“You get the best policy out of an argument.” (Martin Ferguson, Sunday, Channel 9, 2 April 2006)
This paper looks at the variety of influences on government policy making, in order to see the role of peak bodies in the broader social context. Firstly, at the macro level it briefly outlines current approaches to government policy development. Then it explores the micro level – how the community services industry tries to influence policy development through peak bodies and the pressures on the sector to change the role and functions of peak bodies. It ultimately concludes that peaks must reclaim their rightful place in Australian democracy.