Media Releases

February 2020

Up ‘effluent creek’: Basin Plan projects to damage sensitive waterways

Some of the Murray Darling Basin’s best managed waterways would be damaged by water infrastructure projects that benefit major corporate irrigators, according to a new report by water consultants Slattery & Johnson and think tank The Australia Institute. The Yanco Creek System, which links the Murrumbidgee and the Murray rivers, is declared a “jewel” of

Bushfire Response: International Experts Open Letter Call for Native Logging Ban

An open letter signed by Australian and international forestry and climate experts, published by the Australia Institute today, has called for the immediate nationwide cessation of all native forest logging in response to the climate, fire, drought and biodiversity loss crises currently facing Australia. The letter, signed by scientists from countries including Australia, USA, Canada, New

Equinor Out – Time to Give Great Australian Bight World Heritage Protection

The Australia Institute has welcomed reports that Norwegian oil giant Equinor is withdrawing from its plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight and has said that the Federal and South Australian governments should now move towards permanent protection and World Heritage listing for the Bight. Australia Institute research has previously shown that

Net-Zero by 2050 Emissions Target Provides Community & Business Certainty

“A net-zero target by 2050 provides Australian communities and businesses with long-term certainty and direction. The Australia Institute welcomes the announcement, which aligns with the targets of every Australian state and territory,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute. “More policy will of course be needed to work out how

Beechworth Principles Strong Step Towards Federal Anti-Corruption Watchdog

The Australia Institute and National Integrity Committee has welcomed Independent MP Helen Haines’ Beechworth Principles as a positive step towards the legislation of a proper Federal Anti-Corruption watchdog with teeth. “After joining the crossbench’s strong call for a federal anti-corruption watchdog, it is encouraging to see Helen Haines backing those sentiments with action with the

Child Classifications Must Include Gambling in Computer Games

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has called for an extension in the way computer games are classified, to capture design architecture that exposes children to addictive, gambling-based content in many common games. In a submission to the Department of Communications review into the classification system, the Centre for Responsible Technology argues that the

NSW Coal More Polluting than Total UK Emissions, Should be Considered by Planners

New research from The Australia Institute shows that the New South Wales Government’s attempts to force planners to ignore the carbon emissions of the state’s coal exports contradicts NSW climate policy, the Paris Agreement, corporate expectations and economic opportunities for growth. Key findings NSW coal emissions are bigger than direct emissions from France and the

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

Survey Reveals: Bushfires Cost 1.8 million Work Days, Leave 5 Million Sick from Smoke

New national survey research from The Australia Institute reveals most Australians have been personally impacted by the bushfires and smoke, including millions missing work or suffering health impacts. Additionally, the research shows concern about the impacts of climate change are especially high among those directly affected by the fires, as is the wish for the

‘Watergate’ water “not value for money” even at half price according to Department

Research released by The Australia Institute today reveals new information on the Commonwealth’s controversial purchase of water rights in the Condamine Balonne valley for $80 million in 2017. The Government has refused to release independent valuations of the water rights, despite requests from the Senate, with newly released documents showing similar deals had been repeatedly

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

Fossil Fuel Levy for Fire Recovery Would Boost SA Jobs and Economy

A National Climate Disaster Fund, financed by a levy on fossil fuel producers, would help South Australia to recover from the current bushfire crisis and prepare for the worsening fire seasons expected in the future, a leading think tank has said. The Australia Institute is proposing the creation of a National Climate Disaster Fund, financed by a

New Tasmanian Leader an Opportunity to Change Direction on Privatisation, Transparency

The Australia Institute wishes Premier Will Hodgman, one of Tasmania’s most popular premiers, all the best for his future endeavours. The Premier can be proud of many of his achievements, particularly leading the government into a pro-renewable energy stance. Will Hodgman’s retirement will present both a challenge and opportunity for the Tasmanian Government, The Australia

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

Australians Want Gov. to Mobilise Against Climate Change Like a ‘World War’

New research from The Australia Institute has found that two thirds of Australians believe the country is facing a climate emergency and that the Government should mobilise all of society to tackle the issue, like they did during the World Wars. Key findings; –          Two in three Australians (66%) agree that Australia is facing a

Government Ignored Insurance Industry’s Warnings on Climate Disasters and Need to Prepare

The government has ignored repeated warnings by the insurance industry over many years about the increasing costs of disasters as a result of climate change and the need to prepare. Last year insurance companies slammed the Morrison government’s failure to fund climate change resilience programs in the 2019 Budget. Just some examples of these warnings

Morrison Government’s Fire Response Should be Funded by Levy on Fossil Fuel Producers: Australia Institute

The Australia Institute has welcomed the Government’s $2 billion bushfire recovery fund announcement, but has questioned why regular Australian taxpayers are being asked to pay when a levy on fossil fuel producers would be a more appropriate way to raise the required funding. “Regular Australians should not be forced to pay while fossil fuel producers

Immense impending bushfire costs heighten call for Climate Disaster Levy

The unprecedented national bushfire crisis has highlighted the urgent need for a National Climate Disaster Levy to pay for the immense impending costs of these ongoing disasters. Today the Australia Institute is launching a full-page advertisement in the Sydney Morning Herald renewing its call for the levy. Damage from the catastrophic Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria in

December 2019

Costs Soar in National Bushfire Crisis: Call for Levy on Fossil Fuel Production

Calls renew for a National Climate Disaster Fund funded by a levy on the emissions of fossil fuel production. The National Climate Disaster would help fund the soaring cost of Australia’s ongoing national bushfire crisis. Australia Institute modelling shows that the levy, set initially at $1 per tonne of embodied emissions, would raise $1.5 billion per

‘It’s the Thought That Counts’ – $980m of Christmas gifts will go to waste: The Australia Institute

New research from The Australia Institute has revealed that nearly one third of Australians (30%) are expecting to receive a gift that they will never use this Christmas.  Three in ten (30%), or approximately 7.3 million Australians will receive gifts they expect they will never use or wear this Christmas, representing a total value of

South Australia Benefits from Renewables Boom: Best Electricity Prices in NEM

New research shows South Australia is cashing in from the state’s renewables boom, with monthly average wholesale prices in SA to be the lowest of all five state regions in the National Electricity Market (NEM) for the last two months. The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program has released their latest National Energy Emissions Audit,

Put Levy on Fossil Fuel Producers to Pay for Climate Disasters: Australia Institute

The Australia Institute has today released a detailed proposal for a National Climate Disaster Fund (NCDF), to pay for the escalating costs of natural disasters driven by climate change. Money would be raised for the Fund through a $1 levy per tonne of carbon pollution on fossil fuel production in Australia, which would currently raise

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