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Public policy permeates every aspect of our lives. It is the stuff of government, justifying taxes, driving legislation, and shaping our social services. Public policy gives us roads, railways and airports, emergency services, industry development, and natural resource management. While politicians make the decisions, public servants provide analysis and support for those choices. Drawing on their extensive practical experience, the authors outline the processes used in making public policy. They systematically explain the relationships between political decision-makers, public service advisers, other community participants, and those charged with implementing the programs that result. The fifth edition of this widely used introduction is fully updated, and includes new material on policy complexity, best practice and smart practice, disaster management and community engagement, and the increased role of non-profit organisations in delivering services.