The NSW Government has released its 20-year vision for the state’s public transport, roads and freight network, incorporating all modes of public transport, roads, freight, cycling and walking.
The draft Long Term Transport Master Plan includes more than 200 short, medium and long term actions and recommendations.
More than $53 billion has been earmarked for transport and roads infrastructure and services over the next four years.
The draft plan builds on Sydney’s Rail Future – which includes the North West and South West rail links, a second harbour rail crossing and a new CBD line, providing the foundation for 60 per cent more trains in the peak – to deliver an integrated public transport network for greater Sydney and essential links for regional areas.
Following the completion of the final Long Term Transport Master Plan, the Government will develop transport plans for 10 regions, and integrated modal and freight strategies.
The draft Master Plan has been drawn up based on extensive consultation, which included:
- More than 1200 submissions on the discussion paper;
- Advisory groups – representing customers and community, local government, industry and transport specialists plus, in addition to freight customer consultation;
- More than 65,000 hits on the master plan website and 8,500 discussion paper downloads;
- 14 regional forums across the State, involving more than 1000 participants, both Ministers and senior Transport for NSW staff;
- Discussions with more than 130 key stakeholders;
- A dedicated 1800 phone number and Twitter feed.
The full 370-page draft Long Term Transport Master Plan and a summary are available at www.transportmasterplan.nsw.gov.au. Comments are due by 26 October 2012 and the final plan will be released later this year.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released its report on Labour Mobility, presenting findings about people aged 15 years and over who, within the 12 months to February 2012, either had a change of employer/business in their main job, or had some change in work with their current employer/business, for whom they had worked for one year or more.
The survey found that of the 11.4 million persons who were working at February 2012, 80% (9.1 million) had been with their current employer/business for one year or more and 20% (2.3 million) had
been with their current employer/business for less than 12 months.
Occupation groups which had the highest proportion of persons who had worked with their current employer for 5 years or more were:
- Managers 60%;
- Professionals 49%; and
- Clerical and administrative workers 47%.
Workers in these occupations were also least likely to have worked for their current employer/business for less than one year.
Proportionally more persons in the following occupation groups worked with their current employer for less than one year:
- Sales workers and Labourers (each 27%);
- Machinery operators and drivers 26%; and
- Community and personal service workers 25%.
The full report is available here.
The Victorian Government has launched a new $8 million Technology Voucher funding program that will encourage the uptake of new technologies.
The program will provide vouchers to organisations in the technology sector to support the development of new products and processes using industrial biotechnology, small technologies (micro- and nano-scale technologies) or information and communication technology (ICT).
Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips said a key advantage of the voucher system was its ability to respond to the research requirements of business in a time-frame that suits them.
"Businesses can apply for support at any time during the year, and if successful, will be able to commence work with their service provider of choice within one month," he said.
"One of the principal advantages of the new voucher program will be the way it brings together converging technology fields and brokers new linkages between businesses and
Victoria's world-class technology infrastructure and know-how," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
"Promoting opportunities for business and innovation to come together is essential for robust and competitive Victorian industries.
Vouchers will be available in three categories:
- Technology Student Accelerator vouchers valued at up to $10,000;
- Technology Development vouchers valued at up to $50,000; and
- Technology Implementation vouchers valued at up to $250,000.
The Technology Voucher program forms part of the $150 million Victoria's Technology Plan for the Future that promotes technology-enabled innovation across the economy and supports the growth, development and global competitiveness of Victoria's technology sectors.
Further information on the Technology Voucher program is at www.business.vic.gov.au/tvp
The South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, has continued his Fight for the Murray campaign with a week-long “River Run” from the State’s border to the Murray Mouth.
The campaign team is travelling the 640 kilometre length of the South Australian reaches of the River in a water quality testing vessel, engaging with river communities and encouraging people to join the fight for a healthy river.
Premier Jay Weatherill officially launched the River Run in Loxton and the journey began at Border Cliffs upstream of Renmark on Saturday, and will end in Goolwa on Sunday 9 September.
Mr Weatherill said the River Run would give people living on the river the opportunity to tell their stories about the impacts of decades of over allocation of water upstream.
“This event will help us explain to people interstate why the Murray is South Australia’s life blood and why we must protect it for the benefit of future generations,” Mr Weatherill said.
“Local councils along the route will be encouraged to fly a Fight for the Murray flag in their communities – as a sign that they have joined the campaign for the best possible plan for the Murray-Darling Basin.
“Councils have been very supportive and keen to get involved. Key community events are planned in Loxton, Renmark, Mannum, Murray Bridge and Goolwa and smaller events are planned in schools, shopping centres and sporting clubs in other townships along the route.
“At each stop the campaign team and river champions will be talking to people about the Fight for the Murray and encouraging them to sign up online, if they haven’t already done so.
“Time is short – with the plan expected to go to the Federal Parliament soon, there is just a small window of opportunity for all Australians who are concerned about the health of the river to get involved,” Mr Weatherill said.
Renowned water scientist Dr Rob Vertessy has been appointed director of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.
Dr Vertessy, who was appointed Deputy Director of the Bureau (Climate and Water) in 2007, has been acting as Director since December last year.
After a career spanning more than 20 years as a senior water scientist and leading researcher, Dr Vertessy joined the Bureau in 2007 and led the expansion of the Bureau’s role in providing the hydrological information central to the delivery of national water reform.
The first offset projects under the national Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) have been approved, with four landfill sites set to reap environmental rewards by capturing harmful greenhouse gases from waste.
Two of the gas capture projects are based in Perth at the South Cardup and Mirrabooka landfill sites, with two others in Darwin, and Buderim in Queensland.
Combined, the four landfills will abate around 170,000 tonnes of CO2-e gas, with three sites generating more than 40,000MWh of renewable energy per year - enough to power 5,600 homes.
Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, praised project proponent LMS Energy for its leadership and innovation in the waste industry.
"LMS specialises in transforming waste to energy. Their projects represent a milestone for Australia’s pioneering Carbon Farming Initiative," said Mr Dreyfus.
"They are helping our communities tackle climate change by turning harmful gases from decomposing rubbish into clean, renewable energy.
"Australian businesses paying the carbon price will be able to buy carbon credits from LMS, knowing these offsets are producing multiple benefits for the community," he said.
"Overall, the landfill gas industry is now abating more than 4 million tonnes of CO2-e emissions every year, creating 850 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy - enough to power more than 120,000 homes."
The Carbon Farming Initiative, which is a key plank of the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Future plan, also applies to the agricultural sector which contributes about 18 per cent of carbon emissions annually.
The CFI provides an opportunity for farmers and landholders to earn carbon credits for storing or reducing carbon pollution on the land. These credits can be sold to businesses requiring offsets or in the voluntary market.
In addition, carbon price revenue will help fund $1.7 billion of investment in land sector measures over the next 6 years to improve sustainability and productivity.
Approved CFI projects are listed on the Register of Offsets Projects on the Clean Energy Regulator website.
The debate about the impact of coal seam mining on groundwater has been fuelled by claims made in a television commercial produced by Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) and aired on Sunday 2 September that ‘CSIRO [and government studies] have shown that groundwater is safe with coal seam gas’.
CSIRO has responded to the commercial stating that at no time has it made any such a statement, and nor do the results of CSIRO research support such a statement.
“CSIRO continues to undertake research to better understand the impacts of coal seam gas extraction on groundwater quality and quantity.
“CSIRO has stated on the public record that coal seam gas extraction is likely to pose a ‘low risk’ to groundwater quality through contamination. CSIRO has also indicated that groundwater levels will fall as a consequence of coal seam gas extraction. In some places this could see aquifer levels subside by tens of metres for tens of years; in others it is likely to reduce aquifer levels by several metres for several hundred years.
“CSIRO continues to undertake research to better understand the impacts of coal seam gas extraction on groundwater quality and quantity.”
CSIRO became aware of the advertisement produced by Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) via a scan of social media on Friday 31 August and requested for the commercial to not be aired.
Newcrest Cadia Valley Mine Emergency Response Team has defeated eleven other teams from across the country to win the Victorian Mine Rescue Competition sponsored by Fire and Safety Australia.
The Competition held in Bendigo brought together teams from both underground and surface mines. Teams competed in exercises testing emergency response theory, rescue skills, first aid, breathing apparatus, fire fighting, search and rescue and rope rescue capabilities, and in the Spence Herd Team Performance Challenge.
Exercises are designed to simulate potential emergency scenarios and were adjudicated by a team of industry and emergency response professionals from across the country.
MCA Victorian Division, Executive Director, Megan Davison said: “The Victorian Mine Rescue Competition provides practical training experience to members of mining operations, encouraging them to apply teamwork to build skills that are vital to these specialised emergency rescue teams”.
“The competition fosters strong team spirit, competitiveness and goodwill among the rescue teams and their supporters, with over 200 people attending the presentation dinner on Sunday night. I congratulate all team members for commitment to emergency response.”
“This competition is an important part of the MCA’s health and safety strategy. Our goal of zero fatalities and injuries remains the minerals industry’s number one value and commitment.”
A new round of grants to boost Western Australia’s mining exploration investment has been announced by WA Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore during the opening of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies’ (AMEC) Convention 2012.
Mr Moore said the Round 6 funding would be offered to drilling operations set for 2013, under the Exploration Incentive Scheme’s Co-Funded Drilling Program, funded by Royalties for Regions.
“The program encourages exploration in underexplored areas and since its inception in 2009, it has funded over $27million in grants to more than 250 exploration drilling projects,” he said.
“The program has been hugely popular because it offers co-funding of up 50 per cent of direct drilling costs. For example, funding for a single hole application is capped at a maximum of $200,000.
“But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, considering the State Government will have provided around $138million to explorers as part of the program, come 2016.”
Mr Moore said that despite talk of the end of the mining boom, the long term outlook for Western Australia’s resources industry remains strong.
“WA is uniquely placed to continue to attract investment, with our close proximity to Asia, strong regulations and an abundance of natural resources. This State will continue to be the engine room to the rest of the nation - you only have to look at the $107billion generated by our resources industry in 2011 to realise that.”
Applications for round six of the Co-funded Drilling Program close on October 5. More details are here.
Some 2.5 million Australians ceased a job during the year ending February 2012 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Around 1 in 6 of these lost their last job because they were retrenched, made redundant or their employer went out of business. In 2010, around 1 in 5 people reported that they lost their last job for these reasons (compared with 1 in 10 in 2008).
The most common main reasons for ceasing a last job during the year ending February 2012 were:
- 20% left their last job voluntarily to obtain better job or conditions;
- 17% said that their last job was temporary or seasonal; and
- 14% left their job due unsatisfactory work conditions.
Other findings from the survey were:
Of the 12.7 million Australians who worked at some time during the previous 12 months, around 90% or 11.4 million people were employed at February 2012. Of these:
- one in five (2.3 million) had worked with their current employer/business for less than 12 months of whom almost half (1.2 million) had changed their employer/business in the last 12 months; and
- males aged 35–44 years (65%) and 45–54 (64%) most commonly changed employer/business compared to females for whom the age groups most likely to change employer/business were 25–34 and 55–59 (both 58%).
Around 7.3 million employees working at February 2012 had been with their current employer for one year or more. Of these:
- 1.9 million employees (26%), experienced some change in work; and
- around half (49%) of those who had experienced a change in work, had changed the number of hours usually worked, 46% had been promoted and 10% changed occupation (people may have reported more than one change in work).
Further details can be found in Labour Mobility, Australia, February 2012 (cat. no. 6209.0), available for free download from www.abs.gov.au
The Productivity Commission has released its draft report on the efficiency and quality of Commonwealth, state and territory and Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) processes.
The Commission found there is considerable scope to improve the way that regulations are developed and scrutinised by all governments. In Regulatory Impact Analysis: Benchmarking - a report requested by COAG - the Commission compares the regulatory impact analysis processes of the Commonwealth, States and Territories and COAG, and identifies leading practices.
'Australians need to be confident that all governments are committed to the rigorous assessment of regulation to ensure that unnecessary burdens on business and the community are avoided', Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald said.
Robust analysis of regulatory impacts helps ensure that regulation achieves the best trade-off between benefits provided and costs incurred.
Where regulatory impact analysis is undertaken, the Commission found that there is often a gap between the agreed best practice principles and what happens in practice. Government proposals with the largest impacts on communities are often not rigorously scrutinised.
In all jurisdictions, greater commitment to transparency and accountability would improve the efficacy and rigour of policy development. In particular:
- reducing opportunities to avoid assessment by tightening exemptions
- publishing all regulation impact statements and compliance assessments by oversight agencies
- requiring Ministers to provide reasons to Parliament for proceeding with proposals that have not been subjected to adequate impact analysis
- ensuring that post implementation reviews of non-compliant and exempt proposals are independently conducted.
Commissioner Fitzgerald said: 'Adoption of the leading practices would create stronger incentives for governments to demand and officials to deliver policies that are well considered and supported by rigorous analysis of different options and their impacts.'
The Commission seeks comment on this draft report in order to develop its final report to the Government by the end of November.
More information is here.
A new organisation with a central coordinating role will pave the way for a national approach to asbestos awareness and management in Australia.
At the second Asbestos Summit held in Sydney, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten announced the Government’s response to the comprehensive Asbestos Management Review, commissioned in October 2010.
Mr Shorten said a new Office of Asbestos Safety would be tasked with developing a national strategic plan as recommended by the Review, by 1 July 2013.
“As an insidious killer asbestos is a national issue requiring urgent attention and greater national preventative coordination - so we are making a concerted effort to address it. A critical element of the recommendations is the establishment of a body to oversee how we manage asbestos in Australia and how we can reduce exposure to asbestos.”
The Review, released in Parliament on 16 August, made 12 recommendations to address asbestos issues and a national coordinated effort is now needed. A national strategic plan with the buy-in of all Australian governments and political parties will be the foundation upon which these efforts can be built and directed.
“We have carefully considered the recommendations contained in the Review. The recommendations highlighted the need for a new nationally coordinated approach and national strategic plan to improve asbestos awareness and management arrangements in Australia.
“Minimising asbestos exposure is a responsibility of all levels of government. While different levels of government have individually and at times together agreed on asbestos related measures, the sad truth is that until this Review was commissioned by the Gillard Government, Australia has never genuinely contemplated a comprehensive national strategy to manage asbestos and raise awareness about it."
“We will continue to consult with state and territory governments to develop the functions, structure and funding of the new asbestos office and the content of the strategic plan.”
“Australia has one of the highest rates of asbestos related disease in the world. Our response to this Review represents our best chance to work together to eliminate asbestos-related disease in Australia.
“The creation of the Office of Asbestos Safety is a vital first step in that process. It will set out a road map for improving our handling of asbestos and look at the practicalities of implementing the recommendations of the Review.”
Mr Shorten also announced a number of research projects on management and awareness of asbestos will commence in advance of the agency’s establishment.
The research will include examining current infrastructure for the disposal of asbestos products, and a comprehensive study of community awareness of and attitudes to asbestos.
“This research will underpin the future work of the office , and provide them with a head start on what I anticipate will be a considerable workload. The research that will be undertaken is consistent with the recommendations made by the review and will inform the priorities of the agency,” Mr Shorten said.
The Asbestos Management Review Report - June 2012 report is available here.
Winners of the 23rd Annual Australian Freight Industry Awards have been announced at a gala dinner hosted by the Victorian Transport Association (VTA).
The Australian Freight Industry Awards Gala Dinner is the most prestigious event on the freight and logistics calendar. The unique awards are designed to reward excellence, and to raise the standards and public perception of the Australian Freight and Logistics Industry.
The 2012 Awards saw renewed Award categories and the addition of a new award, the Young Achiever of the Year Award, which received over 10 nominations.
The Award presentations commenced with the launch of a new category called the ‘David Hay Education Endowment and Scholarship Program’, known as the David Hay Scholarship Awards. The David Hay Scholarship is designed to support people in the industry who have not completed formal education and want to further their career. The Award went to Nicholas Bliesner, currently at Secon Freight Logistics.
The 2012 Australian Freight Industry Award Winners are:
- Australian Transport & Logistics Investment in People Award: Power’s Country Express, Bendigo
- Australian Transport & Logistics Best Practice Safety Award: Metropolitan Express Transport
- Australian Transport & Logistics Technology Award: Containerchain
- Australian Transport & Logistics Business Sustainability Award: FBT Transwest
- Australian Transport & Logistics Young Achiever of the Year Award: Jason Connor, CC Containers & Rhiannon Buckland, BlueScope Steel
- Australian Transport & Logistics Personality of the Year: Mr Ivan Backman, AM
ACT Labor has undertaken to establish a an Industrial Magistrate’s Court and appoint Industrial Magistrates to oversee work safety law in the ACT if it is re-elected in October.
In a statement, ACT Labor said the Industrial Magristrate’s Court would allow for the development of greater experience and specialisation of workplace health and safety law by the courts.
The ACT Labor Government has already announced a major inquiry into ACT health and safety laws in the construction industry. The inquiry will also look at how government employers, workers and the general community can be better informed about compliance with health and safety laws in the sector.
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has threatened to close down the Queensland coal industry by a work ban on mines if the State Government adopts a proposal by the Queensland Resources Council to remove from union safety inspectors the right to close mines on safety grounds.
The Resources Council has proposed in a submission to the government that CFMEU safety inspectors should apply to the Department’s mine inspector, who would then be responsible for any decision to close a mine.
In a statement, the Queensland Resources Council said “a fair outcome would be for anyone with a concern about safety at a mine site to immediately contact the independent Mines Inspectorate, which could then make an objective determination”.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche claimed that the three CFMEU-appointed industry, safety and health representatives had abused their power and closed mines unnecessarily.
Speaking on the ABC, CFMEU spokesman, Stephen Smyth, refuted Mr Roche’s claims.
“I'd like the companies and the Government to demonstrate when these unions have done that, because not once has that occurred,” Mr Smyth said.
“When you have safety in the hands of yourself and others who currently carry out the roles, and you're responsible for ensuring that people go to work and come home the same day, then that is the utmost responsibility, and people who carry out these roles don't do it on the whim, they do it in a professional manner, and they'll continue to do it that way, and make no bones about it.
“The union won't stand aside and let coal companies and the Government take safety and completely and utterly reduce the regulations we have now and put workers at risk.”
Mr Smyth said that if there was any reduction or removal of any OH&S legislation, “then we will stop the mines that our members work in and withdraw our labour until there's some sense around the issue, because safety is too important to be given to the bosses in the coal companies who, over the years, have had our members have been killed in explosions and maimed in the workplace. Make no bones about it, we're serious about this.”
Port of Melbourne Corporation’s (PoMC’s) $1.6 billion redevelopment of Webb Dock is advancing with the awarding of civil and maritime design contracts.
The expansion of capacity at the Port of Melbourne, which is Australia’s largest container, automotive and general cargo port was announced by the Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu and the Minister for Ports, Dr Denis Napthine in April this year.
PoMC Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Bradford, said two consultants will be appointed who will be responsible for the delivery of detailed designs for the project’s internal roads, services infrastructure, interface buffers and maritime engineering services.
“This is an important first step in the redevelopment of Webb Dock which is the site for Melbourne’s third international container terminal and a new world class automotive facility”, Mr Bradford said.
PoMC’s Expression of Interest and tender processes attracted an enormous amount of interest. Mr Bradford stated that the submissions received displayed a high level of technical expertise and demonstrated a strong competitive focus.
The evaluation processes determined that the contract for civil engineering design services be awarded to Aurecon Australia Pty Limited. The scope of the civil works includes detail design of internal roads, interface buffers site preparation works and services infrastructure.
PoMC also advised the appointment of Arup Pty Limited to provide maritime engineering consulting services for the project’s extensive maritime works. The maritime program includes re-engineering the existing wharves at Webb Dock East, dredging and the design of a new 920 metre wharf for the port’s automotive trade which will be consolidated into a new world class facility at Webb Dock West.
“Aurecon & Arup both have an excellent track record for designing and delivering large scale infrastructure with a focus on innovation and sustainability – their worldwide experience will help to create the innovative design outcomes we are seeking for Webb Dock” Mr Bradford said.
More information is h
The National Water Commission has released a new report, Recognising the broader benefits of aquatic systems in water planning: an ecosystem services approach.
Water planning in Australia has a well-established tradition of incorporating benefits associated with consumptive uses of water from aquatic systems, for example irrigation and bulk town water supply.
Less emphasis has been placed on identifying and incorporating additional “ecosystem service” benefits such as flood mitigation, improved drainage, better water quality and lower water treatment costs.
Because of their ‘non-market’ nature, these benefits are difficult to value quantitatively. Other non-extractive “ecosystem service” benefits of aquatic systems that support our wellbeing, for instance recreational amenity and cultural values, are even more difficult to quantify.
The Waterlines report aims to encourage a more comprehensive, systematic and transparent consideration of the multiple benefits of aquatic systems in water planning.
It will better equip water planners and managers to account for these broader ecosystems services and apply this concept in practice, by helping them to identify, describe, explain and communicate their public benefits.
The approach has been designed to complement current planning practices by providing ideas, tools and examples that can be taken up at several points in water plan development.
It will support explicit identification and consideration of public benefits and ecosystem services, as is recognised in Australian water policies including the National Water Initiative.
Recognising the broader benefits of aquatic systems in water planning: an ecosystem services approach is available at www.nwc.gov.au
Asciano’s coal haulage division, Pacific National Coal, has unveiled its new train maintenance and provisioning facility at Nebo in regional Queensland.
At a joint launch with the Isaac Regional Council, Pacific National said its $180 million new Nebo Maintenance Facility will support its coal haulage operations and further increase the efficiency of its coal haulage services in the Goonyella, Blackwater and Newlands rail systems.
The five kilometre long facility will enable the provisioning and maintenance of Pacific National trains to ensure their reliable and efficient operation with a range of functions performed, including the refuelling of trains, routine train inspections and wagon and locomotive maintenance work.
"Nebo is the first facility of its design in Australia and includes some of the most innovative design and maintenance techniques seen within the rail industry today, with capacity to support up to 25 coal trains, with eight bays for locomotives and two main tracks for wagon maintenance,” said Mr Geoff Featherstone, General Manager Operations QLD, Pacific National Coal.
As the fastest growing coal haulage operator in Queensland, Pacific National Coal currently transports export coal to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, the Port of Gladstone and Port of Abbot Point under contracts with customers including Xstrata, Rio Tinto, Macarthur Coal, Anglo American, Middlemount, Bowen Central Coal and BHP Mitsui Coal (commencing on 1 January 2013).
Pacific National Coal Director, Mr David Irwin said, “The construction of the new train maintenance and provisioning facilities at Nebo is a significant milestone in Pacific National’s long term investment in Queensland’s coal haulage market to support the needs of our customers.
“With Queensland coal exports expected to grow strongly, Pacific National’s investment is critical to delivering the most efficient, effective and sustainable coal haulage services.
“Importantly, we have created 322 full time jobs, including 220 throughout the construction period, a further 65 new trainee train driver and fully qualified train driver positions and other ongoing maintenance and administrative positions. We invite anyone who is looking for a career with great prospects to come and speak to us,” he concluded.
Planning for the new train provisioning and maintenance facilities at Nebo commenced in early 2010 and included consultation with key stakeholders and community members to ensure minimisation of potential environmental, noise and land impacts. The design and construction was carried out under an alliance between Pacific National Coal and Abigroup Contractors (construction and project coordination), BG&E (design) and QR National (design and construction of track).
The facilities have also been designed to interface with QR National’s rail network and a Connection Agreement has been negotiated with QR National to ensure the efficient integration of the facility with the existing network.
Asciano Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Mr John Mullen, said, “The successful ramp-up of our operations in Queensland, and now the launch of our productivity enhancing Nebo Train Maintenance Facility is a testament to our Queensland workforce and management team, and reinforces our ability to deliver on our Queensland coal strategy.
“We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Isaac Regional Council, the Queensland State Government and the local community to ensure continued investment and job growth within the region and with our employees and customers to ensure we deliver on our promise of flexible, safe and innovative services.”
Almost 3.5 million tonnes of greenhouse gases have been pulled from the ACT's atmosphere according to the latest snapshot on carbon emissions in Canberra.
ACT Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, tabled the ACT Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme 2011 compliance report in the ACT Legislative Assembly which shows more than 588,889 tonnes of greenhouse has were offset last year and all participants met their obligations under the scheme.
"While it has now been replaced with a national carbon price, this has been one of the most effective schemes in tackling emissions from electricity use, and was one of the world's first mandatory greenhouse gas emissions trading schemes," Mr Corbell said.
"Under the scheme, electricity retailers in the ACT were required to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions they produce and source an increasing part of their product from clean and sustainable sources.
"This encouraged electricity providers to undertake a range of initiatives including energy efficiency measures, tree planting, capturing landfill gas, and methane burning to meet annual targets set out by the independent scheme regulator."
In 2011, there were 19 entities licensed to sell electricity in the ACT and the report acknowledged that all participants met their targets.
Mr Corbell said over the life of the scheme, 3,463,967 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions had been removed from Canberra's atmosphere, making it one of the Territory's most effective greenhouse gas abatement measures.
With the introduction of the Australian Government Clean Energy Futures package, ACT legislation was amended to bring the ACT Scheme to an end effective 1 July 2012.
"The ACT Government recognises that a cap and trade emissions trading scheme, with a flexible price is the most economically efficient means of reducing Australia's emissions," Mr Corbell said.
"The adoption of the city's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets, a 40% reduction based on 1990 levels by the year 2020, and the long term aim of carbon neutrality by 2060, reinforces the importance of renewable energy in Canberra's future."
The Chief Minister of the new Northern Territory Government, Terry Mills, has announced a freeze on public service recruitment to provide Departmental executives with an opportunity to re-prioritise staffing structures to focus on frontline service delivery.
Mr Mills said the freeze would take place in conjunction with the Government's proposed Treasury audit.
"The freeze applies to public service recruitment unless otherwise approved by the office of the Commissioner of Public Employment," Mr Mills said.
"The OCPE will also work with agencies to identify frontline positions that will be exempt from the recruitment freeze.
Mr Mills said the recruitment of an additional 120 frontline police will not be affected by the freeze.
"All interstate and overseas travel will require final approval by the Chief Executive of the Department of Chief Minister and hospitality is to stop unless also approved by DCM.
"In addition, reviews into the Government's motor vehicle fleet and marketing and communications will also be undertaken by DCM.
"These measures are necessary as the Country Liberals Government moves forward with its linked strategies to cut waste and reduce debt,” Mr Mills said.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Terry Mills has released details of the new Country Liberals Government’s Ministry.
In addition to his responsibilities as Chief Minister, Mr Mills has taken Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Lands, Planning and the Environment, Land Resource Management, Asian Engagement, Public Employment, Statehood, Multicultural Affairs, Young Territorians, Senior Territorians and Women’s Policy portfolios.
He will be assisted in the areas of multicultural affairs, youth and seniors and Women’s Policy by new Parliamentary Secretary Peter Styles.
Deputy Chief Minister, Robyn Lambley, is Treasurer and will also assume responsibility for Education, Families and Children, Corporate and Information Services and Central Australia.
John Elferink is the Territory’s new Attorney-General and Justice Minister and Minister for Correctional Services and David Tollner has Health, Alcohol Policy and Essential Services.
Adam Giles has the Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government portfolios.
Willem Westra van Holthe is the new Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries and Mines and Energy and Matthew Conlan has Tourism and Major Events, Arts and Museums, Sport and Recreation, Racing and Parks and Wildlife.
Peter Chandler is Minister for Business, Trade, Economic Development, Employment and Training and Housing and Alison Anderson has responsibility for Regional Development and Indigenous Advancement.
In addition to assisting the Chief Minister with his Multicultural Affairs, Young Territorians, Senior Territorians and Women’s Policy portfolios, Peter Styles is also Government Whip.