Q+A: May 20

Q+A is Live from Sydney this week.

With Australia’s borders unlikely to re-open until mid-2022, senior government ministers are standing by the decision to keep our borders closed, despite internal party backlash. Some MPs have expressed concerns Australia will become a “hermit nation” the longer we remain closed. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the Government will continue to be led by medical advice, but what will extended border closures mean for the country’s productivity?

Despite the economy showing strong signs of recovery, the budget papers forecast a decade of deficits and debt, set to peak at almost $1 trillion in 2025. Will Australia ever see a surplus again?

One sector hit hardest by the border closures is higher education, with the industry losing $1.8bn in revenue and 17,000 jobs due to the pandemic. What is the future for Australian universities if the borders remain closed? Tens of thousands of Australians are still stranded overseas, so how will we clear the backlog?

And as the situation escalates between Israelis and Palestinians on the Gaza strip, we’ll look at the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Middle East.

On the panel:

Luke McGregor, Comedian, writer and actor
Barnaby Joyce, Nationals Member for New England
Gabriela D’Souza, Senior Economist, Committee for Economic Development of Australia
Tony Burke, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations and the Arts
Lisa Jackson Pulver, Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Sydney

Thursday, May 20 at 8.30pm on ABC.

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