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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.