Media Releases

June 2020

Dramatic Fall in Petroleum Emissions: National Energy Emissions Audit

New research shows that Australia’s pandemic response has reduced transport emissions by over 3,000,000 tonnes (3 Mt CO2-e), due to an unprecedented drop in the consumption of petroleum fuels during April—falling by 77% for domestic aviation, and a combined 36% drop for petrol, LPG and retail diesel. The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program has

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

Polling: strong support for arts and entertainment sector support package in Eden-Monaro

Research published today by The Australia Institute shows strong support for government support for the arts and entertainment sector in the Eden-Monaro electorate, which will have a by-election on 4 July. Key findings: Almost 1,000 people work in arts and entertainment in Eden-Monaro, the highest of any regional NSW electorate. 58% of Eden-Monaro voters support

Fear Over Government Debt Misplaced

Australians can lay to rest concern over incurring and repaying government debt, as new research shows urgent spending required in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will not create a debt burden, and therefore should not provoke future austerity measures to ‘repay the debt’. The report, released today by the Australia Institute, reveals misunderstanding around how

Getting Off Coal: Orderly, Early Transition to Minimise Impact for Australian Economy

New research from The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program has shown that an orderly approach to phasing-out thermal coal would shield Australian workers, communities and the economy from the negative consequences of an unmanaged transition. The study, written by John Quiggin, Professor of Economics at The University of Queensland, found that a managed transition

29 Prominent Australians Call for Truth in Political Advertising Laws By Next Election

An open letter co-ordinated by the Australia Institute and signed by 29 prominent Australians calls for Parliament to pass truth in political advertising laws that are nationally consistent, constitutional and uphold freedom of speech. Signatories to the open letter include former political party leaders and politicians, Dr John Hewson, Cheryl Kernot and Michael Beahan; former

Delaying Energy Market Reform to Increase Costs, Slow Transition to Renewables: Think Tank, Industry Leaders

The Australia Institute has been joined by energy and technology leaders in opposing proposed delays to energy market reforms, including the determination on ‘Five Minute Settlement’ (5MS). The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is currently considering whether to delay the implementation of this important market modernisation measure by 12 months, from July 2021 to July

Demand Response Rule Change: Electricity market competition will reduce prices, help with summer heatwaves

The Australia Institute, Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Total Environment Centre today welcomed a ‘demand response’ reform of Australia’s electricity market that will improve reliability and reduce prices for consumers. The groups also welcome the AEMC’s decision to maintain the early, 2021 implementation date for the rule which they had advocated for. The three organisations,

New Analysis: More Women Unemployed, Yet Stimulus Favours Male-Dominated Industries

Despite the fact that women have disproportionately lost their jobs and hours of work in the recession the Government’s stimulus measures have been disproportionately focussed on male-intensive industries according to new analysis by the Australia Institute. “Between March and April the number of women employed fell 5.3 per cent compared to 3.9 per cent for

May 2020

Tasmanian Government the Most Generous for Immediate COVID-19 Emergency Relief

A new report from The Australia Institute has found the Tasmanian State Government has spent a far larger proportion of its Gross State Product (GSP) than any other Australian state. The new analysis collates publicly available data, with at least some traceability, on state responses to the COVID-19 induced economic emergency, between March 23rd and

Cynical Delay Tactics from Coal, Gentailers Threaten Energy Market Reforms

Incumbent energy generators and retailers are attempting to use the COVID-19 pandemic to delay essential market reforms that would improve reliability, reduce emissions and put downward pressure on prices for Australian energy consumers, The Australia Institute has said. New research from The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program shows that, instead of delaying energy market

More Questions than Answers from NCCC at COVID19 Oversight Committee Hearing

National Covid-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) Chief Executive Officer Peter Harris appeared to push back or was unable to answer Senate Select Committee questions regarding the appointments, actions and conflicts of interest of NCCC Commissioners and ‘special advisers’. Key points from the hearing: NCCC CEO Peter Harris admitted the Commission process is “opaque” and stated “I’m

Nev Power Should Answer to Oversight Committee on Gas Agenda

The Australia Institute has called for close scrutiny of the Prime Minister’s gas-industry linked National COVID-19 Coordination Commission. It follows news that Nev Power, handpicked Chair of NCCC, is not scheduled to appear for questioning by Senators at the oversight committee hearing on Wednesday. Senators’ questions will go instead to a public servant. “There is

Pandemic Response Impact on Electricity Emissions Minimal: National Energy Emissions Audit

While the COVID-19 pandemic response has led to massively reduced emissions by the transport sector, new research shows the same cannot be said for the electricity sector—which has only seen a slight decrease in emissions over the past month—confirming the need for strong structural and legislative reforms to reduce emissions in the electricity sector. The

Frackers are slackers: $94 million in subsidies to onshore gas in the Territory

Research published today (Tuesday May 12) by The Australia Institute highlights the extent of taxpayer assistance to the onshore oil and gas industry in the Northern Territory.  NT Government budget papers reveal that over the last decade $94 million in subsidies and assistance measures have benefited the industry.  Key findings: The NT Fracking Inquiry recommended

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,

Building Back Better: Criteria for Tasmania to Make the Most of COVID-19 Stimulus

The Australia Institute has released a new report looking at how key economic criteria can be used to assess the effectiveness of future stimulus measures in Tasmania. The report has been sent to all Members of the Tasmanian Parliament, some members of the Premier’s recovery taskforce,  industry and community leaders and unions. “As stimulus money

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

Undermining New Investment – Problematic UNGI Program without Legal Foundation

The Auditor General has been asked to investigate the Commonwealth Government’s Underwriting New Generation Investment Program (UNGI), which threatens to undermine investment in the essential power sector. New research by The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program reveals the Government’s flagship program to generate more electricity has no legal foundation, formal guidelines, assessment criteria, procurement

Most Australians want Company Tax for Big Business Same or Higher

New research from the Australia Institute shows the majority (59%) of Australians want company tax for big business to remain the same or be increased. Only a minority (19%) of respondents thought tax rates should be decreased. The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,020 Australians about whether the company tax rate for

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