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  • White Ribbon Day 2015

    Posted 25/11/2015 by Anna Dunkley

    Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day. This day also marks the start of the United Nations campaign, 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women. Recognition of these events is particularly significant in 2015, as it is 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which outlined a global commitment to gender equality.


    TAGS: women, domestic violence, family violence

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  • Consumer issues driving current private health insurance debate

    Posted 23/11/2015 by Amanda Biggs
    Proposals to reform private health insurance arrangements are being canvassed by the Health Minister, Sussan Ley through a consultation process, including an online consumer survey. The Minister has also appointed Professor Graeme Samuel to consult with industry. According to the Health Minister’s press release, the main concern with current arrangements is that consumers are not getting value for money. Read more...

    TAGS: private health insurance

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  • A snapshot of current trends for women in leadership

    Posted 18/11/2015 by Joy McCann
    Large crowd of people watching concert or sport event
    Ints Vikmanis /
    The recent decision by Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to appoint equal numbers of men and women to his cabinet made headlines around the world. The issue of gender representation has also been prominent in Australia this year, with the debate about gender equality escalating across the political divide.  Read more...

    TAGS: women, leadership, parliament, government

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  • Government to raise education competency requirements for financial advisers

    Posted 16/11/2015 by Jola Olender
    On 20 October 2015, the Australian Government released its response to the Financial System Inquiry (‘Murray Inquiry’). The Government agreed with the Murray Inquiry’s recommendation 25 that the minimum competency standards of financial advisers should be raised. The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has raised concerns about whether the proposal will apply to current financial advisers, or solely apply to new financial advisers. Current minimum education requirements The ... Read more...

    TAGS: financial advisers, financial planners, Financial System Inquiry, Murray Inquiry

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  • Australian aid to the Middle East: statistics and trends

    Posted 12/11/2015 by Marty Harris

    Australia has been providing development assistance to the Palestinians through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), since the 1950s. This marks the beginning of Australia’s aid commitment to the Middle East, and it has maintained its voluntary funding to UNRWA up to the present day.



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  • Survey finds strong support for immigration and multiculturalism (but not for asylum seekers arriving by boat)

    Posted 29/10/2015 by Harriet Spinks

    A new report on social cohesion by the Scanlon Foundation presents some interesting findings concerning Australians’ attitudes to social cohesion, immigration and population issues. The survey is the only study of its kind in Australia, presenting comprehensive information on attitudes towards these issues over the last eight years.


    TAGS: immigration, multiculturalism

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  • Whistle-blowing under the Border Force Act: Three months on

    Posted 21/10/2015 by Elibritt Karlsen
    Despite both major political parties agreeing that the Border Force Bill 2015 (introduced into Parliament in February this year) would be dealt with as non-controversial legislation, since its commencement on 1 July 2015, it has proved to be anything but uncontroversial. Perhaps the most contentious aspect of the Border Force Act (the Act) has proved to be the secrecy provision contained in section 42 of the Act which provides that an ‘entrusted person’ commits an offence if they di... Read more...

    TAGS: asylum, refugees, immigration

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  • Ireland announces a special tax rate for 'Knowledge Development Box'

    Posted 15/10/2015 by Kali Sanyal

    Following the announcement regarding the new policy framework set out in the ‘Road Map for Ireland’s Tax Competitiveness’ as published in October 2014, the Irish government declared on 13 October 2015 that from next year it would cut the corporate tax rate to 6.25 per cent from the existing 12.5 per cent for revenues tied with companies’ patents and certain intellectual property (IP).


    TAGS: Ireland, OECD, Taxation

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  • A quick overview of the proposed Senate electoral system

    Posted 22/09/2015 by Damon Muller
    Senate chamber

    In an interview with the ABC’s Radio National on 22 September 2015 the new Special Minister of State, Hon Mal Brough MP, indicated that he intended to pursue reform of the Senate electoral system. Citing the need to strengthen Australia’s democracy and democratic engagement by implementing a more representative system, the Minister stated that ideally the new system would be in place for the next election (due in the normal course of events in the second half of 2016).

    In an Interim Report released in May 2014, the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) proposed what is perhaps the most radical overhaul of the electoral system used to elect the Australian Senate since 1948, when the much-criticised block system was abolished and proportional representation by Single Transferable Vote was first introduced. The government has not yet formally responded to the Committee’s report.


    TAGS: elections, electoral reform, Senate

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  • Electing the party leader - recent events in Australia and the UK, update September 2015

    Posted 18/09/2015 by Deirdre McKeown
    A  FlagPost published in May 2015 titled Electing the party leader –recent events in Australia and the UK outlined the methods used by major parties in Australia and the UK to elect party leaders. In the last few weeks new leaders have been elected by the Liberal Party of Australia and the UK Labour Party, using very different electoral systems. Liberal Party of Australia On 14 September 2015 at 4pm the Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, called a press conference to annou... Read more...

    TAGS: Elections

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  • Why China is cutting 300,000 military personnel

    Posted 17/09/2015 by Stephen Fallon
    For many who watched China’s recent parade to commemorate the conclusion of the Second World War, the numbers were the most striking aspect of the event. Twelve thousand soldiers participated, accompanied by almost 200 aircraft and 500 pieces of air and ground equipment. It conveyed the message that China is a formidable military power that will not be bullied by foreigners as it was during its ‘century of humiliation’. However, the number that captured the attention of many ob... Read more...


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  • Prime ministers and recent Liberal Party leadership challenges

    Posted 15/09/2015 by Cathy Madden
    Parliament House in Canberra
    On Tuesday 15 September 2015 Malcolm Turnbull was sworn in as Australia’s 29th Prime Minister. This resulted from a challenge by Mr Turnbull to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s leadership of the federal Parliamentary Liberal Party on the 14 September. Mr Turnbull stated that Mr Abbott had failed to provide economic leadership and called for the restoration of traditional cabinet government. Mr Turnbull also announced that he had resigned his position as Minister for Communications. Mr Ab... Read more...

    TAGS: leadership, parliament

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  • You work where? Where Australians Lived and Worked, 2006 and 2011

    Posted 8/09/2015 by Aaron Greenup
    The Parliamentary Library has constructed two maps using Census data to illustrate the journeys Australians took to travel to work in 2006 and 2011.    Click for larger images.   About the data The lines on the above maps represent the net journeys between regions. The net journey is the difference between the number of people travelling to and from two regions. For example, if five people travelled from region B to region A and three people travelled from region A to region B, t... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census, employment, transport

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  • Australia’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis

    Posted 8/09/2015 by Harriet Spinks

    The escalating Syrian refugee crisis continues to make news headlines around the world and in recent weeks European countries have been gathering to discuss what they can do to assist. Several European countries have committed to increasing resettlement places for Syrian refugees, while Germany has stated that it will process asylum applications from Syrians in Germany rather than returning them for processing to the country in which they first entered the EU, as it is permitted to do under the Dublin II Regulation. Germany expects to receive up to 800,000 asylum applications from Syrians in 2015.


    TAGS: refugees, asylum, immigration

    Comments (0)
  • An interpretive centre to commemorate Australia's war on the Western Front

    Posted 1/09/2015 by Nathan Church

    In May 2015 the Parliamentary Library highlighted in its Budget Review 2015–16 plans by the Australian Government to build an interpretive centre adjoining the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux in France at a cost of more than $100 million. On 13 August 2015, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works issued its report regarding the proposed ‘Sir John Monash Centre’ (SJMC). Following the release of this report and evidence provided at a public hearing on 26 June, further details are now available.


    TAGS: military history

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