February 2014

December 2013

MR: Aussies in the dark about risky TPP trade deal

Most Australians aren’t aware of a trade deal which could risk environmental laws, increase the cost of medicines and enable corporations to sue Australian governments, according to a new survey by The Australia Institute. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is currently under negotiation and establishes a free trade area including Australia, the United States of America,

October 2013

September 2013

Time for the major political parties to acknowledge their significant others

by Richard Denniss and Brenton Prosser in On Line Opinion

Australia has listened, it has voted and it has decided. Australia wants political arrangements ‘other’ than what the major parties intended. It’s not what Sophie Mirabella expected before being ‘outgunned’ by the independent forces of Cathy McGowan and Tony Windsor. It’s not what ALP faceless man, Don Farrell, expected when he gave up his number

Micro parties with macro powers

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

Small reforms to Senate preference voting could deliver a better and more stable system for everyone. A simple solution would be to ensure that parties which polled below a threshold, say 2 per cent, could disburse but not receive preferential votes. Such an approach would ensure no votes were “wasted” but at the same time

August 2013

Rudd wins back youth but many still undecided

Kevin Rudd’s return as Prime Minister is winning Labor the youth vote, but nearly a third of young Australians remain undecided, according to new research by The Australia Institute. The survey of more than 950 people aged 17-24 asked respondents about their voting intentions, whether they vote the same way as their friends and family,

Federal politicians – don’t pass buck on mining & CSG

The Commonwealth government has the power to protect Australia from the negative impacts of coal mining and coal seam gas and shouldn’t pass responsibility to the states, according to new research commissioned by The Australia Institute. The research, released today, was untaken by the Australian Network of Environmental Defender’s Offices. It identifies areas of the

Why all the hang-ups over a hung parliament?

by Richard Denniss and Brenton Prosser in Crikey

With polls showing we may be on track for another minority government, suddenly we seem surrounded by cries of “not another hung parliament”. And segments of the media and business are again raising exaggerated fears about the “risk and uncertainty” or “instability and short-termism” that will accompany such an outcome. But the fact is that

July 2013

June 2013

Tasmanian Forests Agreement: liberal society needs an alternative

by Andrew Macintosh in The Conversation

Fred Gale’s article, Tasmanian Forests Agreement: deeply flawed, worth backing, provides interesting insights into the views of one segment of the Tasmanian community that supports the Tasmanian Forest Agreement. However, he fails to fully grasp many of the fundamental reasons for continuing opposition to the deal and its associated legislation. Most notably, there is no

May 2013

Australians oppose gambling promotion more than alcohol advertising

Australians oppose gambling advertisements during live sport more than advertising for alcohol, a new survey by The Australia Institute reveals. The Australia Institute’s Executive Director Dr Richard Denniss said that nearly two-thirds of Australians oppose the advertising of gambling during sport, while around half oppose alcohol promotion. “It’s been obvious for a while that many

Can Tassie see the deal for the trees? Peace comes at a cost

by Andrew Macintosh in Crikey

Passage of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement Bill in the state’s lower house effectively ended three years of negotiations between the forestry industry and environment groups. The deal is being celebrated by many as a resolution to the 30-year conflict over native forests in Tasmania and a win for the environment and economy. Nothing could be

March 2013

Gray must not follow Ferguson’s path

by Richard Denniss in The Australian Financial Review

A cabinet reshuffle provides the perfect opportunity for a prime minister to clarify the role of incoming ministers. From his deeds, it’s pretty clear Martin Ferguson interpreted his job as representing the interests of those who profit from extracting our resources rather than the citizens who own those resources. And given their praise on his

February 2013

Government inaction on antibiotic resistance exposed

Twenty years of government inaction could lead to curable illnesses like tonsillitis again becoming a massive threat to human health, as the rise of anti-microbial resistant bacteria (aka “the superbug”) threatens to take us back to our pre-antibiotic era, a new paper by The Australia Institute reveals. Culture of Resistance: Australia’s response to the inappropriate

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