Lockout exemption for Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

The NSW Government will provide an exemption to lockout requirements at venues in the Oxford St area for the 40th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on the weekend of 3-4 March. Minister for Racing Paul Toole said the one-off exemption means patrons will be able to be admitted to venues in the area […]

New retrospective Queensland law validates council rates

A law has been introduced in the Queensland Parliament which retrospectively validates council rates that may have been improperly issued. The new Local Government Legislation (Validation of Rates and Charges) Amendment Bill 2018 has been formulated as a response to a Queensland Supreme Court ruling in November 2017. That ruling, known as the Linville case, […]

Australia becoming more corrupt, shows international index

Australia rates comparatively well on international corruption scales, but it is getting worse. The annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) from Transparency International rates 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people. It uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and […]

Data notification law starts today – as Privacy Commissioner says goodbye

Timothy Pilgrim, retired public servant The world is very different now, but many of us don’t know it. From 22 February 2018 Australia has a new Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) regimen. Under the laws, passed in 2017 as the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act, companies and government agencies have to tell people  if lost […]

Tumbarumba amalgamation protests intensify

They’re mad as hell down Tumbarumba way. The Snowy Mountains town best known for John O’Brien’s wonderful poem ‘Up at Tumba-bloody-rumba shootin’ kanga-bloody-roos’ has become the touchstone for renewed opposition to the NSW Government’s disastrous forced council amalgamation strategy. In May 2016 the local council was merged with neighbouring Tumut Shure to form Snowy Valleys […]

Operation Belcarra claims Queensland electoral commissioner

Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) head Walter van der Merwe has resigned, two days after being suspended for allegations of serious misconduct. Current ECQ Assistant Electoral Commissioner Dermot Tiernan will be Acting Electoral Commissioner. In a short statement, Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said Mr van der Merwe “has delivered his resignation to the Governor this […]

Opinion – Australia’s jails a national disgrace

Australia’s states and territories are building more and more prisons, trying to outdo each other on law and order. Crime rates across Australia are falling , but incarceration rates have never been higher. So are the costs of locking up so many people. Australianj ails are becoming increasingly overcrowded, with many at breaking point. They […]

Logan City Council in uproar as CEO sacked

Logan City Council has sacked its CEO Sharon Kelsey, who was appointed only in June 2017 after an intensive nationwide search. The council has refused to give any reasons for her termination, and Ms Kelsey herself has said she cannot comment for legal reasons. The Council meeting that decided on the move ended in uproar […]

Productivity Commission savages financial regulatory system

Australia’s ‘Four Pillars’ banking policy is redundant, there is not enough competition in the insurance industry, and the banks are using their market power to gouge their customers. That’s what the Productivity Commission thinks. The independent government agency has released its Draft Report on Competition in the Australian Financial System. It does not paint a […]

Councillors not in ‘office of profit’

Australia’s High Court has said that mayors and other councillors are eligible to stand for state and federal parliaments, ruling that they do not hold ‘an office of profit under the Crown’. The judgement came with a unanimous decision by the Court in a case brought by One Nation against Devonport mayor Steve Martin, who […]

Armidale policy will ‘undermine public confidence’ in local government

In 2016 the NSW Government amended the Local Government Act to change the legal definition of the role of councillors in the state. As well as motherhood statements such as being active and making considered decisions, one of the new responsibilities was “to uphold and represent accurately the policies and decisions of the governing body” […]

PC Report on Government Services – Justice

The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services (RoGS) also covers Justice – Police, Courts and Corrective Services. Total government expenditure for the justice services measured in RoGS was almost $16 billion in 2016-17, around 7.2 percent of total government expenditure on services. Police services were the largest contributor (65.4 percent of this amount), followed by […]

PC Report on Government Services – Community Services

The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services (RoGS) contain a large section on Community Services. It breaks the sector into four categories: aged care, services for people with disabilities, child protection services, and youth justice services. It is an enormous sector, second only to health. Total Federal, state and territory government recurrent expenditure on community […]

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