Mark Coulton MP, Federal Member for Parkes

Coulton's Catch Up - week ending 30th March

Monday, 9 April 2018

Independent Inquiry into the system of Compensation and rehabilitation for veterans

The Coalition Government has announced a Productivity Commission inquiry into
the system of compensation and rehabilitation for veterans.
The Commission is the Government's independent research and advisory body on a
range of issues affecting the welfare of Australians.
This inquiry will examine whether the system of compensation and rehabilitation

for veterans is fit for purpose now and into the future. It follows the Government’s response to a report by the Senate Standing Committee on Defence, Foreign Affairs and Trade on suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel.

The Commission will also review the governance arrangements, administrative processes and service delivery of the Veterans’ Affairs portfolio.

The inquiry will build on the Government’s agenda of placing the needs of  veterans and their families at the centre of the services provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

As we mark 100 years of repatriation and continue caring for the next generation of veterans, this inquiry will help inform how we deliver services for our ex-service men and women and their families into the future.

The Commission is due to report to Government within 15 months.

Public consultation will be undertaken as part of the inquiry and the Government encourages all interested parties to participate. Further information and the terms of reference are available on the Commission's website.

Restore the Soil: Prosper the Nation report

A new report into the importance of soil to Australia’s farmers and food supply has been released.

Australia’s National Soils Advocate Major-General the Hon Michael Jeffery this week released the report Restore the Soil: Prosper the Nation.

Farmers depend hugely on the health of their soil. Soil is as important as air and water to farm productivity.

Without healthy soil the Australian economy and food supply would be at huge risk because our farm sector would falter. Healthy soils are key to achieving the ambitious target of growing agriculture to a $100 billion industry by 2030.

The Coalition Government is investing in soil health so our farmers can pass on healthy, sustainable farms to the next generation.

In 2017 we established a Cooperative Research Centre for High Performance Soil with an initial investment of $39.5 million over 10 years to help bridge the gap between soil science and farm management.

The $450 million in Regional Land Partnerships will continue the legacy of Landcare by concentrating on projects that improve the health of soils on farms.

Our $134 million Smart Farms program will also promote the adoption of next generation ideas that will improve soil, vegetation and biodiversity conditions and support agricultural systems to adapt to change.

The report is available at:

 Taskforce to focus on next phase of resources boom

 Securing the competitiveness of Australia’s resources sector will be the focus of a new 

taskforce announced to help ensure the longevity of one of Australia’s most important industries.

The Resources 2030 Taskforce will be charged with identifying reforms that will help secure the resources sector's future.

Mining has never been as important to the global economy as it is now. The modern world

relies on a more diverse list of minerals for a greater range of products than at any other time.

There are more than 25 minerals or metals that go into the construction of a mobile phone, and 18

of them are produced in Australia. There are 16 minerals and metals that go into the manufacture of a solar panel, Australia produces 10 of them.

The mining boom is not over. Mining is as important as it has ever been and its importance to the Australian economy is only likely to increase. 

Australia has a world-leading innovative resources industry that contributes significantly to the Australian economy and employs many Australians.

But to stay ahead of the game, we need to develop new ways of working, new ideas and new technologies.

The Taskforce has been asked to focus on policy areas that can attract investment, contribute to regional economic progress, build community support, cut red tape, find new minerals, and ensure that Australia gets best use of its mineral resources before they are exported.

The Australian Government will use the Taskforce's report to develop a Resources Statement in the latter half of 2018.

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