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T J Ryan statue Queens Gardens, Brisbane. (Image by 'Lachrymosus' 2005, courtesy Wikicommons images)

The TJ Ryan Foundation is a progressive think tank focussing on Queensland public policy. The aims of the Foundation are to stimulate debate on issues in Queensland public administration and to review policy directions of current and past State governments on economic, social and cultural issues. This website focuses on evidence-based policy, and provides links to a range of public accessible online resources.

What's new

In his Encyclical Letter On care of our common home the Pope draws on scientific evidence to support his appeal for the world to address the challenge of climate change.

'It is my hope that this Encyclical Letter, which is now added to the body of the Church’s social teaching, can help us to acknowledge the appeal, immensity and urgency of the challenge we face. I will begin by briefly reviewing several aspects of the present ecological crisis, with the aim of drawing on the results of the best scientific research available today, letting them touch us deeply and provide a concrete foundation for the ethical and spiritual itinerary that follows.' 

In Land clearing triples after policy ping pong Queensland academics raise the alarm about the rapid escalation of land clearing in Queensland since the Newman Government removed environmental controls. They point out the contradiction between the massive destruction of trees in Queensland and the Abbott Governments commitment to tree planting.

'In attempts to redress the damage done by past habitat loss, landholders across the country have been working for decades to replant trees and restore land. A national program seeks to plant 20 million trees over four years at a public cost of A$50 million. But this is dwarfed by the 50 million-plus trees lost to clearing in just one year, in one state - Queensland.'


In Coal and climate change a death sentence for the ReefOve Hoegh-Guldberg writes: 'The threat of climate change to coral reefs like the Great Barrier Reef is part of a major scientific consensus.'

John Quiggin, in 'The world is waking up to the 5.3 trillion cost of fossil fuels' estimates that global fossil fuel use is subsidised to the tune of US$5.3 trillion a year. 

The Courier-Mail has been promoting a 'Stand up for Carmody Club'. Given the TJRyan Foundation’s commitment to evidence-based policy making, it seemed appropriate to examine again the record (as opposed to the class prejudice argument and assertions - rather than evidence - of widespread public support).

Lest we forget, two former Queensland LNP politicians, in their review of the 2015 LNP election campaign provide us with the context of the Newman government.

In Newman's Poisoned Legacy two Queensland lawyers provide a performance evaluation of the Chief Justice.

 


In 1 William Street: Not the exemplar for Capital Works Dr Jon Stanford the Government's dilemma having inherited the long-term costs and poor planning of 1 William Street. He argues that the development of a long-term capital works program does not need to be shaped by short-term political stunts.

The current government has more pressing issues, such as the formulation of its first budget. Choices are often constrained by politicians' fear about the political consequences of changing tax arrangements.

One of our fellow Think Tanks, the interstate Per Capita reports startling news from its Tax Survey 2015 which suggests that the majority of electors are more sophisticated than many politicians give them credit for. Fairness is the key criterion.

In Road users must pay, sooner rather than later Michael de Percy writes that the idea of motorists paying for the roads they use beyond tolls, fuel excise or registration fees has taken hold in Australia: 'A user-pays system might replace existing fees with charges based on motorists' actual use of roads'.


On 4 June the Parliament passed legislative reforms overturning the Newman Government's changes.  This approval happened despite sustained criticism from the Courier Mail.

In Do unions really have free and unfettered reign? Linda Colley looks at union encouragement clauses, where they came from, and in what context they are now gaining media attention.


Dr Lyndon Megarrity writes: 'Between 1859 and 1915, politicians espousing progressive liberal values had incrementally raised the expectations of Queensland electors about the role which government could play in the social, industrial, electoral and economic affairs of citizens.  This essay traces the creation of the wider electoral environment which made the Ryan Labor government possible.' 

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Reports

Dr Lyndon Megarrity writes that between 1859 and 1915, politicians espousing progressive liberal values had incrementally raised the expectations of Queensland electors about the role which government could play in the social, industrial, electoral and economic affairs of citizens.


Dr Linda Colley looks at union encouragement clauses, where they came from, and in what context they are now gaining media attention.


Emeritus Professor Tom Cochrane writes: 'In May 1915, Queensland saw the election of the Labor government of Thomas Joseph Ryan, assuming office on 1 June. The next few years was an extraordinary age of reform and change in Queensland.'


In his 2015 Alexander Macdonald lecture, Roger Scott provides a case study of the role of trade unions working through community organisations to influence the outcome of the Queensland state election.


Peter Bridgman discusses dilemmas faced by policy officers, suggesting that institutions are very poor at addressing the tempting trilogy of compliance, complicity and caution - as opposed to 'frank and fearless' advice - and tend to ignore the dymanic of public policymaking. 


Dr Lorann Downer examines political leadership in contemporary Queensland, and the conclusions that can be drawn from Vote Compass polling during the 2015 election campaign.


Earlier TJRyan Research Reports can be found through this link


 
 

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