December 2020

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

featuring National Integrity Committee

E&OE TRANSCRIPT — PRESS CONFERENCE 12noon Tuesday, 1 December 2020 MURAL HALL, PARLIAMENT HOUSE Attendees: The Hon Anthony Whealy QC – former Judge of the NSW Supreme Court of Appeal The Hon Stephen Charles AO QC – former Judge of the Victorian Supreme Court of Appeal The Hon Mary Gaudron QC – former Judge of

Federal Seat Polling: Overwhelming Support for Anti-Corruption Body With Teeth

New research from The Australia Institute has shown that a significant majority of voters in the Coalition held Federal Electorates of Robertson, Bass and Mallee support the creation of a national integrity body with the power to conduct public hearings and investigate whistle-blower complaints. The survey results were released at a Parliament House press conference

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

Which jobs and what growth?

by Richard Denniss in The Monthly

We need to talk about the economy. For decades we have talked about the size of the economy, but it is time we talked about its shape. For decades we have been told that if the economy grew faster it would solve all our problems, but it’s time we talked about which parts of the

November 2020

Australia’s diplomatic approach needs a major revamp

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

by Ben Oquist[Originally Published in the Canberra Times, 28 November 2020] Suddenly it seems diplomacy is important.  The Foreign Minister has praised the role Australia’s diplomats played in the release of Kylie Moore-Gilbert; the Prime Minister is defending the use of an Air Force plane to help get Mathias Cormann elected to the plum post

Instead of taxing electric vehicles, heavy vehicles should pay more for the damage they cause

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on the Guardian Australia, 25 November 2020] The purpose of the tax system isn’t just to collect revenue, it’s to shape society in ways we see fit. It’s no accident that fresh food is excluded from the GST and it’s no accident that the tax on alcohol is higher than the

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,

Statement in response to Narrabri Gas Project Federal Approval

“The Federal Government’s decision to approve the Narrabri gas project not only endangers water and the environment, but will permanently lock NSW manufacturers into high gas prices,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Director at the Australia Institute. “Australia Institute research shows high cost gas from Narrabri ($7.40 GJ at the wellhead) will displace lower

Statement on the Victorian Government’s Making Victoria a Renewable Energy Powerhouse plan announced in the Victorian Budget 2020/21

The Australia Institute welcomes the Victorian Government’s Making Victoria a Renewable Energy Powerhouse plan, as announced in the Victorian Budget 2020/21. “This is one of the largest investments in clean energy by a state government and it should bring down prices, reduce emissions and improve the resilience of Victoria’s grid, by increasing innovation and competition,”

Australian Workplaces Unprepared for Rising Heat Stress in Light of Climate Change

Last Summer’s devastating Black Summer bushfires exposed the under-preparedness of Australian workplaces to the serious health and safety risks of heat stress for many workers across Australia. Heading in to next Summer season, new research published today by the Centre for Future Work, outlines why working in extreme heat is a growing and urgent issue

Renewed calls for Climate Levy on Fossil Fuel Exports as Black Summer Disaster Bill Soars

In the lead-up to Summer, the Australia Institute, emergency leaders, and bushfire survivors have renewed coals for a Climate Levy on fossil fuel exports to help pay for increasing disasters due to climate change. The call follows estimates that the Black Summer bushfires cost Australians over $50 billion, which represents a step change in disaster

JobSeeker Cut Will Push 190,000 More People Under Poverty Line—including 50,000 Children

The Morrison Government’s decision to reduce the rate of JobSeeker to $150 from January 2021 will push an additional 190,000 Australians below the poverty line—including 50,000 children—and have a devastating impact on low income families, shows new research by The Australia Institute. The Federal Government has announced it intends to cut the JobSeeker supplement again,

Unpaid Overtime Rife, Despite Shift to “Work from Home”

New research has revealed that almost three-quarters of Australians “working from home” are doing at least some of it in non-work-time. This has contributed to a substantial rise in the incidence of unpaid overtime this year, which now costs Australian workers almost $100 billion a year.  The Centre for Future Work’s 12th annual Go Home on

Australia’s leaders are lagging behind on climate

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally Published in the Canberra Times, 14 November 2020] Australia is experiencing climate change now and warming is set to continue, according to the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO’s 2020 State of the Climate report released yesterday. This news won’t come as a galloping shock to most Australians – we can see the evidence of global warming

Gas for export 12 times larger than gas for manufacturing

Research released today by The Australia Institute shows that the Federal Government’s “gas-fired recovery” will not assist Australia’s manufacturing industry. Increasing gas production is likely to benefit gas exporters, not manufacturers.  Australian manufacturing used just 373 petajoules (PJ) of gas, while more than 4,500PJ went to exports in 2018-19. Just 56PJ, or 1% of Australian

The best way to help Australian manufacturing? Stop exporting gas

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on the Guardian Australia, 12 November 2020] While it might seem heretical to suggest we stop exporting gas, it’s important to remember that we only started exporting gas from Australia’s east coast in 2015. But since that fateful day, the wholesale price of gas has risen from around $3 to $4 per

SA EV Tax Backlash Grows – Parliamentary Opposition Continues to Mount

The Australia Institute has welcomed the decision from the South Australian Labor and Greens parties to oppose the Marshall Government’s proposed Electric Vehicle Tax. “The Australia Institute welcomes the decision of the South Australian Labor Party and the South Australian Greens to oppose the electric vehicle tax,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, SA Director at The Australia

SA Budget: Rush to Surplus Risks State’s Economic Recovery

Following the release of today’s State Budget, The Australia Institute has suggested that efforts to return to an early surplus will harm South Australia’s economic performance and undermine the state’s employment recovery from COVID-19. Key findings: According to the State Government, the budget will return to surplus in 2023-24. Previous recessions have shown that unemployment

Biden Win Pours Cold Water on Australia’s Paris Emissions Target Tricks

A Biden win puts pressure on Australia to dump the use of controversial Kyoto credits to meet its Paris Target.  “There will now be increased pressure on Australia to abandon its proposed use of so-called Kyoto carry-over credits,” said Richie Merzian, climate & energy director at the Australia Institute.  “Australia Institute research and legal analysis

Working from home, once a novelty, is now wearing thin

by Alison Pennington [Originally published in The Age, 05 November 2020] Lockdowns in Victoria have made job polarisations starker than in other states. Entire layers of workers, previously interacting in the flows of the daily commute, the morning coffee, dropping kids off at school, were suddenly pulled apart and isolated from each other. Connected only

Biden as president would pursue climate ‘cheaters’ – and Australia could be among them

by Richie Merzian in The Guardian

by Richie Merzian[Originally published on the Guardian Australia, 04 November 2020] Whether Donald Trump loses or wins the presidential election, the US will officially withdraw from the Paris agreement on Wednesday. The US intention to withdraw was announced in mid-2017 and, exactly one year ago, formal notification was sent to the United Nations. It caps

Is Scott Morrison angry that public servants got Cartier watches – or that the public found out?

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on the Guardian Australia, 29 October 2020] Cartier watches, free rent and taxpayers picking up the tab for $118,000 worth of personal tax advice — Australia’s best paid public servants have been on quite the spending spree and the prime minister has made it clear that he is very, very angry.

Kean’s ‘radical’ thinking is good for climate and politics

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

by Ben Oquist[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 31 October 2020] When NSW Liberal Minister Matt Kean invoked Menzies’ forgotten people this week, he flipped climate politics on its head. Speaking at the launch of the Australia Institute’s annual benchmark report on attitudes to climate change, Climate of the Nation, the Energy and Environment Minister charted

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

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