Media Releases

June 2022

Attorney-General’s Review of AAT Political Appointments a Win for Democratic Integrity

The Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program welcomes Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus’ commitment to a more independent appointment process for the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and his review of the AAT’s operations. In a substantial research report released before the election, Cronyism in appointments to the AAT, the Australia Institute found a sharp rise in the

$12.5m Spent on Social Media Election Ads, Misinformation Widespread: Research & Exit-Poll

New research reveals political parties spent at least $12.5m on Facebook and Instagram advertising in the final 2 months of the 2022 election, with Labor and the Greens successfully engaging women voters to a far higher degree than the Coalition. Exit-polling released in conjunction with the report also reveals 73% of voters reported seeing misleading

Energy ministers should boost economic benefits to host communities to smooth renewable energy transformation: report

A new report argues that energy ministers will need to increase the benefits to regional communities that host large-scale solar, wind and transmission infrastructure if governments want to ensure continued support for renewable energy. The report is published by the Australia Institute and the Sydney Environment Institute and will be launched by independent NSW MPs

Exit Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Australians Want Wage Growth in Line with Cost of Living

As the Fair Work Commission prepares to announce this year’s increase in the national minimum wage, new polling data shows that the vast majority of Australians support lifting wages to keep up with rising inflation. The Australia Institute conducted a special exit poll, surveying a nationally representative sample of 1,424 Australians on the evening of

LNG Export Companies 95.7% Foreign Owned: Research Report

New research reveals the companies profiting from the $62.5 billion LNG industry exporting Australian gas – a key driver of shock domestic gas prices for households and business – are on average 95.7% foreign owned. The research also reveals that the top 20 ASX listed companies in Australia are, on average, 80% foreign owned, with US ownership alone almost triple Australian

Gas Export Facts Show Industry Claims Full of Hot Air

The current gas price crisis faced by Eastern Australia is the direct result of the export market exposing the Australian gas market to volatile international gas prices. Australia Institute research shows that there is no gas supply problem in Eastern Australia, with the amount of gas consumed by Australian households and industry dwarfed by the

Australians Pay the Price for fossil fuel dependence while coal and gas exporters make windfall profits

Skyrocketing energy prices across Eastern Australia are almost entirely a result of Australia’s dependence on fossil fuels. Coal and gas exports have linked domestic energy prices to global prices, exposing Australia to volatile global prices. Producers are now making windfall profits from both Australian and global consumers. Gas prices have reached record levels across eastern

May 2022

Joseph E. Stiglitz Australian Speaking Tour: July 2022 ‘The Role of Government in the Modern Economy’

Nobel Laureate, former World Bank Chief Economist, and best-selling author Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz will visit Australia in July 2022 to discuss the need to expand the role of governments, unions, and civil society. The tour, hosted by the Australia Institute, will see Professor Stiglitz speak at a wide range of events for the general

Exit Poll – Living in the Lodge

The Australia Institute conducted a special exit poll, surveying a nationally representative sample of 1,424 Australians from 6pm Saturday May 21, which asked whether the Prime Minister should live in The Lodge. Key findings: • Over half of Australians (57%) agree that the Prime Minister should live in The Lodge in Canberra, compared to 20%

Surge of Support for Electrifying Vic Buses: Research

Transitioning Victoria and Australia’s bus fleets to zero emissions by 2030 must be a central component of any credible transport decarbonisation strategy, according to a new research report from the Australia Institute. The report, Next Stop: Zero Emissions Buses by 2030’, has been launched with new polling revealing the overwhelming majority of Victorians (71%) support

Salmon Inquiry Report: Comprehensive Marine Plan Now

The long-awaited Legislative Council Fin Fish Farming in Tasmania Inquiry report tabled in Parliament today, highlights the many problems faced by the industry. The Australia Institute Tasmania commends the Committee’s call for an overarching Marine Plan for Tasmania through a comprehensive stakeholder consultation, informed by assessment of environmental, social and recreational values, with a transparent

Anti-Protest Law Must be Stopped: Civil Society

Leading Tasmanian and national civil society groups have published an open letter in the Hobart Mercury today opposing the Government’s anti-protest law which they say is an attack on democracy and must be stopped. The proposed law would create new offences for peaceful protest activity, making peaceful protest penalties on-par with trespassing with a firearm,

NSW Legalises Voluntary Assisted Dying, Time to Grant Territories Their Democratic Rights

“The NSW Parliament’s decision to legalise voluntary assisted dying means the Federal Parliament should remove the bar that prevents the ACT and the NT from considering similar legislation,” said Ben Oquist, executive director of the Australia Institute. “Our research shows the majority of Australians support the Federal Parliament giving back Territory rights on legislating voluntary assisted

Clean hydrogen is Dirty Marketing: FOI & Polling

Documents obtained under freedom of Information show the Victorian Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project, that uses brown coal to make hydrogen, is unlikely to meet its claimed emissions reductions of 1.8 million tonnes, and is more likely to increase emissions by up to 3.8 million tonnes, the equivalent to adding up to 735,000 cars

WPI: Worst Real Wage Decline This Century

“The latest wages data show that real wages in the past 12 months fell 2.5%. This horror result for workers shows that not only are wages not putting pressure on inflation but that workers are not seeing the benefits of lower unemployment,” said Greg Jericho, employment & fiscal policy director at the Australia Institute’s Centre

Significant Proportion of Voters Uncertain on Senate Preferential Voting

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,002 Australians about their Senate voting intentions and their understanding of how Senate voting works. The results show: A significant proportion of Australians remain uncertain about important aspects of Senate preferential voting: More than four in ten (43%) respondents thought that putting a 6 beside a

One in Five Worked with COVID Symptoms; Sick Leave Entitlements Must Be Strengthened

Almost one in five Australians (and a higher proportion of young workers) acknowledge working with potential COVID symptoms over the course of the pandemic, according to new opinion research released today by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. The research confirms the public health dangers of Australia’s patchwork system of sick leave and related

APPEA members pay no income tax on income of $138 billion

New analysis of data published by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) shows that five of the gas industry’s most prominent companies have paid no income tax for at least the past seven years, despite a combined income from their Australian operations of $138 billion. Four of the five members of the Australian Petroleum Production &

Government Agency Political Appointments as High as One in Three

A new report from the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program represents the largest and most comprehensive domestic study of the practice of cronyism in relation to appointments to a government agency ever conducted in Australia. This detailed deep dive report has investigated every single appointment made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) since 1996

Finland & Sweden Join NATO: Dramatic Strategic Change in Europe

“The looming applications by Finland and Sweden for NATO membership together constitute the most significant strategic change in Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the destruction of the Berlin Wall,” said Allan Behm, Director of the Australia Institute’s International & Security Affairs Program. “This move will signal a monumental ‘own goal’ for

Higgins Polling Research Shows Landslide Support for Truth in Political Advertising Laws

New polling in the federal seat of Higgins shows a tight race between the Government and Opposition, with respondents indicating a substantial drop in the Liberal Party primary vote. “This poll demonstrates landslide support for truth in political advertising laws (92%) in a campaign which has been marred by allegations of dishonesty and misinformation,” said

Polling: Integrity a Key Issue to Voters

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,002 Australians about integrity’s role in the 2022 election. The results show that integrity is important to most Australians in this election. Overall, three in four Australians (76%) either say that integrity issues are more important (30%) this election than last or that integrity issues are

Wages Will Continue to Lag Without Targeted Wage-Boosting Measures: New Report

A comprehensive review of Australian wage trends indicates that wage growth is likely to remain stuck at historically weak levels despite the dramatic disruptions experienced by the Australian labour market through the COVID-19 pandemic. The report finds that targeted policies to deliberately lift wages are needed to break free of the low-wage trajectory that has

Inflation Good for Budget but Bad for Voters

Surging inflation is driving record increases in government tax revenue while simultaneously pushing down workers’ real wages, according to new Australia Institute analysis of Treasury forecasts released today. As the figure below shows, Treasury forecasts of Commonwealth spending are well above the spending forecasts made pre-covid and, more significantly, well above the levels forecast in

Facebook Revelations an Attack on Democracy

“Today’s revelations in the Wall Street Journal confirm what we suspected at the time: that Facebook’s takedown was a deliberate attack on Australian democratic institutions, deployed as a negotiating tactic to avoid paying for news content,” said Peter Lewis, Director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “The fact that this global corporation was

Hosting UN Climate Summit Could Ease Pacific Tensions: Report

A new research report released today has found that by hosting the UN’s largest climate event (COP29 in 2024) in partnership with Pacific neighbours, Australia could ease diplomatic tensions in the region, in addition to tackling climate change and stimulating local tourism and hospitality. The report comes as Australia’s relations with the Solomon Islands have

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