Extension for Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability

Source: Minister for Families and Social Services

The Morrison Government today announces that it will extend the final reporting date for the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability to 29 September 2023.

This provides an additional 17 months to account for the impact of COVID-19 and recognising the broad issues of inquiry under the Royal Commission’s terms of reference.

“This extension will enable the Government to receive and implement recommendations as expeditiously as possible,” Minister Ruston said.

“This will make meaningful change to the lives of people with disability, while also enabling the Royal Commission to fulfil its terms of reference.

“We remain focused on supporting people with disability, their families and supporters, advocacy groups and the disability community.”

Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said the Government had favourably acted on requests from the Chair since the inquiry started.

“The Government has added a seventh Commissioner, refined the Letters Patent to articulate the Chair’s role and progressed legislative amendments to the Royal Commissions Act 1902 to assist the Commission’s workload,” the Attorney-General said.

The Royal Commission is independent from Government and sets its own processes including how it approaches its terms of reference, informs itself for the inquiry and, importantly, hears directly from people with disability, their families and loved ones.

The Government continues to fund free and independent counselling and advocacy support for people with disability that have experienced violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, as well as their families and carers, and anyone affected by the Royal Commission.

A national legal advisory service and legal financial assistance scheme are funded and available for people or entities giving evidence or engaging in other ways with the Royal Commission. Additional funding for support services for an extended reporting date will be considered through the ordinary budget processes.

The Government looks forward to receiving the Royal Commission’s final report on 29 September 2023.

Transcript – Interview on CNBC Asia

Source: Australian Ministers for Regional Development

WILL KOULOURIS

I’m very pleased right now to be able to welcome the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Michael McCormack, he’s joining us live from Canberra. Deputy Prime Minister, thank you so much for being here.

MICHAEL McCORMACK

It’s a pleasure.

WILL KOULOURIS

In terms of the spend that we are seeing on this Budget, though, you know that potentially later tonight we’re going to hear from the Opposition. There’s going to obviously be those people that say we’re spending too much in terms of the $161 billion Australian deficit. But realistically with the impact that we saw from COVID-19 and the hope that we can really get this unemployment rate below five per cent and the recovery back on track, was there really any other alternative?

MICHAEL McCORMACK

There was not and that is why John Howard, indeed, former greatly acknowledged Prime Minister of this country said when you do have a situation such as this then you need to throw everything at it, to ensure that those jobless queues which we saw very early in the pandemic, which were reminiscent of the Great Depression, we didn’t want to see those continuing. We wanted to see businesses as best as they could to be able to stay open. And that’s what why we put in place a measure called JobKeeper, which enabled businesses to remain connected with their employees, to remain with their doors open and remain functioning and trading. And that’s why we also extended the JobSeeker allowance, which is our, effectively, unemployment rate, to give those people who suddenly found themselves on the welfare queues – for sometimes the first time in their lives – the dignity of being able to still put bread and butter on the table to still have that ability to be able to finance their lives. We’ve made some tough decisions. We’ve made some big calls, yes, but Australia is the envy of the world when you look at our low case rates. Yes, we’ve lost 910 Australians and that is very, very sad for their families. But if you consider what was being tipped early in the piece with thousands of people dying, with potentially, you know, much of the population being affected by this virus, we’ve done very, very well.

WILL KOULOURIS

And I wanted to touch on, as well as, because you’re obviously the Minister for Regional Development as part of your many portfolios but we’ve seen a considerable shift, I suppose, when it does come to this investment as well in green technologies, this investment that has been earmarked in terms of really making that shift. And, you know, it all ties into the Biden Summit that we had back in April towards things like green hydrogen, towards things like carbon capture technology. So how important is that going to be? Because you’ve also got to balance the fact that in a lot of these regional areas perhaps the coal-fired plant is the big source or the big employer? So, how do you navigate trying to find that balance and ensuring that we still meet all of our targets moving forward?

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Well, you’re totally right and we’ve absolutely done what you’ve just said – we’ve had that balance. That word is very important. So we still use, of course, traditional forms of energy and indeed, two-thirds of our energy supplies come from traditional sources, come from coal. Indeed, it’s also worth $66 billion of exports and employs 55,000 Australians and makes sure that many other countries can be warm in winter and cool in summer and that’s necessary. But we’re meeting and beating what we said we’d do as far as our climate emissions, as far as lowering our emissions are concerned. We’re certainly meeting what we said we’d do in Paris. We’ll continue to do that and we’ll continue to, as we work towards 2050 and of course, meeting future climate targets, of course, we will make sure we do it through technology, not taxes.

WILL KOULOURIS

Now, the farmers, I suppose, over the past couple of years here in Australia have had a particularly rough trot. We’ve dealt with the bushfires, we’ve dealt with the droughts. We had the floodings earlier this year and also the issues when it does come to China. But how has the Government really been able to try and drive into other export markets in order to make sure that they have somewhere to sell their goods?

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Well, Dan Tehan is the new Trade Minister and he wasted no time in getting across to Europe, getting across to the United Kingdom, and I know he’s made himself freely available to American diplomats as well. We’ll make sure that we broaden our trade interests. We’ve got that trans-Pacific partnership agreement – $13.3 trillion opportunity right here in our backyard. And we’re making sure that we do diversify our markets. Of course, China is a big market for us – $149.7 billion of trade with China. And we also understand it’s a big world out there and we’ve got the world’s best food and fibre. Our resources are in great demand and we’ll continue to make sure we diversify our markets. Dan Tehan will continue to make sure that if there’s any other possibilities – we’ve just sent our first shipment of barley indeed, to Mexico. So, that’s something that’s a new and diversifying market example, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.

NANCY HUNGERFORD

Sir, it’s Nancy here in Singapore, and as you point out the importance of the relationship with China, your biggest trading partner here, there are concerns that the relationship is not at a very good point right now. And I just wonder how you respond to China when they say that it’s your Government that has caused – taken a series of measures that has been really the disruptive force in this relationship and accusing you of a cold war mentality. How do you respond?

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Well, we’ll let the World Trade Organisation sort out any matters or any conflicts so far as trading relations are concerned. We’ll continue to work in a diplomatic and pragmatic and practical way with Chinese officials. We’ll continue to do that. Our phones are always there if they want to talk to us, in a very bilateral fashion. Of course, Dan Tehan, the new Trade Minister – very welcoming and open to any conversations that Beijing wants to have with us as far as making sure that we smooth any relationships, that we get on with continuing to provide China with our resources of course, their steel mills need our metallurgical coal. They still need our other resources, whether it’s food, whether it’s fibre. They understand that we’ve got a great market here and we’ve got a great product and they’ll continue, I know, to support us, as we will them.

NANCY HUNGERFORD

I think part of the concern, though, is when China came out and indefinitely suspended the key economic dialogue with Australia they signalled to many that they’re not really in a mood to negotiate. What specifically are you willing to do in the Government to bring China to the negotiating table and improve this relationship?

MICHAEL McCORMACK

We’ll be patient. We always are. We’ll be patient. We’re here. We understand that we’ve got the world’s best product and I know that perhaps some of your viewers might think otherwise – we’re all very parochial and we’re all very fiercely proud of what we produce in our own countries – but I know our farmers are the best in world. I know our mining resources are valued right across the world and whether it’s rare earths, whether it’s coal, whether it’s iron ore – you mentioned that at the top of the show, our iron ore price is very strong at the moment and we’ve based our Budget on very conservative estimates about where that iron ore price might go. But, indeed, our resources are greatly valued, greatly in demand around the world and whether it’s China or any other country, we’ll work with them always in a friendly and diplomatic and responsible way.

TANVIR GILL

Good morning, Tanvir Gill joining in this conversation as well. You, India and Japan have come together – Australia, India and Japan have come together to formally launch the supply chain resilience initiative that China’s called unfavourable for the global economy. What is the plan here and how do you go about executing the supply chain lines across these three regions?

MICHAEL McCORMACK

Well, resilience is a big thing and whether it’s Japan, whether it’s India or whether it’s Australia, we all need our markets to be more resilient. We all need to bounce back. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic and of course, our hearts go out to India at the moment with what they are suffering through this global pandemic. We want to get through this. We have to get through this and as peoples of the world, we will get through this and resilience is a very, very big thing. We understand just how much we need to broaden our interests with market opportunities. But we also need to have that ability to be able to reach out to our friends, to our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific region and make sure that they know that Australia is here, Australia’s open for business and Australia will continue to trade because we understand as well as anybody that trade equals jobs and more trade means more jobs.

TANVIR GILL

Alright, on that subject, given the crisis that India is facing, how are negotiations going with the Indian authorities on restarting repatriation flights? I believe the flights start the day after. Because your Immigration Minister has said that the whole process will be very complex and will take a lot of time.

MICHAEL McCORMACK

And it will take time and we’ll always put our national interest first. But, of course, we are a country which places humanitarian efforts first and foremost and that’s why we’re always first to help when island nations in the Pacific have cyclones and other natural disasters. We’re very much conscious of the fact that we’ve got a number of Australians in India at the moment, and we speak to High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell on a daily basis. I know the Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Marise Payne, is very aware of the problems and difficulties that India faces and that’s why in the Budget there’s more than 120 government-facilitated flights. We’re going to bring more than 17,000 Australians home over the next 12 months and we’ll continue to do that. Our Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on March 13 last year, he urged and encouraged and implored Australians if they could do so to come home. Not all Australians took advantage of that ability to do it then and of course, with the situation worsening in some countries, there is a great desire to come back to Australia now. So, we’ll continue to facilitate those flights. We’ll continue to work with commercial airlines to make sure that we get as many Australians home, whether they’re in India or anywhere else.

NANCY HUNGERFORD

Sir, we very much appreciate you joining us today and weighing in on these important issues. Thank you so much. The Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Michael McCormack with us and Will, thank you for bringing us the interview, as always.

Media contacts:

Caitlin Donaldson, 0428 389 880

Jock Rice-Ward, 0417 837 565

Guidance on the regulation of listed disinfectants in Australia

Source: Australian Department of Health

Update – 21 December 2020

Please note that the Therapeutic Goods (Standard for Disinfectants and Sanitary Products) Amendment Order 2020 was registered and published on the Federal Register of Legislation (F2020L01650) on 18 December 2020, and came into effect on 19 December 2020.

This instrument amends the Therapeutic Goods (Standard for Disinfectants and Sanitary Products) (TGO 104) Order 2019, principally to incorporate the most recent version of the TGA instructions for disinfectant testing and to clarify a small number of matters.

Introduction

An overview of how products commonly known as disinfectants and sterilants are defined and regulated can be found on the TGA website. This guidance relates to products that meet the definition of a listed disinfectant. Listed disinfectants make specific claims, as outlined in the claim guide, and must be included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) and meet all requirements as set out in the following legislation before they can be supplied:

Note

If you have a problem with a disinfectant, please tell us about it.

It is an offence to import and/or supply therapeutic goods in Australia that do not conform with a standard applicable to the goods (refer sections 14 and 14A of the Act).

The following guidance contains information about:

Information required to support your application

Once the TGA has received your application to list your disinfectant product on the ARTG, the TGA will request a copy of labelling. Alternatively you can attach the labelling for all products to the application. Based on the labelling information, further information may be requested to support the assessment of the application, as outlined below.

The TGA recommends that you retain the following information, which may be requested from you during either the pre-market evaluation or post-market review of your product/s:

  • Information relating to the formulation of ingredients, including fragrance and colourants.
  • Microbial efficacy studies refer to TGA instructions for disinfectant testing.
  • Stability data (for a new ingredient), if requested, to the extent that it is available. If you are asked to provide stability data and this information is not complete, you will need to supply preliminary stability data and indicate the protocol to be used for monitoring product performance, until a final shelf life determination is made. Your approach must be consistent with the TGA Instructions for Disinfectant Testing.
  • Toxicity data.
  • Relevant manufacturing quality control certificates and associated descriptions.
  • A Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
  • Name and address for all manufacturers involved in the process of producing the disinfectant.
  • Details of the manufacturing steps, including the identity of the manufacturer responsible for the process (all disinfectants are exempt from GMP requirements under Item 13 Schedule 7 of the Therapeutic Goods Regulation 1990).
  • Records of complaints or adverse events.

Note

Every application for a new product listing will be assessed. Data will be requested to support the specific claims on the label. Additional data as outlined above may be requested. A full pre-market review and safety evaluation of listed disinfectants will only be conducted on products that contain a new chemical entity and/or make new specific claims. This may incur an evaluation fee.

Formulation

All ingredients included in the formulation of therapeutic goods supplied in Australia must be identified using the relevant Australian Approved Names (AANs) or Proprietary ingredients. The Sponsor must include the full formulation of the product within the application prior to approval.

Australian approved names (AANs)

The TGA develops and maintains approved terminology to ensure accuracy and consistency of the information about goods on the ARTG.

These approved terms must be used to identify ingredients in your listed disinfectant:

  • When applying to list goods on the ARTG via the TGA Business System (TBS).
  • On labels and packaging for therapeutic goods.
  • Product Information documents provided with the goods.

Proprietary ingredients

Proprietary ingredients are entered into the TGA Business System (TBS) by the TGA, using details submitted by the supplier of the ingredient or by a medicine sponsor (on behalf of the supplier) using the Notification of a new proprietary ingredient form. This allows for the capture of complex formulation details and other relevant information, and the provision of a unique name and number. Sponsors may select proprietary ingredients using the assigned ingredient ID number for use in their application for a listed disinfectant.

Proprietary ingredient formulations for disinfectants are fragrances or colouring ingredients and are considered to be “commercial-in-confidence”.

Microbial efficacy

You will need to adhere to the test requirements as set out in the TGA Instructions for Disinfectant Testing in order to demonstrate microbial efficacy. If requested, you will need to provide all test methodologies and results – a summary will be insufficient. Full test methodologies and results will need to be in English with clear indexing and organisation. A summary of tests and results in English is not acceptable.

Note

Testing as described above may not be applicable to automated airborne disinfectant technologies. These include hydrogen peroxide vapour, hydrogen peroxide + peracetic acid fogging.

Toxicity

Manufacturers must take reasonable steps to ensure the disinfectant product is safe when used as intended, or if there is accidental contact with the product.

There is no expectation that studies will need to be initiated to assemble the necessary data. While a new study might be needed for a new chemical entity, it is expected that this section can be satisfied with information available through a competent search of the available literature and/or databases.

The TGA will accept information generated for other regulatory agencies. It is understood that most available toxicity data will be in relation to the individual components of a formulation rather than the formulation itself.

Toxicity tests on disinfectants used on surfaces should clearly identify any potential hazards of the formulation and risks to the user, through either intended use or accidental body contact. These hazards and risks must be clearly identified on labels and in product information.

Manufacturers should consider the following when determining toxicity of their product:

  • Acute oral toxicity
  • Inhalation toxicity
  • Skin irritation
  • Sensitisation
  • Eye irritation
  • Environmental toxicity
  • Any other known toxicity of an active ingredient or where the basic poisons related safety information suggests other forms of toxicity not mentioned above may be a hazard (e.g. neurotoxicity)
  • Basic poisons-related safety information is required for all disinfectants. The basic poisons-related safety information is that which would satisfy the Poisons Standard or Safety Data Sheet requirements of:

Additional information should also be supplied for the following, where applicable:

  • Acute Oral toxicity: Additional information on acute oral toxicity should be collected unless it can be shown that the disinfectant is unlikely to be used in a way that will cause it to contact the digestive tract. The information should relate to tests conducted at concentrations equivalent to those likely to be encountered in use.
  • Inhalation toxicity, skin irritation, sensitisation and eye irritation: Additional information on residue tests should be collected unless it can be shown that the disinfectants or their residues are unlikely to come into contact with skin, mucous membrane or eyes. The basic poisons related safety information is that which would satisfy the Poisons Standard30 or Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) requirements of the Safe Work Australia’s Model Code of Practice: Labelling of workplace hazardous chemicals.
  • Environmental toxicity: Ecotoxicological information should be held for all listable disinfectants, according to the requirements outlined by any relevant state or federal environmental protection legislation. The information provided should be reflected in appropriate handling, storage, transport, use, disposal, waste management and neutralisation instructions. The potential for reuse or recycling should be considered whenever appropriate.

Packaging requirements

The container for a disinfectant must:

  • be impervious to and incapable of reacting with its contents
  • be sufficiently strong to prevent leakage arising from ordinary risks of handling, storage or transport
  • have sufficient excess capacity to prevent breakage of the container or leakage of the contents if the contents are likely to expand during handling, storage or transport.

Labelling requirements

All listed disinfectants must have labelling in place that includes the following:

  • approved name(s) of all ingredient(s) that are active against pathogenic or food spoilage micro-organisms
  • acceptable common name of the Disinfectant (Schedule 1 TGO 104)
  • quantity/proportions of ingredients(s) which result or contribute to the disinfectant action, and proportion of available chlorine/bromine/iodine if applicable (expressed as either % w/w, %w/v, % m/m, % m/v or % v/v)
  • quantity of disinfectant
  • batch number
  • expiry date or use by date
  • the AUST L number (recommended but not compulsory)
  • name and address of the manufacturer or sponsor
  • clear and adequate instructions for use, including:
    • details on how to prepare the disinfectant and use it to ensure specifications are met, including details on: type of diluent, the required strength, and any limitations on quality, contact time, allowable temperature range, minimum effective concentration and pH range if significant
    • installation instructions (if applicable)
    • limitations of use, including reuse period (if applicable) and managing dilution factor if disinfectant is reused
    • where reuse is provided for, complete information on how to properly monitor the effectiveness of the reused solution (use of test strips)
    • limitations on storage conditions for stock solutions and activated solution.
  • For a disinfectant that contains chlorhexidine, the words:
    • “Not to be used on skin”.

Note

Household grade disinfectants and commercial grade disinfectants must not be labelled “hospital grade” or use words implying that they are hospital grade.

Labelling must comply with the requirements of the SUSMP.

Poisons which are packed and sold solely for industrial, manufacturing, laboratory or dispensary use are exempt from all labelling requirements included in the SUSMP as they are covered by Safe Work Australia’s Model Code of Practice: Labelling of workplace hazardous chemicals.

How to make your application to TGA

Applications for multiple products

Many sponsors have a range of listed disinfectants in different presentations, or may sell differently branded versions of the same product. Generally these products are considered to be separate and distinct therapeutic goods under section 16 of the Act and therefore require individual listing on the ARTG.

Listed disinfectants are able to be treated as a single therapeutic good if they have the following common characteristics:

  • The sponsor
  • The principal manufacturer
  • They are a disinfectant with specific claims.
  • Are not subject to different standards.
  • Contain the same ingredient that is active in their final formulation.

If your listed disinfectants meet these requirements, you can apply for listing of these products with one application.

For further information refer to the Therapeutic Goods (Single Therapeutic Goods) Order No.1 of 1991.

If you wish to enter additional products that come within the requirement of the Single Goods Order onto an existing ARTG entry, you can request a variation of the listing of your therapeutic goods. This can be done by submitting a Device Change Request, which will be considered by the Delegate of the Secretary under section 9D of the Act.

Note

One Device Change Request can be submitted for additional products providing the products share common characteristics as defined in the Therapeutic Goods (Single Therapeutic Goods) Order No.1 of 1991, and the only variation is in presentation of the goods and/or packaging/branding.

If the composition of the products has changed (i.e. you are now manufacturing/supplying a listed disinfectant that has a different ingredient that is active), this is not a variation and you will need to submit an application for a separate listing of these goods on the ARTG.

Submitting your application

To submit your application for your disinfectant to be listed on the ARTG, you will need access to the TGA’s Business Services system (TBS).

Note

Evidence to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements must be held by the manufacturer or sponsor for examination on request by the TGA, in the event of a problem arising with the product, or as part of a routine compliance evaluation.

You need to login into your TBS account to access the application forms. If you don’t have an account/access, follow the instructions at TGA Business services: getting started with the TGA.

Step 1 – Login to TGA Business Services

Enter your user name and password.

Step 2 – Select the relevant application type

From the Applications menu, under the Medical Device list, select Device/OTG Application.

Step 3 – Complete the application form and attach all relevant documents

You’ll be taken to Page 1 of the application form to complete/confirm the required details. To begin, select Other Therapeutic Good – Listed disinfectant from the list in the Application for field.

Complete the required details for Page 1, remembering to add a Sponsor’s own reference before continuing. Select the Next button to continue.

Business Services system (TBS)

Note

This application pathway is limited only to disinfectants that make specific claims. If your product does not make specific claims and is considered an exempt product it cannot be listed on the ARTG.

Page 2 requires the relevant manufacturer’s details.

To search for your manufacturer, select the Search button under Manufacturer name which opens the search window.

Enter your search term and select the Search button. This will display a list of possible manufacturers which match (or closely match) your search term.

Once you have selected the correct manufacturer, select the Add to Application button.

To select the correct GMDN code for your application, select the Search button under the GMDN code and description field which will open the GMDN search window.

You can search by the GMDN code, or text in the GMDN description. In the case of a hard surface disinfectant the GMDN code is based on the Common name of the product (i.e. Disinfectant, household/commercial grade or Disinfectant, hospital grade). Once you have found the correct GMDN, select it from the search results, and press OK to add the details to your application. Once you have completed Page 2, select Next to continue.

The final page has a:

  • summary of the application information for you to review
  • section to electronically attach supporting information
  • declaration you need to agree to before you can submit your application.

Note

Disinfectant applications must include the full formulation of the product. To input the formulation ensure that you select “yes” your product is formulated and input the formulation with all relevant AAN and PI’s.

Attaching supporting documents

To attach supporting information, select the Add button in the Function to Attach/Add Supporting Information field which will open the File Upload window.

Select the Document type from the dropdown list. You should attach all relevant documents from your computer. Select the Browse button and then select the relevant file from your computer to attach. Select the Add button to attach this file to your application.

Note: Follow this process for each file you need to attach.

Each attachment will be listed under the Function to Attach/Add Supporting Information field.

If you need to delete any attachments, select Remove next to the attachment you want to delete.

Before you can submit your application, you must agree to the declaration:

When the form has been completed, select Validate. This will ensure that the form has all the required information to allow your form to be submitted.

Note

Validation of your form is only confirming that you have filled out all required fields in the application. Validation is not an approval of your application or a guarantee that all the required information has been submitted to the TGA.

If there are any issues with the form, they will be identified with blue writing near the top of the page that will link you to the incomplete information when you select it.

If you filled in all required fields in the application form, you will be able to submit your application.

Fees and charges

Application fee

The current application fee for listed disinfectants can be found in our Schedule of fees and charges under ‘Other listed and registered therapeutic goods (OTGs)”. The application fee is specifically stated under ‘Listed OTG fees’ as ‘Application fee’.

Evaluation fee

Listed disinfectants may attract an evaluation fee in addition to the initial application fee if they contain a new ingredient or make new specific claims. The current evaluation fee can be found in our Schedule of fees and charges under ‘Other listed and registered therapeutic goods (OTGs)’. The fee is specifically stated under ‘Listed OTG fees’ as ‘Fee for evaluating documents and information relating to the safety of a listed therapeutic device’.

Note

Application and evaluation fees are not refundable. For further information refer to the refunds web page.

Annual charges

Once your product is listed on the ARTG, annual charges for maintaining your listing will apply. The current annual charge for listed disinfectants can be found in our Schedule of fees and charges under ‘Other listed and registered therapeutic goods (OTGs)’. The fee is specifically stated under ‘Annual charges’ as ‘Listed OTG: tampons and disinfectants’.

Post-market – ongoing responsibilities

Once a disinfectant has been listed on the ARTG, it must continue to meet all the regulatory, safety and performance requirements and standards that were required for the approval.

There are mandatory requirements for all sponsors of disinfectants, including:

  • telling us about any changes to the composition of your product;
  • retaining distribution records for five years;
  • reporting adverse events; and
  • ensuring the information on your ARTG listing remains current.

The TGA may contact the sponsor to request information to demonstrate that the disinfectant continues to comply with the regulations.

Advertising

Advertising for disinfectants (including the label) must comply with all applicable therapeutic goods advertising requirements. These include:

  • If the disinfectant is not included in the ARTG and it is not exempt from the requirement to be included in the ARTG, it cannot be advertised to the public (subsection 42DL (12) of the Act). Claims to be able to supply such a disinfectant to any party are also prohibited (subsection 22(6) of the Act).
  • Disinfectants included in the ARTG can only be promoted for those purposes included in the ARTG and (where relevant) the label. The promotion of ‘off-label’ use to any audience is prohibited (subsections 22(2) to (5) of the Act).
  • Advertising to the public for disinfectants must comply with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (the Code).
    • Note there are particular requirements for ‘other therapeutic goods’ (which includes disinfectants) in sections 12 and 13 of the Code, which prescribe the mandatory information that must appear in advertising.
    • Disinfectant advertising to the public must comply with all other relevant provisions of the Code.
  • Before advertising disinfectants to consumers, you should check to see if your advertising material (for example, posters, media and social media advertising) contains restricted and/or prohibited representations, as defined in the Code.
  • The TGA does not require advertising for disinfectants to appear in specified media to be pre-approved under the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990.

Varying a disinfectant entry that is in the ARTG

If your disinfectant product is already listed on the ARTG, and you wish to vary either the labelling, formulation or other aspects of the manufacture of the product, the sponsor must apply to the TGA for approval prior to supplying the product.

You may submit an application to the TGA via a Device Change Request form (DCR) through the TGA Business Services link on the TGA website. Guidance on when an application is required is included in the following table, entitled Notifying TGA of changes to listed disinfectants.

If your disinfectant product is already listed on the ARTG, and you wish to vary the product in a way that does NOT change the formulation or aspects of manufacturer or labelling (i.e. varying the fragrance or colour of a product) the sponsor must submit a Device Change Request as soon as practicable and no later than three months after the implementation of the change. Refer to the following table.

When applying for a variation, you must provide information to validate the variation, as set out in the section below.

Notifying TGA of variations to listed disinfectants in the ARTG

There are two types of changes:

  1. variations to product information in relation to Registered and Listed Disinfectants. This information relates to the quality, safety and effective use of the goods, including information regarding the usefulness and limitations of the goods;
  2. additions of products to grouped listings. All changes must be made in accordance with legislative requirements.

Fees for variations (approvals)

All variations requiring approval attract a processing fee and if approval is required for listed goods, an evaluation fee may also be payable.

See Schedule of fees and charges

A denotes the sponsor must receive Approval from the TGA prior to change being made. A Device Change request must be submitted.
N denotes that Notification by the sponsor to the TGA is required as soon as practicable, and no later than three months after implementation of the change. A Device Change request must be submitted.
R denotes that Notification required directly to the TBS as soon as practicable, and no later than three months after implementation of the change. No fee is required in sponsor address or contact change.
* denotes the change may require a new registration or listing.
denotes No Approval or Notification is required. Changes may be made without reference to the TGA.

Proposed changes

Proposed change Listed Disinfectant Additional information
Sponsor/Manufacturer
Change in sponsor name (same sponsor) R
Sponsor transfer R
Change in sponsor address R
Change of principal manufacturer N* Test data may be requested
Change of principal manufacturer’s name only N
Change of site of manufacture N* Test data may be requested
Finished product details
Change in physical or chemical properties A Test data may be requested
Formulation
Change in amount of active ingredient N Test data may be requested
Addition or deletion of active ingredient N* Test data may be requested
Change in amounts of excipients N Test data may be requested
Addition or deletion of excipient N
Active raw ingredients/excipients
Change in the composition of a proprietary ingredient N
Quality control

Alteration to TGA accepted test methods:

  1. Changes which maintain or improve analytical performance
  2. Other changes
  3. Swap to another test method
A Test data may be requested
Narrowing the specification range within existing limits N
Packaging
Change of supplier of container only (same specifications)
Change of container (different material specifications) or container closure N^ ^ for products covered by Poison Standard (SUSMP) only
Labelling
Change of information on the label for product’s use/description, claims, indications, contact times or shelf life A Test data will be requested

Version history
Version Description of change Author Effective date
V1.0 Original publication Therapeutic Goods Administration July 2019
V1.1 Replaced references to Safe Work Australia’s National Code of Practice for the Labelling of Workplace Substances [NOHSC: 2012(1994)] with Safe Work Australia’s Model Code of Practice: Labelling of workplace hazardous chemicals Therapeutic Goods Administration April 2020
V1.2 Minor updates Therapeutic Goods Administration May 2021

Budget 2021: Delivering for the Indian Ocean Territories

Source: Australian Ministers for Regional Development

The Morrison Government is supporting the long-term sustainability and economic development of the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) through the 2021 Federal Budget.

$2.3 million will be provided over two years to promote diversification and growth across Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI). $58.6 million will be provided over four years for maintenance of critical Commonwealth assets and infrastructure in Australia’s territories, and approximately $5 million will be brought forward from 2021-22 Financial Assistant Grant funding for the Shires of CI and CKI to spend on local priorities. This funding is in addition to other ongoing Australian Government investments for service delivery and infrastructure in the IOT.

The $2.3 million commitment will assist with improved water security, waste management and a new grants program for local landholders and research organisations to support trials for innovative agricultural methods on CI and CKI. The agriculture grants will identify produce that can be grown in the region, building on previous agricultural research and supporting long-term economic opportunities, jobs, health and food security.

To ensure the IOT has the infrastructure needed to grow, we will undertake a water security assessment to help determine current and future water infrastructure needs. The remote location and complex groundwater systems of the IOT makes water security vitally important. We are also building on the CI and CKI 2030 Strategic Plans by developing a waste management strategy for the IOT.

The Government is moving to secure the future of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands’ marine environments with plans to establish two new Marine Parks, covering up to 740,000 square kilometres of waters around the IOT. The Government will now open consultation with Island communities, stakeholders and the commercial fishing industry to establish a Marine Park Area (MPA) to protect this international marine treasure.  $5.4 million has been provided to support local jobs and economic growth associated with the marine park. 

One of the proposals Government has carefully considered was the proposed re-issuing of a casino licence for CI.  The Government has determined not to proceed with the proposal, but will continue to support other local tourism opportunities.

After what has been a year like no other, we are building a bridge to recovery through targeted, sustainable economic measures that will help the IOT grow and flourish now and into the future.

For full details, visit www.infrastructure.gov.au

Media Contact:

Assistant Minister Marino ­– Sophie Beeton (02) 6277 4293

NAIF reforms pass through Parliament boosting investment opportunities for the north

Source: Ministers for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Joint media release with Assistant Minister for Northern Australia Michelle Landry
A Bill to implement a series of important Coalition Government reforms to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has passed through Parliament paving the way for new wave of job-creating investment in the north.

Interview — 5AA Adelaide Mornings with Leon Byner

Source: Australian Ministers for Education

Interview — 5AA Adelaide Mornings with Leon Byner

Dean Benson
Thu, 05/13/2021 – 14:08

Transcript

E&OE————————————-

LEON BYNER:
Good morning and thank you for being with us today. The first thing I’m going to talk about today is the plight of 62,200 people, because that’s the magic number of those who numerically do not have a job. In other words, they’re unemployed. Our unemployment rate in SA is around 6.8 per cent. But the Federal Government is saying that in their Budget, which of course, we had in the last 24 to 48 hours, is securing Australia’s recovery through protecting jobs and making it easier for Australians to get a job or hire somebody, like, now. Let’s talk to the Employment and Skills Minister, Stuart Robert. Stuart, thanks for joining us today. 

MINISTER ROBERT:

Leon, great to talk as always.

LEON BYNER:

So, 62,200 people haven’t got a job in SA. Your reaction to that?

MINISTER ROBERT:

We’re going to get the economy roaring back. We need to get as many people into work. Now at the national level, Leon, you know we’re the only country, or the only advanced country in the world that has more people employed today than pre-COVID. But we need to get that unemployment rate down further – nationally at 5.6, higher in South Australia. And that’s why the Budget…

LEON BYNER:

[Interrupts] Why do you think it is higher?

MINISTER ROBERT:

In South Australia?

LEON BYNER:

Yeah.

MINISTER ROBERT:

Good question. There’s a range of factors that feed into that, I suppose, in terms of population growth and economic activity. It varies right across the board – 4.8 per cent in WA, lower than that in the ACT. And, likewise, in the Northern Territory for example, the nationally participation rate is at 66.3 per cent, in Northern Territory it’s 72.7. So, every state and territory is different. But the key thing is, is we make skills, traineeships and apprenticeships open to every Australian, and that’s what the Budget does for South Australia.

LEON BYNER:

So how many more people are we going to train that we previously weren’t? Do we know?

MINISTER ROBERT:

The – if you look at the current apprenticeships, there’s 147,000 across the country doing Australian apprenticeships through Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements. Of that, 8,700 are in South Australia. We’re going to continue that program. We’re [indistinct] in September right the way through to March, so all school leavers can pick that up. And I’m hoping that’ll pick up another 100,000. In terms of JobTrainer, which is looking at the top 300 skills, there’s 6,800 South Australians on that right now. I want to see that go up to something like 450,000 Australians getting skilled, either fully subsidised or majorly partially subsidised, so they can get into jobs.

LEON BYNER:

Tell me, do we still have this anomalous situation, Stuart, from your perspective, and you’d be just the man to ask, which is why I’m asking you this, are we in a situation where we really don’t have enough skills locally, so therefore we have to rely on immigration?

MINISTER ROBERT:

Yes, in short, 50 per cent of all of the growth in employment in Australia in the last five years came from immigration. And you look at what Mr Rudd did after GFC, probably his singly most effective thing he did was to increase skilled migration to well over 300,000 for a couple of years. He brought in over half a million skilled migrants to stimulate demand and bring skills in. Well, we can’t do that because we can’t open our borders safely yet. So the only option we’ve got now is to train and skill Australians, 1.16 million on JobSeeker and Youth Allowance other, and then we need to ensure they take up those jobs, and if necessary, use the mutual obligation areas we’ve got to ensure that people accept their responsibilities, not just their entitlements.

LEON BYNER:

It sounds to me the way you’re explaining this, is there is a reluctance of people within Australia to actually do the work.

MINISTER ROBERT:

It varies. So there’s 177,000 Australians now been unemployed for more than 12 months. There’s 350,000 Australians over the age of 50, many of those would love to work, they’re super, super keen. And I’d really encourage employers to take on older Australians. And we’ve just increased all of the subsidies up to $10,000. If you take on an older Australian who is unemployed in the Jobactive program, there is a subsidy up to $10,000 for the employer to assist them. There’s 450,000 Australians with a partial disability that are also looking for work. So it varies across the board, but there is certainly a cohort that needs to be encouraged to enforcing mutual obligations, that’s for sure.

LEON BYNER:

Do you think there’s an age discrimination by employers on certain age groups, to employ them and hire them to do things?

MINISTER ROBERT:

The data would suggest with 350,000-plus over the age of 50 looking for work, the data would suggest, maybe not a bias, but that it is more difficult if you’re older to find a job. I think that’s a reasonable statement, hence why one of the wage subsidies of $10,000 is to employ older Australians. And the great thing about older Australians, and I’m, hey I’m 50, so I’m there, Leon, is that that they come with great knowledge. They come with great skills. They come with a fair bit of wisdom. All the research I’ve read says you’ll get greater loyalty out of an older Australian than you will out of a younger Australian in terms of longevity in work. And I think a safe bet for employers is to employ older Australians, frankly.

LEON BYNER:

Alright. I’ve got an email from Patsy. She says, I’ve got a small business and I’m looking for staff and I’m finding it a very hard task. And often I get people coming into my shop asking me to sign a letter or a form that they’ve been to my business to apply for a job, when I’ve actually offered them one, they’ve said I’m not looking for one, I just want you to fill this out, which I’ve refused. What’s your reaction to that?

MINISTER ROBERT:

Yeah, I hear that story all too often. It’s one of the reasons we put in place the Employer Reporting Line, which is to say people have got responsibilities, as well as entitlements. And people looking for work, well, the money you’re getting from our welfare system is from your neighbour. Not from the government – government collects it from your neighbour – the lady across the street who works hard. And you’ve got a responsibility, and I’d encourage any Australian employer that faces that, call the Employer Reporting Line, 1300 361 241. And just let us know so that we can engage and use the mutual obligations component to ensure Australians are holding up their end of the bargain when they look for work.

LEON BYNER:

I can tell you, and I’ve had this from a number of great employers out there, in fact, one just text me now. He said – and he’s not the only one – hospitality industry cannot find staff, and in his view, people are just looking for handouts in many cases. What do you say to that?

MINISTER ROBERT:

Yeah, I was in Adelaide last Monday. In fact, last week I was in Adelaide, Darwin, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, speaking with small businesses, employers, speaking with Minister Pisoni down there in South Australia, who’s a cracker of a bloke and he gets this. A bloke who’s previously done a VET course to his credit. The – we’ve got to now strengthen mutual obligations, which we’re doing, we’ve got to ensure Australians have all the opportunities to get a skill or get an apprenticeship.

LEON BYNER:

[Talks over] What are you going to do to strengthen mutual obligation? Because that’s not something that’s been out there. What are you going to do that’s different?

MINISTER ROBERT:

Well, mutual obligations right now is you need to look for 15 jobs a month, it’s going to 20 on 1 July. We’re now in the process of starting to look through in communities what jobs are available, what skills are needed, who is on JobSeeker and Youth Allowance? What skills do they have? Can we more strongly match them? Can we more strongly skill them? And if people are within X amount of distance for jobs, start asking questions as to why they’re not taking them. A lot more proactive approach because immigration is not here to save us this time. For the first time in living memory, we’re going to have to really drive our economy forward using only Australians to find work, which is a wonderful thing. I think it’s great, the opportunity there for Australians only and with little immigration. But with that comes a responsibility for Australians to jump up and step up and employers to give Australians a go.

LEON BYNER:

Stuart, thank you for coming on the program today. That’s the Employment and Skills Minister, Stuart Robert.

Minister roles
{
“19052”: [
“Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business”
]
}

Ministers
The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Indigenous Voice must guarantee self-determination

Source: Australian Human Rights Commission

In its submission to the Indigenous Voice co-design process, the Australian Human Rights Commission has called for a model that guarantees self-determination and independence from government, and is informed by international principles for the political representation of Indigenous peoples.

Providing greater control to First Nations peoples over decisions that affect them is strongly connected to positive wellbeing outcomes and can significantly help address existing challenges within communities.

A model for the Voice that enables self-determination is therefore critical for promoting strong and safe communities, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are better able to transcend challenges and cycles of powerlessness.

This approach is supported by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Principles relating to the Status of National Institutions (The Paris Principles). The Commission’s submission to the co-design process recommends that guidance be drawn from both these documents.

The UNDRIP emphasises the importance of “participation of Indigenous peoples in matters that would affect their rights, through representatives freely chosen by themselves”.

The Paris Principles provide a useful list of requirements to ensure that an organisation is robust and able to operate with an appropriate level of independence.

The Commission’s submission details a list of principles to help guide the operation of the Voice and ensure its credibility and effectiveness.

These principles include ensuring the Voice has:

  • A broad mandate, clearly set out in a constitutional or legislative text, which extends to commenting on policy issues, educational and promotional activities, as well as engaging in legal processes that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • A mandate to submit to the Government, Parliament and any other competent body, opinions, recommendations, proposals and reports on any matters concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples;
  • The capacity to independently publicise views and reports;
  • Processes for selecting representatives that reflect the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples – including gender equality. These should also enable the participation of all First Nations peoples.

The Commission’s submission also provides recommendations for mechanisms that are intended to give effect to the principles of self-determination, independence and effective representation, including:

  • Sustainable funding mechanisms, which are vital for the ongoing effectiveness of the Voice;
  • Mechanisms to ensure accountability, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in Senate Estimates processes, and ensuring that views of the Voice are heard in parliamentary debates on bills that significantly affect Indigenous peoples;
  • The establishment of an Ethics Council within the Voice to adjudicate on matters of governance and ethics;
  • Measures to ensure gender equality, to make certain that the voices of women and girls are represented at every level of decision-making;
  • A permanent standing committee for First Nations women alongside those already proposed for young people, and people with disability.

The Commission’s submission responded to proposals outlined in the Interim Report, which was published in January 2021, as part of stage two of the Indigenous Voice co-design process.

You can read the commission’s submission here: https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/legal/submission/australian-human-rights-commission-submission-indigenous-voice-co-design

Speech – Regional and Rural Budget 2021 Address

Source: Australian Ministers for Regional Development

The Budget places Regional Australians at the heart of our national recovery, post-COVID-19.

A strong and thriving regional Australia is good news for all Australians.

This Budget delivers for Regional Australians … in spades …

… Certainly with shovels in the ground!

Last year’s Budget was the best Budget Regional Australia has ever seen.

This year’s Budget builds on the record.

Through this Budget, our Government is continuing to provide support as regional communities recover from a tumultuous period.

This support is not just about immediate recovery; we are also working to help our regions prosper long into the future.

Regional areas have been through it all in the past year-and-a-half … drought, fires, floods and the health and economic impacts of a global pandemic.

These events have challenged regional people, disrupted key regional industries and heaped great pressure on regional communities.

Our people and industries have persevered, against great adversity.

As the Prime Minister said at Beef Week in Rockhampton:

“During the course of COVID, it has been our agriculture sectors, our resource sectors, our primary industries in this country that have done so much of the heavy lifting economically for our country, and they’ve been going through hard times as well before the pandemic.”

Whether it’s the farmers in our agriculture industry who drove the value of agriculture in this country from $60 billion to $66 billion in the past year … or the tens of thousands of workers in the resources sector … or indeed our small businesses … it is the regions leading our recovery.

This is the spirit of Regional Australia, the spirit this Government celebrates.

Today I deliver my annual Regional Ministerial Statement to Parliament on Rural and Regional Budget Outcomes. 

Last October when I gave the first of these statements, I announced significant investment in our regions.

This was a ground-breaking commitment to regional development, particularly providing much-needed support in the face of hardships and disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today I update the House on the progress of these vital and timely efforts.

I will also detail major new packages and individual measures we are delivering to support regional communities and industries in their recovery.

Today I reaffirm the Government’s plan for strengthening our regions long into the future.

This plan sees Regional Australia as the ideal place to build a career, raise a family, launch a business … the place to lead a fulfilled life.

The Government’s plan will help sustain strong regional communities, create jobs and grow key regional industries.

Last year’s Budget was about delivering support for regional Australians when they needed it most and about realising their economic growth potential.

Now, look at the statistics:  In 2020, 43,000 more Australians moved from the city to the regions than the other way around.

It’s helping address the sharply rising demand for jobs in the regions – on latest count, more than 66,000 vacancies.

COVID-19 has posed significant threats, but the silver lining has been to show how the infrastructure and communications improvements of this era are delivering a new regional quality of life.

Our regions are the place to be.

The “Move to More” campaign from the Regional Australia Institute, proudly supported by the Morrison-McCormack Government, is bearing fruit.

In last year’s Budget we committed $4.6 million towards this campaign, because we believe our regions remain some of the most vibrant, liveable and community-oriented places in Australia, if not the world.

…. As I say again, big enough in which to find a great cup of coffee, small enough to still care.

In March 2020, responding quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government established the $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.

From regional tourism to regional airlines, from small business counselling to export marketing: This Fund provides vital and targeted support to industries hardest hit by the pandemic, many of which are vital to regional communities.

Water is the lifeblood of our regional communities and industries.

The 2021-22 Budget has committed up to a further $258 million from the $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund.

As part of the $258 million, a new funding pathway within the Fund, called the National Water Grid Connections pathway, will provide up to $160 million nationally over the next two years to drive the construction of smaller-scale projects.

Up to $20 million is available for each state and territory to deliver projects with an Australian Government contribution of up to $5 million per project.

An additional four new construction projects are being delivered to boost water security, build resilience in our regions, deliver jobs and grow our critical agricultural sector.

We are committing $75.7 million to construction of new and augmented infrastructure projects.

This includes an additional $7.5 million in funding for Rookwood Weir to deliver water security in north Queensland, bringing the total Australian Government investment in the Rookwood project to $183.6 million.

It was inspiring recently to look out over the site.

The excavators, 50 of them, were busy putting the footings down which will ultimately result in a weir 202 metres wide with a spillway five storeys high.

The site has a huge camp which will house up to 250 project staff working 10 days on, four days off.

Rookwood Weir will mean a new era for agriculture, for manufacturing, resources and communities with 86,000 megalitres of storage.

It will support jobs … more than 2,000 jobs for Central Queensland. How good is that?

We’re building the new Regional Australia.

The Government’s commitment to ongoing investment in water infrastructure builds on the eight construction projects already completed since our establishment of the National Water Grid Authority in late 2019, bringing the total number of construction projects in this investment pipeline to more than 30. 

Delivery of water infrastructure is happening.

  • Scottsdale Irrigation Scheme in Tasmania, operational late last year, started in October 2018 and delivering 8,600 megalitres for 17,000 hectares of irrigable land, supporting 45 jobs;
  • South West Loddon Rural Supply project in Victoria, completed May 2020 and connecting an area of 120,000 hectares to the pipeline;
  • McLaren Vale Treated Water Storage in South Australia, finished this time last year, has boosted water security to farms right across the region; and
  • The Warwick Recycled Water for Agriculture project in Queensland is now operational, providing 73 megalitres a year of Class A water to boost employment in the Warwick Industrial Estate.

… just some of the projects already completed.

But there’s so much more to be done and done it will be.

We have committed a further $22.3 million towards the development of eight business cases, informing future investment decisions and the ongoing development of the National Water Grid.

Each National Water Grid project means our regional areas are better serviced, more liveable and economically stronger.

This Budget further aids the COVID-19 regional recovery.

We are providing more than $5.7 million in grant funding to the new Rebuilding Regional Communities Program, in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

We have announced an additional $1 billion for the highly successful, highly effective Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, delivering jobs and growth through regional council projects.

The Government continues to deliver pro-active support for regional communities – from investing in the volunteer organisations to the big infrastructure projects.

Duplication of the Pacific Highway, the $10.4 billion Bruce Highway upgrade and essential works on the Princes Highway are helping bring us into a new era of road safety and efficiency.

Road safety is a paramount objective.

I’ve made this clear when I committed $2 billion over 18 months.

Half this money was for projects which are to be completed by the end of next month …

… around 700 projects approved, the majority in the regions.

This Budget delivers an extra $1 billion for what becomes the $3 billion Road Safety Program and that will save lives.

This in turn creates a jobs benefit with the new funding to support 4,500 jobs … taking total jobs around Australia supported by the Road Safety Program to 13,500.

We have committed $100 million over two years for Regional Recovery Partnerships.

These Partnerships are co-ordinating investments with all levels of government to support recovery and growth in 10 regions across the nation, delivering jobs and economic diversification.

Already we’ve had some fantastic regional projects announced through these partnerships.

In Gippsland, a number of projects will boost the region’s tourist economy, including the East Gippsland Rail Trail … an investment in the future, as the good Local Member and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Darren Chester, will attest.

Last week I was in Gladstone where two projects are being funded totalling $10 million.

The first project will create a more accessible and attractive waterfront and upgrade Auckland Hill lookout near Gladstone port for locals and tourists.

The second project will help develop a hub of expertise in renewable hydrogen, exploring both domestic and export opportunities.

The opportunity for innovation embedded in our regions will help secure our long-term economic and social future.

Aviation was hit first and hit hardest when COVID-19 came to our shores.

The Government stepped up to the challenge with targeted, sector-wide support to sustain the industry.

In March this year, we announced a further $1.2 billion package of support for the tourism and aviation sectors.

This means industry-wide assistance from this Government for aviation is more than $4.5 billion.

It’s a vital action for Regional Australia to stay connected to critical services and networks in the face of COVID-19 challenges. 

Regional Airlines Network Support or RANS has meant regional and most importantly remote communities have had face masks, respiratory equipment and in particular frontline health workers, being able to come into their communities.

Without RANS, regional communities faced being denied this vital support.

The latest aviation and tourism package includes 800,000 half-price airfares to regions significantly impacted by the pandemic … with more than 663,000 already sold, encouraging a record number of Australians to enjoy a holiday at home this year.

Just this month, with Assistant Minister Kevin Hogan I was pleased to unveil 46 more Remote Airstrip Upgrades across far-flung areas of Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia.

Throughout the pandemic, this Government stepped in when it mattered and provided the right kind of support where and when it was needed most.

As Regional Health Minister Mark Coulton shows, this Government has delivered fair access to COVID vaccines, equipment and medical personnel to all Australians including our vulnerable remote communities.

The Government recognises our regions need and deserve high quality health care.

In this Budget we have invested across services in primary health, hospitals, aged care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health and mental health.

We’re investing more than $65 million from 1 January 2022 to boost bulk billing rebates and provide more affordable healthcare for patients in regional, rural and remote areas.

More doctors in the regions is our goal.

We’re looking to the future and showcasing regional talent.

Our communities shine at their annual shows and we all know that.

The $39 million Supporting Agricultural Shows and Field Days Package is supporting these important industry and community events so they can not only survive but indeed, they can thrive into the future.

After the challenges of flood and COVID-19 disrupted their 2020 Show, the Stroud Show north of

Newcastle benefited from a grant which was described by the Show President as a game-changer.

A month before I visited in April, the showground was underwater. But this could not stop a determined Show committee, so typical of the strength and resilience and dogged determination of Regional Australia.

The Federal Government’s continued investment in regional infrastructure creates jobs and fosters economic growth.

Our enduring investment in transport infrastructure buoys our commitment to a record $110 billion over a rolling decade-long program.

Inland Rail will inject more than $18 billion into Australia’s GDP during construction and the first 50 years of operation.

Many supplies for construction are sourced from Australian and specifically regional suppliers including ballast and capping from Parkes, culverts from Tamworth, steel from Whyalla and concrete sleepers from Mittagong and Wagga Wagga.

Inland Rail is already helping to revitalise regional economies and attract new and expanded investment.

The Building Better Regions Fund, the “BBRF”, is a monumental funding commitment to the regions.

It backs community-driven projects poised to deliver direct local benefit. It creates jobs. It drives economic growth.

As one example, Summerland House Farm in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales received $4.5 million to expand its macadamia processing and packaging facilities.

This is supporting 200 local farms as well as employment opportunities for local people with disabilities.

Kingborough Council in Tasmania and Barkly Regional Council in the Northern Territory each have funding to build and to refurbish community facilities.

BBRF funds projects enhance community capacity and make regional Australia the best place in the world to live.

In the 2021-22 Budget, this Government commits a further $250 million – a quarter of a billion dollars – towards a sixth round of the BBRF.

This brings the total commitment for the program to more than $1.2 billion over the seven years to 2024-2025.

As the world changes, as digital connectivity becomes increasingly central to economic and social life, we are supporting communities in regional Australia to keep pace with these changes.

This Budget gives a $153.2 million injection to improve connectivity in regional, rural and remote communities, further driving Australia’s regional-led recovery.

The Government will build on the success of the Regional Connectivity Program by committing a further $84.8 million to the program.

This includes up to $24.6 million in extra funding for meritorious Round One proposals which were unable to be supported from within the initial funding envelope.

The remaining funding will be available through a new competitive grants process.

This will support new projects additional to the 81 successful projects I announced last month with colleagues Ministers Paul Fletcher and Coulton.

The Government is also providing $68.5 million in dedicated funding to improve telecommunications infrastructure across Northern Australia through the Regional Connectivity Program and the Mobile Black Spot Program.

Over the past 18 months, many regions have faced droughts, fires and floods.

A new National Resilience and Recovery Agency will continue to provide ongoing recovery support for individuals and communities.

The new Agency consolidates and builds on the success of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency, the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency, rural financial counselling programs from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and the disaster risk reduction and recovery functions of the Department of Home Affairs.

It will use a network of on-the-ground advisors and co-ordinators who will work with partners and communicate with decision-makers.

Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud is delivering much-needed drought support programs for regional areas.

In 2020-21 we began the rollout of the $5 billion Future Drought Fund, a continuous funding source for drought resilience initiatives.

The next phase, from 1 July 2021, includes $36.5 million towards harnessing innovation, $91 million for better risk management to help farmers plan ahead and $12 million for better and more accessible climate information.

The Government has extended the Drought Community Support Initiative and will provide assistance to farming households in financial stress in 117 local government areas, until funding is exhausted.

From 1 May 2021 this includes all Local Government Areas announced as eligible for the Drought Communities Program Extension in 2020.

We have funded eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs Australia-wide, collaborating with regional universities and the private sector.

We have Regional Australians’ backs.

The Agriculture 2030 Package supports Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors working to achieve $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030. 

An array of specific actions includes funding of $160 million to the Western Australian Agricultural Supply Chain Improvements project to better connect our world-class farmers – the best in all of the globe – to domestic and international markets.

Through strong representation from Resources, Water and Northern Australia Minister Keith Pitt, the Government has committed $190 million to the next five-year plan for Northern Australia – Our North, Our Future.

The next five years will pilot focused investment in geographic growth areas, deliver greater digital connectivity, support businesses to scale up and diversify, and will gather data to support evidence-based economic growth.

Business growth is a key to the future. Indeed, the regions will continue to take full advantage of the Instant

Asset Write-Off provisions now extended into 2023.

Last year we announced $41 million to support the regionalisation of Australian businesses, in line with the trend of more Australians making a tree and sea change.

We remain focused on delivering these two programs, with announcements of projects to be funded expected in July.

With strong advocacy from Decentralisation Minister Andrew Gee, we are continuing to support the Regional Decentralisation Agenda through new actions.

An independent study will identify the regulatory barriers to business relocation to regional Australia.

This will have a particular focus on regulations across all tiers of government restricting, delaying or increasing the cost of business relocation to regional Australia.

This Government will also complete a scoping study on establishing Australian Public Service Hubs in regional Australia. The study will inform consideration by the Government of the feasibility, cost and benefits of the regional Hubs.

We continue to work closely with our veterans, Australia-wide.

As Minister Chester says, Australians value the ongoing commitment of our veteran community, and the Government is committed to providing support that recognised the significant contribution that veterans and their families make in civilian life.

The Government invests more than $11.5 billion each year to support 325,000 veterans and their families, many of them in the regions.

The 2021–22 Budget builds on this with an additional $702.6 million to focus on wellness, support, suicide prevention and ensuring the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is appropriately equipped.

In recent years the Government has invested more than $500 million into the most significant reform of Australia’s veteran support system in decades, which has achieved ongoing success in making it easier for veterans and their families to engage with the DVA.

The 2021–22 Budget includes a further $55.1 million to build on these improvements, making it quicker and easier for veterans and their families to access the support they need.

We will continue to encourage the contribution to Australian society by our wonderful volunteers.

Indeed, Assistant Minister Michelle Landry recently advised closure of applications for the latest Volunteer Grants round.

Combined funding from 2020-21-and 2021-22 has made this a double grant round.

We know smaller-scale grants such as these deliver large-scale strength to our communities, through our community champions.

We couldn’t do without our volunteers.

The policies and programs I mention today are just part of the Government’s commitment to regional Australia.

Our commitment will facilitate recovery from the hard times but equally it is about looking forward … making sure regional communities are places where Australians enjoy the good life.

This Government is supporting regional Australians, building opportunities and investing in the future.

Our Budget announcements – across all areas of regional life – infrastructure and transport, health, digital connectivity and supporting local business and leaders – are meeting the needs of regional Australia.

The 2021-22 Budget ensures regional Australia continues its recovery and has every opportunity to thrive in the future.

Media contacts:

Caitlin Donaldson, 0428 389 880

Dean Shachar, 0418 202 860

Man sentenced after failed appeal in long-running tax evasion case

Source: Australian Federal Police

A former Sydney tax accountant has been sentenced to an increased term of imprisonment by the Court of Criminal Appeal after his appeal to overturn a conviction for attempting to pervert the course of justice was denied by a court this week (Monday, 10 May).

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) charged the 73-year-old man in 2016 over a false witness testimony given during civil proceedings in the Federal Court in 2013.

During the tax evasion investigation, a witness gave evidence relating to his Swiss-based company’s apparent ownership of offshore companies. This testimony was fabricated at the direction of the Sydney man, who had coached the witness to give false evidence.

The AFP issued the man a court attendance notice on 15 September 2016 for the criminal charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, contrary to section s43(1) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).

The first trial in 2018 ended after the jury could not reach a unanimous decision. Following a re-trial in October 2019, a jury found the man guilty on 26 November the same year. On 17 December 2019, he was sentenced to a non-parole period of one year and eight months.

The man subsequently appealed his conviction and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) lodged an appeal against the sentence as being manifestly inadequate.

On May 10 2021, the Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed the man’s appeal against his conviction, while the Crown appeal against the inadequate sentence was successful. The original sentence was subsequently quashed and the man was re-sentenced to a six-year term of imprisonment with a non-parole period of three years and six months. He will be eligible for parole on 10 November 2023.

AFP Eastern Command Detective Superintendent Matt Ciantar said this outcome was an important one for maintaining the integrity of the Australian legal system.

“We investigate and put people before the courts – and the public should feel confident that anyone who attempts to interfere with the judicial process will face serious consequences and punishment for that conduct,” Det. Supt. Ciantar said.

The tax evasion investigation linked to this man began under the ATO’s Project Wickenby, established to protect the integrity of Australia’s financial and regulatory systems.

This remit now sits within the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT), an ATO-led joint-agency taskforce established on 1 July 2015. It brings together the knowledge, resources and experience of relevant law enforcement and regulatory agencies to identify and address the most serious and complex forms of financial crime.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297

Budget 2021: Delivering for Norfolk Island

Source: Australian Ministers for Regional Development

Through the 2021-22 Federal Budget, the Morrison Government is committing $18.7 million for ongoing delivery of a suite of essential services to the Norfolk Island community, with a focus on sustainability and practical, fit-for-purpose services to best meet the current and future needs of the community.

This investment is enhanced by $58.6 million over the coming four years for maintenance of critical Commonwealth assets and infrastructure in Australia’s territories, including Norfolk Island.

We have prioritised Norfolk Island’s youth, committing more than $4.6 million in 2021-22 for education support services and services for child and family wellbeing, to ensure Norfolk Island residents have access to key services and facilities.

Our Government is investing more than $1.7 million to support information technology upgrades and dedicated bandwidth services for Commonwealth facilities on island including Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Services (NIHRACS) and the Norfolk Island Central School.

A further $664,000 will enhance NIHRACS governance and accreditation, to support improved patient outcomes and standards of healthcare for the Norfolk Island community.

As Australians look to their own backyards for travel, Norfolk Island has the opportunity to strengthen and grow its domestic tourism industry which is why the Australian Government is investing an additional $380,000 for tourism promotion and destination marketing for Norfolk Island.

We are committing an additional $735,000 in 2021-22 for the ongoing NI Argentine Ant Eradication program, with more than 26 percent of the infested area already successfully treated. There is also $552,000 to kick off a project to address water supply and quality issues on Norfolk Island.

In addition to supporting these important initiatives, our Government is prioritising good governance of Norfolk Island with funding to support the implementation of the recommendations out of the independent audits of the governance and financial management of the Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) and annual financial auditing.

To support Norfolk Island rebuild following COVID-19, the Morrison Government has further committed to bringing forward approximately 50 per cent of the 2021–22 Financial Assistance Grant funding to be spent on local priorities. This cash injection of some $2.8 million for Norfolk Island Regional Council, to be paid from 1 July 2021, can provide assistance with the impacts of the pandemic.

After a year like no other, which saw COVID-19 significantly affect the tourism and hospitality industry, our focus is on supporting NI through the pandemic and now along the continuing path to recovery, and into the long-term. For full details, visit www.infrastructure.gov.au.