The Prime Minister and First Ministers
have reached agreement at the Leaders’ Summit to extend the GST to overseas online transactions
for purchases under $1,000. The matter will now be discussed in more detail at an upcoming meeting of Treasurers. See media release: Australian Leaders' Retreat Communiqué
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey
announced Alice Williams as a part-time member of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), for a five year appointment.
Ms Williams replaces Anna Buduls who served on the FIRB for 5 years. See media release: Appointment of a part-time member of the Foreign Investment Review Board
announced a capability review of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
. The review, to be chaired by Karen Chester, will examine the governance and capabilities of ASIC to meet its objectives in the face of future regulatory challenges. See media release Capability review of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
RESOURCES AND ENERGY
Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt
announced the signing of an agreement with Cray Inc to purchase a $77 million supercomputer for the Bureau of Meteorology.
The computer, will increase the computing capacity of the Bureau 16 times, allowing for more accurate and frequent reporting, particularly during severe weather. See media release: New supercomputer to supercharge weather warnings and forecasts
Federal Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, and Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Marmion
released the UNCOVER Roadmap
. The 10 year Roadmap identifies 16 high priority R&D activities that would increase the success of greenfield mineral exploration in Australia. See media release: Road map points to nation's future mineral wealth
Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville
has reappointed Phillip Honeywood
as Chair of the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC)
. The Minister also announced the appointment of Dr Charles Meredith, Ms Joanne Duncan, Ms Anna Kilborn and Dr Geoffrey Wescott to the Council. See media release: New Members Of The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council
Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, and Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Dr Steven Miles
confirmed the Government will examine current initiatives to introduce a Container Deposit Scheme
. See media release: Revitalising the state’s climate change and waste agenda
INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND WATER
The Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) was launched
in Dandenong, Victoria, by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Karen Andrews MP
. The CRC is a collaboration between industry organisations, research universities and the CSIRO. The Federal Government has invested $31 million in the CRC. See speech: Launch of the Rail Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Premier Baird
announced that the Westconnex project is tracking 18 months ahead of schedule
with work on the King Georges Road Interchange underway. See media release: Westconnex Stage 2 begins 18 months early.
The consultation phase of the NSW Government’s independent review into the taxi, hire car and ridesharing market
has commenced. The review is led by Professor Gary Sturgess AM and Tom Parry AM and will explore issues including taxi regulation and the growing ridesharing market. See media release here: Wheels in motion for the future of ‘Point to Point’ transport
. Submission-makers are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org
to register their interest.
Western Australia is heading in a similar direction, with Transport Minister Dean Nalder
inviting public feedback on his taxi green paper which explores the future of WA’s on-demand transport. Media release here: Public comment sought on taxi green paper
Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan
has announced Joe Calafiore as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Transport Accident Commission. See media release here: New TAC Chief Executive Appointed
Also in Victoria, Deputy Premier James Merlino has criticised the Federal Government
for short-changing the State on federal infrastructure spending. The Deputy Premier claims Victorians are receiving $83 per person for major projects over the next five years, while some states receive in excess of $300 per capita. Coverage by The Guardian here: Victoria short-changed in federal infrastructure, says deputy premier
Minister for Health, Sussan Ley
announced number of new appointments to the 13 member National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
. The appointments are for three years and the Minister confirmed Professor Anne Kelso AO as the new Chief Executive. See media release: Appointments to key health and medical research body
also announced this week $541 million to list Lucentis on the PBS
, a treatment for diabetic macular oedema and retinal vein occlusion. The listitng, which took effect from 1 July 2015, will provide access to 18,000 Australians who would otherwise have to pay up to $10,000 for treatment.