February 2021

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

January 2021

Summer special: The End of Certainty with Katharine Murphy

featuring Ben Oquist and 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, Ben Oquist talks to The Guardian’s chief political correspondent Katharine Murphy about her Quarterly Essay ‘The End of Uncertainty’ and what the pandemic revealed about Australia, Scott Morrison and his government.

December 2020

Now more than ever we should be strengthening democracy. We’re not.

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

by Ben Oquist [Originally published by the Canberra Times, 26 December 2020] On climate policy, both the election of Joe Biden and the acrimony from China should make Australia’s transition away from coal easier, though more urgent. Likewise, the strains that democracies are under around the world, especially in the United States, make the case

November 2020

Australia’s diplomatic approach needs a major revamp

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

by Ben Oquist[Originally Published in the Canberra Times, 28 November 2020] Suddenly it seems diplomacy is important.  The Foreign Minister has praised the role Australia’s diplomats played in the release of Kylie Moore-Gilbert; the Prime Minister is defending the use of an Air Force plane to help get Mathias Cormann elected to the plum post

Kean’s ‘radical’ thinking is good for climate and politics

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

by Ben Oquist[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 31 October 2020] When NSW Liberal Minister Matt Kean invoked Menzies’ forgotten people this week, he flipped climate politics on its head. Speaking at the launch of the Australia Institute’s annual benchmark report on attitudes to climate change, Climate of the Nation, the Energy and Environment Minister charted

October 2020

Andrew Barr and Shane Rattenbury have become a formidable duo in Australian politics

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

by Ben Oquist[Originally Published in the Canberra Times, 21 October 2020] It takes a lifetime to become an overnight success and after 19 years in government the ACT Labor-Greens thumping win felt like it had been years in the making. Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Greens Leader Shane Rattenbury are surely two of Australia’s best

August 2020

Julia Gillard on the pandemic, mental health and beyond

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

Julia Gillard, chair of Beyond Blue and the former Prime Minister of Australia talks about mental health, women in leadership, the importance of government and she looks back on the legacy of the carbon price implemented by her government ten years ago. Recorded live on 5 August as part of the Australia Institute’s Economics of

July 2020

The war on populism and the fight for democracy with Thomas Frank

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

Author of the new book ‘People without Power’ Thomas Frank explains why everything you think you know about populism is wrong. [Note: language warning, a mild one] Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director at the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guests: Wayne Swan // @SwannyQLD Ben Oquist // @BenOquist Thomas Frank // @thomasfrank_ Producer: Jennifer Macey Theme music: Jonathan McFeat from Pulse and

June 2020

The case for red tape

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

The PM has announced big plans for deregulation, but is ‘red tape’ or ‘green tape’ really impeding economic growth or is it necessary to protect us and our environment? In this episode we talk to Executive Director of the Australia Institute Ben Oquist about the protections offered by good regulation. Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of

The COVID-19 and Rio Tinto lesson: regulation is not ‘red tape’, it’s protection

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

by Ben Oquist[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 13 June 2020] While it has been widely observed that all sides of politics become Keynesians in a pandemic, if COVID-19 has taught us anything else it is that strong government regulations are not “red tape” or “green tape”, they are protection. Everyone is a legislator in

April 2020

No trust without scrutiny – the case for an Epidemic Response Committee

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

In the middle of this unprecedented health and economic crisis, it is critical we do not let a crisis in our democracy emerge as well. Like Australia, New Zealand has shut down its Parliament due to COVID-19.However, NZ has found a non-partisan alternative to maintain accountability while Parliament is not sitting.Australia Institute executive director Ben

December 2019

November 2019

December 2018

2018 Political Wrap With Amy Remeikis Rob Harris Annika Smethurst And Bevan Shields

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

Welcome to Follow The Money’s summer special series! If you’re taking a break this summer, but still crave a political fix, settle in a listen to the ‘best of’ from the Australia Institute’s live politics in the pub events this year. First up, the end-of-year political wrap with press gallery journos Amy Remeikis, Rob Harris,

September 2018

What’s Wrong With Politics & How To Fix It

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

In this episode, Michelle Grattan joins Ben Oquist to discuss what’s wrong with politics and how to fix it. This discussion, ranging from our current ‘coup culture’ to Julia Banks’ resignation, was recorded at our Politics in the Pub event in Canberra. Host: Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director at The Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Contributors: Michelle Grattan,

August 2018

More renewables mean lower prices

by Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute. [This article originally appeared in the Australian Financial Review 28.08.18] Scott Morrison is set to make the same mistake as the Business Council of Australia on energy and climate policy. Equating emission reductions with higher prices gets the politics and economics wrong. Australia’s climate and energy debates

May 2018

March 2018

How some of the wealthiest Australians pay ‘negative’ tax

by Ben Oquist in The Age

The tax treatment of earnings generated from owning shares is complicated. Because it is complicated most people think it is boring. Because it’s boring we don’t discuss it much. However Australia’s dividend imputation system is important, unique to the world and comes with approximately a $30 billion dollar a year price tag. So whatever you

February 2018

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