I gave the Infrastructure Oration 2017 on Thursday night -- an annual event run by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia in conjunction with their annual awards.
My intention was to focus on the economics of infrastructure policy, but with the energy imbroglio building I found myself preoccupied again with the political, or at least political economy, issues that are bedevilling public policy in that and other areas.
That an energy crisis induced by government regulation is being blamed on the private sector is a sign of the times I guess. But it is part of a pattern of poor policy development giving rise to unintended consequences from which nothing seems to be learned, leading to further rounds of poor policy. Such dysfunction is commonly attributed to the 24/7 media and the ‘toxic politics’ that greets any government policy initiative. But these are not going to change any time soon. In fact they could well get worse. The only way we can get back onto the policy high road, it seems to me, is for government to do what it can to improve its own performance in devising good public policy and ‘selling’ it effectively. As noted also in my previous presentation below, there is plenty of scope to do better before we abandon hope!
My paper can be found HERE, and is listed with others in the ‘publications/speeches’ section of this website.