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The Victorian Government’s policy of capping of local government rates revenue in Victoria is a regressive move on economic, social and democratic grounds. By arbitrarily tying the growth in total rates revenue in each local government area to price indexes, the state government restricts the ability of local governments to respond to the COVID-19 crisis
The Australia Institute’s Research Director Rod Campbell gave expert economic evidence to Victoria’s Inquiry and Advisory Committee regarding the Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project. The project was recommended for rejection by the Committee. Rod was engaged by the community group opposing the development, Mine Free Glenaladale. Rod’s evidence showed that the economic assessment of the Fingerboards
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 Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Inquiry into the Closure of the Hazelwood and Yallourn Power Stations. The Australia Institute is an independent public policy think tank, based in Canberra. We carry out research on a broad range of economic, social and environmental issues. Two recent research papers by
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
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.
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
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
The regulatory framework surrounding political advertising on social media is almost non-existent, in contrast to the strict rules for election advertising on other media. Partly because social media ads can be “micro-targeted” to small audiences, it can be hard to identify what political parties and candidates claim in ads or who they have made that claim to. Existing “Internet ad libraries” on some platforms do not fully address this problem.
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 –
The Victorian Government has decided to allow onshore gas mining based on an internal report that claims minimal climate impacts. However the report ignores up to 88% of greenhouse emissions from new onshore gas mining, appearing to ignore emissions from burning the gas.
Norwegian oil company Equinor is planning exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight beginning in late 2020. Modelling commissioned by the oil and gas lobby shows that South Australia is unlikely to receive any noticeable benefit from tax payments as a result of oil and gas production in the Great Australian
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Independent Assessment of Social and Economic Conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin. The socio-economic conditions of the Murray Darling Basin share many characteristics with other areas of regional Australia – lower incomes and difficult access to important services. These should be addressed as well as the mismanagement of
The Australia Institute supports the Murray-Darling Basin Commission of Inquiry Bill 2019. This submission considers the implementation of the Basin Plan from a financial auditing perspective.
Victoria’s brown coal fired power stations suffer from frequent breakdowns and Loy Yang A is the responsible for largest number of breakdowns on the National Energy Market, since monitoring began in December 2017, and Loy Yang A’s Unit 2 is the most unreliable unit on the grid.
The mismanagement of the Murray-Darling Basin has become a national issue in 2019. While the Basin’s problems are widely discussed, solutions are not. Practical steps to turn around the fortunes of the Basin and its people are: Provide emergency relief to the southern Basin dairy industry. Develop a policy framework to ensure diversity in Basin
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
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]
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.