2 April 2024

The Water Cooler: comings, goings, grants and consultations

| James Day
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Three images compiled together: a high-ranking police official, a feral cat with a galah in its mouth, and a group of schoolchildren listening to a tour guide in the Lower House of Parliament.A breakdown of the latest appointments, grants and open consultations in the Australian Public Service and across the public services of the states and territories.

The Big Moves

Two new Deputy Commissioners at the Australian Federal Police (AFP)

The AFP Commissioner has welcomed the appointments of Krissy Barrett and Scott Lee to the rank of Deputy Commissioner, including to the role of Chief Police Officer (CPO) of ACT Policing.

Ms Barrett will manage the National Security portfolio, while Mr Lee has become the new ACT CPO after the retirement of Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan.

Together they will work alongside Deputy Commissioner of Crime Ian McCartney and Deputy Commissioner of International and Specialist Capabilities Command Lesa Gale.

Before his new role, Mr Lee performed in multiple positions as the Assistant Commissioner of Cyber Command, Specialist Protective Command, Counter Terrorism and Special Investigations, along with International Operations.

Ms Barrett was previously the Assistant Commissioner of Counter Terrorism and Special Investigations, which includes foreign interference and espionage. In her 22-year career, she also served in several senior positions such as Assistant Commissioner for Southern Command (Victoria/Tasmania).

Deputy Commissioner Scott Lee and Deputy Commissioner Krissy Barrett.

Deputy Commissioners Scott Lee and Krissie Barrett. With Lesa Gale and Ms Barrett only the second and third women to have been appointed to the rank respectively, it’s the first time the AFP has had two female sworn Deputy Commissioners in its permanent senior executive team. Photo: AFP.

Queensland on the hunt for a permanent Victims’ Commissioner

Applications for the permanent Queensland Victims’ Commissioner role have opened.

The process of finding a permanent commissioner comes after the office of the Interim Victims’ Commissioner was established last September, with former Queensland Police officer Jon Rouse in the interim role.

The Queensland Government says the Victims’ Commissioner will play a critical role in championing the rights of victims. It says it provides a platform for their voices to be heard within the criminal justice system, and seeks to address systemic issues impacting their welfare.

It says the permanent Victims’ Commissioner will be requested to review the Charter of Victims’ Rights to consider whether additional rights should be recognised, or if existing rights should be expanded. They will also develop a website to help guide victims to navigate the criminal justice process.

Yvette D'Ath

Outgoing Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath says the position has been created to focus on the needs of victims. Photo: Screenshot.

New members announced for Artists at Work Taskforce in South Australia

The South Australian Government has appointed 27 experts from across the arts, cultural and creative industries for its taskforce. They will be dedicated to investigating work insecurity and income inequality by some of the state’s artists and arts workers.

After a call for expressions of interest last November, Arts Minister Andrew Michaels announced the new members who will convene regularly over a four-month period. They will provide expertise and advice on current issues, industry trends and developments to help the government address the sector’s issues.

Alison Lloydd-Wright will chair the taskforce as the State Government’s current Deputy Chief Executive for Community Culture and Place.

Members include Art Gallery of South Australia chair and former lord mayor Sandy Verschoor, Adelaide Festival chief executive Kath M Mainland and artistic director Ruth Mackenzie, and South Australian actor and writer Elena Carapetis.

smiling woman

Alison Lloydd-Wright will chair the taskforce as the State Government’s current Deputy Chief Executive for Community Culture and Place. Photo: LinkedIn/Alison Lloydd-Wright.

State Government appoints members to board of Harness Racing Victoria (HRV)

New member Dennis Bice and reappointed Adam Kilgour will help guide the board of HRV, which administers, develops and promotes harness racing in the state.

Mr Bice previously served as an executive at the Victorian Harness Racing Club for eight years, along with a six-year stint as president of the Bendigo Harness Racing Club.

Mr Kilgour served as chair for an initial period of six months before his reappointment, which has been made to ensure continuity of leadership on the board for which he has served as a member since 2017.

The two will each hold the role for two-year terms, but Minister for Racing Anthony Carbines says more appointments will be announced in the coming months.

Dale Monteith patting the back of a harness racing jockey

Adam Kilgour will replace outgoing chair Dale Monteith (right), who served in the role for nearly a decade. Photo: The Trots.

APS Senior Executive Service

Band 1

The Department of Home Affairs has appointed several new Assistant Secretaries: Crystol Fox will take charge of infrastructure capability, Alexander Goldie is coming from the Department of Parliamentary Services to help counter violent extremism, and Lavinia Mitchell is set to work on humanitarian and child wellbeing policy and capability.

Maria Loyman has moved across the APS to be an assistant secretary of funding and revenue for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Bryan Downie is the next executive manager of investigations at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

Solicitor Rebecca Daumont is the new assistant secretary for IT engagement, innovation and support at the Attorney-General’s Department. Darran Roper is the corporate assistant secretary for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Nisette Anderson is coming to the Department of Health and Aged Care as its new Assistant Secretary.

Band 2

Solicitor Olivia Abbott has been promoted to Deputy Chief General Counsel of the Australian Taxation Office in Brisbane.

Grants Programs

Feral cat with a galah in its mouth

According to the Invasive Species Council, feral cats have caused more damage in Australia than in any other continent. Photo: Invasive Species Council.


Play Our Way grants

The Federal Government has opened applications for its $200 million Play Our Way grant program, which hopes to provide local communities with more welcoming and equitable means for women and girls to participate in sport. Two streams (Facilities, Participation and equipment) are available until 29 April.

Western Australia

Feral Cat Management Grants

Grants between $10,000 and $250,000 are available for projects with specific measures to reduce the impact of feral cats in priority areas so they improve conservation outcomes for native fauna. Applications remain open until 20 May.

Raising awareness of elder abuse

Grants of $3000 are now available for regional initiatives to raise awareness of elder abuse and mark World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on 15 June. The competitive process closes on 12 April.

Electronic Identification system infrastructure grants

Grants of up to $10,000 are available to help sheep and goat supply chain operators transition to the new mandatory national electronic eID system. Applications close on 17 May.

Community Stewardship grants for Natural Resource Management initiatives

Grants of up to $450,000 are available under the 2024 Community Stewardship grants, tasked with supporting NRM initiatives that protect and restore Western Australia’s environment. Applications close on 20 May.

Grants for registered Community Housing Providers

Up to $50 million in grants is available under a Call for Submissions process looking to increase the supply and diversity of new and refurbished community housing across regional areas. Submissions are open until 16 September.

New South Wales

Net-Zero Manufacturing Initiative

The State Government has released $275 million in grants to support the creation of renewable manufacturing, clean technology innovation, and low-carbon product manufacturing. Applications have been open since 26 February.

Recording and Promotion Grants

Some $1 million has been made available by Sound NSW to support the state’s contemporary musicians to record and release new, original creative projects. Applications close on 17 April.

Touring and Travel Fund

Sound NSW has unveiled $2 million in funding to address the time-sensitive nature of venue availability and performance opportunities – $25,000 per person for domestic activity and up to $7500 per person for international activity can be applied for until 20 May.


Aboriginal Sport Participation grant program

A range of grants are available under the latest round of this program dedicated to providing First Nations athletes with funding for uniforms, equipment, travel and participation in sport carnivals. Applications are open until 15 April.

Biosecurity Funds grants program

This program funds projects that help prevent, monitor and control pests and diseases in livestock, critical to protecting the state’s $20 billion agriculture industry. Applications close on 15 April.

Port Phillip Bay Fund

The latest round of grants supporting projects that protect the health of Port Phillip Bay’s environment has opened up $2.3 million in funding. Grants from $25,000 to $300,000 are available, depending on the size of the project, until 18 April.

Multicultural Festivals and Events program

A new round opens up $2.4 million in funding for community events promoting multiculturalism and building social cohesion. Applicants can apply for up to $50,000 until 19 April.

Cat Management Strategy trial program

This is a $300,000 effort where local councils can apply for grants of up to $25,000 to deliver desexing services to target areas with problem cat populations, or those who may be experiencing financial hardship. Feedback on the state’s cat management strategy closes on 26 April.

Local Environmental Projects

Environmental volunteer groups can now access up to $20,000 for on-ground works and community-based projects focused on preserving native vegetation and wildlife, waterways, wetlands, soils and other natural habitats and ecosystems. Applications for the program will close on 30 April.

South Australia

The Power of Her – Infrastructure and Participation Program

The first $2.8 million round of the state’s program dedicated to female sporting facilities, programs and projects that improve female participation is open. Applications remain open until 3 April.


Winter Event Marketing grants

A total of $100,000 has been committed to a program looking to boost Tasmania’s winter event season. Anywhere between $5000 and $10,000 is available to event organisers for increasing their marketing activities, specifically targeting interstate visitors. Applications are open until 1 May.

Northern Territory

Grants to support truth-telling initiatives

Up to $20,000 per applicant is open to assist with expenses associated with developing and delivering truth-telling projects, which heal relationships between Aboriginal people and the wider community. Applications close on 8 April.

Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations competitive grants program

The Territory Government will allocate up to $3 million from the $9.5 million available to co-fund projects that address geoscientific knowledge gaps, advance exploration activity, and support the discovery and development of resources. Applications for the new round are open until 29 April.

Visitor Experience grants for tourism industry

The Territory’s tourism industry can access up to $100,000 for upgrading on-ground experiences for tourists that will drive growth in its economy. Submissions remain open until 7 May.

Open for Consultation

A group of school kids looking at the lower chamber from a viewing gallery, while a tour guide speaks to them.

On average, only 52.5 per cent of year 6 and 42 per cent of year 10 students were at or above the proficient national standard for civics and citizenship understanding in 2019. Photo: APH.

Standardising natural hazard definitions and reviewing standard cover for insurance contracts

The Commonwealth has released a paper on the matter in its effort to improve insurance affordability as more severe weather events contribute to higher costs. Submissions will close on 4 April.

Petroleum Resource Rent Tax regulations

Treasury has published its draft for the next set of regulations to improve the certainty and integrity of the tax regimen, which was recommended in the Gas Transfer Pricing Review and announced in the 2023-24 Budget. Feedback is available until 12 April.

ACMA’s draft plan for management of nation’s spectrum

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has published its draft plan for the management of Australia’s wireless communications frequencies that carry mobile data, satellite transmissions and broadcast signals.

The draft five-year spectrum outlook 2024-29 canvasses a range of potential use cases, including increasing the spectrum available for 5G wireless broadband as well as new satellite technologies, both supporting greater network coverage and connectivity. Submissions close on 22 April.

Veterans’ legislation reform

The Defence Department has released exposure draft legislation that hopes to simplify the century-old veterans’ entitlements, compensation and rehabilitation system. Submissions remain open until 28 April.

Otway Offshore Gas Victoria Project Proposal

Australia’s offshore energy regulator has opened up comment on Beach Energy’s project to be located around 20 km south of the Victorian mainland, with an operational life of up to 30 years. Submissions remain open until 20 May.

Inquiry into civics, education, engagement and participation in Australia

The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is seeking written submissions from people with direct experience of civics and citizenship education and challenges associated with electoral participation. Submissions remain open until 24 May.

For information on all the state and territory government projects open for consultation, follow the links below:

Federal Parliament Public Hearings

Tuesday (2 April):

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (Nuclear Medicine Facility project) – Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works

Time: 2 – 3 pm; Chamber: Joint; Location: Yarrawarrah Community Centre, Old Bush Road & Laurina Avenue, Yarrawarrah, NSW.

Thursday (4 April):

Australian Naval Nuclear Power Safety Bill 2023 [Provisions] and Australian Naval Nuclear Power Safety (Transitional Provisions) Bill 2023 [Provisions] – Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Time: 1 – 5 pm; Chamber: Senate; Location: AMC Jakovich Function Centre, 4 McGrath Road, Henderson, WA.

Tuesday (9 April):

Equitable access to diagnosis and treatment for individuals with rare and less common cancers, including neuroendocrine cancer – Community Affairs References Committee

Time: TBA; Chamber: Senate; Location: CBD, Adelaide.

Wednesday and Thursday (10-11 April):

Middle Arm Industrial Precinct – Environment and Communications References Committee

Time: TBA; Chamber: Senate; Location: Venue TBC, Darwin, NT.

Friday (12 April):

Protecting the Spirit of Sea Country Bill 2023 – Environment and Communications Legislation Committee

Time: TBA; Chamber: Senate; Location: Venue TBC, Darwin, NT.

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