The TJ Ryan Foundation is a progressive think tank focusing on Queensland public policy. The aims of the Foundation are to stimulate debate on issues in Queensland public administration and to review the policy directions of current and previous State governments on economic, social and cultural issues. This website focuses on evidence-based policy, providing access to our own freely available research and links to a range of online resources.
John Quiggin wrote in The Guardian: 'The announcement by Standard & Poors that Australia’s AAA credit rating was to be placed on a negative outlook was widely greeted as a harbinger of doom. In reality, however, the loss of the AAA rating would have almost no effect on our economy. More importantly, the central importance placed on the AAA rating by Australia’s political class has seriously distorted our economic policy debate.'
Roger Wilkins observed: 'Poverty in Australia has declined, welfare reliance has stabilised and long-term poverty is becoming rare - but overall economic wellbeing is no longer improving, and households wealth has remained static ... there is a rapidly growing wealth divide between generations, with median wealth increasing by 61% among people aged 65 and over, compared to just 3.2% among people aged 25 to 34, since 2001.'
Alan Pears commented: 'One of the most notable moves in yesterday’s cabinet reshuffle was Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to merge the environment and energy portfolios, and hand them both to current energy minister Josh Frydenberg. ... Often when two agencies are combined, the culture of one dominates. In this case, it will hinge on the agenda chosen by Frydenberg, Turnbull, and the government as a whole.'
Fiona Armstrong, along with Nobel Laureate and Queensland medical researcher, Professor Peter Doherty, asserted: 'As the new Australian parliament takes the reins, health groups are moving to ensure that health minister Sussan Ley addresses a major health threat in this term of government: climate change. Largely ignored by successive federal governments, the health risks from climate change are increasingly urgent.'
TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, Paul Rodan, surmised that, after a long campaign and a long vote count, the result isn’t so surprising after all: 'Queensland and Western Australia maintained their reputations as electoral deserts for federal Labor. Only three times since 1949 has it secured a majority of the two-party vote in Queensland, and just four times in Western Australia (three of those down to Bob Hawke).'
In a post-election analysis in The Guardian, Jason Wilson observed: 'There’s been the usual amount of lazy commentary since the election about Queensland’s electoral backwardness. It’s far better to see the state as a national early warning system. This is what political frustration in a low-growth, post-boom economy with a popped real estate bubble looks like. This is one of the nation’s possible futures.'
Tony Moore reported in the Brisbane Times: 'In one simple paragraph, Commissioner Margaret Wilson revealed one of Queensland's saddest health policy bungles since the Health payroll disaster began to unravel in 2007. ... The flawed decision-making involved the failure to provide mental health care to "some of the most vulnerable Queenslanders"; troubled teenagers who for 30 years had used Wacol's Barrett Adolescent Centre.'
The Guardian reported: 'The state government announced it would adopt all 27 recommendations from a review into the US-based direct instruction model taught at Aurukun’s Cape York Aboriginal Academy after violent attacks and threats against teachers prompted them to evacuate the community. ... The review found the rigid direct instruction curriculum, heavily focused on numeracy and literacy, did not emphasise culture or students' first language, Wik.'
John McCollow provides an overview of the recent review that has resulted in some significant changes to the Queensland system, but suggests it is unlikely that these changes will put an end to the long-running debate about senior secondary assessment in Queensland.
Lyndon Megarrity examines the contribution to public policy of one Australian who 'embodied the sense of national urgency surrounding Northern Australia in the 1960s more than anyone else': the late Dr Rex Patterson.
Roger Scott and Howard Guille provide an assessment of the first year in office of the Palaszczuk Government.
Howard Guille examines the relationship between unions, the ALP and government, a relationship not well understood 'and even deliberately misunderstood'.
Geoff Edwards discusses infrastructure planning and the poor economic value added by many 'hard' infrastructure projects in contrast to the value created by 'soft' forms of infrastructure such as scientific research, information management, and land repair.
Clive Moore remembers the 'invasion' debate raging 20 years ago, and provides a historical perspective on the current controversy.
An edited collection of TJRyan Foundation research papers and commentaries covering the Newman Government's years in office, and including 2015 post-election analyses.
All TJRyan Research Reports can be found through this link.