March 2006

Research report

31 Mar 2006

Andrew Geddis examines how Canada and New Zealand have gone about trying to ensure a level playing field for electoral competition through the regulation of campaign finance. In Canada there has been a ban on corporate donations to political parties since 2003 and individuals may...

Research report

31 Mar 2006

Keith Ewing and N. S. Ghaleigh examine the impact of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2004. They find the requirement for companies to get shareholder approval before making political donations has been accompanied by a drop in company donations but that large individual...

Research report

28 Apr 2006

This is the first report of the select commitee, providing a wide-ranging review of many aspects of mental health care in Australia, and a set of unanimous recommendations. The decision to divide its report into two parts was the result of a particular confluence of...

Research report

31 Mar 2006

This report looks at China’s foreign policy and its military modernisation program and examines its effect on other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the implications for Australia.

Research report

31 Mar 2006

Richard Tanter argues that there is a tendency in both Japan and abroad to underestimate Japan’s actual military strength – especially that of its naval forces. Maritime Self Defense Force destroyers and refuelling supply ships have been continually on-station in the Indian Ocean since November...

Research report

30 Mar 2006

The public sector’s share of total employment fell from 26 per cent in 1984 to 16 per cent in 2005, amounting to 940,000 fewer jobs in the public sector. While all levels of government have lost employment share, the Commonwealth is the only sector to...

Research report

30 Mar 2006

This report compares changes in mortality in Australia's major cities, regional and remote areas in the period 1992-2003. Trends for Australia’s broad geographic regions are compared for a range of specific causes of death including coronary heart disease, lung cancer, cervical cancer, asthma, suicide, motor...

Commentary

Article

29 Mar 2006

Communications Minister Helen Coonan’s media discussion paper includes expected changes about cross media and foreign ownership. Those changes will receive lots of attention in the media - and in the Senate should they reach it - as they could prompt significant commercial deals. But ownership...

Commentary

Article

29 Mar 2006

The Australian Electoral Commissioner has abruptly changed a long-standing policy, potentially preventing tens of thousands of Australians exercising their right to vote at federal elections, according to Brian Costar and Peter Browne

SOMETHING puzzling has happened at the Australian Electoral Commission over the...

Research report

30 Mar 2006

This edition contains articles on Australia’s current account deficit, terms of trade booms, productivity trends, water and Australia’s future economic growth, innovation across the OECD, demographic challenges and migration, and Australian net private wealth.

Research report

28 Mar 2006

In this consultancy report for the PC, Erwin Diewert and Denis Lawrence of Meyrick and Associates identify and implement improvements in practical welfare measurement beyond the conventional average income or GDP per capita measure, and gauge the welfare contributions of productivity and the terms of...

Research report

30 Mar 2006

Gavan Dwyer, Robert Douglas, Deb Peterson, Jo Chong and Kate Maddern discuss the nature and causes of environmental change related to rural water use, and provide a taxonomy of the many diverse types. They also examine the issues surrounding possible charges on water use for...

Research report

30 Mar 2006

This literature review and background paper is the starting point for an exploration of the viability of developing a culturally appropriate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child care quality assurance system. The Australian government is undertaking this work in collaboration with the Secretariat of National...

Research report

30 Mar 2006

China’s rapid economic growth rates are accompanied by military advances, a quest for markets, diplomatic assertiveness and increased national pride. Ross Terrill urges clear thinking by Australians about the strength of the US, the place of deterrence, the ways Beijing's mercantilism differs from free-market approaches...

Research report

30 Mar 2006

Striving for the illusory goal of full protection from terrorism creates the risk of bad laws that do even greater damage, writes George Williams. He argues that it is time to take a step back to assess the successes and failures of the new laws...

Research report

30 Mar 2006

Federal parliament will soon debate a law that conjures up modern-day images of Big Brother, according to George Williams and David Hume. The Bill will allow the government to read private emails, SMSs and other stored communications without the knowledge of the sender or receiver....

Commentary

Article

29 Mar 2006

Unlike her Liberal and Labor predecessors, Amanda Vanstone has followed due process in assessing the claims of asylum seekers from West Papua, writes Peter Mares

THE decision to grant refugee status to 42 Papuan asylum seekers has generated a great deal of sound...

Research report

29 Mar 2006

With the rising popularity of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) in Australia, there has been intense discussion of appropriate regulation. But there is little research available on the residential VoIP market. This report, based on an online survey of VoIP users, concludes that extra regulatory...

Research report

29 Mar 2006

This report examines the long-term success of federal programs that seek to reduce the extent and economic impact of salinity in the Australian environment. This included: progress of national programs to address salinity; support available to regional catchment management authorities to achieve national goals; and...

Research report

29 Mar 2006

This publication includes a majority report and two dissenting reports from an inquiry into a bill making major amendments to the Electoral Act and the Referendum Act in relation to the closure of the electoral roll, disclosure of political donations, prisoner voting entitlements, proof of...

Research report

24 Mar 2006

In 2005 and early 2006 a number of proposals were put forward for restructuring the personal income tax system. Leslie Nielson provides an outline of these suggestions, and provides links to detailed expositions of specific proposals.

Briefing paper

28 Mar 2006

Sarah Miskin and Greg Baker examine political finance disclosures under the current and proposed thresholds, using the annual returns of the major parties (the Liberal Party, the Nationals and the ALP) for the financial years 1998–99 to 2003–04.

Proposed amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral...

Research report

28 Mar 2006

The best autobiographical works present two kinds of insight. First, by providing an inside story, the subject-writer gives the reader new and challenging perspectives on an interesting period. Second, memoirs help the reader understand the subject as a human being with whom they might empathise....

Research report

27 Mar 2006

Recently there has been some interest in the Net Family Tax Benefit, sparked partly by recent comments by the Treasurer about the 2006–07 federal budget and by concern that the current system for the payment of the benefit is already generous. Leslie Nielson provides background...

Research report

27 Mar 2006

Medical savings accounts have been suggested as one way of addressing the question of how Australia can pay for its future health needs. They are similar to compulsory superannuation – individuals save a proportion of their income into an account which can only be used...

Research report

24 Mar 2006

From June to September 2004, government officials ‘cleansed’ computers which held copies of an original manuscript by former Office of National Assessments analyst Andrew Wilkie. Wilkie had agreed with the government’s instruction to remove some passages from the manuscript of the book Axis of Deceit...

Research report

24 Mar 2006

Australia’s international aviation industry is heavily regulated. Whether or to what extent passenger airline services should be further liberalised is again being debated, a particular focus being whether more airlines should be allowed to carry passengers between Australia and the United States. Richard Webb provides...

Research report

27 Mar 2006

In this report commissioned by the Special Broadcasting Service, Ien Ang, Jeff Brand, Greg Noble and Jason Sternberg analyse the views and experiences of younger Australians from culturally diverse backgrounds. They reveals a series of paradoxes in younger people’s appreciation and understanding of multiculturalism in...

Commentary

Article

22 Mar 2006

LABOR was well positioned for an overwhelming victory at last Saturday’s South Australian election. They began the campaign in ideal economic and political conditions. Standard and Poors had given South Australia the coveted AAA credit rating, leaving no room for accusations by the Liberals that...

Commentary

Article

22 Mar 2006

Will New South Wales follow the lead of the ACT and Victoria? George Williams puts the case for a state charter of human rights

THE NEW SOUTH WALES attorney-general Bob Debus has announced that he will put a proposal to state cabinet for...

Commentary

Article

21 Mar 2006

AUSTRALIA, Japan and the United States are moving openly now to balance the rising economic and military power of China, and their primary strategic lever is nuclear energy.

Last week’s first ministerial strategic dialogue between the three nations illustrated what international political theorists would...

Commentary

22 Mar 2006

THE changes to media laws announced this week are less than meets the eye. What we were promised as policy proposals some time ago are only a set of options of variable firmness inside a ?discussion paper?. Most of what is ?discussed? is not new...

Research report

22 Mar 2006

David Johnson and Roger Wilkins show that there was a significant increase in private income inequality over the 1980s and 1990s.The increase in dispersion for disposable income was modest, however, implying that taxes and transfers acted to mitigate the increases in inequality emanating from changes...

Research report

22 Mar 2006

This report examines the structure and role of the Native Title Representative Bodies, the resources available to Native Title Representative Bodies, and the inter-relationships with other organisations, including the strategic planning and setting priorities, claimant applications pursued outside the Native Title Representative Body structure and...

Discussion paper

17 Mar 2006

This federal government consultation paper seeks comment on the proposed community service obligation arrangements for the wholesale distribution of medicines subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. These arrangements form part of the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement between the Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia,...

Research report

22 Mar 2006

Carried out by the Australian Youth Research Centre at the University of Melbourne, this study examined the benefits of youth development programs, including the range of practice models used to produce effective outcomes for young people’s self-development and connection with the community. The study also...

Research report

22 Mar 2006

ACOSS argues that budget spending should focus on solutions to service shortfalls such as child care, health care, assistance for jobless people, education and addressing indigenous disadvantage.

Research report

22 Mar 2006

This paper provides a snapshot of the number and demographic characteristics of income support recipients in June 2002. Income support payments cater for different circumstances, such as disability, sickness, unemployment, caring and parenting responsibilities.

Highlights of the paper include:

• information on eligibility...

Discussion paper

22 Mar 2006

Sue Richardson describes the overall unemployment picture, including the situation of some groups at particularly high risk of unemployment, then looks at underemployment and long term unemployment. She describes the experiences of men and of women, and of youth and older workers.

Research report

21 Mar 2006

This is the final evaluation of PACTS (Parents As Career Transition Supports), an innovative Brotherhood pilot project that aims to empower parents to better support their childrenÆs transitions from school to work and/or further education by building their knowledge of post-school pathways and the contemporary...

Research report

21 Mar 2006

When a legal question presents itself before a common law court, the judge must reach a decision and supply reasons for that decision. But how should she reach her decision, and what should count as a good reason, asks Yane Svetiev. It seems legal theorists...

Research report

21 Mar 2006

A recent Audit workshop, centred around the draft of a forthcoming Audit Report by Joo-Cheong Tham and Sally Young, brought together Australian and international experts, electoral commissioners, former auditors-general and political party representatives. The draft Audit Report, workshop papers and further information are available online....

Research report

21 Mar 2006

Roger Harris, Michele Simons and John Bone show that the preferred workplace features of trainers and New Apprentices in manufacturing were quite different from those in retail and community services. The nature of work and industry shapes what is expected to support learning in any...

Research report

21 Mar 2006

Stephen Ziguras and Jacinda Kleidon provide four case studies of local innovative approaches to employment support in disadvantaged communities: Neighbourhood Renewal in Fitzroy and Collingwood, an Adult Migrant Education Service/BSL cleaning enterprise, YP4 young homeless jobseekers trial, and Westgate Community Initiatives Group disability employment programs....

Research report

20 Mar 2006

The adequacy of Australia’s superannuation savings is a topic of ongoing concern. The common perception is that Australians, in general, have not saved enough for their retirement and that the current level of compulsory superannuation guarantee contributions made by employers on behalf of employees will...

Commentary

Article

16 Mar 2006

The federal government’s media policy fails to unlock TV’s full potential, writes Jock Given

IF YOU thought governments took too much notice of Kerry Packer when he was alive, you should take a look at what they want to do for him now...

Commentary

Article

16 Mar 2006

NOT surprisingly, the South Australian Liberal Party has attracted considerable criticism for proposing to cut 4000 public servant jobs if elected on 18 March. A close examination of the implications of the cuts suggests that the choice of job cuts to fund their election promises...

Commentary

Article

16 Mar 2006

THE PRIME MINISTER recently claimed that many Australians, including Muslim women, find the wearing of the full burqa confronting. Last year, when Bronwyn Bishop called for Muslim headscarves to be banned in public schools, he did not disagree on principle, but merely said that it...

Commentary

Article

16 Mar 2006

With the poll just days away, Geoff Anderson and Haydon Manning make their predictions

AS MIKE RANN contemplates next Saturday’s election he would be well aware that history is on his side. All of the other incumbent state Labor governments in Australia were...

Research report

16 Mar 2006

Young Australians are now less likely to accept an offer of drugs following an Australian government campaign to warn young people about the consequences of illicit drug use, according to this evaluation of Phase Two of the National Drugs Campaign.

Research report

16 Mar 2006

In this submission to the UN study of Australia’s counter-terrorism legislation and measures, under the purview of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, Andrew Lynch, Ben Saul and George Williams respond to the main issues covered by the study in a question and...

Research report

15 Mar 2006

Andrew Leigh finds that, on average, 63 per cent of trade union members vote for the Australian Labor Party.

Despite the fact that union membership declined from around one-half of the workforce in the early-1980s to one-quarter of the workforce in the early-2000s, unionists...

Research report

15 Mar 2006

1 July 2000 saw major changes to Commonwealth–state financial relations, notably the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) and the payment of the revenue from this tax to the states. Richard Webb examines developments since the changes were implemented and some issues in...

Research report

15 Mar 2006

This bulletin discusses the demand for Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) accommodation, with a focus on the groups that request accommodation – individuals on their own, individuals with children, couples with children and couples without children – because these groups have different patterns of accommodation...

Research report

15 Mar 2006

This is the second national summary report on the refined set of 56 health performance indicators, designed to provide an assessment of whether the health of Indigenous people is improving and to highlight problem areas. Like many previous reports, this report draws attention to the...

Research report

15 Mar 2006

Public health activities are aimed at preventing illness and enhancing the present and future wellbeing and quality of life of a nation’s population. This publication provides detailed estimates of expenditure for the years 2001-02 to 2003-04, as well as some revised estimates for 1999-00 and...

Research report

15 Mar 2006

Andrew Beer, Debbie Faulkner and Michelle Gabriel find that a number of overlapping processes have contributed to changes in ‘housing careers’ or housing consumption patterns in recent years, which have seen, for example, a growing number of individuals living with their parents into their 20s...

Commentary

Article

13 Mar 2006

Peter Browne describes the genesis of his book The Longest Journey: Resettling Refugees from Africa , published by UNSW Press, which looks at the evolution of Australia’s refugee resettlement program and the obstacles faced by refugees in Africa

IN THE EARLY 1990s, while...

Research report

14 Mar 2006

This paper investigates Australia’s ‘mutual obligation’ policies for the unemployed, and makes a comparison with the United States, the United Kingdom and Denmark. The focus of this investigation is whether ‘work first’ strategies or labour market training programs are more effective at reducing long-term unemployment....

Research report

14 Mar 2006

Released in December 2005, AusAID’s interim White Paper on Australia’s aid program recommends that future aid payments and allocations be regularly reviewed and made conditional on a recipient country’s performance against certain agreed targets. The report suggests that aid be used to reward countries that...

Research report

14 Mar 2006

Liza Hopkins presents the findings of a twelve month research and community development project undertaken for Carlton Primary School. The focus of the research part of the project was on the educational backgrounds and learning needs of the wider school community – parents, grandparents, siblings...

Research report

14 Mar 2006

This report has been developed by the Strategic Industry Leaders Group in consultation with a wide range of industry members and stakeholders. It identifies strategies to be implemented by industry to make it a major contributor to the Australian economy.

Research report

13 Mar 2006

School vocational education and training (VET) programs were introduced to provide more diverse pathways to work and further study for young people. Alison Anlezark, Tom Karmel and Koon Ong find that participation in school VET programs has a small negative impact on retention from Year...

Research report

13 Mar 2006

The number of people starting an apprenticeship or traineeship has grown for the sixth successive quarter, based on seasonally adjusted data. In the twelve months to 30 September 2005, the number of commencements increased 5 per cent over the previous year to 267,600.

Research report

13 Mar 2006

in Griffith REVIEW 11, Getting Smart: The Battle for Ideas in Education, Ross Homel presents evidence that intervention, especially grounded in education, can improve opportunities for disadvantaged people. ‘What is needed are responses that actually address the roots of the problems, and do so in...

Research report

13 Mar 2006

The jibe that children’s rights are ‘nonsense on stilts’ is sometimes directed at those who advocate for children. The argument goes that because children do not have the power to enforce their rights, children’s rights are at best mere empty rhetoric and at worst dangerous...

Commentary

Article

9 Mar 2006

In their third election report for APO, Geoff Anderson and Haydon Manning find that although Labor is well in the lead the premier is avoiding anything resembling a risk

NINE Network’s Ray Martin agreed to moderate the ‘leaders’ debate’ but, for his trouble,...

Commentary

Article

9 Mar 2006

Proposed changes to electoral laws are based on faulty arguments, writes Marian Sawer

HOW damaging to democracy are the proposals, currently before federal parliament, for changes to the Commonwealth Electoral Act? The Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Electoral Integrity and Other Measures) Bill 2005...

Research report

9 Mar 2006

In 2003–04, 1300 non-government, community and local government organisations were funded nationally under the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP). This report provides information on the wide range of substantial support services provided by these agencies to people experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming...

Research report

9 Mar 2006

This report examines the social impact of oral conditions on quality of life among a representative sample of adults in Australia.

Research report

9 Mar 2006

Ciara Smyth, Margot Rawsthorne and Peter Siminski describe the labour market transition experiences of Australian mothers who are balancing work and family responsibilities. The study reveals the contextual, fluid and complex nature of the life and work decisions that women who are parents make over...

Research report

9 Mar 2006

Harry Evans, Clerk of the Senate, reviews the appropriations process as it relates to government spending on advertising. He suggests that appropriations are made for ends that are specified only in the vaguest terms. Consequently, little limit is applied to the purposes on which the...

Commentary

Article

9 Mar 2006

Speaking at the John Howard’s Decade conference at the Australian National University, Judith Brett examines the legacies of a prime minister who is optimistic about the past

IN THE TIME I have today I want to suggest three possible legacies of John Howard’s...

Research report

9 Mar 2006

Kate Sullivan of the UK Electoral Commission reviews who can vote in the United Kingdom and finds that the franchise is much more expansive in Britain than in Australia.

Research report

9 Mar 2006

Malcolm Mackerras considers the best way to achieve the principle of ‘one vote one value’ in Australia and decides that it can only be achieved for the Territories by using the number of voters on the roll rather than population as the basis for distribution....

Research report

9 Mar 2006

Few issues are more important to Australia's long-term strategic position in the Asia-Pacific than the health of China's economy and the nature of Beijing’s foreign and defence policies. In this report the Chicago-based economist David Hale gives his assessment of China’s economic prospects and the...

Research report

1 Mar 2006

David Gruen compares the response of the Australian economy to the current terms of trade boom with its response to the comparably sized boom of the early 1970s. Across a range of dimensions, he finds stark differences in the economy’s response to the two booms....

Research report

9 Mar 2006

Peter Saunders, Kelly Sutherland and co-authors report on the first stage of a project designed to develop new indicators of disadvantage for Australia in the new millennium. This stage of their project involved a series of focus group discussions with clients of selected welfare programs...

Research report

8 Mar 2006

The treasurer, Peter Costello, has called for Australia to create the most ‘female-friendly environment in the world’. Marian Sawer finds, however, that Australia has just slid to its lowest place ever in the league table of women’s representation in national parliaments and a major factor...

Research report

8 Mar 2006

On Australia Day this year the PM complained about young people’s lack of knowledge about Australian history, that they didn’t understand the evolution of democracy since federation. In this paper for the John Howard’s Decade conference, Ariadne Vromen argues that the positive frame for legitimate...

Research report

8 Mar 2006

In this paper for the John Howard’s Decade conference, James Walter argues that the prime minister fits the ‘strong leader’ typology, and considers the tension between such leadership (with its tendency to concentrate power) and democratic practice (with its checks and balances designed to prevent...

Research report

7 Mar 2006

A number of papers from the conference, held in February 2006, are available online. They include:

• Alex Reilly, Macquarie University – Appropriations and Expenditures: Where do the Limits Lie? Combet v Commonwealth • David Bennett QC, Solicitor-General of the Commonwealth – The High...

Research report

7 Mar 2006

Australia needs a summit on federalism, writes George Williams, which should be charged with proposing a new deal for how the Commonwealth and the states divide power and money and govern the nation. Rather than promoting good government and enabling change, he argues, the present...

Research report

7 Mar 2006

Historically the components of the criminal justice system, police, courts and corrections, have acted separately, even though actions impinge on all sections. Michael Livingston, Anna Stewart and Gerard Palk describe a simulation model for assessing the short and long term impacts of policy changes across...

Research report

7 Mar 2006

Karina Anthony focuses on three questions about the political role of ethnic or racial minorities. To what extent are ethnic or racial minorities present in parliaments, and are they present in sufficient numbers to critically influence policy and decisionmaking? Do they necessarily behave differently in...

Research report

6 Mar 2006

Australia’s ‘tough on drugs’ policy has failed to significantly reduce domestic drug markets or confront drug-related mental health disorders, according to Andrew Macintosh. He finds that strict drug law enforcement policies have failed to dent illicit drug markets and have exacerbated the social cost of...

Research report

6 Mar 2006

This plan aims to improve the quality, affordability and fairness of Australia’s child care and preschools system. ACOSS proposes expanding Child Care Benefit, linking its value to the cost of good quality services, axing the Child Care Rebate and creating a national system which gives...

Research report

6 Mar 2006

In Griffith REVIEW 11 , Getting Smart: The Battle for Ideas in Education, Richard Teese argues that there is a need to rethink the role of disadvantaged school, and to see such schools as system innovators rather than the dumping ground at the end of...

Research report

6 Mar 2006

Will Sanders seeks to understand the role of being a senior manager in Indigenous community governance, particularly though not exclusively in remote Aboriginal communities. He argues against the tendency of analysts and would-be reformers of Indigenous community governance to focus on the competence and ethical...

Research report

6 Mar 2006

The social and educational disengagement of Indigenous youth, who see education and training as irrelevant to their lives and experiences, is a looming crisis for many Indigenous communities in remote Australia. Jerry Schwab explores a youth program in Canada, the Junior Canadian Rangers, which addresses...

Commentary

Article

3 Mar 2006

Does a strong economy mean the government can get away with almost anything, asks Geoffrey Barker

IT WAS a startling admission. “The most important external influence on the Howard government”, the senior Liberal said without a trace of irony, “has been Graham Richardson”....

Conference paper

3 Mar 2006

Denise Meredyth, Julian Thomas, Scott Ewing and Liza Hopkins summarise research on the social effects of computer network based in Atherton Gardens, a high rise public housing estate in Fitzroy, Melbourne. The aim of the project was to increase access to information and communication technologies...

Research report

3 Mar 2006

This report begins by examining what is, in the committee’s view, a fundamental question in the administration of the Migration Act – the nature of the Minister’s responsibility for the actions and administrative ‘culture’ of their department. It then assess the migration process in roughly...

Commentary

Article

2 Mar 2006

Only according to the Advertiser , write Geoff Anderson and Haydon Manning

“SOUTH Australians might as well not bother casting a vote on March 18 unless something changes quickly”. Why? Because the campaign “is barely causing a ripple”. That’s the view of Adelaide’s...

Commentary

Article

1 Mar 2006

This looks like being the closest election in a decade, writes Richard Herr

PREMIER Paul Lennon announced on 17 February that his Labor government would take Tasmania to the polls on 18 March. Although this was approximately six months earlier than absolutely necessary,...

Research report

2 Mar 2006

Since September 2003 the Parenting Payment recipients whose youngest child is 13 to 15 years old have been reuired to undertake one or more activities (such as job search, education, training or community work) to develop and enhance their work skills and prepare them for...

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

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 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...