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‘Stewardship’: buzzword, inkblot, or a new way to deliver human services?

The concept of ‘stewardship’ features in the Productivity Commission’s recent preliminary findings report on human services. Is stewardship just a buzzword, or is it a new way for governments to oversee client choice in the market-based delivery of human services? Or is stewardship like a Rorschach inkblot test—a poorly-defined collection of features onto which we project our own interpretations and assume that other stakeholders see what we see? This FlagPost discusses stewardship as it emerges in Australia, with reference to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and other areas of service delivery. Read more...

Grappling with the productivity slowdown
By Ssolbergj [ GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Grappling with the productivity slowdown

The Productivity Commission (PC) recently released its latest Productivity Update, which provides a detailed analysis of Australia’s productivity performance in 2013‑14. The good news is that labour productivity and multifactor productivity (MFP) both increased in 2013‑14. However, as the PC’s Chairman Peter Harris warns Australia’s current productivity growth remains well below what is needed to ensure living standards will continue to increase as quickly as they have in the past. This comes at a time when a number of factors are weighing on Australia’s growth prospects including an ageing population and structural adjustment as the mining investment boom recedes. Ho... Read more...

The National Food Plan: food policy or something else?

The Australian Government released the National Food Plan White Paper (the Paper) on 25 May 2013. At the time the then Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry said ‘For the first time, Australia’s food businesses and consumers have a road map for the future…’ The Paper, however, is not about food for Australians; it has minimal focus on what Australians eat, or food processing in Australia. It is more an export plan, particularly for Australian producers.What’s in the National Food Plan White Paper?In 2010 the Government said the National Food Plan would better integrate food policy by looking at the food supply chain from paddock to plate.The Paper makes 16 recommendations for food... Read more...

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