FlagPost

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

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FlagPost — Parliamentary Library Blog

Defence procurement from Indigenous enterprises

In late October 2016 the Australian Government issued a media release highlighting the ‘spectacular success’ of its Commonwealth Indigenous Procurement Policy (CIPP), established just over 12 months prior. The Department of Defence has played a key role in this policy achievement, through its high level of engagement with the program and its status as the government department with the highest level of procurements. Read more...

Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Amendment (New Governance Arrangements) Bill 2016

In view of the Bill’s passage through the House of Representatives on 22 November, and its listing for debate in the Senate on 24 November, this FlagPost has been published in lieu of a Bills Digest. Following the recommendations of a review conducted in 2015, the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Amendment (New Governance Arrangements) Bill 2016 (the Bill) proposes that the current Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority (OTA) Advisory Council be replaced by a governing Board that also assumes many of the responsibilities currently assigned to the OTA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  Read more...

Iraq's humanitarian crisis grows

The operation to retake Mosul has reinvigorated the international community’s interest in the humanitarian dimensions of the conflict in Iraq. This has also resulted in a raft of recent donations to address the coming crisis – many groups estimate up to 1.5 million people could potentially being displaced or affected by the operation to retake the city. However, Iraq’s humanitarian and development needs extend far beyond the immediate requirements in Mosul. Read more...

Regulation of lever-action shotguns

In light of renewed debate over regulation of the Adler A-110 lever-action shotgun, this FlagPost provides a brief overview of the current regulation of lever-action shotguns and recent developments. The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 currently prohibit the import of any: lever-action shotgun with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds or firearm magazine with a capacity of more than five rounds for a lever-action shotgun (even if not attached to a shotgun). The prohibition is not specific to the Adler A-110 lever-action shotgun, and only affects imports of that model with a magazine capacity of more than five rounds (there is also a model with a capacity of fi... Read more...

‘Stewardship’: buzzword, inkblot, or a new way to deliver human services?

The concept of ‘stewardship’ features in the Productivity Commission’s recent preliminary findings report on human services. Is stewardship just a buzzword, or is it a new way for governments to oversee client choice in the market-based delivery of human services? Or is stewardship like a Rorschach inkblot test—a poorly-defined collection of features onto which we project our own interpretations and assume that other stakeholders see what we see? This FlagPost discusses stewardship as it emerges in Australia, with reference to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and other areas of service delivery. Read more...

Welfare reform and social investment

Australian policymakers and commentators are looking to New Zealand for ideas on reform. One idea that has attracted a lot attention is social investment. ‘Spend now to save later’ is the principle behind social investment. As New Zealand Minister for Finance Bill English puts it: ‘We are prepared to spend money on effective programs which change lives, because what works for the community also works for the Government’s books.’ Welfare reform is one area where policymakers are trialling the social investment approach. A win-win approach to budget repair Citizens expect governments to maintain a strong safety net to protect people in the face of challenges like ... Read more...

NEETs and welfare dependency—what the OECD says

The OECD is more concerned about young people receiving disability, carer and single parent payments than those on unemployment payments. Read more...

Legacies of violence—anti-crime campaigns and extrajudicial killings in Southeast Asia

Amid the Philippine Government’s ongoing campaign of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and addicts, and reports that Indonesia is looking to emulate aspects of this approach, it is timely to recall similar previous anti-crime campaigns in Southeast Asia.   Read more...

What's happening with ARENA?

The recently passed Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 originally included a measure to reduce funding to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency by $1.26 billion between 2017–18 and 2021–22. The move has been controversial, with the renewable energy industry, academics and environmentalists opposing it. Eventually, a compromise was reached between the Government and the Opposition to reduce the budget cut to $500 million. However, the deal has become more complicated, with the Government proposing additional changes to support for renewable energy. This FlagPost explains what has happened.   Read more...

Omnibus Bill compromise to find further savings from family payments

The Government and Opposition have agreed on amendments to secure passage of the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 that includes a new Family Tax Benefit (FTB) savings measure. The measure would see families with adjusted taxable income of $80,000 or more per year ineligible to receive the Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB-A) supplement from 1 July 2016. Read more...