The National Water Commission will be reviewed to assess the effectiveness and continuing appropriateness of its roles in promoting water reform objectives and outcomes.

The external review, which is required by the National Water Commission Act 2004, will also provide advice on appropriate options and institutional arrangements for implementing functions which the review considers should continue or commence.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell has appointed Dr David Rosalky to conduct the review.

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s executive director Don Henry has called for the Federal Government to take a more direct interest in conservation and management in the Cape York Peninsula.

The Federal Opposition’s Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has revealed information on his party’s alternative to the Government’s National Broadband Network (NBN).

Federal Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson has promised that states stand to benefit directly from the carbon policies.

Continuing cost blowouts and delivery delays in the plan to purchase 100 US-built F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) have cast doubt over the future of Australia’s largest defence acquisition.

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan has announced plans to introduce structural tax reform over a ten-year period, sparking speculation that the mining and minerals rent tax may be delayed.

The Federal Government has announced a $66.5 million grant under the Education Investment Fund (EIF) to fund ‘world-leading’ research that will assist in the construction of one of the largest solar power plants in the world.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has urged the Federal Government to improve the management and oversight of the $222 million National School Chaplaincy Program.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has accused the Federal Government’s departments of lacking in clarity in their communication and being inaccessible to those that need their services.

The Federal Government has named Telstra, Fujitsu and TransACT as a panel to provide internet-based network connection services (IBNCS) to government departments and agencies.

The Federal Government has been warned over the increasing economic dependency on China.

Former New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma has become the most senior Labour party member to criticise the Federal Government’s proposed carbon tax after he warned that the legislation would lead the government to defeat in the next election.

Industry and business groups have launched the first volley of a new anti-carbon tax advertising campaign.

The Federal Government has announced it will conduct three new energy market reviews to ensure the efficiency and transparency of the sector ahead of the planned carbon tax.

Monash University’s Centre for Population and Urban Research has published a research report that challenges the sustainability and viability of the Government’s net 180,000 immigration target.

The Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler has released the Report of the Independent Review of the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002.

Mr Butler said the independent Review Committee, chaired by the Hon Peter Heerey QC, had indicated its view that the basic structure of the legislation should remain, while making recommendations about the framework for human embryo research.

“The 33 recommendations that were produced relate largely to updating and clarifying the legislation, or keeping existing requirements.  The recommendations reflect the Committee’s careful consideration of more than 260 submissions, as well as information provided in appearances before the Committee," Mr Butler said.

“The legislative framework will need to continue to balance the needs of health and medical researchers, who aim to improve human health, with the social and ethical challenges in human embryo research."

The Report of the Independent Review of the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 can be found at

A new committee to undertake the 2011-12 Regional Telecommunications Review that will examine telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia has been appointed, chaired by Rosemary Sinclair, Director, External Relations, at the Australian School of  Business at the University of New South Wales.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released an issues paper relating to the preparation of explanatory material on new non-discrimination provisions that form part of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.


As part of the National Broadband Network reforms, NBN Co and other designated superfast telecommunications networks will be prohibited from discriminating between access seekers, except under limited circumstances.


"This issues paper provides an important opportunity for all stakeholders to express their views on the operation of the non-discrimination provisions and the guidance the ACCC should provide within its explanatory material," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.


"The guidelines that the ACCC are developing will serve as an important part of the framework for a fair and level playing field across the NBN and superfast telecommunication networks."


The ACCC is required to publish explanatory material relating to these non-discrimination provisions on its website. The issues paper is the first step in a consultation process that will inform the development of the explanatory material.


The ACCC is now accepting comments from interested parties. Submissions to the issues paper should be provided to the ACCC by COB on Monday 8 August 2011.


The ACCC expects to release final explanatory material in late 2011.


The issues paper will be available on the ACCC’s website

A majority of economists surveyed by the Economic Society of Australia at the Australian National University (ANU) have supported the implementation of the Federal Government’s planned carbon tax as a sound economic policy.

Three major energy innovation initiatives have been announced as part of the Federal Government’s carbon price package.

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