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Submission: A 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent
The Australia Institute made a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Consultation on the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) 2050 Strategy.
Rethinking Official Development Assistance
This discussion paper was presented at a roundtable on the future of Australian Official Development Assistance (ODA), arguing that Australia has long had deep national interests in the provision of development assistance in the Asia-Pacific region, regional security concerns being not the least of them. If Australia is to “step-up” its aid in the Pacific
Inquiry into Foreign Investment Proposals
The Australia institute is pleased to make the present submission to the Senate Economics Committee Inquiry into foreign investment proposals. This submission begins with some general thoughts based on earlier work at The Australia Institute. We note that Australia’s history has included rigorous debates about foreign ownership of the Australian economy. Sometimes that debate has taken
Charity still ends at home
The continuing decline of Australia’s official development assistance Reports suggest that Australia’s aid spending, already at record lows, could be cut further to 0.18% of Australia’s Gross National Income. This would make Australia’s aid contribution proportionately lower than that of Greece.
Blue Carbon, or the Carbon Blues?
‘Blue carbon’ refers to the carbon storage potential of coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass beds. These ecosystems can sequester carbon at higher rates than many terrestrial ecosystems and also play an important role in biodiversity conservation, protecting coastlines and coastal economies. Australia founded the International Partnership for Blue Carbon at the 2015 Paris climate
Australian government becomes foreign finance broker for Adani?
The Australian government appears to be actively soliciting financing from foreign governments and investors towards Adani’s coal mine and rail line, projects it plans to subsidise.
African white elephant
Australia’s export credit agency, Efic, is a government-owned, taxpayer-backed organisation that aims to assist Australian exporters with financial services. Efic is currently considering a loan to a South African coal project. The Boikarabelo coal project has approval to produce 32 million tonnes of raw coal each year. The development of this project would likely contribute
Great Barrier Bleached
Research released today by The Australia Institute estimates the tourism industry impacts if severe coral bleaching continues on the Great Barrier Reef. — Full report in attachment below — Based on surveys of Chinese, UK, American and domestic tourists, results show that tourism areas adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef risk losing over 1 million
Free Trade Agreements Costs and benefits
The benefits of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are being promoted as Australia considers one agreement with China and another with 12 countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). However, analysis and experience shows that FTAs over promise and under deliver.
Charity ends at home – The decline of foreign aid in Australia
Australia is one of the richest nations in the world, at arguably the richest point in our history. Yet our commitment to foreign aid is declining. The Coalition government plans to cut aid funding by $1.4 billion per year or 33 per cent by 2017-18. To put our aid budget in perspective, however, we need
Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 – Submission
The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee is currently examining the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015. The purpose of the Bill is to increase access to Australian coastal shipping for foreign crewed ships in an attempt to make coastal shipping cheaper. The proposed Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 is likely to reduce
SUBMISSION: Senate inquiry into the Trade and Foreign Investment (Protecting the Public Interest) Act 2014
The Australia Institute recently made a submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee on the Trade and Foreign Investment (Protecting the Public Interest) Act 2014 which seeks to protect Australian laws by banning investor-state dispute settlement provisions. This submission looks not only at ISDS but also other elements of trade agreements which impact
A democracy deficit?
The results of the survey of the Australia Institute reveal that even though only 11 per cent of respondents were aware of the TPP, the majority, once informed of it, supported greater transparency and accountability in the negotiation process and had strong views on what should and should not be included. Australians hold serious concerns
SURVEY: Most Aussies not aware of TPP implications
Most Australians aren’t aware of a trade deal which could risk environmental laws, increase the cost of medicines and enable corporations to sue Australian governments, according to a new survey by The Australia Institute. Click the link below to read the survey results.
Rough Trade: How Australia’s trade policies contribute to illegal logging in the Pacific Region
The Australian Government is not doing enough to ensure that Australian imports of forestry products are consistent with the goals of Australian aid programs and stated commitments to reduce greenhouse gases. Australian aid includes programs and projects to help Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Island nations to better manage their forestry resources for
Trading in Food Safety? The impact of trade agreements on quarantine in Australia
Australia has always enjoyed rigorous national food standards that were applied equally to both domestically produced and imported food. The capacity to maintain and apply these standards, however, is now being undermined by international trade agreements and procedures for settling trade disputes with a result that challenges to public health are being significantly increased.
Comparing Drug Prices in Australia and the USA: The implications of the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement
Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme uses economic evaluations on the price of drugs. The US equivalent, the Federal Supply Schedule does not use such pricing references. As a result the most prescribed pharmaceutical drugs in the US can be between 79% and 306% more expensive than in Australia.
Trading in Our Health System? The impact of the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
Examines a possible trade-off the Australian Government might be tempted to make in order to achieve a Free Trade Agreement with the US.
Cashing in on Koalas
Against the approximately $1.1 billion contribution koalas make to Australia’s tourism industry, this article proposes leveraging enduring international interest in koalas with proposed conservation efforts and koala culls on Kangaroo Island to create a koala hunting industry that would contribute further to the inbound tourism sector.