Griffith University experts can offer expertise on the 2021-22 federal budget as a whole and what various inclusions mean for everyday Australians.
To arrange an interview or comment, please contact Griffith’s Media Team via email [email protected] or call (07) 3735 1008.
Professor Fabrizio Carmignani – Economy
Professor Carmignani, a Griffith Business School economist, can comment on the decision of the Treasurer to use the budget to support employment and postpone measures of immediate budget repair. He is also available to speak on support for women expected from the budget.
Professor Tony Makin – Economy
Professor Makin, a Griffith Business School expert in monetary and fiscal policy, is available to speak on the overall federal budget strategy. Professor Makin can comment on whether the goal of reducing unemployment to about 4% is feasible and or appropriate, warning big budget deficits and higher public debt poses serious risks for the economy going forward. He says reducing unemployment to about 4% seems unlikely given the structural change in the economy post-COVID-19, and it could generate too much inflation and a worsening of Australia’s international competitiveness.
Associate Professor Andreas Chai – Economy
Associate Professor Chai, Head of the Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics at Griffith Business School, can explain the economic impact to Australia of having international borders closed and whether the government is sufficiently helping the economy adapt to post-COVID-19 conditions.
Associate Professor Matthew Burke – Transport
Associate Professor Matthew Burke is both Transport Academic Partnership Chair and Transport Innovation and Research Hub Chair at Griffith University’s Cities Research Institute. He says, “the new transport items for Queensland, announced before Budget night, appear very targeted at winning Nationals (LNP) seats in the regions and on the Gold Coast at the upcoming federal election. Brisbane itself gets very little in the way of transport infrastructure spending, other than in places like the southern marginal electorate of Forde on the Beenleigh line. This shouldn’t surprise, given the leader of the Nationals holds the transport portfolio, and the long history of major parties using transport commitments to help win elections.”
Associate Professor Parvinder Kler – Unemployment and Childcare
Associate Professor Kler, a researcher of labour economics, can provide insight into how the budget will affect unemployment among different groups (i.e. by gender, age, regions vs urban areas) and whether it would improve the labour force participation rate. Associate Professor Kler also believes the boost to childcare does not go far enough. “The changes to childcare subsidies come into effect on July 1 2022, but the government wants female labour participation to rise now, so what is the delay?” Associate Professor Kler said. “The greater subsidy affects roughly a quarter of the families using childcare now, so it does not help the 75% who have one child in day care. A bigger discount for all children would encourage women with one child to either work more hours or start looking for work. It also increases the demand for childcare places but is silent on supply. As more parents want to send their kids to childcare, or increase the hours, they come up against limited supply.” Associate Professor Kler said work needed to be done to create more spots within childcare by addressing the need for more childcare workers.
Dr Gardiner, Director of the Griffith Institute for Tourism, is available to comment on the impact of the delayed reopening of international borders on the tourism industry.
Professor Patrick O’Leary – Domestic Violence
Professor O’Leary is an internationally recognised researcher with significant expertise in domestic violence and gender-based violence. He is available to comment on how the budget will impact victims of domestic violence. “There is a need for not only funding women and children in immediate need, but also a need for long-term funding to bring about cultural institutional change for the prevention of violence and abuse,” Professor O’Leary said.
Professor David Ellwood – Women’s Health
Professor Ellwood, Head of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, is a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and can speak on investments made in the budget for women’s health. He also represents Queensland in the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance.
Professor Susan Harris Rimmer – Women
Professor Susan Harris Rimmer is Director of Griffith’s Policy Innovation Hub and co-convenor of Griffith Gender Equality Research Network. “A true ‘Women’s Budget’ would have rigorous gender analysis of every measure including defence, infrastructure, energy policy and tax,” Professor Harris Rimmer said. “This Budget will have some measures targeting women on housing, domestic violence and childcare. These measures are welcome but generally, insufficient responses to structural gender inequality in Australia.”
Dr Katrina Radford – Aged Care
Dr Radford can speak on how the aged care sector can better retain and support workers to maximise productivity and improve workplace performance. She can also comment on the implications the budget will have for the aged care workforce.
Well-known political strategist and commentator Dr Williams can provide political analysis of the 2021-22 budget. “This is what appears to be a long-term retreat for the Coalition from Keynesian economics,” Dr Williams said. “It looks like government intervention in the economy is here to stay for a while: jobs before surplus. That is even more critical for must-win states like Queensland, where regional voters respond well to budget fillips. This budget looks like ticking off a number of key boxes: childcare to get working women back on side, aged care after the Royal Commission, and disabilities.”
Professor Andrew O’Neil – Defence and National Security
Professor O’Neil is a political scientist and can speak on Defence and National Security, including counter-terrorism, in the budget. “On the Defence side, the budget will further lock in the $200B commitment over 10 years endorsed in the 2020-21 budget with some potential additional spending initiatives related to long-range strike capabilities and infrastructure in northern Australia to support an enhanced US force presence,” Professor O’Neil said. “Any additional initiatives will be presented as key to the implementation of the 2020 Strategic Defence Update and associated Force Structure Plan. At ~2% of GDP, defence spending is still too low in the evolving strategic environment Australia confronts.”