September 2023

August 2023

July 2023

Leading Civil Society Organisations Publish Open Letter Calling for Long Overdue Political Finance Reforms

Australia’s leading civil society organisations have today published a full-page ad in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Australian Financial Review and Canberra Times newspapers, calling for long overdue political finance reforms to make politics fairer and more transparent.

Australians Identify Corporate Profits – Not Wages – as Major Driver of Inflation

Research conducted by the Australia Institute reveals Australians understand that the current rise in inflation has not been driven by wages growth, contrary to the single-minded focus of the Reserve Bank on labour costs over the past two years. The Australia Institute surveyed Australians about their views on the causes of, and solutions to, inflation,

June 2023

Truth in political ads, election reform welcome, but devil is in the detail

The Australia Institute welcomes the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters’ interim report for its inquiry into the conduct of the 2022 election, in which Australia Institute research and recommendations are cited often. The committee recommends: A lower donation disclosure threshold ($1,000, down from over $15,000) and real-time disclosure of donations. Caps on political donations

May 2023

80% Want Consultants that Breach Trust Banned from Govt. Contracts: Research

As the PwC scandal continues, new research shows significant public concern about the relationship between the consulting industry and government, with an overwhelming majority of Australians (80%) supporting a ban on government contracts for companies that leak information and breach public trust; greater parliamentary scrutiny of the industry; and reduced outsourcing for core public sector

Plenty of fish (48%) should be left in the sea: submission

The Australia Institute Tasmania has called for stronger measures to address depleted fish stocks and prevent future overfishing in a detailed submission on the Tasmanian Government’s Draft Harvest Strategy for Wild Fisheries. The recommendation of ensuring fish levels stay at 48% of unfished biomass is in line with CSIRO recommendations that guide Commonwealth fisheries strategies.

Ban Consulting Firms Who Breach Public Trust: Parliamentary Submission

Consulting firms who leak confidential information and breach public trust should be barred from winning Government contracts, according to a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the integrity of consulting services. Appearing today at the Senate Inquiry into consulting services, experts from the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability program will warn that the over-use of

April 2023

March 2023

State of Environment Report Needs $1.5m for Government to Fulfil Legal Obligations: Lawyers

Today the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) and the Australia Institute Tasmania have written to Tasmanian Treasurer Michael Ferguson requesting the release of at least $1.5 million to enable the Government to fulfil its legal obligation to produce a State of the Environment Report in the 2023-24 Tasmanian Budget.

Polling Research: Support for Independent Government Appointments

New polling reveals overwhelming public support for greater independence in appointments to government boards and organisations like Australia Post, the ABC and the Australian War Memorial. The research comes as Parliament considers reforms to improve merit-based appointments and reduce real or perceived political cronyism. Key Findings:  Two in three Australians (68%) think that the Government

February 2023

Nordic Model Shows Subsidies Support Media Diversity

by Ebony Bennett

Nordic models of providing subsidies to the media help support media diversity and public interest journalism and should be considered as part of the Albanese government’s commitments to review and improve media policy, according to a new report from the Nordic Policy Centre at the Australia Institute. Key findings: Norway’s direct ‘press support’ subsidies for

January 2023

No economic benefit from NT cotton: submission

by Rod Campbell and Sumithri Venketasubramanian

Research released today by The Australia Institute shows that a cotton industry in the Northern Territory would not bring significant employment or tax payments. The findings were submitted to the NT Government’s water policy consultation process, which closed yesterday. Key points: The cotton industry does not create significant employment in Australia. Cotton growing employs just

December 2022

Abolition of AAT a Welcome Step Towards Integrity

The Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program welcomes Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus’ announcement of the abolition and replacement of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), which fulfills a recommendation made in the Institute’s research earlier this year. The Australia Institute research revealed political appointments to the AAT skyrocketed from 6 in 100 under John Howard, to 2

Passage of Territory Rights Bill Welcome

The Australia Institute today welcomes the passage of the Restoring Territory Rights Bill 2022, which will restore to the Territories the right to legislate for voluntary assisted dying laws. “The restoration of Territory Rights is a testament to the strength of representative democracy. The Australian Parliament should be commended for recognising that the citizens of

November 2022

Retired Judges Welcome Landmark NACC, but Lament Lack of Public Hearings

Today’s passing of legislation to establish a National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has been welcomed by the Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee. The National Integrity Committee congratulates the Parliament and, in particular, the Attorney-General on what is a significant achievement.  The establishment of a National Anti-Corruption Commission will change the way politics is conducted in Australia,

Electoral Act Reform a Crucial Opportunity for Tasmanian Truth in Advertising Laws

As the Tasmanian Parliament debates reforming the Electoral Act, integrity experts are urging politicians to use the opportunity to enact truth in political advertising protections, following deceptive and dangerous advertisements from the Australian Christian Lobby. Key Findings: Polling consistently finds most Australians want truth in political advertising laws, with 2021 Australia Institute polling research finding 87% of

Major Red Flags: Reforms Needed to Stop Politician Pork-Barrelling

Major red flags in Australian grants administration must be addressed to prevent pork barrelling, according to a submission by the Australia Institute to the parliamentary inquiry into Commonwealth grants administration. Key Findings: 11 different pork-barrelling red flags were highlighted, the most significant include: funds not allocated in line with grant objectives, lack of personal consequences for Ministers

Replace Parliament Prayers with Minute’s Silence: SA Voters

New research from public policy think tank The Australia Institute shows that two thirds of South Australian voters support the removal of Christian prayers from the opening of Parliamentary sittings. The Australia Institute surveyed of a representative sample of 616 South Australians in September, asking about the opening prayers and the recent addition of an

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