INDEX HAWKER BRITTON SERVICES Bruce Hawker by wulinqing

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									STATE WATCH
 REPORTING GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS AND POLITICS ACROSS AUSTRALIA | APRIL 2008 QUARTERLY EDITION




                                                                                                      Bruce Hawker


   INDEX

   NEW SOUTH WALES.............................................. 2
   QUEENSLAND......................................................... 5
   VICTORIA ................................................................ 8   Welcome to State Watch.
   SOUTH AUSTRALIA.............................................. 11              It’s evident from this edition of State Watch that
   ACT…………………………………………………......14                                                Australia is experiencing a time of unprecedented
   WESTERN AUSTRALIA……………………………...16
   TASMANIA ............................................................. 19     immense       growth     and    development.     State
   NORTHERN TERRITORY ..................................... 21                   Governments everywhere are investing in projects
   NEW ZEALAND ..................................................... 23          that create jobs and wealth for their population and
   CONTACTS............................................................ 25       building infrastructure to provide a better standard of
                                                                                 living. Some of the sectors being invested in are
   HAWKER BRITTON SERVICES                                                       mining, water, transport, hi-tech, defence, tourism,
                                                                                 hospitals and public buildings. Industry and business
   GOVERNMENT RELATIONS                                                          is being assisted through trade missions, research
            High-level strategic advice                                          centres, manufacturing hubs and grants.
            All levels of government                                             A growing focus for State Governments across the
            Expertise in infrastructure developments                             country is reducing greenhouse gases. They are
            Public-private partnerships                                          investing widely in clean energy projects and
                                                                                 encouraging the use of green energy by the public
   STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS
                                                                                 and industry. Hundreds of millions of dollars are
            External issues management                                           going into developing clean coal, geothermal
            Crisis management                                                    exploration is being licensed, funding is being
            Reputation management                                                directed to solar power and many government
            Media management                                                     buildings are going ‘green’.
            Stakeholder communications                                           New Zealand is also growing strongly and investing
            Financial communications                                             in areas such as transport, offshore oil and gas
            Media training                                                       exploration and tourism. Trans Tasman business is
                                                                                 being encouraged and continuously being made
   CAMPAIGNS                                                                     easier by governments in Australia and New
            Community campaigns and consultation                                 Zealand.
            Corporate and association elections                                  State Watch shows that opportunities abound in this
            Public affairs campaigns                                             region. If you would like further information or
            Corporate campaigns                                                  assistance in any area please do not hesitate to
                                                                                 contact Hawker Britton.
                                                                                 Bruce Hawker

   Head Office: Level 1 71 York Street Sydney NSW 2000 | Website: www.hawkerbritton.com
                Email: jdilollo@hawkerbritton.com | Telephone: +61 2 9279 0200 | Fax: +61 2 9279 0211
   State and International Offices: Contact details available on last page of National State Watch                                         1

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NEW SOUTH WALES

                        Justin Di Lollo
                        Office: +61 2 9279 0200
                        Mobile: 0413 152 515
                        Email: jdilollo@hawkerbritton.com




  BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION

  Nelson Bay foreshore revamp                               People with disability housing
  Expressions of interest will be sought by the NSW         The State Government will spend $2.6 million to
  Government to revitalise the Nelson Bay Foreshore         improve housing for young people with a disability,
  and surrounding lands. The project’s aim is to            including modifications to more than 50 rental
  deliver better tourist, business and recreational         properties. It’s part of the government’s $218 million
  opportunities,   while    securing   environmental        Leaving Care Programme which provides a range of
  outcomes and better linkages between the foreshore        accommodation           including    group     home
  and the CBD. Copies of the plan are available at          accommodation and drop-in supported housing.
  www.lands.nsw.gov.au
                                                            Housing contract awarded
  School building upgrades
                                                            Stephen Edwards Constructions has been awarded
  The NSW Government is investing $10 million this          the contract for the redevelopment of Grosvenor
  year in the Demountable Replacement Program to            Centre at Summer Hill. The $7.7 million facility will
  replace demountables with permanent buildings. A          provide accommodation for 20 people with
  record $531 million has been allocated to school          disabilities in 10 bed houses.
  upgrades and $220 million to schools maintenance
  this year, which is almost $600,000 a day on              $3.5 million for estuary projects
  maintenance.
                                                            Local councils will receive grants totalling $3.5
                                                            million to undertake estuary management projects.
  $1 billion port project awarded
                                                            Projects include foreshore restoration, stormwater
  Belgian company Jan De Nul and Baulderstone               quality improvements and other rehabilitation works.
  Hornibrook are the two joint venture partners
  selected to deliver the massive Port Botany               Caravan parks upgrades
  expansion project. Ports Minister Joe Tripodi said
                                                            More than $3.2 million in funding will be made
  the $1 billion project will sustain Sydney’s economic
                                                            available to the Port Stephens Shire Council for
  growth for years to come. He said Jan De Nul has a
                                                            major improvements to three caravan parks,
  lot of experience in Australia, such as the dredging
                                                            including new cabins and amenities blocks. The
  of Port Hedland harbour.
                                                            NSW Government is responsible for more than 300
                                                            caravan parks and $8 million has been made
  $90,000 for Great North Walk
                                                            available this year for improvements.
  Lands Minister Tony Kelly said the State
  Government has allocated $90,000 this year to             Balancing building with nature
  upgrading the Great North Walk, which is a 250
                                                            The State Government will invest $530 million to
  kilometre walk linking Sydney with the Hunter Valley.
                                                            protect at least 3800 hectares of native bushland in
  Funding goes to revegetation, signage, boardwalks,
                                                            Western Sydney, as part of a release of land for
  bridges and erosion control
                                                            181,000 homes. The money will be raised from
                                                            infrastructure levy on land released and used to
                                                            purchase land for reserves and national parks.


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NEW SOUTH WALES

  Professional development important                         $200 million to create cleaner energy
  Six builders had their licences cancelled for failing to   The NSW Government will invest $200 million in a
  meet their Continuing Professional Development             clean energy fund to support renewable energy and
  (CPD) requirements. NSW Fair Trading Minister              clean coal research. $100 million will go into a Clean
  Linda Burney said CPD is important in the industry         Coal Fund to focus on the commercialisation of
  as it raises standards, benefiting builders and            clean coal technologies. Minister for Energy, Ian
  consumers by reducing the risk of costly disputes.         Macdonald, will chair the Clean Coal Council, which
                                                             will administer the Clean Coal Fund. Another $100
                                                             million will be go into the Renewable Energy Fund to
  DEFENCE                                                    assist in the development and growth of renewable
                                                             energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal
  NSW interested in defence industry                         systems.
  A regional NSW Round Table to help develop
                                                             Easier power stations proposal system
  NSW’s interests in Australia’s multi-billion dollar
  defence industry is being organised by the                 Proposals to build new power stations greater than
  Department of State and Regional Development. It           250 megawatts will be declared critical infrastructure
  will be chaired by the Regional Development                by the NSW Government. Premier Morris Iemma
  Minister Tony Kelly and include representatives from       said the Government will be able to clear a path for
  government, defence and industry.                          companies investing in power stations – regardless
                                                             of the type of energy. “I say to the electricity industry
                                                             – get cracking,” Mr Iemma said. “You’ve told us you
  TECHNOLOGY                                                 need a robust and predictable process to start
                                                             planning new power stations – and now you’ve got
  Nanotechnology under microscope                            it,” he said.
  The NSW Government is the first in Australia to
  initiate a parliamentary inquiry into nanotechnology -     Mining and Resources
  the manipulation of matter at atomic or molecular
  level. Minister for Science and Medical Research,
                                                             Minerals annual an essential read
  Verity Firth, said the technology promises
  breakthroughs in diseases, environmental protection        Members of the minerals industry and investors are
  and storing energy, but some groups are anxious            encouraged by the Minerals Resources Minister, Ian
  about safety and ethical matters and these issues          Macdonald, to read the NSW Minerals Industry
  need to be addressed.                                      Annual 2006-07. Mr Macdonald said it provides a
                                                             comprehensive overview of the minerals industry
  Leader in Embedded Systems                                 across the State. It can be purchased on
                                                             www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
  State Development Minister Ian Macdonald said
  NSW is set to become an Asia Pacific leader in
                                                             Copper theft endangering services
  ‘embedded systems’ technology following the launch
  of Embedded Systems Australia. Embedded                    Copper theft is becoming a weekly occurrence at
  systems are computer systems built into a large            infrastructure sites and the Government is calling on
  range of devices such as MP3 players, medical              the public and scrap-metal dealers to help reduce
  equipment or traffic lights - to perform specific          the crime. Copper is currently selling for about
  functions. Embedded Systems Australia is a joint           $7400 a tonne and more than $100,000 of stolen
  industry and Government initiative and the steering        copper is being traded in NSW each month. Minister
  committee includes representatives from Microsoft,         for Police, David Campbell, said electricity is being
  Cochlear and iTech Corporation.                            interrupted, phone lines cut off and trains may be
                                                             cancelled.
  ENERGY

  Electricity industry support
  The Government has announced the ‘Energy
  Apprentices Guarantee’ as part of its plans to reform
  the State’s energy industry. It locks in the
  apprenticeship program regardless of the future
  ownership of the retail businesses.                                                                                    3

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NEW SOUTH WALES

  LAW                                                      HEALTH

  Reforms on will dispute charges                          Tobacco marketing restrictions
  Legal fees for cases involving disputes over wills are   New laws to stop tobacco companies from using
  to be capped to stop lawyers wiping out estates with     marketing gimmicks, such as using sweet flavours in
  excessive charges, some of which have run into           cigarettes, to promote their products to young
  tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands         people, have come into force in NSW. The sale of
  of dollars. NSW Attorney General, John                   tobacco products from mobile stands, including
  Hatzistergos, said reforms were being examined in        those regularly found at outdoor music festivals will
  consultation with the Bar Association and the NSW        also be banned. Assistant Minister for Health
  Law Society.                                             (Cancer), Verity Firth said the measures are
                                                           contained in the Health Legislation Amendment Bill
                                                           2007.
  AGRICULTURE

  Loan thresholds increased                                MANUFACTURING
  Changes have been made to the Special
                                                           Lead toys ban
  Conservation Scheme, administered by the Rural
  Assistance Authority, which provides low interest        Minister for Fair Trading, Linda Burney, has
  fixed term loans for farm improvements. The net          announced a permanent ban in NSW on the supply
  asset limit increases from $2.7 million to $5 million    and sale of toys containing lead. The ban will be in
  and loan amounts rise from $100,000 to $150,000.         force until the Commonwealth introduces a suitable
  Information available on www.raa.nsw.gov.au              safety standard which can be mirrored in NSW,” Ms
                                                           Burney said.
  TOURISM
                                                           ICT
  Events Board must get cracking
                                                           DPI has top internal website
  Premier Morris Iemma’s message at the inaugural
  meeting of Events NSW was to ‘get moving’. “I want       The NSW Department of Primary Industries intranet
  the board to get to work on returning Sydney to a        website InSite has been named as one of the 10
  preferred destination for national and international     best intranets in the world by Jakob Neilsen, a
  events,” Mr Iemma said. The Board has been given         renowned web useability expert. The intranet is used
  an $85 million budget over 3 years to attract new        for internal communications between 3500 staff
  events and develop Master Calendars for Sydney           based at more than 130 locations across Australia.
  and regional NSW to co-ordinate the many activities
  and events already being held.


  TRADE

  Trade mission brings results
  Premier Morris Iemma said Australia’s largest ever
  trade mission last year has brought significant
  benefits to the State. More than 100 business
  leaders travelled to Guandong Province, New Delhi
  and Mumbai. “We’ve had an overwhelming response
  from people wanting to invest in NSW and travel to
  Sydney to work, study and holiday,” Mr Iemma said.




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QUEENSLAND

                       Mark Nolan                            TRANSPORT
                       Office: +61 7 3254 4671
                                                             Ports a boon for economy
                       Mobile: 0413 152 516
                                                             A Ports Corporation of Queensland study has found
                       Email: mnolan@hawkerbritton.com
                                                             Queensland seaports are major contributors to the
                                                             State’s economy, generating almost 4,400 jobs and
                                                             contributing $1.14 billion to regional economies in
                                                             the past financial year, equivalent to about .03% of
                                                             gross State product. PCQ seaports also generate
  ROADS                                                      over $230 million in household income and an
                                                             estimated 4,368 jobs (fulltime equivalent) or .02% of
  $54 million in road projects                               total employment in Queensland.
  The State Government has announced $54 million
                                                             Contracts boost long distance bus services
  worth of road improvement projects, which will be
  financed from the Safer Roads Sooner program.              New five-year contracts covering 15 long distance
  Millions will be spent on road projects across             coach routes have been awarded under the
  Queensland, with $15.25 million to be spent on             Queensland Government's regional transport
  Brisbane roads and $11.47 million spent on key             initiative – qconnect. Through qconnect, long
  safety improvements in the Gold Coast region.              distance bus services will be integrated with other
                                                             passenger transport services - such as regional air
  Major contract awarded                                     routes, QR trains and other buses.
  Thiess Pty Ltd has won the $119 million Australian
                                                             Land bought for coal rail link
  and Queensland government tender for construction
  of the extension to the Townsville/Thuringowa Ring         The State Government has acquired land to connect
  Road.                                                      two major coal rail networks to complete the corridor
                                                             for the "Northern Missing Link" between Goonyella
  Houghton Highway bridge duplication                        and Newlands to improve getting coal to port.
                                                             Leighton    Contractors     are    QR’s    preferred
  The Queensland Government has awarded a $315
                                                             construction partner for the Northern Missing Link
  million contract for the construction of the duplication
                                                             Alliance. Seven coal companies have underwritten
  of Redcliffe’s landmark Houghton Highway bridge to
                                                             the $27 million cost for the engineering design
  Hull-Albern Joint Venture. It’s the first coastal bridge
                                                             phase, on top of an earlier $19 million by the
  in Australia capable of withstanding a one-in-2000-
                                                             Government.
  year storm event.

                                                             MINING
  CONSTRUCTION
                                                             Tarong is newest mine owner
  Hospital contract announced
                                                             Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said
  Northbuild Constructions has been awarded the $8.6
                                                             Tarong Energy has bought Meandu Mine and
  million construction contract for Gin Gin Hospital.
                                                             nearby Kunioon coal reserve in southern
                                                             Queensland as long-term fuel sources for its two
  Second housing complex from Government land                power stations. Mining contractor Thiess was
  Queensland’s Vintage Property Group will develop a         appointed to operate the Meandu mine.
  second residential complex at the Kelvin Grove
  Urban Village on a prime residential site released by      New Chief Inspector of Coal Mines
  the Department of Housing. It allows for the
                                                             Mr Gavin Taylor has been appointed as
  construction of 50 residential units and three
                                                             Queensland’s new Chief Inspector of Coal Mines.
  townhouses.
                                                             Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said Mr
                                                             Taylor will work closely with mine operators, unions
                                                             and other stakeholders to further develop
                                                             improvements in health and safety.



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QUEENSLAND
  Innovation grants for junior mineral explorers
                                                             WATER
  Mines and Energy Minister Geoff Wilson has
  announced four junior mineral exploring companies
                                                             $22m for Hervey Bay water
  have received a total of $145,000 in Industry
  Network Initiative grants for innovative research          The Queensland Government has approved more
  projects. The closing date for Round 2 proposals for       than $21.9 million to further develop major water
  the Industry Network Initiative grants is May 30           infrastructure projects for the Hervey Bay region.
  2008. More information is available from                   The projects include $16.5 million for the Eli South
  www.dme.qld.gov.au                                         waste water treatment plant, $3.3 million for the
                                                             Vanderwolf Road farm recycled water scheme and
                                                             $2.1 million for the Dreamtime Avenue farm recycled
  ENERGY                                                     water scheme.

  Bligh welcomes $8 billion gas investment
                                                             AGRICULTURE
  Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has welcomed
  news that the Queensland Gas Company has
                                                             Cotton growers assisted with management
  announced an alliance with global energy giant BG
  Group to build a world-scale LNG plant in                  The Cotton industry’s Best Management Practices
  Queensland using QGC coal seam gas as                      Program administered by Cotton Australia has been
  feedstock. Ms Bligh said LNG is a key transition fuel      granted accreditation by the State Government.
  as we move away from traditional fuels. She said it’s      Accreditation applies to cotton growers who have
  a potentially $8billion investment program offering        been identified by the State Government as having
  massive job opportunities and a royalties windfall for     triggered the need for a statutory land and water
  the State.                                                 management plan.

  Top level talks on clean coal                              Production systems for intensive farming
  A high-level delegation from Germany’s leading             Primary Industries and Fisheries Minister Tim
  energy State, North Rhine-Westphalia, has visited          Mulherin has announced a Property Management
  Queensland to discuss clean energy technology with         Systems Initiative project to develop more efficient
  the State government and future collaborations             water and nutrient management practices in the
  across the coal and energy sectors.                        intensive farming of the Lockyer and Fassifern
                                                             valleys. The project is the ninth PMSI project
  Queensland’s clean coal solutions                          approved so far for Queensland primary industries.
  The State Government has invested $300,000 into
  the ZeroGen project through the government’s               FOOD & WINE
  Clean Coal Council. The ZeroGen project could be
  the first in the world to combine coal gasification with
                                                             Queensland Wine Awards
  carbon capture and storage, to produce electricity
  with low carbon dioxide emissions.                         Granite belt wineries starred at the Queensland
                                                             Wine Awards, taking out three major trophies and 15
  Hydrogen Energy Conference in Queensland                   gold medals. There were 344 wines entered this
                                                             year. Tourism, Regional Development and Industry
  Queensland will host the 17th World Hydrogen               Minister Desley Boyle said wine is a priority industry
  Energy Conference next year, marking the first time        for the Department of Tourism, Regional
  it has been staged in Australia. Premier Anna Bligh        Development and Industry.
  said the conference will be held at the Brisbane
  Convention and Exhibition Centre on June 15-19,
  2008 and the State Government will be the major
  sponsor. More information visit www.whec2008.com.




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QUEENSLAND

  TECHNOLOGY
                                                           Government Trade mission brings results
  Large grants to assist business development              Cairns Marble Australia, one of three companies that
                                                           joined the Queensland Government-led North
  Regional Development and Industry Minister Desley        Queensland Trade Mission last December, has won
  Boyle has announced that Fibre King will receive a       a $250,000 contract to supply Chillagoe marble to a
  $250,000 grant to customise its crate-erecting           major Saudi Arabian company. Trade Minister John
  technology for US markets. Heat Treatment will           Mickel said on-the-ground support provided by
  receive $90,400 to help the company gain                 Trade Queensland offices in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh
  accreditation to tender for major aeronautical           is delivering results for Queensland companies
  projects. They are two of four recipients to share in    looking to break into the Middle East export market.
  more than $800,000 under the Government’s new
  Business and Industry Transformation Incentives          New General Manager to drive exports
  scheme. Grants from $30,000 to $250,000 are
  available. More information is available at:             Mr Rob Whiddon has been appointed as General
  www.industry.qld.gov.au/incentives.                      Manager of Trade Queensland and head up the
                                                           Government's trade operations responsible for
                                                           boosting Queensland’s exports.
  TOURISM

  Tourism brings billion to Brisbane
                                                           FINANCE
  International visitors spent more than $1.1 billion in   Pay-roll tax changes
  Brisbane over the past year - a $182 million or 20
  per cent annual increase – according to the latest       A significant reform program to cut red tape for
  International Visitor Survey. Tourism Minister Desley    business by “harmonising” Queensland’s pay-roll tax
  Boyle said the spending growth was led by strong         system with those of New South Wales and Victoria
  increases in the number of visitors and their steady     has been implemented. Treasurer Andrew Fraser
  length of stay in the State’s capital.                   said the package would significantly reduce
                                                           compliance costs and red tape for more than 7,000
                                                           Queensland businesses operating in more than one
  TRADE                                                    State. However, Queensland will keep Australia’s
                                                           lowest pay-roll tax rate of 4.75 per cent and retain
  New Trade representatives                                the $1,000,000 threshold. For more information Visit
                                                           www.osr.qld.gov.au
  The Queensland Government has announced the
  appointment of the following six new trade
  representatives for Queensland.                          EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
         Bob Quinn – Trade Queensland’s Special
         Representative to Singapore, Malaysia,            Queensland attracts $50 million factory
         Indonesia and Thailand
                                                           The     Queensland      government    has    worked
         Julie Boyd – Trade Queensland’s Special           proactively with the Pine Rivers Shire Council to
         Representative to Japan, South Korea and          assist CSR Bradford to establish a $50 million
         the Philippines                                   glasswool insulation factory at Brendale. The project
         Peter Beattie – Trade Commissioner to The         will create an estimated 70 jobs.
         Americas
         Loftus Harris – Trade Queensland’s Special
         Representative to the Middle East and India
         Steve Bredhauer – Trade Queensland’s
         Special Representative to China and
         Vietnam
         Andrew Craig – Trade and Investment
         Commissioner to Europe, including Agent-
         General to the United Kingdom.




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VICTORIA

                      David White
                      Office: +61 3 9663 5111
                      Mobile: 0411 748 404
                      Email: dwhite@hawkerbritton.com

                                                           Hybrid taxi fleet trial
  TRANSPORT                                                Melbourne’s taxi fleet is set to go green with Premier
                                                           John Brumby announcing a special one-off trial of 50
                                                           environmentally friendly hybrid taxis and a fleet of
  $33.2 million more for crossings                         green hire cars. Annual licences for the green taxis
                                                           and hire cars will be greatly reduced.
  The State Government has accelerated its road level
  crossing upgrade program as part of a $208.7             Transport legislation review
  million boost for railway safety. A further $33.2
  million will be spent on a new level crossing safety     More than 1,200 people representing more than 140
  package, with 53 automated warning signs to be           organisations    participated   in   the     Victorian
  installed on regional crossings, rumble strips added     Government’s review of laws governing Victoria’s
  to 200 crossings, and other safety works completed       transport system, according to Minister for Public
  to build on the existing upgrade program. More           Transport, Lynne Kosky and Minister for Roads and
  information can be found at                              Ports, Tim Pallas. Submissions are now available to
                                                           view online at www.doi.vic.gov.au/transport.
  www.doi.vic.gov.au/transport

  Cranbourne station revamp                                CONSTRUCTION
  The first stage of the upgrade of Cranbourne
  Railway Station has been awarded to Thiess Pty           Design experts to strengthen Westgate
  Ltd. It’s part of the Government’s Dandenong Rail        VicRoads and design firms Flint and Neill
  Corridor Project. For more information about the         Partnership and Sinclair Knight Merz have joined a
  Dandenong Rail Corridor project visit                    collaborative alliance to deliver the first stages of a
  www.doi.vic.gov.au/projects.                             $120 million project to strengthen Melbourne’s
                                                           Westgate Bridge. It’s part of the $1 billion Monash
  18 more trains ordered                                   City Link Westgate upgrade.
  The Brumby Government has awarded a contract to
  Alstom for the manufacture and supply of 18 new          Victoria ahead in building approvals
  six-carriage Xtrapolis trains for Melbourne’s            Victoria’s building approvals surged to a record high
  metropolitan rail network.                               of $2.61 billion in the month of October, according to
                                                           Treasurer John Lenders. Victoria had the highest
  Increase in trams                                        value of building approvals of any State, setting the
  Five new high-capacity trams will be leased from         record for the past 12 months at $19.3 billion.
  France by Yarra Trams through its French
  shareholder Transdev. Minister for Public Transport,     MINING
  Lynne Kosky said the new trams would assist in
  meeting growth on the network ahead of the
  Government’s tram procurement program flagged            Bond calculator for mining land
  for 2010-2011 under the $10.5 billion transport          A new bond calculator for the mining industry will cut
  blueprint Meeting Our Transport Challenges.              red tape and ensure land rehabilitation works are
                                                           adequately covered, says Energy and Resources
  Clifton Hill rail project                                Minister Peter Batchelor. The use of the bond
  Premier John Brumby has launched the start of            calculator will become a requirement for companies
  works on a $52 million project to build a second         submitting rehabilitation liability assessments from
                                                           the start of the 2008/09 financial year. More
  railway track between Clifton Hill and Westgarth
  stations. It’s part of the Victorian Government’s plan   information on the new calculator can be found at
  to deliver more than $2 billion in improvements for      www.dpi.vic.gov.au/minpet/enviro_guidelines.
  Melbourne’s rail network over the next 10 years.
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VICTORIA


  ENERGY                                                    WATER

  Geothermal industry to tackle climate change              $1 billion irrigation modernisation
  Speaking at the Australian Geothermal Energy              Water Minister Tim Holding has announced the
  Association annual general meeting in Melbourne           creation of a new State owned entity to implement
  Minister for Energy and Resources, Peter Batchelor        and manage the $1 billion investment in modernising
  said the geothermal industry in Victoria had huge         the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation System. The
  potential and was entering an exciting period of          Northern Victoria Infrastructure Renewal Project
  growth. Permits for the exploration of geothermal         (NVIRP) begins work immediately to undertake the
  energy sources were awarded in 12 areas to five           biggest upgrade to the system’s infrastructure in its
  companies this year, with a further 19 permits to be      100-year history. Construction works are expected
  offered in April 2008.                                    to start in May 2008.

  Green light for solar test facility                       $10 million in water grants
  The construction of a $10 million solar energy            Businesses, local councils and community groups
  research facility by Solar Systems near Bendigo has       are invited to apply for $10 million in grants from the
  been given the green light by Planning Minister           State Government for new stormwater and recycled
  Justin Madden. It will test technology for the $420       water projects. A further $5 million will be awarded
  million large-scale solar power station planned for       from the Smart Water Fund later this year.
  north-west Victoria, which will provide electricity for   Applications for the Stormwater and Urban Water
  an estimated 45,000 homes.                                Recycling Fund close April 24. Details at
                                                            www.dse.vic.gov.au or telephone 136 186.
  Government energy goes greener
  The Victorian government will purchase 10 per cent        Pipeline contractor appointed
  of its energy needs in the form of Green Power, with      John Holland Group will construct the Sugarloaf
  a plan to increase this to 25 per cent by 2010. It will   Pipeline, linking the Goulburn River to the Sugarloaf
  also install solar panels on 500 schools and              Reservoir. The Sugarloaf Pipeline will be a key piece
  community buildings.                                      of infrastructure in the $1 billion modernisation
                                                            project, which will see irrigators, the environment
  $5M to make office buildings greener                      and Melbourne share in water savings of around 225
  Five million dollars will be outlaid to environmentally   billion litres of water annually.
  upgrade 83,000m2 of office accommodation at 16
  Victorian Government buildings across the State.          BIOTECHNOLOGY
  The works will be completed in 2009 and will be
  undertaken with the support of the William J Clinton
  Foundation’s Climate Initiative. The project involves     $230M deal for biosciences centre
  the design, supply, commissioning, monitoring and         The Brumby Government has reached an
  verification of energy efficient measures.                agreement with La Trobe University to build a $230
                                                            million   world-class    agricultural    Biosciences
  Victoria unites with Germany on energy                    Research Centre for up to 400 scientists in
  A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed             Bundoora. The Minister for Agriculture, Joe Helper,
  between Victoria and North Rhine-Westphalia to            said the centre would open up new opportunities for
  exchange information on energy technology                 farmers by providing access to cutting-edge
  developments. It’s part of the Government’s goal to       research to improve productivity, help fight disease
  reduce overall greenhouse emissions by 60 per cent        and reduce environmental impact.
  of levels emitted in 2000 by 2050.




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VICTORIA

  TECHNOLOGY

  Victorian bid wins defence project                      Double domestic flights boost for Victoria
  In an Australian first, the Victorian Government has    Daily domestic flights on Jetstar from Avalon Airport
  secured a multi-million-dollar Defence Force            will increase by 40 per cent in a win for the Victorian
  Technology Centre, with Victorian Industry and          aviation industry, according to Industry and Trade
  Trade Minister Theo Theophanous welcoming the           Minister, Theo Theophanous. He announced a
  decision by the Commonwealth Government to base         double-dose of good news for Avalon, also opening
  the centre in Victoria. He said the Defence Future      the new $4million Avalon Domestic Terminal, saying
  Capability Technology Centre at Fisherman’s Bend        it would be a boon for industry, tourism, employment
  highlights Victoria’s outstanding defence industry      and the South West region.
  capabilities and will deliver major economic and
  technological benefits for the State.
                                                          FILM AND TELEVISION

  INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY                                  $45 million US feature film in Victoria
                                                          Minister for Innovation Gavin Jennings has
  IT industry grows in Victoria                           announced that Victoria has secured the US feature
  The Victorian Government has provided $100,000 in       film Knowing starring Nicolas Cage. Meeting the
  seed funding to establish the State’s eSecurity         producers in Los Angeles with Film Victoria CEO,
  cluster, SECIA. The government is working with          Sandra Sdraulig, Mr Jennings said Knowing will
  companies through the Victorian Government ICT          generate at least $45 million for the Victorian
  Industry Plan 2005 – 2010.                              economy and employ more than 1,000 local
                                                          practitioners.
  Next generation networks on State’s agenda
  Minister for Information and Communication              FOOD & WINE
  Technology, Theo Theophanous said Victoria’s
  broadband subscriber base has increased by over a       New appointment for PrimeSafe
  quarter of a million customers in the past nine
  months. The next series of Victorian Government         William Bray, president of the Cattle Council of
  telecommunications reports will focus on next           Australia will be the new Chairman of PrimeSafe, the
  generation networks. “The Brumby Government             Victorian food regulator.
  sees the development of next generation networks
  and services as critical for the State's future         Victorian cheese producers aim for US market
  connectivity, innovation and productivity,” the         Six Victorian speciality cheese producers will get
  Minister said.                                          help to crack the lucrative US market, thanks to a
                                                          new joint initiative between the State Government
  TOURISM                                                 and Dairy Australia. Companies like King Island will
                                                          be assisted to create a more efficient way of
                                                          distributing Australian cheeses in the extensive US
  Melbourne wins convention on ageing                     market.
  The     Asia/Oceania     Regional    Congress     of
  Gerontology and Geriatrics will be held in Melbourne
  in 2011, which is expected to attract more than         FINANCE
  1,200 delegates, injecting more than $6 million into
  the Victorian economy. The congress will be the         New finance council
  18th international business event confirmed for the     The Victorian Finance Industry Council (VFIC) will
  new Melbourne Convention Centre when it opens in        replace   the    Finance     Industry Consultative
  2009.                                                   Committee (FICC) and will be chaired by Victorian
                                                          MP Theo Theophanous to unite a range of senior
                                                          financial market experts with the Victorian
                                                          Government to enhance the growth and
                                                          development of the industry.


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SOUTH AUSTRALIA

                     Stephen Halliday
                     Office: +61 8 8407 3519
                     Mobile: 0418 808 799
                     Email: shalliday@hawkerbritton.com




  ROAD AND RAIL

  $1 billion Northern Connector project planned             Sale confirms Adelaide as ‘defence capital’

  The SA Government has announced early planning            Premier Rann says the $775 million sale of defence
  for a new billion-dollar 14km road and rail freight       company Tenix to the British defence giant, BAE
  corridor in Adelaide’s north – the first dual-use         Systems, further consolidates Adelaide’s status as
  project in the State’s history. The Northern              the defence capital of Australia. “This sale will see
  Connector project – estimated to cost $1 billion will     BAE Systems overtake the company Thales, to
  secure the long-term freight needs in Adelaide’s          become the largest defence company in Australia –
  north and take freight trains out of the suburbs          with its headquarters in Adelaide,” Mr Rann said.
  around Salisbury and Parafield. The planning and
  impact assessments are expected to be finished by         Promoting SA’s defence capabilities to the U.S.
  the end of 2009 with the project operational by 2017.     Deputy Premier Kevin Foley has kept up the
                                                            international defence industry push for SA, meeting
  First phase for Northern Expressway                       in Los Angeles with senior executives from some of
  BMD–e*3 consortium has won the $30 million                the world’s largest defence companies to promote
  contract for the first phase of the construction of the   South Australia’s growing defence capabilities and
  Northern Expressway, which is 12 km of Port               to promote the capability of South Australian
  Wakefield Road. The successful contractor for the         companies to manufacture defence components.
  next stage of the Northern Expressway (Taylors
  Road–Gawler), which be announced later this year.
  The Northern Expressway is South Australia’s
                                                            MINING
  largest road project in almost 50 years.
                                                            Mineral exploration grows again
                                                            Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that
  DEFENCE
                                                            mineral exploration in South Australia rose for the
                                                            sixth consecutive quarter in the December quarter of
  Techport Australia takes shape                            2007 and has grown to $93.5 million, compared to
  South Australian company Ferrocut has bought a            $59.1 million for the same three-month period in
  2.24 hectare slice of the Techport Australia Supplier     2006. Minister for Mineral Resources Development
  Precinct, becoming the first company to sign up to        Paul Holloway said South Australia moved ahead of
  SA’s naval shipbuilding hub. Deputy Premier Kevin         Queensland in total mineral exploration spending in
  Foley says the State Government has invested              2007 into second place behind Western Australia.
  nearly $400 million in Techport Australia at Osborne,
  including common user shipbuilding facilities, a          Drilling grants announced
  Maritime Skills Centre, AWD Systems Centre and a          Minister for Mineral Resources Development Paul
  dedicated Supplier Precinct.                              Holloway has unveiled the fifth round of funding
                                                            under the Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE)
  New subs to be built in Adelaide                          initiative. Mr Holloway says that PACE drilling grants
  Premier Mike Rann says he is delighted with the           of $2.3 million have been awarded to 29 mineral,
  announcement by the Rudd Labor Government that            petroleum and geothermal exploration projects. The
  the next generation of submarines will be built in        successful PACE projects were selected from 66
  Adelaide. He said it guarantees an extra generation       applications.
  of defence jobs in the State, and a continuum of
  high-tech work long after the last Air Warfare
  Destroyer has been built.
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SOUTH AUSTRALIA

                                                           AGRICULTURE
  Third uranium mine approved
                                                           South Australia will stay GM-free
  The Uranium One Australia Honeymoon Project has
  been given the go ahead to begin construction of         Premier Mike Rann says South Australia has chosen
  South Australia’s third uranium mine 400km north-        to stay GM free to help maintain its clean and green
  east of Adelaide.                                        image which is “especially important in marketing
                                                           our food and wine products to the world”. The GM
                                                           Crops Advisory Committee recommended the lifting
  ENERGY                                                   of the current moratorium in SA, except on
                                                           Kangaroo Island, after April 28 this year when the
                                                           current regulations lapse. Mr Rann said the
  Port Adelaide geothermal exploration                     government decided however to maintain the status
  A geothermal exploration licence has been offered        quo due to latest market trends.
  to Torrens Energy to conduct exploratory drilling in
  the Port Adelaide region to establish heat flow over
  the region that can possibly be harnessed for            FOOD & WINE
  climate change friendly power generation and
  desalination. Torrens Energy is one of 22 companies      Food industry contributes nearly $10 billion
  that have applied for 205 geothermal exploration
                                                           Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister, Rory
  licences covering more than 80,000 square
                                                           McEwen said the food industry in South Australia
  kilometres of South Australia.
                                                           contributed $9.98 billion to the State’s economy in
                                                           2006/07 despite the ongoing drought conditions and
  WATER                                                    the rising Australian dollar. This is a slight drop of
                                                           0.2% on the record figure of $10 billion in the
                                                           previous 12 month period -
  Desalination plant for Adelaide
  Port Stanvac has been identified as the preferred        USA tastes SA food, wine and tourism
  site by The Desalination Working Group for a new
                                                           Deputy Premier Kevin Foley addressed an audience
  desalination plant, as part of a $1.4 billion
                                                           of travel, food and wine media in Los Angeles in
  investment in water infrastructure to secure South
                                                           January to sell the best South Australia has to offer.
  Australia’s water supply. Final site confirmation is
                                                           The event was held in conjunction with the South
  dependent        on    environmental   considerations.
                                                           Australian Tourism Commission as part of the G’Day
  Detailed design work will now begin on the $1.1
                                                           USA – Australia Week 2008. He said Americans
  billion plant and a project manager will be appointed
                                                           already have a passion for Australia and South
  to oversee development of plans. A $10m pilot plant
                                                           Australia and such promotions provide a further
  will be built at Port Stanvac by mid-year.
                                                           boost to the State’s tourism industry.

  RECYCLING                                                TECHNOLOGY
  Waste management projects
                                                           Super microscope helps drive industry
  More than one million dollars in State Government
                                                           South Australia has a new super high-powered $3.5
  grants will go towards Regional South Australia’s
                                                           million ion beam electron microscope which will help
  waste management processes for further significant
                                                           drive scientific developments in nano-fabrication and
  upgrades.     Minister    for  Environment      and
                                                           biotechnology       and    directly    benefit    the
  Conservation Gail Gago said the funds assist with
                                                           manufacturing, defence, electronics, green energy
  major investments in new transfer stations and
                                                           and mineral resources sectors. It’s the flagship of
  material recovery facilities to smaller initiatives,
                                                           the new $6.5 million SA node of the National
  which will improve recycling by schools and
                                                           Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility,
  community groups.
                                                           which has been jointly funded by an alliance of the
                                                           State Government and SA’s universities.




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SOUTH AUSTRALIA

  INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY                                     EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING

  ICT to underpin strong SA economy                          Unemployment drops
  Applications are sought for a pilot grants program to      Australian Bureau of Statistics show unemployment
  fund testing of new technologies developed by SA           rate in South Australia fell to a 30 year record low of
  companies that can be used by government. The              4.5 percent.
  $100,000 grants program will be designed to
  encourage government agencies to work on
  innovative projects with local ICT companies. The
  initiative is the result of a report into growing the
  State’s ICT industry Information and Communication
  Technology – Driving Growth for South Australia.
                                                             .
  Visit
  www.informationeconomy.sa.gov.au/ie/feedback.


  TOURISM

  Visitors figures up
  Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith said the
  National Visitor Survey shows overnight visitors
  pumped $2.8 billion into South Australia’s economy
  last year – up 8 percent on 2006 figures.

  Cruise ship for South Australia
  Tourism Minister Dr Jane Lomax-Smith says
  securing the shipping liner MV Funchal for Adelaide
  has the potential to increase visitors to the State.
  The MV Funchal will spend several weeks a year
  based at Outer Harbor from 2009, and will begin its
  first Adelaide season sailing from Fremantle to Outer
  Harbor, via Albany and Esperance, before
  embarking on cruises through South Australian
  regional waters.

  Tiger Airways to boost tourism
  Tiger Airways introducing flights into Adelaide from
  Melbourne means cheap flights and a boost for the
  State’s tourism industry. Premier Mike Rann says
  the new Tiger flights – with airfares as low as $9.95
  one-way – are set to lure more Victorians over the
  border for a holiday in South Australia.

  Major conference win for winter 2010
  Adelaide has beaten Barcelona and Taiwan to host
  a major conference that will bring 1000 medical
  representatives from around the world to South
  Australia. The International Mucopolysaccharides
  and Related Diseases Conference will be held over
  five days in June 2010, helping to fill city hotel rooms
  during the quieter winter months.


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ACT
  ACTACACun




                        Gail Morgan
                        Tel: + 61 2 6295 8300
                        Mob: + 61 412 926 348
                        Email:
                        gmorgan@hawkerbritton.com




                                                          Expressions of interest in Yarralumla Brickworks
  ECONOMY
                                                          The ACT Government is seeking creative and
  Strong surplus creates capacity for investment          innovative expressions of interest for the
                                                          conservation and redevelopment of the historic
  ACT Chief Minister and Treasurer Jon Stanhope has       Yarralumla   Brickworks      and    its     surrounds.
  announced an improvement in the General                 Expressions of Interest close on April 11, 2008.
  Government Sector estimated budget outcome for
  2007-08 to $196.2 million. The Mid Year Review          Section 63 an outstanding result for Territory
  also points to improved surpluses in the next few
  years, with a projected surplus of $159.9 million in    The sale of Section 63 on London Circuit recently for
  2008-09, rising to $213.8 million in 2010-11. Mr        $92 million will significantly improve the cash
  Stanhope said the improved position would allow the     position of the Territory says Chief Minister Jon
  Government to plan for and deliver major                Stanhope. The prestigious site was bought at
  infrastructure projects to meet the needs of            auction by Leighton Mirvac.
  Canberrans in the coming years.
                                                          ENERGY
  PROJECTS
                                                          Canberra Stadium to 'go green'
  New group to manage projects                            Three wind towers and about 200 photovoltaic
  A Strategic Projects Facilitation Group (SPFG) has      panels will be installed at Canberra Stadium to run
  been set up in the Chief Minister’s department to       the Canberra Stadium floodlights and reduce the
  serve as a single entry point to Government for         overall energy needs of the complex by about 18
  project proponents. The group, to be located within     percent. It’s part of Weathering the Change - the
  the Business and Projects Division, will case-          ACT's Climate Change Strategy 2007-2025 - which
  manage the implementation of strategic investment       has earmarked $1 million for the installation and
  opportunities and coordinate Government resources       showcasing of progressive and innovative
  to speed up project delivery, particularly in           renewable energy technologies around the city.
  processes such as approvals.
                                                          INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
  CONSTRUCTION
                                                          Government backs ICT for ACT
  Government land sold for development                    The ACT Government has donated $20 million to
  Approximately 45 hectares of land released by the       relocating the $60 million National Information
  ACT Government as part of its new Affordable            Communication Technology Australia (NICTA)
  Housing Strategy was sold by auction in December        Laboratory Facility to City West. NICTA is
  to a local consortium of builders for $51.5 million.    implementing 17 research projects, including the
  Casey 1 Estate in Gungahlin has the potential for       development of new wireless technologies, smart
  700 – 750 dwellings. At least 15 per cent of the        cars, medical imaging and human performance
  dwelling sites have been reserved for affordable        monitoring. ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said
  housing, with house and land packages under             the facility is a milestone in strengthening
  $300,000.                                               Canberra’s credentials as Australia’s knowledge          14
                                                          capital.


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ACT
  ACTACACun




  BIO-TECHNOLOGY                                          ENVIRONMENT

  New medicines bill introduced                           MOU for Arboretum
  ACT Health Minister Katy Gallagher has introduced       A Memorandum of Understanding signed between
  the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods            the Australian National University and the ACT
  Bill 2007 into the Legislative Assembly to reform the   Government is a show of support for the
  laws regulating these substances in the ACT and to      International Arboretum and Gardens project,
  bring what are several laws under one law.              according to Chief Minister Jon Stanhope. The
                                                          Arboretum will contain trees and plants from around
  Local researchers receive funding                       the world and be used for scientific research. Mr
                                                          Stanhope said the Arboretum could become as
  ACT Health Minister Katy Gallagher has announced        cherished as other iconic landmarks, such as the
  the provision of $250,000 in grants to health and       War Memorial or Parliament House.
  medical researchers under the ACT Health and
  Medical Research Support Program.
                                                          FINANCE
  Health grants program
  A Strategic Review of the ACT Health Promotion          Payroll tax reforms to make compliance easier
  Grants Program for 2008/09, which was conducted         Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has tabled the first two
  through community consultation, has been                of eight amendments to the Territory’s payroll tax
  completed. There is a range of health promotion         legislation - to change the timing of lodgement of
  funding rounds for which organisations can currently    payroll tax returns and include superannuation
  apply. To see the Review visit                          contributions for non-working directors as wages.
  www.health.act.gov.au/hpgrants                          The changes are a result of an agreement by States
                                                          and Territories to simplify payroll tax provisions.
  TOURISM
                                                          TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT
  Canberra Airport investment welcomed
  Canberra International Airport’s $250 million capital   Record low unemployment rate
  works program to replace the terminal and upgrade       The ACT unemployment rate set a new Australian
  roads and car parks will put Canberra in the            record low of 2.4 per cent in December 2007, in
  international spotlight, according to Chief Minister    trend terms, compared to the national trend
  Jon Stanhope. Qantas will also invest $10 million in    unemployment rate, which remained at 4.4 per cent,
  its terminal at the airport. Mr Stanhope said the       according to the Bureau of Statistics. Chief Minister
  improvements would encourage business and               and Treasurer Jon Stanhope welcomed the new
  tourism in the ACT.                                     figures as a sign of strength in the ACT economy
                                                          and a positive sign for ACT workers.
  Been a great year for tourism
  Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Andrew
  Barr says 2007 was a successful year for ACT
  tourism, with another record breaking Floriade and
  the revitalisation of the “See Yourself” tourism
  campaign. Total domestic overnight visitation
  increased by 3.5 percent and total visitor
  expenditure increased by 3.1 percent.

  New resource for event managers
  The ACT Government       has released a new web-
  based resource called     the Guide to Organising
  Public Events in the      ACT designed to assist
  organisations planning   events in the ACT. Visit
  www.ors.act.gov.au.
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WESTERN AUSTRALIA
  ACACun




                       John Whitelaw
                       Office: +61 8 9367 2966
                       Mobile: +61 417 355 440
                       Email:
                       jwhitelaw@hawkerbritton.com



  CONSTRUCTION
                                                            New Hospital planned
  New major sports stadium                                  The State Government has committed $193million to
                                                            construct the new Midland Health Campus in the
  The State Government will build a $1.1billion multi-
                                                            Swan Hills region. Construction is due to start by
  purpose outdoor stadium at Kitchener Park in
                                                            the end of next year.
  Subiaco. The stadium will provide seating for up to
  70,000 people and will cater for AFL, rugby, soccer,
  cricket and major events such as concerts. Funding        $50 million hospital redevelopment.
  of $800million will be spent to build the stadium with    The State Government will spend more than
  an additional $300million allocated to associated         $50million on a major redevelopment of Albany
  infrastructure,    property   acquisition,    transport   Hospital. Significant improvements are planned for
  infrastructure and other cost allowances. The new         the Emergency Department, operating theatres, day
  stadium will add to the State Government’s record         surgery, maternity wards and mental health
  $25billion capital works program, including the Fiona     services. Design work will commence in March
  Stanley Hospital, the Albany Entertainment Centre,        2008 with tenders to be called later this year.
  Perth Arena and Northbridge Performing Arts
  Centre.                                                   $1.9million for aged accommodation

  $506million museum                                        A $1.9million State Government grant will allow Little
                                                            Sisters of the Poor to acquire freehold title to 1.6ha
  A new world-class museum for Western Australia            of State Government land in Kalgoorlie. This will
  will be constructed on the site of the former East        ensure the provision of accommodation for frail and
  Perth Power Station. Premier Alan Carpenter said          aged low income earners in the region. Options
  the $506million infrastructure project would be a         being considered are independent living units and a
  stunning cultural and social institution for WA that      high-care aged facility.
  would bring new life to a major heritage site.
                                                            $1.5million bridge upgrade
  Major Perth foreshore infrastructure project
                                                            Structural Systems (Western) has been awarded a
  Premier Alan Carpenter has committed the State            $1.57million contract for the major refurbishment of
  Government to a spectacular redevelopment of the          Alexandra Bridge over the Blackwood River near
  CBD’s Swan River foreshore. Public comment on             Karridale.
  the design for the Perth Waterfront project recently
  closed. Once the design is finalised, planning            Tender awarded for AK Reserve
  processes are expected to commence in mid-2008
  with major works for Stage One due for                    BGC Construction together with a BGC Perkins Joint
  commencement during 2011-12. When complete,               Venture has been awarded the $73.3million tender
  the project will create a business, tourism,              for the development of athletics and basketball
  residential, entertainment and activity hub, at an        facilities at AK Reserve, to replace the aged Perry
  estimated cost of $300million. Visit                      Lakes facilities.
  http://www.perthwaterfront.com.au.




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WESTERN AUSTRALIA
  ACACun




  TRANSPORT                                               ENERGY

  Mandurah rail link                                      WA opens up to geothermal energy
  The State Government will provide a $5million loan      New legislation that will pave the way for a
  to the City of Mandurah to support the construction     geothermal industry in Western Australia has been
  of a rail link connecting the new Mandurah train        passed by both Houses of State Parliament.
  station and the Mandurah CBD. Completion is             Resources Minister Fran Logan said legislation,
  estimated in 2010.                                      which amended the Petroleum Act (1967) would
                                                          provide for the exploration and production of
  Fast train to open up State’s South-West                geothermal energy resources across the State.
  A feasibility study by the Public Transport Authority
                                                          Solar power spend on schools
  will be conducted into a potential new fast rail
  service from Perth to Bunbury. The study will look at   The number of solar schools in regional areas of
  a modern diesel train with some new routes              Western Australia has doubled with the latest
  constructed, reducing travel time by at least a third   allocation of funding under the Carpenter
  based on train speeds of up to 160km/h.                 Government’s $5.1million Solar Schools Program.
                                                          Energy Minister Fran Logan said another 27 regional
  New Chairman for Fremantle Port                         schools would receive money to install solar power
                                                          systems, bringing the total number to 54. For more
  Mr Alan Birchmore has been appointed the new            information, visit http://www.sedo.energy.wa.gov.au
  Chairman of the Fremantle Port Authority Board. Mr
  Birchmore was former board chairman for the
                                                          New chief for Office of Energy
  Albany Port Authority.
                                                          The State Government has confirmed the
                                                          appointment of Jason Banks as the Co-ordinator of
  ROADS                                                   Energy and Chief Executive Officer of the Office of
                                                          Energy. Mr Banks will lead the office through the
  South Coast Highway contract                            next phase of reforms, including an assessment of
                                                          electricity retail tariff arrangements; the introduction
  Southern Roads Services had been awarded a
                                                          of full retail contestability in the electricity market;
  $700,000 contract to widen South Coast Highway
                                                          and the roll out of smart metres to give consumers
  between the BHP Nickel Mine entrance and
                                                          greater choice in how they use electricity. The office
  Munglinup Bridge, east of Ravensthorpe.
                                                          will also take a key role in major climate change
                                                          policies.
  MINING AND RESOURCES
                                                          AGRICULTURE
  WA mining boom
  Spending on mineral exploration in Western              New biosecurity council
  Australia last year topped a record $1billion
                                                          Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance has
  according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and
                                                          announced a new 15-person council to replace the
  accounted for half of Australia’s exploration
                                                          Agriculture Protection Board (APB). The Biosecurity
  expenditure. Resources Minister Fran Logan said
                                                          Council of Western Australia will replace the APB as
  WA expenditure recorded a massive jump of 51 per
                                                          the principal advisory body on biosecurity issues to
  cent last year. Spending on iron ore exceeded gold
                                                          the Minister and the Department of Agriculture and
  for the first time in WA during the December quarter.
                                                          Food Director General.
  Petroleum exploration expenditure in WA and
  adjacent Commonwealth waters was a record
  $1.9billion in 2007, up 50 per cent on 2006 and
  accounting for 72 per cent of the Australian total.




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WESTERN AUSTRALIA
  ACACun




  More weapons for cane toad frontline
  The State Government has now provided $12million          FINANCE
  for the fight against cane toads since 2004, with a
  further $169,225 going to the Kimberley Toad              WA earns AAA Moody’s credit rating
  Busters for equipment. A further $500,000 has been
  allocated to help develop a biological weapon to kill     Credit ratings giant Moody’s has reaffirmed the
  toads.                                                    State’s Triple A credit rating. In its latest analysis,
                                                            Moody’s highlights the State’s ‘stellar financial
  WA and China sign plant breeding agreement                performance’ and ‘prudent fiscal management’.
                                                            Treasurer Eric Ripper said the endorsement shows
  Western Australia is on the verge of a ‘plant             that the economy is very healthy and the
  breeding revolution’, following the signing of historic   Government is managing the significant pressures
  agreements between WA and Zhejiang University in          on expenditure which a strong economy brings.
  China. Agriculture and Food Minister Kim Chance
  has been in China to establish a joint research
  project looking at breeding barley varieties with         FOOD AND WINE
  better acid soil tolerance for WA and China, and the
  transfer of genetic material between China and WA.        Liquor reforms revitalising the City of Perth
                                                            Premier Alan Carpenter and Lord Mayor Lisa
  TOURISM                                                   Scaffidi have declared the State Government’s new
                                                            liquor licensing reforms, which were implemented
  Tourism spending at record high                           nine months ago, a success in helping to revitalise
                                                            the City of Perth. They allow people to have a drink
  Tourism Minister Sheila McHale said new figures           outside in alfresco areas without having to order a
  from Tourism Research Australia revealed visitors to      meal.
  WA spent more than $5billion during the year ending
  September 2007. Visitor nights are up by 14 per
  cent and sitting above the national average of a 5.1
  per cent increase, with the interstate and                REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  international figures at all-time highs.
                                                            More than $1.8million in grants
  TRADE                                                     Regional Development Minister Jon Ford has
                                                            announced more than $1.8million in grants through
  Exports to the Middle East to increase                    the Regional Headworks Program (RHP). Mr Ford
                                                            said the nine individual grants were offered to both
  Following a 16-day trade development mission to           business and local government organisations to help
  the Middle East, Agriculture and Food Minister Kim        offset the costs of providing essential services such
  Chance has highlighted new opportunities for              as electricity, water, telecommunications, gas,
  increasing trade in meat, grains and live animals to      drainage and sewerage (headworks) in regional
  the region, and also opportunities for the increased      areas.            Visit          the          website
  export of horticulture, dairy products, fodder and        http://grantsdirectory.dlgrd.wa.gov.au/.
  stockfeed. Several companies are expected to visit
  WA to follow up on potential projects. A delegation
  from the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture is expected in
  the early part of 2008.




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TASMANIA
  un




                     Stephen Halliday
                     Office: +61 8 8407 3519
                     Mobile: 0418 808 799
                     Email: shalliday@hawkerbritton.com




  GOVERNMENT

  Premiers key priorities for 2008                        Tasmanian businesses go the distance
  The Tasmanian Government has released a set of          Latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows
  priorities for the State. These include:                that Tasmanian businesses have the best chance of
            A social inclusion strategy to ensure         survival of businesses in any State. The ABS
            Tasmanians don’t feel isolated in their       statistics show that of the businesses operating in
            communities and to address the causes of      Tasmania in June 2003, 62.4 per cent were still
            social inequality;                            operating four years later which is the highest in
                                                          Australia. The average of all States is 58.4 per cent.
            Taking action on climate change by
            legislating a State emissions reduction
                                                          Business expectations survey
            target;
            Building more public housing and reducing     TCCI Tasmanian Survey of Business Expectations
            homelessness;                                 shows business confidence in the Tasmanian
                                                          economy over the next 12 months has increased.
            Improving support and care to children and
                                                          Treasurer Michael Aird said the survey showed that
            families;
                                                          the sentiment of Tasmanian businesses was positive
            Lifting literacy and numeracy standards;      with expectations for growth in sales revenue,
            Drought-proofing Tasmania by facilitating     profits, employment and capital investment for the
            irrigation projects;                          March quarter 2008.
            Growing Tasmania through investment in
            infrastructure, such as the Brighton          WATER
            Transport Hub; and
            Further building on the Tasmanian brand.
                                                          Massive irrigation projects for Tasmania
  Set Election terms                                      Premier Paul Lennon has announced up to $80
                                                          million in State Government funding to ‘drought-
  Legislation will be introduced into Parliament this     proof’ Tasmania. Combined with a Commonwealth
  year to set the date for Tasmanian State Elections      commitment to provide $140 million to support
  as the third Saturday in March every four years.        Tasmanian water projects, Mr Lennon said the State
  This means the next Tasmanian State Election will       was now set for $220 million worth of strategic
  be held on March 20, 2010.                              irrigation investment. Projects involve building dams
                                                          and installing pipelines in many parts of Tasmania to
  TRADE                                                   irrigate farmlands.


  Exports from Tasmania continue to grow                  MINING
  Australian Bureau Statistics figures show the value
  of overseas merchandise exports from Tasmania           New exploration licences
  grew by 13.1 per cent to $3.75 billion in the year to   Tasmania’s growth in mineral exploration is
  December 2007 compared to the previous year.            continuing with the State Government recently
  Treasurer Michael Aird said the enormous growth in      granting licences to several companies for the
  China, India and the rest of Asia has had huge spin     exploration of various minerals. The companies will
  offs for Tasmania. Tasmanian exports also continue      explore areas for minerals such as gold, tin,
  to outperform national exports. The national growth     tungsten, nickel mineralisation, limestone and
  in that period was 2.6 per cent.                        dolomite.
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  ROADS                                                     Tiger roars into Hobart
                                                            Tourism, Arts and the Environment Minister Paula
  South Arm Highway to be upgraded                          Wriedt has welcomed the new Tiger Airways service
  Downer EDI Works has won the contract for a $4.5          between Hobart and Melbourne. “In the same way
  million upgrade of the South Arm Highway. The             that Tourism Tasmania works with all its air and sea
  project will duplicate the existing highway to provide    carriers, this is just the start of what we hope will be
  a four-lane dual carriageway and connect Oceana           a productive and mutually beneficial relationship with
  Drive to the South Arm Highway.                           Tiger Airways,” Ms Wreidt said.

                                                            Tourism website takes huge leap forward
  INFRASTRUCTURE                                            Planning and booking a holiday to Tasmania has
                                                            taken a technological leap forward with the release
  Millions invested in engineering construction             of the revamped www.discovertasmania.com
  ABS figures show that $910 million worth of               website. Tourism, Arts and the Environment Minister
  engineering     construction      work     such    as     Paula Wriedt said the redeveloped website would be
  telecommunications, roads, water storage, bridges         a vital resource for potential visitors to Tasmania.
  and railways, was completed in Tasmania in the
  year to September 2007, which is a record high and        Tassie hotels chosen as best in world
  5.5 per cent above the level of the previous year.        Three Tasmanian hotels have been chosen by
                                                            leading UK travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller as
                                                            among the best in the world as a part of its 2008
  INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY                                    Gold List awards. Freycinet Lodge, Bay of Fires
                                                            Lodge, and the Henry Jones Art Hotel were
  $6.1 million Intelligent Island Funding                   congratulated by Tourism, Arts and the Environment
  Seven organisations from across Tasmania will             Minister Paula Wriedt.
  share in more than $6.1 million in funding from the
  Market Access and Partnership Program (MAPP)              Tasmania showcases US media
  component of the $40 million Intelligent Island           Tasmania hosted New York-based journalists
  program. MAPP is a competitive, merit-based grant         representing travel, lifestyle, environment, design,
  program that supports Tasmanian ICT companies to          the arts, culture and wildlife at the Taste of
  develop and commercialise products and services           Tasmania media reception in Manhattan as part of
  for a global market. For more information about the       the G’Day Australia Week 2008 Tasmania initiative.
  program, contact the Department of Economic               Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council,
  Development’s Business Point on 1800 440 026.             Doug Parkinson, who headed a parliamentary
                                                            delegation from Tasmania, provided the keynote
                                                            speech at the function.
  TOURISM

  Consultants required to research tourism
  The Tasmanian Government has announced the
  establishment of a new project to examine tourism         .
  infrastructure investment. The new Tasmanian
  Tourism Infrastructure and Investment Project will
  provide critical guidance in determining what gaps
  and opportunities exist in tourism development and
  whether      increased   investment      in    regional
  infrastructure is needed to support the attraction of
  new investment. The government will call for
  consultants to express an interest in this project.




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NORTHERN TERRITORY
  un




                      Stephen Halliday
                      Office: +61 8 8407 3519
                      Mobile: 0418 808 799
                      Email: shalliday@hawkerbritton.com




  FINANCE                                                    ENVIRONMENT

  Territory gets AA1 rating                                  Deloitte advises on climate change
  International credit rating agency Moody’s Investors       Policy development firm, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu,
  Services has given an AA1 credit rating to the             has been appointed to help formulate the Territory’s
  Northern Territory describing the economy as               first comprehensive climate change policy. Chief
  ‘booming’. Moody’s said a range of factors, including      Minister Paul Henderson said the Deloitte team will
  increased capital spending and improved financial          be led by Jon Stanford, an expert in climate change
  performance, attributed to the rating.                     policy development, who will provide advice to the
                                                             Government leading up to key COAG climate
  Business confidence high                                   change meetings in September. A climate change
                                                             policy will be finalised by February 2009.
  A survey conducted by the Department of Business,
  Economic and Regional Development of local Alice
  Springs businesses with the co-operation of the NT         CONSTRUCTION
  Government has revealed business confidence is
  high in the town. Initial results of the survey indicate   Demand for hotels drives construction
  that 82 percent of respondents consider their
  business prospects to be either fairly confident or        High demand for the Territory’s hotel rooms is
  extremely confident. For more information go to            delivering strong investment in the tourism and
  www.nt.gov.au/alicespringsprofile                          construction industries, according to Acting Tourism
                                                             Minister Chris Burns. The Australian Bureau of
                                                             Statistics reports there’s been a 6.7 percent increase
  ENERGY                                                     in demand for a hotel room in the Territory in the
                                                             year to September 2007, above the national rate of
  Grants to switch to green energy                           4.4 percent. “This demand for our hotels is driving
                                                             our construction and tourism industries forward, with
  The Territory’s tourism operators are being                almost 900 new accommodation rooms being built in
  encouraged to make the switch to renewable energy          Darwin alone,” he said.
  under a new grants program designed to reduce
  carbon emissions. Minister for Tourism, Kon
  Vatskalis, said the Northern Territory Government          WATER
  will invest $500,000 over the next 15 months, to
  enable remote tourism operators to replace or offset       Daly protection continues
  their existing fossil fuel generation systems.
                                                             The Daly River will be protected from broad scale
  $10.8 million for solar power dishes                       land clearing for a further two years. Chief Minister
                                                             Paul Henderson and Environment Minister Len Kiely
  Federal Environment Heritage and Arts Minister             said the Government has decided to extend the
  Peter Garrett and Northern Territory Chief Minister        moratorium while the necessary scientific research
  Paul Henderson have announced funding of $10.8             is concluded. Mr Kiely said it’s crucial to get the right
  million to help bring cleaner energy to the isolated       alignment between water allocation and native
  Northern Territory Indigenous communities of               vegetation clearing.
  Alekerange, Ti Tree and Kalkarindji. A total of 40
  new solar dish concentrators will be built, which will
  reduce community reliance on diesel-powered
  generators. For more information:
  www.environment.gov.au/renewable/rrpgp                                                                                 21

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NORTHERN TERRITORY
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  AGRICULTURE                                              TOURISM

  Live cattle exports moving the Territory ahead           Tiger welcomed
  Live cattle exports through the port of Darwin have      Tourism Minister Kon Vatskalis has welcomed the
  reached record levels, according to Primary Industry     start of domestic flights by Tiger Airways into
  and Fisheries Minister Chris Natt. “Year-to-date         Darwin. “Tourism NT and Tiger Airways are working
  figures show that by the end of November more than       closely to highlight the benefits of a stopover in
  250,000 cattle – 220,000 of which were Territory         Darwin for people travelling between Singapore and
  cattle – had passed through the port of Darwin on        Melbourne,” Mr Vatskalis said.
  their way to South-East Asia,” Mr Natt said.
                                                           NT Government to secure soccer
  Live cattle exports to Vietnam
                                                           The NT Government has stepped up its efforts to
  Primary Industry and Fisheries Minister Chris Natt       bring A-League soccer matches to the Territory –
  today said live cattle exports to Vietnam are one        with Sports Minister Matthew Bonson announcing he
  step closer following several productive meetings in     has secured a meeting with the Football Federation
  Hanoi and Nha Trang. The live cattle export industry     of Australia to discuss Hyundai A-League Games
  employs more than 1000 Territorians and is worth         becoming part Darwin’s sporting fixture.
  more than $180 million to the economy.
                                                           More passengers cruising into Darwin
  EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING                                  Darwin hosted the largest number of cruise ship
                                                           passengers on record in 2007. Tourism Minister Kon
                                                           Vatskalis said figures collated by the Darwin Port
  Seeking workers from South Africa
                                                           Corporation show a dramatic increase from 10,708
  The Territory Government is continuing efforts to        passengers in 2006 to 17,012 passengers in 2007.
  address the need for skilled workers, with a
  delegation from the Northern Territory participating     Emerging China tourist market
  with the Chamber of Commerce NT at the skilled
  migration and recruitment exhibitions at the             Northern Territory tourism businesses will develop
  Opportunities Australia Expo 2008 in Johannesburg.       new products and translate their promotional
  Business and Economic Development Minister Kon           materials into Chinese to prepare for the growing
  Vatskalis said “While the economic outlook for the       number of Chinese visitors coming to the Territory
  Northern Territory is positive, skill shortages remain   over the next decade. Tourism Minister, Kon
  a concern and the Territory Government continues         Vatskalis has released a China Market Development
  to work to address this issue.”                          Plan that provides guidance for the Government and
                                                           tourism industry on how to make the most of this
                                                           emerging market.
  TECHNOLOGY

  Research and Innovation Awards
  The 2008 Research and Innovation Awards will be
  presented on May 29. The awards, an initiative of
  the Northern Territory Government and the Northern
  Territory Research and Innovation Board, recognise
  and reward the achievements of the Territory’s
  researchers and innovators and the contribution they
  have made to the Northern Territory. Visit
  www.research-innovation.nt.gov.au




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NEW ZEALAND
  un




                    John Lacy
                    Office: +64 4 495 3740
                    Mobile: +64 21 327 070
                    Email: jlacy@hawkerbritton.com



  MINING

  Taranaki blocks on offer for exploration                  Marine energy fund
  Associate Energy Minister Harry Duynhoven has             An international panel of renewable energy and
  announced three more blocks are to be opened up           business experts has been appointed to evaluate
  for oil and gas exploration in Taranaki. The addition     applications for funding to develop marine energy in
  means a total of 12 blocks are on offer as part of the    New Zealand. The government will be making grants
  Onshore Taranaki Basin Blocks offer, which opened         of up to $2 million a year for the next four years,
  for bidding last November. “The Labour-led                through the Marine Energy Deployment Fund.
  government is promoting economic growth both in
  Taranaki and on a national scale by encouraging           Govt ahead of the game on biofuels
  domestic and international investment in the energy
  sector,” he said. Details can be obtained from the        Energy and Climate Change Minister David Parker
  Crown Minerals website.                                   said the NZ government is introducing legislation to
                                                            ensure biofuels used in New Zealand are from
                                                            sustainable sources. The Government is concerned
  New minerals programme and regulations
                                                            that some sources of biofuels have led to rainforest
  A new Minerals Programme for Minerals (Excluding          destruction and rising food prices, mainly affecting
  Petroleum) 2008 has come into force in New                the world’s poor.
  Zealand. The statutory instrument provides the
  Crown and industry with:
  • Up-to-date and robust regulatory policy and
                                                            ENVIRONMENT
  practices that should enhance New Zealand’s
  reputation as an attractive exploration destination for   Trans-Tasman business conference for NZ
  investment.                                               Climate Change Minister David Parker has
  • An allocation regime which promotes the                 announced a major Australasian business
  responsible discovery and development of New              conference on climate change will be held on August
  Zealand’s Crown owned mineral and coal resources.         20-21 in Auckland this year. The 4th Australia-New
  Visit                                                     Zealand Climate Change & Business Conference
  www.crownminerals.govt.nz/cms/minerals/legislation        will bring together prominent business leaders and
                                                            policy makers from the region and globally to focus
                                                            on the new business opportunities arising from the
  ENERGY                                                    challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "We
                                                            can expect fresh impetus from the new Australian
  Solar demand heats up                                     government to implement its own emissions trading
                                                            scheme,” Mr Parker said. “A key role for the
  The solar industry is experiencing a resurgence
                                                            conference will be to foster business dialogue
  following the launch of the Government’s solar
                                                            across the Tasman to ensure Australia and New
  water-heating programme, says Government
                                                            Zealand work together to maximise the rapidly
  Spokesperson      on    Energy       Efficiency and
                                                            expanding opportunities for this region." See
  Conservation Jeanette Fitzsimons. Thirteen Solar
                                                            www.climateandbusiness.com for further details, or
  Industries Association accredited suppliers have
                                                            contact Elizabeth Edmonds
  signed up to the financial assistance scheme for
  homeowners. A number of building companies have           (e.edmonds@climateandbusiness.com).
  signed up to the Volume Build Scheme, including
  franchises of Jennian Homes, who are making solar
  water heating a standard offer in all new homes over
  the next year. EECA has contractual commitments
  for several hundred systems in new homes.
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NEW ZEALAND
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                                                           TOURISM
  First carbon neutral company
                                                           SmartGate opens to NZ travellers
  Tourism Minister Damien O’Connor has commended
  Christchurch International Airport for being the first   New Zealanders travelling to Brisbane will now have
  airport company in the southern hemisphere to be         the advantage of using SmartGate – the ePassport
  certified carbon neutral. The company received           system that allows for quicker border processing.
  carbon neutral certification through Landcare            New Zealanders will become the first non-
  Research’s carboNZero programme “The visitors we         Australians to be given the option of using the
  seek to attract are conscious of their environmental     SmartGate automated system for ePassports which
  footprint. It is vital we consider the environmental     contain passengers’ photos on a microchip.
  motivations and expectations of our visitors and         SmartGate will be progressively introduced into
  deliver     superb      environmental    management      Australia’s remaining international airports over the
  throughout the industry. This includes going the         next 18 months.
  extra mile to prove our sustainability credentials and
  our 100 percent Pure New Zealand image,” said Mr         Minister gives Auckland tourism plan thumbs up
  O’Connor.
                                                           A new plan to transform Auckland into a world-class
                                                           visitor destination has been welcomed by Tourism
  FINANCE                                                  Minister Damien O’Connor. Bringing the World to
                                                           Auckland highlights the need for the city to maximise
                                                           on its opportunity to increase visitor expenditure in
  Reserve Bank to licence all insurers
                                                           the region by $12 billion per year and transform itself
  All insurance providers – including life, health and     from a gateway into a world-class tourist destination.
  general insurance – will have to be licensed by the      “Ensuring Auckland has excellent infrastructure,
  Reserve Bank under a new prudential regulatory           easy transport to attractions, and vision and
  framework announced by Finance Minister Michael          coordination which extends beyond just marketing
  Cullen. “The proposals will encourage the                are vital to delivering on the goals of this plan and
  maintenance of a sound and efficient insurance           the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2015,” Mr
  sector    that    promotes      confidence    among      O’Connor said.
  policyholders,” said Dr Cullen.
                                                           AGRICULTURE
  TRADE
                                                           Tighter controls on live animal exports
  Free trade talks
                                                           The export of livestock for slaughter will be
  Trade Minister Phil Goff has welcomed a United           prohibited unless the risks to New Zealand’s
  States decision to join negotiations on financial        reputation as a responsible exporter can be
  services and investment with four countries including    adequately managed. This decision was made
  New Zealand, and at the same time to begin a             following a recent review by the Government of New
  process aimed at possible participation in a             Zealand’s live export policies, which addressed
  comprehensive free trade agreement. The four             concerns about the treatment and handling of
  countries, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and             livestock, and slaughter practices in importing
  Brunei make up the Trans-Pacific Strategic               countries.
  Economic Partnership, or P4 grouping, which
  entered into a high quality free trade agreement in      New technology adds value to dairy
  2006. The P4 countries will this year negotiate the
                                                           New Zealand’s 9 Crown Research Institutes are
  remaining chapters of this agreement relating to
                                                           creating new economic opportunities according to
  financial services and investment.
                                                           Pete Hodgson, Minister of Research Science and
                                                           Technology. “New Zealand has a strong national
                                                           identity associated with agriculture, but increasingly
                                                           we are seen as smart innovators who are adding
                                                           sustainable value in these areas,” said Pete
                                                           Hodgson. Research includes animal molecular
                                                           biology (genomics and cloning), reproductive
                                                           technologies, agricultural systems modelling, dairy
                                                           and meat science and food processing technology.
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                   MANAGING DIRECTOR                                        NSW
                   Bruce Hawker                                             Director: Justin Di Lollo
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