- Banking & Finance
- Employment & Unemployment
- Future of Work
- Gender at Work
- Gig Economy
- Industry & Sector Policies
- Infrastructure & Construction
- Insecure & Precarious Work
- Labour Standards & Workers' Rights
- Population & Migration
- Public Sector, Procurement & Privatisation
- Science & Technology
- Social Security & Welfare
- Tax, Spending & the Budget
- Unions & Collective Bargaining
- Wages & Entitlements
- Young Workers
- Climate & Energy
- Democracy & Accountability
- International & Security Affairs
- Law, Society & Culture
The problems attached to over-use of consultants are becoming clearer. The experience in New South Wales accords with the national experience: dependency on consultants hollows out public sector capacity and leads to bad government decisions.
FOI is a crucial part of the beneficial information feedback loop between the government and the people. However, our FOI system is broken and cultural and legal changes are needed to fix it.
A submission made by the Australia Institute to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security on the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Prohibited Hate Symbols and Other Measures) Bill 2023.
Constructive and non-partisan political finance reform could improve trust in politics and reduce the influence of vested interests.
But if political finance reform is done poorly, it could make Australian elections less fair, and conceal rather than expose the undue influence moneyed interests enjoy over our politicians and parties.
Public interest journalism from the ABC has placed scrutiny on issues that governments would prefer to ignore, prompting numerous government inquiries and investigations – what Josh Taylor, writing in Crikey, called “The Four Corners effect”.
Sitting politicians receive millions in public funding that support re-election.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the consultation on Administrative Review Reform.
The over-use of consultancies has corroded Australian democracy. It hollows out public sector capacity and leads to bad government decisions.
Job advertisement numbers increased 46% compared to the pre-pandemic average after the mandatory bargaining code was introduced.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the inquiry into the administration of the referendum into an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
The Australia Institute made a submission on the Criminal Code Amendment (Prohibition of Nazi Symbols) Bill 2023.
FOI decisions cost twice as much as they used to, three in 10 FOI decisions are late and, when reviewed, one in two turns out to be wrong. A review of Australia’s FOI system and culture is urgently needed.
Few political parties have detailed policies on corporate democracy and governance, despite the major role that corporations play in our economy and political debate.
The Australia Institute welcomes the modernising of Australia’s referendum machinery ahead of the referendum to enshrine an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Australian Constitution. To limit the impact of misinformation on the referendum debate, we recommend that the Parliament legislate truth in political advertising laws and stronger political contribution disclosures. The existing
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Received wisdom suggests that one-term governments are rare in Australia. New governments benefit from incumbency, the “sophomore surge” and perhaps a reluctance among voters to change directions twice in a short period of time. The Napthine Government entered the 2014 Victorian election the underdog, argued election analyst Antony Green, “a unusual situation for a first
Given the context in which the term “woke” is used in media commentary, it may surprise readers to discover – for example – that only one in five people who described themselves as woke ahead of the 2022 federal election intended to vote for the Greens; less than the share of woke people who intended
The electoral pendulum performs no better than an alternative method, the cube law, in predicting the overall result of an election. In its common, alternative use as tool to predict individual seat changes, it is successful less than half of the time. Note: An earlier version of this report said that the electoral pendulum had
Last year, the Morrison Government spent $145.3 million on campaign advertising, a sum that exceeds the normal annual advertising spend of companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Amazon, Pepsi and Qantas.
The 43rd Parliament of Australia, which was the first minority parliament since 1940, was a time of renewed interest in parliamentary reform to enhance our democratic accountability and processes. With the potential for the 2022 federal election to grow the crossbench or result in another hung parliament, what further reforms could be on the horizon?
The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Justice and Community Safety Committee’s inquiry into the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021. The Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program was founded in 2021 to improve the quality of Australian governance and heighten public trust in politics and democracy. Although the program is new,
In the last parliamentary sitting weeks of 2021, the Morrison Government and Labor Opposition negotiated a deal to pass “political campaigner” legislation, although the legislation now refers to “significant third parties” instead. Charities, including the Australia Institute, have expressed serious concerns that the legislation is ill-considered, rushed and designed to quell legitimate charity advocacy ahead
This report examines the policies of the largest Australian superannuation funds, highlighting their investments in companies involved in nuclear weapons development, production and maintenance (nuclear weapons companies).
$3.9 billion has been spent by grants programs with ministerial discretion since 2013. $2.8 billion, or 71%, has been allocated to projects in Coalition seats. Funding has clearly favoured marginal seats at the expense of safe Labor seats and, in some cases, safe Coalition seats. In per capita terms, marginal Coalition seats have received $184