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100th anniversary of the expulsion of Hugh Mahon from the House of Representatives

One hundred years ago, on 11 and 12 November 1920, the House of Representatives debated and agreed to a motion proposed by the Prime Minister, Billy Hughes (Nat., Bradfield, NSW), expelling Hugh Mahon (ALP, Kalgoorlie, WA) from the House. Mahon’s expulsion is the only occasion on which either House of the Commonwealth Parliament has expelled one of its members. Read more...

COVID-19 Economic response—delegation by the Director of Human Biosecurity

On 23 March 2020 the Parliament enacted the Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Act 2020 (Omnibus Act). Amongst other things, the Omnibus Act amends the Biosecurity Act 2015 to allow the Director of Human Biosecurity—being the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer—to delegate some of his, or her, functions and powers about human biosecurity control orders. The relevant amendments commenced on 25 March 2020. The Omnibus Act represents part of the Government’s response to the outbreak of COVID-19, which is a listed human disease under the Biosecurity Act. Human biosecurity control orders Under section 60 of the Biosecurity Act, a chief human biosecurity officer, a hum... Read more...

COVID-19 Economic response—temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

On 18 December 2019 the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) published its annual overview of corporate insolvencies for the 2018–2019 financial year and made the following observations: small to medium size corporate insolvencies continue to dominate external administrators’ reports. 85 per cent had assets of $100,000 or less, 76 per cent had fewer than 20 employees and 38 per cent had liabilities of $250,000 or less and 96 per cent of creditors in this group received between 0–11 cents in the dollar, reflecting the asset/liability profile of small to medium size corporate insolvencies. On 23 March 2020 the Parliament enacted the Coronavirus Ec... Read more...

COVID-19 Economic response—temporary relief for financially distressed individuals

The Australian Financial Security Authority statistics show that bankruptcies fell by 10.6% in the period from October to December 2019; and that there were 3,385 new bankruptcies in Australia in that time. However, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic can be expected to create significant financial pressure on many companies. As Dr Scott Kiel-Chisholm of the Queensland University of Technology writes: … the impact of bankruptcy on the debtor can be personally devastating on the bankrupt’s self-esteem, ability to obtain bank loans and secure specific employment and business positions. Indeed, impact of the bankruptcy may extend to the debtor’s family members and friends ... Read more...

COVID-19 Legislative response—Human Biosecurity Emergency Declaration—Remote Communities

This FlagPost was first published on 7 April 2020 and has been updated on 9 April 2020 to reflect an amendment to the original determination. As set out in an earlier FlagPost (COVID-19 Human Biosecurity Emergency Declaration Explainer) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia, on 18 March 2020 the Governor-General declared that a human biosecurity emergency exists. This declaration gives the Minister for Health expansive powers to issue directions and set requirements in order to combat the outbreak. That FlagPost provides information on the mechanics of the declaration and the Minister’s powers. The FlagPost also provides an explanation of the first two determinations that w... Read more...

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

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