White Elephant Stampede
Case Studies in Policy and Project Management Failures
Edited by David Gration, Bruce Kingston and Scott Prasser
November 2022 Release
Paperback, 254 pages, $39.95
White Elephant Stampede – examines the seemingly endless
cavalcade of projects that fail to meet their objectives, cost more than
expected and become an ongoing drain on public resources. From public
awareness campaign disasters to payroll system technology collapses,
from poorly developed environmental projects to the over-optimistic
benefits of proposed Olympic Games, these case studies provide lessons
as to why White Elephant projects occur and how they might be avoided.
It is of value to every decision maker and to every concerned citizen.
Project Managers, Senior Public Servants, Politicians, Academics and
Students will gain valuable insights from this volume.
White Elephant Stampede draws on the research and industry
experience, and expertise of an outstanding range of contributors: Gary
Banks, Simon Dawkins, Brian Dollery, Henrico Dolfing, David Gration,
Paul Hooper, Binoy Kampmark, Aynsley Kellow, Bruce Kingston, Justin
Macdonnell, Scott Prasser, Nadeem Samnakay and Steven Schwarz.
David Gration PhD is an events researcher and mentor with over 30
years of industry experience managing services and projects in arts,
events and tourism. David is a life member of Performing Arts
Bruce Kingston has some 40 years’ experience in management,
marketing, community engagement and public affairs roles in corporate,
consulting and government roles working in various States and
Territories. He has also been a University lecturer, a speechwriter, a
political campaign consultant and a restaurateur.
Scott Prasser PhD has worked in federal and state governments in
senior research and policy roles as well as working in academia. He has
written extensively on Australian government and politics and the 2nd
edition of his Royal Commissions and Public Inquiries in Australia was published in 2021.
Foreword by Professor Gary Banks AO
Policy & Project Overview Spilt Milk, Cherry Trees and White Elephants: Rationality and Veracity in the Policy Process by Aynsley Kellow
1. ‘Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink” The sad history of water politics in SE Qld and the bad politics that led to the ‘solution’ of desalination -- Bruce Kingston
2. Murray-Darling Basin Water Reforms – Money for Nothing and Water for Free -- Nadeem Samnakay
3. Out of the ashes of and biochar of Narrogin – a new attempt at biofuels in WA -- Simon Dawkins
4. White Elephants in Local Government: Australian Municipal Mergers as State Government Failure -- Brian Dollery
5. The Black Hole of 10BA -- Justin Macdonnell
6. The $6.2 million Payroll System that cost Queensland $1.25 billion -- Henrico Dolfing
7. Whatever Happened to COVIDSafe? -- Steven Schwartz AM
8. Movie sets and racetracks –fates awaiting airports that aren’t wanted. Beware an excess of optimism! -- Paul Hooper
9. White Elephants of the Sea: Australia’s Disastrous Future Submarine Program -- Binoy Kampmark
10. “Tell ‘im he’s dreamin’” The Olympic Games - a case of over-promising and under-delivering -- David Gration
Lessons from the Stampede -- Scott Prasser
Dessert: Discontent over Consent: The Short Unhappy Life of the Milkshake Video -- Steven Schwartz AM
Case Study Questions