May 2022

Significant Proportion of Voters Uncertain on Senate Preferential Voting

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,002 Australians about their Senate voting intentions and their understanding of how Senate voting works. The results show: A significant proportion of Australians remain uncertain about important aspects of Senate preferential voting: More than four in ten (43%) respondents thought that putting a 6 beside a

One in Five Worked with COVID Symptoms; Sick Leave Entitlements Must Be Strengthened

Almost one in five Australians (and a higher proportion of young workers) acknowledge working with potential COVID symptoms over the course of the pandemic, according to new opinion research released today by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. The research confirms the public health dangers of Australia’s patchwork system of sick leave and related

APPEA members pay no income tax on income of $138 billion

New analysis of data published by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) shows that five of the gas industry’s most prominent companies have paid no income tax for at least the past seven years, despite a combined income from their Australian operations of $138 billion. Four of the five members of the Australian Petroleum Production &

Government Agency Political Appointments as High as One in Three

A new report from the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program represents the largest and most comprehensive domestic study of the practice of cronyism in relation to appointments to a government agency ever conducted in Australia. This detailed deep dive report has investigated every single appointment made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) since 1996

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

Higgins Polling Research Shows Landslide Support for Truth in Political Advertising Laws

New polling in the federal seat of Higgins shows a tight race between the Government and Opposition, with respondents indicating a substantial drop in the Liberal Party primary vote. “This poll demonstrates landslide support for truth in political advertising laws (92%) in a campaign which has been marred by allegations of dishonesty and misinformation,” said

Polling: Integrity a Key Issue to Voters

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,002 Australians about integrity’s role in the 2022 election. The results show that integrity is important to most Australians in this election. Overall, three in four Australians (76%) either say that integrity issues are more important (30%) this election than last or that integrity issues are

Wages Will Continue to Lag Without Targeted Wage-Boosting Measures: New Report

A comprehensive review of Australian wage trends indicates that wage growth is likely to remain stuck at historically weak levels despite the dramatic disruptions experienced by the Australian labour market through the COVID-19 pandemic. The report finds that targeted policies to deliberately lift wages are needed to break free of the low-wage trajectory that has

Inflation Good for Budget but Bad for Voters

Surging inflation is driving record increases in government tax revenue while simultaneously pushing down workers’ real wages, according to new Australia Institute analysis of Treasury forecasts released today. As the figure below shows, Treasury forecasts of Commonwealth spending are well above the spending forecasts made pre-covid and, more significantly, well above the levels forecast in

Facebook Revelations an Attack on Democracy

“Today’s revelations in the Wall Street Journal confirm what we suspected at the time: that Facebook’s takedown was a deliberate attack on Australian democratic institutions, deployed as a negotiating tactic to avoid paying for news content,” said Peter Lewis, Director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “The fact that this global corporation was

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

Pandemic Workforce Crisis Requires TAFE Investment in Early Childhood Education to Boost Economy: Report

A new report has found pandemic workforce shortages should be tackled through investment in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) to boost employment, unlock productivity and support life-long development outcomes for children. The research report launched today, ‘Educating for Care: Meeting Skills Shortages in an Expanding ECEC Industry’ has called for the sector to be

Renewed Call for Review of $4.5 Billion Carbon Credit Scheme

The Australian Government’s controversial $4.5 billion Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) has today come under renewed calls for a root-and-branch review. The call comes following revelations by the former chair of the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee that up to 80% of Australian carbon credits lack integrity. A new research report, launched today by the

Unwarranted ‘Kangaroo Court’ Attacks on Integrity Commissions Undermine Crucial Accountability Role in Our Democracy

“Attacks on integrity commissions as ‘kangaroo courts’ show a misunderstanding of the role they play in our democracy,” said Bill Browne, Head of the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program. “Every state and territory in Australia has an integrity commission, and none has turned into a ‘public autocracy’ because of it. Premier Dominic Perrottet was

Goldstein Polling Research

New research reveals that the Coalition MP for Goldstein, Tim Wilson, is under serious pressure to retain his seat according to a uComms opinion poll conducted on the 27th of April. The poll was conducted with a sample size of 855 people via telephone, with a margin of error of 3.34%. The poll is Australian

April 2022

Housing Affordability Crisis Requires Nordic Policy Solutions: Experts

The key driver of Australia’s acute housing affordability crisis is its over-reliance on just two housing options – private home ownership and private renting. New research from the Australia Institute’s Nordic Policy Centre shows that Nordic countries have a wider repertoire of policies, and Australia can learn from policies that are already in practice in

Australia 91% reliant on foreign oil: Research Report

A new research report by The Australia Institute has revealed the country has only increased its reliance on imported transport fuels since the federal government released its dire interim Liquid Fuel Security Report in early 2019. The research finds that Australia’s transport fuels are highly vulnerable to international prices and supply chains and yet demand-side

$7.4b Dam Announcement Doesn’t Hold Economic Water: Research

New research has found that the Federal Government’s announcement that it will spend $7.4b on dams does not deliver value for money and provides less employment and GDP growth than if the same amount were invested in other parts of the economy. The research reveals that if the $5.4b announced for the Hells Gate Dam

Allegations of Political Lies Underscore Need for Truth in Political Advertising Laws

In just the second week of the federal election campaign, voters are already seeing heated accusations of lying from all sides, underscoring the need for federal truth in political advertising laws. Key Points: South Australia has had truth in political advertising laws since the 1980s. The ACT Legislative Assembly passed similar laws prior to the

Government Energy Claims Don’t Stack Up

“Australia’s electricity grid is not fit-for-purpose and requires additional investment. The long-term benefits include a more stable grid and cheaper power prices thanks to onboarding more renewables,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute. “The evidence shows that wholesale electricity prices have increased in every jurisdiction in the National Electricity

New Police Powers a Threat to Civil Society: Research Submission

The Tasmanian Government’s proposed law for a police crackdown on peaceful protest has been criticised as anti-democratic and a threat to civil society, in a submission by independent think-tank the Australia Institute, Tasmania. Key points in submission: Bill undermines freedom of expression, association and assembly for the Tasmanian public Bill contains unclear, broad and discretionary

Polling: National Integrity Powers to Investigate and Deter Corruption Crucial

New polling finds that most Australians support the formation of a national integrity commission with the powers it needs to investigate and deter corruption. Key Findings: Seven in 10 Australians (69%) agree that not legislating an integrity commission represents a broken election promise by the Coalition When asked which from a list of eight powers

Australian Youth Job Guarantee Needed to Repair Pandemic Devastation: New Report

Australia should follow the European example and introduce a Youth Job Guarantee, according to a new report from the Australia Institute which reveals the true extent of youth employment devastation during the pandemic. Despite representing just 14 per cent of workers, the new report, ‘Youth unemployment and the pandemic’, shows young people (aged 15-24) bore 39

Universal Public Early Child Education in Australia Would Pay For Itself: Research Report

Making Early Child Education and Care (ECEC) universal in Australia would pay for itself by unlocking women’s labour supply, boosting GDP and growing government revenues by billions, according to new research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. With cost of living shaping up as a key election issue, policy experts say boosted funding would

Federal Coal Closure Changes No Substitute for Real Roadmap

Statement in response to Federal Government announcement it seeks to delay coal fired power plant closures by introducing new rules that five years’ notice must be provided before closing power stations. “What we are seeing is another knee-jerk reaction from Minister Taylor because Australia’s Energy Minister was left out of key negotiations on Australia’s largest

Tidal Wave of Alarm for Tassie Oceans Amid Landmark Marine Law Review: Research

An overwhelming majority of Tasmanians (76%) are concerned about the dire state of Tasmania’s coastal waters and oceans amid a landmark law review aimed at protecting the marine environment and economy, according to new research from the Australia Institute Tasmania. The new polling supports the Australia Institute Tasmania’s call for a marine law overhaul, contained

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