1. This week 10 years ago, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy announced the establishment of the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency (TUSMA) to hold telecommunications giant Telstra to its agreement with the Government to maintain ‘universal service obligations’ during the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
“These measures are vital to ensure continuity of basic services to consumers throughout Australia given the significant changes that will occur to the structure of the telecommunications industry from the rollout of the NBN, including the progressive decommissioning of Telstra’s copper customer access network,” Senator Conroy said.
He said the TUSMA would see super fast broadband delivered sooner to Australians with less disruption and less cost. TUSMA was rolled into the Department of Communications in 2014.
2. The Department of Defence announced it would conduct a “Force Posture Review” to assess whether the Australian Defence Force was geographically positioned properly to meet current and future strategic and security challenges.
Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith said an expert panel made up of national security specialists and former Secretaries of Defence Allan Hawke and Ric Smith would oversee the Review. He said the results would help provide a strategic context for the next Defence White Paper in 2014.
“It is essential that into the future Defence and the Australian Defence Force are appropriately positioned to respond in a timely way to Australia’s strategic and security demands,” Mr Smith said.
3. Also this week an imaging system developed by the CSIRO was judged among the top 100 most marketable products in the world.
CSIRO scientist Dr Chris Ryan said the Maia X-Ray Microprobe Element Imaging System was created for use at the Australian Synchrotron by CSIRO and Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.
Dr Ryan said the annual R&D 100 Awards, convened by the US-based R&D Magazine, recognised the 100 most technologically significant products from around the world introduced into the marketplace in the previous year.
“The Maia system allows samples to be scanned up to 1,000 times faster and in much greater detail than previous methods,” Dr Ryan said.
4. Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Jeremy Rapke QC launched the State’s first “Prosecutions Charter”, outlining the roles, responsibilities, and powers within the prosecution service, and encapsulating the principles that guide public prosecution in Victoria.
“Together we pursue justice by ethical and principled means and with a commitment to acting in the public interest, upholding the rule of law, building public confidence in the fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system, and protecting the community,” Mr Rapke said.
“We provide the people of Victoria with a high-quality prosecution service that is independent, fair, effective and efficient, recognising that such a service is essential to the proper functioning of democracy and the criminal justice system,” the Charter said.
5. In South Australia, the Minister for the Status of Women, Gail Gago announced a new campaign to tackle violence against women in hotels, bars, and clubs.
She said Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service had been granted $98,000 to work with the hotel industry to develop an industry-specific program as part of the Don’t Cross the Line community education campaign.
“The hotel industry is one of the largest employers in South Australia, with more than 24,000 people working in our State’s pubs and thousands of patrons attending single venues on a standard weekend,” Ms Gago said.
She said the extension of the campaign would promote anti–violence against women messages across venues and educate and train the industry’s workforce.
6. And in Western Australia this week 10 years ago, the Minister for Planning, John Day announced the establishment of the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority to direct redevelopment activities in several metropolitan areas and the Perth waterfront.
Mr Day said the move would streamline existing systems and leverage long-term efficiencies while retaining the benefit to the State of the flexible redevelopment authority model.
“The new Authority will be governed by a seven-member board and simplify processes by centralising all administrative functions into one entity,” Mr Day said.