Image for The Quest for Security: Is it rational? has it actually made us safer? At what cost?

First published November 15

Download address to the Royal Society of Tasmania, by Saul Eslake, Independent Economist, and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Tasmania, Government House, Hobart, 14th November 2017 … 


Saul Eslake is an independent economist and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Tasmania. His previous roles were as Chief Economist at ANZ Bank (1995-2009), Program Director at the Grattan Institute, a ‘think-tank’ (2009-2011) and Chief Economist Australia for Bank of America Merrill Lynch (2011-2015).

• Anthony John in Comments: I have long considered Saul Eslake the State’s pre-eminent Economist; and arguably, the Nation’s also. It was with great interest therefore that I read his presentation on a such an important subject, demonstrating his considerable intellect and analytical skills.It should be of great concern to us all whenever a government seeks to employ the bogy of public security ( exagerating the threat) in order to justify greatly increased expenditure on security apparatus;and reducing individual liberty.It is legitimate to question whether it has made us safer, and whether the magnitude of the costs incurred can rationally be justified. In my view, they cannot. Thank you Mr Eslake for being brave enough to raise this matter for public debate - a debate well worth having!