Abstracts of Current Issues Briefs published 2004–05

Current Issues Briefs Index

Medication for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): an analysis by Federal Electorate (2001–2003) [HTML] [PDF 445KB]
Current Issues Brief no. 8 2004–05
Luke Buckmaster, Social Policy Section
16 November 2004

This Current Issues Brief updates a 2001 brief that examined the wide disparity in the number of prescriptions dispensed for dexamphetamine sulfate (a medication commonly used to treat ADHD) in different parts of Australia. The analysis in this brief examined the differences between Federal electorates in the number of prescriptions dispensed for medication to treat ADHD. Considerable variation is apparent both across and within the States and Territories, with Western Australian electorates accounting for the top 14 electorates for prescription of ADHD medication in Australia. (23 pages)

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The High Court and indefinite detention: towrds a national bill of rights? [PDF 277KB]
Current Issues Brief no. 7 2004–05
Peter Prince, Law and Bills Digest Section
16 November 2004

In August 2004 Australia’s High Court declared by 4:3 that failed asylum seekers who have nowhere to go can be kept in immigration detention indefinitely. In Al-Khateb and Al Khafaji, the majority said that provided the Immigration Minister retained the intention of eventually deporting such people, detention would remain valid. These cases will be cited by those who argue that basic freedoms for people within Australia’s jurisdiction are not adequately protected and there is a need for a national ‘bill of rights’. (27 pages)

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The 2004 Budget: some issues arising [HTML] [PDF 534KB]
Current Issues Brief no. 6 2004–05
David Richardson, Commerce and Industrial Relations Section
9 August 2004

Every Budget raises a host of issues and generates a good deal of discussion. This paper examines just a few of the issues arising out of the 2004 Budget. (20 pages)

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The AusLink White Paper: an overview [HTML] [PDF 416KB]
Current Issues Brief no. 5 2004–05
Richard Webb, Economics, Commerce and Industrial Relations Section
9 August 2004

In June 2004, the Government released the AusLink white paper, which contains its national land transport plan. This Current Issues Brief examines some of the white paper’s proposals. (25 pages)

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The end of ATSIC and the future administrtion of Indigenous affairs [HTML] [PDF 377KB]
Current Issues Brief no. 4 2004–05
Angela Pratt Social Policy Section
Scott Bennett, Politics and Public Administration Section
9 August 2004

This paper discusses a range of issues raised by the government’s announcement in April 2004 that it would abolish the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), and the Labor Opposition’s announcement a few weeks earlier that it would do likewise in government. It provides a brief history of the administration of Indigenous affairs before ATSIC was established in 1989; an overview of how ATSIC worked, including its roles and functions, structure and governance, and funding arrangements; and an outline of the government’s plans for Indigenous affairs policy-making and service-delivery post-ATSIC. It also canvasses a range of broader issues raised by ATSIC’s abolition, including the question of whether there is a continuing role for an elected Indigenous representative body in the Australian political systemrements. It also points out those areas where the Bill might go further than required or fail to take advantage of exceptions allowed. (32 pages)

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Guide to copyright and patent law changes in the US Free Trade Agreement Implementation Bill 2004 [HTML][PDF 393KB]
Current Issues Brief no. 3 2004–05
Jacob Varghese, Law and Bills Digest Section
3 August 2004

Changes to the Copyright Act 1968 and Patents Act 1990 form a significant and complex part of the Bill to implement the Australia–US Free Trade Agreement. The intellectual property chapter is one of the largest and most prescriptive parts of the Agreement. However, the chapter does leave some room for Australia to decide the shape of its own law, so implementation inevitably involves making substantive policy choices. This guide provides a section-by-section discussion of the copyright and patent provisions of the Bill. It discusses the changes the Agreement requires and also the means which are proposed to meet these requirements. It also points out those areas where the Bill might go further than required or fail to take advantage of exceptions allowed. (43 pages)

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Taxable income and tax paid in Commonwealth electoral divisions, 2000–01 (2003 electoral boundaries) [HTML] [PDF 7,766KB]
Current Issues Brief no. 2 2004–05
Stephen Barber and Andrew Kopras, Statistics Group
12 July 2004

Following the 2003 redistribution of Commonwealth electoral divisions in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, this paper provides the most recently published postcode taxation statistics aggregated to the electoral divisions that will be applicable at the next election. Summary information on such items as taxpayers, taxable income, tax paid and net tax ratio are shown for each electorate in Australia. Six tables ranking the electorates by various taxation categories are provided as well as two choropleth (colour coded) maps. (18 pages)

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Socioeconomic indexes for electoral divisions: 2001 Census (2003 boundaries) [HTML] [PDF 15,405KB]
Current Issues Brief no. 1 2004–05
Gerard Newman and Andrew Kopras, Statistics Group
12 July 2004

The Census collects data on a broad range of social and economic aspects of the Australian population. While it is possible to compare electoral divisions on each data item, it is often more useful to compare divisions on the basis of a summary of related data items. This paper provides data on four summary indexes derived from the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. The paper shows each electoral division ranked on the basis of each index. The electoral divisions shown in this paper are those applicable following the 2002–03 redistributions. The paper also includes maps of electoral divisions for each index. (18 pages)

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