February 2018

Public hearings key to tackling corruption and public trust

New research released today by the Australia Institute shows that the perception of corruption in Australia will continue to rise while allegations of corruption are either not investigated or are investigated entirely behind closed doors. The report coincides with the release of the latest Transparency International Global Corruption Index which reveals Australia has again slid

What the other side have gotten wrong about our company tax cut research

in Medium

Introduction The proponents of the company tax cut for big business suggest that logic is on the side of the company-tax-cutters and not the critics. We at The Australia Institute take issue with that view. There is an assumption that cutting taxes produce economic benefits as a matter of economic logic. For example often you hear

Australians don’t hate big business, but they do hate the tax cut campaign

I’m proud that The Australian Financial Review thinks that my colleague Ben Oquist and I ran a “well-orchestrated thought campaign” against the BCA’s call for a $65 billion tax cut, but, to be honest, defeating it in that debate wasn’t difficult. [First published by the Australian Financial Review – here] Indeed, while Aaron Patrick’s piece titled “How company tax

FOI reveals government found Adani “may have been negligent” in approval process

Adani “may have been negligent” when it failed to disclose its CEO’s links to four earlier environmental offences, according to documents released under Freedom of Information.  [FOI brief in PDF below] Adani’s CEO in Australia, Mr Janakaraj, was an ‘executive officer’ of a Zambian mining company when it was charged with polluting a river and

Most Australians aren’t economists and neither are our politicians

in Medium

Chief Economist Richard Denniss talks econobabble with Dr. Karl on his podcast Shirtloads of Science. Most Australians are not economists and neither are our politicians. Despite this, public debate is saturated with econobabble — opaque economic terminology used deliberately to obscure what you think a word means. Subsidies, markets, tax concessions and dividend imputation are all examples of the

Renewables as Climate Strategy: Generating Power From Energy

by Dan Cass

Clean energy technology is becoming competitive with fossil fuels, globally. This provides the basis for a new strategic approach to solving the political aspect of the climate threat.This is a speech given at ‘Imagining a Different Future Conference’, Hobart, on 8 February 2018, hosted by the University of Tasmania, the University of Utrecht Ethics Institute,

Tasmanian club and pub pokies revenue: 0.9% to clubs, 48% to Farrell Group

A report released today by The Australia Institute Tasmania written by Dr Charles Livingstone from Monash University has found that The Farrell Group’s share of EGM revenue (47.8%) far exceeds that of the clubs that house many of the poker machines, with the Farrell family reaping fifty-four times more than that derived by clubs which

Company Tax: Research promoted in TV advert challenges $65 billion cuts

A TV advertisement which will begin airing nationally today features research from The Australia Institute into the government’s $65 billion dollar company tax cuts plan. Building on research showing a lack of evidence that company tax cuts promote either jobs or growth the advertisement identifies the likelihood that the gift to the corporate sector will

NT shale gas risks Australia’s Paris commitment

The Australia Institute’s submission to the NT fracking Inquiry has found that fully exploiting the Northern Territory’s shale gas resources could result in emissions equivalent to sixty times Australia’s total current annual emissions, equivalent to 130 new coal power plants operating for 40 years. The submission also finds that the inquiry failed to follow its

Why Can’t Gas and Coal Hack it in the Heat?

in Medium

In this week’s Follow The Money podcast Deputy Director at The Australia Institute Ebony Bennett, speaks with Principal Advisor Mark Ogge, about Australia’s ageing Gas and Coal fleet and why they can’t hack the heat. This summer alone we’ve seen extreme heat waves, bush fires and we’ve just smashed the record for the hottest 5 year period globally — for Australia’s

January 2018

Gas And Coal Watch

featuring Ebony Bennett and Mark Ogge

“Burning something to boil water to create steam is a really old-fashioned technology…” The Australia Institute has spent the hot summer days monitoring when gas and coal power plants trip, taking sometimes hundreds of megawatts of power from the grid at unpredictable times. In contrast, solar power is taking pressure of the grid by delaying

Less Strikes. Record Low Wage Growth.

in Medium

The Fair Work Commission’s ruling to pre-emptively block industrial action (including restrictions on overtime and a one-day work stoppage) by Sydney-area train workers has brought renewed attention to the legal and administrative barriers which limit collective action by Australian workers. The Sydney trains experience is a high-profile example of a much larger trend. Across the

National Integrity Committee welcomes Labor’s federal corruption watchdog policy

The National Integrity Committee, hosted by The Australia Institute, today welcomed the announcement by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that a Labor government will legislate to establish a federal corruption watchdog. The committee welcomed Labor’s adoption of key elements of its Design Principles for a National Integrity Commission, including the ability to hold public hearings. Committee

Australian democracy’s Catch-22

New research from The Australia Institute shows that the number of constituents represented by each Federal MP has tripled since Federation and only 13% of Australians have ever spoken to their representative. [Full report – see PDF below] The report also shows that the increase in parliamentarians has not kept pace with Australia’s population, with

Forget the populists, Australia is well overdue for more politicians

With a seemingly never-ending string of negative narratives about how poorly our politics is performing, we are now overdue for some more structured thinking about what needs to be done. The “anti-politics” sentiment now risks hardening into something more dramatic as the electorate turns away, not just from the current crop of politicians – but potentially from

Voters across political spectrum want greater accountability of Tasmanian politicians

Transparency and accountability of politicians and the public service may be one of the sleeper issues of the upcoming state election.  A recent poll of 781 voters in Bass undertaken by ReachTEL on the night of January 16th for The Australia Institute found that 85% of respondents wanted more powers and resources available to Tasmania’s

Federal ICAC demands reaching fever pitch

The pressure on Federal politicians to establish a national corruption watchdog has reached fever pitch as the extraordinary public support in polls and open letters combines with a push from legal experts and anti-corruption campaigners. Today television advertisements will commence running across the country outlining the need for a national corruption watchdog – with teeth.

Victorian IBAC not the model for federal watchdog – former judge and IBAC adviser

The Hon Stephen Charles AO QC, former judge and adviser to Baillieu government on IBAC design, has today launched a briefing paper with The Australia Institute outlining the flaws in the operation of Victoria’s corruption watchdog. The paper finds that: IBAC has significant flaws that mean it is not a suitable model, in its current

Energy policy based on feelings doesn’t help consumers

Just as many politicians choose to ignore the evidence of criminologists when designing crime prevention policy, the majority of Australian politicians choose to ignore economic evidence in the design of Australian energy policy. That’s OK. There’s no mention of role of evidence in the Australian Constitution and there’s no obligation on parliamentarians to base policy

9 reasons why the case for a company tax cut for big business has collapsed

in Medium

1/ Giving business a $65 billion dollar tax cut means billions of dollars less for schools, hospitals and other government services. Giving business a $65 billion dollar tax cut means billions of dollars less for government services like schools and hospitals. Treasury modelling even assumes these company tax cuts will be matched by cuts to government

December 2017

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