Government Spending

Governments spend taxpayers’ money on a wide range of programmes from education to defence and from welfare to infrastructure. Yet there can be too much of a good thing, and some government spending is just wasteful. How can we ensure that taxpayers are getting value for money?


Report Card on State Finances
Robert Carling
19 February 2017 | RR23

The Commonwealth government’s perilous financial position is well known, but the finances of state government also warrant our attention. In aggregate, since plunging heavily into deficit after 2007, the states’ fiscal position has improved markedly in recent years, marked by a return to net operating…

Politically-Feasible Health Reform: Whatever Will It Take?
Jeremy Sammut, Peta Seaton, Gerald Thomas, Terry Barnes
07 December 2016 | OP153

Despite the ever-escalating cost of health posing severe fiscal sustainability challenges, health reform has been dumped even more firmly in the politically too-hard basket since the ‘Mediscare’ federal election. A politically-feasible reform strategy is required to catalyse much-needed innovation in the health sector and deliver…

MEDI-VATION: ‘Health Innovation Communities’ for Medicare Payment and Service Reform
Jeremy Sammut, Gerald Thomas, Peta Seaton
02 November 2016 | RR21

Health Innovation Communities (HICs) would essentially constitute an Australian ‘Silicon Valley’ for health – hubs for research and development within which the proverbial 1000 flowers will bloom as a plurality of different providers create novel health products and solutions. The good examples and real world…

Mapping the Indigenous Program and Funding Maze
Sara Hudson
23 August 2016 | Research Report 18

There is much goodwill in Australia to improve Indigenous outcomes. However, too many programs are implemented because of their perceived benefit, rather than a rigorous assessment of what works. This research report maps the number of government and non-government Indigenous programs and potential level of…

The Role of Think Tanks: A Reply to the Critics
Jeremy Sammut
13 June 2016 | OP145

Because their aims are educational and democratic, what think tanks do and why they do it is entirely transparent: they ensure their research is publically available and seek to ensure it is disseminated via the media to as broad an audience as possible in the…

Media & Commentary

Guthrie plans changes while no one is watching
Rebecca Weisser
10 March 2017 | The Australian

You can take ABC managing ­director Michelle Guthrie out of Star TV but you can’t Star TV out of Guthrie. That’s good news for taxpayers. When Guthrie appointed Jim Rudder…

Aunty's future
Rebecca Weisser
10 March 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Aunty copped criticism this week for hiding its male stars as a way of celebrating International Women’s Day.  It seemed churlish when Australian men make such a sterling contribution to…

Do you have a right to a good job?
Simon Cowan
24 February 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

Advocates for a universal basic income (UBI) often cite automation and the rise of part-time and casual work as a reason to massively expand the welfare state by making unconditional…

State spending report card: As good as it gets for NSW and bad news for WA
Robert Carling
21 February 2017 | Australian Financial Review

Budget season has arrived, with all its speculation and anticipation leading up to a date in May. But let’s not forget as well as the federal budget there is a…

Report Card on state finances
Robert Carling
19 February 2017 | Media Release

If the states were a school class being marked on fiscal discipline and frugal government, Western Australia would lag the cohort with a C-, South Australia and Tasmania would score…