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Reports & Research

Superfast broadband: The future is in your hands


The National Broadband Network (NBN) will deliver a comprehensive upgrade to Australia’s national broadband infrastructure. This will be of profound importance to Australia’s long-term productivity agenda.

This paper assesses new opportunities for the NBN. In particular, we examine how the growth of mobile services has transformed the telecommunications industry and how NBN has the potential to dramatically improve mobile telecommunications.

It makes the case that the NBN, far from becoming redundant due to the explosion in mobile internet access, is in fact crucial to delivering better mobile services to both regional and urban areas without any significant increases in cost.

It argues that the recent development of small mobile base stations (able to be placed on lampposts for example), connected to the NBN, can significantly increase and improve mobile coverage in both urban and regional Australia.

This has the potential to radically reshape Australia’s economic and social future.

Click here for the full report


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The Case for a National Portable Long Service Leave Scheme

The McKell Institute and Macquarie University have today released a major report on the case for a National Portable Long Service Leave Scheme in Australia.

Long Service Leave is a basic workplace entitlement. While the length of leave and qualification periods vary, the general entitlement a worker receives is two months leave after ten years continuous service with the same employer.

However, due to the changing nature of the labour market only 1 in 4 Australian workers stay with the same employer for 10 years. That means that 75% of working Australians don’t receive Long Service Leave.

Now more than ever before Australian workers are struggling to balance their work commitments with their family and other life commitments. Recent studies have shown that over 50% of employees would rather have extra leave than take an equivalent pay rise.

This report provides the most comprehensive framework for the establishment of a National Portable Long Service Scheme ever produced in Australia.

Click here for the full report


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Understanding Productivity – Australia’s Choice

Australia’s productivity performance over the last decade has slipped. Our commodity boom and terms of trade boost have masked that performance.

Given the likelihood that Australia’s terms of trade will decline as the commodity price cycle runs its course, the need to improve Australia’s medium and long-term productivity performance becomes even more pressing if we are to continue to raise living standards in our nation.

Understanding Productivity – Australia’s Choice examines Australia’s productivity slowdown more broadly while also investigating the industry specific factors that have contributed to a decline in Multi-Factor Productivity.

This report provides a number of practical recommendations aimed at boosting Australia’s productivity growth.

We can do much better than we currently are – and Understanding Productivity provides a road map for how to achieve it.

Click here for the full report

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McKell Quarterly Homes Monitor

The McKell Quarterly Homes Monitor benchmarks Sydney housing completions against two Sydney housing targets.

The Homes Monitor analyses dwelling completions over a three month period, benchmarking them against both citywide and regional housing targets from the Sydney Metropolitan 2036 Strategy as well as the McKell Institute’s target of building 35,000 new homes annually in Sydney.

The Homes Monitor allows governments, industry and the community to clearly see which Sydney regions are delivering new homes and where housing bottle necks exist.

The performance of Sydney vs Melbourne on home approvals is also benchmarked.

The first McKell Quarterly Homes Monitor was released in September 2012.

McKell Quarterly Homes Monitor

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McKell Institute submission to the NSW Government: “Sydney over the next 20 years” Discussion Paper

The McKell Institute welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Sydney over the next 20 years discussion paper and commends the NSW Government for simultaneously developing a new Metropolitan Strategy, a Long-Term Transport Master Plan and the State Infrastructure Strategy all focusing on Sydney and New South Wales housing, transport and infrastructure needs over the next 20 years.

Sydney has historically not only been Australia’s leading capital city but a leading regional capital in South East Asia. However, if we cannot adequately house and transport our citizens around this great city, then we will continue to see rival capitals such as Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth attracting new residents and seizing economic opportunities.

Alarmingly, a recent McKell Institute survey, The State of New South Wales, revealed that 1 in 4 Sydney residents would prefer to live in another state. Key drivers for this disenchantment with Sydney were housing costs, congestion and cost of living pressures.

Over the last 5 years over 613,000 New South Wales residents have left our state, while fewer than 500,000 have moved to New South Wales – a deficit of over 100,000 residents in the last 5 years.

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McKell Institute Forum on Telework

15 June 2012

Kerry Bartlett at the McKell Institute Telework Forum

The McKell Institute facilitated a forum on the benefits of telework within Australian organisations.

The forum engaged small to medium sized business, local councils, not-for-profit organisations, employee groups and large multi national corporations.

Teleworking allows staff to utilise information and communication technology to free them from having to work from traditional office locations.

Currently in Australia, the rate of adopting telework is relatively small compared to other developed countries. The rate of adoption also varies significantly between industries.

Surveys of small and medium businesses show positive feedback from businesses that have implemented a telework arrangement.

Click here to access the presentations of guest speakers

Click here to read coverage of the event by Technology Spectator Back to top

New South Wales Budget 2012-2013: The McKell Institute Briefing Note

On Tuesday 12 June 2012 Treasurer Mike Baird delivered the New South Wales 2012-2013 Budget, his second as Treasurer.

The Treasurer delivered his Budget less than a week after National Accounts Data showed national growth of 1.3% in the March quarter, however the main quarterly measure of state economic performance, state final demand, contracted by 0.3 seasonally adjusted in New South Wales. The New South Wales unemployment rate sits just below the national average at 5%.

The Budget was delivered in the context of a challenging global financial climate with seven euro area economies and the UK in recession, and many more crippled by high unemployment.

The Treasurer forecast a budget deficit of $824 million for 2012-2013 and an expected return to surplus of $289 million by 2013-2014.

The Budget deficit for 2011-2012 was revealed to be $337 million, lower than the previously forecast deficit of $718 million.

The Treasurer declared that he has successfully reigned in spending, with 2011-12 expenses expected to grow around 2 percentage points less than forecast, and expense growth forecast to average 3.3% over the next four years compared to an expected revenue growth of 3.9%.

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Homes for All: A McKell Institute Report by Dr Tim Williams and Sean Macken

Australians have long embraced the traditional housing career of working hard, saving a deposit, and buying a home. But increasingly for too many Australians, the realisation of the dream of home ownership has slipped beyond their grasp.

Homes for All – The 40 things we can do to improve supply and affordability provides practical recommendations aimed at making housing affordable.

Collectively these recommendations amount to a program that will see an end to a business as usual approach in housing – an approach which has failed the homeless, tenants, those who want to get into home ownership, first time buyers and many existing home owners.

We can do much better than business as usual – and Homes for All provides a road map for how to achieve it.

Click here to read the full report

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Does our spending increase?: McKell Institute paper examining the links between shop trading restrictions and retail turnover

The recent review into shop trading provisions in New South Wales and the subsequent proposal by the New South Wales Government to remove retail trading restrictions on boxing day has sparked debate.

Proponents of the current trading provisions argue that New South Wales has got the balance right in restricting trading on a limited number of days. The status quo allows retail employees time to spend with their family and friends on significant national days of reflection, without imposing onerous restrictions which would impact on sales or the profitability of retail businesses.

Opponents of the current trading provisions argue that removing trading restrictions is necessary to provide a boost to the struggling retail sector,which will allow retail stores to create additional employment opportunities, while also streamlining and simplifying complex trading provisions.

This paper analyses the Victorian experience of Easter Sunday retail trading to determine if there is evidence that allowing shops to trade on previously restricted days provides a boost to overall retail sales.

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State of NSW: A McKell Survey

The McKell Institute’s inaugural State of New South Wales Survey aims to shine a light on the lifestyles, views and opinions of New South Wales residents – and provide policy makers, government, businesses and community organisations with an insight into the challenges and aspirations of the people of New South Wales.

The Survey has sought the views of over 1,000 New South Wales residents on issues ranging from how long they spend commuting to work each day, through to opinions of other states and economic aspirations.

Click here to read the full report

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