FlagPost

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

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FlagPost — Parliamentary Library Blog

First Sitting of the Commonwealth Parliament

On midday on 9 May 1901, His Royal Highness The Duke of York and Cornwall (later George V) opened the first Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia at the Exhibition Building—the only building in Melbourne big enough to accommodate the 1,400 guests—on behalf of King Edward VII. Read more...

Trends in early voting in federal elections

Early voting for the 2019 federal election commenced on Monday 29 April 2019. Early votes include pre-poll ordinary votes (pre-poll votes cast by a voter at a pre-poll voting centre for their electorate), pre-poll declaration votes (pre-poll votes cast outside a voter’s division, such as overseas and interstate) and postal votes (which can be applied for from the issue of the writs). The rise of pre-poll voting, particularly pre-poll ordinary, has been a notable trend in federal elections since 2010. Read more...

What's different about the 2019 federal election?

Every federal election is unique, but some are more unique than others. Due to a variety of factors such as extensive boundary redistributions and changes in legislation, the 2019 federal election is different from previous elections in a number of ways. Read more...

Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow—Government’s response to the Joyce Review

The recent 2019–20 Budget was a vehicle for the Government to announce its response to the Expert review of Australia's vocational education and training system (Joyce Review) of vocational education and training (VET): the $525.3 million Skills Package—Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow. This FlagPost outlines the key features of the review and the Government’s response. The Joyce Review The Joyce Review was commissioned in November 2018 to report by the end of March 2019. According to its terms of reference, its objective was to: focus on how the Australian Government’s investment in VET could be more effective to provide Australians with the skills ... Read more...

Online political communication—does this post need to be authorised?

‘Spoken by J Jones. Authorised by S Smith, Canberra.’ This familiar phrase, spoken rapidly at the end of a TV ad, is a common feature of Australian elections, and is an example of an authorisation statement required by law to allow voters to know the source of the advertising. While these statements have traditionally been found on political advertising on TV, radio and in newspapers, recent changes to the law have expanded the range of communications considerably, with social media, internet video and streaming music now covered (but not sky writing or graffiti). Read more...

Replacing the BasicsCard

The Government plans to move nearly 22,500 income management participants from the BasicsCard to the newer cashless debit card. Around 87 per cent of BasicsCard users are in the Northern Territory. These income management participants will join around 11,700 cashless debit card users who reside in the cashless debit trial sites of Ceduna, East Kimberley, the Goldfields, and Bundaberg and Hervey Bay. The plan is to change from the BasicsCard to the cashless debit card without changing other aspects of income management such as the proportion of their payment participants receive as cash. Both the BasicsCard and the cashless debit card schemes are designed to allow the Government to make incom... Read more...

Population Policy and the Budget
Ints Vikmanis / Shutterstock.com

Population Policy and the Budget

Announced two weeks prior to the 2019–20 Budget, the Morrison Government’s Population package was a combination of migration, infrastructure, higher education and regional development measures.  This FlagPost examines the population and immigration aspects of the package with reference to the 2019–20 Budget. Read more...

What might a National Integrity Commission look like?

Australia looks set to have a National Integrity Commission (NIC) of some description in the near future, with the proposal now supported by the Coalition, the Australian Labor Party, the Australian Greens and at least some of the current cross-bench. However, there is disagreement on the particular model to be adopted and differences in the published costings. In light of the funding in the 2019–20 Budget for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC), this FlagPost provides a brief overview of the different models.  Read more...

Impact of the new Child Care Subsidy

On 10 April 2019, the Government released data on children and families using child care services for the September 2018 quarter, the first three months of the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS). The data release provides a small snapshot into the impact of the recent changes to child care funding compared to previous quarters. Read more...

The 2019 federal election: key dates

On the morning of Thursday 11 April 2019 the Prime Minister visited the Governor-General and advised the dissolution of the 45th Parliament for a general election. Read more...

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