26 September 2023

PS from the PaSt: 16 – 22 May 2012

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1. This week 10 years ago, the Yanyuwa Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) was declared over 130,000 hectares of the Gulf of Carpentaria, including the Sir Edward Pellew Islands and areas of world conservation significance supporting large numbers of nesting sites for green and flatback turtles and seabirds.

Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon said the declaration was a celebration of the Yanyuwa people’s connection with country.

“The Yanyuwa Rangers … do invaluable work in looking after this spectacular country — bringing conservation benefits to all Australians, as well as significant spin-off benefits for the health and wellbeing of local Aboriginal communities,” Mr Snowdon said.

2. Victorian Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Peter Ryan announced the Statewide introduction of fixed public sirens and Country Fire Authority (CFA) Brigade sirens to alert communities to all emergency incidents including bushfires, storms and floods.

Mr Ryan said the new policy built on recommendations from the Bushfires Royal Commission Interim Report.

“This policy, which will be in place prior to the next bushfire season, will add value to Victoria’s existing network of 600 community and CFA sirens, which are currently underutilised,” Mr Ryan said.

“It provides an additional tool for emergency services to practically and effectively warn people about impending danger.”

3. The Federal Government released a draft national curriculum for Year 11 and 12 students for public comment.

Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett said all Year 11 and 12 students would study and be assessed against the same curriculum under the first national Senior Secondary Curriculum.

“We’re delivering the first ever national curriculum, meaning students from Tasmania to the Top End will learn the same things and be assessed against the same achievement standards,” Mr Garrett said.

“It provides every Australian student with a common learning entitlement, makes clear what they need to learn as they progress through school and lays the basis for high-quality teaching in every classroom.”

4. South Australia’s Attorney-General, John Rau announced reforms to the State’s firearms sentencing laws to introduce a new category of serious offenders who would be sent straight to jail.

Mr Rau said the reforms would make custodial sentences for serious firearms offenders the norm and widen the number of criminals banned from possessing firearms and ammunition.

“Firearms offences are among the most serious and dangerous breaches of the law,” Mr Rau said.

He said the State needed “heftier” sentences and new ways to control the behaviour of serious firearms offenders.

5. Also in South Australia, the Image of Professionals Survey 2012 ranked South Australia Police (SAPOL) the highest of all jurisdictions in the country for their ethical approach, honesty and professionalism.

The results listed police with a national score of 69 per cent, however, SAPOL scored 84 per cent.

Commissioner of Police, Mal Hyde said the survey supported the findings of the annual Community Confidence survey, which had seen SAPOL rank first in the country seven times in a decade.

“It is because of the professionalism and commitment of our staff that SAPOL is regularly rewarded with these types of results,” Commissioner Hyde said.

6. And a decade ago in Western Australia, Minister for Culture and the Arts, John Day unveiled funding for a new State Museum for the Perth Cultural Centre, next to the current buildings and among the State’s other flagship cultural organisations.

“Our current museum has served the State well for 120 years, however, this new museum will provide contemporary spaces and better public access with state-of-the art facilities and strong links to the regions,” Mr Day said.

“It will tell Western Australian stories with exhibitions and programs focusing on Being Western Australian, Being in Western Australia and Western Australia in the World.”

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