Hsu-Ann Lee

Hsu-Ann Lee holds a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (Spanish Honours) from The Australian National University and is a research assistant for the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.

Managing Under Austerity, Delivering Under Pressure »

Performance and Productivity in Public Service

Edited by: John Wanna, Hsu-Ann Lee, Sophie Yates
Contemporary public managers find themselves under pressure on many fronts. Coming off a sustained period of growth in their funding and some complacency about their performance, they now face an environment of ferocious competitiveness abroad and austerity at home. Public managers across Australia and New Zealand are finding themselves wrestling with expenditure reduction, a smaller public sector overall, sustained demands for productivity improvement, and the imperative to think differently about the optimal distribution of responsibilities between states, markets and citizens. Given ever-shrinking resources, in terms of staffing, budgets and time, how can public managers and public services become more productive, more outcome-driven and more agile? How can we achieve better alignment between ever-growing citizen expectations and the realities of constrained service provision? What can we learn from the best combination of innovation and austerity already being delivered in other countries and sectors, including harnessing the grounded wisdom of frontline service delivery practitioners? This book focuses on practical ways public managers at home and abroad are dealing with these shared dilemmas. It brings together renowned scholars in the fields of public sector productivity, performance management, ‘frugal innovation’ and budget stringency, with leading international and Australasian practitioners sharing their successes and challenges.

Abbott's Gambit »

The 2013 Australian Federal Election

This book provides a truly comprehensive analysis of the 2013 federal election in Australia, which brought the conservative Abbott government to power, consigned the fractious Labor Party to the Opposition benches and ended the ‘hung parliament’ experiment of 2010–13 in which the Greens and three independents lent their support to form a minority Labor government. It charts the dynamics of this significant election and the twists and turns of the campaign itself against a backdrop of a very tumultuous period in Australian politics. Like the earlier federal election of 2010, the election of 2013 was an exercise in bipolar adversarial politics and was bitterly fought by the main protagonists. It was also characterised (again) by leadership changes on Labor’s side as well as the entry of new political parties anxious to deny the major parties a clear mandate. Moreover, the 2013 election continued the trend whereby an increasing proportion of the electorate chose not to vote for one of the main two political parties. While the 2013 election delivered a clear victory to the Coalition in the Lower House, it simultaneously produced a much more mixed outcome in the Senate, where the Greens managed to record their largest ever representation and a new party, the Palmer United Party, initially secured three Senate positions at its first attempt (together with the election of Clive Palmer to a Queensland seat in the House of Representatives). With minor and micro parties also winning Senate seats amounting to a total of 18 Senators on the cross-benches, the Abbott government’s ability to govern and pass legislation was placed in some doubt. The 2013 election result suggested that far from ending the preceding tumultuous period of Australian politics, it merely served to prolong this era indefinitely. The 2013 campaign was one of the longest on record, arguably commencing when the besieged Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the date for the election in late January 2013 – then over seven months away. This unconventional tactic overshadowed the election from that date onwards – providing a definite timeline for Labor infighting, influencing the largely negative tactics of the Opposition, and encouraging new parties to proliferate to contest the election. This volume traces these formative influences on the campaign dynamics and explains the electoral outcome that occurred (including the 2014 re-election for the Western Australian Senate seats ordered by the High Court). Abbott’s Gambit includes insightful contributions from academic experts, campaign directors and electoral watchers, political advisers and professional psephologists. Contributors utilise a wide range of sources and approaches, including the Australian Election Survey, to provide a detailed analysis of this important federal election.