More than 210,000 workers and job seekers will be assisted by the Federal Government's foundation skills programs over the next four years.

 

Releasing the revised Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF), Parliamentary Secretary for Skills, Sharon Bird MP, said that improving literacy and numeracy skills from the lowest to middle level, as identified by the ABS Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey scale, can increase a person's chance of getting a job by five to 15 percentage points, and increase their hourly wage rate by about 25 to 30 per cent.

 

"The Australian Government is committed to building the foundation skills of the workforce to give every Australian the chance to share in the benefits of Australia's strong national economy," Ms Bird said.

 

"In our last two budgets we have invested an additional $297.8 million over four years in programs to improve the foundation skills of the Australian workforce.

 

"The $115 million 2010 Foundation Skills Package and the $182.8 million 2011 Building Australia's Future Workforce package will expand program delivery to assist more than 72,000 workers and 140,000 job-seekers over the next four years.

 

"Giving more Australians the skills they need to join the workforce will help drive productivity.

"Improved literacy and numeracy skills will not only benefit the individual, but also the economy, as more people get the opportunity to share the benefits of our strong economy."

 

The ACSF is a tool to support and improve Australian adults' language, literacy and numeracy skills. It is part of the Government's $784 million investment to give employees the foundation skills required to meet the challenges facing a 21st century workforce.

 

Further information can be found at: www.deewr.gov.au/acsfLi

Published on: HRCareer

Curtin Business School (CBS) has appointed leading human resources specialist Chris Ryan as an Adjunct Professor.

 

Mr Ryan, an independent director and corporate advisor, has more than 25 years’ experience in the human resource sector, including leading the HR team during Wesfarmers’ takeover of the Coles group in 2007.

 

CBS Acting Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Tony Travaglione, said Mr Ryan’s appointment would build on a relationship that was started three years ago.

 

“Since joining the CBS School of Management Advisory Board in 2009, Chris has provided valuable guidance in the area of human resources,” Professor Travaglione said.

 

“We will continue to work closely with Chris to receive advice on strategic issues and to foster closer links with key industry players.”

 

Mr Ryan said his appointment was an opportunity to increase his contribution to the growth of CBS.

 

“Through my association with the Advisory Board I have come to appreciate the professional and pragmatic approach taken in both the management of CBS and the delivery of its education programs,” Mr Ryan said.

 

“This approach is very much aligned with my own business ethos,” he said.

 

Mr Ryan said he was looking forward to working with CBS students through student engagement programs.

 

“Throughout my career I have worked with some outstanding leaders,” he said. “I hope to be able to share some of the knowledge gained through those experiences in areas such as organisational strategy and the development of leaders.”

 

Mr Ryan’s advisory practice, CRHR, works with Boards and CEOs on HR strategies, senior talent management, remuneration strategies and acquisition and restructuring projects.

Published on: HRCareer

The Northern Territory has announced it has recorded over $200 million in minerals exploring investment, a record for the territory.

 

Resources Minister Kon Vatskalis welcomed the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures which also show that in the December quarter expenditure was $67.1 million, up from $49.8M in the December 2010 quarter.

 

“For the 2011 calendar year, mineral exploration expenditure is now $228.4 million, the first time the NT has exceeded $200 million in annual expenditure,” Mr Vatskalis said.

 

The statistics represent a 37% increase on the total of $166.7 million in 2010.

 

“What a brilliant result for the Northern Territory, showing that the mining industry has confidence to invest and proving the NT Government’s Bringing Forward Discovery initiative to attract exploration and investment to the Territory is delivering very real results,’ Mr Vatskalis said.

 

Mining now contributes around 25 per cent to the territory economy, over four times the national average.

 

 

 

 

Published on: ResourcesCareer

The Federal Government has announced that impacts on the Great Barrier Reef will be considered in the assessment of whether or not Rio Tinto Weipa proposed South of Embley Bauxite Mine and Port Development can progress under national environment law.

 

Environment Minister Tony Burke said considerations were being made in the light of new information and that any Environmental Impact Study must investigate the impacts on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

 

In September 2010, Rio Tinto Weipa Pty Ltd submitted a proposal for federal assessment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to extend its existing bauxite mining operations south of the Embley River near Weipa on western Cape York.

 

The proposal for bauxite mining includes construction and operation of two new bauxite processing plants and infrastructure associated with the mining operations.

 

In October 2010, it was determined the proposal had the potential to trigger the EPBC Act and would need full federal environmental assessment.

 

“Following a request to reconsider the decision on the basis of new information about proposed shipping activities in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, I have revoked the original referral decision and substituted it with one that takes the reef into account,” Mr Burke said.

 

“The Great Barrier Reef is one of our most significant environmental assets and has been recognised as among the world’s healthiest coral reef ecosystems and best managed marine areas.

 

“These new provisions will ensure we continue our commitment to sustainable development that ensures the outstanding universal value of the Great Barrier Reef is protected.”

 

The decision is based on significant new information in Rio Tinto Weipa Pty Ltd’s draft environmental impact statement, which was provided by the company during the assessment process.  

 

The draft environmental impact statement included information on shipping in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park not provided with the initial referral.

 

The EPBC Act allows for new information to be adopted during a federal assessment process and in this instance provides an opportunity for new shipping information to be taken into account.

 

“I have made clear that I want potential shipping movements in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area to be taken into account for all relevant decisions,” Mr Burke said.  

 

“The reconsideration decision means the significant new information provided about shipping can be fully taken into account to ensure the protection of the Great Barrier Reef before the proposal is assessed.”

 

 

 

Published on: GreenCareer

The Federal Government has approved an extension at the existing Springvale Mine north of Lithgow in New South Wales, with Environment Minister Tony Burke announcing over 30 conditions to ensure environmental protection.

 

Operating since 1993, the Springvale Mine has operated under a number of NSW based regulatory approvals and environmental impact assessments.

 

Operator Springvale Coal submitted a proposal to undertake longwall coal mining for federal assessment under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 because of the potential impact on the temperate highland peat swamps and sandstone ecological community.

 

"My decision is based on a thorough and rigorous assessment of the proposal taking into account the advice of my department and independent scientific advice," Mr Burke said.

 

"While I have considered the social and economic implications of this project, my focus has been on protecting environmental matters of national significance through strict conditions to manage any potential environmental impacts.

 

"In making this decision I took into consideration advice on monitoring and management arrangements from the new Interim Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Coal Mining.

 

"The Committee supported the condition for no mining under high quality swamps, or within buffer zones, unless the proponent can demonstrate that there is a way of conducting the longwall mining with no adverse impact to the swamps."

 

The stringent conditions also include comprehensive monitoring to:

  • Detect potential geological and hydrological impacts upstream of temperate highland peat swamps on sandstone;
  • Focus on surface and groundwater hydrology surface and groundwater quality, vegetation community structure and diversity, and biological indicator species; and
  • Detect any potential impacts for a period of at least 10 years post-mining.

 

Published on: GreenCareer

Federal, state and territory members of Safe Work Australia met in Sydney last week to discuss progress on implementation of the Model Work Health and Safety laws.

 

The WHS laws commenced in the Commonwealth, ACT, NSW, NT and QLD on 1 January 2012. The WHS laws have passed in Tasmania with a commencement date of 1 January 2013. Other jurisdictions provided status reports. 

 

The meeting noted progress towards finalisation of the draft WHS Regulations on Mines.

 

Six futher Codes of Practice were endorsed by majority as part of the harmonised WHS laws, subject to minor technical and editorial changes:

• Safe design of structures

• Excavation work

• Demolition work

• Spray painting and powder coating

• Abrasive blasting, and

• Welding processes.

 

After technical and editorial changes are finalised these codes together with the six codes previously agreed by Members will be sent to the Ministerial Council:

• First aid in the workplace

• Managing risks in construction work

• Preventing falls in housing construction

• Managing electrical risks at the workplace

• Managing risks of hazardous chemicals, and

• Managing risks of plant in the workplace.

 

If approved these 12 codes will become model Codes of Practice.

The meeting agreed by majority to release five further Codes of Practice for a 12 week public comment period commencing early April 2012:

• Safe design, manufacture, import and supply of plant

• Working in the vicinity of overhead and underground electrical services

• Traffic management in workplaces

• Scaffolding work, and

• Formwork and falsework.

 

The meeting agreed that a package seeking public comment on proposed changes to the Workplace Exposure Standard for Airborne Contaminants for Synthetic Mineral Fibre will be released for an eight week period commencing 16 April 2012.

 

The draft strategy, titled Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022: Healthy, Safe and Productive Working Lives, will be released for public comment for an eight week period commencing 26 March 2012.

 

More information is at http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au

Published on: OHSCareer

The Federal Government has passed the Road Safety Remuneration Bill through the House of Representatives, and it is expected to pass comfortably through the Senate with the support of the Greens.

 

The Bill, which was passed despite the Federal Opposition voting against it, will see the establishment of a Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal on July 1 to dictate pay rates and remuneration-related conditions.

 

National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union, Tony Sheldon, has welcomed the ‘historic vote’ that will deliver safer working conditions.

 

“It has been known for decades that there is a safety crisis in the road transportation industry, and that this is linked to the rates of pay for truck drivers and the economic power of retailers,” Mr Sheldon said.

 

 

Published on: LogisticsCareer

The Federal Government has passed its controversial Mining Resources Rent Tax (MRRT) through the Senate, paving the way for tax to become law.

 

Despite constant attempts by the Federal Opposition to delay its passage, the Federal Government secured the crucial support of the Greens in passing the legislation, who backed the tax despite arguing it was too weakened by changes. The Greens claimed the tax was too watered down in it only applying to coal and iron ore, and that the connected tax cuts should only be extended to small businesses, rather than the whole business community.

 

The passage of the tax will clear the way for the Federal Government to introduce its tax cuts for business, which will see company tax rates fall from 30 per cent to 29 per cent.

 

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan were delighted with the legislation’s passage, with Mr Swan describing it as the “huge economic reform of our time”.

 

"[It] will help us deliver more super savings for 8.4m ppl (sic), tax breaks for 2.7m small businesses and a company tax cut," Mr Swan wrote on Twitter.

 

In addition, the Federal Government will use the $10 billion it will raise over the next three years to push the country’s superannuation contribution levels from 9 per cent to 12 per cent.

 

Despite its passage, dispute surrounding the legislation is rife. With mining magnate Clive Palmer vowing to take the Government to the High Court in a bid to have the tax ruled unconstitutional.

 

The Federal Opposition has also vowed to repeal the tax if it wins government in next year’s election. 

Toll Energy has announced work has begun on a $45 million transport and storage contract as part of coal seam gas explorer GQC’s Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas (GCLNG) project.

 

The QCLNG project involves expanding exploration and development in southern and central Queensland and transporting gas through a 540km underground pipeline network to Curtis Island near Gladstone where it will be liquefied.

 

Toll Global Resources CEO David Jackson said Toll Group was excited about being part of one of Australia’s largest capital infrastructure projects.

 

“This project has allowed us to demonstrate to Queensland and beyond the superior logistics solutions Toll has to offer,” Mr Jackson said.

 

“We are delighted with the opportunity to help deliver this crucial service to such an important project, and prove yet again the end-to-end capabilities Toll can provide to the resource sector in Australia and around the world.”

 

The contract award is the third major contract Toll’s Global Resources Division has been successful in securing from proponents involved with Queensland’s LNG developments on Curtis Island. 

Published on: EngineeringCareer

A 50:50 joint venture between John Holland and Macmahon Holdings has been awarded the $340 million site development civil works contract by the JKC Joint Venture (JGC Corporation, KBR, Chiyoda Corporation) for the onshore facilities of the Ichthys LNG Project near Darwin in the Northern Territory.

 

The JV will see the two companies undertake civil construction works associated with delivering the finished earthwork levels for the LNG plant and associated facilities. The works will include access roads, drainage and ground improvement works required for the establishment of the project.

 

John Holland Group Managing Director, Glenn Palin, said: “Today’s award reflects the diversity of John Holland and our ability to deliver a vast range of works across the energy and resources sector, from site preparation through to design, delivery and commissioning works.”

 

Gavin Stubbs, General Manager of John Holland’s Northern Region business, said: “John Holland has a long history in Darwin and a record of working closely with local suppliers in the delivery of major construction works.

 

We look forward to using our local knowledge and experience in the resources sector to deliver long-term employment and economic benefits for the people of the Northern Territory.”

 

John Holland’s current portfolio of work in the Northern Territory includes the Robertson Barracks redevelopment works - Part 1 and Part 2 and the SkyCity Resort development.

 

The Ichthys LNG Project is a joint venture between INPEX (76%, the operator) and Total (24%). Gas from the Ichthys Field, in the Browse Basin approximately 200 kilometres offshore of Western Australia, will undergo preliminary processing offshore to remove water and extract condensate. The gas will then be exported to onshore processing facilities in Darwin via an 889km subsea pipeline. The Ichthys LNG Project is expected to produce 8.4 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tonnes of LPG per annum, along with approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.

 

Early works on the project will commence almost immediately with site works starting in early April 2012. Completion of the site development work is scheduled for mid-2014.

 

 

Published on: EngineeringCareer

The Federal Government has lodged its submission to the Annual Wage Review of Fair Work Australia, reiterating its position that any wage increase to the National Minimum Wage and award wages in 2012 be in line with living costs and other economic changes.

 

The Government will make a further submission to FWA once the Budget has been delivered to provide the latest economic data and outline relevant Budget initiatives. 
 
Fair Work Australia is required to consider minimum wage cases with regard to the state of the economy (including employment growth, productivity and inflation) as well as the needs of the low paid.  The Government’s submission is available here.

 

The Government’s submission can be found here

http://www.fwa.gov.au/sites/wagereview2012/submissions/AusGov_sub_awr1112.pdf

 

The full list of submissions can be found here

http://www.fwa.gov.au/index.cfm?pagename=wagereview2012&page=subInitial

 

 

 

The Federal Government is planning a new My Skills website that will offer information about courses, fees, providers and the quality of training on offer.

 

My Skills – to be launched later this year – will ensure students and businesses can find the training that is right for them.

 

Currently, there is no consistent or authoritative source of information on training providers. Different providers have different fees, varying level of student satisfaction and varying success in providing a pathway to employment or further training.

 

This lack of available data means it can be difficult for an employer or an individual to make an informed choice about which training course is most appropriate for them.

 

Through My Skills, Australians will be able to research the courses on offer in the VET system by the approximately 5000 registered providers allowing comparisons to be made. 

 

Over time, the service will cover student fees, the outcomes of satisfaction surveys and greater information at the individual campus or training location level. It will also include information about the availability of student services such as childcare arrangements, as well as links to local employment opportunities.

 

A new Unique Student Identifier will also be introduced so students will be able to access information about their training record from a single authoritative source.

 

This will help students keep track of their qualification and training, as they upskill and reskill throughout their career.

 

It will also give the Government better access to data on where training funds are being spent, boosting accountability and transparency.

Published on: TradesCareer

The Federal and Western Australian governments have announced the commencement of work on the $120 Esperance port works.

 

“The Esperance Port Access Corridor project will untangle the road and rail connections to the Port by realigning Harbour Road and replacing two existing level crossings with overpasses,” Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese said.

 

Due for completion in late 2013, the work will seek to streamline the movement of goods and freight into and out of the port.

 

With one of the deepest harbours in southern Australia, Esperance Port is critical to the national economy.  Each year more than 200 ships pass through it carrying over 11 million tonnes of nickel, iron ore and grain exports as well as imports of fuel and fertilisers – volumes which are only expected to grow in the years ahead.

 

The project is being delivered by John Holland Pty Ltd with funding from both the Federal Labor Government ($60 million) and the WA Government ($60 million).

 

Mr Albanese also announced the allocation of $2 million to the PortLink Inland Fright Corridor Plan which, if given final approval, will establish Kalgoorlie as a hub linking the ports of Hedland Freemantle, Geraldton and the proposed Oakajee facility.

 

“The funding I’m announcing today will go towards the planning and scoping study which will assess the possible road and rail alignment options, undertake the necessary economic and financial modelling as well as determine the operational and technical feasibility of an intermodal facility,” Mr Albanese said. 

Published on: EngineeringCareer

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

 

Under the new system, VET diploma students will face no upfront fees for, and will have access to interest-free loans to be paid back once their income reaches a certain level (currently $47,196 per year).


 

If all states and territories agree to the offer of expanded access to VET FEE-HELP, and the maximum take-up is achieved, up to $155 million could be loaned each year to subsidised higher level VET students. This could support as many as 60,000 higher level VET students with student loans each year.

 

Under the Government’s offer to the states and territories, interest-free, deferred loans will be available to all students studying publicly subsided diplomas and advanced diplomas. Students seeking to undertake higher level VET qualifications will have the choice of an income contingent loan to pay those fees if they are unable or don't want to pay for tuition fees upfront.

 

 

Published on: TradesCareer

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.

 

Under the offer:

  • All Australians – from post school to the age pension - will have access to a government subsidised training place up to their first Certificate III, through a National Training Entitlement; and
  • Interest-free loans will be expanded in the vocational education and training system, enabling up to 60,000 students per year to defer the upfront cost of tuition. Loans will be available to all students studying publicly-subsidised diplomas and advanced diplomas at approved VET providers.

 

Key measures in the offer to the states and territories include:

  • Working with the states and territories to ensure courses delivered by the VET sector are subject to independent quality assessment.  
  • States and territories will be required to implement these independent checks over the next two years.
  • States and territories will have to set strict criteria to ensure only quality providers with an established record can access public funding.
  • States and territories will be required to provide strategies that will continue to support and strengthen the public providers of vocational education and training (TAFE) over the next five years.
  • Each state and territory will be required to implement strategies to improve the quality of VET teaching.

The offer is in addition to the $7.2 billion the Government will make available to the states and territories over the next five years for the VET system.

Published on: TradesCareer

A report published by the Climate Institute shows Australia is more dependent on high polluting technology than it was two decades ago, with the country being the only G20 member nation to go backwards on its low-carbon competitiveness since 1995 according to the Global Climate Leadership Review 2012.


In an innovative index from The Climate Institute and GE that measures a country’s ability to prosper in the emerging global low carbon economy, Australia rates the worst of any advanced economy. Ranked 16th among the G20 nations, Australia is the only country which has a current score lower than it had in 1995.


“Despite political and economic uncertainty, global carbon markets and clean energy investments grew in 2011, boosting the importance of looking at the carbon competitiveness of nations. And with CSIRO reporting greenhouse gases are at their highest for 800,000 years, how nations cooperate on addressing climate change really matters,” said John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute.

“Looking at the index, countries that performed well in the rankings are those who have recognised the inextricable link between economic, resource security and climate change policies and are acting accordingly.”

 

The index measures carbon competitiveness through the examination of nearly 20 indicators in three areas: sectoral composition (historical snapshot of current economy – e.g. transport, trade emissions intensity); early preparedness (e.g. investment in clean energy, growth in emissions); and future prosperity (e.g. investment in education and infrastructure).

“GE believes that securing Australia’s carbon competitiveness is crucial to long term prosperity and competitiveness,” said Ben Waters, director ecomagination, GE Australia and New Zealand. “While the report shows that Australia is lagging behind our major trading partners, there have been positive steps to change this trajectory. We believe a price on carbon is the most cost effective economic lever, but it’s up to businesses to maximise the opportunities and mitigate the risks to ensure competitiveness in a carbon constrained future.”

Other key findings in The Climate Institute/GE carbon competitiveness index include:

  • Ranked 16th among the G20 nations, Australia is the only developed country whose rankings have not improved since the first Index in 2009.
  • France, Japan, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Germany lead the index.
  • Australia is amongst those countries facing the biggest challenge in remaining competitive in a low-carbon future, ranked lower than Russia, Argentina, South Africa, the USA and Saudi Arabia in large part due to the emissions intensive structure of the economy.

“The passage of the Clean Energy Future legislation can help reverse Australia’s remarkable decline in carbon competitiveness boosted by strategic policies in regional carbon markets, energy efficiency, clean energy, climate risk disclosure and climate diplomacy,” said Connor.

The Global Climate Leadership Review also finds that far from acting alone on climate legislation, Australia is now among more than 100 nations that have climate policies targeting pollution limits and clean energy. Other countries including UK, Norway and Switzerland have or are implementing higher carbon prices.

More information can be found here

http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/global-review

 

 

Published on: GreenCareer

Data centre operator NEXTDC has announced it will construct what will become the country’s largest private-owned rooftop photovoltaic solar system at its Port Melbourne data centre, known as “M1”

 

The M1 data centre will house the $1.2 million, 400kW plant which well generate up to 550 MWh of electricity per year.

 

According to NEXTDC, the plant will offset over 670 tonnes of CO2 per year, which equates to taking 200 cars off the road.

 

Bevan Slattery, CEO of NEXTDC, said that NEXTDC was working in partnership with Australia’s leading solar power firm, Energy Matters, who will construct and install the system over the next couple of months. "Our installation of a large scale solar system is a first for data centres in Asia-Pacific and we are proud to be leading the way. We are very aware of the future pressures on energy consumption and we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint however we can," Mr Slattery said.

 

NEXTDC has already incorporated energy efficient measures into its new-build data centres such as tri- generation plant and outside free air-cooling. After successful deployment of the solar panels at M1, additional investments will be made at their other data centres around Australia.


"We are proud to be the first data centre operator in Australia to invest in solar energy," Mr Slattery said. "In fact, we are also committing to install up to 1MW of solar energy within the next 12 months at our upcoming data centre facilities".

 

 

Published on: ICTCareer

A new taskforce of executives from the public and private sectors has been announced by the Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, to oversee improvements in the delivery of government services.

 

Mr Baillieu said the taskforce would be focused on providing an improved public service without putting extra strain on taxpayers' budgets.

 

"This government was elected on a platform to fix the problems and deliver services that work, which is precisely what this taskforce will help to achieve," Mr Baillieu said.

 

The Better Services Taskforce  will be led by the Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet Helen Silver  and will include the Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance Grant Hehir, Professor Sally Walker, Mr Jeff Whalan, Ms Alison Watkins and Mr Iain Rennie.

 

Mr Baillieu said the Victorian public service provide quality services regardless of the financial circumstances across the globe.

"This will help us to not only deliver better services, but to also invest in the infrastructure required to support Victoria's growth. This means looking at how agencies and departments work and how they can improve."

 

Mr Baillieu said the Taskforce would learn from the private sector and other jurisdictions, to implement changes and improve services across the board.

 

The Taskforce will build on work already underway to refocus government agencies on service delivery and improved operations.

 

"Departments and service providers, both inside and outside of government, need to be accountable and must deliver results," Mr Baillieu said.

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

he New South Wales Government has announced plans to merge the state’s three energy providers, Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy, into one single group.

 

The State Government estimates the merger will save around $100 million per year and will reduce household bills.

 

The government has conceded that the merger will cost around 800 jobs, but has stressed the move will not impact on services.

 

"No frontline staff will go, no frontline operators will go, services will not be affected," NSW Energy Minister Chris Hartcher told ABC.

 

"The unions have got nothing to be concerned about [with] this proposal."

 

Mr Hartcher also announced a $75 Family Energy Rebate for households earning a joint income of up to $150,000.

 

 

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - State

A high-definition videoconferencing pilot will trial public access to services such as Medicare and Centrelink via the National Broadband Network (NBN).

 

The pilot will provide access to specialist services that may not be readily available at a local level such as family, health, education, employment and financial services offered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) through Centrelink, Child Support and Medicare programs.

 

Minister for Human Services Senator Kim Carr said a series of pilot phases will commence in 2012, with a focus on improving the Department’s service to the Australian people.

 

“This pilot will be particularly beneficial for people in regional locations or families and customers facing social disadvantage who may find it otherwise difficult to get to a DHS Service Centre,” Senator Carr said.

 

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said the pilot will demonstrate the practical benefits of the NBN for Australians.

 

“The NBN will enable us to put the needs of Australians at the very heart of Government service delivery, while lowering the costs of actually delivering those services,” Senator Conroy said.

 

Senator Carr said the pilot will be designed, and sites identified, through engaging and collaborating with customers, third parties, staff and key stakeholders.

 

Further information on the pilot can be found at www.humanservices.gov.au/nbnpilot and the National Digital Economy Strategy at www.nbn.gov.au

Published on: ICTCareer

A planning engineer with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in Victoria, Ms Eleanor Wood,  is the 2012 Australian winner of the Anne Wexler Australian-American Studies Scholarships in Public Policy. Ms Wood will study at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in the United States (TBC) for two years to undertake a Master of Public Policy with the longer-term ain of working with industry in the development of a sustainable energy system for Australia’s future.

 

“The scale of the technical and policy challenges facing the energy industry is huge. As a planning engineer at AEMO, I have seen organisations and companies across the sector grappling with uncertainty over how best to direct the significant investment needed for the future,” Eleanor said.

 

“I believe that the transformation to a sustainable energy system can be achieved with a minimal impact on the Australian economy, if there is a fundamental shift away from the current industry paradigm of ever-increasing demand being met by more generators and growing networks.”

 

“When I return to the industry I will bring international perspectives and expertise on energy policy, as well as linkages to professionals in energy-related organisations around the world. These experiences will help me to increase my contribution to policy development and leadership in Australia's
energy industry transformation.”

 

Eleanor has a Bachelor of Engineering in Renewable Energy and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy from the University of NSW.  She has won various awards and prizes including University Medal in Renewable Energy Engineering, the Renewable Energy Thesis Prize and a UNSW Exchange Scholarship. She has worked and collaborated with numerous advocacy and research organisations, including GetUp, where she contributed to campaigns for renewable energy and climate change action. Her other interests include foreign languages, especially French and Spanish. In the past she has spent time in Spain, France and Mexico, studying language courses and travelling.

 

In 2009 the Australian Government announced the establishment of a prestigious annual scholarship program to recognise the many contributions by Mrs Anne Wexler for her role in fostering Australian-American relations. She was made an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) by the Australian Government for her work on the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement and the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue.

 

The Anne Wexler Scholarships are part of the Australian Government’s Australia Awards Program and are funded through the Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and administered by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission. The Scholarships are awarded for up to two years and are valued at up to A$140,000 each. Two Wexler Scholarships are awarded annually, one for an Australian citizen to go to the U.S. and one for an American (US) citizen to come to Australia.

 

Published on: EngineeringCareer

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