AS PARTof its ongoing commitment to meeting Australia’s future energy needs, the Australian Government has announced the 2018 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release covering Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan said the areas will provide a wide range of options for the oil and gas industry, from well-known, petroleum-producing basins to frontier basins that are among the most prospective in the world.

“The Australian Government is committed to the safe and responsible development of oil and gas resources,” Minister Canavan said.

“Offshore oil and gas exploration is vital to meeting Australia’s future energy needs.

“The annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release is a key part of our plan to promote investment in new offshore exploration.”

The 2018 release is made up of 21 areas located across six basins.

The government is now consulting on acreage release reform for future releases. Minister Canavan strongly encouraged all stakeholders to have their say.

“The proposed reform will make future acreage releases more responsive to market demand, improve transparency of consultation processes, and simplify bidding rounds,” said Minister Canavan.

The 2018 Acreage Release is available at

A paper describing the proposed changes  for future acreage releases is available at


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AUSTRALIA’s approach to a safety assurance system for automated vehicles is the subject of a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) which opened for public consultation on May 15..

According to National Transport Commission (NTC) chief executive Paul Retter, Australia’s existing laws and regulations do not recognise automated vehicles. The Consultation RIS seeks feedback on what role Australian governments will play in assuring the safety of automated driving systems, and what form a safety assurance system would take.

“We have produced the Consultation RIS to gather feedback on the four safety assurance options identified: no change to existing laws, and three options with various choices of safety assurance systems – administrative, legislative, and legislative with a primary safety duty of care on the entity responsible for the automated driving system,” Mr Retter said.

This follows a request by transport ministers across Australia for the NTC to assess the costs and benefits of a mandatory self-certification safety assurance system for automated vehicles.

Self-certification by entities bringing automated driving systems to the Australian market was chosen as the preferred safety assurance approach of government and industry, following on from consultation by the NTC in 2017.

The Consultation RIS has proposed 11 safety criteria that responsible entities would need to self-certify against, which include aspects of safety system design, compliance with road traffic laws, the ability for systems to be upgraded, mandated testing in Australia, and cyber security, to name a few.

“Governments around the world are grappling with regulatory frameworks for automated vehicles, and we aim to ensure Australia’s safety assurance systems are best practice,” Mr Retter said.

The NTC has distributed information on the Consultation RIS to automated vehicle manufacturers internationally as well as across all state and territory governments, the Commonwealth and local industry stakeholders.

Submissions for the Consultation RIS can be made online on the NTC website  until Monday, July 9, 2018.

Following consultation, the NTC will prepare a Decision RIS for consideration by Australia’s transport ministers in November 2018.

A Regulation Impact Statement is required for government decisions that are likely to have a measurable impact on businesses or community organisations. Consultation is required with parties likely to be affected by the regulatory proposal.

The National Transport Commission is responsible for developing an end-to-end regulatory system for the safe commercial deployment of automated vehicles in Australia by 2020.

Click here for more information on the NTC’s suite of projects relating to automated vehicles.


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THE FEDERAL Government is leading the charge against the black economy by strengthening procurement processes to ensure that contracts are only awarded to businesses which have a good compliance history.

Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O'Dwyer, has released a consultation paper on improving the integrity of the Commonwealth procurement process.

As announced in the 2018‑19 Budget, from 1 July 2019, businesses seeking to tender for Australian Government procurement contracts over $4 million (including GST) will be required to provide a statement from the Australian Taxation Office indicating that they are generally compliant with their tax obligations.

Minister O'Dwyer said the Government was acting on the Black Economy Taskforce findings that the supply chain is becoming more complex and competitive and can disadvantage honest businesses.

"In some cases, suppliers may be outbid at the procurement point by those who have unfairly cut costs by not complying with their tax obligations. This puts suppliers that do meet their regulatory obligations at a commercial disadvantage," Minister O'Dwyer said.

"The government is taking the opportunity to level the playing field. The new requirements will not only give businesses a fair go, it will instil public confidence that honest businesses are being awarded government contracts."

Minister O'Dwyer said the Government was looking to implement the changes in a way that minimises the burden on potential suppliers and stakeholders.

The consultation paper is available on the Treasury website and submissions close on 15 June 2018.

Consultation builds on recommendations made by the Black Economy Taskforce in their final report to the Government. The Final Report and the Government's response are available on the Treasury website.


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FROM superyachts and supercars, to live entertainment and cooking demonstrations, interactive Kids’ Zones and a fishing tournament with a massive prize package, the 2018 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show offers visitors a feast of options to entertain, inform and excite.

So much more than just a boat show, SCIBS 2018 is a fantastic family day out with more than enough to keep each and every member of the family amused all day, or over multiple days if you want to see everything.

For anglers of all skill levels, the popular SCIBS fishing tournament is back again, this year branded the 2018 SCIBS ‘Fly Scoot’ Bream Shootout presented by Shimano. The winner-takes-all event takes place Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 May and promises to be great fun for participants and visitors to the Boat Show alike.

For the fourth year in a row, beach, boating and fishing expert Paul Burt returns as official SCIBS ambassador and is patron of the annual fishing competition, with the live weigh-in taking place across the weekend and judging on The Main Stage on the Sunday of SCIBS.

The tournament will be complemented by daily live fishing demonstrations at the Berkley Supertank presented by resident angling experts, Brett Thomson and Michael Cooke.

The spectacular 15m long and 3m high Perspex-sided giant mobile fish tank harbours a natural habitat and an abundance of tropical fish, with visitors able to learn the tricks of the trade of today’s top anglers on the different types of Berkley lures and how fish react to them.

Over at The Main Stage, Paul Burt will host daily cooking segments showcasing the freshest and tastiest ways to prepare seafood, plus a huge program of fantastic entertainment will be on offer across the four days of SCIBS, including Virtual Reality (VR) and interactive experiences, drones for fishing and fun, lessons on rope-tying and talented local live music performers, roving entertainers, cocktail-making classes and more!

The weekend program offers hours of fun for the junior set, with the SCIBS Kids’ Zone featuring plenty to keep the little boaties entertained. Along with a jumping castle and games, there will also be face painting, and roving entertainment, including appearances by the one and only Captain Jack Sparrow.

From an educational standpoint, the Sea World Research & Rescue vessel and its qualified crew will be on hand to inform visitors on how they can play their part and contribute to conservation and protection of our marine life, with sessions on animal rescue onboard ‘Sea World 1’.

The latest in high-tech maritime patrol vessels, the Coast Guard will also be sure to impress, imparting their crucial role in patrolling our coastline for security and safety at sea.

Motorsport fans will be in auto-heaven, with the display from three-time Bathurst winner Tony Longhurst and his BMW GT4 The Boat Works car, which won the 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race. Drivers Tony Longhurst and Aaron Seton will be meeting visitors and signing autographs on Saturday at The Boat Works stand.

The festival atmosphere will be enhanced by roving entertainers and the award-winning talents of Master Illusionist Matt Hollywood, who will perform his mind-blowing magic act in the Village Theatre on the Friday and Saturday night at SCIBS.

SCIBS general manager Johan Hasser said visitors will also be able to sample and savour the wide selection of pop-up food stalls and the varied dining options throughout The Marine Village across the four-day event.

 “It’s no exaggeration to say there’s something for everyone at SCIBS 2018,” he said.

“Australians love the coastal lifestyle and there will be every facet of boating on display, alongside a lively entertainment schedule with something for all the family.

“We invite visitors to come along and enjoy the wide entertainment and food offering available, and soak up the great atmosphere in The Marine Village.

“We can’t wait for the gates to open on Thursday (24 May) and for our exhibitors, sponsors and partners to turn on a wonderful 30th SCIBS welcome!”

Further details on how to register for the SCIBS 2018 ‘Fly Scoot’ Bream Shoot Out and T&Cs are available online at

For more information to see What’s On Show, or to purchase tickets to SCIBS 2018, visit

Running May 24 to 27, 2018 the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show attracts more than 40,000 visitors and 300 exhibitors to a spectacular showcase featuring hundreds of boats and thousands of marine products across four days.

SCIBS offers FREE park ‘n’ ride services from Warner Bros. Movie World, along with limited on-site parking, available pre-paid.



The $A2 billion Sanctuary Cove Resort, located on the northern Gold Coast, is Australia’s leading and most successful master-planned community.

Featuring two 18-hole championship golf courses, a 226-berth marina, five-star InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Country Club including full fitness centre, tennis courts and 25m swimming pool, Sanctuary Cove is also home to some of the most diverse waterfront, golf course fronting or hilltop residential house and land options on the Gold Coast.

At the heart of the community is The Marine Village – Sanctuary Cove’s vibrant precinct featuring more than 80 tenancies, including a selection of shopping, cafés, restaurants, bars and business services.

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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES firm EY has been named Australia’s 2018 Employer of the Year for LGBTI inclusion at the Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards, hosted today by ACON’s Pride in Diversity - the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion.

More than 700 business leaders, diversity champions, HR professionals and many more actively working on LGBTI inclusion came together at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney to celebrate the results of Australian Workplace Equality Index

(AWEI); a rigorous, evidence-based benchmarking instrument that assesses workplaces in the work and impact of their LGBTI inclusion initiatives.

In 2018, for the first time, there was significant shift in the makeup of top employers. Traditionally dominated by financial and professional services, this year saw representation from various levels of government (Australian Taxation Office and Brisbane City Council), retail (Woolworths), higher education (RMIT University), energy and resources (AGL Energy) and religious organisations (Uniting). 

Twelve organisations were awarded Gold Employer status, with an additional four being awarded Platinum for the longevity of their high performance spanning at least four of the last five years (Westpac, LendLease, Accenture, Commonwealth Bank).

This year’s awards were attended by a record number of CEOs and Australian business leaders, including Qantas CEO and Pride In Diversity co-patron, Alan Joyce, and Luke Sayers, CEO of Pricewaterhouse Coopers, who picked up this year’s CEO of the Year Award for his role in LGBTI inclusion.

Director of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs (which incorporates Pride in Diversity, Pride in Sport and Pride in Health+Wellbeing) Dawn Hough said, “The AWEI has seen remarkable growth over the first eight years of its life; this year we see the most significant change in the diversity of our top employers and a much higher growth in participation of our small employers which we are delighted about."

The AWEI saw 135 employers across Australia participate this year (both small and large employer indices), a 16 percent increase on 2017 participation. The employee survey attached to the index received 23,130 responses, an increase of 38 percent. Participation by small employers rose by 120 percent this year with Key Assets, The Children’s Services Provider (Australia) taking out Small Employer of the Year Award.

“ACON congratulates all award winners recognised today on their significant achievement and for showing great leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion,” Ms Hough added.

Pride Inclusion Programs will next celebrate LGBTI inclusion within Australian sport with the inaugural Australian Pride in Sport Awards in Melbourne on 19 June. Held at the Showtime Events Centre, the awards will honour national and state sporting organisations, clubs and individuals as it showcases the results of the Pride in Sport Index (PSI) – the national benchmarking instrument used to assess LGBTI inclusion within Australian sport.

The event will be hosted by renowned Australian sports journalist, Tracey Holmes, and attended by Pride in Sport co-patrons Alex Blackwell and Daniel Kowalski, along with several other high profile athletes.

For more information on ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, go to

2018 Australian LGBTI Inclusion Awards Recipients



Employer of the Year


LGBTI Employee Network of the Year

Prism, EnergyAustralia

CEO of the Year

Luke Sayers, PwC

Platinum Employers

LendLease, Accenture, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Gold Employers

ANZ, Uniting, AGL Energy, Australian Taxation Office, Mercer (Australia) Pty Ltd, Brisbane City Council, Clayton Utz, RMIT University, Deloitte Australia, Deutsche Bank Australia, Woolworths, EY

Small Employer

Key Assets, The Children’s Services Provider (Australia)

Most Improved Employer


Trans/Gender Diverse Inclusion


External Media Campaign

Hold Tight, ANZ

Executive Leadership

James Collins, PwC

Network Leader of the Year

Mark Hodgson, Alcoa

Out Role Model

Angus Lonergan, YMCA NSW

Sapphire Inspire

Kimberly Olsen, Uniting

The Sally Webster Ally Award

Melissa Tandy, ANZ


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