The Fifth Estate
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‘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.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She hosts the Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, now in its ninth 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.
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.
Laura Tingle is the author of Quarterly Essay 46, The Big Whinge: Politics, Affluence and an Angry Nation and the political editor of the Australian Financial Review. Her next Quarterly Essay is due for release November 2016.
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.
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. Twice a month, 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 free, it's fortnightly and it's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.
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.