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Policy failure led to loss

By Mikayla Novak - posted Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The election of the Abbott government a little over two months ago heralded the end of arguably the worst government in modern Australian history.

While injurious political leadership changes and subterranean shifts in internal political alliances unquestionably contributed toward instability of public administration, the fact is that innumerable policy failures, unfolding over six years, were the key causes for the change in government in early September.

In no particular order, arguably the five worst economic policy failings overseen by the Rudd and Gillard governments were as follows:


Carbon tax and climate change

After three years of policy uncertainties over the timing of an artificial emissions trading scheme organised by government, Julia Gillard became central to one of the more infamous episodes in Australian political history when she introduced a carbon dioxide tax, in direct contrast to an August 2010 pre-election statement not to do so.

The Labor government also extended the Howard government 's scheme of mandating the use of renewable energies in Australia 's energy mix by 2020, giving emphasis to the installation of subsidised solar panels and solar water heaters by households.

To administer the Rudd-Gillard green leviathan, the government employed over 1,000 staff in a Climate Change Department, a Climate Commission publicity body headed by climate change alarmists, and a gamut of smaller agencies dedicated to doling out corporate welfare subsidies and loans to wind and solar power companies.

Determinations of allowable price increases by state electricity regulators have shown that about eight per cent of average retail residential electricity bills is accounted for by the carbon tax, with the renewable energy target and other green schemes raising costs by another four per cent.

Fair Work Act (FWA)


The erection of a centralised workplace relations regulatory apparatus, under the Rudd-Gillard FWA, was arguably the greatest concession accorded to the trade union movement for its astonishing $30 million in financial support for Labor 's 2007 election campaign.

The capacity for individual employees and their employers are arrive at their own bargains over working conditions has been severely curtailed under the Rudd-Gillard workplace relations regime.

In addition, representatives of trade unions have been legislatively granted unprecedented "right of entry" into private sector workplaces.

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About the Author

Mikayla Novak is a Research Fellow with the Institute of Public Affairs. She has previously worked for Commonwealth and State public sector agencies, including the Commonwealth Treasury and Productivity Commission. Mikayla was also previously advisor to the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Her opinion pieces have been published in The Australian, Australian Financial Review, The Age, and The Courier-Mail, on issues ranging from state public finances to social services reform.

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