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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 January, 2013

Federal election 2013: Date announcement earliest ever

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement on 30 January 2013 that the next Federal election will be on Saturday 14 September is the earliest a federal election has ever been announced. This Flagpost details previous early election announcements, reactions to this year's announcement and significant dates in the election timetable.The previous earliest election date announcement was in 1966 when a House of Representatives only election was announced on Thursday 11 August and held on 26 November. This was a period of three and a half months compared to this year’s period of seven and a half months. The previous earliest announcement for a half-Senate and House of Representatives election was... Read more...

Federal election 2013: How safe is your seat?

The “safeness” of an electoral division is determined by the size of the swing required for the division to be lost by the party (or independent) holding the division. A marginal division requires a swing of less than six per cent, a fairly safe division requires a swing of six to ten per cent and a safe division requires a swing of over ten per cent. This FlagPost details the most up-to-date information on those divisions that are marginal and fairly safe. Those seats that are considered safe have been excluded from this post.The size of each electorate is determined by population. To ensure equal representation, the boundaries of these divisions have to be redrawn or redistributed periodic... Read more...

Another step towards referendum on Constitutional recognition of local government

On 24 January 2013 the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government recommended in its preliminary report that a referendum on the financial recognition of local government be held in conjunction with the 2013 federal election. The Committee was established in late 2012 to build on the work done by the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government, specifically to inquire into ‘financial recognition of local government', the majority finding of the Expert Panel, to assess the likelihood of success for such recognition through a referendum, the consequences of recognition for local, state and territory governments, as well as whether and when a ref... Read more...

Why the Pensioner Concession Card is so valuable

The Minister for Human Services, Senator Kim Carr, has ordered Centrelink to apologise to tens of thousands of single parents who were mistakenly told that they were no longer eligible for a Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) after being moved from Parenting Payment Single (PPS) to Newstart Allowance on 1 January 2013. The letter to parents affected by changes to PPS eligibility arising from the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Fair Incentives to Work) Act 2012 advised them to destroy their concession cards even though most would still be eligible for a PCC. The PCC is a valuable supplementary benefit which provides access to a wide range of discounts and subsidies. The following explains... Read more...

Can single parent families survive on Newstart? It might depend on where they live

There has been considerable media coverage in recent days about the implementation of the new income support arrangements applying from 1 January for single parents whose youngest child is over 8, who are being moved from Parenting Payment Single (PPS) on to Newstart Allowance (NSA). Some of this coverage implies that these families will now be required to live on $35 a day. While this is not the case, with total entitlements being significantly higher than this, the ability of single parent households to live a reasonable lifestyle while solely dependent on income support will be heavily influenced by where they live. This FlagPost looks at the impact of different accommodation arrangement... Read more...

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