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  • United Kingdom 2015 Election: some Australian comparisons

    Posted 13/05/2015 by Rob Lundie

    At the 2013 federal election, Australia returned from a ‘hung’ parliament to the historically more usual situation whereby either Labor or the Coalition holds an absolute majority of seats in the House of Representatives. The United Kingdom general election on 7 May 2015 also saw a move from a ‘hung’ parliament, where the Conservatives were in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, to one where the Conservatives will be able to govern in their own right—the first outright majority for the Conservatives since 1992.

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    TAGS: elections, election results, Parliament, United Kingdom, UK Parliament

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  • International Women's Day 2015

    Posted 6/03/2015 by Hannah Gobbett
    Portrait of Vida Goldstein
    Image in collection of National Library of Australia : sourceWikimedia Commons
    With the theme ‘Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!’, International Women’s Day 2015 was celebrated internationally on 8 March with thousands of events to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. This Flagpost documents the current state of play of female participation in Australian state and federal politics, and how Australia compares internationally. According to Australian Parliamentary Library data (as of February 2015) Austral... Read more...

    TAGS: 44th Parliament, women, Parliament, 2015, International Women's Day

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  • Resignations, retirements and by-elections...and more to come

    Posted 3/11/2014 by Joy McCann
    Resignations and retirements have resulted in a spate of by-elections in state and territory parliaments this year, including two each in NSW (Newcastle and Charlestown), Queensland (Redcliffe and Stafford) and the Northern Territory (Blain and Casuarina), and one in Western Australia (Vasse). Another two by-elections are to be held shortly in South Australia as a result of the death of one MP and the resignation of another (in the electorate of Fisher on 6 December 2014 and Davenport at a date ... Read more...

    TAGS: by-elections, state and territories, parliament

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  • Women in Australian parliaments

    Posted 23/07/2014 by Joy McCann
    House of Representatives Chamber
    Across Australia women continue to be significantly under-represented in parliament and executive government, comprising less than one-third of all parliamentarians and one-fifth of all ministers. The Parliamentary Library has recently published an updated research paper, Representation of women in Australian parliaments 2014. It presents the latest data on women serving in Australian vice-regal, government and parliamentary leadership positions, ministries and parliamentary committees, as wel... Read more...

    TAGS: women, parliament

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  • Can the Government bypass the Parliament over the GP co-payment?

    Posted 18/07/2014 by Amanda Biggs
    Senate chamber
    Recently, ABC news online reported that based on advice provided to the Greens from the Parliamentary Library, the Government could bypass the Senate to introduce elements of its GP co-payment proposal. The news story goes on to suggest that the Government could use its regulatory powers to implement at least one element of the proposal—a $5 reduction in the Medicare rebate paid to doctors—without the need for legislation. This Flagpost explains how this might occur. The Medicare re... Read more...

    TAGS: Medicare, federal budget, Parliament

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  • Women in Australian parliaments

    Posted 19/02/2014 by Joy McCann
    Women's suffrage time capsule at Parliament House, Adelaide. 19 February 2012
    By User:JimOwensPMP (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
    A Parliamentary Library publication, Women parliamentarians in Australia 1921 ̶ 2013 written by Janet Wilson and David Black, has been updated to include women elected to federal, state and territory parliaments to 31 December 2013. Part 1 consists of tables listing all women elected to Commonwealth, State and Territory parliaments since 1921. The lists are presented in chronological order of election and include the age at which the women took their seats, their party affiliation, electoral d... Read more...

    TAGS: women, parliament

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  • 'That's it, you're out': disorderly conduct in the House of Representatives

    Posted 12/12/2013 by Rob Lundie
    On Wednesday 11 December 2013, 10 Labor MPs were ordered to withdraw from the House of Representatives for one hour ('sin binned') by the Speaker, the Hon Bronwyn Bishop. Seven of these were during Question Time, two during a motion to suspend standing orders which occurred at the end of this period and one during a ministerial statement later in the evening. Each 'sin binning' occurred during questions and debate about the automotive industry.As many as this may seem, it is not the most number ... Read more...

    TAGS: disorderly conduct, Parliament, parliamentary procedure

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  • Parliament House 25th anniversary chronology

    Posted 9/12/2013 by Joy McCann
    The Parliamentary Library has recently updated its chronology of Australia’s Parliament House, first published in March 2013 to celebrate the building’s 25th anniversary as the home of the Commonwealth Parliament. The chronology presents defining events and turning points in the evolution of the building and its landscape setting, as well as a selection of milestones in the history of the Commonwealth Parliament right up to the present.Australia’s Parliament House in Canberra is the meeting plac... Read more...

    TAGS: Parliament, Parliament House

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  • Which Minister?: Answering questions during Question Time

    Posted 6/12/2013 by Sophia Fernandes
    During Question Time on 5 December 2013, the member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, asked the Treasurer, the Hon. Joe Hockey, a question. Halfway through his response to the question, Mr Hockey invited the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Warren Truss to finish the answer. The Speaker ruled that this was in order and by doing so upheld precedence.While transferring the responsibility for the answer of a question seems highly unusual, House of Representatives Practice (6th ed., p.550) states that it is e... Read more...

    TAGS: parliamentary procedure, question time, speaker

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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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