Parliament’s Chance to Pass a Federal Integrity Commission with Teeth

The National Integrity Committee welcomes the tabling in the Senate today by Senator Rex Patrick of Helen Haines’ Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill to establish a Federal Integrity Commission. Recent events have highlighted the urgent need for a well-designed commission, with the powers of a standing royal commission and with safeguards against misuse of those

Facebook Should Face Royal Commission into its Online Harms

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has backed Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s proposal for a high-level review of the public health impacts of Facebook’s business model, calling for a Royal Commission into the company’s impact on Australian users. Evidence from an internal whistleblower to the US Senate this week has exposed how Facebook’s leadership

Tasmanian Government Must Go Further to Make Elections Fairer

The Tasmanian Government’s proposals to make political donations and election spending more transparent are a step in the right direction, but the new laws do not go far enough. The legislation still leaves Tasmania with the weakest regulation of third-party campaigners, such as industry lobby groups, of any state or territory in Australia. The proposed

Statement from the National Integrity Committee Regarding Changes to the South Australian Independent Commission Against Corruption

The National Integrity Committee is deeply concerned about the recent changes made by the South Australian Parliament to the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012. As we all well know corruption in public office is insidious, well hidden, and erodes trust in our public institutions. We unreservedly endorse the need to ensure that reputations are

September 2021

Key Accountability Committee Calls for Charity Regulations to be Scrapped

The Australia Institute has welcomed the Senate Committee for the Scrutiny of Delegated Legislation decision to recommend that the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Amendment (2021 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2021 be disallowed. The Committee, chaired by Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, outlined concerns which include that the regulation lacks clarity, would give the Charities Commissioner a

Government Must Now Act on ACCC Call to Regulate Google’s Advertising Power

The Federal Government should move urgently to implement the recommendations of a new ACCC report into the monopoly dominance of Google in the advertising. The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology said understanding and regulating the hidden power of Google to collect and combine user data from multiple sources was a critical piece in addressing the

Victorian Electoral Matters Committee Recommend Adoption of Truth in Political Advertising Laws

The Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program welcomes the Victorian Electoral Matters Committee’s recommendation for Victoria to adopt truth in political advertising laws, with the Australia Institute’s submission to the inquiry cited extensively in the committee report published today. Key Facts: Since March 2020, the Victorian Parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee has looked into the impact

Economists welcome end of native forest logging in WA

The Australia Institute welcomes the WA Government’s decision to end native forest logging and calls for independent inquiries into native forestry in other states. “The end of native forest logging represents not just good environmental policy, but good economic policy,” said Rod Campbell, economist and Research Director at The Australia Institute. “Australia Institute research has

Australian Government Breaking Promise on Mining Tax Transparency

Correspondence between Resource Minister Keith Pitt and civil society groups involved in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) shows that the Australian Government is walking away from its promise to join the tax transparency initiative for the mining, oil and gas industry. The move comes despite major mining companies and civil society groups supporting Australia’s

Landslide Support for Commonwealth Integrity Commission with Public Hearings and Whistle-blower Complaint Capability

The Australia Institute commissioned uComms to conduct a survey of residents across the federal electorates of Brisbane (622 residents), Braddon (632 residents), Boothby (641 residents) and Bennelong (629 residents) on the nights of 4th and 5th of August 2021. Key Findings: Seat of Brisbane – 78.2% of Brisbane voters support setting up a Commonwealth Integrity

August 2021

Party registration changes unfair to small parties, too restrictive

New electoral laws proposed by the Government will have unintended consequences and unfairly benefit incumbent political parties, warns the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program. The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Party Registration Integrity) Bill would require political parties to have 1,500 unique members each within the next three months, up from 500, and prohibit new parties

Polling: Majority want video-on-demand services to put 20% of revenue toward Australian content

Three in five (60%) Australian’s support requiring subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) services, like Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime, to spend at least 20% of their revenue on Australian content, finds new research by the Australia Institute. The Australia Institute surveyed 1,006 people in March and 1,000 in May 2021 through Dynata, with nationally representative samples by gender,

July 2021

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

New Analysis: The Critical Role of the States in COVID-19 and Beyond

Australia’s states and territories have taken the lead in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, representing a potential re-alignment of state-federal relations, according to new research by the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program. Polling shows that the proportion of Australians who rate their state/territory government as doing a better job of handling the crisis has reached

Coalition Policies Will Not Improve Productivity According to Treasury

New analysis of the Intergenerational Report reveals Treasury does not believe that any of the policies introduced by the Coalition Government in the last six years will have any measurable impact on Australia’s productivity growth in the coming decades. Key Findings: The latest Intergenerational Report (IGR 2021) reveals that the Treasury Department is more pessimistic

June 2021

Open Letter: 59 Eminent Australians & Legal Fraternity call on PM to Fulfil Election Promise and Legislate National Integrity Commission

59 eminent Australians, former Judges and members of the legal fraternity have penned an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, calling for the urgent establishment of a National Integrity Commission, citing the Government’s election promise to have such a body legislated within 12 months of taking office. Signatories to the open letter include The

May 2021

Statement from The Australia Institute

Statement from The Australia Institute regarding Minister Pitt’s claims that the 1200 Bridges Too Far report by Kate McBride, Australia Institute fellow and fifth generation farmer, into the Murray Darling Basin Plan is ‘full of claims based on false assertions.’ “The Australia Institute stands by its 1200 Bridges Too Far report by Kate McBride, Australia

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:

Murray Darling Basin: Billion Dollar SA Water Fund Earmarked for Bridges and Water Storage in NSW

New research from The Australia Institute and Conservation SA shows that money previously earmarked to return 450 gigalitres (GL) of water to the environment in South Australia may be used to upgrade over 1200 bridges and increase water storage capacity in New South Wales irrigation districts. The report investigates the current project proposals under the

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 with public hearings, are utilised.

March 2021

Senate Key to Australian Democracy Success – Yet a Mystery to Most Australians

New research by the Australia Institute shows that it is the Australian Parliament’s bicameral structure, and specifically, the Australian Senate which has been key to the success of Australian democracy, in particular because its make-up provides accountability, proportionality and diversity to the Australian Parliamentary system The report is one of the few extensive studies of

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

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