The Federal Government has introduced
a Bill into Parliament this week to allow a one-off amnesty for the historical underpayment of superannuation entitlements, as part of the Government’s superannuation guarantee integrity package. The amnesty will set aside penalties for late payments – that are usually paid to the Government by employers – for a 12-month period.
Treasurer Scott Morrison has announced
the appointment of Mr Andrew Stevens as the interim Chair of the Data Standards Body for the Consumer Data Right, which will give consumers greater control over their personal data. Mr Stevens is the current Chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre and is a director of MYOB, Stockland, the Thorn Group, and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. He was previously the Managing Director of IBM Australia.
The Federal Government has announced
plans for a second Deputy Chairperson at the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to provide the organisation with “greater flexibility” and improve accountability in the financial sector. The reform follows similar changes to the structure of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) leadership team.
RESOURCES AND ENERGY
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan has welcomed
the reappointment of Patricia Kerin to the Advisory Board of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) until 2021. Ms Kerin is currently serving as the Director of the Institution of Chemical Engineers Safety Centre.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has published
the Quarterly Energy Dynamics report for the first quarter of 2018, providing an overview of the gas and electricity dynamics, outcomes and trends for the National Electricity Market (NEM). The AEMO has also released
a full post-2017-18 summer review, which provides an overview of the performance of the NEM during the last summer period.
INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND WATER
Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud has announced
two new appointments to the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA). Ms Joanna Hewitt AO and Professor Stuart Bunn were selected by the Government in consultation with Basin states; both will serve as part-time members of the MDBA.
NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance has welcomed
the passage of legislation that will establish the Sydney Metro statutory authority. The new NSW Government-controlled authority will have full responsibility for the planning, construction, delivery and operation of the Sydney Metro project, and is expected to be operational from 1 July.
Victorian Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz has announced
an additional $50 million of government funding for the Growing Suburbs Fund. The fund provides local councils with financing for community infrastructure such as town hubs, parks, community centres and sporting facilities.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced
State Government funding of $38 million for the Disaster Resilience Fund. The fund is designed to better equip the State to mitigate future disasters by providing support to local governments, state agencies and non-government organisations in preparing for potential natural disaster events.
Australia’s Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Hobbs has confirmed
that the Department of Health and the Chief Medical Officer are sourcing additional influenza vaccine doses to meet unprecedented demand. An estimated 25 to 30 per cent increase in uptake of the vaccine compared to last year has resulted in national shortages, despite the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) having released a record 9.6 million doses this year.
Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy announced
$12.1 million in funding to reduce delays for the current 18,300 patients on the State’s dental treatment waiting lists. The Government is also providing funding for fluoride varnish for children in disadvantaged communities; training in alternative sedations for dental clinics; and oral care education.
Legislation has passed the NSW Parliament to amend
the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act, creating a new classification for medicines used in cosmetic procedures. The new rules aim to increase safety for patients by strengthening the regulation around storage, access and use of cosmetic medicines, and increasing penalties for unlicensed operators and regulatory breaches.
Mr Andrew Brown has been appointed
as Queensland’s new Health Ombudsman for a three-year term. Mr Brown has been acting in the role since November 2017, and his appointment follows seven years as the State’s Deputy Ombudsman. He will be responsible for managing health service complaints across Queensland.