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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


On a mission to save democracy | CPD Op-Ed

Travers McLeod - December 2018

Published in Inside Story on 7 December 2018 – Travers McLeod, Sam Hurley and Allison Orr Last week, former prime minister John Howard played down the Liberal Party’s hammering in the Victorian election by...

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Decentralisation and Democratic Renewal | ANU-CPD POLICY DIALOGUE | March 2018

communications - April 2018

On 29 March 2018, CPD and ANU invited leaders from government, business, civil society, academia and the media to discuss the question ‘can decentralisation boost our regions and improve Australia’s...

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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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CPD has a track record of research into the effectiveness of employment services.

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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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