A daily news show from the publisher of The Monthly and The Saturday Paper. Hear from the country’s best reporters, covering the news as it affects Australia. This is news with narrative, every weekday.
Australia’s AUKUS deal was meant to have unanimous support, but it has thrown up unexpected challenges for the Labor government — with senior party figures breaking ranks to criticise its scope, price and impact on our relationships. Will there be a showdown over the $368 billion dollar plan? And if so, how will the Prime Minister handle it? Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper, Paul Bongiorno, on the increasing political cost of the AUKUS deal. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Columnist for The Saturday Paper, Paul Bongiorno
This Saturday, the longest-reigning Coalition government in the country heads to the polls. Dominic Perrottet hasn’t been premier of NSW for long, but he’s hoping to extend the Coalition to a historic 16-year term in office – despite a torrent of scandals and resignations dogging his government. Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, on every scandal and resignation we could fit into a single episode. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: National correspondent for The Saturday Paper, Mike Seccombe.
Last year, Deanna ‘Violet’ CoCo was standing on top of a truck on Sydney Harbour Bridge with a flare in her hand. She was prepared to be arrested; prepared to face harsh anti-protest laws – but she wasn’t prepared to be the target of national angst and passion about climate protest. She was given a 15-month prison sentence for her actions — with the magistrate calling her ‘childish' and ‘emotional’ during the sentencing. Today, fresh from beating that prison sentence on appeal, Violet CoCo on protest, justice, and the future of the climate movement. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Climate protestor Deanna ‘Violet’ CoCo.
A few weeks ago, Independent MP Andrew Wilkie stood up in parliament and dropped a bombshell on the Australian megachurch Hillsong. He tabled a cache of documents that alleged staggering misconduct and outrageous spending at Hillsong, including details of extravagant personal purchases made by some of its leaders, including former global senior pastor Brian Houston, using church money. Now, several days after the speech, we have access to these documents and the potential damage to the church is becoming clearer. Could Hillsong have broken charity regulations? What does the new leadership at the church have to say? And what does it all mean for the future of Hillsong? Today, associate editor of The Saturday Paper Martin McKenzie-Murray on how Hillsong spent its money, and why a whistleblower came forward. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Associate editor of The Saturday Paper, Martin McKenzie-Murray
Bob Brown, the founding leader of The Greens, is ready to make a plea to Tanya Plibersek: stand up in cabinet and be a voice against coal and gas. While the party Brown used to lead is locked in a tense battle with the Labor party over the safeguard mechanism, he believes Tanya Plibersek could become the best environment minister Australia has ever had – she just needs the support of the prime minister. Today, former leader of the Australian Greens, Bob Brown, on the promise of Tanya Plibersek and why the government’s environmental credentials are at stake. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Former leader of the Australian Greens, Bob Brown
The AUKUS agreement has brought a rare political sight this week: the government and the opposition are agreeing with each other. Both major parties support the deal and if anything they’re competing to show who can support it more strongly. But how will we pay for it? Will we cut spending on other services? Or try to increase tax revenue? Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno, on how $368 billion dollars in spending is inevitably getting political. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Columnist for The Saturday Paper, Paul Bongiorno
The single biggest defence spend in Australian history was announced this week, with the government committing up to $368 billion over the next 30 years to acquire nuclear submarines. Former prime minister Paul Keating has called it “the worst decision by a Labor government in a century”. And big questions remain about whether these subs will ever be delivered at all. So, what could a misstep in the rollout mean for our security as tensions rise between China and the United States? Today, emeritus professor of strategic studies at ANU, Hugh White, on why the AUKUS submarines might never be delivered. You can read his article on the deal on The Saturday Paper website, published in conjunction with Australian Foreign Affairs. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Emeritus professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, Hugh White
John Hughes was once hailed as a young literary genius, and won a scholarship to Cambridge. Yet he found himself back in Australia working as a librarian and a teacher before his writing found acclaim. Hughes was shortlisted for some of the greatest honours in Australian writing. But under the scrutiny of greater acclaim, a strange web of inconsistencies and copying struck one reader: Anna Verney. Today, writer, reporter and lawyer Anna Verney and contributing editor to The Monthly Richard Cooke, on how they first discovered the borrowings of John Hughes and the revelations that followed. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Writer Anna Verney and contributing editor to The Monthly Richard Cooke
The royal commission hearings into robo-debt are over. With over 100 witnesses and nine weeks of hearings, the commission into one of the greatest failures in the history of the Australian government has already given us unforgettable insight into the thinking of our public servants and leading politicians. But there are still questions to be answered: like how could so many — find themselves in lock-step behind a policy that was unlawful? Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton on what we learned from inside the commission’s hearings. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton
Australia has to act fast to help cut emissions and avoid a global climate catastrophe. After decades of inaction, the Labor Government has brought their proposal forward, adjusting the awkwardly named safeguard mechanism. But this bets our climate future heavily on emission offsets – or carbon credits. They’re a convoluted way of making up for emissions, by doing good elsewhere. Are they actually a scam? Today, contributor to The Monthly Nick Feik, on the dodgy trades for our climate future. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Contributor to The Monthly, Nick Feik
Today, a tribute to publisher, poet and memoirist Robert Adamson. Robert died late last year and to mark that moment, The Monthly decided to posthumously republish two of his essays on a subject very dear to him: fishing. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Publisher, poet and memoirist, Robert Adamson.
Australia’s climate future is again hanging in the balance. And, once more, it could all depend on a Labor government negotiating with the Greens. As it stands, they’re at loggerheads. The Greens want no new coal and gas developments to be approved; the government is accusing the Greens of being unrealistic. But should the Greens be expected to pass whatever Labor is proposing? And where’s the science in all of this? Today, contributing editor of The Politics, Rachel Withers, on the impossible choice facing the Greens. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Contributing editor of The Politics, Rachel Withers
The family court is a place of last resort for spouses and parents, to settle the legal, financial and parenting disputes that can sometimes arise. But lawyers and mothers have been warning that when abuse or violence is part of the equation, the court is failing. Today, author and contributor to The Saturday Paper Jane Caro on the women who feel silenced by the family court, and the changes the Federal government now wants to make. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Author and contributor to The Saturday Paper, Jane Caro.
We now have the clearest insight into the inner workings of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. The mogul was forced, under oath, to answer questions about Fox News in a $1.6 billion dollar lawsuit against the company. What’s been revealed is that Murdoch and some of his most famous hosts knew they were putting lies to air, and allowed it anyway. Today, author of a book about the Murdoch media empire ‘The Successor’, Paddy Manning, on the culture at Fox News that put profits before the truth. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Author of ‘The Successor’, Paddy Manning.
Whether it’s floods or bushfires, climate-related disaster is something Australia will have to contend with more and more. But so far, Australia isn’t recovering from disaster. It’s one year since the Lismore floods, but the scheme to get people back into homes, and to move those homes away from the floodplain, is taking far too long. And in the absence of real recovery, what’s happening in Lismore is being described as “disaster capitalism” – houses on the floodplain are being sold to investors looking for a bargain. Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Royce Kurmelovs on what happens when the government doesn’t step up, and the market steps in. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Contributor to The Saturday Paper, Royce Kurmelovs
Our intelligence community used to believe terrorism was the greatest threat to Australians. But today, Australia’s domestic intelligence agency, ASIO, says the biggest threat we’re facing is actually from foreign spies. According to the agency, it’s not just politicians and military officers who are being targeted – it’s everyday people, who might not know they’re giving away information that could cost lives or threaten national security. Today, chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton, on why ASIO is worried about Australians getting caught up in dangerous spy games. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Chief political correspondent for The Saturday Paper, Karen Middleton
A week ago, superannuation reform was just an idea, a national conversation — the prime minister certainly wasn’t proposing anything. But the conversation was brief, and a decision was swift. Australia’s wealthiest people will not get tax breaks on wealth being stored in their super accounts. So what convinced Anthony Albanese that his government had to act? And why was it worth the risk of being accused of breaking a promise? Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on how Albanese made his decision, and why we could be talking about it for years to come. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Columnist for The Saturday Paper, Paul Bongiorno.
It's being called the most important case for reproductive rights in the United States since Roe vs Wade was overturned. A judgement in a court case in Texas that could ban access to a non-surgical abortion medication is due any day now. Closer to home, the exact same medication could become more widely available. The Therapeutic Goods Administration is currently considering appeals to widen its accessibility, with a decision expected in the next few weeks. Today, contributor to The Saturday Paper Esther Linder, on the barriers to early non-surgical abortions in Australia, and whether it's time for a change. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Contributor to The Saturday Paper, Esther Linder.
Australia has seen a series of record corporate profits posted in the last few weeks. They come as millions of average Australians are being squeezed. Mortgage repayments, rent, and the cost of almost everything is going up – but wages aren’t keeping up. So, how are corporations posting record profits right now? What’s the impact of profits on the prices we’re paying? And why is it that the only answer to inflation is interest rate hikes? Today, national correspondent for The Saturday Paper Mike Seccombe, on how corporate profits are driving the cost-of-living crisis. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: National correspondent for The Saturday Paper, Mike Seccombe.
Rhys Cauzzo was one of hundreds of thousands of Australians who received unlawful and false debt notices under robodebt. The 28 year old died by suicide in January of 2017, as debt collectors pursued him for $17,000 dollars. After his death, his mother Jenny began to unravel just how many debt notices Rhys had received, and she decided to go public – speaking to The Saturday Paper about what happened to her son. Now, she’s given evidence to the royal commission into robo-debt – and the hearings have exposed more details about how senior government figures reacted to reports of her son’s death. Today, Jenny Miller, on her son Rhys and her search for the truth. Socials: Stay in touch with us on Twitter and Instagram Guest: Mother of Rhys Cauzzo and contributor to The Saturday Paper, Jenny Miller.