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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

Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper: what role for the Parliament?

The 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper, launched by the Government on 23 November, places a strong emphasis on the role of values and institutions in shaping Australia’s international outlook and interests. It states:  Read more...

What's the buzz about bees?

There’s been a lot of attention given to European honey bees (Apis mellifera) recently. Even the Federal Parliament has got into the act, introducing bee hives to Parliament House in March and celebrating the first honey harvest this month. But why should we care about European honey bees? Do they really affect our lives in any meaningful way?  Read more...

International Anti-Corruption Day

The ninth of December is International Anti-Corruption Day. This FlagPost reviews some recent developments and commitments across the Australian anti-corruption landscape. Read more...

The passage of private members’ and senators’ bills through the Parliament

If, as is expected, Senator Dean Smith’s private senator’s bill, the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedom) Bill 2017, passes the House of Representatives, it will be only the 29th private senators’ or members’ bill to be passed into law by the federal Parliament since Federation. Read more...

Use of 2016 Census data to inform on electorate level employment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released additional results from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing. This includes information about people who work: where they work; who they work for; what type of work they do; their hours of work; and how they travel to and from work. The Census release also provides data on people who were studying or had completed a non-school qualification, those who did any unpaid work, and information on population mobility. The focus of this article is on employment.  Read more...

Digital Transformation Agency / CC BY 4.0 / Cropped, resized from original

Which governments have an online dashboard so the public can monitor ICT spending and projects?

Government is increasingly reliant on digital information and communications technologies (ICT) for its core business activities, ‘back-office’ corporate operations, and service delivery to the public and other stakeholders. Government spending on ICT procurement is increasing, but so are reports of ‘tech-wrecks’, procurements and projects that have exceeded their budgets or timeframes, or have failed to meet expectations. It would be useful to have a single source of information where the public and stakeholders could track the progress of major ICT procurements and projects. Read more...

Indigenous knowledge: adding value to science and innovation

 This year is a significant one for the evolution of Indigenous Affairs policy in Australia. It marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum, while the government is reviewing its Closing the Gap targets and the mechanisms used to address them. Two of the targets relate to Indigenous employment and economic development. This article considers two case studies where the Indigenous knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people contributed to scientific research and innovation. In one, the approach has empowered the local community, with the potential to significantly improve employment and economic development. In the other, Indigenous communities have had little say... Read more...

Not working, nor looking for work, then what?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the 2017 results from their survey of Participation, job search and mobility. This survey data provides information on job seekers and job switchers, as well as people who are not in the labour force; that is, those who are not working, nor looking for work. Within this group of people, there are various reasons as to why people do not need or want a job. The main reasons people are not in the labour force is the focus of this article.  Read more...

Fifty Years since our First Satellite—Highlights of Australia and Space

Fifty years ago this month, Australia entered the space age. On 29 November 1967, we launched our first satellite at Woomera, South Australia. The Weapons Research Establishment Satellite, known as WRESAT, had an orbiting life of 42 days, and circumnavigated the globe 642 times before it ran out of battery. Its purpose was to provide scientific data on upper atmosphere physics. Planned, built and launched in just eleven months, WRESAT was a landmark in Australian science, and an early high point of the Australian space industry. Australia became the seventh nation to send a satellite into orbit and the third nation to both design and launch an orbiting satellite from its own territory. Video... Read more...

Behind the Numbers - the 2016-17 Migration Programme

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) recently released the 2016–17 Migration Programme report. The Migration Programme is the collective name given to permanent residency visas (with the exception of the humanitarian category). The report provides information on the number and type of visas granted. Unlike previous years, the number of permanent visas granted in 2016–17 is substantially different from the planning figure.   Read more...

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