FlagPost — Parliamentary Library Blog

Possible changes to paracetamol access

In response to concerns about increased prevalence of intentional paracetamol self-poisoning, especially among young women, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is undertaking work to explore whether it should change paracetamol accessibility in Australia. Read more...

Belonging and engagement in migrant communities – Scanlon social cohesion survey findings 2022

The Scanlon Foundation Research Institute’s latest annual Mapping Social Cohesion Report was released late last year. It found that the sense of national pride and belonging has declined to its lowest level since the survey began in 2007. However, the report also indicates that while the sense of belonging at a national level has declined, social cohesion at the neighbourhood level was resilient, particularly amongst culturally diverse communities. This FlagPost explores some issues in the report’s findings related to migrant communities and sense of belonging.  Read more...

Sponsorship of political prisoners in Iran

In December 2022, it was reported that a number of Members of Parliament (MPs) across Europe are sponsoring prisoners detained in Iran during the recent protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini. The movement appears to have started with several members of the German Parliament announcing their sponsorship of Iranian prisoners at risk of being executed in early December 2022 and has spread to other countries including New Zealand and Canada. In Australia, examples of MPs sponsoring political prisoners include Monique Ryan, the Member for Kooyong, who recently announced she will sponsor Mahsa Mohammadi and Mohammad Boroughani. Zoe Daniel, the Member for Goldstein, has announced she will sp... Read more...

What's new in statistics . . . January

This month: the latest data from the new Labour Hire Workers report, the 2022 Australian Election Study and the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Longitudinal Survey. Forthcoming releases If you are interested in any of the forthcoming releases or datasets, please contact the Parliamentary Library to discuss in more detail. Statistical reports Release date ANZ ANZ Australian Job Ads, December 2022 5 Jan ABS Building Approvals, November 2022 9 Jan ABS Monthly H... Read more...

Reviewing the adequacy of income support payments

The Government has recently announced the establishment of an Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee, which will, among other things, consider the adequacy of income support payments prior to the next budget. This follows numerous calls for increases in such payments over recent years. Read more...

New Zealand—a ‘Southern Link’ between China and South America?

In November 2021, the New Zealand China Council published a report entitled The Southern Link: Developing a Global Value Chain, which outlined the concept of a ‘Southern Link’ as ‘an extension of a global value chain (GVC) that involves the routing of multi-modal freight and passengers between ASEAN–North Asia and South America via New Zealand’. The plan intends that New Zealand will serve as an air and sea freight hub between East Asia and South America, facilitating e-commerce trade, tourism, and education and mediation services, and thereby providing an economic boost to post-pandemic New Zealand.  Read more...

What's new in Statistics . . . December

This month: Life expectancy, road vehicle statistics, Treasury update (2022) and National Bowel Cancer Month. Forthcoming releases If you are interested in any of the forthcoming releases or datasets, please contact the Parliamentary Library to discuss in more detail.   Statistical reports Release date ABS Managed Funds, September 2022 1 Dec ABS Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, September 2022 1 Dec ABS Assets and Liabilities of Australian ... Read more...

Should Australia's referendum rules be reformed?

With the Government committing to a constitutional referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, an important question has become whether the Referendums (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 (Referendums Act) remains fit for purpose. Australia has two main pieces of legislation that cover the conduct of federal electoral events. The Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Electoral Act) covers federal elections and election-related issues. Alongside this is the Referendums Act, which covers constitutional referendums. While the Electoral Act has seen various reforms over recent parliaments, including to the enrolment process and telephone voting, the Referendums Act may be showing its age. Read more...

Wish list: sitting calendar, compliant with norms and school holidays

While children—young and old—in the countdown to Christmas are probably more focused on chocolate advent calendars, parliamentarians need to settle on a new sitting calendar. Balancing the norms of a sitting calendar with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s promise not to sit during school holidays across all states and territories, requires careful programming. This Flagpost article discusses the various considerations that go into developing a sitting calendar including avoiding school holidays.  Read more...

FlagPost

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

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