And in Other News...Production companies funded
The fifth round of Screen Australia’s Enterprise Program has been announced with $2.4 million in support to four production companies.
The companies are: Carbon Media Pty Ltd (Wayne Denning); Eye Spy Productions Pty Ltd T/A Northern Pictures (David Haslingden, Sue Clothier, Sandy Cameron); Porchlight Films Pty Ltd (Anita Sheehan, Liz Watts, Vincent Sheehan) and The Feds Australia Pty Ltd (Elizabeth Nash, Michael Cook).
Further details on the 2013 Enterprise Program recipients are available at this PS News link.
People in NSW who have been severely affected by the current bushfires now have access to the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA).
Eligible people in the Local Government Areas of Blue Mountains, Lake Macquarie, Lithgow, Muswellbrook, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, Wyong and Wingecarribee can claim assistance for income lost due to the fires.
The DRA provides payments for up to 13 weeks equivalent to the maximum rate of Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance for eligible Australian residents.
Fees will be waived for those seeking to replace current passports lost or destroyed in the bushfires.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will streamline processing of the replacement passports which will have the same expiry date as the original.
Assistance will also be provided to those who, because of the bushfires, have lost important personal documentation that would be required for applications for new or renewing existing passports.
Vessels found to be illegally fishing after being apprehended in Northern Australian waters recently have been destroyed.
The boats, from Indonesia, were intercepted on 11 October with a quantity of fresh reef fish species found on board.
They were burned to eliminate any possibility of biosecurity risks.
Health research funded
Health and medical research in Australia has received more than $559 million in funding covering 963 grants across three National Health and Medical Research Council research support schemes and five fellowship schemes.
The projects include finding better treatments for many common diseases such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, arthritis and cardiovascular disease as well as finding new ways of tackling mental illness, dementia and Indigenous health.
For more information on the grants go to this PS News link.
A partnership involving the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Olympic Committee and the Australian Paralympic Committee has been launched with the aim of ensuring Australian athletes have the best possible planning and preparation ahead of the Olympic Games in Brazil in 2016.
The partnership, called Campaign Rio, will be run by a group consisting of executives from the three organisations. It will hold two high-performance management forums each year.
New exploration permits
Offshore petroleum exploration permits have been granted in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia and South Australia.
The new permits are part of the second round of the 2012 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release.
Further information on specific permits can be found at http://www.nopta.gov.au/neats.html and on acreage release at http://www.petroleum-acreage.gov.au/.
Less uni red tape wanted
The Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) has been ordered to simplify the paperwork and regulations associated with the higher education sector.
Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne said he was determined to implement recommendations from the Review of Higher Education Regulation.
“This includes improving how TEQSA consults with universities and more broadly across the higher education sector,” Mr Pyne said.
“The findings of the review confirm my opinion that deregulation can happen across the sector without compromising quality standards.”
Earlier this weekInsulin pump funding
Funding of $1.4 million to help children with Type 1 Diabetes gain access to an insulin pump that helps them manage their disease has been announced.
The funding will provide insulin pump subsidies for an additional 136 children under the Type 1 Diabetes Insulin Pump Program.
In addition to the 68 pumps already available under the program, this will now benefit more than 200 children and their families over the next year.
Quest for top students
Nominations are now open for the 2013 Australian Vocational Student Prize (AVSP).
Schools have until 29 November to nominate their top Year 12 students for the 2013 AVSP, which includes the Prime Minister’s Award for Skills Excellence in School.
For more information, including how to nominate, visit this PS News link.
Nine million on register
The total of Australian telephone numbers on the Do Not Call Register has passed nine million - including two thirds of Australian households with a fixed-line home phone and nearly four million mobiles.
One million new numbers have been added in the past 12 months.
The register is administered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
To register (or to lodge a complaint) go to the Do Not Call Register.
Edition 399, 04 March 2014