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

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Filter by March, 2011

Carbon tax rate considerations

The Government’s recent proposal for tackling rising levels of Australian greenhouse gas emissions is a two-stage carbon price mechanism. The first stage of the scheme is a carbon tax. After three to five years, this will be transitioned into stage two, a cap-and-trade emissions trading scheme (ETS). The details of this architecture are unconfirmed, and there has been speculation over the level of the first-stage tax. There are also opposing views arguing that carbon pricing is not likely to be as effective in reducing emissions as, say, direct investment to accelerate the development of competitive renewable or non-carbon sources in the marketplace. So any carbon pricing mechanism implement... Read more...

Reform of Ministerial Councils

Ministerial Councils are an important part of the Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) reform structure. Their role is to develop proposals for reform to be considered by COAG and to oversee the implementation of reforms agreed to by COAG. While COAG is comprised of the Prime Minister, the Premiers and Chief Ministers of each state and territory and the President of the Australian Local Government Association, Ministerial Councils are composed of the Commonwealth, state and territory ministers responsible for a particular area of reform. They may also include ministers from New Zealand when an issue under consideration affects that country. Papua New Guinea and Norfolk Island may also h... Read more...

Medicare Locals - many questions yet be answered

The Government has released the guidelines for the establishment and initial operation of Medicare Locals (MLs) following the consultations around its discussion paper on the governance framework. Applications are invited for the operation of MLs to commence in either mid 2011 or January 2012. Approximately 15 MLs will be awarded in each round. The guidelines and prior ministerial statements would indicate that the initial groups of MLs are likely to be drawn from existing Divisions of General Practice.The overarching objective of MLs is to ‘coordinate primary health care delivery to address local needs and service gaps’. The guidelines set out the functions of MLs, including the expectation... Read more...

Emissions Trading – Some developments since late 2010

In November 2010 the Parliamentary Library published a Background Note outlining operating and proposed emissions trading schemes around the world. Since that publication, there have been several new developments:  the proposed South Korean Emissions Trading Scheme will commence operations in 2015 instead of the 2013 date that had been speculatedthe legislation implementing the proposed Japanese emissions trading scheme is currently under review. If the scheme goes ahead it most likely will commence operations in 2015 instead of 2013in America, the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord appears to have been abandoned by the current governors of the 10 participating states. None of these ... Read more...

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