Publication: "Prioritising Parliament - Roadmaps to Reviving Australia's Parliaments"
By Dr Tom Daly
In response to COVID19, the School of Government at the University of Melbourne has established "Governing During Crises" as a new research theme. With selected briefs produced in collaboration with COVID-DEM, the series seeks to develop the understanding of governing in the face of different types of crisis, at a time when Australia has recently faced the bushfire crisis, is currently addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, and faces even larger and longer-term challenges including climate change.
The GDC Policy Brief series aims to distil academic research into policy analysis and clear recommendations, drawing on the cutting-edge research taking place at the School of Government and the University of Melbourne more broadly, as well as the School of Government’s extensive global networks.
GDC Policy Brief No. 3 is on "Prioritising Parliament: Roadmaps to Reviving Australia's Parliaments" and is authored by Dr Tom Daly, CTN Convenor and Assistant Director of the Melbourne School of Government. The sidelining of parliaments across Australia has been a central ‘blind spot’ in the nation’s largely effective and well-coordinated pandemic response, where cases and deaths are still among the lowest in the Western world. This Policy Brief, through reference to overseas experiences, suggests that the there are no material obstacles to re-opening Australia’s parliaments. The main sticking point appears to be political resistance based on a legitimate concern that something valuable would be lost if parliament does not meet in person, and possibly a sense that fuller sittings might slow the crisis response.