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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; review policy directions of current and past State governments on economic, social and cultural issues, and to analyse options for decision-makers; and assist policy-makers inside and outside government in developing progressive evidence-based policy.

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The TJRyan Foundation offers a source of commentary on public policy issues of relevance to Queensland, and links to other resources. Papers that have been removed from the Home Page can be found under ‘Policy Papers’ where they are broadly catalogued by topic area. There is also a 'search' function. 

In response to LNP criticism, Roger Scott emphasises the range of political perspectives of the Foundation and the wide cross-section of the invited audience at the launch at which the Integrity Commissioner, Dr David Solomon. gave the Keynote Address.

Loving coal and losing Nemo?

The Federal Government's draft Great Barrier Reef Long-Term Sustainability Plan has been in the headlines this week as it has been heavily criticised in a submission from the Australlian Academy of Science. 

The Australian Academy of Science introduces its submission (see link here) with the words: 'The reef is under ever increasing pressure, arguably made worse by recent policy and legislative changes.'

James Woodford, in The Guardian writes: 'The Academy of Science is right to call foul on the management of governments at all levels to cover up the reef’s problems and ignore solutions. The Reef 2050 long term sustainability plan fails to tackle the real action needed to allow the Great Barrier Reef to be the global marvel that it still is, and always should be.'

Reef scientists write in The Conversation: 'The future of the Great Barrier Reef depends on the Australian and Queensland governments taking their responsibilities more seriously than has been evident with some recent decisions. It also needs the Australian public and the global community to make it clear that they want the values of the World Heritage Area restored and to ensure those values are present for future generations.'

On 28 October 2014 the Queensland Government passed legislation increasing the penalties for 'wilfully harming the Reef'.  The Opposition questioned its sincerity: 'Over the past two years, the Newman Government has wound back important environmental protection laws put in place to reduce sediment run-off, protect the Reef coastline and amended the Abbot Point expansion plan so that all dredge material would be dumped at sea.'

The Prime Minister believes that coal is good for humanity. Senator Waters responds that 'While our Prime Minister continues to ignore reality, Australians understand coal is threatening our very way of life and our planet, with global warming, sea level rise and acidification and more extreme weather events.'

'Several avenues of finance have already been shut off to the $16.5bn project. Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Barclays all ruled out funding the development, before the US banks’ refusal. ... Citi and JPMorgan Chase said they would not fund any resources project within a world heritage area, while Goldman Sachs said it ruled out funding a development that “would significantly convert or degrade a critical natural habitat.”'

'Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises has hired Morgan Stanley to sell part of its stake in the controversial Abbot Point coal port in Queensland, even as the bank has expressed concerns about the environmental impact of the port's proposed expansion.' However, the proceeds will be used for expansion.

Experts react to the news that Palmer has reached a compromise with the Government over 'Direct Action' on carbon emissions. 

'In a 2010 speech after he was deposed as leader, Turnbull said direct-action style schemes were “a recipe for fiscal recklessness on a grand scale” and “schemes where bureaucrats and politicians pick technologies and winners, doling out billions of taxpayers’ dollars, neither are economically efficient nor will be environmentally effective”.' (The Guardian, 30.10.14)

"'There's no debate': 97 experts explain consensus on climate change." - President Obama's tweet in response to Skeptical Science's '97 Hours of Consensus'. Every hour for 97 consecutive hours, they published a quote from a climate scientist, as well as a hand-drawn caricature of the scientist.  They had a simple goal: 'communicate in a playful fashion the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming'.

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Reports

Emeritus Professor reports on the 2014 Australian Study of Parliament Group conference, and comments on papers including one by David Gibson MLA, member for Gympie.

Professor Tim Prenzler concludes that the Crime and Corruption Commission is a pale shadow of a world standard mature public sector integrity commission.

John McCollow suggests that to rebuild public VET in Australia will require a deep and careful examination of questions of first principles.

Roger Scott writes on the impact deregulation of university fees and other proposed changes will have on all Queensland campuses.  

Ann Scott reflects on two days spent at the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Estimates Committee hearings.  

Peter Henneken, AM, argues that there should be a significant rethink of Vocational Education and Training. 

Paul Boreham writes that Queensland trails the rest of Australia in spending on social policy and social services.   

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.  




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