Politics with Michelle Grattan: Katy Gallagher on the battle to hold the government to account


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When Katy Gallagher joined the podcast this week, she was running between sessions of Senate estimates.

Among other issues, she and other Labor senators pressed (with mixed results) for answers about the handling of the Brittany Higgins matter.

Gallagher has another role in the pursuit of accountability. As Chair of the Senate’s Select Committee on COVID-19, she’s spearheading the quest for detail on what the government is doing on both the health and economic fronts.

As shadow minister for finance, she’s also been vocal in the opposition’s attack on the budget - in particular the government’s failure to increase real wages despite considerable spending.

Gallagher speaks about the difficulty in getting substantive information.

“We have had pretty critical information withheld from the [COVID] committee…”

“All of the modelling and assumptions that went into the economic rescue packages, you know, hundreds of billions of dollars going out the door. All the health advice that’s been provided to the government, the decisions that have been taken about border closures, about vaccinations, about why they went with certain companies and not others.

"The government has refused to provide that information. And I think that creates a problem for us in properly scrutinising it.”

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Additional audio

A List of Ways to Die, Lee Rosevere, from Free Music Archive.

The Conversation

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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