Filter by September, 2022

What's new in statistics . . .October

This month: snapshot of the Australian economy, economic gains and losses during COVID-19, National Ocean Account, elder abuse and National Work Safety Month. Forthcoming releases If you are interested in any of the forthcoming releases or datasets, please contact the Parliamentary Library to discuss in more detail. 2021 Census of Population and Housing, 2nd release The second release of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2021 Census of Population and Housing is due on 12 October and will include data on: Occupation Industry of employment Status of employment Public or private employer indicator Non-school qualifications Hours worked Method of ... Read more...

Recent party defections: should there be a legal remedy?

Most Australian parliamentarians are affiliated with a political party. From time to time, however, parliamentarians change their party affiliation or sit as an independent while retaining the seat to which they were elected. In the 46th Parliament three parliamentarians changed party. This was fewer than the 45th Parliament when six parliamentarians changed: four of whom did so more than once (see Tables below). Read more...

Checking the fine print: committee scrutiny of annual reports

Checking the fine print: committee scrutiny of annual reports

It has been almost 50 years since Senate committees first began reviewing government department and agency annual reports. The overarching purpose of annual reports is to ‘inform the Parliament and the public about the achievements, performance and financial position of Commonwealth entities and companies at the end of each reporting year’. This Flagpost reflects on committees’ role in scrutinising annual reports and their less visible but important impact on promoting oversight and transparency.  Read more...

Queen Elizabeth II and the Federal Parliament

On 9 September 2022, the Australian flag above Parliament House was lowered to half-mast as a mark of mourning and respect for the death of Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. The Governor-General, David Hurley, Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton, and Parliament's Presiding Officers have issued statements of condolence, reflecting on The Queen’s enduring leadership and lifetime of service. This Flagpost article highlights Queen Elizabeth II’s relationship with the Australian Parliament and provides further information on the procedures and protocols upon ... Read more...

High inflation = higher social security rate increases

Most social security payment rates will be increased on 20 September as part of the regular, twice yearly indexation process. The Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth stated that the September increase is ‘the largest indexation increase to payments in more than 30 years for allowances and 12 years for pensions’. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tweeted that ‘millions of Australians will see the biggest increase to their pension in 30 years’. This FlagPost explains what an ‘indexation increase’ is and why this 30-year record works to maintain rather than increase the real value of these payments. Read more...

Public sector reform

During the 2022 federal election campaign, the Labor Party included improving the Australian Public Service (APS) within its raft of policy commitments. Since the election, Labor’s Minister for the Public Service, Katy Gallagher, has appointed Gordon de Brouwer as Secretary for Public Sector Reform. This Flagpost article examines the key issues likely to influence plans for reform, taken from the ALP’s policy positions, inquiries initiated by the previous Government, and other related issues. Read more...

Sitting times and Standing Orders: recent changes in the House

In one of the first acts of the 47th Parliament, the Government proposed a series of changes to the House Standing Orders. These (currently 270) Standing Orders are rules which govern the operation and conduct of House business, as provided for in The Constitution (section 50). House Practice explains that ‘Standing orders are made and amended by motion moved on notice in the usual way’. While Standing Orders can be amended any time by passing a motion, it’s become the custom of incoming governments to review Standing Orders in the new parliament. This Flagpost article outlines the recent changes to Standing Orders and their various impacts. 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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