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Australia’s political representatives have the ability to legislate on a wide range of matters. Marriage is one of them. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Explainer: what is parliament’s role in the marriage equality debate?

As the government hints the marriage equality plebiscite may be delayed until 2017, calls intensify for the parliament to legislate on the issue instead. So what is parliament's role here?
A proposed new law is set to allow surrogate parents in South Africa to also take leave to care for their babies. shutterstock

Leave for surrogate parents in South Africa: no time for baby steps

South African law requires surrogate mothers to hand infants to their legal parents without undue delay. But it doesn't provide leave for these parents to care for their infants. That is set to change.
An integrated reform blueprint for federal and state politics could comprise eight elements. Chris Wilson/Flickr

Eight ways to clean up money in Australian politics

Political funding in Australia is governed by different rules for state (some of which do not require disclosure) and federal governments. And both levels suffer significant weaknesses.

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