Public policy debate about equality of opportunity in Australia currently centres around the distribution of disposable incomes and the role played by taxes and transfers. In contrast, this paper presents the available evidence on underlying structural inequalities of education, health, employment, housing and location. Based on international evidence, the paper argues that governments which address these underlying structural inequalities provide the foundations for not only more equal, but also more economically prosperous societies.
Prohibition has failed to significantly reduce illicit drug markets and has caused greater harm to society than it has saved. The evidence shows that a treatment-orientated approach to drug issues would be far more effective in reducing drug-related harm.
Over half of all Australians will not use, or give away Christmas presents. 21% of Australians will give a present to someone they don’t like. Because of this the piece recommends that the important social act of present giving should be replaced with giving to charity, as 73% of Australians would prefer a charitable contribution. To avoid waste over the Christmas time, presents should be changed to charitable donations.
The experience of the Democrats' GST/MBE deal suggests that the Nationals' Telstra agreement is likely to fail to protect the interests of rural and regional Australians and disappoint those in the National Party who believe it could protect them from an electoral backlash.
This piece raises questions around the handling of the funding for the Don Bradman Heritage Trail and the Australian Cricket Captains’ Walk projects. Firstly despite no application for funding being lodged by either of these projects both received funding. There has been no reason supplied as to why the Minister of the Environment has changed his opinion on funding several months after the deadline for funding applications had closed.