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AI

Artificial Intelligence and government regulation

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 […]

Barangaroo

Barangaroo wins US landscaping award

Sydney’s Barangaroo Reserve has won the prestigious best landscape design of the year award in the 2017 international American Architecture Prize. The 22-hectare headland park was designed by Australian landscape architects Johnson Pilton Walker in association with PWP Landscape Architecture, a firm based in Berkeley near San Francisco, and built by Lend Lease. It opened […]

aust balloon

Australia’s ‘brand’ at risk

  Famous sports teams and individual sportsman are increasingly referred to as ‘brands’. In a celebrity-driven world where most money comes from corporate sponsorship, this makes sense. It also works for countries. Brand value is determined by the size of the economy, but also by such factors as the quality and volume of goods and […]

HFE

GST sharing needs a fix, says Productivity Commission

The Productivity Commission (PC) has delivered its draft report on Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation to Treasurer, Scott Morrison. It highlights many shortcomings in the current system and recommends a complete overhaul. Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation (HFE) is the term given to the sharing of GST revenues to the states to even out their fiscal capabilities. In practice […]

BITRE

How to measure infrastructure

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has published a report on ‘Measuring infrastructure asset performance and customer satisfaction: A review of existing frameworks’. “Well-managed, modern and functioning infrastructure underpins much of Australia’s economic prosperity, “ said BITRE’s head Dr Gary Dolman, releasing the report. “Services provided by roads, rail, ports, telecommunications networks […]

NAIF

$5 billion fund has done nothing

The Federal Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), announced with great fanfare 18 months ago, has yet to invest in single project. “This facility will provide financing to build the transport, energy, water and communications infrastructure needed in our north,” said Josh Frydenberg, the Minister for Industry Innovation and Science, when he announced the fund […]

Service NSW

Service NSW – Popular, but expensive

Service NSW, the NSW Government’s ‘one stop shop’ program, is proving popular with the public. But it has been expensive, and will take more than three years longer to recoup its investment than what the Government said. Both the NSW Opposition and Fairfax Media have obtained copies of an unreleased KPMG report into Service NSW’s costs. […]

WestConnex

Council appoints officer to work with protestors

  Sydney’s new Inner West Council has voted to assign an officer dedicated “to assist local activist groups with their advocacy and local residents with complaints” about the giant WestConnex tollway project. Some Sydney councils were amalgamated before the Berejiklian Government reversed its stance on amalgamations. Inner West Council is one of them, formed by […]

nsw train

NSW transport ‘hiring freeze’

Millions of dollars will be stripped from the operating budgets of NSW’s government-owned transport agencies, Fairfax Media is reporting. Quoting ‘a briefing note to staff obtained by Fairfax Media’ from Transport for NSW secretary Tim Reardon, the department’s deputy secretaries have been told that operating budgets for all the state’s transport divisions have been cut […]

Big Brother

All aboard the surveillance express (Opinion)

To nobody’s surprise the special COAG anti-terrorism meeting has endorsed the Federal Government’s plans to vastly increase the apparatus of the surveillance state. The leaders of all Australia’s states and territories have agreed to the establishment of a national facial recognition system, based on the photographs and personal information contained on driver’s licences. They have […]

Macsporran

Queensland local government cops a pasting

Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has handed down a report making 31 recommendations to improve transparency and integrity in local government in the state. The reports follows Operation Belcarra, a program the CCC put in place following March 2016 Queensland local government elections, which led to a number of complaints about the corrupt practices […]

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