"Derivatives are like sex. It's not who we're sleeping with, its who they're sleeping with".

Warren Buffet

Snowball Warren Buffet and the Business of Life, Alice Schroeder, Random, 2008, p. 598

Latest Papers

The working papers collection comprises historical papers as well as current ideas and works in progress on some of the major issues and topics of our times.

Governing NSW - Justice, Juvenile Justice, Emergency Services, Land & Rural Affairs (released 23 March 2007)
In the Justice portfolio, Labor’s Tony Kelly and the Liberal National Party’s Greg Aplin were equally matched. In Juvenile Justice the youth criminalisation policy of the Liberal National party is not a credible way of dealing with youth crime. In Emergency Services and Land and Rural Affairs the major parties were on level peggings.
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Governing NSW - Primary Industries & Mineral Resources (released 23 March 2007)
The contest between Ian Mc Donald and Duncan Gay in the Legislative Council was often colourful. Labor’s strong strategy for rural and regional NSW and Mc Donald’s ability to humorously shrug off Gay’s attacks gave it the edge. Mc Donald also travelled energetically and extensively offering support throughout NSW during the second worst drought in one hundred years. This held him in surprisingly good stead for a Labor member within the rural community.
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Governing NSW - Tourism Sport & Recreation (released 23 March 2007)
Labor appears to be playing catch up in this portfolio. The Liberal National policy is significantly better researched and presented.
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Governing NSW - Aboriginal Affairs (released 23 March 2007)
Until the major parties see that it is important to set out Aboriginal affairs policies in election campaigns, Australia will remain an under developed country. Brad Hazzard has been a noble Liberal National Shadow Minister for a decade. However if Labor wins the next election the promotion of Linda Burney is a necessity that may create some competition, vision and policy substance at a political level that is badly needed in NSW.
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Governing NSW - Women (released 23 March 2007)
Women’s Policy for both the mainstream NSW parties is an area of under performance that the politicians seems to have forgotten.
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Governing NSW - Natural Resources (released 23 March 2007)
Mr Piccoli made the outstanding parliamentary contribution of 2006 with his private members statement on multicultural values. Ian Mc Donald performed well in an area where the government had some severe weaknesses. I judged Mc Donald to be the superior media performer and the Liberal National Party policy agenda to be superior to Labor’s particularly because of its expansion of the rainwater tank rebate program - a solid policy which has been overshadowed by controversy concerning water recycling and Labor’s desalination proposal.
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Governing New South Wales - Health (released 22 March 2007)
Health in NSW is the most difficult and demanding of portfolios with a $10.2 billion dollar budget and 93,675 employees. Jillian Skinner and the Liberal National Party deserve commendation for preventive health strategy and their concept of localising the administrative structure of the NSW health system - an important preliminary step before we can finally rationalise health funding and management through a single funder - the Commonwealth Dept of Health. John Hatzistergos came up with the single best policy initiative of the campaign in the form of After Hours GP Clinics but Labor’s policy entrenches the existing State system and bureaucracy.
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Governing NSW - Treasury (released 22 March 2007)
While Michael Costa acted like an imbecile in the parliament, he delivered growth for the NSW economy in the nick of time and was largely responsible for de-railing the Opposition’s attack on the economic record of the Iemma government. O’Farrell though is the leader in waiting of the Liberal Party.
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Governing NSW - Education (released 22 March 2007)
Education and Training is one of the biggest departments of the NSW government. It has an annual budget of 9.3 billion of which just over 7 billion dollars was spent on 88,717 employees who earned a relatively modest average pay, about $44,000 per annum less that average pay of the employees of the Premiers Department. In our analysis Brad Hazzard and Minister Carmel Tebbutt performed equally well in a relatively high calibre policy contest.
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Governing NSW - The Arts (released 21 March 2007)
The NSW Labor and the Liberal National Party clearly place no importance at all on the Arts. Neither party have released any policy document on the subject. This portfolio is seen simply as a sinecure. It is one of the disappointing aspects of NSW and Sydney culture that none of our serving politicians seem to understand the social, cultural and economic importance of the arts.
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