Alan Moran

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Alan Moran is the Director of Deregulation unit at the right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs. He works to end most government regulation and he is a climate change skeptic, opposing the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

A biographical note states that "worked as a market analyst in the automobile manufacturing industry" in the United kingdom before moving to Australia in 1974. "In Australia, he has worked in a range of positions with the Federal Departments of Trade and Industry and Commerce. He headed up the Commonwealth's Business Regulation Review Unit and in 1990 joined the Industry Commission. He then joined the Tasman Institute as Research Director where he worked on privatization and environmental economics, before joining the Victorian Department of Agriculture, Energy and Minerals, where he was Deputy-Secretary of Energy."[1]

Between 1984 and 1987 he was Deputy Secretary, Department of Treasury.

In September 2005, Moran endorsed the concept of Australia establishing a dump for global nuclear waste. "It poses no threat, there have been no mishaps since 1944, but Australia could provide a permanent solution to other countries' problems," he said.[2]

The Deregulation Unit of the IPA

This unit of the IPA was set up in Melbourne, Victoria, with funding by the Australian tobacco company WD & HO Wills, which is a subsidiary of British-American Tobacco. The agreement to fund the establishment of this unit was made between Martin Riordan, BAT/Will's Manager of Corporate Affairs and John Hyde (WA Liberal politician and Director of the IPA) in a letter dated 10th June 1994. [1]

The letter shows that the IPA was also fronting a luncheon club in Melbourne to be called "OverRuled" which would become a recruiting ground for business executives opposed to government regulations. They were supported in this by journalist Dennis Pryor, and Geoff Drucker, the head of the Victorian PR firm, Corporate Kudo. Corporate Kudo had recently warehoused Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett's advertising company (KNF Advertising) when he ran into conflict-of-interest problems with having his family company (run nominally by his wife, Felicity) involved in government business.

David Kemp, the Liberal politician and son of the founder of the IPA was also involved, as was Geoff Hogbin, [misspelled] who worked for the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney (effectively an associate company of the IPA) -- and later ran a project for the tobacco industry to tour an American 'risk analysis expert' W. Kip Viscusi (actually W Kevin Viscusi) around Australia to promote industry propaganda. Hogbin's involvement suggests that the intention was to expand these operations into New South Wales. Hogbin had previously launched a "Regulatory Review Unit" in the offices of the CIS in Sydney (6 December 1993).

Climate Change "Dirty Dozen"

In a talk given in Australia on 20 February 2006, Clive Hamiliton (director of The Australia Institute) identifies Alan Moran as one of Australia's climate change "dirty dozen" (these include: Hugh Morgan, John Eyles, Ron Knapp, Alan Oxley, Peter Walsh, Meg McDonald, Barry Jones, Chris Mitchell, Ian MacFarlane, Alan Moran, Malcolm Broomhead, and John Howard):

"As the head of the Regulatory Unit at the Institute for Public Affairs, a right-wing think tank with close ties to greenhouse sceptics, Moran's role has been to support the Government and the fossil fuel corporations with anti-environmental opinions about climate science, the costs of emission reductions and the pitfalls of renewable energy. As a bureaucrat in the Kennett Government he played a major role in stopping, for a time, the national adoption of energy performance standards for home appliances that had been agreed by all the states. The IPA has assisted the anti-wind lobby in Victoria, a move that appears to be driven by hatred of environmentalists and a relentless scepticism about climate change."[3]

Public Transport

Alan Moran is a frequent commentator on public transport, opposing any government spending. Ironically, despite his beliefs for the free market and minimal government intervention, he is not opposed to similar (or greater) spending by governments on roads. He is purported to have completed a doctorate in public transport economics, however, his early employment is limited to the automative industry prior to becoming a lobbyist for deregulation and privatisation. His views on public transport are considered by many to be outdated and inaccurate to begin with.

As an example for the comments made by Moran, he often argues that because most people travel by car they have a preference to do so. He takes little consideration for the fact that car usage is the result of poor planning and lack of public transport provision to new suburbs. He also argues that because most trips are made by car, government spending on transport should be limited to roads, thus ensuring that most trips continue being made by car. In addition, his claims are often inconsistent. For example, in a debate on the ABC's Difference of Opinion (Thursday 26 July 2007), he makes the claim that people presently only use public transport because it's because paid for by the government. However, he later makes the claim that even if public transport were free, people won't use it. Some claims are unsubstantiated, such as his claim that the private car is equivalent to an infinite on-demand frequency (The Age, December 14, 2007). However, clearly this is impossible as road capacity is far from infinite.

Tony Abbott's failed promotion

In December 2013, the Australian ex PM Tony Abbott was lobbying to have Moran lead a govenrnment review of the Renewable Energy Target, but his advice wasn't heeded and another friend of the Liberal-Coalition, businessman, Dick Warbrton was commissioned instead. Moran's climate-denial expressions were too extreme for almost everyone in the government.

Not long after Moran was pushed out of the IPA by the more moderate Executive Director, John Roskan. Roskam told The Australian newspaper that Moran had been asked to leave the IPA due to concerns about his “social media activity”.

Documents & Timeline

1997 Nov Mike Nahan at the Institute of Public Affairs was writing to Bob Deards of the Tobacco Information Centre. This was the hurried replacement for the Tobacco Institute of Australia when its activities were exposed by the signing in the USA of the Master Settlement Agreement. Nahan is spelling out the IPA;s current services to the tobacco industry with an implicit request for more money. (See letter

Both the IPA in Melbourne and its associated Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney were getting annual retainers and special grants for specific lobbying projects from the tobacco companies, until this year.

    We are planning a number of things that will be of interest to your members.

    Deards 'members' were the main tobacco companies in Australia who were under attack.
  1. We are in the process of publishing a monograph by Peter Finch with a working title of "The Smoking Epidemic: Death and Sickness Among Australian Smokers". The monograph uses the anti-smoking lobby's own research to attack the conclusions they draw from the research. The monograph is currently with referees and, subject to successful passage of our review process -- which is expected -- we plan to publish June 1994.See Draft Copy
  2. Peter D Finch (A statistics lecturer at Monash University - not a "Professor" - although he used the title) was a serial supporter of the cigarette companies (as was the Institute of Public Affairs). He published pro-tobacco articles through a series of think-tanks which laundered tobacco money: Social Affairs Unit in the UK, the Manhattan Institute in New York, and the Melbourne Institute of Public Affairs. His associates were Christopher E Ulyatt and J. Raymond Johnstone - both with the WA Uni and John Hyde's Australian Institute of Public Affairs. They were collaborators with John C Luik from Canada who was brought out to Australia by the IPA to help the local tobacco industry obstruct (unsuccessfully) the first international 'plain packaging laws' for cigarettes.
  3. Secondly, we will be publishing an Australian version of a book by Steven Milloy entitled "Science Without Sense: The Risky Business of Public Health Research". This book is a lighthearted but hard hitting critique of junk science in public health. Mr Milloy is an American public health specialist and a lawyer. We will organise a national lecture tour to accompany the release of the book. This should be released in March 1998.
  4. Milloy was neither a lawyer or a public health specialist: he was a professional lobbyist hired to run a very successful (for a time) "junk science" operation known as The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC). This had been set up by Philip Morris through their private PR firm, APCO. In the early days of the internet it became the source of anti-science propaganda: claiming that global warming, the toxicity of dioxins and DDT, and the claimed dangers of cigarettes, were all the results of "junk-science" conducted by biased researchers. Nathan and Deards would both have known of this connection by this date.
  5. Third, Alan Moran (IPA staff executive) is writing a feature article for the December 1997 Edition of IPA Review. It draws from three contemporary pieces of work: the revamped 'blue book' prepared by ACIL on the costs & benefits of smoking; a recent article of Robert Bork defending people's choice to smoke,; and the Alan's analyses in "Soaking the Poor". The article will address the issues from the viewpoints of the economics and morality of individual choice.
  6. ACIL was actually the cosmetic front of an 'Economic Consultancy" that had been retrofitted to the Tasman Institute. This was an associated (to IPA) libertarian advocacy operation which transformed itself into a semi-legitmate research organisation for right-wing governments wanting to justify privatisation of public assets. This Institute ran Project Victoria" for the Kennett Liberal government's privatisation program.
  7. Fourth, next year we plan to prepare a Special Lift-out in the IPA Review on the nanny state. The lift-out will be published and distributed separately from the IPA Review with a circulation in the vicinity of 8,000 [copies].
  8. The term "Nanny State"" to characterise the UK welfare system was invented for Margaret Thatcher by Keith Joseph and Ralph Harris of the London Institute of Economic Affairs and used very successfully by her in her campaign to become the UK Prime Minister. Harris then established two operations for the tobacco industry: FOREST, the Smoker's Rights organisation, and the European Science & Environment Forum (ESEF) which was the European version of the American TASSC (initially known by the US tobacco companies as "Euro-TASSC). It was run by Harris's assistant at the IEA, Roger Bate, but he didn't have the skills of Steve Milloy and the ESEF was only marginally successful in becoming the arbiter of what was 'sound science' and what was 'junk science'. It's most effective propaganda was the spread of the derogatory term "Nanny State" to suggest regulatory interference in personal choice -- and the organisation that spread this message so successfully in Australia was the Institute for Public Affairs.
  9. Fifth, staff of the IPA Review write a large number of op-ed pieces (over 200 last year) and are otherwise active in the media. In the ast we have written on a variety of issues of interest to you and we no doubt will continue to do so.
  10. Op-ed writing for the newspapers is still the main activity of the IPA, and the newspaper editors know that they will be well written (the IPA has a multiple input and review process) and they don't need to pay for the copy. They can always claim to justify the opinion as the need to balance views against those of most journalists.

    Of course other things may arise during the year, [2]

    Articles and Resources


    1. "People & Associates: Alan Moran", Institute of Public Affairs, accessed March 2008.
    2. Gerard McManus, "Hawke's cash-for-waste idea", Herald Sun, September 28, 2005.
    3. Clive Hamilton, "The Dirty Politics of Climate Change", Speech to the Climate Change and Business Conference, Adelaide, February 20, 2006, page 11.

    Related SourceWatch Artciles

    External links

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