The Queensland Government has given conditional approval for the $6.4 billion Alpha Coal Project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, the first mine in the region.
Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney welcomed the decision and said the project would produce significant economic benefits for the state and nation.
“There’ll be an estimated $11 billion boost to the economy during the mine’s three year construction phase. 80 per cent of that will be retained in Queensland,” Mr Seeney said.
The mine is expected to see some $80 billion in exports over its lifetime, equating to en economic boost of $1 billion per year.
Mr Seeney said the Coordinator-General had approved the mine with strict conditions and the move was a major step towards opening up the Galilee Basin’s coal deposits.
“The proposal is for a 30 million tonnes per year open-cut coal mine and a 495km railway line from the mine to the Port of Abbot Point near Bowen,” he said.
The project is expected to generate up to 3600 construction jobs and 990 operational jobs.
The mine site is 130 kilometres south-west of Clermont in the state’s north-east. The expected life of the mine is 30 years, with sufficient resources to potentially extend the project life beyond that time.
The project is currently pending environmental approval from the Federal Government.
The Western Australian Government has announced $3 million in spending to implement cat legislation aimed at reducing the thousands of stray cats being euthanised each year.
State Local Government Minister John Castrilli said the funding would also be used to help promote responsible cat ownership as the legislation is rolled out over the next 18 months.
The aptly named Cat Act will see owners require the identification, registration and sterilisation of their feline companions, while local governments will be given the power to enforce the legislation.
The legislation will also attempt to mitigate the negative effects of the state’s feline population by funding cat pound facilities and for other capital costs, including microchip readers, cat traps and ranger training.
The State Government will conduct a consultative process to deliver the best cat management strategy.
“The Department of Local Government will be working with veterinarians and other stakeholders over the next six months on the best way to provide this assistance,” Mr Castrilli said.
“Efficient and cost effective means of providing these facilities are being explored in conjunction with cat welfare organisations and local governments.”
According to the State Government, there is overwhelming support for these initiatives from both cat people and non-cat people, as shown in the 590 submissions received in response to a consultation paper released in 2010.
We’re not sure if anybody’s told the cats about the forced steralisation initiative though.
The United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has confirmed Australia’s limits of 11 million square kilometres of continental shelf, providing clarity over areas which Australia has exclusive rights.
The Federal Government has welcomed the Seas and Submerged Lands (Limits of Continental Shelf Proclamation 2012, with Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, saying it has ramifications for the country’s energy sector.
“Australia has the exclusive right to explore and utilise the resources of the seabed within our continental shelf, including oil, gas, minerals and biological resources,” Mr Ferguson said.
“The proclamation includes large areas of continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles which are based on the 2008 recommendations of the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf.”
The proclamation is the culmination of nearly twenty years of persistent scientific, legal and diplomatic work by government agencies, particularly Geoscience Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Attorney-General’s Department.
“The proclamation demonstrates the practical benefits of Australia’s international engagement in law of the sea matters and with the United Nations and its agencies,” Senator Carr said.
“Australia has also provided technical and financial assistance to help relevant states, including our Pacific Island neighbours, benefit from confirmation of their maritime jurisdiction.”
The Proclamation was made on 24 May 2012.
A copy of the map can be found at http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/Media-releases/PublishingImages/ECSmap.jpg
The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has released changes to its Basin Plan to ministers as part of the Authority’s process of developing the finalised plan.
The MDBA also released a report detailing the changes that have been made to the draft based on submissions received during the consultation period.
"Over the past 12 months we have been consulting communities and representative groups on the development of a Basin Plan," said MDBA Chair Craig Knowles.
"Since the release of the draft in November, we have continued to consider and test ideas and information to revise the draft plan that we are now presenting to Basin governments."
This version of the plan, titled the 'Proposed Basin Plan – A Revised Draft', now enters its ministerial and parliamentary process. It goes to all Basin water ministers for consideration for a maximum of six weeks, as stipulated by the Water Act. Following this, the Basin Plan will be given to the Federal Water Minister.
The MDBA has stood by the planned 2,750 GL/y as a long term average for its environmental flow.
The revised plan has proven expectedly unpopular with the respective Murray-Darling State Governments, with Victorian Water Minister saying the plan is a ‘death warrant’ for the agricultural sector in the state.
“"The socio-economic report outlines the industries that will be severely impacted upon: northern Victoria's dairy farmers, Sunraysia and Riverland horticulturalists, cotton growers in the Lower Ballonee and Murrumbidgee and New South Wales Murray rice growers,” Mr Walsh said.
Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps echoed Mr Walsh’s concerns, saying none of Queensland’s concerns were addressed in the revision.
“The Queensland Government raised a number of significant and legitimate concerns in its submission to the original draft and unfortunately none of those appear to have been addressed in this revised Plan,” Mr Cripps said.
South Australian Premier, Jay Weathrill, described the revised plan as ‘unacceptable’, and that it does not provide enough for environmental flows.
“The result is a revised plan which officially sanctions the over-allocation of water that has been going on for more than 40 years, damaging the Murray and threatening to destroy it,” Mr Weatherill said in a statement.
More information can be found here
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten have announced the Federal Government will conduct a review into bullying in the workplace.
The review will aim to investigate the nature, causes and extent of workplace bullying in the country while considering proposals to prevent bullying cultures developing in the workplace while helping those that have been the victim of workplace bullying.
The announcement comes after the Productivity Commission estimated that workplace bullying sheared off between $6 billion and $36 billion from the economy.
The terms of reference of the review are the following:
- the prevalence of workplace bullying in Australia and the experience of victims of workplace bullying;
- the role of workplace cultures in preventing and responding to bullying and the capacity for workplace-based policies and procedures to influence the incidence and seriousness of workplace bullying;
- the adequacy of existing education and support services to prevent and respond to workplace bullying and whether there are further opportunities to raise awareness of workplace bullying such as community forums;
- whether the scope to improve coordination between governments, regulators, health service providers and other stakeholders to address and prevent workplace bullying;
- whether there are regulatory, administrative or cross-jurisdictional and international legal and policy gaps that should be addressed in the interests of enhancing protection against and providing an early response to workplace bullying, including through appropriate complaint mechanisms;
- whether the existing regulatory frameworks provide a sufficient deterrent against workplace bullying;
- the most appropriate ways of ensuring bullying culture or behaviours are not transferred from one workplace to another; and
- possible improvements to the national evidence base on workplace bullying.
The Review will be undertaken by the House Standing Committee on Education and Employment, comprising members from both major parties. It will consult extensively with the community and will report by 30 November 2012.
The International Square Kilometre Array Organisation has announced a dual site solution for the construction of the Square Kilometre Array telescope, with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa sharing the construction of the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope.
The SKA Organisation found that both sites were well suited for the construction of the array, but South Africa was the preferred site.
South Africa will host the majority of SKA dishes in Phase 1, combined with the MeerKAT dishes. Further SKA dishes will be added to the ASKAP array in Australia, while mid frequency dishes in Phase II will be constructed in South Africa and New Zealand.
The South African project is located in the Karoo region of the Northern Cape, while the Australian - New Zealand joint site spreads from the Murchison Shire in Western Australia's mid-west to the top of New Zealand's South Island.
Australia will construct a total of 60 dishes, all equipped with Australia’s phased array feed technology.
“This hugely important step for the project allows us to progress the design and prepare for the construction phase of the telescope. The SKA will transform our view of the Universe; with it we will see back to the moments after the Big Bang and discover previously unexplored parts of the cosmos.” Dr Michiel van Haarlem, Interim Director General of the SKA Organisation said.
The SKA will enable astronomers to glimpse the universe in the immediate aftermath of the Big Bang, with hopes of further investigating the nature of gravity and possibly discovering life beyond Earth.
Factors taken into account during the site selection process included levels of radio frequency interference, the long term sustainability of a radio quiet zone, the physical characteristics of the site, long distance data network connectivity, the operating and infrastructure costs as well as the political and working environment.
The agreement was reached by the Members of the SKA Organisation who did not bid to host the SKA (Canada, China, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom). The Office of the SKA Organisation will now lead a detailed definition period to clarify the implementation.
Minister for Innovation Senator Chris Evans welcomed the decision to share the $1.9 billion telescope, saying the project will benefit from pre-existing infrastructure and technology.
“A significant amount of funding has already been invested into developing first class research facilities like the CSIRO Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in Western Australia,” Senator Evans said.
“Sharing the project means researchers will get the best possible results by capitalising on the respective infrastructure and strengths of both sites.”
The $2 billion project, comprising 3000 dishes, will be funded by a consortium of 20 nations. Concerns have been expressed, however, about the availability of long-term funding for the project in the light of the current economic turbulence.
SKA South Africa has set aside R1.4-billion for the first phase of the project which will see the completion of South Africa's MeerKAT radiotelescope, while Australia has spent A$220 million on its national telescope project.
The Western Australian Government has announced a $8.9 million funding package for regional airports across the state.
The funding is comprised of $6.9 million from the State Government’s Royalties for Regions scheme, with the remaining $2 million coming through the department of Transport’s Regional Airports Development Scheme.
“This year, 36 regional airports will share up to $8.9million for infrastructure upgrades, maintenance programs and infrastructure planning studies to provide improved air transport access for communities, safer emergency evacuations and greater tourism opportunities,” State Transport Minister Troy Buswell said.
The largest grant for the 2012-13 funding round was awarded to Fitzroy Crossing Airport ($1.8 million) to reconstruct the runway. This project is co-funded by the Federal Government’s Regional Aerodrome Upgrade Grant program.
Merredin Airport was awarded the second largest grant of $1 million to re-surface the runway and taxiway. These improvements will allow regular passenger transport flights to operate safely at Fitzroy Crossing and pilot training to continue at Merredin Airport.
The Victorian Government has announced it has chosen a preferred framework for development contribution plans.
Following consultation with industry representatives and stakeholders, Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy said his government has formed a new, straight forward and easy-to-understand system.
Mr Guy said the Government would now move to finalise a model of a new standardised levy system based on five infrastructure categories:
- Community facilities;
- Open space facilities;
- Transport infrastructure;
- Drainage infrastructure; and
- Public land.
Under the preferred framework a different levy will be set for different development settings such as greenfield development, metropolitan infill development and regional and rural development, as well as a levy for residential and non-residential development.
Mr Guy said an Advisory Committee would be appointed to set the new levy amounts.
"The intention of the new framework is to cut red tape, reduce delays and provide clarity to the delivery of precinct structure plans in Melbourne and in growth areas in rural and regional Victoria," Mr Guy said.
The new levies will contribute to funding new infrastructure, the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure or replacement of infrastructure that is required to support new communities.
The Advisory Committee will be required to report to the Minister by the end of 2012.
The Federal Government has announced a one-off $20 million funding boost to assist Tasmania’s exporters reach international markets.
The Government has confirmed the spending after it flagged the package in March in response to Tasmania’s sole international sipping container AAA ceasing operations.
The funding measures contain three key measures:
- Direct and immediate assistance to Tasmanian exporters through a one-off payment to help them stay competitive in the new shipping environment.
- Investing in infrastructure improvements at the Port of Burnie to increase container handling capacity and enhance the efficiency of movements within the port.
- Establish a freight logistics coordination team with an industry leadership.
“These infrastructure improvements at the Port of Burnie are crucial, and recognise its importance as the major freight port in Tasmania,” Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Sid Sidebottom said.
“The port will receive $4 million in Federal infrastructure funding to increase container handling capacity and improve the movement of goods within the port, boosting efficiency and helping to lower costs for Tasmanian exporters.”
The City of Fremantle has become the first council in Western Australia to amend its planning regulations to allow non–family members to occupy and rent secondary dwellings or ‘granny flats’.
In the past, planning regulations have restricted their occupancy to family members only and open space provisions have limited them to occur only on certain sized lots.
The City of Fremantle has recently changed the planning regulations in the City of Fremantle Local Planning Scheme No. 4, so that such developments do not have occupancy restrictions, the open space requirements are no longer applicable and, in some cases, small secondary dwellings can be built without the need to gain planning approval.
The aim of the regulation changes is to promote greater diversity and affordability of housing within Fremantle.
More information about the regulations is here.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has praised the Federal Government’s Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEIO Program, describing it as a successful example of how government policy can work with industry to reduce energy use.
The IEA’s Energy Management Programmes for Industry: Gaining through Savings report identifies the policy framework as global best practice in reduce energy consumption.
“The IEA considers energy efficiency as the most cost effective option in the short to medium term to reduce global emissions,” IAE Executive Director, Maria van der Hoeven said.
“Australia’s EEO Program provides a leading-edge example of how best to reduce energy use and improve energy management systems.”
The IEA estimated that the program reduced the country’s total greenhouse-gas emissions by an estimated 11.2 Mt/year, or 2 per cent, per year. The scheme is estimated to save an estimated $1.2 billion per year for the involved companies.
The full report can be found here
The Treasurer Wayne Swan has welcomed the OECD Economic Outlook which predicts that the Australian economy will significantly outperform OECD economies as a whole over this year and next.
In a statement Mr Swan said that Australia’s economic fundamentals remain strong, with the economy expected to grow more strongly than every other major advanced economy over the next two years. The OECD forecasts our growth to be 3.1 per cent in 2012 and 3.7 per cent in 2013.
“By contrast the OECD expects a muted and fragile recovery in many other advanced economies, largely due to the lingering effects of past global turmoil and very challenging economic conditions facing Europe.
“The European sovereign debt crisis continues to be the most significant risk to the global outlook, with recent political developments in Greece resulting in greater financial market volatility.
“Against this backdrop, the OECD expects growth across OECD economies to remain at 1.6 per cent in 2012 before picking up to 2.2 per cent in 2013.
“However, the OECD expects that emerging economies particularly in our own region will continue to grow strongly.
“The OECD expects that China’s economy will grow at 8.2 per cent in 2012, before picking up to 9.3 per cent in 2013. India’s economy is expected to grow at 7.1 per cent in 2012 and 7.7 per cent in 2013.
“The OECD also expects that Australia’s unemployment rate will remain substantially lower than the 7.9 per cent unemployment rate expected for the OECD as a whole in 2013, and around half of the 11.1 per cent forecast for the euro area in that year.
“The OECD has applauded the Government’s commitment to return to surplus, stating that:
restoring fiscal leeway while macroeconomic conditions are still favourable, and the terms of trade high, is welcome.
“Despite the structural transitions underway in the Australian economy, our economic fundamentals remain strong, with solid economic growth, low unemployment, contained inflation, strong public finances and a record pipeline of business investment.”
Mr Swan said that the 2012-13 Budget ensures that the Australian economy remains amongst the strongest in the developed world, by delivering four years of surpluses and delivering financial relief for millions of low and middle income households and businesses which aren’t in the fast lane of the mining boom.
The Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Senator Kate Lundy, has announced the appointment of an independent expert committee to help Innovation Australia deliver the $1 billion Clean Technology Investment programs.
The seven-member committee will assess applications by businesses for funding under the two Clean Technology Investment programs.
The new committee will be chaired by Ms Fiona Pak-Poy and includes Dr Michele Allan, Mr Nixon Apple, Dr Bruce Godfrey, Dr Bruce Whan, Ms Sylvia Tulloch and Mr Bruce Grey.
"We have seen a huge amount of interest from the manufacturing sector in these programs and this committee of experts will play a vital role in assessing the merit of applications," Senator Lundy said.
"Collectively, the new appointments have a broad range of experience in business and clean technology and I am very pleased that we have been able to appoint a committee of this calibre. Their manufacturing experience and expertise will enable them to help deliver the important Clean Technology Investment programs to ensure the sector invests in clean energy and remains competitive."
The $1 billion in Clean Technology Investment funding has two programs: the $800 million Clean Technology Investment Program and the $200 million Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program. Both programs encourage manufacturers to invest in energy efficient capital equipment and low-pollution technologies.
A new inquiry by a Parliamentary Committee will investigate how and why the tender for the Australia Network was botched, weeks after a Commonwealth audit found serious flaws in the process.
Handled by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, the inquiry will further examine the Australian National Audit Office report that found that the tender process was systemically mishandled when it was given to the ABC, despite recommendations for it to be given to Sky.
Both Sky and the ABC bided for the tender, which was announced last year. Despite two key recommendations that the tender be given to Sky, the Federal Government awarded the tender to the ABC. Prompting Sky to sue for damages, resulting in the company receiving $2 million in compensation.
A group of disability advocates, local government representatives and experts have met in Canberra to develop guidelines for building all-abilities playgrounds.
The Touched by Olivia Playgrounds Initiative Workshop was opened by the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas.
The Touched by Olivia Foundation established the first all-abilities playground in memory of a young New South Wales girl whose life ended at the age of 8 months from a rare illness. They aim to have inclusive playgrounds located in every community across Australia within 10 years.
The National Inclusive Playground Design Guidelines will aim to provide a clear set of guidelines to all communities across Australia, enabling them to develop and build inclusive play environments.
“This is more than ramps and soft-fall surfaces; it’s about tapping into the psychology of a child with disability and designing playgrounds that support their development,” Senator McLucas said.
“For example, Touched by Olivia have done research that shows children with autism sometimes respond differently to playground equipment and interacting with other children. Understanding their anxieties about playing with other children in certain contexts is really important in designing playgrounds that are not intimidating for these children.
“Playgrounds can help to build social skills, develop a child’s personality, improve language and motor skills, and of course to have fun.”
Founding Director of Touched by Olivia Foundation, John Perkins said he was thrilled with the opportunity to be bringing together the leading academics, practitioners, disability groups and government organisations to enable a nationally accepted guideline for Inclusive Play to become a reality.
“The guidelines will help inspire and guide communities around Australia in constructing Inclusive Playgrounds where all children can play side by side, regardless of ability,” said Mr Perkins.
The Australian Government investing $50,000 to help the Touched By Olivia Foundation continue its work and develop guidelines to extend inclusive playgrounds across Australia.
The Foundation so far has built and opened three playgrounds in New South Wales and one in Queensland, with another 16 under development, and 42 planned for communities across Australia.
The Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast City Council have committed to a new working relationship after Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie and Mayor Mark Jamieson announced plans for a new era of cooperation.
“The Newman Government believes local councils know what’s right for their communities and we will empower the Sunshine Coast Council to provide solutions to local issues,” Mr Bleijie said.
“We will ensure the level of government which serves the people at the grass roots is given the tools, resources and authority to do its job.
The first National Indigenous Youth Parliament has been opened in Canberra.
The Youth Parliament brings together future Indigenous leaders aged up to 25 years from across Australia to learn how the parliamentary system works, and to debate issues affecting them and their communities.
All the participants have been selected because of their leadership in their community, and their strong interest in the parliamentary system.
The six-day program is being run by the Australian Electoral Commission in partnership with the YMCA, and the Australian Government has provided $220,000 to support the event.
Participants will receive expert training in how laws are made, advocacy, public speaking and speaking with the media.
At the end of the week, they will debate legislation addressing issues their communities have identified as being important.
The Bills passed by the Youth Parliament will then be presented to Government representatives for consideration in developing policies.
The participants will also be discussing constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians, including the referendum process and work underway to help build public awareness and community support for change.
Constitutional recognition is an important step towards recognising the unique and special place of our first peoples.
The Australian Government is working to lay the necessary foundations for a successful referendum, including through a $10 million investment to build public awareness and community support for recognising Indigenous Australians in the Constitution.
Participants will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic changes that gave Indigenous Australians equal rights to vote and discuss the importance and value of voting in a democracy. In 1962, the Commonwealth Electoral Act was amended to give Indigenous people the right to enrol and vote in Federal elections.
The Australian Government is investing $13.2 million to support the electoral participation of Indigenous Australians so they can have a say on the issues that are affecting their communities.
Legislation to establish a National Children’s Commissioner within the Australian Human Rights Commission has been introduced into the Australian Parliament.
The Australian Human Rights Commission Amendment (National Children’s Commissioner) Bill 2012 provides for the Children’s Commissioner to take a broad advocacy role to promote public awareness of issues affecting children, conduct research and education programs, consult directly with children and representative organisations as well as monitor Commonwealth legislation, policies and programs that relate to children’s rights, wellbeing and development.
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said the National Children’s Commissioner would have the task of promoting the rights, wellbeing and development of children and young people in Australia.
“For the first time, Australia’s kids will have a voice at the national level looking out for their interests. The Children’s Commissioner will ensure children and young people, particularly the most vulnerable, are heard in the development of Commonwealth legislation, policies and programs.
“Crucially, the Commissioner will consult directly with children and young people to ensure their voices are heard and their needs pursued."
The Government will call for expressions of interest for the position shortly with the new Commissioner expected to take office by the end of 2012.
Adelaide City Council has signed a revised National Sorry Day Acknowledgement in recognition of the past dispossession of Aboriginal people at a ceremony in Victoria Square/ Tarndanyangga.
Yvonne Agius and Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood , both Chairs of Council’s Reconciliation Committee, along with John Browne, Chairperson of the Journey of Healing SA, signed the acknowledgement.
“Signing this acknowledgement will help to forge relationships with the City Council and the local Aboriginal community, and I give credit to the Council and Lord Mayor for taking this important step,” said John Browne, Chairperson of the Journey of Healing SA.
National Sorry Day is a national event that takes place each year on the 26th May.
The first Sorry Day was held in 1998 following the national inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. The Bringing Them Home Report revealed the extent of forced removal policies.
Yvonne Agius, dual chair of Council’s Reconciliation Committee said, “We’re very pleased that the Lord Mayor will sign this document and we value his continued support of reconciliation and the Aboriginal community”.
Council was a leader in reconciliation when it signed the National Sorry Day Acknowledgement in 1998, which also provides the guiding principles for its Reconciliation Action Plan.
The acknowledgement was revised earlier this year to ensure ongoing relevancy, to further enhance Council’s commitment to reconciliation and to respond to the national apology to the Stolen Generation delivered in 2008 by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said this was another step toward healing the effects of past actions.
“Signing this document is about acknowledging the hurt and harm that was caused by the forced removal of children from their families,” Stephen said.
As part of its commitment to the process of reconciliation, Council has an ongoing relationship of consultation in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
This includes projects such as community education through the Kaurna cultural walking tours, Kaurna dual naming of Park Lands and City Squares and maintaining the Reconciliation Committee to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and aspirations are represented.
It also involves supporting initiatives through grant funding that improve community services to Aboriginal people in the city such as the Mobile Assistance Patrol.
The signing ceremony was part of the National Sorry Day event on Thursday 24th May in Victoria Square / Tarndanyangga.
The Victorian Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell has urged the community to further contribute to the Tomorrow’s Library review of the state’s public libraries.
Submissions to Tomorrow's Library close on Thursday 31 May and will inform a comprehensive report due to be released later this year.
"This consultation is an opportunity for the community to contribute to the development of a future-focused and forward-thinking plan for Victorian public libraries," Mrs Powell said.
"Public libraries are vital resources within our community and provide invaluable access to knowledge, the latest information technology and a wide range of community services.
The review is being conducted by the bipartisan Ministerial Advisory Council on Public Libraries (MAC) re-established by Minister Powell. The members of the MAC include:
- Chair, David Morris MP – Member for Mornington and Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government
- Deputy Chair, Joanne Duncan MP – Member for Macedon
- Peter Crisp MP – Member for Mildura
- Cr Rod Fyffe – Municipal Association of Victoria
- Dennis Hovenden – Local Government Professionals
- John Murrell – Public Libraries Victoria Network
- Anne Holmes – Public Libraries Victoria Network
- Sue Hamilton – Chief Executive Officer State Library of Victoria
- John Bennie – City of Greater Dandenong
- Cr Sharon Ellis – Whitehorse City Council
- Cr Judith O'Farrell – Campaspe Shire Council
- Patti Manolis – Geelong Regional Library Corporation
- Mr Colin Morrison – Department of Planning and Community Development
- Mr Dan Harper – MAC Executive Officer
The Queensland Coordinator-General has announced the approval of Rio Tinto’s planned $1.45 billion South of the Embley bauxite mining extension on Cape York. The project is expected to enxtend the life of the bauxite mining operations for another 40 years.
The proposal will see the mining operations expanded with a new open-cut bauxite mine, processing facilities, barge and ferry terminals and a new port and stockpile facility near Boyd Point.
Queensland Minister for State Development, Jeff Seeney, said the project will provide 950 jobs during construction and up to 1,275 ongoing operational jobs with initial production of 22.5 million tonnes, with a potential to increase to 50 million tonnes.
Queensland Coordinator-General Barry Broe said his conditional approval of the project came after more than three years of rigorous environmental assessments and public consultation.
“I have imposed conditions which establish clear principles and procedures on matters including post-mining land use and rehabilitation, local and indigenous employment, training and skills development and mitigation of potential social impacts of the mine.
The Coordinator-General’s report can be accessed at: