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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?

Featuring

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. A former press secretary in Jeff Kennett’s media unit, Stephen turned on his former boss in 1997 by going on Four C... Read more

George Megalogenis

George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades’ experience in the media. The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Austral... Read more

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians’ lives in the fog of ... Read more

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