Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has announced that $50 million over two years will be made available to Medicare Locals – networks that support frontline health providers – to assist GPs and other health care providers to adopt and use the Gillard Government’s new eHealth records system.
Ms Plibersek said the funding was part of a package to support doctors and other health professionals to help rollout the new system.
“Family doctors co-ordinate healthcare for most patients, so we know they have an important role to play in the eHealth records system,” Ms Plibersek said.
“eHealth records will ensure doctors can access a patient’s medical information in one convenient online location, reducing errors and making diagnosis and treatment quicker and easier.”
Ms Plibersek said the funding for Medicare Locals will enable them to provide practical training to GP practices and other health care providers and to drive awareness and consumer literacy of the potential of eHealth records at a regional level.
“The practical training will include how to get the practice ready for the eHealth record including how to achieve data quality, the registration process for eHealth records, engagement and support of the practice’s patients.”
“To assist providers link up to the system, Medicare Locals also will work with other health care providers – allied health, nursing, and community based specialists – as well as with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, non-government organisations, professional associations and hospitals.”
The $50 million is the final piece of a support package for doctors to help rollout the new eHealth records system and is in addition to the Government’s $233.7 million investment announced in the Budget.
It complements the three other initiatives already announced, which are:
- From February 2013, up to $50,000 in Practice Incentive Program payments for each practice that shows it is capable of: (1) secure messaging, (2) integrating healthcare identifiers into electronic practice records, (3) using data records and clinical coding of diagnoses, (4) the capability to upload Shared Health Summaries and Event Summaries using compliant eHealth record software, and (5) electronic transfer of prescriptions to a prescription exchange service. Further consultation with the profession and professional associations will occur in the coming weeks about how the criteria will apply in practice.
- The ability for GPs to use longer consultations (Medicare Benefit Scheme general attendance items B, C and D) when creating or adding to a shared health summary on an eHealth record which involves taking a patient’s medical history as part of a consultation.
- The continuation of the Practice Nurse Incentive Program which provides up to $125,000 per year to eligible general practices towards the cost of a practice nurse. Practices can choose to have their practice nurse talk to patients about the eHealth record, and help patients set up their record.
From 1 July 2012, interested Australians will be able to register to create their own eHealth record.
The Western Australian Government approved the construction of a new $443 million transmission line for the state’s Mid-West region.
“The 330kV transmission line will enable the connection of new mining projects at Three Springs, facilitate the connection of new sources of electricity generation in the Mid-West and secure power supplies for the people of the region,” State Energy Minister Peter Collier said.
“The construction of this transmission line and associated works is due to commence in June and will utilise up to 300 construction workers over a two-year period.
“The Mid West Energy Project will provide more than 500MW of additional capacity for the Mid-West region. This is equivalent to supplying 500 large supermarkets with typical peak power demand.”
The 189km transmission line will run from Neerabup (north of Perth) to Eneabba. It then connects with the 70km line between Eneabba and Three Springs, being constructed by Karara Mining Limited. This line will ultimately be purchased as a part of the Mid West Energy Project and will service both the Karara mine site and the broader region through the Three Springs Terminal substation.
Between Neerabup and Eneabba, more than 2,000 wooden power poles will be removed and replaced with 387 transmission towers, weighing a total of 10,000 tonnes.
Planning has started on Stage 2 of the project to extend the 330kV line a further 160km north to Geraldton (Moonyoonooka).
When combined with Stage 1, the project will facilitate the construction and operation of several other major Mid-West infrastructure developments, including Oakajee Port and Rail, and the proposed Oakajee Industrial Estate adjoining the port.
Karara Mining Limited is developing a magnetite mine 100km east of Three Springs and is currently constructing a double circuit 330kV transmission line between Eneabba and its mine site.
The Tasmanian Government has announced $195 million in spending on the state’s road and rail network in 2012/13.
Comprised of $64 million from the Federal Government and $130 million from the State, the spend will be targeted at key infrastructure throughout the state.
The funding secures the $90 million Community Roads Program and the $21 million spend on the Murchison Highway.
Australian computing researcher, Dr André Carvalho, from the ARC Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology and the Research School of Physics and Engineering, part of the ANU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, has worked with collaborators from Brazil and Spain to come up with a new proposal for quantum computers.
In his research, Dr Carvalho showed that disturbance – or noise – that prevents a quantum computer from operating accurately could become the very thing that makes it work.
“Most people have experienced some kind of computer error in their life – a file that doesn’t open, a CD that can’t be read – but we have ways to correct them. We also know how to correct errors in a quantum computer but we need to keep the noise level really, really low to do that,” he said.
“That’s been a problem, because to build a quantum computer you have to go down to atomic scales and deal with microscopic systems, which are extremely sensitive to noise.”
Surprisingly, the researchers found that the solution was to add even more noise to the system.
“We found that with the additional noise you can actually perform all the steps of the computation, provided that you measure the system, keep a close eye on it and intervene,” Dr Carvalho said.
“Because we have no control on the outcomes of the measurement – they are totally random – if we just passively wait it would take an infinite amount of time to extract even a very simple computation.
“It’s like the idea that if you let a monkey type randomly on a typewriter, eventually a Shakespearean play could come out. In principle, that can happen, but it is so unlikely that you’d have to wait forever.
“However, imagine that whenever the monkey types the right character in a particular position, you protect that position, so that any other typing there will not affect the desired character. This is sort of what we do in our scheme. By choosing smart ways to detect the random events, we can drive the system to implement any desired computation in the system in a finite time.”
Dr Carvalho said quantum information processing has the potential to revolutionise the way we perform computation tasks.
“If a quantum computer existed now, we could solve problems that are exceptionally difficult on current computers, such as cracking codes underlying Internet transactions.”
The research has been published in the journal Physical Review Letters.
The Queensland Government has announced broad cuts to the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC), the state’s only LGBT health and wellbeing organisation.
Previously, QAHC had held major contracts with Queensland Health for HIV prevention work with gay men and reduction in alcohol, tobacco and other drugs work with the broader LGBT community.
“We are shocked at the announcement made by Minister Springborg today. There has been no warning, discussion or negotiation with us about our current service agreements with Queensland Health, nor has there been any previous question about the quality or focus of our work” QAHC’s Executive Director Paul R Martin said.
“We understand that the Government is looking to find savings, and we are more than willing to work with them on that. But to cut the only HIV prevention service for gay men and the only LGBT health service is astonishing.”
The association has received funding from consecutive Queensland Governments since 1988 for the delivery of HIV prevention services in the LGBT community.
The Western Australian Government has announced $5 million over two years for the formation of a new Mental Health Court Division Program, that will cater for adults and children with mental illness facing criminal charges at Perth’s Magistrates’ Court and Children’s Court.
The division will be headed by a full-time magistrate and supported by a dedicated team of professionals giving assessments, individualised treatment and liaison to community mental health services, the program will aim to reduce re-offending rates by people with moderate or severe mental health illness and divert them away from the prison system.
In addition to the $5 million, $1.7 million will be spent over two years for the placement of mental health experts at Perth’s Children’s Court for an early intervention pilot program to provide timely assessments, referrals and treatment.
Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said it was essential to identify young offenders early and get them essential services for their illness.
“Too often these people are inappropriately and expensively caught up in the criminal justice system, when they should be receiving effective mental health care,” Mrs Morton said.
“Traditional methods of sentencing have little impact on people with mental illness and often fail to address the cause of the offending behaviours.”
Attorney General Christian Porter said several diversion options existed within the courts, however the mental health diversion and support program was the first of its kind in WA.
“About 3,600 adults who come before the metropolitan magistrates’ courts have a serious mental illness. This program will complement existing services and fill a gap that is not currently met,” Mr Porter said.
Eighteen local government councils have been awarded funding under the Federal Government’s $20 million Liveable Cities program, which aims to help make Australia's 18 major cities more productive, sustainable and liveable.
The largest grants of $3,750,000 each were awarded to the City of Parramatta and the City of Sydney.
The City of Parramatta will build a separate cycling and walking link between the University of Western Sydney, housing developments in the area and key employment precincts of the Parramatta city centre.
Funds allocated to the City of Sydney will contribute to the Green Square Town Centre Trigeneration, Australia's first large scale low carbon trigeneration energy network that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 40,000 tonnes a year and help the City of Sydney reach its target of a 70 percent reduction in emissions by 2030.
Other councils which were awarded funding include the Melton Shire Council, the Wyndham City Council, Logan City Council, City of Cockburn, City of Melville, Campbelltown City Council, City of Port Adelaide, Maitland City Council, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Hobart City Council, Kingborough Council, Townsville City Council, Darwin City Council, Launceston City Council, Albury City Council and Whittlesea City Council.
Seven further awards were made to state government agencies.
The funding will be used for a range of urban planning projects, infrastructure projects, civic facilities and public transport improvements.
More information about the program is here.
The Western Australian Government has released the first vision for the $1 billion Gateway WA Project Master Plan.
Aimed at expediting the movement of people and freight through Perth Airport, the project is comprised of $686.4 million in Federal funding, while the State Government will contribute $276.5 million and forms one of the largest infrastructure projects in the state’s history.
The project has been divided into two separate packages to ensure minimal disruption to users, residents and industry.
The first package, due to be completed in early 2014, includes:
- a major freeway to freeway interchange at Tonkin Highway/Leach Highway, including a new primary access road to the consolidated airport terminals
- new interchange at Tonkin Highway/Horrie Miller Drive/Kewdale Road
- new interchange at Leach Highway/Abernethy Road
- upgrading Leach Highway between Orrong Road and Tonkin Highway to an expressway standard and associated upgrades to roads and intersections in the Kewdale Freight precinct
- a principal shared path along Tonkin and Leach highways.
The second package, expected to be completed in 2017, includes:
- upgrading of the existing Tonkin Highway/Roe Highway interchange to a partial freeway to freeway interchange
- upgrading Tonkin Highway between Great Eastern Highway and Roe Highway to six lanes
- a new interchange at Boud Avenue.
The Western Australian Government has announced it a $77.6 million funding injection to implement the Skills Training Initiative and to develop training infrastructure throughout the state.
Funding for the initiative will be sourced from the state’s Royalties for Regions program, and will last from 2011-12 to 2014-15.
State Training and Workforce development Minister Peter Collier said the increased demand for training places meant that the need for quality training facilities and infrastructure is crucial for the state to counter the emerging skills shortage.
“The Skills Training Initiative will enable refurbishments and upgrades for regional training facilities; the development of dedicated regional training centres to meet industry and community needs; and the replacement of out-dated and failing IT infrastructure across the State Training Provider network,” Mr Collier said.
The Budget outlines continuation of major works at:
- Challenger Institute of Technology’s Rockingham Campus redevelopment ($28.6 million)
- South West Institute of Technology’s Bunbury Campus Heavy Duty Automotive projects complex ($16 million)
- C.Y. O’Connor Institute Narrogin Campus upgrade ($2.3 million).
The funding outlines the commencement of planning for:
- Challenger Institute of Technology’s Murdoch Campus ($42 million)
- Great Southern Institute of Technology Mt Barker Campus ($4.4 million)
- Kimberley Training Institute’s West Kimberley Campus ($5.5 million)
- South West Institute of Technology Busselton Campus upgrade ($2 million).
The Western Australian Government has outlined a $3.9 billion spend on new and ongoing transport projects in the state’s 2012-13 Budget.
State Transport Minister Troy Buswell announced a $105 million initiative to ensure the creation of a sustainable transport network in major city projects.
The Budget also provides $5.15 million over two years for detailed project planning to assist in informing investment decision on Perth’s light rail project.
Mr Buswell said the State would also invest $276.5 million in the Gateway WA project over the forward estimates. The $1 billion project comprised Federal Government funds of $686.4 million and State Government funds of $317.5 million.
“The $1 billion Gateway WA project will deliver a safe, efficient and welcoming road and bridge network to the new Perth Airport precinct, the surrounding businesses, residential areas and the State of WA,” Mr Buswell said.
Additional major works include:
- $609 million public transport component of the Perth City Link project
- $241 million Joondalup railway line extension to Butler
- $267.3 million upgrade of Great Eastern Highway from Kooyong Road to Tonkin Highway. (Federal and State government funds.)
The Western Australian Government has outlined a $26.4 billion capital works program to be rolled out over the next four years, with $7.6 billion expected to be spent in the 2012-13 year.
Treasurer Christian Porter said the funding will enable future growth while ensuring that the state can accommodate for the continuing population increase.
“About 1,000 people are moving to WA every week and this creates enormous demands on infrastructure,” Mr Porter said.
“The State Government is responding to this unprecedented growth by planning for the future with a number of capital works projects, including the Perth Stadium, Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth City Link and the Perth Waterfront.”
Mr Porter said construction had commenced on civil engineering works for the Perth Waterfront project and $167 million of the total $270 million project would be spent in 2012-13 to continue development of the inlet and public domain.
The Budget provides $183 million in 2012-13 on the $744 million Perth City Link project, with 2012-13 funding focusing on sinking the Perth to Fremantle railway line west of Perth station.
Also included in the capital works program is an additional $281 million for the $2 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital, as well as a $227 million on the $1.2 billion Children’s Hospital at the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre.
The Western Australian Government has posted a surplus of $196 million for the state’s 2012-13 Budget, with surpluses projected to continue for the period going to 2015-16.
State Treasurer Christian Porter said the state’s projected growth of 4.75 per cent GDP underpinned the state’s ongoing strong growth.
“Business investment is strong, particularly in the resources sector, and exports will drive growth in 2012-13 and the next three years of this budget period,” Mr Porter said.
But the Treasurer said despite the strong economic outlook, the State faced a challenging revenue and fiscal outlook.
“This reflects growth being concentrated in areas not covered directly by the State’s revenue base, most noticeably the massive LNG projects such as Gorgon and Wheatstone which fall under the Commonwealth’s Petroleum Resource Rent Tax,” he said.
The Treasurer said the 2012-13 State Budget contained major re-prioritisation of service delivery, with a range of new State Government initiatives being introduced and funded through savings measures.
Mr Porter said the savings initiatives totalled $4.9billion over four years and included:
- an efficiency dividend to be applied to public sector agencies from 2012-13, starting at two per cent for all departments (one per cent for Education), with additional one per cent dividends to be achieved in each of the three financial years to 2015-16
- a further efficiency dividend for Government Trading Enterprises to be measured as a percentage of the discretionary spending, starting at 2.5 per cent in 2012-13 with an additional 1.5 per cent in 2013-14, 1.5 per cent in 2014-15 and 0.5 per cent in 2015-16
- a two-year cap on the growth in the number of public sector workers to further control public sector salaries expenses. This measure will require all departments to operate for the next two financial years inside their FTE cap as it was set in 2011-12
- a formal policy of limiting general government sector FTE growth to 1.5 per cent per year in 2014-15 and 2015-16
- deferral of spending on a range of capital works projects across a number of agencies.
Swinburne University of Technology Vice-Chancellor Professor Linda Kristjanson has announced the appointment of Professor George Collins to the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development).
Professor Collins has more than 30 years experience in research and research management, and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the CAST Cooperative Research Centre. He is also Professor of Materials Science in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at The University of Queensland.
Professor Collins was previously Chief of Research at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) where he coordinated research in environmental science, radiopharmaceutical development, materials engineering and applications of neutron scattering.
As a researcher, Professor Collins has achieved international recognition in the field of plasma surface engineering.
Professor Collins will take up his appointment with Swinburne on 1 August 2012.
A Deakin University study, funded by VicHealth, shows significant economic savings and health benefits could be achieved if Australian adults cut their alcohol consumption by 3.4 litres a year.
Deakin health economists, working with researchers with the National Stroke Research Institute, estimated the economic savings and health benefits from reducing alcohol consumption in Australia.
They found that a 3.4 litre cut per adult per year could result in a $789 million annual saving to the health sector and in one third fewer cases of alcohol related disease (such as alcohol dependence, suicides, injuries and cancers), deaths and working days lost.
“Excessive alcohol consumption is a global health issue, with around 13 per cent of the Australian adult population having long term drinking problems,” said Anne Magnus, a Senior Research Fellow with Deakin’s Population Health Strategic Research Centre.
“Through this study we calculated the potential economic and health benefits if a realistic reduction in alcohol consumption were achieved, which is an important consideration in light of the current political and policy interest in Australia, and overseas.
“We found that considerable economic and health benefits could be gained if Australian adults drank an average of five standard drinks less each week. This is equivalent to three-four less glasses (150 ml) of wine or four-six less cans (375ml) of beer (full to light strength respectively) each week.”
The researchers modeled the likely outcomes of a drop in alcohol intake from the average 9.8 litres per adult per year to 6.4 litres. They looked at economic and health impacts as well as the effect on workforce productivity, household duties (such as cooking, shopping, cleaning, child care and maintenance) and leisure time.
They found potential cost savings of $789 million in the health sector, $427 million in workforce productivity and $21 million in home-based productivity. These savings were due to 98,000 (35 per cent) less cases of disease and 380 (38 per cent) less deaths related to long term high risk levels of alcohol consumption and 21,000 (34 per cent) less healthy years of life lost as a result of this risk factor.
The results also showed five million fewer working days lost and a drop of 54,000 lost days of household duties would be possible.
However the results were not all positive, with the researchers estimating a potential 1000 additional early retirements because the data showed that high risk drinkers reported staying in the workforce longer than lower risk drinkers.
Ms Magnus said this work showed, in understandable concrete terms, the sizeable benefits of prevention efforts that aim for realistic and achievable reductions in alcohol consumption in Australia.
“It also shows where those benefits are most likely to be felt,” Ms Magnus said.
“Most benefits will occur in the health sector, followed by the paid work force with not so much benefit going to the unpaid workforce or leisure time of individuals.
“These results can be compared with the benefits of realistic reductions in other harmful behaviours such as smoking or physical inactivity, so that policy makers concerned with disease prevention can assess more accurately where the largest gains are realistically possible and hence where to direct their efforts.”
The results of this study will be published in the American Journal of Public Health and currently appears ‘ahead-of-print’ online on the journal’s website.
This study was part of a project funded by VicHealth, completed in 2009, to evaluate the health, economic and financial benefits of reduction in prevalence of six health risk factors – alcohol, physical inactivity, high BMI, tobacco smoking, inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption, and intimate partner violence.
The Victorian Government has announced it will introduce legislation to extend the Administration of the Brimbank City Council through until March 2015.
Brimbank Council was sacked in 2009 following a report by the Ombudsman report that found that councillors had behaved improperly in relation to funds, and the Council was “generally dysfunctional and marked by in-fighting and interpersonal conflicts”.
The decision to extend the period of Administration was recommended by two independent reports which led the Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell to the conclusion that the best course of action was to maintain Administration while work was finalised.
"Both reports identified that the premature return to an elected council carries the very real risk of a return to the discredited and damaging practices of the past and the derailing of numerous important projects commenced under Administration,” she said.
Ms Powell said that, subject to the passage of the legislation, a rotation and refocusing would occur amongst the team of administrators at Brimbank.
"Jo Anderson and Meredith Sussex will step down at the end of October this year, roughly in line with the general Local Council elections. Peter Lewinsky will relinquish his role as Chief Administrator but remain a member of the Administration team.”
Ms Powell said that she wanted to put on the record her personal thanks to the current Administrators for the outstanding job they have done at the council and acknowledge the role of the former Minister Richard Wynne in the decision to appoint them.
"The community of Brimbank have been fortunate to have the skills and dedication of Jo and Meredith working for them during this difficult period," Mrs Powell said.
"The final phase of administration will feature a comprehensive community engagement strategy to prepare for the return of an elected council. I have asked the current Chair Peter Lewinsky to stay on as an administrator, thereby giving the team important continuity.
"John Watson, the current Executive Director of Local Government Victoria, will retire in October and will then assume the role of Chief Administrator at Brimbank.
"John Watson is highly respected for his skills and abilities throughout the sector and by both sides of politics. Upon learning of his intention to retire from LGV, I asked him to take on the role of Chair of the Brimbank Administrators.”
The third administrator's position will go to an individual with strong qualifications in community engagement.
Santos has announced the loading of the 1000th cargo from its Port Bonython liquids processing plant in South Australia.
Port Bonython has been in operation since 1983, and has loaded over 40 million tonnes of product, including crude oil, LP and naphtha.
Cargoes from the port have gone to all Australian domestic refineries, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Hawaii, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Taiwan, South Korea and China.
Gross revenue generated by Port Bonython totals over $14 billion and total gross wharfage paid to the South Australian Government exceeds $70 million.
“We’re very pleased to celebrate this significant milestone,” said Lou Dello, Santos’ General Manager Oil & Offshore Business.
“Port Bonython has long been an important part of Santos’ business, processing liquids from the Cooper Basin in South Australia’s remote north and shipping them right across the country and the Asia-Pacific.
In the first study of its kind in Australasia, scientists have used 27 natural climate records to create the first large-scale temperature reconstruction for the region over the last 1000 years.
The study was led by researchers at the University of Melbourne and used a range of natural indicators including tree rings, corals and ice cores to study Australasian temperatures over the past millennium and compared them to climate model simulations.
Lead researcher, Dr Joelle Gergis from the University of Melbourne said the results show that there are no other warm periods in the last 1000 years that match the warming experienced in Australasia since 1950.
“Our study revealed that recent warming in a 1000 year context is highly unusual and cannot be explained by natural factors alone, suggesting a strong influence of human-caused climate change in the Australasian region,” she said.
The study published today in the Journal of Climate will form the Australasian region’s contribution to the 5th IPCC climate change assessment report chapter on past climate.
She said using what is known as ‘palaeoclimate’ or natural records, such as tree rings, corals and ice cores, are fundamental in evaluating regional and global climate variability over centuries before direct temperature records started in 1910.
Dr Gergis collated these natural records provided by decades of work by more than 30 researchers from Australia, New Zealand and around the world.
The reconstruction was developed using 27 natural climate records calculated in 3000 different ways to ensure that the results were robust.
She said reconstructions of regional temperature not only provide a climate picture of the past but also a significant platform to reduce uncertainties associated with future climate variability.
The study is part of a global collaboration, PAGES, Past Global Changes Regional 2K initiative, which is working to reconstruct the last 2000 years of climate across every region in the world in order to reduce uncertainties associated with future climate change projections.
Collaborators include the Climate Change Research Centre and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, University of New South Wales where the climate modeling was conducted.
The study was funded by the Australian Research Council, Federal Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Past Global Changes (PAGES).
Research and demonstration grants totalling $72.5 million have been awarded as part of the first round of the Federal Government’s Filling the Research Gap and Action on the Ground programs that are part of the $429 million Carbon Farming Futures program.
The Filling the Research Gap program has been allocated a total of $201 million to fund research into new technologies and practices for land managers to reduce emissions and store soil carbon.
The Action on the Ground program will invest a total of $99 million to assist industry and farming groups test and apply research outcomes in real farming situations.
The first round of the Filling the Research Gap program will invest $47.3 million into 58 projects in five key research areas including reducing methane emissions (from livestock and manure), reducing nitrous oxide emissions (from fertilisers and soils), increasing soil carbon and improving modelling capability. The Filling the Research Gap program has been allocated a total of $201 million to fund research into new technologies and practices for land managers to reduce emissions and store soil carbon.
The first round of the Action on the Ground program will invest $25.2 million into 59 projects involving 424 properties around the country which will trial and demonstrate on–farm technologies and innovative practices that store carbon, reduce or mitigate emissions of nitrous oxide and methane and improve farm productivity.
The next funding round for Filling the Research Gap will be announced later this year. The second round of Action on the Ground is expected to open for applications in the first quarter of 2013.
For more information on the successful projects visit Climate Change.
The Federal Government has announced a $1 million funding boost to assist dairy farmers to lower their energy costs.
Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fishers and Forestry Sid Sidebottom said the funding will be provided to Dairy Australia, who will then give tailored energy advice to fairy farmers.
“This grant will help dairies, who have high energy needs, to identify energy efficiency measures that will save them money,” Mr Sidebottom said.
“Dairy Australia will provide energy efficiency advice to dairy farms, including on-farm energy efficiency assessments at over 900 farms.”
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released its first paper in the review of the radiofrequency spectrum between 1427.9 and 1510.9 Mhz (the 1.5 GHz mobile band).
The paper investigates the potential use of the 1.5GHz mobile band for mobile broadband services, which was previously identified by ACMA as one of a number of candidate bands for mobile services.
The paper details drivers for reviewing the 1.5 GHz mobile band and some preliminary options for future arrangements. The primary goal of the paper is to gather views and information from industry to inform the next stage of the review, where more detailed proposals will be developed.
Due to current planning arrangements, the 1.5 GHz mobile band is heavily used in remote and regional areas, but only lightly in metropolitan areas and major population centres and where usage is dominated by one licensee.
The paper can be found here
The Federal Government has announced $20 million in grants to improve the energy efficiency at small and medium businesses and community groups.
Forming part of the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Future package, round two of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants program will aim to assist businesses save money on operating costs will minimising their greenhouse gas emissions.
Federal Minister for Cliamte Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, said the response to Round One of the EEIG program had been overwhelmingly successful.
"Small and medium businesses and community groups are under a lot of time pressure. As a result, they often don't have the time, resources or information to find out how to save money by improving energy efficiency."
Applications were assessed by an independent committee on value for money, project effectiveness and delivery, particularly focusing on the strength of relationship between the grant recipient and their network.
Round two of the EEIG program will open in October.