John Hewson joins Tax and Transfer Policy Institute

13 February 2014

Former Leader of the Liberal Party and of the Federal Opposition John Hewson AM has been appointed as a Professor and Chair in the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at The Australian National University.

Professor Hewson will take up the newly created post immediately, and will work closely with the Institute’s soon-to-be-appointed Director and its Australian and overseas Fellows, including Dr Ken Henry AC and Nobel Laureate Sir James Mirrlees FRSE FBA.

The Tax and Transfer Policy Institute – based at Crawford School of Public Policy – was announced in the last Federal Budget with an initial $3 million endowment and supporting cash and on-going funding from ANU. The Institute builds upon a key recommendation from Dr Henry’s Tax Review to provide a centre of excellence to undertake independent policy research and answer the big questions facing Australia in terms of taxation and transfers.

Professor John Hewson was the Leader of the Federal Opposition between 1990 and 1994, and has had a distinguished academic and business career before and after leaving politics.

In academia, Dr Hewson was Professor of Economics at UNSW for 11 years, and Head of School for four years. He also served as Professor of Management and Dean, Macquarie Graduate School of Management for more than two years.

In business, he was a Founding Executive Director of Macquarie Bank, a Trustee, IBM Superannuation Fund, Chairman, ABN Amro Australia and Chairman/Director of a host of public and private companies. He is also very active in the charitable and not-for-profit sector, particularly as Founder/Chairman of Osteoporosis Australia, Chairman, KidsXpress, and as Chairman, Investment Advisory Committee of the Australian Olympic Foundation.

Professor Hewson said he is excited to be joining the Institute at a crucial time for the country.

“Right now there is a need for genuine, broad-based tax and transfer reform across all levels of government,” he said.

“The Tax and Transfer Policy Institute is extremely well supported by academics, bureaucrats and tax policy experts. It has a powerful and experienced team of Fellows that we look forward to growing in the coming years. Its expertise makes it ideally placed to help governments, the public service and society find solutions to some of the big questions Australia faces.”

Apart from the Institute’s broad academic objectives, Professor Hewson will assist the Institute to provide an early and evidence-based ‘stocktake’ of the present tax and transfer system.

“I’m also looking forward to working with the Institute to identify suitable secondees from the Federal and State Treasuries to add to its outstanding academic team, and to contribute to the national debate on taxation and transfers in Australia,” he said.

Professor Hewson said that he “welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the public debate essential to the development of a package of proposals for the complete reform of the tax and transfer system”.

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