DEBATE: The panelists answered questions from Splendour punters.
DEBATE: The panelists answered questions from Splendour punters. Javier Encalada

50 things we learned at QandA in the Grass 2015

BACK to The Guardian's Forum space at Splendour in the Grass, Qanda in the Grass was a panel hosted by ABC journalist Tony Jones.

The panelists were Greens co-deputy leader Senator Larissa Waters, Liberal MP Wyatt Roy, Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson, Guardian columnist Van Badham and spy lawyer Bernard Collaery.

These are the 50 things we learned during the 90-minute forum.

  1. Young people in Australia are very interested in politics.
  2. They are just not very keen on our current political elite.
  3. Tony Jones got star treatment from the audience.
  4. MP Wyatt Roy claims to be 25 years of age, but was asked for ID at every bar he visited at Splendour.
  5. When the TV cameras are off, Tony Jones is very feisty.
  6. When the TV cameras are off, Tony Jones allows panelists to swear and be heckled by audience members.
  7. No Labor representative was able to attend the panel as they were in Sydney at their Conference.
  8. The Yelgun panel was way more fun.
  9. Despite that, the question was asked: when is Bill Shorten going to be changed for someone else who knows how to lead an opposition?
  10. Nobody was able to answer the question.
  11. No Liberal minister was able to attend Qanda in the Grass.
  12. The Guardian columnist Van Badham and Liberal MP Wyatt Roy tweeted selfies together before the event and then called each other names during the panel.
  13. Larissa Waters called Tony Jones 'Tojo' and that may be Tojo's nickname among pollies.
  14. Yesterday, 'Tojo' threw punches Left, Right, Greens and Centre.
  15. The smartest question and debate of the evening came from local Bundjalang elder Kevin 'Yillah' Boota: What will the legal status of Original people be if acknowledged by the Constitution? Is this a Trojan Horse?
  16. Those normally called Aboriginal people want to be referred to as Original people of Australia.
  17. Kevin Boota thinks the process to recognize Original people of Australia in the Constitution may be a Trojan Horse after looking into the Native Title process and realizing that it gave Original people "bugger all."
  18. Everyone is over the marriage equality debate.
  19. Most people want marriage equality to happen already.
  20. In the Coalition, even those pro marriage equality insist in calling it gay marriage.
  21. Tony Jones loves throwing shade at Tim Wilson.
  22. Wilson does not love it back.
  23. The treatment of the asylum seekers by the Australian government seems to be an issue that is predominant in Australian politics.
  24. The treatment of the asylum seekers by the Australian government is regulated by laws, regulations and conventions that have very little to do with daily politics.
  25. Tim Wilson reckons that Australia should increase its intake of refugees.
  26. According to MP Wyatt Roy, women in politics should seek preselection and earn their place in politics like everyone else and not ask for quotas.
  27. According to women in politics, Mr Roy forgot to mention that preselection is normally a decision taken by white, middle aged men with big property portfolios.
  28. According to Tim Wilson, women who think there are not enough female politicians should "do something about it" and he clarified he did not say that in an arrogant manner.
  29. Van Badham is disgusted at the way former PM Jullia Guilard and the current Prime Minister's Chief of Staff Peta Credlin have been treated in politics for being women.
  30. Van Badham is also disgusted at the fact that women in politics and political comentators are judged for the way they look and for who their partner are (or aren't).
  31. MP Larissa Waters admitted that "waking up in Canberra and facing the nastiness and the 'blokiness' is challenging but you gotta be in it to change it."
  32. Both Waters and Badham looked very 'political' at the panel, not that what they looked like is relevant at all.
  33. Badham thinks 'solidarity amongst women in politics' is needed and "for all the battles I could have with members of the Liberal or National party, if they are women, you support them."
  34. "Women who back women, win," according to Van Badham.
  35. Lawyer Bernard Collaery got in trouble for helping a person to tell the truth.
  36. Mr Collaery was a member of the Australian Capital Territory's first Legislative Assembly for the Residents Rally party, from 1989 to 1992. He served as Deputy Chief Minister and Attorney-General from 1989 to 1991 in the Kaine Alliance Government.
  37. In 2013, Colleary alleged that two agents from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation raided his Canberra office and seized electronic and paper files.
  38. Colleary was representing a witness in a case brought by the Timor Leste government against the Australian Government over the alleged bugging of the Timor-Leste cabinet offices during the negotiations for a petroleum and gas treaty in 2004.
  39. The case is before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in the Netherlands.
  40. Nobody in the panel sounded very keen to talk about this.
  41. A nurse asked about The Age of Entitlement and helicopter bills to a panel of politicians and they all started talking about how to improve the Health system.
  42. For Van Badham, conservatism is "looking backwards" and "the preservation of ideas that belong in the past" like the Government's denial of climate change.
  43. Van Badham gets confused when she meets young conservative people.
  44. Van Badham wore a felt hat to the panel, a very conservative fashion choice. Again, not that it matters at all.
  45. For Wyatt Roy, conservatism is "let's take the best of what works and let's reform what doesn't" but as a Liberal, he believes that "people should be free to decide how they live their own life, even who they marry.
  46. OK, maybe not who they marry. At least not yet. Maybe next year. If we are in surplus.
  47. This list could have finished at number 30.
  48. At least 15 hands were raised at every moment of the panel, confirming that many young people are able to Tweet with one hand.
  49. The Millennials really want to be part of the political discussion, as soon as it happens on Twitter and Tony Jones is in charge.
  50. You should not take any entry in this list as a comment.

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