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  • Legislation and the financial initiative: what happened to the Opposition amendments to the Carbon Tax Repeal Bills?

    Posted 27/11/2013 by Sophia Fernandes
    The Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 and other related Bills passed the House of Representatives on 21 November 2013 with no amendments. While this is not an unusual occurrence, what is notable is that Opposition amendments to the package of bills were not debated during the consideration-in-detail stage.The Speaker, the Hon. Bronwyn Bishop, made a ruling prior to the commencement of the consideration-in-detail stage of the Bills, that the amendments could contravene standi... Read more...

    TAGS: carbon tax, constitution, parliamentary procedure, standing orders

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  • Another step towards referendum on Constitutional recognition of local government

    Posted 25/01/2013 by Rob Lundie
    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 Ex... Read more...

    TAGS: constitutional recognition of local government, Constitutional reform, local government, referendum

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  • 110th anniversary of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902

    Posted 12/06/2012 by Joy McCann
    Image source: Wikimedia Commons
    Tuesday 12 June 2012 marks the 110th anniversary of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, the law that granted most Australian women the right to vote, and therefore to stand, in Commonwealth elections. The Act stated that ‘all persons not under twenty-one years of age whether male or female married or unmarried’ would be entitled to vote in Commonwealth elections. It excluded Indigenous men and women, unless they were eligible to vote under state laws in accordance with Section 41 of the Austral... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Electoral Commission, constitution, Electoral reform, indigenous Australians, women

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  • Local government: the road to Constitutional recognition

    Posted 11/01/2012 by Sophia Fernandes
    Source: Parliamentary Education Office
    As part of the agreements to form government in September 2010, the ALP committed to advancing constitutional recognition of local government, including holding a referendum during the 43rd Parliament or at the next election.An independent Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government was appointed in April 2011 by the federal government. Headed by NSW Chief Justice the Hon. James Spigelman AC QC, the panel circulated a discussion paper and conducted community consultation relea... Read more...

    TAGS: constitution, constitutional recognition of local government, local government

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  • Queen's visit revives republican debate

    Posted 15/11/2011 by Joy McCann
    The recent trip to Australia by Queen Elizabeth II marked her 16th visit since 1954, when she was the first reigning British monarch to make the journey. The Queen is the Head of State of the United Kingdom and holds the symbolic position as Head of the Commonwealth. She is currently Head of State in 16 of the 54 Commonwealth member countries including Australia. Thirty-three Commonwealth countries (including the Fiji Islands which was suspended from the Commonwealth in 2009) have a republican f... Read more...

    TAGS: constitution, republic

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  • How healthy is the Australian Federation?

    Posted 19/07/2011 by Brenton Holmes
    Image source: City of Norwood
     It’s a resilient if somewhat lethargic beast, but a recent check of Australian federalism’s pulse suggests that improvements to its fitness are in order.The report of the Senate Select Committee on Reform of the Australian Federation concludes that Australia has been served well by its system of government—no coups or civil war, and a history of stable and prosperous democracy. But the Committee also says that to sustain dynamic collaboration and cooperation between governments at various leve... Read more...

    TAGS: Constitutional reform, federal state relations, federalism, federation

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  • Alternative vote for the UK?

    Posted 25/02/2011 by Cathy Madden
    On 16 February 2011 the UK Parliament passed legislation providing for a referendum to be held on 5 May 2011 regarding possible changes to the UK electoral system. This was a key constitutional reform identified in the Coalition programme for government formulated by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats following the 2010 election. However, the parties hold opposing views on the form of the electoral system to be adopted. The Conservatives support the current electoral system, First-past-... Read more...

    TAGS: Constitutional reform, Electoral reform, UK Parliament

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  • Local government and the Commonwealth

    Posted 4/02/2011 by Cathy Madden
    A recent Parliamentary Library paper on Local government and the Commonwealth: an evolving relationship follows the historical development of this relationship and explores some contemporary issues such as constitutional recognition. Local governments in Australia have been established since the nineteenth century. Each state and the Northern Territory has a system of local government established under their respective legislation. The growth in local government activity since 1945 has encourage... Read more...

    TAGS: constitution, local government

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  • Constitutional recognition of Indigenous people

    Posted 23/11/2010 by Pauline Downing
    During the course of the election campaign both major parties made announcements about constitutional recognition of Indigenous people. The Coalition promised to hold a referendum at the 2013 election on the wording of a preamble in the Constitution to recognise Indigenous Australians, and the ALP promised to set up an expert panel to build support for the constitutional recognition of Indigenous people.   The agreement reached between the Greens and the Government following the election outline... Read more...

    TAGS: constitution, indigenous Australians

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