Greg Hunt, the person behind the masks

“I keep in mind writing concerning the Nationwide Cupboard when it was first introduced collectively, and everybody was heralding this new technology of politics the place folks put aside issues and received on with the job collectively for the nationwide curiosity,” says Rob Harris, nationwide affairs editor at each The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age . “That occurred for just a few weeks – possibly even just a few months – however we’ve received a fairly large physique of labor to inform us it was by no means going to final.”


It was maybe inevitable that Hunt discovered his political groove on this explicit disaster. “I feel for those who’re an bold politician, and also you’re introduced with a problem like this, and you’ve got the mental capability to cope with it – which he actually has – one a part of you have to be pondering, ‘That is the trip of my life’,” says Snow. “There’s not going to be a extra vital job.”

Snow and Harris spoke at size about Hunt, with moderation by Good Weekend editor Katrina Strickland, for the most recent episode of Good Weekend Talks, a podcast which takes a deep dive into the definitive tales of the day.

The dialogue is predicated on this week’s cowl story, Race of his life: How Greg Hunt helps set the tempo through the biggest medical disaster because the Spanish flu. Written by Snow, the story addresses every part from Hunt’s rigorously cultivated life plan, to his humiliating stumble within the 2018 Liberal management problem, to his crucial function within the federal authorities’s response to the COVID-19 disaster.

The podcast additionally seems at parallels and variations with the 1980s AIDS disaster, and the truth that it is Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck, reasonably than Hunt as senior minister, who has copped most criticism within the aged care bungle. “It it’s all about legacies and reputations,” says Harris. “All politicians are the identical – they like to assert victory for the issues which can be carried out nicely they usually prefer to deflect the issues that haven’t labored out the best way they need to.”


The dialog additionally examines a number of the uncommon features of Hunt’s childhood, together with his mom’s psychological sickness and his personal seek for stability in maturity. “Greg Hunt is a really managed individual,” says Snow. “He actually likes to get his data in a really organised approach and provides it out in a really organised approach. He works extremely exhausting. He buildings his time very tightly. He’s at all times on mission.” He’s not as huge a cultivator of allies in Canberra as a few of his colleagues. “Lots of politicians discuss how the true mates you may have in life are sometimes those you meet earlier than you enter politics,” says Harris, which is actually true of Hunt. “I feel when you’re on this constructing – Parliament Home – mates could be expendable, relying on the conditions you face.”

For the complete function story, see Saturday’s Good Weekend, or go to The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Brisbane Times.

Hearken to extra episodes by subscribing to Good Weekend Talks wherever you get your podcasts.