Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA)
The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance describes itself as a grassroots activist body “dedicated to fighting Australia’s crippling levels of taxation, over-regulation, and government waste.”1Homepage, Australian Taxpayers Alliance. Archived May 25, 2012. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/Cqn2y
It was launched on May 1, 2012 by Menzies House, a website catering to “conservative, centre-right and libertarian thinkers and activists.”2“Announcing The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance!” Menzies House, April 11, 2012. Archived June 29, 2012. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/HDG51 3“Support us,” MenziesHouse. Archived May 27, 2012. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ogkKP
ATA describes itself as a “decentralised network designed to empower individuals to take action in their own communities, and create their own ‘franchises’ within an appropriate framework.”4“FAQ,” Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, April 30, 2012. Archived May 5, 2012. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/lzyAJ
Before the ATA was launched, its business plan said the organisation’s goal was “to become Australia’s leading and most influential centre-right grassroots advocacy body in order to transform Australia to a new level of free market public policies by focusing on cutting tax, regulation and waste”.
The organisation is incorporated as a private company and has two directors. Records held by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission lists executive director and founder Tim Andrews and his mother as the company’s two directors.
Stance on Climate Change
The ATA has been a “sponsor” of several of the Heartland Institute’s International Conferences on Climate Change (ICCC) – events featuring climate science deniers and anti-climate change activists from across the world. Most recently the ATA sponsored the 10th ICCC conference in Washington DC and the ninth ICCC conference, held in Las Vegas.
The ATA described the Heartland Institute’s 7th International Conference on Climate Change, an event featuring only speakers who are skeptical of man’s influence on climate, as “the place to get the FACTS on climate change – and not the alarmist spin you read in the media.”5“7th International Conference on Climate Change,” Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, May 12, 2012. Archived October 26, 2012. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/jx2rV
Tim Andrews has previously told DeSmog that the ATA‘s sponsorship of the Heartland conferences is not financial and is “limited purely to promoting the conference through our networks. It does not involve any financial commitment.”
The ATA‘s listing of “academic fellows” includes climate science contrarian Patrick Michaels, of the Cato Institute. Michaels once admitted that about 40 per cent of his funding came from the fossil fuel industry. The ATA‘s board of advisers includes climate science denialist blogger Jo Nova.
The ATA‘s first campaign was to prevent the passing of legislation that would put a price on greenhouse gas emissions in Australia.
The ATA is registered in Australia as a private corporation, which means that no financial information is available. Records held by the Australian Business Register show the ATA is not registered for the Goods and Services Tax. The revenue threshold over which companies must register for GST in Australia is currently $75,000, suggesting the ATA‘s income is modest.
The ATA‘s executive director and founder is Tim Andrews. An original business plan for the ATA, written by Andrews, said of Andrews:
“Since 2008, Timothy Andrews has resided in Washington DC learning effective advocacy and grassroots mobilisation techniques from internationally recognised campaigning leaders. He was employed for two years under the tutelage of Grover Norquist at Americans for Tax Reform, universally recognised as the US’s most influential tax-reduction advocacy group. Timothy Andrews was also a participant in the Koch Associate Program, an intense year-long training program by the Charles Koch Institute to train a select group of activists to become more efficient agents for change.”
- Timothy Andrews — Executive Director.
Board of Advisors
- Tom Switzer — Editor of the Spectator Australia.
- Ross Cameron — former Liberal party politican
- Julian Leeser — head of government relations at Australian Catholic University and former executive director of the Liberal Party-affiliated Menzies Research Centre.
- Theresa Moltoni — Managing Director and Principal Consultant of professional services firm IRIQ
- Warwick Morris — former chairman of mining company Sumatra Copper and Gold
- Sam Kennard — Managing director of Kennards Self Storage
- Ron Manners — Founder/Executive Director, Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, member of the board of overseers for the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, member of the Mont Pelerin Society
- Joanne Nova — Perth-based climate science denialist blogger
- Ken Phillips — Former director, work reform unit of the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).
- Alex Robson — economist and lecture at Griffith University, former adviser to Liberal Party MP Malcolm Turnbull
- Professor Sinclair Davidson — economist at RMIT university and senor research fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs
- Dr Mikayla Novak — senior research fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs
- Professor Jason Potts — economist at RMIT university
- Michael Keane — public health lecturer at Monash University
- Patrick Michaels — Senior Environmental Fellow at the Cato Institute.
The ATA placed a half-page newspaper advertisement in The Australian newspaper supporting Danish climate change contrarian Bjorn Lomborg. The advert claimed that a decision by the University of Western Australia to reject a $4 million government grant to host Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center was an example of “academic censorship”.
The ATA used a fundraising website to gather cash to pay for the advert. As DeSmog reported, several supporters held antipathy towards climate change science. One wrote that “these climate fascists need to confronted” while another said that “green religion bigots” had been exposed. Another suggested there should be more adverts “to challenge the climate hoax”.
May 21–23, 2012
The ATA was an official co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute’s 7th International Conference on Climate Change.
Patrick Michaels, a member of ATA‘s board of Advisers and “Chief Scientific Adviser” to the affiliated website www.StopGillard’sCarbonTax.Com, is a speaker at the event.7“7th International Conference on Climate Change,” Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, May 12, 2012. Archived October 26, 2012. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/jx2rV
May 1, 2012
The ATA launched at an event in Sydney, hosted by Tom Switzer. Among the guests photographed were prominent climate science deniers Australian Liberal Senator Nick Minchin, executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs John Roskam, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi and News Corp columnist Miranda Devine.
According to the ATA‘s business plan, the organisation had a goal “to become Australia’s leading and most influential centre-right grassroots advocacy body in order to transform Australia to a new level of free market public policies by focusing on cutting tax, regulation and waste”.
The Spectator magazine described Tim Andrews as “one of the masterminds behind the anticarbon tax protests” in Australia.
Registered the web domain “stopgillardscarbontax.com,” a website opposed to Julia Gillard’s carbon tax on Australia. The website described itself as “the central portal and information resource for Australians opposing Julia Gillard’s destructive Carbon Tax.”
The website included a petition that urges elected representatives to vote against the proposal.8“About Us,” Repeal Gillard’s Carbon Tax. Archived November 19, 2012. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/gNspf
- Menzies House
- The Mankaal Economic Research Foundation
- The Liberal Democratic Party
- The Consumers and Taxpayers Association
- The Carbon Sense Coalition
- The Institute for Private Enterprise
- The Australian Liberal Students’ Federation
- The Federal Young Liberal Movement
- The Democratic Labor Party
- The Australian Libertarian Society
- The Christian Democratic Party
- The Australia Tea Party
Australian Taxpayer’s Alliance
As of 2016, the Australian Taxpayer’s Alliance listed the following contact information on its website:10Homepage, Australian Taxpayers Alliance. Archived January 26, 2016. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/QRoVx
Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance
P.O. Box A2208
Sydney South, NSW, 1235
ABN: 72 153 797 294
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (02) 8964 8651
- Menzies House
- Stop Gillards Carbon Tax.com
- Support Bolt.com
- Australian Libertarian Society (ALS) — ALS treasurer Tim Andrews is Executive Director of ATA.
- @AusTaxpayers on Twitter.
- “The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance” on Facebook.
- “Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance” on LinkedIn.
- “Australian Taxpayers Alliance,” SourceWatch.