(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Alongside Australia's fiscal deficit -- currently estimated to be $184 billion by next year -- the COVID-19 crisis has produced other equally profound deficits in our social and cultural institutions.

One that will be hard to fix is a large and growing governance deficit: governance, in the sense of the ways in which public policy is made and governments held to account for policy and delivery.

During the pandemic many institutional safeguards -- cabinet, parliament, publication of government information -- have been set aside.