26 September 2023

PS from the PaSt: 7–13 March 2012

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1. This week 10 years ago, Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins unveiled the Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security to protect women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations around the world.

Ms Collins said it also aimed to encourage greater participation of women in the prevention of conflict and in building peace.

She said the plan represented a commitment to integrating a gender perspective into all Australian peace and security efforts.

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon said the plan would also strengthen the work the Government was doing through its policy frameworks and diplomatic relations.

2. The Federal Government announced that money confiscated from criminals would be provided to Police and Community Youth Clubs (PCYCs) around Australia to help young people avoid falling into a life of crime.

Minister for Justice and Home Affairs, Jason Clare said almost $2 million had been awarded to 16 PCYCs and Blue Light organisations.

“This funding will pay for things like anti-truancy programs to keep young people in school, outreach programs targeting youth crime hotspots, drug intervention programs and training programs to get them into jobs,” Mr Clare said.

3. The first parcel of heritage-listed Commonwealth bushland at Malabar Headland, 12km south east of Sydney, was transferred to New South Wales for a new coastal National Park.

NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Brad Hazzard said the coastal park was steeped in history and featured one of the largest remaining stands of the endangered Eastern Suburbs banksia.

“We will be protecting the largest remaining areas of untouched bushland between Botany Bay and South Head,” Mr Hazzard said.

He said the western side of the headland offered outstanding possibilities for picnickers and activities such as walking.

4. The Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation’s Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station (Simtars) began developing a new, virtual way to train mine workers in safe operations and response to emergencies.

Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health, Stewart Bell said the immersive virtual reality training would allow trainees to experience the mine environment firsthand without any of the risk.

“They will experience life-like mine conditions but be able to respond to emergency scenarios in a safe and controlled environment,” Mr Bell said.

“Courses will include safety, hazard awareness, mine gas management, incident response and multi-Agency emergency management.”

5. Assistant Branch Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), Jo Gaines told WA’s North West Telegraph that public sector workers in the Pilbara were doing it tough and needed more help, with the remote area’s high costs of living making it hard to sustain a steady, reliable workforce.

“The feedback from the people I spoke to is that unless you work in the mining industry, it’s hard to get by in Port Hedland,” Ms Gaines said.

She said some lower-tier employees told her they could only afford to work in the public sector because they had partners working as miners to pay the bills.

She said public sector workers had also raised complaints about the lack of basic services in the area.

6. Also in Western Australia a decade ago, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Peter Collier said the State Government would pay eligible Aboriginal people who were subjected to State-sanctioned financial controls an ex gratia reparation payment of up to $2,000.

Mr Collier said under past legislation, employers, including successive State Governments, withheld money and property belonging to Aboriginal people in a complex network of trust accounts in a practice that became known as “Stolen Wages”.

“This was one of many unfortunate controls imposed on Aboriginal people by Federal and State Governments across Australia, and this State Government is committed to bringing this unfortunate matter to a conclusion,” Mr Collier said.

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