New Democracy Sausage Episode: Robodebt and Australia’s ‘rotten’ public service

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Tuesday 14 March 2023

Senior Reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton joins the show to discuss what the Robodebt royal commission hearings uncovered and the dire state of Australia’s policymaking apparatus.

How was the Robodebt scheme, which illegally and inaccurately used income averaging to calculate welfare debt, allowed to become policy and wreak havoc on some of Australia’s most vulnerable citizens?

What did the royal commission hearings, which concluded just last week, reveal about the culture of the Australian public service and its relationship with the former government?

And what needs to change so that a policy failure of this magnitude doesn’t happen again?

On this episode of Democracy Sausage, Senior Reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton joins Professor Mark Kenny and Dr Marija Taflaga to discuss the Robodebt royal commission.

Listen here: AcastApple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts.

Rick Morton is a Senior Reporter for The Saturday Paper and author ‘Robodebt and the empathy bypass’, a new essay in The Monthly about the Robodebt scandal.

Marija Taflaga is the Director of the ANU Centre for the Study of Australian Politics and a Lecturer at the ANU School of Politics and International Relations.

Mark Kenny is a Professor at 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 HeraldThe Age and The Canberra Times.

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Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on AcastApple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

This podcast is produced by The Australian National University.

Updated:  15 March 2023/Responsible Officer:  Institute Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications