News & Analysis

It’s great that renewables will provide 45,000 jobs, but what jobs will coal sector workers get?

- July 6, 2020 4 MIN READ

As the global renewables transition accelerates, the future for coal regions has become a big worry. This raises an important question: can renewables create the right jobs in the right places to employ former coal workers? According to our new research, the answer in many cases is “yes”. Renewable energy jobs provide a good match… Read more »

Opinion

COVIDSafe is a dud: it’s time Australia joined the international effort on contact tracing

- July 3, 2020 3 MIN READ

Australia has ruled out abandoning the government’s COVIDSafe contact tracing app in favour of the rival “Gapple” model developed by Google and Apple, which is gaining widespread support around the world. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth told The Project the COVIDSafe app was “a great platform”. When it comes down to it, is the… Read more »

Opinion

Why Google’s plan to buy Fitbit has the ACCC’s pulse racing

- June 24, 2020 4 MIN READ

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has expressed concern about Google’s proposed acquisition of fitness tracker company Fitbit. The acquisition will let Google add years’ worth of Fitbit users’ data to its already unequalled consumer data collection. This could reduce competition in certain health services and other markets in Australia. Google revealed its plans… Read more »

Opinion

Facebook says it doesn’t need news on its site in response to push to pay for media content

- June 22, 2020 4 MIN READ

The Australian government is setting out to develop a “bargaining code” to address power imbalances between news media publishers and digital platforms such as Facebook and Google. The creation of this code was recommended last year in the final report of the Digital Platforms Inquiry held by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC). The… Read more »

Opinion

When algorithms go wrong: how relying on automated tech is a world of pain for governments

- June 10, 2020 3 MIN READ

  Algorithmic decision-making has enormous potential to do good. From identifying priority areas for first response after an earthquake hits, to identifying those at risk of COVID-19 within minutes, their application has proven hugely beneficial. But things can go drastically wrong when decisions are trusted to algorithms without ensuring they adhere to established ethical norms.… Read more »

News & Analysis

A NSW court has confirmed that media companies are responsible for defamatory comments posted on Facebook

- June 3, 2020 3 MIN READ

Part of growing up is learning to take responsibility for the hurtful things you say. As a person who often says stupid things, I often need reminding. Defamation law reflects that lesson. When you say something that hurts another person, it can cost you. A recent decision has stretched this commonsense intuition. According to the… Read more »

Opinion

When 70% of Australians said they’d download the CovidSafe app, why did only 44% of them do it?

- May 20, 2020 4 MIN READ

In late March, we posed a hypothetical scenario to a sample of Australians, asking if they would download a contact tracing app released by the federal government; 70% responded in favour. But a more recent survey, following the release of COVIDSafe, revealed only 44% of respondents had downloaded it. The Australian government’s COVIDSafe app aims… Read more »

Opinion

How ‘biohackers’ are showing the power of DIY science in the fight against coronavirus

- May 11, 2020 3 MIN READ

In March, amateur scientists in Sydney announced they had created a COVID-19 test kit that is simpler, faster, and cheaper than existing tests. While the test has not yet been approved by regulators, if effective it could play a role in scaling up the world’s coronavirus testing capability. The test’s creators, associated with a “community… Read more »

Other

How safe is COVIDSafe? What you should know about the app’s issues, and risks

- May 8, 2020 4 MIN READ

The Australian government’s COVIDSafe app has been up and running for almost a fortnight, with more than five million downloads. Unfortunately, since its release many users – particularly those with iPhones – have been in the dark about how well the app works. Digital Transformation Agency head Randall Brugeaud has now admitted the app’s effectiveness… Read more »