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Services Australia Governance Amendment Bill 2020

The agency responsible for delivering most of the Commonwealth Government’s social and health related services has been through some changes over the past year. The Department of Human Services (DHS) was renamed Services Australia in May 2019. It was abolished and replaced when an Executive Agency, also named Services Australia, was established on 1 February 2020. More changes are proposed in the two schedules of the Services Australia Governance Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) introduced into the House of Representatives by the Minister for Government Services on 13 May 2020. Read more...

The Eden-Monaro by-election and COVID-19

The resignation of the Labor member for the southern NSW seat of Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly MP, raises the question of how a by-election might be conducted for the seat under conditions of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read more...

Compensation Payments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Two recent court cases, one ending in a High Court decision and the other in a settlement agreement, may have significant implications for compensation payments from Australian governments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Read more...

Trends in early voting in federal elections

Early voting for the 2019 federal election commenced on Monday 29 April 2019. Early votes include pre-poll ordinary votes (pre-poll votes cast by a voter at a pre-poll voting centre for their electorate), pre-poll declaration votes (pre-poll votes cast outside a voter’s division, such as overseas and interstate) and postal votes (which can be applied for from the issue of the writs). The rise of pre-poll voting, particularly pre-poll ordinary, has been a notable trend in federal elections since 2010. Read more...

Online political communication—does this post need to be authorised?

‘Spoken by J Jones. Authorised by S Smith, Canberra.’ This familiar phrase, spoken rapidly at the end of a TV ad, is a common feature of Australian elections, and is an example of an authorisation statement required by law to allow voters to know the source of the advertising. While these statements have traditionally been found on political advertising on TV, radio and in newspapers, recent changes to the law have expanded the range of communications considerably, with social media, internet video and streaming music now covered (but not sky writing or graffiti). 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...

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

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