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Politics and Public Policy: Australia and the World


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Australia has one of the world’s most educated populations. We have stable institutions, a strong economy and advanced technology. Yet we seem to face endless obstacles when it comes to solving our problems with good public policy. Is it the ideas, the culture or the political contest that get in the way?

And if we can’t solve problems – even those with broad agreement for solutions – how can we possibly create space for innovation?

In this conversation we will examine how public policy is shaped today and how the avenues to reform have changed in recent times. How do global political shifts impact on governance and public policy in Australia? What part do vested interests, changes in the media landscape and declining rates of political participation play?

For this Fifth Estate discussion, join host Sally Warhaft and two speakers who are uniquely qualified to tackle these questions: Geoff Gallop, former premier of Western Australia and Peter Hartcher, political editor and international editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.


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

Peter Hartcher

Peter Hartcher is the political editor and international editor of the Sydney Morning Herald. He is a Gold Walkley award winner, a former foreign correspondent in Tokyo and Washington, and a visiting fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Harcher’s latest book is The Sweet Spot... Read more

Geoff Gallop

After an academic career in Australia and Britain, Geoff Gallop was a Member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly from 1986 to 2006. He was a Minister in the Lawrence Labor Government from 1990 to 1993, Leader of the Opposition from 1996 to 2001, and from 2001 to 2006 Premier of Western Au... Read more


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