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Victoria’s Code Red warning will be dropped in new national signage, after research showed it was considered “Americanised” and “fear-mongering.”

National fire warning overhaul highlights dangers

New national simplified fire warning signs will be rolled out ahead of summer, powered by new more accurate fire behaviour modelling developed by the Bureau of Meteorology.

  • 1 hr ago
  • Tom Burton
The federal government has confirmed the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility will help fund Queensland’s Olive Downs coal mine project.

The NAIF is no longer an abject failure

The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility has come a long way in the past three years. The Albanese government can do more to underwrite its success.

  • Updated
  • Grant Wilson

This Month

Investment NSW deputy secretary Jenny West appearing at the NSW upper house inquiry into the appointment of former National party boss John Barilaro to a New York trade job.

Barilaro imbroglio leaves a stench at the top of NSW government

The whole Barilaro affair is a major red flag for any ambitious private sector executive looking to ‘make a difference’ by working in government.

  • Tom Burton
Walk-in vax centre in Melbourne, one of the last remaining centres open ahead of the start of the winter booster campaign.

Get a PCR test, not a RAT, early so anti-virals can work, says AMA

People with COVID symptoms should get a PCR test to get an early accurate diagnosis so as to take advantage of anti-viral drugs

  • Tom Burton and Jill Margo
Twenty per cent of the annual $70 billion of goods and services the federal  government purchases each year must now be awarded to small and medium businesses.

Government tilts the procurement playing field

New quotas that require federal agencies to bias their procurement towards small and medium businesses are an attempt to leverage the government’s purchasing power.

  • Tom Burton
New health minister Mark Butler is resisting calls to bring back government controls to limit spread of the highly contagious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariant.

Omicron returns with vengeance

As predicted a new variant of the omicron sub-variant is fuelling a winter wave, raising pressure for a return of some controls to limit community spread over the next six weeks

  • Tom Burton
The lack of a central agency with the technical and policy depth to advise on digital regulation is hampering reform efforts leaving Australia a decade behind in how to best regulate the digital economy.

Why it’s important for Australia to get data regulation right

The lack of a central agency with the technical and policy depth to advise on digital regulation is hampering reform efforts leaving Australia a decade behind.

  • Tom Burton
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas is expected to announce on Monday that UK fintech Smart Pension is to expand to Australia.

UK’s Smart Pension group to expand to Australia

UK retirement fintech operator Smart is to establish an Australian office in Melbourne

  • Tom Burton

Federal regulators take aim at tech platforms’ algorithms

After a decade of hands-off regulation, four federal regulators are stepping up their oversight of the digital economy focusing on computer algorithms, automated decision-making and digital transparency.

  • Tom Burton
New Finance Minister Katy Gallagher says there is more to come to support Buy Australia, after unveiling new procurement rules.

Small business to get 20pc of annual $70b government tenders

New procurement rules to encourage federal agencies to bid for an annual $70 billion of Commonwealth contracts came into effect July 1.

  • Tom Burton
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk committed to reforms to lobbying to stop so-called “dual hatting.”

Increased scrutiny for Influence peddling

Queensland will have the strongest rules for regulating lobbyists after the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk committed to new rules to improve reporting and stop so-called “dual hatting.”

  • Tom Burton
Former federal Human Services secretary Renee Leon says public service leaders are being called on to show “courage” too often.

The high price of being frank and fearless

Senior Queensland public servants are holding back on advice to the government for fear of paying a high price for dissent, according to a new report into the integrity and culture of the state public service.

  • Tom Burton
Hospitals, already operating at peak capacity, are likely to see even more  cases with predictions a new more contagious variant is likely to take over.

Virologists predict new ‘centaurus’ variant will drive next virus wave

A new second-generation COVID-19 variant known as BA.2.75 has multiple immune-escaping mutations, which virologists say is likely to drive a new wave of global infection.

  • Tom Burton
Kathryn Campbell is being shuffled around.

Robodebt architect to head military research

Labor is set to announce Kathryn Campbell as head of the newly created Advanced Strategic Research Agency.

  • Michael Roddan
Professor Peter Coaldrake has made 14 recommendations to improve the integrity and culture of the Queensland government.

Queensland to release cabinet papers within days, not years

Queensland’s opening up of cabinet to public scrutiny ends 160 years of confidentiality and paves the way for other Australian jurisdictions to release all documents

  • Tom Burton
NSW Auditor-General Margaret Crawford has found serious flaws in the state’s management of consultants.

NSW government ‘over-reliant’ on consultants: auditor-general

The NSW government’s “over-reliance” on consultants is wasting public funds, and the way external advisers are hired and managed needs an overhaul, according to NSW auditor-general Margaret Crawford.

  • Edmund Tadros


Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus is pledging to bring Australia’s data privacy laws into line with other major jurisdictions.

Dreyfus pledges sweeping data privacy reforms

After more than a decade of stalled reforms, new attorney-general Mark Dreyfus is pledging to bring sweeping reforms to Australia’s anachronistic data privacy laws.

  • Tom Burton
Former Environment secretary, Gordon De Brouwer is to return to the Australian public service to lead public sector reforms.

Moving on the ‘long game’ of public sector reform

Federal public sector reform is to be rebooted with the appointment of former environment secretary Gordon de Brouwer as secretary for public sector reform.

  • Tom Burton
The appointment of former NSW state National Party leader John Barilaro to a newly created New York trade commissioner’s job is to be reviewed by NSW premier’s secretary Michael Coutts-Trotter.

‘Jobs for the boys’ is no longer acceptable

The uproar over the appointment of John Barilaro to a plum New York trade job reveals a higher standard is now being imposed on public-sector integrity.

  • Tom Burton
Public servants should think more  broadly about the times and what they require says South Australian governor and former Foreign Affairs secretary Frances Adams.

Public servants face pressure over ‘frank and fearless’ advice

Senior public servants are under increasing pressure from ministers and are having to draw on reserves of courage to give frank and fearless advice, says former federal department secretary Renee Leon.

  • Tom Burton