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The Australia Institute made a submission on the Environmental Impact Statement of the Moolarben OC3 extension project. The economic assessment of the project heavily understates its costs and overstates its benefits. At the USA Environmental Protection Agency’s central social cost of carbon estimate, the cost of the direct emissions alone is $156 million, greater than estimated royalty revenue – $152 million.
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.
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).
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated labour market problems for young people in NSW. By several measures, young people in NSW have been the hardest hit in Australia. There are a range of policies available to the NSW Government to address this crisis.
The economic assessments of the Glendell proposal overstate its benefits and understate its costs. Applying current carbon prices to only its direct emissions gives a net present value of between negative $460 and negative $570 million. This excludes consideration of the potential heritage and biodiversity impacts.
New research from the Centre for Future Work shows that the rapid transformation of Australia’s aluminium facilities to sustainable sources of electricity would spark substantial economic benefits: for the aluminium industry, its supply chain, and for the burgeoning renewable energy sector (which would achieve greater critical mass from major new power supply contracts).
The Department of Planning and Environment recommends approval of the project based on economic benefits, but finds these benefits reduce “significantly” if greenhouse emissions are properly accounted for. The Department did not quantify the significant reduction. Applying a carbon price of between $24.50/t and $73/t reduces the value of the project to zero. Such carbon
Murray Darling Basin Governments are attempting to recover 450 gigalitres (GL) of water through off-farm water efficiency projects, with almost $1.6 billion in funding, or an average of $3,500 per megalitre. Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) has put forward a proposal that would recover 6,282ML at a cost of $124 million. This equates to $19,739 per megalitre
The current level of floodplain harvesting is inconsistent with legislation. Reducing the practice to lawful levels could be done with minimal economic impact due to the export-oriented and capital-intensive nature of cotton production. Even in cotton producing regions, cotton accounts for less than 5% of jobs. Despite a reputation for high profits, major cotton producers
The Hume Coal Project is not economically viable and should be rejected. Despite recommending against approval, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment overstates the economic case for the project.
The Australia Institute surveyed a representative sample of 1,008 people in New South Wales about their views on voluntary assisted dying (VAD), also known as voluntary euthanasia. The results show high support for legalising voluntary assisted dying in NSW, and for treating the vote on VAD legislation as a matter of personal conscience rather than
Money originally allocated to ensure a healthy Murray-Darling Basin is now earmarked to be spent on seemingly unrelated infrastructure in New South Wales. Instead of recovering 450GL promised to the environment in downstream states, this money may now flow to a range of questionable projects, including upgrading 1200 bridges in irrigation districts.
Existing mines in NSW’s Upper Hunter region are approved to mine 241 million tonnes per year, but mined just 150 million tonnes in 2019/20. The difference of 91.5 million tonnes shows that there is no need for new coal projects in the state. Filling in the Upper Hunter’s final voids would cost between $12 billion
The Australia Institute made a submission to the NSW Independent Planning Commission on additional material provided to the Commission by the proponents regarding greenhouse gas emissions. The additional material is inaccurate, misleading and continues the low standard of information being submitted by the proponents and their consultants.
The majority of voters (57.4%) in the NSW state seat of Upper Hunter support former PM Malcolm Turnbull’s call for a moratorium on new coal mine approvals and a remediation plan for existing mines for the Hunter Valley. The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 686 residents in the NSW state seat of
The Australia Institute made a submission objecting to the proposal to expand and extend the Mangoola coal mine in the Hunter Valley.
The Australia Institute made a submission objecting to the proposal to expand and extend the Mt Pleasant coal mine in the Hunter Valley.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the NSW Independent Planning Commission on the Tahmoor South Coal Project.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the “Rapid Assessment Framework” consultation, a process to reform parts of the NSW planning process.
The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report on strategic water purchases found that the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ processes were poor, could not ensure value for money or that conflicts of interest were eliminated. Despite these findings, the audit did not ask if the public actually got value for money and real environmental
The Australia Institute surveyed a sample of 1,038 New South Wales residents about their position on whether voluntary assisted dying (VAD) should be available to people with terminal illnesses who are experiencing unrelievable suffering and who ask to die.
Submission made to the Energy Security Board’s proposed framework for the planning of renewable energy zones (REZ) within state jurisdictions in the National Electricity Market (NEM). This form part an ongoing research project titled Rural Communities and Renewable Energy: A Socio-economic Study in NSW, conducted by thte University of Sydney Environment Institute, Australian National University and the
Workers in most industries and occupations worry about the effects of accelerating technological change on their employment security and prospects. New digital technologies are being applied to an increasingly diverse and complex array of tasks and jobs – including artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies which can exercise judgment and decision-making powers. Some studies suggest that as many as half of all jobs may be highly vulnerable to automation and computerisation in coming decades. The NSW Legislative Council has established a Select Committee to examine the impact of technological and other change on the future of work in NSW. The Centre for Future Work has lodged a submission.
Why a “gas fired recovery” would increase emissions and energy costs and squander Australia’s COVID-19 recovery spending.
The Australia Institute modelled the impacts that removing the coronavirus supplement would have on the number of people in poverty. The national results and an explanation of the modelling are available in Poverty in the age of coronavirus. State specific figures can be found in the following reports: Poverty in the age of coronavirus –