October 2017

We have enough cheap, easy-to-extract gas to last 100 years. There’s just one problem

by Mark Ogge in Crikey

Australia has plenty of cheap gas. The problem is private companies are selling it all overseas, writes principal adviser at The Australia Institute Mark Ogge. [This article was first published by Crikey – here] Hard to believe, isn’t it? But it’s true: in the last decade, tens of thousands of square kilometers of Queensland farmland has

September 2017

Malcolm Turnbull has simply become the man with a plan for more plans

Given the enormous investment in renewable energy taking place in the US and in Europe, other national governments must be determined to drive up the price of their electricity. [First published by the Australian Financial Review – here] Either that, or everything Malcolm Turnbull has been saying about the need to keep a 50-year-old power station going

August 2017

Citizenship, the Nationals and Adani’s uncertain coal mine

The citizenship debacle engulfing the Nationals, and in turn the Coalition government, has as much to do with trust and integrity as it does with the constitution. Being consistent is important in business and in government. [This article was first published by the Australian Financial Review – here] After the Greens’ Scott Ludlum and Larissa

July 2017

Out of Energy

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

This opinion piece was first published in the Canberra Times on 29 July 2017. The final season of Game of Thrones is back and winter is coming for House Turnbull. The failure of the federal government on energy policy is driving up emissions, driving up energy prices, stalling investment and its harming consumers. And hasn’t

June 2017

RBA board needs an ACTU representative to help keep wages up

The RBA governor Philip Lowe recently encouraged Australian workers to stop being so scared of technological change and foreign competition and start demanding higher wages. But if the governor wants to really understand why so many Australians have been willing to settle for so little for so long perhaps he should ask the Treasurer to appoint the ACTU

Finkel map takes scenic route to cutting carbon

It has taken ten years of cheap politics and bad policy decisions to deliver Australians high energy prices, high greenhouse gas emissions and low levels of reliability. Rather than listen to scientists, engineers or economists Australia’s energy policy has been shaped by lobbyists, political strategists and shock jocks. It’s hard to see how things went

Donald Trump is more honest about climate inaction than Malcolm Turnbull

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times

There is a depressing honesty about Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. It stands in stark contrast to the hypocrisy of Malcolm Turnbull’s big talk on climate change, which is accompanied by a $1 billion subsidy for the enormous new Adani coal mine. At least Trump is

May 2017

Tasmanian Budget: Smiles all around, but no long-term vision for the future

by Leanne Minshull in The Mercury

This week’s budget was full of good news about good economic times. The combination of favourable economic conditions and some good economic management could have been a once in a generation opportunity to build for the state’s future. Built on the back of our clean and green image, a boom in revenues has been fuelled

Palaszczuk and Turnbull governments are Adani mine’s lonely fans

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

Australia isn’t trying to stop global warming, we’re subsidising it. While here in the ACT we’re on track to source 100% of our electricity from renewable energy by 2020, in Queensland the state government is doubling down on the number one contributor to climate change – coal. Despite banks, economists and the Australian people showing

April 2017

Coalition should be rejecting populist subsidies for Adani’s rail line

Barnaby Joyce says the federal Coalition’s desire to subsidise Adani’s Carmichael coal mine means the government will attract “some flak” from environmentalists. No doubt there will be, but he might do well to prepare for some friendly fire as well. [This article was first published in the Australian Financial Review – here] The government should expect some flak

March 2017

How to invent a clean energy company

by Dan Cass in EcoGeneration

This was first published in EcoGeneration online on 8 March 2017 and in the print edition. The common view of invention is that it is unexpected. The people who do it are extraordinary individuals. There are risk takers but also naturally creative geniuses. Ancient Archimedes came up with his theory of buoyancy by his spontaneous

February 2017

Employers’ pyrrhic penalty rates win reflects self-defeating economics

by Jim Stanford in The Sydney Morning Herald

The Fair Work Commission unveiled its long-awaited decision on penalty rates for Sunday and holiday work this week. Penalty rates for most retail and hospitality workers will be cut, by up to 50 percentage points of the base wage. Hardest hit will be retail employees: their wages on Sundays will fall by $10 an hour or more. For regular weekend workers, that could mean $6000 in lost annual income.

January 2017

Billionaires get more leeway than vulnerable citizens. It’s obscene

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

When politicians spend taxpayers money flying themselves to fundraising parties or flying to their own weddings, we leave it up to the politician to decide if their claim is “outside of entitlement”. First published on The Guardian – here When it comes to income tax we allow people to claim $300 worth of tax deductions without receipts because

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