Steve Liebmann co-hosted the Australian 'Today' show with Sue Kellaway. Sue said, "I left 'GMA' ('Good Morning Australia') because I have a very strong interest in news, and I wanted to be involved in a program where issues were taken seriously." By 1983, television had "come through a particularly 'newsy' period." At breakfast, 'GMA' was offering cereals ("light and jolly") while 'Today' served "bacon and eggs" ("intense and earnest"). The show's executive producer insisted, "But our prime aim is to inform people in an entertaining way rather than be just totally froth and bubble. As we go on, I think people will realize that there is a good blend of light and shade."
Prior to 'Today', Sue had been a reporter on the 'Close Up' program, New Zealand's answer to '60 Minutes'. The South African government was said had twice refused to grant Sue a visa to enter the country to file a report for the program. However it was reported Sue "did manage to go bush with Joshua Nkomo's guerrillas during the pre-election period (1980) in Zimbabwe."
In 1983, Paul Keating "floated the Australian dollar on international money markets as the first step towards deregulating the national economy. However the Wall Street stock market crash of October 1987 soon had 'ripple' effects in Australia, ending the speculative boom which had followed the government's moves to deregulate the economy. In 1990-91 the Australian economy slid into recession. The lack of competitiveness of Australian exports on world markets was becoming evident. Crises in rural and manufacturing industries led to job losses, and high unemployment."
In August 1990, Steve Liebmann stood in for Jana Wendt on 'A Current Affair'. He spoke to the Prime Minister (PM) Bob Hawke.
Steve: Last night (August 21 budget speech) Treasurer Keating told the people of Australia that their faith in your government is now being repaid and yet we're told that living standards are going to fall and unemployment's going to rise and I'm sure a lot of people are saying today (in 1990), 'Hey that's some pay back.'
PM: What we've had to do Steve and it's not an easy job, but we've had to impose sufficient restraint so that we're not going to be as a nation importing more imports that we can pay for, but at the same time not be so tough as to plunge the economy into recession...Now I simply ask the Australian people to say well look do you know Hawkey, he's been around in public life now for over 30 years. I've never once tried to do something which is going to be against the interests of my country.
Steve: Prime Minister, there's probably 2 million Australian pensioners today (in 1990) who would say we thought we knew Hawkey until last night.
PM: No, no. Let me be quite clear about that. What we did last night was something which in fact was absolutely necessary and which will be in the best interest of pensioners...I understand that for our elderly citizens, change of any kind can always be worrying...Uncertainty there will be….
Steve: Alright, finally on the Middle East crisis. Are you any more confident today than you were when Kuwait was invaded that this crisis can be settled by diplomatic solution?
PM: If we were dealing with a rational man then my answer would be an unequivocal yes. Because what's happened since the invasion would lead any rational man to the conclusion that the interests of his people could only be served by a withdrawal from Kuwait.
PM: But you've got to say that on the evidence of history, where this man has engaged in an 8-year long war with Iran, where he's gassed his own people, the evidence is that the man is not entirely rational. My hope is that there will be sufficient people around this man who will understand the truth of what I'm saying, that they will be able, if he doesn't come to that conclusion himself willingly, to be able to force him to that conclusion.