FlagPost

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

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FlagPost — Parliamentary Library Blog

Will the new Future Drought Fund leave the Education Investment Fund high and dry?

On 26 October, the Coalition Government announced it would create a new Future Drought Fund, with initial investment to come from transferring the $3.9 billion uncommitted balance of the Building Australia Fund, one of the Nation-building Funds originally created by the Gillard Labor Government. The announcement has raised the question of the status of the other remaining Nation-building Fund, the Education Investment Fund (EIF).  This FlagPost provides an overview of the EIF to assist in understanding its current status. It updates some of the information provided in the Medicare Levy Amendment (National Disability Insurance Scheme Funding) Bill 2017 [and] related Bills Bills Digest. ... Read more...

The role of book ownership in PISA test scores

The decline in Australia’s performance in the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) since 2000 has been of considerable concern to policy makers. While a number of different possible causes have been identified, a study which attempted to evaluate several of these identified a significant factor which had not previously been raised—a decline in the number of books in Australian students’ homes. Read more...

The question of sexual orientation... Something for Census 2021?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is exploring potential new topics to include in the 2021 Census of Population and Housing (‘Census’). They are also looking to enhance existing topics to make them more meaningful and reviewing the overall content to ensure it remains relevant. As part of this process, the ABS conducted a public consultation earlier this year. From the 445 submissions received, the ABS has created a short list of topics considered to have a strong or moderate case for change. While the options are still being explored, the inclusion of a question on sexual orientation would provide a depth of information not currently available at the population level. Qu... Read more...

Hung parliament 2018 - continued

It is arguable that with the election of Kerryn Phelps at the recent Wentworth by-election, the Commonwealth Parliament has not become a hung parliament, but has simply been confirmed as one. Read more...

What happened in Wentworth?

The 20 October 2018 by-election in the NSW division of Wentworth, following the resignation of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, was notable for a number of reasons. These included the large number of candidates, the high personal vote of former member Malcolm Turnbull, and the victory of an independent candidate in the Liberals’ fifth safest seat. It was also notable for how the seemingly convincing margin of victory early on election night narrowed markedly over the course of the count as pre-poll and postal votes were included.  Read more...

Australia's leadership in the Montreal Protocol

The release recently of the special climate change report by the IPCC triggered further debate around global environmental protection measures and the issue of international participation. In this context, an example often given of effective global cooperation is the regime to protect and restore the ozone layer, recently marked by the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. Australia played a significant role in developing the international negotiation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and its amendments. This flagpost gives some background on this history. Read more...

Pregnancy and childbirth's impact on work

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the next instalment of data from the survey of Pregnancy and Employment Transitions. This little known survey is conducted every six years as a special topic in the November Labour Force Survey. The first survey was undertaken in 2005 and the most recent survey in 2017. The current release provides comparisons to 2011 data, where relevant.  Read more...

Quick links: Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Sure Every State and Territory Gets Their Fair Share of GST) Bill 2018

On 18 October 2018 the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Sure Every State and Territory Gets Their Fair Share of GST) Bill 2018 (the GST Bill) into the House of Representatives. This FlagPost identifies some quick links to assist parliamentarians. A Bills Digest on the GST Bill is forthcoming.   Read more...

Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Bill 2017

The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Bill 2017 (the Bill), introduced in the Senate on 6 December 2017, amends the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (the Act). The Act sets out a scheme for the claiming, granting, control and management of Aboriginal land in the NT. It was closed to new claims in 1997. The Bill adds parcels of land within the Kakadu National Park, the township of Urapanga, and (in proposed amendments to the Bill) Anthony Lagoon station to the listing in Schedule 1 of the Act, enabling them to be granted as Aboriginal land, and makes other amendments to do with Kakadu's status as a National Park.  Bills which recogni... Read more...

New Bill to accelerate tax cuts for small and medium sized businesses

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Lower Taxes for Small and Medium Businesses) Bill 2018 (the new Bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives on 16 October 2018. The new Bill seeks to implement the Government’s announcement of 11 October 2018 that it would bring forward by five years the implementation of tax cuts for small and medium sized incorporated businesses with annual turnover of less than $50 million per annum. The changes would mean that small and medium businesses will face a corporate tax rate of 25 per cent from 1 July 2021, rather than 1 July 2026.  Read more...

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