FlagPost

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

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FlagPost — Parliamentary Library Blog

United States Senate shows President a red light on war powers as Labor promises a war powers inquiry in Australia

On 13 December 2018, the United States Senate passed a Resolution directing the US President to withdraw US armed forces from hostilities in Yemen. Although it will need to pass the House of Representatives before becoming law, the Resolution is historic because it is the first time that the Senate has voted to use the US War Powers Resolution to restrict a President’s use of military force. Australia does not have an equivalent law, however, the December National Labor Party Conference resolved that a Shorten Labor Government would hold an inquiry into how Australia makes decisions to send service personnel into international armed conflict.   Read more...

Career backgrounds of Australia’s Governors-General

On 16 December 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Queen had approved his recommendation that the next Governor-General would be His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley, AC DSC (Retd). This Flagpost provides information on the career backgrounds of Australia's Governors-General. Read more...

Release of the 2018-19 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook

The Government released the 2018–19 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) on 17 December 2018. This brief provides an overview of the key fiscal and economic numbers from the 2018–19 MYEFO with a summary of key data in the tables below. Read more...

Community attitudes towards violence against women

The National Community Attitudes toward Violence against Women Survey (NCAS) is the world’s longest-running survey of community attitudes towards violence against women. Results from the latest survey are mixed; levels of awareness have generally risen but there are still areas of concern. Read more...

Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Legislation Amendment Bill 2018

The Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 was introduced in the House of Representatives on 28 November 2018 by the Attorney-General. The Bill seeks to amend the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018 (FITS Act) and the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act 2018 (NSLA Act). The Bill is supported by the Opposition and passed the House of Representatives on 4 December 2018. Read more...

The use of weapons and use of force by the Australian Secret Intelligence Service

The Government introduced the Intelligence Services Amendment Bill 2018 on 29 November 2018. The Bill is being considered by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and is listed for debate in both Houses of Parliament this week. The key amendments in the Bill include allowing: the Minister for Foreign Affairs to specify additional persons (or classes of persons) who may be protected by Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) staff members and agents outside Australia under Schedule 2 to the Intelligence Services Act 2001 (ISA) (which provides for limited provision of weapons, and use of and training in the use of weapons and self-defence technique... Read more...

Commonwealth officer as Observer at NHFIC Board meetings

Established on 30 June 2018, the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC) is a statutory authority that: makes loans, investments and grants for enabling infrastructure that supports new housing, particularly affordable housing; and provides cheaper and longer-term financing to registered community housing providers through Australia's first national Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator (AHBA). The National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation Act 2018 (NHFIC Act) includes a provision for a Commonwealth officer to be appointed as an Observer to attend NHFIC Board meetings. This Flagpost discusses the statutory Observer position in the context of the review of corp... Read more...

Personal Safety of People with Disability

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released further results from the 2016 Personal Safety Survey (PSS) which focus on experiences of violence and personal safety of people with disability. This FlagPost provides a summary of these results. Read more...

Removing GST on feminine hygiene products

On 3 October 2018, the Commonwealth, state and territory treasurers unanimously agreed to remove the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from ‘feminine hygiene products’ from 1 January 2019. GST has been applied to these products since its introduction in 2000. In recent years there has been considerable pressure to remove it. Read more...

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