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John Wiseman – December 2021

Coal-dependent countries around the world face two wickedly interlinked challenges: accelerating the phase out of coal to stop the planet warming, while sustaining economic prosperity and political support.

Tim Nelson & Joel Gilmore – December 2021

Coal is likely to be completely gone from Victoria’s electricity system by 2032 with most other parts of Australia not far behind, a report from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) declared last week.

Leslie Loble & Travers McLeod – December 2021

Just over a year ago we brought together people from across Australia to ask what we need to make our country a better place to be a child, and to raise one. It was a big question, but an urgent one.

Paige Taylor – November 2021

Australia needs to make massive new investments in the health of babies and young children including by guaranteeing more paid parental leave shared between partners, according to the Centre for Policy Development.

Ken Henry – November 2021

With its recent report Starting Better: A Guarantee for Australian Children and Families, the Centre for Policy Development challenges us to do all we can to help Australia’s children grow and flourish.

Rick Morton, featuring comments from Travers McLeod and Terry Moran – October 2021

On June 7, global management consulting firm McKinsey and Company was awarded a $1.4 million contract by the Department of Employment for work on a cross-government initiative examining labour force gaps in the Australian economy in the wake of Covid-19.

Travers McLeod and Toby Phillips – September 2021

While Scott Morrison met with Quad leaders at the White House last week in the wake of the AUKUS submarine announcement, his Treasurer spoke to industry leaders in Australia about another “structural and systemic shift” – climate change.

Lucas Baird – September 2021

Australia risks punishment from global markets that will blow out the cost of, and strangle access to, capital for the corporate and government sectors if it keeps failing to develop a viable pathway to mitigate climate risk.

Travers McLeod’s response to Exit Strategy

Travers McLeod – September 2021

Reading Exit Strategy as most of Australia went back into lockdown with one of the world’s worst vaccination rates made me wonder whether the title was an oxymoron.

Time to strengthen the Australia-Indonesia Partnership

Andrew Hudson and Dewi Fortuna Anwar – September 2021

On Thursday, the Foreign and Defence Ministers from Indonesia and Australia are due to meet in Jakarta for vital talks. The stakes are high.

America has a big-picture vision for its children, so why don’t we?

Leslie Loble, Travers McLeod and Jen Jackson – September 2021

Amid fears about the long-term impact of COVID on kids, it’s worth reflecting on the bigger picture for children in Australia – the story we have much greater control over.

ASEAN leadership needed to address forced migration amid Myanmar crisis, COVID-19: ADFM

Divya Karyza – June 2021

A recently convened track-two diplomatic forum is calling on ASEAN leaders to tackle the issue of forced migration, just as civil unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the cross-border problem and more refugees are ending up on Indonesian shores.

Zoe Whitton on Q+A

Zoe Whitton – May 2021

CPD Board Member Zoe Whitton appeared on Q+A to discuss the government’s latest plans to build a gas-fired power plant and the long-term economic benefits of shifting to renewables.

Government owned firms like Snowy Hydro can do better than building $600 million gas plants 

Arjuna Dibley – May 2021

The Morrison government today announced it’s building a new gas power plant in the Hunter Valley, committing up to A$600 million for the government-owned corporation Snowy Hydro to construct the project.

An encouraging step in a long journey for women 

Sam Mostyn – May 2021

This week’s budget was an encouraging step towards rebalancing the national focus on increasing women’s workforce participation and economic security, and renewing commitments to women’s safety.

Australia’s states are forging ahead with ambitious emissions reductions. Imagine if they worked together

Tim Nelson & Joel Gilmore – May 2021

The ambitious new commitments of state governments go some way to filling the void left by the lack of a national climate policy.

Investing in women will pay dividends for the whole economy

Sam Mostyn – April 2021

Watching the fourth – and best – AFL women’s grand final two weeks ago, I felt a penny drop.

Directors liable for ‘greenwashing’ disclosures

Michael Roddan – April 2021

Companies and their directors could be sued for “greenwashing” their commitments to achieve their net zero carbon pledges or emissions reductions targets, according to a legal opinion backed by some of Australia’s top business leaders.

Fired Up

Zoe Whitton – April 2021

CPD Board Member Zoe Whitton appeared on Four Corners to discuss what’s driving the push for a gas-fired future.

The public sector’s pandemic: Part 1

Travers McLeod – April 2021

CPD CEO Travers McLeod spoke to Geraldine Doogue on ABC Saturday Extra about public sector capability.

Global climate action will reshape Australia’s trade

Toby Phillips – February 2021

They say a week is a long time in politics, but where will we be in a decade?

Early childhood educators are leaving in droves. Here are 3 ways to keep them, and attract more

Jen Jackson – January 2021

Childcare centres across Australia are suffering staff shortages, which have been exacerbated by the COVID crisis.

Prison stems from disadvantage and entrenches it

Travers McLeod, Frances Kitt & Krystal Lockwood – December 2020

The story of Richmond’s two-time premiership player Marlion Pickett reads like a fairytale. He went from youthful crime and prison time in Western Australia to playing his first AFL game at age 27 in last year’s grand final at a packed MCG and being among the best on the ground.

Travers McLeod on increased incarceration rates

Travers McLeod – December 2020

CPD CEO Travers McLeod spoke to 6PR’s Gareth Parker about the release of CPD’s report into the relationship between disadvantage and Australia’s criminal justice systems.

Australia’s incarceration rate jumps 47 per cent in two decades

Travers McLeod – December 2020

CPD CEO Travers McLeod spoke to ABC NewsRadio about the release of Partners in Crime: the relationship between disadvantage and Australia’s criminal justice systems.

Australia needs to find its heart, brain and courage to recover from the Covid nightmare

Travers McLeod & Sam Mostyn – October 2020

We’re not in ‘Kansas’ any more, and nor should we hanker to return, because many Australians weren’t faring well there.

Andaman Sea Crisis: Is the region better off in 2020?

Caitlin McCaffrie – August 2020

The Asia Pacific is experiencing another major test of regional cooperation, reminiscent of the 2015 Andaman Sea crisis. In the first four months of 2020 there were more boat movements in the Andaman Sea than in all of 2019. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the vulnerability of forced migrants in refugee camps, on the move and at sea.

Democracy can never be sublet

Travers McLeod – July 2020

The privatised Jobactive system is failing and government needs to step back in. Victoria’s decision to give private security contractors responsibility for quarantine hotels is the subject of a judicial inquiry, which will reveal the true cost of this decision and whether it was right. But the reported poor performance of those contractors suggests that we should consider government reliance on such outsourcing more generally.

How prepared is our financial system for climate shocks?

Travers McLeod – June 2020

The Reserve Bank of Australia has joined with 66 central banks from around the world in urging nations to embrace ambitious emissions targets, warning that global gross domestic product could fall by as much as 25 per cent by the century’s end.

Summer’s Legacy

Jennifer Doggett – June 2020

Bushfires have long shaped the Australian landscape, but they have generally been relatively isolated events affecting small populations for short periods. All that changed when the Australian summer of 2019–20 brought fires of unprecedented scale, duration and impact.

Our Energy Future

Zoe Whitton – June 2020

The Federal Government has unveiled its roadmap for Australia’s energy future, shifting focus from coal to gas. Will the new energy plan benefit all Australians now and into the future?

Road to Recovery: Employment opportunities post pandemic 

Sam Mostyn – June 2020

COVID-19 has revealed the precariousness of our lives and systems. As we start talking about rebuilding, many are left vulnerable, facing uncertain futures. How can we ensure the cracks don’t become chasms and instead develop a plan that supports an inclusive future and supports social cohesion?

Reimagining Government

Terry Moran – June 2020

CPD Chair Terry Moran was one of the panellists on Reimagining Government, a webinar jointly hosted by the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) and the Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) focussing on how governments can do better for citizens.

Housing the Australian Nation

Peter Mares – May 2020

COVID-19 has exposed the failings of Australia’s housing system like never before: rough sleeping, homelessness, the insecurity of renting, and a real estate boom-bust cycle.

A chance to do better for migrants, and for the economy

Annabel Brown and Caitlin McCaffrie – May 2020

Covid-19 has exposed the flaws in Australia’s treatment of temporary migrants. Fortunately, a blueprint for change already exists.

Here are ten steps to build a stronger Australia after Coronavirus

Travers McLeod – May 2020

The steps Australia takes after Covid-19 can’t take us back to the way we were. The prime minister’s message after briefings from Treasury and the Reserve Bank has been clear: we need to grow differently. Here are 10 steps to do that and build a stronger nation.

Coronavirus is a human crisis beyond most of our scariest dreams – we will need to restart our society

Sam Mostyn and Travers McLeod – April 2020

Whether we like it or not, our economy – and indeed our society – is going to be remade over the coming months. But we do have a choice about how this remaking is done – in fear or in hope – and we need to make that choice now.

We need a “red team” for COVID-19 

Travers McLeod – March 2020

Australia can strengthen its response to the pandemic by tapping into a wider circle of expert skills and knowledge.

Heavyweights now speaking with one voice on climate change risks

SAM Hurley – March 2019

Climate change is reshaping Australia’s economy and financial system, and its consequences will be devastating without urgent action. If that message had not hit home, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s intervention last week made it clear.

The young ones – Millennials get a bad rap but they’re focused on a future where they will have to live


If the Who got baby boomers talkin’ ’bout their generation, millennials are joining Gang of Youths to ask what they can do if the fire goes out.

It’s tough being a millennial in a world built by boomers. Australian millennials are accused of being lazy, have less job security, are priced out of the housing market, and are blamed for spending too freely on coffee and smashed avo.

Murray-Darling report shows public authorities must take climate change risk seriously

ARJUNA DIBLEY – February 2019

The tragic recent events on the Darling River, and the political and policy furore around them, have again highlighted the severe financial and environmental consequences of mismanaging climate risks.

On a mission to save democracy


Despite five prime ministers in five years and policy paralysis in Canberra, Australians don’t want to do away with democracy. They want to save it.

Innovate before it’s too late, warns economist Mariana Mazzucato 


To future proof an organisation Mazzucato recommends an immediate long term, investment-led growth strategy based on innovation.

Step up? We’ve stepped aside by failing to sign migration pact

TRAVERS MCLEOD – November 2018

“Step up or step aside.” This was former Indonesian foreign min­ister Hassan Wirajuda’s 2016 warning to Australia and Indonesia as co-chairs of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Trans­national Crime.

Time for an Australian sustainable finance taskforce


ASIC commissioner John Price left a Sydney audience in no room for doubt last month when he confirmed company directors risked personal liability if they didn’t consider climate change risks.

Focus with Cassie McCullagh on Institutionalised Separation


Be informed, entertained and inspired each weekday morning on ABC Radio Sydney. Join in on debates about the latest issues, hear the stories that affect you and meet some fascinating people along the way.

‘Hubs of concentrated advantage’: selective schools need a rethink


In the debate about selective schools, personal stories and beliefs can drown out evidence, especially when that evidence challenges the status quo. So we hear plenty of anecdotes about the successes of selective school students, but relatively few about the students and schools they leave behind.

ASIC recommends voluntary disclosure of climate risks

CPD – June 2018

The corporate regulator has encouraged companies to go beyond meeting strict legal requirements and voluntarily disclose climate change risks and opportunities to the market. Australian Securities and Investments Commission commissioner John Price told a Centre for Policy Development forum on Monday night that in addition to the strict legal requirements, companies should also “carefully consider the general information needs of investors” when it comes to disclosing climate risks.

ASIC puts directors on notice over disclosure on climate change risks

CPD – June 2018

The corporate regulator has urged Australian companies to undertake formal modelling of the risks posed by climate change to their businesses, warning directors may be unable to escape legal breaches about nondisclosure if they have failed to properly assess it.

Time to judge our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan


“We will never forget that 100 years ago a young and brave nation on the other side of the world made history by writing our history. Lest we forget.” So ended French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s tribute to the Anzacs in April this year at the opening of the Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux. Compare this to what a former Afghan refugee who calls Australia home wrote after Fairfax Media reported our special forces may have committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

Has outsourcing run its course, or is it the secret to the ‘ideal’ worker?


Th As Finance Minister Mathias Cormann again confirms the government will not contemplate a cap on external workforce spending, others find justification for concern as the line between consultants and external contractors blurs. The difference between consultants and external contractors was once pretty clear, but according to the Centre For Policy Development, that’s not so much the case any more.

Helping refugees build new lives: Q&A with Peter Shergold


Through collaboration, NSW agencies are shifting the service response from one that is reactive to refugees’ immediate settlement needs towards an investment approach that creates employment pathways. By identifying and building on refugees’ strengths, resilience and human capital, Shergold believes NSW can deliver better outcomes for both refugees and the communities they live in. The Sax Institute’s online journal Public Health Research and Practiceasked him about his role, its objectives and its achievements.

ABC 4Corners – Weather Alert


Australia’s warming climate is changing the way we live and work. Across Australia, farmers, small businesses, government planners and major corporations have stopped waiting for politicians to decide whether climate change is real. They’re acting now. Four Corners has travelled from coast to coast to chart how Australians are adapting to the new weather challenges. From farm kitchens to the board rooms of our major cities, people are changing the way they do business.

Private health insurance is a con job

FELLOW IAN MCAULEY  – February 2018

You won’t believe it, but my birthday was on Tuesday and I got a present from the federal government. I also got a card from my state member, sending his “very best wishes” for reaching such an “important milestone” in my life.

Progress made on Indigenous retention rates masks growing racial divide at schools

CPD  – February 2018

Indigenous students are disproportionately represented in Australia’s most disadvantaged schools and the divide between rich and poor is developing an “unhappy racial dimension”, a new report has found.

Most Indigenous students consigned to schools with least capacity to help

FELLOW CHRIS BONNOR  – February 2018

We are now into the tenth anniversary of the strategy to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia. Last week saw a report on progress, a subdued celebration on scattered achievements and copious hand-wringing over endemic failures.

Big, impersonal and opaque: how Jobactive is failing jobseekers

ROB STURROCK  – February 2018

A decade and a half ago, in mid 2003, the federal government stopped doing something that governments have done continuously since 1946. It would no longer help unemployed people find jobs, and would instead give the task to a group of charities and private providers. Justifying this transition to a scheme it called Job Network, the Howard government argued that finding jobs for the unemployed wasn’t core government business.

Former Head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet discusses the leaked cabinet documents

TERRY MORAN – January 2018

Former Head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Terry Moran, says whoever sold the filing cabinets containing the government papers should be sacked.

RN Best of the Festivals: Marty Natalegawa – Can Democracy Deliver?

CPD – January 2018

Marty Natalegawa, Indonesia’s former Foreign Minister delivers the inaugural John Menadue Oration, the headline event launching the 10th Anniversary Series of the Centre for Policy Development. One of the most respected foreign policy and international security thinkers of his generation, his address focuses on the health of democracy and the international rules-based order.

Selective school decisions coming back to haunt us


Almost alone in Australia, New South Wales has been expanding its number of selective schools, accompanied each time by arguments about the need to increase choice and cater for the gifted and talented. And each time we are left with one less school for local students, together with an ongoing trail of collateral damage to other schools and overall student achievement.

Don’t mention the republic!

CPD – January 2018

Well, that didn’t take long. When provocateur-in-chief Paul Keating goaded Malcolm Turnbull into putting the republic issue back on the agenda for about five minutes it told you more than you needed to know about the wretched state of Australian politics.

As politicians we must lift our game and respond to the frustrations of Australians

CPD – January 2018

2017 has been a spectacularly bad year for Australian democracy. People are saying that our politics is broken – and this isn’t just in response to a litany of tabloid headlines, though no doubts the proliferation of scandals has had an impact. Too often, formal politics just seems irrelevant to many Australians.

World’s biggest coal port looks to life after fossil fuels

Roy Green – December 2017

The world’s biggest coal port has warned it must diversify from the commodity to ensure its future in a sign of how businesses are planning for a time without the fossil fuel. Australia’s Port of Newcastle, which shipped 161m tonnes of coal last year, said on Sunday the long-term outlook for coal was a threat to the port and the entire Hunter Valley region and it needed to diversify its business.

How to better help refugees and asylum seekers enter the workforce on Life Matters

CPD – December 2017

While modern Australia has been shaped by waves of immigration, many newly-arrived migrants, refugees and asylum seekers have trouble finding work, no matter how much they want to. So what’s the best way to empower people into employment?

80pc of voters back a federal ICAC: Centre for Policy Development

CPD – December 2017

Three quarters of voters say there is a need for democratic renewal in the form of a federal anti-corruption commission and a tougher code of conduct for MPs, as part of wider reforms that would also see a rejuvenated public sector return to service delivery.

Most Australians support federal anti-corruption agency: research

CPD – December 2017

Most Australians want the government to create a federal anti-corruption commission, make its national agencies more independent and set four-year parliamentary terms, according to a new report led by one of the nation’s most respected former public servants.

Banks and insurers must prepare for climate-related risk: APRA

CPD – November 2017

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority has warned that insurers and banks need to prepare themselves for climate-related risks, or jeopardise their futures. That stark caution was delivered overnight during a speech to the Centre for Policy Development in Sydney.

APRA quizzes finance sector over climate change risk preparations

Sam Hurley – November 2017

The prudential regulator has outlined plans to for an industry-wide review of climate-related disclosure, warning insurers, superannuation funds and banks they place their “futures in jeopardy” by ignoring risks related to climate change.

Australian shareholders should be told of climate risk to profits, says thinktank

Sam Hurley and Kate Mackenzie – November 2017

Australian companies need to start developing sophisticated scenario-based analyses of climate risks, and incorporating them into their business outlooks so shareholders know how climate change will affect profitability, a thinktank has said.

Terry Moran: Australians want bold government, not shrinking violets

Terry Moran – November 2017

Australians are fed up with policymakers in this country, says new attitude research, and they have a right to be according to one of the nation’s top former public servants.

Marty Natalegawa on ABC Saturday Extra with Geraldine Doogue

Marty Natalegawa – November 2017

Indonesian diplomat and advisor to the UN Marty Natalegawa discusses the fragility of democracy in the region and what needs to be done to strengthen democratic values as well as the role of ASEAN in conversation with Geraldine Doogue on ABC Radio National’s Saturday Extra.

Indonesia and Australia can nurture democracy together

MARTY NATALEGAWA – November 2017

Can democracy deliver? This is the question being asked in all corners of the globe. As one who has traversed Indonesia’s transformative democratic journey – it is today the world’s third-largest democracy – the reply can only be resoundingly affirmative: yes. More importantly, democracy must deliver.

The Manus Island agreement is a failure. Turnbull and Shorten need to accept it


There is now a humanitarian disaster on Australia’s doorstep. And it’s our responsibility. The refugees on Manus Island must be resettled promptly. After four years, all options other than Australia have come to nothing or have been rejected by our government. There is now no option but to resettle them in Australia.

Shifting deck chairs on the PHI death spiral


The government’s changes to private health insurance have little, if anything, to do with health policy.

Rather, they are about staving off the insurers’ death spiral of rising premiums and desertion of profitable customers, and protecting the government from the embarrassment of yet another five or six per cent rise in premiums in 2018, writes Ian McAuley.

Private health insurance is just another way to rip off millennials


Like a lot of young people, my first job was in retail, in the sort of place that was mostly about discounts – cheap CDs, speakers and two-for-one DVDs. Younger Australians, in my experience, are fairly value-conscious thanks to our constant low-level awareness of just how high house prices are compared with our wage growth.

A rare opportunity to make schools work better


A little news item can tell a big story. This week the Guardian reported on a survey revealing that Australian parents want schools to teach more social skills. It raises many questions: whose job is it anyway; what will fall off the curriculum to make space; how will we know if it works? But in one sense it is certainly timely: right now, the Gonski 2.0 review is giving us a once-in-a-decade opportunity to have a say about what schools should and shouldn’t do.

Votes for corporations and extra votes for property owners: why local council elections are undemocratic


Imagine, for a minute, an undemocratic political system. Imagine a voting system in which someone has more votes than you because they own property. Or a voting system in which corporations have a vote – and maybe even more votes than regular people. A voting system in which, as a result, the power of your vote could be diluted by votes cast on behalf of corporations.ols should and shouldn’t do.

This bubble could have been burst before it inflated

Sam Hurley and Travers McLeod – March 2017

Boosting refugee jobs would be a win-win for Australia

Travers McLeod and Henry Sherrel, The Huffington Post, 24 February 2017

Ring fencing: who should have power over your solar and storage?

Alexander Marks, RenewEconomy, 16 December 2017

Donald Trump’s Patton has history in his corner

Travers McLeod, The Australian, 6 December 2016

Company directors can be held legally liable for ignoring the risks from climate change

Travers McLeod, John Wiseman and Sam Hurley, The Conversation, 4 November 2016.

A larger policy community can make Australia a more constructive and influential regional power 

Travers McLeod, for Australian Council for International Development, 2 November 2016.

How the Asia-Pacific can lead the way on migrants and refugees

Travers McLeod, Peter Hughes, Serigraph Petcharames, Steven Wong, Tri Nuke Pudjiastuti, The Conversation, 21 September 2016.

Voters were doubly disillusioned

Travers McLeod and Mark Triffitt, The Age, 5 July 2016.

The Andaman Sea refugee crisis a year on: is the region now better prepared?

Travers McLeod, Peter Hughes, Serigraph Petcharames, Steven Wong, Tri Nuke Pudjiastuti, The Conversation, 27 May 2016.

The Andaman Sea refugee crisis a year on: what happened and how did the region respond?

Travers McLeod, Peter Hughes, Serigraph Petcharames, Steven Wong, Tri Nuke Pudjiastuti, The Conversation, 26 May 2016.

A new hope for Myanmar’s Rohingya migrants?

Travers McLeod, Southeast Asia Globe, 9 May 2016.

Financing government in uncertain times

Sam Hurley, Inside Story, 24 April 2016

The Bali Process can do a lot more to respond to forced migration in our region

Travers McLeod, Peter Hughes, Sriprapha Petcharames, Steven Wong, Tri Nuke Pudjiastuti, The Conversation, 21 March 2016.

Battle of ideas is on as an election-year innovation debate starts to make up for lost time

Travers McLeod and Anand Kulkarni, The Conversation, 18 January 2016.

Relaxing airstrike rules is a recipe for disaster

Travers McLeod, The Drum, 1 December 2015.

Unusual suspects challenging usual thinking on climate change

Travers McLeod, The Huffington Post, 30 November 2015.

Weakness and crisis lie at the heart of Australian politics

Rob Sturrock, The Huffington Post, 16 September 2015

Entitlements scandal is a sign of political rot

Travers McLeod and Mark Triffit, The SMH, 13 August 2015.

Australia’s peace threatened by climate change

Rob Sturrock, The SMH, 22 June 2015

Budget week reveals an appetite for government but not to govern

Travers McLeod, ‘The Conversation, 15 May 2015.

Hidden crisis of parliamentary democracy creates climate change paralysis

Travers McLeod and Mark Triffit, The Conversation, 22 April 2015.

Don’t blame micro-parties or the senate, update an archaic system

Travers McLeod and Mark Triffit, The Conversation, 23 February 2015.

Prosperity or decline? Liberating ideas can reboot our economy

Travers McLeod and Anand Kulkarni, The Conversation, 23 January 2015.