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All episodes by Rick Morton

May 10, 2024 •

‘A viper’s nest’: How Karen Webb became top cop

The tasering of a 95-year-old grandmother, the double-murder of a Surry Hills couple, the Bruce Lehrmann defamation trial and now the spike in domestic violence. These are some of the biggest stories in Australia over the past 12 months, and all of them have drawn in one very powerful woman – Karen Webb, the commissioner of the NSW Police Force.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on who Karen Webb really is and how she climbed her way through the vipers nest of the NSW police.

Apr 22, 2024 •

Can Channel Seven survive the Lehrmann verdict?

It’s now been a week since the Federal Court of Australia’s Justice Michael Lee ruled it was substantially true that Bruce Lehrmann raped Brittney Higgins in a minister’s office at Parliament House back in 2019. In other cases, that may have been the end of the matter. But this case has drawn in dozens of characters, with careers ended, others on the rocks and Channel Seven appearing as if it could implode.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton, on who emerges from the wreckage of one of the most dramatic defamation cases we’ve seen in years.

Apr 9, 2024 •

The Lehrmann interview (Taylor's version)

Former Channel Seven producer Taylor Auerbach has given extraordinary evidence at Bruce Lehrmann’s trial against Channel Ten over defamation. Auerbach evidence is significant enough that the judge sensationally reopened the case, and it could impact the final verdict – but it has also led to explosive allegations that ask questions of the entire Australian media.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on the three men who are now at the centre of the Bruce Lehrmann defamation case.

Feb 20, 2024 •

Why the Bureau of Meteorology lied to court

The Bureau of Meteorology determines a lot: from whether we bring an umbrella to work, to how much warning we get of a natural disaster – all the way to what we know about climate change. But now, the bureau’s management faces serious questions, amid revelations that senior executives have deliberately misled a federal court.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on troubles at the BoM, and how internal struggles are getting in the way of the weather forecast.

Feb 12, 2024 •

The teal’s plan to shock the major parties

The teals of the 2022 election outdid expectations – flipping six historically Liberal seats independent. So, can they repeat their success in regional seats and shock the major parties again in 2025?

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton, on how Queensland could be the next battleground for the climate 200-backed independents.

Jan 22, 2024 •

Why time’s up for Coles and Woolies

Supermarket prices have finally caught the attention of our leaders. While the cost of living crisis continues, customers and, now, politicians, are becoming increasingly fed up with the price of groceries, while Woolworths and Coles rake in billions in profit.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on how 2024 could be a year of reckoning for Coles and Woolies.

Jan 16, 2024 •

A major hospital in strife

The catholic church is known for running schools and charity services in Australia, but it also operates more than 20 publicly funded hospitals. It’s an arrangement that helped bring healthcare to the public before Australia was even federated, but it often goes unnoticed by patients.

So, what happens when a hospital run by a catholic body gets into major financial strife? Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton, on how an iconic public hospital may soon run out of money.

Dec 13, 2023 •

'Bad vibes': Bruce Lehrmann and the Reynolds office

The defamation trial between Bruce Lehrmann and Network Ten is nearing its end. More than two weeks of the hearing has revealed emotional evidence from witnesses, exposed lies and shed new light on the culture inside Parliament House.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on the attitudes, behaviour and personal feuds in the lead up to the events in Canberra in March of 2019.

Dec 4, 2023 •

Bruce Lehrmann vs Channel Ten

In searching for the truth, the defamation trial between Bruce Lehrmann and Network Ten has been defined by the discovery of lies.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on the lies, the truth and the reputations hanging in the balance.

Nov 21, 2023 •

The ‘missing’ robo-debt recommendation

The royal commission into the robo-debt scheme delivered 57 recommendations to the government in July. Four months later, the Albanese government says it has accepted, in full or in principle, “all 56” of the commissioner’s recommendations.

So why has the government chosen to not only ignore the last recommendation, but to pretend it doesn’t exist? Today, Rick Morton on a serious flaw in the robo-debt response.

Nov 15, 2023 •

The murder of Lilie James and the culture at private schools

The murder of a young woman at an elite private school, and the reaction from a former principal, has highlighted a broader culture of privilege in which young boys are protected from consequence or culpability.

Today, Rick Morton on the murder of Lilie James, and what it tells us about our most elite institutions.

Nov 8, 2023 •

A game-changing victory for renters

Renters across Australia are facing a worsening housing crisis. With hikes in rents and growing complaints about the quality of living in rental homes, many are at breaking point. But now, a High Court judgement has redrawn the relationship between tenants and landlords.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on how one community’s fight will change the rights of renters nationwide.

Oct 24, 2023 •

‘Payment suspended’: Private companies pause 400,000 welfare payments

In Australia, if you’re on welfare your payment can be suspended by a for-profit, private company – even if you’ve done nothing wrong.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on how this happens and the tens of thousands of jobseekers at risk in a system that’s entrenching poverty.

Sep 18, 2023 •

‘The Alan Joyce slayer’: The woman taking on Qantas

When companies take advantage of consumers by misleading them, selling faulty products, or breaking promises, there’s a body that steps in – the ACCC. Its chair, Gina Cass-Gottlieb, has launched cases against some of Australia’s biggest corporations.

The latest, targeting Qantas, is seeking a record-breaking penalty from the airline.

Sep 4, 2023 •

Qantas: the spirit of corporate greed

Qantas has been forced to ditch expiry dates for Covid credits, and faced questioning over its prices and tickets allegedly sold for flights that had already been cancelled. Meanwhile, the government is accused of unfairly propping up Qantas and putting its profits ahead of consumers’ interests.

Today, Rick Morton on chaos at Qantas and whether the government is too cosy with our national carrier.

Aug 22, 2023 •

Leaks reveal abuse in aged care

The aged-care regulator is dismissing thousands of serious incident reports regarding abuse, sexual assault, neglect and even deaths without a proper assessment or, in some cases, any human assessment at all. Staff say serious risks are going unnoticed as a result.

Today, Rick Morton on why the aged care regulator hasn’t been doing its job properly – and how that is failing vulnerable people.

Aug 17, 2023 •

Centrelink’s dodgy maths goes well beyond robo-debt

Centrelink used the same bad maths as the illegal robo-debt scheme to raise debts estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars from more than 100,000 welfare recipients – with some even facing prosecution. The revelation shatters any illusion that defective administration was contained to a single program, and points to deep structural issues in our welfare system.

Today, Rick Morton on who was responsible and the damage it has caused.

Aug 3, 2023 •

Scott Morrison reckons he’s blameless for robo-debt

Scott Morrison was found, by the royal commission into robo-debt, to have allowed cabinet to be misled. It took a few weeks, but the former prime minister this week addressed those findings head-on: denying it all.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper and host of 7am’s special Inside Robo-debt series, Rick Morton on Scott Morrison’s return to Parliament and how much longer he’s likely to have a seat there.

Jun 8, 2023 •

The dysfunction inside the NDIS watchdog

It’s the department that’s supposed to watch over the support system for Australians with a disability – and ensure the care they’re receiving is good.

But the very people doing this job, at the Quality and Safeguards Commission of the NDIS, could be in an unsafe workplace.

May 30, 2023 •

The Tasering of a 95-year-old woman

The police officer who allegedly Tasered 95-year-old great-grandmother Clare Nowland reportedly said three words before firing: “No, bugger it”.

He will now face court, where we will learn more about what led up to the incident and what contributed to Nowland’s death.

But the biggest question is how the police ended up confronting an elderly person in aged care, who was distressed and in need of help.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on the systemic failures that surround the death of Clare Nowland.

May 15, 2023 •

Farewell, Stuart Robert. We hardly knew ye.

Often they depart the stage without anyone really noticing, other times it’s worth pausing and marking their storied parliamentary careers.

That’s the case for Stuart Robert, who has called time on politics after 16 years – during which time he presided over the robo debt scandal, a bag of Rolexes, and made his name as Scott Morrison’s ‘brother Stewie’.

May 3, 2023 •

How HECS became a debt trap

If you went to university and you’re listening to this, there’s an increasing likelihood you could be carrying HECSs debt into your 50s.

There are now 300,000 people carrying HECS into their 50s, which is six times higher than what it was just over 15 years ago. And this June, HECS debts are set to rise again at a historic pace.

Apr 19, 2023 •

A mental health crisis at Australia’s mental health commission

Australia has a body that’s supposed to look after all of our mental health, and make recommendations to the government on how to make the situation better. It’s called the National Mental Health Commission.

But inside the commission, some of the staff that are supposed to be coming up with solutions have faced layoffs, stress, anxiety, and worse.

Mar 14, 2023 •

‘Web of cowardice’: What we learned from the final robo-debt hearings

The Royal Commission into robo-debt is 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?

Feb 7, 2023 •

Robo-debt: Minister leaked dead man’s data

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on how the robo-debt royal commission is revealing one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the Australian government.

Warning, this episode includes discussion of suicide.

Dec 26, 2022 •

Spotlight: The dirty secrets inside one of our biggest casinos

For decades we’ve been reassured that everything at Australian casinos was above board.

But what we were told is now unravelling and we’re getting staggering insight into how regulators can be misled and the strange schemes that have been allowed to flourish inside our biggest gambling businesses.

Dec 1, 2022 •

When bureaucrats try to understand human behaviour

There are people inside government departments who want to use insights into human behaviour to influence us. At its best, it can help design systems to get the best outcomes for people.

But at its worst, it can ‘nudge’ people into accepting bad outcomes; from not appealing decisions and not getting the services they’re entitled to.

Nov 21, 2022 •

‘Use of force’: How Medibank changed the fight on hackers

Some of the most sensitive data to be obtained by hackers in Australian history has been published. A Russian network of hackers has put online private medical data including names, records of pregnancy terminations, HIV status and treatment for drug and alcohol problems.

The data was obtained in an attack on Medibank, and that has now convinced the Australian government to unleash new capabilities against hackers around the world.

Nov 9, 2022 •

They were warned, and did it anyway: Inside robo-debt

Not long ago, the Australian government was forced to abandon a scheme it was using to pursue welfare recipients for money after the solicitor-general advised it was unlawful.

So who else knew about the potential illegality of robo-debt? How early did they know? And why did it go ahead at all?

Nov 3, 2022 •

‘You’re not imagining it’: Why the weather forecast could be wrong

Internal tensions at the organisation that tells us about the weather — the Bureau of Meteorology — appear to be going from bad to worse. Fresh revelations include that the Bureau’s daily forecasts, which many of us rely on, might be getting less accurate.

Today, senior reporter at The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton joins us again, with the latest on the agency formerly known as the BoM.

Oct 25, 2022 •

The Bureau of Meteorology: Chaos at the forecaster

The Bureau of Meteorology has called on all media to change the name they had used to refer to it: the BoM. Instead it wanted to be called The Bureau.

What seemed like an odd branding announcement at first, has led to a series of revelations about working conditions for Australia’s official weather forecasters. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on the culture at the Bureau of Meteorology and how science got sidelined.

Oct 11, 2022 •

What Labor says about unemployment behind closed doors

Labor has been shy to propose any major changes to the unemployment system.

But now we have new insight into what Labor is saying behind closed doors and the new government appears far from happy about what it’s discovered in the unemployment sector.

Oct 4, 2022 •

Reducing good teachers to a single test

All of us know that a great teacher can make a huge difference in a person’s life – and a bad one can be a disaster for a young person who’s trying to find their way.

So how do we make sure the best people become teachers? Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton, on the testing regime for Australian teachers that was inspired by an American consultancy firm.

Sep 28, 2022 •

‘A shell of a hospital’: opening new facilities without more staff

What good is a building without staff? What good is a bed without the nurses and doctors to care for someone in it?

The Saturday Paper’s Rick Morton has revealed that NSW Health believe they will need billions more in operational budgets to sufficiently staff the new hospitals that are being opened.

Sep 20, 2022 •

The dirty secrets inside one of our biggest casinos

For decades we’ve been reassured that everything at Australian casinos was above board.

But what we were told is now unravelling and we’re getting staggering insight into how regulators can be misled and the strange schemes that have been allowed to flourish inside our biggest gambling businesses.

Sep 14, 2022 •

Why being a renter is getting more expensive

Across the country, rents are going up. But it’s not because the value of the properties has risen - in fact values are largely going down.

Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton on what’s happening to our rents.

Aug 16, 2022 •

How the John Barilaro ‘sh**show’ engulfed a government

It began with a job offer: $500,000 a year to be a ‘trade envoy’ in New York. Now, an entire state government has become embroiled in a scandal over job appointments and how they get made.

As Australia prepares to implement a federal anti-corruption body, in New South Wales – the state that first put in place an independent anti-corruption commission – we're learning a lot about why we need more transparency in politics.

Aug 9, 2022 •

The school funding gap the Coalition left behind

The new government has inherited a problem that no one wants to talk about: the deep inequality of funding between public and private and independent schools.

That discrepancy is most evident when it comes to the way that students with disabilities are funded. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton reveals the $600 million funding shortfall for students with a disability in the public system.

Jul 20, 2022 •

Mutual obligations: ‘What they're selling is poor people’

Many were surprised when the new employment minister, Tony Burke, announced it was “too late” to end mutual obligations.

The decision was made to preserve billions of dollars in contracts already signed with companies that profit from the system. But there is no evidence it helps people find work.

Jun 27, 2022 • 16m 55s

The crisis in our hospitals is not about Covid

This winter flu, colds and Covid are all pushing hospitals to breaking point. Across the country, hospital staff are overworked and frustrated. And tomorrow nurses and midwives across NSW will stop work over pay and conditions. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton on a devastating winter for our healthcare system.

Jun 22, 2022 • 16m 30s

Airport chaos: The true story of the Qantas debacle

In recent weeks, we’ve seen chaos at airports around the country, and it’s about to get worse.Of course, there’s one Australian airline that used to fly above all the chaos: Qantas. It’s long been one of the safest and most reliable airlines in the world. But now is its reputation at risk? Today, Rick Morton, on how Qantas became one of the country’s worst performing airlines and the future of the company.

Jun 16, 2022 • 15m 55s

Inside the chaos Morrison left behind

As new Labor ministers begin their jobs in earnest, they say they’re discovering an unexpected challenge — the depth of disarray left behind. According to some ministers that looks like negligence, delayed decisions, and a demoralised workforce. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton on the state of the public service, and the task of the new government to fix it.

Jun 8, 2022 • 18m 30s

Students are paying for uni. Teachers are marking for free.

University students don’t read detailed feedback, so what’s the point in paying academics to give it? That’s the position of one of Australia’s most prestigious universities. Now, staff are striking and battlelines are being drawn in one of the biggest industrial disputes in the history of the university sector. So is there an end in sight to the crisis in universities? Today, Rick Morton on the battle for the soul of a university.

May 24, 2022 • 16m 20s

The witnesses for Ben Roberts-Smith

Right now, one of Australia’s most decorated soldiers, Ben Roberts-Smith, is suing Nine newspapers over a series of articles alleging war crimes. Some witnesses have told the court they saw Ben Roberts-Smith unlawfully kill people, others say he was acting inside the rules of engagement. Today, Rick Morton on the latest evidence in the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation case.

May 10, 2022 • 18m 25s

The Vote: Why you won’t see a debate on the ABC

The latest leaders debate has been described as “messy” and a “joke” by observers. There’s one more debate to go before the election — but it won’t be hosted by the public broadcaster, the ABC — despite the organisation’s best efforts. In fact, the ABC has been effectively sidelined, as the rocky relationship between the government and the national broadcaster continues to play out. Today, Rick Morton on the ABC’s doomed bid to host an election debate and what it says about the relationship between the Morrison government and the media.

Apr 28, 2022 • 17m 40s

The Vote: All the Clive Palmer ads are written by… Clive Palmer?

This election, one person is having more of a say than anyone else when it comes to the political advertising Australians are seeing everyday. Clive Palmer is not only outspending the major political parties by a significant margin, he’s also got a huge personal say in the ads he’s putting onto billboards and TV screens. That’s because he writes them all himself.

Apr 20, 2022 • 16m 00s

The fall of two of Hillsong’s most powerful men

Hillsong Church’s growth and success has faltered in recent years. Founded by Brian Houston in New South Wales, the global megachurch has outposts in 30 countries, including the United States. But mounting scandals at home have led Brian Houston to step aside and now, sensational allegations of misconduct in its US operations have been made public.

Apr 13, 2022 • 17m 35s

Inside Morrison’s pre-election appointments

In the final days of a Government, before an election is called, last-minute appointments are often made. Last week, the Morrison government made 19 of those, to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Half of the people appointed have ties to the Liberal Party or to conservative politics. Senior Reporter for The Saturday Paper, Rick Morton on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the case of one young man, who never got his chance at redress.

Mar 23, 2022 • 14m 45s

The day Morrison went silent

As details emerge about the federal response to the flood crisis in Northern NSW, it has become clear that the government did not send troops when it could have. Since then, Scott Morrison has gone silent on a recovery package already finalised by the NSW state government. Today, Rick Morton on Morrison’s blame shifting and the consequent fallout.

Mar 16, 2022 • 17m 20s

‘Where was the help?’: The Northern Rivers flood rescues

Almost two weeks on from the catastrophic flooding on the east coast of Australia, residents have begun the slow process of rebuilding their lives. But they’ve been left with a lingering question: where was the help?

Mar 10, 2022 • 17m 20s

The end of public housing in Australia

All across the country, waitlists for public housing are on the rise. In the meantime, state governments are selling off public housing estates to developers - doing nothing to reduce these ballooning waitlists. Today, Rick Morton on how governments and developers are exacerbating the housing crisis in Australia - and what it means for people who need a place to live.

Feb 24, 2022 • 15m 40s

The real cause of Australia's mental health crisis

The pandemic has led to a significant spike in the number of Australians experiencing mental health issues. But when people try to seek treatment they are faced with a complicated, under-resourced and expensive system. Today, Rick Morton on the real causes of Australia’s spiralling mental health crisis and the recent bungle that made it worse.

Feb 8, 2022 • 15m 10s

Morrison's Covid hotline sting

If you contract Covid-19, the federal government’s advice is to contact the national coronavirus helpline. But the hotline is staffed by workers with limited training, who don’t have access to the information they need and is administered by a company that chased welfare recipients caught up in the infamous robo-debt program. Today, Rick Morton on the outsourcing of a key frontline health service and the impact of privatisation during the pandemic.

Jan 24, 2022 • 18m12s

Our hot Omicron summer

As Australia enters year three of the Covid-19 pandemic, case numbers are higher than ever, hospitals are being pushed to their limit and rapid tests are extremely difficult to find. Today, Rick Morton on how Covid-19 caught up with Australia this summer, and what the federal government could have done to better prepare for this moment.

Dec 14, 2021 • 17m 45s

The scientist who saved your life

The Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the most disruptive and devastating events in recent history. But it also led to a series of incredible scientific breakthroughs. Today, Rick Morton on the woman who spent decades advocating for the unproven technology behind the vaccine, and how it helped save humanity.

Dec 2, 2021 • 15m 15s

Are rich countries to blame for Omicron?

For months scientists have been warning us that if global vaccination rates didn’t lift - new, potentially more dangerous strains of Covid-19 could emerge. Now it looks like their fears might have been realised, with the emergence of the new Omicron variant. Today, Rick Morton on how vaccine hoarding by rich nations is helping prolong the pandemic.

Oct 19, 2021 • 16m 14s

Closing the vaccination gap

While the national vaccination rate continues to surge, many vulnerable groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are being left behind in the race to get vaccinated. Today, Rick Morton on the leaked government documents that reveal the disproportionate burden Indigenous communities have borne during this pandemic.

Oct 13, 2021 • 15m 55s

The management consultants that ate Canberra

Since coming to power the federal Coalition has chipped away at the public service, increasingly outsourcing key functions of government to private companies. The trend has raised important questions about transparency, and the long-term sustainability of government services. Today, Rick Morton on how private management consultants took over the public service.

Oct 5, 2021 • 17m 30s

The people most at risk when lockdown ends

Australia’s two largest states are getting ready to end their long lockdowns and reopen when 80 percent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. But what does reopening with that target mean for the 20 percent who are yet to receive their vaccines? Today, Rick Morton on how some of our most at risk communities fell through the cracks.

Sep 29, 2021 • 17m 00s

Australia’s next top Covid model

NSW and Victoria, now have clear roadmaps out of the pandemic. Those pathways are heavily influenced by modelling conducted by the Doherty Institute. But there are other influential bodies projecting their own numbers that contradict the national plan. Today, Rick Morton on the models deciding our future and who we should trust.

Sep 8, 2021 • 15m 40s

Just how stretched are our hospitals?

As Australia grapples with its biggest outbreak yet of Covid-19 the focus is shifting to hospitalisation figures and deaths. But even though Covid-19 wards are becoming busier, it isn’t easy to get a clear picture of just how bad things are in our hospital system. Today, Rick Morton on what might happen if things get worse.

Aug 31, 2021 • 14m 55s

Can our hospitals cope with Covid-19?

As hospitals in NSW and Victoria prepare to deal with an influx of Covid-19 patients, there are fresh concerns that our healthcare system might not be up to the challenge. Today, Rick Morton on the situation in hospitals right now, and what might happen when we come out of lockdown.

Aug 24, 2021 • 15m 35s

The document predicting Covid-19 hospitalisations

As Covid-19 case numbers continue to reach record highs in NSW, so too do hospitalisations and intensive care admissions. Now, a leaked document from the National Cabinet has revealed that the state’s hospitals could soon reach a tipping point. Today, Rick Morton on exactly who is being hospitalised with Covid-19 and how close our hospitals are to capacity.

Aug 10, 2021 • 17m 08s

Does Australia have a pandemic ‘Freedom Day’?

Eighteen months into the pandemic the Prime Minister announced a plan for the way out.The plan itself is based on vaccination rates, and predicts we could be living almost as normal when we reach 80 percent of the population fully vaccinated. But how likely are we to reach that target, and when?

Jul 20, 2021 • 16m 27s

Australia has vaccines. Why aren’t people taking them?

The rapidly spreading Delta variant has forced nearly half of Australia’s population back into lockdown. The slow uptake of vaccinations has been pointed to as a key factor behind the latest outbreaks, and how fast they spread. But why is vaccine uptake so slow in Australia? Today, Rick Morton on how shifting medical advice, poor communication and careless journalism created a perfect storm for this latest wave of Covid-19.

Jul 8, 2021 • 15m 10s

As the world opens, Australia seals itself off

For most of the past 18 months, Australia has been hailed as a world leader in terms of its handling of the pandemic. But now, some of our biggest cities have been plunged back into lockdowns, restrictions and border closures, while Europe and the United States reopen.
Today, Rick Morton on whether Australia wasted its good luck, and when we might finally reopen.

Jun 30, 2021 • 15m 24s

10 million Australians back in lockdown

In the past few days over 10 million Australians have been plunged back into lockdowns, as fresh outbreaks of Covid-19 spread across major cities. The current crisis forced the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, to announce a radical overhaul to the vaccine rollout. Today, Rick Morton on how Australia ended up on the verge of a national lockdown and whether the federal government’s new plan goes far enough.

Jun 22, 2021 • 17m 23s

The government vs Friendlyjordies

YouTuber Friendlyjordies has built up a significant audience in recent years through his pointed and acerbic political videos. Now, one of the comedian’s producers has been arrested by a controversial police unit established to explicitly focus on ideological extremists. Today, Rick Morton on the Friendlyjordies saga, and why a state government seems intent on turning him into a martyr.

Jun 16, 2021 • 15m 52s

The Americanisation of Australia’s health system

Australia’s public health systems are under unprecedented pressure due to decades of cuts. Today, Rick Morton on why some health experts are worried that Australia’s health care system is becoming more and more like the expensive, privatised model in the US.

Jun 9, 2021 • 17m 02s

You had one job, Greg Hunt

A third spread of Covid-19 in Victorian aged-care homes was not just a possibility: it was almost a given. Even before a vaccine was available, the federal government ended the support payment intended to stop casual staff working across multiple sites.

Jun 1, 2021 • 16m 44s

The vaccine race Australia is losing

As Covid-19 case numbers in Victoria continue to rise, attention has turned to the slow pace of the vaccine rollout, and the question of whether or not more vaccinations could have stopped this outbreak. Today, Rick Morton on where the rollout went wrong and what the consequences have been.

May 5, 2021 • 15m 04s

When Hollywood came to town

From Crocodile Dundee to Marvel blockbusters, Australia’s film industry is being rejuvenated by an influx of international productions as the pandemic forced major film and TV productions to relocate to Australia. Today, Rick Morton on who really benefits from the current film and TV gold rush, and the importance of telling Australian stories.

Apr 21, 2021 • 15m 44s

The scientist investigating Covid's impact on the brain

Scientists researching Covid-19 have discovered that the physical impacts of the virus on the body go far beyond what we might have originally thought. The results could have profound impacts for how we respond to and treat Covid-19. Today, Rick Morton on our growing knowledge of how the virus changes our bodies, and our brains.

Apr 8, 2021 • 16m 13s

The new 'God power' that will upend the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme was established to provide people living with a disability high quality and tailored support, but leaked documents have revealed the federal government is proposing radical reforms to the scheme. Today, Rick Morton on the battle for the future of the NDIS.

Mar 17, 2021 • 15m 25s

The billionaire who went bust, and the town on the brink

For years the rise of Lex Greensill, a farmer’s son turned billionaire investor, seemed unstoppable. But now things are falling apart, and the economic carnage threatens the livelihood of an entire town. Today, Rick Morton on the business deal that could cost 7,000 jobs in Australia.

Mar 9, 2021 • 18m 07s

Fixing a broken system

Last week, the most significant report to examine aged care in Australia was released. The Saturday Paper’s senior reporter Rick Morton has been covering every step of the journey to get here. Today, he tells us why this could be the moment we change a broken system.

Feb 22, 2021 • 15m 25s

Robo-debt: the origin of the supervillain

Two long-forgotten High Court cases warned the government that robo-debt might be illegal. Rick Morton on what they knew - and when they knew it.

Feb 17, 2021 • 17m 01s

James and the giant breach

A damning report has found Crown Resorts unfit to hold a casino licence in NSW. But what does that mean for James Packer’s operations in other states?

Feb 10, 2021 • 16m 28s

The Liberal MP who wants to empty your super

The Coalition’s surprise win at the last federal election is largely attributed to a relentless campaign targeting Labor’s key economic policies, led by Liberal MP Tim Wilson. Now Wilson has launched a new campaign to reshape the four trillion dollar superannuation industry. Today, Rick Morton on the Liberal vision for our retirement savings, and how it would impact all of us.

Feb 4, 2021 • 15m 51s

China is warning against a new Cold War. Will Australia listen?

Diplomatic and trade tensions between Australia and China are at an all time high, and China’s president has even warned against the risk of a new cold war. Today, Rick Morton on where Scott Morrison is getting his advice from when it comes to our relationship with China, and whether his strategy will work.

Jan 27, 2021 • 17m 01s

When are we getting the vaccine?

Last year Scott Morrison announced Australians would be first in line for the Covid-19 vaccine. But with 50 million people now vaccinated around the world, the rollout here is yet to begin. Today, Rick Morton on when Australians can expect to be vaccinated, and if it’s happening fast enough.

Dec 9, 2020 • 16m 38s

The plot to undermine the NDIS

After years of careful manoeuvring, the Coalition government is laying the groundwork to make radical changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The revised system could make it harder for people to get the support they need. Today, Rick Morton on the Coalition’s bid to reshape the NDIS.

Dec 1, 2020 • 13m 59s

What Scott Morrison can learn from Daniel Andrews

The pandemic has exposed big cracks in the way Australia’s economy and social services operate, particularly when it comes to insecure work and aged care. Today, Rick Morton on how the Victorian state government is trying to lead the national conversation on what needs to change.

Nov 25, 2020 • 16m 16s

How the government makes your mental health worse

A landmark report has quantified the economic and social cost of Australia’s mental health crisis. Today, Rick Morton on how the government’s social policies are causing harm to our most vulnerable communities.

Nov 18, 2020 • 15m 40s

Here come the vaccines

A huge, global effort to try and find a vaccine for coronavirus is showing growing signs of success. A number of possible candidates are moving into final stages of testing, and some are even hitting production lines. Today, Rick Morton on when Australians might see a coronavirus vaccine.

Nov 10, 2020 • 15m 14s

When police charge the victim

A new report collating the experiences of hundreds of frontline workers has revealed how criminal and judicial systems are failing victims of family violence. Today, Rick Morton on how we’re still letting down survivors, and what needs to change. This episode contains descriptions of family violence.

Nov 4, 2020 • 17m 04s

Trump 2020: How to steal an election

As voters in the US head to the polls, President Trump has warned that a close or uncertain result could spark chaos. Today, Rick Morton, on the fight against voter suppression, and why, no matter who wins, the US is facing a fractured future.

Oct 28, 2020 • 15m 00s

What went wrong at Australia Post?

As an investigation into Australia Post’s leadership gets underway, a deeper crisis at the organisation is threatening to jeopardise the way it operates. Today, Rick Morton on what went wrong at Australia Post.

Oct 22, 2020 • 14m 13s

Short back and emotional asides

After enduring one of the world’s longest lockdowns, Melbourne is slowly reopening and hairdressers are some of the first businesses allowed to welcome customers back. Today, Rick Morton on the return of hairdressers, and the intimate role they play in our lives.

Oct 21, 2020 • 14m 00s

Dutton’s new war on refugees

In recent weeks refugees and asylum seekers living in Australia have received letters from the federal government stripping them of financial support and threatening them with deportation. Today, Rick Morton on the newest frontline in the government’s war on refugees.

Oct 13, 2020 • 16m 36s

The people the government left behind

Experts have accused the government of failing to properly fund the aged care sector in this year’s federal budget. Advocacy groups are also concerned about the lack of support for young people, women, the unemployed and migrants. Today, Rick Morton on the groups left behind by the Morrison government’s recovery plan.

Oct 6, 2020 • 15m 42s

Jacqui Lambie fires up

The future of Australia’s universities hangs in the balance, with radical reforms to funding and student fees due to be voted this week. The government has been negotiating furiously behind closed doors to pass its legislation through the Senate. Today, Rick Morton, on the surprising stance taken by Senator Jacqui Lambie.

Sep 29, 2020 • 15m 41s

Welcome to the dumb country

Australia’s universities have been hit hard by the pandemic, with thousands of job losses. Now the federal government wants to change the way the sector is funded, and how much students will pay. Today, Rick Morton on the crisis facing our universities, and why we’re on the brink of destroying our national research capacity.

Sep 22, 2020 • 17m 47s

The grey pyramid scheme (part two)

A Royal Commission has heard hundreds of aged care centres are facing financial collapse, as the crisis in the sector takes its toll. In the second half of this special two part series, Rick Morton investigates what happened to the aged care sector under the leadership of Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison.

Sep 21, 2020 • 17m 38s

The grey pyramid scheme (part one)

For decades, we’ve been warned about a crisis in Australia’s aged care sector, and the coronavirus pandemic has exposed its failures. In the first half of a special two part series Rick Morton traces the problems in aged care to Howard-era reforms, demanded by private, for-profit providers.

Sep 5, 2020 • 10m34s

Bonus: How we make 7am

To celebrate 300 episodes, we produced a special, behind-the-scenes feature on how we make 7am. We followed host Ruby Jones and senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton as they put together an episode on the crisis in aged care.

Sep 2, 2020 • 16m 10s

Profiting off the unemployment boom

As Australia grapples with an unemployment crisis corporate job agencies are benefiting from a boom in government payments. Some are being accused of pressuring those looking for work. Today, Rick Morton on who is profiting from Australia’s unemployment industry.

Aug 27, 2020 • 16m 30s

The phone call that caused the aged-care crisis

The ongoing crisis in aged care has become one of the defining elements of Australia’s second wave. There are currently over 1500 active cases linked to aged care in Victoria, and hundreds have died. Today, Rick Morton on the new details that explain what went so wrong, and what the government could have done to save lives.

Aug 18, 2020 • 16m 26s

Inside the race for a coronavirus vaccine

The federal government has announced that Australia is in “advanced discussions” with a number of companies over acquiring a potential coronavirus vaccine. But how close are scientists to actually making one, and does it matter who gets there first? Today, Rick Morton on the global race for a vaccine.

Aug 12, 2020 • 16m 11s

Anatomy of a state of disaster

Ten days ago, Melbourne entered the strictest shutdown the country has seen so far. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on the extraordinary powers a state of disaster bestows on the government, and how we got here.

Aug 6, 2020 • 16m 02s

What happens if you survive coronavirus

Today, we look at the people who call themselves coronavirus ‘long-haulers’ and the emerging research into their long lasting symptoms.

Aug 4, 2020 • 16m 33s

The Covid crisis in aged care

Aged care has been one of the hardest hit sectors during this phase of the Covid pandemic, with residents and their carers making up a large proportion of those catching the virus. Today, Rick Morton on the crisis in our aged care facilities, and why we should have seen it coming.

Jul 21, 2020 • 14m 58s

The moment Australia almost beat coronavirus

In the middle of last month, Australia had its last chance to contain the coronavirus pandemic. One strain of the virus was all but defeated, but then a second broke out.

Jul 16, 2020 • 17m 26s

If you are queer - or care about queer people - listen to this story

Daniel van Roo spent 18 months trying to convince his doctors he was sick. As his undiagnosed cancer worsened, they continued to test only for STIs - he says because he was gay

Jul 7, 2020 • 15m 38s

The other side of the glass

Seven years after the NDIS was established, thousands of young people are still being forced to live in aged-care homes.

Jul 1, 2020 • 15m 15s

Existential threat: Murdoch and the ABC

As the ABC absorbs hundreds of job cuts, the government has commissioned another report into its operations – closely mirroring the concerns of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Jun 24, 2020 • 15m 33s

Justin Hemmes, the treasurer and the $100m wages case

New details have emerged in the Justin Hemmes wages case, as the treasurer confirms he consulted the businessman over the country’s largest ever spending measure.

Jun 11, 2020 • 16m 53s

The theme park and the trillion dollar investment scheme

As Scott Morrison resists signing up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the country has begun focusing on lower levels of power - even the Gold Coast council.

Jun 4, 2020 • 16m 20s

Like a scene from ‘The Castle’

The Queensland town of Acland has been all but swallowed by a coal mine. There is only one resident left. Tomorrow the High Court will decide if he’ll be swallowed, too.

May 27, 2020 • 16m 09s

Uber but for government money

How a private company won millions in government funding for an aged-care app with “no duty of care”.

May 19, 2020 • 16m 24s

How Covid-19 united conspiracy theorists

Conspiracy theorists have been energised by Covid-19, with misinformation on everything from 5G to vaccinations spreading online. Today, Rick Morton on where these theories really begin and the groups actively encouraging them.

May 11, 2020 • 14m 55s

Inside the Newmarch cluster

An aged care facility in NSW is the site of one of Australia’s biggest clusters of Covid-19. Now, with 16 dead, the centre’s owners have been threatened with sanctions and the loss of their licence. Today, Rick Morton on what went wrong at Newmarch House.

May 6, 2020 • 14m 33s

Making sense of the Black Summer

Thousands of Australians had their homes and lives destroyed by last summer’s bushfires, and now Covid-19 is shattering their plans to rebuild. Today, Rick Morton on what happens when a pandemic follows a natural disaster.

Apr 23, 2020 • 15m 30s

The inside story of Australia’s coronavirus supercluster

Tasmania’s Covid-19 supercluster has forced hospitals to close and lead to thousands of residents being quarantined. Today, we investigate how a severe shortage of protective equipment and the encouragement of dubious practices preceded the deadly outbreak.

Apr 10, 2020 • 14m 07s

Spotlight: Tracing the source of coronavirus

As coronavirus shuts borders and creates global panic, Rick Morton explains where the virus originated and looks at attempts to combat it.

Apr 8, 2020 • 15m 00s

The women and children at risk in a lockdown (plus, the Pell verdict)

The coronavirus lockdown has led to an increase in domestic violence reports, but many victims aren’t able to access support services. Today, Rick Morton on how life has become even more dangerous for some women and children.

Mar 26, 2020 • 14m 10s

Coronavirus, part four: the Australian scientists who could beat it

A team of Australian scientists are working around the clock to find a vaccine against coronavirus, and they’re on the verge of a breakthrough. Today, Rick Morton on the race to find a vaccine.

Mar 19, 2020 • 15m 20s

Ten questions about coronavirus

What are the symptoms of coronavirus? What can people do to stay safe? What kind of responses will be the most effective? Today, Rick Morton answers some of our basic questions about coronavirus.

Mar 18, 2020 • 13m 45s

George Pell’s last stand

Last week the High Court heard George Pell’s appeal against his conviction for child sex abuse. Today, Rick Morton discusses Pell’s last bid for freedom and what could happen next.

Feb 19, 2020 • 14m 51s

Suing over Howard’s camps

The government has spent more than a decade fighting compensation claims launched by more than 60 former asylum seekers detained in Australia’s notorious detention centres. Today, we ask why it’s taking so long.

Feb 12, 2020 • 13m 57s

The love story behind Australia’s biggest political donation

Scott Morrison received the biggest individual political donation in Australian history. Behind it was a love story – and a man who asked for nothing in return.

Feb 5, 2020 • 14m 41s

What happens if we don’t stop coronavirus?

As coronavirus shuts borders and creates global panic, Rick Morton explains where the virus originated and looks at attempts to combat it.

Jan 30, 2020 • 14m 03s

Exclusive: Red Cross staff speak out

Current and former Red Cross staff have criticised the way the organisation is handling donations during Australia’s bushfire crisis.

Jan 27, 2020 • 13m 36s

Fighting fire with... what?

The bushfire season still has months to run. The question is whether volunteers can make it through another crisis without radical changes to how they work.

Dec 17, 2019 • 17m 11s

Brian Houston, we have a problem

As the Hillsong Church booms internationally, its local arm is still dealing with the fallout from the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

Dec 11, 2019 • 13m 41s

The big wedge (Or: How Murdoch lobbies government)

Following an inquiry into digital platforms, the government finds itself wedged between News Corp and the tech giants. Both sides are lobbying heavily.

Dec 3, 2019 • 15m45s

Andrew Bolt vs Dark Emu

Andrew Bolt has led a campaign against Bruce Pascoe and his book Dark Emu. But after reading the explorer journals on which the book is based, Rick Morton was unable to find any errors.

Nov 27, 2019 • 16m 19s

The politicians fighting to bring Assange home

As Julian Assange fights against extradition to the United States, an unlikely group of politicians is working to have him returned to Australia.

Nov 21, 2019 • 14m 15s

The next fight on Uluru

Summary: Scott Morrison’s co-design process rules out the key aspirations of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. But there are signs that a new political fight is about to begin.

Nov 13, 2019 • 15m02s

Sums in a notepad: mental health and work

The federal government spends twice as much on income support for people affected by mental illness as it does on treatment. Rick Morton on living inside these figures – and the “arithmetic of existence”.

Oct 15, 2019 • 14m32s

Exclusive: Forfeited to state care

A dispute over funding and the NDIS has forced 500 families to forfeit their children into state care.

Oct 8, 2019 • 16m56s

Growing old in a pyramid scheme

The aged-care sector is on the brink of collapse. The major providers have been propped up by a government bailout, but without reform they cannot keep operating.

Sep 25, 2019 • 16m24s

Running the NDIS

As a royal commission into disability care begins, it emerges that key emails relating to the NDIS are held on a private bank server and cannot be accessed.

Sep 17, 2019 • 17m35s

Scott Morrison’s poverty fix

As Scott Morrison announces punitive welfare plans, Rick Morton asks what happens when you treat poverty as a moral problem.

Aug 27, 2019 • 15m38s

Scott Morrison’s middle class

Scott Morrison says the middle class doesn’t trust the public service. The problem is available research says the opposite.

Aug 12, 2019 • 16m38s

Murdoch and the far-right

For the first time ever, individual articles can be linked to far-right recruitment drives. High on the list is reporting from The Australian, in stories about Safe Schools as well as about race.

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