Academics want to conduct blue sky research, but that’s not why people pay to go to university.
Knowledge for the sake of knowledge is important, but universities, as public institutions, have a responsibility to fulfil their public role too.
Australia needs a better guardrail to stop emissions increasing.
While the recent emissions reduction auction in Australia was a success, much more needs to be done to build an effective climate policy.
Australia has committed to a long-term global average temperature increase to no more than two degrees Celsius – yet often envisions a future in which its is a major coal exporter.
When it comes to climate change and Australia's economic future, different crystal balls can produce vastly different results.
Spending on infrastructure in the federal budget appears to serve mainly political aims.
AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
The two announcements in the federal budget beg the question: is a piece of infrastructure really needed or is it being built to buy popularity?
Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt at last year’s Green Army launch. Funding for the initiative has been slimmed down but is still more than A$700 million.
AAP Image/Britta Campion
The Federal Budget 2015 makes little mention of emissions reductions or renewable energy, but does feature funding boosts for drought assistance and the Great Barrier Reef. What else is in?
The shift in the government’s approach to budget repair requires a level of cognitive dissonance.
The budget trajectory relies on a lot going right at a time when the government hasn't seen many green shoots.
Billions were expected to be saved from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – but surprisingly the budget only outlines $252 million in savings.
The big surprise about this year’s health budget was what wasn’t there – billions of dollars in expected savings from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Students living overseas should have to repay their loans.
Overseas debtors should have to repay their student loans, but it won't recoup as much as repayments from deceased estates.
While more information on schools isn’t a bad thing, it won’t lift outcomes.
Expecting the My School website to improve learning outcomes assumes that parents will see a drop in results and move their child to the other school down the road - but markets in education just don't work like this.
The competition policy review is just another difficult conversation for the Abbott government.
Big reforms in taxation and competition policy are on the table for the Abbott government, but has it spent too much political capital to get any of them across the line?
Very high GP attenders cost Medicare an average of A$3,202 in 2012-13, compared to an Australian average of A$690.
As well as being responsible for a large share of total costs, people who visit the GP more often are more likely to live in the most disadvantaged areas, and to report being in poor health.
Expansion of the demand driven funding system would be a positive outcome for students, but an expensive one too.
In recent years higher education enrolments have surged. This is triggering many policy issues including ballooning student debt.
The 2015 Intergenerational Report gives only half the picture of health care spending.
The Commonwealth appears to have its health outlays more or less under control. The problem for the states, however, is dire.
Can NSW voters be persuaded to vote for power privatisation so soon after Queenslanders rejected it?
Stop the Sell Off
Consumers are fed up with power price increases and distrust power companies. Add in a strong anti-privatisation campaign, and it's easy to see how the facts have got so lost in the NSW election.
Women and older people form two ‘armies’ Treasurer Joe Hockey is hoping will help protect Australia’s future prosperity.
Experts question where the jobs for older Australians will come from.
Joe Hockey’s Intergenerational Report, though scary in parts, is basically a lesson in compound interest.
By bringing previous government policy into the Intergenerational Report, Treasurer Joe Hockey has overlooked many questions Australians want answers to now.
Christopher Pyne could separate some higher education reforms into a bill on their own, along with enough savings measures to make them budget-neutral.
It would be a great shame if trying to achieve too much in higher education reform meant that the federal government achieved nothing at all.
The slow pre-dawn commute on the M5 from western Sydney is more than a pain for these drivers: it comes at a high social and economic cost.
Our new analysis reveals nearly a third of full-time workers in Sydney commutes for more than 10 hours a week. Those workers are spending almost three full weeks a year just to get to and from work.
Non-concession patients may end up paying a A$30 to A$40 co-payment, not a A$5 one.
The Christmas-New Year silly season gave Australia three health policies. At the start of December, the policy from the 2014 budget was still on life support. But in mid-December, then-health minister…
Medicare reform must focus on increasing value, not just cutting costs.
World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr
The primary care reform debate of the last 15 months got off on the wrong foot. It was framed in terms of cutting government spending, with an overlay that consumers needed to bear the brunt of system…