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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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FlagPost — Parliamentary Library Blog

The departures continue: constitutional disqualification from Parliament

Western Australian Green Scott Ludlam and Queensland Green Larissa Waters are now the third and fourth senators to have left the Senate since the last election due to ineligibility. Prior to the current term of Parliament, only five parliamentarians had ever lost their seats due to Constitutional eligibility reasons. Read more...

The impeachment process in the United States of America

On 12 July 2017 United States (US) congressman Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, formally introduced articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump into the US House of Representatives. The measure was co-sponsored by Texas Democrat Al Green. The articles of impeachment accuse the President of obstruction of justice in relation to the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), including ‘through threatening, and then terminating, [FBI Director] James Comey’. The impeachment measure is likely to meet with substantial opposition in the Republican-controlled House. Read more...

Somalia update

Although it has taken almost two decades since the formation of a transitional government was agreed in 2000, progress towards stability in Somalia is being made. While the situation is far from being considered peaceful and stable, the building of relatively sound foundations has provided some hope that Somalia might progress to becoming a functioning state. Somalia continues to receive significant military, political, financial and humanitarian support from the international community, including Australia. Since 2016, Australia has provided $17 million in humanitarian support. Read more...

Mini-Redistributions: Representational Russian Roulette

A recent newspaper article suggests that the Prime Minister might be forced to call an early election in August or September 2018, however the recent release of the population estimates from the Census may complicate this. Read more...

Census 2016 - Summary of results

The Census of Population and Housing paints a picture of the society in which we live and, when compared with previous censuses, we can see how we have changed.  Read more...

Schools funding legislation passed by Parliament—an update on the amendments

(This FlagPost updates information in the Parliamentary Library’s Bills Digest for the Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017.) Following the Government’s negotiations with the Crossbench, the Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017 (the Bill), with significant amendments, has now been passed by Parliament. Most of the amendments to the Bill follow recommendations made by a number of the non-government parties and by major interest groups in submissions to the Senate committee inquiry on the Bill. Labor and the Australian Greens did not support the Bill. However, the amendments reflect recommendations made by the Greens in their dissenting report on the inquiry into the Bill.... Read more...

Can we trust Census data?

 The 2016 Census didn’t run as smoothly as the statisticians would have liked. In response to privacy concerns, hardware failure and denial of service attacks on Census night, as well as ongoing criticism by media and the public, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) established an Independent Assurance Panel. The Panel’s task was to review and assure the quality of statistical outputs from the 2016 Census. Coinciding with the first major release of 2016 Census data, the Panel’s report  was released today.   Read more...

Gains and losses on the electorate roundabout

The latest population data released today (27 June 2017) by the ABS suggests that, for the next election, the number of divisions in South Australia will reduce by one (from 11 to 10) and the number of divisions in both Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory will increase by one. There will be no change in the number of divisions for any other state or territory. Read more...

National Firearms Amnesty 2017

On 16 June 2017 the Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, announced that the first national firearms amnesty since the one that followed the Port Arthur massacre in April 1996, would commence on 1 July 2017 for a period of three months. In acknowledging that there have been state-based amnesties since 1996, the minister declared that ‘it is again time that we give every Australian the chance to dispose of firearms without fear of being prosecuted’. Read more...

The Federation Census, 1901

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has set Tuesday 27 June 2017 as the date for the first official release of 2016 Census data, with further releases to take place in October, December, and continuing into 2018. Ahead of this date, it is timely to recall the newly federated Australia’s first census in 1901.  Read more...

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