November 2019

‘Go Home on Time Day’ 2019: Australian Employers Pocketing $81 Billion Worth of Unpaid Overtime, Report Reveals

New research from The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work estimates that Australian workers are currently working an average of 4.6 hours of unpaid overtime each week, which translates to 6 weeks of full time work without pay, per employee, per year – with an annual worth of $81.5 billion for Australian employers. The Centre’s

I was there for the 2003 fires. Let’s not let the same thing happen again

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 18 November 2019] I was a cub reporter working in the press gallery for the Sydney Morning Herald when bushfires engulfed Canberra in 2003, claiming four lives and almost 500 homes. It’s seared in my memory, as I’m sure it is for a lot of Canberrans. I’ve been thinking

Poll: Land Tax Aggregation Supported by 4 in 5 South Australians

New research from The Australia Institute has found strong support amongst South Australians for land tax aggregation, funding for affordable housing and measures that would require politicians to reveal personal interests before voting on land tax legislation. Key findings; –          4 out of 5 South Australians (81%) support property portfolio aggregation for taxation purposes –         

Climate change makes bushfires worse. Denying the truth doesn’t change the facts

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on the Guardian Australia, 13 November 2019] It’s not just climate protesters who powerful voices are trying to silence in Australia, it’s anyone who wants to talk about the bigger-picture causes to the problems Australia is facing. In modern Australia it has become “inappropriate” to talk about why our rivers are

The Prime Minister needs to get real on climate

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Financial Review, 11 November 2019] Despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s best efforts, Australia has a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions in 31 years’ time. His suggestions that Labor’s renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030 is an economic “wrecking ball” is as pointless and wrong

The “quiet Australians” are standing up to big coal and a state government that is failing to take action on the climate emergency

by Mark Ogge in The Fifth Estate

by Mark Ogge[Originally published on The Fifth Estate, 12 November 2019] It is a terrible irony that the coal being mined in New South Wales is helping fuel the state’s unprecedented increase in extreme heat, fires and drought.  Every year, coal produced in NSW results in about 500 million tonnes of greenhouse gases being pumped

Chronic Unemployment a Consequence of Deliberate Economic Policies

There is a contradiction between Australian macroeconomic policy—which deliberately maintains unemployment at 5% or higher—and a culture that blames unemployed people for their own unemployment and hardships. New research from the Centre for Future Work shows that there is no statistical evidence for the long-held assumption that if unemployment falls below its so-called “natural” or

Equinor Knocked Back Again: NOPSEMA Cites ‘Oil Spill Risk’ and Other Issues

The offshore oil and gas regulator NOPSEMA has once again taken issue with the environmental plan submitted by Equinor as part of their attempts to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight. Citing a lack of information relating to ‘consultation, source control, oil spill risk, and matters protected under Part 3 of the Environment Protection

Truth in Political Advertising: Its Time Has Come

The Australia Institute welcomes the ALP Campaign Review recommendation for “truth in political advertising legislation based on the South Australian model be investigated and pursued in the Australian Parliament” (pp 64). In the Australia Institute’s submission to JSCEM highlighted the South Australian model as a demonstration of how Truth in Political Advertising legislation currently works in other jurisdictions, and noted

Hands Off NSW Climate Laws

The fight to protect NSW climate laws has stepped up, with experts launching a statewide television commercial today to send Premier Gladys Berejikilian a clear message – don’t put coal over climate. Under unprecedented pressure from the coal industry, the Berejiklian Government is moving to amend the NSW laws that require the full climate change

Morrison doesn’t like it when the quiet Australians start to speak up | Integrity Commissions | Governance & Government Agencies | Climate Change

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 02 November 2019] In his government’s latest free-speech crackdown, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has vowed to outlaw civil society groups campaigning against Australian businesses that work with companies with dubious environmental, human rights or ethical records. Morrison’s plan would criminalise, for example, the thousands of young people

Rise in Diesel Cancels Out Electricity Emissions Reduction

New research shows that an increase in diesel combustion emissions during FY11 to FY18 almost completely cancels out the decrease in emissions from electricity generation in the National Electricity Market (NEM) over the same period. The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program has released their latest National Energy Emissions Audit, analysing the electricity sector over

October 2019

If economics is a science, why isn’t it being more helpful?

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on Guardian Australia, 30 October 2019] The Government’s top two economic advisers are in stark disagreement about something straight forward: whether the Australian economy would benefit from a bigger budget deficit or not. The Governor of the Reserve Bank says he is running out of room to cut interest rates any

Free trade deals undermine sovereignty

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Australian Financial Review, 30 October 2019] After decades of pursuing free trade at the expense of local jobs, the conservatives in the Coalition — aping Donald Trump and Boris Johnson — have decided to pivot to populism. Gone is the rhetoric of Alexander Downer and Julie Bishop about how

Voters still back a Takanya/Tarkine national park over logging

A Ucomms poll commissioned by the Australia Institute of 1,136 residents across Tasmania on the evening of 22nd October, found almost two thirds of Tasmanians want to see takayna/Tarkine protected rather than logged. Despite state government plans to log old growth and rainforest in takanya/Tarkine, support for preserving the forests in a national park remains

Morrison’s claim of an Australian gold in per capita renewables is not true

by Tom Swann in RenewEconomy

by Tom Swann[Originally published on Renew Economy, 27 October 2019] Despite promises to cut emissions, Australia’s emissions are still rising. But at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month, prime minister Scott Morrison rejected criticism by claiming that “Australia now has the highest per capita investment in clean energy technologies of anywhere

University-to-Job Pathways Key to Boosting Graduate Employment Outcomes

New research shows active strategies to directly link university degrees to a job are needed, to better support university graduates as they negotiate a rapidly changing labour market. The report, by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, shows that employment outcomes for university graduates have deteriorated significantly since the Global Financial Crisis, with only

Nuclear Power Uninsurable and Uneconomic in Australia

New research has revealed that financial services in Australia will not insure against nuclear accidents, and if developers of nuclear power stations were forced to insure against nuclear accidents, nuclear power would be completely uneconomic. The Australia Institute’s submission to the Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia, shows that establishing a nuclear

Scott Morrison is a master at shifting responsibility. But even God can’t help him now

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Australian Financial Review, 16 October 2019] When Barnaby Joyce starts making more sense about inequality than Scott Morrison, you know the Coalition is heading for choppy waters. In July, the former Nationals leader suggested that the unemployment benefit needed to rise significantly. “Certainly $555 or thereabouts a fortnight is difficult, especially

Midlands coal, the wrong project in the wrong market at the wrong time

Several market and physical challenges exist for a new proposed coal development in Tasmania’s southern midlands, according to a new briefing paper released by the Australia Institute Tasmania today. The company seeking to develop the project, Midland Energy, is looking to raise capital in the U.S.A. where it is claiming coal demand is “rampant” in Asia

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