And in Other News...Seeking a better PS
A Research Day, aimed at offering perspectives on organisational capability, individual and organisational performance and productivity, is being organised by the Institute of Public Administration Australia and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.
The event, in Canberra on 22 November after IPAA's national conference, will focus on the theme of Serving Australia in the 21st Century, highlighted through the sub-themes of productivity and innovation; agility and resilience; and crossing boundaries - broadly summarised as smarter, better, broader.
Catering for better skills
A $7 million training project is aimed at boosting skills in the restaurants and catering industry.
The project is a partnership between the Australian Government and the peak national body, Restaurant and Catering Australia, and is expected to train more than 1,200 workers over two years, including 500 apprentices, 325 trainee chefs and 400 managers.
Tweets case for Fair Work
The Fair Work Commission is to hear the complaint of a PS staffer sacked for posting tweets critical of her Department.
Michaela Banerji has lost three different applications to have a stay on her dismissal, the last of which was rejected in the Federal Court in late September.
Ms Banerji, who has legal training and is representing herself, said there was mutual agreement for her to discontinue her appeal and instead take the matter to the Fair Work Commission.
A conference is expected to take place before the Commission in November.
Heritage grants announced
The 2013 Community Heritage Grants (CHG) include funding of $426,000 for 78 grants for 77 community groups and organisations.
The History Trust of South Australia is receiving two grants.
The groups include museums, libraries, archives, historical societies, art galleries and Indigenous organisations. They will receive funds to assist in the preservation of community-owned but nationally-significant heritage collections.
The list of recipients can be viewed at this PS News link.
Additions to PBS
A total of 50 new and amended medicines and technologies to treat cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and a range of other debilitating diseases will be added to the
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The medicines are expected to benefit about 230,000 people who would not otherwise been able to afford them.
A full list of all of the approved medicines and price changes are available at the PBS website.
Earlier this weekSport an export player
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has reported that sport and recreation industries generated $12.8 billion in income and employed around 134,000 Australians in 2011-12.
Australia exported more than $358 million in sport and recreation goods in 2012-13, up 26 per cent from the previous year with Singapore as a major destination.
Further details are inValue of Sport, Australia, 2013 (cat. no. 4156.0.55.002) which is available for free download from the ABS website, www.abs.gov.au.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand is advising consumers not to use dietary supplements labelled OxyELITE Pro.
The United States Food and Drug Administration is investigating whether OxyELITE Pro supplements are linked to an outbreak of acute non-viral hepatitis in Hawaii.
Australian health authorities have been alerted to be on the lookout for acute cases of non-viral hepatitis.
Easing coal congestion
The construction of five new railway tracks, designed to get coal to Newcastle Port more efficiently by easing rail congestion, is about to begin.
The new railway tracks will allow trains to be temporarily diverted off main tracks while they wait to enter the loading facilities at Newcastle Port.
The five tracks will each be about two kilometres in length and able to hold two or three locomotives and up to 90 wagons on each length of track.
Construction is scheduled to take 15 months.
Crime fighting cooperation
The Australian Crime Commission and New Zealand Customs Service have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) allowing both countries to share information and intelligence on the highest criminal risks.
Acting CEO of the Australian Crime Commission, Paul Jevtovic and NZ Customs Comptroller, Carolyn Tremain signed the MOU in Canberra.
This agreement also follows the Australian and New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency Protocol on Information Sharing for Organised Crime, in which law enforcement Agencies from Australia and New Zealand are signatories.
Edition 385, 29 October 2013