December 2021

November 2021

Big Winners of $3.9b in Government Discretionary Grants are Coalition Marginal Seats

New analysis from the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program reveals that $3.9 billion spent by federal grants programs with ministerial discretion has clearly skewed towards marginal Coalition seats in particular, at the expense of safe Labor seats and, to a lesser extent, safe Coalition seats. Marginal Coalition seats received on average $184 per person

Amazon’s Big Friday a Black Day for Worker Rights

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible technology today called on Amazon to mark its global marketing day, Black Friday, by ditching patents to increase the surveillance of its workers. According to an analysis by UNI Global, Amazon currently have patents on a range of technologies that will erode workplace privacy including: Augmented reality headsets that

Victorian Government rejection of Gippsland Mineral Sand Mine: Win for Community & Local Economy

The Australia Institute welcomes the decision by Victorian State Minister for Planning Richard Wynne to reject the Fingerboards Mineral Sands project proposed by Kalbar Resources. Rod Campbell, Research Director at The Australia Institute, was an expert witness in the planning hearings that led to the rejection. He was called by community group Mine-Free Glenaladale. “We

What’s the go with DuckDuckGo?

featuring Peter Lewis, Lizzie O'Shea and Dan Stinton

The dominance of Google’s data-hungry search engine is under the spotlight in Australia, with live inquiries on its role in the Ad-tech industry and anti-competitive deals which embed the search engine in smart devices. But DuckDuckGo has proven that you can build a search engine that’s not based on user surveillance. In this week’s Burning

Majority of Australians Want Stronger Whistleblower Protections

Seven in 10 Australians want more legal protections for whistleblowers and say that whistleblowers make Australia a better place, finds new research by The Australia Institute and the Human Rights Law Centre. Key Findings: Over 7 in 10 Australians (71%) agree that whistleblower protections for public servants should be strengthened The vast majority of Australians

COP26 Glasgow Ends: Coal Phase Down Agreed, Glimmer of Hope Remains

“If COP26 is judged on its ability to advance emissions reductions, then Glasgow has already moved the dial forward,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute, from Glasgow. “Attempts to name and shame fossil fuels have been blocked for major fossil fuel producers in the UN, but finally a line

New paper exposes five wealthy countries whose fossil fuel production threatens chances of keeping 1.5ºC hope alive

The Fossil Fuelled 5 examines five wealthy nations – the US, Canada, Norway, Australia and the UK – that have a widening gap between their rhetoric on climate action and their plans to expand the production of fossil fuels. The paper gives a snapshot of how each is undermining global efforts to address the climate

Analysis: Federal Government Net Zero Modelling is Economic Science Fiction

The Australia Institute has reviewed the Federal Government’s newly released Long-term emissions reduction plan: Modelling and Analysis. “The Federal Government’s climate modelling is like economic science fiction,” said Dr Richard Denniss, chief economist at The Australia Institute. “The claimed economic benefits come not from avoiding catastrophic climate change, that is ignored, but from a speculative $50 billion

‘Technology Not Taxes’: a Failure Australia Has Seen Before

The Morrison Government’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with ‘technology not taxes’ is neither plausible nor original. New Australia Institute analysis shows that back in 1997 the Howard Government announced a similar plan, with no carbon price and no regulatory restrictions on fossil fuels, that failed to deliver more than 400 MT CO2-e of

Audacity of hype: Scott Morrison is betting voters will settle for plans over performance

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Scott Morrison thrives in the empty space between three-year terms and 30-year plans. Whether it is climate change, nuclear submarines or budget repair – it is no accident the prime minister with the shortest planning horizon in living memory is our greatest announcer of long-run plans. While the vacuousness of Morrison’s net-zero “plan” and his

Can technology really save the planet?

featuring Peter Lewis and Lizzie O'Shea

As the world’s leaders debate the future of the planet, technology is being put forward as the solution to the earth’s climate woes. But will smart energy networks, AI and Bitcoin really save us? As part of the annual NetThing internet governance conference, this week’s Burning Platforms dives deep into the environmental impacts of technology. Regular panellists: Peter

Australia drops four places on global climate ranking

The annual Climate Change Performance Index released today has ranked Australia last on climate policy, ranking in 64th place. Furthermore, Australia dropped four places to 58th out of 64 places overall in the index, ahead of only Korea, Chinese Taipei, Canada, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Kazakhstan. Australia received very low ratings for its performance across

I’d appreciate it if ministers lost their appetite for decapitation

by Allan Behm in The Canberra Times

NSW’s Independent Commission Against Corruption has revealed extraordinary amorality and cynicism in how the Berejiklian government, and its predecessors, approached both public policy and the use of public money. The ICAC has also revealed Berejiklian’s vicious approach to imposing compliance, complicity and ultimately connivance on the public servants who advise government. In an extraordinary few

Federal Government’s Future Fuels Electric Vehicle Announcement Little More Than Another Pamphlet

“The Federal Government’s new Future Fuels Strategy will struggle to drive up electric vehicles sales and drive down transport emissions. Norway, the global leader on EVs, has driven the transition to cheaper, faster, and cleaner vehicles through credible policies and regulations,” said Richie Merzian, climate & energy program director at the Australia Institute. “The Prime

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