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Policy Monographs


Policy Monographs (PM) are pieces directly commenting on government policy, new programs or legislation.

  • The Kinship Conundrum: The Impact of Aboriginal Self-Determination on Indigenous Child Protection

    08 Dec 2014 | PM144

    This report argues that mainstreaming revolution in Indigenous policy should be extended to Indigenous child protection policy, and that Aboriginal exceptionalism—typified by the operation of Aboriginal... Read More

  • An Ounce of Prevention? A Toolkit for Evaluating Preventive Health Measures

    26 Nov 2014 | PM143

    How can a policymaker predict whether a preventive health program will save money over the long term? These eight questions will help guide any preliminary evaluation, whether the program in question involves... Read More

  • Regulating for Quality in Childcare: The Evidence Base

    05 Nov 2014 | PM142

    The report explores the evidence base for the recent National Quality Agenda reforms to childcare that mandate lower staff-to-child ratios and higher staff qualifications. The report finds that the benefits... Read More

  • Complex Family Payments: What it Costs the Village to Raise a Child

    06 Aug 2014 | PM141

    The report describes the family payments system (with a focus on family tax benefits and child care fee assistance) and analyses how the multiple programs overlap. It also explores how the phenomenon of... Read More

  • Lessons from Singapore: Opt-Out Health Savings Accounts for Australia

    28 Jul 2014 | PM140

    Singapore’s distinctive health funding and service provision arrangements have delivered comparable First World standards of care and health outcomes at much lower cost. A new vision for funding health... Read More

  • The Forgotten Freedom: Threats to Religious Liberty in Australia

    01 Jul 2014 | PM139

    When religious followers try to express their beliefs about topics such as same-sex marriage, they are frequently met with charges of bigotry and accusations of homophobia. Religious freedom in Australia... Read More

  • Overcoming Governance and Cost Challenges for Australian Public Hospitals: The Foundation Trust Alternative

    14 Oct 2013

    Adapting the UK Foundation Hospital Trust governance and management model to the Australian health system can improve the productivity and financial sustainability of public hospitals in conjunction with... Read More

  • Overcoming Governance and Cost Challenges for Australian Public Hospitals: The Foundation Trust Alternative

    13 Oct 2013 | PM137

    Adapting the UK Foundation Hospital Trust governance and management model to the Australian health system can improve the productivity and financial sustainability of public hospitals in conjunction with... Read More

  • Not Looking for Work: The Rise of Non-Jobseekers on Unemployment Benefits

    31 Jul 2013 | PM136

    Following the global financial crisis, the incumbent Labor government introduced policies that reduced the job search requirements for people on unemployment benefits. As a result, there are now around... Read More

  • A Fair Go: Fact or Fiction?

    09 May 2013 | PM135

    The Australian ideal of a fair go is fact rather than fiction. By offering all individuals the opportunity to capitalise on their ambition and natural ability, Australia’s dynamic and socially mobile... Read More

  • Panacea to Prison? Justice Reinvestment in Indigenous Communities

    31 Jan 2013 | PM134

    High Indigenous incarceration has elicited a long list of so-called solutions over the years. Yet the percentage of Aboriginal people in custody has continued to rise, and is now nearly double what it... Read More

  • The New Leviathan: A National Disability Insurance Scheme

    15 Nov 2012 | PM131

    The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been touted as the biggest social reform since Medicare. Currently, there is only a naive understanding of the scheme. This report makes the case that... Read More

  • How the NSW Coalition Should Govern Health: Strategies for Microeconomic Reform

    11 Jul 2012 | PM128

    In an ever-tightening fiscal environment, the focus of NSW health policy must be the microeconomic reform of the rigid, public service monopoly model of public hospital care. The adoption of market or... Read More

  • Indigenous Education 2012

    27 Jun 2012 | PM129

    Indigenous Education 2012 reviews the lack of progress by states and territories in improving Indigenous literacy and numeracy. It examines causes of Indigenous students’ success and failure, and the... Read More

  • Charlatan Training: How Aboriginal Health Workers Are Being Short-changed

    21 Mar 2012 | PM127

    Aboriginal Health Workers (AHWs) have been short changed. They have not only been provided with charlatan training but also sold a charlatan role. The amount of training they receive does not match the... Read More

  • Do Not Damage and Disturb: On Child Protection Failures and the Pressure on Out-of-Home Care in Australia

    03 Nov 2011 | PM122

    This monograph shows that the rising size, cost, and complexity of the out-of-home care system in Australia is directly linked to child protection failures. Children are entering care later and more damaged,... Read More

  • Working Towards Self-Reliance: Three Lessons for Disability Pension Reform

    05 Oct 2011 | PM124

    To successful reduce the number of pensioners on disability support, policymakers must apply the lessons of other welfare reforms. Disability pensioners must be categorised based on their ability to work;... Read More

  • Hands, Mouths and Minds: Three Perspectives on Population Growth and Living Standards

    19 Sep 2011 | PM123

    The long-run relationship between population growth and living standards has been a source of controversy among economists. This monograph examines three perspectives on the issue and argues that population... Read More

  • Selection, Migration and Integration: Why Multiculturalism Works in Australia (And Fails in Europe)

    01 Sep 2011 | PM121

    Australia’s migrants are extremely well integrated by international standards, particularly Europe. The reason why multiculturalism works better in Australia than in Europe may be Australia’s more... Read More

  • Alcohol Policy and the Politics of Moral Panic

    26 May 2011 | PM118

    New Zealand’s proposed liquor legislation marks a return to old attitudes towards alcohol regulation that perversely believe, in part due to dubious economic analyses, that placing restrictions on access,... Read More

  • Alcohol Restrictions in Indigenous Communities and Frontier Towns

    06 Apr 2011 | PM116

    The double standards applied to the enforcement of liquor legislation have contributed to the alcohol problems present in many Indigenous communities. For there to be a civil society, regulation (or controls)... Read More

  • Droughts and Flooding Rains: Water Provision for a Growing Australia

    31 Mar 2011 | PM115

    In the 2010 federal elections, the debate over Australia’s population surfaced once again. Groups concerned with the impacts of a growing population have focused on the life source of any settlement:... Read More

  • How! Not How Much: Medicare Spending and Health Resource Allocation in Australia

    16 Mar 2011 | PM114

    This report traces the evolution of Australian health policy and its consequences across half a century. The public hospital 'crisis,' a political nightmare for all Australian governments, is a legacy... Read More

  • Private Housing on Indigenous Lands

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013, Mark Hughes and Sara Hudson | 17 Nov 2010 | PM113

    Legislation and programs to introduce private housing and businesses on Indigenous land are flawed. Tenure of Indigenous land should be amended to 999-year head leases with the provision for sub-leases... Read More

  • Populate and Perish? Modelling Australia's Demographic Future

    Jessica Brown and Oliver Marc Hartwich | 07 Oct 2010 | PM112

    Since the publication of the 2010 Intergenerational Report, Australia has been debating its demographic future and whether it is desirable for the nation to grow to more than 35 million people by 2050.... Read More

  • The Rise of Religious Schools in Australia

    Jennifer Buckingham | 16 Sep 2010 | PM111

    Growth in the non-government school sector in Australia has been driven by religious schools, with the largest increases in Islamic schools and ‘fundamentalist’ Christian schools. This report examines... Read More

  • Indigenous Education 2010

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 20 Apr 2010 | PM110

    The 2009 NAPLAN literacy and numeracy tests confirm the continued failure of Indigenous education. The government's 'closing the gap' objectives will never be achieved unless real changes to policy are... Read More

  • Indigenous Employment, Unemployment and Labour Force Participation: Facts for Evidence Based Policies

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 10 Feb 2010 | PM107

    Professor Helen Hughes, Senior Research Fellow at the CIS and Mark Hughes highlight that Indigenous non-labour force participation is a much greater problem than unemployment. ‘Indigenous unemployment... Read More

  • Closing the Accountability Gap: The First Step Towards Better Indigenous Health

    Sara Hudson | 03 Dec 2009 | PM105

    Sara Hudson argues that the untargeted nature of government spending in indigenous health means that it is difficult to know what services the money is buying and for whom. Read More

  • Like the Curate’s Egg: A Market-based Response and Alternative to the Bennett Report

    Jeremy Sammut | 26 Nov 2009 | PM104

    The National Health and Hospital Reform Commission (NHHRC) has acknowledged the need to ensure health services are responsive to the needs of patients, and has recommended some very limited market-based... Read More

  • The Past is the Future for Public Hospitals: An Insider’s Perspective on Hospital Administration

    John R. Graham | 08 Oct 2009 | PM102

    Drawing on his vast experience, Dr Graham explains why the only future for public hospitals is to reclaim the best features of their past and reclaim their freedom from the clutches of the bureaucracies... Read More

  • Family on the Edge: Stability and Fertility in Prosperity and Recession

    Barry Maley | 16 Sep 2009 | PM101

    Barry Maley argues that unless family law and policies rapidly change, family stability and a buoyant birth rate will be at risk with implications for the ageing of the population in the long term. Read More

  • Why Public Hospitals Are Overcrowded: Ten Points for Policymakers

    Jeremy Sammut | 01 Aug 2009 | PM99

    Despite the billions of taxpayer dollars poured into the public hospital system each year, public bed resources are only two-thirds of the OECD average and well below international par in every state. ... Read More

  • Fatally Flawed: The Child Protection Crisis in Australia

    Jeremy Sammut | 25 Jun 2009 | PM97

    It is not underfunding or an overwhelming workload that has caused child protection services to fail the vulnerable children they exist to protect, it is the failure to investigate reports and remove children... Read More

  • Breaking the Cycle of Family Joblessness

    Jessica Brown | 05 May 2009 | PM95

    Solving the problem of high family joblessness will require reform of the welfare, tax, and industrial relations systems. Read More

  • Revisiting Indigenous Education

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 09 Apr 2009 | PM94

    Aboriginal and Torres Islander children in remote communities must not be viewed as ‘different’ from other Australian children. So long as cultural traits justify the removal of children from mainstream... Read More

  • From Rhetoric to Reality: Can 99-year Leases Lead to Homeownership for Indigenous Communities?

    Sara Hudson | 05 Mar 2009 | PM92

    The lack of private property rights on communal title land has prevented Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders from becoming homeowners. Read More

  • Radical Surgery: The Only Cure for New South Wales Hospitals

    Wolfgang Kasper | 27 Jan 2009 | PM91

    Wolfgang Kasper argues that the hospital malaise can only be remedied by removing the central, bureaucratic control of hospitals and creating opportunities for spontaneous, decentralised and customer-oriented... Read More

  • A Streak of Hypocrisy: Reactions to the Global Financial Crisis and Generational Debt

    Jeremy Sammut | 15 Dec 2008 | PM90

    Dr Jeremy Sammut says that ‘household savings have collapsed due to an unnecessary dependence on welfare handouts. A new era of thrift is overdue!’ Read More

  • Harmacy: The Political Economy of Community Pharmacy in Australia

    David Gadiel | 10 Dec 2008 | PM89

    The regulatory environment that governs community pharmacy has created one of Australia’s most protected industries. It is a beneficiary of government largesse and central regulation and control in state,... Read More

  • CDEP: Help or Hindrance? The Community Development Employment Program and its Impact on Indigenous Australians

    Sara Hudson | 02 Jul 2008 | PM86

    Established more than thirty years ago, the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) program has expanded to range from substituting for local government services to offering payment for housework... Read More

  • The False Promise of GP Super Clinics Part 2: Coordinated Care

    Jeremy Sammut | 20 Jun 2008 | PM85

    The report’s author Jeremy Sammut examines the evidence for the Rudd government’s plan to use GP Super Clinics to boost prevention of chronic disease and ‘take the pressure off public hospitals’... Read More

  • The False Promise of GP Super Clinics: Part 1: Preventive Care

    Jeremy Sammut | 06 May 2008 | PM84

    Dr Jeremy Sammut examines the evidence for preventive care programs to help make the Medicare system sustainable, given the demands of the ageing of Australia’s population, the rising chronic disease... Read More

  • Indigenous Education in the Northern Territory

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 07 Apr 2008 | PM83

    The causes of failing education—inequitable school facilities, inappropriate curriculums, and inadequate teaching—in Aboriginal schools are well known. Unfortunately, these causes have not been addressed... Read More

  • The Coming Crisis of Medicare: What the Intergenerational Reports should say, but doesn’t, about health and ageing

    Jeremy Sammut | 29 Oct 2007 | PM79

    The demographic and medical realities of the twenty-first century mean that Medicare can no longer provide every citizen with ‘free’ access to all the new medicine.  Without reform, healthcare in... Read More

  • The Organisation of Residential Aged Care for an Ageing Population

    Warren Hogan | 02 Jul 2007 | PM76

    At the heart of this new paper is the re-assertion of the need for a system of accommodation bonds. Hogan reiterates that a key factor limiting the supply of extra beds is the high cost of developing new... Read More

  • The Government Giveth and the Government Taketh Away: Tax Welfare Churning and the Case for Welfare State Opt-Outs

    Peter Saunders | 14 May 2007 | PM74

    Australians are more prosperous than ever before, so the number of people needing government assistance should be falling. Yet the welfare state keeps getting bigger. The book explores this paradox. It... Read More

  • Reform 30/30: Rebuilding Australia’s Tax and Welfare Systems

    John Humphreys | 25 Nov 2005 | PM70

    John Humphreys has a vision of how the tax and welfare systems could be refashioned to break through the dispiriting problems that currently bedevil them. It is for those who reject this vision to put... Read More

  • The Taxation of Shared Family Incomes

    Terry Dwyer | 29 Apr 2004 | PM61

    Terry Dwyer’s paper makes a compelling case for recognising family income sharing for tax purposes, and his arguments and proposals should be central to any future discussion of how to achieve a fairer... Read More

  • Schools in the Spotlight. School Performance Reporting and Public Accountability

    Jennifer Buckingham | 03 Mar 2004 | PM59

    Buckingham calls for a consistent, fair and meaningful system of reporting and publishing comparative school performance, making schools accountable not only to government, but also to the public who pays... Read More

  • Divorce Law and the Future of Marriage

    Barry Maley | 02 Mar 2004 | PM58

    No-fault divorce law has precipitated marital instability in Australia, discouraging people from marrying, staying together, acting to support their spouses and having children. According to respected... Read More

  • Poverty in Australia: Beyond the Rhetoric

    Peter Saunders | 01 Mar 2004 | PM57

    This report challenges prevailing definitions and measurements of poverty, and calls for an alternative strategy for poverty alleviation based on American-style welfare reform, lower taxation and job creation. Read More

  • The Unchained University

    Andrew Norton | 19 Nov 2002 | PM56

    Australia's universities are not preparing students adequately for their futures.  Report author and higher education expert Andrew Norton argues that universities are failing students in several ways. Read More

  • Immigrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers : A Global View

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 26 Jun 2002 | PM54

    A worldwide excess of demand for immigration means that Western countries cannot accommodate more than a small proportion of immigrants without severe social dislocation, says Helen Hughes. The world has... Read More

  • Family and Marriage in Australia

    Barry Maley | 25 Jun 2002 | PM53

    The growing instability of the nuclear family is a fundamental cause behind a great deal of juvenile crime, youth suicide and poor school performance.  The report - Family and Marriage in Australia... Read More

  • Families Freedom and Education: Why School Choice Makes Sense

    Jennifer Buckingham | 24 Jun 2002 | PM52

    Parents have been demonstrating their increasing lack of faith in the public education system for decades, as reflected in the steady drift in student enrolments away from the state school sector toward... Read More

  • The Art of Corporate Governance: a return to first principles

    Samuel Gregg | 23 Jun 2002 | PM51

    Calls for big business to be more ‘ethical’ and ‘socially responsible’ have never been louder, nor more misguided.  Samuel Gregg argues these calls come at a time ‘when the public understanding... Read More

  • Taxing the family : Australia's forgotten people in the income spectrum

    Lucy Sullivan | 22 Aug 2001 | PM50

    Over the last two decades, the tax burden has shifted from taxpayers without to taxpayers with dependent children.  While social security expenditure on welfare dependency has risen, spending on family... Read More

  • Beyond the Classroom : how parents influence their children's education

    Alison Rich | 30 Aug 2000 | PM48

    Parents are crucial to the academic success of their children. The report, Beyond the Classroom: How Parents Influence Their Children’s Education, argues that factors ranging from parents’ educational... Read More

  • Boy Troubles: Understanding Rising Suicide, Rising Crime and Educational Failure

    Jennifer Buckingham | 14 Jun 2000 | PM46

    Australian boys are at greater risk of doing badly at school, participating in juvenile crime, and committing suicide. The root of these problems are cultural and institutional,' says report author Jennifer... Read More

  • Behavioural Poverty

    Lucy Sullivan | 09 Apr 2000 | PM45

    The welfare debate is bedeviled by the failure to distinguish behavioural from financial poverty. The minimum income available to families on welfare are commensurate with those of families on average... Read More

  • Children's Rights : Where the Law is Heading and What it Means for Families

    Barry Maley | 05 May 1999 | PM43

    Barry Maley cautions that while children are citizens entitled to the protection of the state, he believes that some recent moves to secure this protection may actually be counterproductive. Read More

  • Social Capital Stories: How 12 Australian Households Live their Lives

    Martin Stewart-Weeks | 05 Apr 1999 | PM42

    Social capital - the network of informal social connections that helps to hold communities together - is often reported to be in decline. But is it?   Read More

  • Rising Crime in Australia

    Lucy Sullivan | 15 Feb 1998 | PM39

    Rising Crime in Australia provides a long-term perspective on crime.  For much of the twentieth century crime rates were in decline or stable, but have risen alarmingly since the 1970's. Read More

  • Taking Education Seriously - A Reform Program for Australia's Schools

    Ken Gannicott | 16 Sep 1997 | PM38

    Australia's schools are much criticised by students, parents and employers. Despite significant increases in educational expenditure, satisfaction with performance has declined. Read More

  • Working Youth:Tackling Australian Youth Unemployment

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 01 May 1996 | PM34

    Working Youth proposes reforms to the labour market and educationthat would begin the task of creating jobs for Australia's young people. Read More

  • Affirmative Action: The New Discrimination

    Gabrielle Moens | 18 Dec 1985 | PM8

    Gabriel Moens finds that the philosophical and practical ramifications of such 'affirmative action' may be worse than the original complaint. Read More

  • Free to Shop

    Geoff Hogbin | 18 May 1983 | PM 4

    Shopping hours and standards in Australia are far behind those of other countries. The trend of Governments in other countries has been to deregulate trading hours, not to control them further as in Australia."There... Read More