December 2020

Gas-fired recovery a massive employment dud

by Richie Merzian and Mark Ogge in The Newcastle Herald

by Richie Merzian & Mark Ogge[Originally published in the Newcastle Herald, 18 November 2020] A gas-fired recovery from the economic damage caused by Covid-19 will not help the Hunter region.  In fact, a gas-fired recovery will struggle to employ anyone, except the gas executives that proposed the idea. The bottom line is, creating jobs in

An unprecedented year: reflecting on 2020 with Richard Denniss

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a bit of a nightmare. This week, in our final episode of the year, Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss revisit some of the Australia Institute’s predictions back in March 2020 and reflect on the way Australia’s economy and politics have changed this year in response to the pandemic. Mild

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

November 2020

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

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

October 2020

Climate of the Nation: Climate Change Concern Hits 82%

Climate of the Nation 2020 Benchmark Report to be launched by The Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy & Environment In the wake of the devastating Black Summer bushfires, an overwhelming majority of Australians (82%) say they are concerned about climate change resulting in more bushfires, according to a new benchmark report released

Facts Matter: Fake News Harms Our Democracy

A full-page advertisement will be published in The Courier-Mail on Monday 26 October 2020 featuring Australia Institute research exposing the Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) false jobs claims. The QRC has a long history of using questionable economic modelling, known as input-output modelling, to exaggerate the number of jobs its members create. In fact, the Australian

Queenslanders to lend Adani $271 million in royalty deal

The Australia Institute has criticised the Queensland Government’s deal to subsidise the Adani coal project via a royalty deferral deal. The long-running negotiations between Adani and the Queensland Government will allow the coal mine to ‘dig now, pay later’ at a secret, but certainly discounted, interest rate. Key points: The royalty deal has been reported

Tasmania’s lack of integrated coastal management putting our industries and environment at risk

New research shows Tasmania’s management of its spectacular marine environment needs urgent attention to ensure Tasmanians can continue to enjoy economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits into the future.   The report, released today by The Australia Institute Tasmania, and the Tasmanian Independent Science Council, shows that an integrated approach to managing Tasmania’s coastal waters is

September 2020

Weapons of gas destruction

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richie Merzian and Tom Swann

Gas is promoted as a transitional fuel, but in this episode we explore just how polluting gas really is with Richie Merzian and Tom Swann from the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program.The Australia Institute // @theAUSInstituteHost: Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director at the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests: Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Director at the

Now we’re cooking (ourselves) with gas

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally Published in The Canberra Times, 19 September 2020] Gas didn’t even make AEMO’s top five list of potential sources of dispatchable power – but the Coalition is looking to divert taxpayer funds earmarked for clean energy into LNG projects. Picture: Shutterstock  Just months after Australia endured its worst climate-fuelled bushfire season on

Words Before Waste: South Australians Call for More Consultation on Federal Radioactive Waste Plan

New research shows that, while South Australians are divided on the issue of a nuclear waste dump, a clear majority believe more consultation should be undertaken before any final decision is made regarding a proposed disposal and storage facility near Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula. The Australia Institute recently surveyed 510 South Australians about the

Weapons of gas destruction: lifting the lid on emissions from gas

If fully unleashed, Australia’s gas resources could be responsible for up to three times the annual carbon emissions of the entire world. A landmark new Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program report, Weapons of gas destruction, commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation, is the first time the entirety of Australia’s gas project pipeline and resources

Phasing out gas would benefit Australian manufacturers and households

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by the Guardian Australia, 03 September 2020] Rather than drill new fracking wells into prime farmland, the quickest, cleanest and most economically efficient way to boost the supply of gas in Australia is to stop wasting it. According to the Australian Industry (AI) Group’s budget submission, “Ramping up support for manufacturers to

August 2020

Australia is about to get ripped off by the gas industry, and it’s not the first time

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published by the Canberra Times, 22 August 2020] The same geniuses who hiked up domestic gas prices, raked in the profits and left Australia with bupkis to show for it are trying to convince us (once again) that Australia has a gas supply shortage requiring huge taxpayer subsidies. So, let me explain

Key ‘independent’ data in last-minute Narrabri gas modelling provided by Santos itself

Economic modelling suggesting Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project would reduce gas prices is based on cost estimates from Santos itself, not independent analysis from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as claimed by Santos. If the independent production cost estimates commissioned and published by AEMO in February this year are used, rather than the figure supplied

Tasmanians still missing out on revenue from fish farms

Results from Norway’s latest salmon auction again highlights the low price Tasmania is putting on its assets.   This week, in Norway, a total of 30 Norwegian salmon farming companies purchased additional salmon licenses worth NOK 5.9 billion or AUD $921.2 million. The Norwegian Ministry of Trade Industries and Fishing stated that it had now sold

Backfire part 2: why a “gas fired recovery” would increase emissions and energy costs and squander Australia’s COVID-19 recovery spending

featuring Ebony Bennett and Rod Campbell

In this second of our two-part episode on gas, we explore the flaws in the cost benefit analysis of the Santos’ Narrabri gas project in NSW and why it doesn’t stack up economically, environmentally or to create jobs, with Rod Campbell, research director at the Australia Institute.www.tai.org.auHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute

Unredacted Documents Prove Commonwealth Paid Too Much for ‘Watergate’

The Australia Institute and consultancy firm, Slattery & Johnson, have released research today based on newly unredacted valuation documents about the $80 million ‘Watergate’ scandal. The documents, provided to independent Senator Rex Patrick last week after a two-year battle, contain the commercial valuation commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) for negotiations

Backfire part 1: why a “gas fired recovery” would increase emissions and energy costs and squander Australia’s COVID-19 recovery spending

featuring Ebony Bennett and Mark Ogge

In this first of a two-part episode on gas, we explore why subsidising the gas industry is a poor option for economic recovery and explore the issues related to Santos’ Narrabri gas project in NSW with Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor at the Australia Institute.www.tai.org.auHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests:Mark Ogge

Narrabri CSG assessment riddled with errors

New analysis by the Australia Institute shows that the NSW Department of Planning, Industry, and Environment’s (DPIE) assessment of the Narrabri Gas Project, downplays environmental impacts and overstates economic benefits of gas development to the region, relying on modelling commissioned by the proponent of the project while ignoring research and experience from previously failed coal

July 2020

Auditor General’s ‘Watergate’ Report Shows Need for Royal Commission

An Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report on the Murray Darling Basin has found “information relating to value for money…was limited” for water purchases worth $190 million. The ANAO found that the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE): Did not consistently apply approved policy, planning and guidance to the assessment of all limited tender

“CSIRO” report misleads on fracking risks

A study purported to be from the CSIRO that showed that fracking was “safe for the environment” was actually overseen by the gas industry, and was based on just six of Queensland’s 19,000 coal seam gas wells, according to new analysis by The Australia Institute. The report was published by the Gas Industry Social and

Fracking can’t fire up NT manufacturing

Research published today by The Australia Institute highlights that employment in gas-related manufacturing declined while gas in the Northern Territory was very cheap. Fracked gas will be far more expensive, making petrochemical manufacturing in the Territory unviable without massive taxpayer subsidy. Key findings: The NT Government’s Power and Water Corporation had large surpluses of gas

June 2020

Getting Off Coal: Orderly, Early Transition to Minimise Impact for Australian Economy

New research from The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program has shown that an orderly approach to phasing-out thermal coal would shield Australian workers, communities and the economy from the negative consequences of an unmanaged transition. The study, written by John Quiggin, Professor of Economics at The University of Queensland, found that a managed transition

May 2020

Frackers are slackers: $94 million in subsidies to onshore gas in the Territory

Research published today (Tuesday May 12) by The Australia Institute highlights the extent of taxpayer assistance to the onshore oil and gas industry in the Northern Territory.  NT Government budget papers reveal that over the last decade $94 million in subsidies and assistance measures have benefited the industry.  Key findings: The NT Fracking Inquiry recommended

Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

0422 775 161

anna@australiainstitute.org.au