Government | Regulation

Same policy hurdles will exist after 7 September election

The next government will continue to face the same issues when it takes office, an audience was told at the state launch of CEDA’s latest publication Setting Public Policy.

The next government will continue to face the same issues when it takes office, an audience was told at the state launch of CEDA's latest publication Setting Public Policy.

President of the Institute of Public Administration Terry Moran believes problems will still exist for the development of public policy after the 7 September election.

"Don't think that an election victory by either side will magically transform the opportunities of major public policy reform in Australia," he said.

Speaking on the issues facing reform, Mr Moran highlighted federation, the economic situation and government structure as key problems.

"After whoever wins on September 7 gets over their election night hangover they're going to wake up to the same macroeconomic situation, the same federation issues including the most extreme fiscal imbalance in the world of federated states and probably the same senate issues," he said.

Mr Moran also said the recent government was actually more successful at implementing reforms than is often portrayed.

"I think the 43rd parliament wasn't as big a disaster as some choose to describe it," he said.

"Yes there was lots of shouting and frankly nastiness from both sides but equally there was eventually bipartisan agreement on Gonski.

"There was also the introduction of the NDIS which is a significant economic and social reform."

On the public service, Mr Moran said it plays an important role in developing policy for both sides of government and has a positive future

"I'm optimistic about the future of the public service reform in Australia," he said.

"I'm cautious about the future of public policy reform in Australia as well."

Mr Moran's sentiments were echoed by the Former NSW MP, the Hon. Peter Collins who described the energy new people can bring to government after elections.

"You can do a lot with that momentum, that mandate behind you, but waiting for you are all the problems. The same old problems," he said.

Speaking about the Federal election campaign, Mr Collins highlighted key areas which are not been discussed including constitutional reform, population, strategic resources, energy and defence.

"What we are seeing in this federal election…is a narrow political debate with very narrow boundaries," he said.

He also highlighted the role of the media in excluding important issues from the debate.

"This is a media skewed agenda which is been debated in this campaign and that is why it is critical for there to be proper ongoing debate about public policy," he said.

Mr Moran also mentioned this as an issue for politicians who are grappling with the 24 hour media cycle.

"The political class within our society are struggling to actually try and sustain debates on the range of issues that are important and affect the community…it's the media drive by a particular imperative," he said.

Both Mr Moran and Mr Collins said the next political leader of Australia must implement reforms to deal with the economy's structural adjustments as has been done for the past 30 years by previous governments.

Read more about Setting Public Policy here.