Ben Oquist, Executive Director

We barrack for ideas, not political parties.

Ben Oquist, 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.

Our Research & Impact

  1. Company Tax Cuts

    The Australia Institute ensured the Coalition’s final company tax cuts package was much smaller than originally planned. It was Australia Institute research that revealed the Coalition’s proposal would deliver neither jobs or growth, just greater inequality.

    We showed the tax cuts would deliver a $7.4 billion windfall to Australia’s big four banks at a time of already record profits and our research played a crucial role in parliamentary debate.

  2. Newstart Payment Cuts

    Our research showed that Government moves to cut Newstart payments would put recipients at 32% below the poverty line and this policy has since been abandoned.

  3. Batteries

    We showed how batteries paired with variable renewable energy (such as solar and wind) can now provide security of electricity supply, with zero emissions.

  4. Negative Gearing and Capital Gains Tax

    Our Top Gears report put the $7.4 billion cost of negative gearing and CGT discount squarely in the middle of the housing affordability debate, revealing 67% of the tax benefits go to the top 20% of income earners, with just 4% going to the bottom 20% of households

  5. National Anti-Corruption Watchdog

    Australia is closer than ever to establishing a national anti-corruption watchdog, following years of Australia Institute research and engagement with the legal profession and federal MPs and Senators. In 2018 Labor announced it would legislate to establish a commission to look into serious and systemic corruption in the federal government and public service if it wins the next election.

    Our National Integrity Committee - made up of distinguished former judges and corruption fighters have released a blueprint for designing a federal Commission against corruption and we will continue to push for this common sense policy until it is reality.

  6. The 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 fair and progressive Australia.

Our Research Programs

Our State Branches

Our Research Centres