Yes, lockdowns mean lost jobs. But data shows that not locking down causes much more economic damage

by Jim Stanford in Toronto Star

With new stay-at-home orders covering many parts of the province, Ontarians are settling in for a month (at least) of daunting isolation. Restrictions are also being tightened in other provinces to slow the spread of COVID-19, until vaccines can turn the tide of the pandemic. Despite accelerating infection and overflowing hospitals, many oppose the new restrictions on

PM’s Responsibility to Correct Misinformation & Condemn Trump’s Role in Riots

In the era of fake-news, new research by the Australia Institute shows that the majority of Australians think the Prime Minister bears a responsibility to correct & criticise members of his own government who post misinformation online, and to condemn President Donald Trump for his role inciting the US Capitol insurrection. The Australia Institute surveyed

There is no reason to believe it couldn’t happen here

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

“We love you, you’re very special.” Thus US President Donald Trump addressed the armed insurrectionists looting the Congress in more loving terms than with which one suspects he has ever addressed his own children. But we have come to expect as much from the President who once described neo-Nazis as “very fine people”. It was

Which jobs and what growth?

by Richard Denniss in The Monthly

We need to talk about the economy For decades we have talked about the size of the economy, but it is time we talked about its shape. For decades we have been told that if the economy grew faster it would solve all our problems, but it’s time we talked about which parts of the

December 2020

Pandemic Exacerbated Inequality, Insecurity in Australia’s Labour Market

A year-end review of the dramatic changes in Australia’s labour market in 2020 has confirmed that the worst economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic were felt by Australians in relatively low-paid, insecure jobs. Key Findings: Workers in casual jobs lost employment at a rate 8 times faster than those in permanent positions Part-time workers suffered

‘Unprecedented’ and ‘Exhausting’ Year Not Without a Few Positives for Australians

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,018 Australians on 17-18 December 2020 about their perceptions of the year 2020. Key findings:  When presented with a list of 11 words or phrases and asked which best describes 2020, ‘unprecedented’ was the single most popular choice, chosen by 19%, followed by ‘terrible’ (14%), ‘tragic’

Now more than ever we should be strengthening democracy. We’re not.

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

by Ben Oquist [Originally published by the Canberra Times, 26 December 2020] On climate policy, both the election of Joe Biden and the acrimony from China should make Australia’s transition away from coal easier, though more urgent. Likewise, the strains that democracies are under around the world, especially in the United States, make the case

3 in 4 NSW Voters Back Victorian Style Euthanasia Laws, Including 76% of Coalition Voters

New research from The Australia Institute has shown that a significant majority of New South Wales voters support the introduction of voluntary assisted dying laws, modelled on Victorian legislation that was passed last year. The Australia Institute surveyed 1,038 New South Wales residents between 10 and 16 December 2020. Key results: Seven in 10 NSW

Economy, Health, Climate Change Top Voter Issues in 2020

New research from The Australia Institute has shown that the economy, health and climate change were the top three issues of concern for Australian voters in the second half of 2020. The Australia Institute surveyed nationally representative samples of over 1,000 Australians each month from August about what they think is the most important national

Stop believing in fairytales: Australia’s coal industry doesn’t employ many people or pay its fair share of tax

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Just as people in the Middle Ages mistakenly believed the sun revolved around the Earth, many modern-day Australians mistakenly believe our economy revolves around the coal industry. Of course, such misunderstandings aren’t an indictment of those who have been misled, but those who did the misleading. Galileo was imprisoned for life for the “heresy” of

Transport Emissions Returning to Pre-Covid Highs

New research from the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program shows that while the COVID pandemic provided a brief respite from some fossil fuel emissions, in sectors like transport—which lacks any climate-abatement policy—emissions are quickly rising back to pre-pandemic heights. The Australia Institute’s analysis indicates that returning to business as usual post-pandemic will not be

War Crimes: Where does ultimate responsibility lie? Only a Royal Commission will determine the answer

by Allan Behm in Pearls and Irritations

by Allan Behm[Originally published in public policy journal, Pearls & Irritations, on 21 Dec 2020] The Brereton report has major deficiencies around where ultimate responsibility lies for war crimes in Afghanistan. To understand this and to eradicate the cultural and systemic causes of the alleged crimes, we need a Royal Commission. War crimes are perhaps

War Crimes Royal Commission Needed, Brereton Inquiry Deficient

The Australia Institute has released a discussion paper, critical of the Brereton Inquiry, and calling for a Royal Commission into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. Key findings: Justice Brereton was given narrow terms of reference to establish matters of fact, not to assign or excuse responsibility or blame. The finding that no information on potential

New Research Centre Established to Honour Union Leader Laurie Carmichael

A new research centre dedicated to the legacy of one of Australia’s greatest union leaders will be established in 2021 at the Australia Institute. The newly formed Carmichael Centre will be established at the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, in the name of legendary manufacturing unionist Laurie Carmichael, who passed away in 2018 at

$50 Million Hand-Out to Northern Territory Frackers

The Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt, has today announced a $50 million taxpayer-funded subsidy to fracking companies in the Northern Territory. “Subsidising oil and gas fracking is the last thing governments should be doing from both an economic and climate perspective,” said Rod Campbell, Research Director at The Australia Institute.

States are leading the way in the climate power shift

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published by the Canberra Times, 12 Dec 2020] 2020 has seen a shift in the balance of power. Not in the Senate, but between the Federal Government and the States.   All last summer during the bushfires—while the Prime Minister was infamously not holding a hose—it was the Premiers and Chief Ministers who

Gas-fired recovery a massive employment dud

by Richie Merzian and Mark Ogge in The Newcastle Herald

by Richie Merzian & Mark Ogge[Originally published in the Newcastle Herald, 18 November 2020] A gas-fired recovery from the economic damage caused by Covid-19 will not help the Hunter region.  In fact, a gas-fired recovery will struggle to employ anyone, except the gas executives that proposed the idea. The bottom line is, creating jobs in

Statement on Government’s Future Fuels Strategy Discussion Paper

“This discussion paper is an admission of failure from the government when it comes to electric vehicles,” said Richie Merzian, Director of The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program. “After waiting years for a much touted electric vehicle strategy, Australia now has little more than a wafer thin discussion paper that doesn’t even exclusively focus

Until recently, pressure on Australia to drop carryover credits had little impact. But times change

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by Guardian Australia, 09 December 2020] Political pressure makes the impossible inevitable. Unfortunately, so much has been written about how democracy is broken, that it can seem churlish to point out that sometimes it works just as it is designed to: slowly, imperfectly and then suddenly. Take, for example, Scott Morrison’s

An unprecedented year: reflecting on 2020 with Richard Denniss

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a bit of a nightmare. This week, in our final episode of the year, Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss revisit some of the Australia Institute’s predictions back in March 2020 and reflect on the way Australia’s economy and politics have changed this year in response to the pandemic. Mild

The myth of Australia’s gas supply shortage

featuring Ebony Bennett and Mark Ogge

The ‘gas-fired recovery’ is supposed to help Australia’s manufacturing industry by freeing up new supply. But the Australia Institute’s research shows the days of cheap gas are over. www.tai.org.au Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests: Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor // @MarkOgge Producer: Jennifer Macey Theme music is by Jonathan McFeat

The US Election result and what it means for Australia

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richie Merzian and Allan Behm

In this episode we unpack what a Biden Administration means for climate and foreign policy in Australia, with Richie Merzian and Allan Behm. The Australia Institute // @theAusinstituteHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guests: Richie Merzian, director Climate & Energy Program // @richiemerzian Allan Behm, director International & Security Affairs program

Digital Giants, Market Power and Media Diversity

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Australia’s news media is one of the most highly concentrated in the world. Since 2019, more than 157 newsrooms have closed in Australia and many local, community and rural newspapers have ceased printing or gone digital only. It was in this climate that in 2018 the federal government tasked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Media Release NSWSAVIC

Leaked Government Paper: EV Tax Will ‘Discourage Uptake’, ‘Face Strong Opposition’

Putting a new tax on electric vehicles without related concessions, as has been proposed in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, would likely face strong opposition and discourage Australians from purchasing zero and low emissions cars, a leaked intergovernmental document has shown. The analysis of potential models for state based Road User Charges for

Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

0422 775 161

anna@tai.org.au