When research meets impact: 13 reasons to support The Australia Institute
Here at The Australia Institute, we barrack for ideas, not political parties. We’re proud to say that we change minds.
Our work to draw attention to the lack of an economic case for the proposed large company tax is widely credited as being key in exposing the revenue hole such cuts would create.
But we can’t do it without your help.
Until the End of the Financial Year, 30 June 2018, every dollar you donate to the Australia Institute Research Fund will be matched until we reach our target of $40,000.
In the past few months, our research has led the debate on tax reform and the need for more revenue, on energy market reform and meeting our Paris targets, on why we need a federal anti-corruption commission, how we can protect the ABC’s independence, exposing mismanagement of the Murray Darling Basin Plan and highlighting the taxpayer subsidies on offer to Adani’s massive proposed coal mine.
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.
Here’s 12 reasons to donate to The Australia Institute before the End of Financial Year.
1 // Exposed the revenue time bomb in the Budget
We were the first to reveal the government’s personal income tax cuts package would mainly benefit high-income income earners, that women would get half the tax cut of men and that the Prime Minister’s electorate of Wentworth would benefit the most out of 150 electorates. The combined $200 billion+ cost of the income and company tax cuts is a revenue time bomb.
2 // Our new Climate & Energy Program is kicking goals
Last year we announced our Climate & Energy Program and released its first landmark report Meeting our Paris Commitment showing the most efficient path to meeting Australia’s international commitment would see the electricity sector reducing emissions by between 40%-55% below 2005 levels in 2030, well below our current target.
3 // Adani: we have to stop building new coal mines
To stop making climate change worse, we have to stop building new coal mines. But our governments seem unable to stop themselves from actively supporting them with taxpayer money.
Documents obtained under FOI by the Institute show Barnaby Joyce and Steve Ciobo’s “letter of support” for Adani’s coal project sent to the Chinese government was in response to a request from Adani’s request to help secure Chinese financing.
Despite an earlier FOI initially capturing “several hundreds of pages” about securing foreign funding for Adani, DFAT now says there are no pages to release.
4 // Hands off our ABC
Our research shows that the ABC is one of Australia’s most trusted news sources.
After $84 million was cut from ABC funding in the Budget, we released polling showing 70% Australians agree a “strong, independent ABC is critical to a healthy democracy”, while 60% agreed the ABC needs a “boost to long-term funding”.
And we held a jam-packed ABC forum in Canberra featuring Quentin Dempster and Genevieve Jacobs, ahead of the competitive neutrality inquiry.
5 // Murray Darling Basin Plan Sham
In response to two Australia Institute research papers, crossbench senators and the shadow Water Minister wrote to the Auditor-General to request an audit of four large water purchases in 2017 that were agreed by the former water Minister, Barnaby Joyce.
Without continued public pressure the Basin Plan will fail; our research is exposing what others want kept hidden from the public.
6 // Richard Denniss’ Quarterly Essay — Dead Right: How neoliberalism ate itself and what comes next
In Dead Right: How neoliberalism ate itself and what comes next? Our Chief Economist Richard Denniss asks ‘After the mining boom and decades of economic growth, how can Australia be broke and when did arms manufacturers start sponsoring the Australian War Memorial?’
7 // We need a Federal Anti-Corruption Watchdog — with teeth
We called on the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader to commit to a Federal Anti-corruption watchdog — one with teeth.
In response to our research, at the beginning of the year Bill Shorten announced that Labor would legislate to establish a commission to look into serious and systemic corruption in the federal government and public service if it wins the next election, now for the Prime Minister to respond.
Our National Integrity Committee — made up of distinguished former judges and corruption fighters have released a blueprint for designing a federal ICAC and we will continue to push for this common sense policy until it is reality.
8 // Putting research behind how everyone’s feeling
Dr Jim Stanford and The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work released a landmark report on the dimensions of insecure work.
This landmark research found that for the first time on record, workers who have a ‘standard job’ (i.e a permanent full-time job with leave entitlements) are now in the minority of workers.
9 // Keeping watch with Gas & Coal Watch
The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy program has been tracking the breakdowns and failures of gas and coal-fired power plants in the National Electricity Market.
Over summer there were more than 53 breakdowns. The fact is gas and coal plants are unreliable in the heat.
10 // Australia Day: Australians don’t mind what day it’s on, just so long as we have one
Our polling revealed most Australians don’t even know what event Australia Day commemorates.
In fact, most people don’t really care what date we celebrate Australia Day, just so long as we do.
11 // Savings mega bucks with ‘negawatts’
Australia Institute research identified that ‘virtual power plants’ could provide energy security faster and cheaper than new power stations, echoing parts of the Finkel review that have been largely ignored.
12 // The Australia Institute Tasmania continues to kick goals
The Hodgman Liberal state government took up our idea for Tasmania to become energy self-reliant again and export its renewable energy to the mainland, effectively becoming a battery for the mainland.
13 // The Government takes an oldie but a goodie:
In May we congratulated Treasurer Scott Morrison on extending the Pensions Loans Scheme (PLS), which the Australia Institute first suggested in our research back in 2014.
The PLS, which is effectively a government run ‘reverse mortgage’, has the potential to make a real difference to people’s lives.
Giving older Australians extra cash, at no cost to government, will allow many people to live in their own home with more financial security. The scheme deserves more promotion generally and we congratulate the Treasurer for extending the scheme.
And we’ve got so much more to come —
We have more exciting research planned for the year ahead, including reducing inequality and fair tax reform, continuing to expose the economic myths and flawed economic modelling promoted by the mining industry, more work on the Murray Darling Basin Plan and strengthening our democracy through improving our accountability system.
All donations over $2 to our research fund are tax-deductible, and until June 30 donations to our research fund are doubled.
That means if you donate $50 our research fund gets $100 until we reach our target of $40,000. 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 even $1000 because they value research that matters.
The Australia Institute has become a major force in public policy debate in Australia. Our research is directly leading to progressive policy outcomes and preventing outcomes that would take us backwards. 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.
On behalf of the whole team here at The Australia Institute — thank you!
Executive Director, The Australia Institute
From all of the team at The Australia Institute, thanks for reading.
We are able to do what we do because of your support.
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