"The Week on Wednesday" gives you a deep-dive into the news themes of the preceding week, every week. It's digestible, accessible and light-hearted half hour from two people unafraid to tell it like it REALLY is.
Weekend Wrap 3 December 2023: Employment services reforms, the grind of government and the media circus
Ben Davison returns to take a look at a week in parliament that saw the Closing Loopholes bill pass the lower house, the greens and coalition team up to block the new shared home equity scheme, the mess that Labor is trying to clean up from Dutton's unlawful immigration detention scheme and Julian Hill's inquiry into Employment services.
The Employment services inquiry has found a huge amount of waste, an ideological system that punishes people and fails to actually help people get work.
Ben takes a look at the report, Van Badham's latest Guardian article on the topic and the insights of Per Capita CEO Emma Dawson as the Labor government considers changes that Dutton's Coalition has already said they will oppose.
The Labor government's reform agenda is starting to face multiple fronts of inertia, vested interest and a media more interested in a fight and "who's winning" than in the impact that governing can actually have in people's lives. Ben take a look at why we need to cut through the noise and keep the debate focused on the billions of dollars and millions of lives that are improved by reform.
Episode 157: Generational economic divide, Loopholes closer to closing & good news on renewables
Van Badham and Ben Davison give and update on the For Every Child public school funding campaign (www.foreverychild.au/postcard) , the Maritime Union campaign to stop wage theft in shipping and take a deeper dive into the progress on Closing the Loopholes for labour hire, casual and gig workers.
it is Go Home on Time Day! Workers are losing billions in unpaid overtime and through the corporate exploitation of loopholes. Van and Ben discuss how the union movement is tackling this problem and why you should join at australianunions.org.au/wow
The systemic generational and class divides that are being defended by big corporate interests, billionaires and those who believe in the RBA ideology come into sharp focus as Van and Ben discuss some of the latest research showing just how much economic insecurity is impacting people and how disinformation is trying to keep working people divided. Why? To slow and prevent changes that would benefit everyone at the expense of the already wealthy and powerful.
The good news is that renewable energy has driven power bills down to almost ZERO in Portugal! Proving that we can, over the long run, take control of our energy emissions and bills.
As always Van acknowledges our Cadre and Extend the Reach supporters who have made ongoing financial contributions to helping us build the audience for the podcast. Become a supporter at www.buymeacoffee.com/weekonwednesday
Weekend Wrap 19 November 2023: Profiteers cash in, school funding needs fix and why Albo went to APEC
Ben Davison returns with the weekend wrap to look at how corporate share buy backs are further evidence of profiteering driving inflation and why the Closing the Loopholes legislation is needed asap.
You can join your union at www.australianunions.org.au/wow to add your voice to the millions calling for wage increases instead of profit payouts.
The Australian Education Union has released new research that shows our public schools are underfunded by the almost the same amount as the share buy backs that just the big banks are handing out, that private schools are on track to be OVER funded by $3Billion and that the government investment in public education makes a return TWO to FOUR times!
If you want our public schools properly funded go to https://www.foreverychild.au/postcard to send Albo a message.
Finally Ben discusses why Albo needed to go to APEC, why Dutton is attacking him for it and how the Coalition is still desperate to find an existential threat, other than climate change, to justify its existence.
If you enjoy our podcast you can help us reach more people at www.buymeacoffee.com/weekonwednesday
Episode 156: Wages rise, Duttons dangerous disinformation, why school funding is a targeted use of the surplus and good news for stone workers
Van Badham and Ben Davison dig into the best wage rise numbers in more than 20 years, discuss why many people will still be going backwards and, as the ACTU Price Gouging Inquiry wraps up, what we can do to help stop the profiteering.
The union movement wins on minimum wage, awards, for aged care workers and improved collective agreements are lifting wages so if you want to see your pay get above the cost of living join your union at australianunions.org.au/wow
Peter Dutton is back on the disinformation train, this time using a High Court decision to score political points at the expense of at least 74 innocent people. Indefinite detention has been ruled unconstitutional and the rules that Dutton put in place during his time in government have been exposed as not just morally without basis but also without legal standing. As Labor moves to fix these issues Dutton has ramped up mis vitriolic disinformation. Could it be a handy distraction from his party voting against returning $9 billion in unpaid workers wages? Or the loss of another of his moderate MPs to the cross bench? Or is it just that he bought the Trump/Bannon franchise and is determined to play it out?
There's talk of another surplus budget and the ideas are already flowing. Ben and Van discuss why Albo's targeted cost of living relief is, in general, the right approach and also why supporting the 98% of public schools that are currently not funded to the MINIMUM level needed for every child is both targetted cost of living support and an investment in the future. Show your support for properly resourcing every school at https://www.foreverychild.au/postcard
The good news is that the CFMEU and the broader union movement is winning the campaign to ban engineered stone. Ikea has joined Bunnings in announcing they won't stock the killer products in the future. A national policy is on the horizon and the campaign to prevent workers dying for bench-tops continues.
Van acknowledges our Cadre and Extend the Reach supporters who have signed up at www.buymeacoffee.com/weekonwednesday to help us get this podcast into even more ears each and every week.
Episode 155: Optus outage chaos, new RBA is just like the old RBA and good news from America
Van Badham and Ben Davison dish the latest on the Optus outage chaos that has swept across Australia - and argue why key national infrastructure should be in public hands. They discuss why another interest rate rise is yet another painful example of an economy outgrowing the neoliberal zealots who insist on running it, and they take a tour into the history of abusive welfare policy. The good news is from America - with key victories for Democrats (and the rights of women) in Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky elections. The dog makes a number of noises that we hope you politely ignore and the whole unscripted, unedited and DELIGHTFULLY ORGANIC conversation is recorded through an improvised tether on Van's (Telstra) mobile phone...
Episode 154: Corporates fight to keep loopholes, Be that teacher for every child, Medicare boost and good news about spiders
Van Badham and Ben Davison shine on a spotlight on the attempts by corporate giants BHP, Qantas and Doordash to keep the labour hire, forced casualisation and sham contracting loopholes open at this week's senate committee hearings.
Van lays out what is wrong with capitalism in Australia and why being in your union, join at australianunions.org.au/wow, has never been more important with over $9,000,000,000 that could become wages if the loopholes close.
Jason Clare, federal Education Minister, and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese today launched a $10M campaign to recruit more teachers. Ben and Van discuss why its a good start but that getting the 98% of public schools that are currently underfunded up to the minimum standard will do more to address the workload, wage and classroom issues that are creating teacher shortages. You can send the PM a postcard at https://www.foreverychild.au/postcard to show your support for every child being able to access a quality public education.
Albo had a busy day as he also joined Health Minister Mark Butler to announce a boost to the Medicare bulk billing incentive. The tripled incentive will help 11,600,000 Australians get better access to bulk billing doctors.
Van and Ben discuss why they focus on these core material stories that impact millions of working people when so much of the media is now dominated by culture war issues.
The good news is from our friends at Labor for Farrer and is about spiders!
Plus Van gives a shoutout to our Cadre and Extend the Reach supporters. Head over to www.buymeacoffee.com/weekonwednesday if you'd like to help us grow our audience.
Thank you for the salve
I have post referendum blues and your analysis and humour gave me hope. Frankly , it also scared me to know the reasons behind the No vote.
Your energy and intellect shone through. Van and Ben for President! Oops. Wrong country. ;)
Listen and Learn
Such a brilliant team. Erudite, passionate, and inspiring, Ben and Van are great-hearted people, to whom all Australians should listen. Love your work!!
Needs more analysis, less Greens bashing
In the latest episode, the discussion of the Voice referendum Ben mentioned the ‘Yes’ results at rural polls with high numbers of indigenous voters (great); could not mention that every Greens held seat voted majority YES, with Adam Bandt’s seat (78% voted yes) the highest in the country. Van can’t go 5 minutes without letting slip how much she hates the Greens. As a leftie, I don’t get it. Labor destroyed the union movement in the 1980s under Hawke and Keating but this doesn’t get mentioned once. Instead the Greens are unconstitutional for daring people to demand more from their politicians (hello, rent freeze). While the Greens continue to live rent free in Van and Ben’s heads, I’m going to go enjoy some serious political journalism elsewhere. Give this a miss. Try The Guardian’s Australian Politics or Mark Kenny’s Democracy Sausage instead.