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Australia can contribute significantly to democracy, security and prosperity in our region by addressing the region’s most existential threat, climate change, and by better governing our own resource sector.
This year marks the fourteenth annual Go Home on Time Day (GHOTD), an initiative of the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute that shines a spotlight on the maldistribution of working hours and the scale of unpaid overtime worked by Australians.
Working beyond scheduled hours has long been a problem for Australian workers. The nature and scale of overtime has more recently been shaped by the rise in flexible working arrangements and the integration of information and communication technology at work. Checking emails on the weekend, taking multiple-time-zone calls out of hours, and teleconferencing from the dining table have all become familiar experiences amongst workers. This both enabled working from home conditions during the pandemic for a large portion of workers, and accelerated patterns of overtime through the blurring of lines between work and home life.
Biased inputs, questionable assumptions, and the misleading presentation of model results lead to overinflated estimates of the economic impacts of the closure of the ABCC
The provision of essential public services generates extraordinary and far-reaching economic and social benefits for the Hunter region. A new report prepared by the Centre for Future Work documents the scale of these benefits for workers, families and communities across the Hunter. The fact sheets provide a portrait of the different ways public services build a stronger economy, strong communities, and better lives.
With deceptive advertising already affecting the Tasmanian political landscape, the case for truth in political advertising laws is strong. A recent publication in a Tasmanian newspaper has further highlighted the need to stamp out misleading political advertising. Almost nine in 10 Tasmanians say Tasmania should pass truth in political advertising laws. This paper addresses the
New research from the Centre for Future Work quantifies the dramatic risks faced by workers whose employers unilaterally terminate enterprise agreements during the course of renegotiations. This aggressive employer strategy, which became common after a precedent-setting 2015 court decision, would be curtailed by new industrial relations legislation proposed by the Commonwealth government.
The Australia Institute made a submission on draft legislation that would establish a new kind of carbon credit in Australia. The proposed Safeguard Mechanism legislation fails to clarify how new entrants will be managed and does not address integrity and additionality concerns around offsetting units.
The proposal that Australia should acquire nuclear-powered submarines raises a host of problems so inordinately tricky that their solutions are bound to be incomplete and highly fluid. “Wicked” problems such as these generate messy solutions, and their resolution—insofar as complete resolution is possible—requires the understanding of relationships between intersecting issues. This paper endeavours to identify
The reforms proposed in the Secure Jobs, Better Wages bill represent important but incremental steps in restoring a better balance of bargaining power between workers and employers, and lifting wage growth back toward a normal and healthier pace.
Last year, the Australia Institute’s analysis of Commonwealth grants programs between 2013 and 2021 (the term of the most recent Coalition Government) found a clear skew towards Coalition seats at the expense of Labor seats, particularly safe Labor seats. The constraints on government expenditure, including the Constitution, statutes, guidelines and ministerial standards, have been inadequate
In November, The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Australians about their views on possible government interventions in the gas industry. The results show strong support for the government to intervene in the gas industry, either by imposing export controls on gas exporters if they do not meet local demand, or by
The Australia Institute surveyed a representative sample of 616 South Australians about the opening of State Parliament.
The Australia Institute’s annual Climate of the Nation Report provides a comprehensive account of changing Australian beliefs and attitudes towards climate change, including its causes, impacts and solutions. For the first time, Climate of the Nation 2022 includes a chapter on Australians’ views on transport solutions, including quantitative polling and qualitative focus group studies.
Since 2012 the NSW government has arbitrarily suppressed pay gains for workers in state-funded public services (including health care, education, public administration, emergency services, and more). At first those pay caps were justified as a deficit-reduction measure, and then later as being supposedly tied to inflation trends. But both those arguments have been discarded, given state surpluses in most years since the cap was introduced, and now the dramatic acceleration in inflation (now running more than twice as fast as allowed compensation gains).
It is no accident that there are no credible policies or regulatory measures to address rising emissions by industry in Australia. Nor is it an accident that there are no robust mechanisms to address misleading climate claims.
The new Albanese Labor government has tabled a revised budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, revising revenue and spending forecasts originally contained in the March budget (from the previous Morrison government), and providing new funding to support several new programs and policies.
The present PRRT generates no revenue until the project sponsor gets back all their capital together with the permitted uplift factors. The problem with this approach is that no PRRT revenue is generated for many years which might exceed the life of the project and/or outlast the high returns—the economic rent that should be taxed.
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,409 Australians on their attitudes towards fossil fuel sponsorship. Results show that the majority of Australians agree with statements about limiting fossil fuel sponsorship. Key results: Three in five Australians (60%) agree that fossil fuel sponsorship is the new cigarette sponsorship, more than double the number
Over the past year, inflation has accelerated both in Australia and in most advanced economies, to rates much faster than have been observed for many years. Not unsurprisingly, this has caused much concern among people whose cost of living has risen abruptly. It has also created great challenges for policy makers: the risks of tackling higher inflation are high, given that the conventional response is to reduce aggregate demand, economic activity, and employment in order to “cool off” spending and thus reduce price pressures. This can mean that the “cure” can be worse than the “disease” – especially if, as occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, a recession follows efforts to constrain inflation.
The review’s Terms of Reference do not specifically address the underlying principles of Australia’s strategic policy. However, its intentions—to examine force disposition, preparedness, strategy and associated investments—themselves require some reaffirmation of the basic principles of Australia’s strategic policy. A strategic policy that places a premium on expeditionary deployment of Australian forces in pursuit of Australia’s strategic interests will invoke quite different decisions on force structure and associated force posture than would a strategic policy that places a clear emphasis on the ability to act in the direct defence of Australia.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Queensland Coordinator-General’s consultation on terms of reference for the Valeria Coal Project environmental impact statement. The economic assessment of the project should include coal market scenarios that reflect climate action required to meet the Paris Agreement. Methods used by coal industry economists to downplay the costs of carbon emissions should be explicitly ruled out.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs’ inquiry into inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on problem gamblers. It consisted of a short response to the most relevant terms of reference (points (f) and (i)), as well as two longer papers, Gambling
Energy prices spiked worldwide following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting restrictions on Russia’s gas exports. This has in turn increased the value of Australian LNG exports and the profits of LNG companies. We estimate the war related windfall gain to LNG companies in 2021-22 at between $26 billion and $40 billion.
This submission is made on behalf of the National Integrity Committee. We are an independent group of retired judges who have been advocating the need for a Federal Integrity Commission since 2017. The Committee was formed with the assistance of The Australia Institute; however, we remain an independent body acting in the public interest on a pro bono basis.
The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Independent Review of Australia’s Carbon Credits (the Review) and we would be pleased to engage directly with the Review in the coming weeks. We understand that other stakeholders have been sought out for direct consultation already.
Australia is a thriving, inventive democracy – but in the face of global democratic decline we should strengthen and protect our political institutions with measured reforms.
Key results The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,003 Australians about the circumstances under which the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) should be allowed to hold public hearings. The results show that most Australians say the NACC should be allowed to hold public hearings under more circumstances than the tabled legislation. More than