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  • Is this the end of coal seam gas for now?

    Posted 5/03/2013 by Alex St John
    Coal seam gas (CSG) has become a divisive issue in recent times, particularly in rural and regional areas of Queensland and New South Wales. Despite the regulation of CSG being primarily a State responsibility, several private members have introduced bills that aim to exert greater Commonwealth controls over CSG. This FlagPost will examine the latest bill, which was introduced into the House of Representatives on the 11th of February. It could have the effect of stopping all new coal seam gas de... Read more...

    TAGS: coal seam gas

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  • Women in the Australian workforce: A 2013 update

    Posted 8/03/2013 by Joanne Simon-Davies
    First observed as an international event in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world on March 8 each year. Originally emerging from female labour movements in North America and Europe, female participation in politics and the workforce remains an important focus of IWD. As we celebrate IWD in 2013, this article briefly reviews current female participation in the Australian workforce. Women and Workforce Participation Female participation in the workforce has... Read more...

    TAGS: International Women's Day, labour force, women

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  • Australian Government funding for schools

    Posted 13/03/2013 by Marilyn Harrington
    There is much anticipation about the future of school funding with the Australian Government’s proposed new arrangements for school funding expected to be presented to the Council of Australian Governments’ meeting in April this year. The proposed changes will follow on from the recommendations of the final report of the Review of Funding for Schooling (the Gonski Review).The Labor Government took its first steps towards reforming school education funding when, in 2009, it transformed a funding ... Read more...

    TAGS: school education

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

    Posted 5/03/2013 by Cat Barker
    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 conte... Read more...

    TAGS: Australian Crime Commission, Australian Federal Police, crime, customs, illicit drugs

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  • The 2013 Italian general election: a new source of European instability?

    Posted 1/03/2013 by Nina Markovic
    The Italian general election took place on 24–25 February with the lowest voter turnout since the 1950s (under 75 per cent) and did not produce a clear parliamentary majority. It has left Italy politically deadlocked whilst rekindling fears of a new source of European instability.European press and politicians have suggested that an uncertain election result in the Eurozone’s third largest economy (after Germany and France) has renewed fears of an imminent crisis in the Eurozone. Trading on the ... Read more...

    TAGS: elections, Italy

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  • International Women's Day

    Posted 4/03/2013 by Harriet Spinks
    On Friday 8 March women around the world will celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). IWD had its genesis in events of the early 1900s, when women in places such as Europe, North America and Australia began demanding an end to inequality, and access to equal pay, better working conditions and voting rights. As outlined by UN Women Australia:In 1910, Clara Zetkin, the leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day at the ... Read more...

    TAGS: International Women's Day, women

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  • Motorways for the masses

    Posted 5/03/2013 by Matthew James
    With the approach of a Federal Election, ambitious metropolitan road projects are in the spotlight. Both major parties are offering federal funding to address worsening urban congestion issues as Australia’s cities continue to grow. The Liberal National Party coalition has promised to support the construction/upgrade of three metropolitan limited access roads to connect to existing motorways in our largest cities. And the Prime Minister has announced further funding support for the WestConnex pr... Read more...

    TAGS: planning, roads, transport

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  • Temporary skilled migration and the 457 visa

    Posted 13/03/2013 by Janet Phillips
    On 23 February 2013, the Government announced that there would be changes to the temporary skilled (subclass 457) visa program to ensure that employers are ‘not nominating positions where a genuine shortage does not exist’ and that ‘employers give Australian workers a fair go’.The changes listed on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website, ‘Strengthening the integrity of the 457 program’, include the introduction of a ‘genuineness criterion’ and the removal of English langua... Read more...

    TAGS: immigration, skilled migration

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  • National Close the Gap Day

    Posted 19/03/2013 by John Gardiner-Garden
    Closing the gap developed out of the call in Tom Calma’s Social justice report 2005 for Australian governments to commit to achieving equality for Indigenous people in health and life expectancy within 25 years. In March 2006 some non-government agencies came together to develop a National Indigenous Health Equality Campaign and in April 2007 a Close the gap campaign was launched.In December 2007 the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) committed to closing some key gaps and in March 2008 ma... Read more...

    TAGS: Indigenous, indigenous Australians

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  • The other temporary skilled visa

    Posted 21/03/2013 by Leonie Doyle
    While the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa has undergone heavy scrutiny of late, another temporary skilled visa has been expanding more rapidly, and is about to become even more attractive.  The Temporary Skilled Graduate visa (subclass 485) is for overseas students who have completed a qualification at an Australian higher education institution. The visa was introduced in 2008 to enable graduates to remain in Australia for up to 18 months after completing their course, to gain work ... Read more...

    TAGS: international students, skilled graduate visas, temporary employment visas

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