26 September 2023

PS from the PaSt: 2 – 8 May 2012

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1. This week 10 years ago, Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, Jason Clare said more Public Service agencies would be subject to integrity testing.

Mr Clare said to make Australia’s law enforcement agencies more “corruption resistant”, the resources of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity would be boosted and the stable of Agencies it oversees expanded.

“I am serious about tackling organised crime and corruption wherever it exists,” Mr Clare said.

“Our enforcement agencies do a very good job, but it is a fact that officers are targeted by criminals because of the nature of their work,” he said.

“Where we find corruption, we have to weed it out.”

2. Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon announced Australia’s privacy laws would be reformed to give the Privacy Commissioner new enforcement powers as well as protect personal information better and simplify credit reporting arrangements.

Ms Roxon said in an increasingly digital world, both consumers and Governments had a role to play in protecting privacy.

She said the powers of the Privacy Commissioner would be increased to improve his office’s ability to resolve complaints, conduct investigations and promote privacy compliance.

3. Prime Minister, Julia Gillard announced the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) would be launched from July 2013, initially in four locations across the country, with about 10,000 people with significant and permanent disabilities beginning to receive support.

Ms Gillard said by July 2014, that figure would rise to 20,000 people — a timeframe that meant the first stage of the NDIS would be delivered a year earlier than that proposed by the Productivity Commission.

“For the first time in Australia’s history, people with significant and permanent disability will receive lifetime care and support, regardless of how they acquired their disability,” Ms Gillard said.

4. NSW Minister for Environment, Robyn Parker announced an increase in funding for koala conservation and recovery projects across the State.

Ms Parker said the funding had been allocated, in part, to convene a community koala summit, in conjunction with the NSW Conservation Council, to clearly identify current koala conservation issues.

She said the funding would also be used to track changes in koala populations, develop a standard approach to mapping koala habitat and to evaluate the effectiveness of previous tree plantings.

5. In Queensland, the draft water plan for the Murray–Darling Basin Authority was judged unacceptable by the Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, who said the State Government supported the need for reforms in the Basin, but the Federal Government needed to provide financial and other support for Queensland communities impacted by the plan.

Mr Cripps said the Queensland Government’s submission to the Authority was clearly focused on minimising any disadvantage to Queensland.

“We need to be satisfied the science underlying proposed sustainable diversion limits is robust,” Mr Cripps said.

“Queensland will continue to work with the Authority, the Australian Government, other Basin States and landholders to ensure that our concerns are addressed.”

6. And a decade ago, new laws allowing exceptions to the legal principle of double jeopardy were passed by the WA Parliament.

WA Attorney-General, Christian Porter said the new legislation meant people who had walked free from court over alleged serious offences could face a retrial if fresh and compelling evidence came to light, reflecting the significant advances in forensic science that had been made in recent times.

“This important legislation now means Western Australia is in line with other Australian jurisdictions on this issue,” Mr Porter said.

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