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Australia is blessed – and cursed – with a federal system of government. It allows greater diversity, and also causes problems when it comes to the coordination of service delivery. The biggest disparity is have always been in education and health. In the last few years energy and climate change policy have also become contentious. The Federal Government’s recently announced National Electricity Guarantee, and its retreat from Renewable Energy Target (RET), means that the state targets are now much more important. The lack of a national policy makes it harder for the renewable energy industry, and almost guarantees that Australia will not meet the Paris climate change mitigation targets that it has signed up for. The government has said there will be a special COAG on energy in November. It is hoping for something resembling a national policy, but its own lack of leadership means this will not be possible. Meanwhile the states, because of a genuine concern over climate change or political expediency, will continue to set their own RETs. It seems likely that renewable energy and climate change policy will remain a politicised battleground in Australia for the foreseeable future. So it is perhaps timely to examine the policies of each of the states. In August the Climate Council released a report ‘Renewables Ready: States Leading the Charge’. It is available here, and is worth a read. But in just a few months things have changed. Such is the volatility and lack of certainty in what passes for energy policy debate in Australia that even that report is now out of date. So, how the states currently doing, and what policies will be that they be taking into the energy COAG next month?

New South Wales

NSW has a coalition government, but one which is not quite as noncommittal about climate and energy as its federal counterpart. It talks the talk on renewable energy, but it doesn’t walk the walk. It says it has a net zero emissions target of zero by 2050, which is what most of the other states say, but that is so far out as to be meaningless. It has a ‘Renewable Energy Action Plan’ which “positions the state to increase energy from renewable sources at least cost to the energy customer and with maximum benefits to NSW.” In other words it is mostly fluff. Its only mention of an actual number is that it supports “the former national target of 20 percent” renewables by 2020. The Climate Council gives it a low C rating,

Victoria

Victoria’s Labor government has set a renewables target of 20 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2025. This year it introduced a ‘Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Bill’ which will enshrine the state’s RET in legislation. The legislation, known as the VRET, has passed the lower house, but the conservative opposition has vowed to destroy it. The upper house, the Victorian Legislative Council, has a very large and diverse crossbench, similar to the Australian Senate. The Climate Council gives Victoria a B rating.

Queensland

Queensland’s Labor government holds power on a knife edge and is facing an election, after which the reactionary One Nation party, which is strongest in that state, may hold the balance of power. The government has a target of 50 percent renewables by 2030, which again is so far away is not to mean very much. The Government supports the giant Adani Coal mine, which dominates environmental debate in that state. Expect nothing to happen before the state election, due by May next year. The Climate Council gives Queensland a B rating.

South Australia

South Australia is the poster boy among the states for its renewable energy efforts. It is famously championed wind and solar energy. It has a target of 50 percent by 2025, and is already nearly there. Its recent deal with entrepreneur Elon Musk for the world’s largest battery storage facility has given the state a global prominence in renewables. It well publicised blackouts during storms last year have polarised the debate, with opponents blaming the problems when the state’s energy policy. The government has reiterated its commitment to renewables since the announcement of the Federal Government’s National Electricity Guarantee. The Climate Council gives South Australia an A rating.

Western Australia

Western Australia is the only state that is not part of the National Electricity Market (too expensive to get power lines across the Nullarbor), and it has a comparatively new Labour government which has said it will not introduce an RET. The Climate Council gives WA a C rating.

Tasmania

Tasmania is fortunate in having abundant hydroelectricity power, providing 90 percent of the state’s electricity. It is aiming for 100 percent by 2022. It does not figure strongly in the National RET debate, and has been given an A rating by the Climate Council.

ACT

The ACT’s RET of 100 percent by 2022 earns it an A rating from the Climate Council, but its small size makes it virtually irrelevant to the debate

Northern Territory

The NT has a meaningless renewable target of 50 percent by 2030, and like Western Australia and is not part of the national electricity market. Like the ACT and Tasmania, its policies carry no weight. If it looks a bit like a dog’s breakfast, that’s because that is what it is. And the biggest dog of all, the Federal Government, has skipped the meal altogether.   [post_title] => Renewable energy targets – a state-by state comparison [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => renewable-energy-targets-state-state-comparison [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-20 14:19:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-20 03:19:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28326 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28322 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-20 10:45:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-19 23:45:07 [post_content] =>

Australia could be the beneficiary of a growing trade dispute between Canada and the USA. The Trump administration is threatening to place heavy 300 percent import duties on Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier because US manufacturer Boeing says the Canadians receive unfair government assistance. Canada has responded by saying it will not buy US fighter aircraft, but will instead buy second hand planes from other countries. Defence industry Minister Christopher Pyne has confirmed that the Australian government has received a request from Canada to buy Australia’s F/A-18 Hornet fleet, which will be replaced in the next decade by the new but controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. The West Australian newspaper has reported that Mr Pyne is amenable and plans to visit Canada early next year to discuss that deal and possible Canadian involvement in Australia’s upcoming Future Frigate project. Australia has over 70 Hornets, which had to be replaced by a similar number of F 35s over the next ten years. Both machines are manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. Australia’s Hornets entered service in 1984. They were upgraded in the late 1990s, and two squadrons of the newer F/A-18F Super Hornets have been added since 2009. Canada has over 100 Hornets of various models. The F-35 has been plagued by delays and cost overruns. In 2016 Canada announced that it was reviewing its F-35 order and would look at new Super Hornets in the interim. Now that is on hold as Canada reviews its options in light of the potential trade war with the USA. Bombardier, based in Montréal, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of smaller and mid-range passenger aircraft, with Brazil’s Embraer also a major player. Both manufacturers are now moving into larger planes, as is China’s Comac, threatening the Boeing-Airbus passenger jet duopoly. Bombardier (pronounced bom-bard-eeay in the French fashion) has signed a deal with Airbus under which the European company will buy a majority stake in the Bombardier subsidiary building the new 160 seat C series passenger jet. Airbus has said it will build the C series planes at its factory in Mobile, Alabama to avoid import duties, but Boeing is still lobbying for a prohibitive surcharge, claiming that Bombardier receives unfair subsidies from the Quebec and Canadian governments. The matter remains unresolved, with a decision expected from the US Department of Commerce by May 2018. So there is a good chance maple leaves may replace kangaroos in the roundels of Australia’s existing fleet of jet fighters. [post_title] => Canada to buy old RAAF jets? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => canada-buy-old-raaf-jets [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-20 10:45:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-19 23:45:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28322 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28318 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-19 16:03:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-19 05:03:43 [post_content] =>

A US artificial intelligence thinktank has raised serious concerns about the use of the technology in government, and especially in the legal system. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the use of computers to simulate human thought. AI is increasingly being used to make decisions in business, most notably in systems called robotic process automation (RPA), which is becoming increasingly popular in Australia. The AI Now Institute at New York University has released its 2017 report, which focuses on the use of AI in government and the law. It cautions against the unrestrained use of AI in government agencies, because they are not transparent nor subject to an individual’s rights to due process. “Core public agencies, such as those responsible for criminal justice, health care, welfare, and education should no longer use ‘black box’ AI and algorithmic systems,” it warns. “This includes the unreviewed or invalidated use of pre-trained models, AI systems licensed from third party vendors, and algorithmic processes created in-house. The use of such systems by public agencies raises serious due process concerns, and at a minimum they should be available for public auditing, testing, and review, and subject to accountability standards.” The report says that AI technologies are developing rapidly and are being adopted widely. “While the concept of artificial intelligence has existed for over sixty years, real-world applications have only accelerated in the last decade due to three concurrent developments: better algorithms, increases in networked computing power and the tech industry’s ability to capture and store massive amounts of data.” It examines the extent to which AI systems are already integrated in everyday technologies like smartphones and personal assistants, where they make predictions and determinations that help personalise experiences and advertise products. “Beyond the familiar, these systems are also being introduced in critical areas like law, finance, policing and the workplace, where they are increasingly used to predict everything from our taste in music to our likelihood of committing a crime to our fitness for a job or an educational opportunity. “AI companies promise that the technologies they create can automate the toil of repetitive work, identify subtle behavioural patterns and much more. “The design and implementation of this next generation of computational tools presents deep normative and ethical challenges for our existing social, economic and political relationships and institutions, and these changes are already underway. “AI does not exist in a vacuum. We must also ask how broader phenomena like widening inequality, an intensification of concentrated geopolitical power and populist political movements will shape and be shaped by the development.” Many critics of AI have concentrated on its potential to displace humans in many job functions. The AI Now Institute report considers this, but it says that in the government sphere there are also serious ethical concerns about how autonomous AI systems will affect the transparency of legal judgements and government decisions based on subjective analyses of a range of factors, in such areas as immigration. “Difficult decisions need to be made about how we value fairness and accuracy in risk assessment. It is not merely a technical problem, but one that involves important value judgments about how society should work. Left unchecked, the legal system is thus as susceptible to perpetuating AI-driven harm as any other institution.” The report is available here. [post_title] => Experts raise concerns on AI in law and government [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => experts-raise-concerns-ai-law-government [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-20 02:46:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-19 15:46:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28318 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28314 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-18 10:07:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-17 23:07:40 [post_content] =>

The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has released a YouTube video showing how to create its new Govpass digital identity. The video was announced in a blog by Felicity Hitchcock, a product manager at the DTA. Govpass will replace the existing 100 point identifier used to access Federal Government services. It is still in its beta development phase and is being trialled with selected users. The DTA is working with Australia Post to integrate the system with that agency’s existing Digital iD program. The Government intends Govpass to be universal digital ID for access all government services. It hopes to extend the system to the states and to private industry. Full scale implementation is planned for late 2018 or 2019. The YouTube video shows how a Govpass ID can be created online using documents such as a Medicare card, passport, drivers license and other information. It is, we are told, ‘trusted and secure’, and has had ‘hundreds of hours of user testing’. The documents are verified by the issuer. For example, a birth certificate will be verified by the department of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the issuing state. The final step of the five-minute process is to verify a photograph of the user. Using the camera on a computer, phone or tablet, a number of photographs are taken. These are submitted for comparison with an existing photographic identification such as a passport, which is held by the Attorney-General’s Department’s Facial Verification System – the same system that we were told just last week would be used only for antiterrorism. "The Australian Government has more than 30 different logins for digital services,” said Assistant Minister for Digital Transformation Angus Taylor, announcing the availability of video. “Not only does this create extra work for users, it represents unnecessary expense for agencies.” Mr Taylor said no details from the documents, or the photograph, are retained by Govpass. They are verified and discarded. “Face-to-face contact for government services will still be available, and an offline solution is being designed which will allow those who don’t have access to the appropriate documents to create a digital identity.” The YouTube video can be viewed here.   [post_title] => DTA releases Govpass YouTube video [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dta-releases-govpass-youtube-video [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-20 02:47:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-19 15:47:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28314 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28306 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-17 19:08:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-17 08:08:30 [post_content] =>

The Federal Government’s refusal to adopt the Chief Scientist’s recommendation for a Clean Energy Target has been roundly criticised by its political opponents. As you would expect. But what does it mean for the relationships between Australia’s different levels of government? The Government’s new policy sees the end of any subsidy for renewable energy after 2020, yet continues the effective subsidy of fossil fuels through the lack of a carbon price. It means that the unedifying and at times vicious squabbling that has marked what passes for debate on climate change and energy policy in this country will continue. The Federal Opposition has said, understandably, that it will not cooperate with the new policy and will oppose it in Parliament.Any dispassionate reading of the situation will show that it is Labor that has been prepared to compromise, and it is the Government that has retreated from bipartisanship. That fact alone will cause continued uncertainty, which most observers agree is a significant cause of the investment paralysis that is behind much of the increase in energy pricing in Australia in recent years. The Government's new policy is an energy policy first, with climate barely mentioned. It was developed unilaterally, with no reference to the states. Yet it is now demanding the very consensus it has conspicuously failed to deliver itself, and is asking for 'certainty' when it has been the main reason there is none. Its new policy is uncosted, unmodelled and -in the poisonous policy vacuum that it itself has created - unachievable. At the state level, the Labor States of Victoria, South Australia have indicated that they will pursue their own renewable targets.  Both are facing elections next year. Western Australia, which is not part of the National Electricity Market, is looking at its own policy. Queensland, effectively in election mode and with the Adani mine a major issue, is more equivocal, but sees no reason to compromise with the Feds. NSW has a Liberal government and will not want to be seen to be fighting the Feds. But it also has its own target of 20 percent renewables by 2020, and it too is facing an election, though not for 18 months. NSW will have to walk a fine line between maintaining Tory solidarity and not alienating voters. Both the Turnbull led Coalition and federal Labor believe they have the right policies on climate change and energy to appeal to voters. Coalition believes this so strongly that it is actually going out of its way to retreat from the modest climate policies of even the Abbott government (which, remember, supported a renewables target). Labor will push the necessity for action on climate, the Coalition will push energy security. Both will say their policies will achieve those objectives, and that their opponents’ will not. So Australia will have separate federal and state energy policies. On top of that, many local government authorities will have their own policies. There will be no national consensus, no certainty on investment, and no spirit of cooperation. Australia’s climate and energy policy landscape will be much like that of Donald Trump’s America. What a great example to follow. One difference will be that we will at least pay lip service to the Paris Climate agreement, but that means little, since under the Coalition’s policies we will have no chance of meeting our commitments. As in the US, we will have separate local, state and federal policies. The Special Energy COAG in November should be a lulu. Climate change, ‘the great moral issue of our time’, will in Australia continue to be a policy wasteland and political graveyard. Just last week we reported on the United Kingdom’s adoption of carbon pricing. We commented on how that country, under a Conservative government, has somehow managed to avoid the acrimony of the Australian debate. Climate change and energy policy in Australia remains broken. It represents a great failure of political will and the victory of short-termism over the common good. A few years ago I had a market research and analysis company specialising in climate change and energy efficiency. Most of our clients were the energy retailers and distributors. Then, during the years of the Gillard government, the whole debate turned poisonous. Nobody wanted to do anything. They didn’t want to plan, they didn’t want to invest, and they certainly didn’t want to buy market research. Policy uncertainty and wilful disinformation cost me my business. Let us hope it does not cost Australia much more. [post_title] => Renewables, climate and intergovernmental relations – OPINION [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => renewables-climate-intergovernmental-relations-opinion [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-20 02:47:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-19 15:47:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28306 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28300 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-17 14:43:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-17 03:43:07 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_28302" align="alignnone" width="300"] Dr Tony Bartone at his day job[/caption] The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has written to all state and territory health departments urging them to use new guidelines it has developed to communicate better with the health profession. The AMA says the Guide will inform the development of policy and improve the standards of care being provided to patients. It has also been distributed to all major operators of private hospitals. The Guide, with the snappy title ‘10 Minimum Standards for Communicating between Health Services and General Practitioners and other Treating Doctors’, has been adapted from an AMA Victoria document. AMA Vice President Dr Tony Bartone says the Guide provides key criteria for communication that can improve quality of care for patients, and also reduce duplication and waste in the health system. “The Guide encourages all health care providers and institutions to share the responsibility for improved communication across the whole patient journey from the community setting to treatment in a hospital or healthcare facility and return to the community,” Dr Bartone said. “That includes the clinical handover back to the patient’s general practitioner. Improving the communication between all the different providers in the health system can help to reduce re-admissions and minimise adverse events. “More effective communication delivers improvements in satisfaction and experience for patients, carers, families, doctors, and other health practitioners.” Dr Bartone, himself a GP, said the development of the AMA Guide was led by GPs, who are often frustrated by the lack of timely information or inadequate information about their patient’s progress in the health system. “GPs are the key coordinators of patient care, monitoring and managing their care and treatment. Any disruption to clear communication channels can have an adverse effect on patients,” he said. “We are delivering very good outcomes for patients in the Australian health system, but we can and should do better. We are confident that the AMA Guide will contribute to improved communication and, in turn, better overall care.” The AMA Guide covers vital criteria such as the timeliness of communication and its content; communication processes; the interface with practice software systems; good quality referrals, better discharge processes, and secure electronic communication systems. The Guide can be downloaded here. 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The NSW Government has released an online tool that shows graphically key demographic attributes of the state’s regions. The People and Places Dashboard shows data such as population age groups, household composition, and land usage. The data is projected 20 years into the future. The website was launched by Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts, who said it will help anyone looking to build a house, relocate to a new area or satisfy a curiosity about the current population projections in any local area. “This is a fantastic new online tool that gives great insight into any part of NSW now and in the future. Even those not exactly tech-savvy will find it simple to use – and schoolkids will love it. If you want to know the population make-up in your area, this is the tool to use,” he said. The data comes from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. “The dashboard is the type of thing that could expand over time and more and more relevant statistics added to paint a really detailed picture of our state and city,” said Mr Roberts. The dashboard presents official NSW population projections for every five years from 2016 to 2036 and allows users to:
  • find information on people and household demographics for the six districts in Sydney and nine districts in regional NSW.
  • look at the breakdown of five age-groups (0-19, 20-34, 35-49, 50-64 and 65+) and what percentage those age-groups are of the total population.
  • find out about recreational, green and open spaces in any area of NSW.
  • find out how your local council is performing in terms of housing approval times
“There is no denying that NSW is a great place to live and work. However, the best cities don’t just happen, they are planned, and planning for the future of our state is critical,” he said. “Launching the dashboard is an informed step towards identifying changes in our population and planning carefully for our children’s future.” There are 7.7 million people in NSW, projected to grow to 10 million by 2036. The analysis divides the state into Metropolitan Sydney and nine regions: North Coast, New England North West, Central Coast, Hunter, Central West and Orana, Riverina-Murray, Far West, Illawarra-Shoalhaven, and South East and Tablelands. Metropolitan Sydney is further divided into six districts. The tool is available at www.peopleandplaces.nsw.gov.au [post_title] => NSW releases graphical statistics dashboard [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-releases-graphical-statistics-dashboard [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-20 02:49:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-19 15:49:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28295 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28292 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-16 14:29:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-16 03:29:52 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_28293" align="alignnone" width="300"] Muru CEO Mitchell Ross[/caption] On 7 September the Federal Government implemented a new Stationery and Office Supplies (SOS II) Panel. Last year sales through the previous SOS Panel were worth $38 million. One supplier says the new contract unfairly favours foreign-owned companies over Australian suppliers, because the only manufacturer of Australian made indigenous paper refuses to supply the only Australian owned company on the Panel. “Instead of creating fairness for Australian businesses, the SOS Panel II has unknowingly created a system where the Government is favouring two foreign owned companies over Australian owned businesses,” says Mitchell Ross, CEO of Muru Group, a Sydney based and Australian owned stationery business. The Panel makes it mandatory for all non-corporate Commonwealth entities to make all future purchases with the two SOS II panellists – Complete Office Supplies (COS) and Winc. COS is Australian owned, and Winc (formerly known as Staples) is US owned. COS supplies paper from Muru. The problem, Mr Ross, told Government News, is in the sourcing of paper. “What the Government did not realise is that the Japanese owned Australian Paper Mills (APM) holds a monopoly on all paper produced in Australia. “While APM has been producing paper for Winc, it has repeatedly declined requests to produce the Muru brand for Australian owned COS. That means COS and Muru cannot supply Australian-made paper. “Through clever marketing APM has convinced the Government that buying Australian produced paper is beneficial to Australia and will save the Government money, but what about Australian businesses who truly support Australian workers and the community? “If APM refuses to supply us Australian made paper, we must source our paper from overseas. But we are Australian owned and we’re doing more for Australia.” He says that Muru supports Australian jobs and contributes 15 percent of its profits to ‘closing the gap’ initiatives for Indigenous communities. “These initiatives include the support of an early childhood education program in far north Queensland for Indigenous pre-school children, as well as donating computers to Indigenous community organisations across Australia to create a positive legacy for future generations.” Mr Ross says that Government agencies should think more deeply about their procurement decisions, and that buying Australian product does not mean you are supporting Australians. “Australian businesses want to produce product in Australia, to see more jobs go to Australian workers, and to benefit our economy. Both COS and Muru Group rigorously and continually request to engage in services with APM, but with no success.”   [post_title] => ‘Buy local’ purchasing plan backfires [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => buy-local-purchasing-plan-backfires [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-20 02:49:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-19 15:49:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28292 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28285 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-16 12:58:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-16 01:58:47 [post_content] =>

Ongoing economic uncertainty and a slowdown in government technology investment continue to delay or limit the adoption of digital innovation and radically redesigned service models. But CIOs at all levels of government can help ease the path. Part of the problem is that the structure of government has remained largely unchanged for more than half a century, while the needs and expectations of citizens and businesses have outpaced the ability to adequately address them. Technological capabilities and social forces have now converged to move government organisations beyond simple online efficiencies. Technology now enables them to optimise, transform or create entirely new services, while renovating back-end systems. As the digitalisation of society progresses, many government organisations are focused on digital transformation strategies. Gartner believes their CIOs need to take the lead in opening government to citizens and industry, while breaking down the traditional barriers that stifle innovation.   Leading the transition CIOs can lead the transition to optimised and secure public services by adopting organisational capabilities that take advantage of available digital and data analytics technologies. In addition to deploying proven technologies – the cloud, social, mobile, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) – to support the optimisation and transformation of government services, CIOs should explore the potential of emerging trends. These include blockchain, distributed ledgers and applied artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Government organisations are increasingly operating in large digital ecosystems. Public and private sector enterprises, competitors, customers and citizens, regulators and other stakeholders are forming interdependent, coexisting business networks. While these ecosystems will give CIOs unprecedented opportunities to revolutionise government business, they also add an entirely new dimension of technical complexity and risk. Given the pivotal role of information in digital ecosystems, CIOs must affirm the value of their role by stepping beyond hardware provisioning or network performance. Instead, the need to pay attention to design standards-based digital platforms that focus innovation on citizen experience and service model transformation, while promoting rapid experimentation and change. This increased organisational visibility and leadership responsibility are changing the CIO’s role to that of a business executive who is also competent in technology and data management.   Developing an effective strategy Many government organisations struggle to articulate a compelling business vision to base a digital strategy on. There is often confusion about how previous eGovernment objectives differ from those of digital transformation. Digital government relies on the use and reuse of data and analytics to simplify transactions for end users. It creates information from data to support and enhance decision making. It fosters the creation of new, collaborative and disruptive service delivery models. In the process, underlying service models are re-engineered to improve mission effectiveness and to achieve long-range cost savings through optimised outcomes. Government leaders recognise the critical role of data as a strategic asset. It is the innovative use and reuse of digital data that powers business transformation and delivers value that is recognised by legislative bodies, citizens and the workforce. Leveraging its vast repositories of data, government leaders can drive transformative change by ensuring that data is semantically defined and available, accessible and readily shareable. It can then be analysed and combined to create new value streams across wide service networks. To be successful, a digital government strategy must address a variety of issues. These include:
  • Establishing a sustainable collaboration among stakeholders in different domains and tiers
  • Adopting more flexible funding, agile procurement and project management processes
  • Improving IT workforce skills and management practices
  • Securing the technologies and services needed to support the digitalisation of government business functions.
  Successfully implementing a strategy There are many challenges that affects a digital government strategy. These include the workload impact of increased levels of migrants and asylum seekers on border control, the struggle to boost economic growth and curb unemployment, the improvement of education, retirement and health care for an aging population, and continuous pressure to reduce the cost of government. All of this needs to be done while staying on pace with the increasing levels of government services that citizens require. Digital government strategies are shaped by the level of direct citizen interaction. Activities such as motor vehicle registration and licensing, social services, law enforcement or the adjudication of legal cases, are often administered in collaboration with other agencies and jurisdictions. This drives the need for better application integration and interoperability across back-office systems, so that front office, point-of-service interactions are effective and efficient. Where citizens or businesses engage with government more frequently, CIOs face greater urgency to transform their public services to deliver better outcomes within a large portfolio of services, and with severe resource constraints. Successful digital strategic planning and implementation require strong governance maturity to ensure that these initiatives deliver real business and mission value on shorter time horizons, while positioning the government organisation to continually develop its digital capabilities, sustainably across administrations. When appropriations are tied to individual programs that operate in silos, CIOs must develop strong collaborative relationships among peer executives to ensure visible and sustained business sponsorship, direction, oversight and support. Rick Holgate is a research director at Gartner, advising government CIOs on digital government, cloud, mobility, digital workplace, information security, IT procurement, shared services, case management and legacy system modernisation. He will speak about the future of digital government at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Australia, 30 October-2 November 2017. [post_title] => CIOs and the transition to digital government [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => cios-transition-digital-government [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-16 14:20:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-16 03:20:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28285 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28280 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-16 09:51:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-15 22:51:41 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_28281" align="alignnone" width="267"] Professor Billie Giles-Corti. RMIT University[/caption] Australia’s big cities often rate well on international ‘liveability’ indexes. But all is not as it seems. Life for many residents in Australia’s cities isn’t nearly as good as we would like to believe, a new report from RMIT University has found. The new ‘Creating Liveable Cities in Australia’ study is the culmination of five years of research, intended to create a baseline measure of liveability in Australia’s state and territory capitals. The report examines seven aspects of a city’s liveability: walkability, public transport, public open spaces, housing affordability, employment and the food and alcohol environments. “No Australian capital city performs well across all the liveability indicators,” says Professor Billie Giles-Corti, who led the research and is Director of RMIT’s Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform. “Many also failing to meet policy targets aimed at ensuring liveability. “There is widespread evidence of geographical inequities in the delivery of liveability policies within and between cities, with outer suburban areas less well served than inner-city suburbs. Measurable policies and targets to deliver liveable communities are often not in place, and often those that are in place are not strong enough. “Many policies aren’t making best use of the available evidence. There are no spatial measurable policy standards or targets in any capital city for local employment, housing affordability, promoting access to healthy food choices, or limiting access to alcohol outlets.” Professor Giles-Corti said the report is the first of its kind, and shows that better policies are urgently needed to maintain and enhance liveability and ensure the wellbeing of residents, particularly as Australia faces a doubling of its population by 2050. “One significant way to create liveable cities and to improve people’s health and wellbeing is through urban design and planning that create walkable, pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods,” she said. “But Australian cities are still being designed for cars. “Our study shows that only a minority of residents in Australian cities live in walkable communities, and most of our city’s density targets for new areas are still too low. This means walkable communities will never be achieved in outer suburbs. “Higher residential densities and street connectivity, mixed land-uses, and high-quality footpaths are all desperately needed to achieve walkable cities. But we don’t have the policy frameworks in place in Australia to create vibrant walkable communities,” she said. Public transport also rates poorly. “While many residents might live nearby a public transport stop, most dwellings in state capitals lack close access to stops serviced at least twice an hour. This creates a risk of increasing inequity in our cities, with some residents doubly disadvantaged. “Given that outer suburbs have poorer access to public transport, household expenditure on cars is likely to be higher there than in other areas, meaning these residents are losing out twice over.” Professor Giles-Corti said the report is a useful diagnostic tool for understanding the current state of liveability in Australian cities, and that could it should be repeated regularly. “What’s even more important is what governments should do about it,” she said. :We’ve made seven recommendations in the report which we’ll be pushing to see adopted at local, state and federal level.” The report was produced by RMIT University in collaboration with researchers from the Australian Catholic University and the University of Western Australia. The research team received funding from the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub of the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program, the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre, and the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Liveable Communities. The report is available here. [post_title] => Australia’s cities not so ‘liveable’ after all [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => australias-cities-not-liveable [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-16 13:02:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-16 02:02:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28280 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28273 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-13 15:41:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-13 04:41:24 [post_content] =>

While climate and energy policy in Australia remain mired in acrimonious squabbling, the UK’s Conservative Government has released a bold new plan for a low carbon future. And it includes a carbon price. The new UK Clean Growth Strategy is a comprehensive 163 page document. It was released on 12 October by Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark. He described it as “the government’s strategy on how the whole country can benefit from low carbon economic opportunities through the creation of new technologies and new businesses, which creates jobs and prosperity across the UK, while meeting our ambitious national targets to tackle climate change. “This government has put clean growth at the heart of its industrial strategy to increase productivity, boost people’s earning power and ensure Britain continues to lead the world in efforts to tackle climate change. “For the first time in a generation, the British government is leading the way on taking decisions on new nuclear, rolling out smart meters and investing in low carbon innovation. “The world is moving from being powered by polluting fossil fuels to clean energy. It’s as big a change as the move from the age of steam to the age of oil and Britain is showing the way.” Perhaps someone should tell the Australian Government. The report sets out in detail 50 policies and proposals in seven categories:
  • Accelerating clean growth: a number of financial incentives
  • Improving business and industry efficiency: develop a package of measures to support businesses to improve their energy productivity, by at least 20 percent by 2030.
  • Improving the energy efficiency of homes.
  • Accelerating the shift to low carbon transport
  • Delivering clean, smart, flexible power: including the phasing out of ‘unabated’ coal by 2025, and an increase in the use of nuclear energy.
  • Enhancing the benefits and value of the UK’s natural resources
  • Public sector efficiencies and “government leadership in driving clean growth.”
A key aspect of the UK strategy is the introduction of a price on carbon, a strategy adopted by the Australian Government in 2010 by the Gillard Labor Government but subsequently abandoned by Tony Abbot’s Liberals. The UK Government will “target a total carbon price in the power sector which will give businesses greater clarity on the total price they will pay for each tonne of emissions. Further details on carbon prices for the 2020s will be set out in the Autumn 2017 Budget.” The report talks a lot about wind power, and the expansion of Britain’s nuclear energy program. Solar does not get much of a mention, but then the country is not known for its sunny skies and warm temperatures. The full strategy is available here. The contrast with Australia’s lack of strategy could not be sharper. The UK has its share of climate sceptics, but they are not strongly represented in the Government as they are in Australia. The UK also does not have a federal system, and it does not have a powerful Senate. It has more than double Australia’s population (the differential was much greater not so long ago), but its wheels of government turn much more smoothly. More importantly, it has political leaders capable of making decisions. Australia’s turn. [post_title] => UK Government to adopt carbon pricing [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => uk-government-adopt-carbon-pricing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-16 12:59:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-16 01:59:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28273 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28256 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 12:58:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 01:58:33 [post_content] =>

State based affordable housing schemes only work if supported by strong political leadership. That’s the key finding of a major new report, ‘Government led innovations in affordable housing delivery’. The report, by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) analysed the affordable housing market in Australia. It found that effective strategies and programs:
  • rely on strong political leadership
  • adopt a whole-of-housing industry approach to consultation and implementation
  • communicate objectives effectively to all stakeholders
  • are resilient to changes of government
  • are best run from a central agency with a flexible organisational structure that can respond quickly to opportunities.
The project examined state government-led innovations in affordable housing through analysis of two state-level strategies (the WA Affordable Housing Strategy and the ACT Affordable Housing Action Plan and two state level programs (the NSW Asset Vesting Program and the WA East Kimberley Transitional Housing Program). The reports found that some programs, such as the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and state housing transfers, appear across states. Others, such as shared equity housing and low deposit home loans, are much less common. The research examined what makes a successful affordable housing strategy or program, and looked at the lessons that can be learnt from state governments that have successfully delivered affordable housing. “Of all the elements examined in this project, it is clear that leadership is the most important,” says the report. “The delivery of better housing outcomes in a city or region is a long and complex process that requires the support, and sometimes the active participation, of many different stakeholders, including a range of government agencies and the private sector. “The ACT case clearly demonstrated that very strong leadership is needed to bring all these elements together—a situation mirrored in WA. “Without the leadership of the housing minister of the time and the CEO of the Housing Authority it is unlikely the WA affordable housing strategy would have been developed at all, let alone implemented as successfully as it was. “The support of the State Treasury is very important. The East Kimberly Transitional Housing program provides another illustration of just how a driven collection of individuals can make a real difference if provided with the support to implement ideas.” The report also found that affordable housing programs must be resilient enough to survive a change of government, and must be able to maintain their initial momentum through continual reinforcement of key messages and regular communication of achievements. It also said that strategies should be run from a central agency “with a flexible organisational structure that can respond quickly to opportunities arising from housing market conditions and unexpected funding sources. AHURI is a national independent research network with an expert not-for-profit research management company, AHURI Limited, at its centre. It is funded by government grants, its university partners, and payment for professional services. The report is available here. [post_title] => Affordable housing needs strong leadership [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => affordable-housing-needs-strong-leadership [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-13 08:39:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 21:39:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28256 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28252 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 11:35:11 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 00:35:11 [post_content] =>

How can local government continue to meet the needs of residents and provide excellence in services, and still stay on budget? Do services need to be point scored to be considered as core essentials? What are the best ways to drive efficiency? The pressures on local government to get key investment, resource allocation and delivery model decisions right have never been greater. Increasing demand for services, rapid technology change and the constant requirement to invest in asset construction and renewal are forcing councils to reconsider traditional business models. In responding to these pressures and re-examining the way the business of local government is run, leadership is contending with three key factors:
  1. Limitations on traditional revenue sources
Pressures on local government have been further compounded by the Commonwealth decision in the 2014-15 Budget to pause the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants to local government. The Productivity Commission recognizes that local government is near its maximum capacity to generate its own revenue. Victoria has also seen the introduction of ‘Fair Go rate capping’.
  1. The change in residents’ expectations and the move to customer-centricity
The arrival of social media and other new technologies has meant that constituents are not afraid to express themselves vocally if they believe that issues are not being addressed or council services fall short. This is aligned to the growing perception of residents as customers, rather than merely ratepayers. Customers expect the same levels of service from government as from commercial transactions.
  1. New and rapidly advancing technologies
The landscape of available technologies is changing at an increasing rate. Council officers delivering customer-facing services and those in the back office both need to drive efficiency and providing value for money while stretching the dollar further.   KPMG also sees a number of other factors that individual councils must address: Ageing technology and under-investment Many councils currently support a large number of outdated IT systems, set within a complex and inefficient infrastructure that is not keeping pace with current practices. This limits their ability to grow. In addition, the capability and operating models within internal IT departments have not evolved and can no longer meet local government demands. Historical planning methods Most councils’ approach to planning has not adapted to the changing environment.It has not caught up with ongoing development and is largely still run on a functional or organisational level, rather than being service-led. But it is service-led planning that will enable strategic direction setting, realistic cost assessments, individual staff KPIs, and appropriate funding for technology or outsourcing.   To deal with this new landscape, we suggest considering the following key actions: Place the customer at the centre As the most granular tier of government, councils have the greatest capacity to identify and respond to emerging community needs. Across Australia, local governments are striving to move towards customer-centric models of service delivery that anticipate and respond to community needs in a sustainable and agile manner. Re-think business as usual Changing community expectations requires a continual process of self-reflection and evaluation by councils on the way they do business. This requires fresh thinking, of challenging the way things have always been done. This involves:
  • redesigning operating models and organisational structures
  • adopting best practice processes
  • driving cultural change
  • adopting different and innovative methods for engaging key stakeholders
  • considering alternative approaches and models for service delivery
  • critically examining every component of the organisation.
Revisit and reshape IT Councils need to invest in the creation of a future-proof IT architecture, incorporating modern technology principles and practices such as cloud, ‘As a Service’ delivery mofdels, business and process led specification, and agile development methods. With today’s shift towards cloud-based software as a service solution, systems that were previously out of reach are now affordable to local government. The higher rate of change also requires a greater level of innovation and adjustment in what systems offer to residents. There is an opportunity to take a fresh look at systems, and to challenge the assumptions that local government is highly specialised, with only limited options available to it. Think collaboratively Local governments can no longer afford to only think locally. Regional partners at a local, state and federal level are fundamental to the achievement of better social and economic outcomes within a fiscally constrained environment. KPMG sees heightened collaboration with like-minded councils around investment in IT service profiling and reviews, operational shared services and innovative knowledge sharing. Leveraging regional and national partnerships is critical to ensuring local investment can be amplified through complementary investments from regional and national partners. Have an innovation agenda Innovation is already on the agenda of most councils, but open and effective innovation management requires nurturing and ongoing development. One area of innovation is what is ‘Smart Cities’. Underpinned by emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing and ubiquitous connectivity, alongside advances in cognitive computing and machine learning (AI), Smart Cities can enable greater citizen engagement, improve quality of life, provide opportunities for economic development and unlock efficiencies in service delivery.   Does all of this seem daunting? It needn’t be. Challenges are simply opportunities under another guise. As we approach 2020, local councils can take stock, re-evaluate and prepare. They have every chance to get ready for the dramatic shifts and changes in the years ahead. *Toni Jones is a Partner, Enterprise Advisory, for KPMG. Developed in collaboration with KPMG Partner Paul Low and KPMG Directors Paul Francis and Michael Alf. [post_title] => How KPMG sees the future of local government [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => kpmg-sees-future-local-government [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-13 08:45:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 21:45:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28252 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28248 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 10:21:56 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-11 23:21:56 [post_content] => We are moving rapidly towards a world where robots and artificial intelligence (AI) systems are connected to and influenced by social media, the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data. Technological developments are moving fast, and AI has many governments concerned. Given the pace of technological advancement, how do rule-makers set legislation for AI while allowing the safe evolution of technology? Who thinks about and enforces these guidelines, and what work is being done, or should be done, with governments to craft AI policy? Moves by the European Parliament to consider granting some form of legal status to AI have revived questions of liability and responsibility. For example, who is liable when an intelligent system makes a mistake, causes an accident, damage or becomes corrupted? The manufacturer, developer, the person controlling it, the robot? Or is it simply a matter of allocating appropriate risk, liability and responsibility? As autonomy and self-learning capabilities increase, robots and intelligent systems will feel less like machines and tools. New laws will certainly be required to handle AI as it develops. While the European Union is leading the way in considering these issues, Australia is watching closely and we will need to make our own decisions around these issues in the foreseeable future. So far, attention has been focused mainly around autonomous cars and drones. But the rapid adoption of AI into diverse areas of our lives, from business, education, healthcare and communication through to infrastructure, logistics, defence, entertainment and agriculture, means that any laws involving liability will need to consider a broad range of contexts and possibilities. Clear boundaries and filters will be needed. Governments will need to legislate on what technology can be developed legally. Weaponising AI, for example, should be against the law, but this needs to be approached with a degree of common sense and a sensible overview of the whole industry and the development of the technology. Additionally, we will need to establish specific protection for potential victims of AI-related incidents to give people confidence that they will have legal recourse if something goes wrong. As software replaces human effort, governments need to deal with job losses to prepare for the longer-term impacts of such innovation. AI can help to reduce the burden on the public sector significantly by automating basic customer enquiries through bots. Legislation to repair the damage from jobs lost not only adversely impacts the innovation agenda, it is also too late for those who are out of work. The UK government has created a select committee for AI, designed to gather knowledge and advice on how best to address some of the challenges that AI presents to both society and the economy. But more needs to be done. To prepare for the shift in how we work, the Australian Government needs to partner with major employers and organisations responsible for creating and implementing bots in marketplaces around the world. Government bodies need to be working alongside private organisations and forums in order to fully comprehend and prepare for the upcoming changes. Training and education programs must be advertised to develop skills geared towards industries that will be around in the longer term. We also need to create software platforms that rely upon human input and labour in areas where AI is less applicable. Introducing a robust regulatory framework with relevant input from industry, policymakers and government would create greater incentive for AI developers and manufacturers to build in safeguards and minimise the potential risks. Such regulation would pave the way for an evolutionary adoption of AI. This new paradigm will ultimately require a significant rethink and restructure of some of our long established legal principles. *Andrew Cannington is Research Vice President APAC for LivePerson   [post_title] => Artificial Intelligence and government regulation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => artificial-intelligence-government-regulation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-12 11:05:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 00:05:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28248 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28326 [post_author] => 673 [post_date] => 2017-10-20 14:17:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-20 03:17:49 [post_content] =>

Australia is blessed – and cursed – with a federal system of government. It allows greater diversity, and also causes problems when it comes to the coordination of service delivery. The biggest disparity is have always been in education and health. In the last few years energy and climate change policy have also become contentious. The Federal Government’s recently announced National Electricity Guarantee, and its retreat from Renewable Energy Target (RET), means that the state targets are now much more important. The lack of a national policy makes it harder for the renewable energy industry, and almost guarantees that Australia will not meet the Paris climate change mitigation targets that it has signed up for. The government has said there will be a special COAG on energy in November. It is hoping for something resembling a national policy, but its own lack of leadership means this will not be possible. Meanwhile the states, because of a genuine concern over climate change or political expediency, will continue to set their own RETs. It seems likely that renewable energy and climate change policy will remain a politicised battleground in Australia for the foreseeable future. So it is perhaps timely to examine the policies of each of the states. In August the Climate Council released a report ‘Renewables Ready: States Leading the Charge’. It is available here, and is worth a read. But in just a few months things have changed. Such is the volatility and lack of certainty in what passes for energy policy debate in Australia that even that report is now out of date. So, how the states currently doing, and what policies will be that they be taking into the energy COAG next month?

New South Wales

NSW has a coalition government, but one which is not quite as noncommittal about climate and energy as its federal counterpart. It talks the talk on renewable energy, but it doesn’t walk the walk. It says it has a net zero emissions target of zero by 2050, which is what most of the other states say, but that is so far out as to be meaningless. It has a ‘Renewable Energy Action Plan’ which “positions the state to increase energy from renewable sources at least cost to the energy customer and with maximum benefits to NSW.” In other words it is mostly fluff. Its only mention of an actual number is that it supports “the former national target of 20 percent” renewables by 2020. The Climate Council gives it a low C rating,

Victoria

Victoria’s Labor government has set a renewables target of 20 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2025. This year it introduced a ‘Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Bill’ which will enshrine the state’s RET in legislation. The legislation, known as the VRET, has passed the lower house, but the conservative opposition has vowed to destroy it. The upper house, the Victorian Legislative Council, has a very large and diverse crossbench, similar to the Australian Senate. The Climate Council gives Victoria a B rating.

Queensland

Queensland’s Labor government holds power on a knife edge and is facing an election, after which the reactionary One Nation party, which is strongest in that state, may hold the balance of power. The government has a target of 50 percent renewables by 2030, which again is so far away is not to mean very much. The Government supports the giant Adani Coal mine, which dominates environmental debate in that state. Expect nothing to happen before the state election, due by May next year. The Climate Council gives Queensland a B rating.

South Australia

South Australia is the poster boy among the states for its renewable energy efforts. It is famously championed wind and solar energy. It has a target of 50 percent by 2025, and is already nearly there. Its recent deal with entrepreneur Elon Musk for the world’s largest battery storage facility has given the state a global prominence in renewables. It well publicised blackouts during storms last year have polarised the debate, with opponents blaming the problems when the state’s energy policy. The government has reiterated its commitment to renewables since the announcement of the Federal Government’s National Electricity Guarantee. The Climate Council gives South Australia an A rating.

Western Australia

Western Australia is the only state that is not part of the National Electricity Market (too expensive to get power lines across the Nullarbor), and it has a comparatively new Labour government which has said it will not introduce an RET. The Climate Council gives WA a C rating.

Tasmania

Tasmania is fortunate in having abundant hydroelectricity power, providing 90 percent of the state’s electricity. It is aiming for 100 percent by 2022. It does not figure strongly in the National RET debate, and has been given an A rating by the Climate Council.

ACT

The ACT’s RET of 100 percent by 2022 earns it an A rating from the Climate Council, but its small size makes it virtually irrelevant to the debate

Northern Territory

The NT has a meaningless renewable target of 50 percent by 2030, and like Western Australia and is not part of the national electricity market. Like the ACT and Tasmania, its policies carry no weight. If it looks a bit like a dog’s breakfast, that’s because that is what it is. And the biggest dog of all, the Federal Government, has skipped the meal altogether.   [post_title] => Renewable energy targets – a state-by state comparison [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => renewable-energy-targets-state-state-comparison [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-20 14:19:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-20 03:19:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=28326 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 3960 [max_num_pages] => 283 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => 1 [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => a730fce3115cd17510adbe4b58833495 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

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