Latest News and Opinion

5 June 2012

Poor marks for policy guesswork

Higher education students are taught never to cut intellectual corners. But higher education policy makers do it all the time. In his Age column, Andrew Norton examines how the Government’s analyses that inform policy are based on flimsy or outdated evidence, inappropriate examples from overseas and a good dash of guesswork.

31 May 2012

Carbon will be constrained: ready or not?

The impacts of a carbon-constrained future will become visible to Australians from July 1, 2012, with the introduction of a price on greenhouse gas emissions, a step towards de-carbonising our energy supply by mid-century, writes Tony Wood.

25 May 2012

Who is killing aluminium smelting in Australia?

Aluminum smelting in Australia is falling victim to commercial reality long before the looming spectre of carbon pricing.

18 May 2012

Education reform with the wrong focus

Teacher bonus schemes are yet another example of education reform with the wrong focus. They narrowly look at teachers and their performance, and not the needs of students and their learning. It’s the educational policy equivalent of playing the man and not the ball.

15 May 2012

Credible, consistent policy key to clean-energy future

Meeting Australia’s 2050 emissions reduction targets will require a complete transformation of our energy sector. Pricing carbon is an effective first step, writes Tony Wood in the CEDA publication, ‘Renewable Energy Future: Prospects and Realities’.

9 May 2012

Implementation, not bonuses, key to results

Performance bonuses for teachers will not raise standards in Australian schools all by themselves. If we want better results for our students, writes Ben Jensen, we should learn from the success of Singapore’s comprehensive reform strategy, and focus on the importance of effective policy implementation and behavioural change.

7 May 2012

The future of gas power

The past few years have seen the rapid expansion of the coal seam and shale gas industry. Yet the expansion of gas may come at a higher environmental price than many find acceptable.

24 April 2012

Professionalism lacking in university teaching

University teaching never developed into a proper profession, making managerial intervention necessary argues Andrew Norton.

23 April 2012

The CEFC balancing act

The expert review on the establishment of a Clean Energy Finance Corporation has attracted both howls of protest and cheers of support. This is not surprising. Vested interests are strong on both fronts.

16 April 2012

Critiquing government regional development policies

For nearly a hundred years, governments have spent a huge amount of money and effort trying to promote economic growth in regional Australia, with little evidence of success.