Open Letter: 39 Prominent Australians Call for Truth in Political Advertising Laws

39 prominent Australians have signed an open letter co-ordinated by the Australia Institute, calling on Parliament to pass truth in political advertising laws that are nationally consistent, constitutional and uphold freedom of speech. Signatories to the open letter include Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, former political party leaders and politicians from all sides of politics,

New Analysis: Nationals Deal to Cost Economy $210 billion

The budgetary cost of persuading the National Party to support Scott Morrison’s net zero target are trivial compared to the costs to the economy of delaying new investment according to a new Australia Institute analysis of economic modelling. The Business Council of Australia recently released modelling by Deloitte Access Economics of the economic benefits of

Parliament’s Chance to Pass a Federal Integrity Commission with Teeth

The National Integrity Committee welcomes the tabling in the Senate today by Senator Rex Patrick of Helen Haines’ Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill to establish a Federal Integrity Commission. Recent events have highlighted the urgent need for a well-designed commission, with the powers of a standing royal commission and with safeguards against misuse of those

Offsetting up for failure: Northern Territory Climate Offsets Policy

With the impacts of climate change already being felt in the Northern Territory, new research shows the Northern Territory Government’s draft Greenhouse Gas Emissions Offsets Policy should be abandoned or at least heavily revised. A submission from The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program shows that the proposed offset system would undermine existing NT Government

Upper House Now Final Barrier Against SA Gov’s Misguided EV Tax

The Australia Institute has welcomed SA Labor’s strong opposition to the SA Government’s Electric Vehicle Tax during debate in the Lower House today and has called on the Parliament’s Upper House to reject the flawed policy. “The State Government’s deeply flawed EV Tax will pull the handbrake on the uptake of EVs and effective climate

Facial Recognition for Home Quarantine is a Recipe for Privacy Disaster

State governments trialling home quarantine need to take active steps to ensure they are not crossing a new frontier in the surveillance of citizens by using Facial Recognition Technology, warns the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. This follows reports that in several states police have accessed COVID check-in data to undertake routine law enforcement activities.

Facebook Should Face Royal Commission into its Online Harms

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has backed Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s proposal for a high-level review of the public health impacts of Facebook’s business model, calling for a Royal Commission into the company’s impact on Australian users. Evidence from an internal whistleblower to the US Senate this week has exposed how Facebook’s leadership

Junk Carbon Credits

featuring Ebony Bennett, Polly Hemming and Richie Merzian

Today’s episode examines carbon offsets, in other words, the credits companies can buy to offset their emissions. The Australia Institute, together with the Australian Conservation Foundation did a bit of digging into Australia’s offsets system and found some alarming things. Recorded live on 5 October 2021 The Australia Institute // @theausinstitute Host: Ebony Bennett, Deputy

The algorithms that rule Australia

featuring Peter Lewis, Lizzie O'Shea, Dan Stinton and Jordan Guiao

Welcome to Burning Platforms. A new fortnightly podcast unpacks the latest developments in technology from around the world. This fortnight we explore algorithms that rule Australia, how we are increasingly outsourcing policy and governance to algorithms. We will look at how facial recognition, robo-planning and robo-welfare are entering our policy environments. This and more in

Insecure Workers Have Been the ‘Shock Troops’ of the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Report

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work confirms that workers in casual and insecure jobs have borne the lion’s share of job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic – both the first lockdowns in 2020, and the more recent Delta-wave of closures. Key Findings: Since May, workers in casual and part-time jobs have

Tasmanian Government Must Go Further to Make Elections Fairer

The Tasmanian Government’s proposals to make political donations and election spending more transparent are a step in the right direction, but the new laws do not go far enough. The legislation still leaves Tasmania with the weakest regulation of third-party campaigners, such as industry lobby groups, of any state or territory in Australia. The proposed

Scott Morrison’s ‘net zero by 2050’ emissions reduction plan will be filled with tricks and rorts

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Sometime this month Scott Morrison will announce a net zero by 2050 emissions-reduction target for Australia. This announcement will be made with the expectation of praise. However, much like the world was indifferent when Australia signalled it would no longer be using Kyoto credits to meet its Paris targets, so too will this announcement be

Statement from the National Integrity Committee Regarding Changes to the South Australian Independent Commission Against Corruption

The National Integrity Committee is deeply concerned about the recent changes made by the South Australian Parliament to the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012. As we all well know corruption in public office is insidious, well hidden, and erodes trust in our public institutions. We unreservedly endorse the need to ensure that reputations are

September 2021

The importance of the crossbench with Senator Jacqui Lambie [webinar series]

featuring Ebony Bennett and Eloise Carr

The number of independent Members and Senators elected to Parliament has been steadily increasing and the crossbench plays an important role in shaping the future of Australia. independent Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie for an inside look at how it all works. Recorded live on 3 March 2021 as part of the Australia Institute webinar

Key Accountability Committee Calls for Charity Regulations to be Scrapped

The Australia Institute has welcomed the Senate Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation decision to recommend that the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Amendment (2021 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2021 be disallowed. The Committee, chaired by Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, outlined concerns which include that the regulation lacks clarity, would give the Charities Commissioner a

Government Must Now Act on ACCC Call to Regulate Google’s Advertising Power

The Federal Government should move urgently to implement the recommendations of a new ACCC report into the monopoly dominance of Google in the advertising. The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology said understanding and regulating the hidden power of Google to collect and combine user data from multiple sources was a critical piece in addressing the

Richard Denniss: Australia’s carbon credits are a joke. Taxpayer money is being wasted on ‘hot air’

by Richard Denniss in The New Daily

If a tree doesn’t fall in a forest, was the climate really saved? Sadly, such esoteric questions have become the main game in the topsy-turvy world of Australian climate policy, where rising emissions from the oil and gas industry are ‘offset’ by not chopping down trees. The polite term for the creation of dodgy carbon

Statement in response to the Clean Energy Regulator

Fundamental questions of integrity have been raised by the Australia Institute and the Australian Conservation Foundation in regards to the Emissions Reduction Fund’s avoided deforestation method. Rather than investigate the method in question, the regulator has sought to discredit the analysis, and revealed an alarming lack of understanding of its own methodology. A full statement

Over 60 scientists & experts call on NT Chief Minister Gunner to honour commitment to net-zero fracking emissions

Over 60 leading scientists and experts have published an open letter in the NT News, co-ordinated by the Australia Institute, calling on Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner to fulfill his commitment that all emission be fully offset or gas fracking should not go ahead. Chief Minister Gunner has committed to faithfully implement all the

Serious Integrity Concerns Around Australia’s ‘Junk’ Carbon Credits

One in five carbon credits issued by the Federal Government’s $4.5 billion Emission Reduction Fund (ERF) do not represent real abatement and are essentially ‘junk’ credits, according to new research by the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program. Key Findings: Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) generated by the ‘avoided deforestation’

The ultimate alchemy: transforming Pandora’s box into a can of worms

by Allan Behm in The Canberra Times

To say the very least, the government’s decision to acquire the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines is problematic. For those Australians familiar with the role of submarines in Australia’s defence planning – and there are more people involved in that arcane world than you might think – there is a kind of inevitability in the

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