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

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

Polling: Majority of Tasmanians Want ‘Good Government’ Reforms

New research from the Australia Institute Tasmania finds most Tasmanians (87%) want Truth in Political Advertising laws, and a ban on political donations by the gambling industry (73.3%). Four in five (80.1%) Tasmanians agree the Tasmanian Integrity Commission should undergo structural change so its design is improved and its existing powers, including holding full inquiries

March 2021

Porter’s Federal Integrity Commission Could Leave Ministers Exempt

The Commonwealth Integrity Commission legislation as currently drafted could see Ministers left exempt, according to the Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee of retired judges. The National Integrity Committee submission, made in the public consultation period for the draft legislation, outlines a number of key shortcomings of the draft legislation. Critical shortcomings of this draft legislation

February 2021

Bargaining Code a Welcome First Step in Regulating Big Tech

“The legislation creates a safety net designed to ensure that social media platforms recognise the value of public interest journalism,” said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “We know the prospect of the code has led to significant settlements with large media players. We now need to see how it

Facebook destroying its social license by restricting Australian news content

“Facebook’s decision to prevent users viewing or sharing public interest journalism will make it a weaker social network,” said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “The social network is destroying its social license to operate. Facebook actions mean the company’s failures in privacy, disinformation, and data protection will require a

Proposed Electoral Reforms Not Good Enough for Good Government

The Gutwein Government has released its report in response to its review into Tasmania’s Electoral Act and associated election laws. “The report and recommendations, while welcome, do not provide enough concrete commitments. The Government has sat on the review for too long to still have such vague plans. Paying lip-service to change does little to

New Analysis: Google’s assessment of Google vastly overstated

New Australia Institute analysis shows Google’s estimates of its economic importance to Australia are vastly overstated, and Google’s claims to generate benefits of $39 billion for businesses and $14 billion for consumers do not withstand even the most basic scrutiny. Nevertheless, the tech giant uses those figures to claim it is as important to the

January 2021

Australians Want More News, Less Misinformation in Their Social Media Feeds

New research from The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has shown that a majority of Australians want social media companies to prioritise journalism from news sites, limit the spread of misinformation and be more transparent about how they choose what content their users see. The research is being released as representatives from Facebook prepare

PM’s Responsibility to Correct Misinformation & Condemn Trump’s Role in Riots

In the era of fake-news, new research by the Australia Institute shows that the majority of Australians think the Prime Minister bears a responsibility to correct & criticise members of his own government who post misinformation online, and to condemn President Donald Trump for his role inciting the US Capitol insurrection. The Australia Institute surveyed

December 2020

Economy, Health, Climate Change Top Voter Issues in 2020

New research from The Australia Institute has shown that the economy, health and climate change were the top three issues of concern for Australian voters in the second half of 2020. The Australia Institute surveyed nationally representative samples of over 1,000 Australians each month from August about what they think is the most important national

War Crimes Royal Commission Needed, Brereton Inquiry Deficient

The Australia Institute has released a discussion paper, critical of the Brereton Inquiry, and calling for a Royal Commission into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. Key findings: Justice Brereton was given narrow terms of reference to establish matters of fact, not to assign or excuse responsibility or blame. The finding that no information on potential

Statement on News Media Bargaining Code: Big Tech Media Code Good News for Democracy

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has welcomed the introduction of legislation, forcing Google and Facebook to pay for news, as globally significant response to the growing power of Big Tech. The News Media Bargaining Code, to be tabled by the Morrison Government this week, will force the platforms to compensate for the premium

Strong Public Support for Big Tech to Pay for News

The Australian public has endorsed moves by the Morrison Government to pass legislation requiring Google and Facebook to pay media companies for the news that drives their social networks. The proposed ACCC Media Code seeks to regulate big tech platforms such as Facebook and Google, and help ensure a viable future for Australian media. The

Transcript: Former Judges, Opposition, Crossbench, Federal Police, Academics, Civil Society, Majority of Australians: Establish a Federal Integrity Commission with Teeth

E&OE TRANSCRIPT — PRESS CONFERENCE 12noon Tuesday, 1 December 2020 MURAL HALL, PARLIAMENT HOUSE Attendees: The Hon Anthony Whealy QC – former Judge of the NSW Supreme Court of AppealThe Hon Stephen Charles AO QC – former Judge of the Victorian Supreme Court of AppealThe Hon Mary Gaudron QC – former Judge of the High

Federal Seat Polling: Overwhelming Support for Anti-Corruption Body With Teeth

New research from The Australia Institute has shown that a significant majority of voters in the Coalition held Federal Electorates of Robertson, Bass and Mallee support the creation of a national integrity body with the power to conduct public hearings and investigate whistle-blower complaints. The survey results were released at a Parliament House press conference

Former Judges, Opposition, Crossbench, Federal Police, Academics, Civil Society, Majority of Australians: Establish a Federal Integrity Commission with Teeth

The Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee of Former Judges have joined with Federal Parliamentarians from all sides of politics, the Australian Federal Police Association, academics, and civil society to call on the Attorney General to establish a federal integrity commission with teeth. The Attorney General’s Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) model which has been re-released for

November 2020

Former Supreme Court Judge and Legal Advocate Call for Much-Needed ‘Good Government’ Reforms in Tasmania

The Australia Institute has today published recommendations for much needed political reform in Tasmania. The report, Good Government in Tasmania advocates a co-ordinated approach to reform across Tasmanian Integrity Commission Truth in Political Advertising Election Donations Reform Right to Information The report is being co-launched by retired Victorian Supreme Court judge, The Hon David Harper AM QC,

Commonwealth Integrity Commission Draft Bill Falls Short

Today the Attorney-General Christian Porter has released the exposure draft of the Commonwealth Integrity Commission legislation for public consultation. The National Integrity Committee intends to participate in the consultation process as outlined by Minister Porter and looks forward to making a submission regarding the draft legislation and to an invitation to participate in a roundtable

October 2020

Timeline: Federal Anti-Corruption Watchdog Overdue

The Australia Institute has today published a timeline which highlights key milestones and moments on the road towards a federal anti-corruption watchdog, including a log of claims from the Attorney General that such legislation was forthcoming. “A federal anti-corruption watchdog won’t fix democracy but it is a prerequisite to a healthy functioning one,” said Ben

Queenslanders to lend Adani $271 million in royalty deal

The Australia Institute has criticised the Queensland Government’s deal to subsidise the Adani coal project via a royalty deferral deal. The long-running negotiations between Adani and the Queensland Government will allow the coal mine to ‘dig now, pay later’ at a secret, but certainly discounted, interest rate. Key points: The royalty deal has been reported

September 2020

Words Before Waste: South Australians Call for More Consultation on Federal Radioactive Waste Plan

New research shows that, while South Australians are divided on the issue of a nuclear waste dump, a clear majority believe more consultation should be undertaken before any final decision is made regarding a proposed disposal and storage facility near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula. The Australia Institute recently surveyed 510 South Australians about the

Oversight of Australia’s Spy Agencies Weak Compared to Other Five Eyes Countries

New research by The Australia Institute shows that parliamentary oversight of Australia’s intelligence agencies is weak compared to others in the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence sharing alliance between Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom & the United States, and that increased accountability and oversight measures should be considered. With the Government considering further expanding the

Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

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anna@australiainstitute.org.au