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Filter by November, 2011

Addresses to joint meetings of the Australian Parliament

 Following an invitation from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, United States President Barack Obama will visit Australia on 16–17 November 2011 to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of the ANZUS Alliance. On 3 November 2011, the House of Representatives passed a motion to invite President Obama to address the House on 17 November 2011 and to invite Senators to attend the House as guests at a joint meeting of the Houses. President Obama's address will be the tenth occasion that a foreign Head of State or dignitary addresses the Australian parliament and will be the fourth US President to do so. Table 1 lists all addresses to joint meetings of the Australian parliament by Heads of State and forei... Read more...

Stalemate looms over closure of chronic disease dental scheme

It is looking increasingly unlikely that the Government will move to close down the popular, but costly to the budget, chronic disease dental scheme (CDDS) before the end of the year. This is despite increasing pressure on the Government to meet its commitment to return the budget to surplus in 2012–13 and the subsequent savings closure of the scheme would deliver. During recent Senate Estimates hearings in October, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing indicated that while it remains the government's intention to close the scheme, continuing opposition to its closure in the Senate means it is unlikely it will move to do so.As the scheme can only be closed by a legislative ins... Read more...

Parliamentary committee scrutiny of the Commonwealth Ombudsman—Private Member’s Bill

   A Private Member’s Bill introduced on 1 November 2011 in the Senate by Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown seeks to bring the operation, functions and resourcing of the Commonwealth Ombudsman under the scrutiny of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit. The Commonwealth Ombudsman is an independent statutory office established by the Ombudsman Act 1976 (Cth).The Public Accounts and Audit Committee Amendment (Ombudsman) Bill 2011 follows the resignation of the former Ombudsman, Allan Asher, in late October 2011 over his provision of suggested questions to Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young prior to the May 2011 Senate Budget Estimates hearings. In a ... Read more...

Australia's current spending on science research and development

  The awarding of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics to Professor Brian Schmidt, an Australian National University (ANU) professor of Astrophysics, for his role in the discovery that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, is a significant achievement not only for ANU but also for Australia. It is the first time in almost one hundred years that an Australian has won a Nobel Prize in Physics – William and Lawrence Bragg, a father and son team, were the last Australians to win a Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915 – and it is the sixth Nobel Prize to be won by an ANU researcher. In light of this great achievement, it is pertinent to ask about the broader state of he... Read more...

Parliamentary Library Vital Issues Seminar - The Australia-US alliance in the 21st Century: two perspectives

Source: Australian War MemorialThis seminar was held on 2 November 2011 and featured prominent analysts Professor Geoffrey Garrett and Professor Hugh White. Both speakers marked the 60th anniversary of the ANZUS alliance by examining current and future challenges for the ANZUS alliance in the context of United States–Australia relations and the Asia-Pacific.The seminar was chaired by Mr Michael Danby MP.Professor Hugh WhiteProfessor White began by noting that the US alliance has been good for Australia in that it has underpinned stability in the Asia-Pacific region over the last 40 years. He argued that US primacy in the region has not been contested during this period and the presence of th... Read more...

Low Flying Kangaroo

The dispute between Qantas and unions can be seen in the context of Qantas’ attempts to remain viable in a highly competitive domestic and international aviation environment. This article examines some of the sources of these competitive pressures and the strategies that Qantas has adopted, or proposes to adopt, in responding to this environment. It finds that these strategies are broadly akin to those that Australian companies in other sectors have adopted when faced with similar circumstances. The aviation industry—domestic and international—has changed markedly in recent years. One such change has been the emergence of low-cost carriers—such as Ryanair—that have made inroads into markets ... Read more...

A Handbook for the 43rd Parliament

The Parliamentary Library recently published the 2011 edition of the Parliamentary Handbook. The Handbook is a comprehensive guide to the 43rd Parliament. The biographical section includes details of the parliamentary service and political career of each Senator and Member, as well as some personal particulars. The Handbook also provides statistics on the age, length of service, qualifications and previous occupations of the current Parliament, together with data on the 2010 elections as well as a map of federal electoral divisions. Valuable lists and tables concerning the history of the Australian Parliament are provided, such as lists of Governors-General, Presiding Officers, Prime Ministe... Read more...

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