Special Report: Australia’s Religious Charities


The financial information of over fourteen thousand religious charities is analysed for the first time.

Are Aussies April Fools For Cryptocurrencies?


Rosie investigates whether Australian politicians should be declaring their Bitcoin along with their other investments.

Introducing Commonwealth Tenders Search


Have you ever wondered which agencies outsource the most and which companies they outsource to?

Budget Enshrines Neglect Of Older Women


There are interesting lessons for older Australians in the budget data.

IPA Appointee Fails To Attend Estimates


The appointment of former IPA Research Fellow as Charities Commissioner has caused internal ructions in the senior ranks of the ACNC.

Update And Appeal For Donations


I have survived the past months solely thanks to your generosity but can I make the important work that I do sustainable in the long term?

Our Most Prolific Corporate Gift Givers


Ever wondered which companies give most often to our federal politicians? Recent analysis of interests data provides answers.

We Are All Special Snowflakes And Why It Matters


Macquarie university researcher responds to ABS TableBuilder claims.

For Better Or Worse


Let’s show ATO whistleblower, Richard Boyle that we have his back.

The Hidden Wealth Of Basic Religious Charities


Religious charities should not be able to hide their wealth- updated with comment from Andrew Leigh.

It’s Christmas Every Day For Our Politicians


Recieving gifts and favours is part and parcel of political life. This cheat-sheet provides a bird’s-eye view of gifts and hospitality as it stands today.

Looking Back And Beyond: Crowd Funding And The Kindness Of Strangers


The truth can have few friends so building and running transparency projects is not for the faint-hearted. Here’s the view from the inside.

Australia’s Migrant Labour Pains


Up to one in ten Australian jobs are now performed by temporary workers. This article places this trend into an historical context of exploitation of foreign workers and the wider historical context that has shaped the culture of worker rights.

Defending Your Organisation With Training And Technology


The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) released their quarterly report on the Notification Data Breaches Scheme earlier this week. Read about what this means for your organisation and what you can do about it.

Liberal Party Harnesses I360 Big Data In Time For 2019 Federal Election


The Koch brothers' i360 data service is now being used by the Liberal Party of Australia. This article looks at the history of the organisation and the implications for our privacy and democracy.

Don’t Be The Next Business To Fall Victim To A Data Breach


What is the difference between spam and phishing and why does it matter?

Australia’s Student Housing Crisis


Scott Morrison recently re-opened debate about population policy to ease congestion on Australia's fastest growing cities - Sydney and Melbourne. In this article I look at the implications for demand on the low-cost housing market of our large intake of international students which is six times the number of migrants.

Professional Help Needed: Law Firms Still Vulnerable To Phishing Attacks


A significant number of law firms could be exposed to phishing attacks if they have not set up their anti-phishing service correctly. This article introduces the report by Iron Bastion into research on Australia's law firms and explains the vulnerability recently modelled and what to do about it.

Privacy, Media And Politics: What Are Our Rights?


This article looks at the potential for collusion between the media and political parties, neither of which are covered by the Privacy Act.

The Australian Doxes Anti Racism Campaigners


Anti-racism campaigners Sleeping Oz Giants and their followers on Twitter are subjected to defamatory campaign in The Australian.

PEXA Introduces MFA But More Guidance Needed


This article explains the recent hack of the national property lodgement database and the risks to legal firms and their users of using SMS in two-factor authentication.

Whistlebowers: The Heroes Behind The Stories That Matter


Whistleblowers play an essential and often-overlooked role in the major stories that hold out institutions to account. This article looks at the consequences to whistleblowers and media for recent changes in National Security legislation and includes the 11 point UNESCO evaluation of legislation written by Julie Posetti.

Taking Over The Corporate Regulators One IPA Appointment At A Time


The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is the independent Commonwealth authority charged with governing access to government information and organisations that fall under the Privacy Act. This article traces the early years of the OAIC as it weathers attempts to abolish the office by the Abbott Government.

The IPA’s Long March Through The Bureaucracy


This article follows on from the article on the OAIC and traces the early years of the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission as the Abbott government attempts to abolish the office. The ACNC is the Commonwealth charities regulator responsible for governing the multi-billion dollar charity sector.

Deconstructing The Democracy Sausage


This article looks at the privacy and security issues like to arise with attempts to move election voting online or through the use of voting machines.

What Its Like Being Poor In Australias Crazy Housing Bubble?


Most of the debate about housing is framed around the recent realisation that younger middle class people are now worried they may not be able to afford to buy their own houses, shock horror! Contrasted with this view is the story of what the poor (who have never had access to the property market) are faring.

Baird Unleashes On Her Audience Revealing Right Wing Bias

Open Data

For the last two weeks I've been busily building a couple of datasets and developing a site to track ABC panellists, their affiliations and number of appearances.

The Bumpy Road To Think Tank Transparency In Australia


During the week I received a response to my enquiry to the ATO requesting a list of Approved Research Institutes (some of which are think tanks like the IPA) however, as you will see from the response at the foot of this post, the problem of think tank transparency in Australia has a lot of hurdles to overcome before we will be in a position to understand who is funding them.

The Data Sharing And Release Act Is Coming For Your Data


This article explains what motivated me to get behind the #CensusFail campaign against the 2016 census. The article explains the history of the governance of administrative data and the changes I saw taking place to allow our data held by government agencies to be linked together into data integration projects to be shared with research and commercial interests.

Getting To The Bottom Of The IPA’s Right To Dgr Status


If people are going to challenge the activities of the IPA, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the legislation governing its activities.

Hidden Inequalities Of Tax Concessions


Every year the government releases totals of the revenue 'foregone' to the budget of tax concessions. Early in 2018 I made the first ever open interactive data project using this data. this article explains the data and what it means for the budget and inequality.

State Fed Funding Are The States Territories The Meat In The Sandwich


The state and territory governments are at the coalface of all the important social problems faced by Australian society. The states are responsible for education, health, policing, emergency services, public transport, housing and homelessness yet there is comparatively little open data provided by state agencies.

What Can Open Data Tell Us About Australias Major Banks

Political Donations

Collectively, over the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 Australia's major banks earned over $600 billion in income but paid tax on only $1.45 billion (21% of their revenue).

Show Me The Money Unravelling The Web Of Australian Charities


The wealth of the various religious denominations active in Australia is a point of interest in the wake of the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, yet the true financial worth of religions in Australia remains something of a mystery.

Turning The Tables On What We Know About Australias Powerful People And Institutions


For the last four months I have been coding solidly to build the largest financial transparency project that exists in this country. This project is based on work I have done in previous years which I quickly decided to reboot, re-design and expand dramatically during December 2017.

Cashless Debit Card, Income Management And The Surveillance State


The Cashless Welfare Card forces each recipient to share their entire purchase history with the government to ensure 'compliance' with the government's new policy of controlling how welfare recipients spend their income. In this article, I explain the human rights law that Australia is signatory to and the implications for the government in breaching that law.