Ben Oquist, Executive Director

We barrack for ideas, not political parties.

Richard Denniss, Executive Director

Our Goal

The Australia Institute provides intellectual and policy leadership. We conduct research that drives the public debate and secures policy outcomes that make Australia better.

We are confident that we consistently deliver on the promise of our motto: research that matters.

We design work and research to influence and persuade policymakers, politicians and to shift the public debate. We are fiercely non-partisan but we don’t shy away from engaging in politics and political debates. We believe in democracy and our work is aimed at a better, more informed democratic debate.

The Australia Institute is independently funded by donations from philanthropic trusts and individuals, as well as grants and commissioned research from business, unions and non-government organisations. We do not accept donations or commissioned work from political parties. With no formal political or commercial ties, the Institute is in a position to maintain its independence while advancing a vision for a fairer Australia.

Our Impact

When we talk about ‘research that matters’ we are talking about making real, tangible changes that would not have happened if we were not there to make them happen.

The Australia Institute has a track record of delivering research and initiatives that reshape debates and impact policy and outcomes at the highest levels of government.

  1. Better, Fairer Stage 3 income tax cuts

    The Labor government announced changes to the Stage 3 tax cuts that delivered an additional $84 billion to low and middle income over ten years, the culmination of five years of Australia Institute research and analysis.

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  2. A pedestrian walks past the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) building in Sydney, Tuesday, February 4, 2020.

    Challenging the Consensus on Profits and Inflation

    The Australia Institute’s research on corporate profits – rather than wages – driving inflation has challenged one of the sacred tenets of Australian economic management, leading to pushback from the likes of pro-business media outlets and the Federal Treasury.

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  3. Securing a National Anti-Corruption Watchdog with Teeth

    Australia now has a national anti-corruption watchdog, the National Anti-Corruption Commission, following years of Australia Institute research and engagement with the legal profession and federal MPs and Senators.

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  4. Exposing the flaws of ‘Green Wall Street’

    The Australia Institute’s forensic analysis of a PwC report exposed such deep flaws in its claim a nature repair market could “unlock $137 billion” in investment, the consultancy firm was forced to ‘walk it back’ and the government to delay its legislation.

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  5. Institute triggers EPBC review of salmon farming to protect Maugean skate ‘Thylacine of the Sea’

    The Australia Institute Tasmania’s work was critical to triggering a federal EPBC review of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour, given new scientific evidence shows the endangered Maugean skate, a ray-like animal, is at risk of extinction due in large part to salmon farming.

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  6. Coal and the Climate

    The Australia Institute has been at the forefront of Australia’s coal debate for more than a decade, with our research showing that, while politically powerful, the coal industry is a small employer, a reluctant tax payer, heavily subsidised and makes Australia a world leader in exporting climate pollution. Our research has been highlighted by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other world leaders calling for a moratorium on new coal mines.

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