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.
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.
“The Business Council of Australia proposal for an Investment Allowance deserves support,” said Ben Oquist, Executive Director of the Australia Institute.
“Given the weakness of the Australian economy, with interest rates heading towards zero and monetary policy effectively being exhausted, other measures to stimulate the economy deserve support.
“The BCA proposal should be supported at least for the medium term, and could be strengthened with the addition of a ‘fiscal responsibility’ sunset clause.
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.
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?
We thank the Natural Resource Commissioner for the thorough and forthright Draft Review of the Barwon-Darling Water Sharing Plan. We support all of the Commission’s recommendations.We raise two additional matters for the Commission’s consideration:
- Legality of the 2012 Barwon-Darling Water Sharing Plan
- Cap compliance
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.
As states compete for top-place in renewable energy generation and upgrades to the National Electricity Market (NEM) reach growth rates comparable to the development of Australia’s original electricity grids, Australia’s transition to renewables needs more planning and support from Governments.
The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program has released the latest National Energy Emissions Audit, analysing the electricity sector over the previous month. The Audit is authored by renowned energy expert, Dr Hugh Saddler.