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

New Analysis: Arts & Entertainment Funding Creates 10x More Jobs for Women than HomeBuilder

New research from the Australia Institute shows that, per dollar invested, the arts and entertainment sector employs twice as many men and 10 times as many women as the building construction industry. The research is being released after this week’s Federal Budget which revealed just $223 million for the jobs intensive Art and Entertainment sector,

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

4 in 5 South Australians Back Victorian Model of Voluntary Assisted Dying Laws

New research from The Australia Institute shows more than 4 in 5 South Australians (83%) want the state to legislate Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) laws based on the model that has already been implemented in Victoria. The Australia Institute surveyed 511 South Australians about VAD laws between 9 and 26 February 2021 in the lead

Australia’s Electricity Infrastructure Undermined by $1 Billion Per Year Under Investment

The resilience of Australia’s electricity infrastructure is being undermined by a chronic pattern of underinvestment in maintenance and upkeep, the result of rent-seeking by private electricity producers and a deeply flawed regulatory system. That is the conclusion of a detailed review of empirical and qualitative data on the transmission and distribution system contained in a

Federal budget 2021: What will Treasurer Josh Frydenberg deliver?

by Ebony Bennett in Canberra Times

Last year, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered what was described as a “Bloke’s Budget”, that targeted stimulus spending in male-heavy industries, while neglecting investment in industries that support women’s employment-including healthcare, education and social services – even though women bore the brunt of last year’s recession. But the fact is every budget is biased towards men

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

This Anzac Day, lest we forget the brave Afghans who supported our military venture

by Allan Behm in Sydney Morning Herald

On ANZAC Day we remember lives lost in the strategic failure that was Gallipoli – a salute to Churchillian hubris and a newly emerged ex-colony only too keen to prove itself in defence of the “mother country” and her Empire. On this ANZAC Day, we prepare ourselves for another strategic failure, just as we did

We should be funding stress leave and high-quality PTSD care for all victims of abuse

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Australian ministers suffering stress are provided with more taxpayer support than victims of violence Practical support for the thousands of Australian women who are sexually or physically assaulted by men is not simply woefully inadequate, it is nonexistent. If you are a casually employed woman in Australia who is raped or assaulted you are entitled

Majority of Australians Support Territories Rights on Voluntary Assisted Dying

The vast majority of Australians (76%) support the Commonwealth allowing Territory Governments to legislate to legalise voluntary assisted dying within their jurisdictions. The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,434 Australians about their attitudes to voluntary assisted dying. Key findings: Three in four Australians (76%) support the Commonwealth allowing Territory Governments to legalise

March 2021

What women want

featuring Ebony Bennett and Eliza Littleton

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

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