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NT water policy changes are aimed at expanding irrigation, particularly cotton production. Government and industry claims that cotton expansion would create significant employment and tax payments are not supported by data. Census figures show that cotton is one of the least jobsintensive sectors in the economy. According to the Australian Tax Office, major cotton companies
Boothby Polling – April 2022
uComms conducted a survey of 801 residents in the SA Federal seat of Boothby on behalf of The Australia Institute during the evening of 30 March 2022 using self-completed automated voice polling methodologies.
Sturt Polling – April 2022
uComms conducted a survey of 809 residents in the SA Federal seat of Sturt on behalf of The Australia Institute during the evening of 30 March 2022 using self-completed automated voice polling methodologies.
Sustainable Industrial Jobs in the Hunter
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).
Rebuilding Vehicle Manufacturing in Australia
Global automotive manufacturing is rapidly transitioning to the production of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in line with technological advancements and the global community’s commitment to addressing climate change. This transition presents an enormous opportunity for Australia to rebuild its vehicle manufacturing industry, taking advantage of our competitive strengths in renewable energy, extractive industries, manufacturing capabilities, and
Six reasons to stop* floodplain harvesting in NSW
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
Submission: Inquiry into the Closure of the Hazelwood and Yallourn Power Stations
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
We can work it out: Lessons from Germany’s Coal Commission
Like Australia, Germany has had a long and polarised debate about phasing out coal-fired power stations. Germany formed a multi-stakeholder group that negotiated a consensus to phase out coal power by 2038. A similar process could help Australia navigate the trade-offs inherent in such a change.
Pulling the cotton over your eyes
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
Submission on the Draft Tasmanian Recreational Sea Fishing Strategy
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
Polling – Great Barrier Reef
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.
Briefing Note: A Statewide Marine Plan for Tasmania
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.
1200 Bridges Too Far
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.
Too little too late
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,
Missing a Stitch in Time:
Australia’s electricity industry constitutes a large and critical component of our national economic infrastructure. The industry produces $25 billion per year in value- added. It employs around 50,000 Australians, paying out $6 billion per year in wages and salaries. It makes $45 billion in annual purchases from a diverse and far-reaching supply chain, that provides the sector with inputs ranging from resources to equipment to construction to services.
Wrong way, go back
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
Polling: Upper Hunter – Moratorium on New Coal Mines in the Hunter
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
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
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.
When the going gets tough…the gas industry sacks workers
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
Employment Aspects of the Transition from Fossil Fuels in Australia
New research by the Centre for Future Work, commissioned by health care industry super fund HESTA, finds that a planned transition of Australia’s labour market away from fossil fuel jobs could occur without involuntary layoffs or severe disruption to communities—if governments focus on a planned and fair transition. That transition needs to include: a clear, long-term timeline, measures to facilitate inter-industry mobility and voluntary severance as fossil fuels are phased-out, and generous retraining and diversification policies.
Heat Stress and Work in the Era of Climate Change
New research has confirmed that climate change is contributing to the growing problem of heat stress in a wide range of Australian workplaces.
With disruptions in international supply chains for essential products (like medical equipment and supplies) disrupted in the current COVID pandemic, Australians have a new appreciation for the importance of retaining a flexible, high-quality, domestic manufacturing capacity. And the ongoing transformation of Australia’s energy industry, with rapid expansion of renewable energy sources, would add momentum to the renaissance of Australian manufacturing.
HeatWatch – Extreme heat in the Kimberley
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.
What is stopping Adani
The Australia Institute released new research showing Adani is not “ready to go” with its Carmichael coal mine and there are a number of significant reasons why Adani is not ready to proceed with its mine. “One thing that can be said with certainty about the Adani coal mine is that whether it goes ahead
The impact of Galilee Basin development on employment in existing coal regions
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
Principles for Meaningful Transition Support for Workers in Carbon-Intensive Industries
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
Coal hard facts
Since Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony “coal is good for humanity” Abbott, the Adani Carmichael Mine, the Galilee Basin and environmental “Lawfare” has been out of the news. An increase in the coal price and Turnbull’s apparent change of view means the Coal Wars are back. Download the Coal Hard Facts guide below.
Nice work if you can get it: Jobs outcomes from renewables growth policies
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
Do we need to burn forests to save the environment
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