Q+A: Nov 25

This week, vaccine protests, a Religious Discrimination Bill, shortages in skilled migration and sexting.

This week on Q+A Stan Grant hosts live from Sydney.

This episode will also feature a closing performance from poet and writer Sara M. Saleh.

Debate over our freedoms is dominating the news this week. Borders are opening and life is returning to normal in many parts of Australia, however, a weekend of protests saw tens of thousands of people venting their anger over vaccine mandates and proposed pandemic legislation. How should Australia respond to these increasing protests, some bearing violent imagery? And what does this mean for political leaders who are now becoming the target of violent threats?

Meanwhile, federal politicians are back in Canberra for what’s shaping up to be a testing final sitting fortnight of the year. The Government’s contentious Religious Discrimination Bill is expected to spark heated debate, with frontbenchers conceding that ‘not everyone in the Government’ will be pleased with the legislation.

Australia famously became known as the ‘hermit kingdom’ during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic due to international border closures. Since March 2020, more than half a million temporary migrants have left the country. Now, both Government and business groups are talking up the need for a big jump in skilled migration to address severe labour shortages. But is Australia still a desirable destination? Has the response to the pandemic permanently changed the country’s ability to attract foreign workers?

And Australia’s cricket captain Tim Paine has stepped down after it emerged that he was involved in a sexting exchange with a female former employee of Cricket Tasmania in 2017. Cricket Australia has conceded it mishandled the investigation immediately after the incident. Should Tim Paine have resigned from the top job in cricket?

Jason Falinski, NSW Liberal MP
Andrew Barr, ACT Chief Minister
Melinda Cilento, Company director and economist
Yaara Bou Melham, Journalist and documentary filmmaker
Michael Jensen, Theologian and Pastor

8:30pm Thursday on ABC.

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