Friday, September 22, 2023



Intergovernmental agreement signed for delivery of Norfolk Island services

Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, and the Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Olympics, the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, have signed an Intergovernmental Agreement for the provision of state services to Norfolk Island, marking the beginning of an enduring partnership for the delivery of essential services to one of Australia’s most remote communities. 

Maldon Hospital and Castlemaine Health exploring how to come together

The Boards of Maldon Hospital and Castlemaine Health have jointly agreed to explore a voluntary amalgamation they believe would deliver better health services for the communities of Mount Alexander, and secure Maldon Hospital in its current form for generations to come. The Boards will now commission a proposal that will examine the potential benefits of unification.

Submission to the Regional Telecommunications Review 2021

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) published its submission to the Regional Telecommunications Review 2021. The submission highlighted the concerns of telco consumers living outside Australia’s metropolitan centres and provides insight into phone and internet complaint trends.

Telstra fails … again

Mobile phone services went down in Coen, Laura and Lakeland last week, prompting criticism of Telstra ahead of the wet season, when telecommunications struggle to cope with the heavy rainfall. Travellers were left with no mobile reception between Cooktown and Weipa as a result of the outage, which Telstra said lasted around 30 hours.

NSW Hydrogen Strategy to drive investment, create jobs and power prosperity

NSW is set to attract more than $80 billion of investment, drive deep decarbonisation and establish itself as an energy and economic superpower with the launch of the NSW Hydrogen Strategy ... Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said hydrogen was a huge opportunity for regional NSW. “We know that regional economies are diversifying, and the NSW government’s Hydrogen Strategy is bringing that to life,” Mr Toole said.

Publicly-owned generator joins Gladstone hydrogen consortium

Publicly-owned renewable energy generator CleanCo has signed an agreement to join Sumitomo Corporation and its partners on the development of a hydrogen industry in Gladstone.

Clifton GAB bore and new treatment plant to be up and running early 2022

Design and construction of Clifton’s new reverse osmosis (RO) water treatment plant is well underway with the purchase of equipment, building water storage tanks and connection pipes.

Government introduces population growth factor to raise infrastructure funds for growing councils and communities

Shelly Hancock, NSW Minister for Local Government, announces that the NSW government will introduce a population growth factor in the annual rate peg from July 2022 to raise additional revenue for councils to fund key infrastructure in growing communities.

Cleaner, reliable and affordable secure energy system by 2030

As part of the transition to affordable, reliable, cleaner and secure energy, the Territory Labor Government has released the Darwin-Katherine Electricity System Plan. The System Plan provides a comprehensive and credible pathway to generate 50% renewable energy by 2030 in the Darwin-Katherine Electricity System - cutting emissions in half. 

Palaszczuk Government takes next steps for Southern Downs water security

Water security for the Southern Downs region is being bolstered with early works underway on projects to unlock new water sources and upgrades to critical water infrastructure.

NSW gives nation’s biggest energy project the go-ahead

New South Wales is leading the nation’s charge towards a low-emissions energy system after the NSW Government approved stage one of a $1.8 billion transmission line that would link NSW and South Australia’s energy networks for the first time. Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said stage one planning approval had been granted for the NSW Western Section of Energy Connect, a 900-kilometre transmission line that would run from Wagga Wagga to Robertstown in SA, with a spur line to Victoria.

Proposed global scale Energy Hub one step closer for NQ

Townsville is a step closer to a huge industry and jobs boost from a proposed advanced manufacturing facility at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct that would refine ore to produce critical materials for use in new-technology batteries. Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the proposed Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) had been declared a prescribed project and would support North Queensland’s economic recovery.

Whyalla firming as hydrogen hub

City of Whyalla Mayor Clare McLaughlin said council welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to hydrogen production on Eyre Peninsula, further augmenting the State Government’s investment in infrastructure and projects that will support Whyalla as a “mega-green” hydrogen hub.

Proposal fires up Grafton community

Emma Pritchard. A proposal by Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) to take Grafton Fire Station offline temporarily in the event of staff shortages has fired up the local community, including Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis. As residents angrily expressed their concerns in response to the proposal on the Clarence Valley Independents Facebook page, Mr Gulaptis said he won’t accept any proposal that puts the community at risk.

Inland Rail civil works agreements to bring on billions in investment for New South Wales

The Australian Rail Track Corporation has progressed agreements with Laing O’Rourke (Freight Connect) and Acciona CPB Joint Venture (ACACPB JV) for the detailed designs and civil works construction planning for critical sections of Inland Rail in New South Wales. These companies will now seek partnerships with businesses and skilled operators that can support delivery ...

Future looks bright – solar investment to reduce reliance on diesel

Weipa's solar farm will triple in size as Rio Tinto looks to reduce its reliance on diesel power generation in Cape York. The mining giant has approved a new solar farm and battery storage in a move that will more than triple the local electricity network’s solar generation capacity and help provide cleaner power to Rio Tinto’s operations.

Safer, faster journeys across the Namoi with new bridge opening

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson celebrated the opening of the new 140m state of the art bridge alongside Tamworth Region Mayor Col Murray ... “Manilla currently sees a cavalcade of heavy trucks going right down the main street on a daily basis. This new bridge will change that, breathing new life into the historic town of Manilla,” Mr Anderson said.

Still no rural doctor solution

Chris Oldfield. A proposal developed last March to help solve SA's escalating rural doctor crisis appears not to have been passed on to the State Health Minister, Stephen Wade. He made the revelation while visiting Naracoorte last week to view progress on $3.1 million in capital works at the hospital. Additionally, a representative of Kincraig Medical Clinic confirmed that its local doctors were not notified of the Minister’s visit.

Improved water security and accessibility

Through grant funding provided via the Commonwealth Government's Drought Communities Programme (DCP) Extension new water standpipes have been installed in Eden Valley, Moculta and Mount Pleasant. The standpipes will support those within the council area who do not have access to reticulated water supplies and may have limited access via other sources due to ongoing drought conditions.

Energy companies the only beneficiaries of the Integrated Systems Plan

The National Farmers Federation is concerned about the significant cost blow-outs associated with the proposed Hume-Link Transmission Line, with costs blowing out by 250% to $3.317 billion.  Proposed transmission lines across Australia within the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Integrated Systems Plan (ISP) have caused significant issues with land-use conflict amongst farmers, and now are leaving households out of pocket.

Water supply secured, electricity generation defunct

Geoff Helisma. After many years of secret negotiations between Clarence Valley Council and Essential Energy, Coffs Harbour City Council and CVC will each hold a 50 per cent share of “the disused Nymboida Hydro Power Scheme and associated water licences” once the deal is settled ... However, it seems that recommissioning the hydro infrastructure to generate electricity is unlikely to proceed.

Firefighters fight proposal to move Grafton offline

Emma Pritchard. Grafton Fire Station is among 30 across the state outlined in a proposal by Fire and Rescue NSW to be temporarily taken offline in the event of staff shortages ... If implemented, Grafton Fire and Rescue 306 Station Deputy Captain Chris Rumpf said the proposal could jeopardise the safety of residents who rely on the service.

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