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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 399. Updated Tuesday, 04 March 2014

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News in brief

Public forum for NCA

The National Capital Authority (NCA)'s annual public forum is on Thursday 3 April, 6pm to 9pm at the Canberra Business Event Centre

Topics for discussion can be related to any part of the NCA's work - from planning and caring for the areas of national importance, through to educating Australians about the city.

Chief Executive, Malcolm Snow will attend and the public are invited to ask questions to the Authority members and NCA executive team.

Registrations close Wednesday 26 March, and can be made at this PS News link.

 

Committee to examine 'green tape'

The House of Representatives Environment Committee will hold an inquiry into streamlining environmental regulation, "green tape", and one-stop shops for environmental assessments and approvals.

The inquiry will look at jurisdictional arrangements, regulatory requirements and the potential for deregulation, and the balance between regulatory burdens and environmental benefits.

For details about how to make a submission go to this PS News link.

 

Airservices extends Pacific cooperation

Australia's air traffic management provider, Airservices has renewed long-term partnerships with the Republic of Nauru and the Solomon Islands Government to provide air traffic management in the Pacific.

The Agency will continue to provide upper air navigation services until 2023 in Nauru and until 2018 in the Solomon Islands, while both nations will manage their own lower airspace.

 

Faster overseas adoptions

The process of adoption from Taiwan and South Korea will be quicker for Australian families with the passing of new laws that cut out the 12-month wait.

Adoption orders issued in the two countries can now be recognised automatically.

Families will also be able immediately to apply for citizenship for their child on arrival in Australia.

 

Fresh look at documentary guidelines

Screen Australia has announced it will revise its program guidelines for funding documentary programs.

The Chief Executive of Screen Australia, Graeme Mason, said it was seeking input from the industry and documentary-making community on the best ways to reach audiences, the opportunities created by new platforms and the best ways to ensure that quality documentaries continue to be made.

For more information, go to this PS News link.

 

Earlier this week

Committee to examine 'green tape'

The House of Representatives Environment Committee will conduct an inquiry into streamlining environmental regulation, so-called green tape, and one-top shops for environmental assessments and approvals.

The committee will look at jurisdictional arrangements, regulatory requirements and the potential for deregulation; and the balance between regulatory burdens and environmental benefits.

It will also look at areas for improved efficiency and effectiveness of the regulatory framework; and legislation governing environmental regulation, and the potential for deregulation.

For further details about how to make a submission go to this PS News link.

 

CRS offices close

Sixteen offices of CRS, formerly known as the Commonwealth Rehabilitation Service Australia, closed on Friday, 28 February 2014 when a long-running contract ended, resulting in the loss of more than 80 jobs.

Deputy National President of the Community and Public Sector Union, Lisa Newman, said closing CRS offices will leave some of the most vulnerable Australians with little chance of getting back into work.

The CRS started 70 years ago helping veterans from World War II return to civilian life and they have helped countless Australians since.

CRS clients are to be handed to private companies.

 

Closer ties with the Netherlands

A Declaration of Intent establishing a Strategic Dialogue to promote greater cooperation on global security and economic issues has been signed between Australia and the Netherlands.

The Netherlands was Australia's fourth-largest source of Foreign Direct Investment in 2012, and is Australia's second-largest export destination in Europe, after the United Kingdom.

 

R&D advisory committee members sought

The Rural Industries R&D Corporation (RIRDC) is seeking applications for several positions on its New and Developing Plant Industries RD&E Advisory Committee.

The Committee provides recommendations on the allocation of research, development and extension funding for the RIRDC New and Developing Plant Industries RD&E Program.
Submissions close at 5pm on Friday, 14 March 2014.

For further information contact Isobel Whiting-Davis at RIRDC:

isobel.whiting-davis@rirdc.gov.au.

 

Scholarship winner

Louise Clunies-Ross is the inaugural winner of the Beryl Wilson Austrade Scholarship for Women in International Business.

The scholarship was named in honour of Beryl Wilson, a pioneer of Australian women in international business who was Australia's first female Trade Commissioner.

The Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, said Ms Clunies-Ross, who has a background in biomedical science and the pharmaceutical industry, would make an excellent ambassador for women in international business.

 

Slimming capsules warning

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued a warning against the purchase of Beautiful Slim Body capsules.

It has found they contain sibutramine, a prescription-only substance that was withdrawn after a study showed an increased risk of major cardiac events.

The label on the capsules claims that it is "100% herbal extracts" and contains no medicines.

Supply of Beautiful Slim Body capsules is illegal, but TGA investigations have shown that people in Australia may have bought the product online.

 

AFP on Twitter

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has expanded its social media presence with the launch of the @AFPNatMedia Twitter feed.

The feed is another channel for journalists to access all AFP media release content.

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