Latest News and Opinion

1 November 2018

Abolish stamp duty. The ACT shows the rest of us how to tax property

You might think that being a state (or territory) treasurer is a boring job. The federal treasurer gets all the media attention and controls many of the big economic levers, including income and company tax, massive Australia-wide spending and trade and competition policy. But you would be wrong.

1 November 2018

State governments can transform Australia’s energy policy from major fail to reliable success

Energy policy in Australia is a major failure. The federal government has been unable to forge an effective policy to ensure affordable, reliable and low-emissions electricity. It’s time for the states to step up.

31 October 2018

To make housing more affordable this is what state governments need to do

House prices might now be falling, but Australians’ anxiety over housing affordability is not. Price falls of a few percentage points in Sydney and Melbourne are cold comfort to first home buyers. They are still paying 50% more than they would have five years ago. Further price falls are likely, but even then housing will still be less affordable than it was two decades ago.

31 October 2018

Just take a look around to see the state you’re in

State government often seems the poor relation of federal politics. But many of the things people care about most are the stuff of state government: housing, transport, school education and hospitals.

31 October 2018

No state has all the answers in school education

At the moment, no state or territory has all the answers. Each should learn from the others and do better, in pursuit of a national imperative: providing the best education for all children.

30 October 2018

Waiting for better care

Australia has a good health system by international standards, but it has to get better. Half of all patients across Australia wait more than a month for an elective hospital procedure, such as a hip replacement. This is in addition to waiting for an outpatient visit so they can be added to the elective procedure wait list.

30 October 2018

Infrastructure splurge ignores smarter ways to keep growing cities moving

It’s already started. We may be only entering the formal election campaign in Victoria tonight, but massive transport announcements are in full swing from the state Labor government, the Coalition opposition and the Greens. And with an election due next March in New South Wales, we can be sure the major parties in that state won’t be far behind.

29 October 2018

Australia’s dangerous fantasy: diverting population growth to the regions

A dangerous fantasy is taking hold in Australia: that government policy can divert population growth from our bulging capital cities to our needy regions. It’s a fantasy because a century of Australian history shows it won’t work. And it’s dangerous because it gives governments an excuse to avoid the hard decisions on planning and transport needed to make housing more affordable and cities more liveable.

29 October 2018

State Orange Book 2018: State governments matter, vote wisely

Voters in Victoria go to the polls within weeks; in New South Wales within months. State policy has rarely been more important. But what should the priorities be, not only for the governments in Australia’s two biggest states, but also for the other states whose elections are further away?

26 October 2018

Tassie maths scores don’t add up

Australia focuses heavily on school students’ achievement at a point in time. But the sad reality is that achievement tells us a lot about real estate values, and little about how to improve the school system. Student progress (that is, student growth) gives a better indication of how much a student learns during their time in the classroom.