The Australia Institute made a submission to the Independent Assessment of Social and Economic Conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin. The socio-economic conditions of the Murray Darling Basin share many characteristics with other areas of regional Australia – lower incomes and difficult access to important services. These should be addressed as well as the mismanagement of the Basin’s water resources, which has had a particularly hard impact on communities of the Darling/Barka and the NSW Murray.
Government and Accountability
The Australia Institute supports the Murray-Darling Basin Commission of Inquiry Bill 2019.
This submission considers the implementation of the Basin Plan from a financial auditing perspective.
Short-term thinking is often a feature of Australian domestic politics but when it comes to foreign policy, we’ve usually played the long game. Not any more. The Morrison Government is placing 1000 potential coal jobs ahead of its ‘Pacific Step Up’, announced in 2017 to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific.
New research from The Australia Institute shows that the vast majority of Australians (84%) support the introduction of rigorous truth in political advertising laws, which could force untruthful claims to be removed or retracted during election campaigns or see political parties that breach the law hit with fines or reductions in their public funding.
Australia’s use of controversial Kyoto carbon credits to cut its Paris Agreement target in half completely undermines Pacific climate action.
by Richie Merzian
[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 10 August 2019]
Late last Friday - a timeslot where ministers are known to announce policies they are most proud of - the Minister for Energy, Angus Taylor, ordered a parliamentary inquiry into nuclear energy.
Prime Minister Morrison is undermining Pacific action on climate change, with new analysis from the Australia Institute revealing that his pollution loophole is equivalent to around 8 years fossil fuel emissions for the rest of the Pacific and New Zealand.
The Government plans to use Kyoto credits to meet emissions targets – a loophole that means Australia will count controversial past reductions to meet current targets – and essentially be able to keep pollution at the same level.
by Richard Denniss
[Originally published on Guardian Australia, 08 August 2019]
Australia needs more regulation of the banks, more regulation of the aged care sector, more regulation of property developers, more regulation of the mining industry and more regulation of the way we use the water in our rivers. But conservatives are still calling for a reduction of so-called red tape. WTF?
Crossbench MPs and Senators have joined with eminent retired Judges and corruption fighters to call for the Federal Government to legislate for a National Integrity Commission – but one that has real teeth.
In particular, the Coalition Government’s proposed NIC model is deficient in two key areas:
by Richie Merzian
[Oringinally published in The Canberra Times, 27 July 2019]
The single greatest threat to Australia and the Pacific is climate change. But given Australia's actions over the last 12 months, you wouldn't know it. The Australian government is only willing to pay lip service to what addressing that threat requires: serious climate action.