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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 February, 2017

The Coalition, Labor and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2013

Over the last decade, differences have emerged between the two major Australian parties in their approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, making it a foreign policy issue of unusual disagreement. While there is still declared bipartisan support for the long-accepted ‘two-state solution’, broader international dynamics now raise a number of questions for Australian policymakers. Such issues include increasing concern over the viability of such a solution due to increased settlement activity and possible changes in US policy.  Read more...

The 75th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin

On 19 February 1942 approximately 240 Japanese aircraft attacked Darwin in two separate raids, representing the first ever enemy attack on Australian soil. More than 240 civilians and Australian and US service personnel were killed, and eight ships were sunk in Darwin Harbour. This was the first of 64 bombing raids by Japanese aircraft on Darwin between February 1942 and late 1943, although a new book suggests there may have been as many as 77 raids on the Northern Territory alone. A number of other coastal towns in Australia’s north were also attacked during 1942 and 1943. During January 1941 Japan had occupied Manila, resulting in the retreat of American and Philippine forces to the ... Read more...

Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Bill 2017 and Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2017

On 13 January 2017, in response to the recent controversy over MPs’ travel entitlements, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the establishment of an Independent Parliamentary Entitlements Authority. The Prime Minister also foreshadowed further legislative reform dealing with business expenses. On 9 February the Prime Minister introduced the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Bill 2017 (IPEA Bill) and a Consequential Amendments Bill. The IPEA Bill is modelled on the British Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). Read more...

Back here again - safe zones in Syria

The creation of a safe zone in Syria was consistently ruled-out by the Obama Administration as a fraught, expensive and partial solution to the crisis, despite international calls for action. In a 10 February interview, Syrian President Assad alluded to some of these complexities and rejected President Trump’s plan to establish such an area in Syria.   Read more...

National Apology Day 2017

Today (13th of February) is National Apology Day, the anniversary of then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, delivering the National Apology to Australia’s Indigenous Peoples, especially the Stolen Generations, on the 13th of February 2008. The Apology is now considered a defining moment in Australian history. This is a separate occasion from National Sorry Day, the anniversary of Bringing them Home: the Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families being tabled in parliament on the 26th of May 1997. This FlagPost covers government responses to Recommendation 5a of Bringing them Home, which recommended both apologies a... Read more...

Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority

In the wake of the recent parliamentary entitlements controversy that culminated in the resignation of Health Minister Sussan Ley, on 13 January 2017 Prime Minister Turnbull announced the establishment of an independent parliamentary expenses authority to administer and oversee the work expenses of parliamentarians, including ministers. He indicated that the model used by the United Kingdom (UK) would provide the direction for the new independent authority. This post provides a brief overview of the UK model—the statutory Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). Read more...

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