Latest News and Opinion

22 March 2017

The latest ideas to use super to buy homes are still bad ideas

Treasurer Scott Morrison wants to use the May budget to ease growing community anxiety about housing affordability. Reports that the government was again considering using superannuation to help first homebuyers won’t inspire confidence.

20 March 2017

Women are dropping out of economics, which means men are running our economy

The dearth of women in leadership positions raises a red flag for the quality of Australia’s economic decision-making. Too many “like” individuals reduces the range of perspectives informing decisions. It also means wasted talent: if you bench half your potential team then the one that takes to the field is probably not your strongest.

20 March 2017

Bush may not like it but our cities must come first

Each day seems to bring a new advocate for more spending in our regions. The idea seems to be to stop the “unhealthy” growth of our capital cities and prevent a US-style geographic divide between the haves in the big smoke and the have-nots in the bush. But plucking infrastructure projects off some wish list is a reckless use of public money

20 March 2017

Value capture: a good idea to fund infrastructure but not easy in practice

Is “value capture” a wonderful untapped opportunity to fulfill all our infrastructure dreams? Or is it just a new way to sting the taxpayer? Our new report casts a cold, hard gaze over value capture, and finds that it’s a good tax in theory, but will prove very hard to put into practice.

17 March 2017

Poor behaviour in class is not acceptable but zero tolerance is not the answer

The promise of “zero tolerance” from federal education minister Simon Birmingham is well meaning but can do more damage than good. Poor behaviour in class is not acceptable but zero tolerance is not the answer.

17 March 2017

Labor charts a health policy rethink

The Labor Party has released a summary of the proceedings of its ‘National Health Policy Summit’. Trouble is, the ‘communique’, while summarising the views of the quite diverse range of participants, gives no clear indication of where Labor might be heading.

16 March 2017

An energy slanging match is not a hopeful sign

Two electricity storage announcements have been overshadowed by an unedifying, public stoush between South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and the federal Minister for Energy, Josh Frydenberg. Australia’s energy system is surely too important for this petty politicking.

14 March 2017

Why the free market hasn’t slashed power prices (and what to do about it)

The energy sector was supposed to be the showcase for privatisation and market deregulation. Yet in 2017, this premise is being sorely tested – no more so than in electricity retailing, where competition has failed to deliver on its promise of lower prices for customers.

14 March 2017

Government can ease the misery of electricity bills

Politicians don’t really seem to care about your soaring electricity bills. How do we know? Well, the amount Victorians spend on electricity has more or less doubled in the past decade.

13 March 2017

Getting infrastructure right, one project at a time

Until Australia gets a lot better at assessing and selecting which projects to back, there is high chance that much of the new spending will be misdirected or wasted. Politicians should not be able to commit public money to infrastructure until a rigorous independent evaluation has been tabled in the Parliament.

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