In this action-packed episode, first, we look at the aftermath of the Fadden byelection. Although it may seem like business as usual for some, we look into the federal implications and significance of the result in this conservative seat of Gold Coast (hint: there are not many implications). The mainstream media has depicted this as a massive win for Peter Dutton and the negative impact it has had on the Labor Party – also supposedly ending Anthony Albanese’s political honeymoon – even though the opinions polls are showing the opposite: the Labor government is still way ahead of the Liberal and National parties.
Next, we shine a spotlight on one of the Big 4 consultancy firms, Deloitte, which is under scrutiny for conflicts of interest and misuse of government information during federal government consultancies. Drawing connections with previous breaches by PwC, we explore the revelations unveiled through Senate Estimates, thanks to the meticulous questioning by Australian Greens Senator Barbara Pocock and Labor Senator Deborah O’Neil. We also look at the calls for stronger legislation and even a potential Royal Commission into government outsourcing, given the staggering sums involved in federal government outsourcing – $21 billion.
We then turn our attention to sport and the recent decision to cancel the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Victoria. The reasons behind this move by Premier Daniel Andrews relate to major cost blowouts and dwindling public interest in the Commonwealth Games – certainly, this is not good news for professional athletes, but if the cost is becoming unaffordable, it’s best to cancel the games. This is what the conservative media had been calling for – cancelling the games – but now the games have been cancelled, they’re attacking the Victoria government for doing exactly what they asked for. Duplicity!
We also look into the contentious issue of government funding for private schools versus public schools and the alarming revelation that government funding for private schools has doubled over the past decade, resulting in one of the least equitable schooling systems among OECD countries. We discuss the historical context and the neoliberal kick-start provided by the Howard government in 1996, under the banner of ‘choice’ for parents – when effectively, the choice was just a grant illusion – emphasising the need for reform to achieve a fairer distribution of public funds in the education sector.
We then analyse the latest opinion polls and unravel the contrasting interpretations offered by conservative media outlets versus the actual poll numbers. We provide a nuanced analysis of the polls, which show support for the Labor government remaining steady – or increasing – debunking claims of a waning honeymoon for the Prime Minister and the Labor Party.
Lastly, we examine of the Voice to Parliament campaign’s decline in support. Drawing parallels with the 1999 Republic referendum, we explore the patterns of shifting public opinion and the challenges faced in sustaining momentum for such initiatives. We also look at the complexities of controlling political agendas and the role of prominent conservative figures like Senator Jacinta Price, Warren Mundine, and Peter Dutton in shaping the negative campaign’s narrative.
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