There has been a growing push for the Federal Government to introduce a universal school voucher scheme that results in government funding being provided on a per student basis to parents, which they could then use at a public or private school of their choice. This paper evaluates the available evidence on school voucher schemes to determine what impact they could have on education outcomes. An analysis is also provided of the likely cost of voucher schemes and the effect they could have on the distribution of resources between and within the government and non-government school sectors.
This piece focuses on domestic tourism assistance and event attraction within the tourism industry of states and territories. While the taxpayer spends over $245m annually on assistances to the tourism industry there is very little return. The only reasons that states and territories engage in the industry is because it is perceived as a zero sum game. If one state no longer invests in tourism they lose in comparison to another state. This money could be spent more effectively on the state based level, and not simply favour one specific industry.
There is a belief that Alan Jones can make or break elections. However on any given day Jones has 187,000 listeners, compared to 552,000 viewers of Nine National News, and nearly 1 million buyers of the Sydney newspapers. Those who do listen are disproportionately older, believe that the Coalition is doing a good job, and they do not agree on progressive issues consistently less than the national average. As such Jones has a limited audience and one that is entrenched in their political ideology. This means Jones has a limited effect on elections.
Concerns have been raised about the quality of care provided by corporate chain child care centres (see Australia Institute Discussion Paper 84). ABC Learning Centres is the largest corporate child care chain in Australia, providing more than 20 per cent of all long day care places. This paper reports the results of interviews carried out with 20 child care workers from ABC Learning Centres.
This paper outlines a radical new proposal to pay rebates to export industries adversely affected by greenhouse gas emission taxes thereby preserving the international competitiveness of energy-intensive exporters whilst maintaining the carbon price signal with the domestic economy. Implementation of the proposal would thus effectively remove the main argument used against the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, that of damage to our international competitiveness.
While there is a claim that new media is making Australia more pluralistic, there is little evidence to support this. 95% of people get there information on domestic news and current affairs from traditional media, compared to 3% from the internet. The most popular internet news sites are owned by the major traditional media outlets. The smaller blogs and opinion sites are also heavily influenced by the mainstream media. The pluralistic era of new media is thus not supported.
Recent public debate about the child care system in Australia has focused primarily on the availability and affordability of child care. This paper considers an aspect of child care that has received much less attention, that of the quality of the care provided. Results from a national survey of long day care centre staff suggest that the quality of child care in Australia is generally quite high - but that where there are problems, these are disproportionately concentrated in corporate chain centres.
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.