December 11, 2013
December 10, 2013
On 13 November 2013, the Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, introduced the National Integrity Commission Bill 2013 (NIC Bill). The Australian Greens have long advocated for a national integrity commission to investigate claims of misconduct and corruption across the Federal Parliament and Commonwealth agencies. The NIC Bill is very similar to a Bill introduced by Senator Bob Brown in June 2010 and reintroduced when Parliament reconvened after the August 2010 election, and to the National Integrity Commissioner Bill 2012 introduced by Adam Bandt. Those Bills lapsed without having been debated when the 43rd Parliament was prorogued. This FlagPost provides a brief overview of the NIC Bill and the broader proposal for a national commission of this kind.
liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia has become an important export industry. Sales from three existing LNG projects (the North West Shelf, Darwin LNG and Pluto LNG) earned $14.3 billion in export revenue in 2012-13, according to the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE). Increased global demand for gas is driving investment in Australia to open new LNG projects, exploiting gas resources offshore from Western Australia and the Northern Territory. In addition, onshore coal seam gas (CSG) resources will be used to develop at least three (and possibly up to seven) new LNG projects at Gladstone, in Queensland – but where will all the gas come from?
On 9 December 2013, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the results of its 2012–13 survey on retirement and retirement intentions. The data collected by the survey provides information on retirement trends, the factors which influence decisions to retire, and the income arrangements that retirees and potential retirees have made to provide for their retirement. Another indicator of retirement behaviour is the participation by older workers in the labour force.
December 9, 2013
|Image source: Wikimedia Commons|
|Image source: Federal Bureau of Investigation|
December 6, 2013
Image source: Western Australia Office of the Auditor-General
On 29 November 2013, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) provided to the Minister for Foreign Affairs the final report of her recent inquiry into the provision of weapons and the training in and use of weapons and self-defence techniques in ASIS. While the IGIS reported that overall ASIS ‘has managed the training in and use of weapons and self-defence techniques well’, she did identify two breaches of the Intelligence Services Act 2001 (ISA) involving firearms training, and a number of other breaches of the ASIS Guidelines for the use of weapons and self-defence techniques.
During Question Time on 5 December 2013, the member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, asked the Treasurer, the Hon. Joe Hockey, a question. Halfway through his response to the question, Mr Hockey invited the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Warren Truss to finish the answer. The Speaker ruled that this was in order and by doing so upheld precedence.
December 3, 2013
The Parliamentary Library has published a timeline of climate policy in Australia. The chronology begins in the 1970s, around the time that the Australian Academy of Sciences published a report asserting that human activities are likely to contribute to warming. The document charts the journey of Australian climate policy from then until today.
November 29, 2013
|Image: Coen (Wikimedia Commons)|
November 28, 2013
|Image source: Wikimedia commons|
For much of this year there has been speculation about when the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) will begin tapering quantitative easing (QE) as a first step to normalising monetary policy. This would be a welcome development for Australia because the Australian dollar, which remains at uncomfortably high levels, would likely depreciate. This note provides a quick summary of what the Fed has said about its exit strategy. It follows on from an earlier flagpost Exiting quantitative easing – the need for a deft touch and some luck.