26 September 2023

PS from the PaSt: 20–26 February 2013

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1. This week 10 years ago, the creation of and $1 billion of funding for the Australian Industry Participation Authority was announced, to boost Australian innovation, productivity and competitiveness as part of the new A Plan for Australian Jobs.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard said the Plan outlined three core strategies for building innovation: backing Australian industry to win more work at home; supporting local industry to win new business abroad; and helping small and medium enterprises grow and create jobs.

Ms Gillard said the Plan would give Australian firms a fair chance to win work on major resource and infrastructure projects, improving their opportunities to gain the experience, scale and business connections needed to become part of global supply chains.

2. The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) declared that the Young Offenders Act (YOA), introduced in 1988 to reduce the number of young Indigenous offenders in custody, had succeeded.

Director of BOCSAR, Dr Don Weatherburn said the Bureau had examined the fate of 9,392 Indigenous and 19,703 non-Indigenous young offenders before and after the introduction of the YOA.

“The Bureau found that the risk of receiving a custodial order fell 17.5 per cent for Indigenous young offenders and 16.3 per cent for non-Indigenous young offenders,” Dr Weatherburn said.

3. Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman officially opened a new category-five cyclone shelter at Tully State School, the third in the State as part of a $60 million program jointly funded by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Mr Newman said the new shelters were an important part of making sure North Queensland was better protected from the impacts of cyclones.

“Tully was one of the hardest hit centres when Cyclone Yasi crossed the coast and left a trail of destruction,” Mr Newman said.

“But the region has made excellent progress rebuilding homes, schools and businesses over the past two years.”

4. Also in Queensland, a Statewide weapons amnesty was launched to allow residents to surrender unregistered firearms and other weapons, and to choose whether to have them destroyed or registered.

Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, Anne MacDonald said a mobile van fitted with a gun press would make weapons surrendered for destruction inoperable while appropriately licensed members of the public were encouraged to register previously unregistered firearms through dealers, armourers, sporting clubs or police stations.

“Anyone in possession of an unregistered firearm is encouraged to forfeit it to their local firearms dealer or police station,” Acting Assistant Commissioner MacDonald said.

5. The South Australian Government welcomed the announcement of federal funding to set up a defence-focused manufacturing precinct in Adelaide.

SA Minister for Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade, Tom Kenyon said the initiative would help the State Government develop and implement innovation strategies, particularly through collaboration between applied researchers, the defence industry and local manufacturers.

“Generating revenue of $1.8 billion and currently employing about 27,000 people directly and indirectly, defence remains a critical industry for this State and the foundation of our advanced manufacturing future,” Mr Kenyon said.

6. And a decade ago, the South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) unveiled plans to triple the number of Chinese visitors to the State by 2020, generating $450 million in expenditure.

Premier, Jay Weatherill said the Chinese market was the fastest growing of the State’s major international markets and the most valuable of all inbound tourism markets.

“Chinese visitors currently contribute about $110 million to the State’s economy,” Mr Weatherill said.

“Research shows that the key to increasing tourist numbers is by raising awareness of South Australia’s premium food and wine as well as our unique nature and wildlife experiences.”

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