A major reason for the establishment of the Centre for Policy Development was the need to revive the policy debate and policy development on important issues affecting Australia. At the last election we saw little policy. Instead there was a rash of programs and bribes. Most of us were turned off. What little policy there was, was injected at the last moment with little chance to involve the community in sensible consideration and discussion. the Centre for Policy Development aims to change this by influencing the public debate and ultimately the political parties and other institutions that determine policy and implement programs. So much of ‘policy’ lacks coherence and a philosophical underpinning. It results in ‘me too’ politics. Before embarking on programs, structures and funding, we need to be much clearer about the values and principles which should underlie new policies. the Centre for Policy Development will address this in two ways. First, we will promote a discussion about broad values and principles which should underlie policy development and which is consistent with the values which the Centre for Policy Development supports. We have described these values in earlier editions of the Centre for Policy Development – pluralism, truth and openness, respect for all, fairness, sustainable development, human flourishing and creativity, a more generous and modern Australia, and community participation. ‘We work to live. We don’t live to work.’ This is an opportunity for all of us to make a collaborative contribution which will help anchor everything else we do in policy development. Secondly, we will promote a discussion about values and principles which are specific to a particular sector, eg education, health, the environment. We propose over the next six months to pursue these two particular objectives – defining the general and the specific values and principles which should guide our policy development. An excellent introductory article by Eva Cox (link here) on the broad principles which should guide our policy development is published this week for comment and debate. This will enable us to establish the framework within which specific programs, structures, funding and detail will be developed. The Centre for Policy Development is now embarking on a new and important phase of work. This is a unique approach. Usually policy development is ‘top down’. We need ‘experts’, but we also importantly need contributors who care about values and principles in public life. In addition to the launch of this policy discussion, we have also revised our online layout to ensure that there is a seamless relationship between our weekly magazine and the policy portal. We believe that these changes will facilitate a lively and beneficial development of policy. Please join us. Please read and respond to Eva Cox’s article John Menadue is Chair of the Centre for Policy Development To comment go to our Policy Forum Please note, requires (free) registration, separate to your the Centre for Policy Development subscription login details.