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News Service 122 – Minister on updating the VET Plan – Employment White Paper, NSW education budget, Migrant skills assessment reform, Training Package role for DEWR, Call for advisory group members, NSW VET Review consultations, WorldSkills news, I&C Teacher vacancy RMIT, Women in construction, Nominate woman of the year, Know someone with an overseas electrical qualification, Labour market update, Smart & Skilled update, October is small business and safe work month, Senate electrification inquiry, Electrical incidents, Refrigerant news, Solar installer convicted, EV charging, Energy transition – hydrogen, gas and challengers.

uensw  > Industry News, News headlines >  News Service 122 – Minister on updating the VET Plan – Employment White Paper, NSW education budget, Migrant skills assessment reform, Training Package role for DEWR, Call for advisory group members, NSW VET Review consultations, WorldSkills news, I&C Teacher vacancy RMIT, Women in construction, Nominate woman of the year, Know someone with an overseas electrical qualification, Labour market update, Smart & Skilled update, October is small business and safe work month, Senate electrification inquiry, Electrical incidents, Refrigerant news, Solar installer convicted, EV charging, Energy transition – hydrogen, gas and challengers.

Download a PDF version of the News Service 122


The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, Minister for Skills and Training in an address to the house on 14 September 2023 stating that creation of Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA), and the creation of ten Jobs and Skills Councils (JSCs) are significant reform milestones in the skills and training portfolio.

The Minister stated that, “These reforms will ensure that national planning for the skills our economy needs is timely, high quality, evidence-based and tested against the first-hand knowledge of industry.

They are strategically linked to provide effective, structured, national and sector-based planning to develop skills that are needed for a modern economy. 

The design and scope of JSA and the JSCs are based on extensive national consultations and have strong support from a wide range of stakeholders.

This includes employers, trade unions, peak bodies, State and Territory governments, vocational education providers and universities. 

Jobs and Skills Australia and the new Jobs and Skills Councils will work together and will play a critical role, in planning and guiding training and education priorities.

This will ensure workers have the right skills for secure work and for career advancement.

And that our country has the skilled workforce needed for current and emerging jobs.  …

JSA and the JSCs have industries and experts at the core of their governance and work programs.

They will work directly with industry sectors on the planning and training required to address immediate, medium, and long-term skills needs.

And right at the heart of this is tripartism – employers, unions, and governments working in cooperation.  …

The forthcoming Employment White Paper is also being informed by JSA’s analysis.

JSA will undertake a body of work, including on opportunities to improve education and employment outcomes for people who have historically experienced labour market disadvantage and exclusion.

This may include people marginalised by age, health, gender, disability, culture, language, or socio-economic background.  …

The government has an ambitious plan for Jobs and Skills Australia and the Jobs and Skills Councils.

We must grasp this opportunity to enshrine this once-in-a-generation transition to collaborative, high-quality skills and training policy design.”



In the latest government news, Government released its long-awaited ‘Employment White Paper’ in Adelaide on Monday, 25 September 2023.  The Financial Review’s Tom McIlroy reported in Monday’s AFR, of the proposal to “spend $40 million to increase the share of Australians working in areas of high need for the national economy, expanding TAFE training in emissions reductions, the care sector and digitisation.  The Government will fast-track funding for up to six new TAFE centres of excellence, set to be included in the new five-year National Skills Agreement with the states. 

It includes Major academic upgrades to existing TAFE facilities, the centres are designed to better co-ordinate training, employment opportunities and industry partnerships.  About $10 million of the funding will go to developing higher and degree apprenticeships.  …

Dr Chalmers said Labor wanted to double higher apprenticeship commencements within five years.”

READ MORE HEREDownload the Employment White Paper


Meanwhile in NSW, the Mirage News reports in its 19 September 2023 on the NSW Budget 2023-24: Rebuilding essential services, stating that “The 2023-24 NSW Budget lays out the Minns Government’s long-term plan to rebuild essential services for the people of NSW, including addressing a recruitment and retention crisis.”

In terms of education budget, the article states, “$9.8 billion over four years will be invested in essential education across our schools, TAFEs, and public preschools.

A record $3.5 billion will provide 24 new and 51 upgraded schools in Western Sydney.

There’s $1.4 billion for a pipeline of new and upgraded schools in regional NSW.

And $112 million will help meet the TAFE funding shortfall.

To begin addressing a recruitment and retention crisis, teachers are being respected with a four-year nation-leading pay deal.

We’ll move more executives back into classrooms and have converted 16,000 temporary teachers and support staff into permanent jobs.

The NSW Government will also attract 1,000 new apprentices by 2026.”


Actual budget papers show the following:

Reference: 2023-24_01_Budget-Paper-No-2-Agency_Financial_Statements_Chapter-5-Education


The Australian Government is reviewing the skills assessment process for workers seeking to enter the country and will develop new standards for skilled migration assessing authorities to raise the integrity, quality and timeliness of migration skills assessments.

It has released a discussion paper seeking feedback from stakeholders on the new standards for skilled migration assessing authorities.  The paper sets out draft principles and standards, outlines current skills assessment practices and proposed improvements to the way that skills assessments are conducted.

This builds on observations identified through ongoing engagement within the assessing authority sector, findings from the recent Review of the Migration System and learnings from the Skills Assessment Pilots.  The draft best practice principles and standards have been designed to ensure that skills assessments meet the needs of migrants, employers, industry, unions and Government.

The government has identified that the “current skills assessment process is complex, costly and lengthy, with the completed Migration Review calling for actions to improve and streamline the recognition of overseas skills to help migrants enter the labour market at a level commensurate with their qualifications.

Raising standards will have significant benefits for migrants, employers and industry and ensure skills assessments are being delivered optimally in terms of standards, timeframes, industry requirements and costs.”

The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, Minister for Skills and Training stated, “Improving opportunities for Australians to acquire the skills that are in demand, but also working to ensure we have a targeted skilled migration system is an ongoing focus.

A diverse workforce, which draws skilled workers from within Australia and overseas, will help build a solid foundation for continued economic growth.

There is an international marketplace for skilled workers and we must ensure that we attract and retain the best and the brightest from around the world.”

Skills assessments are required for certain visa subclasses to ensure prospective migrants have the skills, qualifications and experience to meet Australian occupational standards.

The discussion paper is available at the following link:  DRAFT DISCUSSION PAPER – SKILLS MIGRATION ASSESSING

Submissions close on Monday 23 October


The National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN) reports in its 15 September 2023 newsletter that the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) has detailed its approach to working with Jobs and Skills Councils (JSCs) as part of its new assurance function for training packages.

The article states, “DEWR’s assurance function will take place once JSCs have completed their consultation and submitted all materials and will be the final step before endorsement by skills ministers.

DEWR has issued a paper (23 August 2023), Training Package Assurance – Approach to Assurance, which it says will result in a streamlined, transparent and accountable process in managing changes to training products.

“This will assist JSCs to ensure that nationally endorsed training products are of a high quality and fit for purpose in meeting the skills needs of industry, enterprise, and individuals,” the paper says.

The Approach to Assurance provides guidance and information about how we assess training package product submissions prepared by Jobs and Skills Councils (JSCs).”



The new Energy, Gas and Renewables Jobs and Skills Council known as the ‘Powering Skills Organisation’ is seeking interested subject matter experts to join the array of Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs).

PSO states, “TAGs offer you the unique opportunity to lend your expertise and insights towards crafting training programs that meet the highest technical specifications. 

Your involvement will drive industry advancements, ensuring that professionals like yourself receive the best possible education in this rapidly evolving field.

To get started, visit the link below and complete the contact form and select the relevant TAG Training Package(s) that aligns with your expertise and interests.”

You can select more than one.

Join an industry TAG – HERE – APPLICATION FORM


The new Job and Skills Council (JSC) in ‘Powering Skills Organisation’ is a partnership between the Master Electricians Australia (MEA), the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) and the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) with the charter to work with governments, industry and relevant training providers to develop the skills needed for the energy workforce of tomorrow.

The Powering Skills Organisation has been established to provide industry with a stronger, more strategic voice in ensuring Australia’s VET sector delivers stronger outcomes for learners and employers.  The PSO is commissioned to:

  • Provide evidence-based workforce capability and skills planning that support a transitioning energy sector
  • Support all industry stakeholders with information, data, thought leadership and practical support
  • Set or improve training frameworks for all new and existing employees working in the sector.
  • Develop new training materials to help guide trainers in benchmarks and assessments.
  • Use a train-the-trainers model to support a smooth transition development to implementation in the workplace.



The NSW VET Review Expert Panel has been travelling around the state listening and discussing the VET system as part of the review’s consultation.  The review’s panel is listening and carefully considering the thoughts and solutions offered by stakeholders from across the state. 

The latest September NSW VET Review Newsletter states, “A key theme emerging is the importance of strategic collaboration across the sector, and with industry, to ensure specialist facilities are current and fully utilised in order to increase access to, and participation in, vocational education. There is also a strong recognition of the importance of industry engagement and the essential need for the workforce to have current knowledge and expertise in areas in which they work, and the significant place this then holds in the delivery of positive student outcomes.”

The NSW VET Review is led by former federal education department secretary Michele Bruniges, who is leading a three-member expert panel that will undertake the major review of VET in NSW.

Stakeholder participation is welcomed.  Stakeholders are invited to read the review’s discussion paper, developed from the deep research and analysis conducted during phase 1 of the review. It’s designed to stimulate conversation and pose questions for consideration.

There are 4 key themes:

  • boosting student success
  • placing TAFE NSW at the heart of the system
  • delivering VET in NSW
  • preparing VET for the future.

If you are considering making a submission, email it to or complete the short and simple Have Your Say survey.

Submissions close Friday 24 November at 11:59 pm.

See more on the review and the Terms of Reference.  Full terms of reference attached.

More information

For those seeking more information they can stay informed about updates and progress on the NSW VET Review please subscribe to the NSW Review Newsletter.

You can also contact them by sending an email to


The National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN) newsletter of 5 September 2023 highlighted the extraordinary talent of WorldSkills Australia competitors. 

The CEO of NAEN, Dianne Dayhew, congratulated all the participants at the 2023 WorldSkills Australia championships in Melbourne!

Noted that the event had a total of 470 young Australians compete at the championships and almost 27,000 visitors attended the three-day event.

NSW topped the medal tally with 21 Gold medals, just ahead of Victoria with 19 Gold.

Western Australia came in third with 13 Gold and 26 medals in total.

NSW also secured the VETIS Shield for an outstanding performance among VET in Schools competitors.

See all the winners from the 2023 WorldSkills Australia National Championships and all the images here


RMIT’s Victorian City Campus is seeking a full time Instrumentation and Control to deliver the Cert IV Instrumentation & Control Program. 

The position has become available due to an increase in demand for our Electrical & Instrumentation and Control programs.

RMIT University’s College of Vocational Education is seeking Vocational Education Teachers with experience and qualifications to deliver Certificate IV in Instrumentation and Control course as well as supporting the delivery of other relevant courses.

This is a rewarding opportunity for someone who is seeking a positive change and looking to enhance the student learning experience.  

The VE Teacher, will be mainly responsible for the delivery of course material, assessing students and the supervision of students enrolled in Electrical & Instrumentation and Control courses in the School.

For further information about this position, please refer to the Position Description available in the following link or reach out to Medina (Talent Acquisition) via email quote reference number JR24068.

Download the Position Description – VE Teacher

Visit the RMIT website for more details: APPLY VE TEACHER – INSTRUMENTATION & CONTROL

Applications Close: 22 Oct 2023 11.59 pm


The Office of the Building Commissioner is leading research about women in construction.  The have your say survey is currently live and due to close on 26 September. 

The Project wants to hear from all genders and employers to understand the experience of women in the industry and any barriers.

The intention of the research is to understand the barriers women face in entering, working and staying in the construction industry.  This will inform recommendations based on data and customer insights to assist the NSW Government as they work towards increasing participation of women in trade and non-traditional roles to improve the gender balance in the construction industry.

Ideally, they would like to have rich data that is representative of diverse people, communities, locations and cohorts across NSW.

The NSW UE ITAB encourages you to have a say in the survey.  Encourage others too, and invite them to share and promote the following supporting flyer:

Visit the survey:


The NSW Women of the Year Awards shine the spotlight on women and girls whose determination, bravery, skill and passion should be celebrated and shared, inspiring others to do great things.

Nominations are now open for the following categories:

  • Premier’s NSW Woman of Excellence Award
  • NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year Award
  • NSW Community Hero Award
  • NSW Young Woman of the Year Award (ages 16-30 year old)
  • Ones to Watch Showcase (ages 7-15 years old)

We encourage nominations for regional women and girls across all the categories.

The NSW Regional Woman of the Year

The NSW Regional Woman of the Year recognises the accomplishments of exceptional women living in regional NSW who inspire and advance their communities and contribute to the fabric of their local areas.


The closing date for nominations is 11:59pm, Tuesday 24 October.


Training Services NSW has funded a project under the New South Wales Government Trade Pathways Innovation Fund that provides a free industry accepted skills recognition and upskilling pathway for Australian citizens and residents working in the NSW electrotechnology industry who hold electrical qualifications gained overseas.  The project is known as the Electrotechnology Trades Assistant Upskilling Program (ETAUP).

It is a joint initiative of the New South Wales Government and the Electrical Trades Union, with assistance from Energy Skills Australia.

The project is now seeking applicants who have an overseas electrical qualification, which has not yet been recognised in Australia, are now Australian citizens and residents, and are working in the electrical industry.  On satisfactory completion of the program the result will be issuance of the Australian Electrician’s qualification (UEE30820 Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician), and in meeting eligibility requirements subsequently, an unrestricted electrical license.

What is the process:

STEP 1:    Initial Assessment – this is where your overseas qualification will be mapped against the technical aspects of UEE30820 by an approved Australian Technical Competencies Statement (ATCS) RTO.

STEP 2:    Enrol with an approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO). This is who will deliver the Australian Minimum Context Gap Training   10809NAT Course in Electrician (Minimum Australian Context Gap).

STEP 3:    Obtain the NSW provisional trades person certificate and provide workplace evidence gathered through the Exemplar Profiling tool, to record and track workplace exposure against the gap training units in 10809NAT (course).

You must have access to an Australian workplace and work under supervision of a licenced electrician to do your workplace evidence.

The ETAUP funding grant commenced in June 2023 and runs for 12 months. The initial assessment and gap training (including workplace evidence) will take 12 – 18months to complete.

If ytyou would like to know more and wish to apply visit the following link:


Job and Skills Australia (JSA) has released its latest Labour Market Update for the September 2023 quarter. 

The report shows that Australia has experienced strong labour market conditions over 2022-2023 and particularly strong growth in female full-time employment (up by 6.0%), more than double the growth rate for men (2.7%).

“The report highlights the importance of Vocational Education and Training (VET) with around 91% of total employment growth in occupations that typically require post-school qualifications. Just over half (51.9%) of total employment growth was found in occupations where VET qualifications were the primary pathway.

Over the year to May 2023, employment increased in all eight major occupational groups. The largest increases in employment were recorded for Professionals (4.2%), Community and Personal Service Workers (6.0%) and Technicians and Trades Workers (3.5%).

Electricians are in high demand in regional Western Australia and Queensland and demand is expected to increase with Australia’s clean energy transformation, as a number of key regions are actively planning the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”


11. SMART & SKILLED UPDATE – NO 213 – 214, SEP 2023

Smart and Skilled Update No. 213 – 214 (DOWNLOAD) – September 2023 has been published by Training Services NSW. 

Smart and Skilled is an NSW Government program that helps people get qualifications in in-demand skills and industries.  It’s a key part of the NSW vocational education and training system. 

This Smart and Skilled Update 213-214 covers the following:

  1. Skills Compare updated with course comparison features:
    1. Duration.
    1. Course outcome classification.
  2. Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Upgrade Initiative:
    1. What we are looking for.
    1. The assessment criteria.
    1. What is needed.
  3. Offer notification.
  4. Offer conditions.
  5. Enquiries.

For more information visit: FUNDING AND SUPPORT – SMART AND SKILLED

Or, for technical support in relation to this update, contact Training Market Customer Support at

For the Smart and Skilled – NSW Skills List visit: NSW SKILLS LIST – SMART AND SKILLED


NSW Small Business Month in on again in October 2023. 

NSW Small Business Month is a month-long program created for small businesses across New South Wales to attend events aligned to their individual business interests. It’s all about providing an opportunity for small businesses to take the time to work on their business in October!

Coordinated by the NSW Small Business Commission, NSW Small Business Month brings together small businesses with local chambers, industry associations, other not-for-profits, large businesses, and all levels of government.

The theme for October 2023 is My Small Business and is focused on providing assistance and tips on how small businesses can strengthen their business in seven key areas – branding and marketing, cyber security, business health, ecommerce, current market conditions, resilience and teams.

For information on how to host an event for NSW Small Business Month or promote the program, please see the Grants and Collaboration Partner Program pages.

Become a #NSWSmallBizMonth Collaboration Partner!

Submit your Collaboration Partner Form today to join the growing list of amazing organisations who have already signed on to support small business this October.

Partnering with the NSW Government this NSW Small Business Month is your opportunity to expand your networks, to increase awareness of your brand, and most importantly to make a positive impact on the small business community of New South Wales.



Safe Work Australia has initiated the annual promotion of ‘October safe work month’.  The promotional campaign states, “October is National Safe Work Month—a time to commit to building a safe and healthy workplace.

Being healthy and safe means being free from physical and psychological harm. A safe and healthy workplace benefits everyone. 

For everyone’s safety, work safely. #SafeWorkMonth

The primary objective of National Safe Work Month is to encourage all individuals and organisations to prioritise safety in their workplaces and work towards reducing the number of work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

About National Safe Work Month

Individuals, their families and the broader community are all impacted by work related injury and illness. Safe Work Australia data shows that around 169 people died while doing their job in 2021 and there were around 130,195 serious workers’ compensation claims made in 2020-21.

There is more we can do, and together we can make a difference. 

This is why, during October each year, we ask businesses, employers and workers across Australia to join National Safe Work Month and commit to building safe and healthy workplaces for all Australians. 

The theme of this year’s campaign is:

For everyone’s safety, work safely.

We will focus on different health and safety topics for each week of National Safe Work Month.”

Let’s get behind promoting National Safe Work Month in your workplace.



Rewiring Australia reports in its 21 September 2023 news service that the Senate has voted to establish a new inquiry into residential electrification.

Individuals and organisations are invited to make a submission outlining the potential benefits and barriers to household electrification by Friday, 29 September 2023.

The article states that, “This is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how many Australians want the federal government to do more to make it easier and more affordable to get off expensive and polluting fossil fuels and electrify their homes and cars.

Can you share your story in a submission before Friday 29 September? You don’t need to be an electrification expert! Personal stories about your electrification journey or aspirations are powerful and will help the government determine policies and programs.

To write your submission, we suggest you simply answer these questions:

  1. Can you tell the Inquiry a bit about you/your organisation?
  2. Have you electrified your home or business? Briefly describe the actions you’ve taken or wish to take (eg. solar panels, electric vehicles, battery, electric heat pump, reverse cycle air con, induction cooktop, removing gas etc).
  3. What motivates you to electrify your home or business? What has been the outcome (eg. reduced energy bills etc)?
  4. What has stopped you from electrifying everything in your home or business? You could also talk broadly about the barriers many people face (eg. upfront costs, lack of support, being a renter etc).
  5. What would help you (or others) electrify their homes? Are there particular programs or incentives you would like government/s to do to overcome barriers?

Once you’ve written your submission, you can upload it by heading to the Senate Inquiry webpage HERE.”


You can also view submissions that have already been made HERE.


San Williams reports in the 15 September 2023 edition of Electrical Connection that Energy Safe Victoria is calling for better safety in the electrical industry after an electrician’s death.

The article states, “Energy Safe Victoria chief executive officer Leanne Hughson is calling on the electrical industry to take better account of electrical safety and occupational health and safety after four serious incidents in only two months, including an incident that led to the death of an electrical worker.

“Our thoughts are with the family friends and colleagues of the electrician who died. This is a tragedy that should not have happened,” she says.

“Three serious injuries and a fatality are too much in too short a space of time. These incidents could have been avoided if proper electrical safety, occupational health, and safety precautions were taken.”

On 4 July, an electrician was hospitalised with burns after he pierced a live cable with his pliers at a residential property in Clifton Hill, causing an explosion. On 22 July, a 29-year-old electrician was hospitalised with burns caused by an arc fault from a live switchboard at a Burwood East office complex.

A third incident saw a switchboard tester suffering an electric shock and being resuscitated on 30 August after encountering live electrical equipment while testing a newly manufactured switchboard.



Electrical Comms Data reports in its 6 September 2023 newsletter of an apprentices fined $45,000 for performing non-compliant and unsafe electrical work.

An investigation by Queensland’s Electrical Safety Office (ESO) has led to an unlicensed electrical apprentice being fined $45,000 in the Richlands Magistrates Court for performing non-compliant and unsafe electrical work in South East Queensland between November and December 2020.

The defendant pleaded guilty to six charges including failing to comply with electrical safety duties, installing unsafe electrical wiring and not holding the appropriate electrical licences.

The ESO’s investigation was prompted by a complaint about the defendant’s AirTasker profile ‘Brendon G’, which stated he was a licensed electrical contractor who could install ceiling fans, lights and external air con power switches as well as replace power points.

At the time, the defendant was a fourth-year apprentice and did not hold an electrical work licence nor an electrical contractor licence. He performed electrical work for 27 customers including installing ceiling fans, power points, lights and cooktops.



The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) has issued its latest advisory in relation the reduction in ozone-depleting refrigerants. 

Released on the 15 September 2023, the advisory states, “Australia has a major ozone protection achievement to celebrate for World Ozone Day: ozone-depleting gases are now less than 5% of Australia’s refrigerant bank, the refrigerants contained within refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

World Ozone Day on 16 September celebrates the anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, and its theme for 2023 is ‘fixing the ozone layer and reducing climate change’.

The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC), the national licensing body for the climate control industry, has applauded the efforts of the industry in reaching this milestone in ozone protection.

ARC chief executive officer Glenn Evans said the removal of ozone-depleting substances from the refrigerant bank was a credit to Australia’s 100,000-plus ARCtick licensed climate control technicians and businesses.

‘This is a massive contribution to the future health of the planet – the living fulfilment of the Montreal Protocol,’ he said.

‘ARCtick licensed technicians protect the environment every day by preventing emissions of ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.’

The decrease in ozone-depleting substances in the refrigerant bank reflects the increasing destruction of gases such as R22, one of the most common ozone-depleting refrigerants.

More than 120 tonnes of R22 were recovered in 2020-21 and sent for destruction at the Refrigerant Reclaim Australia (RRA) plasma arc facility in Melbourne.

Mr Evans said Australia’s achievements in this vital environmental area were built on the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989.

‘These great achievements are built on long years of dedicated effort,” he said.

‘Since Australia first banned chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in 1996, the climate control industry has moved on to eliminating hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) such as R22, and the achievements speak for themselves.’”

For more information visit the ARC website:


The Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator reports in its late August advisory that a former solar PV installer was convicted of falsely claimed to have installed or supervised the installation of 13 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.

The article states, “An investigation conducted by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) has resulted in the conviction of Mr Aaron Ware, Director of Pedley’s Electrical Services Pty Ltd. Between October 2018 and January 2020, Mr Ware received a financial benefit by falsely claiming to have installed or supervised 13 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems when in fact, he was overseas.

At the time of offending, Mr Ware was a Clean Energy Council (CEC) accredited solar PV installer. The CER’s investigation found that Mr Ware submitted 13 false or misleading Small-scale Technology Certificate (STC) assignment forms along with certificates of electrical safety to renewable energy certificate agents. The agents relied upon this information to improperly create 1,637 STCs for the solar PV systems. In return for the right to create these STCs, the agents paid Mr Ware in the order of $60,000.

Mr Ware pleaded guilty in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to 13 offences of making a false or misleading statement under the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

On Friday 4 August 2023, Mr Ware was convicted and released on a 12-month good behaviour bond.

The Magistrate remarked on the serious and prevalent nature of the offending, particularly as it occurred over 14 months.

Mr Ware has had his CEC accreditation cancelled.



The 31 August 2023 edition of ArenaWire included an Op-ed by ARENA regarding Electrical Vehicle charging and whether faster is always better – isn’t it? 

Well, maybe not.  Including, whether questions remain over what mix of public chargers will best suit our needs.

The article written by Adrian Salinas, ARENA’s Knowledge Sharing Manager states, “By 2030, there will be over 350 million EVs in the world but there is still a major factor that could put the brakes on this transition – the availability of sound charging infrastructure.

In Australia, big distances mean charging stations need not only to be readily accessible but also capable of charging vehicles quickly. So, EV drivers in Australia need to be confident of travelling long distances with timely recharging opportunities.

To meet this challenge, ARENA has over the years awarded funding to several fast charging network projects. Recipients have included Engie, Chargefox, Ampol and Evie.

In April 2023, ARENA, as part of the Government’s $500 million Driving the Nation Fund, announced $70 million in funding aimed at boosting the availability of charging stations across Australia. This pool of funding will initially support innovation in both public charging facilities and the management of charging.

But while the support is there, the question remains: what mix of public chargers will best suit Australia’s needs?

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) adopted most of SAE’s standard for global implementation: 7 kW AC chargers for home use, and “faster” DC chargers for highway use with most cars in the market today able to take 50 kW.

In the absence of a physical definition and to avoid further confusion, in 2018, Electrify America introduced the following naming convention to settle this discussion:

  • Hyper-fast (green label) – Indicates power delivery up to 350 kW, providing approximately 20 miles of range per minute of charging (depending on a given EV’s charging capabilities).
  • Ultra-fast (teal label) – Indicates power delivery up to 150 kW, providing approximately 9 miles of range per minute of charging (depending on a given EV’s charging capabilities).

So, which type of chargers shall we prescribe for Australia’s National Ultrafast Charging Network?

For people who can charge at low speed at home or at the workplace, that location should still be the number 1 choice for charging.

However, all things are not equal. A 350 kW charger needs major juice and that means cost. Plus, the cost of delivering megawatts of electricity into remote stations or even existing commercial buildings is massive.

Most decent shopping centres are equipped to draw 50 kW of electrical power but 350kW is a major challenge. High voltage upgrades and wiring don’t come cheap and, inevitably, this cost must be paid back by the customer.

The important message is: stop thinking the way we do with petrol cars.

Consider where people will need energy, and how long will they stay.

Consider the costs of installing chargers. More slower chargers might make more sense in more places, while ultra-fast chargers are best in relatively few circumstances.”



The CSIRO has released a new report calling for Australia to focus on hydrogen-powered transport – alongside electric vehicles – or risk being left behind our international counterparts.

The report, Hydrogen vehicle refuelling infrastructure – priorities and opportunities for Australia suggests that while battery electric vehicles will drive decarbonisation of road transport in Australia, there are opportunities for hydrogen-powered vehicles to play a significant role with long-haul travel and freight transport.

Report, Josh Farrell in the 22 August 2023 edition of Manufacturers’ Monthly writes, “This is because hydrogen-powered vehicles are quicker to refuel, have a greater range between refuelling stops and can maximise their payload because they don’t need to carry large, heavy batteries required by electric vehicles.

The ‘Hydrogen vehicle refuelling infrastructure’ report sets out the opportunities and challenges for deploying refuelling stations for hydrogen-powered road vehicles in Australia.

CSIRO’s chief scientist, Prof Bronwyn Fox, said Australia needs to urgently decarbonise its transport sector, which currently accounts for 18.6 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions, if the country is to meet its net zero commitments. Heavy vehicles are a key contributor to these emissions.

“While we know hydrogen will play a critical role, we also know that much of the key infrastructure for storing, moving and distributing hydrogen for use as a transport fuel – including pipelines, storage tanks and refuelling stations – is yet to be built,” Fox said.

“That’s why this report is so important. It identifies priorities for action, including areas that would benefit from targeted research and innovation,” she said.

Shawn Wolfe, Executive Advisor at GHD Advisory and lead author of the report, said Australia currently has only five hydrogen refuelling stations in operation, with 20 planned or under construction.

“The pace of the transition to hydrogen-powered transport is moving a lot faster internationally than in Australia,” Wolfe said.



The Australian Pipeliner in its 22 August 2023 edition refers to a new report which has found that gas will play an important role in ‘renewifying’ Australia’s energy system. 

Reporter, Vivien Topalovic writes, “Commissioned by APA Group, the Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) and Jemena, The Role of Gas Infrastructure in Australia’s Energy Transition report considers the role of gas infrastructure in Australia’s transition to net-zero emissions.

Conducted by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the report revealed that gas pipeline infrastructure will continue to play a key role in Australia’s energy transition.

The report found that gas will play an important role in ‘renewifying’ the energy system by continuing to support applications that are hard to electrify, while also helping mitigate risks in the exit of coal-fired generation.

It also found that the preservation of existing gas infrastructure could be repurposed to deliver low carbon gases such as biomethane, hydrogen and synthetic methane.”



The 14 September 2023 edition of EnergyInsider, as joint publication of Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Australian Energy Council (AEC) examines the findings of the NSW’s Electricity Supply and Reliability Check Up report released in early September. 

The report confirms the massive challenge represented by the energy transition and the need for flexibility to get it right.  It has effectively provided the NSW Government with a risk management strategy.

The article states, “Key to this strategy is the option to keep the 2880MW Eraring power station open beyond its proposed closure date of 2025, which is supported by one of the report’s recommendations proposing that the NSW Government engage in negotiations with Origin Energy about the plant’s future. 

Overall, the report contains a broad range of recommendations (54 in all) that form a generally pragmatic response to the hurdles that have emerged through the energy market transition to date.

The NSW Government has now been informed by both this Marsden Jacob report and the Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) released by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), which independently of each other advise of potential supply risks with the retirement of Eraring and delays in new plant and energy infrastructure. There is also a concern about the loss of supply and its consequent impacts on wholesale prices. 

The case for extension

In the Check Up’s findings, Marsden Jacob noted that with more electricity customers entering hardship programs in the first quarter this year “…the case for an extension of Eraring on affordability grounds appears strong. Combining it with the proposed reliability gaps identified by AEMO, it is clear cut under an energy trilemma framework”.

The review also notes, “Under any circumstances, replacing a plant like Eraring that provides around 20 per cent of NSW’s delivered electricity would have been extremely challenging. With just three-and-a-half years’ notice, it is almost impossible without reliability and affordability impacts.”

Marsden Jacob has highlighted that unnecessary risks with energy supply are to be avoided, and optionality preserved, until the path ahead becomes clearer. There have been arguments that any funds that might be needed to keep Eraring in the system would be better spent on accelerating the rollout of renewables and new transmission.  But this would be an unwise course to take, given the delays that we are already observing for major projects and the likely ongoing challenges created by skilled workforce, supply chain and social licence problems. There is just no guarantee that projects can be brought online within reasonable timeframes.

The NSW Government is wisely trying to cover off on both options. It has announced an additional $1.8 billion in funding to “help rescue” the energy transition, connect new projects to the grid and accelerate Renewable Energy Zones, while also indicating that it intends to consider options to keep Eraring available for a short time to address teething problems with newly established entities (discussed further below). 


For more, contact Sarah McNamara, Australian Energy Council.