Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Ian Watt has announced the establishment of “Deregulation Units” in every Australian Government department to reduce the “net regulatory burden on businesses and individuals by at least $1 billion a year”, reports PS News. Watt has also suggested that the Australian Public Service (APS) begin adapting to a more constrained fiscal environment ahead of the release of the Commission of Audit report. “A change of Government is an opportunity to reassess what we do and how we do it. We should not pass up that opportunity, not wait for the Audit Commission, but rather anticipate and get ahead of the curve,” he said in an address to the APS.
Vodafone Australia CEO Bill Morrow has been named as the new CEO of NBN Co. A Strategic Review on the future of the NBN rollout was recently handed down to the Government, and the company will now begin work on delivering a revised broadband model that will combine fibre to the node, fibre to the premise, fixed wireless and satellite technology, and aim to cover around 90 per cent of Australians by 2020.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has announced ministerial changes that include the appointment of Anthony Roberts as Special Minister of State and Minister for Resources and Energy. Stuart Ayres is the new Minister for Fair Trading, as well as the Minister Assisting the Premier on Western Sydney. Former Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher has been announced as the new Minister for the Central Coast, and George Souris will be the new Minister for the Hunter.
Western Australia’s new mandatory whole-of-government common use arrangement (CUA) for Printing and Copying Machines and Solutions went live on 12 December 2013. The new CUA replaces the outgoing arrangement for Business Machines and Consumables, and expands on its offerings through the addition of a managed printing services category. The remaining four categories are for multifunction devices and consumables, printers and associated consumables, faxes and associated consumables, and brokerage services for consumables. Suppliers under the final category are still being evaluated, with the category expected to become available in coming weeks.
The Western Australian Department of Fire and Emergency Services is rolling out its $5.6 million Aurora fire prediction, detection, simulation and early warning system for the bushfire season. The development of the “Australian-first bushfire prediction system” began in September 2009, and its 2013 implementation follows a three-year trial.
The Queensland Government in partnership with Google has made public transport information accessible through Google Transit, which “works by combining TransLink’s network data with Google Maps, integrating transit stops, public transport routes, schedules and fare information”, according to Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson. Google Transit currently provides information for around 1,500 Queensland train, bus and ferry services.
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