Latest News and Opinion

12 October 2018

Two steps forward, one step back in march towards fair outcome for schools

School funding is a journey, not a destination. The goal is not actually to get it right but to keep improving it. It will get off the front pages when it is good enough. Labor’s announcement is another step in that direction.

10 October 2018

Beware ‘congestion-busting’ politicians bent on new infrastructure

With Victorian, NSW and federal elections in the months ahead, be very sceptical of “congestion-busting” election pledges.

2 October 2018

Does Adelaide really need to jump on the growth bandwagon?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently described Adelaide as a city “crying out” for more migration. And it’s true – the population has grown much more slowly than the bigger capitals in recent years. But does Adelaide really need to jump on the growth bandwagon? Is it ready for what that might entail?

2 October 2018

Drunk on growth, but now sobering up

The end of the mining boom still feels like a bad hangover. And waking up bleary-eyed the next morning, Perth seems sluggish and irritable, reminiscing glumly over black coffee about last night’s shenanigans. At its peak in 2012, Perth was rushing along helter-skelter at 3.3 per cent annual population growth. Today it’s back down to 1 percent.

2 October 2018

Our fast-growing cities and their people are proving to be remarkably adaptable

Outer-suburban dwellers in our large capital cities are the modern version of Menzies’ “forgotten people”, if the government is to be believed. The image of a low-income commuter forced to spend over an hour driving to the CBD is all too common, as the media reach for a way to make sense of population growth.

2 October 2018

Expensive new infrastructure is not the only fix for population growth

Losing the title of the world’s most liveable city seems to have triggered an anxiety attack among Melburnians. Fast overtaking the weather as Melbourne’s number one “coffee shop conversation” is the idea that the city has grown too fast: how crowded it’s become and just how poorly prepared we are for the population boom.

26 September 2018

Scott Morrison should look to Queensland to improve voter trust

It’s no secret that Australians are fed up with our politicians. There’s a creeping feeling – vented on talkback radio and evident in polls – that people in government aren’t acting for us, but for themselves and their mates. New Prime Minister Scott Morrison is on a mission to change this. He says he’s on our side.

24 September 2018

How Angus Taylor can avoid becoming Minister for Threats and Subsidies

Australians want lower electricity prices and governments are scrambling to give the voters what they want. But in this scramble, base politics is overwhelming good policy and the line between taxpayers and consumers is being blurred to the point of absurdity.

23 September 2018

Morrison can get a quick win by cleaning up Canberra’s murky dealings

Scott Morrison needs to pull a policy rabbit out of a hat and he needs to do it quickly. At best, he has eight months to convince a sceptical public the Coalition can be trusted to run the country. But fortunately for the new PM, there is a bunny in plain sight. Policies to improve our political institutions are popular with the public, cost next to nothing and would enhance the quality of Australian government.

23 September 2018

Influence in Australian politics needs an urgent overhaul – here’s how to do it

Public policy should be made for all Australians – not just those with the resources or connections to lobby and influence politicians. And mostly it is. But sometimes bad policy is made or good policy is dropped because powerful groups have more say and sway than they should.