Institute of Public Affairs

Institute of Public Affairs (IPA)

Background

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), founded in 1943, describes itself as “an independent, non-profit public policy think tank, dedicated to preserving and strengthening the foundations of economic and political freedom.”  [1]

The IPA has campaigned heavily against Australia's carbon price legislation. IPA researchers and associates have a high media presence and appear daily as guests on both public and commercial radio and television in Australia. IPA staff also write regular columns for Australian newspapers and online media. 

The think tank has been one of the largest promoters of climate science denial in Australia, sponsoring a number of speaking tours and books, while its fellows have challenged the legitmacy of climate chnage science and the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

IPA has links to the Liberal Party of Australia, and its Executive Director John Roskam ran for Liberal Party pre-selection in a number of elections.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports, “As executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs, a think tank that exists to promote free-market ideologies, Roskam has helped finance and give structure to Australia's often self-contradictory band of climate sceptics.”  [2]

According to Executive Director John Roskham, “'Of all the serious sceptics in Australia, we have helped and supported just about all of them in their work one way or another,' he says, listing some prominent figures on the local circuit.” Ian Plimer - we launched his book - Bob Carter, Jo Nova, William Kininmonth.” [2]

Stance on Climate Change

“The Institute of Public Affairs examines climate change and environmental policy from an evidence based perspective. The IPA also prioritizes making rational assessments of the economics and practicalities of carbon dioxide reduction proposals. Knee-jerk government policies in response to activist campaigning can have far-reaching economic implications while achieving no environmental benefit.” [3]

Funding

Under Australian law, the IPA does not have to disclose its funders, however the Sydney Morning Herald reports that about a quarter of IPA's $2 million in annual funding comes from corporations with a direct stake in the climate change debate, “not including contributions from its 1000 individual members, some of whom also have a personal interest in climate change.” [2]

The Institute's donors have included major corporations such as Visyboard, Telstra, Western Mining and BHP Billiton as well as the tobacco industry. [5]

The IPA has also entered into a partnership with lobby group Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision, founded by mining billionaire Gina Rinehart. ANDEV has funded the IPA to help run a campaign for lower taxes and regulations in the north of Australia to encourage more mining developments. [6]

In July 2012, executive director John Roskam told the Brisbane Times: “[T]he reason we don't reveal our donors is because unfortunately our donors - and people who were believed to be our donors - have been intimidated because of their supposed support for us.” [7]

The Conservative Transparency database offers a historic look at some of the early funders of the IPA[4]

*Note: As original 990 tax forms pre-2000 are not currently accessible, the following values have not been verified by DeSmogBlog for accuracy.

John M. Olin Foundation
1991 - $33,000
1990 - $33,000
1989 - $33,000
1987 - $20,000
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
1995 - $30,000
1992 - $40,000
1991 - $73,000
1990 - $33,000
1989 - $33,000
1987 - $20,000
Grand Total $348,000

IPA Annual Information Statements & Other Documents

Key People

As of October, 2015, the following people were listed on the Institute of Public Affairs website:  [8]

IPA Staff

  • John Roskam — Executive Director
  • James Paterson — Deputy Executive Director
  • Darcy Allen — Research Fellow
  • Richard Allsop — Senior Fellow
  • Morgan Begg — Researcher and Editor, FreedomWatch
  • Chris Berg — Senior Fellow
  • Simon Breheny — Director, Legal Rights Project
  • Bob Carter — Emeritus Fellow, Science Policy Advisor
  • Sinclair Davidson — Senior Research Fellow
  • Stephanie Forrest — Research Scholar, Foundations of Western Civilisation Program
  • Father James Grant — Adjunct Fellow
  • Peter Gregory — Research Fellow
  • Brett Hogan — Director, Energy and Innovation Policy
  • John Hyde — Emeritus Fellow
  • Jennifer Marohasy — Senior Research Fellow. Left in July, 2009 and re-hired in September, 2015[10], [39]
  • Mikayla Novak — Senior Research Fellow
  • Hannah Pandel — Research Fellow
  • Jason Potts — Adjunct Fellow
  • Tom Switzer — Adjunct Fellow
  • James Bolt — Communications Coordinator
  • Rachel Guy — Development Coordinator
  • Aline Le Guen — Editor, IPA Review and Publications Manager
  • Nina Lohanatha — Administrative Assistant
  • Rob Phayer — Internal Systems Manager
  • Andrew Poon — Director, Finance and Administration
  • Anniessa Putri — Finance Assistant
  • Sarah Wilson — Membership and Special Events Coordinator

IPA Board

  • John Roskam —  Executive Director
  • Rod Kemp — Chairman
  • Janet Albrechtsen — Director
  • Harold Clough — Director
  • Tim Duncan — Director
  • Michael Folie — Director
  • Michael Hickinbotham — Director
  • Geoff Hone — Director
  • Rod Menzies — Director
  • William Morgan — Director
  • Maurice O'Shannassy — Director

IPA Board (As of 2014)

According to documents on file at the Australian Securities and Investments Corporation, the following were Directors of the IPA as of September, 2014: [40]

  • William Harold Clough
  • Geoffrey Michael Folie
  • William Timothy Duncan
  • John Roskam
  • William Hetherington
  • William Morgan —  Son of Hugh Morgan of Lavoisier Group, ex Western Mining Corporation
  • Michael Robb Hickinbotham
  • Rod Kemp
  • Michael Kroger
  • Maurice O'Shannassy
  • Janet Barlow
  • Frederick Allan Pidgeon
  • Rodney William Menzies

Past People

The following people used to to work for the IPA as of January, 2012[9]

Previous Staff Members

  • Hugh Tobin — Deputy Executive Director.
  • Tim Wilson — Director of Climate Change Policy and the Intellectual Property and Free Trade Unit.
  • Louise Staley — Director, Food and Environment Unit.
  • Julie Novak — Research Fellow.
  • Carolyn Popp — Research Fellow.
  • Alan Moran — Director, Deregulation Unit.
  • Asher Judah — Research Fellow.
  • John Lloyd — Director, Work Reform and Productivity Unit.
  • Peter Gregory
  • Sabine Wolff — Researcher.

Previous Board Members

  • Bill Hetherington — Past Chairman of Murray Irrigation Ltd.
  • Geoff Hone
  • Michael Folie
  • Michael Hickinbotham
  • Tim Duncan
  • Tom Quirk founding shareholder in Pangea, internationally-sponsored nuclear waste disposal company.

Actions

2017

The Institute for Public Affairs (IPA) listed contributors to their upcoming book “Climate Change: The Facts 2017.” Prior versions of the book featured contributions from a range of prominent climate change deniers, and describes mainstream climate change research as “pseudo-science.”  [44][45]

Contributors to the upcoming book that the IPA announced so far:

February, 2016

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) sponsored Mark Steyn's speaking tour across Australia, Desmog reported. IPA promoted Steyn as “the world's greatest conservative commentator and writer.” [42], [43]

August, 2015

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) was nominated by the Atlas Network for the Templeton Freedom Award for its work opposing the carbon tax in Australia. 

“Australia's implementation of a deeply flawed carbon tax law looked like a precursor to a tide of heavy-handed regulation of energy use. The IPA, more than anyone else, stopped it in its tracks,” said Brad Lips, CEO of Atlas Network.

According to the IPA Press Release: [11]

“Between 1 January 2010 and 31 July 2014, IPA research on the carbon tax appeared on 209 occasions in print media, 363 occasions on radio and 261 occasions on television. The IPA hosted 34 events in nine cities between 2007 and 2014 aimed to educate and inform the public about the carbon tax. The IPA also published the best-selling books Climate Change: The Facts in 2010, and Climate Change: The Facts 2014.”

July 23, 2015

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) released  a report: The life saving potential of coal: How Australian coal could help 82 million Indians access electricity.” [12]

According to DeSmogBlog's analysis, “It could have been written by the coal industry.”  

The IPA sent out copies of the report to Australian MPs and its author, the IPA’s director of innovation and energy policy, Brett Hogan, was featured in the opinion pages of The Australian newspaper.  Hogan wrote (PDF): [13]
“New research from the IPA released today demonstrates how increasing Australian coal exports from the Galilee Basin by up to 120 million tonnes annually could allow at least 82 million Indian people to access a regular and reliable source of electricity each year. Coal is the world’s cheapest and most reliable source of electricity.”

June 17, 2015

Institute of Public Affairs Adjunct Fellow Father James Grant commented on Pope Francis's encyclical on climate change, saying it “should not be treated as official Catholic doctrine binding on all Catholics, but rather a personal position of the Pope.” [14]

“Climate change is a scientific debate. It is entirely legitimate for people of faith to disagree on the science of climate change and what, if anything, should be done about it,” said Father James. 

May 2015

An IPA book produced with the help of Australian tax consessions is used by Canadian climate science denier and conservative commentator Mark Steyn to raise funds for a libel defence.  As DeSmog reported, Steyn was selling copies of the book “Climate Change: The Facts”, with proceeds helping to pay legal costs in an ongoing court case.

Steyn is being sued in the United States by climate scientist Professor Michael Mann over claims Steyn made that Mann's work was “fraudulent”.

2014, 2010

In 2010, The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) published a book titled “Climate Change:The Facts” (PDF) edited by Alan Moran. [15]

After briefly talking about “Climategate,” the book introduces “the science of climate change” — A section that exclusively includes the works of noted climate change skeptics including the following:

The book features a section on “The Politics and Economics of Cliamte Change Policy, also authored by numerous notable climate change skeptics. Authors include:
  • Richard Tol  (“The impact of climate change and its policy implications”) 
  • Alan Moran (“Lower Emission Levels and Australian Energy Impacts”) 
  • Alex Robson (“What does the government’s CPRS modelling tell us?”)
  • Nigel Lawson (“The politics and economics of climate change”)

The IPA proceeded to publish a followup to the book in 2014 titled “Climate Change The Facts 2014.” DeSmogBlog reported how this second iteration also included noted skeptics and “contrarians picked from the blogosphere, conservative media outlets and the associates of secretly funded conservative think tanks.” [16]

They include Nigel LawsonStewart FranksBill Kininmonth, Mark Steyn, Donna LaframboisePat Michaels, Jennifer Marohasy, Andrew BoltRichard LindzenJo NovaAnthony WattsJames DelingpoleBob CarterRoss McKitrick and Ian Plimer.

According to an email to supporters from IPA Executive Director John Roskam, the IPA raised $144,545 towards a $175,000 goal to publish the book. Roskam told supporters that their donation for the book would be “tax deductible” and those who spend more than $400 would get their name on the back cover.

According to retailers Amazon and Kobo, the book’s publisher is not the IPA but “Stockade Books” – a venture that’s actually owned by Mark Steyn. DeSmogBlog reports the book is also part of “The Steyn v The Stick Big Climate Special,” available on Mark Stein's website, which sells books and merchandise that also goes towards financing Steyn's libel defence. [17]

May, 2014

Alan Moran, Director of the “Deregulation Unit” at the Institute of Public Affairs, made a submission (PDF) to the Renewable Energy Target Review Panel in Australia, opposing subsidies for renewable wind and solar power while supporting coal power. [18]

According to Moran, “The privileged position of beneficiaries from renewable energy subsidies is so onerous that it is having an economically debilitating impact on the economy at large. The renewable regulations perform no positive function and therefore should, accordingly, be discontinued with immediate effect.”

March, 2013

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) researcher Alan Moran, who directs the organisation's deregulation unit, published a document calling for almost all climate change functions and policies across Australian federal government agencies to be abolished, including the country's carbon price legislation and climate change department.  [19]

The original document (PDF) was mentioned by The Australian, however the paper failed to note detailed the document's plan to eliminate nearly all climate change functions in the country's public sector. In one section the document outlines the think tank's recommendations for public sector departments. In dealing with the future of the “Climate Change and Energy Efficiency” department, Moran writes simply: “Abolish.” [20], [21]

Several of the IPA's suggested cuts, which also included cutting funding for the independent Climate Commission, were adopted by the Tony Abbott-led conservative government after its election in September 2013.

August, 2012

Canadian blogger, author and climate skeptic Donna Laframboise was flown to Australia by the The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) for a multi-city speaking tour to promote her book The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken For The World's Top Climate Expert - IPCC Expose. [22]

April, 2012

The The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) paid for UK-based climate science denier and commentator James Delingpole to tour Australia to promote his book, “Killing the Earth to Save It” which was published by Connor Court, where IPA executive director John Roskam sits on the editorial advisory board.  The IPA also paid for copies of the book to be sent to Australian members of parliament, and hosted a launch event for the book. [23], [24]

Delingpole repaid the favor later in 2012 by launching a public appeal for people to donate to the IPA. Delingpole said: “The IPA must take a lot of the credit for changing the attitudes of Australians to global warming.” [25], [26]

August 1, 2011

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPAsponsored a talk by climate change skeptic (and president of the Czech Republic) Vaclav Klaus entitled “Climate change: a new ideology.”

IPA has also hosted numerous other talks by Vaclav Klaus including “Threats to freedom in the 21st century” (July 22, 2011), “Climate change: the dangerous faith” (July 25, 2011), and “The mass delusion of climate change,” (July 28, 2011). [27]

May 16 - 18, 2010

The Institute of Public Affairs was a cosponsor (PDF) of the Heartland Institute's Fourth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC4). [28]

DeSmogBlog concluded 19 of the 65 sponsors (including Heartland itself) had received a total of over $40 million in funding since 1985 from ExxonMobil (who funded 13 of the organizations), and/or Koch Industries family foundations (funded 10 organizations) and/or the Scaife family foundations (funded 10 organizations). [29]

October 1, 2010

Together, the Heartland Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, the Property Rights Alliance, and the Institute of Public Affairs sponsored the Heartland Institute's Fifth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC5) in Sydney, Australia. [30]

November, 2009

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) hosted a conference by climate denier Christopher Monckton.

“Those who have been fostering what is essentially a baseless scientific scam have being trying to make the obvious sound absurd and the absurd sound obvious, and we are now going to turn the tables on them,” Monckton said at the conference. [31]

March 8 - 10, 2009

The Institute of Public Affairs was a cosponsor of the Heartland Institute's Second International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC2). [32]

DeSmogBlog researched the funding behind Heartland's Second International Conference on Climate Change and found that sponsor organizations had received over $47 million in funding from energy companies and right-wing foundations. [33]

May, 2008

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPAfacilitated a $350,000 donation to the University of Queensland from a climate change skeptic. While the university insisted that the money should come with no strings attached, IPA suggested topics for research with the hope that “the results of the research will inform public policy.” [34]

The money was donated by donated by Bryant Macfie, a long-standing IPA member. In a speech in Brisbane to launch the scholarships, Macfie “likened what he called 'environmental activism' to a new religion infecting science. 'The crucifix has been replaced by the wind turbine,' he said.”

2006

The IPA was a co-sponsor of a five-day speaking tour by conservative Canadian commentator Mark Steyn. Steyn was funded under the international media visits (IMV) program carried out by the Department of Foreign affairs.

The program was “targeted at senior foreign journalists with 'the capacity to influence editorial content and/or generate informed international media coverage of Australia'.” [35]

December, 2004

The IPA hosted the “Eureka Forum” dedicated to “Reclaiming the Environment.” According to the Forum's website (archived), IPA believes that “Environmental fundamentalism is denying farmers, foresters, fishermen, prospectors, miners, beekeepers, 4WD enthusiasts and others access rights, property rights, water rights.

It is also generating excessive red tape and harming the environment. The wrong-headed 'hands off, leave it to nature' approach is destroying our National Parks.” [36]

Institute of Public Affairs Contact & Location

As of June 2016, the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) listed the following contact information on its website: [41]

Institute of Public Affairs
Level 2, 410 Collins Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000
 Australia

Telephone +61 3 9600 4744
Facsimile +61 3 9602 4989

Related Organizations

Resources

  1. About us,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived August 31, 2015.

  2. The benefit of the doubt,” The Sydney Morning Herald, May 8, 2010. Archived August 11, 2014.

  3. Climate Change,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived August 31, 2015.

  4. Institute of Public Affairs,” Conservative Transparency. Accessed August, 2015.

  5. Thinkers of influence,” The Age, December 10, 2005. Archived August 31, 2015. 

  6. Clive Hamilton. “The shadowy world of IPA finances,” The Drum, February 23, 2012. Archived August 31, 2015.

  7. Graham Readfearn. “Bid to out the money behind the voice against climate change,” Brisbane Times, January 27, 2012. Archived September 1, 2015.

  8. People & associates,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived October 12, 2015. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6cEYUCSAC

  9. People & associates,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived January 12, 2012.

  10. Jennifer Marohasy Leaves the IPA,” Jennifer Marohasy, July 6, 2009. Archived September 1, 2015. 

  11. IPA recognised in prestigious international award for work against carbon tax” (Media Release), Institute of Public Affairs. Archived September 1, 2015. 

  12. Brett Hogan. “The life saving potential of coal: How Australian coal could help 82 million Indians access electricity” (PDF), Institute of Public Affairs, June, 2015.

  13. (Press Release). “Australian Coal Could Give 82 Million Indians Electricity” (PDF) Institute of Public Affairs, June 22, 2015. Archived September 1, 2015. 

  14. “Pope Francis' Climate Change Encyclical Not Binding on Catholics” (Media Release), Institute of Public Affairs, June 17, 2015. Archived September 1, 2015.

  15. Climate Change the Facts. Institute of Public Affairs, 2010.

  16. Graham Readfearn. “Tax Breaks In Australia To Fund Climate Misinformation Book,” DeSmogBlog, April 14, 2014.

  17. Graham Readfearn. “Australian Tax Breaks Help Fund Climate Science Denier Mark Steyn's Libel Defense in the US,” DeSmogBlog, May 14, 2015. 

  18. Alan Moran. “Submission to the Renewable Energy Target Review Panel” (PDF) Institute of Public Affairs, May, 2014. Archived September 1, 2015. 

  19. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Denial Think Tank's Plans To Abolish Climate Change Departments in Australia,” DeSmogBlog, March 21, 2013.

  20. “Programs Identified with Negative Benefits” (PDF), Retrieved from catallaxyfiles.com. Archived September 1, 2015.

  21. Adam Creighton. “Aid, rights body, public sector to be slashed,” The Australian, May 16, 2013. Archived April 1, 2013. 

  22. Graham Readfearn. “Donna Laframboise Flown To Australia By Climate Science Denying Think Tank,” DeSmogBlog, July 8, 2012.

  23. Graham Readfearn. “The Undiscerning Climate Science Bookshelf,” DeSmogBlog, September 15, 2013.

  24. Book Launch of Taxing Air: Facts & fallacies about climate change by Bob Carter,” Institute of Public Affairs, September 5, 2013. Archived August 31, 2015.

  25. A personal appeal from James Delingpole,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived August 31, 2015.

  26. Graham Readfearn. “James Delingpole Raising Cash for Australian Climate Sceptic Think Tank,” DeSmogBlog, September 12, 2012. 

  27. Archived events for July 2011,” Institute of Public Affairs.

  28. 4th International Conference on Climate Change Conference Program (PDF), The Heartland Institute. 

  29. Brendan DeMelle. “Denial-a-palooza Round 4: 'International Conference on Climate Change' Groups Funded by Exxon, Koch Industries,” DeSmogBlog, May 13, 2010.

  30. ICCC - 5,” Climateconferences.heartland.org. Archived September 1, 2015.

  31. Daniel Flitton. “Lord of climate change sceptics hot under collar,” The Age, November 11, 2009. Archived August 21, 2015.

  32. Co-Sponsors,” The 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. Archived April 28, 2011.

  33. Heartland Institute's 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors,” DeSmogBlog.

  34. Andrew Trounson and Greg Roberts. “Dispute over climate sceptic uni grant,” The Australian, May 7, 2008. Archived August 31, 2015.

  35. Govt funds right-wing neo-con's visit,” The Sydney Morning Herald, October 23, 2006. Archived August 31, 2015.

  36. Inaugural Eureka Forum,” retrieved from eurekaforum.org.au. Archived February 13, 2005.

  37. Graham Readfearn. “Monckton Pitches 'Fox News Australia' Idea To Mining Magnate, Seeks 'Super-Rich' Backers,” DeSmogBlog, January 31, 2012. 

  38. Graham Readfearn. “Australian Psychological Society 'Disturbed' By Climate Denialist Group's 'Misleading' Newspaper Advert,” DeSmogBlog, August 11, 2015.

  39. About: Current Situation,” Jennifer Marohasy. Archived October 12, 2015. WebCite URL

  40. Current & Historical Company Extract: Institute of Public Affairs,” Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Archived at DeSmogBlog.

  41. Contact,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived June 29, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6icLgot8J

  42. Graham Readfearn. “Climate Science Denier Mark Steyn Tours Australia… And Other Reptilian Illuminati David Icke Weirdness,” Desmog, February 16, 2016.

  43. Mark Steyn Australian Tour,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived September 27, 2016. Archive. is URL: https://archive.is/y4AIz

  44. Donate to Climate Change: The Facts 2017,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived October 31, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/KpLZh

  45. Climate Change: The facts 2014,” Catallaxyfiles.com. Archived October 31, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Trs4Y

Other Resources