Latest News and Opinion

7 September 2017

Submission to the Australian Energy Market Commission’s Reliability Frameworks Review

The reliability of Australia’s electricity system is currently a major concern for policymakers and consumers. The AEMC’s Reliability Frameworks Review is timely but appears to have too narrow a focus.

6 September 2017

The day Australia was put on blackout alert

The only way the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) could be blunter in its report on the state of our electricity system would be to stick a neon sign on top of its Melbourne head office saying “The market has failed”.

6 September 2017

School funding is a journey, not a destination

Passage through the Senate of the Australian Education Amendment Act 2017, otherwise known as Gonski 2.0, was a victory for children over politics. But the journey is not over. More needs to be done to improve school education in Australia.

28 August 2017

Federal energy policy vacuum leaves states to double down on RETs

Australia desperately needs a nationally consistent energy and climate change policy, with bipartisan support. Sadly, politics and ideology are delivering precisely the opposite, and the result is high prices, unreliable supply and rising greenhouse gas emissions.

21 August 2017

Power retailers have failed and they can’t complain

For many of us, the retailers have failed to deliver what we want and expect: a decent price for our electricity. They can hardly blame the government for wanting to do so.

18 August 2017

Is re-regulation the solution to Australia’s electricity price shock?

As electricity retailers report back to the Government and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission with their plans to improve affordability – should re-regulation of the market be on the agenda?

18 August 2017

How to get a better bang for our health buck – submission Senate committee inquiry

Australia’s health care system needs comprehensive reform to give taxpayers and patients a better bang for their buck. In this submission to a Senate committee, Stephen Duckett calls for a crackdown on any public hospitals that favour privately-insured patients, and recommends changes to Medicare’s fee-for-service payment system to encourage GPs to reduce unnecessary patient visits to their practice.

14 August 2017

Why it costs you so much to see a specialist – and what the government should do about it

Australians pay too much when they go to medical specialists. The government can and should do more to drive prices down. A current Senate Inquiry on out-of-pocket costs will hopefully lead to some policy action.

10 August 2017

New rules for retailers, but don’t sit there waiting for your electricity bill to go down

After summoning the heads of Australia’s major electricity retailers to Canberra, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the government will take “decisive action to reduce energy prices for Australian families and businesses”. The big question for the prime minister is, what next?

10 August 2017

Should the wealthy repay more of their student loans?

Australian legislation proposes to lower the country’s generous loan repayment threshold. Set too low, it can cause graduates serious financial hardship. Set too high, it means that significant amounts of debt will not be recovered.

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