Dividend imputation was introduced by the then Treasurer Paul Keating in 1987 with the aim of eliminating the so-called double taxation of company income.
The Australia Institute made a submission on Queensland’s Mineral Resources (Galilee Basin) Amendment Bill 2018. The Bill is a step towards reconciling the contradiction between Australian policy on climate change and on coal production. It should be supported in the absence of a more comprehensive policy, such as a nation-wide moratorium on new coal mines.
The National Integrity Committee made a submission on the Consultation Paper for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission. The Committee is an independent group of retired judges assisted by the Australia Institute who have been involved over the last 18 months in advocating the need for a Federal Integrity Commission.
Much of the Committee's advocacy has been directed to the compelling need for a Federal Integrity Commission. However, the Committee has also been deeply involved in establishing the basic principles necessary for the design of a successful and effective integrity commission. An ineffective commission is worse than no commission at all.
The Australia Institute made a submission on the Treasury Laws Amendment (Prohibiting Energy Market Misconduct) Bill 2018. Australia’s problems with electricity pricing are structural and the approach proposed in the bill to break up electricity companies will likely exacerbate the problem rather than fix it.
The National Integrity Committee made a submission on the National Integrity Bills 2018. The Committee is an independent group of retired judges assisted by the Australia Institute who have been involved over the last 18 months in advocating the need for a Federal Integrity Commission.
There is a contradiction between Australian policy on climate change and on coal production. Australia is committed to the Paris Agreement, which requires reductions in global demand for coal. Yet Australian governments all promote growth in coal production. This bill is a step towards reconciling these policies.
The Bill’s goal of limiting coal supply could be achieved in many ways and could be improved by expanding its scope. However, given the lack of a more comprehensive approach, such as a nation-wide moratorium on new coal mines, it should be supported.
In November 2018 The Australia Institute made a submission to the NSW Independent Planning Commission on the Bylong Coal Project. Based on its own figures, the Bylong Coal Project is a high-cost, low-quality proposal. It is unlikely to be competitive in a time when exports through Newcastle have stalled, with the port’s fourth coal terminal recently abandoned. Approving the Project will bring uncertainty rather than economic benefit.
The Australia Institute made a submission to the NT Government’s Climate Change Discussion Paper. Emissions from increased NT gas production would dwarf all other sources of NT emissions and threaten Australia’s national targets. Allowing fracking and offsetting its emissions, as promised, is an expensive way to keep emissions stable and could make it harder to reduce emissions. The NT and Commonwealth should develop the policy now with public consultation, not in secret over three years as planned, and ensure offsets are secured by gas companies, not subsidised by taxpayers.
The Australia Institute has considerable concerns about the proposed program tounderwrite new generation investments. In particular, the proposal seems to confusetwo separate issues. The first is that the reliability standard in the NEM is met. This ishighlighted in the consultation paper by reference to AEMO’s latest ElectricityStatement of Opportunities that the NEM will need an additional 1160 MW of firmingcapability in the next decade.
The second is the desire to reduce electricity prices by introducing more competitioninto the electricity generation market which was highlighted in the ACCC’s recentRetail Electricity Pricing Inquiry.
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 paper outlines the three reports and explains how they correspond to the inquiry’s terms of reference.