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Price check on public transport

By Kim Powell Only 20 to 30 per cent of the costs of running public transport are recouped through fares, so given how little revenue it raises, would more people use public transport if it was free? Daniel Bowen, president of lobby group Public Transport Users Association in Victoria, says the “number one reason more […]

Half of WA’s councils are financially unsustainable: report

By Jane Hammond in Perth Most councils in Western Australia are in dire financial straights with more than half found to be financially unsustainable by an independent study commissioned by the WA Local Government Association (WALGA). The interim findings of the eight-month Systemic Sustainability Study were released at the annual Local Government Week convention in […]

Downer urges Australians to think big

By Jane Garcia in Sydney Just as the Socceroos proved they could join the ‘big league’ in playing in the World Cup, Australia should back itself when it comes to foreign policy and advancing its interests at a global level, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer. Speaking at The Centre for Independent Studies’ […]

Health vital for progress in regions

By Kim Powell in Sydney Australia’s healthcare system is a product of a “bygone era” and in order to meet the challenges of an ageing population, a more integrated and flexible approach to prevention and care needs to be adopted, Professor Hal Swerissen, the acting dean of La Trobe University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, told […]

Links to the past

By Jane Garcia You not only have to know the past to understand the present, but you should recognise its effect and potential when dealing with Aboriginal health, according to a Curtin University of Technology expert. “If I get hit by a truck tomorrow, there is virtually nothing that the emergency department of Royal Darwin […]

End of the party

By Kim Powell With significant increases in the number of Australians using ‘party drugs’, including ecstasy, amphetamines and cocaine, the NSW Health Minister John Hatzistergos unveiled the Amphetamines, Ecstasy and Cocaine: A Prevention and Treatment Plan 2005-2009 to tackle the use of psychostimulants in young people, long-haul truck drivers, indigenous people, injecting drug users, people […]

Victorian public sector’s bully blight

By Jane Garcia Bullying and harassment continue to be a major concern for the Victorian public service, according to a survey of nearly 14,000 public sector workers by the State Services Authority’s. The People Matter Survey 2005 found only 62 per cent of public sector employees agreed that their workplace was free from bullying and […]

Information management is everyone’s business

By Lisa Simmons Last year saw a spate of document security breaches and inadvertent leaks of sensitive information in Australia and globally that have left government departments reeling with thoughts of what the consequences could be if a similar thing happened to them. In August 2005, Victorian Premier Steve Bracks said he was “sick and […]

Australia’s health spending prognosis

By Jane Garcia in Sydney More than 80 delegates attending the 8th Annual Health Conference held in Sydney in March heard about diverse aspects of health care from funding frameworks and the role of the private health care industry, to workforce challenges and information technology. Health care had essentially become a luxury good, with economic […]

Concealed costs of casual workforce

By Jane Garcia Australia has experienced an increase in the number of workers employed on a casual or temporary basis, but employers should beware of the growing international research linking increased risk of illness and injury to these forms of employment, according to research sponsored by Sydney law firm Bartier Perry. The Hidden Health and […]

The secret to a ‘smart funding cocktail’

By Kim Powell in Hobart Unless regional infrastructure is up to scratch, investors will not look beyond major cities when funding projects, and several federal inquiries have confirmed this is already happening, said an expert in investment attraction at the LGAT conference in Hobart. “The worldwide evidence is that the quality of regional infrastructure is […]

Pursue financial autonomy and political renewal

By Kim Powell in Hobart Local government should put constitutional recognition and the call for more federal money on the backburner and instead focus on community engagement and long term strategic planning, said Graham Sansom in a keynote address at the 94th Conference for Local Government in Hobart in June. Professor Sansom is the director […]

Promoting holidays at home

By Jane Garcia Australians are keen to spend their holidays exploring their home country, according to a recent survey of 5000 people conducted by travel agency group Travelscene American Express. About 34 per cent of participants said they were planning their next major trip within Australia, rather than overseas. More people were interested in planning […]