Follow the Money // Democracy & Accountability

The Australia Institute’s Follow the Money podcast explains Australia’s big economic issues in plain English. We bust myths, dissect politics, interpret econobabble and help you sound really smart at your next dinner party, with host Ebony Bennett.

June 2022

Draconian Anti-protest Laws

featuring Ebony Bennett and Rachel Hay

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. The Bill creates disproportionate penalties for people who peacefully protest against business activities, equivalent to aggravated assault, possessing an implement with intent to commit a crime, or loitering near children. This was

May 2022

The explosion of political appointments to the AAT

featuring Ebony Bennett, Ben Oquist and Bill Browne

New research from the Australia Institute shows that the number of political appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has skyrocketed. In this episode Ebony unpacks the largest and most comprehensive domestic study of the practice of cronyism in relation to appointments to a government agency ever conducted, with Ben Oquist and Bill Browne. This was

April 2022

Unpacking the 2022 Federal Budget

This week on Follow the Money we’re unpacking the 2022 Federal Budget. Who are the winners and losers, and what does it all mean with an election looming? Recorded live on 31st March 2022 and things may have changed since recording. The Australia Institute // @theausinstitute Host: Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director, Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett

December 2021

The biggest attack on the Australian charity sector you have never heard of

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

On the eve of an election, without consultation and without scrutiny, the Morrison government, with the support of the Opposition, rushed retrospective amendments into the Parliament that will squash charities’ right to advocate, effectively stomping on our democracy. The Australia Institute’s Ben Oquist unpacks what happened and what the impacts will be for the Australian

November 2021

October 2021

September 2021

Fracked: Gas in the Northern Territory

featuring Ebony Bennett, Rod Campbell and Mark Ogge

Extracting gas from the Northern Territory through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) is one of the largest potential sources of carbon pollution in the world. In this episode we explore the climate cost of a potential policy backflip on opening up the NT to fracking, as well as the community opposition and the economics of it all.

June 2021

The giant gap in our federal integrity systems

Australia still has no federal anti-corruption commission, more than 2 years after the Coalition government promised to enact one. Worse, there are several serious flaws with the government’s proposed model for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission. Join two former judges, the Hon Anthony Whealy QC and the Hon David Harper AM QC as they explain why

February 2021

The Facebook News Blackout and the News Media Bargaining Code

featuring Ebony Bennett and Peter Lewis

When Facebook banned Australian news and information from its platform — as well as the pages of many charities, community groups and government departments — in an attempt to avoid regulation, it may have been the first time many Australians had heard of the news media bargaining code. So in this week’s episode we unpack what the code is, what it does, why it’s necessary and what happens next.

Google and the use and abuse of economic modelling

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

In its efforts to avoid regulation, Google commissioned economic modelling showing that Google providing tens of billions of dollars in benefits to Australia – but the figures quickly fell apart on closer inspection from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. In this episode, chief economist Richard Denniss talks us through some of the assumptions

January 2021

December 2020

An unprecedented year: reflecting on 2020 with Richard Denniss

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a bit of a nightmare. This week, in our final episode of the year, Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss revisit some of the Australia Institute’s predictions back in March 2020 and reflect on the way Australia’s economy and politics have changed this year in response to the pandemic. Mild

The US Election result and what it means for Australia

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richie Merzian and Allan Behm

In this episode we unpack what a Biden Administration means for climate and foreign policy in Australia, with Richie Merzian and Allan Behm. The Australia Institute // @theAusinstituteHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guests: Richie Merzian, director Climate & Energy Program // @richiemerzian Allan Behm, director International & Security Affairs program

Digital Giants, Market Power and Media Diversity

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Australia’s news media is one of the most highly concentrated in the world. Since 2019, more than 157 newsrooms have closed in Australia and many local, community and rural newspapers have ceased printing or gone digital only. It was in this climate that in 2018 the federal government tasked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

October 2020

The Most Secretive Budget Ever

featuring Ebony Bennett and Rod Campbell

In this episode we explain what ‘not for publication’ (or ‘nfp’) means and why it appears so often in the Budget papers, with Australia Institute research director Rod Campbell.www.tai.org.auHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests:Rod Campbell // @R_o_d_CProducer: Jennifer MaceyTheme music is by Jonathan McFeat from Pulse and Thrum

September 2020

East Timor, Oil and Secret Prosecutions

featuring Ebony Bennett and Allan Behm

For over eighty years, Australia and East Timor have been joined together, mostly in conflict and struggle. The latest conflict is playing out in a secret court case and involves Australian lawyer Bernard Collaery and a former ASIS officer turned whistleblower Witness K. Both have been accused of communicating protected intelligence information after disclosing an

July 2020

The war on populism and the fight for democracy with Thomas Frank

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

Author of the new book ‘People without Power’ Thomas Frank explains why everything you think you know about populism is wrong. [Note: language warning, a mild one] Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director at the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guests: Wayne Swan // @SwannyQLD Ben Oquist // @BenOquist Thomas Frank // @thomasfrank_ Producer: Jennifer Macey Theme music: Jonathan McFeat from Pulse and

June 2020

The case for red tape

featuring Ebony Bennett and Ben Oquist

The PM has announced big plans for deregulation, but is ‘red tape’ or ‘green tape’ really impeding economic growth or is it necessary to protect us and our environment? In this episode we talk to Executive Director of the Australia Institute Ben Oquist about the protections offered by good regulation. Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of

Safeguarding Democracy with Helen Haines

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

There can be no trust in government without accountability, yet its been two years since the Coalition government promised to implement a Commonwealth Integrity Commission and there’s still no draft legislation in sight. Join Independent Member for Indi Helen Haines MP, and former Supreme Court Justices the Hon. David Harper AM QC and The Hon.

May 2020

The view from the Gallery – Politics in the (virtual) Pub

featuring Ebony Bennett and Leanne Minshull

Today we’re changing the pace a little, with our virtual Politics in the Pub featuring Guardian Australia’s political reporter Amy Remeikis and hosted by The Australia Institute Tasmania’s director Leanne Minshull, live from her pub the Fern Tree Tavern in Hobart.News.com.au’s political editor Samantha Maiden was also supposed to join the conversation but unfortunately couldn’t