Salmon Inquiry Report: Comprehensive Marine Plan Now

The long-awaited Legislative Council Fin Fish Farming in Tasmania Inquiry report tabled in Parliament today, highlights the many problems faced by the industry. The Australia Institute Tasmania commends the Committee’s call for an overarching Marine Plan for Tasmania through a comprehensive stakeholder consultation, informed by assessment of environmental, social and recreational values, with a transparent

Anti-Protest Law Must be Stopped: Civil Society

Leading Tasmanian and national civil society groups have published an open letter in the Hobart Mercury today opposing the Government’s anti-protest law which they say is an attack on democracy and must be stopped. The proposed law would create new offences for peaceful protest activity, making peaceful protest penalties on-par with trespassing with a firearm,

Past the Pendulum: thinking inside The Cube

New research from the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program suggests new models are needed to interpret national two-party preferred polls The latest Newspoll finding a national two-party preferred swing of 5.5% to Labor has election watchers and campaigners reaching for their electoral pendulum to work out what it all means come Saturday. The Australian’s

NSW Legalises Voluntary Assisted Dying, Time to Grant Territories Their Democratic Rights

“The NSW Parliament’s decision to legalise voluntary assisted dying means the Federal Parliament should remove the bar that prevents the ACT and the NT from considering similar legislation,” said Ben Oquist, executive director of the Australia Institute. “Our research shows the majority of Australians support the Federal Parliament giving back Territory rights on legislating voluntary assisted

Clean hydrogen is Dirty Marketing: FOI & Polling

Documents obtained under freedom of Information show the Victorian Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project, that uses brown coal to make hydrogen, is unlikely to meet its claimed emissions reductions of 1.8 million tonnes, and is more likely to increase emissions by up to 3.8 million tonnes, the equivalent to adding up to 735,000 cars

WPI: Worst Real Wage Decline This Century

“The latest wages data show that real wages in the past 12 months fell 2.5%. This horror result for workers shows that not only are wages not putting pressure on inflation but that workers are not seeing the benefits of lower unemployment,” said Greg Jericho, employment & fiscal policy director at the Australia Institute’s Centre

Significant Proportion of Voters Uncertain on Senate Preferential Voting

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,002 Australians about their Senate voting intentions and their understanding of how Senate voting works. The results show: A significant proportion of Australians remain uncertain about important aspects of Senate preferential voting: More than four in ten (43%) respondents thought that putting a 6 beside a

The explosion of political appointments to the AAT

featuring Ebony Bennett, Ben Oquist and Bill Browne

New research from the Australia Institute shows that the number of political appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has skyrocketed. In this episode Ebony unpacks the largest and most comprehensive domestic study of the practice of cronyism in relation to appointments to a government agency ever conducted, with Ben Oquist and Bill Browne. This was

One in Five Worked with COVID Symptoms; Sick Leave Entitlements Must Be Strengthened

Almost one in five Australians (and a higher proportion of young workers) acknowledge working with potential COVID symptoms over the course of the pandemic, according to new opinion research released today by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. The research confirms the public health dangers of Australia’s patchwork system of sick leave and related

APPEA members pay no income tax on income of $138 billion

New analysis of data published by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) shows that five of the gas industry’s most prominent companies have paid no income tax for at least the past seven years, despite a combined income from their Australian operations of $138 billion. Four of the five members of the Australian Petroleum Production &

Government Agency Political Appointments as High as One in Three

A new report from the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program represents the largest and most comprehensive domestic study of the practice of cronyism in relation to appointments to a government agency ever conducted in Australia. This detailed deep dive report has investigated every single appointment made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) since 1996

Finland & Sweden Join NATO: Dramatic Strategic Change in Europe

“The looming applications by Finland and Sweden for NATO membership together constitute the most significant strategic change in Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the destruction of the Berlin Wall,” said Allan Behm, Director of the Australia Institute’s International & Security Affairs Program. “This move will signal a monumental ‘own goal’ for

Higgins Polling Research Shows Landslide Support for Truth in Political Advertising Laws

New polling in the federal seat of Higgins shows a tight race between the Government and Opposition, with respondents indicating a substantial drop in the Liberal Party primary vote. “This poll demonstrates landslide support for truth in political advertising laws (92%) in a campaign which has been marred by allegations of dishonesty and misinformation,” said

An Australian COP29

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richie Merzian and Allan Behm

Australia has never hosted a United Nations climate conference (COP) and the recent proposal from the Labor Party to bid for the 2024 COP in partnership with the Pacific could shift Australia’s reputation from climate laggard to regional leader. Hosting a COP would also have a number of economic, diplomatic and security co-benefits. This was

Polling: Integrity a Key Issue to Voters

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,002 Australians about integrity’s role in the 2022 election. The results show that integrity is important to most Australians in this election. Overall, three in four Australians (76%) either say that integrity issues are more important (30%) this election than last or that integrity issues are

Wages Will Continue to Lag Without Targeted Wage-Boosting Measures: New Report

A comprehensive review of Australian wage trends indicates that wage growth is likely to remain stuck at historically weak levels despite the dramatic disruptions experienced by the Australian labour market through the COVID-19 pandemic. The report finds that targeted policies to deliberately lift wages are needed to break free of the low-wage trajectory that has

Why commentary that wages growing in line with inflation will drive up inflation is completely misguided

by Greg Jericho

Today the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese was asked about wages in the following exchange: Journalist: “You said that you don’t want people to go backwards. Does that mean that you would support a wage hike of 5.1% just to keep up with inflation? Anthony Albanese: “Absolutely”. Any other response would be to suggest that real

Inflation Good for Budget but Bad for Voters

Surging inflation is driving record increases in government tax revenue while simultaneously pushing down workers’ real wages, according to new Australia Institute analysis of Treasury forecasts released today. As the figure below shows, Treasury forecasts of Commonwealth spending are well above the spending forecasts made pre-covid and, more significantly, well above the levels forecast in

Facebook Revelations an Attack on Democracy

“Today’s revelations in the Wall Street Journal confirm what we suspected at the time: that Facebook’s takedown was a deliberate attack on Australian democratic institutions, deployed as a negotiating tactic to avoid paying for news content,” said Peter Lewis, Director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “The fact that this global corporation was

Hosting UN Climate Summit Could Ease Pacific Tensions: Report

A new research report released today has found that by hosting the UN’s largest climate event (COP29 in 2024) in partnership with Pacific neighbours, Australia could ease diplomatic tensions in the region, in addition to tackling climate change and stimulating local tourism and hospitality. The report comes as Australia’s relations with the Solomon Islands have

Pandemic Workforce Crisis Requires TAFE Investment in Early Childhood Education to Boost Economy: Report

A new report has found pandemic workforce shortages should be tackled through investment in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) to boost employment, unlock productivity and support life-long development outcomes for children. The research report launched today, ‘Educating for Care: Meeting Skills Shortages in an Expanding ECEC Industry’ has called for the sector to be

Restoring Integrity in the Carbon Market

featuring Ben Oquist

Speech delivered by Ben Oquist, executive director of the Australia Institute, to the Smart Energy Conference 2022, 5 May 2022 E&OE transcript I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, on whose stolen land we meet, and pay my respects to elders past and present. And I extend this respect to all Aboriginal

Renewed Call for Review of $4.5 Billion Carbon Credit Scheme

The Australian Government’s controversial $4.5 billion Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) has today come under renewed calls for a root-and-branch review. The call comes following revelations by the former chair of the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee that up to 80% of Australian carbon credits lack integrity. A new research report, launched today by the

How do Nordic countries make housing affordable?

featuring Andrew Scott and Ebony Bennett

Australia’s housing affordability crisis results from over- reliance on just two options – private home ownership and private renting. To tackle it, a wider repertoire of policies is required. Nordic nations’ widespread provision of public housing and housing co-operatives, priority for homes to live in rather than invest in, and effective reduction of homelessness, show

Unwarranted ‘Kangaroo Court’ Attacks on Integrity Commissions Undermine Crucial Accountability Role in Our Democracy

“Attacks on integrity commissions as ‘kangaroo courts’ show a misunderstanding of the role they play in our democracy,” said Bill Browne, Head of the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program. “Every state and territory in Australia has an integrity commission, and none has turned into a ‘public autocracy’ because of it. Premier Dominic Perrottet was

Goldstein Polling Research

New research reveals that the Coalition MP for Goldstein, Tim Wilson, is under serious pressure to retain his seat according to a uComms opinion poll conducted on the 27th of April. The poll was conducted with a sample size of 855 people via telephone, with a margin of error of 3.34%. The poll is Australian

April 2022

It is time to talk about truth in political advertising

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Before a vote has been cast, one election verdict has already been delivered. The campaign has been too light on policy and too heavy on misleading scare tactics. Our democracy is suffering for it. In just the first weeks of the election campaign, we have seen heated accusations of misleading claims from all sides. Waleed

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