From Australia News in Brief

Securing our national security and local defence jobs and skills

Australia is ‘at a real risk’ of ending up with a hung parliament

PM uses Mother’s Day to pledge $53 million for special cases of IVF, helping prospective parents realise their pregnancy dream

Green light for net zero decarbonisation Hub

M12 motorway set for take-off with contractors announced

Cost of living certainty for more social security recipients

Doves having their say on mental health initiatives in schools

Central-West Orana renewable energy zone tender shortlist announced

New road safety projects to be rolled out

Parramatta prepares to take world stage with iconic new building

New feral free rewilding site for NSW

NSW Leads discussions for proposed changes to Menindee Lakes operations

Important step forward for new women’s refuges

Car seat diversion drives NSW forward

Australian defence spending: Morrison Government to spend $38 billion on  creating 20,000 new Defence jobs | The West Australian

Securing our national security and local defence jobs and skills


(See translation in Arabic section)

Canberra – M E Times Int’l:  An additional 12 new MH-60R Romeo maritime helicopters and 29 new AH-64E Apache Armed Reconnaissance helicopters will join Australia’s Navy and Army to help keep Australians safe while creating around 300 jobs.

The Government will expand our maritime helicopter fleet with an additional 12 MH-60R Romeo maritime helicopters to be acquired and based at HMAS Albatross, along with a 13th Romeo to replace one lost in 2021. This investment is worth more than $2.5 billion and will replace Navy’s existing Taipan fleet. The Government has also set aside up to $360 million to expand facilities at HMAS Albatross to house the expanded fleet.

Defence Jobs Australia - Airbase Protection and Security

The Government has also finalised a more than $5.5 billion investment to acquire and operate 29 new AH-64E Apaches helicopters for the Army, replacing Army’s existing Tiger helicopters. The Government will also invest up to $500 million to upgrade facilities to support the new Apache helicopters.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the investments were key to the Government’s plan for a safe and secure Australia in the face of regional and global uncertainty.

Defence Jobs Australia - Network Technician

“Our world and our region are changing but we’re investing a record $270 billion in the defence and security of Australia over the decade to 2030,” the Prime Minister said.

“Australia and our region is now in the midst of the most consequential and challenging strategic realignment since the Second World War.

“But these investments don’t just support the Australian Defence Force, they support local jobs and skills right here.

“The more than $8 billion we’re investing in helicopters and facilities means 290 new jobs on the ground for electricians, mechanics and engineers to support their maintenance, along with hundreds more jobs in the small business supply chain that supports these fleets.

“A safe and secure Australia also means a strong economy and a stronger future for defence industry jobs.”

Minister for Defence Peter Dutton said the Romeos and Apaches were proven helicopters that would deter and respond to the threats Australia faced.

“We’re expanding the size and capability of our helicopters to meet the threats Australia faces,” Minister Dutton said.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said economic analysis showed the Romeo program would create 90 new job and support 510 workers, particularly in the communities around HMAS Albatross.

Melissa Price MP (@Melissa4Durack) / Twitter

Minister Price said the Apaches would complement the Army’s Tactical Uncrewed Aircraft Systems and Air Force’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, further enhancing these capabilities when deployed in combination.

The Romeos and Apaches will be delivered from 2025.

 Scott Morrison uses Mother's Day to pledge $53 million for special cases of  IVF | Sky News Australia

Australia is ‘at a real risk’ of ending up with a hung parliament

Sydney: Next Level Strategic Services Director Cameron Milner says he doesn’t think either of the major parties has the momentum to guarantee themselves a majority government.

“I think we’re at a real risk of Australia delivering a hung parliament,” Mr Milner told Sky News host Chris Kenny.

“And I think that both parties are looking at a situation where they might fall short of that absolute majority.”

 Scott Morrison uses Mother's Day to pledge $53 million for special cases of  IVF | Sky News Australia

PM uses Mother’s Day to pledge $53 million for special cases of IVF, helping prospective parents realise their pregnancy dream

Canberra: Prime Minister, Scott Morrison is using Mother’s Day to pledge $53 million for special cases of IVF to help prospective Australian parents realise their pregnancy dream.

From November, those living with cancer or genetic conditions will be able to access subsidised IVF and store their eggs, sperm  and embryos for free.

The plan is expected to save around 6200 hopeful parents around $600.

It’s a very personal pitch for the Prime Minister, who’s daughters Abbey, 13, and Lily, 11, were both born thanks to IVF.

If re-elected the Coalition is also promising to use $13.7 million of the package, to expand the Birth of a Child Life Event Service pilot program.

A move which will streamline access to information for new parents to support them from the pregnancy planning stages until its first birthday.

With thirteen days to go until the federal election, Scott Morrison will be hoping the announcement softens his image with the voters who accuse him of lacking compassion.

It comes as the leader of the Coalition gears up to go head-to-head tonight with Labor leader Anthony Albanese in the second leader’s debate of the election campaign.

The Prime Minister is expected to try and keep the focus on national security and the economy- the areas he sees as his key strengths.


Green light for net zero decarbonisation Hub

Sydney: Research, development and commercialisation for decarbonisation technology in NSW is being fast tracked, with a $15 million investment in the NSW Decarbonisation Innovation Hub.

NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the Hub is a key part of the NSW Government’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

“As action on climate change grows internationally, there will be significant demand for new decarbonisation technologies with huge investment opportunities,” Mr Kean said.

“NSW is taking the lead by coordinating efforts across our research, development and commercialisation sectors. This will help us create new jobs and high-tech businesses, while developing expertise in emission reduction technology.”

Minister for Environment James Griffin said the Hub is part of the NSW Government’s Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program and will bring together researchers, industry and government to accelerate new technologies to decarbonise NSW.

“This $15 million funding is being delivered by the NSW Environmental Trust, and as the Chair of that Trust, I’m proud to see an investment that will foster new partnerships that support major progress in our environment,” Mr Griffin said.

“A consortium of impressive partners will lead the Hub, including UNSW Sydney, University of Newcastle, University of Wollongong, Western Sydney University, University of Technology Sydney, Charles Sturt University, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Climate-KIC.”

 M12 Motorway | Transport for NSW | Community Analytics

M12 motorway set for take-off with contractors announced

Sydney: Construction of the new M12 motorway linking to the Western Sydney International Airport will begin within months, with the successful contractors to deliver the first two sections of the $2 billion project announced today.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet supports distance based tolls in Sydney |  Daily Telegraph

NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, said the toll-free 16-kilometre motorway would be a vital infrastructure link, playing a critical role in ensuring modern, safe and efficient access to the new airport.

“Western Sydney will be home to not just a new world-class airport, but a fantastic new motorway catering to locals and visitors from all around the world, ensuring easy and quick access,” the Premier said.

“In addition, the M12 will also complement upgrades to local roads and a new Sydney Metro, Western Sydney Airport Link, providing improved access to cater for future growth in Western Sydney.”

“Our strong economic management means we can invest more in infrastructure and build the things that make a difference to people’s lives - this is how we’re delivering a better future for NSW families.”

The motorway will form a link from Elizabeth Drive at Cecil Hills to The Northern Road at Luddenham with direct access to the new Western Sydney International Nancy-Bird Walton Airport.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, said this was a significant milestone in the delivery of this important new road connection in Western Sydney.

“The new Western Sydney International (Nancy Bird Walton) Airport will be a game changer for the region, but just as important as delivering a world-class airport is delivering the surrounding transport connections,” Minister Fletcher said.

“That is why the Morrison Government is investing billions of dollars in road and rail infrastructure around the airport, including $1.6 billion for the new M12, to provide seamless connections for travellers, and efficient and safe commutes for locals.”

NSW Minister for Metropolitan Roads, Natalie Ward, said major construction is scheduled to begin in the middle of this year and be complete before the new airport opens in 2026.

“It will also be a major jobs boost, generating up to 2,400 jobs during construction, and will be an important economic driver.”

NSW Minister for Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, said the NSW Government is working with the Commonwealth Government to ensure the region has the infrastructure it needs as it grows.

For more information on the M12 Motorway, go to

 Cost of living certainty for more social security recipients | Mirage News

Cost of living certainty for more social security recipients

Canberra: The Morrison Government has guaranteed the level of income payments for 900,000 Australians following the increase by the RBA to the cash rate.

A re-elected Morrison Government will guarantee the rate used to determine the income earned from financial assets will be frozen at today’s record low level for the next two years to ensure payments are not reduced as earnings increase from deposit accounts held by social security recipients.

The Prime Minister said about 450,000 Age Pensioners and 440,000 other payment recipients would benefit from greater certainty around their fortnightly social security payments because of the Government’s deeming rate freeze.

“This is another shield to help protect Australians from the cost of living pressures people could feel from an increase in interest rates,” the Prime Minister said.

“In addition to our indexation of social security payments, we will guarantee the rate of income for people who could otherwise see their social security income drop because of the increase in interest rates.

“Our strong economic plan is the reason why we can afford to provide cost of living relief for Australians when they need it most.

“This guarantee will be a welcome relief to Australians who rely on both the social security system and modest income from investments by ensuring their payment rates are locked in.

“This builds on our commitments to support Australians on low incomes. Since 2019, our Government has reduced the deeming rate on three occasions which has put hundreds of dollars back in the hands of pensioners and other payment recipients.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Budget delivered the largest improvement to the bottom line in more than 70 years which was allowing the Coalition to invest in temporary, targeted and responsible cost of living measures.

 The Importance of Mental Health Awareness in Schools

Doves having their say on mental health initiatives in schools

Sydney: Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell and Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch made a surprise appearance in-person at Minister’s Student Council (DOVEs) meeting.

The meeting took place at Terrigal High School where 27 students from across NSW zoomed in to discuss the topics of anti-bullying and mental health initiatives with Ms Mitchell, Mr Crouch and two local student representatives. 

Ms Mitchell said this was a great opportunity to hear directly from students to better understand the growing problem of bullying, how it is impacting young people and what the NSW Government can do to help. 

“It was extremely important to be able to join our Central Coast Council student members today to discuss this crucial and sensitive topic,” Ms Mitchell said.

“I look forward to taking the opportunity to attend future DOVES meetings in person at our Council members’ schools across NSW.

“It was great to have the Member for Terrigal with me today so he could see how the youth in his electorate are engaging in important policy conversations and shaping the education system for the benefit of all NSW public school students.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Adam Crouch was thrilled to be a guest at the Student Council Meeting saying that it was great to hear from students about important issues for them.

Shortlist named for first NSW Renewable Energy Zone 

Central-West Orana renewable energy zone tender shortlist announced

Sydney: Three groups have been shortlisted for a central role in establishing Australia’s first renewable energy zone, a key component of NSW’s energy infrastructure plans to put downward pressure on electricity bills.

The short-listed tenderers for the Central-West Orana renewable energy zone (REZ) transmission network are:

• ACE Energy, comprising Acciona, Cobra and Endeavour Energy;

• Network REZolution, comprising Pacific Partnerships, UGL, CPB Contractors and APA Group; and

• NewGen Networks, comprising Plenary Group, Elecnor, Essential Energy and SecureEnergy

The network operator will be responsible for designing, financing, building, operating and maintaining the network infrastructure for the Central-West Orana REZ. The new grid connections will include energy hubs and new high-capacity transmission lines.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the announcement was an exciting milestone for this modern day power station.

“The network operator will play a critical role in the REZ by connecting power from energy suppliers, including wind and solar farms, and distributing it to energy consumers across the State,” Mr Toole said.

Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the Central-West Orana REZ will play a pivotal role in the State’s plans to deliver a cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy sector under the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.

“Combining generation and storage with poles and wires, the REZ will capitalise on economies of scale to deliver energy to homes and businesses in NSW,” Mr Kean said.

Minister for Western NSW and Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders said the REZ would bring investment and jobs to the area.

 NSW to roll out hundreds of road safety projects worth over $400m

New road safety projects to be rolled out

Sydney: New safety barriers, traffic lights and road widening are among projects to be rolled out under the fifth and final round of the NSW Government’s $822 million Safer Roads Program.   

 Minister for Metropolitan Roads, Women's Safety and the Prevention of  Domestic and Sexual Violence | NSW Government  

Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said 20 new projects worth $37 million will be delivered in 2022/23 under the Program’s Liveable and Safe Urban Communities Initiative.

“This valuable program was set up by the NSW Government in 2018 and since then we’ve committed to delivering more than 270 projects in metropolitan areas in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong,” Mrs Ward said.

“It’s critical we continue to create safe road environments for everyone, not just for those behind the wheel, but also our pedestrians and cyclists.

“The Safer Roads Program forms an important pillar of our road safety vision and is estimated to prevent around 1500 serious injuries and deaths on NSW roads over 15 years.”

The Program is made up of two elements – the Liveable and Safe Urban Communities Initiative and the Saving Lives on Country Roads Initiative.

In regional NSW, $89 million is also being allocated in this round of the Program to fund 24 new projects as well as a number of ongoing projects.

For a full list of approved projects in this round, see here.    

 Parramatta prepares to take world stage with iconic new building - Parra  News

Parramatta prepares to take world stage with iconic new building - Fiji  Times India Austraila

Parramatta prepares to take world stage with iconic new building

Sydney: Sydney has the Opera House, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York has the Empire State Building, and soon Parramatta will have Phive.

With its vibrant red and orange roof now installed, the iconic new – and instantly recognisable – community, cultural and civic building in the heart of Parramatta’s CBD is rapidly taking shape and nearing completion.

Designed by a team led by internationally acclaimed and award-winning French architect Manuelle Gautraud, Phive (5 Parramatta Square) is Gautrand’s first Australian commission. The $136 million community facility joins her prestigious international designs including Citroën’s Flagship Showroom on the Champs-Elysées in Paris and Louis Vuitton Maison in Seoul, South Korea.

Labor takes the reins at Parramatta Council after Liberals' retreat

“Phive is the centrepiece of Parramatta Square’s $2.7 billion transformation – a landmark addition placing Parramatta on the world stage,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis said.

“It will be a state-of-the-art community and cultural centre for everyone to come together, chat, learn and be inspired.

“We were delighted to welcome Ms Gautrand to Parramatta earlier this month as our vision for Phive becomes reality. In a few short months, it will be unveiled as the pièce de résistance for our City and will represent and serve our vibrant and growing community.”

Conservation: Feral predator-free project | NSW National Parks 

New feral free rewilding site for NSW

Sydney: NSW is further expanding its rewilding efforts with another site earmarked as the state’s next feral-predator free area, paving the way for the return of locally-extinct wildlife.

The NSW Government is establishing a network of seven feral predator free areas across the state, making it a world leader in rewilding. 

Environment Minister James Griffin said the newest of the seven feral free areas is a 2,000-hectare forest in South East Forest National Park near Bombala, called ‘Nungatta’.

“Feral cats and foxes, which kill billions of native animals nationally every year, will be completely eradicated within this fenced rewilding site,” Mr Griffin said.

“Then when the site is feral predator free, we’ll reintroduce native mammals that were once abundant in this habitat, such as the long-footed potoroo, eastern bettong, smoky mouse, and eastern quoll.

“This ambitious conservation project is part of the NSW Government’s $80 million investment in wildlife restoration, and will see Nungatta’s forests go back in time.

“Through Nungatta and our six other feral predator free areas in NSW national parks, we’re rewilding our state and helping our threatened species thrive into the future.

 “Once all seven sites are completed, 65,000 hectares of national parks will be feral free and provide a significant conservation benefit for more than 50 species.”

Three of the seven sites are already operational, and nine locally extinct mammals have already been successfully reintroduced, with their populations flourishing.

Member for Monaro Nichole Overall said in time, the Nungatta site will also become an exciting new visitor experience in the South East.

CSIRO to conduct independent review into far north coast water security |  NSW Dept of Planning and Environment 

NSW Leads discussions for proposed changes to Menindee Lakes operations

Sydney: The NSW Government will begin discussions immediately with the Murray Darling Basin Authority and Basin jurisdictions on how to improve the way water in the Menindee Lakes is stored and managed.

Minister for Lands and Water Kevin Anderson said NSW is seeking to improve water conservation in the Lakes and maximise the availability of water in Lakes Wetherell and Pamamaroo as the Lakes return to NSW control.

“This will improve the longevity of water stored in the upper lakes and keep the Lower Darling running for longer,” Mr Anderson said.

“The NSW Government is committed to Menindee’s water system and understands the importance of water storage. When it comes to managing water, my view is healthy rivers, healthy farms and healthy communities. Not one or the other.”

The rules under the Murray Darling Basin Agreement allow water in the Menindee Lakes to be used in the River Murray system when storage levels increase above 640 GL until they drop below 480 GL, which is when the Lakes return to NSW control.

The location of where water is stored in the Menindee Lakes, when it falls below 480 GL, has a significant impact on NSW and its ability to access water including how long this critical drought reserve can meet the demands of the community and environment.

“We have listened carefully to community concerns about the way the Menindee Lakes storage is being managed which is why we are taking action,” Mr Anderson said.

“NSW is currently reviewing the way the Lakes operate and investigating ways to increase the volume of water that is accessible for local and downstream communities when the Lakes return to NSW control.

NSW government to double the number of refuges for women escaping domestic  violence - ABC News 

Important step forward for new women’s refuges

Sydney: Women and children escaping domestic and family violence will soon receive greater support, with expressions of interest opening next week for funding to set up and operate the first new model of women’s refuges in NSW.

Minister for Women's Safety and the Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Natalie Ward said the NSW Government’s $426 million commitment over four years to establish new refuges is the single largest investment in the state’s history to address domestic abuse.

“No one should live their life in fear, but all too often women stay in violent relationships because they feel they have nowhere to go,” Mrs Ward said.

“Our record investment shows we are sending a strong message that enough is enough. Women who make the courageous decision to leave an abusive partner can feel secure knowing they will have a safe haven to go to where they can begin rebuilding their lives.

“This landmark investment will ensure that when a victim-survivor makes the courageous decision to leave a violent home, there is a secure and supportive environment waiting to help them,” Mrs Taylor said.

Minister for Families and Communities Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the refuges will offer access to vital services on site, such as counselling, legal and employment support.

Next week, Minister Ward will host a roundtable with domestic violence advocacy groups, specialist homelessness services and peak bodies to discuss the roll out. Expressions of interest will also open to apply for the first of three rounds of funding.

 NSW Regulation on Child Restraints - Baby Safe Child Restraints

Car seat diversion drives NSW forward

Sydney: A ground-breaking proof of concept aimed at keeping children safe in cars is helping to divert families away from fines and toward greater safety on NSW roads.

The Car Seat Diversion proof of concept is a collaboration between NSW Police and Revenue NSW, trialled across Macarthur, Bankstown, Blacktown, Wagga Wagga and Dubbo Local Government Areas.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole said NSW-licensed drivers who have inadequately restrained children in their cars when pulled over by police are given the option of taking up a diversion to install the appropriate seating and avoid an initial fine.

“Children are some of our most vulnerable road users, and when it comes to road safety, they are completely reliant on their parents and carers to keep them safe,” Mr Toole said.

"If a child car seat is not used correctly, the risk of serious injuries in a crash is seven times higher than if the seat was correctly fitted, so I’m proud that NSW is leading the way with this nation-first trial that doesn’t just save families money, but also lives.

“Since the program rolled out in June 2021, almost 60 people have had a child seat correctly installed and avoided a fine.

“These drivers have 7 days to make an appointment with an accredited car seat installer and 21 days to install the appropriate seating. After providing evidence, drivers will avoid a fine, with the cost of a proper child’s car seat often being less than the fine” he said.


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