Public Policy

Through my work at The McKell Institute, I have authored and published numerous public policy reports and Government submissions covering a range of policy areas, including retirement adequacy, economic inequality, industrial relations, vocational education, trade, transport & infrastructure, and more. Selected publications are listed below:


2017

The McKell Institute, 2017. Guaranteeing Women's Super: How to Close the Super Gender Gap (forthcoming). 

One of the major inequities in Australia's economy is the gap in superannuation (retirement fund) earnings and accumulation between women and men. On average, women in Australia retire with around half the superannuation as men, placing a financial strain on them, but also on the Commonwealth Government in the form of increased age pension costs. This report identifies key determinants of the Super Gender Gap, and offers costed proposals aimed at reducing this inequity, and improving the Government budget over the long term. 

 

The McKell Institute, 2017. Unfair Burden: The Impact of Sunday Penalty Rate Reductions on Regional and Rural Australia'.

On February 23 2017, the Fair Work Commission recommended that Sunday penalty rates should be reduced for workers in the retail, hospitality, pharmacy and fast food sectors in Australia.

This report explores the impact the proposed changes for workers in regional and rural Australia, and the subsequent impact on regional and rural economies. It finds that collectively, regional and rural workers stand to lose around $667 million in disposable income, with regional and rural economies collectively set to lose at least $289.5 million as businesses shift money previously allocated to labour costs into other jurisdictions.

A write up on the report by The Guardian can be found <here>.

 

The McKell Institute, 2017. 'The Impact of the Fair Work Commission's February 23 Sunday Penalty Rates Decision'

In February 2017, the Fair Work Commission delivered a ruling on Sunday penalty rates, determining that low-income individuals who work Sunday's will receive a dramatic reduction in penalty-pay for working weekends. 

This report crunched the numbers, finding that almost 700,000 workers would be affected, that 55 per cent of these workers were women, and that the decision would further hasten the casualisation of the Australian workforce, increasing job insecurity and financial stress. It was widely cited in media and public debate in the wake of the FWC decision. 

A write up on the report by The Sydney Morning Herald can be found <here>.


2016

The McKell Institute, 2016. 'Choosing Opportunity: A Policy Blueprint for a Fairer Australia'.

Co-authored with Professor Richard Holden. Launched by Australia's Federal Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Bill Shorten MP at PWC, Sydney, in September 2016. 

'Choosing Opportunity' is a comprehensive, ambitious progressive policy document that diagnoses many of the long-term challenges facing Australia, and offers detailed policy solutions aimed at ensuring equality of opportunity is at the heart of reform. 

A write up on the report by The Guardian can be found <here>.

 

The McKell Institute, 2016. The Benefits of Increasing Apprentice Membership Across the ETU

This paper explores how improving the rate of apprenticeship-memberships in one of Australia's most important trade unions is essential for the union's future. 

 

The McKell Institute, 2016. Submission into the NSW Government Review into the Apprenticeships & Traineeships Act, 2001. 

In 2016, the New South Wales Department of Industry, Skills and Regional Development announced its intention to conduct a review into the Apprenticeships and Traineeship Act 2001, the legislation governing apprenticeships and traineeships in the states.

This report offers a detailed background to the issue, outlines trends in apprentciceships and VET in the state, and offers recommendations aimed at ensuring future changes to the legislation do not adversely impact safety or economic development in New South Wales.

 

The McKell Institute, 2016. 'Trading in Confidence'

This report examines Australia’s anti-dumping framework, the regulatory system that enables the Federal Government to monitor and respond to cases of predatory dumping in the country.

Predatory dumping, the act of a country or entity flooding a foreign market with excess products at below-market cost in order to limit long-term competition in that market, has been a challenge for the international trading system for generations.

A write up on the report by The ABC can be found <here>.

 

The McKell Institute, 2016. - 'Two Birds, One Stone'

Sydney’s population is growing and its suburbs are expanding, and the resulting strain on its public transport and traffic networks is fast becoming evident. While continual investment in new infrastructure is vital in meeting demand as Sydney grows, so too is harnessing existing assets within the community.

This report advocates for the use of existing community assets to alleviate transport pressure across the Sydney metropolitan area. 

"The independent public policy think tank today will launch a groundbreaking report aimed at solving commuter's biggest headache - getting from home to a public transport hub" - The Daily Telegraph


The McKell Institute, 2015. 'Submission into the Senate Inquiry into the Economic Security of Women in Retirement'. 

The issue of the gender gap in superannuation earnings and holdings is one the preeminent challenges in Australian public policy. Women, on average, retire with only half the superannuation holdings of men. 

This submission offers a suite of specific recommendations that if implemented would significantly benefit the economic security of Australian women in retirement, alleviate pressure on Australia's aged-pension system, and remove one of the major inequities in the Australian economy. 

The submission can be read <here>.