MIL-OSI UK: Former HS2 Chairman and Transport Minister questioned by Committee

Source: British House Of Lords News

21 January 2019
The Economic Affairs Committee follows up on its inquiry, The Economic Case for HS2, in a one-off session with Sir Terry Morgan, recently resigned Chairman of HS2 and Crossrail, and Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport.

Tuesday 22 January in Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster
At 3.35pm
Sir Terry Morgan CBE, Former Chairman, High Speed 2 and Crossrail
At 4.30pm
Nusrat Ghani MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Transport
Clive Maxwell, Director-General, High Speed and Major Rail Projects Group, Department for Transport
Dr Nick Bisson, Director, HS2 Phase 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, Department for Transport
Likely questions
Can HS2 be delivered within the £56 billion budget?
Will the speed be lowered and the number of trains an hour reduced to ensure the project is finished in time and on budget
Would a London terminus at Old Oak Common rather than Euston really save £8 billion on the cost of HS2?
Is the recent reduction in the growth in demand for long-distance rail travel a concern for the business case for HS2?
Is it right that HS2 is being prioritised over improvements to local and regional services in the north of England?
Does it undermine the case for the project’s objective to rebalance the economy that the main beneficiaries of overcrowding relief on the West Coast Main Line will be London commuters?
Further information
Image: PA


MIL-OSI Australia: Resources employers congratulate Kelly O’Dwyer on stellar political career

Source: Australian Mines and Metals Association – AMMA

AUSTRALIAN Resources and Energy Group AMMA thanks the Hon. Kelly O’Dwyer for her service to the industry and the nation, following Saturday’s announcement she would leave politics at the next Federal Election.
Minister O’Dwyer has been a strong supporter of AMMA, its members and the Australian resources and energy industry since elected to Parliament in 2009 and particularly since 2015 from when she held a variety of Cabinet positions.
“Kelly should be extremely proud of all she has achieved in Parliament,” Tara Diamond, Acting Chief Executive of AMMA, said.
“Across various ministerial portfolios, including small business, assistant treasurer, revenue and financial services, women, jobs and industrial relations, Kelly O’Dwyer has been a great supporter of business and a great supporter of the resources and energy industry.
“She understands and appreciates that a strong and vibrant business community, underpinned by competitive government policies, is key to a strong and vibrant Australia.
“We particularly thank Kelly for her support as Minister for Women of AMMA’s initiatives and programs aimed at supporting and encouraging more women to join the resources and energy industry.
“Further, Kelly achieved a great deal in her short time as Minister for Industrial Relations, including:
passing legislation to improve the enterprise agreement approval processes;
providing clarity to employers and employees on rights and responsibilities regarding casual employment;
bolstering the resources of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) to address rising lawbreaking; and
appointing much-needed additional tribunal members to the Fair Work Commission.
“AMMA and our members wish Kelly well in the remaining months of her public service and in the future beyond politics.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Brad Thompson, 0409 781 580
Click here for a full PDF of this release.

MIL OSI Australia

MIL-OSI Australia: The Queensland Government should stand up for the state’s coal industry

Source: Australian Mines and Metals Association – AMMA

THE Queensland Government should stand up for the state’s coal industry, a sector responsible for at least 20,000 local jobs and $3.8 million in annual royalties, not kow-tow to disruptive activist groups hell-bent on stopping new projects, says Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA.
AMMA particularly calls on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to declare her support for Queensland’s coal industry as her government yet again shifts the posts on Adani’s Carmichael Coal Project by appointing a known anti-coal organisation to conduct an “independent” review of one of the mine’s environmental management plans.
“Queenslanders deserve a state government which supports its major job-creating industries, not one more interested in appeasing minority activist views and chasing inner city votes at the expense of the regions,” AMMA’s Acting Chief Executive, Tara Diamond, said.
“AMMA is very concerned at this latest development which appears to undermine typical government processes by outsourcing its environmental review responsibilities to an anti-coal activist group.
“Adani has repeatedly demonstrated strong compliance with all its environmental management requirements. Not only has it cleared hundreds of regulatory hurdles, it has also contended with vexatious ‘lawfare’ from a number of disruptive anti-industry groups, which it has an 11-0 record defending.
“Queensland and major coal employers, like Adani, need certainty and stability.
“This most recent appeasement of minority anti-industry voices sets a disturbing precedent and will be rightly viewed as another unnecessary obstacle for the investment and business community.
“Projects such as Adani’s must be better recognised for the jobs and prosperity they will bring to the state, including long-term royalty generation that funds schools, hospitals and roads.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Brad Thompson, 0409 781 580
Click here for a full PDF of this release.

MIL OSI Australia

MIL-OSI UK: Lords examines Trade Bill

Source: British Parliament News

18 January 2019
The Trade Bill begins its committee stage, the first chance for line-by-line scrutiny, in the Lords on Monday 21 January.

Members are expected to discuss the prevention of customs arrangements at borders, international trade agreements and territories forming part of a customs union with the UK
Baroness Smith of Basildon (Labour) has proposed an amendment that the committee’s report is not received until the government has presented to both Houses proposals for a process for making international trade agreements once the UK is in a position to do so independently of the EU, including roles for Parliament and the devolved legislatures and administrations in relation to both a negotiating mandate and a final agreement.
If agreed to this amendment would mean that the bill would complete its committee stage in the Lords but not progress to report stage until the government’s proposals are received.
Lords second reading: Tuesday 11 September
Baroness Meyer (Conservative), made her maiden speech.
Members discussed a range of subjects covered by the bill including border arrangements in Northern Ireland, continued participation in the European medicines regulatory network and Free Trade Agreements.
Trade Bill summary
This bill aims to: 
Ensure the UK can implement any procurement obligations arising from the UK becoming a member of the Agreement of Government Procurement (GPA) in its own right.
Assist with the implementation of UK trade agreement with assisting partner countries.
Establish a new body, the Trade Remedies Authority.
Allow HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to collect information confirming the number of exporters of goods and services in the UK.
Establish a date sharing gateway between HMRC and other public and private bodies.
Further information
Image: iStockphoto


MIL-OSI Australia: Putting data to work from the ground up

Source: Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science

18 January 2019

Australian farmers and investors will be better informed to make agricultural decisions thanks to a new platform that comprehensively assesses and monitors land.

Launched today by CSIRO and startup Digital Agriculture Services, the Rural Intelligence Platform delivers reliable farm data and analytics directly to farmers, industry and government bodies.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews welcomed the new platform as the next step in Australia’s digital agriculture progression.

“Farmers, investors, industry, policy makers and state and federal government bodies now have access to helpful rural data and analytics in a user-friendly platform,” Minister Andrews said.

“This platform will greatly help in the efficient allocation of resources, development of policy, and detecting and responding to investment risks.

“Projects like this ensure Australia will be a leader in digital agricultural technologies on a global scale.”

The platform uses satellite imagery to track paddocks and their performance over time, incorporating information from Australia’s digital soil map and interpreting climate information to show drought, frost, heat stress for livestock and other potential risks.

The platform combines artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud-based geospatial technology and incorporates an Automated Valuation Model capable of valuing rural properties instantly; and with up to 90 per cent accuracy.

The Liberal National Government is committed to helping Australian farmers and industry, ensuring more job creation and a strong national economy. That’s why we’re investing approximately $2.4 billion in growing Australia’s research, science and technology capabilities, as announced in the latest Budget, to ensure technology like this can assist our farmers.

The Coalition has provided $1.1 billion in funding for the National Innovation and Science Agenda, of which the CSIRO Innovation Fund is a key element.

Minister Andrews’ office: 02 6277 7070

MIL OSI Australia

MIL-OSI UK: Lords debates operation of air services regulations post Brexit

Source: British Parliament News

17 December 2018
Members of the House of Lords will discuss draft regulations which address deficiencies in air regulations arising as a result of the UK leaving the EU, in the Lords on Tuesday 18 December 2018.

Draft Operation of Air Services (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
This statutory instrument is a contingency that would take effect in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a negotiated deal. It reflects the fact that it applies only within the UK and affects UK entities, rather than the EU and EU entities. Therefore it will not provide air carriers with the ability to operate intra-EU air services. It will continue to set out the requirements for holding an operating licence, although these will now apply to UK carriers and it will provide continuity of the regime for approving the wet lease of aircraft (which includes crew, maintenance and insurance).
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock (Labour) will propose a motion to regret the regulations, on the grounds that the effect of a no deal exit from the EU risks grounding all civil aircraft after 29 March 2019; and calls on the government to seek UK membership of the European Common Aviation Area in its own right to prevent such an outcome.
If agreed, this motion will not stop the regulations, which came into force in April, but will provide an opportunity for the House to put on record its regret that the government is making these changes, in respect of a potential no deal exit from the EU.
How do these regulations become law
These regulations are presented as a Statutory Instrument (SI). An Act will often contain a broad framework and statutory instruments are used to provide the necessary detail that would be too complex to include in the Act itself. They are also easier to change than an Act – for example to upgrade the rate of payment each year or amend the necessary forms in the light of experience.
This instrument is subject to the affirmative procedure, this means that it must be debated in both Houses before it can be made law. A vote can be taken on them if the House wishes but is not essential.  
Further information
Image: iStockphoto