Australian Policy Cycle Analysis

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There are opportunities for Australian citizens to participate in several stages of the policy cycle. In the following essay I argue that there are various avenues for private citizens to have their voice heard in the area of policy making while perhaps fewer opportunities in the area of policy implementation. I discuss the role of parliamentary committees, think tanks and interest groups as potential avenues for policy influence. Recognising that public servants and politicians are citizens as well, however, I conclude that there are many different ways citizens of Australia can influence public policy.

If the 'Australian policy cycle ' as proposed by Althaus, Bridgman and Davis is a good approximation for how Australian public policy is
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The group BUGA UP is an example of the first type of group (Hawker 2015: 2-6), who were very noticeable and arguably influential for a while, but whom have now disappeared. While The Greens political party is perhaps an example of the latter type of group, starting as a protest movement and now a growing political party of some influence in Australian governments (The Greens 2016). Generally focussing on only a single issue, such groups are generally expressive in nature (Hawker 2015: 12-14) and attempt to influence public opinion, and by extension government policy, through rallies, demonstrations and public events that are designed to draw the publics attention to a particular issue and/or express a conviction on the topic. Some of these groups or spontaneous movements have met with spectacular success. The Franklin River campaign is perhaps one of the best known examples of a public movement against government policy that resulted in a victory (The Wilderness Society 2016), but many others have not been so …show more content…
For citizens for whom politics is not a full-time occupation, the greatest areas of political influence are at the 'identifying issues ' and 'evaluation ' stages of the Australian policy cycle and can be via both formal and informal methods. There is less ability to influence other stages of the cycle as a private citizen, all citizens are illegible to become members of the public service, political staff or a politician themselves should they wish to pursue any of those careers. Their own level of passion and engagement can therefore determine how they wish to become involved, and even if they want to become Prime Minister one day and exert, arguably, the most influence possible by a single person over public policy. That surely must be the ultimate expression of a citizens rights in a democracy - that they can aspire to, and potentially obtain, the most powerful office in the nation (titular monarch

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