In April 1997 the Australia Institute published Native Title: Implications for land management (Discussion Paper No. 11). It was highly successful, with hundreds of copies circulating around Australia from Parliament House in Canberra to remote communities in Western Australia. The success of that paper was proof of the craving for clearly presented information about indigenous property rights. This paper aims to update and develop further the arguments and information presented in the first paper and contribute to a solution that is fair and workable.
This paper examines the role of economic models in the formulation of climate change policies in Australia. Particular emphasis is given to the MEGABARE model constructed by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics. The Government has drawn heavily on the results of MEGABARE to support its argument that uniform abatement targets would be too costly for Australia and would impose an unfair burden on this country. The evidence provided in this paper shows that the model construction, its use in greenhouse policy analysis and the interpretation of the results have been biased in ways that exaggerate the economic costs of reducing emissions.
It has long been recognised that GDP growth does not correlate well with changes in social welfare, i.e. national well-being. The GPI adjusts GDP by 23 factors that reflect some of the social and environmental costs of economic growth to give a better measures of changes in national prosperity. This paper explores these issues in the context of describing the methodological approach of the Australian GPI. The results show that a sharp divergence between GDP and the GPI has opened up since the 1970s.
Australia’s unique wildlife is a vital factor in attracting foreign tourists and the future of the tourism industry depends heavily on the protection of our natural environment. This study evaluates the economic contribution of the koala to the Australian tourism industry.
While there is firm public support for stronger environmental protection, action on these issues in the past has been seriously constrained by the belief by governments that protecting the environment will have large economic costs. Ecological tax reform shows this need not be the case by arguing that carefully devised measures can both protect the environment and stimulate job growth. This paper compares two scenarios over the period 1997-2020 - the Business as Usual scenario and the Ecological Tax Reform scenario. The impacts on a range of environmental, economic and social equity indicators are evaluated.
The native title debate has been one of the most acrimonious and divisive political debates in Australia’s history. The historic task of reconciliation requires a just settlement of the claims by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to land. The authors of this paper conclude that legislated extinguishment would be a severe and enduring blow to reconciliation and that negotiation is essential. The paper stimulates discussion about the interaction between land use planning and management and native title, and explores the factors involved in the valuation of land subject to native title.