February 2006

Research report

1 Mar 2006

Ten contributors examine key policy areas and developments over the past decade:

Howard’s ‘Choice’: The Ideology and Politics of Work and Family Policy 1996–2006 (176) Elizabeth Hill

From Player to Pawn: Howard’s Trade Legacy (29) Elizabeth Thurbon and Linda Weiss...

Research report

28 Feb 2006

In this bill digest, Mary Anne Neilsen and Jennifer Norberry outline the main fetures of the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Bill 2005, which makes a wide range of amendments to the Family Law Act 1975, implementing a number of recommendations of the 2003...

Research report

1 Mar 2006

Peter Mares shows that fruit and vegetable growers have trouble finding seasonal workers to pick their crops and sometimes resort to illegal immigrants to get the job done. His findings are based on a survey of horticultural producers in the horticultural region stretching along the...

Research report

28 Feb 2006

In this updated report Susan Dawe and Richard Elvins incorporate the findings of two additional studies. In both cases they support the key messages of the earlier report, with an additional influence on the likelihood of skills development for the mature-aged leading to employment emerging...

Research report

28 Feb 2006

This chronology of the detention of Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks covers the period from 27 September 2001 to 18 February 2006. It serves to record key events and relevant commentary by a variety of persons and organisations, and is sourced mainly from media reports,...

Research report

27 Feb 2006

In this paper Andrew Norton argues that a more realistic loan cap needs to be implemented so that the federal government’s FEE-HELP scheme can achieve its stated objectives of reducing unmet demand and assisting students to access their preferred course. FEE-HELP has the potential to...

Research report

27 Feb 2006

Lenny Roth provides an overview of the main provisions of the federal government’s Work Choices legislation and the current High Court challenge mounted by state governments. He looks at the coverage of new system and at changes to award wages, award conditions, legislative conditions, workplace...

Research report

27 Feb 2006

In Griffith REVIEW 11 , Getting Smart: The Battle for Ideas in Education, Anna Clark explores the ‘values’ debate in the teaching of history and the emergence of values in education policy and funding. She argues that it is not the teaching of values to...

Research report

21 Feb 2006

Introduction

The Parliamentary Library has decided to republish the paper on electoral systems written in 1989 by Gerard Newman. The paper is concerned with the mechanics of translating votes into seats as well as the consequences of using particular systems. It does not...

Research report

24 Feb 2006

Sarah Miskin and Martin Lumb examine the biographical details of the 226 senators and members of the 41st Australian parliament. They show that, generally, they are middle-aged, well-educated men, many of whom have worked in politics-related occupations immediately before being elected. The note concludes with...

Research report

24 Feb 2006

In nursing homes, child care centres, migrant welfare services, group homes for people with disabilities, and elsewhere around Australia, workers are employed to help other people meet their daily needs. These employees perform paid 'care work' in Australia’s community service industries. Gabrielle Meagher and Karen...

Research report

24 Feb 2006

Stephen Kemmis, Marianne Thurling, Roslin Brennan Kemmis, Peter Rushbrook and Richard Pickersgill explore the extent and distribution of Indigenous staffing in vocational education and training (VET) and various aspects of their employment experience within the VET sector. They note a recent decline in Indigenous staff...

Research report

24 Feb 2006

Recognition of prior learning is a process whereby people have the skills and knowledge they have developed outside the formal education system assessed and valued against qualifications frameworks. Jo Hargreaves gives an overview of recent research into recognition of prior learning within the Australian vocational...

Research report

23 Feb 2006

Feminist economists are studying marketised care services, such as nursing homes, as the intersection of the performance of ‘care’, traditionally unpaid and provided within families by women, and ‘work’ as a paid means of earning a living. During research towards her doctoral thesis on how...

Research report

23 Feb 2006

In the face of unprecedented change, many rural communities are rethinking the concept and implications of socio-economic development, and creating new and innovative responses to emerging political, social, and environmental conditions. Maureen Rogers and Rhett Walker discuss the nature and implications of this challenge and...

Research report

23 Feb 2006

One recent means of addressing the supposed asymmetry of knowledge between finance providers and consumers has been the introduction of mandatory comparison rates, which calculate the total cost of a fixed term loan, including interest and all fees and charges. Scott Ewing looks at Australian...

Commentary

Article

23 Feb 2006

The campaign has finally begun. Geoff Anderson and Haydon Manning report on the opening salvos

SOUTH AUSTRALIANS will vote in the state’s first fixed term election on 18 March. Although the date has been known for over four years, that didn’t stop the...

Commentary

Article

23 Feb 2006

IN OPENING the Liberal Party’s campaign for the 2006 state election, Rob Kerin declared that the state of the economy will be his primary focus. South Australia, he said, was lagging the nation in economic and employment growth and that exports had taken a nose...

Research report

22 Feb 2006

The Juvenile Justice national minimum data set is based on the experience of the young person within juvenile justice supervision, making it somewhat different to other criminal justice collections, which focus on legal orders. The data in this first report of the new data set...

Research report

22 Feb 2006

In April 1997 ABC TV’s Four Corners revealed details of Kerry Packer’s failed lobbying to win the licence for the Sydney casino – especially his company’s efforts to discredit its main competitor – and transactions made while he was the dominant shareholder in ANI, which...

Journal article

22 Feb 2006

In recent years, national and state/territory governments have undertaken an increasing number of initiatives to improve links between general practice and the rest of the primary health care sector. This paper reviews how far these initiatives have contributed to a well functioning and comprehensive primary...

Research report

22 Feb 2006

The Agriculture and Food Policy Reference Group was commissioned in March 2005 to help guide the development of future directions in Australian government policies and programs affecting the agriculture and food sector. In this report the Group identifies the major issues needing attention if the...

Research report

22 Feb 2006

This publication provides information on each state and territory's merchandise and services trade with the world, presented on a financial year basis with a three year time series. Section 1, the state and territory trade overview, is available online.

Research report

21 Feb 2006

Linda Harrison and Judy Ungerer provide an overview of data from the Growing Up in Australia study on patterns of use of child care. Early childhood education and child care are a feature of the wider environment that will affect children over the course of...

Research report

21 Feb 2006

In this background paper for the Housing Affordability for Lower Income Australians project, Judith Yates and Michelle Gabriel analyse new estimates of the numbers of households with affordability problems, assess which households are most at risk of having moderate or severe housing affordability problems, and...

Other text

21 Feb 2006

A small but growing group of well-educated urban dwellers, often in well-paying jobs, is challenging the socially sanctioned revulsion around waste by engaging in ‘skip dipping’: sorting through the contents of publicly located skips for items which are still useful. Emma Rush examines the phenomenon...

Research report

21 Feb 2006

In this speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference in February 2006, Clive Hamilton argues that powerful lobbyists are using methods both subtle and brutal to advance their interests in relation to climate change. He describes these lobbyists and how they influence Australian government...

Commentary

Article

20 Feb 2006

Is Brendan Nelson “the subject of serious seduction” in his new job at Defence? Geoffrey Barker thinks not.

BRENDAN NELSON’S appointment as defence minister has triggered three remarkable pre-emptive strikes designed to capture the new minister’s thinking on Australia’s strategic defence policy....

Research report

20 Feb 2006

Jeff McMullen, chair of the Ian Thorpe Fountain for Youth which is involved in improving educational and health outcomes, explains how literacy can mean life in remote Aboriginal communities. He writes, ‘Doctors have told me that every extra year of education for a young woman...

Research report

20 Feb 2006

Theorists have also suggested that the natural environment will be a likely beneficiary of deliberative democarcy, given the inherent rationality in supporting interests that will lead to the long-term survival of the planet. Ivan Zwart addresses the question of general environmental interests through two case...

Research report

16 Feb 2006

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. However, this ‘consensus’ science of the IPCC has been disputed. Stewart Smith examines...

Research report

16 Feb 2006

This report presents a comprehensive picture of the impact of stroke on patient, their carers, the heath system and aged care services. It brings together the latest Australian data on the various phases of the management of people with stroke across the continuum of care....

Research report

16 Feb 2006

Steven Kennedy, Jim Thomson and Petar Vujanovic discuss the pathways through which a pandemic might affect the Australian economy. They find that confidence effects and the (large) short term withdrawal of labour are probably the dominant mechanisms through which a pandemic adversely affects the economy....

Research report

16 Feb 2006

Assisted reproductive technology in Australia and New Zealand 2003 presents information on all assisted reproduction technology treatments that took place in 2003 and the resulting pregnancies and births. The report includes specific data on pregnancy success rates and how they vary by treatment type, cause...

Research report

16 Feb 2006

This seminar, featuring industry speakers and regulators, discussed the likely changes to digital TV business strategy and official policy, examining how services and audiences for both subscription and free TV can increase. Papers and presentations are available online.

Research report

16 Feb 2006

If Australia is to keep pace with international production trends and to provide viewers with the range and quality of television experienced around the rest of the world, argues the committee, then now is the time to get serious about getting digital. This report examines...

Research report

16 Feb 2006

This report from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, analyses the current approach to Indigenous health and proposes a campaign to achieve equality in health status. The campaign recommends that governments commit to achieving equality of health status and life...

Research report

16 Feb 2006

This report from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, examines some of the issues that have arisen during the debate around the National Indigenous Council Land Tenure Principles and proposed changes to the communal nature of land interests to promote...

Research report

16 Feb 2006

Andrew Lynch tests the assumption that constitutional cases generally produce a heightened level of disagreement among members of the High Court. He finds that although the court decides a higher percentage of constitutional cases over dissenting opinions than it does overall, there is not enough...

Commentary

Article

16 Feb 2006

UNEMPLOYMENT hasn’t been front-page news for some years. The main labour market story in the past couple of years has been the emergence, for the first time since the 1980s, of significant labour shortages for some classes of skilled worker.

Despite these shortages, the...

Research report

15 Feb 2006

Garry Rodan and Kanishka Jayasuriya argue that governments in the region need to be identified not in terms of institutional attributes but in terms of the spaces of political participation they establish through which certain forms of conflicts are managed, ameliorated or contained.

Research report

15 Feb 2006

This report by the Council of Australian Governments’ National Reform Initiative Working Group makes a series of recommendations in relation to workforce participation and productivity and increased prevention and early intervention within the health system. The recommendations were largely adopted by the COAG meeting in...

Commentary

Article

14 Feb 2006

THAT South Australia experienced such widespread and poorly managed electricity blackouts in January is totally unacceptable in the twenty-first century. The blackouts happened in a state that once boasted one of the most affordable and reliable electricity systems in the world. There is no doubt...

Research report

14 Feb 2006

In this latest Australian Unity Wellbeing Index report, Robert A. Cummins, T’Meika Knapp, Jacqui Woerner, Jenny Walter and Kathryn Page examine the differences between reported feelings of wellbeing across Australia. Among other things, they find that differences in wellbeing are not simply based in economics....

Research report

13 Feb 2006

The 46-year-old Stephen Harper is Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister. The new government is the tenth minority government elected since 1925, the average duration of which has been one year, five months and 22 days. It seems unlikely that the new government will run full term....

Research report

14 Feb 2006

In this article for Griffith Review 11 – Getting Smart: The Battle for Ideas in Education, Gavin Moodie argues that national strategies to expand education need to be more broadly based. Celebrating only narrow notions of research and excellence, obscure the reality that higher education...

Research report

10 Feb 2006

Ray Jordan provides background on the 1980s proposal by the Labor government to introduce a national identity card (the Australia Card), its subsequent defeat, and on current initiatives by the Coalition government to consider an ID card in an effort to deter crime and terrorist...

Research report

10 Feb 2006

Queensland was the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce legislation to protect whistleblowers. David Solomon reviews the operation of the law and argues that more protection is needed.

Research report

9 Feb 2006

Labour force data shows that the employment rate of women who have not-employed partners is lower than partnered women with employed partners. To help to understand why the employment rates might be lower in families with not-employed husbands, Jennifer Baxter analyses women's labour force data...

Discussion paper

9 Feb 2006

Wealth is an important measure of overall economic well-being, and influences migrants’ ability to integrate into their new country. Using data from the 2002 HILDA survey, Rochelle Belkar explores the disparity between the wealth distributions of Australian and foreign-born households. Her results reveal that immigrants...

Discussion paper

9 Feb 2006

Hielke Buddelmeyer and Roger Wilkins describe the dynamics of smoking behaviour in Australia, using HILDA data to track individuals’ smoking behaviour over the period 2001 to 2003, during which time smoking ban initiatives in Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory came into effect. They exploit...

Research report

9 Feb 2006

Ruth Weston, Lixia Qu and David de Vaus examine the factors that discriminate between cohabiting couples who choose to marry, those who choose to separate, and those who continue to cohabit. They use three waves of data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in...

Research report

9 Feb 2006

The idea that unemployment is the principal cause of poverty among those of workforce age has been a central finding of poverty research. Peter Saunders examines the links that exist between employment, unemployment, joblessness and poverty against the background of the growing diversity of labour...

Research report

9 Feb 2006

Australia must have a single set of streamlined, flexible evidence laws that will protect witnesses as well as parties, recognise the importance of confidential relationships, and curb legal ‘games’ in the courtroom, according to this ALRC report. The report contains 63 recommendations for reform at...

Research report

9 Feb 2006

The inquiry into the legal and ethical issues surrounding the protection of human genetic information was conducted by the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Australian Health Ethics Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council. In this publication the government responds to the...

Research report

7 Feb 2006

The current regulatory system plays a necessary and important role in identifying and removing unsafe products through recalls, bans and standards. Overall, the regulatory system, in combination with other mechanisms, delivers a reasonable level of product safety, as expected by Australian consumers. Nevertheless there is...

Research report

9 Feb 2006

This committee report canvasses a variety of views on the legislation but does not make any recommendation as to whether it should pass. The committee’s sole recommendation is that increased financial support be provided to improve sex education, make birth control measures more widely available,...

Research report

9 Feb 2006

This committee report examines the provisions of the federal government’s legislation, which is endorsed by the majority of committee members. A dissenting report by Green and Labor senators is published as part of the report.

Research report

9 Feb 2006

Gareth Griffith examines the potential implications for New south Wales arising from the recent debate on free speech, most notably in respect to the Commonwealth’s new anti-terrorism legislation.

The paper focuses on three areas of the law, all of which impinge on the...

Commentary

Article

8 Feb 2006

Iran’s nuclear stand-off challenges the idea of an international community, writes Andy Butfoy

THE CRISIS over Iran’s nuclear program is revealing three important lessons about world politics.

Lesson one is for Iran: atomic adventurism can be a double-edged sword, especially if it...

Research report

8 Feb 2006

This publication is based on an extract from Australia’s Welfare 2005, the institute’s comprehensive report on national information on welfare services. This publication is based on an extract from Australia’s Welfare 2005, the institute’s comprehensive report on national information on welfare services.

Research report

8 Feb 2006

Teaching and learning styles in the vocational education and training sector have changed substantially over the last decade in response to changed national and international conditions. Peter Smith and Damian Blake describe these changes, which can basically be summarised as a shift from traditional teaching...

Research report

8 Feb 2006

Vocational education and training (VET) programs for young people in schools have significantly expanded over the past decade. Janet Porter investigates stakeholders’ views on school-based vocational programs in New South Wales and Queensland schools from 2000 to 2002, and examines the objectives and expected outcomes...

Research report

8 Feb 2006

Damon Anderson evaluates, from a national perspective, the impact and outcomes of market reform in vocational education and training (VET), particularly the introduction of competitive tendering and ‘user choice’. He does so by examining the structure, composition and dynamics of contestable or ‘quasi-markets’, assessing the...

Research report

7 Feb 2006

When the people of the future come to write the histories of the early 21st century, they will note the discussions of increasing inequality and the evidence of division and they will ask: who stood and spoke against this? Who offered hope and solutions, and...

Research report

7 Feb 2006

Despite not developing either a domestic nuclear power industry or a nuclear weapons capability, Australia has had a long involvement in nuclear science and technology. In this chronology Ian Holland and Matthew James outline the history of radioactive waste management in Australia, including the management...

Commentary

Article

2 Feb 2006

ONE of the striking features of the era of microeconomic reform has been the extent to which the rhetoric of deregulation and choice has coexisted with the steady expansion of centralised government power at the expense of state and local choice and diversity.

The...

Commentary

Article

2 Feb 2006

Taxing and spending, if it’s done carefully, is no bad thing, writes Nicholas Gruen

YOU’D think that cutting top marginal rates would have stronger political opponents than John Howard and Peter Costello. But the ‘cut top rates’ bandwagon just keeps rolling - even...