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                    [post_date] => 2017-09-15 10:55:13
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                    [post_content] => 

The Western Australian State Government is to spend $5 million on a state-of-the-art robotic system that will be used to treat prostate cancer.

Known as the da Vinci system, the robot will be the first of its kind in a WA public hospital and will bring the state in line with other health jurisdictions that have a similar metropolitan population.

Set to be established at Fiona Stanley Hospital, the da Vinci system will provide urological procedures, focused on robotic-assisted prostatectomies, partial nephrectomies and radical nephrectomies.

It will also allow for 3D vision, magnification capabilities, and enhanced dexterity, so surgeons are able to manipulate and dissect areas where access is challenging or limited with the human hand.

Compared to traditional techniques, the da Vinci system will result in patients having faster recovery, reduced length of stay in hospital, and faster return to normal day activities.

It is also expected to deliver greater efficiencies due to improved surgical outcomes, and a lower likelihood of subsequent treatments.

While the new robotic surgical service will initially provide for patients within the South Metropolitan Health Service catchment, it is expected that the technology will be available for other WA patients where appropriate.

WA Health Minister Roger Cook said: "We are committed to building a sustainable, world-class health system, and will drive innovation, integration and culture change, and establish 'Centres of Excellence' in robotic surgery and clinical innovation to ensure the WA health system will be able to attract and train expert clinicians.

"Our Future Health Research and Innovation Fund commits the government to establishing a $1 billion fund to drive medical research and innovation, including a cancer research plan for the next decade, an innovation hub at Royal Perth Hospital, and incentives for corporate and philanthropic contributions for health and medical research.

"Fiona Stanley Hospital has already employed a urology specialist who has undertaken additional national and international training to lead the robotic surgery program.”

 
                    [post_title] => WA’s public hospital to get robotic surgical system
                    [post_excerpt] => State-of-the-art robotic system to revolutionise prostate treatment service to be established at Fiona Stanley Hospital.
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                    [post_date] => 2017-09-11 12:56:20
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                    [post_content] => 

City of Darebin council in the northern suburbs of Melbourne is implementing business process management software to enhance the council’s focus on improved frontline customer service.

The City of Darebin has a population of more than 150,000. The council’s full-time employees are responsible for providing a broad range of services to the community, including street lighting and signage, waste collection, maintenance of parks and sporting facilities.

The move follows a comprehensive review by the council of customer service team processes as part of a customer service model review to ensure that policies and procedures relevant to customer queries are close at hand. At the same time, the council wants to provide an easy and fast way for staff to access a central repository of everyday processes.

The cloud-based software will enable the organisation to map, review and improve processes on an ongoing basis, providing a faster, smarter way to deliver a range of appropriate and well-planned services.

Coordinator of council planning and performance, civic governance and performance Jim Barrett at the City of Darebin said: “The software will assist in supporting the council’s strategic framework for planning and document integration. At the same time, it will play a pivotal role in enabling us to maintain a high level of governance across the entire organisation.

“These processes involve many forms and include applications such as planning permits and waste bin replacements, which individually can be complex procedures and involve several departments within the council.”

It will also enable the council to measure and demonstrate process efficiencies following rate capping.

“We came across the Promapp system through our council colleagues in the local government sector and also appreciated the benefit of access to its local government shared process library that will enable us to share knowledge and learn from the experience of other councils throughout Australia and New Zealand,” said Mr Barrett.

The cloud-based process library includes over 2,500 processes developed and shared by councils and includes processes for activities such as building consents, resource consents, wastewater management, environmental health and environmental monitoring.

“The software will easily integrate with our existing intranet and we'll be able to embed it ad hoc within specific processes for different policies as they are developed in the years ahead,” said Mr Barrett.

“The council plans to use lean management methodologies as part of our deployment to analyse and improve processes on an ongoing basis. The result for council residents is that they will see consistency in messaging with faster, more accurate service,” said Mr Barrett.

 
                    [post_title] => City of Darebin to boost customer service
                    [post_excerpt] => City of Darebin is implementing business process management to enhance its focus on customer service.
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                    [post_date] => 2017-09-04 16:05:10
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-04 06:05:10
                    [post_content] => 

Each year on Equal Pay Day, politicians boast about (or denigrate, depending on their political persuasion and position in parliament) the progress made towards bridging the gender pay gap and undertake to continue efforts to ensure women are equal in the workforce.

This year, the Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, said it was encouraging that the gender pay gap narrowed further over the last twelve months, with latest figures showing it has fallen from 16.3 per cent to 15.3 per cent.

“The further reduction in the gender pay gap demonstrates the Turnbull Government’s policies to assist women breakdown barriers in the workforce are delivering results, yet, I remain acutely aware that more work needs to be done,” Minister Cash said.

Senator Cash then proceeded to list the government’s programs, for example that in July 2017 the Turnbull Government launched Towards 2025, an Australian Government strategy to boost women’s workforce participation that outlined the government’s roadmap to reduce the gender participation gap by 25 per cent by 2025.

The strategy detailed actions the government was planning to take to address some of the drivers of pay inequity in Australia, including for flexible work, childcare costs and early education.

“By boosting workforce participation of women we can further close the gender pay gap, raise living standards across the board and secure Australia’s future prosperity,” Minister Cash said.

The programs include:
  • Funding new child care and early learning reforms, which are estimated to encourage more than 230,000 families increase their workforce participation.
  • Expanding the ParentsNext pre-employment program, which helps parents of young children plan and prepare for work by connecting them with services in their local community.
  • Implementing the Australian Public Service Gender Equality Strategy, which requires every agency to set targets for gender equality in leadership positions and boost gender equality more broadly.
  • Investing $13 million over five years in getting more women into science, technology, engineering and maths under the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
  • Setting a target of women holding 50 per cent of government board positions overall and strengthening the BoardLink program.
  • Partnering with businesses to support women into leadership positions through scholarships provided by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
  • Continuing funding the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
The opposition disagrees Labor said today’s Equal Pay Day marks the 66th extra day since the end of the financial year that women must work to earn the same as men. Shadow Minister For Education and Shadow Minister For Women The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP said in a statement: “For 20 years, there has been no real progress reducing gender pay inequity in Australia. And earlier this year, a Federal Government agency told Parliament that Australia is 50 years away from closing the pay gap. “A recent Senate Inquiry, led by Labor Senator Jenny McAllister, found Australia needed a national policy framework to achieve gender pay equity. “Instead, the government has thrown his full support behind cuts to penalty rates, which have been proven to have a disproportionate impact on women.” (Such as childcare workers, earning on average $21 per hour.)     [post_title] => How far have we come on Equal Pay? [post_excerpt] => Equal Pay Day was on Monday - what have we achieved? [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => far-come-equal-pay [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-04 16:11:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-04 06:11:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27956 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27964 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-09-03 12:54:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-03 02:54:52 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27965" align="alignnone" width="300"] Dr Ian McPhee.[/caption] Dr Ian McPhee is a medical specialist with a career that began more than 35 years ago in Anaesthesia. Three years ago, at the age of 59, he was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive T-cell lymphoma. In spite of extensive treatment, including chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, his cancer has spread to several sites, and is now in an advanced stage. Dr McPhee is a strong supporter of palliative care, and considers it a vital part of the medical system. He believes that for many, it is the difference between extreme suffering, and achieving some respite at the last stage of life. However, for himself, he is seeking an alternative option. Dr McPhee has arranged to access a drug that will enable him to end his life. He has discussed this with his family, and they are fully supportive. He has agreed to speak publicly about his situation in the hope that it will provide a better understanding of why some terminally ill individuals want the option of an assisted death. In the time he has left, Dr McPhee is urging MPs to support the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill when it is debated in Parliament next month. To this end, he has participated in a video made by Dying with Dignity NSW, promoting end of life choices. Dr Sarah Edelman, president of Dying with Dignity NSW, said that Dr McPhee has the personal contacts that will enable him to access medication to ensure a peaceful death. “This option is only available to those who have resources and connections, or those who have an advocate who is prepared to break the law on their behalf. The vast majority of Australians also want this choice”. An Essential opinion poll conducted during August found that 73% of Australians support voluntary assisted dying, with 81% support amongst those over 55 years. In the video, Dr McPhee says that his pain is likely to become unbearable and despite having access to every type of medication, none of it is capable of eliminating pain completely. “It will be nothing less than a form of torture,” he said. Dr McPhee says knowing that he will have control over the final stage of his life provides enormous reassurance. Dr Edelman, a clinical psychologist, points out that “one of the greatest benefits of voluntary assisted dying is the reduction in anxiety that comes with the knowledge that the option of a peaceful death will be always be available.” You can view the video here. Another article on medically assisted dying can be read here. [post_title] => Why can’t we die with dignity? [post_excerpt] => Intensive care specialist says: “It will be nothing less than a form of torture.” [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => cant-die-dignity [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-08 10:50:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-08 00:50:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27964 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27932 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-29 10:19:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-29 00:19:44 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27933" align="alignnone" width="300"] Photo (L-R): Stewart Seal (The Hills Shire Council Manager of Forward Planning – Strategic Planning), Janelle Atkins (Hills Shire Council’s Acting Manger of Forward Planning – Strategic Planning, Maria Kovacic (Founder of Western Sydney Women and on the board of The Hills Community Aid), Julian Leeser MP, Mayor Yvonne Keane MP, Chris Johnson (CEO of Urban Taskforce), Councillor Ray Harty, Maria Scott of PAYCE, Michael Edgar (General Manager of The Hills Shire Council) and Stephen McIntyre (Chief Executive Officer of Wentworth Community Housing).[/caption] In a first for Local Government, Mayor of The Hills Shire Councillor Yvonne Keane has introduced a new planning model, the Transitional Housing Policy Framework, that recognises the importance of transitional housing and highlights the lack of current stock. The model encourages willing developers to provide a small number of transitional dwellings within new developments in return for an ‘uplift’ in development yield. The framework provides incentives to assist local government and other not-for-profit organisations provide a safe and temporary home for those escaping from domestic and family violence. It is different from social and affordable housing – see below for a detailed explanation. “For some time, I’ve been thinking of ways in which The Hills Shire Council might play a key role in delivering tools to help our community respond to domestic violence. We have a wonderful women’s shelter, The Sanctuary, but the missing link is transitional housing,” Mayor Keane said. “Transitional housing provides safe, comfortable and secure accommodation for women and their children to recover, re-build and make informed and empowered decisions about their lives and their future. “It is the essential ‘next-step’ towards real independence. Without it, a woman is faced with the possibility of returning to the cycle of violence. “The real beauty of this model is that it provides a mechanism to swiftly create a supply of transitional housing – and it does so at no cost to the community and the state and federal governments. “I am so enormously proud of the proposal to solve the transitional housing issue in The Hills and I am even more proud that it was unanimously supported by council,” Mayor Keane added.  CEO of Women’s Community Shelters Annabelle Daniel said moving on from domestic and family violence is a process that can take a number of years and the council’s Transitional Housing Policy Framework would help provide more homes to those seeking assistance. “Stable, affordable transitional housing, where women and children continue to receive support from people they trust, helps them enormously in building lives free from abuse,” Ms Daniel’s said.  “Supported accommodation, such as that encouraged by this proposal, will ensure women can focus on stability, opportunity and contribution, for themselves and for their children.” CEO of Wentworth Community Housing Stephen McIntyre welcomed the leadership of the council in responding to family and domestic violence and expanded on the important role that transitional housing can play to ensure its success. “This innovative policy will promote partnerships between property developers and community housing providers to provide much needed transitional housing, providing a safe home and pathway to future independence,” Mr McIntyre said. “The community housing sector is well regulated with annual compliance required against national standards. This means that providers like Wentworth are ideally suited to ensure the properties are professionally managed and that women and children are well supported during their transition period.” The model allows for transition dwellings to be provided in well-located and serviced areas at no direct cost to council, federal and state governments and the community. The planning proposal is currently being assessed by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment as part of the Gateway Process. Developers come on board The Transitional Housing proposal by The Hills Shire Council is fully supported by the developers’ body Urban Taskforce, as it has appropriate incentives to encourage developers. “The Council proposal is to encourage developers to provide a single apartment for a 10-year period by allowing two extra apartments above the current planning limits,” said Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson. “This approach is similar to the Urban Taskforce proposal to providing affordable housing for a ten-year period through an uplift in floor space and height. The development industry can contribute subsidised housing over a ten-year period if the incentives for extra floor space are sufficient to make this economically viable.” “A number of Urban Taskforce members who are developing apartment projects in The Hills Shire Council area, including Sekisui, Mirvac, Aqualand, Dyldam and PAYCE, have expressed their support for the Transitional Housing proposal. Major developers like PAYCE have run the numbers over the proposal and believe it is a viable approach to help provide the subsidised housing that council is encouraging.” What is Transitional Housing? Hills Local Area Command reported that approximately five cases of domestic violence are reported per week within The Hills, which equates to up to 245 cases per year. While those cases are seen to by the local police, many more go unreported. As well as the immediate crisis, there are long term issues that need to be attended to when someone is put into this position – this can often involve having to leave their family home or worse their community, which can sometimes be quite difficult for the victim. Transitional Housing provides refuge and protection to those, particularly women and children, escaping from abhorrent scenes of domestic and family violence, and needing a temporary and secure place to stay. It is important that residents feel safe, comfortable and secure in their community so they can rebuild self-esteem and make empowered and informed decisions about their lives. Together, Mayor Yvonne Keane and The Hills Shire Council worked to create a potential mechanism to encourage and incentivise the provision of transitional housing within new residential development throughout The Hills. This mechanism proposes an additional clause to the Hills Local Environmental Plan 2012, and has been put forward to the Department of Planning and Environment for Gateway Determination. If agreed, this will enable further consultation with stakeholders and the community prior to being finalised. How does it work? For the policy to work effectively, the council decided that for a small portion of uplift in developments, particularly around the rail corridors, that an enormously large social issue could be solved. A floor space incentive was therefore suggested, where developers can have the opportunity to incorporate a small portion of transitional housing in their high density development. The provision ensures that it would facilitate only a moderate uplift in residential yield, to prevent unreasonable impact on surrounding residents. The incentive would be voluntary and would ensure that the developer retains the ownership of the transitional homes. The proposed provision will have the following characteristics:
  • The policy will only apply to residential flat buildings and shop top housing developments within the R4 High Density Residential, R1 General Residential or B4 Mixed Use zone;
  • The bonus floor space ratio will be available if the development includes a minimum of 50 dwellings (excluding ‘transitional group home dwellings’);
  • The bonus floor space shall not exceed 10 per cent of the maximum floor space ratio permitted on the site, up to a maximum of 900m2 gross floor area (capped regardless of the site area);
  • An additional 300m2 of gross floor area would be available for every ‘transitional group home’ provided, which would allow for two bonus dwellings (each with an average internal floor area of no less than 100m2 gross floor area) comprising:
  • One ‘transitional group home’ (to be used as a group home (subject to agreement with a suitable provider/s) and then returned to the developer after a period of use - potentially 10 years); and
  • Two standard dwellings above the yield otherwise achievable by the developer;
  • The maximum additional yield achievable within the bonus floor space will be nine dwellings (of which three would need to be a ‘transitional group home’);
  • The timing of the developer’s incentive is staged:
    • Upfront: two bonus (unrestricted) dwellings; and
    • After 10 years: one bonus dwelling (when use as a transitional dwelling has ceased).
The proposed provision has been prepared in consultation with service providers and the development industry. Where is it at? Transitional housing within The Hills was urged and supported by speakers Annabelle Daniel of Women’s Community Shelters, Detective Chief Inspector Jim Bilton from the Castle Hill Local Area Command, and Maria Kovacic from Hills Community Aid at the 25 July 2017 Council Meeting. Their feedback was that all possible mechanisms are to be viewed as the need for a safe community is paramount, and it is council’s responsibility to consider pathways to keep women and children safe. As a result of the overwhelmingly positive feedback from stakeholders and fellow councillors, a planning proposal is currently with the Department of Planning and Environment for Gateway Determination. Should a Gateway Determination be issued by the Department of Planning and Environment, the planning proposal will be exhibited for public comment. Council will then consider a post exhibition report and make a decision as to whether to progress the amendment to finalisation.   [post_title] => The Hills Shire Council pioneers Transitional Housing [post_excerpt] => The Hills Shire Council has introduced Transitional Housing into council policy. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => hills-shire-council-pioneers-transitional-housing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-29 10:35:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-29 00:35:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27932 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27929 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-29 09:33:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-28 23:33:09 [post_content] => Yvonne Keane Martin Place’s recent tent city has highlighted the plight of homeless people in search of finding stable and lasting accommodation. Sadly, the face of homelessness is changing, with more and more women finding themselves without a home. A large proportion of this growing and vulnerable demographic are domestic violence survivors and their children. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, domestic violence makes women and children more susceptible to homelessness in two major ways: firstly, violence removes a sense of safety from the home; and secondly, escaping a violent situation requires the woman and her child/children to leave the family home. As a society we have been treating domestic violence and homelessness as two separate issues for too long now and I think it is time to ask ourselves the question: “Do our current established domestic violence and homelessness services really meet people’s current needs?” From my experience, the answer is ‘no’.  As the chairwoman of the board of a women's shelter in Sydney’s North-West, called The Sanctuary, I know that crisis shelters do meet a critical need for women and children who wish to escape unimaginable home lives. However, crisis accommodation – which is available for up to three months - only provides part of a solution in enabling the most vulnerable and at risk community members to live independent lives. And what of the many survivors who might never access a shelter? What about their struggle to find stable and long-lasting accommodation? And even if you are lucky enough to find safety and refuge at a shelter, you will still face the hard, painful next step in the process - finding housing that is safe, affordable and appropriate for you and your families. And so we find that survivors become caught up in an ongoing cycle of fleeing from and returning back to violence because of the lack of stable housing. It's what we call in the sector a 'barrier' that women face on the pathway to safety and independence.  For children, the trauma of frequent moves, topped off with unstable living environments continues the trauma of being exposed to situations of domestic violence. In my role as both mayor of The Hills Shire and chairwoman of The Sanctuary, I have many conversations with members of the community about domestic violence. I constantly hear the same question over and over again: “Why don’t women just leave?” Given the reality of housing affordability and the rising cost of living, this question pretty much answers itself. For some time now, I have been thinking of alternative solutions in which my council could play a role in delivering the resources required to help our community respond to women and children escaping unimaginable scenes of family violence. We have wonderful women’s shelters, and complementary wrap-around services, across the state and in The Hills, but the missing link is something called transitional housing. When I became mayor, I found myself in the perfect storm of opportunity. I came up with a way in which I thought that we might be able to help deliver vitally needed transitional housing to our community and along with key council staff, started to research how we could turn this idea into a policy. Transitional housing is different from affordable housing and from social housing. Transitional housing is the essential ‘next-step’ towards a life of real independence. It ultimately provides a safe, comfortable and secure place for society’s most vulnerable, to recover, re-build, thrive and make informed and empowered decisions about their lives. The aim of 'transitioning' is to help women to ultimately achieve wonderful and independent lives, not lives entirely dependent on social housing. And on Tuesday, 25 July 2017, The Hills Shire Council made history after my fellow councillors and I unanimously voted to implement the Transitional Housing Policy Framework.  Very simply, this framework will provide a supply of transitional housing in our community and do this at no cost to Council, rate payers or the government. Our innovative policy proposes a new provision in The Hills Local Environmental Plan 2012 which provides a capped bonus to encourage willing developers to provide transitional housing as part of new residential developments. The policy would allow a developer who meets the criteria, to build two additional dwellings for every transitional home provided. And we have capped the 'uplift' to a maximum of three transitional homes per development. While the numbers of transitional units would be relatively small in the overall scheme of things, the benefit it could provide for our most vulnerable could be enormous. The transitional homes would remain the property of the developer and would be managed by community housing providers or not-for-profit organisations, and would be returned to the developer after a set period of time. I am so enormously proud of this policy and I am even more proud that we will be the first council in the country to offer a new model for transitional housing and deliver it in such a way that there is no cost to the ratepayer. For me, this is a pinnacle achievement of my time as mayor and probably the most important thing I will ever do in my life. In NSW, the Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Pru Goward, has said that all ideas are on the table, and I hope to gain her support, and the support of NSW Cabinet to use this model to change the lives and futures of women and children across NSW as a starting point. It is my great hope that other councils will look at adopting my model – which delivers at no cost to them – as a way to genuinely solve the problems within their own communities. Even greater still, it is my hope that state and territory governments will look at this model and support its adoption as an effective solution across the country.  I have no doubt that this policy will change the lives and the futures of the most vulnerable in our community.  Investing in transitional housing for women leaving family and domestic violence makes sense. No one should ever have to choose between staying with an abusive partner or becoming homeless.  Councillor Yvonne Keane is the Mayor of The Hills Shire Council, Chair of the Board of the Sanctuary, sits on the NSW Women's Council for Economic Opportunity and is an elected Director of Local Government NSW. [post_title] => Why Transitional Housing? [post_excerpt] => Transitional Housing: the cooperative solution that could solve housing for the homeless. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => why-transitional-housing [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-29 10:34:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-29 00:34:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27929 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27880 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-22 09:42:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-21 23:42:45 [post_content] => Commercial fitness operators will have to register with the City of Bendigo before operating in public parks. Following a six-month trial, the Greater Bendigo City Council has adopted a new Fitness Operators Policy for businesses that conduct commercial operations in local parks, gardens and sporting reserves. The new policy means commercial fitness operators will now need to obtain a permit to conduct their operations at local parks, gardens and reserves. City of Greater Bendigo active and healthy lifestyles manager Lincoln Fitzgerald said an increase in the number of commercial fitness operators in recent years had prompted the City to develop the policy. “The six-month trial conducted by the City relied on operators to voluntarily register their commercial activity, and for the industry to self-regulate compliance with limited support from City staff.  This was done to allow the trial to take place with no fees and to limit the costs associated with its enforcement,” Mr Fitzgerald said. “During the trial period, 13 businesses registered as regular providers and three as casual providers. However, the City understands there is a number of other fitness businesses operating on public land without permission and any regulation of their activities. “During and after the trial, the City consulted with those impacted by the policy including commercial fitness operators, class participants, park users and City staff responsible for maintaining the public space and enforcing the policy. “Overall, consultation supported a more regulated approach to ensure an equitable, protected, respected and consistent industry. “The City recognises that commercial fitness operators do provide a range of alternative physical recreation activities for residents that would otherwise not be available. However, the policy places conditions on the types of equipment and activities that can take place. “The aim of the new policy is to manage these activities in a manner that balances industry needs, provides protection of public built and natural assets and maintains community access and amenity to these facilities.” The new policy will be integrated within the review of the City’s Local Law Number 5 Municipal Places which is set to be reviewed late 2017.   [post_title] => The park is for the public [post_excerpt] => Commercial fitness operators will have to register with the City of Bendigo before operating in public parks. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => the-park-is-for-the-public [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-22 10:21:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-22 00:21:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27880 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27867 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-21 11:45:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-21 01:45:30 [post_content] =>   The Australian Border Force (ABF) has identified a number of labour hire intermediaries sourcing illegal labour and sending money derived from this exploitation overseas. Following an Australia-wide operation codenamed Bonasus, more than 225 people working in breach of their visa conditions were also located during the operation. Video footage of the operation can be viewed here. ABF officers inspected 48 properties, including businesses and residential premises, as part of the operation targeting organised visa fraud, illegal work and the exploitation of foreign nationals. The illegal workers were from Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Vietnam Tunisia, Pakistan and Bangladesh. They were located working in industries ranging from agriculture to retail and hospitality. In addition, more than 300 individuals were refused entry into Australia as part of the operation. ABF Commander Field and Removal Operations Robyn Miller said the operation should act as a warning to both employers of illegal workers and non-citizens who are, or are intending to, work illegally in Australia. "The facilitation of, and engagement in, illegal work can have lasting negative impact on Australian communities and individuals," Commander Miller said. "This includes significant underpayment and substandard living conditions for foreign workers, and reputational damage for rural and metropolitan industry sectors. "Small and medium businesses are also disadvantaged due to the unfair competitive advantage gained by those who do not adhere to the law." Investigations into these labour hire intermediaries are continuing. Penalties for businesses organising illegal work range up to ten years imprisonment and/or fines of up to $210,000. Individuals caught working illegally may be detained and removed. Individuals also face being banned from re-entering Australia for three years and may be liable for the costs of their removal. A majority of the unlawful non-citizens and foreign nationals caught working illegally have been removed to their country of origin. A small number of the group are assisting the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to resolve their immigration status. Anyone who is aware of an individual, business or employer who may be facilitating visa fraud or illegal work is urged to contact Border Watch on 1800 009 623 or visit www.border.gov.au/report. Information can be provided anonymously.
State/Territory Number of warrants Illegal workers located Locations
Victoria/Tasmania 14 More than 50 Warrants occurred in metropolitan Melbourne, Mildura, Shepparton, and Sunbury.
NSW/ACT 16 More than 110 Warrants occurred in metropolitan Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Mittagong and Griffith.
Queensland 4 More than 25 Warrants occurred in metropolitan Brisbane, Bundaberg and Mareeba.
Western Australia 12 Almost 40 Warrants occurred in metropolitan Perth.
South Australia/Northern Territory 2 Fewer than 5 Warrants occurred in Golden Heights and Whyalla Stuart.   
Total 48 More than 225  
The Department does not report on cohorts fewer than five for privacy reasons.   [post_title] => Customs targets employers of illegal workers [post_excerpt] => ABF officers have inspected businesses and residential premises targeting organised visa fraud and illegal work. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => customs-targets-employers-illegal-workers [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-21 13:31:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-21 03:31:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27867 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27860 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-18 09:53:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-17 23:53:31 [post_content] => The Auditor-General for New South Wales Margaret Crawford has released her report, in which she finds that NSW Health’s approach to planning and evaluating palliative care is not effectively coordinated. There is no overall policy framework for palliative and end-of-life care, nor is there comprehensive monitoring and reporting on services and outcomes. “NSW Health has a limited understanding of the quantity and quality of palliative care services across the state, which reduces its ability to plan for future demand and the workforce needed to deliver it,” said the Auditor-General. “At the district level, planning is sometimes ad hoc and accountability for performance is unclear.” Local Health Districts’ ability to plan, deliver and improve their services is hindered by:
  • Multiple disjointed information systems and manual data collection.
  • Not universally using a program that collects data on patient outcomes for benchmarking and quality improvement.
NSW Health should create an integrated policy framework that clearly defines interfaces between palliative and end-of-life care, articulates priorities and objectives and is supported by a performance and reporting framework. NSW Health should improve the collection and use of outcomes data and improve information systems to support palliative care services and provide comprehensive data for service planning. The  Auditor-General made four recommendations that called for the development of an integrated palliative and end-of-life care policy framework; proper data collection on patient outcomes; a state-wide review of systems and reporting for end of life management; and improved stakeholder engagement. Some improvements evident Over the last two years, NSW Health has taken steps to improve its planning and support for Local Health Districts. The NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation has produced an online resource that will assist districts to construct their own, localised models of care. And eHealth, which coordinates information communication technology for the state’s healthcare, aims to integrate and improve information systems. These initiatives should help to address many of the issues now inhibiting integrated service delivery, reporting on activity and outcomes, and planning for the future. NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord welcomed the report, saying it provided a roadmap for the State Government to improve end-of-life care in NSW. “As a prosperous nation, Australia and NSW have the means to ensure that the final years, months and days of elderly people and those with terminal diseases are lived in dignity,” Mr Secord said. “In my view our prosperity brings an obligation to do no less. “We have to recognise that palliative care is a field that will only grow as Australians now have the longest life expectancy in the English-speaking world. “Accordingly, we need a government response that embraces helping people to remain independent in their homes by finding ways to expand home and community care,” Mr Secord said. A full copy of the report is on the Audit Office website.   [post_title] => Palliative care: NSW Health must improve [post_excerpt] => NSW Health has a limited understanding of the quantity and quality of palliative care services across the state. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => palliative-care-nsw-health-must-improve [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-18 10:28:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-18 00:28:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27860 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27843 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-17 18:25:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-17 08:25:28 [post_content] => The University of Technology Sydney Institute for Public Policy and Governance has released a new resource for local government: How local governments can increase the social and economic participation of people with disability: A place-based framework for success. More than four million, or almost one in five, Australians are living with disability across every one of the 537 LGA in Australia. This resource, based on extensive engagement with more than 200 councils across Australia, provides a national picture of the variety of ways local governments currently support people with disability where they live. The resource aims to share this knowledge and support local governments to:
  • Engage people with disability about their needs.
  • Plan, implement and measure outcomes.
  • Build collaborative networks and partnerships.
  • Advocate within and outside the sector.
  • Boost local employment.
The resource has been designed for use by all local governments across Australia. This includes small rural and large metropolitan local governments, those in growth areas and those with ageing populations. It can be used to guide thinking and decision making about how to deliver, enable or advocate for services to increase the participation of people with disability in their communities. Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Governance and the Centre for Local Government Professor Roberta Ryan said of the research: “Throughout the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) trial period, people with disability identified community participation as one of their top three support needs, and a significant proportion of NDIS expenditure is being spent on services which enable and enhance this outcome. “With the continued roll-out of the NDIS, the local government sector has an important role to support people with disability achieve greater social and economic participation in their community. This also presents an opportunity for local governments, as greater participation will lead to increased community expenditure and potentially generate local employment opportunities.” The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) grant funded the research, reflecting the important role local governments will play in supporting the social and economic participation of people with disability into the future, as NDIS reforms roll out. The resource and all related materials are available at ippg.org.au. [post_title] => Disability inclusion framework for local governments [post_excerpt] => UTS Sydney Institute for Public Policy and Governance has released a new resource for local government. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => disability-inclusion-framework-local-governments [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-17 19:16:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-17 09:16:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27843 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27828 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-14 14:43:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-14 04:43:08 [post_content] => The Federal Government announced in the 2017-18 Budget context a number of initiatives to encourage the continued development of the SII market in Australia, including funding of $30 million. By pure coincidence, the Government also gifted $30m to Foxtel. The difference between this and Foxtel’s $30m is that Foxtel will get it over two years, while SII will have to wait ten years - Ed. The government’s package includes funding of $30 million over ten years, the release of a set of principles to guide the Australian government’s involvement in the SII market, and notes that the government will continue to separately consider ways to reduce regulatory barriers inhibiting the growth of the SII market. Social Impact Investing, the government says, is an emerging, outcomes‑based approach that brings together governments, service providers, investors and communities to tackle a range of policy (social and environmental) issues. It provides governments with an alternative mechanism to address social and environmental issues whilst also leveraging government and private sector capital, building a stronger culture of robust evaluation and evidenced-based decision making, and creating a heightened focus on outcomes. It is important to note that social impact investing is not suitable for funding every type of Australian government outcome. Rather, it provides an alternative opportunity to address problems where existing policy interventions and service delivery are not achieving the desired outcomes. Determining whether these opportunities exist is a key step in deciding whether social impact investing might be suitable for delivering better outcomes for the government and community. Government agencies involved in social impact investments should also ensure they have the capability (e.g. contract and relationship management skills, and access to data and analytic capability) to manage that investment. The principles The principles (available in full here) acknowledge that social impact investing can take many forms, including but not limited to, Payment by Results contracts, outcomes-focused grants, and debt and equity financing. The principles reflect the role of the Australian Government as an enabler and developer of this nascent market. They acknowledge that as a new approach, adjustments may be needed. They also acknowledge and encourage the continued involvement of the community and private sector in developing this market, with the aim of ensuring that the market can become sustainable into the future. Finally, the principles are not limited by geographical or sectoral boundaries. They can be considered in any circumstance where the Australian Government seeks to increase and leverage stakeholder interest in achieving improved social and environmental outcomes (where those outcomes can be financial, but are also non‑financial). Accordingly, where the Australian Government is involved in social impact investments, it should take into account the following principles:
  1. Government as market enabler and developer.
  2. Value for money.
  3. Robust outcomes-based measurement and evaluation.
  4. Fair sharing of risk and return.
  5. Outcomes that align with the Australian Government’s policy priorities.
  6. Co-design.
[caption id="attachment_27829" align="alignnone" width="216"] The Australian Government's six principles for social impact investing.[/caption]   [post_title] => Social Impact Investing to get $30m [post_excerpt] => The Federal Government has announced a number of initiatives to encourage Social Impact Investing. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 27828 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-14 14:46:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-14 04:46:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27828 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27798 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-10 15:36:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-10 05:36:04 [post_content] => The NSW Government has voted down Labor legislation that would decriminalise cannabis possession. The proposed legislation was to ensure that sufferers of terminal and serious medical conditions who rely on medicinal cannabis to ease their pain, would no longer be treated as criminals. The legislation would also create the mechanism to create a safe and lawful supply chain of product, to make access a practical reality for sufferers. The legislation sought to decriminalise the possession of small amounts of cannabis (up to 15 grams) for treatment of chronic and serious medical conditions for medically certified sufferers and their carers, requiring them to receive photo identification and medical certification from NSW Health in order to possess medicinal cannabis. These amounts could be adjusted by regulation, according to medical treatment need. Currently, people who purchase cannabis to alleviate the pain and distress associated with chronic and terminal illnesses face criminal penalties under the Crimes Act (1900). The proposed legislation adopted the key recommendations from a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, which received unanimous support from five political parties including NSW Labor, Liberal Party, National Party, the Greens and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party. "The unanimous recommendations of the Parliamentary inquiry were delivered in 2013,” said Opposition Leader in the Legislative Council Adam Searle. “Labor has always been ready, willing and able to work with the NSW Government to make access to medicinal cannabis a reality.” “Those who are suffering from terminal and serious medical conditions deserve sympathy and support- and they should not be treated like a criminal for seeking respite from relentless and unwavering illness,” said Opposition Leader Luke Foley. “It is deeply disappointing that the Government has denied legislation that will restore dignity to those people seeking temporary relief from the pain and suffering of their affliction.” A number of other states have already legalised medicinal cannabis use (including Victoria and the ACT), and at one point NSW was expected to  overtake Victoria with the legislation. Illnesses that would be taken to be terminal or serious medical conditions:
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV);
  • motor neurone disease;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • the neurological disorder known as stiff person syndrome;
  • severe and treatment-resistant nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy;
  • pain associated with cancer;
  • neuropathic pain;
  • an illness or condition declared by the regulations to be a terminal or serious medical condition.
  [post_title] => NSW medicinal cannabis bill fails [post_excerpt] => The NSW Government has voted down legislation that would decriminalise cannabis possession. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => nsw-medicinal-cannabis-bill-fails [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-11 12:05:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-11 02:05:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27798 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27804 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-10 09:12:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-09 23:12:50 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_27806" align="alignnone" width="300"] Photo courtesy of SBS.[/caption] Cristy Clark, Southern Cross University The New South Wales state government has passed legislation empowering police to dismantle the Martin Place homeless camp in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. This follows similar actions in Victoria, where police cleared a homeless camp outside Flinders Street Station. Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle proposed a bylaw to ban rough sleeping in the city. In March, the UN special rapporteur on the right to housing, Leilani Farha, censured the City of Melbourne’s actions, stating that:
"… the criminalisation of homelessness is deeply concerning and violates international human rights law."
As the special rapporteur highlighted, homelessness is already “a gross violation of the right to adequate housing”. To further discriminate against people rendered homeless by systemic injustice is prohibited under international human rights law.
Further reading: Ban on sleeping rough does nothing to fix the problems of homelessness

Real problem is lack of affordable housing

In contrast to her Melbourne counterpart, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore had been adopting a more human-rights-based approach to resolving the challenges presented by the Martin Place camp. After negotiating with camp organisers, Moore made it clear her council would not disperse the camp until permanent housing was found for all of the residents. As she pointed out:
"You can’t solve homelessness without housing — what we urgently need is more affordable housing and we urgently need the New South Wales government to step up and do their bit."
It’s no secret that housing affordability in both Sydney and Melbourne has reached crisis point. And homelessness is an inevitable consequence of this. But we have seen little real action from government to resolve these issues. The NSW government has been offering people temporary crisis accommodation or accommodation on the outskirts of the city. This leaves them isolated from community and without access to services. In contrast, these inner-city camps don’t just provide shelter, food, safety and community; they also send a powerful political message to government that it must act to resolve the housing affordability crisis. Having established well-defined rules of conduct, a pool of shared resources and access to free shelter and food, the Martin Place camp can be seen as part of the commons movement. This movement seeks to create alternative models of social organisation to challenge the prevailing market-centric approaches imposed by neoliberalism and to reclaim the Right to the City.
Further reading: Suburbanising the centre: the government’s anti-urban agenda for Sydney

We should be uncomfortable

It is not surprising that right-wing pundits have described these camps as “eyesores” or that they make NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian “completely uncomfortable”. The breach of human rights these camps represent, and the challenge they pose to the current system, should make people uncomfortable. Unlike most comparable nations, Australia has very limited legal protections for human rights. In this context, actions like the Martin Place and Flinders Street camps are one of the few options available to victims of systemic injustice to exercise their democratic right to hold government to account. In seeking to sweep this issue under the carpet, both the City of Melbourne and the NSW government are not only further breaching the right to adequate housing, they are also trying to silence political protest. It is clear from Moore’s demands, and the NSW government’s own actions, that the Martin Place camp is working to create pressure for action. What will motivate the government to resolve this crisis once the camps have been dispersed? As Nelson Mandela argued in 1991 at the ANC’s Bill of Rights Conference:
"A simple vote, without food, shelter and health care, is to use first-generation rights as a smokescreen to obscure the deep underlying forces which dehumanise people. It is to create an appearance of equality and justice, while by implication socioeconomic inequality is entrenched. "We do not want freedom without bread, nor do we want bread without freedom. We must provide for all the fundamental rights and freedoms associated with a democratic society."
Mandela’s words were hugely relevant to apartheid South Africa, where a ruling elite had established a deeply racist and unjust system that linked political disenfranchisement and material deprivation. But they also resonate today in Australia where inequality is on the rise – driven in large part by disparities in property ownership. The ConversationHomelessness is a deeply dehumanising force that strips people of access to fundamental rights. The policies that are creating this crisis must be seen as unacceptable breaches of human rights. We need to start asking whether our current economic system is compatible with a truly democratic society. Cristy Clark, Lecturer in Law, Southern Cross University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. [post_title] => Clearing homeless camps will make the problem worse [post_excerpt] => "You can’t solve homelessness without housing." [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => clearing-homeless-camps-will-make-problem-worse [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-11 12:22:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-11 02:22:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://governmentnews.com.au/?p=27804 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27784 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-08-07 13:13:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-07 03:13:10 [post_content] => Parents need a fair and informed choice, writes incoming CEO of Primary Ethics Evan Hannah. Allowing parents to make an informed choice when enrolling their children in NSW public schools is simply a matter of fairness. But in NSW, you cannot enrol your child in ethics classes on the enrolment form, as you can for religious instruction. The burden is on parents to work through the current confusing process before they finally get the chance to access ethics classes for their child. I became involved with ethics education as a volunteer ethics coordinator three years ago at my son’s school in Sydney’s inner west. As an ethics coordinator, I’ve seen that the unfair approach to enrolment into ethics classes continues to frustrate parents and school staff alike. The government has made it as difficult as possible for parents to access ethics classes for their children. It rejected recommendations from an independent report for parents to be provided with better access to information and enrolment opportunities, and it cannot explain why that is fair or reasonable. Quite simply, we just seek equal treatment for all parents. We’ll continue to work with the Department of Education to streamline the enrolment process for both parents and school staff. Who is Primary Ethics? Primary Ethics was established in 2010 at the request of the NSW Government to provide ethics education for children in NSW public schools. From 1,530 students in the first year of classes, Primary Ethics is now taught to more than 36,000 students by 2,500 volunteers in weekly classes at 450 schools across NSW. An ethics program is launched at a new school approximately every 10 days, but the government enrolment policy is a huge impediment to fulfilling the Primary Ethics goal of offering the program to the rest of the estimated 70,000 students who are currently spending one lesson a week in the holding pattern of ‘non-scripture’. The continuing confusion about enrolments obviously affects our growth. We know when one school decides to start Primary Ethics classes, and we train volunteers who then begin teaching, it has a domino effect on nearby schools as awareness grows. Removing the ridiculous block on informed choice would give more NSW children a chance to learn skills to make better decisions. Public support for an ethics-based complement to Special Religious Education (SRE), began in the early 2000s and culminated in an amendment to the NSW Education Act in 2010 to enable Special Education in Ethics (SEE) classes to be delivered alongside religious instruction during the designated timeslot. This was significant, because it was the first time since 1866 that children who did not take scripture could instead take part in an activity of benefit to the child, instead of effectively doing nothing. Until 2010, the Education Act mandated that children who did not attend scripture could not undertake any learning during this timeslot to ensure that children receiving religious instruction did not miss out. Discussion-based ethics classes are facilitated by trained local volunteers using a curriculum written by specialist in philosophy and education, Dr Sue Knight, and reviewed by both an internal committee and the Department of Education. The stage 3 (years 5 & 6) lesson materials were completed in 2011, the first year that the ethics program was rolled out. A new stage-based curriculum was developed each year, and from 2015, the program has been available for delivery across all primary-school stages, from kindergarten to year 6.     We now have an excellent, world-first ethics curriculum available free for communities to use to educate their children. And thanks to donations, we are also able to provide recruitment, screening, and free training and support for volunteers willing to be involved in delivering those lessons. Primary Ethics is the sole provider of ethics classes in NSW. The free program is taught by trained volunteers following a curriculum written for various primary school stages, covering years K-6. The curriculum is approved as age-appropriate by the Department of Education. Evan Hannah is a former journalist and news media manager who became CEO of the not-for-profit organisation in July.     [post_title] => Schools: we need clarity around the ethics option [post_excerpt] => Parents need a fair and informed choice, writes Evan Hannah. [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => schools-need-clarity-around-ethics-option [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-07 20:18:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-07 10:18:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.governmentnews.com.au/?p=27784 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 14 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 28033 [post_author] => 670 [post_date] => 2017-09-15 10:55:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-15 00:55:13 [post_content] => The Western Australian State Government is to spend $5 million on a state-of-the-art robotic system that will be used to treat prostate cancer. Known as the da Vinci system, the robot will be the first of its kind in a WA public hospital and will bring the state in line with other health jurisdictions that have a similar metropolitan population. Set to be established at Fiona Stanley Hospital, the da Vinci system will provide urological procedures, focused on robotic-assisted prostatectomies, partial nephrectomies and radical nephrectomies. It will also allow for 3D vision, magnification capabilities, and enhanced dexterity, so surgeons are able to manipulate and dissect areas where access is challenging or limited with the human hand. Compared to traditional techniques, the da Vinci system will result in patients having faster recovery, reduced length of stay in hospital, and faster return to normal day activities. It is also expected to deliver greater efficiencies due to improved surgical outcomes, and a lower likelihood of subsequent treatments. While the new robotic surgical service will initially provide for patients within the South Metropolitan Health Service catchment, it is expected that the technology will be available for other WA patients where appropriate. WA Health Minister Roger Cook said: "We are committed to building a sustainable, world-class health system, and will drive innovation, integration and culture change, and establish 'Centres of Excellence' in robotic surgery and clinical innovation to ensure the WA health system will be able to attract and train expert clinicians. "Our Future Health Research and Innovation Fund commits the government to establishing a $1 billion fund to drive medical research and innovation, including a cancer research plan for the next decade, an innovation hub at Royal Perth Hospital, and incentives for corporate and philanthropic contributions for health and medical research. "Fiona Stanley Hospital has already employed a urology specialist who has undertaken additional national and international training to lead the robotic surgery program.”   [post_title] => WA’s public hospital to get robotic surgical system [post_excerpt] => State-of-the-art robotic system to revolutionise prostate treatment service to be established at Fiona Stanley Hospital. 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