- 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
Justice for all
In order to receive fair treatment through the legal system, it is often necessary to seek assistance from a lawyer. This can be an expensive exercise, depending on the matter to be resolved and one’s capacity to pay for it. The financial costs of pursuing justice can be so high that a great many people
Polluted time: Blurring the boundaries between work and life
In recent decades technology has revolutionised the way companies do business and workers do their jobs. From the very top of organisations to the most menial and low-paid roles, the great majority of employees now use information and communication technology to some extent for work. Some spend their entire working lives in front of a screen of some sort.
What you don’t know can hurt you: How market concentration threatens internet diversity
The internet today stands at a crossroads. Entry into the online marketplace is in theory open to virtually anyone with sufficient technological know-how and a viable business model. As a result, the World Wide Web is now the very model of diversity, with more information, more products and more opinions accessible more easily than through
The rise and rise of online retail
The online retail boom has begun and it is unlikely to abate soon. According to Southern Cross Equities (2010) domestic online retailers have doubled their market share to 4.0 per cent of 2010 annual sales up from 2.1 per cent in 2005. In addition, overseas purchases driven by a strong dollar and falling shipping prices
The price of disloyalty: Why competition has failed to lower ATM fees
One of the most expensive ways for Australians to access their own money is by using an automatic teller machine (ATM) that is not provided by their own bank. In most cases, third-party ATMs charge $2 for every transaction, including checking one’s account balance. In other words, $2 is the price consumers pay every time
Long time, no see: The impact of time poverty on Australian workers
Time, as they say, is money. In fact, one of the most important aspects of our lives – what we do for a living – involves exchanging our time, in the form of labour, for money. Yet, millions of Australians ‘donate’ unpaid overtime to their employers on a regular basis. Like money, time is vital
Money and Power: The case for better regulation in banking
The power of Australia’s big four banks is unmistakeable. Their underlying profits equate to almost three per cent of GDP, up from less than one per cent a quarter of a century ago. Of every $100 spent in Australia, nearly $3 ends up as underlying profit for the banks. Profits are so high because the
Measuring what Matters: Do Australians have good access to primary health care?
This paper presents the first data collected for the Measuring what Matters indicators; access to primary health care. The paper begins by presenting new data on why people say they wish to see a doctor and then reports the degree of difficulty that Australians experience as to their ability to make appointments with doctors at
Something for Nothing: Unpaid overtime in Australia
This paper reveals that Australian workers are ‘donating’ more than their annual leave entitlement back to their employers in the form of unpaid overtime. The typical full-time employee in Australia works 70 minutes of unpaid overtime a day. This equates to 33 eight-hour days per year, or six and a half standard working weeks. Something
What a waste: An analysis of household expenditure on food
Australian households are throwing out more than $5 billion worth of food each year, more than Australians spend on digital equipment, and more than it costs to run the Australian Army. In addition to the direct financial costs of this waste, the environmental impact associated with excessive greenhouse gas emissions and water use is substantial.
Submission to the Do Not Call Register Statutory Review
In its submission to the Do Not Call Register Statutory Review, The Australia Institute argues that the current system of regulating unwanted telemarketing calls needs to be overhauled in recognition of the continued nuisance caused by telemarketing. The Do Not Call Register should be extended to cover all unsolicited telemarketing calls, including those that are
What does $50,000 buy in a population survey?
This piece is a comparison between a phone surveying and an internet surveying, costing $56,000 and $6000, and lasting one month and six days respectively. The participants were common in sex, state/territory, country of birth, working status, highest level of education, household income and area of residence; and only had marginal differences in age. As
The case for a universal default superannuation fund
Since 2005, the great majority of Australian workers have been able to choose their own superannuation fund. While some people have taken advantage of greater choice in super, for many people choice is actually a burden. Widespread lack of engagement with superannuation means that competition in this sector is structured around intermediaries (like financial advisers)
Choosing Not to Choose: Making superannuation work by default
This Discussion Paper reviews the former Government’s ‘Choice of Fund’ policy and proposes a range of improvements to the way default superannuation funds are chosen.
Go Away, Please: The social and economic impact of intrusive marketing
This paper looks at the attitudes of Australians towards telemarketing in the light of the dubious success of the Do Not Call Register. By and large direct marketing is not popular with Australians. The paper suggests an opt-in rather than an opt-out approach may be a better solution to the problem of unwanted calls.
The role of a higher age pension in stimulating the economy
When the economy is slowing governments can stimulate economic activity by spending more money, thereby increasing the level of demand for goods and services. The Commonwealth Government could start injecting tens of millions of dollars into the economy each week simply by increasing the size of a payment such as the age pension.
Choice Overload: Australians coping with financial decisions
This report investigates the increasing complexity of financial decisions. It finds that many Australians believe that financial investments and superannuation are too confusing. The paper surveys Australian attitudes to personal finance and makes several recommendations for government, industry and individuals.
Where does the buck stop? Community attitudes to over-lending and over-spending
There have been 12 successive years of interest rate rises, and a 12.5% rise from 2007-2008 in debt to banks, valued at $762b. This is practically bad with 18-27 years old that take out 1/3 of credit cards and account for 1/3 defaults. As private debt is now 156% of GDP majority of people believe that banks allowed
Under the Radar. Dog-whistle politics in Australia
Dog-whistle politics is the art of sending coded or implicit messages to a select group of voters while keeping others in the dark. Dog whistling allows politicians to communicate divisive or reactionary ideas using apparently harmless statements so as to avoid offending or scandalising more tolerant members of the community. This paper represents the first
Do politicians deserve to go to heaven? Public attitudes to prominent Australians.
This piece focuses on if the electorate believes that prominent politicians should go to heaven. Out of the six politicians John Howard scored the lowest with less than half of the population believing he should go to heaven, while Peter Garrett scored the highest at 74%. When split into political parties Howard was the most