Saturday 21 May 2022 | 02:23 | SYDNEY
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Panel Discussion: Foreign policy, defence and the federal election

The economy, tax, debt and health are the issues that are most likely to dominate the federal election campaign. But there are other matters of importance to Australians that should be debated. Which party is best able to balance our delicate relationships with Washington and Beijing? Both parties have promised to give a higher priority to our relationships in the Pacific but whose plans are most likely to succeed? Both parties are committed to increasing defence spending but will this fall victim to the competition to cut income taxes and achieve sustainable budget surpluses? Will spending on foreign aid also be sacrificed because of budgetary pressures? What do the findings of the Lowy Institute Poll tell us about voters’ attitudes?

Lowy Institute experts discussed these and other important foreign policy and defence issues of the federal election campaign.

Dr Michael Fullilove is Executive Director of the Lowy Institute and a leading expert on Australian and US foreign policy. He is the author of Rendezvous with Destiny: How Franklin D Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America into the War and the World.

Alex Oliver is the Director of Research at the Lowy Institute. She is responsible for the Institute’s research program and team. Until 2018, she directed the Lowy Institute’s program on diplomacy and public opinion, including the annual Lowy Institute Poll.

Richard McGregor, Lowy Institute Senior Fellow, is a leading expert on China’s political system and Australia’s relations with Asia. He is the author of The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers and Australia’s Reckoning: China, Japan and the Fate of US Power in the Pacific Century.

Annmaree O’Keeffe is a Nonresident Fellow of the Lowy Institute with vast experience in the Pacific and Papua New Guinea. She was a Deputy Director General of Australia’s former foreign aid agency, AusAID, and has served as Australian Ambassador to Nepal.

Sam Roggeveen, Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Security program, writes about Australian defence and foreign policy, as well as China’s growing military. He is writing a book on Australia’s domestic political dysfunction and what it means for our place in the world.

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