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

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Australia's involvement in Afghanistan - frequently asked questions

On 12 October 2010, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announced that the Parliament of Australia would debate Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan. The Prime Minister’s media release said ‘she believed it was important that all Australians understood the critical mission in Afghanistan’ and that the debate ‘will provide an opportunity to fully explain the Government's ongoing support for the current International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan’. The following information has been compiled to assist Members and Senators as they prepare for the debate. 1. What is the history of Australia’s involvement in Afghanist... Read more...

Asia and the Australia-US alliance

What challenges lie in wait for Australia-US relations in the aftermath of the federal election? Although the alliance relationship has been historically close, the Asia-Pacific region is one issue over which Australia and the US appear to have divergent approaches.Dr Satu Limaye, director of the Washington-based East-West Center, recently spoke at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's (ASPI) Global Forces 2010 conference dinner on 18 August about the challenges and opportunities for bilateral relations presented by the rise of Asia. Dr Limaye observed many similarities in the respective foreign policy and strategic outlooks which characterise the long-standing alliance between Austral... Read more...

Indigenous Members of Parliament

The contest for the Western Australia seat of Hasluck is unusual in that three of the seven candidates are Aboriginal Australians: Dot Henry (Independent), Glenice Smith (Greens) and Ken Wyatt (Liberal).The Liberal candidate Ken Wyatt (pictured opposite) needs a swing of 1 per cent to win the seat from Labor member Sharryn Jackson and become the first Indigenous Member of the House of Representatives. Ken Wyatt told the Koori Mail (28 July 2010) that ‘there’s been this view that Aboriginal people are principally Labor Party oriented, but I think the three of us prove that we as a community are now starting to make our own political choices’.A breakdown of party representation of the twenty-t... Read more...