March 2022

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

Tassie Corruption Body a Toothless Tiger: Research

New research has found the Integrity Commission Tasmania is one of the weakest anti-corruption bodies in Australia, with polling revealing nearly one in two Tasmanians distrust the current Commission’s ability to uncover and prevent misconduct in politics and public administration. The report reveals that Tasmania’s anti-corruption body is one of the lowest funded in Australia,

All of us pay for natural disasters like Qld and NSW floods

by Ebony Bennett in Canberra Times

Defence Minister Peter Dutton’s no doubt well-meaning attempt to raise money for Queensland flood victims though a GoFundMe appeal this week revealed two concerning disconnects from reality. One was the Government’s failure to grasp the scope of the new era of climate disasters we now face. The second was a failure to meet expectations for

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

‘Adaptation saves lives, delay means death’

featuring Alia Armistead and Ebony Bennett

As residents of Lismore tried to escape massive floods on their roofs, the IPCC delivered its latest report on climate impacts as well as adaptation and the news is not good. It warns that Australia faces significant “cascading and compounding” risks due to climate change, including damage from bushfires, floods, drought and sea-level rise. But

Goldstein Polling Research

New research reveals that the Coalition MP for Goldstein, Tim Wilson, is under serious pressure to retain his seat according to a uComms opinion poll conducted on the 27th of April. The poll was conducted with a sample size of 855 people via telephone, with a margin of error of 3.34%. The poll is Australian

SA Survey: Ministerial Name Recognition, Satisfaction Ratings Revealed as Close Election Looms

New research from The Australia Institute shows that the leaders of the South Australian Liberal and Labor parties have similar overall satisfaction ratings ahead of the March state election. The Australia Institute surveyed of a representative sample of 602 South Australians in February, asking about their level of satisfaction with the job being done by

‘The science is clear. It’s over to you now’: IPCC Report

“The new IPCC report on climate Impacts paints a dire picture of the reality of climate change now and the limits available to adapt to a warming world. The best response remains rapid emissions reductions while cushioning the impacts through greater research and spending on adaptation. “It’s unbelievable and irresponsible that after all the devastating

February 2022

Basic carbon price makes Narrabri coal mine uneconomic: research

New research reveals the economic benefits of the proposed Narrabri Whitehaven Coal Mine would be reduced to zero in the event a basic carbon price was included in its assessment. In a submission to the NSW Independent Planning Commission, the Australia Institute details how Whitehaven corporation have overstated the economic benefits of the proposed mine,

Welcome Result to Economically and Ecologically Irresponsible NSW Floodplain Harvesting Farce

The Australia Institute welcomes today’s disallowance of floodplain harvesting regulations in the NSW Parliament. “This regulation would have given the green light to huge diversion of floodwater with terrible ecological, social and economic consequences,” said Rod Campbell, research director at the Australia Institute. “Diverting water beyond the limits in the Basin Plan has contributed to

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

Senate should flex its muscles to strengthen democracy

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Australians are confused about the Senate. That is the unmistakable conclusion of the Australia Institute’s national poll of Australians on their knowledge of and attitudes towards the upper house, the largest and most comprehensive poll of its kind. However, that does not mean the Senate is not important in the public’s democratic engagement. In fact,

Largest coal plant to close early, but where is the national roadmap to manage the rest?

by Richie Merzian in The New Daily

Australia’s largest power station is shutting down in 2025, seven years early. Origin Energy, having bought the power station from the New South Wales government less than 10 years ago, now wants to retire its last remaining coal asset. Upon announcement, the Origin Energy CEO stated “the reality is the economics of coal-fired power stations

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

Closure of Eraring Coal Power Station Underscores Uneconomic Reality of Coal Power

The early closure of Eraring power station demonstrates the need for an organised transition out of coal at a national level. According to Origin Energy, “the reality is the economics of coal-fired power stations are being put under increasing, unsustainable pressure by cleaner and lower cost generation, including solar, wind and batteries.” “The Eraring power

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