Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 418. Updated Tuesday, 15 July 2014

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News in brief

Tribunal website live

The National Native Title Tribunal is launching a new website on Monday 21 July 2014 to ensure information is user friendly and easy to navigate.

The Tribunal said the new website would also contain added elements to provide users with better and more efficient access to native title information and updates, including online access to Native Title Registers and a single search page for native title searches.

There will also be a new statistics page as well as a new subscription service for NativeTitle Vision (NTV).

Subscribers to NTV and other Tribunal updates will be able to create and manage their own login accounts, as well as access maps when conducting native title searches.

The site can be found at this PS News link.

Pay parking for October

The National Capital Authority (NCA) has announced that pay parking in the Canberra suburbs of Parkes, Barton, Acton and the Russell precinct will begin on Wednesday 1 October 2014.

The NCA said pay parking would operate from 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) in Australian Government-owned car parks in the Central National Area, at a cost of $12.00 per day and $2.50 per hour.

Five-day tickets will be available from ticket machines at a cost of $57.50.

Maps of the short and long-stay car parking options are available on the NCA website at this PS News link.

Census website launched

The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) is now officially known as the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC).

The name change has been officially announced through the new AEDC website that has been developed to help parents, schools, researchers and the early childhood sector to better engage with the AEDC and its data collection.

The AEDC collects data on how Australian children are performing in a range of areas such as physical health and wellbeing; social competence; emotional maturity; language and cognitive skills; and communication skills and general knowledge.

The new website can be accessed at this PS News link.

Business Helpline busy

The Fair Work Ombudsman's Small Business helpline , available on 13 13 94, has received more than 100,000 calls since it was established in December last year.

Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson said the helpline was established to help small business people improve their knowledge and operate in line with relevant laws so they feel confident to grow, invest and create jobs.

Small business operators mainly called for assistance and information on wages, modern awards and conditions of employment under the Fair Work Act, he said.

Geoscience mines dataset

From Mafic-Ultramafic Magmatic Events
series for Australia.

Geoscience Australia has released new map data that provides clues for new mineral deposits and will help people better understand the geological evolution of the continent.

The Australian Mafic-Ultramafic Magmatic Events GIS Dataset shows for the first time in a single dataset the distribution of mafic and ultramafic magmatism across Australia.

Mafic and ultramafic rocks host deposits of important minerals such as nickel, platinum group elements (PGE) and chromium.

These minerals are used in industrial processes and high-tech products, including steel making, catalytic converters and batteries.

The dataset is available from Geoscience at this PS News link.

Commission goes to film

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has released five short films that showcase the work of the Commission and reach out to survivors.

The Royal Commission said the purpose of the project was to raise awareness of the Royal Commission within the community and encourage survivors of child sexual abuse to share their story.

The five short films are A safer future for children - outlining the role of the Royal Commission; Share your story - providing information on private sessions; Giving evidence at a public hearing - a guide for witnesses;A safer future for children: for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; and, Share your story: for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The short films are available from the Royal Commission's You Tube channel at this PS News link.

Trachoma tackled

Around $16.5 million is to be spent over four years to prevent and treat trachoma in Indigenous communities in New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash said the funding would renew agreements with the Commonwealth Government and the NSW, NT, SA and WA Governments for additional trachoma screening, treatment, management and prevention activities.

"Eye diseases are a contributing factor to the health and welfare gaps that exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, so eradicating trachoma from Australia is a top priority," she said.

Earlier this week

Live exports assessed

A report from The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) on the Australian livestock export trade has found Australia is the fifth-largest cattle exporter in the world and the second-largest sheep exporter.

The Live Export Trade Assessment report examined the reasons countries continue to demand live imports instead of boxed meat and found that while it is often to do with cultural and religious reasons, it is also because of lack of refrigeration, unsuitability of land and climate for local production.

The study confirmed there were between 8,000 and 10,000 Australians employed in the industry and there were thousands of farms across Australia involved in the trade.

The full report can be accessed at this PS News link.

Restart for older workers

The Department of Employment's Restart program, providing a $10,000 incentive to employers to hire and retain mature age job seekers aged 50 and over who have been in receipt of income support for six months or more, has been launched.

The program, worth $524.8 million over four years, is one of a package of measures aimed at getting more people into employment, including a new Work for the Dole program, relocation assistance and the Job Commitment Bonus.

More information on the Restart program can be found at this PS News link or

Crime rate falling

The annual publication of the Australian Institute of Criminology's Australian Crime: Facts & figures 2013, shows that while the volume and rate of individual crime has fluctuated over the past few years, overall crime in Australia has been decreasing.

Key data shows amphetamine arrests in 2012 increased 30 per cent on the year before; that 25 per cent of all murder victims were killed by an offender armed with a firearm, and there was an increase in online and communications fraud.

The full publication can be accessed at this PS News link.

Questacon celebrates enterprise

Some of Australia's finest innovations and inventions and the people behind them are highlighted in a new exhibition at the Questacon Technology Learning Centre in Canberra.

Questacon's Enterprising Australians exhibition tells the story of 35 products, processes and materials - from the Cochlear implant to a new barley breed for even healthier breakfast cereal - and explores the journey that each inventor took in developing their idea into a marketable, useful product.

Enterprising Australians' opening hours are from10am to 4pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and admission is free.

All clear at Ranger

There have been no adverse environmental impacts on human health or Kakadu National Park as a result of the Ranger uranium mine spill in December 2013, an interim report into the incident has found.

The report, prepared by the independent Supervising Scientist with support from Geoscience Australia, involved extensive tests of air, soil and water in both the creeks and the ground around the mine site.

After cleaning up the spill site and repairing equipment damaged in the incident, the mine operator, ERA, has been approved to restart operations.

The interim report can be accessed at this PS News link.

MoU on money laundering

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with New Zealand aimed at combatting money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) signed the MoU with three New Zealand Government Agencies responsible for supervising reporting entities under New Zealand's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regime.

AUSTRAC and the NZ Agencies have agreed to share administrative information such as risk modelling, regulatory strategies and assessment techniques.

The initiative complements an existing MoU to share financial intelligence data with the New Zealand Financial Intelligence Unit.

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