December 2020

The myth of Australia’s gas supply shortage

featuring Ebony Bennett and Mark Ogge

The ‘gas-fired recovery’ is supposed to help Australia’s manufacturing industry by freeing up new supply. But the Australia Institute’s research shows the days of cheap gas are over. www.tai.org.au Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests: Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor // @MarkOgge Producer: Jennifer Macey Theme music is by Jonathan McFeat

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

Media Release NSWSAVIC

Leaked Government Paper: EV Tax Will ‘Discourage Uptake’, ‘Face Strong Opposition’

Putting a new tax on electric vehicles without related concessions, as has been proposed in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia, would likely face strong opposition and discourage Australians from purchasing zero and low emissions cars, a leaked intergovernmental document has shown. The analysis of potential models for state based Road User Charges for

Statement on News Media Bargaining Code: Big Tech Media Code Good News for Democracy

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has welcomed the introduction of legislation, forcing Google and Facebook to pay for news, as globally significant response to the growing power of Big Tech. The News Media Bargaining Code, to be tabled by the Morrison Government this week, will force the platforms to compensate for the premium

Strong Public Support for Big Tech to Pay for News

The Australian public has endorsed moves by the Morrison Government to pass legislation requiring Google and Facebook to pay media companies for the news that drives their social networks. The proposed ACCC Media Code seeks to regulate big tech platforms such as Facebook and Google, and help ensure a viable future for Australian media. The

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

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 AppealThe Hon Stephen Charles AO QC – former Judge of the Victorian Supreme Court of AppealThe Hon Mary Gaudron QC – former Judge of the High

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

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

Post SA

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

EV Road User Charge: ‘A Great Big New Tax on Not Polluting’

The State Government’s proposed road user charge for electric vehicles, as announced in the Budget, is a backwards and unnecessary step for the state that contradicts its supposed commitment to increasing the uptake of EVs into the future, The Australia Institute has said. Key points: The State Government is planning to introduce a ‘road user

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

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