Why we should pause approvals of new coal mines

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Why are new coal mines like melting ice cream? In today’s episode, Richard Denniss explains the economics of coal, why Malcolm Turnbull has been in trouble with the Liberals and why we need to pause approvals of new coal mines. Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director, the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guest: Richard Denniss, chief economist,

Upper Hunter Polling: Majority of Voters Agree with Turnbull Call for Moratorium on New Coal Mines

The majority of voters (57.4%) in the NSW state seat of Upper Hunter support former PM Malcolm Turnbull’s call for a moratorium on new coal mine approvals and a remediation plan for existing mines for the Hunter Valley. The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 686 residents in the NSW state seat of

Right now we’re choosing not to solve our biggest problems

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

It’s incredible what can happen in a year. This time last year Australia was heading into lockdowns and recession. The Treasurer was still sipping on his “Back in Black” mug and clinging to the idea that any stimulus spending would be small, targeted and temporary, and hundreds of thousands of Australians were still recovering from

March 2021

What women want

When it comes to addressing the systemic issues which are impacting Australian women’s everyday lives, it often feels like the problems are big and impossible to tackle. In today’s episode, Australia Institute research economist Eliza Littleton outlines 8 practical things that Prime Minister Scott Morrison could do right now to remove barriers to women’s equality

Removing JobKeeper isn’t a ‘Bump’ to Unemployment, it’s a Shoulder Charge

Revelations at Senate estimates this morning that Treasury believe the scrapping of JobKeeper will result in 100,000 to 150,000 jobs being lost provide a chilling warning to Australia’s unemployed and to all businesses that sell products to Australian consumers. “It is staggering to believe the Government would even consider implementing a policy change that would

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

February 2021

New Analysis: Countries with Higher Unemployment Payments Have Lower Jobless Rates

New analysis from the Australia Institute shows Australia’s unemployment rate is worse than that of most OECD countries. In fact, this analysis shows that across the OECD, it is higher unemployment payments (the ‘net replacement rate of unemployment’) that correlate with lower unemployment rates. The Government and commentators have long argued that Australia’s internationally low

Gas Industry Cuts 10% of its Workforce

New Australia Institute analysis estimates that the oil and gas industry cut around 10 percent of its workforce in the 12 months to December last year. Despite this, the Government is continuing to hand out large taxpayer subsidies to the industry as part of its “Gas-Fired Recovery JobMaker Plan.” If all Australian industries had behaved

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

Business Council of Australia Research Confirms Centre for Future Work Research

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has today released a report which confirms trends described in earlier research by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. However, the BCA’s expressed concern for ‘the future of bargaining’ contradicts its support for the Government’s omnibus bill which will further undermine genuine bargaining and suppress already record-low wage

The Liberals’ agenda is bad for regional Australia – but the Nationals play along anyway

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

The National party represents many electorates which have high rates of unemployment and people receiving government support payments, and a high proportion of workers on the minimum wage. So you can see why they spend so much time attacking industrial laws, renewable energy and “urban elites” – creating blame is a lot easier than creating

Omnibus IR Bill will Further Reduce Wage Growth

New research by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work shows the Federal Government’s omnibus industrial relations bill will lead to a significant increase in employer-designed enterprise agreements (EA) that reduce workers’ pay and conditions, rather than improve them—signaling a return to the WorkChoices pattern of EA-making and putting further downward pressure on Australia’s already

January 2021

Summer special: How Childcare Reforms Could Help Power the Economic Recovery with Jay Weatherill and Kate Carnell

featuring Ebony Bennett

In our summer special series, we bring you some of our favourite guests from the Australia Institute’s webinar series in 2020. In this episode, host Ebony Bennett talks to Jay Weatherill, Kate Carnell and Richard Denniss about how an affordable, accessible early learning system could help power Australia’s economic recovery. The full webinar is available

Save lives or save the economy? That’s a false choice – and it’s obscene

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

For the past year Australians have heard politicians, business leaders and conservative commentators argue that we need to balance the benefits of protecting Australians from Covid-19 with the costs of those protections to “the economy”. Should we close down risky venues or keep them open? Should we worry about the elderly who might get sick

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

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

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

Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

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anna@australiainstitute.org.au