26 September 2023

PS from the PaSt: 22–28 August 2012

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1. This week 10 years ago, Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury announced new legislation to establish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) as the first dedicated independent national regulator for the not-for-profit (NFP) sector.

Mr Bradbury said the ACNC would determine an entity’s charitable status and provide information to the public about the NFP sector and its work.

Minister for Social Inclusion, Mark Butler said the new body was an essential step to strengthen and support the sector, reduce redtape and create an independent one-stop shop regulator for the sector.

2. Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick said the Australian Human Rights Commission’s review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) was the most comprehensive of its kind ever undertaken.

She said the ADF must address the problem of a shrinking talent pool, the significant cost of unwanted departures, the lack of diversity among leadership, and the unacceptable behaviour sometimes faced by women.

“Our overarching finding is that, despite progress over the last two decades, I am not confident that, in all the varied workplaces that comprise the ADF today, women can and will flourish,” Ms Broderick said.

3. Special Minister of State, Gary Gray announced measures to modernise Australia’s postal voting system and improve the way postal vote applications were made and processed had been passed by the House of Representatives.

Mr Gray said at the 2010 election, the Electoral Commission processed more than one million postal votes, which was a 17.8 per cent increase in the number processed at the 2007 election.

“The amendments improve the way postal vote applications are handled by enabling centralised electronic processing and dispatch,” Mr Gray said.

“They do not fundamentally change the existing policy underpinning the current arrangements for postal voting.”

4. NSW Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Greg Smith said a new office of Inspector of Custodial Services would be established to uphold standards in the State’s prison system and improve operational practices.

Mr Smith said the Inspector would be a champion for prisons and prison officers and would have jurisdiction over all correctional facilities including public and private sector prisons and juvenile justice centres, court custody centres, police cells managed by Corrective Services NSW, transitional centres, prisoner transport and support services.

“The independent watchdog will be able to review correctional and juvenile justice facilities at any time and make recommendations about issues of concern,” Mr Smith said.

5. Also in NSW, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Graham Annesley said the introduction of jail sentences for “fixing” sporting events would send a clear message that anyone found guilty of match-fixing or corrupting the betting outcome of a sporting event could face up to 10 years’ jail.

“There is no bigger threat to the integrity of sport than match-fixing and this legislation will ensure anyone involved in the industry is sent a very strong message about the risks and consequences,” Mr Annesley said.

“Sport is big business these days and it would be naive of any government to think sport is immune to corrupt conduct.”

6. And a decade ago in South Australia, a new framework to shape climate change action in the State was unveiled by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Paul Caica.

Mr Caica said many communities across South Australia were already preparing for changing weather patterns and rising sea levels.

“Despite efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we are already experiencing changes in weather patterns,” Mr Caica said.

“This framework will help the community to not only respond to climate change, but also to take advantage of opportunities that a changing climate will bring.”

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