The Australian and Victorian Government has announced a $40 million investment package to assist in the restructure of Alcoa’s Point Henry aluminium smelter in Geelong to ensure its long term economic sustainability and support over 500 local jobs.

Alcoa will use the funding to improve efficiency of the Point Henry works, including boosting workforce skills and training, capital expenditure such as maintenance and repairs while boosting competitiveness of the smelter.

Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, said the $40 million in Federal funding recognised the challenges to the aluminium sector from the high Australian dollar and low world aluminium prices.

The Federal and Tasmanian Governments have agreed to requests by the Tasmanian Forestry Agreement Signatories for additional time through to 23 July.

The Auditor General of Victoria, Des Pearson will chair the Advisory Board for La Trobe University’s Centre for Public Sector Governance, Accountability and Performance (CPSGAP). 

An OECD report into the effectiveness of the Federal Government's My School initiative has helped to provide greater transparency in the country's school system.

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has renewed its push for the recognition of local government in the Australian Constitution following last week’s High Court decision over the Williams Case, which calls into question the Federal Government’s ability to provide direct funding.

The Federal Government has introduced legislation before Parliament aimed at improving rail safety. The Transport Safety Investigation Amendment Bill 2012 will establish the country’s first rail safety investigator by tasking the Australian Transport Safety Bureau with responsibility for investigating safety events on all metropolitan passenger and freight rail networks.

Australia’s regions are leading the uptake of clean energy programs, with 28 of the fist 63 Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP) grants being awarded to regional organisations.

In 2009, four million people in Australia reported having a disability (18.5%), according to new profiles released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

The Federal Government has announced the appointment of Jane Treadewell as Chief Executive Officer to lead the newly established Centre for Excellence in Public Sector Design.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee has completed its inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2010, concluding that the Federal Government should legislate in favour of marriage equality.

The Federal Government has introduced legislation before parliament that will aim to bolster the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program following the decision of the High Court in the Williams v the Commonwealth of Australia last week.

The Federal Government has invited the community to comment on the next phase of the Caring for our Country imitative.

The Federal Government has passed legislation that will create the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA), which will aim to strengthen Australia’s response to the nation’s skills challenge and boost productivity. The Agency, will be led by industry representatives, and will have a key role in the allocation of a $700 million industry training fund.

The latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows a sharp decline in dwelling commencements in the March 2012 quarter, with the total dwelling rates down 12.6 per cent. The continued fall in the March quarter shows a 24.2 per cent contraction from the same time last year.

Aboriginal people living in the Northern Territory now have access to more jobs in their local communities and job opportunities according to a report released by the Federal Government.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched its new Carbon Price Claims Hotline in a bid to curtail suspected price gouging related to carbon pricing after the Federal Government’s carbon tax comes into effect at the beginning of July.

The Australian Local Government Association’s (ALGA) National General Assembly of Local Government has unanimously backed the motion requesting the Federal Government confirm its commitment to holding a constitutional referendum of local government in the Australian Constitution.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke’s plan to attend the United Nation's sustainable development conference is in tatters after the Federal Opposition denied him pair to attend.

The Federal Government has announced the formation of a working group to consult on the development of a foreign ownership register for agricultural land, following growing concerns over large swathes of prime agricultural land being purchased by foreign nationals.

The Federal Government has released a major review that identifies potential new ways for local governments to plan, finance and deliver infrastructure investments.

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