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.
How over 5 gigawatts of New South Wales gas and coal plants being simultaneously offline pushed the state’s power supply to the brink and drove high electricity prices.
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 breached.
Four or five of the six “independent” board members of the ABC were not recommended by the nomination panel, but instead were effectively government appointments made outside of the default process.
The Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee of former judges and corruption fighters is today meeting in Sydney to launch their Implementation Plan for a National Integrity Commission.
In the lead up to the Wentworth byelection, the committee has written to candidates calling for support from all parties of its plan to establish a federal corruption watchdog.
Following on from the detailed design work undertaken by the committee to date, the Implementation Plan outlines how a National Integrity Commission would be established within the existing integrity framework.
The recommendations of the Implementation Plan include:
Australia is off-track and looks set to miss its Paris emission reduction target. National emissions are rising and the government seems unwilling or unable to agree on credible policies to reduce emissions.
The Commonwealth Government has shelved its centrepiece new climate and energy policy, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). The Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target (RET) will not encourage any new renewable energy generation capacity after 2020 and the Government’s emission reduction fund (ERF) did not receive any new funding in the last budget. Of the $2.54 billion previously allocated to the ERF only $250 million remains.
A majority of Australians believe the Royal Commission into Banks and Financial Services has uncovered more wrong doing (70%) and is most important for Australians (65%) compared to the Royal Commission into Trade Unions, according to new polling from The Australia Institute.
Meanwhile, almost a third of Australians (31%) believe the Royal Commission into Trade Unions was established to attack political opponents, more than triple those who believe any of the three other Royal Commissions to be politically motivated.
The annual average number of days over 35 degrees Celsius in Gladstone has more than doubled since the mid-20th century. CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology project further increases, with the number of extreme heat days to triple by 2070 – and these projections appear optimistic. Extreme heat will have profound effects on human health, industries and ecosystems.
At temperatures above 35 degrees the human body’s ability to cool itself reduces, making it a common benchmark temperature for occupational health and safety experts, academic and government researchers. Combined with 70% humidity, conditions over 35 degrees are considered ‘extremely dangerous’ by government agencies such as the US Government National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Australia Institute commissioned ReachTEL to poll the federal seat of Hume (690 respondents) on the evening of 10 September.
Full text of open letter and list of signatories below.
Dear Premier and Ministers of the Government of Western Australia --
Unconventional oil and gas development in Western Australia should not go ahead under any circumstances.
The consequences of global warming are already extremely serious; including loss of human life, extreme weather, destruction of natural ecosystems and property damage.