Australia has struggled with policy reform over the past two decades. Policy failures abound, not least with climate change. What has happened to the country that was the OECD’s poster-child of reform through the 1980s and 1990s?
Concerns are growing that the failure of so many reforms is the result of decaying institutions and a hostile environment rather than just happenstance or indifferent leadership.
In this special Grattan Webinar Event, three of Australia’s leading policy thinkers will discuss what would need to change to improve Australian policy reform.
Martin Parkinson has seen policy debates and institutions evolve at first-hand for decades as the Secretary of the Departments of Climate Change, Treasury, and then Prime Minister and Cabinet. His recent publication, A Decade of Drift, analyses the twists, turns, and failures of climate policy. It notes how other policy areas from tax to innovation have struggled too.
Don Russell has worked closely with ministers and their private offices at both the federal and state level. He was principal adviser to Paul Keating during his time as Treasurer and Prime Minister, and subsequently served as Australia’s ambassador to the US. In his recent publication, Leadership, Don reflects on politicians, the political process, and the role of government, and suggests that Australians want their elected officials to lead.
Martin and Don will discuss the challenges for reform with John Daley, CEO of Grattan Institute for its first 11 years. John is preparing a report for Grattan that examines the institutional forces that have led some policy changes to happen and many more to fail, over the past decade.
This broad online discussion will range from the tales of hand-to-hand policy combat, to analysis of the big institutional forces at work. It will debate what Australia should do differently so that the next decade is better.
Dr Martin Parkinson AC PSM
Dr Don Russell