JSB178 Week Eight Lecture Notes
What is a Policy Instrument?
The ‘instrument’ is the means of attaining a policy goal.
Therefore it is essential that you comprehend the goal before choosing the instrument.
For example – how are we going to reduce break and enters? We could subsidise home security, increase
police presence in risk areas, increase penalties or all of these.
Types of Policy Instruments
The means of implementing a policy:
Advocacy – arguing a case.
Money – using financial powers.
Government action – delivering services.
Law – legislative power.
Funding of public education on the issue.
Ministerial speeches and events.
Public Education Campaign
Public education campaigns usually take the form of advertising in the media.
Ideally such a campaign would only include factual information and not become a de facto promotion of
the party in power.
They should be designed to inform the public of new services they can avail themselves of or warn them
of new laws or restrictions that impact on their lives.
In Queensland in the 1970s and 1980s the government used to pay for a 5min segments on Channel 9
every Sunday before the 6pm news. It was promoted as essential information on what the government
was achieving but focused heavily on images of government ministers and very biased commentary.
These are established under legislation or simply by ministerial decision.
Their purpose is to bring together experts and community/industry representatives who can both advise
the government on the issue in question AND advocate on behalf of the government to the people.
They can be successful but it depends on the nature of the issue and the legitimacy of the members of
o E.g. Queensland Aboriginal Advisory Boards
Ministerial Speeches and Events
Ministers would spend a large amount of their time on meet and greets.
They visit community organisations, government offices, private corporations and almost every other
type of body.
They use each occasion to both receive public feedback and sell the government’s policies.
The advantages of this method are that they deal directly with the stakeholders.
Policy announcements usually do not need an advertising campaign.
They rely on a press release from the minister and let the media do the rest.
The spread of the policy depends on the number of people interested in the issue.
This method does not guarantee that all stakeholders will be informed. Money
Fiscal power to shape macro-economic outcomes.
Powers to shape macro-economical outcomes.
These powers relate to restraining extreme economic outcomes like unemployment, and most
Taxes are a coercive power.
If the government wants to dissuade people from participating in an otherwise legal activity they may
The additional cost associated with the activity will reduce the number of people who think the activity
Taxes can also be used to offset the cost of dealing with the outcome of the activity.
Alcohol, tobacco and petrol are taxed.
Incentive payments are made to