The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted calls for a visa amnesty for migrants working irregularly in Australia. A look back at policy history shows that Australia has provided very few instances of any kind of migrant amnesty, whether for people in the country irregularly, visa overstayers, or people working in breach of their visa conditions. These instances were some decades ago, when the migration and visa systems were rather different from now. Read more...
The issue of quotas for women in parliament is once again in the news, with motions to introduce quotas to be debated at upcoming Liberal Party state conferences in New South Wales and Victoria.
An Essential Report poll published on 30 March 2021 found that 48 per cent of those polled supported political parties setting gender quotas for candidate selection (with 36 per cent opposed).
The international experience of quotas
Since the 1990s over one hundred countries have implemented political gender quotas, and by 2013 over half the world’s countries had adopted some form of quota, including by 2018, over twenty established democracies.
Many countries have found quotas to be an effectiv... Read more...
On 1 December 2020, 78 years to the day, Ordinary Seaman Edward ‘Teddy’ Sheean was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia ‘For the most conspicuous gallantry and a pre-eminent act of valour in the presence of the enemy during a Japanese aerial attack on HMAS Armidale in the Timor Sea on 1 December 1942’. This conclusion to the story of Sheean’s heroism was the result of a decades-long fight for recognition. Read more...
On 17 February 2021, the Government introduced the Industry Research and Development Amendment (Industry Innovation and Science Australia) Bill 2021 (IISA Bill) in the Senate. On 18 March 2021, the Bill passed the Senate and it was introduced into the House of Representatives on 22 March 2021. The main purpose of the Bill is to rename the statutory board called Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) to Industry, Innovation and Science Australia (IISA). The Bill also makes consequential amendments to other Commonwealth legislation resulting from the name change. While the addition of a single word may appear minor, it is indicative of the Government’s emphasis on ensuring that inno... Read more...
There was less than a decade between the Wright brothers’ famous flight in 1903 and the decision in 1911 to establish an Australian flying corps. In 1909 the Government ran a competition to encourage the design of a flying machine for military purposes but, despite the £5,000 prize, there were no successful entries. In December 1911 the Government appropriated £4,000 for the establishment of the flying corps and on 30 December of that year advertised for ‘two competent machinists and aviators’ at an annual salary of £400 (The Gazette notice stated ‘The Commonwealth Government will accept no liability ... Read more...
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