More procurement from SMEs to ‘boost innovation’

The Federal Government’s new report on ways to boost innovation in Australia has called for more government procurement from SMEs (small and medium enterprises). Government agency Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) has released a report, ‘Australia 2030: Prosperity through Innovation’, making 30 recommendations on how to improve Australia’s poor performance in innovation. On most international […]

PC Report on Government Services – Emergency Management

The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services (RoGS) has a section on Emergency Management. These are categorised as Fire and State and Territory Emergency Services (STES). Ambulance services are covered separately in the Health section of the report. Total government expenditure across Australia in 2016-17 for fire and STES services was $4.3 billion, around 1.9 […]

PC Report on Government Services – Approach to Performance Measurement

As the old saying goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Perhaps that is why the ‘Approach to performance measurement’ report is the first part of the Productivity Commission’s 2018 Report on Government Services series. This first component of the report focusses on the importance of measurement, the scope of the report, and methodology. […]

$60 million reef funding ‘will make little difference’

It didn’t take long. On Monday the Federal Government made a big deal out of investing $60 million over 18 months to “set in motion” a major research and development program for the restoration of the Great Barrier Reef. Within 24 hours the plan was attacked by environmentalists, marine scientists and the Greens as too […]

New report supports water return to lower Murray Darling

Opponents of releasing more water into the Murray Darling river system for environmental purposes have suffered a defeat. A new independent report says the plan to add 450 gigalitres (GL) annually to the 2750 GL currently released will be good for the environment and have overall socioeconomic benefits. The 300 page report was commissioned by […]

Carillion fallout gathers pace – ‘end the outsourcing racket’

  The public sector should provide public services, says UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. “We will rewrite the rules to give the public back control of their services,” he has said, in the wake of the high-profile failure of services and construction company Carillion, which has billions of pounds in government contracts. “Theresa May has […]

Councils go quiet over Adani airstrip controversy

In October 2017 Townsville City Council and Rockhampton Regional Council announced that they would jointly fund a $30 million airstrip for the Adani Carmichael coal mine in Central Queensland. The announcement was made even though the construction of the mine itself remains uncertain, and despite the fact that the airstrip is hundreds of kilometres from […]

Another City Deal pre-announcement – this time it’s Geelong

The Prime Minister’s southern tour is taking on the look of an election campaign. One morning it’s the promise of a City Deal for Hobart (noticeably devoid of any actual projects or funding), that afternoon it’s a re-announcement of Launceston’s City Deal, the next day after a hop across the Bass Strait Geelong gets a […]

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 […]

Union outrage over outsourcing of immigration services

The Australian Government’s move to outsource key visa functions has drawn a sharp response from the Commonwealth Public Service Union (CPSU). Although it came into existence only on 1 January, the new Department of Home Affairs has been quick to continue the outsourcing strategies of its predecessors, the Australian Border Force and the Department of […]

Generation Y – Local Government Needs You

  Local government has an image problem – not enough young people rate the sector as a career choice. If we don’t find a way to make our workplaces more inspiring, there’s a real chance we won’t have enough people to run our cities in ten years’ time. There are fantastic careers in local government, […]

Some regions are booming – others need ‘managed decline’

Government assistance to Australia’s regions has often been poorly directed, says the Productivity Commission in a major new report. It wants a more efficient system, which would admit that some regions are in decline and will remain so. The report, ‘Transitioning Regional Economies’ is the latest in a series of reports by the Productivity Commission […]

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 […]

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