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

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

March 2022

Research Finds No Evidence of China Interference Campaign on #AusPol Twitter

New research has found no evidence of a major China-backed campaign to influence Australian political discourse on social media, according to the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. The research analysed more than 69,000 tweets from two low-points in Australia-China relations in 2020 and found no evidence the CCP was using bots to shape political

January 2022

Covid threat overshadows Japan pact

“That the Australian and Japanese Prime Ministers will meet to discuss matters of mutual interest, such as enhanced defence cooperation, is welcome news. However, the two Prime Ministers should be conducting such talks that include all Asian leaders, especially Indonesia and China,” said Allan Behm, director of the international & security affairs program at the Australia Institute. “Prime

December 2021

New Analysis: Most Major Australian Superannuation Funds Invest in Nuclear Weapons Despite United Nations Treaty

New research from the Australia Institute and Quit Nukes reveals most major Australian superannuation funds have holdings in nuclear weapons companies, such as Airbus, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. While many exclude so-called ‘controversial weapons’, they do not include nuclear weapons in the definition and continue to invest in nuclear weapons companies. Nearly one year into

October 2021

Accountability Failure: Executive Government’s Unchecked Power to send Australians to War

New research has revealed a fundamental failure in accountability surrounding the process of how Australia decides to engage in armed conflict overseas. In Australia, the decision to engage in armed conflict is taken by the Executive government without reference to the Parliament. Research by The Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability and Security & International Affairs

September 2021

Nuclear Submarines Transform Pandora’s Box into a Can of Worms

“To say the very least, the government’s decision to acquire a nuclear-powered submarine from the UK is problematic,” said Allan Behm, director of the international & security affairs program at the Australia Institute. “For those Australians familiar with the role of submarines in Australia’s defence planning there is a kind of inevitability in the Morrison

Privacy concerns cast shadow over vaccination passports

The lack of a clear blueprint for vaccination ‘passports’ that addresses public concerns around safety and security risks is undermining the implementation of vaccine mandates, warns the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. With vaccine passports for international travel reportedly just weeks away, there appears to have been little focus on the way a digital

July 2021

Anti-China Rhetoric Leaves Australia Fearful of Attack but Opposed to War: Polling

New research by the Australia Institute’s International & Security Affairs Program has revealed that a similar number of Australians think China will attack Australia soon or sometime (42%) as Taiwanese think that China will attack Taiwan (51%)—a result that may have been stimulated by recent strong-arm tactics by the Government of China, and anti-China rhetoric

June 2021

Australian Manufacturing at Risk from Morrison Resistance to Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism at G7 Summit

New analysis by the Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program shows that the use of carbon border adjustment mechanisms, to be under discussion at the G7 Summit this week, will put Australian industry and manufacturing processes – mainly steel, aluminium and alumina, at risk if Australia continues its recalcitrant role on the global stage. At

March 2021

Poll: Support for an independent inquiry into the AG

More than half of Australians support an independent inquiry into whether Christian Porter is a fit and proper person to be Attorney General, according to new research from the Australia Institute. The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Australians between 11 to 12 March 2021, about whether they support an independent inquiry

January 2021

Biden Presidency: ANZUS No Longer Sufficient, Time for Australia’s Security Reset

To mark the swearing-in of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the US, The Australia Institute has released research that shows the Australia, New Zealand and United States Security (ANZUS) Treaty is no longer a sufficient basis for Australia’s security relationship with the US—it is time for a security reset. The Australia Institute’s International

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

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

November 2020

Renewed calls for Climate Levy on Fossil Fuel Exports as Black Summer Disaster Bill Soars

In the lead-up to Summer, the Australia Institute, emergency leaders, and bushfire survivors have renewed coals for a Climate Levy on fossil fuel exports to help pay for increasing disasters due to climate change. The call follows estimates that the Black Summer bushfires cost Australians over $50 billion, which represents a step change in disaster

Biden Win Pours Cold Water on Australia’s Paris Emissions Target Tricks

A Biden win puts pressure on Australia to dump the use of controversial Kyoto credits to meet its Paris Target.  “There will now be increased pressure on Australia to abandon its proposed use of so-called Kyoto carry-over credits,” said Richie Merzian, climate & energy director at the Australia Institute.  “Australia Institute research and legal analysis

October 2020

Climate of the Nation: Climate Change Concern Hits 82%

Climate of the Nation 2020 Benchmark Report to be launched by The Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy & Environment In the wake of the devastating Black Summer bushfires, an overwhelming majority of Australians (82%) say they are concerned about climate change resulting in more bushfires, according to a new benchmark report released

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

July 2020

June 2020

Improving “Alarmist & Alarming” Australia-China Relationship

In a disrupted world, how Australia manages its relationship with the dominant regional, and potentially global, power of China matters—however new research reveals the slender resources devoted to China analysis and research is preventing Australia from realising the opportunities a well-managed relationship can bring and from avoiding the pitfalls of over-reaction. The report shows that

May 2020

Trust in the Time of COVID-19: Global Polling Shows Government Only Institution Trusted to Lead World out of Pandemic Crisis

Government is the most trusted source of information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the institution most trusted to lead the world out of the current economic crisis, new research from The Australia Institute’s International & Security Affairs Program has revealed. The Australia Institute conducted surveys of over 1,000 people each in Australia, New Zealand,

April 2020

Former Ambassador: Less China Blame Game, More Asia Diplomacy Required

Australia’s Former Ambassador to China, Stephen FitzGerald, is today launching two discussion papers from The Australia Institute’s International and Security Affairs Program, on China and Japan in the COVID-19 pandemic. The papers argue that much of the corona virus ‘blame game’, including the Australian Government’s call for an international independent inquiry into China’s actions, is

Pandemic calls for rethink of national security

This year’s pandemic and climate crises mean that debate around national security needs a rethink, according to a discussion paper released today by The Australia Institute. The paper highlights that security in the 21st century is as much about defending the health, safety and prosperity of citizens from pandemics, disasters, pollution and supply shortages as it is about

January 2020

Army Call-Out ‘Political Theatre’ that Raises Legal Questions

New research by The Australia Institute finds that the Commonwealth’s ‘call-out’ of Army Reserves for bushfire relief served political rather than practical purposes, raising serious legal questions around the use of the military. The Prime Minister today announced the call-out of Army Reserves for bushfire relief would end on February 7, with some reservists ending their

Australia’s Interests in the Middle East Better Served by Diplomacy than a Military Deployment

Australia’s extensive interests in the Middle East would be better served by an active and well-resourced diplomacy than tokenistic actions such as the deployment of small and ultimately inconsequential military forces, according to a new report released by the Australia Institute today. As Australia sends a deployment to the Strait of Hormuz, President Trump’s decision

Concern about climate escalates as bushfire crisis continues: Climate of the Nation polling

The current bushfire crisis has intensified Australians’ concern about climate change and its impacts, according to new polling from the Australia Institute’s Climate of the Nation. The Australia Institute commissioned YouGov, which surveyed 1,033 Australians between 8 and 12 January 2020 on issues relating to climate change and the bushfires. Climate of the Nation is

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