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

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Filter by May, 2018

Health care homes: an update

Health Care Homes: an update In March 2016, the Government announced the Healthier Medicare package. The centrepiece was a trial of Health Care Homes (HCHs), an innovative model of health care to manage and coordinate care for patients with complex and chronic conditions. An estimated one in five Australians has two or more chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and arthritis. But their care is often fragmented and uncoordinated. The HCH trial involves enrolling 65,000 patients with complex and chronic conditions across some 200 medical practices (including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS)). Each practice, or HCH, is expected ... Read more...

Five leave the Parliament

On Wednesday 9 May the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, ruled that ACT senator Katy Gallagher was ineligible to be elected at the 2016 election due to British citizenship, and ordered a special count of the ballot papers in order to determine her replacement. Shortly after this judgement four more MPs announced their resignation from Parliament, likely triggering by-elections. This brings the total number of parliamentarians who have left the current Parliament due to ineligibility under the Australian Constitution to 17. Read more...

Treasury Laws Amendment (ASIC Governance Bill) 2018

The Treasury Laws Amendment (ASIC Governance Bill) 2018 (the Bill) amends the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act) to give the Governor-General the discretion to appoint a second Deputy Chairperson of ASIC. Read more...

The pros and cons of pill testing

Last weekend saw Australia’s first state government sanctioned pill testing trial at the Groovin the Moo music festival in Canberra. Noffs Foundation chief executive, Matt Noffs, who is a member of the Safety and Testing and Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE) consortium, suggested that the trial was a success in terms of reducing harms to festival attendees. In recent years, there have been a number of deaths in Australia as a result of toxic quality pills being consumed at music festivals and nightclubs, as well as party drug-related overdoses. In response, public health experts and other commentators have promoted pill testing as an intervention that should be intro... Read more...

Updated Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt statistics

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released new data, including updated information on Higher Education Loan Program (HELP, formerly HECS) debts. The HELP data in the Taxation Statistics 2015–16 (available from Data.gov.au) is contained in Tables 20–22. Although the release primarily relates to the 2015–16 financial year, HELP is one of the programs for which data for 2016–17 is also included. All figures are at 30 June for the relevant financial year. Figures have not been adjusted for inflation.   Total amount of outstanding HELP debt This release updates the total amount of outstanding HELP debt to $54.0 billion for the 2016–17 financial year, $9... Read more...

Snapshot of employment by industry, 2018

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases quarterly estimates of employed people by industry (in their main job, where a person holds more than one job) in the publication Labour Force, detailed, quarterly, cat. no. 6291.0.55.003. Data is available since November 1984, with the most recent data being February 2018. The next available data (May 2018) will be released on 21 June 2018.  Read more...

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