Networks map path for a smarter, decentralised grid

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INTERACTIVE maps of the Australian electricity grid to support more reliable, cleaner and local energy solutions have been released in a collaboration between research agencies, government and industry.

The Network Opportunity Maps provide detailed information to encourage local renewable energy, battery storage and smart demand management in the Australian electricity grid.

“Energy Networks are excited about the potential for these maps to help build a smarter and more reliable grid, enabling alignment of customer assets to avoid spending more on poles and wires in the future,” Energy Networks Australia interim CEO, Andrew Dillon said.

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) CEO Ivor Frischknecht said better information about the grid will help develop vibrant markets for new energy services.

“The Network Opportunity Maps complement the forthcoming Demand Management Incentive Scheme for network businesses, and ARENA’s three-year demand response trial projects. These initiatives should lead to creative solutions to reduce network costs and improve grid relability,” Mr Frischknecht said

“This is where the sharing economy meets the electricity sector,” said ISF research director Chris Dunstan. “The Network Opportunty Maps will identify areas of emerging constraint in the grid. These may be areas where businesses and residential customers can use their own energy resources, like solar, batteries, and smart energy management to support the network and be rewarded for it.”

The new Maps include the latest network investment and load forecast data and indicate how much new generation – such as new solar and wind farms – can be connected in each area.

Don Harwin, Minister for Resources, Energy and Utilities, said, “The NSW Government is proud to have supported the Network Opportunity Maps. I’m excited that this resource will make it easier to choose the right location and size of clean energy projects.

“The maps will help drive investment in regional NSW, and improve the grid whilst reducing network costs for consumers.”

Today’s map launch is the culmination of a three-year research project by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) at UTS in collaboration with Energy Networks Australia. The maps were developed with support from ARENA, the NSW Government, CSIRO and industry partners including Ergon Energy, AusNet Services, Powerlink, ElectraNet and Transgrid. Energy Networks Australia will be responsible for ongoing management of the Maps.

Energy Queensland CEO David Smales said that the Ergon Energy network business was proud to have been a founding partner of the Network Opportunity Maps.

“Geo-spatial mapping and the provision of richer sources of information enable us to engage and interact with our customers in a more efficient and dynamic way to support the development of sustainable energy solutions for Queensland communities,” Mr Smales said.

The Network Opportunity Maps are now available on the Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure (AREMI) site: .

A webinar briefing on the maps will be conducted 2 November 2017 from 2.30-4:00pm. Register HERE.



SPF Scientific Panel and stakeholder forum meetings

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THE Small Pelagic Fishery (SPF) Scientific Panel will meet on 16-17 November 2017 in Melbourne.

Key items on the agenda are:

  • Jack Mackerel DEPM survey results
  • Annual assessment of SPF stocks to inform 2018-19 TAC setting process
  • Proposed new fishing methods in the SPF (jigging and line methods)
  • Research Priorities

The Scientific Panel’s draft advice will be presented to the next Small Pelagic Fishery Stakeholder Forum to be held on 6 December 2017 in Sydney. The Scientific Panel will finalise its advice, considering the comments provided at the Stakeholder Forum, at its subsequent meeting in January 2018.

Attendance at the Stakeholder Forum is by invitation only. To request an invitation, you must register your interest by emailing your name, email address, phone number and organisation or affiliation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view 22 November 2017. Please note that registration does not guarantee an invitation.

More information regarding the Stakeholder Forum will be available on AFMA’s website following the November SPF Scientific Panel meeting.



Select Committee on Regional Development goes west

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GERALDTON will host the first of two public hearings next week, as the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation heads to Western Australia.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder will host the second public hearing.

The Chair of the Committee, John McVeigh MP said, “these public hearings will provide the Committee with a valuable opportunity to engage with regional Western Australia.”

“The West is of particular interest to the Committee.  Members are keen to learn more about what initiatives are being taken regionally, particularly now that the mining boom has plateaued.  How regions are adjusting to this change, and observing what initiatives are being taken to ensure that local towns and their surrounding regions remain prosperous and its people engaged will be of particular interest.” said Dr McVeigh.

The Committee will hear from a range of witnesses including community and business leaders, regional development specialists, the arts, and health care providers.


Public hearing details:

9.00 am to 3.30 pm, Monday 30 October 2017
Ocean Centre Hotel, The Abrolhos Room, Cathedral Ave & Foreshore Drive, Geraldton, WA

10.30 am to 4.30 pm, Tuesday 31 October 2017
Quest Yelverton Kalgoorlie, 210 Egan Street, Kalgoorlie, WA

The proceedings will be broadcast live at

For the full programs of these public hearings, see the Committee’s website.



QRC chief applauds Australia Pacific LNG action

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THE Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the action by Australia Pacific LNG to supply a further 41 petajoules (PJ) of natural gas to the Australian domestic market.

"Today’s announcement is yet another sign the Queensland gas industry is leading the nation with a proactive approach to easing the east coast gas squeeze," QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

"Queensland’s neighbours must take a leaf out of our book, instead of relying on our state to meet the gap caused by their failure to develop their own gas industries. Gas exploration has stalled in New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory, despite the fact all jurisdictions have their own reserves in the ground.

"It’s also important that Queensland continues its exploration program to pinpoint new reserves and new opportunities for jobs and investment," he said.

"Therefore, it's critical that the Palaszczuk Government does not restrict exploration acreage and ban further gas exploration in the Cooper Basin, which has been one of the most productive gas development areas, by pushing through new Pristine Rivers regulations without consultation."




Partners in design—tax compliance in a digital economy

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PARTNERS in the digital transformation of Australia’s taxation and payment systems will meet with the House Committee on Tax and Revenue tomorrow.

The hearing will be one of the last for the Committee’s inquiry into taxpayer engagement with Australia’s tax system.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been a leading agent of change in the digital transformation of Australian government services. In partnership with banks, telecommunications providers and global accounting software firms, the ATO has been working to design and build compatible lodgement systems for small businesses, tax agents and all general taxpayers.

Chair of the Committee Kevin Hogan MP said that, as well as the ATO, MYOB Australia and Xero Australia, the Committee will also hear from the Digital Transformation Agency, overseer of the Government’s Digital by Default agenda, and the Reserve Bank of Australia to discuss the launch this year of Australia’s New Payment Platform. 

“The digital revolution is changing the way we communicate information, conduct business and provide government services. The challenge for the Australian Tax Office and its partners is to ensure that tax engagement is easier, faster and more secure, despite the new opportunities the digital economy also provides for tax avoidance,” Mr Hogan said.

Public hearing details: 

9.00 am to 1.15 pm, Friday 27 October 2017
Committee Room 1R4, Parliament House, Canberra

The proceedings will be broadcast live at

Interested members of the public may wish to track the committee via the website