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Institute of Public Affairs Limited (IPA) has a single broad focus - to infiltrate government in order to reduce workers to a powerless underclass

April 19, 2018 - 00:15 -- Admin

Given representatives of the Institute of Public Affairs Limited (IPA) turn up as guest commentators so frequently these days on television, radio and in newsprint - usually without mention of who they actually represent - perhaps it's time to update deatils of the corporate structure, finances and aims of this group.The Institute of Public Affairs says of itself that it is: Australia's oldest and loudest free market think tank. Since 1943 the IPA has been at the forefront of public debate,promoting our values of freedom, free markets and individual liberty.This highly partisan, conservative political pressure group thinly disguised as an independent research group-cum-think tank was registered in Melbourne Victoria in 1987 and its legal owner appears to be The Trustee For Institute Of Public Affairs Research Trust. This trust was created on 10 July 2007.In the 1990s it appears to have merged with the the Australian Institute of Public Policy.IPA became a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) from 30 Mar 2006, though it is hard to make out on exactly what factual grounds it became an Approved Research Institute (ARI) with charitable status.It guards its individual and corporate membership list closely, but does admit to 4,559 members as of 1 July 2016.IPA's founding members as then captains of industry, wealthy graziers and conservative politicians (Charles Denton Kemp, Sir Robert Gordon Menzies, B A Santamaria, Sir Keith Arthur Murdoch, Sir George James Coles, Harold Gordon Darling, G.H. Grimwade, H.R. Harper, W.A. Ince, Fredrick Earnest Lampe MBE, Sir Walter Massy-Greene, Sir Leslie James McConnan, C.N. McKay, William Edward McPherson, Sir Ian Potter and The Hon. A.G. Warner) are reasonably well-known, as are a handful of current members.Over the years a number of members of the IPA (past & present) have also been members of the Liberal Party (or worked for Liberal politicians), including David Kemp, Rod Kemp, John Hyde, John Roskam, Tim Wilson, James Patterson, Mitch Fifield, Nicholle Flint, Allan Pidgeon, Mike Nahan, Michael Kroger, Tom Switzer, Andrew Shearer, Richard Allsop, Simon Breheny, Ross Maclean, Peta Credlin and Tony Smith.A significant number of IPA supporters are easily identified because this pressure group published the names of around 1,261 of its supporters in 2011.Its board and company directors are now known due to the fact that it has finally published annual reports from 2000-01 to 2016-17.IPA states that: 86 per cent of the IPA's revenue is donated by individuals, 12 per cent is received from foundations, 1 per cent from businesses, and 1 per cent from other sources such as interest. The IPA neither seeks nor receives any funding from government. In addition to the membership fees contributed by IPA members, the IPA received 2,913 separate donations during 2016-17.It also supplies this graph of modest through to rather generous individual and corporate donations in its 2016-17 Annual Report:The Institute of Public Affairs updated its policy aims in 2012 as it geared up to fight against Australian Labor Party and Greens policies during the 2013 federal election campaign:1 Repeal the carbon tax, and don’t replace it. It will be one thing to remove the burden of the carbon tax from the Australian economy. But if it is just replaced by another costly scheme, most of the benefits will be undone.2 Abolish the Department of Climate Change3 Abolish the Clean Energy Fund4 Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act5 Abandon Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council6 Repeal the renewable energy target7 Return income taxing powers to the states8 Abolish the Commonwealth Grants Commission9 Abolish the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission10 Withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol11 Introduce fee competition to Australian universities12 Repeal the National Curriculum13 Introduce competing private secondary school curriculums14 Abolish the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)15 Eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be ‘balanced’16 Abolish television spectrum licensing and devolve spectrum management to the common law17 End local content requirements for Australian television stations18 Eliminate family tax benefits19 Abandon the paid parental leave scheme20 Means-test Medicare21 End all corporate welfare and subsidies by closing the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education22 Introduce voluntary voting23 End mandatory disclosures on political donations24 End media blackout in final days of election campaigns25 End public funding to political parties26 Remove anti-dumping laws27 Eliminate media ownership restrictions28 Abolish the Foreign Investment Review Board29 Eliminate the National Preventative Health Agency30 Cease subsidising the car industry31 Formalise a one-in, one-out approach to regulatory reduction32 Rule out federal funding for 2018 Commonwealth Games33 Deregulate the parallel importation of books34 End preferences for Industry Super Funds in workplace relations laws35 Legislate a cap on government spending and tax as a percentage of GDP36 Legislate a balanced budget amendment which strictly limits the size of budget deficits and the period the federal government can be in deficit37 Force government agencies to put all of their spending online in a searchable database38 Repeal plain packaging for cigarettes and rule it out for all other products, including alcohol and fast food39 Reintroduce voluntary student unionism at universities40 Introduce a voucher scheme for secondary schools41 Repeal the alcopops tax42 Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including:a) Lower personal income tax for residentsb) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workersc) Encourage the construction of dams43 Repeal the mining tax44 Devolve environmental approvals for major projects to the states45 Introduce a single rate of income tax with a generous tax-free threshold46 Cut company tax to an internationally competitive rate of 25 per cent47 Cease funding the Australia Network48 Privatise Australia Post49 Privatise Medibank50 Break up the ABC and put out to tender each individual function51 Privatise SBS52 Reduce the size of the public service from current levels of more than 260,000 to at least the 2001 low of 212,78453 Repeal the Fair Work Act54 Allow individuals and employers to negotiate directly terms of employment that suit them55 Encourage independent contracting by overturning new regulations designed to punish contractors56 Abolish the Baby Bonus57 Abolish the First Home Owners’ Grant58 Allow the Northern Territory to become a state59 Halve the size of the Coalition front bench from 32 to 1660 Remove all remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade61 Slash top public servant salaries to much lower international standards, like in the United States62 End all public subsidies to sport and the arts63 Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport64 End all hidden protectionist measures, such as preferences for local manufacturers in government tendering65 Abolish the Office for Film and Literature Classification66 Rule out any government-supported or mandated internet censorship67 Means test tertiary student loans68 Allow people to opt out of superannuation in exchange for promising to forgo any government income support in retirement69 Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built70 End all government funded Nanny State advertising71 Reject proposals for compulsory food and alcohol labelling72 Privatise the CSIRO73 Defund Harmony Day74 Close the Office for Youth75 Privatise the Snowy-Hydro SchemeBy 2014 a few more policies made it on to the IPA list according to The AIM Network:* “Immediately halt construction of the National Broadband Network and privatise any sections that have already been built”* “Rule out the introduction of mandatory pre-commitment for electronic gaming machines”* “Extend the GST to cover all goods and services”and* “Negotiate and sign free trade agreements with Australia’s largest trading partners, including China, India, Japan and South Korea”.Liberal Party prime ministers have been working their way through IPA's policy agenda since such lists were first created.Federal Government regulation now means there is some degree of transparency with regard to IPA finances, which like the finances of other 'charities" are subject to disclosure.Annual Information Statement declared by The Trustee For Institute Of Public Affairs Research Trust (Charity ABN 33886902896), October 2017, excerpt:ausgov.infocharities_results