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

Insecure Workers Have Been the ‘Shock Troops’ of the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Report

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work confirms that workers in casual and insecure jobs have borne the lion’s share of job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic – both the first lockdowns in 2020, and the more recent Delta-wave of closures. Key Findings: Since May, workers in casual and part-time jobs have

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

Privacy concerns cast shadow over vaccination passports

The lack of a clear blueprint for vaccination ‘passports’ that addresses public concerns around safety and security risks is undermining the implementation of vaccine mandates, warns the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. With vaccine passports for international travel reportedly just weeks away, there appears to have been little focus on the way a digital

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

SA Voters Overwhelmingly Back Increased Health Funding in Key Election Battle

New research from The Australia Institute shows that South Australians rank health, the economy and climate change as the three most important political issues in South Australia ahead of the next state election. The Australia Institute’s survey of a representative sample of 599 South Australians also found the vast majority of voters would prefer it

August 2021

Doherty Modelling Assumptions Don’t Adequately Account for Changed TTIQ Capabilities

While the effectiveness of ‘test, trace, isolate, quarantine’ (TTIQ) is dependent upon case numbers, new analysis from the Australia Institute shows the Doherty Modelling does not adequately take this into account. Key findings: While most discussion is around vaccine rates and COVID cases at the time of transition to Phase B (‘opening up’) a significant

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

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

Reforming work and livelihoods in remote Australia

A new discussion paper published by The Australia Institute makes a case for major reforms to how livelihood and work programs operate in remote Australia. The paper was developed by eight leading researchers with decades of research experience on remote Indigenous unemployment. “We welcome the Federal Government’s acknowledgement that the Abbott-era Community Development Program (CDP)

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,

Khaki creep betrays lack of plan

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s repeated offer to deploy troops to help control people’s movements in Sydney’s lockdown areas has found acceptance – not by Gladys Berejiklian, but by NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller. The commissioner likes a bit of fear in the community, and with a couple of regiments of soldiers in cams, he’ll have it.

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

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

Richard Denniss explains why he’s returning his alumni award for National Leadership the University of Newcastle in the wake of Mark Vaile’s appointment as chancellor

by Richard Denniss in Newcastle Herald

You can’t be a leader if you follow people down the wrong path, which is why, with a heavy heart, I am returning the alumni award for National Leadership the University of Newcastle bestowed on me in 2017. I cannot understand how the council of a university whose motto is “I look ahead” could appoint

Majority of Australians Support Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine for Aged Care Workers

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Australians about their attitudes towards making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for workers in contact with vulnerable demographics. Key Findings: More than three-quarters of Australians (77%) agree with making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for workers in contact with vulnerable demographics, such as aged care workers. Only

Why freedom of the press matters

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

Australia has a robust democracy, but it has become clear that freedom of the press is under attack. Whether it’s starving the public broadcaster of funding while forking out millions to Foxtel, the further concentration of media ownership in Australia, or the frequency with which journalists, media organisations and whistleblowers are being raided and arrested

Woodside’s Scarborough Gas Field Equivalent to 15 New Coal Power Plants, Risks Murujuga Rock Art

Woodside’s controversial Scarborough Gas Field would result in an additional 1.6 billion tonnes of emissions—equivalent to building 15 new coal power stations—and places World Heritage Murujuga Aboriginal rock art at risk of being destroyed, new research by the Conservation Council of Western Australia and the Australia Institute shows. Approvals to process the Scarborough gas field

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

Not all doom and gloom: let’s celebrate the wins we’ve seen recently

by Ebony Bennett in Canberra Times

It’s easy to feel like achieving change is impossible. After all, the federal government just delivered another $2.6 billion in post-budget handouts to the fossil fuel industry. Despite promises from the Attorney General, Australia still has no federal independent anti-corruption commission. The national vaccine rollout is way behind schedule and the Prime Minister isn’t in

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:

Preventing Workplace Mental Health Injuries Saves Billions: New Research

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work suggests that by requiring stronger monitoring and prevention measures in Australian workplaces, a significant share of mental illness and injury could be avoided. In addition to reducing the toll of mental illness for workers and their families, these measures would also generate substantial economic and fiscal

General Enquiries

02 6130 0530

mail@australiainstitute.org.au

Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

0422 775 161

anna@australiainstitute.org.au