Release Date: 20-Apr-2017
Two suppressed 2014 UNDP reports on Bougainville have just come to light, the findings of which are in line with Jubilee's Voices of Bougainville report, published later that year. The reports were conducted in consultation with the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), the President of which strongly criticised Jubilee in 2014 for the Voices of Bougainville report.
In a blog on the International State Crime website earlier this week, Jubilee Australia academic advisor and Bougainville expert unearthed the UNDP/ABG reports and discussed their implications.
Dr Lasslett revealed how the preliminary findings for the report stated, including this quote taken from it:
'There is a broad popular perception that the ABG in its focus on the Panguna mine has largely neglected other sectors, such as tourism or alluvial mining, but especially agriculture which provides the livelihood for most Bougainvilleans. Not surprisingly, there is considerable interest among Bougainvilleans for the smaller scale, slower development path.'
In his blog, Dr Lasslett also pointed to further endorsement for Jubilee's research in the final report.
For the letters criticising the report, and Jubilee Australia's responses at the time, see here.
Release Date: 10-Apr-2017
Jubilee Australia joined other prominent civil society organisations on Friday calling for Efic to reject funding for the Boikarabelo coal mine.
The letter received coverage in the Guardian here.
See here for the full open letter:
Boikarabelo Open Letter
Jubilee would like to congratulate our friends at Action Aid for putting for its great work putting this letter together.
Release Date: 03-Apr-2017
Jubilee Australia has announced that the Australian advocacy for a Robin Hood Tax will henceforth be housed under the banner of Tax Justice Network (TJN) Australia.
Jubilee Australia has run the Robin Hood Tax Australia campaign on behalf of all the coalition partners since 2010, when the campaign was launched. The campaign was based on the British Robin Hood Tax campaign--it calls for a small tax on financial transactions to decrease financial instability caused by high frequency trading and to raise revenues for development and other purposes. It is known in common parlance as a Financial Transactions Tax, or FTT.
'While the FTT campaign in Australia has been quiet for a number of years, we believe that the issue may well return to public interest in the future,' said Jubilee Australia Director Luke Fletcher. The European Union is moving towards it, and last year the FTT was adopted as official policy by the Democratic Party in the USA.
''In the meantime, TJN Australia is the perfect vehicle to keep the issue alive,' said Mr Fletcher. 'The membership of the two campaigns is very similar and as a founding member of TJN Australia we are very confident that it is the best place for the Robin Hood Tax campaign to sit.
The Australian Robin Hood Tax campaign has thousands of supporters in Australia, including around four and a half thousand FaceBook supporters.
Release Date: 29-Mar-2017
Please join us on Wednesday 5th April at 6pm, NSW Parliament House, for a free event on Australia's foreign policy in the age of Trump. The event is sponsored by a number of economic justice organisations including AID/WATCH, AFTINET, ICAN, APHEDA, and of course, Jubilee!! Remember to RSVP. We thank our friends at AID/WATCH for organising ...
Release Date: 16-Mar-2017
Next Wednesday 22 March join us at the 3 Wise Monkeys Pub for a thought-provoking discussion on the future of trade justice now that trade justice campaigners (and President Trump) have killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
At our first ever Beers & Ideas event, we ponder the following questions:
What would fair and equitable trade agreements look like? And how can we move towards them?
Jubilee Australia’s first Beers & Ideas night promises lively conversation over a beer and some pub grub!
Beers & Ideas: Trade beyond the TPP
A discussion with Dr Patricia Ranald, Associate Professor Elizabeth Thurbon and Michael Whaites
6pm–7:30pm Wednesday 22 March
at 3 Wise Monkeys Pub, 555 George St, Sydney
FREE, but bookings essential
Dr Patricia Ranald is a Research Associate at the University of Sydney and the Convener of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET), which advocates for fair trade based on human rights, labour rights and environmental sustainability.
Associate Professor Elizabeth Thurbon is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and International Political Economy at UNSW and a member of Jubilee Australia’s research committee.
Michael Whaites is the Oceania Sub-regional Secretary for Public Services International, a global union federation that advocates for quality public services.
This event is made possible with the generous support of the 3 Wise Monkeys Pub.
We hope you can join us for what promises to be an interesting evening of Beers & Ideas. Book Now
-- The Jubilee Australia Team
Release Date: 16-Mar-2017
More troubling concerns have come to light about the Australian taxpayer-funded PNG LNG project in PNG's Hela Province.
Reporting continues to casts doubt on the official position that the situation is under control. Recently the ABC reported that the Hela Province Governor has suggested that the Australian Federal Police might be needed to calm tensions in the region.
Meanwhile, a research student at ANU, Michael Main who spent months in the project area in 2016, has provided Australians with a rare insight into the situation in the highlands in a recent article in The Conversation. Mr Main described a dismal scene in the area:
'What I encountered was abject poverty situated alongside of the largest natural gas extraction operations in the world. Combined with this was immense frustration, anger, corruption, mounting violence and widespread proliferation of weapons.'
In its 2012 Pipe Dreams report, Jubilee Australia warned that the unrealistic promises made by the Government of PNG and the project proponents about the benefits of the project may well lead to landowner discontent. Jubilee Australia further warned that this could lead to escalation and bloody civil conflict in the area.
Jubilee has opposed the project since 2009, in particular the financial support given to it in decisions by the Australian Government and Efic- Australia's export credit agency.
For more details from Jubilee's Pipe Dreams, see Chapter 5 of Pipe Dreams - especially pp 63-65 which can be downloaded here.
Release Date: 02-Mar-2017
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is currently undergoing a broad review of Australia's foreign policy.
Jubilee has made a submission to this review which details the important areas of our foreign policy where change is needed. We have highlighted four areas which are particularly problematic:
Business and Human Rights: Australia must do more to hold our companies to account when they are associated with human rights abuses overseas
Aid and Development: Since 2013, our aid program is moving in dangerous directions. Reforms must be made.
Global Economic Justice: The rules governing sovereign debt continue to favour the bankers and wealthy countries, and not the most vulnerable.
Australia's Trade Agreements: We support the work of our partner AFTINET about the problematic trade agreements Australia is still pushing.
For the full submission, including our specific recommendations, click here: Foreign Policy White Paper Submission 2017
Release Date: 17-Jan-2017
Jubilee Australia has demanded that no expansion of Efic's mandate be allowed unless the institution improves its transparency and due diligence.
Jubilee's concerns, summed up in an article in the Guardian today, said that any changes to the Efic Act should include better transparency and accountability with regard to its social and environmental assessment processes and a removal of its exemption from the freedom of information act.
The demands were made in a joint submission with the Australia Institute to a Senate Inquiry into proposed reforms to Efic.
The reforms propose allowing Efic to due social and environmental diligence on behalf of other commonwealth entities, such as the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund, or NAIF. It is widely reported that the NAIF plans to finance aspects of the Adani coal mine. The bill would also for the first time empower Efic to give loans to small businesses which are using overseas as a manufacturing base.
The joint Jubilee-Australia institute submission to the Senate inquiry may be found here: Jubilee TAI Submission on 2016 Efic Amendment
Release Date: 19-Dec-2016
One of the most ominous predictions of Jubilee Australia about the ExxonMobil PNG LNG project - that landowner discontent could lead to violence, a government crackdown, followed by bloody conflict - could be coming true.
Last Friday, the ABC reported that the PNG Prime Minister is deploying the PNG defence force for six months around the PNG LNG project areas in the country's highlands. The ABC, in the same report, said that dozens of people had died there recently as a result of 'tribal violence'.
Jubilee Australia Director Luke Fletcher questioned the characterisation of the violence as simply tribal. 'If that is so, why has it suddenly broken out now, just as landowner unhappiness with the project escalates? And why engage Exxon and Oil Search (project operators) to assist with policing the area?'
'Jubilee has had concerns about the potential militarisation of the project since its inception,' said Mr Fletcher. 'We first raised these concerns in 2009 in our Risky Business report, and more fully developed them in 2012 with Pipe Dreams.'
In its 2012 Pipe Dreams report, Jubilee Australia warned that the unrealistic promises made by the Government of PNG and the project proponents about the benefits of the project may well lead to landowner discontent. Jubilee Australia further warned that if this discontent caused some low-level conflict, the PNG might send in the military, which could lead to escalation and bloody civil conflict in the area.
'DFAT, Efic and the Australian Government blithely dismissed our concerns about the project in 2009 and directed Efic, our export credit agency, to support the project. Australian taxpayers dollars funded this looming disaster,' he said.
For more details from Jubilee's Pipe Dreams, see Chapter 5 of Pipe Dreams - especially pp 63-65 and Chapter 3 of' Risky Business, especially p. 44. Both can be downloaded here.
Release Date: 23-Nov-2016
The TPP has been defeated. What does this mean? Why do organisations like ours believe that this a good thing?
And where do progressive opponents of the TPP differ in their analysis from people like Donal Trump?
In an article in The Conversation, Jubilee Research Committee member Elizabeth Thurbon and her long-time collaborator Linda Weiss discuss these questions and explain why deals like the TPP are not actually about free trade.