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The Australia Institute made a submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s inquiry into nationhood, national identity and democracy. The submission outlines how the Australia Institute’s existing research applies to each of the committee’s terms of reference.
The Australian National Audit Office is investigating so-called strategic water purchases in the Murray Darling Basin. These purchases were counter to government policy on reducing consumptive use, have not brought balance to the Commonwealth’s water portfolio, were not value for money and did not meet guidelines on transparency, accountability and ethical procurement. The Australia Institute
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.
Truth in political advertising laws are supported by 84% of Australians. Successful models include industry self-regulation in New Zealand and making misleading advertising an offence in South Australia. Decisions about what constitutes “the truth” may be fraught, but they are routinely made by companies and regulators under consumer law. Australia can choose from a variety of models, but some form of truth in
We thank the Natural Resource Commissioner for the thorough and forthright Draft Review of the Barwon-Darling Water Sharing Plan. We support all of the Commission’s recommendations.We raise two additional matters for the Commission’s consideration: Legality of the 2012 Barwon-Darling Water Sharing Plan Cap compliance
Most Australians want 100% renewable energy, a stamp duty to land tax swap and pill testing at music festivals in their own state, new national polling from The Australia Institute shows.
Decisions by the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) to flood the Barmah-Millewa forest and drain Menindee Lakes have reduced water for NSW Murray general security holders, who have zero allocation for 2018-19. We estimate an allocation of between 16% and 61% could have been possible had MDBA complied with its official Objectives and Outcomes.
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
Analysis of released documents shows that the licences bought by the Commonwealth didn’t exist until the vendors estimated the volumes of the licences themselves, at the suggestion of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Due diligence was problematic. At least half of the water purchased cannot count towards water recovery targets as it was
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 surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,536 Australians about fish farm regulation. The survey told respondents that large scale fish farms are currently assessed and regulated by state governments, not the federal government. They were then asked who should assess and regulate fish farms.
The Australia Institute has reviewed economic modelling of climate policies released today by Brian Fisher of BAEconomics. The Institute’s review shows that BAEconomics’ modelling is based on flawed assumptions and its conclusions are not valid.
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
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.
The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) does not have the powers to deliver on its responsibilities. Instead it relies on verbal and other non-legally binding agreements in managing its near $3 billion worth of environmental water. An audit by EY found this presented “unique fraud risks”. South Australia’s substitution of Coorong environmental water for other
The Queensland Labor Government has offered Adani a “beneficial” royalty deal that would loan hundreds of millions, on subsidised terms it is keeping secret, under a “transparent policy framework” that was a few dot points at the end of a press release. It has also offered Adani free road upgrades worth $100 million, despite Adani’s
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
Scott Morrison rushed through a $260 million payment to the Northern Territory in a matter of days at the same time the NT Government overturned the moratorium on gas fracking. Morrison committed to the funding just three days after the fracking decision, in a letter of offer to the NT that also refers to that
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Senate Environment and Communications References Committee Inquiry into the allegations of political interference in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The Australia Institute has conducted research into the public broadcasters, especially the ABC, for many years. We have written three reports that are particularly relevant for the Inquiry. This briefing
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]
The ABC Board carries the ultimate responsibility for the independence and integrity of the national broadcaster. In previous eras both sides of politics made inappropriate partisan appointments to the ABC board. Despite the ‘arm’s length, merit based’ reforms made in 2013, the appointment process has once again become deeply politicised. Basic governance standards are being