The public is invited to comment on an amendment to the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 associated with strengthened export controls around the supply, publication and brokering of items listed in the Defence and Strategic Goods List.
The Defence Trade Controls Amendment Bill 2015 (the Bill) has been drafted to change the scope of regulation associated with the strengthened export controls introduced by the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 (the Act).
The Act’s provisions relating to strengthened export controls are subject to a two-year transition period which began on 16 May 2013.
During this transition period, the Department of Defence, through the Defence Export Control Office, has been working closely with stakeholders. This work has resulted in a number of proposed legislative and policy changes.
In addition to strengthened export controls, the Act introduced a treaty between Australia and the United States of America – the Defence Trade Cooperation Treaty.
The Bill does not affect this treaty.The Bill and its associated documents, including the DTC Amendment (Decision Criteria) Regulation 2015, are now open for public consultation until 30 January 2015.
Public consultation sessions will occur in all capital cities from 19-30 January 2015.
Informal stakeholder engagement and consultation will continue across all sectors after the formal period of consultation has concluded.
The relevant documents and further information can be accessed from the Defence Export Control Office (DECO) website: www.defence.gov.au/deco/
SHOPPERS are expected to spend $16.1 billion during post-Christmas sales from Boxing Day through to 15 January 2015.
New research released by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan reveals the figure of $16.1 billion represents an estimated year on year growth of 3.6 percent.
ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said last year’s post-Christmas predicted sale figure ($15.1 billion) was confirmed only slightly higher at $15.5 billion.
“Previous ARA/Roy Morgan Christmas research has been almost spot-on every time, meaning retailers can be quite confident that this Christmas will be a merry one.
“Looking at the actual post-Christmas sales figures for 2013 and this year’s post Christmas predictions, the hospitality sector shows the highest level of growth at 6.7 percent.
“Household goods (4 percent) and food (3.6 percent) categories are also set to experience a small but significant jump in post-Christmas sales, indicating that gift buying will be replaced by shoppers splurging on household items for themselves as well as dining out.
“It’s fantastic to see that all states and territories are predicted to experience positive growth post-Christmas, ranging from 1.2 percent (ACT) to 4.2 percent (NSW).
“As we know, the festive sales period doesn’t just continue in the stores; there are also many shoppers who will be enjoying the sales from their living rooms. Some retailers are expected to start their Boxing Day sales as early as Christmas Eve.
“After what has been a very tough year in business, the ARA is confident that the retail industry will enjoy a well-deserved boost in sales this Christmas and we hope this positive trend will continue into 2015,” Mr Zimmerman said.
Since 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has been the peak industry body representing Australia’s $265 billion retail sector, which employs over 1.2 million people. The ARA ensures retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia.
PARLIAMENT’s Joint Public Accounts and Audit Committee (JCPAA) will examine the joint Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) and Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) Major Projects Report (MPR) 2013-14.
Today, the JCPAA opened an inquiry into the MPR 2013-14 following the report’s out-of-session tabling in the Australian Parliament.
Committee Chair, Dr Andrew Southcott MP, said that major Defence equipment acquisition projects remain the subject of considerable parliamentary and public interest, in view of their high cost, contribution to national security and the challenges involved in completing them within budget, on time and to the required level of capability.
“This is the seventh MPR produced by the ANAO and DMO and the Committee remains committed to seeing that, when it comes to Defence procurement, Australian tax-payers money is being spent wisely,” Dr Southcott said.
“The JCPAA’s on-going work has been very important in the MPR’s development. Our efforts actively contribute to greater efficiencies in terms of current Defence projects as well as helping inform government on the best way to approach new Defence acquisitions, such as the Future Submarine project.”
Interested persons and organisations are invited to make submissions to the Committee’s inquiry by Friday, 13 February 2015. Further information about the Committee’s inquiry, including details on how to lodge a submission, are available on the Committee’s website at: www.aph.gov.au/jcpaa.
A public hearing is expected be held on 27 February 2015.
THE Australian Government will begin a nationwide voluntary site nomination process for a radioactive waste management facility. A call for expressions of interest from landowners will open in March 2015.
The nationwide process will provide an opportunity for landowners in all States and Territories to nominate land for a facility under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012.
The Department of Industry will establish technical and public interest stakeholder panels to assist in developing a framework to shortlist potentially suitable volunteered sites. Sites will be assessed against technical, economic, social and environmental factors.
The site, construction and operation of the facility will be subject to assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998. This multi-stage process will involve extensive community consultation and ensure safety and the protection of human health and the environment.
Australia has 4,000 cubic metres of low level and 550 cubic metres of medium level waste in temporary storage. The Government is committed to taking responsibility for this waste, which is a by-product of world leading medical and industrial processes that benefit all Australians.
The site identification, assessment and selection will be transparent, rigorous and informed by thorough public consultation.
THE Australian PGA Championship will remain in Queensland under a new long-term agreement that will see the tournament hosted on the Gold Coast until 2017.
Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games, Jann Stuckey, made the announcement to an enthusiastic crowd of golf fans.
“It is with great pleasure I announce the Australian PGA Championship will remain on the Gold Coast until 2017 under a new agreement between Tourism and Events Queensland and the PGA of Australia,” said Ms Stuckey.
“Australia’s oldest professional golf tournament, the Australian PGA Championship has quickly established itself as a must-see event on the Gold Coast event calendar.
“Destination Success, Queensland’s 20-year plan for tourism, recognises the importance of securing major events such as this which drive repeat visitation to Queensland’s destinations.
“The Australian PGA Championship will be promoted as part of It’s Live! highlighting the perfect union of world-class events in world-class destinations."
Ms Stuckey said the agreement will see Tourism and Events Queensland work in partnership with the PGA of Australia to offer visitors an expanded program of entertainment throughout the Australian PGA Championship.
“A live music concert program, expanded fan zones and a stadium experience around the 16th hole are all options being considered to create a unique and Famous for fun Australian PGA Championship experience,” she said.
“I look forward to welcoming the world’s golfing greats, their families and friends back to the Gold Coast for the 2015 Australian PGA Championship.”
PGA of Australia Chief Executive Officer, Brian Thorburn re-affirmed the statements of Minister Stuckey for the future of the tournament on the Gold Coast.
“The Australian PGA Championship has a long and proud history in Queensland, and we are excited for what the future holds. Not only does it provide great opportunity for growth and development, it also provides certainty for our flagship event and one of Australia’s major golf tournaments.”
“The event has always been a favourite for players on the PGA Tour of Australasia, and with the Gold Coast confirmed as the home of the Australian PGA Championship for a further three years we have the opportunity to deliver an even greater spectacle for players, visitors and the local community” added Thorburn.
The Australian PGA Championship is co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia, and is Australia’s oldest professional golf tournament. Past winners include Peter Thomson, Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch, Wayne Grady and current world number three Adam Scott.