FlagPost — Parliamentary Library Blog

Industry, Innovation and Science Australia

On 17 February 2021, the Government introduced the Industry Research and Development Amendment (Industry Innovation and Science Australia) Bill 2021 (IISA Bill) in the Senate. On 18 March 2021, the Bill passed the Senate and it was introduced into the House of Representatives on 22 March 2021. The main purpose of the Bill is to rename the statutory board called Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) to Industry, Innovation and Science Australia (IISA). The Bill also makes consequential amendments to other Commonwealth legislation resulting from the name change. While the addition of a single word may appear minor, it is indicative of the Government’s emphasis on ensuring that inno... Read more...

100 years of the Royal Australian Air Force

There was less than a decade between the Wright brothers’ famous flight in 1903 and the decision in 1911 to establish an Australian flying corps. In 1909 the Government ran a competition to encourage the design of a flying machine for military purposes but, despite the £5,000 prize, there were no successful entries. In December 1911 the Government appropriated £4,000 for the establishment of the flying corps and on 30 December of that year advertised for ‘two competent machinists and aviators’ at an annual salary of £400 (The Gazette notice stated ‘The Commonwealth Government will accept no liability ... Read more...

Women in Leadership: International Women's Day 2021

International Women’s Day will be celebrated globally on Monday 8 March. The International Women’s Day 2021 campaign theme, determined by a global group of private and government organisations committed to driving gender parity, is #ChoosetoChallenge, encouraging people to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. The UN Women global theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is ‘Women in Leadership’, recognising the contribution of women leaders as well as the ways in which women remain under‑represented in leadership roles. Women and political leadership in Australia and internationally Around the world, women continue to be significantly under-represen... Read more...

Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Bill 2020

The Designs Amendment (Advisory Council on Intellectual Property Response) Bill 2020 (the Bill) amends the Designs Act 2003 in response to a 2015 report by the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP). The Bill follows a series of public consultations and Government responses on the Australian designs system between 2013 and 2020. The Bill was deemed non-controversial and passed the Senate without amendments on 4 February 2021. The Explanatory Memorandum states that the financial impact of the Bill is expected to be nil. A ‘design’ refers to the overall appearance of a product resulting from one or more of its visual features. Design rights can be protected under ... Read more...

Mapping Social Cohesion 2020: are we 'all in this together'?

The 2020 edition of the Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion report was released on 4 February 2021. In a year when so much seemed to change, the report found that Australia’s stability and resilience largely held firm. However, there are some surprises in what is different and what has stayed the same. Read more...

Australian oil refineries and fuel security

Less than one month after provision was made in the 2020–21 Budget for the design and implementation of a market mechanism to support domestic refineries, BP Australia announced it would cease fuel production at its Kwinana Refinery. Once this refinery is wound down over the next six months, Australia will have three remaining fuel refineries. The continued reduction in refinery numbers has implications for Australia’s liquid fuel security. Read more...

Australia and International health data comparisons, 2020

Australians generally enjoy good health by world standards. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a new data visualisation tool comparing Australia’s performance across a range of health-related measures with the data of 36 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries. Findings are reported online in International health data comparisons, 2020. Australia performs well on indicators including life expectancy, infant mortality, perceived health, smoking, and road accidents. Australia does not perform as well on measures of obesity and alcohol consumption. We have a relatively high rate of pertussis (whooping cough) infection... Read more...

Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia's National Security) Bill 2020

The Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia's National Security) Bill 2020 (the Bill) amends the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the FATA) to improve and update the operation of Australia’s foreign investment framework in relation to national security, compliance monitoring and enforcement and integrity, while remaining welcoming and open to foreign investment. The proposed changes follow the government’s policy announcement on 5 June 2020, and Treasury’s subsequent consultation on the draft reforms in August and September. Current foreign investment framework Australia&rsquo... Read more...

Electoral Amendment (Territory Representation) Bill 2020

Twelve months after the 46th Parliament first sat, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) fulfilled its legislative requirements and determined how many members of the House of Representatives each state and territory was entitled to for the next election (the redistribution process is described in a 2017 Library paper). The application of the entitlement determination formula, which compares the populations of the states, resulted in the Northern Territory (NT) being reduced to one seat, from two. The Government has now introduced legislation which seeks to bring the representation of the NT back to two seats. Read more...

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