The Senate Economics Legislation Committee has a new inquiry into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Bill 2012.

 

The bill:

  • establishes the Clean Energy Finance Corporation as a body corporate;
  • establishes the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Special Account and appropriates funds to that account;
  • establishes the board of the corporation responsible for decision making and managing the corporation’s investments;
  • requires responsible ministers to issue an investment mandate to the board about the performance of its functions;
  • requires the board to formulate and publish policies relating to the investment strategy for the corporation, benchmarks and standards for assessing the performance of the corporation and risk management strategy;
  • provides for the corporation to share information with certain organisations;
  • and provides for a review of the operation of the Act and other related matters to be undertaken as soon as practicable after 1 July 2016.

 

Submissions should be received by 21 June 2012. The reporting date is 25 June 2012.

 

More information is here.

Published on: EnergyCareer

The Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee has a new inquiry into the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2012.

 

The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2012 would amend the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 to:

  • require that the rules of all registered organisations deal with disclosure of remuneration, pecuniary and financial interests;  
  • increase civil penalties;
  • strengthen the investigative powers of Fair Work Australia; and  
  • require education and training to be provided to officials of registered organisations about their governance and accounting obligations.

 

Submissions should be received by 22 June 2012. The reporting date is 25 June 2012.

 

More information is here.

Published on: HRCareer

 Edith Cowan University (ECU) has appointed Dr Margaret Jones as the Director of the Office of Research and Innovation.

 

Dr Jones has joined ECU from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where she was working as an Independent International Research Specialist with a range of clients including the National Research Foundation and the WA Trade Office.

 

In her new role Dr Jones will be responsible for strengthening ECU’s research and commercialisation profile by establishing collaborative links within Australia and internationally.

 

 “My goal is to enhance research capacity at ECU and this includes working within my office to establish improved grants and contract operating procedures, while being responsive to ECU researchers’ needs,” Dr Jones said.

 

“We will be nurturing and developing our junior researchers and future leaders; expanding our program of researcher professional development; and seeking to increase ECU’s researcher profiles locally, nationally and internationally,” said Dr Jones.

 

Dr Jones has an honours degree from the University of Western Australia and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in molecular biology.

 

Her professional experience includes a postdoctoral position at Monash University, followed by 10 years at Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research as a Senior Research Fellow (including a prestigious NHMRC RD Wright Fellowship), working alongside Professor Evan Simpson.

 

Published on: ResearchCareer

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced the suspension of the National Broadband Network’s Special Access Undertaking (SAU) in the expectation that the company will soon ledge a revised undertaking.

 

The NBN lodged it’s the preliminary SAU setting out a proposed framework for access to NBN Co’s fibre, wireless and satellite networks.

 

The NBN Co recently indicated to the ACCC that it intends to submit an SAU, having outlined the proposed amendments to the ACCC.

 

“NBN Co has taken a step forward in developing this proposal in response to feedback on its original SAU. It is a constructive move towards establishing reasonable access arrangements for the NBN,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

 

“The ACCC sees merit in the proposal. For example, the proposed modular design balances NBN Co’s requirement for certainty on long-term cost recovery with the need to undertake regular reviews of the detailed terms of access.”

 

“Similarly, the proposal that the revised SAU will specify reference offers and use a building block model to determine revenue constraints on NBN Co appears to provide some reasonable constraints on NBN Co’s pricing over time.”

 

 

Published on: ICTCareer

The Federal Government has announced changes to the proposed tax of managed investment fund, with the alteration being considered in Parliament in the coming days.

 

The Government first proposed the 15 per cent withholding tax for managed investment trusts in the 2012-13 Budget. The Government defended the announcement, describing it as a move towards the international norm.

 

However, the proposed tax has proven unpopular, with the Federal Opposition slammed the move as a tax grab.

 

Published on: FinanceCareer

The Federal Government has announced transitional arrangements for the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) industries when the carbon price is applied to the non-transport use of these fuels in 2012-13.

 

Rather than the weekly reporting and payment arrangements normally required for excise duty payers, the LPG and LNG industries will be provided a one calendar month accounting period with reporting and payment required on or before the last day of the third following calendar month.

 

“The Government has previously acknowledged, following an extensive consultation process, the industries’ concerns around meeting their obligations under the normal payment arrangements and indicated that it would consider what options were available,” Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.

 

“This is a transitional measure only as the LPG and LNG industries will be covered by the carbon pricing mechanism from 1 July 2013.”

 

Regulations to impose the effective carbon price on LPG and LNG for 2012-13 will be in place by 1 July 2012.  The regulations will replace the current full automatic remission of excise for the non-transport use of LPG and LNG with a partial remission.  Under the partial remission, excise of 3.68 cents per litre for LPG and 6.67 cents per kilogram for LNG will be collected by suppliers.  These amounts represent the effective carbon price.

 

 

 

 

Published on: ResourcesCareer

The Federal Court has slapped Internet Service Provider TPG with a $2 million fine for misleading broadband advertising and failing to prominently display the minimum charge in relation to a national ad campaign. 

 

“This decision should send a strong warning to telecommunications and internet providers that they cannot continue to take risks in their advertising or they could end up in court and be exposed to substantial penalties,” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims said.

 

“The ACCC is committed to taking a hard line to secure a culture of compliance by telecommunications providers and improve marketing in the telecommunications industry.  The ACCC will continue to take court action in order to achieve this.”

 

The Federal Court ruled that TGP’s $29.99 Unlimited ADSL was false and misleading because the service was only available to those who purchased a line rental for $30 per month. The Federal Court also found the company had inadequately specified the minoimum charge and were misleading for not disclosing further up front charges.

 

“The conduct was seriously misleading and affected a diverse class of users and potential users of broadband services. that there was a risk that its conduct might constitute misleading conduct” and that TPG “should have adopted a more cautious approach,” Federal Court Justice Murphy noted in his final judgment.

 

Justice Murphy considered that a sizeable penalty was “necessary to make it clear to TPG and to the market that the cost of risking a contravention cannot be regarded as merely an acceptable cost of business.”

 

 

Published on: ICTCareer

Mining giant Rio Tinto has announced its next iron ore investment phase, unveiling a $4.1 billion spending plan to develop its tier one irone ore business.

 

The spending will see the company invest $3.6 billion in its Pilbara operations, while $491 million will be spent on the company’s iron ore project in Guinea.

 

We are directing investment to projects that will generate the most attractive returns for shareholders and are resilient under any probable macroeconomic scenario. Our superior Pilbara iron ore business has one of the highest margins in the industry, low capital intensity of investment and a strong track record of completing projects on time and budget,” Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese said.

 

Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore chief Sam Walsh said the move to increase capital expenditure in its iron ore business was in response to continued demand from China.

 

“We continue to forecast that annual Chinese steel production will grow from its current level of around 700 million tonnes to around one billion tonnes a year out towards 2030,” Mr Walsh said.

 

The expansion to the company’s Pilbara operations will see the construction of major infrastructure works, including two berths on the new Cape Lambert jetty and wharf, the replacement of the existing original Cape Lambert rail car dumper, and the Rail Capacity Enhancement project which includes a significant amount of rail track duplication and rolling stock improvements. 

 

The spending in Guinea will provide for rail and port infrastructure with first commercial production planned for mid-2015. 

 

Published on: EngineeringCareer

Some of the country’s major credit card providers have been ratcheting up efforts to offset the impact of the federal Government’s credit reforms, which come into effect at the start of July, according to financial comparison specialist RateCity.

 

Providers have been aggressively pushing to secure new customers before the reform comes into place according to RateCity spokesperson Michelle Hutchinson said.

 

“It’s clear that some credit card providers are on edge about the new credit laws. The credit reforms could affect their revenue and some card providers are doing everything they can to protect it,” Ms Hutchinson said.

 

“For instance, over the limit fees will be banned unless card holders agree to use the service. Banks were making about $1 billion each year in household exception fees – which include over the limit fees on credit cards – according to the Reserve Bank. So it’s no surprise that we’ve found nine personal credit cards increase their annual fees since October 2011.”

 

There are several changes to new and existing credit card contracts. Some of these will include:

 

  • For new customers:
    • Credit card key fact sheets: card holders should ask for this sheet if they are not given one when signing up for the new account
    • Over the limit fees (also known as exception fees) will be banned, unless customers specifically agree to receive the service: card holders should check they will not receive this service if they don’t want to exceed their credit limit with a fee.
    • Repayments must be directed to the debt with the most expensive interest rate first: this refers to debts with more than one interest rate. For example, for a credit card with a balance transfer debt of $5,000 at 1 percent interest and a $2,000 debt from purchases with a rate of 17 percent, repayments will be made to the purchase debt of $2,000 first.
    • For all customers:
  • Offers to increase credit limits will be banned unless customers provide consent: if a card holder does not want to receive credit limit increase invitations, they can still apply for an increase at any time.


Ms Hutchison said that card holders shouldn’t feel pushed into credit card deals and they can make a complaint if they are not happy with their provider.

 

“Australia’s credit card industry is very lucrative, with providers earning over $6 billion* each year in interest alone according to RateCity. While it’s justifiable for credit card providers to charge customers for a service, customers should never feel bullied into agreeing to their terms

Published on: FinanceCareer

The numbers of mortgage brokers expelled from the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), rising from four to eight during the 2011/12 financial year.

 

The majority of the brokers were expelled by the MFAA’s Disciplinary Tribunal for “serious misconduct.”

 

"The numbers of expelled members are minuscule compared with our total number of 11,200 members, however the number is still double those expelled in the 2010 financial year,” CEO of MFAA Phil Naylor said.

 

"The increased expulsions demonstrate the MFAA's determination to ensure the highest professional standards of our members, as well as a strict and independent disciplinary procedure and very high education standards."

 

The MFAA has a set of disciplinary rules to deal with complaints of alleged misconduct against an MFAA member, initially involving an external investigating officer, who then may refer the matter to the MFAA Tribunal. 

 

 Mr Naylor said while it was heartening to see that so few members had been expelled, the MFAA was determined to ensure a high standard of professional conduct by its members notwithstanding the fact that the National Consumer Credit Protection Act (NCCP), enforced by ASIC, had come into force in 2011.

 

Published on: FinanceCareer

The Commonwealth Bank has tracked an ongoing lift in consumer spending, sparking hope for a return to retail growth. The bank tracked a 1.9 per cent increase in spending in May, the third increase in sales in the past four months.

 

The Business Sales Indicator uses key indices to track spending, including transactions processed through Commonwealth Bank point-of-sale terminals, which represent 30 per cent of the market.

 

“The momentum we have experienced this year demonstrates that small increases in confidence can translate to consumers’ willingness to spend. The May results factor in the RBA’s larger-than-expected decision to lower the cash rate for the first time in 2012 and that has clearly had an effect on the amount of money being spent at businesses across the country,” Matt Comyn, Executive General Manager, Local Business Banking, Commonwealth Bank said.

 

“The results recorded in May are therefore promising for Aussie businesses – particularly based on other positive news for the economy this month – and point towards what is hoped to be continued growth in consumer spending. However, the overall story hasn’t changed and despite stronger fundamentals at home, rocky overseas markets are continuing to dent local consumer confidence.”

 

Despite the upbeat results, Commsec’s Chief Economist, Craig James, urged caution, adding that the results may be misleading.

 

“We saw a 1.9 per cent increase in seasonally adjusted terms this month, which is a solid growth. However, this is yet to flow through on our trend estimates, with the BSI posting the slowest trend growth rate in nine months,” said Mr James.

 

“Consumer confidence is still fragile, due mainly to international factors and general uncertainty about a number of domestic economic issues. So while spending is continuing to rise, there is still uncertainty about whether momentum will be maintained.”

 

Despite a generally gloomy outlook in the retail sector, spending is up 5.9 per cent over a year ago.

 

 

Published on: FinanceCareer

Australians are developing ‘healthier savings habits’ in response to increasing global uncertainty according to the fourth Bankwest Taxing Times Report.

 

The report revealed that 31 per cent of Australians expecting to receive a tax refund intend to save that money, while 39 per cent indicated their intention to use it to pay down existing debt.

 

The report found that the average expected tax refund across the country has fallen to $2,017 from $2,317 from last year, recording a 13 per cent decrease.

 

“While refund expectations have shrunk, the vast majority of the Australian workforce will use their tax return windfall with a clear focus on saving and reducing debt,” Bankwest Retail Chief Executive Vittoria Shortt said.

 

Over half of respondents (53%) who expect to receive a refund believe they will receive less than $1,000 and only 7% expect to receive a payment of more than $5,000.

 

“As the majority of tax payers are expecting a smaller refund than previous years, it is encouraging to see that they are managing their finances more carefully, and developing healthy savings habits while reducing existing debt levels,” said Ms Shortt.

 

“These results support the findings of the Bankwest Financial Fitness Index released in March, which found that half of all respondents had changed their spending habits over the year becoming more conservative.”

 

The report found that intention to save or pay down debt using the return is a common practice across generations.

 

Among those planning to save their tax refund, 69% nominated a bank savings account as their savings vehicle of choice, a significant increase on the 57% recorded last year.

 

“Australians are choosing bank savings accounts to protect and grow their hard-earned cash and we encourage consumers to shop around for the best account to suit their needs,” said Ms Shortt.

Published on: FinanceCareer

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.

 

The Housing Industry Association says the declining rates signals the need for urgent Federal Government intervention.

 

"Carve through the current argy bargy about how strong or weak the Australian economy is and you find that new housing is unequivocally weak. That situation has significant implications for the wider domestic economy in 2012,” HIA Chief Economist Harley Dale said.

 

Dwelling commencements fell by 12.6 per cent in the March 2012 quarter, reflecting a 7.7 per cent decline in detached houses and a larger 21.1 per cent drop in 'other dwellings'.

 

The ABS findings can be found here

http://abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8750.0?OpenDocument

 

Published on: TradesCareer

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 Closing the Gap in the Northern Territory Monitoring Report found that in the six monthes leadin to December 2011, more than 865 Aboriginal people were employed a a result of the services provided under the Northern Territory Emergency Response.

 

The monitoring report shows continued improvements in community safety due to the presence of 60 extra police and the important role of night patrol services operating in 80 communities.

 

 

More results show that confirmed assults had declined by 30 per cent in 2010 and by a further 7 per cent in 2011.

 

Other services delivered in the last six months include:

  • Around 3,183 breakfasts and 4,511 lunches across 73 communities through the School Nutrition Program;
  • 222 new primary health care service positions within the Northern Territory;
  • 1,690 dental follow-up services were provided to 1,377 children;
  • 90 licensed community stores with 11 stores funded to build local capacity and improve food security;
  • Almost 10,000 young Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory participated in the Youth in Community program to help stay connected with school or training, build confidence and reduce self-harm and alcohol and substance abuse;
  • The Mobile Child Protection team investigated and provided follow up services to families and children in 1,030 matters; and
  • 211 clients were supported to access safe places for crisis accommodation.

 

School enrolment numbers have increased by 373 students in the two years to November 2011 and more than 50 Aboriginal people working in schools have achieved higher qualifications in the past six months.

 

However, average school attendance for students in remote communities remains low at just under 60 per cent.

 

The report can be found here

http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/indigenous/pubs/nter_reports/Pages/ctg_nt_monitoring_rpt_juldec_2011.aspx

 

The Federal and ACT Governments have announced the appointments and re-appointments to the ACT Regional Development Australia committee. The appointments of two new members to RDA ACT were announced by Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean and ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher.

 

The two new appointments are:

  • Adrian Best
  • Louise De Busch.

 

Mr Crean and Ms Gallagher also announced the re-appointment of Peter Elford, Jean McIntyre and Susan Vicki Still to RDA ACT.

 

Mr Crean said the new appointments and re-appointments will ensure RDA ACT continues as a vital connection between different levels of Government.

 

"The RDA committees are more than the eyes and ears for Canberra," Mr Crean said.

 

"Their input is central to our place-based approach because it will help us better respond to the challenges and opportunities different regions face and enable us to embed regionalism into the way we govern in a way that can't be unpicked.

 

 For more information on the work being undertaken by RDA ACT visit www.rdaact.org.au.

 

For more information and the latest news from the national RDA network visit www.rda.gov.au.

 

Published on: GovernmentCareer - Local

The National Water Council’s (NWC) CEO James Cameron has called for State Governments to meet their obligations under the National Water Initiative by providing Indigenous Australians with ready access to water resources for cultural and economic purposes.

 

Mr Cameron’s calls coincides with a release of the Commission’s position statement on Indigenous water, which reiterates the importance of water in Indigenous cultural and social life.

 

“This is recognised in Australia’s blueprint for water reform, the National Water Initiative, which commits governments to identify Indigenous values and requirements in water planning, as well as to put in place strategies to meet them,” Mr Cameron said.

 

Mr Cameron welcomed preliminary moves by the state’s to engage with Ingidenous stakeholders, he bemoaned a lack of a coherent national approach.

 

To advance the interests of Indigenous Australians in water planning and management decisions, the Commission established the First Peoples' Water Engagement Council (FPWEC).

 

The FPWEC provided formal advice to the Commission on 30 May 2012 as the culmination of an extensive program of work and consultation to bring a national Aboriginal voice to water reform.

 

“Allocating water rights can create economic opportunities for Indigenous Australians in areas as diverse as aquaculture, tourism or horticulture. The allocation of water entitlements to assist Indigenous economic development is a legitimate strategy for contributing to the Australian Government’s Closing the Gap agenda and should be explicitly considered in that context,” Mr Cameron said.

 

“The Northern Territory and Queensland governments have already provided specific water allocations to Indigenous peoples in the form of Strategic Indigenous Reserves. The Commission applauds this move and strongly supports efforts to expand this approach. In some areas of Australia, the acquisition of water rights for Indigenous economic development purposes may be necessary.

 

“Crucially, Indigenous Australians should also be involved in decisions about how cultural and environmental water is used.”

 

The position statement can be found here

http://nwc.gov.au/reform/position/indigenous-access-to-water-resources

 

Published on: WaterCareer

A Queensland man has won his right to continue his challenge of the Federal Government’s School Chaplaincy Program in the High Court.

 

The challenge to the High Court will see the decision over:

  • the Commonwealth has the executive power under the Constitution to provide the National School Chaplaincy Program;
  • the funds used to pay for the program have been properly appropriated in the annual budget legislation; and
  • funding the program amounts to a breach of the “religious test” limb of section 116 of the Constitution, which states
    no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.

 

Toowoomba father Ron Williams will continue his challenge to the program, which he argues is unconstitutional on grounds that Commonwealth officers must pass a religious test.

 

Mr Williams took the challenge to the High Court on the grounds that the program breaches religious freedom protections in the constitution and that it exceeds Commonwealth funding powers.

 

The High Court ruled unanimously against the argument that the scheme would impact on religious freedom, but found that it did represent an overextension of Commonwealth funding authority.

 

 

 

Published on: EducationCareer

The Federal Government has passed an amendment to the Corporations Amendment Act 2011 that will clarify how the chair of an annual general meeting may direct proxy votes.

 

“An exception was provided to allow the chair of an annual general meeting to vote undirected proxies where the shareholder provides informed consent for the chair to exercise the proxy.  The Government’s intention on this matter is clearly set out in the Act and its associated material, however there was some confusion as to whether this exception also applied to the non-binding vote on remuneration,” Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasuer Bernie Ripoll said.

 

Mr Ripoll said the amendment clarifies that the chair of an AGM will be able to exercise undirected proxies for the non-binding remuneration vote, where a shareholder provides their express authorisation to the chair in accordance with the requirements of the ASX Listing Rules for meetings.

 

“This amendment will provide greater certainty by removing any doubt or confusion in relation to shareholder voting on executive pay and will strengthen the Government’s remuneration reforms,” he said.

 

Published on: ExecutiveCareer

The Australian Industry Group (AI Group) has called for the Federal Government to focus on increasing national productivity in the wake of the Prime Minister’s Economic Forum in Brisbane last week.

 

"We need a major boost to lift our inadequate language, literacy & numeracy levels in the workplace. 75% of employers report that their business is negatively impacted by insufficient language, literacy and numeracy skills,” AI Group’s CEO Innes Willox said.

 

“As well, technology, particularly high speed broadband, has the potential to transform our business models, possibly in ways not yet imagined.”

 

AI Group has called on the Government to focus on the following:

  • Workplace Relations - Ai Group argues that the Fair Work Act needs to be much better aligned with the need for flexibility and productivity if Australia is to manage the competitiveness challenges it faces and take advantage of the opportunities ahead. Evidence shows that workplaces have become less flexible and industrial disputes have increased markedly since the Act was implemented. We have made detailed submissions to the Fair Work Act Review on important changes needed to the Act. Here http://www.aigroup.com.au/link/cS andhttp://www.aigroup.com.au/link/cT
  • Carbon Tax - The Australian carbon price is too high. It is well above levels being paid by our competitors and is likely to remain at comparatively high levels for several years. The impacts of this scheme and in particular, the relatively heavy burden that is being placed on Australia's trade exposed businesses, need to be closely watched. The plethora of additional regulatory requirements relating to greenhouse gases needs to be rationalised across the country.
  • Taxation - We continue to call on all political parties to commit to significant taxation reform including the ambition to reduce the corporate tax rate to 25%. We are keen also to highlight the impacts of the changes to the tax treatment of living away from home allowances and benefits. We are also continuing to urge reform of state taxes.
  • Regulation - Australia must cut back on the burdens imposed on businesses. Compliance with regulation costs time and money and there are many areas where duplication can be removed, where compliance costs can be slashed and where reporting obligations can be streamlined. Success on these fronts would free up resources and help business, particularly smaller businesses, focus more on real business issues rather than on managing the compliance burden.
  • Manufacturing - Industry believes that the response to the current lopsided economic environment must have both short-term and longer-term elements. Short-term is about addressing disadvantages now so the industry gets through intact and can build for a competitive future. Longer-term success will require:

 

 

Published on: HRCareer

Academics from twelve universities will participate in a trial exercise known as Excellence in Innovation for Australia (EIA),  organized by the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) and the Group of Eight (Go8), to assess research according to its impact rather than  the number of times it has been published or cited.

 

The EIA trial aims to identify and demonstrate the contribution that high quality research has made to the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefit of society. The exercise will investigate the means by which these benefits may best be recognised, portrayed and assessed by institutions and government.

 

 A key feature of the trial will be the use of industry stakeholders in the assessment process - which is usually dominated by academic experts. Whilst academic experts will play a role, they will not form the majority membership of the panels established to undertake the assessment. In addition, the research will be assessed against socio economic objectives as outlined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, rather than the traditional Fields of Research.

 

In the Trial each university will be asked to provide case studies of research impact aligned to four broad SEO Sectors:  Defence, Economic Development, Society and Environment.

 

Each case study will include details of the claimed impact, the underpinning research that led to the impact, references to publications arising from the underpinning research, research data and a list of sources that could be accessed to corroborate the impact. The emphasis for case studies will be to provide supporting information for the claimed impact that is capable of being verified if required, rather than providing verified information as part of the submission.

 

Each of the 12 participating institutions is being invited to submit a maximum of five case studies for each of the four SEO Sectors by the end of August.

 

The participating universities are:

  • Curtin University   
  • University of South Australia  
  • RMIT University  
  • University of Technology Sydney    
  • Queensland University of Technology  
  • The University of Queensland  
  • The University of Melbourne  
  • The University of Western Australia  
  • The University of New South Wales  
  • The University of Newcastle       
  • Charles Darwin University         
  • The University of Tasmania  

 

Philip Clark, Chair of the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Advisory Board and also Chair of the EIA Development Advisory Board, said the trial, which is aimed at demonstrating that research can be assessed according to the impact it has, was a logical next step in demonstrating to the Australian community the importance of the research undertaken in our nation’s universities.

 

“The traditional peer-review academic assessment focuses on what one academic thinks of another’s research and on indicators derived directly from the research” Mr Clark said.

 

“While that has it place, in this exercise researchers are being asked to focus on a clearly identified impact or public good and then communicate to government, industry and the Australian community how their research contributed to this outcome.

 

“Those of us who believe in the power of research know that there will be many stories where research from universities has delivered benefits to the Australian community through new technologies, jobs, health outcomes, increased security for Australia or by contributing to socially cohesive communities.

 

“I am hopeful that the EIA will be the beginning of a process whereby universities achieve a greater understanding of the outcomes that government, business and the community value and how research can contribute to these outcomes. This engagement is critical to Australia’s competitiveness in a global economy in which many manufacturing industries have moved or are in the process of moving offshore. Without the “innovation economy” that this engagement creates Australia will struggle to sustain its standard of living and maintain its place in the world.

 

“Integral to an innovation economy is the contribution of both fundamental and applied R&D across all sectors of the economy. In particular, with OECD figures indicating nearly 60% of Australia’s researchers are employed in the Higher Education sector it is critical that there is a higher level of collaboration between university researchers and industry, government and the community.

 

“This emphasis on applied research should not be at the expense of the academic excellence of our Higher Education system but a complement to it. Innovative economies are backed by universities that register highly on both scales of academic excellence and industry engagement. This is where the Australian Higher Education sector needs to be.”

 

The EIA will conclude with a final report publicly released on 28 November which will highlight examples of outstanding research impact and also outline learnings on the assessment of research impact.

 

More information is here.

http://www.atn.edu.au/eia/index.htm

Published on: ResearchCareer

The Federal Government has begun to roll out its Family Benefit Part A funding package for over 1.3 million Australian families. The funding will see families receive $409 per child in primary school and $818 for each child in high school.

 

The payment will be paid directly family bank accounts as part of the transition from the Education Tax Refund to the new Schoolkids Bonus. The bonus will see an estimated 2.2 milllion students benefit from the funding.

 

The Government announced the transition to the new scheme after modeling showed that 80 per cent of eligible families were not claiming under the Education Tax Refund system.

 

The new scheme will see families automatically paid twice a year before school goes back for Terms 1 and 3.

 

Eligible families will receive $410 for children in primary school (two instalments of $205), and $820 for children in full-time secondary study (two instalments of $410).

 

Published on: EducationCareer

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I am Tim Hall; a red-blooded, beer-drinking, Commodore-driving Australian male who has no interest in watching sports – at least, not the sports played by humans.

This week marked an astounding leap forward, scientifically speaking - taking a picture of something that cannot be seen.

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Our cars are being programmed to kill us.

Blockchain is the programming that gives Bitcoin its value, but it could be much more than that. Blockchain could change the world.