On Liberty | Season 1
On Liberty was started on 1 April 2020, during the Coronavirus pandemic . Our weekly live-stream, hosted by Salvatore Babones, aimed to host wide-ranging discussions with the great and the good on how the Coronavirus pandemic affected Australian society and those further afield. The show was made with the goal to keep you, our CIS members, up-to-date with what the CIS was up to. And to give you the chance to ask your questions of CIS researchers and other guests, during these unprecedented times. The show was so successful we were able to continue on for more episodes, join us live on YouTube and Facebook each week – Thursday at 10 am AEST
We speak with Glenn Fahey. Glenn Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies, working across economics and education programs. In his recent article at The Spectator Australia, he warns that the government’s centrepiece JobSeeker and JobKeeper packages risk becoming RecoveryPreventers. Join us live as we discuss the Australian welfare policy response to the pandemic.
Host Salvatore Babones welcomes Scott Prasser, author of forthcoming title Robert Menzies: Man or Myth (Connor Court). We’ll take a look back in history to Australia’s longest-serving prime minister, Sir Robert Menzies, who led the party that he founded, the Liberal Party into Government, from 1949 to 1966 winning seven successful elections in a row.
We welcome James Allan. James is Garrick professor of law at the University of Queensland. In his recent article in The Australian, Allan notes how online twitter mobs don’t argue against an opinion or view, rather argue against your view being able to exist at all.
We welcome former CIS research fellow Jennifer Buckingham. Jennifer founded the Five from Five project, developed with the objective of promoting effective, evidence-based reading instruction, by providing free resources to teachers, principals and parents and advocating for evidence-based policy with politicians and policy makers. Host Salvatore Babones will ask, what has been achieved in the five years of the Five from Five reading project. What still needs improvement? And most importantly what are the detrimental effects, if any, of the current pandemic?
Host Salvatore Babones spoke with Lindsay Shepherd. While there is certainly a role for government to manage the unfolding health and economic crises, we ask Lindsay Shepherd, to what end? Join us for a discussion about the lockdowns, the protests and what parallels can be drawn between Canada in Australia.
We welcome Professor Matt Trau. Professor Trau and his team at the Australian Institute for Bio-engineering and Nanotechnology are at the forefront of The University of Queensland’s research into Covid. Trau will discuss how the future of Australia will look very different after covid-19. He will question if vaccines and therapeutic solutions are long-off and diagnostics tools are our best resource – why are we swabbing and testing in the same way we were 30 years ago?
Host Salvatore Babones was joined by CIS senior fellow Rob Forsyth. Rob is co-editor of the new book for CIS on religious liberty: Forgotten Freedom No More. Rob talked to Salvatore about the vulnerability of freedom of religion in Australia and why it is now the freedom that is forgotten no more. Rob covered the importance of religious practice and community in Australia and why now, more than ever, there is some cause for concern.
We welcome April Palmerlee, CEO of American Chamber of Commerce Australia (AmCham). April is proud to tell us that the USA is Australia’s biggest Foreign investor. She talked to us about the many roles played by American companies in Australia and the importance of the relationship for both countries.
We welcome Blaise Joseph, Research Fellow in education and a former secondary school teacher. We’ll ask Blaise what the impact of school closures mean for students learning, especially for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds? And is it possible that there are some benefits of students learning from home?
We welcome Judith Sloan, contributing economics editor at The Australian. They’ll focus on repairing the economic damage that has been done and what strategic economic policies should be pursued by the government. Could we have had lower economic costs and still managed the virus well?
Host Salvatore Babones spoke with Jacinta Price, Director of Indigenous program CIS. Jacinta joins us live from Alice Springs, where she serves as a Town Councillor, to discuss how lockdown compares in remote communities. Are aboriginal communities complying with restrictions? How do we get the indigenous economy moving again after COVID19
How do Australian companies help fight coronavirus and what are the regulatory complexities in operating across jurisdictions? Host Salvatore Babones spoke with James McBrayer, CEO of the listed medical technology company Cyclopharm and CIS Member. James and Salvatore addressed the current challenges posed for medical supply chains with increased demand across the sector and the conversation turner to the future of nuclear medicines, and indeed the viability of power.
This pandemic has forced the majority of our society into self-isolation, and we are now working and ‘socialising’ from home at an unprecedented level. Host Salvatore Babones spoke with Monica Wilkie, CIS Policy Analyst. Technological advancements such as teleconferencing have been praised for helping keep us all connected during this lockdown. But is it possible to substitute face-to-face interaction? And are there long-term implications of depriving people of our fundamental need to socialise – in person?
The suspension of some civil liberties is acceptable to the general public. But be warned. The public will put up with these measures only for so long. Host Salvatore Babones spoke with Alexander Downer, Australia’s longest-serving foreign minister and chairman of The UK Policy Exchange In London, about how to “manage the aftermath” of this pandemic. Concluding that The federal government now has to start thinking about its exit plan and sell this through the national cabinet to the states. It has to develop acceptable criteria for winding back social isolation and, at some point, end the substantial subsidies.
In the rush to save ourselves, we are in danger of losing sight of the needs of our neighbours, many of whom are more vulnerable and less able to fend for themselves. Host Salvatore Babones spoke with Peter Kurti, director of the Culture, Prosperity & Civil Society program at the Centre for Independent Studies. Peter discussed the morality of Australia’s response to coronavirus pandemic: hoarding, profiteering, and toilet paper.