The South Australian Government has announced it is seeking feedback on a cross-government initiative aimed at ensuring the long-term success of the country’s automotive industry.

 

South Australia is taking a lead role in the Automotive New Markets Initiative, which also involves the Victorian and federal Governments, that will aim to critically analyse the Automotive New Markets Program (AMMP).

 

The ANMP is a competitive merit based grants which will provide direct financial assistance to firms over the next four years.

 

The objective of the ANMP is to assist Australian automotive supply chain firms broaden their customer and product base, domestically and internationally.

 

As part of the consultation process surrounding the formation and implementation of the program, a framework paper has been prepared by the Federal Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, in cooperation with the Victorian Department of Business and Innovation and Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade Resources and Energy (DMITRE).

 

To provide feedback on the ANMI Consultation Framework Paper:

  • attend a public consultation session, to be held in Adelaide and Melbourne in early June, for further details please visit www.innovation.gov.au
  • make a written submission via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

All feedback must be received by close of business on 28 June 2012.

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

The Tasmanian Government has announced the state will now have a single new public Vocational Education and Training provider, to be called TasTAFE.

 

The announcement follows the release of the Report of the Review of the role and function of Tasmania’s public VET providers, which made 60 key recommendations, the majority of which the Tasmanian Government has accepted.

 

 "TasTAFE will be created for public sector VET in Tasmania, using the combined resources of the Tasmanian Skills Institute and the Tasmanian Polytechnic," State Minister for Education and Skills Nick McKim said.

 

"This decision means that we will move from what is currently a fragmented and inefficient structure to one that is coherent, connected and streamlined.”

 

The new body will headed by a CEO and a Board accountable to the Minister for Education and Skills.

 

"The CEO position will be advertised and filled as soon as possible to allow the candidate sufficient lead-in time oversee the implementation process and shape the vision and culture of TasTAFE,” Mr McKim said.

 

The Tasmanian Polytechnic and Skills Institute will continue to operate and deliver training to learners up until the time TasTAFE begins, with TasTAFE then taking on this role.

 

Other key recommendations included:

  • VET in Tasmania being covered by one piece of legislation to create an integrated and connected VET system
  • Building on the existing relationship between the public VET sector in Tasmania and the University of Tasmania to strengthen tertiary education. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

A recent study by the WWF has found that Australia is lagging behind in the global clean tech race, falling to 26th spot in thethird edition of the Clean Economy, Living Planet study.

 

The study examines and ranks 40 countries based on the sales of clean energy products they manufacture, such as solar panels and wind turbines.

 

Although Australia did improve from being ranked 30th in 2009-10, we are still failing to capitalise on the good innovation innovation conditions.

 

This report should serve as yet another reminder of the huge economic opportunities being created by the clean tech boom,” said WWF National Climate Change Manager, Kellie Caught.


“While Australia’s ranking had improved this year, clearly more needs to be done if we are to keep pace with our trading partners in Asia.” 

 

The report predicts that the global clean tech manufacturing sector is likely to rival that of the oil and gas equipment market by 2015, with the forecasted market size being between €240 and €290 billion.

 

n 2010-11 the top five fastest growing clean energy manufacturing hubs were Taiwan (+36%), China (+29%), India (+19%), South Korea (+19%) and the US (+17%). In terms of clean technology sales weighted to the size of the economy, the report found that Denmark maintained the top spot, followed by China, Germany, Brazil and South Korea. 

 

“Australia now has the policy foundations in place to drive investments in clean tech, including the Renewable Energy Target and the carbon price,” Ms Caught said. 


“The Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which is currently before the Senate, will further strengthen Australia’s policy support for clean energy and help secure our share of the global clean tech boom,” she said. 



“Australia has a proud history in machinery and equipment manufacturing as well as strong supply chains. With the right policies, Australia is perfectly placed to take advantage of the clean tech boom."



The Clean Economy, Living Planet report was prepared by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and commissioned by WWF, with support from Eneco, and Rabobank and De Lage Landen.

 

The full report can be found here

 

 

The Victorian Government has announced it will roll out a ‘commonsense’ coastal planning framework after it released the Coastal Climate Change Advisory Committee Report.

 

State Minister for Planning Matthew Guy said clearer policy was required to enable appropriate development to continue with clarity and certainty.

 

To support effective adaptation at local and regional levels, the State Government has an important role to play in providing information about risks, as well as providing an effective planning system that supports responsible and sensible decision-making," Mr Guy said.

 

 

Mr Guy outlined the following strategies to be rolled out by the state Government:

  • Revising the State Planning Policy Framework to recognise incremental possible sea level rises to the year 2040. As such floor levels will be increased by an additional 0.2 metres over current one-in-100-year flood levels for new urban infill development.
  • Maintaining the existing long term commitment to plan for not less than 0.8 metre sea level rise by 2100 in new greenfield developments outside existing town boundaries.
  • Issuing detailed guidelines to Catchment Management Authorities to assist them to provide clear and consistent advice to councils assessing land use and development.
  • Releasing statewide inundation dataset and guidance material which will provide information to help state agencies, local governments, land managers, individuals and businesses undertake adaptation planning.

 

"The benchmark of 0.2 metre sea level rise is directly endorsed by the Coastal Climate Change Advisory Committee Report and will provide certainty for development to continue in coastal settlements," Mr Guy said.

 

The report and the Minister's response will be available at www.dpcd.vic.gov.au/planning 

 

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - Local

Latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show that in seasonally adjusted, current price terms, the current account deficit rose $5,253m (55%) to $14,892m in the March quarter 2012. Exports of goods and services decreased $5,973m (7%) and imports of goods and services decreased $657m (1%). The primary income deficit fell $72m (1%).


In seasonally adjusted, chain volume terms, the net goods and services deficit rose $1,816m (14%) to $14,635m in the March quarter 2012. This is expected to detract 0.5 percentage points from growth in the March quarter 2012 volume measure of Gross Domestic Product.

Australia's net IIP liability position was $880.2b at 31 March 2012, an increase of $23.8b on 31 December 2011. Australia's net foreign debt liability increased $7.0b to a liability position of $742.1b. Australia's net foreign equity liability increased $16.8b to a liability position of $138.1b.

Further details can be found in Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (cat. no. 5302.0).

 

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has cut the country’s official cash rate by 25 basis points, reducing the interest rate to 3.50 per cent. The RBA’s board cited stagnant global growth and a deteriorating situation in Europe as the main influencing factors. The RBA found that financial market sentiment has continued to deteriorate over the past month, partially informed by the conditions in Europe.

 

The central bank warned that available indicators suggest continued modest growth in the first half of 2012, with significant variation across sectors. The RBA cited a gradual firming of the labour market, notwithstanding the spate of high profile job shedding.

 

“At today's meeting, the Board judged that, with modest domestic growth and a weaker and more uncertain international environment, the outlook for inflation afforded scope for a more accommodative stance of monetary policy,” RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said.

 

“As a result of earlier changes to monetary policy, interest rates for borrowers have declined to be a little below their medium-term averages. Business credit has increased more strongly in recent months, though credit growth remains modest overall.” 

Alice Springs has been nominated as a finalist in the local government category of the United Nations World Environment Day Awards for their Cash for Containers scheme.

 

Territory Minister for the Environment Karl Hampton said that the Alice Springs Town Council were to be commended for implementing a Cash for Containers Scheme even before the Territory wide scheme was launched, affording Central Australian’s the opportunity to recycle their containers for cash. 

 

“I congratulate Mayor Damien Ryan and the Alice Springs Town Council on this prestigious acknowledgement from the United Nations,” Mr Hampton said.

 

“When the scheme originally launched in 2009, the program proved very popular with the local community that more than seven million containers were voluntarily collected in the program’s first year of operation.


“The ASTC and Mayor Damien Ryan have shown initiative and environmental acumen which in turn reduced the cost to their waste management program, and encouraged recycling and produced local green jobs.”


Mayor of Alice Springs, Damien Ryan, said the overwhelming support from the local community for Cash for Containers proved Alice Springs was more than ready for the Territory container deposit scheme.


"We are proud our town has been acknowledged as a finalist in this award.  It shows the community's commitment to the Council's Cash for Containers scheme,” Mr Ryan said. 


“At more than 16 million containers already collected by local Centralian residents for the life of this scheme, it is the community who has made this scheme a success."

 

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - Local

The Western Australian Government has announced the appointment of a steering committee to oversee the development of the proposed Pilbara Maritime CUF (PMCUF) in the state’s North-West region.

 

The PMCUF steering committee will be chaired by Richard Muirhead and will include representatives from the departments of Commerce, Regional development and Lands, State Development and Transport, together with members from LandCorp and the Port Headland and Dampier Port Authorities.

 

“The Pilbara Maritime Common Use Facility is a concept that was developed in response to increasing demand for facilities to service both the offshore oil and gas market and the defence industry in the region,”  Minister for Finance and Commerce Simon O’Brien said.

 

“I have appointed an experienced and highly credentialed steering committee to provide guidance and co-ordinate the delivery of this exciting project.”

 

Mr O’Brien said the next 15 months were critical to the project’s development.

 

“The steering committee will be involved in progressing four detailed feasibility studies looking into market demand, economic benefit, front-end engineering and design and financial viability,” he said.

 

The PMCUF will provide access to common-use infrastructure for all regional businesses with capabilities in the support and operation of commercial vessels servicing the offshore oil and gas projects, housing and construction, and requirements of the Royal Australian Navy. 

 

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

The City of Perth’s Heritage, Culture and The Arts Portal has won the People and Community category of the WA Spatial Excellence Awards.

 

The awards are jointly presented by SSSI (Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute) and SIBA (Spatial Industries Business Association).  Their work encompasses the disciplines of land, hydrographic engineering and mining surveying, photogrammetry, cartography, geodesy, remote sensing and spatial information science. 

 

As a result of a joint project between the City and Digital Mapping Solutions (DMS), the City now has a fully integrated database of heritage management and conservation-related information which staff can access through a single media portal.

 

In their citation, the judging panel commented: “The City of Perth places a high importance on the preservation and conservation of heritage buildings within their local government area.  Their approach goes beyond that normally taken by a local government authority.” 

 

The City’s successful program brings together various information sources and makes them available via a digital mapping system.
 
Using the IntraMaps platform, it is now possible to access a vast amount of heritage information and spatial data on a ‘one-stop shop’ basis.

 

City of Perth CEO Frank Edwards said the City recognised the value of linking heritage data with other property information, such as rates and land ownership, and engaged DMS to assist in implementing the portal.

 

“DMS is a WA-based company that is a prominent provider of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to local governments throughout Australia and New Zealand,” Mr Edwards said. 

 

“Before development of the portal, individual business units managed their data in their own way, creating issues such as data duplication and inconsistency between units.

 

“There are about 360 heritage-listed sites in the city with a large amount of associated documentation in a variety of formats.  The information could include photographs, reports, tenure information, conservation plans and heritage assessment documentation.

 

“Our new system will make it easier to access such information and to manage the City’s award-winning heritage program more efficiently.

 

“The community benefits from quicker turnaround times for development applications and information requests.”

 

The program is still in its infancy and it is intended that it will be available to the general public in the future.

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - Local

The Northern Territory Government has announced that the Western Desert Resources’ $180 millionRoper Bar Iron Ore project has been awarded major project status.

 

“This proposed project will provide a significant economic boost to the region and create jobs and training opportunities never before seen in the region,” Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson said.

 

”The project will be required to meet the high environmental standards required by the Northern Territory Government and subject to all necessary environmental clearances and approvals.

 

“We’ve made the decision to award Major Project status to this project to ensure all arms of Government are working together to capitalise on the huge economic benefits this project will bring.

 

“This agreement will ensure the Roper Bar region benefits from the project and will include a local industry participation plan to ensure local businesses are engaged, a community benefits package, and secure open access to shared infrastructure.

 

The proposed project will involve the development of an iron ore operation in the Roper Bar region, approximately 60km south of Ngukurr and 50km from the Gulf of Carpentaria coast. Stage 1 of the project will total approximately $180 million and involve the shipping of 24 million tonnes of ore over eight years.

 

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

A poll conducted by the Lowy Institute has found that the majority of Australians, 62 per cent, support the move to grant 1,715 skilled migrant visas to the Roy Hill iron ore project. However, the vast majority, 81 per cent, is against direct foreign investment.

 

The poll also shows that people are particularly wary of Chinese investment, with 56 per cent of respondents saying they believe the Federal Government is allowing too much direct investment from our largest trading partner.

 

“These results reflect a general anxiety among Australians about the volatility of the global economy, and about the exposure of Australia’s economy to global forces,” said Executive Director Michael Wesley.

 

“We’re aware that much of the rest of the world looks at Australia as a land of comparative wealth, and we’re apprehensive about the possible downsides of that,” he added.

 

The poll found that 70 per cent of Australian’s credit the mining boom as the main reason why the economy has staved off recession, while only 41 per cent of respondents said they believed Government policy had anything to do with economy keeping stable.

 

 

 

The New South Wales Government has announced it has awarded the contract for the design and construction of Sydney’s Inner West Light Rail Extension to John Holland. The company will be responsible for the detailed design and construction of the main infrastructure elements of the light rail project.

 

This contract includes the delivery of nine new light rail stations, the power and signalling systems and bridge works, which form part of the $176 million Inner West Light Rail extension.

 

State Minister for Transport Gladys said there will be workers on the tracks as early as next month as they begin to establish worksites and start on preparatory works such as geotechnical investigations.

 

Concurrently with these early works, John Holland will immediately get started on their detailed design work for the stops and other light rail infrastructure.

 

Ms Berejiklian said the local community will see the results of the design work later this year during a consultation period.

 

“In the next phase of consultation, we will seek feedback from the community on the detailed design of the stations and the streetscape elements surrounding each stop to ensure the project benefits from local knowledge,” Ms Berejiklian said.

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

Catholic Health Australia has released a study which has found that up to 500,000 people could avoid chronic illness, $2.3 billion in annual hospital costs could be saved and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescriptions cut by 5.3 million if a better understanding of the determinants of health issues was to be found.

 

The main findings in the report are:

  • 500,000 Australians could avoid suffering a chronic illness;
  • 170,000 extra Australians could enter the workforce, generating $8 billion in extra earnings;
  • Annual savings of $4 billion in welfare support payments could be made;
  • 60,000 fewer people would need to be admitted to hospital annually, resulting in savings of $2.3 billion in hospital expenditure;
  • 5.5 million fewer Medicare services would be needed each year, resulting in annual savings of $273 million;
  • 5.3 million fewer Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme scripts would be filled each year, resulting in annual savings of $184.5 million each year.

 

The Cost of Inaction on the Social Determinants of Health found that voidable chronic illness costs the Federal Government $4 billion each year in welfare payments and the national economy $8 billion in lost earnings.

 

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) commissioned the University of Canberra's National Centre for Social and Economic Modeling (NATSEM) to calculate savings the Federal Government could achieve if the 2008 World Health Organisation (WHO) action plan on social determinants of health was implemented.

 

Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty said "The lowest 20 per cent of income earners suffer twice the amount of chronic illness than the highest 20 per cent. NATSEM's study quantifies the cost of avoidable poor health to the Australian economy.

 

"The WHO in 2008 detailed how countries like Australia should tackle health inequalities. Now we have evidence it makes economic sense to implement the WHO proposals. In releasing the NATSEM report, we seek a Senate Inquiry to detail how Australia can best implement the WHO's action plan."

 

The Federal Government has announced the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs to will conduct an inquiry into the issues proposed in the study.

 

Mr Butler said the Senate Committee will be able to draw on this study as well as international contributions, including those made through the World Health Organisation and the Rio Political Declaration of 2011 which confirmed Member States’ commitment to take action to address the social determinants of health.

 

The report can be found here

 

 

The Western Australian Government has announced nearly $80 million in funding for the state’s nine ‘SuperTowns’ through the Royalties for Regions scheme. The funding will see the towns receive funding grants to upgrade community facilities, undertake environmental works and develop new investment opportunities.

 

The nominated SuperTowns of Boddington, Collie, Esperance, Jurien Bay, Katanning, Manjimup, Margaret River, Morawa and Northam will all benefit from the funding, with the key projects to be developed under the program including:

  • waterfront development at Esperance
  • a new visitor and community centre at Jurien Bay
  • visitor facilities and road safety improvements near Margaret River
  • new town centre facilities, roadworks and landscaping in Collie, Katanning, Manjimup and Morawa
  • small business development in Boddington, Esperance and Manjimup
  • infrastructure upgrades to enable housing development at Boddington
  • environmental work to the Avon River
  • the first stage of development of a health precinct at Northam
  • investigation of thermal power options at Morawa.

 

 

Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the funding would provide a catalyst for future investment from Government and private enterprise that would enhance the towns and benefit neighbouring communities in the process.

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - Local

The Western Australian Government has announced teachers working in the state’s non-government sector will flow-on benefits from the State Government’s recent Enterprise Bargaining Agreement with public school teachers.

 

The State Government announced an additional $10.4 million in financial assistance will be delivered to the non-government school sector to allow for the wage increases.

 

“The additional funding will help non-government schools pay the same increases in salaries as Government school teachers,” Education Minister Liz Constable said.

 

Dr Constable said that funding will only be delivered to low and mid-fee schools.

 

“By excluding high-fee, well-resourced schools from the financial assistance package, the additional $10.4million can go to those schools that need it the most,”  Dr Constable said.

 

On average, the additional funding equates to an extra $17,000 for a small primary school with 200 students, increasing to more than $100,000 for larger secondary schools.

 

Dr Constable said there will be an 18 month delay before the increases flow through to non-government schools, saying the delays in available financial data precluded the government from delivering the funding immediately. 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

The Federal Government has announced $57.5 million in funding for aged care to be split between Victoria and New South Wales.

 

Federal Minister for Health and Ageing Mark Butler announced the funding, which will see $35.6 million go to New South Wales to help boost the Home and Community Care Program in the state.

 

New Southg Wales Minister for Ageing and Disability Services Andrew Constance said with the support of the NSW Government, the funding boost for Home and Community Care will deliver an additional 486,263 hours of support, 42,900 meals and 518,145 community transport trips. 

“This funding will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the HACC service system, providing the much needed care and support for people to remain in their own homes and prevent their inappropriate or premature admission into residential aged care,” Mr Constance said. 

 

Victoria will receive $21.9 million to boost its program, with Victorian Health Minister David Davis welcoming the move.

 

“This will deliver 66,000 more hours of allied health services such as physiotherapy, podiatry and dietetics, about 34,000 more hours of personal care and an additional 26,000 hours of domestic assistance,” Mr Davis said. 

“The package also delivers more than 162,000 additional hours of social support, which includes one-on-one support for seniors and planned activity groups to keep seniors active and healthy and reduce social isolation.” 

 

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

 The Federal and Queensland Governments are in open conflict over the environmental approval process for the Alpha Coal project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, with the Federal Minister Tony Burke describing the Queensland Government's behaviour as 'shambolic'  and refusing to approve the mine because of 'dud information' provided in its environmental assessment.

 

Following the release of the Queensland Coordinator-General’s report last Tuesday, the Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney issued a statement calling for the Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, to make a decision within 30 days as required by the EPBC Act.

 

The Queensland Coordinator-General gave conditional approval to the $6.4 billion Alpha Coal project and imposed 128 conditions on the mine proponents GVK-Hancock Coal.

 

Responding to Mr Seeney’s  statement, Mr Burke said he was shocked by the demand, and claimed the Queensland Government had failed to make a thorough assessment.

 

“Up until that media statement, I had understood that the Queensland Government was still considering reopening the Queensland Coordinator General’s process to avoid a duplicate process for the environmental assessment of the Alpha project,” Mr Burke said.

 

“In his media statement the Deputy Premier appears to have reneged on that and is now demanding that I deal with the report in its current, incomplete form and make my decision within 30 business days despite those deficiencies.

 

“Make no mistake, if I were to deal with a report which does not fully address the environmental issues which I have a legal obligation to consider, then there are serious repercussions for the soundness of the decision which follows.”

 

Mr Burke warned that Queensland’s failure to provide a complete assessment would could delays to the approval process.

 

“Because the Queensland government has not provided a sound assessment, I will be required to obtain the information that Queensland has failed to provide.  This will result in unnecessary and costly delays for the project” he said.

 

“If Queensland had made clear to the Commonwealth some months ago, when the new government came to office, that they did not intend to have a streamlined process for environmental assessments, then the Commonwealth would have dealt directly with the proponent and this work would have commenced some months ago.”

 

Mr Burke accused Mr Seeney of playing political games,  and called for a single assessment process to the satisfaction of both jurisdictions.

 

“The streamlining of environmental approvals is an important policy objective, but a childish game which creates a duplicated process so the Queensland Government can point to it and say how bad it is, is a crude and offensive way to treat a major job creating project.”

 

Mr Seeney responded to Mr Burke’s demand for the approval process to be reopened with a short statement.

 

“I am advised the Coordinator General is dealing with the matters raised by the Commonwealth and he has committed to work with the proponent and the Commonwealth to address those matters in a way which allows all parties to meet the requirements of the bilateral agreement. This will avoid the need for a separate Commonwealth assessment.”

 

Mr Seeney later retracted his undertaking and stated the Queensland Government would not work with a streamlined process and repeated his demand for a response within 30 days, which Mr Burke has refused.

A leaked email released by Greenpeace from a staff member of the Queensland Coordinator-General Barry Roe to the Federal Environment Department,  which stated that the coal mine proponents ‘came in with 22 experts to 'discuss' the proposed conditions, 48 hours before the report was supposed to be finished”, has led to claims that the approval process was neither rigorous nor independent.

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

The Federal Government has warned ‘the clock is now ticking’ on up to 2000 Victorian jobs after the Victorian Government announced its plans to cut $300 million from the state’s training organisations.

 

The frank warning from Federal Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Senator Chris Evans comes as a recent analysis shows that up to 550 Victorian jobs will be lost by July this year as a result from the State Government cuts.

 

Projections indicate that a further 1320 positions are ‘on the line’ by early next year, with 400 positions likely to be shed from regional TAFE providers and a further 950 at metropolitan and dual sector providers.

 

"These cuts will seriously undermine the national training effort and see hundreds of Victorians lose their jobs in the coming weeks,' Senator Evans said.

 

"These are teaching job cuts - they go right to the heart of our training effort and the future of Victorians across the state.

 

"If the Victorian Government goes ahead with its training funding cuts, we will not have the skilled workers we need to fill the jobs of tomorrow and employers will be forced to rely more and more on skilled foreign workers.

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

The NSW Legislative Council’s State Development Committee has received terms of reference for an inquiry into the adequacy of water storages in NSW.

 

The Committee, chaired by Nationals member, Rick Colless, will examine:

 

  • the capacity of existing water storages to meet agricultural, urban, industrial and environmental needs;
  • models for determining water requirements for the agricultural, urban, industrial and environmental sectors;
  • storage management practices to optimise water supply to the agricultural, urban,industrial and environmental sectors;
  • proposals for the construction and/or augmentation of water storages in NSW with regard to storage efficiency, engineering feasibility, safety, community support and cost benefit;
  • water storages and management practices in other Australian and international jurisdictions; and
  • any other matter relating to the adequacy of water storages in NSW.

 

The closing date for submissions is 3 August. More information is here.

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

The South Australian Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department for Water will form a single agency after the State Government handed down its 2012-13 Budget.

 

Treasurer Jack Snelling said the merger will bring together all the policy makers, project managers, natural resource planners and scientists in the areas of environment, conservation, water and natural resource planning.

 

“Bringing together the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department for Water will result in a more integrated department able to more effectively manage our natural and water resources with increased efficiency," Mr Snelling said.

 

“The new Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources will continue to focus on managing our unique natural environment and achieving long term water security for South Australians.”

 

The new agency will also see a new Taskforce secretariat entirely committed to the State's efforts with regards to the Basin Plan will be created. The taskforce will focus on the next steps in the process and on engaging the community in South Australia's response. The Chief Executive of this Taskforce will be Mr Scott Ashby, the current head of the Department for Water.

 

The State estimates the formation of the new agency will save an estimated $6.7 million.

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

The South Australian Government has handed down its Budget for 2012-13, with Treasurer Jack Snelling announcing broad cuts to the public service as his Government aims to restore surplus in 2015-16.

 

Mr Snelling delivered the $284 million deficit budget after the state declared a "record revenue write down."

 

The State's Budget will see some 1,000 full time equivalent positions cut from the state's public service, which will save the state an estimated $160 million over four years.

 

Despite cuts to a number of large projects, Mr Snelling said he remains confident in the South Australian economic fundamentals.

 

“The economy is growing, unemployment is at historic lows, mining and exports continue to excel despite a relatively high Australian dollar and globally we are in a position of strength," Mr Snelling said.

 

“For the moment however we are faced with challenges which are being felt across the country, we have been faced with a $2.8 billion dollar revenue write-down from the last Budget - largely due to soft consumer spending and a subdued property market."

 

Major spending initiatives outlined in the budget papers include:

  • $212.5 million to boost to disability services, the largest injection into disabilities in more than 25 years;
  • $45.7 million on a one-off Water Security Rebate to help alleviate the costs of increased water prices;
     $38.3 million on a new Mining and Engineering Industry Training Centre to ensure South Australians have the skills for the mining jobs of the future;
  •  $30.4 million on a new digital system for pathology testing for better patient care in our health system;
  •  $28.7 million to redevelop the Parks Community Centre in Adelaide’s north-western suburbs;
  •  $20 million to make sure South Australia is ready for a launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  •  $19.8 million in additional funding to boost support for our children in need of alternative care;
  •  $8.3 million to boost equipment and training for our emergency services;
  •  $8.3 million on an Advanced Manufacturing Strategy to support growth in this vital sector;
  •  $5.6 million to extend the $8000 First Home Bonus Grant for at least another 12 months;
  •  $5.1 million for a stamp duty concessions for people buying off-the-plan apartments in the City; and
  • $3.3 million for a pilot program in Adelaide’s northern suburbs for early support for vulnerable families with infants with young children

 

While major cuts include:

  • $372.9 million on the suspension of the electrification of the Gawler and Outer Harbor rail lines. The electrification of the Noarlunga line through to Seaford and the network train capacity will increase;
  •  $255.6 million on making the public service more efficient by increasing their efficiency dividend from 0.25% to 1.0% from 2013-14 to be offset by $81.9 million of spending on a new public sector skills and retention entitlement to retain experienced public servants;
  •  $166.8 million on the reduction of 1000 full-time equivalent employees in the public service through either targeted voluntary separation packages (TVSP) or natural attrition to be offset by $60.4 million of spending to the cost of providing TVSPs over the same period;
  • $121.2 million on deferring the abolition of stamp duty on non-real property transfers;
  • $120.4 million on the abolition of payroll tax exemptions for eligble apprentices and trainees to be offset by $48.1 million of spending re-target support directly to registered group training organisations;
  • $77 million on deferring a redevelopment of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and a rehabilitation in-patient unit at the Modbury Hospital.
  • Merging the Department of Environment and Natural Resources with the Department of Water, not renewing the Government’s lease on corporate facilities at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and ending funding for the Thinkers in Residence program and the Integrated Design Commission.
Published on: GovernmentCareer - State