May 2022

How do Nordic countries make housing affordable?

featuring Ebony Bennett and Andrew Scott

Australia’s housing affordability crisis results from over- reliance on just two options – private home ownership and private renting. To tackle it, a wider repertoire of policies is required. Nordic nations’ widespread provision of public housing and housing co-operatives, priority for homes to live in rather than invest in, and effective reduction of homelessness, show

April 2022

Deus Ex Machina

featuring Peter Lewis

Humans embrace technology with a child-like optimism, but what are the threats Artificial Intelligence poses our society if its impacts are not thought through? Burning Platforms dives deep into the amorality of AI with a special discussion with Professor Toby Walsh, author of the new book ‘Machines Behaving Badly’. Recorded live 29th April 2022. Regular

Housing Affordability Crisis Requires Nordic Policy Solutions: Experts

The key driver of Australia’s acute housing affordability crisis is its over-reliance on just two housing options – private home ownership and private renting. New research from the Australia Institute’s Nordic Policy Centre shows that Nordic countries have a wider repertoire of policies, and Australia can learn from policies that are already in practice in

Canberra is increasingly outsourcing its national role. That needs to stop

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

In the final days before the federal election was called, the new South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas came to Canberra to deliver a blistering National Press Club address. One seasoned journalist described the speech as Obama-esque. While Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese criss-crossed the country visiting the states to make local announcements in the then

Are we addicted to tech?

featuring Peter Lewis

On this week’s burning Platforms we dive deep into digital addiction: are we being played? And what can we do to get ourselves off the bad stuff? Recorded live 14th April 2022 Regular panelists: Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology Lizzie O’Shea, Chair of Digital Rights Watch Dan Stinton, Managing

Australian Youth Job Guarantee Needed to Repair Pandemic Devastation: New Report

Australia should follow the European example and introduce a Youth Job Guarantee, according to a new report from the Australia Institute which reveals the true extent of youth employment devastation during the pandemic. Despite representing just 14 per cent of workers, the new report, ‘Youth unemployment and the pandemic’, shows young people (aged 15-24) bore 39

Universal Public Early Child Education in Australia Would Pay For Itself: Research Report

Making Early Child Education and Care (ECEC) universal in Australia would pay for itself by unlocking women’s labour supply, boosting GDP and growing government revenues by billions, according to new research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. With cost of living shaping up as a key election issue, policy experts say boosted funding would

Pandemic tech

featuring Peter Lewis

After turning to new technology in a public health crisis we now face critical questions in what a new surveillance normal looks like. Special guest Dhakshayini Sooriyakumaran from Reset joins the panel to ask whether we are ready to learn the lessons of 9/11 before a new tech paradigm takes hold. Recorded live 1st April 2022.

March 2022

Removing Designated Fathers Leave Threatens to Worsen Gender Inequality

“Australia has missed a great opportunity to improve its parental leave policies, invest in children’s early years, support parents and improve gender equality,” said Professor Andrew Scott at Deakin University and Convenor of The Australia Institute’s Nordic Policy Centre. “The Budget decision to abolish the designation of two weeks parental leave for fathers from Australia’s

83 Percent of Beer Excise Cuts Would Flow to Men

Cutting the excise on beer from kegs is an ineffective and inequitable way to support the hospitality sector, reduce cost of living pressures, and reduce excessive drinking according to a new report released by The Australia Institute. “The overwhelming majority of beer drinkers in Australia are men, and the overwhelming majority of hospitality venues don’t

New Research: Australia’s Skills System Continues to Crumble After COVID

Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) system shows growing signs of erosion, fragmentation and dysfunction, according to new research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. The research reveals a grim picture of a VET system starved of consistent funding or focus, fragmenting into scattered offerings of non-accredited and ‘micro-credential’ courses, mostly provided by

The Rise of the Splinternet

featuring Peter Lewis

Our panel and former president of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) Paul Twomey will outline how competing models of state control over online communications are challenging the very essence of the internet. Recorded live 18th March 2022. Regular panelists: Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology Lizzie O’Shea,

The People’s Choice

featuring Peter Lewis

In the last Burning Platforms before the Australian Federal Election we run the rule over the policies being offered up by the major parties. Is it just Coke vs. Pepsi? Or are there bigger ideas at play? Recorded live 13th March 2022. Regular panelists: Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology

Research Finds No Evidence of China Interference Campaign on #AusPol Twitter

New research has found no evidence of a major China-backed campaign to influence Australian political discourse on social media, according to the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology. The research analysed more than 69,000 tweets from two low-points in Australia-China relations in 2020 and found no evidence the CCP was using bots to shape political

True Lies: Disinformation in an election year

featuring Peter Lewis

As the Federal Election approaches amid heightened geo-political tensions, Burning Platforms looks at a ground-breaking attempt to understand how political actors game the social media algorithms to deliver targeted disinformation. Recorded live March 4th 2022. Regular panellists: Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology Lizzie O’Shea, Chair of Digital Rights Watch

February 2022

SA Survey: Labor Hold Narrow Lead, State Not Adequately Prepared for Open Borders

New research from The Australia Institute shows the Labor Party holding a narrow 2PP lead, 51%-49%, one month out from the 2022 state election. The Australia Institute’s survey of a representative sample of 602 South Australians also found there is strong sentiment in the community that the state was not adequately prepared when borders were

Facebook News Takedown Anniversary and the News Media Bargaining Code

featuring Peter Lewis

We mark 12 months from the Facebook news takedown and review the progress of the News Media Bargaining Code. Has the code achieved its objectives? Who’s missed out? And should it be a global model for managing the relationship between journalism and the platforms. Recorded live on 18th February 2022. Regular panellists: Peter Lewis, Director

Facebook’s news-takedown anniversary a reminder to invest in journalism

Today marks one year since the company formerly known as Facebook mounted a hostile takedown of Australian news and civil society sites, threatening quality journalism in Australia. “The failed takedown, designed to apply bipartisan pressure in an effort to block the News Media Bargaining Code, highlighted the willingness of the global corporate giant to threaten

Josh Frydenberg’s ‘Great Reshuffle’ another sign Coalition is out of touch with reality

by Alison Pennington in The New Daily

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s recent declaration – that wage-restrained workers need simply participate in the so-called “Great Reshuffle” to find better-paid jobs – underscores just how disconnected the federal government is from the harsh realities facing many Australian workers. With shades of former treasurer Joe Hockey advising youth priced out of housing to “get a good job that pays good

Tax-deductible RATs deliver nothing to the lowest-paid. How very Morrison government

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

The recent decision to make Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) tax deductible rather than free will deliver nothing to low paid essential workers and big savings to high income earners. How very Morrison Government. While a part-time cleaner working in the aged care sector will likely receive zero benefit from tax deductible RATs, someone earning $200,000

Inquiry into Social Media and Online Safety

featuring Peter Lewis

While Australians spent the summer searching for RATs, a hastily convened federal government inquiry was holding public hearings about online safety, as the Morrison Government amps up its war with the Big Tech companies. Burning Platforms is back for 2022 to dissect the inquiry with deputy chair Tim Watts MP. Recorded live 4th February 2022.

Coalition Budget Cuts Cost ABC Half a Billion Dollars, 640 Jobs

New figures reveal ABC funding has been cut by $526 million since the Coalition took office, with 640 jobs lost. The figures were obtained from the ABC which was asked to provide details on ‘budget reductions’ since the Coalition Government’s first budget in 2013/14, in a QoN at Senate Estimates. Polling from the Australia Institute’s

January 2022

Polling: Vast Majority of Wentworth & North Sydney Voters Want More Funding for ABC

New Australia Institute polling in the federal seats of Wentworth and North Sydney show strong support for the ABC. The polling in the blue-ribbon Liberal seats in NSW shows overwhelming support for increasing ABC funding and for a more independent ABC board appointments process. 853 residents of NSW federal seat of Wentworth and 850 residents

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