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Inaugural Alf Rattigan Lecture 2016

11 December 2016

News and media


Economic reform: a lost cause or merely in eclipse?

The inaugural Alf Rattigan lecture, the first in a series in honour of G.A Rattigan, renowned Chairman of the Tariff Board and Industries Assistance Commission, was held last night at the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, Canberra. The lecture, to be held annually by ANZSOG, elevates the importance of good process and effective leadership in government through nationally beneficial policy and reform. This year, Dr Paul Kelly, Distinguished Fellow of ANZSOG and Editor-at-Large of The Australian delivered the lecture “Economic reform: a lost cause or merely in eclipse?”

In his lecture, Paul Kelly provided an insightful account of the political battle to reduce import protection and open up the Australian economy, noting the role played by Rattigan and other key players. He highlighted the role played by the press and certain journalists who had an important impact, providing not only a fascinating account of the history and political economy of the major reforms of the past, but also some salient lessons for today. He also emphasised the importance of ‘making the case’ and persisting with a strong narrative. And he noted the over-riding importance of leadership, both bureaucratic and political, to achieving policy reforms that deserve the name.

Download Dr Kelly’s full text of the lecture and Gary Banks’ introduction.

Further information regarding the 2016 Rattigan lecture.