In December 2010, 41% (250,400) of Victorians not in the labour force (and not on long-term unpaid leave), indicated they would like to return to or start work, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS found that the availability of flexible working arrangements was a key requirement for a majority (83%) of these Victorians, to ensure that work would fit in with family and social commitments.

Part-time work or job-sharing was the flexible working arrangement preferred by 49% of respondents. Additionally, 26% wanted flexible start and finish times, 24% would like to have more convenient access to the workplace (including working from home), and 18% said they needed appropriate child care facilities.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has called for an emergency intervention by the Commonwealth to help the ‘ailing international education sector’ when the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meets.

The Victorian Auditor-General, Des Pearson, has release a report into public sector investment in biotechnology in Victoria, finding that the state government had spent more than $722 million to support the biotechnology industry over the last decade without  adequate performance data on whether strategic aims had been met.

No mining exploration will be allowed in and around urban areas of Queensland, including regional centres such as Ipswich, Toowoomba, Beaudesert, Rockhampton, Mackay and St George Queensland, after a new policy was considered by the Queensland Cabinet.

The NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, has announced the review of the NSW Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) model will be undertaken by agricultural and energy economic consultant, Terry Ryan.

Legislation for the development of a second Victorian container port has passed through State Parliament, enabling the appointment of a Port of Hastings Development Authority.

Pressure is mounting on state and Federal governments to place stricter controls on the development of coal seam gas fields over agricultural land and townships.

The Tasmanian Premier, Lara Giddings, has released the Preliminary Outcomes Report 2010-11 which shows that the Net Operating Balance for the state is expected to be a deficit of $29 million.

The Victorian Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan has announced the appointment of Lachlan Bruce as the new Chief Executive of Regional Development Victoria (RDV).

The Western Australian Government has established five Local Health Networks to guide and oversee hospitals and health services across the State.

A new government services facility is to be built on the former QUT Carseldine Campus that will house up to 1000 Queensland public servants relocated from inner city Brisbane from the end of 2012.

"The Metropolitan Waste Management Group will work closely with local government to help identify practical projects that will enable councils to tackle waste reduction and improved resource recovery in their communities," he said.

The Federal Government has announced that it will start work immediately with states and territories on measures that will build the foundations for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, following the release of the Productivity Commission's final report into the matter.

Funding of  $4.5 million has been awarded to the Defence Teaming Centre to create 2,300 new training places to boost skills and qualifications for South Australia's defence industries.

The South Australian Government has announced a ten-year funding agreement for the state’s libraries after Minister Assisting the Premier in the Arts John Hill and Local Government Association President Major Kym McHugh signed a co-funding agreement.

A nine-member Reference Group has been established by the Tasmanian Government to investigate the viability of Tasmanian Government schools.

The Tasmanian Minister for Health, Michelle O’Byrne, has announced a further $25 million in health budget savings measures as part of the $100 million of required savings from the state’s $1.7 billion health and human services budget. The latest cost cutting takes the the savings announced since the State Budget to more than $70 million.

An inquiry into improving the economic and social development in Central Western NSW Communities is being conducted by the State Development Committee of the NSW Legislative Council.

A public consultation process has been opened  on a draft bill to set up new Tasmanian Health Organisations.

A new ministerial-level Maritime Advisory Council is to be established in NSW under legislation introduced by Minister for Roads and Ports, Duncan Gay.

Mr Gay said the Council would provide expert and independent advice to the Minister on boating safety, as well as monitoring boating crash statistics and trends, and advising on expenditure priorities.

The Council will be independently chaired, and will include representation from the major recreational boating and commercial vessel sectors.

"Sitting under the new integrated transport agency, Transport for NSW, this new advisory council will set new standards for transparency and accountability," the Minister said.

"One of the first priorities for the Council will be to help develop a policy agenda for safety reforms, access to waterways, and boat storage.

"These three challenges have been squarely laid at our door and I'm looking to the Council, key boating groups, and everyone who enjoys boating of any kind to help solve these problems," Mr Gay said.

Full details of the council are expected to be announced before October.

The Queensland Government and Energy Skills Queensland (ESQ) are working together to prepare 100 jobseekers in South East Queensland for work on the National Broadband Network roll out and the Digital TV switch-over.

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