FlagPost

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

Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Search: FlagPost

Filter by

Date

Syndication

Tag cloud

FlagPost — Parliamentary Library Blog

Parliament responds to the strawberry contamination crisis

On 19 September 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Attorney-General Christian Porter announced that amendments to the contamination of goods offences in the Criminal Code Act 1995  (Cth) would be prioritised in the Parliament. This announcement was in response to a number of incidents across Australia where strawberries and other fresh food products are alleged to have been contaminated with sewing needles. While there are existing offences that would likely address this conduct, the Government proposes to change the fault element to capture conduct that is reckless as to the consequences of the contamination of goods. Doing this, as well as increasing the penalties for the offence... Read more...

Treasury Laws Amendment (Supporting Australian Farmers) Bill 2018
Australian Bureau of Meteorology, CC BY 3.0 AU, resized/converted jpg

Treasury Laws Amendment (Supporting Australian Farmers) Bill 2018

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Supporting Australian Farmers) Bill 2018 (the Bill) implements the Government’s announcement to allow primary producers to immediately deduct the cost of fodder storage assets. The measure is intended to assist farmers to future drought-proof their businesses by making it more affordable to invest in fodder storage. Read more...

Casual re-employment: comings and goings due to Senate casual vacancies

Upon being re-appointed to the Senate on 10 September 2018 to fill the casual vacancy created by Andrew Bartlett’s resignation, Queensland (Qld) Greens Senator Larissa Waters becomes the first senator to return to the Senate after having been disqualified under section 44 of the Australian Constitution for holding dual citizenship. Senator Waters’ return is also notable because she is filling a Senate position originally made vacant by her own disqualification, subsequently filled by Andrew Bartlett, and made vacant again by Bartlett’s retirement on 27 August 2018. Read more...

Sir George Houstoun Reid (1845-1918): Premier, Prime Minister, High Commissioner, and Member of the UK House of Commons

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Australia’s fourth Prime Minister, George Reid, who served in the role for 10 months between August 1904 and July 1905. Reid holds a unique position among Australian political leaders, having been a representative in colonial, Commonwealth and British legislatures. He also served as Australia’s first High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 1910 to 1916, when he was followed by the former Australian Labor Prime Minister Andrew Fisher. Reid was first elected to the New South Wales Parliament in 1880 at 35 years of age, as one of four representatives for the multi-member division of East Sydney. His 3,413 received votes were 643... Read more...

Two parliamentary milestones for women—
75 years of women in the Commonwealth Parliament and Australia's 100th female senator

21 August 2018 marks the 75th anniversary of the election of the first women to the Commonwealth Parliament. Enid Lyons of the United Australia Party and Dorothy Tangney of the Australian Labor Party were both elected on that day in 1943; Lyons to the House of Representatives and Tangney to the Senate. In addition, Dr Mehreen Faruqi (Australian Greens, NSW), who was sworn in as a senator on 20 August 2018, is Australia’s 100th female senator. Read more...

Working out the numbers—Unemployment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provides monthly updates of labour force data, but what do these numbers mean and how are they interpreted? Previous posts have provided background information on the Labour Force Survey and on employment figures. This post focuses on the key unemployment numbers and rates. Read more...

25 million and growing

Australia’s population has hit the 25 million mark, based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ population clock—an estimate of growth based on latest official data on births, deaths and net overseas migration. Australia’s annual population growth was 1.6 per cent in 2017. How did Australia look when we reached previous population milestones? Read more...

Law enforcement access to My Health Record data

My Health Record (MHR) was introduced in June 2012 by the Gillard Labor Government originally as an opt-in system known as the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) before legislative amendments in 2015 introduced by the Abbott Coalition Government renamed it and laid the groundwork for it to become an opt-out system. Law enforcement access to MHR data is among the privacy concerns raised about the program, but this provision was in the original legislation and received little attention when the Bill was debated. Read more...

Proposals for legalising cannabis in Australia

Senators David Leyonhjelm and Richard Di Natale have both recently made moves towards legalising at the Commonwealth level the use of cannabis for recreational purposes in Australia. They have done so for largely different reasons, and by advocating almost diametrically opposed approaches.   On the 9th of May, Senator Leyonhjelm introduced a Bill to the Parliament that would amend several Commonwealth acts under which cannabis is treated as a controlled drug with associated penalties. As such, the Bill would effectively remove Commonwealth barriers to the legalisation, regulation and taxation of cannabis. Currently, cannabis use for recreational purposes is illegal in all Australian jur... Read more...

What’s in a name: the redistributions of the 45th Parliament

With the announcement of the final boundaries for electorates in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the electoral redistributions of the 45th Parliament have now been completed. The addition of a seat each to Victoria and the ACT, and the loss of a seat in South Australia, will see 151 House of Representatives seats up for election at the next federal election—the largest number in the history of the Parliament. Read more...

Top