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

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It's International Anti-Corruption Day: How does Australia measure up?

Ahead of International Anti-Corruption Day on 9 December, Transparency International released its latest annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI allocates countries a score from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean) based on the perceived extent of public sector corruption as measured by a number of data sources (13 in 2013)—principally surveys of corruption and business experts. Australia’s score dropped from 85 in 2012 to 81 in 2013, and its ranking from seventh to ninth out of 177 countries.A number of high-profile matters may have contributed to Australia’s public sector being perceived as more corrupt than previously, including:the alleged involvement of two Reserve Bank of ... Read more...

‘Ice’ and other amphetamine-type stimulants: international and Australian trends

On 28 February, the Joint Organised Crime Group (comprising the Australian Federal Police (AFP), NSW Police, NSW Crime Commission, Australian Crime Commission (ACC) and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs)) announced it had seized 585 kilograms of ice in Sydney, an Australian record for a single seizure of the drug. The second largest seizure also occurred recently, with 306 kilograms seized by the AFP and Customs in July 2012. This FlagPost puts these seizures in context by examining some recent international and Australian findings on ice and related illicit drugs.What is ice?Ice is a street name for the crystalline form of methamphetamine (other street names incl... Read more...

Does Australia really need a new anti-dumping agency?

Last week, the Minister for Justice and Home Affairs, Jason Clare, introduced the Customs Amendment (Anti-Dumping Commission) Bill 2013 into the House of Representatives. The purpose of this Bill is to establish a new anti-dumping agency, which will investigate foreign exporters who are allegedly dumping their goods in the Australian market. While the idea of a Commission dedicated to exposing those who are looking to cheat Australian manufacturers and undermine free trade sounds worthwhile, criticisms have been raised as to whether such an agency is necessary or whether the current arrangements will suffice.The establishment of an anti-dumping commission was announced by the Prime Minister ... Read more...

Latest Illicit Drug Data Report released

The Illicit Drug Data Report produced each year by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) provides a statistical overview of illicit drug arrests and seizures for the financial year and details the current situation, national impact and emerging trends related to illicit drugs in Australia and internationally. The latest report is the ninth in the series, which replaced the Australian Illicit Drug Report from 2002–03. Outlined below is a brief snapshot of some of the key findings of the 2010–11 Illicit Drug Data Report launched by the Minister for Home Affairs on 17 May 2012, with a focus on amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), cocaine and heroin. Overall findings and trends C... Read more...

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