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

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FlagPost — Parliamentary Library Blog

Population Policy and the Budget
Ints Vikmanis /

Population Policy and the Budget

Announced two weeks prior to the 2019–20 Budget, the Morrison Government’s Population package was a combination of migration, infrastructure, higher education and regional development measures.  This FlagPost examines the population and immigration aspects of the package with reference to the 2019–20 Budget. Read more...

What might a National Integrity Commission look like?

Australia looks set to have a National Integrity Commission (NIC) of some description in the near future, with the proposal now supported by the Coalition, the Australian Labor Party, the Australian Greens and at least some of the current cross-bench. However, there is disagreement on the particular model to be adopted and differences in the published costings. In light of the funding in the 2019–20 Budget for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC), this FlagPost provides a brief overview of the different models.  Read more...

Impact of the new Child Care Subsidy

On 10 April 2019, the Government released data on children and families using child care services for the September 2018 quarter, the first three months of the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS). The data release provides a small snapshot into the impact of the recent changes to child care funding compared to previous quarters. Read more...

The 2019 federal election: key dates

On the morning of Thursday 11 April 2019 the Prime Minister visited the Governor-General and advised the dissolution of the 45th Parliament for a general election. Read more...

Snapshot of employment by industry, 2019

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases quarterly estimates of employed people by industry (in their main job, where a person holds more than one job) in the publication Labour Force, detailed, quarterly, cat. no. 6291.0.55.003. Data is available since November 1984, with the most recent data being February 2019. The next available data (May 2019) will be released on 20 June 2019.  Read more...

Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Members’ Interests First) Bill 2019

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Putting Members’ Interests First) Bill 2019 (the Bill) introduced into the House of Representatives on 20 February 2019 would require insurance in superannuation to be offered to members on an ‘opt-in’ rather than the current ‘opt-out’ basis where the member is under the age of 25 or the member has an account balance below $6,000. The changes made by the Bill will apply from 1 October 2019 and implement the Government’s original objective under the ‘Protecting Your Super Package’ announced in the 2018–19 Budget. Read more...

Water Amendment (Indigenous Authority Member) Bill 2019

The Water Amendment (Indigenous Authority Member) Bill 2019 was introduced by the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, in the House of Representatives on 20 February 2019.  The Bill amends the Water Act 2007  to add an Indigenous person, referred to as the ‘standing Indigenous Authority member’, to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (the Authority). This will increase the Authority from six to seven members. The position does not preclude other Indigenous members. The Bill gives effect to a decision of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council on 14 December 2018 that a standing Indigenous Authority member position should be... Read more...

Corporate Tax Transparency Report

In the lead up to the next federal budget and election campaigns, issues of tax are likely to again come to the fore of public debate. An important element of the debate relates to the more than $95bn in expected taxes coming from company and resource rent taxes. The information contained in the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) publication of the Corporate Tax Transparency Report provides some insight into the amount of tax paid by the largest companies operating in Australia.  Read more...

Australia’s first federal election–29 and 30 March 1901
State Library of Queensland

Australia’s first federal election–29 and 30 March 1901

With speculation firming on May 11 as ‘the most likely date for a 2019 federal election’ it seems timely to mark the anniversary this week of Australia’s first federal election. Prime Minister Edmund Barton, who had been commissioned by Governor-General Lord Hopetoun to form an interim Government on 1 January 1901, opened the federal campaign with a speech at the West Maitland Town Hall, declaring: Ransack history, and you will find this is the first time in which it has been committed to one body of men to undertake … the government of a whole continent. ….. We shall in our electoral campaign have to deal with a whole continent, … and we shall have to... Read more...

The effect of calling an election on Senate estimates hearings

The possibility of the federal election being called soon after the 2019–20 Budget on 2 April 2019 raises the question of what will happen with the Senate estimates hearings that are scheduled to be held over 4–12 April. Would calling the election prevent estimates hearings going ahead? Could the Senate require hearings to go ahead despite the calling of an election? Read more...