ANU EXPERTS: 2018/19 Federal Budget

Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison will unveil the third Turnbull Government budget on 8 May.
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.

Professor John Hewson
Chair, ANU Tax and Transfer Policy Institute
ANU Crawford School of Public Policy
T: 0412 261 463
Expertise: Australian politics, economics
“The annual Budget has become increasingly political over the years, but the Budget to be delivered next week will be the ‘mother’ of all political Budgets. 

“With Turnbull having ‘lost’ 31 Newspolls, and the Abbott/Turnbull Governments over 60, and with the prospect of an election later this year even perhaps as early as August/September, many in the Government see this as their last chance to turn things around, to shift voter sentiment in their favour.”

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

“It is important that the 2018/2019 budget does not repeat the errors that governments have made over the past 15 years of making permanent spending and tax commitments based on temporary increases in revenue. 

“The budget should not be about short-term politics. It should outline a clear vision of the long-term direction for the Australian economy, acknowledge the many serious risks in the global and domestic economies and put in place the policies that will raise the living standards of all Australians over time.”

Professor Robert Breunig
Director, ANU Tax and Transfer Policy Institute
ANU Crawford School of Public Policy
T: 02 6125 2148
Expertise: Tax, labour economics, welfare

“Australia’s tax system is facing a crisis.  The tax system is not well-positioned to deliver well-being for our future.  The system is inadequate, unsustainable, overly complex and unfair.
“There are some reasons to like personal income tax cuts.  However, be suspicious of arguments that lower income taxes will pay for themselves through higher government revenue in the short run. 

“There is simply no evidence for this.  Research from the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute suggests that achieving an increase in declared, taxable income of one per cent at the top marginal rate in Australia would require decreasing the marginal tax rate by six percentage points.”  

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


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

“Budgets are always political and this one, which will be the last budget before the next federal election will be exceptionally political for that reason, with an eye on votes.”

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
Expertise: Australian federal politics

“Recent budgets have failed to capture voters’ attention, and this one will likely go the same way. If the Prime Minister is genuinely gearing up for an early election this budget represents his last chance to pitch his vision for the next four years. However, given the government’s preference for ‘small target’ politics, that pitch may look more like business as usual.”

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

“Budgets are a key part of the political brand now: they engage, reward, and position the government. So what this budget says will also say a lot about the brand the government is building for 2018 and the next election.

"The Turnbull brand is fast running out of time - internally and externally. So this Budget needs to under-promise and over-deliver to reset the progressive brand that Malcolm Turnbull has so far failed to give those who have voted for him.

"The Labor brand needs to see this year's Budget as a chance to position themselves firmly in the minds of voters as being the next government. Not through opposing the Coalition but by offering a clear vision of how they will fund their version of the next Government.”


Professor Anna Moore
Member of the government’s Expert Reference Group
Director, Advanced Instrumental Technology Centre (AITC) 
T: 02 6125 4724
M: 0409 777 776

“As a member of the Expert Rerefence Group, I’m very happy to see this level of investment to start Australia’s space agency. This reported investment is sufficient to appropriately grow the agency, establish international partners, and to provide seed funding for current and new business focusing on space activities here in Australia.

“Australia has a lot to offer in the space area through existing capabilities and geography. Through establishment of this agency Australia can reap the reward possible via the $400 billion a year global space market.

“ANU has established capabilities in space and has been working in this arena for many years. ANU hosts the national space test facility at Mount Stromlo. ANU groups are participating in the NASA missions including the GRACE Follow-on, joint missions with JAXA, and the LIGO research into gravitational waves. ANU is ready to work alongside the Australian space agency in the years to come”.

Professor Matthew Colless
ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
T: 02 6125 0266

“Government funding for an Australian space agency is good news for the country and for the national space industry. It is a positive first step towards developing a capacity that Australia will certainly need in the 21st century. 

“The ANU looks forward to the opportunity of working with the new space agency in providing research and policy advice. Mount Stromlo offers key facilities for Australian companies and universities that are looking to develop space capabilities. 

“The ANU is also training young Australians in the skills the country will need if we are to succeed in exploiting the last open frontier. We warmly welcome this important and exciting development.”

Dr Brad Tucker
ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
T: 02 6125 6711
M: 0433 905 777

“A Space Agency is more than just building big missions to far away places, it is solving real world problems in our every-day lives.  This investment from the Australian government is a commitment to Australia’s future.  

“I am excited to see what the future of the Australian Space Agency holds and what it holds for Australia.  Here at ANU, we are planning big things and looking forward to being a national resource for Australia on Earth and in Space.”

Professor Christine Charles
Head of the Space Plasma, Power and Propulsion Laboratory
Centre for Plasmas and Fluids
ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering
T: 02 6125 8068

"Small satellites have become increasingly important in servicing the requirements of space communications, space technology development and pure scientific research. 

“For the past 20 years ANU has been developing key satellite technologies and advanced testing infrastructure in collaboration with industry (Airbus Europe, Lockheed Martin in the US), space agencies (ESA and NASA) and many universities worldwide. We are ready to further develop these within an Australian Space Agency."

Professor Daniel Shaddock
Department of Quantum Science
ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering
T: 02 6125 2810
M: 0402 783 342

“Despite having technology and talent that is on par with the best in the world, it can be an enormous challenge for Australians to partner in international space missions. 

“The announcement of an Australian Space Agency goes a long way to removing these barriers and will unlock the potential of a generation of scientists and engineers.”

Professor John Close
Head, Department of Quantum Science 
ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering
T: 02 6125 4390

“The Australian Space Agency is an important investment in Australia’s future. It will provide opportunity, impetus and focus for experts across Australia in academia, government and industry to develop Australian research, innovation and industry in space technologies. 

“It will contribute to Australia’s human capital through the training of a new generation of scientists and technologists with a focus on space and through the further development of national and international collaborations and networks with a focus on space technologies.”

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
Expertise: Astronomy, astrophysics

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


Dr Jacinta Carroll
Director, National Security Policy 
ANU National Security College
T: 02 6125 5531
Expertise: Defence policy, national security

“It is likely that there will be proposals relating to the newly established Department of Home Affairs and the new Office of National Intelligence, which will be established in the new year.”

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


Dr Liz Curran
Associate Professor of Law 
ANU College of Law
T: 0404 106 614
Expertise: Expert Adviser to a review of access to justice in Australia currently being undertaken by the Law Council of Australia. The final report of the Justice Project is due later this year. 

“The Law Council of Australia has heard first-hand of the suffering of ordinary people across Australia in evidence gathered by the Law Council of Australia; we’re seeing inadequate responses to family violence, homelessness and secure employment.    

“On the service side, a progress report from The Justice Project released in March, documented an overloaded, understaffed, over-worked court system, where waiting times in the Family Court stretch up to three years leaving families in limbo and sometimes at risk. 

“The report estimates that, as a minimum, an additional $390 million per annum is required just to get the legal assistance system - whose services assist the most poor and disadvantaged in society - back on its feet.

“The Federal Government needs to commit to this funding in its upcoming budget if we are to begin to repair a broken legal system which is failing the most vulnerable in our society.”



Dr Liz Hanna
ANU Climate Change Institute
E: 02 6257 6141
Expertise: Climate change, environment

“The 2018 Federal Budget must position Australia to capitalise on our strengths, and rectify areas of vulnerability. After a series of world’s hottest years, and the current hot autumn spells and drought, we know climate change is challenging Australia. Whilst we are well adapted to our naturally highly variable climate, we are not prepared for a worsening climate with ever increasing heat exposures and increasingly variable rainfall. 

“Protecting Australians needs transformational change in attitudes and systems, and this requires strong well-funded policies. Australia cannot afford the 2018 Budget to again fail in preparing the nation to face climate change.”

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

"Let us hope that Australia does not choose to drop the ball (again) on international science engagement, including next step energy projects such as the ITER fusion energy project."



Dr Liz Allen
ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods
T: 0401 358 091
Expertise: demography/population studies, social trends

“Population is at the heart of many things on the minds of Australians; whether it’s concern over housing and living costs, the environment, access to schools, crowded transport infrastructure, or secure employment opportunities now and into the future. 

“But population pressures merely highlight policy and funding deficits. If the government is serious about Australia’s future it’d fund and address population-related matters as a priority.”

Professor Peter Whiteford
Director, Social Policy Institute
ANU Crawford School of Public Policy
T: 61 2 6125 4295  
Expertise: The Australian welfare system, social policy

Professor Michael Platow
Social psychologist
ANU Research School of Psychology
T: 02 6125 8457
Expertise: Education, immigration, social policy, science. Interested in leadership processes involved and aspects of the budget that may be relevant to broader issues of social harmony, prejudice, tolerance.


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


Associate Professor Martyn Kirk
National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health
ANU College of Medicine Biology & Environment
T: 02 6125 5609 
Expertise: Health, medicine, infectious disease 


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




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