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Australia’s states and territories have taken the lead in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, supported by constitutional powers and popular mandates. With the states newly emboldened, further action on climate change, changes to federal-state financial arrangements, and reform of National Cabinet could all be on the agenda.
New research from the Australia Institute Tasmania finds most Tasmanians (87%) want Truth in Political Advertising laws, and a ban on political donations by the gambling industry (73.3%). Four in five (80.1%) Tasmanians agree the Tasmanian Integrity Commission should undergo structural change so its design is improved and its existing powers, including holding full inquiries with public hearings, are utilised.
One of the most extensive studies of Australians’ knowledge of and attitudes to the Senate finds that the Senate is a unique, powerful legislative body, but Australians are confused about key details of its powers and operation. The Senate provides accountability, representation and diversity to a greater extent than the House of Representatives.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the “Rapid Assessment Framework” consultation, a process to reform parts of the NSW planning process.
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
The Australia Institute made a submission on the consultation paper for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ Enhanced offshore oil and gas decommissioning framework.
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,003 Australians about the policies and behaviour of social media companies.
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,003 Australians about reports that Google is conducting an “experiment” where it removes Australian news content from some users’ search results.
The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,003 Australians about how Prime Minister Scott Morrison should handle two current issues: a Liberal politician who posted misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic on social media and President Trump’s role in last week’s riots in the US Capitol.
The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media.
War crimes are perhaps the worst manifestation of a ‘victory at all costs’ culture that can so easily persuade individuals, whether political leaders or combatants, to abandon their moral compass and to cross the boundary between legality (however moot that might be) and criminality. This paper argues that the Afghanistan Inquiry Report may be premature
Strengthened donations laws and Right to Information provisions, as well as a Tasmanian Integrity Commission with teeth and new truth in political advertising laws are needed to ensure good government in Tasmania.
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.
Budgets are a key part of Australia’s democratic system, with budget papers giving the public a valuable opportunity to see how much money is spent and on what. Some items in federal budgets are not made public, however, and are marked ‘not for publication’ or ‘nfp’. Often, items claimed as nfp are still being negotiated,
In Australia, trust in Parliament and government is low and generally declining, and dissatisfaction with government and democracy is rising – apart from a COVID-19 related boost in public trust in government over the last few months. Events over the past 12 months – including police raids on journalists and the secret prosecution of intelligence
New research from The Australia Institute shows three in five South Australians (58%) do not trust Members of State Parliament when it comes to claiming their salary and benefits.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Northern Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission, highlighting research on fiscal stimulus design and the minimal stimulus that would be created from government subsidisation or other assistance to the fossil gas industry.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Climate Change Authority’s review of the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). The ERF includes the ‘safeguard mechanism’ which is failing by allowing emissions to rise, undoing the modest abatement purchased under the ERF and abatement achieved in the electricity sector.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Australian National Audit Office endorsing proposed audits of the Underwriting New Generation Investment program (UNGI) and Snowy 2.0, and recommending close audit of the National COVID19 Coordination Commission (NCCC).
The Underwriting New Generation Investments Program has no legislative basis, no guidelines or criteria, and is following no clear process. Despite this the government has already shortlisted projects, made agreements and engaged in detailed negotiations.
In the last week of March 2020, both the Tasmanian State Parliament and New Zealand’s Parliament voted to suspend sittings. New Zealand adjourned for about five weeks (till the 28th of April) and the Tasmanian parliament for about five months, until August. Before the Tasmanian Parliament adjourned, it granted extraordinary powers to the government through