FlagPost

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

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Proposed travel restrictions for registered child sex offenders

Senator Derryn Hinch came to the Senate following the 2016 election, with a dedication to act on what he termed “human vermin”: Australia’s child sex offenders. In his first speech, Senator Hinch said that he wanted ‘to do something tangible to end Australia’s paedophiles’ involvement in the repugnant sex trade in Asia’. The Law, Crime and Community Safety Council (consisting of justice, policing and emergency management Ministers across all jurisdictions, including New Zealand)  agreed in October 2016 to form a Working Group to consider gaps in the existing legislation and in May 2017 agreed to continue to work together on proposals to implemen... Read more...

Autonomous vehicles – driverless or rudderless?

With the recent on-road demonstrations of driverless vehicles in the United States and Australia the prospect of more widespread use of such autonomous operations appears to have moved closer. However there remain questions of safety and technical issues to resolve. In fact, there have been various autonomous vehicle demonstrations and challenges over the past decade, so the technology appears to be maturing into deliverable systems. Still, there are concerns around their integration into the existing vehicle transport networks and for community acceptance. There will also be a need for revised legislation, as it is illegal in Australia for a car to drive without human control. The South Aus... Read more...

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

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, the net number of journeys to from region B to region A is two. No indication of direction of travel is given in these maps. A line’s thickness is representative of the net number of people trave... Read more...

Changing motor vehicle and fuel standards

Motor vehicle specifications in Australia are being reviewed, and a private senator’s bill about improving fuel emissions has  been tabled.. These developments raise the question of the vehicle standards used in Australia. Can we do better? Can we also make our fuel go further? Read more...

Is Adelaide Airport's Curfew carefree?

Residents in South Australia’s capital do not like to be disturbed by the early arrival of jet airliners, at least judging by the introduction of a recent private member’s bill by one of their Senators. On 12 February 2014, Australian Greens Senator Penny Wright introduced the Adelaide Airport Curfew Amendment (Protecting Residents’ Amenity) Bill 2014 to prevent international flights landing between 5 and 6 a.m. This is in response to an announcement by the federal Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development in late 2013 that he had given approval to a schedule of four early morning Cathay Pacific flight arrivals from Hong Kong, starting in April 2014. The flights... Read more...

High Speed Rail for Australia - a fast track to the future or just the same old pipe dream?

High Speed Rail (HSR) has been talked about for many years in Australia but has never progressed beyond the study and report stage. However, on 9 December 2013, the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, introduced a private member’s bill — the High Speed Rail Planning Authority Bill 2013. The Bill proposes setting up a High Speed Rail Planning Authority which, as the second reading speech notes, is designed to provide critical ‘long-term Commonwealth leadership to progress the project’ and to ‘maintain the momentum generated by the recent strategic studies’. The other objective of the Bill is to secure the rail corridor, which... Read more...

Who is bound by the World Anti-Doping Code?

The previous FlagPost in this series examined countries that have criminalised doping in sport. This FlagPost examines who is bound by the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), National Anti-Doping Scheme (NAD) and various anti-doping policies in Australia. Is it just athletes and coaches, or are other people, such as sports scientists, also bound?The legal basis for the enforcement of the Code in AustraliaThe Code operates as an agreement that is binding on its signatories, which includes various Olympic-movement and non-Olympic movement affiliated international sporting federations as well as Government-funded organisations such as ASADA.In Australia, the Code is adopted and implemented under the... Read more...

Regulation of gambling advertising on TV - Live Odds and ACMA

On 26 May 2013, the Prime Minister promisedthat ‘all promotions of odds by gambling companies and commentators will be banned during the broadcast of live sports matches, under new rules’. The Government has demanded that Australian commercial TV broadcasters amend their codes to ensure a reduction in the promotion and advertising of gambling—especially live odds—during broadcasts of sport. Codes of PracticeSection 123 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (the Act) provides that a ‘Code of Practice’ may be developed by a group representing a particular section of the broadcasting industry. An industry body, FreeTV,performs this role for commercial television operators and has developed the ... Read more...

Where in the world is doping a crime? (doping in sports pt. 6)

In the previous FlagPost in this series we examined actions related to doping in sport that can also be prosecuted as crimes in Australia. Do other countries criminalise doping in sport, or is Australia unique in having criminal offences that apply to conduct associated with Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs)? The situation overseasIn Australia some actions related to doping in sports (e.g. trafficking, possession, use or administration of steroids) are also crimes under various Commonwealth, state or territory statutes. However, none of those laws are sports-specific but rather reflect a mixture of criminal, therapeutic goods or customs legislation that happen to cover conduct related to... Read more...

Is doping in sport a crime? (doping in sports pt. 5)

The previous FlagPost in this series explored the dual use of evidence in both sports tribunals and criminal proceedings.Whilst it is commonly understood that doping is prohibited in sport, is it also a criminal offence? This FlagPost examines the circumstances in which an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) is also a crime in Australia and the sanctions imposed by the criminal justice system for those offences.  The Criminal Justice SystemUnlike a number of other countries, Australia does not have any sports-specific legislation creating criminal offences specifically relating to doping in sport. However, the Commonwealth, states and territories have all enacted legislation which criminalises... Read more...

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