11 reasons to donate to the Australia Institute before the End of Financial Year
Here at The Australia Institute, we barrack for ideas, not political parties and ideas matter more than ever.
Australia is facing some tough policy challenges.
Over the next 12 months the Australia Institute will redouble its efforts to address the climate crisis, to reduce inequality and protect our progressive income tax system, and to restore trust in our democracy and democratic institutions.
But we cannot do it without your help.
Thanks to three generous donors — Diana and Brian Snape, and David Morawetz’ Social Justice Fund, a sub-fund of Australian Communities Foundation — that means if you donate $50, our Research Fund receives $100.
You have to be in the debate to win it and The Australia Institute is always in the debate, but we could not do it without your support.
1 // Protect Australia’s progressive tax system
Part of the new government’s income tax cuts package is aimed at low and middle income earners, but part of the plan also contains a $95 billion dollar plan to flatten the income tax system. Our research shows this part of the tax cut gives 88% of the benefit to the top 50% of taxpayers, while the bottom half of taxpayers get only 12% of the benefit. Flattening Australia’s progressive income tax system will bake in existing inequality and will be difficult to undo if it is passed.
2 // Climate & Energy Program
Rather than genuinely reducing Australia’s emissions, the Coalition Government’s is relying on carry over Kyoto Protocol credits to meet its Paris commitment (essentially an accounting trick), a plan that is both diplomatically damaging and unethical. There is every chance the United Nations will ban this approach, which other industrialised countries have individually ruled out, as it would weaken the Paris Agreement, leaving Australia isolated as a high-polluting international pariah.
3 // No New Coal Mines
To stop making climate change worse, we have to stop building new coal mines. Adani’s Carmichael mine is just one of several proposed mega coal mines in the Galilee Basin. The world cannot tackle climate change if Australia succeeds in its plans to double its coal exports.
But let’s be clear, if Australia exports more coal out of the Galilee, it’s going to harm coal exports in southern Queensland, it is going to harm coal exports out of Newcastle. The Adani mine, according to its own management, will be ‘automated from pit to port.’ So, Adani is planning to build an automated mine that won’t employ many people, but will displace existing coal mine jobs in southern Queensland and the Hunter Valley that rely on far more workers than the Adani mine plans to.
4 // Federal anti-corruption commission
A federal integrity commission is now bipartisan policy, but it must be an anti-corruption body with real teeth. There is a long way to make this idea a reality. Legislation will need to pass both Houses of Parliament. We will be working hard to ensure Australia gets the best possible anti-corruption body.
5 // Murray Darling Basin
you won’t find a better explanation of the water buybacks saga than this piece we wrote for The Guardian. But foolish and wasteful buybacks aren’t the only problem with the Basin Plan and our research has been critical to exposing concerns about its failed implementation — namely, the flow of money and water to big agribusiness to the detriment of everyone else — small irrigators, graziers, regional communities, Aboriginal people and the environment.
6 // Protect the Great Australian Bight
Equinor and the other oil giants are looking to drill in the Great Australian Bight. A serious oil spill in the Bight would be an environmental and economic disaster, devastating the pristine marine ecosystem and threatening more than 9,000 existing jobs in the tourism, fishing and aquaculture industries on the South Australia coast. While the economic benefits of oil and gas exploration are minimal.
7 // South Australia office opens
In December, the Institute opened its first South Australian office, headed up by our SA Projects Manager Noah Schultz-Byard, who has been working on policy issues that affect South Australia, including the maladministration of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, electric vehicles policy and the work to show drilling for oil in the Great Australia Bight does not stack up on economic or environmental grounds.
8 // The Australia Institute Tasmania
We know that Tasmania has a valuable renewable energy resource, the question now is, how do we maximise it? The Australia Institute has worked closely with the Agri-Energy alliance, a group of farmers working on changing the way energy is generated, metred and shared, which has the potential to change the face of the electricity market in Tasmania and on the mainland.
9 // The Wages Crisis
Our Centre for Future Work co-hosted a major invitational seminar of labour market experts exploring the unprecedented slowdown in Australian wages in recent years. Based on the seminar, the University of Adelaide Press published a major book (The Wages Crisis in Australia: What It Is and What To Do About It), which received national media attention and helped set the stage for a national debate on wages policy. The book’s editors (including our Jim Stanford) then circulated a letter calling for strong policy actions to resuscitate wage growth, that was endorsed by 124 labour policy experts.
10 // Energy market reform
Rreforming the National Energy Market (NEM) so that new, clean energy technologies, like demand response, can empower consumers to directly reduce emissions at the same time as lowering prices and improving reliability. In May 2019 we helped build a coalition of business, farming and environment groups to push for demand response reform, with a letter in the Australian Financial Review with signatories including John Nowlan (Bluescope Steel), Rob Sindel (CSR Limited), Innes Willox (Australian Industry Group), and Steve Whan (National Irrigators Council).
11 // Nordic Policy Centre
This year we established the Nordic Policy Centre at the Australia Institute, in partnership with Deakin University and Professor Andrew Scott. The Nordic Policy Centre hopes to widen the Australian policy debate to include Nordic solutions to the big economic, social and environmental questions facing Australia.
We have more critical research planned for the year ahead, including protecting Australia’s progressive income tax system, continuing to expose the economic myths and flawed economic modelling promoted by the mining industry and more work on the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
All donations over $2 to our research fund are tax-deductible, and until June 30 our research fund receives $100 for every $50 you donate until we reach our target of $45,000. Thanks to two generous supporters, you can double the impact of your donation.
We are independent and non-partisan — and proudly so — but the luxury to barrack for policy over politics is only made possible by those who choose to donate $50, $100 or $200 because they value research that matters.
The Australia Institute has become a major force in public policy debate in Australia. But we can not do any of it without you.
Please donate now if you can, so we can use this opportunity to double the value of your contribution to our research.
From whole team here at The Australia Institute — thank you!
The Australia Institute Team
From all of the team at The Australia Institute, thanks for reading.
We are able to do what we do only because of your support.
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