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...
The agency responsible for delivering most of the Commonwealth Government’s social and health related services has been through some changes over the past year. The Department of Human Services (DHS) was renamed Services Australia in May 2019. It was abolished and replaced when an Executive Agency, also named Services Australia, was established on 1 February 2020. More changes are proposed in the two schedules of the Services Australia Governance Amendment Bill 2020 (the Bill) introduced into the House of Representatives by the Minister for Government Services on 13 May 2020. Read more...
The resignation of the Labor member for the southern NSW seat of Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly MP, raises the question of how a by-election might be conducted for the seat under conditions of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more...
Two recent court cases, one ending in a High Court decision and the other in a settlement agreement, may have significant implications for compensation payments from Australian governments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Read more...
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