A big year for CPD – Add your voice to ours!

It has been a big year for progressive politics and a big year for CPD. Take a look below at what we have been up to in recent months – providing an alternative blueprint for refugee policy, ideas for protecting our ocean wealth and evidence of the need to base public service reform on reality not rhetoric.

Change can happen faster than you think – help us seize the moment and point to the alternatives.



Given the complex challenges we face, our hopes for a better world can’t be distilled into a tweet, placard or media sound bite. But we do need more than a shopping list of criticisms if we are to create lasting change.

What if we were all ready to treat the next crisis as an opportunity to build support for progressive policies? Wouldn’t it be great if grassroots movements like Occupy were armed with a coherent and transformative policy agenda to deal with the root causes of the problems they highlight?

That’s where the work of the Centre for Policy Development comes in. We translate the desire for a fair, sustainable and democratic society into well-researched, viable ideas for change.

We can’t keep doing this work without your help. BECOME AN IDEAS SUSTAINER.



REFUGEE POLICY | A pathway beyond today’s toxic politics
Asylum seekers continue to suffer unnecessarily because their lives are the subject of political point-scoring by both major parties. Recent improvements in domestic policy were reached via the worst possible route.

Stepping back from the heated political debate, the authors of our recent report, A New Approach: Breaking the Stalemate on Refugees & Asylum Seekers, provide a comprehensive critique of our current policies and map out a politically viable pathway to fairer and more practical alternatives.

Our report was endorsed by 34 prominent Australians, including Heather Ridout from the Australian Industry Group, Ged Kearney from the ACTU and National Australia Bank chair Michael Chaney. We gained much media attention, and the chapter on detention policy became the focus of a GetUp! campaign.

Help us Occupy public debates about refugees and asylum seekers with good ideas not more fear and misinformation – Become an Ideas Sustainer.


SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY | Our ocean wealth at risk
In a world of increased competition for resources and rising environmental threats, it makes sense for Australia to protect the oceans we love and the marine resources that sustain jobs in tourism and fishing. Yet policies being developed for Australia’s Commonwealth marine areas are in danger of ignoring much of the economic value they provide.

Our groundbreaking report, Stocking Up: Securing Our Marine Economy found that Australia needs to act now to secure $25 billion a year in essential ecosystem services, along with 9,000 direct jobs in commercial fishing and a marine tourism industry worth $11 billion per year.

We got the attention of the politicians and decision makers with these numbers. Stocking Up was launched with support from Labor, Liberal and Greens politicians at Parliament House. We received a lot of media coverage and our ideas were taken up by environment groups campaigning to save our marine life.

Stocking Up showed how we can manage the long-term risks that climate change, pollution and rising fuel prices pose to our marine economy. With decisions being made now on the size and placement of Commonwealth marine parks, the next challenge is to make sure long-term value is not trumped by short-term thinking.

Help us Occupy public debates and keep the spotlight on the economic case for preserving our environmental wealth – Become an Ideas Sustainer.


PUBLIC SERVICE | Moving past the public service bashing
Given the complex problems Australia faces we need a capable public service more than ever. Yet public debate on the public service is locked into an evidence-free slanging match between the politicians about who has the biggest axe and who will return the budget to surplus the fastest.

Our State of the Australian Public Service: An Alternative Report provides a critical and independent analysis of public service staffing, funding and community attitudes. We expose the myth of a bloated public service and show how to track citizens’ real views on how public sector agencies are performing over time. Our report kick-started a public discussion on the future of our public service – in the media, in Parliament, and through roundtables (conversations) held in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne.

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey’s vision includes sacking 12,000 public servants and wiping out entire departments. A more informed debate is crucial if the public sector is to maintain and improve its capacity to meet the public’s needs.

Help us Occupy public debates and counter evidence-free attempts to downsize and privatise our public sector – Become an Ideas Sustainer.

All donations to CPD are tax deductible. If you’d prefer to donate offline download, print & post our donation form here or give us a call on 02 9043 6815 – we’d love to hear from you.

Blog Comments

Henriette Vanechop

Congratulations to the authors of  “recent report,” A New Approach: Breaking the Stalemate on Refugees & Asylum Seekers,    Since 2011  how frustrating that their recommendations have not been implemented. Mr. Geoff Robson-Scott  (25.06.2012 letter to SMH)  prompted me to search Google for history, location, etc,
of Christmas Island.   It makes me wonder why our politicians choose to ignore  the facts.


It is 2,600 kilometers  northwest  of Perth,  360 km  south of  Jakarta, The total land area is 135 square kilometres
(52 sq mi), about 19 kilometres in max. length and 14.5 km  in max. breadth. As
of 2006, the estimated population was 1,493. The ethnic composition is 70% Chinese, 20% European, and 10% Malay. According to the CIA World Factbook, religions
practised on Christmas Island include Buddhism 36%, Christianity 18%, Islam 25%
and others 21%.    English is the official language, but Chinese languages and Malay are also spoken.The history does not really explain why this island is Aŭstralia’s responsibility or possession.  In short,  would people board a rickety boat to undertake the journey all the way to Australia without a pit-stop on Christmas Island ?   Would the boats rarefy  when word got around ?


What about a referendum offering the inhabitants a choice ?  Mr.
Robson-Scott suggestion ?  or independance ?    If some of the long-term occupants wished
to exit, their resettlement would be a fraction of the cost of the present
Orchids, phosphates …   Australia could buy them…   win-win?

Those refugees already on Christmas Island would organise their life there, with help from  UNHCR,  perhaps until they can decide whether to go home if they have this option  –  many refugees are homesick –   or apply for immigration.

The tourist industry paints Aŭstralia as very attractive;   can a land of  sunburnt country and flooding rains provide a bounteous life for all the needs of the world around us ?   

Help forcibly displaced persons,  persecuted and endangered ones;   when it  comes to immigrants hoping for a better life-style, let us not ignore that some can be disappointed  (look at Europe’s  dismal experience).  

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