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

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

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

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

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

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

Victorian Electoral Matters Committee Recommend Adoption of Truth in Political Advertising Laws

The Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program welcomes the Victorian Electoral Matters Committee’s recommendation for Victoria to adopt truth in political advertising laws, with the Australia Institute’s submission to the inquiry cited extensively in the committee report published today. Key Facts: Since March 2020, the Victorian Parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee has looked into the impact

Economists welcome end of native forest logging in WA

The Australia Institute welcomes the WA Government’s decision to end native forest logging and calls for independent inquiries into native forestry in other states. “The end of native forest logging represents not just good environmental policy, but good economic policy,” said Rod Campbell, economist and Research Director at The Australia Institute. “Australia Institute research has

Australian Government Breaking Promise on Mining Tax Transparency

Correspondence between Resource Minister Keith Pitt and civil society groups involved in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) shows that the Australian Government is walking away from its promise to join the tax transparency initiative for the mining, oil and gas industry. The move comes despite major mining companies and civil society groups supporting Australia’s

Morrison and Berejiklian are attempting to shift the blame for Covid on to us

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

In an amazing feat, both leaders shift attention away from their past performances and on to future freedoms to be granted, based on decisions made by the public In the ultimate expression of neoliberal language, prime minister Scott Morrison and New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian are gradually shifting their messaging away from the dangers

Fracked: Gas in the Northern Territory

featuring Ebony Bennett, Mark Ogge and Rod Campbell

Extracting gas from the Northern Territory through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) is one of the largest potential sources of carbon pollution in the world. In this episode we explore the climate cost of a potential policy backflip on opening up the NT to fracking, as well as the community opposition and the economics of it all.

Landslide Support for Commonwealth Integrity Commission with Public Hearings and Whistle-blower Complaint Capability

The Australia Institute commissioned uComms to conduct a survey of residents across the federal electorates of Brisbane (622 residents), Braddon (632 residents), Boothby (641 residents) and Bennelong (629 residents) on the nights of 4th and 5th of August 2021. Key Findings: Seat of Brisbane – 78.2% of Brisbane voters support setting up a Commonwealth Integrity

August 2021

Richard Denniss: Scott Morrison’s COVID-19 plan is more spin than science

by Richard Denniss in The New Daily

The same Prime Minister who spruiks ‘technology not taxes’ as a climate change strategy is now championing ‘pharmaceuticals not physical distancing’ in the battle against COVID-19. As always, his slogan is more spin than science, and the phoney distinction will be dangerous to our health, our wealth and our society. Just as virtually every economist agrees that

Party registration changes unfair to small parties, too restrictive

New electoral laws proposed by the Government will have unintended consequences and unfairly benefit incumbent political parties, warns the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program. The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Party Registration Integrity) Bill would require political parties to have 1,500 unique members each within the next three months, up from 500, and prohibit new parties

Complacency spells doom, at home and in Afghanistan

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

Things feel like they’ve taken a turn for the apocalyptic lately. Between the fall of Afghanistan, the IPCC report and the exponential growth of Covid cases in NSW, every time you turn on the news things are spinning out of control. Not because there’s no hope, but because of the hubris of some of our

Corruption watchdog kept on a short leash

by Eloise Carr in The Mercury

Almost half of Tasmanians surveyed (48.5%) distrust the Tasmanian Integrity Commission’s ability to uncover and prevent misconduct in public administration, according to Australia Institute research. Only 34% trust the Integrity Commission’s ability to uncover and prevent misconduct. Is it any wonder, given the inability of the Tasmanian Integrity Commission to hold the state government to

Polling: Majority want video-on-demand services to put 20% of revenue toward Australian content

Three in five (60%) Australian’s support requiring subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) services, like Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime, to spend at least 20% of their revenue on Australian content, finds new research by the Australia Institute. The Australia Institute surveyed 1,006 people in March and 1,000 in May 2021 through Dynata, with nationally representative samples by gender,

July 2021

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

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

The fight for a healthier Murray-Darling must continue

I’m a fifth-generation farmer. My family have run properties alongside the Darling/Baaka River for almost a century. We have watched as the once mighty river system that runs through the heart of our nation has suffered due to government mismanagement and over-extraction upstream. I’ve always said the red dirt of home runs through my veins,

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

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