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GRACosway Weekly Wrap Up
7 November 2014
 
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Health Minister Peter Dutton announced this week that Australia will contract a private Australian provider to manage and run a 100-bed Ebola treatment facility in Sierra Leone.  The Government will spend up to $20 million over coming months in this effort.  See the joint media release here.
 
Elsewhere this week, PM Abbott welcomed the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, to Parliament House to talk about Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 and international security, as efforts to recover the plane wreckage and transfer it to The Netherlands for reconstruction progressed.
 
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb is currently in Beijing to progress Free Trade Agreement talks.  The Government hopes to finalise a deal ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit next weekend in Brisbane.  PM Abbott will head to Beijing this weekend to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ meeting, followed by the East Asia Summit in Burma.
 
In the latest Newspoll, Labor leads the Coalition 54:46 in the two-party-preferred vote.
 
The campaign for the November 29 Victorian State Election formally began this week with writs for the election issued on Melbourne Cup Day. The latest polls show Labor leading the Coalition 54:46 in the two-party-preferred stakes.  For a full run down, see GRACosway’s first election newsletter here.
 
NSW, SA, WA parliaments sit next week.


FINANCE

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) has reported the Financial System Inquiry is considering recommending industry superannuation funds be overseen by a majority of independent directors in order to curb union control.  It is expected the final FSI report will be delivered to Treasurer Joe Hockey within weeks.  See AFR: David Murray goes after union super (subscription service)
 
Following the major leak of tax information this week, Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan is pursuing a global investigation of international and Australian companies exposed as using Luxembourg to shift profits and avoid paying tax.  Reducing tax avoidance will also be one of the objectives of the G20 leaders summit to be held in Brisbane next week.  See AFR:  International PWC tax schemes exposed (subscription service)
 
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen is visiting India this week to participate in the World Economic Forum India Economic Summit.  Mr Bowen will also undertake bilateral meetings with key officials in the new Indian administration and opposition.  See media release: Bowen to visit India
 

RESOURCES AND ENERGY

Federal Developments

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the IPCC Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report this week, finding that warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and calling on policymakers to move towards carbon neutral energy sources.  See the report here.

State Developments

Construction has begun on the 70 megawatt Moree Solar Farm.  The Fotowatio Renewable Ventures (FRV) project has been funded in part by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).  See ABC: Construction starts on Moree Solar Farm
 

INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND WATER

Federal Developments

The Federal Government has provided Infrastructure Australia (IA) with its first Statement of Expectations since the body’s overhaul.  IA is currently undertaking an audit of Australia’s infrastructure asset base and will reply with a Statement of Intent by the end of the year.  For the full Statement of Expectations, see media release: Statement of Expectations issued to Infrastructure Australia
 
Ms Susan McCarry has been announced as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR).  See media release: New CEO for National Rail Safety Regulator
 
The Prime Minister kicked off debate on the name for the second Sydney airport delivering the inaugural Bradfield Oration in Sydney this week.  See his speech here

State Developments

In NSW, the planning application has been lodged for the New M5 tunnels as part of WestConnex Stage 2.  Requests for tenders will be issued shortly to the three shortlisted consortia.  See media release: Introducing Sydney's new M5 tunnels and WestConnex interchange
 
In Queensland, shortlisted tenderers have been announced for the Gateway Upgrade North project - Leighton Contractors, Lend Lease and NorthLink Joint Venture.  The successful tenderer for the $1 billion-plus project will be announced in mid-2015.  See media release: Gateway Upgrade North preferred tenderers
 

HEALTH

Federal Developments

Assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield has announced 202 offers will go to 47 successful tenderers for the delivery of Disability Management Services. The new contracts will take affect from March 2015 and run for three years.  See media release: Tender outcomes for Disability Employment Services announced and the Department website

State Developments

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner and the Minister for Mental Health Jai Rowell presented the annual NSW Health Awards, with the Ministers’ award for innovation going to the Food Packaging Improvement Project led by procurement agency HealthShare.  See media release for more details: Innovation and improvement celebrated at NSW Health awards
 
About GRACosway
GRACosway is Australia's leading public affairs and corporate and financial communications counsel. Our integrated suite of services provides public policy, communications, regulatory, issues management, and media relations advice to a range of domestic and international clients across all industry sectors. From offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, and Perth (through GRA Everingham), GRACosway's clients benefit from the combined experience, expertise, and strategic perspective of our team in addressing complex and commercially sensitive projects. For more information head to gracosway.com.au
 
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