And in Other News...Support for terror victims
The Federal Government is changing the regulations regarding financial assistance to the victims of terrorism, such as the Bali bombings, to make them retrospective.
Compensation of up to $75,000 will benefit about 300 individuals and families and will cost about $30 million. Payments under the scheme will not replace existing support and benefits available to victims.
The Department of Human Services will administer the payments and will set up a system to receive applications from claimants. Claims can be made from 21 October.
More information is available through the Department of Human Services at www.humanservices.gov.au.
Forum on mobile networks
The Australian Communications and Media Authority is holding a public forum on consumers’ understanding and experience of mobile network performance.
A discussion paper identifies areas for focus at the forum. It explores the factors that shape consumer perceptions of good and bad mobile network performance; key technical aspects of mobile performance and network management and the information currently available to Australian consumers about the performance of mobile networks.
The forum, to be held in Melbourne on 14 November, is open to the public, but registrations are essential. Members of the public can also take part online.
For more information go this PS News link.
Diwali gifts caution urged
The Department of Agriculture is encouraging people to be mindful of Australia’s biosecurity requirements when asking for customary Diwali gifts from overseas.
The Diwali Festival will be observed from 3 to 7 November in Australia and was a good opportunity to remind family and friends overseas about Australia’s strict biosecurity requirements.
Items considered a biosecurity risk include Indian sweets (mithai) such as barfi, ras malai and pedas, products containing dairy, fresh and dried fruit, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and tea, plants, flowers and plant material.
Items that do not pose a biosecurity risk that family and friends can send during Diwali include fabric, gold or silver beads and coins, personalised photo items and artificial flowers.
For more information, download the Arriving in Australia – Declare It! brochure.
Scholarships fly again
Two RAAF-sponsored scholarships are aimed at encouraging the development of young female pilots.
The scholarships, available through the Australian Women Pilots’ Association (AWPA), are open to female pilots up to 24 years of age.
This is the third year that the RAAF has sponsored the Formation or Aerobatic Endorsement Scholarship and the AWPA Navigation Component Scholarship.
Applications are now open and will need to be submitted by 31 January 2014.
Further information and application forms are available from the Australian Women Pilots’ Association website: www.awpa.org.au
World Heritage proposal
A potential World Heritage nomination for Sydney's Royal National Park is to be considered by Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt and NSW Environment Minister, Robyn Parker
Ms Parker said the nomination of Royal National Park and adjacent reserves for World Heritage listing deserved to be examined.
"This was Australia's first national park and only the second in the world - that in itself makes this special place very significant historically and culturally,” Ms Parker said.
Earlier this week Rural innovation awards
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce has launched a rural innovation awards program aimed at young Australians.
Open to Australians aged 18 to 35 years, the Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry offer grants to assist in keeping Australia’s agricultural industries sustainable, competitive and innovative.
Young Australians can now apply for grants of up to $22,000 across a range of categories in the agriculture, fisheries, forestry, food and natural resource management sectors.
Applications for the 2014 Science and Innovation Awards close on 8 November 2013.
For further information and application forms visit this PS News link.
AFP airport centre opens
The new AFP Aviation Operations Centre at Melbourne Airport has opened.
The Melbourne facility is the sixth AFP Aviation Operations Centre to be unveiled across Australia's major airports.
The new facilities include an Emergency Operations Centre, Airport Police Operations Centre, muster rooms and training facilities, exhibit handling facilities and interview rooms.
To date, new AFP Aviation facilities including office accommodation and canine facilities have been built at Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney, with design or construction currently under way at Cairns, Gold Coast, Hobart and Perth.
Research ship to be sold
Australia’s Marine National Facility research vessel, Southern Surveyor, is to be sold by open tender on the international market, in the lead-up to the arrival of its replacement, RV Investigator.
The Director of the Marine National Facility, Ron Plaschke, said the research achievements onboard Southern Surveyor have not only been to Australia's benefit, but also understanding the global importance of our surrounding seas and oceans.
"The 42 year old Southern Surveyoris a former North Sea trawler converted into a research vessel and, while being well maintained, the ability to carry a wide range of scientific equipment and larger scientific teams is becoming increasingly limiting," Mr Plaschke said.
"It will be a sad day when Southern Surveyor is sold and departs from Hobart, but there is growing excitement about the upcoming arrival of the replacement vessel Investigator."
Domestic violence statistics
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released the updated Directory of Family and Domestic Violence Statistics.
Aimed at improving the evidence base for family, domestic and sexual violence, the 2013 directory provides a detailed analysis of national and State and Territory data collections, encompassing both survey and administrative systems data.
The directory is part of a broader project being conducted by the ABS in partnership with the National Centre for Excellence to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children as part of the Commonwealth's national plan.
To view the Directory go to www.abs.gov.au
Edition 382, 8 October 2013