Welcome to the McKell Forum – what do you think?

By July 25th, 2011 Uncategorized 13 Comments

Welcome to the McKell Forum.

The McKell Forum aims to provide a meeting place for ideas, opinions and discussion. Our view is that the more people think about ways to make our community a better place to live and work the better.

So, with that in mind, let’s start our first McKell Forum on that topic.

If you could change one thing about your community to make it a better place, what would it be? And how would you achieve it?

What do you think?


  1. Peter Fuller
    June 14th, 2012

    Housing Affordability and Housing Density
    your interesting paper on Homes for All raised some important issues.
    One item not canvassed was Betterment Tax as a way of raising funds for affordable housing.
    The idea is simple:- Rezone areas of high desirability, close to transport, amenities, cultural facilities, views parks etc. to high density. As part of the process fix the sale price of affected lands at say 120% of land value. The increased value of the land, because of the vastly increased development yield, flows to the government from the developers who are able to buy the land at the new market price for use in compulsory provision of amenities and some subsidized affordable community housing. .
    This will not be popular in all circles because it will need to be attached to a substantial rates increase due to the higher value of the land.This gives a real incentive for existing land owners to sell along with their right to buy off the plan the pick of the new developments at a slightly discounted price.

  2. April 9th, 2012

    Australian cities, but most critically Sydney, are being failed by their state & federal governments on the issue of infrastructure strategy. Both federal & state governments now must dust off the Greiner committee’s recommendations and set a program to implement them – while supporting further bipartisan development of this kind.

  3. Graeme
    April 9th, 2012

    Dear McKell Institute,

    I am interested in participating in a think tank that is not loony Left or loony Right and was attracted to your think tank after reading it was “centre-left” in its approach to issues. I am a trade union delegate at a large industrial site and, like the majority of my workmates, am predisposed to vote for political parties that protect workers and create jobs.

    I went to your Agenda page and saw the heading “Join us in setting the public policy agenda”, a great invitation. However, reading down that page I see you have already set the agenda in regard to moving to a low carbon economy. This country has vast reserves of extremely cheap energy; coal, gas and uranium. It is cheap energy that underpins our high standard of living and allows us to compete internationally. Low carbon economies destroy jobs and create only unsustainable subsidised employment. We should not be penalizing ourselves because of a loony Left wing idea about global warming.

    As long as your think tank subscribes to the far Left you will not attract the majority of workers or of the population generally. Moreover, I do not believe you should call yourself “centre-left”. You have a long way to travel to meet the centre of public debate.

  4. steve
    October 21st, 2011

    I agree that opening the ALP to more genuine particiaption is key. We have a real chance to steal a lead on conservative politics and cement a progressive party as the natural governing bloc. I think we may have to be prepared to accept that polices may be v different as we move away from an industrial union dominated organization. I am not sure that people in charge of the party are truly prepared for that.

  5. Stav
    October 20th, 2011

    The ALP must reconstitute itself with no guarantee of disproportionate voting rights to unions, and completely open preselections for every seat (including sitting members, regardless of how safe a seat is) in which anyone on the electoral roll in that seat may vote. Otherwise, the work of this Institute is largely meaningless.

  6. Joel B
    October 20th, 2011

    Building an Australian sovereign wealth fund is important to future development. We should not waste the one off benefits of the present resources boom on tax cuts. We need to strive for a better future through investing the proceeds of the present. Investing our proceeds could also provide further insulation to Australia’s manufacturing industry, afflicted by the high Australian dollar.

  7. Barry
    October 11th, 2011

    A greater emphasis in Government needs to be placed on developing systems of management and changing the way government is organised. Government needs to be on the cutting edge, utilising innovation to increase the efficiency of government. The corporate sector rely on innovation to continually improve, government needs to start innovating to succeed.

  8. C Richards
    October 2nd, 2011

    Regional development needs to be a part of a broader agenda for nation building and not a byword for pork barrelling. According to the treasury Australia is going to reach a population of 35 million by the year 2050, but where are we going to put all these people if our cities are already crowded? Regional development will become important in fitting all these people in and maintaining sustainability

  9. September 30th, 2011

    Well overdue however, the Institute needs to be prepared to slay sacred cows. Labor movement policy has been too concerned to preserve the status quo in too many areas.

  10. Lee
    September 30th, 2011

    I think that social capital and the development of social entrepreneurs is an important issue for the future. Developing social capital in communities creates networks of people that can work towards furthering social justice. Social entrepreneurs need to be encouraged towards third – way methods of dealing with inequality in Australia.

  11. Gehan
    September 30th, 2011

    I think that building an Australian sovereign wealth fund is important to our future development. We should not waste the one off benefits of the present resources boom on tax cuts. We need to strive for a better future through investing the proceeds of the present. Investing our proceeds could also provide further insulation to Australia’s manufacturing industry, afflicted by the high Australian dollar.

  12. Ingrid S
    September 30th, 2011

    Website looks awesome guys! And I just want to say how great it is to have a think tank that asks people what issues they’d like it to focus on! Very innovative!

    Having said that, building infrastructure needs to be a stronger and higher priority for local, state and Federal Governments. The International Monetary Fund estimates that every dollar invested in infrastructure boosts economic activity by up to $1.80. Governments across Australia may be talking up infrastructure but they have yet to follow through with action.

  13. Andrew
    September 30th, 2011

    The website looks great!

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