Showing posts with label right wing politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label right wing politics. Show all posts

Monday, 12 February 2018

AUSTRALIA CARD MARK II: no national digital ID number will mean no access to any Australian federal government services



“When signing up to the platform for the first time, users will be asked to provide their name, email address, and phone number, and verify their details via email or SMS. They will then be asked to provide information from three identity documents, which goes through the exchange to the identity provider for verification. The exchange receives encrypted details back which it passes on to the government service the user wants to reach, which then grants the user access.”  [IT News, 20 March 2015]

IT News, 8 February 2018:

The Department of Human Services looks set to become the federal government's exclusive manager of digital identities after being selected to build the identity provider solution that will be used for the Govpass platform.

The Govpass framework is a decentralised identity model that allows individuals to choose their identity provider - an organisation that issues identity documents, like Australia Post or the ATO - and access a range of public and private sector services through a single digital identity credential.

There is no limit on the number of identity providers outside of the Commonwealth that can be accredited for Govpass; Australia Post has already indicated it will seek to become the first non-government identity provider, using its Digital iD platform.
Several state and territory government agencies and private sector entities are also expected to become identity providers over time.

However, the federal government last year made the decision that only one identity provider would operate for the entire Commonwealth.

The Digital Transformation Agency revealed the decision following meetings with existing Commonwealth identity service providers, DHS and the ATO. Its rationale for the move was to focus security efforts in one place and avoid complex administrative structures.

iTnews revealed in October that the DTA was yet to make up its mind up on which of the two agencies would serve as the federal government’s sole identity provider for GovPass, even as testing of the new platform was taking place with the ATO’s new online tax file number application service.

Instead the DTA said it was working closely with the ATO and DHS on the “next steps” for the platform.

But in response to questions on notice from recent estimates hearings, DHS revealed it had been instructed to develop the federal government’s single identity provider platform, to be known as myGov IdP.

“The department was commissioned by the DTA to build the identity provider (IdP) for the whole-of-government,” it said.

“The myGov IdP will enable citizens to verify their identity online and use it to apply for government services.”

iTnews has made several attempts to clarify the statements with the DTA and DHS, but both refused to comment on the build and DHS’ apparent position as the single government identity provider.

The ATO similarly redirected questions about its involvement with Govpass, including whether it had also been asked by the DTA to build an identity provider solution, to the DTA.

Selecting DHS as the sole government identity provider would be an obvious choice for the DTA - the agency is the government’s current defacto whole-of-gov identity provider through the myGov digital services platform.

A private beta release of myGov IdP is currently planned for later this month.

Identity providers on Govpass will use the DTA-built identity exchange – and in turn the document verification service (DVS) and facial verification service (FVS) – to verify an individual’s credentials without revealing their identity to service providers.
[my yellow bolding]

NoteThe Face Identification Service (FIS) is a one-to-many, image-based identification service that can match a photo of an unknown person against multiple government records to help establish their identity. FIS is also available to police, security services, Dept. of Immigration and Dept. of Foreign Affairs. [Australian Attorney-General's Department, October 2017]

Thursday, 8 February 2018

The Liberal Party of Australia's inability to avoid adding more rigthwing hardliners to its ranks is disturbing



“Plus  ça  change, plus  c'est  la  même  chose”

John Howard's quasi military protégée during his prime ministershipformer "special envoy" for a later Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, 'speaker and entertainer' for hire, border control hardliner, retired major-general Andrew James "Jim" Molan formally took up a Senate seat on 5 February 2018 as Liberal Party Senator for New South Wales.
Having failed to be elected at the last federal election he came to the Senate after the High Court of Australia ruled Susan Nash was ineligible to continue sitting in the Senate due to holding dual citizenship.
The senator from Royalla near Queanbeyan NSW has created a new Facebook page now he has been sworn-in, however the original page still exists. As does his Twitter account where he has a tendency to retweet praise of himself.
A right-wing warrior with an imperfect understanding of human rights, a controversial war record and an apparent antipathy to est. 2.6 per cent of the Australian population is now a member of the Turnbull Coalition Government.

This is how the mainstream media saw him on the day........
ABC News, 5 February 2018:
Newly-elected Liberal senator and retired senior Army officer Jim Molan is defending his decision to share anti-Muslim videos posted by far-right UK group Britain First on Facebook.
In March last year Mr Molan, who was sworn in as a senator this morning, shared posts from the group on his personal, public Facebook page.
One of the Britain First videos purports to show Muslim men attacking a police car in France, while the other purports to show Muslim men harassing and assaulting young women in France and the Netherlands.
The second video has been discredited by online fact-checkers.
Today Senator Molan said he did not remember sharing the videos, but upon watching them again, was shocked by the violence within them.
He said the videos were not inflammatory, and not racist.
"I have no apologies, I have no regrets," he said.
Senator Molan said he rejected any suggestion he was racist……..

Britain First shot to global attention when US President Donald Trump shared anti-Muslim videos from the group in November last year.
It prompted outrage in Britain, and he was criticised by UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
Last week Mr Trump apologised for re-tweeting the posts, saying he knew nothing about the group.
Senator Molan has also shared posts made by far-right figure Milo Yiannopolous and controversial cartoonist Larry Pickering.
Those posts were not anti-Muslim in nature.
A spokesman for Senator Molan said the senator shared content online to provoke debate, and was not endorsing anything.
"The senator often posts material in order to generate debate," he said.
"The sharing of any post does not indicate endorsement."
Senator Molan has not posted commentary with the more controversial posts, and does not regularly respond to comments made on the posts.
But he did respond to a comment on one Britain First post, which read: "Charming. And we're meant to be tolerant, accepting and welcoming of this 'breed' in our country."
Senator Molan replied "Unbelievable".

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

CENTRELINK ROBO-DEBT: the nightmare continues


Given that the Turnbull Government continues to apply a faulty algorithm to Centrelink debt collection in 2018, private debt collectors remain financially incentivised to aggressively chase debts which may not actually exist, former welfare recipients may still receive debt recovery fee demands and government intends to expand collection to other groups/forms of declared income, while Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge is yet to fix the problems with ‘phone wait times, perhaps a reminder of what the title Online Compliance Intervention actually hides and what the alternative term robo-debt  describes……..

Cory Doctorow writing in Boing Boing, 1 February 2018:

In a textbook example of the use of big data to create a digital poorhouse, as described in Virginia Eubanks's excellent new book Automating Inequality, the Australian government created an algorithmic, semi-privatised system to mine the financial records of people receiving means-tested benefits and accuse them of fraud on the basis of its findings, bringing in private contractors to build and maintain the system and collect the penalties it ascribed, paying them a commission on the basis of how much money they extracted from poor Australians.

The result was a predictable kafkaesque nightmare in which an unaccountable black box accused poor people, students, pensioners, disabled people and others receiving benefits of owing huge sums, sending abusive, threatening debt collectors after them, and placing all information about the accusations of fraud at the other end of a bureaucratic nightmare system of overseas phone-bank operators with insane wait-times.

GillianTerzis writing in Logic, a magazine about technology, 2017:

Automation is dehumanizing in a literal sense: it removes human experience from the equation. In the case of the robo-debt scandal, automation also stripped humans of their narrative power. The algorithm that generated these debt notices presented welfare recipients with contrasting stories: the recipients claimed they’d followed the rules, but the computer said otherwise.

There were few official ways to explain one’s circumstances: twenty-nine million calls to Centrelink went unanswered in 2016, and Centrelink’s Twitter account seems explicitly designed to discourage conversational exchange. One source of narrative resistance is notmydebt.com.au, a website run entirely by volunteers that gathers false debt stories from ordinary Australians so that the “scandal can't be plausibly minimised or denied.”

Over time it was revealed that many of these debts were miscalculated or, in some cases, non-existent. One man I’d read about was on a government pension and saddled with a $4,500 bill, which was revised down months later to $65. Another recipient, who was on disability as a result of mental illness, had a debt notice of $80,000 that was later recalled. A small proportion of recipients were exclusively in contact with private debt collectors and received no official notice from Centrelink at all.

Soon it emerged that social services were a lucrative avenue for corporate interests: this year’s Senate inquiry revealed that some private agencies tasked with recouping debts were working on a commission basis, pocketing a percentage of the debts they had recovered for the government regardless of their validity. (All debt notices issued by private agencies were eventually rescinded after government review in February 2017.)

The methodology of the algorithm itself was riddled with flaws. It calculates the average of an individual’s annual income reported to the Australian Tax Office …..and compares it with the fortnightly earnings reported to Centrelink by the welfare recipient. All welfare recipients are required to declare their gross earnings (income accrued before tax and other deductions) within this fourteen-day period. Any discrepancy between the two figures is interpreted by the algorithm as proof of undeclared or underreported income, from which a notice of debt is automatically generated.

Previously, these inconsistencies would be handled by Centrelink staff, who would call up your employer, confirm the amount you received in fortnightly payments, and cross-index that figure with the one calculated in the system. But the automation of the debt recovery process has outsourced authority from humans to the algorithm itself.

It’s certainly efficient: it takes the algorithm one week to generate 20,000 debt notices, a process that would take up to a year if done manually. But it’s not a reliable method of fraud detection. It’s blunt, unwieldy, and error-prone. It assumes that variations in the data sets are deliberate, and that recipients have received more than what they are entitled to. What’s more, the onus is on the welfare recipient to prove their income has been reported correctly and that the entitlements they have received are commensurate within twenty-one days.

Yet, as many critics have noted, this income-averaging method is porous. It fails to accurately account for the fluctuating fortunes of casual or contract workers, which often results in variations between the two figures. There’s also no way for the algorithm to correct for basic errors in the system’s database. It cannot yet discern whether an employer’s legal name has been used instead of its various business names—it treats them as separate entities, and therefore separate sources of income—or whether conflicting reports are caused by basic mistakes, such as spelling errors or typos. These seemingly small distinctions are ones that only a human could make. It’s no wonder, then, that conservative estimates of its error rate hover at 20 percent……

Yet the irony of stigmatizing welfare recipients is that better-off Australians are major beneficiaries of social spending. The Australian writer Tim Winton notes that the country’s middle class has “an increasing sense of entitlement to welfare,” which is “duly disbursed largely at the expense of the poor, the sick, and the unemployed.” These include tax concessions on contributions to “superannuation,” which are funds designed to help Australians save for their retirement. Such concessions are distortionary: they’re levied at a flat rate of 15 percent, rather than at a progressive rate according to one’s income, which means their benefits are reaped overwhelmingly by the rich.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics calculates that nearly one third of these concessions are claimed by the top 10 percent of income earners in Australia. Then there are policies like negative gearing, a tax concession that allows you to claim a deduction against your wage income for losses generated by any rental properties you own. (Australia and New Zealand are the only countries in the world to hold such a policy.) In addition, Australian homeowners are entitled to a capital gains tax discount of 50 percent once the property is sold.

Critics have argued that the combination of these two policies only serves to fuel investor speculation, entrench housing unaffordability, and lock first-time home buyers out of the market. But it’s easier to attack the poor than to tax the rich.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

In July 2016 the Department of Human Services (DHS) - Centrelink launched a new online compliance intervention (OCI) system for raising and recovering debts. The OCI matches the earnings recorded on a customer’s Centrelink record with historical employer-reported income data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Parts of the debt raising process previously done manually by compliance officers within DHS are now done using this automated process. Customers are asked to confirm or update their income using the online system. If the customer does not engage with DHS either online or in person, or if there are gaps in the information provided by the customer, the system will fill the gaps with a fortnightly income figure derived from the ATO income data for the relevant employment period (‘averaged’ data). 

Since the initial rollout of the OCI, the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office has received many complaints from people who have incurred debts under the OCI. This report examines our concerns with the implementation of the OCI, using complaints we investigated as case study examples. 

We acknowledge the changes DHS has made to the OCI since its initial rollout. The changes have been positive and have improved the usability and accessibility of the system. However, we consider there are several areas where further improvements could be made, particularly before use of the OCI is expanded. We have made several recommendations to address these areas......

Planning and risk management

In our view, many of the OCI’s implementation problems could have been mitigated through better project planning and risk management at the outset. This includes more rigorous user testing with customers and service delivery staff, a more incremental rollout, and better communication to staff and stakeholders. DHS’ project planning did not ensure all relevant external stakeholders were consulted during key planning stages and after the full rollout of the OCI. This is evidenced by the extent of confusion and inaccuracy in public statements made by key non-government stakeholders, journalists and individuals.

A key lesson for agencies and policy makers when proposing to rollout large scale measures which require people to engage in a new way with new digital channels, is for agencies to engage with stakeholders and provide resources for adequate manual support during transition periods. We have recommended DHS undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the OCI in its current form before it is implemented further and any future rollout should be done incrementally.

Centrelink website, 5 February 2018:

If you don’t pay your debt by the due date, we may ask the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to send us your tax refund. If we do we’ll send you a Recovery of your Centrelink debt letter.

If you aren’t repaying your debt over time or if we haven’t agreed to extend the payment time, we may also:

* add an interest charge to your debt

* refer your debt to an external collection agency

* reduce your income support payments to help pay the amount owing

* recover the amount from your wages, other income and assets, including money you may hold in a bank account

* refer your case to our solicitors for legal action

* issue a Departure Prohibition Order to stop you from travelling overseas....

The rate of interest we apply to your debt is consistent with the current rate applied by the ATO to tax debts. 

Thursday, 1 February 2018

A lesson in political repression courtesy of the Turnbull Government


On 7 December 2017 the Turnbull Coalition Government introduced a bill called the Electoral Legislation Amendment (Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform) Bill 2017.

It is currently before the Senate and the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters which reports to Parliament on 2 March 2018.

This bill purports to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to: establish public registers for key non-party political actors; require non-financial particulars, such as senior staff and discretionary government benefits, to be reported; prohibit donations from foreign governments and state-owned enterprises being used to finance public debate; require wholly political actors to verify that donations over $250 come from an organisation incorporated in Australia, or with its head office or principal place of activity in Australia, or an Australian citizen or Commonwealth elector; prohibit other regulated political actors from using donations from foreign sources to fund reportable political expenditure; limit public election funding to demonstrated electoral spending; amend the enforcement and compliance regime for political finance regulation; and enable the Electoral Commissioner to prescribe certain matters by legislative instrument; and Referendum (Machinery Provisions) Act 1984 to make consequential amendments.

The bill contains these clauses in relation to not only donations made to political parties but also to donations made to advocacy groups and charities which lobby government:

# 287AA Meaning of allowable donor

 (1) A person or entity is an allowable donor if:

(a) for an individual who makes a gift—the individual:
(i) is an elector; or
(ii) is an Australian citizen; or
(iii) is an Australian resident, unless a determination is in force under subsection

(2) determining that Australian residents are not allowable donors; or

(b) for an entity that makes a gift:
(i) the entity is incorporated in Australia; or
(ii) for an entity that is not incorporated—the entity’s head  office or principal place of activity is in Australia; or

(c) for a person or entity that is a trustee of an unincorporated trust fund or unincorporated foundation, out of which a gift is made—the person or entity is an allowable donor within the meaning of paragraph (a), (b) or (d); or

(d) the person or entity is in a class of persons or entities prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph. Australian residents 

(2) For the purposes of subparagraph (1)(a)(iii), the Minister may, by  legislative instrument, determine that Australian residents are not allowable donors.

# 302P Information relating to allowable donor status

(1) A person (the first person) obtains appropriate donor information from another person establishing that the other person is an allowable donor if:

(a) the first person obtains a statutory declaration from the other person declaring that the other person is an allowable donor (unless subsection (2) applies); or
(b) if the regulations determine information that the first person may seek from the other person in order to establish that the other person is an allowable donor—the first person obtains 11 that information from the other person.

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(b), the regulations may (but are not required to) determine that a statutory declaration that a person is an allowable donor is not appropriate donor information.

Note: A person who obtains appropriate donor information may not commit an offence or contravene a civil penalty provision in this Division (see 17 subsection 287(9) and section 302M).

It should be noted that approved witnesses to a Commonwealth statutory declaration come from specific occupational pools and only justices of the peace are prohibited from charging a fee to act as a witness.

It should be further noted that these clauses are in addition to the bill's amending of the definition of an associated entity which GetUp! asserts threatens its independence.

GetUp! had this to say on the subject:

Our lawyers just uncovered a killer clause in the Turnbull Government's new anti-democratic legislation that would decimate GetUp's ability to fundraise.Can you dig deep to help establish a GetUp Survival War Chest -- while we still can?

If passed, this killer clause would force then anyone who contributes as little as $4.80 a week to the GetUp movement to provide a signed and witnessed statutory declaration.

The impossibility of collecting thousands upon thousands of these documents would spell the end of people-powered fundrasing as we know it.

Of course, we're going to fight tooth and nail to stop this legislation in its tracks. But to prepare for the worst, we're creating a GetUp Survival War Chest, to ensure we run can keep our campaigns thriving no matter what.

Can you dig deep now (while we still can) as an act of defiance against this effort to choke off our people powered impact?


Donations page here.

Monday, 29 January 2018

One of the IPA's unofficial attack dogs is attempting to savage the charity sector once again


The Guardian, 24 January 2018:

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has pushed for new powers to regulate charities' "effective use of resources" under its controversial new commissioner, Gary Johns.

The charities sector is up in arms over the proposal, seen as an attempt to control how charities spend their money from a commissioner who has argued that it is not appropriate for charities to fund advocacy.

In its submission to a review of charities law, the ACNC called for two new objects: to promote "the effective use of the resources of not-for-profit entities"; and to "enhance the accountability of not-for-profit entities to donors, beneficiaries and the public".

The ACNC's objects now are to maintain public trust in and the independence of the sector and to promote the reduction of "unnecessary regulatory obligations" for charities.

The commission argued the expanded scope was "appropriate" because "the maintenance and promotion of the effectiveness and sustainability of the not-for-profit sector" was already a factor the commissioner must consider when making decisions.

It said the new objects should come with additional powers, functions and resources.

The Community Council for Australia's chief executive, David Crosbie, said the proposed objectives were "incredibly disappointing" and amounted to a "bizarre overreach" from the regulator.

He said there was "no explanation" of how the ACNC would measure an "effective use of resources".

"It's not the role of a government regulator which may not agree with a particular charity's approach – it's absurd that should tell them how to use their resources," he said.

"As long as charities are meeting their statutory requirements and fulfilling their charitable purpose it is not up to the regulator."
He added: "The use of resources is best left up to charities, the communities they serve and their own governance structures."

Johns was a Labor minister under the Keating government and a former head of NGOWatch at the Institute for Public Affairs. After his appointment in December, Johns said when people gave to charities they expected that "most of [the donation] will be used for the charitable purpose … [and that] the work that is undertaken on behalf of a donor works". He promised to bring those matters "to the fore" in his work at the ACNC.

In 2014 Johns argued that the government should remove advocacy as a charitable purpose to "deny charity status to the enemies of progress", citing the fact the Environmental Defenders Office Queensland advocates against coal mining.

In his 2014 book The Charity Ball, he said advocacy was of "doubtful public benefit". He criticised larger charities "whose service delivery is heavily weighted towards advocacy, research, campaigning and lobbying", including World Vision Australia, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Amnesty International Australia.

Crosbie said Johns' public statements demonstrated that he believed "charities should not be advocating for extra funding from government".
He suggested that advocacy for more housing for homeless people and spending on mental health services were examples of activities that could come under attack.

Crosbie, who served on the ACNC's advisory board for more than three years, said the original objects had been developed after thorough consultation and "not once" had stakeholders suggested adding the new objectives in the ACNC submission.

Labor's charities spokesman, Andrew Leigh, accused the government of an "ongoing war on charities" and said it was "worrying that the new commissioner's first actions have already put the sector offside".

Friday, 26 January 2018

Sometimes social media rocks


Rightwing ratbag Senator Cory Bernardi thought he had a great idea – put together a Spotify playlist of songs for Australia Day listening and advertise same on Twitter for the political party he leads…..


The response from singers, songwriters and bands included on that list was not long in coming……………………….
































Spotify appeared to get the message……………………….


Monday, 22 January 2018

This is what happens when you read news reports generated by right-wing politicians


“Victorians are “scared to go out to restaurants” because of “African gang violence”, Peter Dutton has said, in an interview attacking the supposed lack of deterrence of crime in Victoria. The home affairs minister told 2GB on Wednesday that Victorians were “bemused” when they looked “at the jokes of sentences being handed down” due to “political correctness that’s taken hold”. “There’s no deterrence there at the moment,” he said. The federal Coalition government and Victorian opposition have stepped up rhetorical attacks on the Andrews Labor government using a string of high-profile incidents to claim that “African street gangs” are on the rise because certain nationalities such as Sudanese are over-represented in statistics – although crime overall is in decline. The Victorian deputy police commissioner, Shane Patton, has reassured the public the police are taking youth crime seriously and said that “networked criminal offenders” are not technically “gangs” because they lack any organised structure.” [The Guardian, 3 January 2018]

The reality is, people are scared to go out to restaurants of a night-time because they’re followed home by these gangs.”
“We just need to call it for what it is… African gang violence.”
Mr Dutton tells Chris that if people aren’t prepared to integrate, then “frankly they don’t belong in Australian society”.
“If people haven’t integrated, if they’re not abiding by our laws, if they’re not adhering to our culture, then they’re not welcome here.” [Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton,  4BC News Talk, 3  January 2018]

During this December 2017 to February 2018 Australian Parliament annual recess it was hard to miss the political meme being generated by Messrs. Turnbull and  Dutton.

It was one of ‘Shock! Horror! Crime and violence!’

Lest we were in any doubt of the – ahem – perilous situation the nation finds itself in, the meme was quickly reduced to black violence – perpetrated  by foreign ‘others’.

The state that these politicians have chosen to place under the spotlight is Victoria and the ethnic group identified as Sudanese.

So it is no surprise to find that recent polling now shows a strong belief that youth gang crime has increased over the last few years, that it needs addressing as a matter of importance and, that this belief is highest amongst Liberal and Nationals voters in the survey group.

Essential Report, 16 January 2018:

A majority believed that all crimes have increased.
More than two-thirds believe that drug-related crime (76%) and youth gang crime (70%) have increased – and about half think they have increased a lot.
Those more likely to think youth gang crime has increased were Liberal/National voters (73%), other party voters (86%) and aged 45+ (83%).

More than two-thirds think that drug-related crime (72%) and domestic violence (67%) are the most important types of crime for the Government to address.
53% thought youth gang crime was one of the most important. Those most likely to think it important were Liberal/National voters (57%), other party voters (72%) and aged 55+ (60%).

There is a question that needs answering. Is the belief that youth gang crime is an increasing  problem based on fact or fear whipped up right-wing politicians?

First of all the actual number of youth offenders (10 to 17 years) has fallen since 2008-09 when the national total stood at 64,152 individuals.

The total number of youth offenders in 2015-16 was 54,974 or approximately 13 per cent of the entire national offender total.

Of these youth offenders less than 11,000 fell into what could be considered a violent crime category – that’s est. 20 per cent of all youth offenders across the country.

The rate of youth offending is not increasing across the board and has fallen in most of the violent crime categories since 2008-09, with the exception of the non-assaultive sexual offences component of sexual assault statistics.

The majority of youth offenders were born in Australia. This appears to apply to the youth offender population in all states.

There seems to be no national database for youth gang offenders or gang-related behaviour. However, networked youth offending reportedly involves young people from diverse ethnic backgrounds according to a police submission made to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration’s Inquiry into Migrant Settlement Outcomes.

When it comes to Victoria and offender statistics which identify country in which the offender was born, out of the 82,334 total crime incidents in all categories for the 2016 calendar year allegedly committed by offenders of all ages, only 807 were identified as being committed by individuals born in Sudan or less than 1 per cent. Of these only 22 incidents appear to have involved a form of collective behaviour and only 89 incidents involved Sudanese youth offenders.

Quite frankly it is hard to support Minister for Home Affairs and Liberal MP for Dickson Peter Dutton’s rhetoric on violent Sudanese youth gangs based on so small a number.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

January 2018: are environmental vandals in the Liberal & National parties trying to force gasfield expansions down the throats of reluctant communities?


To be eligible your project must bring new gas flow to domestic gas consumers in target markets by 30 June 2020 and can include:
*deployment of new technologies or techniques to lift existing and new well productivity
*the opening of new gas pilot and/or production or exploration wells that are either in proximity to existing gas infrastructure or can demonstrate a path to market
*better utilisation of existing or the establishment of new gas processing, storage and transport facilities
*design, construction and engineering activities directly related to bringing forward new gas supply.
[Gas Acceleration Program, Eligibility Criteria]

Liberal Senator for Queensland and Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan, media release, 20 December 2017:

Gas Acceleration Program Grant Guidelines Released

The Australian Government’s $26 million Gas Acceleration Program (GAP) will open to applications early in the new year, to further strengthen the East Coast gas market.

Guidelines for the GAP were released today, ahead of grant applications opening in January 2018.

The GAP is a significant component of the Australian Government’s $90 million investment in gas security, reliability and affordability for the Australian people.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the program aimed to deliver new gas supply to domestic users in markets affected by tight supply by fast-tracking new project developments.

“The GAP will offer up to $6 million to gas projects that have substantiated prospects of bringing significant new gas volumes to market by mid-2020,” Minister Canavan said.

“This funding can be used to develop new technologies or techniques to boost well productivity, for new production or exploration near existing infrastructure.  It can also be used to build new gas processing, storage and transport facilities, or for other activities that will bring forward new gas supply.

“This program is implementing our long-term goal to increase the domestic gas supply, boost competition, and improve transparency and efficiency of the gas market supply chain.

“Australian consumers need to be assured that we can access our plentiful gas resources in a responsible way. Bringing more gas to market will reduce upward pressure on gas prices and help to create Australian jobs and support investment in regional Australia.”

Applications to the GAP will be open between 15 January and 13 February 2018.

For more information, visit www.business.gov.au/gap

Media contact: Minister Canavan's office 02 6277 7180

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan quoted in The Land, 21 December 2017:

“This funding can be used to develop new technologies or techniques to boost well productivity, for new production or exploration near existing infrastructure. It can also be used to build new gas processing, storage and transport facilities, or for other activities that will bring forward new gas supply.”