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Is Australian politics as corrupt as the USA? This week on BIG DEAL

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Big Deal takes a look 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.

This engaging ABC factual series is a wake-up call about the frightening extent to which money has infiltrated politics.

From Canberra to the outback, Big Deal presenter, Christiaan Van Vuuren talks to farmers, students and everyday Aussies who have found themselves fighting big battles. To his surprise, he finds inspiring examples of people winning against powerful influential opponents in our political system.

Interviews include: Dan Martin, Robbie Katter, Rodger Mueller, Dr. Lindy Edwards, Angus Emmott, Ben Smee, Gary Murphy, Michael West, Malcom Turnbull, Kate McClymont, Senator Jacqui Lambie, Judi Emmett, Meg Neilson, Nan Nicolson, Saffron Zomer, Chaitra Hareesh, David Barrow, Linda Burney,Cathy McGowan, Helen Haines, Alana Johnson, and Amanda Aldous.

Big Deal episode 2 opens with a key narrative question: are we as corrupt as America? Christiaan learns some uncomfortable truths. He finds out that we have a cashed-up gun lobby in Australia and manufacture the very guns that were banned after the worst gun massacre in Australian history at
Port Arthur.

He crunches the numbers and builds giant lego towers with his kids to show how much the fossil fuel industry donates to both major parties – revealing that over half a million was donated to each party from just the fossil fuel industry alone.

He travels to Channel Country in Western Queensland to hear about a battle between locals and the gas industry, despite QLD having some of the strongest transparency laws in our nation. Christiaan looks into the National Covid Coordination Commission, which included several people with links to the gas industry.

Christiaan then interviews an Irish political expert about the reform that took place after big donations from property developers became a big problem, that contributed to a financial crisis.

Ireland has a regulation of lobbying act which has a cap on spending and a transparency requirement. While Australia and America have absolutely no limits on what one can spend, countries like Canada and the UK and New Zealand all do. In Canada, only citizens can donate, not companies or unions. And in the UK, they’ve always banned political advertising on TV.

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.

Big Deal – Episode 2 airs Tuesday 26 October at 8.30pm on ABC and iview

- ADVERTISEMENT -

Big Deal takes a look 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.

This engaging ABC factual series is a wake-up call about the frightening extent to which money has infiltrated politics.

From Canberra to the outback, Big Deal presenter, Christiaan Van Vuuren talks to farmers, students and everyday Aussies who have found themselves fighting big battles. To his surprise, he finds inspiring examples of people winning against powerful influential opponents in our political system.

Interviews include: Dan Martin, Robbie Katter, Rodger Mueller, Dr. Lindy Edwards, Angus Emmott, Ben Smee, Gary Murphy, Michael West, Malcom Turnbull, Kate McClymont, Senator Jacqui Lambie, Judi Emmett, Meg Neilson, Nan Nicolson, Saffron Zomer, Chaitra Hareesh, David Barrow, Linda Burney,Cathy McGowan, Helen Haines, Alana Johnson, and Amanda Aldous.

- ADVERTISEMENT -

Big Deal episode 2 opens with a key narrative question: are we as corrupt as America? Christiaan learns some uncomfortable truths. He finds out that we have a cashed-up gun lobby in Australia and manufacture the very guns that were banned after the worst gun massacre in Australian history at
Port Arthur.

He crunches the numbers and builds giant lego towers with his kids to show how much the fossil fuel industry donates to both major parties – revealing that over half a million was donated to each party from just the fossil fuel industry alone.

He travels to Channel Country in Western Queensland to hear about a battle between locals and the gas industry, despite QLD having some of the strongest transparency laws in our nation. Christiaan looks into the National Covid Coordination Commission, which included several people with links to the gas industry.

Christiaan then interviews an Irish political expert about the reform that took place after big donations from property developers became a big problem, that contributed to a financial crisis.

Ireland has a regulation of lobbying act which has a cap on spending and a transparency requirement. While Australia and America have absolutely no limits on what one can spend, countries like Canada and the UK and New Zealand all do. In Canada, only citizens can donate, not companies or unions. And in the UK, they’ve always banned political advertising on TV.

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.

Big Deal – Episode 2 airs Tuesday 26 October at 8.30pm on ABC and iview

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