12 Reasons to Support the Australia Institute

At The Australia Institute we always aim to lead the national political debate. We publish research that sets the agenda and has genuine impact, research that never gathers dust on the shelf.

We barrack for ideas, not political parties and we’re proud to say that we change minds.

But we cannot do it without your help. Until 30 June 2017, every dollar you donate to the Australia Institute Research Fund will be matched by two generous donor matchers, until we reach $40,000. That means if you donate $50, our Research Fund receives $100.

Every dollar donated between now and the end of financial year (June 30) will be matched.

“The point of this story, though, is not so much one of who is right and who is wrong. It is the fact that over several days this week the Finance Minister spent a great deal of time debating not with his opponents in Labor or the Greens, but with a think tank.” — Mike Seccombe

We cannot change minds without your help: we are only able to do any of this because of our supporters like you.

12 reasons to support The Australia Institute

1 // Helped to limit the company tax cut. Our research found that the big four banks stand to gain $7.4 billion from the company tax cut.

2 // Our research revealed further cuts mean Newstart will fall to 30% below the poverty line — the lowest on record. Research with political engagement that was critical in persuading the Senate to block the cut.

3 // We revealed the cost of the proposed royalty holiday for the Adani coal mine to Queenslanders could be almost $1.2 billion in lost revenue, effectively giving Adani free coal for five years and discounted coal for another four. The Queensland Government still has not revealed the details of its latest deal with Adani. And our research into the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) revealed the NAIF lacks transparency and resources to do its job well.

4 // This year we launched the Australia Institute Tasmania and it has hit the ground running. Its recent report recommending Tasmania become energy self-reliant again and export its renewable energy to the mainland, effectively becoming a battery for the mainland and a renewable energy powerhouse in its own right. It is a plan that would reduce price uncertainty, improve reliability and put downward pressure on the bills of electricity consumers.

5 // Our analysis looking at which electorates are the biggest beneficiaries of the negative gearing & CGT discount showed that (like many tax breaks) the biggest winner is the Prime Minister’s own seat of Wentworth. Meanwhile no electorate from South Australia or Tasmania even feature in the top 10 winners.

6 // Back in 2015, Richard Denniss and Rod Campbell were both expert witnesses at the Queensland Land Court case where under oath Adani’s own economist was forced to admit that their jobs modelling showed just 1,464 direct and indirect jobs, not the 10,000 jobs claimed in the media. We’ve continued to correct these misleading Adani jobs claim to politicians, the media and the community, with Rod Campbell even correcting the Prime Minister on national television.

7 // We brought climate action campaigner and former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis for an Australian speaking tour. Our research has consistently shown that while our conservative politicians may oppose climate action, the electorates they represent are often strongly in support of climate action and renewable energy. With this in mind, we saw the need to reach across the political aisle to open a dialogue with conservative party politicians to show leadership on climate action.

“You know Bob I’m sure I speak for everyone in the audience and everyone who’s been watching today that that was one of the best addresses that we’ve had this year” — Chris Uhlmann, National Press Club of Australia President.

8 // New Acland Coal Mine appeal win! In the court appeal against the approval of the QLD mine, Rod Campbell served as an expert witness and worked closely with EDO QLD to contest the economic modelling commissioned by the coal company and their claims that the coal was ‘vital’ for the Queensland economy.

The Queensland Land Court handed down its judgement, overturning approval and handing a stunning victory to the Darling Downs community, describing some aspects of the mine’s economic evidence as “disappointing”.

9 // Political death of South Australia nuclear dump. The idea that importing the world’s nuclear waste could be great for South Australia’s economy has been a hard one to kill. The Australia Institute team has spent the last two years contesting the various economic claims of the nuclear dump: we wrote reports, spoke at events, parliamentary inquiries, the SA citizens juries, even on Today Tonight!

Our research pointed out that the claims of $100 billion in profit were based on ridiculous modelling assumptions.

In late 2016 the SA citizens’ jury told the SA Government not to bother pursuing this white elephant, and finally in just this month SA Premier Jay Weatherill agreed the dump was “dead”.

Congratulations to Mothers for a Sustainable South Australia, SA Conservation Council, Unions SA and a huge number of traditional owners who made this happen.

10 // Back in January, we published an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for an independent federal anti-corruption watchdog, with signatories including Former WA Premier Geoff Gallop; UNSW Dean of Law George Williams AO; Robert Richter QC; former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery AM QC; former judge Supreme Court of Victoria The Hon David Harper AM QC; former speaker NSW parliament The Hon Kevin Razoli AM; ACTU President Ged Kearney and Former Member for New England Tony Windsor.

The Australia Institute continues to work on federal accountability and integrity and will be holding a Accountability & the Law conference including the case for a Federal Anti-Corruption Commission. Speakers include Nicholas Cowdery AM QC,Geoffrey Watson SC, Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus QC, Greens Leader Senator Richard Di Natale, Senator Nick Xenophon, George Williams AO, Bret Walker SC, Noel Hutley SC, Fiona McLeod SC, Associate Professor Joo Cheong Tham, Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby, Professor AJ Brown

11 // Jim Stanford and our Centre for Future Work has played a crucial role defending penalty rates following the Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut Sunday and holiday penalties in the retail and hospitality sectors. Our in-depth analysis revealed the disproportionate gender impacts of the decision, given the large number of women working in retail and hospitality. And our open letter debunking the core idea that lower penalty rates will spur job creation was signed by 78 Australian economists, including former Reserve Bank Governor Bernie Fraser.

12 // Our open letter to the Prime Minister on how to start fixing Australia’s energy market before next Summer — calling for three market reforms to address the ‘energy trilemma’: security, cost and emissions — lead the debate on energy market reform. Prominent signatories included Former Liberal Party leader John Hewson.

We are only able to do any of this because of our supporters like you.

We have more exciting research planned for the year ahead, including reducing inequality, continuing to expose the economic myths and flawed economic modelling promoted by politicians and the mining industry, fair tax reform and getting the policy settings right for the transition to 100% renewable energy.

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 $40,000. Thanks to two generous supporters, you can double the impact of your donation.

We are fully independent, progressive 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 $10, $25, $50, $100 because they value research that matters.

And it’s support from people like you that has helped The Australia Institute’s research have such a big impact.

From the whole team here at The Australia Institute — thank you.

an independent think-tank based in Canberra > australia.org.au

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