers
New details have emerged in the divorce of Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall. After speculation their marriage ended over everything from smoking and drinking to Hall controlling how much Murdoch could see of his adult children, it is now clear that the real disagreement was over the division of the $71 billion deal to sell his film and television interest to Disney. Today, Paddy Manning, contributor to The Saturday Paper and author of a forthcoming biography on Lachlan Murdoch, on the true story of the Murdoch divorce. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Contributor to The Saturday Paper and Lachlan Murdoch biographer Paddy Manning.
The rise of Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison was seen as a triumph for a special kind of opportunistic populism. Much was written about what their success meant for democracy. So what does their decline mean? Was the repudiation about their politics - or about a world in crisis? Today, social researcher and contributor to The Saturday Paper Rebecca Huntley on the fall of the so-called strongman and what’s next for right-wing populism. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram. Guest: Social researcher and contributor to The Saturday Paper Rebecca Huntley.
Today, author Don Watson will be reading his cover piece from the latest issue of The Monthly. It's called 'How to be a prime minister', and in it he discusses the task ahead for Anthony Albanese. How will the new leader restore the idea that governments should seek to make the country better? Guest: Contributor to The Monthly Don Watson
This week, Tony Abbott re-emerged in a string of radio and television interviews. Some Liberals speculate it is part of a push he is making to become president of the NSW Liberal Party. In the course of this, Abbott has also become a surprise backer of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s foreign policy. Another big week of international meetings was met with applause by a former prime minister better known for tearing down Labor leaders. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on what Tony Abbott did next. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Columnist for The Saturday Paper, Paul Bongiorno.
At its worst, long Covid can lead to complete debilitation. It can cause fatigue and an inability to complete basic tasks. But understanding the cause and the cure for the illness has been a challenge for scientists. This challenge becomes more urgent as case numbers rise. Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Bianca Nogrady on the people living with long Covid. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Contributor to The Saturday Paper Bianca Nogrady
Hillsong is in crisis. More and more people are leaving. But what happens after someone leaves the church? And what does it tell us about how the church operates? Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Tanya Levin on why former Hillsong members are increasingly reporting that they suffer PTSD and what’s known as religious trauma syndrome. Guest: Contributor to The Saturday Paper Tanya Levin
Late last week, the attorney-general dropped charges against whistleblower Bernard Collaery. It was a sensational development in a case that has outraged many. But Collaery is not the only whistleblower on trial for revealing shocking misconduct by the government, the public service, or the army. What’s next for those cases? Today, lawyer and contributor to The Saturday Paper Kieran Pender on the people still facing prison for telling the truth. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Lawyer and contributor to The Saturday Paper Kieran Pender
Boris Johnson has announced he will resign as Prime Minister of the UK. He once delivered his party historic victories, but now he is being called a risk to the United Kingdom and an existential threat to the existence of the Conservative party — by some of his own colleagues. So how did one man do so much political damage? Today, World Editor of The Saturday Paper, Jonathan Pearlman on Boris Johnson’s incredibly predictable downfall.
Anthony Albanese returned from Europe this week to several crises sweeping the country. Floods have devastated communities on the east coast, and now two new subvariants of Omicron have health authorities warning another wave of Covid-19 infections is only ramping up. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace on the end of Anthony Albanese’s honeymoon and the urgent work ahead for the new government. Guest: Columnist for The Saturday Paper Chris Wallace.
NASA’s latest mission to Mars has the explicit aim of discovering whether or not there has been life on the red planet. It’s led by the first Australian and the first woman to lead such a major mission for NASA, astrobiologist Abigail Allwood. So what are scientists uncovering and are we closer than ever before to discovering evidence of life on Mars? Today, contributor to The Monthly Will Higginbotham on the Australian leading NASA’s search for life on Mars, and what she is discovering. Guest: Journalist Will Higginbotham. Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram.