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

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‘The computer says no’: automatic product blocking for the Cashless Debit Card

The Department of Social Services is looking for software that can automatically stop income support recipients from using the Cashless Debit Card to buy restricted goods such as alcohol. While the Government’s cashless welfare system can automatically stop income support recipients using the cashless debit card at businesses like bottle shops and the TAB, it can’t automatically stop them from buying restricted goods at a shop that accepts the card. Instead, staff need to manually sight the card and refuse the sale. The Department plans to change this. From income management to the cashless debit card The Government created the cashless debit card in response to the recommendatio... Read more...

A snapshot of current trends for women in leadership
Ints Vikmanis / Shutterstock.com

A snapshot of current trends for women in leadership

The recent decision by Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to appoint equal numbers of men and women to his cabinet made headlines around the world. The issue of gender representation has also been prominent in Australia this year, with the debate about gender equality escalating across the political divide.  Read more...

Another step towards referendum on Constitutional recognition of local government

On 24 January 2013 the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government recommended in its preliminary report that a referendum on the financial recognition of local government be held in conjunction with the 2013 federal election. The Committee was established in late 2012 to build on the work done by the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government, specifically to inquire into ‘financial recognition of local government', the majority finding of the Expert Panel, to assess the likelihood of success for such recognition through a referendum, the consequences of recognition for local, state and territory governments, as well as whether and when a ref... Read more...

Local government: the road to Constitutional recognition

As part of the agreements to form government in September 2010, the ALP committed to advancing constitutional recognition of local government, including holding a referendum during the 43rd Parliament or at the next election.An independent Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government was appointed in April 2011 by the federal government. Headed by NSW Chief Justice the Hon. James Spigelman AC QC, the panel circulated a discussion paper and conducted community consultation releasing their final report on 22 December 2011. This post will discuss findings and conclusions from the panel's final report.The panel considered four types of recognition; symbolic recognition, democra... Read more...

Local government and the Commonwealth

A recent Parliamentary Library paper on Local government and the Commonwealth: an evolving relationship follows the historical development of this relationship and explores some contemporary issues such as constitutional recognition. Local governments in Australia have been established since the nineteenth century. Each state and the Northern Territory has a system of local government established under their respective legislation. The growth in local government activity since 1945 has encouraged local authorities to seek increasing subsidies from the Commonwealth government. Because local government is not mentioned in the Australian Constitution the Commonwealth government has generally be... Read more...

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