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The Fifth Estate

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Turnbull’s Turn

‘Here’s the rule in the Liberal Party – if you win, you did the right thing.’  Those are the words of former treasurer Peter Costello, describing the brutal party dynamics that allowed Malcolm Turnbull to seize the leadership from Tony Abbott on 14 September.

The Labor Party turned switching leaders into an unedifying team sport, but the Liberals promised Australians something different: stability and ‘grown-up government’. So, how are they doing? Prime Minister Turnbull wants to be a new kind of leader – with a more optimistic outlook and greater respect for the public’s intelligence. The new cabinet, we’re told, will be consultative, communicative and no longer subject to ‘captain’s calls’. The old guard has promised ‘no sniping, no wrecking’.

Six weeks into Turnbull’s turn as leader, host Sally Warhaft will be joined by revered political journalists Michelle Grattan and Laura Tingle to discuss the new-look Liberals, the weight of expectation – and Australian political culture more broadly.

Who?

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

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 the Covid-19 pandemic. 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.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

Portrait of Laura Tingle

Laura Tingle

Laura Tingle is chief political correspondent for ABC TV’s 7.30. She won the Paul Lyneham Award for Excellence in Press Gallery Journalism in 2004, and Walkley awards in 2005 and 2011. She is the author of Chasing the Future: Recession, Recovery and the New Politics in Australia, In Search of Good Government and three acclaimed Quarterly Essays, Great Expectations, Political Amnesia and Follow the Leader. Her new Quarterly Essay on Australian and New Zealand is due out in late 2020.

Portrait of Michelle Grattan

Michelle Grattan

Michelle Grattan AO is one of Australia’s most respected and awarded political journalists. She has been a member of the Canberra parliamentary press gallery for more than 40 years, during which time she has covered all the most significant stories in Australian politics.

The Fifth Estate

For in-depth insider analysis of current affairs, it doesn't get any better than The Fifth Estate.
This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.

Subscribe to the popular Fifth Estate podcast – or book a ticket – for expert analysis on today's key debates.

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