Yesterday I sat down with my colleague Alex Oliver to talk about her new Lowy Institute Policy Brief on Australia's consular conundrum (Alex also has an op-ed in in today's Australian).

I'm fascinated by this topic because it's such a classic example of the clash between politics and policy. The political incentives are all towards making consular issues an ever more prominent part of the Foreign Affairs portfolio. The fact that this is unsustainable without extra funding is obvious to all, but the incentives for fixing the problem rather than muddling through are low. As you will see at the end of the interview, Alex has a solution, but it will take political courage to implement it.