The coronavirus crisis is posing new questions and serious challenges to Australia’s political leaders. And those leaders are responding assertively – closing borders, slowing the economy, and working hard to keep infection numbers down. But are they making the right choices? On this Democracy Sausage Extra Mark Kenny talks with the insiders who ask the tough questions of those leaders every day – press gallery veterans David Crowe and Phil Coorey.
Initial political optimism from an early Federal Government response and subsequent low infection numbers has now given way to fear, with Australia’s internal borders closed, and soul searching and inquiries about community protection and service provision. So what does this unprecedented political time look like to the insiders – the people who report from Canberra’s press gallery? Joining Professor Mark Kenny are Phil Coorey of the Australian Financial Review and David Crowe of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. The panel discuss the questions the pandemic raises about Australia’s federated system, why every leader gets judged on the numbers, whether Australia’s good performance through the Global Financial Crisis encouraged complacency about the impacts of COVID-19, and the ‘bad men’ in charge of the world.
Mark Kenny is a Professor in the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the university after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times.
Phillip Coorey is an Australian journalist, currently political editor for The Australian Financial Review. Phillip has covered federal politics since 1998, beginning as political correspondent for The Advertiser.
David Crowe is Chief Political Correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and a regular commentator on national affairs on the ABC’s Insiders program. In a career spanning 25 years, he has covered federal politics as the national affairs editor of The Australian and the Chief Political Correspondent of The Australian Financial Review.
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This podcast is produced in partnership with The Australian National University.