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

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Filter by August, 2017

Known unknowns about the same sex marriage survey

Following its failure to reintroduce the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016 to the Senate Notice Paper, the Government has directed the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to conduct a survey of all electors ‘about whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry’. In the absence of enabling legislation, and with no historical precedent of the ABS running a national survey of all electors, there remain many unanswered questions as to how the vote will proceed, both in terms of law and logistics. Read more...

Voluntary postal poll on same-sex marriage

On 8 August 2017 the Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, announced that the Government would be re-introducing its 2016 legislation for a compulsory plebiscite on same-sex marriage (the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016). The Minister also stated that, should the Bill again fail to pass the Parliament, the Government will conduct a ‘voluntary postal plebiscite’ on same-sex marriage for Australians on the Commonwealth Electoral Roll, with results by 15 November 2017. On 9 August 2017 the Government’s motion to bring the Bill before the Senate failed, and Minister Cormann subsequently indicated that the Government will proceed with the postal po... Read more...

China’s relationship with North Korea

The launch of two intercontinental ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or ‘North Korea’) on 4 July and 28 July of this year induced a rapid reaction from Western states. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop described the 4 July launch as ‘provocative’, while the Government referred to the 28 July launch as ‘reckless and menacing’. Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemned the launches, noting that ‘global action is required to stop a global threat’. Secretary Tillerson further stated that ‘any country that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides any economic or military ben... Read more...

Pharmacy Review: change ahead or business as usual?

On 22 June 2017, the last day of the winter session for the Australian Parliament, the Independent Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation released its Interim Report. The release did not receive much coverage in the mainstream media, even though the Report canvasses significant changes for pharmacists and consumers. It has, however, drawn a strong response from key stakeholders. Read more...

What can HILDA tell you about Australia?

The latest results of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey were released in a report published on 2 August 2017. The results relate to data collected from 2001 to 2015. HILDA is a nationally representative longitudinal study of Australian households funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services and managed by the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne. The major advantage of the HILDA survey is its longitudinal nature. Since 2001, questions have been asked of the same individuals and households every year— allowing researchers to examine how aspects of these individuals and households’ lives change over time. If the... Read more...

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