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Licencing floodplain harvesting at lawful, sustainable volumes would be a major environmental, social and economic reform for the NSW Murray Darling Basin. There are also major implications for human health, community wellbeing, equity and the state budget. With so much at stake, public and government attention needs to be focused on the work of the
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
In summary, our submission relates to the following aspects of the Strategy: Strengthening linkages with relevant legislation and policy, particularly in relation to outcomes 2, 4 and 5, and Strengthening inter-sectoral resource sharing through marine spatial planning The need for a State-wide Marine Plan for Tasmania
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,007 Australians about their views on the health and ‘in danger’ listing of the Great Barrier Reef.
Tasmania’s coasts are in trouble: climate change, overfishing, impacts from aquaculture, land-based run-off and plastic are some of the pressures impacting Tasmania’s coasts. Developing and implementing a comprehensive and integrated State-wide Marine Plan for Tasmania’s coasts is the best way to ensure healthy marine ecosystems long-term.
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.
Since the middle of 2020, the Australian economy has recovered strongly. By many measures, the recovery to pre-COVID levels looks to be almost complete. But have the gas and gas processing sectors had much to do with it? An analysis of the data suggests the gas industry effectively made no contribution to the economic recovery,
What is the Federal Government’s Gas-Fired Recovery Plan? At its most base level it appears to be a series of taxpayer subsidies to export-focused gas companies. The process for allocating these subsidies is secretive, with no publicly available criteria, or even policy documents answering many of the basic questions of what the plan is aiming
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
23 new coal projects are proposed in NSW, with total production capacity equivalent to 15 Adani-sized mines. Ten Adanis’ worth of these projects are proposed for the Upper Hunter. Local and international factors mean not all of these projects can proceed. A moratorium should be placed on new coal approvals while a coherent regional planning framework is developed for the Hunter. This framework should be based around a world with net zero emissions in 2050.
Gas companies operating in Australia have announced major job cuts through the pandemic. ABS Labour Force figures show that average employment in oil and gas extraction has declined by over 10% from 2019 to 2020, despite record production. If all Australian industries had responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with equivalent job cuts, Australia would have
Increases in extreme heat events in the Kimberley region will have severe impacts on the wellbeing of people in the region, particularly indigenous communities. It will also impact key industries, including tourism and agriculture, and damage natural ecosystems.
As Australia and other countries shift their economies toward lower-carbon forms of energy and production, problems of displacement and transition for workers in carbon-intensive industries must be addressed as a top priority. The coal-fired electricity generation industry is on the front lines of this challenge. Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford was recently invited
The Australia Institute has modelled the number jobs in the clean energy sector which would be created to meet the renewable energy targets proposed by political parties this election. All parties are talking about jobs and economic opportunities in the lead up to the 2016 federal election. The report estimates the number of jobs that
The Renewable Energy Target (RET) requires electricity retailers to purchase a specified amount of renewable energy (the target) from certified generators of renewable energy. At present burning native woodchips or other biomass, is not a certified form of renewable energy under the RET. Including biomass burning in the RET will cause a number of direct
The Australia Institute has made a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications, References Committee Inquiry into environmental offsets. We argue that while offsets are often imperfect and need to be well managed, they have a place in environmental management. Our submission relates to the economics of environmental offsets and our experience
The Australia Institute has made a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment inquiry, Streamlining environmental regulation, ‘green tape’, and one stop shops. Our submission draws on earlier TAI research conducted jointly with the Minerals Council of Australia, which found that there is considerable room for improvement in environmental regulation. A
In November 2013 The Australia Institute made a submission on the application to modify the consent conditions of Rio Tinto’s Warkworth mine, near Singleton in the Hunter Valley, NSW. This modification allows the mine to expand into areas that the Land and Environment Court had disallowed, as the economic benefits of doing so did not
Despite a great deal of enthusiasm about green jobs, there has been surprisingly little interest in what the concept actually means. Given that the precise definition of a green job will ultimately determine both the environmental effectiveness of the growing body of green-collar workers and the value received in return for significant public investment, the
The structure of the tax system can play an important role in either protecting or causing harm to the natural environment. This report examines existing taxes, charges and related incentives that encourage either environmental protection or degradation in each of the areas of transport, stationary energy, land, water, forests and waste. The study also considers
This article explains some of the ways in which regional communities benefit and could continue to benefit from a shift from non-renewable to renewable energy generation, based on the assumption that the decline of non-renewables is inevitable and therefore we should be proactive. Examples show how sustainable energy projects create long term job opportunities and
Climate change is expected to have severe adverse impacts on the majority of Commonwealth countries, especially developing country members. Australia has displayed a callous disregard for the future well-being of the poorest and most vulnerable members of the Commonwealth.
It has long been recognised that GDP growth does not correlate well with changes in social welfare, i.e. national well-being. The GPI adjusts GDP by 23 factors that reflect some of the social and environmental costs of economic growth to give a better measures of changes in national prosperity. This paper explores these issues in
Australia’s unique wildlife is a vital factor in attracting foreign tourists and the future of the tourism industry depends heavily on the protection of our natural environment. This study evaluates the economic contribution of the koala to the Australian tourism industry.