Public Policy

Best practice in public policy development requires an integrated approach, based on clear policy objectives, a sound understanding of the policy environment and relevant research literature and a deep familiarity with the range of policy tools available to governments, their key characteristics and their suitability to different policy contexts.


Our clients have found that engaging the services of an expert policy consultant from the early stages of policy development can yield substantial resource savings, reduce the time taken to complete policy development and get legislation in place and improve the quality of policy outcomes.


We can work with clients on all aspects of the policy process.  Our experience and expertise include:

  • analysing policy environments,
  • managing stakeholder consultation processes,
  • applying regulatory best practice principles to specific areas of policy;
  • identifying and developing policy options – both regulatory and non-regulatory; and
  • conducting impact assessments using benefit/cost analysis and other relevant methodologies.


Our policy work is based on high-level skills in economic and quantitative analysis, supported by strong research skills and well-developed stakeholder engagement capabilities.  We are particularly focused on producing reports that are clear and readable to both expert and lay audiences, while reflecting a high standard of technical analysis.


We have extensive policy experience covering a wide range of areas, including public health, transport, building, justice, energy safety, vocational and continuing education and occupational health and safety. 






Our work


Governing infrastructure regulators in fragile environments

Rex Deighton-Smith researched and co-authored this Principles and Implementation Manual, published as a World Bank "knowledge product" in 2019.  The manual sets out the governance principles that should be adopted to ensure systematically that infrastructure regulators are credible, independent and effective, and provides detailed implementation guidance.

Review of the Road Safety Remuneration System


Rex Deighton-Smith was appointed by the Minister for Employment in 2014 to review the Road Safety Remuneration System, which includes price-setting and related powers covering the Australian heavy vehicle industry, and to report on whether the system provides an effective and appropriate means of addressing safety concerns in the road transport industry.  The final report of the review is currently being considered by government.




Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission


We have worked with VCEC project teams on a number of recent inquiries.  Our work on major project facilitation initiatives and on better incorporating risk assessment in regulatory decision-making was published in the 2012 report Securing Victoria’s Future Prosperity: A Reform Agenda.


Read the inquiry Report here


In addition, we completed a research report on the benefits, costs and lessons of regulatory harmonisation and uniformity agreements, which formed a background report to the Inquiry into Victoria's Regulatory Framework, informing the VCEC recommendations on this issue.  The main conclusions of this work were set out in a speech by Rex Deighton-smith to a major 2011 conference on regulatory reform.


Regulatory Reform: Delivering Increased Productivity for a Seamless National Economy.  Read the speech here



Department of Treasury and Finance


We also assisted the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) on a number of economic policy issues.  For example, in 2010, Rex worked with a DTF project team to research the impact of current regulatory arrangements in relation to the funding of Victoria’s fire services, to identify policy approaches adopted in other jurisdictions and to develop new policy options for Victoria.  A new funding model was announced by the government in 2012. 


We also worked with DTF officials to develop a new DTF Cost Recovery Guidelines manual.  This manual sets out government policy to be adopted by departments and agencies in relation to user changing in respect of both government service provision and the setting of regulatory fees.  Read the guidelines here



Taxi Industry Reform


Many countries are grappling with the need to reform taxi regulation to better meet the needs of consumers.  Jaguar Consulting has substantial international and Australian expertise in taxi industry regulation and its reform, having worked on this issue for a range of clients over almost twenty years.  In particular we have:

  • Provided several inputs to the 2011-12 Victorian Taxi Industry Inquiry, including a review of recent reforms to taxi regulation in Ireland and a paper analysing potential transitional strategies to facilitate reform in a highly regulated taxi industry context Read the paper on transitional strategies here
  • Provided a major report on taxi industry regulation and its reform to the Victorian Department of Transport.  This report, Reforming Taxi Regulation in Victoria, included a critical review of the literature on taxi regulation, an analysis of major reforms adopted internationally and a review of reform options and transitional strategies;
  • Prepared a key analytical paper for discussion at the OECD's 2007 Policy Roundtable on Competition and Regulation in the Taxi Industry (Read the paper here (pp 17-50)
  • Co-authored the Essential Services Commission's 2005 Taxi Fare Review; and

Acted as the lead author of the NCC's major 2002 and 2003 reviews of states' and territories' compliance with their Legislative Review Program obligations in respect of the reform of the taxi industry.





Rail Safety


We have worked extensively on rail safety issues for the National Transport Commission, the Victorian Department of Transport and the Australian Railways Association.  We were contracted to assist the NTC throughout the development of the National Model Rail Safety Act.  This involved:


  • Developing an internal paper applying regulatory best practice principles to the specific rail safety context and working with NTC staff to develop policy principles and approaches;
  • Contributing to the stakeholder consultation process by drafting a published discussion paper and facilitating focus groups during a major stakeholder seminar/conference;
  • Assisting in the development of policy proposals by providing preliminary economic analysis and feedback; and
  • conducting RIA on the resulting model Act.


The model Act has now been adopted in all Australian jurisdictions.


Download the discussion paper Improving the Regulatory Framework for Rail Safety in Australia, plus the final RIS on the model Act here and here



Public health


We have provided research services and policy advice on a wide range of public health topics, including food regulation, drinking water quality, solaria and legionnaires' disease.  Examples include:

  • Working with the Department of Health to develop its submissions to the VCEC's inquiry into food regulation in Victoria;
  • Conducting stakeholder consultations and providing a digest of stakeholder views to support DoH's development of its position in respect of the Federal Government's Blewett Inquiry into food labelling standards;
  • Researching the evidence on the impact of solarium use on skin cancer incidence and modelling the likely impact of various regulatory control options; and
  • Providing advice to the Department  of Health on the impact on consumer behaviour and eating habits of providing nutritional information in the fast food context and the implications for potential regulation in this field.


We have also completed some of the largest and most detailed regulatory impact assessments conducted in this field, following on from these research projects.  See our RIA page for details.



Access to Premises for People with Disabilities


Jaguar Consulting has completed extensive policy analysis and synthesis work on the issue of improving access to both publicly accessible building and to housing stock for people with disabilities. 


Publicly accessible buildings


We worked extensively with the Australian Building Codes Board over several years on the development of the Disability (Access to Premises-Buildings) Standards 2010.  We assembled a multi-disciplinary team to conduct detailed modelling of the benefits and costs of initial standards proposals, completing an RIS, undertaking detailed analysis and assessment of stakeholder submissions and modelling a range of variations on the initial proposals.  The project culminated in the publication of an RIS in respect of the final Standard and its ultimate adoption into law. 


Read the Access to Premises Standard Final Decision RIS here


Accessible Housing Stock


Following completion of the above work for ABCB, we were contracted by the Victorian Building Commission to prepare a research paper on options for improving the accessibility of the Victorian housing stock for people with disabilities.  We identified evidence on the availability of accessible housing in Victoria and in other countries and analysed a wide range of -policy options for increasing the supply of accessible housing stock.  Our report was provided to the Attorney-General’s taskforce on this issue as a key input to their work on this issue, which resulted in a range of both regulatory and non-regulatory initiatives.