Whatever happened to the free web?
The internet promised new ways to challenge power and privilege, so how has it become a tool to promote division and entrench despots? Join us as we dive deep with special guest Elaine Pearson from Human Rights Watch into the ways tech platforms have become wilful partners in oppression around the globe. Regular panellists: Peter
Skewed: How grants with ministerial discretion are biased towards Coalition seats
Grants with ministerial discretion skew towards Coalition seats
Big Winners of $3.9b in Government Discretionary Grants are Coalition Marginal Seats
New analysis from the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program reveals that $3.9 billion spent by federal grants programs with ministerial discretion has clearly skewed towards marginal Coalition seats in particular, at the expense of safe Labor seats and, to a lesser extent, safe Coalition seats. Marginal Coalition seats received on average $184 per person
Amazon’s Big Friday a Black Day for Worker Rights
The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible technology today called on Amazon to mark its global marketing day, Black Friday, by ditching patents to increase the surveillance of its workers. According to an analysis by UNI Global, Amazon currently have patents on a range of technologies that will erode workplace privacy including: Augmented reality headsets that
The great (gendered) resignation is not what you think. It’s worse
The great resignation is apparently upon us — workers are walking away from bad jobs. But in Australia, the exodus of women from the workforce says more about structural barriers than worker empowerment.
New Analysis: Voter ID Laws a Solution Looking for a Problem
New research from the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program shows that for each voter who was marked as voting more than once (accurately or otherwise), there were over 1,000 Australians who were entitled to vote but whose votes were not counted. New voter ID laws risk disenfranchising even more voters, for the sake of
Victorian Government rejection of Gippsland Mineral Sand Mine: Win for Community & Local Economy
The Australia Institute welcomes the decision by Victorian State Minister for Planning Richard Wynne to reject the Fingerboards Mineral Sands project proposed by Kalbar Resources. Rod Campbell, Research Director at The Australia Institute, was an expert witness in the planning hearings that led to the rejection. He was called by community group Mine-Free Glenaladale. “We
What’s the go with DuckDuckGo?
The dominance of Google’s data-hungry search engine is under the spotlight in Australia, with live inquiries on its role in the Ad-tech industry and anti-competitive deals which embed the search engine in smart devices. But DuckDuckGo has proven that you can build a search engine that’s not based on user surveillance. In this week’s Burning
Transport, housing, furnishings drive inflation
The retiree group most affected by rising living costs.
PM promised reform, record funding – here’s what happened
Economist Matt Grudnoff outlines the ‘progress’ made since the royal commission.
Eight free weeks: Time stolen from employees skyrockets during COVID
The number of hours stolen from Australians by employers has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the average employee now providing eight full-time weeks of free work per year. 17 November 2021 marks Go Home on Time Day, run by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, and now in its thirteenth year. Key findings
Too Early to Celebrate Google’s Australian Cash Splash
Today’s announcement by Google of a $200 million per year technology fund is a great headline, but it is important to look behind the big numbers. Key Details: Google pays less than one per cent tax on annual earnings of about $5 billion. Simply paying tax on Australian earnings would deliver far more money to
Can technology really save the planet?
As the world’s leaders debate the future of the planet, technology is being put forward as the solution to the earth’s climate woes. But will smart energy networks, AI and Bitcoin really save us? As part of the annual NetThing internet governance conference, this week’s Burning Platforms dives deep into the environmental impacts of technology. Regular panellists: Peter
What Next for Casual Work? Professor Andrew Stewart webinar recording
Casual employment has dominated Australia’s labour market recovery from COVID-19. And the right of employers to hire staff on a casual basis in almost any role they choose – including jobs that on their face appear have permanent characteristics – seems to have been cemented by recent amendments to the Fair Work Act, and by the High Court’s recent ruling in the WorkPac v. Rossato case.
The needle and the damage done
The federal government’s handling of the pandemic has been the worst public policy screw-up in Australian history
Active Policy Measures Needed to Stop Decline of Journalism
The media and information industries have lost some 60,000 jobs in Australia over the last 15 years. With almost half of those jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, new research shows active policy supports are urgently needed to stabilise and protect the ‘public good’ function of journalism. A new report by the Australia Institute’s Centre
Talk isn’t cheap
The Commonwealth Government spends over $1billion of public money annually on consultancies, but the advice and reports created by these consultancies is often kept secret from the public.
‘Actions Speak Louder than Words’: Net Zero by 2050 a Fraud Without Transition from Fossil Fuels
The Morrison Government’s Net Zero by 2050 deal is a fraud while the Government plots to double coal exports, open vast new gas fields and prop-up coal generated power. Furthermore, the budgetary cost of persuading the National Party to support Scott Morrison’s net zero target are trivial compared to the costs to the economy of
Junk Carbon Credits
Today’s episode examines carbon offsets, in other words, the credits companies can buy to offset their emissions. The Australia Institute, together with the Australian Conservation Foundation did a bit of digging into Australia’s offsets system and found some alarming things. Recorded live on 5 October 2021 The Australia Institute // @theausinstitute Host: Ebony Bennett, Deputy
Insecure Workers Have Been the ‘Shock Troops’ of the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Report
New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work confirms that workers in casual and insecure jobs have borne the lion’s share of job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic – both the first lockdowns in 2020, and the more recent Delta-wave of closures. Key Findings: Since May, workers in casual and part-time jobs have
$1 Billion Spent on Secret Consultancies Equates to over 12,000 Jobs
New analysis from the Australia Institute shows that over $1 billion is spent by the Federal Government every year on consultancies, which often do not release the results of their work to the public; these funds could have created an additional 12,000 jobs in the public sector. Key Findings: The Federal Government spends over $1
Richard Denniss: Australia’s carbon credits are a joke. Taxpayer money is being wasted on ‘hot air’
If a tree doesn’t fall in a forest, was the climate really saved? Sadly, such esoteric questions have become the main game in the topsy-turvy world of Australian climate policy, where rising emissions from the oil and gas industry are ‘offset’ by not chopping down trees. The polite term for the creation of dodgy carbon
Statement in response to the Clean Energy Regulator
Fundamental questions of integrity have been raised by the Australia Institute and the Australian Conservation Foundation in regards to the Emissions Reduction Fund’s avoided deforestation method. Rather than investigate the method in question, the regulator has sought to discredit the analysis, and revealed an alarming lack of understanding of its own methodology. A full statement
Serious Integrity Concerns Around Australia’s ‘Junk’ Carbon Credits
One in five carbon credits issued by the Federal Government’s $4.5 billion Emission Reduction Fund (ERF) do not represent real abatement and are essentially ‘junk’ credits, according to new research by the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program. Key Findings: Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) generated by the ‘avoided deforestation’
The ultimate alchemy: transforming Pandora’s box into a can of worms
To say the very least, the government’s decision to acquire the technology to build nuclear-powered submarines is problematic. For those Australians familiar with the role of submarines in Australia’s defence planning – and there are more people involved in that arcane world than you might think – there is a kind of inevitability in the
OECD report a wake-up call on inequality and revenue levels
The key take away from the OECD report is that Australia’s tax system is not adequately addressing Australia’s rising inequality or revenue challenges. “The OECD says Australia does poorly when it comes to inequality. Reducing income tax or company tax rates would only serve to exacerbate this inequality. Expanding the GST would hurt poorer people;
An Avoidable Catastrophe: Pandemic Job Losses in Higher Education
Australia’s universities were uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and recession. Now, 18 months after the borders were first closed, things are getting worse for universities, not better.
Australians Split on PM Travel Exemptions, but want PM to live in The Lodge
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Australians between Wednesday 8th September and Friday 10th September, about whether the Prime Minister should be free to travel between Sydney and Canberra, and whether he should live in The Lodge. Key findings: Australians are split on whether PM Scott Morrison should be granted an
Economists welcome end of native forest logging in WA
The Australia Institute welcomes the WA Government’s decision to end native forest logging and calls for independent inquiries into native forestry in other states. “The end of native forest logging represents not just good environmental policy, but good economic policy,” said Rod Campbell, economist and Research Director at The Australia Institute. “Australia Institute research has
Australian Government Breaking Promise on Mining Tax Transparency
Correspondence between Resource Minister Keith Pitt and civil society groups involved in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) shows that the Australian Government is walking away from its promise to join the tax transparency initiative for the mining, oil and gas industry. The move comes despite major mining companies and civil society groups supporting Australia’s
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