The Productivity Commission has released a consultation paper on the reviews of carbon policy assistance schemes for emissions-intensive trade-exposed activities, the coal mining sector and the steel industry that it has been commissioned to undertake.

The paper sets out the nature of the tasks the Commission has been assigned as a first step in stakeholder consultations.

The Australian Government is staging a National Telework Week in November this year to encourage increased uptake  of teleworking, making use of the capabilities of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The Federal Government has warned that it will consider withholding GST final rewards payments to states if they continue to delay key elements of the proposed COAG reforms to create a seamless national economy.

Two new bodies responsible for consistency and efficiency in offshore petroleum regulation in Commonwealth waters have begun operations.

The Productivity Commission has issued a discussion draft of its report on the impacts of Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reforms in the areas of business regulation and vocational education and training.

Clean technologies developer, Dr Marc Newson, has been appointed as the Federal Government's Clean Technologies Supplier Advocate.

Australia’s Governor General has sworn in the new Federal Government’s ministry, following a substantial reshuffle of the Prime Minister’s cabinet.

Special Minister of State Gary Gray has announced plans to  halve the number of IT services panels currently operating across the Australian Government.

The fourth Australia State of the Environment has been released, providing an overview of the current condition of the environment and its outlook, and calling for a strong leadership role from the Federal Government.

A report released by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) has predicted that total energy consumption in Australia will increase by around 29% over the period 2008-09 to 2034-35,  with electricity generation increasing by around 42% over the same period, driven by increased gas-fired and renewable sources.

Terms of reference have been released for an inquiry by the Productivity Commission into aspects of national electricity network regulation, as foreshadowed at the time of the release of the Clean Energy Future package.

The Federal Government has called on quality organisations to apply for around $350 million in grant funding to assist in delivering professional development and inclusion support for early childhood education and care services.

The seasonally adjusted Australian unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 5.3 per cent in November, as announced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

The ABS reported the number of people employed decreased by 6,300 to 11,457,100 in November. The decrease in employment was driven by a decrease in full-time employment, down 39,900 people to 8,026,300, and was offset by an increase in part-time employment, up 33,600 people to 3,430,800.

The number of people unemployed increased by 9,400 people to 635,800 in November, reported the ABS.

The ABS monthly aggregate hours worked series showed a decrease in November, down 11.3 million hours to 1,616.8 million hours.

The ABS reported a decrease in the labour force participation rate of 0.1 percentage points in November to 65.5 per cent.

The ABS reported the labour force underutilisation rate was 12.6 per cent in November, up 0.2 percentage points from August.

More details are in the November 2011 issue of Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0), as well as the upcoming November 2011 issues of Labour Force, Australia, Detailed (cat. no. 6291.0.55.001) and Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003), both due for release next week on December 15. All three publications are available for free download from the ABS website - www.abs.gov.au

The Australian Government has released a draft Energy White Paper for public consultation, alongside the release of the 2011 National Energy Security Assessment and the Strategic Framework for Alternative Transport Fuels.

The Federal Government has announced a new $249 million Industrial Transformation Research program and cadetship package.

The Federal Government has announced the opening of the $164 million in competitiveness assistance advances under the Australian Government's Steel Transformation Plan (STP).

The Federal Government has announced $100 million in venture funding as part of the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF).

The Federal Government has announced $377 million in funding for the country’s higher education sector, with regional universities to receive $268 million of the funding.

The Federal Government has announced the second and final stage of the High Speed Rail Study has begun with the authorship tender given to AECOM.

The Australian Labor Party has voted to change its platform on exporting uranium to India following an impassioned debate at the party’s national conference.

The Federal Government has announced it is now accepting applications from eligible electricity generators for cash assistance under the Energy Security Fund.

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