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Democratic Audit Update May 2009
The latest update from the Democratic Audit program at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, on how our democracy is working.
The state of Australian democracy
Australia: The State of Democracy, by the Democratic Audit’s Marian Sawer, Norman Abjorensen and Phil Larkin, will be published on 15 June by Federation Press.
Redistributions submissions released
The Australian Electoral Commission has released public comments on suggestions received for the Queensland 2009 Redistribution and public suggestions for the New South Wales 2009 Redistribution.
Former prime minister Bob Hawke opened the Museum of Australian Democracy in
Investigation Into the Alleged Improper Conduct of Councillors at Brimbank City Council was tabled in the Victorian parliament on 7 May 2009. The state Ombudsman investigated whether councillors at Brimbank City Council had conspired with each other to breach public trust, misuse information, mismanage public resources and perform their functions as public officers dishonestly. According to the report, [click to continue…]
The Audit’s Brian Costar writes about the report and its implications on Inside Story.
Whistleblower protection in NSW
In a new report, Public Interest Disclosures, Jason Arditi from the Research Service, Parliament of
Chatsworth challenge proceeds
The Liberal National Party candidate’s legal challenge to the state election result in the seat of Chatsworth will proceed after a Supreme Court judge refused an application to have it struck out, reports the
Bridging the gap
How effectively do Australian governments engage with the community, asks Marian Sawer in this article for the Canberra Times Public Sector Informant supplement, republished on Australian Policy Online.
Policy and democracy
Writing for Inside Story, the Audit’s Norman Abjorensen argues that the federal government’s reversal on climate change is another example of the corporate colonisation of society.
Donations and dislosure in Victoria
Electoral law debate
Writing for Inside Story, the Audit’s Peter Brent examined the criticisms of the electoral roll by the opposition’s Senator Michael Ronaldson.
Members’ interests under scrutiny in Victoria
The Victorian Parliament’s Law Reform Committee is reviewing the Members of Parliament (Register of Interests) Act 1978. The closing date for submissions is 29 May 2009.
Senate committees: back to the future
The Senate Procedure Committee has released its report, The Senate Committee System, which makes a proposal to change the membership of the legislative and general purpose standing committees. “Basically,” says the committee, which is chaired by the Liberal senator Alan Ferguson, “this proposal involves restructuring the committees to return to the system that was in effect from 1994 to 2006, whereby in each of the eight subject areas of the standing committees there is a legislation committee and a references committee.”
Direct democracy guide
From International IDEA comes Direct Democracy: The International IDEA Handbook. At a time when citizens around the world are showing a growing disenchantment with politicians, this handbook explains how people are increasingly turning to other ways of influencing their governments. [click to continue…]