The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has received a renewed report on the environmental impact of dredging at the proposed Browse Liquefied Natural Gas processing precinct.


“It is vital the information is adequate and robust prior to being subject to the EPA’s usual rigour and scrutiny expected by the public and the Minister for Environment,” EPA Chairman Paul Vogel said.


Dr Vogel said the proponent had remodelled the impacts of dredging incorporating improved geotechnical, bathymetric and metocean data.


He said the dredge volume had also been revised from 21 million cubic metres to 34 million cubic metres of material, with the duration of foundation dredging activities estimated to increase from 18 to 21 months.


Dr Vogel said the assessment would determine if there were significant different or additional environmental impacts predicted from modelling the effects of dredging using the revised information.


“The Browse LNG proposal is the most significant environmental impact assessment of a strategic proposal ever undertaken under the Environmental Protection Act,” Dr Vogel said.


“The public deserves nothing less than for the EPA to make a fully informed decision and for this reason, the EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now expected mid-year.”


Published on: GreenCareer

The NSW Minerals Council has announced its annual awards for innovation safety in the mining industry.

The 2012 OHS Innovation Award Winners are:

2012 OHS INNOVATION AWARD: BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal (West Cliff Mine), Illawarra/Wollondilly Region

Ultra Lightweight Ventilation Tube: In a first for a NSW underground coalmine, trialling new carbon fibre ventilation tubes in place of traditional fibreglass significantly reduces their weight (from 35-40kg to just 9kg), increasing productivity and minimising heavy lifting risks like muscular-skeletal injuries.


HIGHLY COMMENDED: Centennial Coal (Myuna Colliery), Hunter/Newcastle Region

SOTO Tow Hitch Syste: This innovative rigid towing device minimises the risk of safety incidents by increasing control of movement while towing heavy mine equipment underground. It can be used in all conditions and can be operated by just one person.


HIGHLY COMMENDED: BHP Billiton Mt Arthur Coal, Hunter/Newcastle Region

The ‘Marnett’ Belt Lifter Bracke: This specialised bracket allows conveyer belts without a mechanical belt lifter to be periodically changed without manual handling and pinch point hazards. It saves time by around 25 per cent, can be used on any conveyor and costs less than $300 each.


PEOPLE’S CHOICE (Voted by conference delegates): BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal (West Cliff Mine), Illawarra/Wollondilly Region

Ultra Lightweight Ventilation Tube:  (Also winner of the major 2012 OHS INNOVATION AWARD)

Published on: EngineeringCareer

ABS Building Approvals show that the number of dwellings approved rose 7.4% in March 2012, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a fall of 8.8% in February.

Dwelling approvals increased for the month of March in New South Wales (49.3%), Western Australia (11.1%) and South Australia (4.2%), but decreased in Queensland (-8.7%), Tasmania (-6.7%), and Victoria (-5.0%) in seasonally adjusted terms. 

In seasonally adjusted terms, approvals for private sector houses rose 3.9% in March with rises in South Australia (16.3%), Western Australia (14.5%), New South Wales (3.5%) and Queensland (1.8%). Victoria fell (-1.0%).

The value of total building approved decreased 8.9% in March in seasonally adjusted terms, following a decrease of 31.7% in February. The value of residential building rose 1.3% while non-residential building fell 23.4%.

Further information is available in Building Approvals, Australia (cat no. 8731.0) on the ABS website at


Published on: TradesCareer

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has denied recent media reports about aviation safety in, claiming that air travel remains one of the safest forms of travel.


The response follows media reports that Australian air travellers are involved in "dozens of dangerous close calls reported by flight crews and air traffic controllers each week".


The ATSB says that Australia's extensive mandatory reporting scheme sees a broad range of occurrences (incidents and accidents) reported to the ATSB. These include reports from all sectors of the aviation sector, ranging from sport and recreational flying in ultra-lights and gyrocopters, to private flying and other general aviation operations, through to commercial passenger operations.


“The vast majority of aviation safety occurrences reported to the ATSB are minor in nature. Far from 'escaping investigation', these occurrences are assessed as not requiring investigation as they are unlikely to reveal significant systemic safety issues. But it is important that the ATSB is notified of all occurrences as the data helps us to analyse trends, find patterns in transport safety and alert the relevant people to any ongoing problem or risk.


“Importantly, the ATSB has not identified any change in occurrence trends that would suggest overall increasing risk or any systemic safety issues. Given the high level of flying activity on any given day, occurrences are inevitable. These can include mechanical problems, human error or environmental issues such as severe weather or birds and wildlife.


“Aviation systems are designed on the expectation that such issues will occur, and back-up systems or defences exist to minimise the associated risk.


“The ATSB investigates to better understand why occurrences happen and to reduce the risk of them happening again. In combination with the work of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Airservices Australia, airlines, operators, and individual aviation professionals and practitioners, this contributes to the high standard of aviation safety that exists in Australia.”


Published on: LogisticsCareer

Winners of the 7th annual Safe Work Australia Awards have been announced, selected from 37 finalists.


The winners and highly commended entries are:


Category 1a
Best workplace health and safety management system—Private sector


Grocon Constructors – VIC
Grocon Constructors demonstrate a whole of operations approach to safety. The way they have managed to integrate their safety management system across the entire organisation is very impressive. All Grocon staff are involved in the safety management system, from the Senior Leadership Team, to on site workers and subcontractors. Their management system is efficient, innovative and has achieved real results.

Highly commended

Decmil Australia - WA
Decmil Australia has a very strong safety culture which is highlighted in their workplace health and safety management system. They perform monthly safety performance reviews and their management system is relevant for staff at all levels. Decmil has quantifiable safety outcomes and places strong value on safety capabilities and skills.

Category 1b
Best workplace health and safety management system—Public sector


The ENERGEX work health and safety management system has assisted the company to successfully manage large and unpredictable events such as the Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi. Energex maintains a strong focus on the safety of their employees as well as personnel from interstate, volunteers and the public.

Highly commended

Public Transport Authority – WA
The Western Australian Public Transport Authority (PTA) is dedicated to safety. It has a no-blame culture which encourages incident and near miss reporting. The safety manager is a dedicated individual and the organisation identifies and supports safety champions. The PTA has also been undertaking ground breaking work to assist drivers to cope with the trauma of suicide.

Category 2
Best solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue


The Australian Reinforcing Company - QLD
The Australian Reinforcing Company (ARC) developed innovative solutions to not one but three safety issues that have been challenges in the steel manufacturing industry for some time. Their innovative solutions addressed manual handling, falls and crushing. ARC’s solutions could easily be applied across the steel and construction industry which would benefit many workers.

Highly commended

Wellington Dam Alliance – WA
The Post-tensioning Strand Cutting Module that Wellington Dam Alliance developed is a creative solution to eliminate a significant workplace hazard. It shows thinking outside the box can be both safe and efficient. Wellington Dam Alliance demonstrated outstanding participation and commitment to work health and safety throughout the duration of the project.

Category 3
Best workplace health and safety practice/s in a small business


The Hub Fruit Bowl – SA
The Hub Fruit Bowl is a family friendly, small business that is passionate about work health and safety. Many young people experience the work environment for the first time with their company and the Hub Fruit Bowl takes their health and safety training seriously. They have a common sense and inclusive approach to health and safety which other retailers could benefit from.

Highly commended

Briar Maritime Services - TAS
Briar Maritime Services workers are on-call and work unpredictable hours. With no appropriate off the shelf solutions available, they developed a tailored self reporting system to manage fatigue. Briar Maritime Services have a genuine belief in managing fatigue and show a strong commitment to safety.

Category 4a
Best individual contribution to workplace health and safety—by an employee


Leading Seaman Natalie Irvine, Royal Australian Navy – SRCC
Natalie Irvine showed tenacity, persevering to overcome barriers of rank to improve safety both on board the HMAS Parramatta and in the wider fleet. She has demonstrated outstanding personal commitment to work health and safety in difficult circumstances and is a true work health and safety leader.

Category 4b
Best individual contribution to workplace health and safety—by an OHS manager


Peter Rogers, Jeff Hort Engineering – NSW
Throughout his career, Peter Rogers has gone beyond the call of duty to be a champion of work health safety. He has a genuine passion for safety and regularly communicates with all Jeff Hort workers to ensure safety is at the front of everyone’s mind. For Peter, work health and safety is about more than just compliance, it is a way of life, a passion and an expectation.


Published on: OHSCareer

ABS Building Approvals show that the number of dwellings approved rose 7.4% in March 2012, in seasonally adjusted terms, following a fall of 8.8% in February.

Dwelling approvals increased for the month of March in New South Wales (49.3%), Western Australia (11.1%) and South Australia (4.2%), but decreased in Queensland (-8.7%), Tasmania (-6.7%), and Victoria (-5.0%) in seasonally adjusted terms. 

In seasonally adjusted terms, approvals for private sector houses rose 3.9% in March with rises in South Australia (16.3%), Western Australia (14.5%), New South Wales (3.5%) and Queensland (1.8%). Victoria fell (-1.0%).

The value of total building approved decreased 8.9% in March in seasonally adjusted terms, following a decrease of 31.7% in February. The value of residential building rose 1.3% while non-residential building fell 23.4%.

Further information is available in Building Approvals, Australia (cat no. 8731.0) on the ABS website at


Published on: TradesCareer

A report by Monash University, commissioned by  the Rail, Tram and Bus Union, has criticized moves by the National Transport Commission (NTC)  to remove working hour caps for NSW train drivers.


The NTC is proposing to replace the standard 12-hour shift maximum with a work and break plan.


The Monash report finds that even the current 12-hour shift cap is potentially a threat to the safety of drivers and passengers, suggesting that shifts should be no longer than eight consecutive hours.


The report cites international standards, including those in the US, the EU, Canada and Britan, where rail workers’ hours are highly regulated.

Published on: LogisticsCareer

Patrick Stevedores has announced the signing of commercial agreements for the development and expansion of Patrick’s Container Terminal at Sydney’s Port Bortany.


Once the company meets its development obligations, Patrick will increase its presence at the port by 39 per cent through the further development of an integrated Container Terminal, which will comprise its existing Container Terminal and the adjoining 17.6 hectare site.


The new Terminal will be designed to balance capacity across the quay line, the container stacking yard and the landside interface. Plans for the new Terminal will more than double Patrick’s capacity to 2.5 million TEUs per annum and include an expansion of quay line to 1400 metres, including four berths capable of accommodating the new panama vessels.


“Today’s announcement is the next step in the major expansion of Sydney Ports Corporation’s container port facilities at Port Botany,” said Mr Grant Gilfillan, Sydney Ports Corporation CEO and Director. 


“As one of the largest port projects to be undertaken in Australia in the last 30 years, we look forward to working with Patrick to deliver increased capacity which caters for long term trade growth.”

Published on: EngineeringCareer

Eureka Energy has appointed former BP executive, Robert Willes, as the company's new CEO. 


Mr Willes came to Australia from England to take up the position of General Manager of BP’s North West Shelf LNG Project,  and also had overall accountability for BP’s interests in the Browse LNG and Greater Gorgon LNG projects, and for business development activities in the Asia Pacific.


Mr Willes is also found and do-director of Carbon Reduction Ventures Pty Ltd.


Eureka Energy is currently the target of an unconditional, on-market cash offer from Aurora Oil and Gas, and while that offer remains live, Mr Willes will act in the position on a casual basis, with a permanent contract to be negotiated at the end of the offer period if there is no change of control.


Published on: ExecutiveCareer

Leighton Contractors has been awarded a three-year contract worth $604 million for the provision of mining services at the Peak Downs Mine in Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin.


The contract, awarded by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), extends the services provided at Peak Downs Mine and includes project management, fleet maintenance and operational services for overburden mining at the project.


Greg Fokes, General Manager, Leighton Contractors’ Mining Division, said “This demonstrates our ability to work closely with our clients and add value to their operations, and recognises the hard work the mining team has put into the project over the years at Peak Downs.


“Our relationship with BMA at Peak Downs has now entered its eleventh year and we look forward to continuing to work with BMA and developing future opportunities in the region.”



Published on: EngineeringCareer

GHD, one of the world’s largest engineering and architectural consulting firms, has merged with the Sernas Group, a large water engineering firm based in Canada and the USA.


The merger will solidify GHD’s expansion into the Americas with the addition of offices in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Richmond Hill, Whitby, Mississauga and Kitchener.


“We are very excited to have Sernas join our global family. We have been in search of the right partners in the GTA for some time. In Sernas, we have found a group that aligns well with both our culture and our market sectors. Through our combined resources we are able to expand our global reach and share knowledge to serve vital infrastructure markets,” says Ian Shepherd, CEO of GHD.


Reg Webster, former President of Sernas says, “We are excited to be part of GHD and to merge with a Canadian company that operates locally yet is part of a global company of more than 6500 people. Sernas has always been open to opportunities that bring value to our clients, employees and shareholders. With our mutual commitment to clients and staff, and our shared values and culture, GHD is the right fit.”




Published on: WaterCareer

Downer EDI Limited is combining  its two infrastructure businesses, Downer Australia and Downer New Zealand, to form Downer Infrastructure.


Downer Group will now consist of three businesses – Downer Infrastructure, Downer Mining and Downer Rail.


The Chief Executive Officer of Downer, Grant Fenn, said the establishment of Downer Infrastructure would deliver a range of benefits flowing from greater collaboration including sharing of skills, knowledge and best practice.


“The establishment of Downer Infrastructure will help us optimise our performance, deliver better results for our customers and implement change more effectively,” Mr Fenn said. “It will also deliver a range of benefits across Zero Harm, Risk and Project Management and our key business systems.


“Both in Australia and New Zealand Downer operates in the Transport Infrastructure, Water, Communications and Power markets. Bringing our core businesses together will ensure we leverage our existing expertise more broadly and improve our performance.


“It will also enhance our ability to capitalise on growth opportunities. Significantly, Downer Infrastructure will offer our customers a substantially enhanced asset management capability. This business will provide a completely integrated suite of asset management solutions, from strategic consulting advice, data management systems, tools and programs, through to maintenance skills and services.


“Importantly, Downer Infrastructure will provide greater career opportunities for our employees by facilitating the movement of people as well as knowledge and best practice,” Mr Fenn said.


Downer Infrastructure has work-in-hand of $8.4 billion (31 December 2011) and contributes around half of Downer Group’s revenue and earnings before interest and tax. It employs around 14,000 people.


Downer Infrastructure will now consist of five operational divisions (Australia East, Australia West, New Zealand, Resources and Specialist Services). David Cattell, currently CEO of Downer Australia, has been appointed CEO of Downer Infrastructure.

Published on: EngineeringCareer

South Australia’s Parliament has become the first jurisdiction to pass legislation through both houses, establishing Australia’s first National Rail Safety Regulator.


The Rail Safety National Law (South Australia) bill  is a critical component of the Council of Australian Government’s commitment to a single National Rail Safety Regulator by January 2013.


The National Rail Safety Regulator will be based in Adelaide and an announcement on the appointment of the new regulator is expected to be made later this year.


The other states and territories are expected to deliver this legislation through their parliaments in the coming months.


The national regulator will replace seven separate regulatory authorities and 46 pieces of state, territory and Commonwealth legislation.

Published on: LogisticsCareer

Doubts have been cast on the future of Sydney’s $8.5 billion, 23 km North West Rail Link by Infrastructure Australia.


National Infrastructure Coordinator, Michael Deegan, said that the NSW Government's analysis of the North West Rail Link is still being considered for Infrastructure Australia to recommend the project join the national infrastructure priority list.


However, while he acknowledged that the NSW Government had undertaken some good work in developing the proposal for the North West Rail Link,  he said it had not yet made a compelling case for the project.


A further meeting to progress the matter had been proposed by Infrastructure Australia, but the NSW Government declined at the last minute to attend.


Mr Deegan said the NSW Government submission provided only preliminary economic analysis and that analysis shows that on the Government's own figures the project is of marginal economic benefit.


“We have to remember that we are talking about a project estimated to cost $8.5 billion. It is not a small amount of money.


“In addition, the submission has left unanswered the question as to how rail network capacity problems from Chatswood into the CBD are to be addressed. There may be interim solutions, for example terminating some trains on the lower north shore, but these have not been presented to us.


“At a deeper level, we also have a question about whether this project is obviously the highest priority project in Sydney. If this project goes ahead, what other projects do not go ahead? Mr Deegan said.


“Unless we look at different ways of funding transport projects, the harsh reality is that government budgets probably only have enough capacity over the next 25 years to build two new rail projects in Sydney.


“We want to make sure that, before governments commit significant funding to these sorts of projects, we are absolutely sure they represent the best way of meeting Sydney's long term needs.”


“With Sydney growing to a population of between 6–7 million in the next 30 years, and much of that growth occurring in western Sydney, we might be better served by a north west link that can build up Parramatta as a second CBD.


“I stress that I'm not talking about the Parramatta-Epping rail link. That project is not on Infrastructure Australia's priority list.


“Compared to the level of analysis we have seen from some other governments, on similarly large projects, the analysis to date from the NSW Government on the North West Rail Link is quite limited.


Those other submissions have provided detailed economic analysis, rigorous assessment of project risks and complete environmental impact statements. That work has not yet been undertaken for the North West Rail line.”


NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, has accused Infrastructure Australia and the federal government of political brinkmanship over the issue.

Published on: EngineeringCareer

The Federal Government has announced 317 projects to be funded under the first round of its Biodiversity Fund, a key component of the Government’s strategy aimed at enhancing a biodiverse carbon storage environment and clean energy methods.


Announcing the first round of funding under the program, Federal Minister for Environment, Tony Burke, and Minister for Climate Change, Greg Combet, said the projects would help revegetate and rehabilitate and restore 18 million hectares over the next six years.


Minister Burke said the Biodiversity Fund would provide much needed long-term commitment to biodiversity conservation and restoration with almost half the projects announced today running over a six year period.


“Providing long-term support to land managers leads to enduring results for our environment and for the community,” Mr Burke said.


“Across Australia, farmers and other land managers already do a great job through Landcare work and the Biodiversity Fund will build on this work.


“A number of projects announced in this first round also align with the intent of the draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan helping to improve connectivity in the landscape through the establishment of landscape scale wildlife corridors.


“This program has received overwhelming support from land managers right across the country with the Biodiversity Fund encouraging an additional $207 million in in-kind or financial contributions.”



Published on: GreenCareer

The Gillard Government will provide $7.1 million over four years to ensure five Community Based Employment Advice Services (CBEAS) can continue to assist thousands of Australia’s most vulnerable workers.


CBEAS are not-for-profit organisations which provide advice, assistance and information to Australians who experience difficulties in asserting and exercising their rights at work.


Clients of CBEAS include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, working Australians with disability, women, mature-age workers, migrants and young people.


The five Community Based Employment Advice Services which will receive funding grants are:

  • The South Australian Working Women’s Centre
  • The Queensland Working Women’s Centre
  • The Northern Territory Working Women’s Centre
  • Employment Law Centre in Western Australia, and
  • JobWatch (Victoria).


Services offered by the CBEAS include self-help information sessions for people representing themselves before Fair Work Australia, evening legal advice services, community legal education and research services, and telephone advisory services.


The new funding arrangements will commence on 1 July 2012.

Have your say on Work Health and Safety for the next decade 


With only two weeks left until the public comment period closes, workers, employers and policy makers across Australia are reminded to have their say on work, health and safety for the next decade.


The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 will identify priority industries and set key targets and objectives for the progression of work health and safety in Australia for the next ten years.


Chair of Safe Work Australia, Mr Tom Phillips AM urged all interested Australians to be actively involved with the development of this strategy.


“Safe Work Australia is seeking your views to develop a practical, overarching strategy with targets that all Australian workplaces can and should aspire to achieve,” said Mr Phillips.


“I encourage all those interested regardless of business size and industry to have their say on the future of work health and safety reform in our nation.”


Public comment on the Australian Strategy closes on Monday 21 May 2012. The draft Australian Strategy is the result of months of extensive consultation with workers, unions, employers, employer associations, community groups and other key stakeholders.


To find out more about the Australian Strategy or to provide comment go to


The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 will be launched later this year.


Published on: OHSCareer

Low Carbon Australia’s CEO Meg McDonald addressed the Property Funds Association Conference at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast about the opportunities that existed for transforming existing buildings into greener, more highly desirable commercial space.


"While businesses are focused on the impending introduction of carbon pricing, they haven’t lost sight of the fact that we are already in an era of rising energy prices that are increasing building operating costs, which ultimately can lead to an impact on valuation prices," she said.


"But the threat of increased costs can also provide the incentive to act now to create greener commercial properties."


Ms McDonald said upgrading commercial buildings to make them more energy efficient had a range of advantages including:

  • Increased attractiveness to tenants looking for greener, more energy efficient premises
  • Prospect of higher rental returns based on evidence that higher NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Ratings System) ratings deliver higher rates of return
  • Improved property values
  • Compliance with compulsory NABERS disclosure at sale and lease


Low Carbon Australia, which was established by the Australian Government in 2010, partners with major financial institutions and utility services including Origin, NAB, Macquarie, Alleasing and FlexiGroup to provide financial packages to allow the commercial property sector to upgrade buildings with energy efficient equipment and systems.

Published on: EnergyCareer

Low Carbon Australia has certified Western Water’s Class A Recycled Water Plant in Melton, north-west of Melbourne as carbon neutral.


Low Carbon Australia’s CEO Meg McDonald said the Melton plant’s biogas cogeneration facility, which began operating in 2010, uses methane emissions generated from the water recycling process to power the Class A Recycled Water Plant’s operations.


"The plant has been able to reduce its total carbon footprint by just under 75 per cent through cogeneration. It has then purchased offsets approved under the Australian Governments National Carbon Offset Standard to achieve carbon neutrality," she said.


Western Water’s Managing Director John Wilkinson said Western Water was committed to reducing its carbon footprint and adapting to climate change in a way that was socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.


"For us, gaining carbon neutral recognition has been an important step towards a sustainable future," he said.


The Class A recycled water is used in Eynesbury for domestic uses other than drinking including toilets, garden watering and car washing. It has helped reduce the pressure on drinking quality water. The planned suburb of Toolern will also receive recycled water from the Melton Plant through a dual-reticulation system.


The Class A recycled water is also accessible for fire fighting.


Published on: GreenCareer

Claims by the NSW government that public transport would be safer by replacing Transit Officers with Police is merely a smoke and mirrors trick said the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.


Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW Secretary Alex Claassens said the move would compromise the safety of commuters and rail workers.


“Replacing 600 Transit Officers dedicated to the train network with 300 Police Officers tasked to cover the whole public transport system cannot possibly improve public safety,” Mr Claassens said.


“By the Government’s own admission they will not increase police numbers back up to 600 until the end of 2014, more than 18months away, and even then they will be stretched across trains, buses and ferries.


“This is a net loss of security presence in the system and a negative outcome for the safety of commuters. “In the meantime dedicated Transit Officers have lost their jobs or been re-tasked to the Revenue Protection Unit – raising revenue for the Government.”


Mr Claassens said using Police to patrol public transport had been tried and failed before.

Published on: TradesCareer

Economist, business-owner and environmentalist, Peter Whish-Wilson has been selected by the Tasmanian Greens to replace Bob Brown in the Senate.


"Peter will be a superb representative for Tasmania. As an economist, business owner and campaigner to stop a polluting pulp mill in the Tamar Valley, he brings great experience and an excellent skills-set to the Senate and the Greens party room,” Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.


Mr Whish-Wilson said "I feel honoured to have been chosen by the Greens to be their new Tasmanian Senator, and I'm very excited to be working with Christine Milne.”

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