Grattan Institute

Grattan Institute aspires to contribute to public policy in Australia as a liberal democracy in a globalised economy. Our work is objective, evidence-driven and non-aligned. We foster informed public debate on the key issues for Australia through both public events and private forums engaging key decision makers and the broader community. Twitter: @GrattanInst


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Floating the Australian dollar helped us flourish - but was no panacea to all economic ills. Image sourced from

The float Australia had to have?

The Australian dollar was floated this day in 1983. By 1985, it seemed to take on water, list badly, and sink. And that actually was the idea. The real exchange rate – roughly, the dollar rate, adjusted…
How much will getting rid of the carbon price save households? AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Axing the carbon tax: saving households, costing climate

With the government introducing legislation to repeal the carbon price today, people might be wondering how much they will benefit from reduced cost of living. The government has continued to claim that…
Potential changes to the ownership of student loan repayments could make reform of the system more complicated. Student loan image from

Don’t sell off HECS: reforming student loans could bring in real savings

According to the budget papers, Australian students and former students could owe the government more than $40 billion in unpaid Higher Education Loan Program debt by 2017. Unsurprisingly, HELP, formerly…
At this rate, it will take 65 years for Australians living in the country to have the same access to GP as their city cousins. Jason L Parks

Waiting for action on access to GPs in rural Australia

A new Grattan Institute report released today, Access all areas, tells a mixed story about Australians’ access to general practitioners (GPs). The good news is access is getting better in many parts of…
New South Wales needs to consider all the options to avoid a gas crisis. Flickr/mikeyp2000

Is New South Wales really facing a gas crisis?

The NSW Energy Security Summit being held in Sydney this week looks like turning into a debate on the relative economic and environmental credentials of coal seam gas, while at the same time exposing a…
New education minister Christopher Pyne wants to review the Australian university system because of concerns about declining quality. AAP/Julian Smith

Pyne’s higher education policy rethink should keep universities’ doors open

On the surface, Australia’s fourth and fifth ministers for higher education for 2013 - Labor’s Kim Carr and the Coalition’s Christopher Pyne - have political views that are many miles apart. Even by the…
Peter Dutton and Tanya Plibersek at the National Press Club where, like the rest of the campaign, the parties seemed to vie to be blander. Penny Bradfield/AAP

Bland is best? Bipartisan health platform left no room for policy

The dictionary has many words that could describe health policy in the 2013 federal election campaign – anodyne, soporific and vapid all come to mind. Australia’s health policy problems cannot afford the…
We all know what’s happened, but what happens next? Mitch Duncan/AAP

Election 2013 results and the future: experts respond

Australia has elected a Coalition government. So what will this mean for key policy areas? Our experts take a closer look at what’s in store for business, the economy, the environment, the National Broadband…
What would the role of government be if, as expected, Tony Abbott wins Saturday’s election? What do Australians expect of government in 2013? AAP/Alan Porritt

Election 2013 Essays: What is government for?

Election 2013 Essays: As the federal election campaign draws to a close, The Conversation asked eminent thinkers to reflect on the state of the nation and the challenges Australia – and whichever party…
Health minister Tanya Plibersek and shadow health minister Peter Dutton shake hands at the conclusion of the health debate at the National Press Club. Penny Bradfield/AAP

Health debate echoes past and shows no vision for more reform

Today, the National Press Club hosted a debate between minister for health Tanya Plibersek and shadow minister Peter Dutton. I went to Canberra for the show and what was outstanding about this debate was…
Worrying about the number of medical intern places means we have lost sight of health priorities. Al Power

Should medical intern policy just be about numbers of places?

The issue of training places for new medical graduates was again in the news last week when Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced A$8 million to expand medical intern places in rural private hospitals…
California isn’t just controlling its own emissions, but the emissions it benefits from. Kenneth Lu

California calling: Australia isn’t alone on carbon action

Australia will not be linking its emissions trading scheme to California any time soon. But Australia will have to increase its emissions reduction targets to between 15-25% below 2000 levels by 2020…
Public-private partnerships mean government s don’t have to pay the full capital costs of hospitals up front but they’re far from risk-free. Image from

Public-private hospital partnerships are risky business

Public-private partnerships for new hospital developments are again in vogue in Australia, with recent announcements that Sydney’s new northern beaches hospital and the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital…
The increase in medical graduates means there’s not enough internships to allow them to practice. So who is given priority and why? Doctor image from

FactCheck: are international medical graduates given priority over Australian doctors?

“At the moment, we’ve got international graduates who are getting preference over Australian doctors in some states.” - Australian Medical Association president Steve Hambleton, National Press Club Address…
Despite our anxiety, the world isn’t likely to end when the boom does. Wikimedia Commons

How we learnt to stop worrying and love the boom

The biggest mining boom in Australian history since the gold rush of the 1850s is about to change shape. The investment phase of the boom, which has seen A$400 billion invested in the last decade, is tapering…
We’re comfortable buying things we can touch, but we can get used to a market in intangibles. Jeremy Brooks

Can there be a ‘free market’ in carbon?

Many are puzzled by the political theory of carbon markets. Why does the Institute for Public Affairs – a libertarian think tank – oppose a market in carbon? Tim Wilson, for example, thinks that private…
A new report shows that universities that conduct a large amount of research aren’t necessarily better at teaching. Lecture image from

Is university research good for teaching?

Australian higher education is dominated by its universities, and therefore by institutions that have dual teaching and research missions. There is a long debate about whether these two activities complement…

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