Energy systems are changing whether we like it or not. Currently there is a lack of policy to ensure that this change is orderly and just. There are already examples of communities that are being affected by these changes and the current policy vacuum.The Australia Institute has published many reports and submissions related to coal mining and coal-fired power. In this submission we outline examples which demonstrate that the lack of policy to help shift away from coal-fired power is having a real impact on local communities. Australia’s slow progress on this transition is also having an impact on the world’s climate.
The Australia Institute made a submission on the Airly Mine Extension proposal in October 2014, highlighting our concerns with the economic assessment of the project conducted by Aigis Group. Our key points were:
Voting and electoral participation are part of Australia’s culture, expressed through our long history of electoral reform as well as modern trends such as the social media tag #democracysausage. Ensuring that everyone’s vote is counted is consistent with our ethos that everyone gets a “fair go”.
The Australia Institute made a submission on the latest proposal for the Invincible coal mine, located near Lithgow NSW. As with several proposals before this, the economic assessment of the proposal is flawed, with costs understated and benefits overstated. The project is unlikely to represent a net benefit to the NSW community and should be rejected, as several prior iterations have been.
The AustraliaInstitute has a ongoing program of research into policy options around the ABC.Several of our research papers relate to the ABC’s operations in rural and regionalAustralia and the ABC Charter.Most recently, polling we commissioned in January 2016 shows strong publicsupport in Tasmania for increased funding for the ABC in order to strengthenregional news services. 58% of Tasmanians support the proposal while 22% opposeand 21% are undecided.
Since our last submission we have published a research report relevant to this inquiry, No politics at Aunty's table: Depoliticising the governance of the ABC. This report addresses the issue of political interference in the governance structures of the ABC, including its charter. A copy has been uploaded with this submission.
The United Wambo Open Cut Coal Mine Project is a proposal to expand and merge the existing Wambo and United coal mines in the Hunter Valley, NSW. This submission focuses mainly on the economic assessment included in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the proposal, Appendix 19 Economic Assessment, written by Deloitte Access Economics (Deloitte).
The economic assessment does not adequately consider the risks and costs of the projects, while overestimating its benefits. It is likely the project represents a loss of welfare for the NSW community rather than the substantial improvement claimed in the economic assessment. It should be rejected on this basis.
The Australia Institute submission to the Economics Legislation Committee for its inquiry into the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 critiques the proposed savings on the grounds that they will increase inequality and harm innovation.
The Australian Energy Market Commission is considering a proposal to introduce a new rule in the national electricity market. The 5 Minute Settlement Rule Change is a very technical but important rule, which the Australia Institute believes would increase competition.
Currently, gas peaking plants provide the energy to respond to rapid changes in demand. If the new rule is implemented it would expose gas to competition from battery and demand management technologies, which can respond far more quickly. This will help smooth out price spikes and lower costs for all energy users.
The Wambo Mine - Modification 12 - Southern Longwall Modifications is a proposal to extend an existing coal mine in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales (NSW). The mine is owned by coal producer Peabody Energy.
An environmental impact statement (EIS) has been submitted to the Department of Environment and Planning. This submission relates mainly to Appendix K of the EIS, a “Socio-Economic Assessment” written by consultants AnalytEcon.