The South Australian Government has announced it has approved a key policy document that will help shape the Lower Limestone Coast’s Water Allocation Plan.


State Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Paul Caica presented the South East Natural Resources Management Board with the Lower Limestone Coast Water Allocation Plan Policy Principles at a key meeting in Mount Gambier earlier this week.


“These Policy Principles will guide the South East Natural Resources Management Board in developing the Lower Limestone Coast’s water allocation plan,” Mr Caica said.


“The State Government is committed to managing this region’s precious water resources sustainably and we are working with the South East community to strike a fair balance between the needs of all users and the environment through a new water allocation plan.


“Importantly, the Policy Principles provide direction for drafting the new water allocation plan, including the management of forest water impacts.”


Mr Caica said a Government Taskforce worked with a Stakeholder Reference Group comprising representatives from the forestry, wine, dairy, potato and dryland farming industries, and the South Australian Farmers Federation to develop the Policy Principles.


“The community also had their say on water management in this region during a four week consultation period on the Policy Principles and the feedback received has significantly influenced the final paper,’’ Mr Caica said.


The Policy Paper is available at


Victoria’s Auditor-General has released a report into the performance of the state’s public transport facilities, finding inadequate funding levels and a disappointing effort by the previous government to properly estimate the boom in patronage.

The Victorian Government has released the findings from the review into Sustainability Victoria (SV), which State Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith says will help chart a course for a more effective investment in waste reduction and improved energy measures.

The struggle between the Victorian and Commonwealth governments over alpine grazing is continuing after the Victorian Government has requested the Federal Court to review the recent decision by the Commonwealth Environment Minister Tony Burke to stop a research trial into the use of strategic cattle grazing as a bushfire risk mitigation and fuel reduction tool in Victoria's high country.

The South Australian Government has passed legislation that will ban mining in the state’s Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary after the legislation was successfully passed by the Upper House.

Construction has begun on the $42 million Black Rock Recycled Water Plant, which the Federal Government says will significantly improve the Victorian surf coast growth corridor long-term water security.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, said the new infrastructure would recycle and treat water that would otherwise be discharged into Bass Strait.

“The plant will produce high quality recycled water to support new residential developments and expanding areas of the surf coast growth corridor, such as Armstrong Creek and north Torquay,” Senator Farrell said.

“This will save up to three billion litres of water each year and reduce the need for drinking water to be used to water gardens, flush toilets or irrigate sports fields. The plant will have capacity to produce enough recycled water to offset the volume of drinking water currently used for irrigation in the area by up to ten percent.”

The Australian Government has invested $10 million in the project through the Water for the Future initiative under the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns program. This funding is in addition to $10 million committed by the Australian Government to assist in the construction of a pipeline to transport recycled water to developments in the Torquay growth corridor.

Councils in western NSW have united in their concern over the state of regional and local roads and roads funding at the Annual Conference of the Western Division Councils of NSW in Broken Hill, raising it with various Ministers and calling for continued action.

The NSW Government has released a discussion paper as part of the process to develop the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan that will address key transport challenges that face the State over the next 20 years.

Submissions to the NSW Government’s issues paper on the NSW Planning System Review, entitled, The way ahead for planning in NSW?,  are due by 2 March.

The Victorian Government has criticised as inequitable the  Commonwealth Grants Commission 2012 Update of GST Relativities, and called for reform of the existing formula.

The ACT Emergency Services Agency (ESA) Commissioner will be given stronger emergency coordination powers through a Bill introduced by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Simon Corbell.

Attorney General Christian Porter has announced the permanent appointment of Grant Donaldson SC as the Solicitor General for Western Australia.

Mr Porter said the Governor had approved Mr Donaldson’s appointment and he would begin his new role on Monday February 27.

“Mr Donaldson’s varied breadth and quality of legal and courtroom experience make him an ideal permanent appointment to the position,” the Attorney General said.

“He has an appreciation of wider public policy issues as well as experience in commercial, private and criminal law litigation.”

Mr Donaldson will replace Robert Mitchell SC, who has been acting in the role since June 2011. The former Solicitor General, Mr Robert Meadows QC, retired from the position on July 18, 2011.

Mr Donaldson was admitted to practice in WA in 1987, having completed a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from The University of WA, and a Bachelor of Civil Law from Oxford University. He was the WA Rhodes Scholar in 1986. Since 1998, Mr Donaldson SC has practised as a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2004.

Mr Donaldson’s salary, as determined by the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal, has been adjusted to take into account the retention of his right to limited private practice.

The Attorney General said this was a slight change to previous practice, which was based on the system in Queensland, and had been designed to allow Government to attract the most senior counsel from the bar, as in Mr Donaldson’s case.

Funding for the appointment has already been allocated to the Department of the Attorney General.

The WA Government claims it has more than halved the amount of unused state government office space.

The Western Australian Acting Planning Minister Troy Buswell has released a draft revised policy and new guidelines for public consultation following a full review of the State Coastal Planning Policy.

The South Australian Government has launched a new program to fund employers up to 90 per cent of the cost of training in industries with skills shortages in jobs critical to the State’s future economic growth.

The Victorian Government has announced it will shed hundreds of jobs from the Department of Human Services (DHS), which will form part of the 3,600 jobs that will be cut from the Victorian public service over the next two years.

The NSW Commission of Audit’s interim report on public sector management has been released, finding that “generally managerial performance is far from excellent.”

The Climate Commission has released a report, The Critical Decade: Tasmanian impacts and opportunities, which warns that changes in Tasmania’s climate will have far-reaching implications for industries including agriculture, tourism, electricity generation, fisheries, as well as for biodiversity and human health.

The Federal and South Australian Governments have announced a partnership focused on reforming the state’s vocational education and training (VET) system.

The Queensland Government has launched its masterplan for the coming 20 year Warrego Highway Upgrade Strategy.

The Victorian Government has announced a record amount of planning and development activity in the state, with a record number of permit decisions valued at $23.2 billion announced in 2010-11, representing a 29.4 per cent increase on the previous year.

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