Kenneth Hayne says Covid shows Australian politics can be more than a ‘dialogue of the deaf’

The former high court judge urges politicians to defend their institution rather than prioritise partisan self-interest

Debates about climate change and the Indigenous voice to parliament have been hijacked by sloganeering and the “peddling of false and misleading ideas”, according to the former high court justice Kenneth Hayne, who has urged Australian politicians to defend their institution rather than prioritise partisan self-interest.

Giving the annual Sir Zelman Cowen Centre oration on Wednesday, Hayne reflected on the decline of trust in institutions, characterising hyper-partisan debate as a “dialogue of the deaf” in which slogans substitute for facts, and protagonists decline to acknowledge doubt, nuance or alternative points of view.

Related: Kenneth Hayne says trust in politics and institutions ‘damaged or destroyed’

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