This chapter looks at Australian public policy immediately before and during the period in which the consultants at the centre of the research carried out their work. It reviews the economic context in which Hawke came to power and indicates why traditional forms of institutional policy advice were no longer seen as adequate by the new government. The chapter suggests possible reasons why it became more acceptable to use consultants as part of Labor’s plan for government in the 1980s and concludes with a typology on the possibilities of government action contrasting the degree of change desired by government and the level of institutional entrenchment surrounding the issue. The context of Australian public sector management became more volatile in the 1980s as the nation was subject to significant and unpredictable change brought about by early moves to deregulate the economy.