August 2021

Reforming work and livelihoods in remote Australia

A new discussion paper published by The Australia Institute makes a case for major reforms to how livelihood and work programs operate in remote Australia. The paper was developed by eight leading researchers with decades of research experience on remote Indigenous unemployment. “We welcome the Federal Government’s acknowledgement that the Abbott-era Community Development Program (CDP)

The Coalition’s track record shows why its opposition to a Covid vaccine cash incentive is inconsistent

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Scott Morrison’s government loves financial incentives when they’re for CEOs and high-income earners As any parent or child knows, sometimes threats work, and sometimes bribes work. Despite the Morrison government planning to spend $180bn on tax cuts to those earning above $200,000 per year as more incentive to work hard, the Coalition are arguing that

Tax is not a dirty word. Far from it

by Ben Oquist

Tax is good. The fact that such a statement will raise eyebrows signals just how feeble Australia’s political debate on revenue has become. Taxes create space in the economy for a thriving and robust public sector. They allow us to educate our children and have a world-class healthcare system. They make a dignified retirement possible

Not All Taxes are Created Equal

New research released today by the Australia Institute outlines five sets of principles that will help evaluate the merits of different taxes. Taxation is the price we pay to live in a civilisation, however, with such a great number of tax possibilities, it is increasingly important to evaluate our taxation choices. The new report sets

July 2021

Majority of Australians support UNESCO Great Barrier Reef ‘in danger’ listing

More than seven in ten (72%) Australians support UNESCO’s recommendation to add the Great Barrier Reef to the World Heritage ‘in danger’ list, just 11% oppose. Furthermore, Queenslanders are most likely (50%) to think that climate change is the largest threat to the Great Barrier Reef and least likely (4%) to think that the health of the Great Barrier Reef is not threatened.

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

Trampling budget democracy

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Canberra resident and economist David Richardson has been attending the Budget ‘lock-up’ for the Australia Institute for 13 years. This year, he was banned. The lock-up is where journalists, the opposition and crossbenchers, business groups, non-government organisations and other experts are given access to the details of the Federal Budget ahead of time. However, they

Going to hell in a handbasket

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Births declining, fewer people working, health funding will double and deficits for years to come. The latest Intergenerational Report (IGR) has been released and the government wants you to be scared. But it turns out the IGR is rubbish at making predictions. Join Richard Denniss as he uncovers the hidden assumptions buried in the Intergenerational

Vast Majority of Australians Prefer Funds for War Memorial Expansion to be Spent Elsewhere

New research from the Australia Institute finds that one in two Australians would prefer the funds budgeted for the expansion of the Australian War Memorial to be spent on services such as health and education, a further one quarter (26%) of Australians would prefer the money to be spent on veterans’ support services. Just 13% of Australians prefer the funds to be spent on the redevelopment of the Australian War Memorial.

June 2021

SA Treasurer Imports Victoria’s ‘World’s Worst’ EV Tax

The South Australian Treasurer’s plan to import Victoria’s electric vehicle tax will cause the state to fall behind other jurisdictions with better EV policies, such as New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, The Australia Institute has said. “The Treasurer may say he’s not in the business of importing taxes from Victoria, but that’s

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,

Richard Denniss explains why he’s returning his alumni award for National Leadership the University of Newcastle in the wake of Mark Vaile’s appointment as chancellor

by Richard Denniss in Newcastle Herald

You can’t be a leader if you follow people down the wrong path, which is why, with a heavy heart, I am returning the alumni award for National Leadership the University of Newcastle bestowed on me in 2017. I cannot understand how the council of a university whose motto is “I look ahead” could appoint

Majority of Australians Support Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine for Aged Care Workers

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Australians about their attitudes towards making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for workers in contact with vulnerable demographics. Key Findings: More than three-quarters of Australians (77%) agree with making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for workers in contact with vulnerable demographics, such as aged care workers. Only

May 2021

Statement in response to National Farmers Federation criticisms of Australia Institute Banking on Australia’s Emissions report

“It is disappointing the National Farmers Federation has chosen to interpret the Australia Institute’s report Banking on Australia’s Emissions as a criticism of the agriculture sector,” said Richie Merzian, climate & energy program director at the Australia Institute. “The Australia Institute recognises that Australia’s farmers are experiencing first-hand the impacts of climate change, and similarly

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

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

Unpacking the federal budget 2021

featuring Ebony Bennett and Matt Grudnoff

Gone are the scare campaigns about debt and deficit, but was this really a big spending budget? Cut through the economic nonsense and pollywaffle with our senior economist Matt Grudnoff, as he unpacks everything you need to know about the Budget. Don’t forget to check out the Australia Institute’s federal budget breakdown here. Host: Ebony Bennett,

Australian subsidies give oil refineries the whole carrot farm while electric vehicles get the stick

by Richie Merzian in The Guardian

The only viable long-term solution to our liquid fuel insecurity is to get off fossil fuels. Instead we are giving them taxpayer handouts When I was a kid, every year in early December we would go to the Geelong oil refinery in Corio. The refinery’s fire engine would cruise around, flash its lights and hand

New Analysis: Arts & Entertainment Funding Creates 10x More Jobs for Women than HomeBuilder

New research from the Australia Institute shows that, per dollar invested, the arts and entertainment sector employs twice as many men and 10 times as many women as the building construction industry. The research is being released after this week’s Federal Budget which revealed just $223 million for the jobs intensive Art and Entertainment sector,

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