December 2020

Former Judges, Opposition, Crossbench, Federal Police, Academics, Civil Society, Majority of Australians: Establish a Federal Integrity Commission with Teeth

The Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee of Former Judges have joined with Federal Parliamentarians from all sides of politics, the Australian Federal Police Association, academics, and civil society to call on the Attorney General to establish a federal integrity commission with teeth. The Attorney General’s Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) model which has been re-released for

November 2020

Former Supreme Court Judge and Legal Advocate Call for Much-Needed ‘Good Government’ Reforms in Tasmania

The Australia Institute has today published recommendations for much needed political reform in Tasmania. The report, Good Government in Tasmania advocates a co-ordinated approach to reform across Tasmanian Integrity Commission Truth in Political Advertising Election Donations Reform Right to Information The report is being co-launched by retired Victorian Supreme Court judge, The Hon David Harper AM QC,

Commonwealth Integrity Commission Draft Bill Falls Short

Today the Attorney-General Christian Porter has released the exposure draft of the Commonwealth Integrity Commission legislation for public consultation. The National Integrity Committee intends to participate in the consultation process as outlined by Minister Porter and looks forward to making a submission regarding the draft legislation and to an invitation to participate in a roundtable

October 2020

Timeline: Federal Anti-Corruption Watchdog Overdue

The Australia Institute has today published a timeline which highlights key milestones and moments on the road towards a federal anti-corruption watchdog, including a log of claims from the Attorney General that such legislation was forthcoming. “A federal anti-corruption watchdog won’t fix democracy but it is a prerequisite to a healthy functioning one,” said Ben

Queenslanders to lend Adani $271 million in royalty deal

The Australia Institute has criticised the Queensland Government’s deal to subsidise the Adani coal project via a royalty deferral deal. The long-running negotiations between Adani and the Queensland Government will allow the coal mine to ‘dig now, pay later’ at a secret, but certainly discounted, interest rate. Key points: The royalty deal has been reported

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

Crossbenchers, Judges, Majority of Australians Urge for Establishment a Federal Integrity Commission in 2020

The National Integrity Committee of former Judges today call on the Morrison Government to release draft legislation for a National Integrity Commission. It has been nine months since Attorney General Christian Porter stated that legislation for the proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) would be released ‘shortly’, and 20 months since the consultation paper for the

National Integrity Committee Statement

Today, the National Integrity Committee calls on the Morrison Government to release draft legislation for a National Integrity Commission. Such a body is required urgently to have the power to examine allegations of malfeasance and corruption at the most senior levels of Parliament and the Australian Public Service and restore trust in our democracy. It

August 2020

Media Decline Amid Growing Power of Big Tech Demonstrates Need for ACCC Media Code

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has made a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regarding its draft news bargaining code, with close of submissions today.  Key Points in Submission: The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology supports the implementation of a news media bargaining code proposed by the ACCC. Media

Time to Pay Workers for Data Produced at Work

With the incidence of workplace monitoring increasing during the pandemic lockdown, new research shows that workers should be compensated for the secondary use of data gathered in the course of their employment. The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology have made a submission to a NSW inquiry into the future of work, arguing that information

Tasmanians still missing out on revenue from fish farms

Results from Norway’s latest salmon auction again highlights the low price Tasmania is putting on its assets.   This week, in Norway, a total of 30 Norwegian salmon farming companies purchased additional salmon licenses worth NOK 5.9 billion or AUD $921.2 million. The Norwegian Ministry of Trade Industries and Fishing stated that it had now sold

Unredacted Documents Prove Commonwealth Paid Too Much for ‘Watergate’

The Australia Institute and consultancy firm, Slattery & Johnson, have released research today based on newly unredacted valuation documents about the $80 million ‘Watergate’ scandal. The documents, provided to independent Senator Rex Patrick last week after a two-year battle, contain the commercial valuation commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) for negotiations

July 2020

Auditor General’s ‘Watergate’ Report Shows Need for Royal Commission

An Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report on the Murray Darling Basin has found “information relating to value for money…was limited” for water purchases worth $190 million. The ANAO found that the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE): Did not consistently apply approved policy, planning and guidance to the assessment of all limited tender

Fracking can’t fire up NT manufacturing

Research published today by The Australia Institute highlights that employment in gas-related manufacturing declined while gas in the Northern Territory was very cheap. Fracked gas will be far more expensive, making petrochemical manufacturing in the Territory unviable without massive taxpayer subsidy. Key findings: The NT Government’s Power and Water Corporation had large surpluses of gas

Consumer & Citizen Groups have Serious Concerns About Google Fitbit Takeover

Consumer and citizen groups have significant concerns that Google’s proposed takeover of wearables manufacturer Fitbit would be a game-changer not only for how people interact with the online world but also for digital and related health markets. Regulators around the world – in particular those concerned with antitrust compliance and data privacy – must therefore

June 2020

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

May 2020

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

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

April 2020

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

Majority Want Increased Funding for ABC as Trust in Public Broadcaster Grows: Polling

An overwhelming 75% of Australians support increased funding for the ABC to reflect its emergency broadcaster role, as new research by The Australia Institute shows the ABC continues to grow as the most trusted news source in Australia and the proposition of privatising the ABC is opposed by 59%. The Australia Institute surveyed nationally representative

Broad Alliance of Tasmanian Organisations Call for Establishment of NZ-Style Multi-Partisan COVID-19 Parliamentary Oversight Committee

A prominent group of Tasmanian individuals and organisations have today called for the establishment of a multi-party parliamentary oversight committee to ensure adequate scrutiny of the COVID-19 response while the Tasmanian Parliament is not sitting. Such a body has already been established in New Zealand to help fill the accountability gap. Known as the Epidemic

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