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ANU experts: 2017/18 Federal Budget

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison has unveil the second Turnbull Government budget.
The Australian National University (ANU) has experts available to speak about the budget and its implications for Australia.
They can be contacted directly, or through the media hotline on 02 6125 7979.


Associate Professor Stephan Frühling
ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
T: +61 2 6125 5987
M: +61 431 866 920
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Australian defence policy, nuclear weapons and missile defence, NATO

“In relation to Defence, this budget contains few surprises. The Turnbull government is sticking closely to the 10 year spending path it laid out in the 2016 Defence White Paper, which will see Defence expenditure rise to 2 per cent of GDP in 2020-21. Considering that the previous two White Papers’ budget assumptions were hardly worth the paper they were written on, that is good news.  

“Two major defence programs, the Future Submarine and Future Frigate, will receive significant funding for design activities for the first time. However, a stable funding environment is only a necessary, not sufficient condition to successfully deliver an ambitious Defence acquisition program.  

“Having provided Defence the funding, Cabinet will have to now provide first and second pass approval to dozens of programs this financial year.”

Professor Rory Medcalf
Head of National Security College
Crawford School of Public Policy
T: 02 6125 7507  
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Security, defence and foreign policy


Henry Sherrell  
Research Officer
ANU Development Policy Centre
T: 02 6125 6411
M: 0423 315 250
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Immigration policy

“The Turnbull government has removed any reference to a Migration Program target. In previous years, a planning level was established, such as 190,000 permanent visas. This has been replaced with a reference to a ‘ceiling’.
“Some $410 million is being raised over four years via the introduction of visa fee indexation. This is a new revenue measure designed to cover large system changes within the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

“Another $1.21 billion is being raised over four years by charging employers additional fees to sponsor migrants. This revenue will help fund a new training fund, established by the Department of Education. The costs – between $1,200 and $3,000 depending on the size of business and type of sponsorship – will likely have a small negative effect on the total number of new skilled migrants coming to Australia. However, this is hard to quantify.”


Professor Lisa Kewley
Director, ARC Centre for Excellence in All-Sky Astrophysics in 3D
ARC Laureate Fellow
Research School for Astronomy & Astrophysics
T: 02 6125 8028
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Astronomy, astrophysics

“The Federal Budget allocation for a 10-year strategic partnership with the European Southern Observatory ensures that Australian astronomers will remain at the forefront of astronomical research for the next decade.   

“More generally, the new investment in advanced manufacturing and research infrastructure, including the development of new innovation labs and funding to continue the entrepreneurs program will help drive innovation and transfer of new technology to other fields.  

“A larger future workforce in STEM is critically needed in Australia.  I am very pleased to see the budget increases funding for schools and for girls in STEM, which will help satisfy this need.”

Dr Gaétan Burgio
Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease
The John Curtin School of Medical Research.
T: 02 612 59428
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Health, medical research, science

“The federal budget 2017 for Science, Technology and Innovation sends a mixed message to the research community. On a positive note, the federal government is committed to heavily invest in infrastructures, collaborative research or medical research such as $100 million for the infrastructure Research fund, $20 million into the Cooperative Research Centers (CRCs) or $66 million into the Medical Research Future Funds (MRFF).

“However, we see a decline in investment into research agencies such as the NHMRC, the ARC or the CSIRO, which are absolutely essential to fuel Research and Innovation.

“Together, this indicates the budget 2017 is orientated toward Health translational outcomes, research commercialisation or infrastructures, enables the participation of Australia into important international research programs but fails to further support bleu-sky research, which is key to the development of new ideas that will translate in the future into commercial and better health outcomes.”       


Dr Paul J Burke
Arndt-Corden Department of Economics
Crawford School of Public Policy
T: 02 6125 6566
M: 0421 083 933
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Climate change economics and policy, environmental economics

“The budget speech did not mention climate change, with climate policy seemingly on hold until the completion of a review later this year. No additional funds were injected into the highly-criticised Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). The budget would be in a better position if Australia had retained its former carbon pricing arrangement.”

Associate Professor Matthew Hole
Research School of Physics & Engineering
T: 02 6125 7606
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Physics, mathematics, electrical engineering

"The Australian government continues to poorly recognise the contribution of the University sector to energy research, and to research in general. This places at risk Australia engagement in international consortia attempting to find clean energy solutions for the planet, such as the ITER fusion energy project."  

Prof Andrew Blakers
ANU Research School of Engineering
T: 02 6125 5905
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Sustainable energy

Prof Ken Baldwin
Director Energy Change Institute & Deputy Director Research
Research School of Physics & Engineering
E: [email protected]
T: 02 6125 4702
Expertise: Energy policy, science policy


Dr Andrew Hughes
Research School of Management
College of Business & Economics
M: 0413 130 129
E: [email protected]
Twitter: @marketingandrew
Expertise: Political marketing and communications

“This budget was all about pressure – taking it off the Government and putting it on Labor.

“The scary thing really is that Malcolm Turnbull is only getting started. This is his first Budget with his stamp on it, and with perhaps two to go until the next election he has shown himself the master of the Long Game.

“This Budget also places pressure on the cross benchers in the Senate – if most of these measures are supported by Labor then they start to lose relevance and air time very quickly.

“Budget 2017 single handedly turns the political blowtorch and relevance on the two  Opposition Leaders Malcolm Turnbull has been fighting – over to you now lads.

“As noted in Games of Thrones – once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you – and so it is with Budget 2017.”

Emeritus Professor John Warhurst
School of Politics & International Relations
Research School of Social Sciences
ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences
T: 02 6125 3882
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Australian federal politics

Dr Jill Sheppard
Australian Centre for Applied Social Research Methods
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: (02) 6125 7898
M: 0407 052 927
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Australian federal politics


Professor Bruce Chapman
ANU Research School of Economics
T: 02 6125 4050
M: 0424 589 728
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Higher education funding


Professor John Hewson
Chair, Tax and Transfer Policy Institute
Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU
T: 0412 261 463
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Australian politics, economics

“Clever politics - designed to neutralise Labor - but risky economics. Government focus is now on next week's Newspoll. Budget surplus is 'assumed' - unlikely to be delivered.”

Emeritus Professor Bob Gregory
ANU Research School of Economics
T: 02 612 52192
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Economics, unemployment, wage inequality, international comparison of wages and employment, welfare reform and the labour market

Professor Warwick J. McKibbin, AO
Director, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis
Crawford School of Public Policy
T: 02 6125 0301
M: 0419 230 760
E: [email protected]
Expertise: The global economy, monetary policy, fiscal policy, climate change policy, trade policy, global demographic change, Asian economies

Professor Miranda Stewart
Director, ANU Tax and Transfer Policy Institute
Crawford School of Public Policy
T: 02 6125 5713
M: 0423 175 883  
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Tax law, tax policy, budget law

Emily Millane
Research Fellow and PhD Candidate
Crawford School of Public Policy
M: 0402 417 467
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Economics, taxation

Associate Professor Selwyn Cornish
Research School of Economics
ANU College of Business & Economics
T: 02 6125 3390
E: [email protected]
Expertise: International economics, economic history, macroeconomics


Professor Hal Kendig
Centre for Research on Ageing Health & Wellbeing
ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research
T: 02 6125 5625
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Population health

“The proposal to encourage older people to down size their housing through new rules on voluntary super contributions is modest but promising. A large home freed up and a move to a smaller infill house nearby benefits overall housing supply and urban consolidation as well as appropriate housing for older people.  

“But the financial encouragement applies only to owners with resources for super.  It does not address the more significant barriers in terms of stamp duty and local land use planning nor the needs of the many pensioners or private tenants.”

Professor Tom Faunce
ANU College of Law & Medical School
T: 02 6125 3563
E: [email protected]

“The changes do not target the most expensive items in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme- new patented drugs.

“The Abbott government abolished the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority which was tasked with negotiating lower prices on these new innovative drugs if they failed the science-based PBAC assessment. The PBPA should be restored.”

Professor Simon Foote
Director, John Curtin School of Medical Research
T: 02 6125 2589
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Science policy, medical research

Associate Professor David Caldicott
Clinical Senior Lecturer, Emergency Medicine
T: 02 6201 6810
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Drugs and alcohol, medical research

Professor Stephen Robson
ANU Medical School
T: 02 62823033
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Health

Associate Professor Martyn Kirk
National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health
ANU College of Medicine Biology & Environment
T: 02 6125 5609
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Health, medicine


Professor Simon Rice, OAM
Director of Law Reform and Social Justice
ANU College of Law
T: 02 6125 7845
M: 0408 088 024
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Human rights law


Professor Stephen Howes
Director, Development Policy Centre
Crawford School of Public Policy
E: [email protected]
T: 02 6125 7553
M: 0400 167 936
Expertise: Foreign aid, international development


Associate Professor Ben Phillips
Centre for Social Research & Methods
M: 0403929395
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Demography & population, Public policy, Economics, Employment, Social, Statistics

Mr Matthew Taylor
Research Fellow
Centre for Social Research & Methods
T: 02 6125 9215
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Parental leave

Professor Michael Platow
Social psychologist
ANU Research School of Psychology
E: [email protected]
T: 02 6125 8457
Expertise: Education, immigration, social policy, science


Emeritus Professor Sasha Grishin AM
ANU School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
M: 0450 529956
E: [email protected]
Expertise: Australian art

For media assistance call the ANU media hotline 02 6125 7979.



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