The Federal Government has introduced legislation before parliament that, if passed, will see the introduction of an R 18+ category for video games.

“The public consultation that was conducted over the past two years showed a lot of public support for this reform,” Minister for Justice Jason Clare wrote in a blog.

“In 2009 the Attorney-General’s Department received 58,437 submissions about the introduction of an R18+ category. 98 per cent of these supported the introduction of an R 18+ category.”

The Federal Government has introduced legislation before parliament that will require new participation requirements for Disapility Support Pension recipients who have some capacity to work.

Queensland has become the first state to sign up to the newly strengthened regulatory framework for coal seam gas and large coal mining developments.

The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education has released data that shows more than 220,000 university offers have been made this year, an increase of over four per cent compared to the same time last year.

Federal Minister for Sustainability and Environment Tony Burke has slammed the ‘irresponsible campaigns against Tasmania’s overseas timber market’, saying their efforts are sabotaging local jobs and undermining environmental efforts.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has announced a round of voluntary redundancies that will see the agency shed up to 75 positions.

The Federal Government and the Greens have struck a deal that will see the formation of a $165 million package to provide dental services to low income earners in return for support of the government’s health care means testing legislation.

The Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand have agreed that the Productivity Commissions of each country will conduct a joint scoping study to identify options for further reforms which might boost productivity, increase competitiveness and drive deeper economic integration between the countries.

NBN Co has signed a contract with Space Systems/Loral for the delivery of two Ka-band satellites and associated tracking, telemetry and control systems, as part of the National Broadband Network (NBN) long term satellite service.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released its report on the administration of government advertising arrangements introduced in 2008 which required that campaign development be undertaken by the commissioning department or agency to avoid the use or perceived use of taxpayer funds by ministers to gain political advantage.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released its report on the operation of the Gateway Review Process phased in by the Federal Government over three years after the 2006-07 Budget to cover government projects of $10 million and over for IT projects, and $20 million and over for other procurement and infrastructure projects that were assessed as representing a high risk in Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) agencies.

With just 11 months until governments are due to deliver their seamless national economy reforms, the COAG Reform Council has found 12 reforms are at risk of not being completed by December.

Federal Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten has accused the Victorian government of deliberately frustrating progress on the national occupational health and safety harmonisation initative.

A global search is underway for the CEO of the new independent National Heavy Vehicle Regulator based in Queensland.

The Federal Government has announced it will move to expedite the rehabilitation work along the main North South rail line connecting Sydney to Melbourne.

A research report published in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) has found ‘dramatic’ improvement in waiting times in Western Australia.

The Federal Government has reportedly struck a deal with the Northern Territory Opposition that could result in the country’s first ever Nuclear Waste Dump likely being constructed in the territory.

Skills Australia has released a discussion paper and called for submissions on the development of a comprehensive workforce development strategy for the Defence materiel supply industries.


Releasing the discussion paper, the Minister for Defence Materiel, Senator Kim Carr, said that over the next decade the Australian Government will spend more than $200 billion on the Defence force.


As part of this, the Government is planning a substantial increase in Defence equipment acquisitions across all services, with the most recent Defence Capability Plan including projects or phases of projects valued at approximately $150 billion in current prices.  This acquisition plan includes the Future Submarine Project – expected to beAustralia’s largest ever single defence project.


“A skilled workforce will be key to success and the Defence Industry Workforce Strategy plans to better position Australian industry to participate in Defence procurement,” Senator Carr said.


Last September, the Australian Government asked Skills Australia to work with the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) to prepare a comprehensive workforce strategy for the Australian defence materiel supply industries.


 “On average, about 50 to 55 per cent of defence acquisition work (by value) has historically been won by highly competitive Australian-based firms including many small to medium enterprises.  If Australian industry is to continue to be competitive, access to an appropriately skilled workforce will be crucial,” Senator Carr said.


“A steady supply of steelworkers, welders, electricians and mechanics is needed, among many other trades.  And we also need engineers, systems analysts, accountants and specialists in air and marine transport. 


“Defence suppliers can expect to face significant competition for skilled labour from the resources sector and large-scale infrastructure projects including the National Broadband Network.


“This competition for skills could create challenges for the Australian defence industry.  The Paper provides a preliminary, but much needed, assessment of the skills outlook for the Australian defence materiel supply industries.”


It is designed to provoke debate and invite ideas and input from the defence community.  To assist this discussion, public submissions on the Strategy are invited by 5 April, 2012.  The insights gained from these submissions and consultations will form a key input to the final report, which is due in June 2012. 


Senator Carr said he strongly encouraged all to get involved and have a say in the process.


A background paper to this Discussion Paper and information on the public submission process can be found on the Skills Australia web site at

Two key defence industries – combat clothing and acoustic technologies and systems – have passed their first ‘health check’, showing that Australia can remain self reliant in these priority industry capabilities.

The Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, has announced that further steps have been taken by the Defence Leadership to implement the Review of the Defence Accountability Framework (the Black Review).

The Deputy Secretary Strategy in the Department of Defence,  Peter Jennings, has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). His appointment will take effect shortly for a term of five years. 

Archived News

RSS More »