Airdate: Big Deal

Christiaan Van Vuuren looks at Australia’s billion-dollar political lobbying industry in a new ABC series.

ABC has announced a new two-part factual series on how political donations sway decision-making in Australia (no really?).

Big Deal looks at Australia’s billion-dollar political lobbying industry. For every federal politician, there’s millions of dollars devoted just to swinging their opinion, or their vote.

Comedian Christiaan Van Vuuren (Soul Mates, Bondi Hipsters) presents and Craig Reucassel (War on Waste, Fight For Planet A, The Chaser), makes his directorial debut. He meets with a range of politicians, journalists, and experts, such as Malcolm Turnbull, Jason Falinski, Sam Dastyari, Scott Ryan, Kate McClymont, Dr Andrew Leigh, Helen Haines, Jacqui Lambie, Katharine Murphy, Linda Burney, and Zali Steggall, to ask, ‘Is Australia’s democracy for sale?’

Christiaan Van Vuuren said: “We Aussies love the underdogs, those who stand up against the powerful. So, I just don’t understand why we accept a system where the rich and powerful get special treatment? I want us to live in a country where passionate leaders lead and where their ideas for our nation are what get them elected … not their ability to raise money.”

Craig Reucassel said: “Polling shows that many young people do not think that democracy is the best form of government – and that is absolutely tragic. We’re becoming disengaged, and unfortunately our democracy is moving away from something that is responding to us. The surprising thing that this documentary reveals is that while there are a lot of problems, many that politicians need to fix, there’s also a lot of things that we can do ourselves.”

On his directorial debut Craig said that “It was also great being behind the camera for once. It meant I got to make Christiaan undertake awkward stunts, rather than having to do it myself. Much more fun!”

Production Credits: A Jungle Entertainment, Stranger Than Fiction, Shark Island, Madman Entertainment and ABC Production. Principal production funding from Screen Australia in association with Screen NSW. Director: Craig Reucassel, Producer: Aline Jacques, Executive Producers: Jen Peedom, Bridget Callow-Wright, Jason Burrows, Malinda Wink and Paul Wiegard. ABC Manager of Documentaries Stephen Oliver.

Tuesday 19 October at 8.30pm on ABC TV, with both episodes instantly available to binge on ABC iview.

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