Whenever it falls, whatever the result, it seems pretty clear that one of the big stories of Federal Election 2022 is going to be the rise of independent candidates around the country. Breaking down the two party system and changing the legislative focus to debate on specific issues appears to be the order of the day, and who better than Barrie Cassidy to talk to the new force in Australian politics: the independents, featuring Cathy McGowan and Rob Oakeshott.

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Cathy McGowan (Australian)

Cathy McGowan

Cathy McGowan came to national attention when she won the seat of Indi as an independent in 2013, becoming the first female independent to sit on the crossbench. During her time as a politician Cathy actively worked in Parliament to develop policy around regional development, a national integrity commission, a code of conduct for politicians, as well as drought policy. In 2019 she was awarded The Accountability Round Table award for political integrity. She is an Officer of the Order of Australia, and a Churchill fellow. Her new book is Cathy Goes to Canberra.

Rob Oakeshott (Australian)

Rob Oakeshott

Rob Oakeshott was the Federal MP for Lyne 2008-2013 and the State MP for Port Macquarie 1996-2008. He turned down Ministry in Gillard Government, however, chaired various committees including Joint Public Accounts and Audit, Joint NBN, Joint Parliamentary Budget Office implementation). Since 2013, Rob has worked extensively throughout the Asia-Pacific with UNDP (including the Solomon Islands) on parliamentary strengthening projects, is a sessional law lecturer at Charles Sturt University (current teaching load Corporations Law, Employment Law, Administrative Law, and Environmental Law), and is in his final year of completing a Bachelor Medicine at UNSW. Rob still lives in the same house with his four children in Port Macquarie, with the legendary Sara-Jane who teaches at Melville High School, in Kempsey.

Barrie Cassidy (Australian)

Barrie Cassidy

Barrie Cassidy started out in journalism as a cadet reporter with the Border Mail in Albury. In the 47 years since, he has been a court reporter and police roundsman, a political correspondent, program host, newsreader, radio broadcaster, and foreign correspondent. For over 13 years he was host of the ABC's highly respected political discussion program Insiders, as well as long time host of the sports equivalent, Offsiders. He’s also the author of three books: Private Bill, The Party Thieves and An Ocean of Cricket.