The Federal Government has announced it will invest $719 million to deliver improved primary health care and increase access to dental and allied health care services as part of the Strong Futures package.

The funding will be delivered over the next 10 years with an aim to improve the health and wellbeing of 65,000 Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, which is set to include new alcohol and drug treatment services.

The Australian Government will continue to fund Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and the Northern Territory Government to deliver primary health care services, which involves more than 250 full-time staff delivering medical, nursing and allied health services in 80 primary health care clinics. 

The Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate will replace the Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) affecting the building and construction industry.

David Murray, the outgoing chairman of the multi-billion national Future Fund, has savaged the Federal Government’s carbon tax, describing it as the “worst piece of economic reform” has ever seen.

The latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows an in increase job vacancies by 0.7 per cent in February, showing a turn around from a previous spate of declines.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard has announced the introduction of  a HECS style fee support system for the VET sector.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has announced a funding offer of $1.75 billion to the  states and territories for a program to reform the VET system over the next 5 years. The offer, outlined in a document called Skills for All Australians will be considered at next month’s COAG meeting.

The Federal Government has proposed to extend the National Water Commission and its ‘ongoing provision of robust and transparent oversight of COAG water reform through the National Water Initiative.”


Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said that the Federal Government has made the proposal following an independent review by Dr David Rosalky.


When the National Water Commission was established under the former Liberal/National Government, it was for a fixed time frame only," Senator Farrell said.


"But the Gillard Government recognises the importance of the ongoing role of the Commission in overseeing the COAG water reform agenda and that’s why we believe it should continue.


"The Government supports the National Water Initiative and Murray Darling Basin reforms and sees the National Water Commission as the best means of providing independent assurance on the progress of all governments."


As required under the National Water Commission Act 2004, the Government commissioned an independent review of the NWC last year with Terms of Reference agreed by COAG.


That review recommended that the NWC continue for the life of the National Water Initiative and that it should be refocused on four key functions: audit, monitoring, assessment and knowledge leadership.


Key proposed changes to the ongoing National Water Commission are:

  • Removal of the sunset clause, allowing the Commission to continue for the life of the National Water Initiative, withfuture five-yearly reviews and evaluation of its role;
  • Focusing the National Water Commission’s functions to enable it continue to carry out the core functions of audit, assessment and monitoring into the future. It will continue to undertake assessments of the progress of jurisdictions in implementing the National Water Initiative, but on a triennial rather than biennial basis;
  • Reducing the number of Commissioners from seven to five, due to the NWC’s refocused functions and operations;

The Federal Government has announced it will host a new Business Advisory Forum, with CEO’s from the nation’s largest companies joining state, territory and Federal leaders to advise on deregulation.

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has officially launched after nearly two years in the making.

The Federal Government's new Cabinet and Ministry has been sworn in by the Governor General following the upheavals of the leadership spill and subsequent resignation of Senator Mark Arbib.

The Report of the Independent Media Inquiry has recommended the establishment of a statutory News Media Council that would set journalistic standards and handle complaints for news reporting on all media, including online.

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has released its long anticipated Content Regulation and Convergent Media report into content censorship in Australia.

The Federal Government is aiming to streamline the tender process for Government funded building works after releasing the Implementation Guidelines for the National Code of Practice for the Construction Industry paper.

The Australian Government, with the agreement of Council of Australian Governments (COAG)'s Business Regulation and Competition Working Group, has requested that the Productivity Commission undertake a benchmarking study into regulatory impact analysis (RIA) processes.

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