Parliamentary Triangle Seminar Series


Thu 10 May 2018Senator the Hon. Matthew Canavan, Dr Jim Chalmers MP,Michelle Grattan AO, Saul Eslake, Professor Mark Evans and Facilitated by Jane Halton AO PSMParliament House

2018 NATSEM Budget Luncheon
Thursday 10 May 2018
The Theatre, Parliament House


11am – 11.45am: NATSEM Budget Analysis with Dr Jinjing Li, at the Theatre, Parliament House

 LUNCH: 11.45am – 12.25pm: Light lunch will be provided, Mural Hall, Parliament House

12.30 – 1.30pm: Budget Discussion with Senator the Hon. Matthew Canavan, Dr Jim Chalmers MP, Michelle Grattan AO, Saul Eslake, Professor Mark Evans and Facilitated by Jane Halton AO PSM at the Theatre, Parliament House

This event is free for the public to attend. REGISTRATION is required. Please RSVP here. 

Click here to download flyer.

The governing rhetoric around the Australian Budget has clearly shifted since 2016 from narratives focusing on “budget repair” to an emphasis on “jobs and growth” through bigger government spending by a “listening government” committed to “fairness, opportunity and security for all Australians”. Will Budget 2018 continue with the populist turn? How far will Budget 2018 and its critics reflect the choices to be presented to the electorate at the next Federal election?

For the last four years, the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling has used its Tax/Transfer model, STINMOD+, to show the impact of the tax/transfer system in the Commonwealth budget on Australian families and individuals. This is particularly relevant when the policies introduced substantially alter the welfare distribution and household income in Australia.

This event will bring together NATSEM’s modelling, presented by Dr Jinjing Li, an expert in modelling the Australian tax and transfer system, with a number of commentators on the budget, including political leaders Senator the Hon. Matthew Canavan and Dr Jim Chalmers MP. The event will start with the result of NATSEM’s modelling at 11 AM, and will then move to discussion of the budget from 12:30 to 1:30, with an introduction to this discussion from Saul Eslake.

The luncheon will be attended by members of the business community, government, industry, media and academics.


Jinjing Li is Associate Professor at NATSEM, and is an expert in data-driven policy simulation models that are used to evaluate the societal and economic impact of public policies. Jinjing leads a specialised team at NATSEM in modelling the Australian tax and transfer system. He has developed numerous policy simulation models for different government agencies, think tanks and international organisations worldwide, and presently serves as a board member of the International Microsimulation Association.

For over 20 years NATSEM has been, and remains, one of Australia’s leading economic and social policy research centres. NATSEM is a research centre within the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra. One of NATSEM’s aims is to inform policy debate in Australia.


Matthew James Canavan was elected to the Australian Senate representing the state of Queensland at the 2013 federal election for the term beginning 1 July 2014. In the First Turnbull Ministry, Matthew served as the Minister for Northern Australia between 18 February and 19 July 2016. With the re-election of the Turnbull Government in 2016, he was elevated into Cabinet becoming the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia between 19 July 2016 to 25 July 2017 and from 27 October 2017. Matthew was previously an executive at KPMG and an economist at the Productivity Commission.
James Edward “Jim” Chalmers is the Labor Party member for Rankin in the Australian House of Representatives. Jim holds a PhD in commerce from the Australian National University and was chief of staff to Wayne Swan as Treasurer from 2010 to 2013. In 2013, he left his position as chief of staff to the Treasurer to become the Executive Director of the Chifley Research Centre. He left that role in July 2013, when he was preselected to succeed Craig Emerson as the Labor candidate for Rankin, and he won the seat at the 2013 election. Jim is the author of Glory Daze, a book about the disconnect between Australia’s strong economic performance and popular discontent with government. Jim is Shadow Minister for Finance from 23 July 2016.
Jane Halton AO, PSM is former Secretary of the Australian Department of Finance. She was responsible for essential services delivered by Finance including supporting the delivery of the Australian Government Budget. Prior to her appointment as Secretary of the Department of Finance in July 2014, Jane was Secretary of the Department of Health from 2002 to 2014 and was Australia’s longest serving secretary. Jane was recently appointed to the Board of the ANZ Bank and was created an Officer of the Order of Australia in June 2015.
Saul Eslake - Saul has worked as an economist in the Australian financial markets for more than 25 years, including as Chief Economist at McIntosh Securities (a stockbroking firm) in the late 1980s, Chief Economist (International) at National Mutual Funds Management in the early 1990s, and as Chief Economist at the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) from 1995 to 2009. He took a break from the financial markets between July 2009 and December 2011, during which time he worked parttime as Director of the Productivity Growth Program at the Grattan Institute, a ‘think tank’ affiliated with Melbourne University, and as a freelance writer, speaker and consultant. Saul is presently a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Tasmania and a consultant through Nous Group.
Michelle Grattan AO - Michelle is recognised as one of Australia’s most influential political journalists. Michelle was the first woman to become editor of an Australian metropolitan daily newspaper and has subsequently amassed over 40 years of experience in journalism. Michelle is currently Chief Political Correspondent at The Conversation and a professorial fellow in IGPA at the University of Canberra.
Mark Evans - Mark is Director and Professor of Governance at IGPA. Before taking up this role he was Head of the Department of Politics at the University of York in the United Kingdom and Director of the World-wide Universities Public Policy Network. Mark has published 25 books in his field and has been editor of the international journal Policy Studies since 2005. Mark has acted as a senior policy advisor, delivered leadership training and managed policy evaluation projects in 26 countries including Australia, Brazil, China and the United Kingdom and for international organisations including the European Union, the UN and the World Bank. His recent book contributions include Methods that Matter (2016) and From Abbott to Turnbull: a new direction? (2016).


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