Filter by November, 2021

Changes to Australia's sanctions laws: Autonomous Sanctions Amendment (Thematic Sanctions) Bill 2021

On 24 November 2021, the Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries (Senator Duniam), at the request of the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Senator Payne), introduced the Autonomous Sanctions Amendment (Thematic Sanctions) Bill 2021 (the Bill) into the Senate. While the power of the Foreign Minister to make a decision to impose sanctions under Australia’s sanctions laws is very broad, stakeholders have raised concerns that the current autonomous sanctions regime is not sufficient for targeting, deterring and punishing human rights violations and have advocated for the Government to introduce legislation which focuses on human rights abuses. In its report titled Criminality, corrupti... Read more...

What's new in Statistics . . . December

This month: life expectancy in Australia, the effects of Covid-19 on work internationally and families and their concerns about finances. Statistics releases in December 2021 If you are interested in any of the forthcoming releases or datasets, please contact the Parliamentary Library to discuss in more detail.   Statistical reports Release date ABS Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, September 2021 1 Dec AIHW Cancer in Australia, 2021 1 Dec ABS ... Read more...

National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Amendment (Funders of Last Resort and Other Measures) Bill 2021

The National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Amendment (Funders of Last Resort and Other Measures) Bill 2021 (the Bill) expands the funder of last resort provisions under the National Redress Scheme. Read more...

Financial Services Compensation Scheme of Last Resort

On 28 October 2021, the Treasurer introduced a package of three Bills to establish and fund the Compensation Scheme of Last Resort (CSLR). The three Bills are: Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response No. 3) Bill 2021 (the No. 3 Bill) Financial Services Compensation Scheme of Last Resort Levy Bill 2021 (the Levy Bill) Financial Services Compensation Scheme of Last Resort Levy (Collection) Bill 2021 (the Collection Bill). There are divided opinions about the Government’s proposed CSLR. Some stakeholders, including the Opposition and consumer advocacy groups, have criticised the CSLR and argued that the proposed scheme ‘watered-down’ the recommendations of the... Read more...

National Health Amendment (Enhancing the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) Bill 2021 – a focus on medicines supply

The National Health Amendment (Enhancing the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) Bill 2021 (Bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives on 28 October 2021. The Bill seeks to implement a number of measures agreed to in Strategic Agreements (Agreements) between the Government and the medicines industry of Australia (represented by Medicines Australia and the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA)). The Agreements were signed in September 2021, and will be in place for five years from 1 July 2022. As outlined in the Explanatory Memorandum (EM), the Bill has three key elements: changes to statutory price reductions for medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Sc... Read more...

Offshore Electricity Infrastructure (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021 – Expansion of the role of the NOPSEMA

The Government has recently introduced a package of legislation for the purpose of supporting the development of an offshore electricity sector, comprised of: the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021 (the OEI Bill) (introduced 2 September 2021) the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure (Regulatory Levies) Bill (Regulatory Levies Bill) (introduced 2 September 2021) and the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021 (the Consequential Amendments Bill) (introduced 21 October 2021). The Bills will establish a regulatory framework to enable the construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of offshore ele... Read more...

Telstra Corporation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021

The Telstra Corporation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021 (the Bill) amends a range of primary and subordinate legislation to ensure significant and fundamental consumer and competition regulatory safeguards and obligations currently applying to Telstra Corporation Limited, will also apply to the entities that comprise the Telstra Group, following its proposed restructure. Background On 12 November 2020 Telstra, Australia’s largest full-service telecommunications company, announced a proposed legal restructure of its business into three separate legal entities, to be held under a parent company to be called Telstra Group Limited (Telstra Group). According to the Explanatory Mem... Read more...

Updated Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt statistics—2020–21

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released new data on the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP, formerly HECS) debts, covering the 2020–21 financial year. This article summarises the ATO HELP data. Previous versions were published for the 2019–20 financial year release, 2018–19 financial year release, 2017–18 financial year release, and the 2016–17 financial year release. All figures are at 30 June for the relevant financial year. Figures have not been adjusted for inflation.  Total amount of outstanding HELP debt In 2020–21, outstanding HELP debt rose to just over $68.7 billion, up from $66.4 billion in 2019–20 (Figure 1). The change... Read more...

Judicial Appointments

As part of its Review of Judicial Impartiality the Australian Law Reform Commission is currently considering whether the process of appointing federal judges should be made more transparent. With the latest round of judicial appointments recently made by the Attorney-General to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, it is timely to consider how judges are appointed and what issues have been raised with the process.  Read more...

Age profile of federal electorates

Geographic regions within Australia have different age profiles due to their unique economic, social and environmental characteristics. For example, areas with low housing costs and/or strong employment prospects are attractive to younger people, whilst retirees are often drawn to the coast. Age profiles can be used to assist in understanding the needs of different electorates in relation to childcare, education, and healthcare. This FlagPost shows the differing age profiles of selected electorates. Statistics used in this FlagPost are from the unpublished Australian Bureau of Statistics population estimates 2020 (June quarter). Three electorates with three very different age profiles Lalor... 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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