Politics with Michelle Grattan-logo

Politics with Michelle Grattan

69 Favorites

More Information


Sydney, NSW


For time-poor politics lovers there's the 'just Michelle Grattan' podcast: 5-7 minutes each day, from one of Australia's most experienced Press Gallery members.






Radio National Sydney, 2001 Australia


AGL chief economist Tim Nelson on what to do with Liddell

In the eye of the storm over energy policy is Liddell, an ageing coal-fired power station owned by energy giant AGL. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has twisted the arm of AGL chief executive Andy Vesey to take to the company’s board the proposition that it should extend the plant’s life beyond its scheduled 2022 closure, or alternatively sell it to an operator that would carry it on. AGL chief economist Tim Nelson says the company is running the rule over both options but he argues...

Duration: 00:30:43

Judith Brett on The Enigmatic Mr Deakin

It is popular to look at today’s political challenges through the prism of prime ministers past, but when it comes to former liberal leaders it’s usually Robert Menzies, not Alfred Deakin, who comes to mind. However Judith Brett, emeritus professor of politics at La Trobe University and author, says we have much to learn from Australia’s second prime minister. Her new biography, The Enigmatic Mr Deakin, reveals the intense inner world of one of the most important fathers of Australian...

Duration: 00:20:47

Politics podcast: Mark Butler on energy uncertainty

Pressure is mounting on the government to put an end to energy uncertainty as an Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) report warns of looming power shortages over the next few years. Opposition climate change and energy spokesman Mark Butler has written about the toxic divisions on energy policy in his recent book, Climate Wars. He recognises there are challenges in the Coalition party room over the Finkel report, but says Labor will negotiate with the government on an energy...

Duration: 00:29:47

Nick Xenophon on media reform

As leader of a senate crossbench party, Nick Xenophon’s position on contentious legislation, currently media reform, is crucial for the government. He says it’s “not for lack of trying” that the Nick Xenophon Team has not yet reached an agreement with the government on media ownership rules. He is pushing for tax breaks for smaller organisations to promote media diversity. He also opposes concessions that the government has made to Pauline Hanson that would clip the wings of the ABC,...

Duration: 00:15:13

Mathias Cormann on the same-sex marriage postal survey

When the government didn’t get the numbers to pass legislation for a same-sex marriage plebiscite they put the wheels in motion for their second best plan: a postal survey. Since announcing that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) would be responsible for carrying out the same-sex marriage postal survey, acting special minister of state Mathias Cormann has had no shortage of questions from journalists and on social media. In the absence of normal protections offered by the...

Duration: 00:20:09

Derryn Hinch on surviving the Senate

After spending a year immersed in the parliamentary machine, broadcaster-turned-senator Derryn Hinch is keen to see a more efficient Senate. His suggestions include shortening the length of speeches – and thus the opportunity for filibusters – and trimming supplementary questions. He’s frustrated by the government’s “Dorothy Dixers”. “It’s a waste of time,” he says. As the debate around same-sex marriage continues to affect the government, Hinch has made clear his support for...

Duration: 00:17:10

Tiernan Brady on same-sex marriage showdown

The issue of same-sex marriage is derailing the government’s attempts to promote its agenda as tension mounts ahead of a special Liberal party meeting on Monday and parliament’s resumption on Tuesday. The executive director of The Equality Campaign, Tiernan Brady, a leader of the successful ‘yes’ referendum on same-sex marriage in Ireland, has been working with activists in Australia to get marriage equality over the line. He says the majority of MPs and the opposition just “want to find...

Duration: 00:20:33

Michael Cooney on an Australian republic

Malcolm Turnbull, perhaps Australia’s best-known republican, declared himself “an Elizabethan” during his recent visit to London. Turnbull insists the quest for an Australian republic is on the backburner until Queen Elizabeth’s reign ends. But Bill Shorten is pushing for an earlier timetable, as is the Australian Republic Movement (ARM). The ARM’s national director, Michael Cooney, argues that becoming a republic would give Australians, who are facing a political system that is breaking...

Duration: 00:22:09

Peter Jennings on the home affairs department

The new home affairs super ministry announced by Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday is considered by some experts to be unnecessary and potentially dangerous. Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) Peter Jennings, says that while the department would present an array of bureaucratic challenges it is largely a “sensible step”. Likely benefits include the potential for a much needed improvement to Australia’s ability to address cybersecurity issues and foreign interference....

Duration: 00:20:13

Graeme Samuel on data governance

Many Australians are worried about the proliferation of data businesses and the government knowing too much about them. Data Governance Australia chairman Graeme Samuel hopes that a self-regulatory code of conduct will raise the standards among data-driven organisations. Despite the pervasiveness of data in our daily lives, he argues most people don’t understand the extent to which organisations use it. As a former regulator, Samuel regards government regulation of data as “second-best”...

Duration: 00:27:25

Anna Krien on the climate wars

Melbourne-born author Anna Krien’s latest Quarterly Essay explores the debates on climate change policy in Australia and the ecological effects of not acting. She interviewed farmers, scientists, Indigenous groups, and activists from Bowen to Port Augusta. She says climate change denialism has transformed into “climate change nihilism”. Krien says the Finkel review provides another opportunity in a long line of proposals to take up the challenge of legislating clean energy. “We just need...

Duration: 00:17:15

Alan Finkel on the future of Australia’s energy market

Despite the government still considering his proposal for a clean energy target (CET) – after endorsing his other 49 recommendations – Chief Scientist Alan Finkel is optimistic the CET remains firmly on the agenda. Finkel’s challenging task has been to put forward a scheme to bring Australia’s energy market into the future, providing certainty for investment and supply. His plan has required a balance between appeasing consumers on prices and meeting Australia’s commitments on climate...

Duration: 00:21:47

Gladys Berejiklian on the need to reform federal-state partnerships

NSW Premier Gladys Berejikilian is alert to the challenge of operating in today’s difficult electorate. “The digital age has brought a sense of empowerment. It’s brought a sense of greater appreciation of democracy and the political process and we need to not only respond to it but adapt to that and make sure that we are listening during our term in office, not just at election time.” With her government having just handed down a budget with an enviable surplus, she says the federal...

Duration: 00:14:49

John Blaxland on handling Islamist terrorism

Events in Britain, the New South Wales coroner’s report on the Lindt Cafe siege, and a new attack in Australia have given a much sharper edge to the debate about how to handle Islamist terrorism. Amid the hype, ANU security expert John Blaxland provides a reality check. He says while there’s an escalation of and change in the nature of terrorist attacks, collaboration between Australian police and intelligence services is world class. On the Lindt Cafe siege, Blaxland says that although...

Duration: 00:22:16

Matt Canavan on Adani

The Coalition has backed the Adani Carmichael coal mine but there’s debate about assistance for the project, and argument about the jobs it would create in the region. Matt Canavan argues there’s a role for the government to invest in large scale infrastructure. He tells The Conversation this mine is only one part of a plan for “opening up the Galilee Basin” to provide investment opportunities, exports, and employment. “This coal is not for Australia, it’s for our region.” On last week’s...

Duration: 00:27:33

Dennis Richardson on telling it like it is

Dennis Richardson, one of Australia’s most respected federal public servants, has just retired after an illustrious career. He served as head of the foreign affairs department, the defence department, and ASIO, and was Australian ambassador in Washington. He was also once chief-of-staff to then-prime minister Bob Hawke. Richardson was never afraid to tell ministers what he believed they should hear, and any grudges they had as a result they apparently got over very quickly. He urges...

Duration: 00:38:10

Chris Bowen on Labor’s budget responses

Labor has come under fire for some of its budget responses, including its opposition to the schools package, and only partial support for the Medicare levy increase. Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen rejects the government’s argument about the schools plan being more “needs based” than present arrangements, telling The Conversation its “one-size fits all” approach will put pressure on families and the public system. “Being needs-based is a bit like being pregnant, isn’t it? You either are or...

Duration: 00:26:31

Budget reaction: Mathias Cormann and Anna Bligh on the new bank tax


Duration: 00:22:43

John Daley on the budget


Duration: 00:13:19

Andrew Giles on schools funding

The shadow assistant minister for schools, Andrew Giles, says the strong opposition from Catholic schools to the government’s education package is because they were given “almost no notice” of the funding changes. “What’s different in the Catholic system from the independent sector is the practice of making systemic decisions. And that’s something that has been fundamentally ignored by the minister in the manner in which this has been outlined.” Giles says that “people will be waiting a...

Duration: 00:21:02

See More