Government | Regulation

MEDIA RELEASE: Long term vision and political leadership lacking from public policy debate

The quality of public policy debate in Australia has significantly declined due to a lack of long term vision and political leadership, CEDA’s latest research report Setting Public Policy being released today highlights.

The quality of public policy debate in Australia has significantly declined due to a lack of long term vision and political leadership, CEDA's latest research report Setting Public Policy being released today highlights.

CEDA Chief Executive Professor the Hon. Stephen Martin said the publication provides analysis, discussion and rare personal insight from former prime ministers, premiers and senior public servants into policy and economic reform.

"The current failings in the public policy debate are increasingly attributed to the failure of individual political skills that inhibit true leadership," Professor Martin said.


"A lack of quality debate, leadership style and the relentless pursuit of the 24/7 media cycle are major contributors to why there is such a paucity in good public policy suggestions for ensuring Australia's continued economic expansion."

Professor Martin said while Australia has enjoyed economic prosperity for decades leaders must make the tough decisions to ensure the country's continued success.

"It is vital that whoever leads the country after the 7 September election commits to long term reform to ensure Australia's growth for future generations," Professor Martin said.


"Hard decisions must be made to deliver effective economic reform and policy management. This is especially poignant given the current debate about levels of government debt, Australia's taxation base and responsibility between the Commonwealth and States for delivering services such as health and education.

"We need strong leaders to make the tough decisions and lead rather than be pre-occupied in the 24/7 media cycle."

Australia's leading thinkers in this area who contributed to Setting Public Policy include:

  • Geoff Allen AM, National Chairman, CEDA; Director, ACIL Allen Consulting; and Founder and former Director, Allen Consulting Group
  • David Farley, former Chief Executive, Australian Agricultural Company
  • Professor Greg Smith, Chairman of the Commonwealth Grants Commission; Adjunct Professor, Australian Catholic University; and Senior Fellow, Melbourne Law School
  • Michael Stutchbury, Editor-in-Chief, The Australian Financial Review

This publication also includes excerpts of interviews conducted with former politicians and senior public servants:

  • The Honourable Steve Bracks AC
  • The Honourable Nick Greiner AC
  • Dr Allan Hawke AC
  • The Honourable Bob Hawke AC GCL
  • Dr Ken Henry AC
  • The Honourable John Howard OM AC SSI
  • The Honourable Jeff Kennett AC
  • Terry Moran AC

Download the full publication by clicking here.

The release of CEDA's Setting Public Policy publication coincides with a series of events being held across Australia. Setting Public Policy events are scheduled for Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart.

About CEDA

CEDA – the Committee for Economic Development of Australia – is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation.

We identify policy issues that matter for Australia’s future. We work to drive policies that deliver better economic, social and environmental outcomes for Australia. We deliver on our purpose by: Leveraging insights from our members to identify and understand the most important issues Australia faces. Facilitating collaboration and idea sharing to invoke imaginative, innovative and progressive policy solutions. Providing a platform to stimulate thinking, raise new ideas and debate critical and challenging issues. Influencing decision makers in government, business and the community by delivering objective information and expert analysis and advocating in support of our positions. CEDA's membership spans every state and territory and includes Australia's leading businesses, community organisations, government departments and academic institutions. The organisation was founded in 1960 by leading economist Sir Douglas Copland, and his legacy of applying economic analysis to practical problems to aid the development of Australia continues as we celebrate 60 years of influence, reform and impact across the nation.;