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Filter by June, 2012

Appliance energy ratings get the standard treatment

Parliamentary debates on the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Bill have been deferred. The Bill was originally scheduled for discussion on Thursday 28 June, with the portfolio Shadow Minister to outline the Coalition’s position. Although the scheme started out as a Labor election promise in 2007, it evolved into a commitment under COAG’s National Strategy on Energy Efficiency to ‘establish national legislation for Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and labelling, and over time move to add Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS)’. This Bill implements that COAG commitment.Historically, the energy efficiency of appliances has been managed at the state level, prima... Read more...

New Place Based Income Management to commence 1 July

A new form of income management being introduced next week will extend welfare quarantining to selected disadvantaged areas across Australia, targeting people involved in child protection matters and deemed vulnerable to financial hardship.From 1 July, the Government will introduce a new form of income management to communities in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.   So, how will the new Place Based Income Management operate and how does it differ from existing forms? Why base it in particular areas? What do we know about whether or not it is likely to be successful?  Place Based Income Management will apply in the following Local Government Areas (LGAs):Bankstown, Ne... Read more...

Update on statistics for boat arrivals

The Parliamentary Library produces a number of publications about asylum seekers and immigration. The publication, Boat arrivals in Australia since 1976 provides a brief overview of the historical and political context surrounding boat arrivals in Australia. An update of the statistical appendix on boat arrival figures is provided below. Please note that the publication has not yet been formally updated.Other relevant Parliamentary Library resources:Can Oakshott’s Bill end the asylum impasse? Bills Digest for the Migration Legislation Amendment (Offshore Processing and Other Measures Bill) 2011 – this is the Bill the Government first introduced into the House of Representatives on 21 August ... Read more...

Trafficking in Persons - Special Rapporteur's Report to the Human Rights Council

On 22 June, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons especially women and children, presented her annual  report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, including reports of her missions to Thailand and Australia.Special Rapporteurs are independent experts appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (formerly the Commission on Human Rights) to investigate, monitor, and advise on human rights violations – world wide or in specific countries. In carrying out her mandate, the Special Rapporteur undertakes country visits to study the situation on the ground and, develop recommendations to better prevent or combat trafficking and protect the human ri... Read more...

Australia's tertiary students - the latest snapshot

Almost twice as many higher education graduates enrol in vocational education and training courses than the other way round.The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has just released Tertiary Education and Training 2010, an annual publication that compares vocational education and training (VET) and higher education on a range of key measures. It draws on data from the National VET Provider Collection and the Higher Education Statistics Collection. One sector or two?Australia’s higher education and VET sectors are vastly different, not just in what they deliver but structurally, financially and culturally. However, a more joined-up tertiary education sector is never far ... Read more...

How's it going? Australia's Health 2012

  The thirteenth report on Australia's health was released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) on 21 June 2012. The AIHW describes Australia's Health 2012 as 'the most comprehensive and authoritative source of national information on health in Australia', and many would not disagree. Produced biennially since 1988, the report has grown both in size and stature as a reliable report card on the status of the country's health and the services and resources that deliver and support it. A companion In brief publication was also released.Drawing on the resources of the AIHW, the ABS and other key statistical sources, Australia's Health 2012 contains the latest informat... Read more...

Is $325 million enough for Tasmania's health care system?

  Last week, after much speculation, the Federal Government announced that it would provide an extra $325 million over four years to Tasmania’s health care system. Previously the Tasmanian Government had announced cuts of up to $500 million over four years to the health care system, commencing from 1 July 2011. Many of these cuts were directed to elective surgery, reduced services and the closure of hospital beds. The most recent Tasmanian budget (May 2012) announced a reduction of the savings target by $120 million. Of the $325 million, only $31.2 million will be directed towards elective surgery with the majority of funding to be spent on better care in the community, improved discharge ... Read more...

2011 Census release

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the first data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Australia’s population has risen to over 21.5 million, with more people born overseas. There has also been an increase in the proportion of Australians identifying as Indigenous, and fewer people now identify a religious affiliation.Australia’s migrant population is growing and changingIn the decade to 2011, the proportion of the population who were born overseas increased from 27.4% to 30.2%.Over the same period, the proportion of Australians with at least one parent born overseas increased from 42.7% to 46.3% There was a shift away from Europe and towards Asia. The number b... Read more...

Income management: some answers to key questions

From 1 July 2012, income management will be extended to five new disadvantaged communities across Australia: Bankstown (New South Wales), Logan (Queensland), Rockhampton (Queensland), Playford (South Australia) and Greater Shepparton (Victoria).While the policy of income management of welfare payments has been highly controversial, the specific details of its various forms are not generally well understood. The Parliamentary Library has released a Background Note seeking to address this lack of understanding. It provides a brief overview of the history of income management and responses to a number of key questions about the policy.Questions answered by the Background Note include: what is i... Read more...

New marine reserve proposals

The Commonwealth is proposing the proclamation of 44 new marine reserves covering a total of 2.34 million square kilometres by the end of the year. The move has drawn criticism from fisheries bodies for excluding fishing in substantial areas of the ocean; at the other end of the spectrum, some conservation bodies were disappointed that the government had not banned oil and gas exploration in areas adjacent to existing marine parks. The proposal for 44 new reserves was released on 14 June 2012 as part of the Marine Bioregional planning exercise. This exercise covered five Marine Regions (South-west, North-west, North, and East (Temperate East) and Coral Sea). The proposed marine reserves cont... Read more...

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