More than 800,000 Centrelink customers can now earn 60 per cent more without it affecting their payment.
Minister for Human Services Senator the Hon Marise Payne said people receiving Newstart Allowance, Widow Allowance, Partner Allowance, Sickness Allowance or Parenting Payment Partnered can now earn $100 per fortnight before their payment is affected, up from $62 per fortnight previously.
"The increase means customers and/or their partners will have a greater incentive to take up part-time work," Minister Payne said.
The easiest way to see potential increases to Centrelink payments following the 20 March change is to use the Department of Human Services' Express Plus Job Seekers app or online services.
Today the Australian Government has approved $10.8 million to build a new road train assembly facility in Bunbury out of cost savings from the Bunbury Port Access Road and Outer Ring Road projects.
Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Jamie Briggs said this was a step in the right direction to open up the Perth-Bunbury heavy vehicle network for all 36.5 metre heavy vehicles.
“This project will construct a designated truck parking facility to be used for the assembly and breakdown of road trains,” Mr Briggs said.
“At present, these heavy vehicles can only travel on the Perth-Bunbury link to private distribution centres with the necessary facilities.
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, the Hon Darren Chester MP, today announced that the $54.8 million Replacement Chinook Facilities Project, which supports the acquisition of seven new Boeing CH-47F Chinook Helicopters, has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works.
“If approved, the facilities project will provide new and upgraded working accommodation, new maintenance hangars, storage and workshop facilities, and a simulator building,” Mr Chester said.
The project will give the Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment, located at RAAF Base Townsville, the modern and appropriate facilities they need to operate, train and maintain the new helicopters and simulators.
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will visit Japan and Hong Kong between 25-31 March to strengthen economic ties with key Asian trading partners and highlight the attractiveness of Australia to international investors.
Mr Robb will travel first to Tokyo on 25-26 March to further discussions on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Japan. He will be holding meetings with key Japanese ministers on the EPA, which is already at an advanced stage.
In voting to keep the mining tax today Labor has demonstrated once again just how anti-Western Australian they are.
Bill Shorten has been deliberately confusing about whether Labor under his leadership supports or opposes the mining tax.
In Western Australia Bill Shorten set out to create the impression that he was against the mining tax.
Yet in Canberra today Labor voted against the repeal of this anti-Western Australian tax.
What we saw today is that Labor continues to say one thing to win votes in WA only to do the complete opposite when they’re in Canberra.
The mining tax is a complex and distorting tax which was designed by Labor to target Western Australia.
The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) is an Australian Government statutory authority, jointly funded by the Australian Government and rural industries.
RIRDC invests in research and development to assist rural industries to be productive, profitable and sustainable.
Applications sought for RIRDC directors
Applications are being sought for non-executive directors of the corporation for a three-year term, commencing in July 2014. To be considered for these part-time positions, applicants must be able to demonstrate knowledge in one or more of the following fields:
The Australian Government has established the Plantation Manufacturing Innovation and Investment Fund (PMIIF) with funding of up to $15.8 million (exclusive of GST) in support of the implementation of the Tasmanian Forest Intergovernmental Agreement signed on 2 May 2013 with the State of Tasmania. The Australian Government has agreed to work with the Tasmanian Government to support the Tasmania forest Industry to progressively transition to a more sustainable and diversified footing. This program is one element of the Agreement which recognizes the broad impacts of the restructuring of the forestry sector across Tasmania.
Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, has welcomed the decision by Grupo Alibérico, through their wholly owned subsidiary Alucoil, to open a manufacturing facility in Campbellfield which is expected to generate around 30 full time jobs once it becomes operational in August.
The facility will produce high quality aluminium composite panelling for the construction, mass transport and industrial sectors.
"This decision to manufacture light metal products in Australia recognises our ability to produce more innovative materials" Mr Robb said.
Residents and freight operators alike have cause for celebration, with the $1.7 billion Hunter Expressway hours away from opening to traffic.
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss joined New South Wales Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay at the official dedication today, ahead of tomorrow's community open day.
Mr Truss said road users would save up to 28 minutes by using the 40 kilometre expressway from Branxton to the Pacific Motorway after it opens to traffic on Saturday night.
Business owners and proprietors in Dubbo and Bathurst will get the opportunity to learn more about employer-sponsored skilled work visa options, when immigration outreach officers visit the region later this month.
A spokesman from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) said the seminar will provide NSW Central West employers with an overview of their options, including information on the SkillSelect programme.
“SkillSelect is an online service that connects Australian employers with potential skilled migrants,” the spokesman said.
“The service streamlines the pathway to permanent residence for people already working in Australia on temporary skilled 457 visas.”
World Water Day is a chance to highlight the work Australia is doing to help our neighbours better manage their water resources, meet their energy needs and boost sustainable economic growth.
This year World Water Day, which is sponsored by the United Nations every year on 22 March, is highlighting two issues that are essential to sustainable economic development in the Indo-Pacific region: water and energy.
Labor must abandon its plans for a revised anti-WA Mining Tax, finally accept the will of voters at the last election and vote with the Government in Parliament next week to scrap the Mining Tax.
WA jobs and prosperity remain firmly in Labor’s crosshairs as long as it persists with its intention to inflict a Mining Tax on Western Australia.
In the shadow of a by-election in WA, Bill Shorten has sneakily tried to shift the goal posts on what type of Mining Tax Labor wants, but at its heart he has simply reaffirmed Labor’s support for an anti-WA Mining Tax.
He is just not sure what form any new Labor Mining Tax will take.
Joint Media Release
The Hon George Brandis QC
The Hon Eric Abetz
Minister for Employment
The Governor-General has issued Letters Patent to establish the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption and appoint the Hon Dyson Heydon AC QC as Royal Commissioner.
We are pleased that such an eminent jurist as Dyson Heydon has agreed to lead this important Royal Commission.
Australia's much-loved artist, the late Margaret Olley AC, will have an enduring influence on artists through the re-creation of her home studio officially opened in Murwillumbah today.
Australian farmers suffering through the crippling drought will be able to access greater government assistance sooner as part of a $320 million comprehensive drought support package.
The Government will bring forward more generous income support arrangements for farmers and their families; extend concessional loans to eligible drought affected farm businesses; provide funds for water infrastructure and pest eradication; as well as funds for counselling support services for farmers.
Farming is a very significant part of our economy and will play a critical role in our economic future. This is a government determined to stand by the people of Australia in good times and bad.
As part of the package:
A project investigating a green energy alternative for Port Augusta and Leigh Creek has been awarded more than $130,000 in the final grant under the State Government's Enterprise Zone Fund - Upper Spencer Gulf and Outback.
The $2.3 million project will be undertaken by natural gas and electricity supplier Alinta Energy, and involves a feasibility study and technological analysis on the viability of solar thermal generation at the Northern Power Stations 1 and 2, and Playford B Power Station at Port Augusta Power.
The South Australian Government has partnered with the Australian Government, which is contributing $1 million towards the project from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency's (ARENA) Emerging Renewables Program.
The Australian Government will establish a payment scheme for supported employees with intellectual disability in Australian Disability Enterprises who previously had their wages assessed under the Business Service Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT).
The scheme will deliver certainty for these employees, their families and carers, as well as their employers, while the implications of the BSWAT court decisions are worked through.
The establishment of the scheme follows the outcome of the recent Federal Court case brought by Mr Nojin and Mr Prior.
Longer term, the Australian Government will develop a new wage assessment process.
The Coalition Government has decided to maintain duties on imported Greek currants for a further five years.
Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, said this measure would contribute to a level playing field for Australian industry.
“This decision assists local manufacturers to be able to competitively source currants from Australian growers, and allows Australian growers to stay in the game,” Mr Baldwin said.
“Sunbeam Foods will be able to compete on a more level playing field when sourcing their products from local supply chains.”
A new Productivity Commission Staff Working Paper provides an up to date guide to valuing environmental outcomes. The paper concludes that non-market assessments can, if handled effectively, make a valuable contribution to policy and project assessment, including for major projects.
The media and entertainment industry is starting 2014 with a high level of confidence in the global economy, according to the 9th Capital Confidence Barometer – Media & Entertainment industry results released by EY.
Sixty-eight percent of media and entertainment executives believe the global economy is improving, which is a significant increase from the survey a year ago that showed only 26% believed the economy was on an upswing. Twenty-three percent believe the economy is stable, 4% feel it is modestly declining and 5% that it is strongly declining.
14 January 2014: Despite tough economic conditions, revenues for the world’s 250 largest retailers reached US$4.3 trillion* in the last fiscal year (June 2012 through June 2013). The average size of the top 250 retailers exceeded US$17 billion according to the 2014 Global Powers of Retailing report from Deloitte, in conjunction with STORES Media. For the first time ever, the report also includes a list of the world’s top 50 e-retailers** and found that more than three-quarters of them (39 companies) are part of the top 250 retailers globally.
Defence is currently undertaking a significant Information and Communications Technology (ICT) transformation program.
As the projects currently underway require a focused and sustained effort, Defence has decided not to proceed with the planned market testing of the Distributed Computing Bundle.
Defence has exercised a contract extension under the existing Unisys Regional ICT Services Agreement for on-site support services until October 2016.
A decision on the longer-term delivery of ICT services through a Distributed Computing Bundle will be made over the next 24 months.
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999
11 January 2014
Encouraging investment and tourism will be the focus of a visit to the West Coast of the United States by Trade and Investment Minister, Andrew Robb.
"The United States is our key economic partner country with two-way investment exceeding $1 trillion in 2012 while California alone is the world's eighth largest economy and I look forward to meeting with capital markets' representatives and companies seeking to expand into Australia to achieve further Foreign Direct Investment in Australia," Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb will also make keynote addresses to G'Day USA events including:
• A Tourism Australia summit in Los Angeles
• The US-Australian Dialogue on Water in Los Angeles