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The rules in place prior to the 2012 Barwon-Darling Water Sharing Plan were based on science and extensive stakeholder consultation. The Water Sharing Plan included changes to those rules that were not based on any science and were not consulted on. The plan was also based on a fundamentally deficient Cap model. The pre-2012 rules
The Australia Institute has made a submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport inquiry into cotton exports. A ban on cotton exports is an ‘unpalatable measure’, but policy change is needed to make the industry transparent, accountable and reduce its impacts on communities and ecosystems elsewhere in the Murray
The Barwon-Darling/Barka River is dry. But almost 2,000 gigalitres have been consumed by the irrigation industry this year while nothing has flowed to Menindee Lakes, the site of the summer fish kills. Despite this, the river actually ‘owes’ water to industry, ‘debts’ it is unlikely to repay due to climate change and policy settings. Please
The NSW Draft Floodplain harvesting monitoring and auditing strategy (draft strategy) is entirely inadequate for managing floodplain harvesting in New South Wales. It is inconsistent with numerous legislative and other government commitments and is likely unlawful. It should be withdrawn and heavily revised. [Read the full submission]
In February 2019 The Australia Institute made a submission to the NSW Independent Planning Commission on the United Wambo coal mine proposal. The economic assessment of the United Wambo coal mine project (the Project) has not been adequate. Issues that have been raised repeatedly through the assessment process have not been addressed. In particular, the
So far in 2018, there have been 27 major breakdowns at gas and coal power stations in NSW. Every coal power station experienced at least one breakdown. The Tallawarra gas power station experienced three breakdowns. Aging plants Liddell and Vales Point experienced the most breakdowns.
Hundreds of thousands of native fish have died in recent weeks in the Menindee Lakes. Drought is the catalyst, but policy failure and mismanagement are the cause. Both State and federal governments and water agencies are responsible for this disaster.
Stakeholders in the Lower Darling are strongly opposed to proposed changes to the Menindee Lakes. Local member Kevin Humphries has proposed a new ‘Option 7’ for the Lakes, aiming to deliver more water and local jobs. Unfortunately, Option 7 would require changes to legislation, agreements and infrastructure. There is a real risk that the NSW
WA’s moratorium on fracking has been overturned without consideration of economic impacts. Economic logic, and the lived experience of Queensland and the USA, shows the industry has an incentive to expand as much and as fast as possible. This has a negative impact on communities, provides few jobs, little revenue and could increase domestic gas
Increasing extreme heat will have profound impacts on people, industries and ecosystems in Western Sydney. CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology projections estimate that the average number of days over 35 could increase by up to five times without strong climate policies from a historical average of 11 up to 52 days by 2090. Some parts
In November 2018 The Australia Institute made a submission to the NSW Independent Planning Commission on the Bylong Coal Project. Based on its own figures, the Bylong Coal Project is a high-cost, low-quality proposal. It is unlikely to be competitive in a time when exports through Newcastle have stalled, with the port’s fourth coal terminal
A National Integrity Commission is needed to investigate and expose corruption and misconduct in our federal government and public sector. Currently there are significant gaps in the jurisdiction and investigative powers of the federal agencies responsible for scrutinising the public sector and government. No federal agency has the power to investigate corrupt conduct as state-based
This report is a step-by-step guide to valuing compensation in the Lower-Darling. Major changes to the management of the Lower Darling will affect the whole community. To date only one stakeholder, major agribusiness WebsterLtd, has been compensated by the Commonwealth. The region’s other businesses and property owners should assess how Webster’s compensation was calculated in
This report is the first in a series that highlights how the Murray–Darling Basin Plan has increased the flow of money and water to big agribusinesses and has increased the vulnerability of everyone else in the Basin– Aboriginal people, floodplain graziers, downstream communities and small irrigators. [READ FULL REPORT]
How over 5 gigawatts of New South Wales gas and coal plants being simultaneously offline pushed the state’s power supply to the brink and drove high electricity prices.
Since allegations of large-scale water theft were aired on Four Corners in 2017, a flood of media reports have shown that the $13bn Murray-Darling Basin Plan is not being well implemented: agency cover ups, political and regulatory capture, agencies with cultures of non-compliance, dodgy water deals, alleged fraud and unlawful amendments. [READ FULL REPORT]
The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission on the Long-Term Diversion Limit Extraction (LTDLE) factors. LTDLEs are required to determine how much water has been recovered to meet the government’s water recovery target under the Murray-Darling Basin reforms. LTDLE factors need to be resolved to bring certainty to communities and water licence
Development of the Galilee Basin would displace production in other coal regions. Galilee mines would be more automated and less job-intensive than existing mines. Based on coal industry analysis, central estimates of employment reduction are 9,100 in the Hunter Valley, 2,000 in the Bowen Basin & 1,400 in the Surat Basin compared to a no-Galilee
Proposed changes to the Water Act reduce accountability, parliamentary oversight and facilitate changes to the Murray Darling Basin Plan that are based on political convenience rather than science. The bill should not be passed.
Santos’ response to submissions on its Narrabri Gas Project does not dispute most of the flaws identified in The Australia Institute’s initial submission. The economic assessment of the Narrabri Gas Project continues to be misleading and does not comply with NSW assessment guidelines. The benefit cost analysis by consultants GHD is contradicted by the proponents’
Liddell is the oldest power station in Australia. It is particularly vulnerable to breaking down in hot weather when demand is high, and electricity is most needed. It has suffered four major breakdowns so far this year. Two of these were within two hours of peak demand on very hot summer days. The continued reliance
A proposed amendment to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan would use ‘supply measures’ to change the Sustainable Diversion Limits and increase water use by irrigation. The proposed supply measures are inconsistent with the Basin Plan and likely to be unlawful.