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All episodes by Rachel Withers

Dec 21, 2023 •

7am in 2023: The Teals

The 2022 federal election saw a historic loss for the coalition and a shift towards independent candidates. But as the cost of living became the most pressing issue for voters in 2023, the Teals’ views on social inequality started to be put to the test.

Today, we’re looking back on this interview between Ange McCormack and Rachel Withers, on the seven Teal independents and whether they can address inequality.

Dec 8, 2023 •

Australia is being toxic about immigrants again

A High Court decision ruling indefinite detention unlawful – leading to the release of 148 immigration detainees, some of whom are criminals – has sparked weeks of toxic political debate about refugees. In the last few days, the government raced to pass new immigration laws that will put an end to it, but the style of debate has already caused damage.

Today, contributing editor of The Politics for The Monthly online, Rachel Withers, on how parliament ended the year on ugly scenes.

Oct 6, 2023 •

Is this week a turning point for ‘Yes’?

While the “Yes” camp has been losing support in the Voice to Parliament referendum campaign, polls show it’s making a comeback and has even flipped some outspoken “No” voters. So, what’s behind the change, and will the “No” camp be able to maintain its lead?

Today, Rachel Withers on how Voice supporters are convincing voters and what’s in store for the campaign’s final week.

Aug 25, 2023 •

Albanese’s wasted opportunity

Australia is ageing rapidly, and our country will look very different by the turn of this century. That’s the prediction laid out in the government’s latest intergenerational report, which forecasts the state of the nation.

So, what vision does Labor have in guiding Australia into the future? And how urgently are they addressing these issues?

Jul 17, 2023 •

Can the Teals fight for the poor while representing the rich?

The 2022 federal election saw a historic loss for the coalition and a shift towards independent candidates. Elected on promises to fight climate change, advance gender issues, and advocate for more integrity in politics, the Teals won over some of the wealthiest and safest Liberal seats. But as the cost of living becomes the most pressing issue for voters, the Teals' views on social inequality are being tested.

Today, Rachel Withers on the seven Teal independents and their potential as Australia's best solution for addressing inequality.

Jun 14, 2023 •

Who leaked Brittany Higgins' texts?

Personal text messages between Brittany Higgins and her partner, David Sharaz, have been splashed over the news for days – reopening questions about the lead up to the interview when Higgins first went public with the allegation she was raped in a ministerial office.

But as the political scandal spirals, the source of the texts, the motives for the leak and the consequences of them being published have remained mostly unexamined. Today, Rachel Withers on the leak of Brittany Higgins’s texts, and what it really proves about our media.

Mar 10, 2023 •

Why can't Labor and the Greens get along?

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 are accusing the Greens of being unrealistic.

Today, contributing editor of The Politics, Rachel Withers on the impossible choice facing the Greens.

Dec 8, 2022 •

What happens next for Brittany Higgins?

The trial of Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins will not see a court room again, and a verdict will never be reached.

It leaves both parties in limbo, and already there is rampant speculation that civil lawsuits could be filed.

Jun 2, 2022 • 15m 20s

How can you follow an act like Barnaby Joyce?

Barnaby Joyce has been rolled as leader of the National Party and replaced by David Littleproud. Joyce says he’s not sad about it, but unlike Scott Morrison he did try to hang on to his party’s leadership after the election. So what state has Joyce left the Nationals in? Will his successor be any different? And is there a chance that Joyce could make yet another political comeback?

Feb 11, 2022 • 17m 30s

When Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins came to Canberra

On Tuesday, Scott Morrison formally apologised to all those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault or bullying while working in federal parliament. The next day former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, alongside Grace Tame delivered an explosive address to the National Press Club questioning just how seriously we should take the Prime Minister’s words. Today, Rachel Withers on why Scott Morrison’s apology might be too little, too late.

Oct 12, 2021 • 15m 52s

Why Scott Morrison is scared of an anti-corruption commission

In the lead up to the last federal election Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised a national anti-corruption commission, but the model he’s put forward has been criticised for being too weak. Today, Rachel Withers on the renewed calls for a national anti-corruption commission, and why it’s taking so long to set one up.

Jul 16, 2021 • 15m 05s

I get locked down, and I'm locked down again... something, something, something whiskey drink

This week Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new COVID-19 financial support package for Sydneysiders currently in lockdown. But the announcement was met with frustration from other states, particularly Victoria, who had been asking for help during their own lockdowns. Today, Rachel Withers on why it took an outbreak in his own backyard for Scott Morrison to act.

Jul 2, 2021 • 16m 43s

How a slip of the tongue changed the vaccine rollout

This week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, previously only available for people over 60, could now be accessed by anyone. The announcement led to significant pushback, particularly from the Queensland government, who are still advising younger Australians to avoid AstraZeneca. Today, Rachel Withers on what's behind the government decision making on vaccine eligibility.

Jun 18, 2021 • 15m 40s

Australia backs coal as the G7 pledge climate action

As the leaders of the world’s wealthiest democracies gathered to discuss climate change, and pledged further action, the Australian government chose to reiterate its commitment to fossil fuels. Today, Rachel Withers on how the Coalition is increasingly out of step with both the international community and voters at home.

Jun 11, 2021 • 16m 19s

Australia’s biggest ever crime sting

This week, Scott Morrison announced Australia’s involvement in a massive organised crime sting coordinated by the FBI. But was the extraordinary press conference more about bad news and poor polling?

May 19, 2021 • 16m 44s

The politician behind a new anti-abortion push

Scott Morrison’s choice for Australia’s new Assistant Minister for Women, Amanda Stoker, has raised concerns from women’s health advocates due to her hardline, and conservative, views on abortion. Today, Rachel Withers on the rise of Amanda Stoker.

Mar 26, 2021 • 17m 38s

Scott Morrison says he’s listening. Should we believe him?

Scott Morrison told the women of Australia this week he was listening to their concerns. But since then the Liberal Party has been rocked by more and more allegations of bad behaviour and sexism. Today, Rachel Withers on what this week revealed about Australian politics, and whether Scott Morrison’s actions are living up to his words.

Mar 12, 2021 • 17m 16s

tHe RuLe oF LaW

The Prime Minister has declared Christian Porter “innocent” and said any inquiry into the allegations of sexual assault would undermine the rule of law. Today, Rachel Withers on what exactly the rule of law means, and whether it’s a sufficient enough justification to stop an inquiry from going ahead.

Feb 15, 2021 • 16m 35s

How Covid-19 keeps escaping hotel quarantine

Victoria has been plunged back into lockdown after a new strain of Covid-19 escaped from hotel quarantine into the community. In recent weeks leaks have occurred across the country, leading to lockdowns in Brisbane and Perth. Today, Rachel Withers on whether our key defence against the virus is working as well as it should.

Jan 29, 2021 • 17m 06s

Has Labor already given up the next election?

Labor’s Anthony Albanese has been facing growing criticism of his political strategy and there’s renewed speculation over his leadership. With 2021 shaping up as an election year, what is Albanese’s plan? Today, Rachel Withers on how Labor is placed to take on Scott Morrison.

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1257: Can these candidates convince women to vote Liberal again?