Productivity Commission savages financial regulatory system

Australia’s ‘Four Pillars’ banking policy is redundant, there is not enough competition in the insurance industry, and the banks are using their market power to gouge their customers. That’s what the Productivity Commission thinks. The independent government agency has released its Draft Report on Competition in the Australian Financial System. It does not paint a […]

Productivity Commission Report on Government Services – Overview

The Productivity Commission has begun releasing its 23rd annual Report on Government Services (RoGS). It is major exercise, with separate chapters released in seven parts over the next week on all areas of government service delivery. Government News will examine each report in depth. Our special Australia Day newsletter will highlight all sections released by […]

City Deal for Hobart – eventually

Tasmania’s capital Hobart will become the fifth Australian city to sign up to the Federal Government’s City Deal program, well after cross-island rival Launceston. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman have announced they will “help make a City Deal for Hobart a reality” – consistent with the Federal Government’s strategy of announcing […]

Public-private disaster unfolding in Britain

It has barely been reported in Australia, but it is big news in Britain. One of that country’s largest beneficiaries of government outsourcing, a company called Carillion, has gone broke. While the Government has refused to bail it out, the British taxpayer will still have to pay the pension liabilities and the continuing wages to […]

AMA and PHAA build anti-sugar campaign

The Australian medical Association is increasing its pressure on governments to ban the advertising of  junk food and sugary drinks to children. It also wants a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages “as a matter of priority.” Its call has been echoed by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA). Releasing the AMA’s ‘Position Statement on Nutrition […]

GST distribution report delayed

Treasurer Scott Morrison has announced a delay of more than three months in the release of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into how the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is distributed to the states. The distribution system, known as horizontal fiscal equalisation (HFE) has been widely criticised for giving too much to some states and too […]

Major new report compares Australia’s cities

The Australian Government has released its first National Cities Performance Framework. It is a major report that provides a snapshot of the productivity and progress of Australia’s largest 21 cities, including Western Sydney. The Government says it is the first official framework of its kind in Australia and “brings together critical data on our cities […]

Brisbane City Council and TechnologyOne resolve dispute

it just might be the shortest press release in the history of Australian local government: “TechnologyOne and Brisbane City Council  have resolved their dispute over the Council’s LGS Program. In good faith, both parties have now resolved their differences on a without fault basis. The terms of the settlement are confidential. There is no impact […]

Statistician had the numbers to win APS equality award

The inaugural Australian Public Service Diversity and Gender Equality Awards have been held. Winner of the individual award was Justin Lokhorst, Director of Construction Statistics at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The department/agency award was to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), the network award to ATOMIC (the ATO’s Making Inclusion Count LGBTI employee network), […]

New State Treasurers club to confront Feds

The Treasurers of Australia’s states and territories have formed a new Board of Treasurers, which pointedly excludes Federal Government Treasurer Scott Morrison. The new body is an initiative of NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, who said that the states and territories need to derive substantially more value than they are currently getting from the existing Council […]

Canada to buy old RAAF jets?

Australia could be the beneficiary of a growing trade dispute between Canada and the USA. The Trump administration is threatening to place heavy 300 percent import duties on Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier because US manufacturer Boeing says the Canadians receive unfair government assistance. Canada has responded by saying it will not buy US fighter aircraft, […]

Talk to doctors better, AMA tells states

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has written to all state and territory health departments urging them to use new guidelines it has developed to communicate better with the health profession. The AMA says the Guide will inform the development of policy and improve the standards of care being provided to patients. It has also been […]

NSW Councils to boost the ‘Night Time Economy’

Local Government NSW and four major NSW councils will hold a forum on the Night Time Economy.. They have formalised the term into an acronym – NTE. The forum will be held in the Parkroyal Parramatta hotel on 12 October (during the daytime). Details here. The forum is the first tangible result of a work […]

GST sharing needs a fix, says Productivity Commission

The Productivity Commission (PC) has delivered its draft report on Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation to Treasurer, Scott Morrison. It highlights many shortcomings in the current system and recommends a complete overhaul. Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation (HFE) is the term given to the sharing of GST revenues to the states to even out their fiscal capabilities. In practice […]

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