September 2021

Australian Government Breaking Promise on Mining Tax Transparency

Correspondence between Resource Minister Keith Pitt and civil society groups involved in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) shows that the Australian Government is walking away from its promise to join the tax transparency initiative for the mining, oil and gas industry. The move comes despite major mining companies and civil society groups supporting Australia’s

Morrison and Berejiklian are attempting to shift the blame for Covid on to us

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

In an amazing feat, both leaders shift attention away from their past performances and on to future freedoms to be granted, based on decisions made by the public In the ultimate expression of neoliberal language, prime minister Scott Morrison and New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian are gradually shifting their messaging away from the dangers

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.

Landslide Support for Commonwealth Integrity Commission with Public Hearings and Whistle-blower Complaint Capability

The Australia Institute commissioned uComms to conduct a survey of residents across the federal electorates of Brisbane (622 residents), Braddon (632 residents), Boothby (641 residents) and Bennelong (629 residents) on the nights of 4th and 5th of August 2021. Key Findings: Seat of Brisbane – 78.2% of Brisbane voters support setting up a Commonwealth Integrity

August 2021

Richard Denniss: Scott Morrison’s COVID-19 plan is more spin than science

by Richard Denniss in The New Daily

The same Prime Minister who spruiks ‘technology not taxes’ as a climate change strategy is now championing ‘pharmaceuticals not physical distancing’ in the battle against COVID-19. As always, his slogan is more spin than science, and the phoney distinction will be dangerous to our health, our wealth and our society. Just as virtually every economist agrees that

Party registration changes unfair to small parties, too restrictive

New electoral laws proposed by the Government will have unintended consequences and unfairly benefit incumbent political parties, warns the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program. The Electoral Legislation Amendment (Party Registration Integrity) Bill would require political parties to have 1,500 unique members each within the next three months, up from 500, and prohibit new parties

Complacency spells doom, at home and in Afghanistan

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

Things feel like they’ve taken a turn for the apocalyptic lately. Between the fall of Afghanistan, the IPCC report and the exponential growth of Covid cases in NSW, every time you turn on the news things are spinning out of control. Not because there’s no hope, but because of the hubris of some of our

Corruption watchdog kept on a short leash

by Eloise Carr in The Mercury

Almost half of Tasmanians surveyed (48.5%) distrust the Tasmanian Integrity Commission’s ability to uncover and prevent misconduct in public administration, according to Australia Institute research. Only 34% trust the Integrity Commission’s ability to uncover and prevent misconduct. Is it any wonder, given the inability of the Tasmanian Integrity Commission to hold the state government to

Polling: Majority want video-on-demand services to put 20% of revenue toward Australian content

Three in five (60%) Australian’s support requiring subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) services, like Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime, to spend at least 20% of their revenue on Australian content, finds new research by the Australia Institute. The Australia Institute surveyed 1,006 people in March and 1,000 in May 2021 through Dynata, with nationally representative samples by gender,

July 2021

When the Show Cannot Go On: Rebooting Australia’s Arts & Entertainment Sector After COVID-19

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, written by Senior Economist Alison Pennington and Monash University’s Ben Eltham, reveals the ongoing, devastating impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s arts and entertainment sector and provides a series of recommendations to government that would reboot the creative sector following the crisis. Key Findings: The arts

New Analysis: The Critical Role of the States in COVID-19 and Beyond

Australia’s states and territories have taken the lead in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, representing a potential re-alignment of state-federal relations, according to new research by the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program. Polling shows that the proportion of Australians who rate their state/territory government as doing a better job of handling the crisis has reached

Coalition Policies Will Not Improve Productivity According to Treasury

New analysis of the Intergenerational Report reveals Treasury does not believe that any of the policies introduced by the Coalition Government in the last six years will have any measurable impact on Australia’s productivity growth in the coming decades. Key Findings: The latest Intergenerational Report (IGR 2021) reveals that the Treasury Department is more pessimistic

June 2021

Australia should look to the Nordics for policy tips

by Rod Campbell and Andrew Scott in Financial Review

Not only are the Nordics among the world’s most prosperous nations, they have also dealt with many of the issues that Australia finds so difficult. As Australia starts to peek at a future beyond COVID-19, where should we look for inspiration on how to take our country, community and politics in a better direction? Scott Morrison’s

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

Open Letter: 59 Eminent Australians & Legal Fraternity call on PM to Fulfil Election Promise and Legislate National Integrity Commission

59 eminent Australians, former Judges and members of the legal fraternity have penned an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, calling for the urgent establishment of a National Integrity Commission, citing the Government’s election promise to have such a body legislated within 12 months of taking office. Signatories to the open letter include The

The fight for a healthier Murray-Darling must continue

I’m a fifth-generation farmer. My family have run properties alongside the Darling/Baaka River for almost a century. We have watched as the once mighty river system that runs through the heart of our nation has suffered due to government mismanagement and over-extraction upstream. I’ve always said the red dirt of home runs through my veins,

Please watch the rhetoric, Mr Morrison. Or match it

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Eighteen months after Scott Morrison delivered his “negative globalism” diatribe, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to flout the law by refusing an Australia Institute freedom-of-information request that seeks to get the background and reaction from foreign diplomats to the Prime Minister’s now infamous speech. At this rate, the “negative globalism” doctrine will

Public Sector Informant: National cabinet secrecy hurts energy policies

by Bill Browne in The Canberra Times

Last week, Senator Rex Patrick challenged the secrecy of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s National Cabinet. In the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, parties argued whether the National Cabinet belongs to the Westminster tradition, with its expectations of cabinet confidentiality, solidarity and collective responsibility. The controversy cuts to the core of our system of government. Eventual court decisions

May 2021

Artificial intelligence must enshrine fairness

by Peter Lewis in The Australian

The Human Rights Commission’s call for a pause on the development of Facial Recognition Technology and the placing of guardrails around the development of other AI products could be the kickstart the Australian tech sector desperately needs. While Australia plays perpetual catch-up with the tech superpowers of the US and China, scrounging for government support

Statement from The Australia Institute

Statement from The Australia Institute regarding Minister Pitt’s claims that the 1200 Bridges Too Far report by Kate McBride, Australia Institute fellow and fifth generation farmer, into the Murray Darling Basin Plan is ‘full of claims based on false assertions.’ “The Australia Institute stands by its 1200 Bridges Too Far report by Kate McBride, Australia

Majority of Australians Support Limits on Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition Technology in Australia

The key measures in the Australian Human Rights Commission ‘Human Rights and Technology’ report released Thursday are strongly endorsed by the Australian public, according to new research. A poll of 1,100 Australians conducted by Essential Research for the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology finds majority support for the key measures recommended in the report:

Murray Darling Basin: Billion Dollar SA Water Fund Earmarked for Bridges and Water Storage in NSW

New research from The Australia Institute and Conservation SA shows that money previously earmarked to return 450 gigalitres (GL) of water to the environment in South Australia may be used to upgrade over 1200 bridges and increase water storage capacity in New South Wales irrigation districts. The report investigates the current project proposals under the

Facebook’s Trump Ruling Shows Need for an Independent Public Square

“The confused ruling by Facebook’s internal oversight board highlights the need for an independent public network that is not driven by commercial objectives,” said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. “The overnight ruling, that upheld the suspension of President Trump but calls on Facebook to establish clearer guidelines for banning

April 2021

Time to Reimagine Public Broadcasting to Address the Power of Facebook

A new report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology calls for a rethink of the role of the national broadcaster to provide alternate digital spaces to Facebook and other global platforms. The paper The Public Square Project proposes a publicly funded social network built on the trust and reach of the ABC to create: communities

Polling: Majority of Tasmanians Want ‘Good Government’ Reforms

New research from the Australia Institute Tasmania finds most Tasmanians (87%) want Truth in Political Advertising laws, and a ban on political donations by the gambling industry (73.3%). Four in five (80.1%) Tasmanians agree the Tasmanian Integrity Commission should undergo structural change so its design is improved and its existing powers, including holding full inquiries with public hearings, are utilised.

Is Malcolm Turnbull the only Liberal who understands economics and climate science – or the only one who’ll talk about it?

by Richard Denniss in The Conversation

Yesterday, former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was unceremoniously dumped as chair of the New South Wales government’s climate advisory board, just a week after being offered the role. His crime? He questioned the wisdom of building new coal mines when the existing ones are already floundering. No-one would suggest building new hotels in Cairns to help

March 2021

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