Archived News for Professionals in State Government - May, 2012
The Climate Commission has published a NSW specific section of its Critical Decade report, detailing the expected impacts of climate change on the state.
The report found that the state is becoming hotter and drier, with record breaking hot days having doubled since 1960, and the number of days above 30 degrees almost doubling.
The report also found that while wet periods are expected, the norm will trend towards declining rainfall, jeopardizing Sydney’s water security.
Engineers Australia has called for urgent action to help counter the ‘unbalancing effect’ of the dramatic expansion of the resources sector within Western Australia.
The Australian Government is seeking public input to help develop a new strategy for the identification, management and celebration of Australia’s heritage.
The Queensland Government has announced a new wages framework providing pay increases of up to 3 per cent to public servants in return for productivity savings.
Western Australian Treasurer Christian Porter has announced that Expressions of Interest will be sought for the provision of the Government Employees Superannuation Board’s (GESB) administrative services.
Mr Porter said the move followed the decision to allow State Government employees to choose their super fund from March 30, 2012, the central reform recommended in the Whithear Review.
“As a result of this choice reform - which has been overwhelmingly supported by public sector employees - GESB will not have the economies of scale to offer the most cost effective administration services in the long run,” he said.
“If GESB is prevented from exploring options to lower the cost of providing administrative services, the effect could be higher costs to those who do choose to remain with GESB.”
Mr Porter said procuring administrative services from a specialist external provider would be aimed at achieving lower costs to members. Outsourcing should also enable GESB to keep pace with the many superannuation reforms and other challenges in a rapidly changing industry.
Mr Porter said many super funds across the industry were currently procuring administration services from external providers to minimise operating costs and gain efficiencies through economies of scale.
“The Government is undertaking this reform so that GESB will be able to ensure their administrative costs are competitive,” he said.
Mr Porter said the provision of GESB’s superannuation administration services was expected to appeal to the market and should result in better outcomes for both existing members and future State employees, primarily from competitive fees and services to members, particularly over the longer term as the superannuation industry continued to consolidate these services.
“This opportunity to compete for the provision of these services offers the market an exciting opportunity to engage with the State and GESB in these reforms to maintain competitive services to members,” he said.
Invitations for Expression of Interest for provision of administrative services will be issued to the market in June and it is anticipated that transition to new superannuation administration service arrangements will begin in the second half of 2013.
Budget allocations in the Transport and Infrastructure portfolio have included funding to continue evaluation of the High Speed Rail project and support for National Transport Regulator reforms.
The Federal Budget has withdrawn the Australian Government’s 2009-10 Budget commitment to provide $50.0 million from the Building Australia Fund to the proposed Darwin Port Expansion project, redirecting the funds for road projects in the Northern Territory.
The Western Australian Government has expressed its concerns over the expected cut to GST revenue, with Premier Colin Barnett saying up to $500 million is expected to be removed from the state’s coffers.
The Victorian Government has announced a major overhaul and substantial changes to the deployment of staff of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) with the aim of refocusing it towards delivering research and development to rural stakeholders.
The Federal Government has announced a $3.56 billion injection into the Nation Building Program, which, if matched by the NSW Government, could see the completion of the full duplication of the Pacific Highway by the end of 2016.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Select Council on Climate Change has reached a bipartisan agreement for a national approach to reforming climate change policies and programs.
The Queensland Government has announced a new wages framework providing pay increases of up to 3 per cent to public servants in return for productivity savings that deliver better services and value for money for Queensland taxpayers.
The Victorian Government has announced a $10 million spending allocation to create the Office of Living Victoria, which will be responsible for overhauling the urban water system to make greater use of stormwater, rainwater and recycled water.
The New South Wales Senate’s General Purpose Standing Committee No. 5 has published a report into the environmental, economic and social impacts of coal seam gas (CSG) mining in NSW, delivering 35 recommendations for Government action.