FlagPost

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

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FlagPost — Parliamentary Library Blog

Working out the numbers—Employment

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provides monthly updates of labour force data, but what do these numbers mean and how are they interpreted? An earlier post provided background information on the Labour Force Survey. This article focuses on the key employment numbers and rates produced from that survey. Read more...

International film investment in Australia: the Location Incentive Funding Program

The Australian Government has recently announced funding of $140 million over four years from 2019–20 to establish the Location Incentive Funding Program. A total of $35 million will be made available each year to ‘attract international investment to sustain Australian jobs in the film production and related industries’. This money will be administered through a competitive incentive program and will support, on average, two to three large budget international productions each year. The new Location Incentive Funding Program will complement the Location Offset, one of three existing tax incentives for screen production introduced in the 2007–08 Budget by the Howard G... Read more...

Working out the numbers—the Labour Force Survey

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is the country’s official statistical agency. They are responsible for running the five-yearly Census, but also for producing a range of other national data, including the monthly labour force. But, what do these figures mean and where do they come from? The focus of this piece is on the source of the data, the ABS Labour Force Survey. Future statistics FlagPosts will aim to explain some of the key numbers. Read more...

Health care homes: an update

Health Care Homes: an update In March 2016, the Government announced the Healthier Medicare package. The centrepiece was a trial of Health Care Homes (HCHs), an innovative model of health care to manage and coordinate care for patients with complex and chronic conditions. An estimated one in five Australians has two or more chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and arthritis. But their care is often fragmented and uncoordinated. The HCH trial involves enrolling 65,000 patients with complex and chronic conditions across some 200 medical practices (including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS)). Each practice, or HCH, is expected ... Read more...

Five leave the Parliament

On Wednesday 9 May the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, ruled that ACT senator Katy Gallagher was ineligible to be elected at the 2016 election due to British citizenship, and ordered a special count of the ballot papers in order to determine her replacement. Shortly after this judgement four more MPs announced their resignation from Parliament, likely triggering by-elections. This brings the total number of parliamentarians who have left the current Parliament due to ineligibility under the Australian Constitution to 17. Read more...

Treasury Laws Amendment (ASIC Governance Bill) 2018

The Treasury Laws Amendment (ASIC Governance Bill) 2018 (the Bill) amends the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act) to give the Governor-General the discretion to appoint a second Deputy Chairperson of ASIC. Read more...

The pros and cons of pill testing

Last weekend saw Australia’s first state government sanctioned pill testing trial at the Groovin the Moo music festival in Canberra. Noffs Foundation chief executive, Matt Noffs, who is a member of the Safety and Testing and Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE) consortium, suggested that the trial was a success in terms of reducing harms to festival attendees. In recent years, there have been a number of deaths in Australia as a result of toxic quality pills being consumed at music festivals and nightclubs, as well as party drug-related overdoses. In response, public health experts and other commentators have promoted pill testing as an intervention that should be intro... Read more...

Updated Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) debt statistics

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released new data, including updated information on Higher Education Loan Program (HELP, formerly HECS) debts. The HELP data in the Taxation Statistics 2015–16 (available from Data.gov.au) is contained in Tables 20–22. Although the release primarily relates to the 2015–16 financial year, HELP is one of the programs for which data for 2016–17 is also included. All figures are at 30 June for the relevant financial year. Figures have not been adjusted for inflation.   Total amount of outstanding HELP debt This release updates the total amount of outstanding HELP debt to $54.0 billion for the 2016–17 financial year, $9... Read more...

Snapshot of employment by industry, 2018

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) releases quarterly estimates of employed people by industry (in their main job, where a person holds more than one job) in the publication Labour Force, detailed, quarterly, cat. no. 6291.0.55.003. Data is available since November 1984, with the most recent data being February 2018. The next available data (May 2018) will be released on 21 June 2018.  Read more...

Radical ideas—the jobs guarantee

Once considered too radical to be taken seriously, ideas like the universal basic income (UBI) have now become part of mainstream debate. The most recent radical idea to enter the mainstream in the US is the jobs guarantee. Rather than offering unemployed and underemployed workers job-finding programs or training opportunities, under the jobs guarantee, the government would offer them actual jobs. A number of high profile Democrats have gotten behind the idea and it’s being debated in the pages of respectable publications like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Republic, Newsweek, and Vox. The jobs guarantee is an unashamedly political idea. In a piece for the Nation, Se... Read more...

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