Economics experts debate key issues ahead of federal budget

3 May 2013

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The 'Economics Q and A' event will see industry, media and academic experts debate the important economic questions. [Image: Flickr/Ars Electronica, used under the Creative Commons licence]

Just over one week before the federal government announces its contentious federal budget, a panel of economic experts will discuss the extent of the deficit at a unique debate at the University of Sydney.

Styled in the format of ABC Televisions' Q&A program, the 'Economics Q and A' event on Monday 6 May will allow guests to raise economics-related questions before a group of industry, media and academic commentators.

Peter Martin, the national economics correspondent for The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times, will moderate the panel, which includes:

  • Bill Evans, Chief Economist at Westpac
  • Jessica Irvine, National Economics Editor of News Limited's metropolitan daily newspapers
  • Miriam Lyons, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Development
  • Professor Colm Harmon, Head of the School of Economics at the University of Sydney
  • Stephen Kirchner, Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies

Event panellist Professor Colm Harmon says the economic panel comes "at a time when economic debate is never more needed."

"There is an ever-present conundrum between the generally positive realities for Australia - good growth, low unemployment, low inflation - and the negative commentary and public sentiment on the economy, with phrases like 'sharing the pain' creeping into the policy debates.

"I expect the issues - which are being submitted via the internet - are going to reflect this. What is the reality of the situation? Is Australia facing down some serious problems? How should the government best plan for managing the economy over the next year to five years?"

The 'Economics Q and A' debate is presented by the Economic Society of Australia (NSW) and the School of Economics at the University of Sydney.


What: 'Economics Q and A', presented by the Economic Society of Australia (NSW) and the School of Economics, University of Sydney.

When: 5:30pm for a 6:00pm start, Monday 6 May

Where: Foyer, New Law Building, Camperdown Campus, University of Sydney

Cost: Free, bookings essential. To book or submit a question, email

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Contact: Emily Jones

Phone: 02 9114 1961; 0405 208 616

Email: 243e1f2b004d01095a1515322615573d0d52465d3e0756391d