The purpose of the TJRyan Foundation website is to provide a source of commentary on public policy issues of specific relevance to Queensland, supplemented by links to resources also relevant to Queensland public policy.
The material on this Home Page changes frequently. Papers that have been removed from the Home Page can be found under ‘Policy Papers’ (see ribbon above) where they are broadly catalogued by topic area. There is also a 'search' function.
Major TJ Ryan Foundation Research papers are linked from the right hand side of this home page.
'The government changed the Minerals and Energy Resources Act on Tuesday (9.9.14) to remove the right to object to smaller mining projects under the guise of reducing green tape but at five minutes to midnight added another amendment that extended the changes to all mining projects statewide. The changes give the power of decision to a single man, the Coordinator General at whose whim the community’s right to question the environmental impact of massive new mines projects, like those in the Galilee Basin will now rest.' (Lock the Gate Alliance report)
Cartoon from Smile, It's Joh's Place 1982, reproduced by kind permission of artist, Alan Moir
Gautam Adani, the billionaire Indian magnate planning to ship millions of tonnes of coal through the Great Barrier Reef is facing accusations of massive exploitation of his Indian workforce - including underpayments and exposing them to cholera. Adani has won federal approval for what will be Australia's largest coal mine and a major port expansion in Queensland despite concerns over his company's environmental record.
The TJRyan Foundation held a forum at Parliament House on 3 September on 'Perspectives on Accountability'. Papers from the forum are being loaded under our TJRyan Research Reports as they become available.
'If Queenslanders want a free, fair, tolerant society, good governance and honest public administration, a sufficient number of voters must make it clear that they will decline to vote for any party which does not first satisfy them that it will exercise power only for the public benefit.' (The Hon Tony Fitzgerald, introduction to the 2014 Fitzgerald Lecture.)
Brisbane Times (19.8.14) report on youth unemployment. Queensland now has Australia's worst youth unemployment regions. Cairns, Ipswich, Caboolture, Redcliffe, Bundaberg, Gympie and outback Queensland are some of the hardest hit.
Alex McKean and Stephen Keim SC report in Independent Australia (20.8.14) that the Australian Financial Review has revealed 'that the largest single donor to the Queensland LNP was granted approval to dredge his Airlie Beach marina, close to the Great Barrier Reef, a week after making a donation of $150,000.' McKean and Keim report on this and other allegations.
The Sydney Morning Herald report (28.7.14) on the approval by the Abbott government of 'a giant Queensland coalmine that it says will generate as much as $300 billion for the economy, but which environmental groups say will contribute to a “carbon bomb” and risk causing significant damage to the Great Barrier Reef.'
Address to the Queensland Council of Civil Liberties by Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO. 'Queensland once again has a populist premier who finds some political advantage in skewing the balance between law and order, impugning the integrity and vocation of the legal profession.'
The ALP and social justice - Danielle Miller and Rae Wear suggest the ALP should make its position clearer: 'There is plenty of evidence that voters do not want to create a class of working poor.'
Peter Davis QC argues that it is imperative that judicial appointments are seen to be made at arm's length from the Executive, and are not bedevilled by controversy.
Ann Scott discusses the controversy over police statistics, and the harm done to evidence-based policymaking with the loss, under the current government, of reports such as the QPS Annual Statistical Reviews.
Dr Paul Williams' paper provides an overview and assesment of accountability under Queensland governments since 1989.
Greg Chamberlin, former editor of the Courier-Mail, describes the era in which Queensland was in 'freefall' towards the endemic corruption exposed by the Fitzgerald Inquiry.
Ann Scott reflects on two days spent at the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Estimates Committee hearings. Both the Attorney-General and the Police Minister scored high on rhetoric but low on evidence or accountability.
Peter Henneken, AM, argues that there needs to be a significant rethink of Vocational Education and Training policies. Written from the perspective of someone who has had long experience in the sector, the paper discusses shortcomings in current VET policies, and concludes with a series of recommendations.
Emeritus Professor Paul Boreham writes that Queensland trails the rest of Australia in spending on social policy and social services, just as Australia trails most of the rest of the developed world. Both levels of government seem reluctant to levy the taxes needed to overcome this discrepancy.
Professor Graeme Orr discusses the 'curious case' of Queensland.
Howard Guille discusses structural changes in the economy and legislative changes affecting workers' rights.
Reviews the operation of the institution of Parliament under Newman to the end of 2013.