The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has announced all public pathology test results in New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia are now accessible by patients and clinicians via the My Health Record (MHR) system. The results are immediately available in the system to healthcare providers, according to the ADHA, while patients are only able to review the results seven days after the report is uploaded. "This gives healthcare providers time to review the report and contact their patient to discuss the results if needed," said the ADHA, which oversees the MHR system. The ADHA also revealed nearly 43 million pathology reports have been uploaded to the MHR, with more than 3.8 million reports uploaded in March, an 11% month on month increase from February. "More patients are using My Health Record to see their pathology results with 140,000 people doing so in March. That's a 76% increase from February," ADHA interim CEO Bettina McMahon said.
Vodafone Australia has announced an investment of over AU 9 million to be spent on constructing 32 new mobile base stations across the country to improve telecommunications coverage in regional areas. The funding is separate to the federal government's mobile blackspot program, under the first round of which Vodafone is building out 70 base stations in remote areas. "Vodafone is committed to increasing coverage and choice for customers in regional Australia, and we've identified 32 sites which will build on our growth in areas outside the major metropolitan centres," Vodafone Australia CTO Benoit Hanssen said. "Many customers living in regional and rural Australia don't have access to reliable coverage, choice of provider, or both, and we're determined to drive change." The base stations will be built in Coffs Harbour Park Beach, Coffs Harbour CBD, Coffs Harbour West, Toormina, Coffs Harbour Industrial, Coffs Harbour Jetty, Coffs Harbour North, Tamworth showgrounds, South Tamworth, West Tamworth, Taminda, Tamworth Golden Guitar, Berrigan, Yeoval, Cudal, Tallimba North, Rushes Creek, Bendemeer, and Kootingal, New South Wales; Bundaberg East, Bundaberg North, Svensson Heights, Bargara, Elliots Heads, Burnett Heads, and Drillham, Queensland; Carrabin and Burracoppin, Western Australia; and Myrtle Bank, Scottsdale, Campania, and Ouse, Tasmania.
The New South Wales energy minister has blasted his Coalition colleagues in the federal government for blocking his attempt to debate emissions reduction at an energy ministers meeting. Don Harwin said he was "very disappointed" with the outcome of the Council of Australian Governments energy council on Wednesday because an obligation to reduce emissions is "absolutely critical" to encourage investment in new power generation and lower prices. Before the meeting in Adelaide Harwin challenged the federal energy minister, Angus Taylor, to allow a debate about tasking the Energy Security Board to draw up a new emissions trajectory with an obligation to reduce emissions. The commonwealth was supported by Liberal states Tasmania and South Australia, but was set to lose a vote five to three before Taylor used procedural grounds to prevent a vote on what he said was "new business". The Australian Capital Territory energy minister, Shane Rattenbury, told Guardian Australia the meeting became "extremely tense" and noted NSW had changed position from earlier meetings when only the Labor states and the Australian Capital Territory had called for greater emissions reduction ambition.
A Victorian lawsuit against Uber will be expanded to include taxi and hire car drivers from three more states across Australia. When the class action was initially launched by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers in October, it was backed by around 1,000 taxi and hire car drivers. Following the lawsuit's expansion, it is expected that thousands more people from New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia will join the class action over claims that they lost business when the ride-sharing giant entered the market without legal approval in 2014. The Western Australian government previously looked into regulating Uber after it threatened to prosecute Uber drivers for illegally operating a taxi service. In NSW, the state government set up a AU$1 levy on all taxi and ride-sharing trips, with the aim to contribute AU$100 million to pay for a compensation scheme.
The Australian government has announced a AU$6 million investment in an "ultra-rapid" electric vehicle (EV) charging network powered by renewable energy across the nation under the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). According to the federal government, the EV charging network will be deployed around Sydney and Melbourne; between Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, and Adelaide; and across Western Australia. Euroa, in Victoria, and Barnawartha North, outside Albury Wodonga on the New South Wales-Victorian border, will be the first sites to gain charging areas thanks to a grant from the Victorian government. The AU$15 million EV charging network is being built by Chargefox, with plans to develop 21 charging stations across the nation, each around 200km apart. The charging stations are designed to provide a range of 400km or up to 80 percent capacity within 15 minutes of charging, with the network to be worth AU$15 million.