- Institute of Public Affairs
The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is a
think tankbased in Melbourne, Australiathat has been described as conservative[http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/thinkers-of-influence/2005/12/09/1134086810518.html?page=fullpage Thinkers of influence - National - theage.com.au ] ] and libertarian.John Roskam, its current Executive Director, denies that it is right-wing. The IPA was founded in 1943by Charles Kemp, and has had close links to the Liberal Party since the party was created.Fact|date=February 2008 The IPA predates the Liberal Party of Australia.
It is funded by its membership, including businesses. Among these businesses are Murray Irrigation Limited [ [http://www.abc.net.au/rural/vic/stories/s1124703.htm Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Country Hour, 2004] ] , Visyboard, Telstra, Western Mining, BHP Billiton and the tobacco industry [ [http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/thinkers-of-influence/2005/12/09/1134086810518.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap2 "Thinkers of Influence", The Age,December 10, 2005] ] (and also
Gunns Limitedand MonsantoFact|date=February 2008 ).
In 2003, the Australian Government paid $50,000 to the Institute of Public Affairs to review the accountability of NGOs. [Oxfam Australia, 2003, [http://www.oxfam.org.au/oxfamnews/december_2003/charities.html "Charities Under Attack"] ]
For a discussion of the need for accountability and transparency in the funding of think tanks, see Brad Norington, "Think Tank Secrets", The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 August 2003, http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/11/1060588322537.html
The IPA advocates
neoliberaleconomic policies such as privatisation and deregulationof state-owned enterprises, trade liberalisationand deregulated workplaces, climate change skepticism (through its environmental subsidiary the Australian Environment Foundation), and the accountability of non-government organisations (NGOs).Fact|date=February 2008 In its own words, the Institute believes in "the free marketof ideas, the free flow of capital, a limited and efficient government, the rule of law, and representative democracy." [ [http://ipa.org.au/about.asp Institute of Public Affairs | About IPA ] ]
The Institute is officially independent of any political party, but has long had unofficial and personal links to Australia's conservative parties.
John Roskam, the IPA's Executive Director, worked on the Liberal Party's 2001 election campaign. He has also run for Liberal Party preselection [ [http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Party-faces-choice-new-blood-or-not/2005/06/17/1118869094822.html Party faces choice new blood or not, "The Age", 17 June 2005] ] .
Prime Minister John Howard (Liberal Party) delivered the 60th CD Kemp lecture to the Institute in 2004, titled "Iraq: The Importance of Seeing it Through". [John Howard, 19 May 2004, [http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10052/20040521-0000/www.pm.gov.au/news/speeches/speech878.html "Address to the Institute of Public Affairs"] .]
Since the early 1980s, the Institute has argued the case for a range of neoliberal public policies, such as:
deregulationof the Australian economyparticularly as affecting industrial relationsand trade unionism;
*privatisation of government businesses and reduced government spending;
*greater transparency in government;
*opposition to the alleged
left wingideological bias in Australia's public broadcaster the Australian Broadcasting Corporation;
*a free market approach to environmental problems, and criticism of aspects of
*the elimination of existing programs of welfare targeted at
Indigenous Australians, with the aim of encouraging transition to work, self-reliance and high incomes.
IPA publications are highly critical of the operations of many NGO's, particularly their interaction with governments and with international agencies. The IPA criticises some NGO's as lacking transparency. A recent government-commissioned IPA report recommended a 'protocol' for greater transparency about the nature and extent of these interactions.
In 2003 the Institute published a backgrounder titled "Myth and the Murray - measuring the real state of the river environment" compiled by
Jennifer Marohasy, head of the Institute's Environment Unit. [Jennifer Marohasy, IPA Backgrounder Vol 15/5, December 2003, [http://www.ipa.org.au/files/IPABackgrounder15-5.pdf "Myth and the Murray - measuring the real state of the river environment"] ] The Institute also received a $40,000 donation from Murray Irrigation Limited after research for this paper had begun. [ABC Local Radio, VIC Country Hour, 04/06/2004, [http://www.abc.net.au/rural/vic/stories/s1124703.htm "Institute of Public Affairs accepts irrigation funds."] ] This paper is quoted in the Interim Report of the "Inquiry into future water supplies for Australia’s rural industries and communities" of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, March 2004. At a science round table of the committee, when asked for her views on how much water should be returned to the River Murray, Dr Marohasy argued that there was no need for additional flows at that time and that we should test the results of current environmental measures before committing to more. [House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, 2004, [http://www.aph.gov.au/House/committee/primind/waterinq/interimrpt/wireport.pdf "Inquiry into future water supplies for Australia’s rural industries and communities"] ]
Position on climate change and environmental issues
The IPA adopts a position of climate change scepticism. [ [http://www.ipa.org.au/units/climatechange.html Institute of Public Affairs | Climate Change ] ] It promotes the views of two of the prominent Australian climate change sceptics, Bob Carter and
Ian Plimer. The IPA supports elements of climate change science, including some link between the use of fossil fuels and rising carbon dioxide levels, however it also disagrees with certain aspects of climate theories. Jennifer Marohasysupports the view that many environmental issues, including climate change, are exaggerated, and that green groups promote solutions that ultimately do not benefit society. [ [http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/cat_climate_climate_change.html Jennifer Marohasy blog] ]
In 2008, the institute facilitated a donation of $350,000 by Dr G. Bryant Macfie, a climate change sceptic, to the University of Queensland for environmental research. The money is to fund three environmental doctoral projects, with the IPA suggesting two of the three agreed topics. [The Australian, May 7, 2008. [http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23657735-11949,00.html Dispute over climate sceptic uni grant] ] George Bryant Macfie is a top 20 shareholder in Strike Resources Limited. [http://www.amazon.com/review/R148F67H949L9J] [http://www.strikeresources.com.au/fileadmin/FastScout/archive/AnnualReports/20071029_SRK_2007_Annual_Report.pdf]
John Roskam is the institute's executive director. Prior to his employment at the IPA, Roskam was the Executive Director of the
Menzies Research Centrein Canberra. He has also held positions as Chief of Staff to Dr David Kemp, the Federal Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, as Senior Advisor to Don Hayward, Victorian Minister for Education in the first Kennett Government, and as Manager of Government and Corporate Affairs for Rio Tinto Group. [ [http://www.ipa.org.au/people/bio.asp?peopleid=68 Institute of Public Affairs | Biography | John Roskam ] ] He is currently undertaking a PhD and teaching politics at the University of Melbourne.
Other staff include:
* Dr Mike Nahan, Senior Fellow
* Dr Alan Moran, Director, Deregulation Unit
Jennifer Marohasy, Director, Environment Unit
* Hon Dr
Gary Johns, Director, Governance Unit (an ex-Hawke Labor minister)
* Mr Jim Hoggett, Senior Fellow
* Mr Don D'Cruz, Senior Fellow
* Mr John Hyde, Emeritus Fellow
* Mr Ken Phillips, Director Workplace Reform Unit
* Mr Chris Berg, Editor, IPA Review
* Mr Tim Wilson, Research Fellow
* Ms Louise Staley, Research Fellow
The IPA Review is published bi-monthly. ISSN|1329-8100 - January 2008 is Volume 59/4.
List of think tanks
* [http://www.ipa.org.au Institute of Public Affairs]
*Sourcewatch, [http://sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Institute_of_Public_Affairs Institute of Public Affairs]
* [http://www.ipa.org.au/files/news_783.html IPA in the News: Flaws Remain in Bringing Them Home]
*"Media Watch" criticises IPA writer
Michael Warby- [http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s104817.htm Media Watch transcript]
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