27 September 2023

News in Brief

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Sessions for APS Bargains open

The Chief negotiator of APS Bargaining, Peter Riordan is running Q&A sessions with APS employees this week and next week to help them become informed of the bargaining package of pay and conditions.

The events will cover key elements of the bargaining package of pay and conditions as well as what happens next in the APS bargaining process as well as giving employees the chance to engage and ask questions about the package on offer.

Three 90-minute sessions via MS Teams are to be held Tuesday 19 September at 2.00pm (AEST); Thursday 21 September at 2.00pm (AEST); and Wednesday 27 September 11.00am (AEST).

Register is required and spaces are limited but a wait list will be set up. The registration can be accessed at this PS News link

ANZSOG Chair winds up

New Zealand Public Service Commissioner, Peter Hughes, has announced he is to retire from the Chair of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government’s (ANZSOG) Board.

Mr Hughes said he would retire on 29 February 2024, allowing ANZSOG the opportunity to start a term with a fresh leadership at its head.

Mr Hughes, who turned 65 last May, said serving as a Public Service Commissioner was the privilege of his life.

AFP crime podcast continues

The second season of the Australian Federal Police’s now available of the award-winning podcast Crime Interrupted continues with Episode Four: Operation Boscobel.

Readers can listen to ‘Crime Interrupted’ for free wherever they get their podcasts.

Search for Crime Interrupted, or follow this PS News link.

FRANZ turns 30

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has marked the 30 years in which three countries have been signatories to the Joint Statement on Disaster Relief Cooperation in the South Pacific.

FRANZ represents France, Australia and New Zealand in a trilateral cooperation arrangement for humanitarian assistance in the Pacific.

According to DFAT, the three countries have been working together for 30 years supporting countries, the most recent Vanuatu in 2023, Tonga in 2022, Papua New Guinea in 2021, and Vanuatu and Fiji in 2020.

Energy operator plans ahead

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has published an outline of the activities it plans to undertake in the 2023–24 financial year to help prepare the National Electricity Market (NEM) for operation at times.

This report seeks to continue the work from its Engineering Roadmap to 100% Renewables, by providing transparency on the specific activities it progressing in FY2024,

AEMO is seeking feedback on the Roadmap Renewals program of work, and encourages stakeholders to provide input on the content included in the report, and how they would like to be engaged in the future.

To provide feedback, a survey is being held which is open until 31 July and the survey, which takes about 5 minutes, can be accessed at this PS New link.

Ministers take on ants!

Agriculture ministers across the country have unanimously committed to keep fighting fight against red imported fire ants, including National Red Imported Fire Ant Eradication Program.

National Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Murray Watt acknowledged the work of the Queensland and New South Wales Governments in containing the spread of fire ants, which are a significant threat to agriculture, biodiversity and public health.

More information is available from the PS News links.

Hostels reach 50

The Australian Government’s business Aboriginal Hostels Limited (AHL) is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The Hostels play an important role in First Nations communities, providing a home away from home with safe, affordable and culturally appropriate accommodation and since 1973 has supported thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Today, there are 42 hostels nation-wide.

NACC on the track!

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) which began its duties on 1 July of this month (a Saturday) and opened for business on 3 July has reported that by its close of business on 4 July, it had received 186 reports via its webform, 44 referrals online and its intake team had taken 116 calls.

The Commission said approximately 60 of the referrals related to matters publicised in the media.

One Stop Shop for clinics open

The new National One Stop Shop for Clinical Trials and Health-related Human Research is now available.

The national health-related human research ICT platform is to provide a coordinated system of approval and reporting processes for human research, including clinical trials in Australia, the National One Stop Shop will transform the ability of patients to access clinical trials and therapeutic interventions.

It will also make it easier for industry, sponsors and researchers, to find, invest and conduct research in Australia.

The consultation report sets out the process to develop a national health-related human research Information and Communication Technology (ICT) platform.

ABC to be heard again in Palau

ABC Radio Australia will be heard in the Republic of Palau for the first time in more than five years.

Under a new Memorandum of Understanding, ABC Radio Australia programs will be carried on the Republic of Palau’s national radio broadcaster, Eco Paradise FM.

International Services Head with the ABC, Claire Gorman acknowledged the support of the Australian Embassy in Koror for brokering the agreement.

“This new partnership is a first step towards the aim of establishing a full FM radio service in Palau, an ABC initiative funded under the Indo-Pacific Broadcasting Strategy,” Ms Gorman said.

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