Taking US oil in a global crisis sounds good on paper, but it won’t do much for Australia’s energy security

By Christian Downie, Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow, Australian National University The federal government this week signed a deal with the US to access their oil reserves should global supplies be disrupted and we eat into our meagre reserve. Oil security is a hot topic in Australia – we consume more than a decade ago, produce…

New infection frontier as COVID-19 wreaks havoc upon business

By Forum member Darren James, Partner, Commercial Disputes, Mills Oakley Many people have already been severely affected by the public health emergency caused by the novel corona virus (officially designated as COVID-19),. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the 3,400 people who are reported to have died following COVID-19 infection. Quarantine…

Economic growth near an end as Treasury talks of prolonged coronavirus downturn

By Peter Martin, Visiting Fellow, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University Australia’s three-decade run of near continuous economic growth is set to end, with treasury warning of a hit to growth of “at least” 0.5% in the first quarter of this year, potentially followed by a “prolonged downturn”. If it came to pass,…

Four bins might help, but to solve our waste crisis we need a strong market for recycled products

By Jenni Downes, Research Fellow, BehaviourWorks Australia (Monash Sustainable Development Institute), Monash University Australia is still grappling with what to do with the glut of recyclable material after China closed most of its market to our recycling in 2018. Now the Victorian government has released the first major change to state recycling policy: a consistent…

Vale Holden: how America’s General Motors sold us the Australian dream

Jack Fahey, La Trobe University General Motors has announced the Holden brand will be “retired” in 2021. This week’s announcement has been a long time coming. The Holden brand has been in a state of terminal decline since General Motors ceased local manufacturing in October 2017. A once-dominant presence in the everyday life of Australians,…

Electric car sales tripled last year. Here’s what we can do to keep them growing

By Gail Broadbent, PhD candidate Faculty of Science UNSW, and Graciela Metternicht, Professor of Environmental Geography, School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW A  total of 6718 electric vehicles were sold in Australia in 2019. That’s three times as many as in 2018, but it’s still small beer. More than a million fossil-fueled light vehicles…

Scott Morrison’s gas transition plan is a dangerous road to nowhere

By Tim Baxter, Fellow – Melbourne Law School; Senior Researcher – Climate Council; Associate – Australian-German Climate and Energy College, University of Melbourne As Australia continues to battle horrific bushfires, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a renewed focus on gas-fired electricity to reduce emissions and lower energy prices. This is a dangerous and completely…