The South Australian Government has handed down its Budget for 2012-13, with Treasurer Jack Snelling announcing broad cuts to the public service as his Government aims to restore surplus in 2015-16.

Mr Snelling delivered the $284 million deficit budget after the state declared a "record revenue write down."

The State's Budget will see some 1,000 full time equivalent positions cut from the state's public service, which will save the state an estimated $160 million over four years.

The South Australian Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department for Water will form a single agency after the State Government handed down its 2012-13 Budget.

The South Australian Government has announced it will cut 1000 full time equivalent positions from its public sector over the next three years, while setting greater efficiency targets.

The Victorian Government is urging the public to submit their comments on the future of the state’s water management fter a number of the sate’s water aurthorities released consultation papers on their draft water plans.

The Federal Government has announced ‘reward’ funding of more than $147 million for States and Territories for their progress in literacy and numeracy targets.

The Victorian Government has appointed Greg Garde QC as a judge of the Supreme Court and President of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).


Attorney-General Robert Clark said Mr Garde's extensive legal background and wide experience made him an ideal candidate both to serve on the Supreme Court and to lead a large and diverse tribunal.


"Mr Garde has 37 years' experience at the Bar, practising in a broad range of commercial law areas as well as planning, environmental and local government law, and being appointed as Queen's Counsel in 1989," Mr Clark said.


"Mr Garde has also lectured in constitutional and administrative law and served as Chairman of the Environmental, Planning and Local Government Law Section of the Commercial Bar Association.


"In addition, Mr Garde has more than four decades of distinguished military service. He initially enlisted in the Melbourne University Regiment in 1967 and has undertaken a wide range of responsible and demanding roles, as well as service to veterans and their families," Mr Clark said.


Mr Garde rose to the rank of Major General and from 2001 to 2004 served as Chief of Reserves and Head of Reserve Policy, the highest position for a reserve officer in the Australian Defence Force.


Mr Garde was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1995 for exceptional service to the Army Reserve, and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2005 for distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force Reserves.


Mr Garde's appointment to the Supreme Court takes effect immediately. His appointment as President of VCAT will take effect from Friday 1 June.


Mr Clark also thanked Judge John Bowman for his contribution as the acting President of VCAT during the past three months.

The Federal Government has announced it will provide over $170 million in funding to state and territory governments in reward payments for their progress in national teacher quality reforms. The funding forms part of the $550 million Smarter Schools National Partnership for Improving Teacher Quality.

The Federal Government has announced $47 million in reward funding under the National Partnership on Youth Attainment and Transitions.

The Queensland Government has announced plans to significantly cut the state’s green tape, saying that the surrounding bureaucracy has ‘suffocated small business and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.”

The South Australian Government has announced $8.3 million over four years for the implementation of an Advanced Manufacturing Strategy. The State Government announced the move after recommendations were made in the Manufacturing into the future report compiled by Thinker-in-Residence Professor Göran Roos.

The South Australian Government has released five regional implementation plans that map out the state’s long-term priorities for health services in regional and rural South Australia. The five plans outline the first three years of action on the recommendations of individual Health Advisory Councils across the state.

The Victorian Government has officially opened the state’s new $4.8 million biodiesel at Shell’s Newport Terminal.

The Queensland Government has given conditional approval for the $6.4 billion Alpha Coal Project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, the first mine in the region.

The Tasmanian Government has granted a mining lease for the long awaited Livingstone project near Tullah, in the state’s north-west.

The Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) has released changes to its Basin Plan to ministers as part of the Authority’s process of developing the finalised plan.

The Federal Government has announced a one-off $20 million funding boost to assist Tasmania’s exporters reach international markets.

The Victorian Government has announced it has chosen a preferred framework for development contribution plans.

The Queensland Coordinator-General has announced the approval of Rio Tinto’s planned $1.45 billion South of the Embley bauxite mining extension on Cape York. The project is expected to enxtend the life of the bauxite mining operations for another 40 years.

Australia’s consulting engineering, architecture and associated industries are set to experience a chaotic next three years with continual restructures required in order to remain globally competitive, according to Consult Australia’s 2012 Economic Forecast report.

The Report, written by former BHP Chief Economist, Geoffrey Bills is considered one of the industry’s most valuable economic predictors and is used by many of Australia’s largest firms, including Parsons Brinkerhoff, SMEC, Hyder, GHD and AECOM.

In the short-term, the Report forecasts a fairly rosy future for the industry.

The backlog of work in engineering construction is set to sustain high levels of activity until 2016 with firms operating in this space expected to experience 22 per cent growth over the next 12 months.

Consult Australia CEO, Megan Motto said this signifies a welcome commitment to infrastructure development in the short-term but warned it wasn’t all good news.

The NSW Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Dubai International Finance Centre Authority Dubai to work closer together to grow their banking and financial services sectors.

The South Australian Government has passed its TAFE SA Statutory Authority Bill through the state’s House of Assembly, a major step in the state’s Skills for All reform.

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