July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

The explosion of political appointments to the AAT

featuring Ebony Bennett, Bill Browne and Ben Oquist

New research from the Australia Institute shows that the number of political appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has skyrocketed. In this episode Ebony unpacks the largest and most comprehensive domestic study of the practice of cronyism in relation to appointments to a government agency ever conducted, with Ben Oquist and Bill Browne. This was

Restoring Integrity in the Carbon Market

featuring Ben Oquist

Speech delivered by Ben Oquist, executive director of the Australia Institute, to the Smart Energy Conference 2022, 5 May 2022 E&OE transcript I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, on whose stolen land we meet, and pay my respects to elders past and present. And I extend this respect to all Aboriginal

April 2022

It is time to talk about truth in political advertising

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Before a vote has been cast, one election verdict has already been delivered. The campaign has been too light on policy and too heavy on misleading scare tactics. Our democracy is suffering for it. In just the first weeks of the election campaign, we have seen heated accusations of misleading claims from all sides. Waleed

Canberra is increasingly outsourcing its national role. That needs to stop

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

In the final days before the federal election was called, the new South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas came to Canberra to deliver a blistering National Press Club address. One seasoned journalist described the speech as Obama-esque. While Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese criss-crossed the country visiting the states to make local announcements in the then

March 2022

February 2022

Senate should flex its muscles to strengthen democracy

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Australians are confused about the Senate. That is the unmistakable conclusion of the Australia Institute’s national poll of Australians on their knowledge of and attitudes towards the upper house, the largest and most comprehensive poll of its kind. However, that does not mean the Senate is not important in the public’s democratic engagement. In fact,

January 2022

Summer Series – Climate Change and the Pacific with the Hon Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa Prime Minister of Samoa [webinar]

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richie Merzian and Ben Oquist

Our summer podcast series brings you some of the best conversations from our webinars in 2021. This episode you’ll hear from the Prime Minister of Samoa, the Hon. Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa on climate change and the Pacific, as part of the Australia Institute’s Regional Climate Diplomacy Forum, with youth climate activist and UNICEF Pacific Ambassador

December 2021

Summer Series – Rewiring Australia with Saul Griffith and Lily D’Ambrosio MP [webinar]

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richie Merzian and Ben Oquist

Our summer podcast series brings you some of the best conversations from our webinars in 2021. This episode you’ll hear from Saul Griffith, clean tech entrepreneur and founder and Chief Scientist of Otherlab, in conversation with VIC Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Solar Homes, Lily D’Ambrosio about how Australians can

The biggest attack on the Australian charity sector you have never heard of

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

On the eve of an election, without consultation and without scrutiny, the Morrison government, with the support of the Opposition, rushed retrospective amendments into the Parliament that will squash charities’ right to advocate, effectively stomping on our democracy. The Australia Institute’s Ben Oquist unpacks what happened and what the impacts will be for the Australian

November 2021

October 2021

Scott Morrison’s ‘net zero by 2050’ emissions reduction plan will be filled with tricks and rorts

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Sometime this month Scott Morrison will announce a net zero by 2050 emissions-reduction target for Australia. This announcement will be made with the expectation of praise. However, much like the world was indifferent when Australia signalled it would no longer be using Kyoto credits to meet its Paris targets, so too will this announcement be

September 2021

August 2021

Tax is not a dirty word. Far from it

by Ben Oquist

Tax is good. The fact that such a statement will raise eyebrows signals just how feeble Australia’s political debate on revenue has become. Taxes create space in the economy for a thriving and robust public sector. They allow us to educate our children and have a world-class healthcare system. They make a dignified retirement possible

July 2021

Trampling budget democracy

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Canberra resident and economist David Richardson has been attending the Budget ‘lock-up’ for the Australia Institute for 13 years. This year, he was banned. The lock-up is where journalists, the opposition and crossbenchers, business groups, non-government organisations and other experts are given access to the details of the Federal Budget ahead of time. However, they

June 2021

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

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

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

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