Changing Fortunes

A History of the Australian Treasury

Paul Tilley
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Changing Fortunes

Published

6 August 2019

ISBN

9780522873894

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

Changing Fortunes

A History of the Australian Treasury

Paul Tilley
Treasury has been at the centre of every major economic policy issue the Australian Government has faced, its role evolving from the government's bookkeeper at Federation in 1901 to the economic policy advising agency it is today Throughout its history Treasury has been a robust and stable institution with a consistent market-oriented economic framework - but its policy influence has waxed and waned. It has supported reformist Treasurers such as Keating and Costello, and been a voice of caution when political imperatives have pushed governments down economically damaging paths. At times, though, Treasury advice has been ignored and it has been pushed out into the cold. Amidst the political chaos of recent times, Treasury has been dragged closer to government and become a less effective policy adviser. The consequent lack of a consistent government economic reform narrative over the last decade is plain for all to see. Changing Fortunes tracks…
Treasury has been at the centre of every major economic policy issue the Australian Government has faced, its role evolving from the government's bookkeeper at Federation in 1901 to the economic policy advising agency it is today. Throughout its history Treasury has been a robust and stable institution with a consistent market-oriented economic framework - but its policy influence has waxed and waned. It has supported reformist Treasurers such as Keating and Costello, and been a voice of caution when political imperatives have pushed governments down economically damaging paths. At times, though, Treasury advice has been ignored and it has been pushed out into the cold. Amidst the political chaos of recent times, Treasury has been dragged closer to government and become a less effective policy adviser. The consequent lack of a consistent government economic reform narrative over the last decade is plain for all to see. Changing Fortunes tracks Treasury's history since Federation, with a focus on the modern era since its 1976 split with Finance.

Paul Tilley

Paul Tilley worked as an economist in and around Treasury for thirty-two years until his retirement in 2016. He worked at senior levels in all parts of Treasury, as well as in other key agencies such as the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Treasurer's Office and the OECD. He is a visiting fellow at the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the Australian National University, teaches a tax policy course at the University…

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