B. W. Hogwood and L. A. Gunn’s framework of the stages of the policy-making process provides a useful model for the assessment of the importance of the role of each consultancy in its policy field. In public policy some strategies, or ‘moves’, are more acceptable at any given moment than others. The tension between the disinterested observer’s advocacy of a particular change and the protests about change by those most intimately concerned was what Hawke Governments in the 1980s had to manage. The Social Security Review covered issues central to the functioning of the Australian welfare state since it was concerned with ways in which people are supported at times of need in their life cycle but it overturned many existing assumptions about individual rights to receipt of welfare funds. From the perspective of the disinterested observer each of the cases could be described as an apparently rational attempt by government to manage the changing nature of Australian society.