Was Malcolm Turnbull born to rule?

Malcolm Turnbull Born to RuleIn the lead up to the 2016 election, Malcolm Turnbull released a short video talking about his upbringing, which painted him as a battler brought up by a single dad. But while the story of Turnbull’s mother leaving him at the age of 9 is undisputed, just how real is the story of ‘the battler’? Journalist and author Paddy Manning turned his forensic eye to Turnbull’s life in his book Born to Rule: The unauthorised biography of Malcolm Turnbull, and he says the battler image is far from true. Catherine and Paddy take a look at Malcolm Turnbull’s life, from his early beginnings, to his work at Goldman Sachs, his role in the HIH disaster, the NBN and ultimately as Prime Minister of Australia.

Bob Carr on Bill Shorten, a federal ICAC, and the fallout from Brexit

Bob Carr and Catherine ZengererBob Carr was a former NSW Premier, Labor Foreign Minister and is now Director of the Australia China Relations Institute at UTS. He’s seen what Labor and federal politics looks like from the inside, and in his  role as Foreign Minister has handled delicate negotiations with political leaders the world over. I caught up with him to discuss the making of Bill Shorten this election, whether he supports a federal ICAC and what the fallout from the Brexit could look like for Australia.

This interview first appeared on The Wire  on 2ser 107.3 

The Chaser team take on election 2016

charles-firth1If you watched last night’s leaders’ debate between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, you wouldn’t have been alone in thinking it was boring and over-scripted. But don’t give up on watching the election campaign just yet. With five weeks to go until the election, the Chaser team are back to spice things up – not only on TV with their ‘Election Desk’, but in print as well. The Chaser Quarterly is back, teaming up with SBS’ The Shovel team to produce an election special edition. Managing Editor and Chaser troublemaker, Charles Firth, gave me a peek inside.


The degrading of a Prime Minister

gravityWhen a political leader breaks ground, their role is bound to be examined and analysed, with judgement ultimately cast in history books yet to be written. When that leader is Julia Gillard, the intrigue, scheming and sheer nastiness that surrounded her reign only adds to the desire to understand just how things went so wrong for our first female Prime Minister. So how will history judge Julia? And who was the person behind the “Ice Queen” persona?

This is what former Victorian Labor MP and author Mary Delahunty wanted to find out. Luckily for her, she was granted unique access to the PM in her last year in office. She got to see Julia Gillard in both public and private moments,and ask her how she kept going in the face of relentless degrading abuse.

Featured in story: Author and journalist Mary Delahunty

This story first appeared on The Wire


Fears of homelessness as housing affordability schemes slashed

housing-affordabilityHousing affordability was the focus in Senate Estimates Committee hearings today after over half a billion dollars was cut in the budget from programs designed to address Australia’s housing affordability crisis. Charities say homelessness will rise and families will suffer after funding for the National Rental Affordability Scheme was stripped. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam says it’s not the only housing program affected.

The National Rental Affordability Scheme is no longer being funded, the Housing Supply Council was abolished in November 2013, along with the Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness and the COAG body co-ordinating funding between the Commonwealth and the States. When asked how many people would be made homeless by the cumulative effect of budget cuts, Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was unable to provide an answer.

Featured in story
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam
Director of Advocacy and Research at Anglicare Sydney, Sue King
Dr John Falzon, CEO, St Vincent De Paul

This story first appeared on The Wire

Which Royal Commission deserves more money?

A political stunt by Labor or the Liberal party siphoning funds into their own political witch-hunt? This is how the debate has been framed about the discovery that savings identified in The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse were re-directed into the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program.

Nearly $7 million in savings was identified by the government – $4 million from the Royal Commission into Child Abuse’s capital budget and a further $2.7 million in savings on legal costs. But Child abuse advocates say the money should have been spent on letting more Australians know they have a right to legal assistance and accessing the funds earlier.

Featured in story
Dr Cathy Kelzelman , President of Adults Surviving Child Sexual Abuse
Hetty Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of Bravehearts 

This story first appeared on The Wire

Video the Vote – capturing problems with the US voting system

The voting system in the US has been plagued with problems again this election. This time the outcome wasn’t as close as the 2000 election which saw George W Bush elected by a controversial 537 votes from Florida, but despite this a dedicated team have been campaigning to ensure as many people as possible got to have their say in this election outcome.  Ed Coper, formerly of Australia’s GetUp Campaign, is in New York where he is working on the Video the Vote campaign. He spoke with Catherine Zengerer.
[audio https://czengerer.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/wwed-coper.mp3]
This story first appeared on The Wire

How Obama won an historic second term


Barack Obama has won the US election and won it comfortably.
While there were predictions of low voter turn out, in part due to Hurricane Sandy, and that the race would be close, in the end the result was decisive.
So what got Obama across the line?
Catherine Zengerer speaks with Senior Lecturer in the School of International Studies at Flinders University, David Palmer.
[audio https://czengerer.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/wwobamawin.mp3]
This story first appeared on The Wire