When the Show Cannot Go On: Rebooting Australia’s Arts & Entertainment Sector After COVID-19

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, written by Senior Economist Alison Pennington and Monash University’s Ben Eltham, reveals the ongoing, devastating impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s arts and entertainment sector and provides a series of recommendations to government that would reboot the creative sector following the crisis. Key Findings: The arts

New Analysis: The Critical Role of the States in COVID-19 and Beyond

Australia’s states and territories have taken the lead in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, representing a potential re-alignment of state-federal relations, according to new research by the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program. Polling shows that the proportion of Australians who rate their state/territory government as doing a better job of handling the crisis has reached

Coalition Policies Will Not Improve Productivity According to Treasury

New analysis of the Intergenerational Report reveals Treasury does not believe that any of the policies introduced by the Coalition Government in the last six years will have any measurable impact on Australia’s productivity growth in the coming decades. Key Findings: The latest Intergenerational Report (IGR 2021) reveals that the Treasury Department is more pessimistic

Tasmanian Distrust Tasmanian Integrity Commission Highlights Need for Reform

Nearly one in two Tasmanians (48.5%) distrust the Tasmanian Integrity Commission’s ability to uncover and prevent misconduct in public administration, including 19.6% who strongly distrust. Meanwhile 33.8% trust its ability, including just 6.6% who strongly trust. 17.7% were unsure. uComms conducted a survey of 1,060 residents across Tasmania on behalf of the Australian Institute during

June 2021

Australia should look to the Nordics for policy tips

by Andrew Scott and Rod Campbell in Financial Review

Not only are the Nordics among the world’s most prosperous nations, they have also dealt with many of the issues that Australia finds so difficult. As Australia starts to peek at a future beyond COVID-19, where should we look for inspiration on how to take our country, community and politics in a better direction? Scott Morrison’s

The giant gap in our federal integrity systems

Australia still has no federal anti-corruption commission, more than 2 years after the Coalition government promised to enact one. Worse, there are several serious flaws with the government’s proposed model for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission. Join two former judges, the Hon Anthony Whealy QC and the Hon David Harper AM QC as they explain why

Open Letter: 59 Eminent Australians & Legal Fraternity call on PM to Fulfil Election Promise and Legislate National Integrity Commission

59 eminent Australians, former Judges and members of the legal fraternity have penned an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, calling for the urgent establishment of a National Integrity Commission, citing the Government’s election promise to have such a body legislated within 12 months of taking office. Signatories to the open letter include The

Please watch the rhetoric, Mr Morrison. Or match it

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Eighteen months after Scott Morrison delivered his “negative globalism” diatribe, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to flout the law by refusing an Australia Institute freedom-of-information request that seeks to get the background and reaction from foreign diplomats to the Prime Minister’s now infamous speech. At this rate, the “negative globalism” doctrine will

Public Sector Informant: National cabinet secrecy hurts energy policies

by Bill Browne in The Canberra Times

Last week, Senator Rex Patrick challenged the secrecy of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s National Cabinet. In the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, parties argued whether the National Cabinet belongs to the Westminster tradition, with its expectations of cabinet confidentiality, solidarity and collective responsibility. The controversy cuts to the core of our system of government. Eventual court decisions

May 2021

Artificial intelligence must enshrine fairness

by Peter Lewis in The Australian

The Human Rights Commission’s call for a pause on the development of Facial Recognition Technology and the placing of guardrails around the development of other AI products could be the kickstart the Australian tech sector desperately needs. While Australia plays perpetual catch-up with the tech superpowers of the US and China, scrounging for government support

Statement from The Australia Institute

Statement from The Australia Institute regarding Minister Pitt’s claims that the 1200 Bridges Too Far report by Kate McBride, Australia Institute fellow and fifth generation farmer, into the Murray Darling Basin Plan is ‘full of claims based on false assertions.’ “The Australia Institute stands by its 1200 Bridges Too Far report by Kate McBride, Australia

Majority of Australians Support Limits on Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition Technology in Australia

The key measures in the Australian Human Rights Commission ‘Human Rights and Technology’ report released Thursday are strongly endorsed by the Australian public, according to new research. A poll of 1,100 Australians conducted by Essential Research for the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology finds majority support for the key measures recommended in the report:

Murray Darling Basin: Billion Dollar SA Water Fund Earmarked for Bridges and Water Storage in NSW

New research from The Australia Institute and Conservation SA shows that money previously earmarked to return 450 gigalitres (GL) of water to the environment in South Australia may be used to upgrade over 1200 bridges and increase water storage capacity in New South Wales irrigation districts. The report investigates the current project proposals under the

Facebook’s Trump Ruling Shows Need for an Independent Public Square

“The confused ruling by Facebook’s internal oversight board highlights the need for an independent public network that is not driven by commercial objectives,” said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “The overnight ruling, that upheld the suspension of President Trump but calls on Facebook to establish clearer guidelines for banning

April 2021

Time to Reimagine Public Broadcasting to Address the Power of Facebook

A new report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology calls for a rethink of the role of the national broadcaster to provide alternate digital spaces to Facebook and other global platforms. The paper The Public Square Project proposes a publicly funded social network built on the trust and reach of the ABC to create: communities

Polling: Majority of Tasmanians Want ‘Good Government’ Reforms

New research from the Australia Institute Tasmania finds most Tasmanians (87%) want Truth in Political Advertising laws, and a ban on political donations by the gambling industry (73.3%). Four in five (80.1%) Tasmanians agree the Tasmanian Integrity Commission should undergo structural change so its design is improved and its existing powers, including holding full inquiries

Is Malcolm Turnbull the only Liberal who understands economics and climate science – or the only one who’ll talk about it?

by Richard Denniss in The Conversation

Yesterday, former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was unceremoniously dumped as chair of the New South Wales government’s climate advisory board, just a week after being offered the role. His crime? He questioned the wisdom of building new coal mines when the existing ones are already floundering. No-one would suggest building new hotels in Cairns to help

March 2021

Roderick Campbell writes: Recommending approval of a mine based on economic assessment that not only lost in court, but lost in court against you, is a new level of crazy

by Rod Campbell in The Newcastle Herald

What would happen in your industry if a judge described someone’s methodology as “inflated”, “lacking evidentiary foundation” and “plainly wrong”? If your industry would stop using that methodology, then you probably are not an economist and you don’t work for coal companies. Exactly this happened in 2019 and, with no change and no reflection, the

Senate Key to Australian Democracy Success – Yet a Mystery to Most Australians

New research by the Australia Institute shows that it is the Australian Parliament’s bicameral structure, and specifically, the Australian Senate which has been key to the success of Australian democracy, in particular because its make-up provides accountability, proportionality and diversity to the Australian Parliamentary system The report is one of the few extensive studies of

Porter’s Federal Integrity Commission Could Leave Ministers Exempt

The Commonwealth Integrity Commission legislation as currently drafted could see Ministers left exempt, according to the Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee of retired judges. The National Integrity Committee submission, made in the public consultation period for the draft legislation, outlines a number of key shortcomings of the draft legislation. Critical shortcomings of this draft legislation

Australia has shown you can take on big companies – and win

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Big companies are always threatening to take their bat and ball and leave our shores, and Australian politicians usually beg them to stay. Whether it’s cutting company taxes or promising weak IR and environmental laws, for decades the Australian government has behaved like a lonely kid who worries the cool kids won’t talk to them

February 2021

Bargaining Code a Welcome First Step in Regulating Big Tech

“The legislation creates a safety net designed to ensure that social media platforms recognise the value of public interest journalism,” said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “We know the prospect of the code has led to significant settlements with large media players. We now need to see how it

The Facebook News Blackout and the News Media Bargaining Code

featuring Ebony Bennett and Peter Lewis

When Facebook banned Australian news and information from its platform — as well as the pages of many charities, community groups and government departments — in an attempt to avoid regulation, it may have been the first time many Australians had heard of the news media bargaining code. So in this week’s episode we unpack what the code is, what it does, why it’s necessary and what happens next.

Canberra’s euthanasia insult weakens democracy for all

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Much has changed in the 24 years since the Federal Parliament voted to prevent Canberrans from deciding for themselves whether they support voluntary euthanasia. Australia has had six prime ministers, hosted an Olympic Games, participated in four wars, and endured a global financial crisis and a global pandemic. What has also changed is the assumption

Facebook destroying its social license by restricting Australian news content

“Facebook’s decision to prevent users viewing or sharing public interest journalism will make it a weaker social network,” said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “The social network is destroying its social license to operate. Facebook actions mean the company’s failures in privacy, disinformation, and data protection will require a

Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

0422 775 161

anna@australiainstitute.org.au