Government Sector Insights – July 2012

NAB’s Sector Insight reports utilise our expertise across a range of industry sectors to explore current issues, present forward looking […]


NAB’s Sector Insight reports utilise our expertise across a range of industry sectors to explore current issues, present forward looking views and opportunities for growth and progression. Our reports also include some perspectives from respected industry leaders in each edition.

Welcome to our inaugural issue of Sector Insights: Government.

Both domestically and globally, in this post global financial crisis (GFC) world, these are challenging but interesting times for governments (at all levels).

With a changing cost and regulatory environment, government sector participants are increasingly focused on how to manage their businesses in this new ‘normal’– from better working capital and cash management through to planning and executing significant infrastructure projects in a sustainable manner.

Productivity growth, operational efficiency drivers and doing more with less are now the leit motif of governments everywhere, more so in the developed world where there are challenges of an ageing workforce, stagnant productivity and the jaws effect of traditional revenue streams slowing down and the constant march of the pressure to fund replacements for ageing infrastructure.

Other key issues for decision makers in government include, how to best allocate limited capital resources to an expanding pool of worthy causes, and how to change the mindset from being ‘everything to everybody’ to being aware of the role of government in leveraging the energies of private enterprise, not-for-profits and creative individuals.

Despite being dubbed ‘the lucky country’, Australia is not immune from many of these issues. On the surface we enjoy an enviable economic position − relative to many developed countries − and are well placed to continue to benefit from the ‘Asian Century’ and an unprecedented strength in our terms of trade. The hard commodity boom due to the demand from high growth economies such as China and India has provided a much needed fillip to counterbalance the slowdown in traditional parts of the economy such as manufacturing and hard goods. However, below the surface, and like many other developed economies, we are coming to grips with such issues as demographic pressures and the impact this will have on services such as health, social security and welfare and the ability to fund these into the future.

This publication is designed to capture and distil some of these trends and to provide readers with unique insights, our thoughts on innovative solutions and to share our learnings on current issues and challenges that are front of mind for our clients and industry participants across all levels of government.

This first Sector Insights for the government sector has commentary and thoughts on all things government from a variety of senior leaders within the wider NAB enterprise. We are also delighted that Dr. Peter Boxall, Chairman of IPART, has taken the time to provide his uniquely insightful views and commentary ranging from his time in the United States, both as a student and an academic, to his tenure at the highest levels of the public service in Canberra and now in NSW.

We hope you find the insights from our senior executives and leading industry figures useful as you plan the course ahead. NAB has a strong history of supporting businesses through challenging periods and we look forward to demonstrating our ongoing commitment to you.

Download the full report to find out more.