Remarks, NSW Police Attestation Ceremony Sydney Cricket Ground, NSW

Source: Prime Minister of Australia

Prime Minister: Thank you very much, Ben. I hadn’t planned on making remarks today but I must admit, looking upon New South Wales’ finest, I couldn’t resist. I acknowledge the Gadigal elders past, present and future. I acknowledge the servicemen and women and veterans who are here with us today. But most of all I acknowledge you. I acknowledge the great men and women of the New South Wales Police Force.

My father stood where you stood decades ago. He would be very proud to look upon you today. He was passionate about community policing, as Commissioners past and present know. You are part of our community. You protect our community. You are pastors of our community. You promote our community. You will stand in the places where our community fractures and breaks. You will see and hear and feel things, and experience things that those of us who do not wear that uniform never will. You stand in that gap for our community. You will find no more noble service than what you are undertaking here.

Today you have taken an oath, and we are placing our trust in you and you have accepted that trust in that oath, and we thank you for that. You have joined the gold-standard of police forces, not just here in Australia, but all around the world. I know your family will be bursting with pride, as I burst with pride for my father’s service. Thank you so much and God bless you.

Shire of Ashburton facilities to roll out SafeWA contract tracing app

Source: Government of Western Australia

As part of the State Governments measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, from 5 December 2020, particular businesses are required to maintain contact registers for WA Health Department COVID-19 contact tracing, if required.

Some of our Shire facilities and venues are required to maintain a register of patrons, staff, visitors and contractors for COVID-19 contact tracing.

In the event there is a case of community transmission of COVID-19, contact registers will allow for targeted contact tracing that will help limit transmission of the virus.

We will be using the SafeWA app to maintain a register at all of our libraries, swimming pools and waste sites across the Shire, and at the Tom Price Visitor Centre. Community and sporting groups that use our facilities will also have to register using the QR scanner and then also maintain their own register for their particular event.

The contact register will record your name, contact number, location and date and arrival time at the venue.

The SafeWA app is available free to download from Apple App Store and Google Play Store and is a free, convenient digital option for contact registration.

By downloading the SafeWA app, you will be able to scan a QR code to register your details at any venue you attend which is using the app.

Further information on the app and how to register are available from

For media information contact:

Alison Lennon – Manager Media and Communications, Shire of Ashburton

M: 0409 314 140 | E: [email protected]

More news articles

Woolworths announces Aussie-favourite Sanitarium as Supplier of the Year – Woolworths Group

Source: Woolworths Limited

3 December 2020: Sanitarium, the brand behind iconic Australian favourites like WeetBix, has been named Woolworths’ Supplier of the Year.

Sanitarium Health Food Company is a wholly Australian-owned business, producing its products locally with an emphasis on helping Australians eat healthier.

Woolworths Director of Buying Paul Harker said: “Sanitarium shares our ambition to support the wellbeing of the communities we serve, continuing to develop new healthier options across the grocery aisles. 

“Sanitarium’s dedication to customers also drove their rapid response in the early stages of the pandemic. Their teams quickly consolidated production and pack sizes to keep up with demand and ensure their products made it to our shelves as quickly as possible.”

Woolworths’ annual Supplier of the Year Awards were held in Sydney yesterday and recognise excellence across the thousands of suppliers the supermarket partners with to deliver high quality food and everyday needs to its customers.

Rivalea Australia was recognised as Woolworths’ Sustainability Supplier of the Year for its high animal welfare standards and impressive carbon reduction innovations. Rivalea has partnered with Woolworths over the last 30 years, providing high quality pork from its farms across New South Wales and Victoria. Rivalea’s methane capture program is an example of best practice on-farm emissions reduction, delivering an environmental benefit equivalent to taking 9,000 cars off the road each year. The methane collected is converted to electricity which powers most of its largest farm and processing plant.

Paul Harker added: “As Woolworths works to create a better tomorrow through its own wide-ranging sustainability initiatives, the efforts of suppliers like Rivalea can make a meaningful difference to communities, animals and the environment throughout the broader supply chain.”

Hanes was awarded New Product of the Year for its Bonds Bloody Comfy Undies, a new line of period underwear that has helped meet the growing demand in the developing category. The Bonds team worked closely with Woolworths in the initial stages of product development. Launched in July, Bloody Comfy Undies has seen a strong response from customers and has helped reduce stigma around period products.

The Woolworths Supplier of the Year Awards recognised suppliers to the supermarket across a range of categories:

  • Overall Supplier of the Year: Sanitarium
  • Sustainability Supplier of the Year: Rivalea Australia
  • New Product Launch of the Year: Bonds Bloody Comfy Undies – Hanes
  • Supply Partner of the Year: Henkel
  • FoodCo Supplier of the Year: Ontex Manufacturing
  • Protein Supplier of the Year: Princess Pastoral Co
  • Fruit & Veg Supplier of the Year: Gibb Brothers
  • Chilled, Bakery & Deli Supplier of the Year: D’Orsogna (Deli)
  • Longlife Grocery Supplier of the Year (Large): Sanitarium
  • Longlife Grocery Supplier of the Year (Small – Medium): Freudenberg
  • Account Manager of the Year: Julia Clarke – Chobani
  • ISP of the Year: Cameron dela Cruz – ABC

Paul Harker concluded: “This has been an unprecedented year for the communities we serve across Australia. The strong collaborative partnerships we have with our suppliers allowed us to work together quickly and effectively during the pandemic to ensure our customers could access the everyday essentials they needed.

“Thank you, to our thousands of suppliers who have stood shoulder to shoulder with us in putting customers first, rapidly increasing production, pivoting to the projects that mattered most and thinking creatively to solve complex logistical challenges.”


For further information, contact Woolworths Media: 02 8885 1033 or

Partnerships with local government are building our future in Central Queensland

Source: Australian Ministers for Regional Development

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz today met with Mayors from the Central Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (CQROC) and visited the CQ Inland port, at Emerald.

Mr Buchholz said the Morrison Government’s 10-year, $110 billion nation-wide Infrastructure Investment Program which is underway across Australia, was delivering upgrades and jobs in Central Queensland.

“As Assistant Minister, I appreciate the opportunity to get out and connect with regional communities, with local Mayors and the industries critical to our economy. We need every part of Queensland, every industry firing, for our economic recovery and the Morrison Government is investing to make that happen here in Central Queensland.

Mr Buchholz said the CQROC was a productive meeting of councils and industry from Gladstone in the East, through to Central Highlands in the West, and everywhere in between.

“These local representatives are here on the ground, they know their people and industries firsthand, they hear their experiences and they drive the same roads that carry the cattle and move the resources.

“It was clear from the attendees here today and discussions on Thursday that they are delighted with the Morrison Government’s extensive investment in Central Queensland road transport. Through programs such as the Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI), Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program,” Mr Buchholz said.

The Morrison Government’s significant $1 billion commitment towards the Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) Initiative in Queensland was also a hot topic of discussion, following Assistant Minister Buchholz successful second round of consultations recently undertaken with local mayors in Townsville.

Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd said under the Liberal and Nationals, Central Queensland freight roads were being improved and transport hubs upgraded.

“The CQ Inland Port was developed with funding by the Morrison-McCormack Government, with $2.9 million in upgrades to enhance connectivity through an intermodal freight terminal.

“Programs such as ROSI are about improving freight productivity, connecting agricultural and mining regions to ports, airports and other transport hubs and communities to services.

“Strategic investments on ROSI corridors are delivering works such as road sealing, flood immunity, strengthening and widening, and other projects like the Biloela Heavy Vehicle Bypass,” Mr O’Dowd said.

Mayor of the Central Highlands, Cr Kerry Hayes welcomed Mr Buchholz visit and noted the strong partnership between the Federal Government Council.

Central Highlands Regional Council was able to share their strategic road priorities with Minister Scott Buchholz who was in the region for the Central Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (CQROC) meeting on Friday.

“Regional Queensland is in no doubt about the Morrison Government’s commitment to delivering road and freight infrastructure critical for key supply chains,” Mayor Kerry Hayes said.

“Minister Buchholz is leading from the front with his rollout of Roads of Strategic Importance funding.”

Fresh from Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) meetings in Toowoomba and Townsville, the Minister will be visiting the CQ Inland Port with Mayors and Councillors from across Central Queensland.

“Local government feels very confident when we get this level of engagement and on the ground service,” Mayor Hayes said.

“We are very fortunate that Minister Buchholz is indeed a local and is determined that valuable supply chains across the state are strengthened and constructed.”

“Roads like Springsure-Tambo have benefitted from the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative and improvements will make a huge difference to our communities and our key industries,” Mayor Hayes said.

Mr Buchholz said strong voices in Central Queensland were delivering critical investments.

“We have a strong team of Government Members here in Central Queensland, Michelle Landry, George Christensen and Ken O’Dowd – they are always in my ear about these investments and they have a real focus on improving road safety and increasing the regions productivity. Mr Buchholz said.

“I look forward to continuing to work with local mayors and stakeholders in Central Queensland as we finalise the ROSI projects on the Townsville to Roma and Mount Isa to Rockhampton corridors.

“I thank Mayor Kerry Hayes and the Central Highlands Regional Council for playing host to the CQROC meeting here in beautiful Emerald,” Mr Buchholz said.


Media contacts:

Mr Buchholz – Scott O’Connell – 0413 424 384

Search for future school leaders begins

Source: Australian Ministers for Education

Search for future school leaders begins

Penina Reid
Fri, 12/04/2020 – 10:27

Media Release

Teachers in regional and rural schools can now apply to join a new leadership program that will help develop the next generation of school leaders. 
Minister for Education Dan Tehan today announced the opening of applications for the Future Leaders Program pilot in Western Australia. 
The Future Leaders Program will provide individualised coaching and support as well as a professional peer network for teachers working in regional, rural and remote schools. 
“The evidence shows that teachers have the biggest in-school influence on education outcomes and that’s why the Morrison Government continues to support teachers to do their important job,” Mr Tehan said. 
“The Future Leaders Program is part of the Coalition Government’s $15 million investment to address shortages in high-quality school leaders and specialist teachers. 
“This initiative delivers another Coalition Government election commitment to support aspiring school leaders in regional, rural and remote schools.” 
Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education Andrew Gee said the Future Leaders Program had been specifically designed to address the challenges faced by regional, rural and remote teachers. 
“The Australian Government has been working closely with country communities, through Teacher For Australia, to break the cycle of education inequality and address the leadership gaps and challenges regional teachers face,” Mr Gee said. 
“The Future Leaders program will cultivate the school leaders of tomorrow and ensure that teachers and schools in regional areas are able to gain access to the same level of support as those in the big cities. 
“This program will also help to keep teaching talent in regional areas, so that communities benefit from the skills these teachers bring.” 

Teach For Australia CEO Melodie Potts Rosevear said feedback from the sector had identified two key areas for the pilot to tackle. 
“One key area is the supply and scarcity of ready school leaders; and the other is the need for teachers and aspiring leaders to be able to access quality development opportunities that are contextually relevant to the regional, rural or remote communities where they teach,” Ms Potts Rosevear said. 
“We know that the two key levers that positively impact educational outcomes for our students are teacher quality and leadership, so it is vital schools are continuously developing a pipeline of high quality leaders. 
“Teach For Australia has more than a decade of experience supporting schools with teaching and leadership development programs and we’re very pleased to bring our expertise to this new opportunity for our rural and remote teachers.” 
Applications are now open for Western Australian teachers, with more jurisdictions to follow. Teachers and schools interested in the pilot program can contact Teach For Australia at 

Minister roles
“15286”: [
“Minister for Education”
“18682”: [
“Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education”,
“Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment”

The Hon Dan Tehan MP
The Hon Andrew Gee MP

Broadband speeds reach record highs during the pandemic

Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Consumers are benefiting from faster download speeds, as retail service providers now deliver on average more than 94 per cent of plan speed in the busy evening with some monitored services regularly achieving higher speeds than expected by consumers, according to a new ACCC report.

The eleventh Measuring Broadband Australia (MBA) report, published today, shows that in October retail service providers (RSPs) achieved between 84.8 and 98.5 per cent of maximum plan speed across all plans across busy hours (7-11pm).

More than half of monitored NBN services achieved download speeds exceeding the maximum speeds specified in the retail plan description when averaged across all hours of the day.

“Speeds in the October test period were the highest we have seen for all monitored RSPs since the start of the MBA program,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

In October, daytime download speeds held steady, and even during the busy hours (7-11pm) customers experienced a minimal decrease in performance.

Telstra has shown the greatest improvement in their busy-hour download speeds, up by over 11 per cent since the last report. Superloop featured for the first time in this quarterly report, and achieved comparable results to other monitored RSPs with an average of 93.4 per cent of maximum plan speed during busy hours.

Pandemic pressure largely resolved

This is the second ACCC quarterly report detailing NBN network performance results during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put sustained pressure on the network.

“NBN Co’s decision to temporarily waive charges for up to 40 per cent extra capacity for RSPs in the form of increased connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) has played a key role in supporting broadband speeds during the pandemic,” Mr Sims said.

The more recent uplift in speeds has also been assisted by an increase in how NBN Co over-provisions the download component of most NBN speed tiers by around 10 to 15 per cent where possible. This ensures that consumers can more reliably experience speeds closer to the maximum download speed of their chosen retail plan.

“We had been concerned that consumers haven’t experienced full use of their plan speed even outside busy hours for some time now, so it is good to see the MBA’s transparency measures showcasing the faster broadband speeds available to consumers during these difficult times,” Mr Sims said.

Figure 1. NBN download plan speeds comparison over time

This chart shows NBN download speeds over time since MBA Quarterly Report 2 which was published in July 2018. Data is shown for both all hours and busy hours (7-11pm) by NBN plan and also by access technology.

For more broadband performance data from the latest report see: Broadband performance data.

FTTN still lagging behind

Fibre to the node (FTTN) connections, however, are still performing considerably lower than other connection technologies. The results show that consumers on FTTN connections who are paying for high speed 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps plans received around 10 and 20 per cent lower speeds than the maximum plan speed respectively, at any given time.

“Although most consumers have already benefited from increased download speeds, those on FTTN connections are continuing to experience lower than expected speeds. We encourage NBN Co and RSPs to work to resolve this, especially given the additional investment in FTTN services announced by NBN Co in September,” Mr Sims said.

“Good progress has already been made on addressing this issue with the proportion of underperforming services in our sample falling from 13.9 per cent in May 2018 to 8.1 per cent in October 2020,” Mr Sims said.

Streaming services now able to be viewed on more simultaneous screens

The MBA report also shows how different NBN plans perform in streaming popular video content from Netflix.

“The faster speeds are allowing households to stream an increased number of high definition and ultrahigh definition screens at the same time over one NBN connection,” Mr Sims said.

The report also shows that all major NBN plans can support at least one high definition stream at a time. NBN plans provided on the 25 Mbps tier can support at least one ultrahigh definition stream, and nearly all could support three simultaneous high definition streams. 

Third monthly key indicators report

The ACCC also released today its third monthly key indicators report which shows the trend in daily average NBN download speeds from August through to October. The report reaffirms that download speeds are significantly faster than the pre-COVID February 2020 baseline and trended up since August due to NBN Co’s 40 per cent additional capacity boost and the recent over-provisioning of download speeds to allow for full plan speeds to be achieved, in line with international practice. Speeds were also maintained during busy hours, reflecting abundant capacity on the NBN network to support additional evening demand.

This is also the first report to provide network level performance results for NBN fixed wireless services. These results are drawn from a relatively small sample of fixed wireless services.

“These are encouraging first results and will better inform consumers about broadband performance quality in our regional, rural and remote areas,” Mr Sims said.   

The ACCC is calling on broadband customers to volunteer and to also take part in the free speed test program via

More information

Measuring Broadband Australia Quarterly Report

Measuring Broadband Australia Key Indicators Report

Broadband speed information for consumers

Home broadband consumer guidance


The Federal Government funded the ACCC to run a national broadband performance monitoring and reporting program from 2017-21.

Data for Measuring Broadband Australia is provided by UK-based firm SamKnows using methodology based on established speed testing programs in the UK, US and Canada.

Tasmanian man charged over alleged importation of dozens of child-like sex doll parts

Source: Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

A 28-year-old man has been arrested by Australian Border Force (ABF) Officers in Tasmania for allegedly importing 41 child-like sex doll parts.

On 20 October 2020, ABF Officers at the Melbourne Container Examination Facility found 60 sex-doll parts while examining a consignment. On further examination, 41 of the doll parts were categorised as child-like.

Yesterday, 3 December 2020, ABF investigators executed a warrant at a premises in South Hobart. They seized an additional 23 doll parts at the property and arrested the 28-year-old Chinese national.

The man was charged with one count of Import Tier 2 good, contrary to section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901.

ABF Enforcement Operations South Acting Commander Nicholas Walker said these dolls are a form of child abuse and they will not be tolerated.

“The commercial nature of this importation should be seen as extremely concerning,” A/g Commander Walker said.

“These dolls are harmful and they have no place in the Australian community.”

The Customs Act 1901 was amended to clarify that child-like sex dolls are a form of child abuse material, providing more certainty to officers at the border.

Under section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901(Cth), an individual caught attempting to import child abuse material, including a child-like sex doll, can be charged with importing Tier 2 goods. The maximum penalty, if convicted, is up to 10 years’ imprisonment and/or fines of up to $555,000.

The man has been granted bail and will appear at Hobart Magistrates Court on 23 February 2021.

Media contact: Australian Border Force (02) 6264 2211


Australia’s first arts and entertainment loan scheme open

Source: Australian Ministers for Regional Development

Arts and entertainment organisations will have access to $90 million of loans, guaranteed by the Commonwealth, following the finalisation of a landmark agreement between the Morrison Government and two major banks.

The Government, ANZ, and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have signed up to the Show Starter Loan Scheme — Australia’s first arts and entertainment industry specific loan scheme.

The $90 million credit line is backed by a 100 per cent Commonwealth guarantee and will be available through participating lenders until 30 June 2021, or until funding for the Commonwealth guarantee is exhausted. Eligible organisations can apply for loans of up to 50 per cent of the total cost of their new arts and entertainment activity, up to $5 million.

Interested organisations can now submit an Intention to Borrow to the Office for the Arts. If they are found to be eligible, they can then apply for a loan through the Scheme. 

“During COVID-19, many arts and entertainment organisations have drawn down on reserves they would normally use to invest in new work,” Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said.

“This Scheme provides the industry with additional financing options to invest in new productions, shows and events for live audiences, and contribute to the recovery of communities across Australia. I congratulate ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for partnering with Government on this important Scheme”.

Cultural and creative activity contributed $115 billion to the Australian economy in 2017-18, equivalent to 6.3 per cent of GDP. The cultural and creative industries employ over 600,000 Australians. This Scheme aims to help to restart the arts and entertainment industries, create jobs, and support this vibrant sector as it continues to make a substantial contribution to the Australian economy.

The Show Starter Loan Scheme forms part of the $250 million JobMaker plan for the creative economy. This year, the Morrison Government has announced almost $800 million in extra arts and entertainment funding, on top of our record annual investment of around $750 million in core funding, and on top of the $558 million provided to date through JobKeeper and the $110 million provided in cashflow payments to businesses.

For more information on the Show Starter Loan Scheme go to:


Media contact:

Imre Salusinszky | 0432 535 737 |




Notice of Proposed Common Seal and Conduct at Meetings Local Law 03/12/2020 – 2:38pm

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Posted Thursday 3 December, 02:38pm

Notice is hereby given that Council at its meeting held on 24 November 2020 resolved to give public notice of its proposed Common Seal and Conduct at Meetings Local Law.

 The purpose and general purport of the proposed Common Seal and Conduct at Meetings Local Law is to:

  • revoke the current Governance Local Law 2012;
  • regulate the use of the common seal; and
  • create offences relating to the conduct at Council and Delegated Committee Meetings.

 A copy of the Community Impact Statement and proposed Local Law are attached below, or available from Customer Services, Municipal Offices, 59 Vincent Street, Ararat.  

 Written submissions regarding the proposed Local Law are invited from any person affected by the Local Law for consideration in accordance with section 223 of the Act. A person may also request (in their submission) to be heard in support of their submission and/or to nominate a representative to present their submission. In that event, the person will be notified of the date and time of the relevant Council Meeting.

 Submissions must be in writing received no later than 11.59 pm on Thursday 31 December 2020 and can be provided through Council’s website; emailed to; or by mail addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Ararat Rural City Council, PO Box 246, Ararat 3377.

Documents can be found through this link

Notice of Proposed Amendment of Road Management Plan 03/12/2020 – 2:37pm

Source: State of Victoria Local Government

Posted Thursday 3 December, 02:37pm

In accordance with section 54(6) of the Road Management Act 2004, and regulation 10(1) of the Road Management (General) Regulations 2016, the Ararat Rural City Council (Council) gives notice that it proposes to amend its Road Management Plan (RMP). This includes:

  • amendments to the structure of the document;
  • changes to the defect classifications; and
  • changes to standards for inspection, maintenance and repair, including inspection frequencies, compulsory intervention levels and response times.

The proposed amendments apply to all of the roads and classes of roads in the Municipality for which Council is the responsible road authority under the Act.

 A copy of the proposed amended RMP is available at the Municipal Offices, 59 Vincent Street, Ararat, or attached to this webpage

 Any person who wishes to make a submission on the proposed amendments may do so by 11.59pm on Thursday 31 December 2020. Submissions must be in writing, marked as ‘Proposed Amendment to Road Management Plan’ and addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Ararat Rural City Council, PO Box 246, Ararat 3377; or by email to


Documents can be found through this Link