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.
The increasing growth in Australian cannot be matched with employment. To counter oncoming large unemployment there needs to be a ‘work-sharing scheme.’ Such a scheme would allow more jobs and give workers more leisure time, thus solving the rise in unemployment.
The National Commission of Audit was established immediately after the Coalition's 1996 election victory. It was charged with the task of reporting to the Government on the finances of the Commonwealth and measures to improve its fiscal position. The contributions to this discussion paper provide a thorough critique of the underlying assumptions of the Audit Report and of many of the specific recommendations it makes. As the report of the National Commission of Audit is likely to provide the rationale for many radical changes that the new government seems determined to make, these papers are an important contribution to public debate on the future of Australia.
This paper considers the implications for the proposed uranium mine at Jabiluka of the Resource Assessment Commission's inquiry into mining at Coronation Hill, also within the boundaries of Kakadu National Park. There are some important parallels in the issues and the way they have been treated.
At a time of high and chronic unemployment, Australia is also faced with a crisis of overwork. Work-related stress and illness have been intensifying while the social problems associated with mass unemployment multiply. There are a number of flexible work schemes operating or under negotiation in Australia, but so far they affect very few employees. This paper argues that overcoming the problems of unemployment and overwork requires a new approach to flexibility in the workplace and a rethinking of the relationship between paid work and other aspects of our lives. It proposes three approaches to redistributing work in Australia.
This paper collects together some of the papers from the Australia Institute’s conference entitled Citizens in the Marketplace: The implications of competition policy for citizenship. The conference was motivated by the desire to bring together various strands of thought which are being knit into an alternative to economic rationalism. The notion of citizenship, and the contrast between the citizen and the consumer, are central ideas in this alternative vision.