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Commentary

Citizenship, the Nationals and Adani's uncertain coal mine

The citizenship debacle engulfing the Nationals, and in turn the Coalition government, has as much to do with trust and integrity as it does with the constitution. Being consistent is important in business and in government.
Report

Affluenza

The Western world is in the grip of a consumption binge that is unique in human history, argue Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss. Rates of stress, depression and obesity are up as we wrestle with the emptiness and endless disappointments of the consumer life. The...
Report

State of denial

While the Commonwealth will receive a windfall of more than $10 billion per year in revenue from auctioning pollution permits, state and local governments will transfer more than $2 billion a year to the Commonwealth Government. In addition, the states will be liable for tens...
Discussion paper

Zero-sum game? The human dimensions of emissions trading

The Rudd Government is at odds with a majority of Australians in prioritising the needs of business in its climate-change policy, according to this paper by The Australia Institute. In order to address climate change adequately, what is needed is an approach that incorporates the...
Discussion paper

The price of uncertainty: economic modelling and the National Energy Guarantee

Despite the historic inaccuracy of electricity demand and price forecasting, even in the absence of significant policy change, once again economic modelling is being used to make forecasts about the impact of changes in energy policy on the long run price of electricity in Australia.
Briefing paper

Green jobs: what are they and do we need them?

What are green jobs? What policies can create green jobs? And is the term ‘green jobs’ meaningful in itself or is it just a politically attractive phrase? This paper seeks to answer these questions.
Discussion paper

The real cost of direct action: An analysis of the Coalition's Direct Action Plan

The Coalition has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by five per cent on 2000 levels by 2020. It proposes to achieve this target with a "Direct Action Plan": a competitive grant scheme that would buy greenhouse gas reductions from businesses and farmers. Over the...
Briefing paper

Measuring what matters: do Australians have good access to primary health care?

This paper presents the first data collected on one particular measure, namely access to primary health care.
Report

The industries that cried wolf

This paper argues that many of the claims being made about the likely impact of a carbon price are exaggerated. The introduction of a carbon price in Australia in July 2012 will raise more than $10 billion per year, help influence industrial and household decision...
Report

On the wrong track: the case for abandoning the promised $7 billion subsidies to Australia's dirtiest coal-fired power stations

The Gillard Government is committed to introducing a price on carbon pollution by July 2012 however the details of the price, the sectors of the economy that will be covered by the scheme and the design features of the compensation package that is likely to...