Filter by December, 2020

Australian oil refineries and fuel security

Less than one month after provision was made in the 2020–21 Budget for the design and implementation of a market mechanism to support domestic refineries, BP Australia announced it would cease fuel production at its Kwinana Refinery. Once this refinery is wound down over the next six months, Australia will have three remaining fuel refineries. The continued reduction in refinery numbers has implications for Australia’s liquid fuel security. Read more...

Australia and International health data comparisons, 2020

Australians generally enjoy good health by world standards. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a new data visualisation tool comparing Australia’s performance across a range of health-related measures with the data of 36 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries. Findings are reported online in International health data comparisons, 2020. Australia performs well on indicators including life expectancy, infant mortality, perceived health, smoking, and road accidents. Australia does not perform as well on measures of obesity and alcohol consumption. We have a relatively high rate of pertussis (whooping cough) infection... Read more...

Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia's National Security) Bill 2020

The Foreign Investment Reform (Protecting Australia's National Security) Bill 2020 (the Bill) amends the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the FATA) to improve and update the operation of Australia’s foreign investment framework in relation to national security, compliance monitoring and enforcement and integrity, while remaining welcoming and open to foreign investment. The proposed changes follow the government’s policy announcement on 5 June 2020, and Treasury’s subsequent consultation on the draft reforms in August and September. Current foreign investment framework Australia&rsquo... Read more...

Electoral Amendment (Territory Representation) Bill 2020

Twelve months after the 46th Parliament first sat, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) fulfilled its legislative requirements and determined how many members of the House of Representatives each state and territory was entitled to for the next election (the redistribution process is described in a 2017 Library paper). The application of the entitlement determination formula, which compares the populations of the states, resulted in the Northern Territory (NT) being reduced to one seat, from two. The Government has now introduced legislation which seeks to bring the representation of the NT back to two seats. Read more...

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