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The Conversation's politics podcast
Michelle Grattan, Chief Political Correspondent at The Conversation, talks politics with politicians and experts.

Latest Episodes

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Josh Burns on being a Jewish MP during a terrible conflict

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Josh Burns on being a Jewish MP during a terrible conflict

The death of Australian Zomi Frankcom and other World Central Kitchen aid workers in Gaza in an Israeli strike has led to yet more intense and critical scrutiny over how Israel is prosecuting the war against Hamas. This week Foreign Minister Penny Wong has floated the possibility of recognition of a Palestinian state ahead of a two-state solution. Her comments were condemned by Peter Dutton as "irreparably…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Andrew Leigh on competition - economic and political

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Andrew Leigh on competition - economic and political

The Albanese government and the Australian public are currently focused on the cost-of-living crisis and its impact on household budgets. For Australia's longer-term economic outlook, the government is looking at reforms that are needed to increase competition and our flat-lined productivity. Andrew Leigh is in the middle of this debate. He's Assistant Minister for Employment and Assistant Minister…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Kim Beazley on Kevin Rudd, being an ambassador, and a possible second Trump presidency

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Kim Beazley on Kevin Rudd, being an ambassador, and a possible second Trump presidency

Kim Beazley, a former Labor leader, served as Australia's ambassador in Washington between 2010 and 2016. He is widely respected for his expertise in foreign and defence policy. In this podcast episode, Beazley discusses the brouhaha over Donald Trump's denigrating comments about Kevin Rudd, the present Australian ambassador in Washington. We also canvass wider alliance issues and the recent visit…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Cyber expert Lesley Seebeck on TikTok's future in Australia

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Cyber expert Lesley Seebeck on TikTok’s future in Australia

The United States House of Representatives has passed a bill to force TikTok's owner, ByteDance, to either sell TikTok to a non-Chinese company or face a ban in the US. While the measure won't come into effect until the American Senate agrees, it has re-engaged a debate over TikTok's risk to national security, as well as its impact on young people and the implications for free speech if there was a…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Masculinity expert Michael Flood on boys and men behaving badly

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Masculinity expert Michael Flood on boys and men behaving badly

Last week, the ABC's Four Corners investigated the alleged toxic culture towards women at Sydney's elite boys Cranbrook School. The investigation covered harassment and bullying of female staff and other bad behaviour. After further developments, the headmaster, Nicholas Sampson, had resigned by week's end. The scandal has brought back a debate about whether single-sex schools are fit for purpose and…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: John Blaxland on spies, AUKUS, and an unsettled Washington

Politics with Michelle Grattan: John Blaxland on spies, AUKUS, and an unsettled Washington

Last week, ASIO boss Mike Burgess gave his annual assessment of threats to Australia's domestic security. In his speech, Burgess sensationally revealed that a former politician had "sold out their country" to a foreign regime. Burgess's refusal to name the person, citing the need to protect ASIO's tradecraft, invited speculation and debate. Nor would he specify the country, but a subsequent report…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Jason Clare on the future of education in Australia

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Jason Clare on the future of education in Australia

The government has released its Universities Accord report, produced by a committee chaired by Mary O'Kane, a former vice-chancellor at the University of Adelaide. The recommendations will be considered by the Minister for Education, Jason Clare and the government over the coming months, although Clare has given a few hints about what his response might be on certain issues. One proposal Clare clearly…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Antony Green, Kos Samaras and Tim Costello on Dunkley contest

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Antony Green, Kos Samaras and Tim Costello on Dunkley contest

The March 2 byelection in the outer suburban Melbourne seat of Dunkley is the third byelection this term but the first in a Labor-held electorate. It has been caused by the death late last year of Peta Murphy, after a long battle with cancer. Labor's margin sits at 6.3% in Dunkley, an electorate that has swung between the major parties. Labor goes into the byelection as the favourite, as it seeks to…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Assistant minister Malarndirri McCarthy says there's 'no rush' on treaty and truth-telling

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Assistant minister Malarndirri McCarthy says there’s ‘no rush’ on treaty and truth-telling

The federal government has released its latest implementation plan for Closing the Gap on Indigenous disadvantage. What are multiple gaps are still vast, with many areas not on track to meet their targets. After the failed Voice referendum, the government is looking to the next steps for First Nations people. To discuss this week's policy announcement, the centrepiece of which is a $700 million jobs…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Chris Bowen on fuel efficiency standards and the energy transition

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Chris Bowen on fuel efficiency standards and the energy transition

The government has announced long-awaited fuel efficiency standards, which will place a yearly cap on the total emissions output for new cars sold in Australia. The new regime will move Australia in the direction of comparable countries, but it has its critics. Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen joins the podcast to discuss this policy, as well as the government's progress on the energy…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Angus Taylor on tax and the economy

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Angus Taylor on tax and the economy

With the government's changes to the stage 3 tax cuts to favour lower and middle income earners, and a looming by-election in the Victorian seat of Dunkley, eyes are now on the opposition for its response to Labor's new package. In our first podcast of 2024, Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor discusses the tax broken promise, where the economy is heading, falling inflation, and more. On the government's…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Jim Chalmers says Australians will be better off next year

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Jim Chalmers says Australians will be better off next year

It's been a difficult year for the economy, and the year ahead also is looking challenging. Treasurer Jim Chalmers, overseer of the government's economic policy, joins us on the podcast to talk about the latest budget numbers, interest rates, changes to the Reserve Bank board, Australia's debt, cost of living measures and more. On 2024, Chalmers expects Australians to be better off this time next year…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Bill Shorten on making the NDIS fit for purpose

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Bill Shorten on making the NDIS fit for purpose

Bill Shorten, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Government Services, has released the review of the NDIS, which recommends sweeping changes to the scheme. The reforms to come will see the states take up much of the responsibility for providing services for people with more minor issues, especially children with developmental delays. Shorten joined the podcast to talk about the…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Chris Bowen's struggle to promote consensus on climate action at COP28

Chris Bowen, Minister for Climate Change and Energy, next week heads to COP28 in Dubai, leading the Australian delegation. He joins the podcast to talk about the meeting, which he hopes will be easier than last year's. Well, I want to see a big step forward. Now, at the last COP we were just flat out, and it was a bit of a surprise to all of us, frankly, flat out, me and like-minded ministers, just…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Greens Barbara Pocock on the quest for greater transparency

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Greens Barbara Pocock on the quest for greater transparency

Greens Senator Barbara Pocock – who has a background in economics and industrial relations and formerly worked at the Reserve Bank, in the federal public service and as an academic – has been in parliament only since the 2022 election, But she has already made a mark. Pocock has been one of the federal parliamentarians who has been holding the big consultancy firms to account this year. PWC especially…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: James Paterson on the High Court's decision on detention and rising anti-Semitism

Politics with Michelle Grattan: James Paterson on the High Court’s decision on detention and rising anti-Semitism

Last week the High Court ruled that holding high-risk asylum seekers in indefinite detention was unconstitutional. As a consequence of the court decision, more than 80 people, some of whom were convicted of serious crimes including murder and rape, have been released. The government will rush in legislation on Thursday to deal with the fallout. In this podcast, Liberal senator and Shadow Minister for…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Former climate minister Greg Combet on Australia's mission to reach net-zero

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Former climate minister Greg Combet on Australia’s mission to reach net-zero

As climate minister in the former Labor government, Greg Combet has endured the rigours of the "climate wars". He oversaw the highly contentious move to put a price on carbon, which ultimately came to grief under the Abbott government. Fast forward a decade: now Combet has been appointed by Anthony Albanese to chair the government's new Net-Zero Economy Agency. This agency, due later to become a statutory…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Economist Chris Richardson on a likely interest rate rise and the fall in living standards

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Economist Chris Richardson on a likely interest rate rise and the fall in living standards

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report this week calling on Australia to raise interest rates again, adding to the speculation the Reserve Bank will increase the cash rate on Tuesday. If that happens it will be yet another blow to many household budgets, already under strain from the rises in the prices of food, fuel and power. In this podcast, independent economist Chris Richardson…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Don Farrell's high noon for European free trade deal, and hopes for lobster exports to China

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Don Farrell’s high noon for European free trade deal, and hopes for lobster exports to China

Last weekend Australia had a big win when China agreed to review over the next five months its prohibitive tariffs on Australian wine, This weekend Trade Minister Don Farrell hopes to finally land a long-awaited free trade deal with the European Union, for which negotiations have been going on for years. Farrell tells the Conversation's podcast that if agreement can't be reached, Australia will need…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Kim Beazley on Albanese's US trip, Biden in the Middle East, and the Voice's defeat

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Kim Beazley on Albanese’s US trip, Biden in the Middle East, and the Voice’s defeat

The prime minister heads to Washington next week for a state visit. Talks between Anthony Albanese and President Joe Biden will canvass progress on implementing the AUKUS agreement, Ukraine, China and the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, and of course the Middle East crisis. Biden will have just returned from his visit to Israel and will brief the PM on the situation, which has worsened by the…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Middle East expert Ian Parmeter on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Middle East expert Ian Parmeter on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict

Hamas' attack on Israel has unleashed a horrific conflict. Breaking out over the weekend, Palestinians murdered Israeli civilians and are threatening to execute many hostages. Israel countered with mass aerial bombing and has cut off electricity, water and food going into the Gaza Strip. Even against the history of the conflict ridden Middle East, the atrocities we've seen are beyond appalling. The…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Greens Jordon Steele-John on the disability royal commission and Bill Shorten's NDIS reforms

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Greens Jordon Steele-John on the disability royal commission and Bill Shorten’s NDIS reforms

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has shared its final report. In this series, we unpack what the commission’s 222 recommendations could mean for a more inclusive Australia. The federal government last week released the report of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, which painted a…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Treasurer Jim Chalmers on jobs and work

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Treasurer Jim Chalmers on jobs and work

Treasurer Jim Chalmers released his White Paper on employment this week. Its aim is for everyone who wants a job to be able to get one without having to search for too long. The paper says that a surprisingly large number of people are looking for work or for more hours of work, some three million, and that's when unemployment is at a low 3.7% and we have labour shortages in multiple sectors. Chalmers…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Word from The Hill: Assessing Daniel Andrews, the extraordinary Pezzullo story, senators give Qantas chiefs a hard time

Word from The Hill: Assessing Daniel Andrews, the extraordinary Pezzullo story, senators give Qantas chiefs a hard time

As well as her interviews with politicians and experts, Politics with Michelle Grattan includes "Word from The Hill", where she discusses the news with members of The Conversation’s politics team. In this podcast Michelle and politics editor Amanda Dunn discuss Victorian premier Daniel Andrews' exit, as well as the revelation of extraordinary texts from leading public servant Mike Pezzullo promoting…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics with Michelle Grattan: ANU Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt on the challenges universities face

Politics with Michelle Grattan: ANU Vice-Chancellor Brian Schmidt on the challenges universities face

Australia's higher education sector is under heavy scrutiny. Still recovering from the impact of COVID and criticised for its treatment of staff, it faces strong pressures to step up its performance. The government launched a broad review of the sector in late 2022 to inform a Universities Accord. The interim report was released in July, with the full report coming in December. Professor Brian Schmidt…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan