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Australia’s Public Sector


Fundamental to an active and effective government that is fit for purpose in the 21st century is strengthening the capabilities of our public sector. For almost three decades the skills and the capacity of the public sector has been gradually reduced across major service areas and key portfolios. What we need is better, smarter investment in our public sector to ensure they have the skill sets and tool kits to best design and deliver services across the country. In 2013 and 2014, CPD released its False Economies series exploring the impact of the blunt approach to ‘efficiency’ on the long-term capability of the Australian Public Service. In December 2015, CPD released ‘Grand Alibis: how declining public sector capability affects services for the disadvantaged’ which highlighted key challenges in improving public services for our most vulnerable citizens.

Latest Articles


1st ANU-CPD POLICY DIALOGUE ’17 | Australian Foreign Policy White Paper – challenges and opportunities | April 2017

communications - April 2017

This year CPD is excited to partner with the Australian National University (ANU) for a new event series. Co-hosted by the two institutions, the ANU-CPD Policy Dialogues are a series of...

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The vanishing private school – Chris Bonnor and Bernie Shepherd

communications - February 2017

CPD fellows Chris Bonnor and Bernie Shepherd have released a new analysis of public funding for private schools, calling for a new debate about whether this funding should come with the...

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Chairperson Terry Moran’s vision for the ‘new age’ of Public Sector capability

communications - October 2016

In a speech to the Technology One conference in Brisbane on 14 October, CPD Chairperson Terry Moran AC outlined the five principles and key reforms that the Australian Public Sector...

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Chairperson Terry Moran on the role of public service Secretaries

communications - October 2016

Our Chair Terry Moran was called on for comment by David Donaldson in his new Mandarin article on the differing views of the ideal tenure and longevity of top bureaucrats...

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Fellow Peter Whiteford analyses a new ‘investment approach’ to social services

communications - September 2016

CPD Fellow Peter Whiteford outlines the intricacies and analyses the calculations behind the Coalition’s tentative entry into the new ‘investment approach’ to funding welfare. Writing for The Conversation, Peter unpacks...

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There is plenty of evidence to suggest democracy is in trouble. In Australia, more people are losing trust in our public institutions and processes. Business and civil society are viewed mistrustfully as well.

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Australia faces growing inequity and disadvantage in our schools. Our education system is separating into a hierarchy of advantaged and over-funded schools at the top end, and disadvantaged, under-funded schools at the bottom.

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Ensuring that newly arrived refugees settle effectively into their new local communities across Australia offers a range of great benefits to our society and economy.

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