Latest News and Opinion

26 June 2017

Steering post-Finkel energy policy through a minefield of friends and foes

The energy and climate change policy minefield is littered with the carcasses of Australian political leaders, both Labor and Liberal. But there is a path through. The rewards for finding it will be big for this government and its leader – and ultimately for Australian businesses and households.

26 June 2017

Malcolm Turnbull be warned: the young are coming

The UK election shows that young people can once again be a force in politics. After years of being dismissed as apathetic and disengaged (and treated accordingly), young voters turned out in big numbers. Their very strong split towards Labour played a pivotal role in the surprisingly poor showing of Theresa May’s Conservative government.

23 June 2017

The passage of Gonski 2.0 is a victory for children over politics

The Senate voted to improve the way we fund our schools and cross-benchers have proved the naysayers wrong. Not only did they pass Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s needs-based funding plan – an olive branch summarily dismissed by Labor – but they negotiated amendments to improve the plan. This is a victory for the children of Australia.

22 June 2017

The government’s new energy plans will leave investors less confident than ever

Australians should be deeply concerned about the signals coming from the Turnbull government since this month’s release of Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s landmark report on the future of Australia’s electricity system.

22 June 2017

Affordable, Accessible, Appropriate housing for older Australians

John Daley’s keynote speech to the Council of The Ageing conference on Housing for Senior Australians. Some senior Australians face housing affordability challenges, but they are generally under less stress than other Australians. But there are storm clouds on the horizon. Home ownership rates are falling for younger cohorts, while there is less social housing available.

21 June 2017

Go with Gonski 2.0 but tinker first

Gonski 2.0 is not perfect but it is a dramatic advance on the status quo. We need to seal the deal on it so federal funding is more genuinely allocated according to student need and so Australia can finally end the funding wars and focus on other much-needed reforms that could really lift student performance.

19 June 2017

Gonski: The education union is in danger of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

As Gonski 2.0 hits the Senate, the Australian Education Union is flailing in mid-air, like Wile E Coyote in a road-runner cartoon. It doesn’t seem to realise that the ground beneath its feet – Labor’s model of Gonski – has disappeared.

17 June 2017

Finkel Review is not about forecasts, it is about making informed choices

The Finkel Review delivered an energy system blueprint with a clear objective: secure and reliable electricity, at the lowest cost, while Australia moves to a lower emissions future. Regrettably, the current political debate seems more likely to deliver the opposite outcome: less secure and reliable electricity, at higher cost.

16 June 2017

The rise of protest politics – a comment on David Marr’s Quarterly Essay

David Marr’s Quarterly Essay, The White Queen, captures the highlights of Pauline Hanson’s career well, but the focus on Hanson overlooks a much bigger picture – political discontent in Australia’s regions is not new. The challenge to established political parties and the threat of minor parties is a broader issue that will likely continue – whether the One Nation Party implodes again or not.

15 June 2017

Submission to the Major Bank Levy Bill 2017

The Federal Government has failed to make the case for its new levy on the big banks. In this submission to the Senate Economics Committee, Grattan’s Productivity Growth Program Director Jim Minifie argues that, in the absence of such a case, the levy can be seen as an opportunistic grab for cash.

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