Politics with Michelle Grattan

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

Latest Episodes

Politics podcast: Peter Jennings on the home affairs department

Politics Podcast: Peter Jennings on the home affairs department.

The new home affairs ministry announced by Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday is considered by some experts to be unnecessary and potentially dangerous. The director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Peter Jennings, says that while the department would present an array of bureaucratic challenges, it is largely a "sensible step". Likely benefits include the potential for a much-needed improvement…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Graeme Samuel on data governance

Politics podcast: Graeme Samuel on data governance.

Many Australians are worried about the proliferation of data businesses and the government knowing too much about them. Data Governance Australia chairman Graeme Samuel hopes that a self-regulatory code of conduct will raise the standards among data-driven organisations. Despite the pervasiveness of data in our daily lives, he argues most people don't understand the extent to which organisations use…

2 Hosts: Michelle Grattan and Graeme Samuel

Politics podcast: Anna Krien on the climate wars

Politics podcast: Anna Krien on the climate wars.

Melbourne-born author Anna Krien's latest Quarterly Essay explores the debates on climate change policy in Australia and the ecological effects of not acting. She interviewed farmers, scientists, Indigenous groups, and activists from Bowen to Port Augusta. She says climate change denialism has transformed into "climate change nihilism". Krien says the Finkel review provides another opportunity in a…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Gladys Berejiklian on the need to reform federal-state partnerships

Politics podcast: Gladys Berejiklian on the need to reform federal-state partnerships.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian is alert to the challenge of operating in today's difficult electorate. "The digital age has brought a sense of empowerment. It's brought a sense of greater appreciation of democracy and the political process. And we need to not only respond to it, but adapt to that and make sure that we are listening during our term in office – not just at election time…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Alan Finkel on the future of Australia's energy market

Politics podcast: Alan Finkel on the future of Australia’s energy market.

Despite the government still considering his proposal for a clean energy target (CET) – after endorsing his other 49 recommendations – Chief Scientist Alan Finkel is optimistic the CET remains firmly on the agenda. Finkel's challenging task has been to put forward a scheme to bring Australia's energy market into the future, providing certainty for investment and supply. His plan has required a balance…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Josh Frydenberg, George Christensen and Mark Butler on the Finkel review

Politics podcast: Josh Frydenberg, George Christensen and Mark Butler on the Finkel review.

Malcolm Turnbull declared on Wednesday he'd "provided decisive leadership on energy". It is a claim perhaps better cast in the future tense. The debate over the Finkel panel's recommendation for a clean energy target (CET) is just beginning, and already it is clear that reaching an outcome that brings the certainty the business community needs to invest will be a hard slog for Turnbull, who will be…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: John Blaxland on handling Islamist terrorism

Politics podcast: John Blaxland on handling Islamist terrorism.

Events in Britain, the New South Wales coroner's report on the Lindt Cafe siege, and a new attack in Australia have given a much sharper edge to the debate about how to handle Islamist terrorism. Amid the hype, ANU security expert John Blaxland provides a reality check. He says while there's an escalation of and change in the nature of terrorist attacks, collaboration between Australian police and…

2 Hosts: Michelle Grattan and John Blaxland

Politics podcast: Matt Canavan on Adani

Politics podcast: Matt Canavan on Adani

The Coalition has backed the Adani Carmichael coal mine but there's debate about assistance for the project, and argument about the jobs it would create in the region. Resources Minister Matt Canavan argues there's a role for the government to invest in large-scale infrastructure. He tells The Conversation this mine is only one part of a plan for "opening up the Galilee Basin" to provide investment…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Chris Bowen on Labor's budget responses

Politics podcast: Chris Bowen on Labor’s budget responses.

Labor has come under fire for some of its budget responses, including its opposition to the schools package, and only partial support for the Medicare levy increase. Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen rejects the government's argument about the schools plan being more "needs-based" than present arrangements. He tells The Conversation its "one-size-fits-all" approach will put pressure on families and the…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Dennis Richardson on telling it like it is

Politics podcast: Dennis Richardson on telling it like it is.

Dennis Richardson, one of Australia's most respected federal public servants, has just retired after an illustrious career. He served as head of the foreign affairs department, the defence department, and ASIO, and was Australian ambassador in Washington. He was also once chief-of-staff to then-prime minister Bob Hawke. Richardson was never afraid to tell ministers what he believed they should hear…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Mathias Cormann and Anna Bligh on the new bank tax

Politics podcast: Mathias Cormann and Anna Bligh on the new bank tax.

Despite the hefty tax imposts in Tuesday’s budget, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann still insists the fiscal problem was a spending rather than a revenue one. Cornman says the problem was clearly "on the spending side", but while the government had made significant progress it couldn’t get all the savings measures through the Senate. "We’ve made some judgements that to the extent that we couldn’t…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Andrew Giles on schools funding

Politics podcast: Andrew Giles on schools funding.

The shadow assistant minister for schools, Andrew Giles, says the strong opposition from Catholic schools to the government's education package is because they were given "almost no notice" of the funding changes. "What’s different in the Catholic system from the independent sector is the practice of making systemic decisions. And that’s something that has been fundamentally ignored by the minister…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Simon Birmingham on the government's education reforms

Politics podcast: Simon Birmingham on the government’s education reforms.

This week, the government made big announcements about the future funding of schools and universities. Haunted by the unpopular 2014 budget, it is treading more carefully with its new education policies. Education Minister Simon Birmingham says one of the challenges of the 2014 budget was that there were "a lot of different pieces of policy reform all announced simultaneously". Birmingham – who took…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: John Hewson on the budget climate

Politics podcast: John Hewson on the budget climate.

John Hewson, a former Liberal leader and chair in the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the Australian National University, describes the uncertain economic climate into which Treasurer Scott Morrison will deliver next week's budget. "I think it's an occupational hazard for treasurers that they're always optimistic – always try to put a better gloss than is the case," Hewson says. "I've been analysing…

2 Hosts: Michelle Grattan and John Hewson

Politics podcast: Jane Halton on how to make a federal budget

Politics podcast: Jane Halton on how to make a federal budget. The Conversation/ University of Canberra23.9 MB (download)

Jane Halton, a former finance department secretary and an adjunct professor, appeared at cabinet's expenditure review committee over nearly 30 years. Halton describes the inner workings of the federal budget in what's known as "the razor gang". The razor gang, comprised of the treasurer, the finance minister and then a couple of senior ministers, scrutinises the government's spending and savings in…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Peter Jennings on North Korea's aggression

Politics podcast: Peter Jennings on North Korea’s aggression.

As North Korea continues to antagonise the US and its allies, the prospect of war hangs in the air. But Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, says he doesn't think we'll see armed conflict with North Korea any time this year. "I think the US has now resolved that it's going to exhaust all diplomatic options first before it thinks about pre-emptively striking…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Jenny Lambert on the 457 visa scrapping

Politics podcast: Jenny Lambert on the 457 visa scrapping.

This week, the government announced it would abolish the 457 visa and replace it with a new temporary skill shortage visa program. The change has met a mixed response from businesses. Jenny Lambert, director of employment, education and training at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says the key issue for the business community is to "try and reset the button on confidence in the temporary…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Gareth Evans on Australian self-reliance

Politics podcast: Gareth Evans on Australian self-reliance.

In a speech to the National Press Club on Thursday, former Labor foreign minister Gareth Evans lambasted US President Donald Trump and called on Australia to become more self-reliant. Evans described Trump as "manifestly the most ill-informed, under-prepared, ethically challenged and psychologically ill-equipped president in US history". Evans, who is chancellor of the Australian National University…

2 Hosts: Michelle Grattan and Gareth Evans

Politics podcast: Matthew Sussex on Russia's long game

Politics podcast: Matthew Sussex on Russia’s long game.

A cloud continues to hover over Russian interference in the US presidential election. Associate professor Matthew Sussex, academic director at the Australian National University's National Security College and a specialist in Russian foreign and strategic policy, says Russia's meddling has been "exceptionally damaging". "I think that the Kremlin was really dreading having a Hillary Clinton White House…

2 Hosts: Michelle Grattan and Matthew Sussex

Politics podcast: David Marr on Pauline Hanson's star power

Politics podcast: David Marr on Pauline Hanson’s star power.

In his latest Quarterly Essay, journalist David Marr delves into why Pauline Hanson attracts so much attention. Looking at figures from the last election, Marr also paints a portrait of those voting for One Nation. "The principal characteristics of her followers are this: they're white, they're at least third-generation Australians, they are – unlike most Australians – pessimistic about their own prospects…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Michaelia Cash on union misconduct

Politics podcast: Michaelia Cash on union misconduct.

The government this week introduced a bill that aims to put a stop to secret agreements between employers and unions without the knowledge of union members. The next hurdle will be the Senate, although it's possible Labor may support the legislation. Employment Minister Michaelia Cash says she is always in discussion with the Senate crossbenchers about the implementation of the recommendations from…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Richard Di Natale on the future of work

Politics podcast: Richard Di Natale on the future of work.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale is calling for a reimagining of the way Australians approach work. "What we're saying is: let's have a look at some of the models around the world," he says. "It's absolutely possible, as we've seen in places like Sweden, where in the aged-care sector people are working a six-hour day rather than an eight-hour day, but they're actually delivering a productivity dividend…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: WA election – Mark McGowan accuses Turnbull of bluffing

Politics podcast: WA election – Mark McGowan accuses Turnbull of bluffing.

The end of the mining boom has hit many people in Western Australia hard, and this has flowed strongly into the election. Debt and deficit are besetting the state budget. In this final podcast from Perth, we talk to economist Alan Duncan about the challenges for the state’s economy and for whoever forms government after Saturday, as WA undertakes a vast transition. We also interview Opposition Leader…

2 Hosts: Michelle Grattan and Alan Duncan

Politics podcast: WA poll – Kim Beazley on One Nation

Politics podcast: WA poll – Kim Beazley on One Nation.

In our second podcast from the Western Australian election, we talk to Kim Beazley, especially about One Nation. Beazley was federal Labor leader during Pauline Hanson's first political phase. He sees her as a national security threat and believes she should be opposed in the strongest terms. "We [in WA] are probably more conscious of southeast Asia. We do more trade with southeast Asia ... with Indonesia…

3 Hosts: Michelle Grattan, Kim Beazley, and William Bowe

Politics podcast: election report from the West

Politics podcast: election report from the West.

In the first of three Conversation podcasts on the Western Australian election, we talk to Natalie Mast at the University of Western Australia, Premier Colin Barnett and ABC election analyst Antony Green. Saturday's election potentially carries a hefty national punch. The polls are running strongly against the Liberal government. If Colin Barnett loses, the federal Liberals will become even more jittery…

2 Hosts: Michelle Grattan and Natalie Mast

Politics podcast: former ambassador Jeff Bleich on the shocks of the Trump presidency

Politics podcast: former ambassador Jeff Bleich on the shocks of the Trump presidency.

Australia got a taste of US President Donald Trump's approach to diplomacy in a sensational phone call with Malcolm Turnbull, details of which were leaked to the Washington Post. But the former US ambassador to Australia during the Obama years, Jeff Bleich, says the reaction in the US was "very helpful" to Australia. "Because one person after another, myself included, was called onto TV to talk about…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Ken Coates on the future of higher education

Politics podcast: Ken Coates on the future of higher education.

With university graduates finding it harder to find jobs, questions have been raised about the merits of a typical tertiary qualification. Dr Ken Coates, Canada research chair in regional innovation at University Saskatchewan Campus, says by 2050 we're going to have hundreds of more specialised, boutique institutions. "We'll have a smaller number of what we call these 'multiversities' - the large scale…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Hugh Saddler on Australia's energy crisis

Politics podcast: Hugh Saddler on Australia’s energy crisis.

As politicians debate the causes of South Australia's power failures, separating fact from rhetoric has become difficult. In this episode of The Conversation's politics podcast, Michelle Grattan interviews energy expert Hugh Saddler. Saddler explains the complex mix of factors behind the power failures in South Australia and the stresses on the electricity systems elsewhere, and canvases what can be…

2 Hosts: Michelle Grattan and Hugh Saddler

Politics podcast: Anthony Albanese on Labor's approach to infrastructure

Politics podcast: Anthony Albanese on Labor’s approach to infrastructure.

Labor's edge over the government in the polls has seen the party stay united. But it has not stopped speculation about whether frontbencher Anthony Albanese would be a better fit as leader of the party. Albanese dismisses Coalition jibes about him being the alternative leader. He tells Michelle Grattan it's the government who has internal issues. "The government are I think more divided than I've seen…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Barnaby Joyce on a year at the top

Politics podcast: Barnaby Joyce on a year at the top.

Celebrating his one-year anniversary of becoming National Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce is well aware of the challenge posed by One Nation. Joyce tells Michelle Grattan he knows "there's a battle on", as the Queensland election looms. He agrees regional seats in that state are particularly vulnerable to falling to Pauline Hanson's party. "I take every political vote seriously…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Cory Bernardi on why he spurned the Liberals

Politics podcast: Cory Bernardi on why he spurned the Liberals.

A day after moving to the crossbench, Cory Bernardi is feeling the heat. The media, former Liberal colleagues and South Australian voters all have a view on his defection, especially coming only months after he was re-elected under his then party's banner. "People will say what they're going to say. And I've tried to be consistent. I've been accused of many things in my time in politics but I've looked…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Arthur Sinodinos on the government's headwinds

Politics podcast: Arthur Sinodinos on the government’s headwinds.

At the beginning of the parliamentary year, the government is beleaguered on several fronts. But Arthur Sinodinos, one of the Coalition's most experienced operators and the newly appointed minister for industry, innovation and science, is determined to be optimistic. "You can't rule any possibilities out, including the possibility that the government actually goes from strength to strength as we go…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Chris Richardson on the state of the Australian economy

Politics podcast: Chris Richardson on the state of the Australian economy.

Ahead of next week's mid-year economic and fiscal outlook, the government has been hit with the sobering news that real GDP shrank in the September quarter. Deloitte Access Economics' Chris Richardson offers some context to the gloomy figures. "Perhaps a better way to describe it is the numbers have been artificially good for a while and now they're looking artificially bad. The bottom line is that…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Nick Xenophon on working the new parliament

Politics podcast: Nick Xenophon on working the new parliament.

As the curtain falls on the year, one of the most powerful players in the new parliament looks back on his successes. Nick Xenophon nominates whistleblower protections and procurement law changes negotiated alongside the government's industrial relations legislation as major achievements. "The government has agreed to sweeping changes to whistleblower protections in this country. Compensation for whistleblowers…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Josh Frydenberg on climate change and the 2017 review

Politics podcast: Josh Frydenberg on climate change and the 2017 review.

After ratifying the Paris agreement on climate change, the government is looking ahead to its 2017 review of climate change policy. Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg tells Michelle Grattan the government will have more to say about the review before Christmas. "The key is to ensure we're on track to meet our 2030 targets, which is a 26-28% reduction in our emissions by 2030 on 2005 levels…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Jenny Macklin on Labor's approach to welfare

Politics podcast: Jenny Macklin on Labor’s approach to welfare.

In times of budgetary constraint, the cost of Australia's welfare system has been regarded by many in the Coalition as a burden and a drag on economic growth. The shadow minister for social services and families, Jenny Macklin, has a different take. "Sadly I think the Liberal-National Coalition have an ideological view that the welfare system is too generous – even though the international evidence…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Barnaby Joyce on the state of the National Party

Politics podcast: Barnaby Joyce on the state of the National Party.

Earlier this week, footage aired of Attorney-General George Brandis speculating that Queensland's Liberal National Party might demerge. But Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says this won't happen. "It's not going to happen. You know why? Because the people who make that decision is not George, or myself or anybody else, it's the membership and the membership would have to decide…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Rory Medcalf on the security implications of Donald Trump's presidency

Politics podcast: Rory Medcalf on the security implications of Donald Trump’s presidency.

For allies of the United States, the reality of a Donald Trump presidency has just begun to sink in. Former Australian diplomat and intelligence analyst, Professor Rory Medcalf, who heads the National Security College at ANU, tells Michelle Grattan that for Australia, the shock of the Trump presidency will mean that we have to think much more seriously about what our foreign policy and national security…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Julian Leeser on section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

Politics podcast: Julian Leeser on section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Many in the government have clamoured for changes to be made to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Liberal backbencher Julian Leeser, however is not one of them. The member for the northern Sydney seat of Berowra tells Michelle Grattan there are definitely people within the Liberal Party who share his view that Section 18C "achieves a good balance between allowing people the freedom of speech…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Kim Beazley on the US election

Politics podcast: Kim Beazley on the US election.

Kim Beazley's time as Australia's ambassador to the United States came to an end earlier this year, but he is riveted by next week's presidential election. "When I was the ambassador to Washington I just missed politics every day. In this year, I am missing the United States every day," he says. Beazley tells Michelle Grattan that "slightly, on balance" Hillary Clinton is more likely to win. "But the…

2 Hosts: Michelle Grattan and Kim Beazley

Politics podcast: John Blaxland on The Secret Cold War - The Official History of ASIO

Politics podcast: John Blaxland on The Secret Cold War - The Official History of ASIO.

In the third volume of The Official History of ASIO series, historians Dr John Blaxland and Dr Rhys Crawley examine the organisation's role in the years leading to the end of the Cold War. Blaxland tells Michelle Grattan that this is a story about looking at Australia in the '70s and '80s "through the glasses of an ASIO officer or an ASIO agent". During the period covered in the book, Blaxland says…

2 Hosts: Michelle Grattan and John Blaxland

Politics podcast: Stirling Griff and Skye Kakoschke-Moore on life in the Senate

Politics podcast: Stirling Griff and Skye Kakoschke-Moore on life in the Senate.

Nick Xenophon's two new Senate colleagues, Stirling Griff and Skye Kakoschke-Moore, are no strangers to the political process, having both worked with Xenophon behind the scenes. In a joint interview, they tell Michelle Grattan about their contrasting experiences in becoming politicians. Kakoschke-Moore says she has had the benefit of being around Xenophon for nearly six years. "So I understand the…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Tanya Plibersek on marriage equality and education funding

Politics podcast: Tanya Plibersek on marriage equality and education funding.

In the wake of Labor's rejection of the proposed same-sex marriage plebiscite, speculation has fallen on whether it will maintain its planned policy of enforcing a binding vote on marriage equality after the next election. Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek tells Michelle Grattan she doesn't think the issue will come up at the party's next national conference. "I know that the Liberals are trying…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Mark Dreyfus on George Brandis' solicitor-general controversy

Politics podcast: Mark Dreyfus on George Brandis’ solicitor-general controversy.

A contentious move by Attorney-General George Brandis to restrict access to legal advice from the solicitor-general is continuing to raise controversy and questions about its legal validity. Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus tells Michelle Grattan that he sees this as "the most extraordinary power grab by the Attorney-General in the history of the office". "We already know that he's held up requests…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Simon Birmingham on the new VET student loan scheme

Politics podcast: Simon Birmingham on the new VET student loan scheme.

A new vocational education and training student loan scheme will aim at putting a stop to rorting by dodgy private colleges. Education Minister Simon Birmingham tells Michelle Grattan the new scheme is being built from the ground up. "First and foremost, [there will be] strong barriers to entry for the types of vocational education providers who can offer loans as part of it," he says. The reforms…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Scott Ryan on the same-sex marriage plebiscite and political donations

Politics podcast: Scott Ryan on the same-sex marriage plebiscite and political donations.

Monday's government-Labor meeting over the proposed same-sex marriage plebiscite ended in a stalemate. But Special Minister of State Scott Ryan tells Michelle Grattan the government has made it very clear it will consider in "good faith" any proposal Bill Shorten and Labor bring forward. "The meeting was an opportunity for them – even if they didn't have the power to make formal suggestions – to actually…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Peter Jennings on Turnbull's trip to the US

Politics podcast: Peter Jennings on Turnbull’s trip to the US.

At the UN next week Malcolm Turnbull will be among many leaders responding to the large movements of refugees and migrants across the world. Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, tells Michelle Grattan that the purpose of US President Barack Obama's meeting is to get other countries to accept more refugees through legal channels. "I don't think he's going…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Don Watson on the rise of Trump

Politics podcast: Don Watson on the rise of Trump.

Earlier this year, Australian writer Don Watson visited the United States, observing the race for president. Rather than examine the "rust belt" or "down-at-heel" cities, Watson chose America's heartland. "I found in Wisconsin many of the underlying themes of this election. And that sort of Gothic quality of the United States where everything has a very deep and often dark story behind it." Watson…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Eric Abetz on the conservatives in the Liberal Party

Politics podcast: Eric Abetz on the conservatives in the Liberal Party.

In the first sitting of the new parliament, conservatives within the government have muscled a proposed amendment to the Racial Discrimination Act onto the agenda. Senator Eric Abetz, a strong advocate for change, tells Michelle Grattan that he doubts it will be dealt with this year. "It will be introduced and then I think it would make sense for it to go through the normal processes. It may well go…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Fred Smith on The Dust of Uruzgan

Politics podcast: Fred Smith on The Dust of Uruzgan.

Fred Smith is no ordinary Australian diplomat. In postings served in the Uruzgan Province of Afghanistan, he built relationships with tribal leaders while continuing his side-career as a folk musician. Smith, who has written about his experiences in a book, The Dust of Uruzgan, tells Michelle Grattan for the first three or four months he stashed his guitar under the bed. "You know, I wanted to be taken…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Bob Brown on Malcolm Turnbull and the same-sex marriage plebiscite

Politics podcast: Bob Brown on Malcolm Turnbull and the same-sex marriage plebiscite.

Since retiring from politics in 2012, former Greens leader Bob Brown has continued to offer sharp perspectives on issues of national debate. After giving the closing address at the Canberra Writers' Festival at the weekend, Brown tells Michelle Grattan that Malcolm Turnbull should have "stood up to the right wing" of his party at the end of 2015. "We now have a reactionary and conservative government…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Derryn Hinch on becoming a senator

Politics podcast: Derryn Hinch on becoming a senator.

Incoming Victorian senator Derryn Hinch has the potential to be an ally or an enemy to the government's agenda. Describing his political philosophy, Hinch says he isn't in the Senate "just to be opposition". "If I was in America I'd be a Democrat. I'm conservative on some issues. Very conservative. And that's over law-and-order issues and I've campaigned on those over the years. If I'm a socialist…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Karen Middleton on Albanese – Telling It Straight

Politics podcast: Karen Middleton on Albanese – Telling It Straight.

This week, political reporter Karen Middleton is releasing a book about the life and career of Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese. At its heart is a deeply personal story of Albanese's absent father. As a boy, Albanese believed his father had died in a car accident shortly after his parent's marriage. But at the age of 14 his mother told him the truth. Middleton tells Michelle Grattan she came to…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Anne Aly on counter-terrorism policy

Politics podcast: Anne Aly on counter-terrorism policy.

When parliament returns later this month, Labor's Anne Aly will become the first Muslim woman to take a seat in the lower house. Aly is an internationally renowned scholar on counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation. In 2014, she was the only Australian expert invited to attend Barack Obama's summit on countering violent extremism. Aly tells Michelle Grattan she has spoken with many people who have…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Linda Burney on the 50th anniversary of the Wave Hill walk-off

Politics podcast: Linda Burney on the 50th anniversary of the Wave Hill walk-off.

Next week, Australians will look back at one the most significant moments in the struggle for Indigenous rights. August 23 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wave Hill walk-off, when Vincent Lingiari led a group of 200 Aboriginal workers and their families off a Northern Territory pastoral station in protest against their exploitative pay and working conditions. Labor's spokesperson for human services…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Tom Calma says Nigel Scullion should go

Politics podcast: Tom Calma says Nigel Scullion should go.

The royal commission into the Northern Territory's youth detention and child protection systems has had a shaky start. The Four Corners program that spurred the federal government into action has also raised questions about its previous knowledge of reports of abuse at the Don Dale detention centre. Chancellor of the University of Canberra Tom Calma, who is co-chair of Reconciliation Australia and…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Tiernan Brady on the campaign for same-sex marriage

Politics podcast: Tiernan Brady on the campaign for same-sex marriage.

Tiernan Brady was the political director of the "yes" campaign during the Irish referendum on same-sex marriage. With the government pushing ahead with plans for a plebiscite on the issue, Brady is in Australia to help advise local advocates. Brady tells Michelle Grattan one of the most important aspects of the Irish referendum was that they recognised that it should always be about "a real person…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Jim Chalmers on Labor's approach to the economy

Politics podcast: Jim Chalmers on Labor’s approach to the economy.

Labor begins its next phase in opposition with bigger numbers in the parliament and with a new level of confidence as it confronts the government. Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation Jim Chalmers tells Michelle Grattan Labor has a pretty good record of "supporting what they can" of government savings measures. "The way I like to describe it is when it comes to the budget, you…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Darren Chester on the Nationals' success

Politics podcast: Darren Chester on the Nationals’ success.

By increasing their numbers within the government, the Nationals were the surprise success story of the election, with a very locally focused campaign. The infrastructure and transport minister, Darren Chester, tells Michelle Grattan the presidential style of campaigning that is becoming more prevalent in Australia doesn't suit the Nationals. "We don't necessarily benefit from that style of campaigning…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Wayne Swan on Labor's next moves

Politics podcast: Wayne Swan on Labor’s next moves.

As a veteran of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years, former treasurer Wayne Swan is a politician with a great deal of experience with parliamentary instability. With the outcome of the election still uncertain, Swan tells Michelle Grattan Labor should approach the next period ahead in a very positive way. "We put [forward] a comprehensive agenda for inclusive growth. What you saw at this election was the defeat…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: James Pearson on the knife-edge result and business confidence

Politics podcast: James Pearson on the knife-edge result and business confidence.

The election has plunged Australia into uncertainty and placed a possible question mark over the country for companies looking to invest. Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO James Pearson tells Michelle Grattan that businesses are disappointed there isn't a clear result and that policies that are pro-business will now be harder to get through parliament. "The call from business now is to…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Election podcast: Nick Xenophon on his play for Senate power

Election podcast: Nick Xenophon on his play for Senate power.

Senator Nick Xenophon is the South Australian "vote magnet". He is making both the Coalition and Labor nervous as he spreads his brand at this election. His probable success promises not just more Senate seats for the nascent party but a powerful role in the new Senate for its leader. Xenophon tells Michelle Grattan he believes that while governments have a mandate to introduce legislation, the Senate…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Election podcast: Tony Abbott on his campaign role

Election podcast: Tony Abbott on his campaign role.

Tony Abbott has been low key so far this election, spending much of his time campaigning in his own electorate, with some visits to MPs who invite him. Speaking with Michelle Grattan, he plays up being part of the team. He admits staunch Liberals have issues with the superannuation changes but says "the point I keep making to them is that we cannot avoid tough decisions", and does not expect the policy…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Election podcast: the Greens' fight for Batman and Wills

Election podcast: the Greens’ fight for Batman and Wills.

The Greens, who already hold the seat of Melbourne, are making a big play for two nearby Labor-held seats – Batman, held by David Feeney, and Wills, where the popular Kelvin Thomson is retiring. Labor is especially worried about Batman, where Feeney's failure to declare his A$2.3 million house added to his already embattled position. This week The Conversation spoke to Greens leader Richard Di Natale…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Election podcast: the Indi project

Election podcast: the Indi project.

The battle for the Victorian seat of Indi is shaping up as a three-way contest. Independent Cathy McGowan is trying to fend off the former member Sophie Mirabella and the Nationals' Marty Corboy. McGowan tells Michelle Grattan the election will come down to preferences. "I’m hoping that the National Party people will consider giving me their second preference and I’m hoping that Liberal Party people…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Election podcast: Sam Dastyari on the 'Bill Bus'

Election podcast: Sam Dastyari on the ‘Bill Bus’

The Labor Party has been driving a campaign bus from Cairns to Canberra. On Sunday night senator Sam Dastyari, leader of the "Bill Bus", told supporters at a Canberra pub they had raised enough money to extend its journey through to Melbourne and would be leaving the next morning. After giving a speech to the faithful, Dastyari tells Michelle Grattan they have been getting a lot of local media in small…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Election podcast: the battle for New England

Election podcast: the battle for New England.

This is The Conversation’s first election podcast, where we visit the New South Wales seat of New England. The electorate is held by deputy prime minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, who is under challenge from former independent member Tony Windsor. Joyce predicts the government will "take a haircut" at the election, and talks about New England becoming a net exporter of renewable energy in…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Andrew Leigh on Labor's budget reply

Politics podcast: Andrew Leigh on Labor’s budget reply.

In response to the government's pre-election budget, Labor's Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh, a former professor of economics, describes an alternative economic plan. Leigh tells Michelle Grattan that a Labor government would have delivered a budget that faced down Australia's big economic challenges. "They include declining living standards: income per capita in real net terms has declined…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: In Conversation with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Politics podcast: In Conversation with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

On the cusp of calling the election, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sat down with Michelle Grattan to talk about the budget. When the discussion turned to political trust, Turnbull said it’s critical to be very upfront about issues, to explain what the problems are, and to explain how you propose to resolve them. "I think there is a gotcha culture in the media and perhaps in the political discourse…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Budget podcast: Mathias Cormann on the government's economic plan

Budget podcast: Mathias Cormann on the government’s economic plan.

Sleep is at a premium in Canberra this week. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is one of those doing the post-budget heavy lifting, with 22 media interviews on Wednesday. He sat down with Michelle Grattan to discuss the government's long-term economic plan.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Budget podcast: John Daley on the big picture

Budget podcast: John Daley on the big picture.

From the Parliament House lockup, Grattan Institute CEO John Daley joins Michelle Grattan to give an overall picture of the government’s pre-election budget.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Robert Simms on the evolution of the Greens

Politics podcast: Robert Simms on the evolution of the Greens.

The future of senator Robert Simms, one of the freshest faces in the Greens team, may hang on whether he is first or second on his party's ticket. In his home state of South Australia, where the Nick Xenophon Team looks to be strong, the Greens face a particularly tough battle. But Simms tells Michelle Grattan he thinks the Greens have a chance of retaining their two seats. "There's no question it's…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Sarah Ferguson on The Killing Season uncut

Politics podcast: Sarah Ferguson on The Killing Season uncut.

In 2015, the ABC aired a gripping documentary series covering the tumultuous Rudd-Gillard era. This week, the series’ writer and interviewer Sarah Ferguson has released a book developed from the documentary. Ferguson tells Michelle Grattan she longed for a single villain or a single narrative that she could pursue to the ends of the earth. The widely acclaimed journalist talks about the difficulties…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Angus Taylor on cities and digital transformation

Politics podcast: Angus Taylor on cities and digital transformation.

In his ministerial reshuffle earlier this year, Malcolm Turnbull made Angus Taylor, an up-and-coming Liberal MP, the assistant minister for cities and digital transformation. Taylor tells Michelle Grattan there needs to be agreement across all three levels of government to meet the challenges of jobs growth, transport and housing affordability faced by the nation's cities. "We have already said we're…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Hugh White on Turnbull's China visit

Politics podcast: Hugh White on Turnbull’s China visit.

Malcolm Turnbull will visit China this week in his first time there as prime minister. The two-day trip, including Shanghai and Beijing, will juggle trade and political issues. ANU professor of strategic studies Hugh White tells Michelle Grattan that Turnbull will be primarily focused on the economic agenda. "Turnbull is one of those who remain bullish about China. He thinks its economic prospects…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Peter Whish-Wilson on the need for a royal commission into banks

Politics podcast: Peter Whish-Wilson on the need for a royal commission into banks.

The global scandal surrounding the release of the Panama papers and Malcolm Turnbull's criticism of Australian banks have put the spotlight on the often murky world of banking and finance. Greens finance spokesman Peter Whish-Wilson, who had a pre-parliamentary career on Wall Street, tells Michelle Grattan one reason he walked away from the banking industry was because of its culture. "You're only…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Glenn Lazarus on the government's industrial relations legislation

Politics podcast: Glenn Lazarus on the government’s industrial relations legislation.

Senators will return to Canberra later this month with the expectation that they will give final consideration to the government's industrial relations legislation – unless they decide to refuse to consider it. Glenn Lazarus, whose approval the government may need if the bills are to have any hope of passing, tells Michelle Grattan he will not be bullied or blackmailed into giving his support. Lazarus…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: George Wright on Labor's chances of winning the election

Politics podcast: George Wright on Labor’s chances of winning the election.

While Labor goes into the coming election as underdog, the party's strategy to win government will capitalise on what it sees as its competitive advantages. From Labor’s national secretariat in Canberra, campaign director George Wright tells Michelle Grattan the party will be working hard to increase its direct contact with voters. "We worked very hard at that in 2013 and we will work even harder on…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Ricky Muir's fight to stay in the Senate

Politics podcast: Ricky Muir’s fight to stay in the Senate.

The Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party’s Ricky Muir this week made an unsuccessful last roll of the dice to try to delay the government's Senate voting reform legislation. The bill will prevent almost all "micro" players being elected to the Senate, and facilitate the government driving out most of the current bunch if it holds a double-dissolution election. But Muir tells Michelle Grattan the reforms…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Tony Windsor on his bid for New England

Politics podcast: Tony Windsor on his bid for New England.

In what promises to be one of the toughest contests at the election, former independent MP Tony Windsor will try to retake the seat of New England from Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Windsor tells Michelle Grattan he believes the seat is winnable. "I'm not naive in politics, I know there will be an enormous amount of money thrown at this but my campaign will be based on people – and people power…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Mathias Cormann on Senate reform

Politics podcast: Mathias Cormann on Senate reform.

Following recommendations from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, the government has amended its Senate reform bill to include provision for optional preferential voting "below the line" as well as "above the line". Special Minister of State Mathias Cormann explains the details of the changes and says the bill "empowers the Australian people to determine what happens to their votes…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: senator David Leyonhjelm on Malcolm Turnbull

Politics podcast: senator David Leyonhjelm on Malcolm Turnbull.

Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm has accused Malcolm Turnbull of failing to live up to his promise to liaise closely with the Senate crossbenchers. As the "micro" players react furiously to the government's proposed Senate voting changes, Leyonhjelm tells Michelle Grattan he has not heard from Turnbull since his call in his first week as prime minister. Despite the "reservoir of goodwill…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Francis Sullivan on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

Politics podcast: Francis Sullivan on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Soaring community outrage over the issue of child sexual abuse was this week fanned by a Tim Minchin song calling for Cardinal George Pell to return home to Australia to give evidence to the royal commission. Francis Sullivan, CEO of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council, tells Michelle Grattan that his organisation supports the crowd-funded push to fly victims to Rome and describes Pell as a lightning…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill on the tax debate

Politics podcast: South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill on the tax debate.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill's willingness to countenance an increase to the GST angered federal Labor colleagues. But Weatherill tells Michelle Grattan he has no regrets about his "circuit-breaker" intervention – although he also concedes an increase to the GST is not really a solution to the states' revenue problems. "It raises too much money in the early years and too little in the later…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Kelly O'Dwyer on tax reform

Politics podcast: Kelly O'Dwyer on tax reform.

As the government considers a tax reform agenda without changing the GST, Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer discusses tax and superannuation with Michelle Grattan – and strongly defends the Business Council of Australia's Jennifer Westacott against an attack by Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger. O’Dwyer also suggests the Liberal Party tap talented women on the shoulder to get more female representation…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Nick Xenophon on launching a political party

Politics podcast: Nick Xenophon on launching a political party.

At the start of a frenetic year for independent Nick Xenophon, the South Australian senator tells Michelle Grattan his new national political party, the Nick Xenophon Team, will fill a vacuum. "People want a genuine choice from the political centre. I think they're sick of the left and right skirmishes we see in politics – the red team, blue team approach where even if one side acknowledges that the…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Michaelia Cash on the government's push to restore the ABCC

Michaelia Cash.

As the government turns up the heat over its push to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has revealed she is willing to agree to senator David Leyonhjelm's call for a sunset clause in the legislation. "David has raised that with me and ... yes, I would accept an eight-year sunset clause," she said. She said in that time the ABCC would…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Tony Burke on Labor's fiscal challenge

Politics podcast: Tony Burke on Labor’s fiscal challenge.

In the first Politics Podcast for 2016, Michelle Grattan and Shadow Finance Minister Tony Burke discuss the challenging gap between government revenue and spending, and what Labor would do to address the problem. Burke pitches Labor’s recent education announcements as being central to its economic vision, describing them as a "strategic economic investment" in what Australia will need post the mining…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Andrew Leigh on MYEFO

Politics podcast: Andrew Leigh on MYEFO.

Michelle Grattan discusses the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook with Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh, gauging his thoughts on the savings measures announced by the government and how Labor would address the issue of budget repair.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Peter Reith on the Turnbull government

Politics podcast: Peter Reith on the Turnbull government.

Former Howard government minister Peter Reith, who has just released his recollections of the period in his book The Reith Papers, talks about the challenges facing the Turnbull government including his view that Tony Abbott needs to keep his head down for a while, the pros and cons of increasing the GST and the predicament facing Mal Brough.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Bill Ferris on innovation

Politics podcast: Bill Ferris on innovation.

The newly appointed chair of Innovation Australia, Bill Ferris, talks about his early experiences investing in start-ups in the 1970s, the need for Australia to bring its ideas and inventions to market, and the way to tackle a business culture that fears failure.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Simon Birmingham on education reform

Politics podcast: Simon Birmingham on education reform.

Michelle Grattan speaks with Education Minister Simon Birmingham about his negotiations for a new higher education package, efforts to crack down on rorting in the vocational educational sector and the government's overhaul of the childcare system.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Christian Porter on domestic violence

Christian Porter on domestic violence.

Michelle Grattan speaks with Social Services Minister Christian Porter about the government's moves on domestic violence, his thinking on welfare reform and his support for making adoption easier.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: the danger of leasing the Port of Darwin to the Chinese

Politics podcast: the danger of leasing the Port of Darwin to the Chinese.

Australian Strategic Policy Institute executive director Peter Jennings has strongly criticised the decision to lease the Port of Darwin to a Chinese company, saying it is a deep strategic mistake after a flawed policy process. Speaking to Michelle Grattan, Jennings also canvasses the difficulties of co-ordinating Russian and American military action in the Syrian conflict, and warns Australia could…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Katy Gallagher on transitioning from chief minister to senator

Politics podcast: Katy Gallagher on transitioning from chief minister to senator.

Former ACT chief minister Katy Gallagher, now a federal Labor senator with new responsibilities in the shadow ministry, admits she has found the jump into the bigger political pool challenging. She has also had to do a pivot in her views on increasing the GST. Here she also talks about mental health, federal-state relations and Labor's face-off with Malcolm Turnbull.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: John Blaxland on his new book, The Official History of ASIO

Politics podcast: John Blaxland on his new book, The Official History of ASIO.

Michelle Grattan discusses the newly released book The Protest Years: The Official History of ASIO 1963-1975 with its author, John Blaxland. Among several controversies, they review the evidence supporting conspiracy theories surrounding the dismissal of the Whitlam government and the fractious relationship between the agency and Labor Attorney-General Lionel Murphy.

2 Hosts: Michelle Grattan and John Blaxland

Politics podcast: Sarah Hanson-Young on the plight of 'Abyan'

Politics podcast: Sarah Hanson-Young on the plight of Abyan.

In this interview, Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young calls on the government to appoint an independent advocate to protect the interests of the Somali woman known as "Abyan", who is being held on Nauru. Michelle Grattan also probes Hanson-Young on the Greens' electoral prospects following the ascension of Malcolm Turnbull to the prime ministership.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Sam Dastyari unleashed

Sam Dastyari Unleashed

In The Conversation's first live podcast, which took place in Canberra's Muse wine bar and bookstore, Sam Dastyari gives a candid insight into Labor's strategy to win back government, the threat of the Greens and much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Jamie Briggs on the infrastructure needs of Australian cities

Politics podcast: Jamie Briggs on the infrastructure needs of Australian cities.

In the cabinet reshuffle that followed the Liberal Party leadership spill, new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appointed Jamie Briggs as the Minister for Cities and the Built Environment. Jamie Briggs joins Michelle Grattan to talk about his new portfolio, the policy pivot away from just roads toward other infrastructure projects like public transport, the changes under the new prime minister and much…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Kim Carr on Labor's new higher education policy

Higher education looms as a key issue in the next federal election. The Labor Party released its higher education policy this week. Shadow Higher Education Minister Kim Carr joins Michelle Grattan to talk about the new policy in depth.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Arthur Sinodinos on why Australia needed a new prime minister

Politics podcast: Arthur Sinodinos on why Australia needed a new prime minister.

Arthur Sinodinos was a key backer of Malcolm Turnbull. In this interview with Michelle Grattan he talks about why the Liberals needed a change in leadership, what he hopes will change in the running of the Prime Minister's Office and much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Josh Frydenberg on Syria, the refugee intake and the economy

Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg joins Michelle Grattan to talk about the Syrian conflict, Australia's humanitarian refugee intake, the economy, and much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Canning byelection special

Politics podcast: Canning byelection special.

Michelle Grattan spent two days this week in Canning, Western Australia, where campaigning is building up for the byelection on September 19. The Liberal Party currently holds the seat by a margin of about 12%. Its former member was Don Randall, who died suddenly in July. In a break from our usual longform format, we conducted short interviews with Labor candidate Matt Keogh, Labor deputy leader Tanya…

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Peter Varghese on foreign aid and the Australian world view

Politics podcast: Peter Varghese on foreign aid and the Australian world view.

The secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Varghese sat down with Michelle Grattan to talk about aid, the integration of AUSAID, Islamic State, the Asian century and much, much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Michael McCormack – the Nationals member for Riverina

Politics podcast: Michael McCormack – the Nationals member for Riverina.

Michael McCormack is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and the Nationals member for Riverina. He joins Michelle Grattan to talk about the future of the Nationals’ leadership, the difference in the Nationals’ political style, tax reform and much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Clare O'Neil and the future of progressive politics in Australia

Politics podcast: Clare O'Neil and the future of progressive politics in Australia.

Clare O'Neil is the Labor member for Hotham and with her colleague Tim Watts has written a book, Two Futures. The book discusses Australia in 2040 and what can be done in the short term to improve our future. Clare sat down with Michelle Grattan to talk about the book, the ideas in it and the future of progressive politics in Australia.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Chris Bowen

Politics podcast: Chris Bowen.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and Michelle Grattan step away from the day-to-day politics to talk about Bowen’s new book, The Money Men, in which he writes about twelve of Australia’s most notable treasurers. Bowen talks about the legacies of Treasurers such as Keating, Costello, Cairns and Swan, his research process, writing on the job he hopes to hold, and much, much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Anthony Albanese and Richard Marles from the ALP national conference

Politics podcast: Anthony Albanese and Richard Marles from the ALP national conference.

In a special episode recorded live at the ALP national conference, Michelle Grattan sat down with infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese to discuss the conference itself and then with immigration spokesman Richard Marles to talk about the ALP controversially adopting asylum seeker boat turnbacks.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Ben Oquist on the direction of the Greens and the Senate crossbench

Ben Oquist on the direction of the Greens and the Senate crossbench.

Ben Oquist is Executive Director of the Australia Institute and former chief of staff to former Greens leader Bob Brown. Ben sat down with Michelle Grattan to talk about the current direction of the Greens, the Senate crossbench, climate change, and the future of progressive politics in Australia.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Christophe Lecourtier on the 2015 Paris climate conference

Politics podcast: Christophe Lecourtier on the 2015 Paris climate conference.

The French Ambassador to Australia Christophe Lecourtier sits down with Michelle Grattan to talk about the 2015 Paris climate conference, Australia’s role in tackling climate change, France’s hopes for the meeting, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s attendance and much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Tim Soutphommasane on 'Team Australia' and racism

Tim Soutphommasane.

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane sits down with Michelle Grattan to talk about Dawn Fraser's comments, "Team Australia", the government's approach to terrorism and asylum seekers, and much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Mark Butler on climate change

Mark Butler.

Labor environment spokesman and new ALP federal president Mark Butler joins Michelle Grattan to talk about climate change, an ETS, the possibility of an early election, the ALP national conference and much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Malcolm Turnbull on Zaky Mallah and Q&A

Malcolm Turnbull.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull sits down with Michelle Grattan to talk about the government's new anti-online piracy measures, Zaky Mallah on ABC's Q&A, gay marriage and much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Sarah Hanson-Young on personal attacks and people smugglers

Sarah Hanson-Young.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young sits down with Michelle Grattan to talk about personal attacks on her, the accusations that people smugglers were paid by Australian officials to turn their boat around, stripping the citizenship of dual citizens engaged in terrorist activity, gay marriage, and much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

Politics podcast: Bruce Billson on the budget and small business tax cuts

Bruce Billson.

Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson sat down to talk to Michelle Grattan about the budget, the small business tax cuts, cabinet leaks, gay marriage and much more.

1 Host: Michelle Grattan

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