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

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Social inclusion - what is it good for?

In recent weeks, social inclusion has become a topic of some debate. This follows reports that, subsequent to his appointment to the social inclusion portfolio in last year’s front-bench reshuffle, Mark Butler was unable to define what social inclusion means. In response to an article on social inclusion by Butler published late last year, Senator Mitch Fifield and former Keating Government Minister Gary Johns both criticised the term as being devoid of substance. Fifield went on to propose that the Social Inclusion Board should be abolished, with the $3 million annual cost of the Board being allocated towards the $6.5 billion annual cost of a disability insurance scheme. The above comments ... Read more...

Attitudes to same-sex marriage

The Federal Parliament is currently debating a motion on same-sex relationships moved by Adam Bandt—the recently elected Australian Greens party member for the seat of Melbourne. The motion notes there is ‘widespread support for equal marriage in the Australian community’ and calls on ‘all parliamentarians to gauge their constituents’ views on the issue of marriage equality’. As a result of this and other related debate, there is currently great interest in what public opinion polls may be able to tell us regarding changing attitudes towards same-sex marriage.Not surprisingly, public opinion polls on this issue, as on any other, can differ markedly depending on the questions asked, the conte... Read more...

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