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

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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...

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...

Ballistic missile defence and Australia

During the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in Washington DC on 20 November, ballistic missile defence (BMD) was again raised as a specific area of potential further cooperation, having also been discussed at the preceding three meetings. The concept of BMD is not new, with initial research and development by the US Army beginning as early as 1945. Since then, Australia has increasingly become well-positioned to actively support the US-led BMD program, in concert with other regional allies such as Japan and South Korea. This article summarises what BMD is, and the prospects for Australia’s future contribution to the program.What is ballistic missile defence?According to the US... Read more...

Al-Shabaab: links to background and analysis

 It has been widely reported that the Somali militant group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack on a Nairobi shopping mall on 21 September 2013 which cost at least 62 lives. This FlagPost provides information on the listing of al-Shabaab as a terrorist organisation in Australia and other countries, and links to publicly available information on the organisation.Terrorist listingsAl-Shabaab has been listed as a terrorist organisation by the Australian Government since 22 August 2009, with the listing last renewed on 18 August 2012. The statement of reasons outlines details about al-Shabaab, including its objectives and activities, the basis for listing it as a terrorist organ... Read more...

US Trafficking in Persons Report 2013

On 19 June, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, released the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report for 2013.Each year since 2001, the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in the US State Department has produced a legislatively mandated report outlining major trends and issues in combating human trafficking and providing country by country analyses and ratings. The 2013 Report assesses 188 governments, including the United States, on their compliance with minimum standards set out in the Trafficking Victim Protections Act 2000 (TVPA).  As the 2011 Report noted, the TVPA standards are ‘largely’ (though not entirely) consistent with the framework for addressing trafficking establish... Read more...

Latest US climate Bill follows Australian lead

The US seems to be following in the footsteps of Australia, at least in terms of climate policy. Last week, Senators Sanders and Boxer introduced into Congress a Bill that establishes a carbon price. Like Australia’s Clean Energy Act, the US’s proposed Climate Protection Act would see the majority of carbon tax revenue flowing back to households to assist with rising energy prices. Also proposed, and comparable to Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation, is a $500 billion program to co-invest in, or provide guarantees for, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Details of the US BillThere are a number of components to the Bill. It sets a 2050 target to reduce greenhouse gas em... Read more...

Republican presidential nomination process

The next United States Presidential election will be held on 6 November 2012. This year focus is on the Republican Party presidential nomination process as President Obama has announced his intention to seek the Democratic Party presidential nomination. The presidential candidate for the Republican Party will have to accumulate at least 1144 delegate votes out of the 2286 on offer at the various primaries and caucuses from January to June this year to win the nomination at the Republican National Convention (27–30 August 2012). The latest primary, held in Illinois, was declared on 21 March 2012, with former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney taking the primary with 46.7 per cent of the v... Read more...

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