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The Fifth Estate

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The Fifth Estate is the Wheeler Centre’s new series of fortnightly forums: a more measured approach to news and current affairs. Provocative and studied, authoritative and unhurried, this is real analysis that will be pulling no punches. Hosted by broadcaster, journalist and anthropologist Sally Warhaft, The Fifth Estate is indispensible live journalism. All events are recorded, with podcast episodes posted on our website by noon the following day.

Bad for business, good for ‘struggle street’, sharing the resource boom, hampering overseas investment. This is just some of what’s being said about Labor’s 2012-13 budget.

One week on from budget night, join Stephen Mayne, George Megalogenis and host Sally Warhaft as they explore Australia’s fiscal fortitude. Battling opposition jibes that Labor cannot deliver surpluses – and fulfilling his desire to deliver on a long-held promise – Wayne Swan’s 2012-13 planned budget surplus is here ‘on time, as promised and ahead of every other major advanced economy’.

But is this projected return to surplus genuine, or a result of creative accounting? With households largely escaping the cost-cutting measures, who are the winners and losers – and how do the states fare? Will this ‘election’ budget, wearing its Labor values proudly on its sleeve, win back the heartland? Does the average Australian care?

Who?

Portrait of Stephen Mayne

Stephen Mayne

Stephen Mayne is a Walkley Award winning journalist who for almost 10 years worked as a reporter, business editor, gossip columnist and chief of staff at major Australian newspapers.

Portrait of George Megalogenis

George Megalogenis

George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. His books include The Australian Moment, which won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for the ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. George is also the author of FaultlinesThe Longest Decade, Quarterly Essay 40: Trivial Pursuit – Leadership and the End of the Reform Era, Australia’s Second Chance and Quarterly Essay 61: Balancing Act: Australia Between Recession and Renewal.

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

The Fifth Estate

Our long-running current affairs series, The Fifth Estate, is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre programme. With our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft at the helm, it's a series of in-depth conversations with guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations. It's free, it's fortnightly and it's rigorous long-form interviewing at its best.

Guests are announced in the weeks prior to events, so keep an eye on our website (or the Wheeler Weekly newsletter) for updates. Subscribe to the popular Fifth Estate podcast – or book a (free) ticket – for expert analysis on today's key debates.

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