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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

On 1 June 1915, Labor leader T J Ryan was sworn in as Premier of Queensland. His was the first majority Labor government in Queensland. There will be a celebration of this event at Parliament House on 1 June 2015, to be addressed by Bill Shorten, Leader of the Federal Labor Opposition, and Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland. Bookings are essential. RSVP by 28 May.  See details in attached flier.

In Coal and climate change a death sentence for the ReefOve Hoegh-Guldberg writes that 'The threat of climate change to coral reefs like the Great Barrier Reef is part of a major scientific consensus set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), as well as by federal government bodies such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). There is no credible alternative prognosis that has survived the peer-reviewed process of science.'

John Quiggin, in 'The world is waking up to the 5.3 trillion cost of fossil fuels' explains the link between the May 2015 report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), estimating that global fossil fuel use is subsidised to the tune of US$5.3 trillion a year (6.5% of global GDP); and 'the continuing decline in coal production and use in China, which began in 2014. The latest reports show April 2015 coal production in China was down 7.4% on April 2014.'

In his 'Digging Deeper' column Roger Scott considers whether the closely balanced parliament in Queensland is really a recipe for 'chaos'. Recent scholars suggest that this can be the future norm and may strengthen democratic values and public accountability.

Not only is this occurring in Canberra and Queensland, but it seemed possible (UK facing a multi-party coalition?) to be the outcome of the British election held on Thursday 7 May .

In The First Palaszczuk Government: Ministers, Portfolios and the Machinery of Government, Peter Bridgman writes that 'Like all incoming Premiers after a change of government, Annastacia Palaszczuk has built the machinery of government to suit her political and administrative ends.'  In MoG' decisions in: Shaping Government: a Guide to Machinery of Government in Queensland Bridgman explains what the 'Machinery of Government' is.  In his third article In Research Paper 26, 'If men were angels' he discusses some dilemmas facing policy officers.

Accountability, transparency and trust were a significant influence on people's voting choice in 2015.

In Why corruption demands unflinching action (The Conversation) Adam Graycar concludes his report on Australian anti-corruption bodies, 'Corruption is a real and tangible problem. It destroys good government and undermines social and economic goals and aspirations'.

This "word cloud" was generated from a survey of issues important to Queensland voters ahead of the 2015 state election.

Under electoral legislation passed on 7 May 2015, the threshold for declaring political donations was returned from the LNP government’s $12,800 to $1,000, the level set by the Bligh government in 2011.  Declarations will include the period from 21 Nov 2013.  Six-monthly reporting has also been restored.  

In addition, the requirement for voter IDs  introduced by the LNP government, was abolished.

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Reports

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.

Roger Scott considers the selection of public sector chief executives who will function as Directors-General in the newly constituted machinery of government arrangements. 

Peter Bridgman discusses the composition of the First Palaszczuk Government, and machinery of government issues.

Professor Linda Shields calls for a review of Queensland Health in light of the distortions in the system that have resulted from a target-driven focus.

Earlier TJRyan Research Reports can be found through this link


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