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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

Government defeat in the House of Representatives on 12 February 2019

On 12 February 2019 the House of Representatives considered amendments made by the Senate to the Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2018 (the Home Affairs Bill). The Government strongly opposed the Senate amendments, which sought to give greater weight to medical opinion when determining whether a medical evacuation from a regional processing country should occur, and attempted to prevent them from being considered by the House. However, as the Senate amendments were supported by the Opposition and a number of crossbench members, the Government unsuccessfully tried to stop the House from considering them, with further amendments being decided following negotiati... Read more...

Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Income Management and Cashless Welfare) Bill 2019

Income management in Cape York and the cashless debit card trials in all of the current cashless debit card sites except Bundaberg and Hervey Bay are set to end on 30 June 2019. The Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Income Management and Cashless Welfare) Bill 2019 (the Bill) extends income management in Cape York and the expiring cashless debit card trial sites until 30 June 2020 (the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay trial already has an end date of 30 June 2020). The Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, announced a 12 month extension of the Cashless Debit Card in the Ceduna region (South Australia), the East Kimberley region (Western Australia) and the Goldfields reg... Read more...

National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Worker Screening Database) Bill 2019

On 13 February 2019, the Australian Government introduced the National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Worker Screening Database) Bill 2019 (the Bill) into the House of Representatives. The Bill seeks to amend the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act) to establish a database for nationally consistent worker screening for the purposes of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).  Read more...

Australia's first Parliament: Her Majesty's loyal opposition

With the news in December 1900 that Governor-General Lord Hopetoun had invited Edmund Barton to form a protectionist ministry, George Reid assumed the mantle of de facto leader of the Free Traders and, therefore, of the official Opposition.[1] Reid’s task was a difficult one, as he later observed: The prestige attaching to such an able collection of Ministerial talent was enhanced by a general desire to give the first Ministry of Australia a fair trial. As a Ministry, it had no past and a flying start.[2] Barton and his ministry were able to hold office prior to any election by operation section 64 of the Constitution. Sworn into office on 1 January 1901, Barton’s interim minist... Read more...

Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment (Land Scheduling) Bill 2018

The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment (Land Scheduling) Bill 2018 (the Bill) was introduced in the Senate on 5 December 2018. It contains one item in one Schedule that amends the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (the Act) to add 3,105 hectares of land within Ammaroo Station to Part 4 of Schedule 1 of the Act, so that they can be granted as Aboriginal land. This fulfils the Ammaroo Indigenous Land Use Agreement made in October 2014. That agreement exchanges any exclusive native title held by the Kayteyte Alyawarr Awenyerraperte Ingherr-Wenh Aboriginal Corporation over approximately 193 km2 of former stock routes on the Ammaroo station,  for Land Ri... Read more...

New Zealand and Federation

While New Zealand participated in the Australasian Federation Conference convened in Melbourne in 1890, it had little real enthusiasm for the prospect of federating with the Australian colonies. As Sir John Hall, then Premier of New Zealand and one of two New Zealand delegates to the Conference, observed: Nature has made 1200 impediments to the inclusion of New Zealand in any such Federation in the 1,200 miles of stormy ocean which lie between us and our brethren in Australia.That does not prevent the existence of a community of interests between us. There is a community of interest, and if circumstances allow us at a future date to join in the federation, we shall be only too glad to do so... Read more...

United States Senate shows President a red light on war powers as Labor promises a war powers inquiry in Australia

On 13 December 2018, the United States Senate passed a Resolution directing the US President to withdraw US armed forces from hostilities in Yemen. Although it will need to pass the House of Representatives before becoming law, the Resolution is historic because it is the first time that the Senate has voted to use the US War Powers Resolution to restrict a President’s use of military force. Australia does not have an equivalent law, however, the December National Labor Party Conference resolved that a Shorten Labor Government would hold an inquiry into how Australia makes decisions to send service personnel into international armed conflict.   Read more...

Career backgrounds of Australia’s Governors-General

On 16 December 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Queen had approved his recommendation that the next Governor-General would be His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley, AC DSC (Retd). This Flagpost provides information on the career backgrounds of Australia's Governors-General. Read more...

Top gearing: negative gearing of residential property by electorate

Commentary abounds on the extent of negative gearing in Australia. This post explains what negative gearing means, and how many taxpayers in each electorate are using it in relation to their residential property investment. Read more...

Release of the 2018-19 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook

The Government released the 2018–19 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) on 17 December 2018. This brief provides an overview of the key fiscal and economic numbers from the 2018–19 MYEFO with a summary of key data in the tables below. Read more...

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