Posted: December 2, 2010 | Author: Alan Davies | Filed under: Public transport | Tags: management arrangements, Minister for Public Transport and Roads, Ted Baillieu, Terry Mulder, Victoria, Victorian Public Transport Development Authority |
Establishing the Victorian Public Transport Development Authority before Christmas is a smart move by the new Government. Such early action signals its commitment to tackling the problems with public transport.
But the Premier and the Minister for Public Transport should not get too carried away – as so many others have – with the idea that changing management arrangements is the silver bullet we’ve been waiting for.
Setting up the new authority is neither a sufficient nor even a necessary condition for addressing the problems of public transport. What matters above all else is getting the right leadership, the right policies, the right resources and the right people.
The people aspect is by and large the least problematic area for improvement. Of course there are exceptions, but the great bulk of senior public servants across Australia at both Federal and State level are intelligent, committed, practical and hard working executives.
It should be no surprise to anyone that the weak link in the quality of public administration in Australia isn’t usually the public servants but rather the politicians. As clever as it was, I think the TV series, Yes Minister, did public administration a great disservice by portraying the public service as self interested and manipulative – and politicians as hapless and dim witted.
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Posted: November 7, 2010 | Author: Alan Davies | Filed under: Management, Planning, Public transport | Tags: Grattan Institute, Hunter District Water Board, John Paterson, management arrangements, MMBW, organisation, Paul Landa, structure, Vicroads, water pricing |
Counting votes - Federal election 2010
Almost everybody, it seems, from political parties to academics, think tanks and planning experts, reckons the key priority for improving planning and public transport in Melbourne is to reform the way they’re managed.
The clamour for revised governance arrangements in order to effect reform has been increasing in Melbourne, with groups like the Committee for Melbourne, the Greens, the Public Transport Users Association and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia agitating for change.
It’s therefore sobering to see the Grattan Institute pointing out that reformed governance arrangements are not a silver bullet. The Director of the Institute’s Cities program, Jane-Frances Kelly, makes the point that:
the evidence from successful overseas cities does not support the idea that changing governance structures will help. In the successful cities we examined, no one type of governance was dominant. Unnecessary changes to governance structures can also be a distraction from the things that are vital. In short, changing structures is no cure-all. Read the rest of this entry »