27 September 2023

Unleasing the PS Past: 12 – 18 April 2011

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1. This week 10 years ago, a national blueprint was released for the development of e-health records to allow patients to better manage their own healthcare.

Federal Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon said the blueprint was a step towards the development of Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records, which would be introduced on 1 July 2012.

“E-health records will drive safer, more efficient and better-quality healthcare for Australians,” Ms Roxon said. “Patients will no longer have to remember every immunisation, every medical test, every prescription as they move from doctor to doctor.”

2. To the Australian Federal Police (AFP) this week when they opened a new office in Los Angeles to strengthen ties with US law enforcement Agencies.

Assistant AFP Commissioner, Kevin Zuccato said this was an important step in combating national and international crime. “The Australia and US alliance is fundamental to Australia’s national security interests,” Assistant Commissioner Zuccato said.

He said the new office would have responsibility for liaison with the west coasts of the United States, Canada and Mexico, and would also work closely with the AFP office in Colombia.

3. The Commonwealth’s Minister for Human Services, Tanya Plibersek announced this week that Centrelink would be using new technology developed during Queensland’s recent weather disasters to assist people in remote communities.

“cPOP” (Centrelink Point of Presence) connects up to 10 laptops at once to the Agency’s network, giving outreach workers instant access to their desktops from virtually anywhere.

Ms Plibersek said the mobile technology would now be used on the Australian Government Mobile Office and by teams travelling to remote Indigenous communities in Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

4. Also this week, the Federal Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Tony Burke announced Victoria’s Great Ocean Road would be added to Australia’s National Heritage List.

“The Great Ocean Road is one of the most powerful, spectacular and distinctive landscapes in Australia and the nation’s most famous coastal drive,” Mr Burke said. He said the listing would be a fitting tribute to the returned servicemen who built the road, often under difficult conditions, and a celebration of its cultural and historical significance to the nation.

5. Australia’s first centre dedicated to solving some of the country’s biggest environmental issues was opened in Queeensland this week.

The $270 million Ecosciences Precinct brought together the largest number of ecoscience researchers ever assembled in Australia, including more than 1,000 Queensland Government and CSIRO scientists, researchers and support staff.

State Premier, Anna Bligh said the facility was part of her Government’s $3.6 billion investment to make Queensland the Smart State of Australia.

“It has already paid off with … scientists at the Precinct working together to quickly monitor flood plumes in Moreton Bay and, once safe, to give the all-clear for fishing to resume,” Ms Bligh said.

6. Still in Queensland, a scientific report released this week 10 years ago suggested the State could expect coastal erosion and permanent inundation of coastal land as a result of a predicted 0.8 metre sea level rise by the year 2100.

Minister for Environment and Resource Management, Kate Jones said the Queensland Coastal Processes and Climate Change report would give Local Governments and planners a clear understanding of the effects of climate change.

“With 85 per cent of Queenslanders living on the coast,” Ms Jones said, “we need to understand these threats and what we can do to mitigate them.”

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