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Analysis and Comment (34)

Australia does have the capacity to produce more electricity than it needs - but that’s not a reason to scale back the Renewable Energy Target. Australia does have the capacity to produce more electricity than it needs - but that’s not a reason to scale back the Renewable Energy Target. Indigo Skies Photography/Flickr

FactCheck: does Australia have too much electricity?

We have 9,000 megawatts (nine big power stations equivalent) of excess capacity in electricity generation … We have more than 15% overcapacity in generation in Australia - Industry minister Ian Macfarlane…
Rich or poor, being stuck in traffic is always annoying. Rich or poor, being stuck in traffic is always annoying. Shultz6/Wikimedia Commons

FactCheck: do poor people drive less?

“The people that actually pay the most are higher income people, with an increase in fuel excise… The poorest people either don’t have cars or actually don’t drive very far in many cases.” – Treasurer…
A cheap or costly drop? You might be surprised to find out how Australian taxes on petrol compare to overseas. A cheap or costly drop? You might be surprised to find out how Australian taxes on petrol compare to overseas. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

FactCheck: do Australians pay high petrol taxes?

UPDATED ON TUESDAY 22 JULY: See editor’s note below for details on the updates. In this year’s federal budget, the Abbott government moved to restart automatically increasing the fuel excise in line with…
It doesn’t matter how you count it, Tony Shepherd’s claim that Australians see doctors 11 times a year just doesn’t add up. It doesn’t matter how you count it, Tony Shepherd’s claim that Australians see doctors 11 times a year just doesn’t add up. AAP/Lukas Coch

FactCheck: does the average Australian go to the doctor 11 times a year?

All Australians, on average, go to the doctor now 11 times per year. I just don’t think we’re that crook. – Tony Shepherd, Commission of Audit Chairman, press conference on the report’s launch, May 1 The…
Education minister Chris Pyne says the Gonski model was addressing a problem that doesn’t really exist in Australian education: equity. Education minister Chris Pyne says the Gonski model was addressing a problem that doesn’t really exist in Australian education: equity. AAP Image/ Nikki Short) NO ARCHIVING

FactCheck: is Australian education highly equitable?

“The OECD says that we are a high equity nation in terms of our students… I don’t believe there is an equity problem in Australia.” – Education Minister Christopher Pyne, Lateline interview, 26 November…
The new laws against bikie gangs in Queensland are meant to be ‘tough’ but will innocent riders be affected? The new laws against bikie gangs in Queensland are meant to be ‘tough’ but will innocent riders be affected? AAP image

FactCheck: will the Queensland bikie laws affect innocent riders?

“This legislation will target only criminal motorcycle gang members. Other law abiding motorbike riders have nothing to worry about,” Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, press release, October…
Students services could be cut if the new education minister has his way. But what would this mean in practice? Students services could be cut if the new education minister has his way. But what would this mean in practice? University students image from www.shutterstock.com

FactCheck: will axing compulsory uni fees take $300 million away from services students need?

Scrapping student support fees will be “a $300 million hit on some of the most basic systems and amenities that make universities accessible and attractive to students.” - Kim Carr, former Labor higher…
Foreign companies are interested in Australian farm land – but are our rules as protective as those in other countries? Foreign companies are interested in Australian farm land – but are our rules as protective as those in other countries? Flickr/Andy

FactCheck: do many other countries restrict foreign investment in agricultural land?

“We often get criticised for trying to be protective. I actually look around the world and I see many, many countries being equally protective of their own core assets.” - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, third…
The Christian Democratic Party has claimed that Mum & Dad taxpayers are getting a bad deal. The Christian Democratic Party has claimed that Mum & Dad taxpayers are getting a bad deal.

FactCheck: do same-sex couples earn 29% more?

“Same sex couples earn 29% more money than male-female couples. Mum and Dad taxpayers are the most oppressed Australians in our economy. Christian Democrats will change that.” – Fred Nile - Official Christian…
Kevin Rudd with a chart showing our net debt per capita. Kevin Rudd with a chart showing our net debt per capita.

FactCheck: is our debt and deficit going the way of the disasters in Europe?

“Mr Rudd can stand up and show us his chart and demonstrate that by comparison with some other countries, Australia’s debt and deficit position is not so bad. But it’s not what we’ve done, it’s where we’ve…
We take a closer look at the claim the prime minister has made on the Murdoch press in Australia. We take a closer look at the claim the prime minister has made on the Murdoch press in Australia.

FactCheck: does Murdoch own 70% of newspapers in Australia?

“Mr Murdoch is entitled to his own view… he owns 70% of the newspapers in this country.” – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, press conference, 6 August. One of the more spirited discussions of the first week…
Asylum seeker children who have tried to get to Australia by boat since the PNG agreement was announced will be sent to Manus Island. Asylum seeker children who have tried to get to Australia by boat since the PNG agreement was announced will be sent to Manus Island.

FactCheck: can children under seven be sent to Manus Island?

“You cannot send children aged under seven to Manus Island because of the issues of inoculation - you can’t do it.” - Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison, press conference, 21 July. Scott Morrison…
The Australian car manufacturing industry is in trouble – but does the government provide less support than other countries? The Australian car manufacturing industry is in trouble – but does the government provide less support than other countries?

FactCheck: do other countries subsidise their car industry more than we do?

“By international standards our support [of the automotive industry] is modest, so we have to work hard to attract the new investment.” – Industry minister Senator Kim Carr, Lateline, 22 July. The idea…
Asylum seekers coming by boat to Australia is on the increase but do they make up 20% of our migration program? Asylum seekers coming by boat to Australia is on the increase but do they make up 20% of our migration program?

FactCheck: are boat people now 20% of our immigration program?

“The numbers have spiked. Twenty per cent of Australia’s immigration program now comes to our shores courtesy of people smugglers… You’re dealing with a very different situation when you’ve got what could…
Australian manufacturing workers are feeling the heat of economic change. Australian manufacturing workers are feeling the heat of economic change.

FactCheck: is Australia losing one manufacturing job every 19 minutes?

“Under this [Labor] government we’ve seen one manufacturing job lost every 19 minutes.” - Opposition industry spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella, Q&A, 1 July. The Conversation contacted Mirabella’s office…
We factcheck Malcolm Turnbull and Anthony Albanese on this week’s Q&A program. We factcheck Malcolm Turnbull and Anthony Albanese on this week’s Q&A program.

FactCheck Q&A: broadband, climate change and Labor Party reform

UPDATED: We were inundated with ideas for statements to check from Monday night’s Q&A on ABC TV. Here, our experts tackle four claims on three of the most requested topics. 1. Anthony Albanese: claims…
How long does it take to get a mine approved in Australia? How long does it take to get a mine approved in Australia? APH

FactCheck: does it take three years to get approval for a mine?

“Just to get the regulatory approvals [to start a mine] takes more than three years. Six years ago it took less than 12 months… Australian investors are fleeing this country to invest in more stable countries…
Is Bob Katter exaggerating when he says Coles and Woolworths own 80% of the groceries market? Is Bob Katter exaggerating when he says Coles and Woolworths own 80% of the groceries market? APH

FactCheck: do Coles and Woolies control 80% of the market?

“The Americans are screaming blue murder because WalMart and their competitor have now reached about 23% market share. Here we have two supermarkets with a market share of over 80%, so if they decide to…
Brendan O Connor. Brendan O Connor.

FactCheck: are Interpol red notices often wrong?

“The Australian Federal Police takes [red notices] very seriously but knows it must examine the veracity or otherwise of those claims because quite often claims, even against Australian citizens who’ve…
Did Foreign minister Bob Carr’s controversial claim that the majority of asylum seekers coming to Australia are economic refugees go too far? Did Foreign minister Bob Carr’s controversial claim that the majority of asylum seekers coming to Australia are economic refugees go too far? APH

FactCheck: are asylum seekers really economic migrants?

“People are coming here, not now as a result of persecution, but because they’re economic refugees who have paid money to people smugglers.” - Foreign minister Bob Carr, Meet the Press, June 9. There is…
Australian studies show alcohol is considerably more likely than other drugs to be involved in violence. Australian studies show alcohol is considerably more likely than other drugs to be involved in violence. Aviva West

Fact check: only drugs and alcohol together cause violence

On ABC TV’s Four Corners program last night, Paul Nicolaou, chief executive officer of Australia Hotels Association New South Wales, dismissed claims that alcohol is fuelling late-night violence, arguing…
Look at ocean temperatures if you want to know whether the earth is still warming. Look at ocean temperatures if you want to know whether the earth is still warming. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Fact check: has global warming paused?

“The UN’s climate change chief, Rajendra Pachauri, has acknowledged a 17-year pause in global temperature rises, confirmed recently by Britain’s Met Office, but said it would need to last ‘30 to 40 years…
Cows do more harm than good in national parks. Cows do more harm than good in national parks. Howard Russell

Fact check: does grazing reduce bush fires in national parks?

According to the ABC, Senator John Williams has called for cattle grazing in national parks to reduce the risk of fire: The problem in our national parks is that when we have these savage fires with these…
Bushfires release CO2, but how much? Bushfires release CO2, but how much? AAP Image/Kim Foale

Fact check: do bushfires emit more carbon than burning coal?

“Indeed I guess there’ll be more CO2 emissions from these fires than there will be from coal-fired power stations for decades.” - acting Opposition leader, Warren Truss, January 9, 2013 On Wednesday, leader…

Research and News (1)