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Housing taxes: getting from here to there

A shift to a property tax will make the housing market fairer and more efficient, and researchers have come up with a practical way to do it, writes Peter Mares.

In search of a national housing strategy

Canada is showing the way on housing policy, but the funds in Australia need to start flowing — and that means biting the bullet on tax, writes Peter Mares.

The permanent shift to temporary migration

A serious debate about this fundamental shift in policy has barely begun, writes Peter Mares on our partner website, INSIDE STORY

A routine removal

The Auditor-General has concluded that Australia’s immigration compliance arrangements are 'arguably the most effective of any country in the world'. Yet the federal government's preoccupation with border security remains undiminished. In this essay from the 'In the Neighbourhood edition' of the Griffith Review, Peter Mares...

Prepping pollies

When 12 new Senators arrive in Canberra next week, they'll be entering the chamber without the benefit of having had a full orientation to parliament for the first few days of sittings. When 12 new Senators arrive in Canberra next week, they'll be entering the...

Climate politics

The recent Productivity Commission report on Carbon Emission Policies in Key Economies boosted the Government's arguments for a carbon price. It commissioned the work for the Multi-Party Committee on Climate Change, a parliamentary group which is discussing the carbon price. The Commission concluded that putting...

Defence turf war could spark restructure

Report after report into Australia's defence bureaucracy has revealed a culture which is dysfunctional and prone to making mistakes. Expensive mistakes: billions of dollars have been spent on military hardware which have been an ongoing headache for the country's top military brass and their political...

NT local government voting system 'perverse'

The Northern Territory has been advised to change its system for electing local governments before elections are held in March next year. An expert review, commission by the NT government, warns that the current method of vote counting produces results that are extremely lopsided, perverse...

Plenty of ideas, not much money

The federal government made it clear at the National Housing Conference that significant new spending isn’t likely.

Has super delivered?

The Federal Government is planning big changes to compulsory superannuation. It wants to lift the contribution rate from 9% to 12% and it's introducing MySuper, a simplified, low-cost investment option which is meant to meet the needs of most Australian workers who choose the default...