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

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Filter by March, 2018

Homelessness in Australia, 2016 Census

On 14 March 2018, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released their homelessness estimates, based on the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. Under the ABS definition, a person is homeless if they do not have suitable accommodation alternatives and their current living arrangement:  is in a dwelling that is inadequate, or has no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable, or does not allow them to have control of, and access to space for social relations. The key homelessness estimates from the 2016 Census are that: there were 116,427 people enumerated in the Census classified as being homeless on Census night (u... Read more...

Connectivity, competition and contention: is ASEAN up to the challenge?

With Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull preparing to host the upcoming Australia–ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Special Summit on 17–18 March in Sydney, the Parliamentary Library has published a new research paper by one of Australia’s foremost experts on ASEAN, Dr Frank Frost. Dr Frost’s paper provides a comprehensive overview of Australia–ASEAN engagement, with a focus on developments since the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of relations in 2014. Read more...

'Losing its credibility': the abolition of the 457 visa program

In March 2018, the 457 visa will be formally abolished and replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage visa. In his press conference to announce this change, the Prime Minister said ‘So we are bringing the 457 Visa class to an end. It's lost its credibility.’  This FlagPost analyses one part of the visa in an attempt to understand how its credibility may have changed over time.  Read more...

Senate terms following the dual citizenship disqualifications

Following the 2016 double dissolution election the Senate resolved to allocate senators to long and short terms on the basis of their order of election. On 13 February 2018, for the first time in its history, the Senate revisited senators’ terms, resolving that, for senators replaced according to special counts ordered by the Court of Disputed Returns, the long and short terms are to be based on the order of election arising from these counts, rather than on the order of election arising from the original 2016 election. Read more...

International Women's Day 2018

Thursday 8 March 2018 is International Women’s Day. The theme for this year’s day is ‘Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives’.  Read more...

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018

The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018 amends the Social Security Act 1991 and Social Security (Administration) Act 1999 to establish a two year drug testing trial in three regions for 5,000 new recipients of Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance from 1 July 2018. This measure was first put forward as Schedule 12 of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017. After failing to gain support for the measure during negotiations in the Senate, the Government dropped this schedule from the Bill. The major difference between the 2018 Bill and Schedule 12 of the 2017 Bill is that the 2018 Bill specifies the location of the trial sites. The... Read more...

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