Facts Matter: Fake News Harms Our Democracy

A full-page advertisement will be published in The Courier-Mail on Monday 26 October 2020 featuring Australia Institute research exposing the Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) false jobs claims.

The QRC has a long history of using questionable economic modelling, known as input-output modelling, to exaggerate the number of jobs its members create.

In fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics was so concerned about the misuse of ‘multipliers’ of the type used by the QRC that it stopped publishing them, stating: ‘their inherent shortcomings make them inappropriate for economic impact analysis. These shortcomings mean that (input-output) multipliers are likely to significantly overstate the impacts of projects or events.”

“While there will be legitimate debate on the best and most effective economic policies, it is important that information is factual,” said Dr Richard Denniss, chief economist at the Australia Institute.

“We have seen here in Australia and overseas the harm that fake news does to a functioning democracy. For the QRC to suggest mining creates more jobs in an electorate than there are registered voters in that electorate crosses the line.

“We have seen the mining industry long-make jobs claims which can be described at best as highly exaggerated, but these latest claims are just silly.

“Our research shows Australians now over-estimate the contribution mining makes to the Australian economy, to the detriment of support for other industries. The fact is while 64,700 Queenslanders work in mining, 97 percent of Queensland workers do not.”

A PDF of the Australia Institute advertisement as it will appear in The Courier-Mail can be downloaded here.

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