The public inquiry into the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia has heard that the mining sector and the health of Australians would benefit if there were more of them in the market. During the inquiry's second hearing on Friday in Canberra, Doctors for the Environment Australia, the Pilbara Metals Group, and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) gave evidence to the committee. In a report produced by the AMEC, it was estimated that the lithium value chain -- which includes raw materials through to cells and battery packs -- could increase from $165 billion to $2 trillion by 2025 if more EVs were to be introduced down under. The chief executive of AMEC Warren Pearce said that rather than just exporting lithium, Australia should also focus on processing the minerals and manufacturing electric vehicle batteries, according to the ABC. AMEC says that Western Australia alone mines 60 percent of the world's supply of lithium used for the production of EV batteries.
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.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has survived a challenge to his leadership by a senior government colleague. Mr Turnbull defeated Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in a party room ballot in Canberra on Tuesday. The prime minister won the vote 48-35, Liberal Party whip Nola Marino told reporters. Mr Turnbull had called the vote himself in a bid to resolve speculation that his leadership was under threat. He has faced pressure over successive poor poll results, losing a key by-election in Queensland, and a revolt over energy policy by conservative MPs within his party.
Western Australia's Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has made six recommendations to state government agencies after it was found six agencies had previously been the target of malware campaigns. According to the OAG, the six agencies probed -- which included the Department of the Attorney General, Department of Mines and Petroleum, Department of Transport, Main Roads Western Australia, and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) -- were under constant threat, which it said highlighted the need for improved central governance arrangements to identify, warn of, and prevent attacks. In its report [PDF], Malware in the WA State Government, the OAG said as a result of the audit, it made "detailed recommendations" to each agency that came under the microscope. The explicit details were not published, but instead, the OAG offered up the broader six recommendations it made, which included an in-depth assessment of the risk to the agency malware poses, improving any controls the OAG identified as ineffective, and that each agency consider additional controls to better secure its networks, systems, and data against malware. TPG to focus on FttB, mobile, corporate business to manage NBN margin squeeze Productivity Commission draft report calls time on USO as NBN looms Risk vs. Opportunity: Data use and availability in Australia NSW government seeks partner to trial Uber-like public transport Optus inks AU$40m contract extension with security firm Suretek Under the careful watch of the OGCIO, the Auditor General said it wants to see the WA public sector consider methods to foster "collaboration, information, and resource sharing" between agencies.
Ahead of the 2018 federal Budget being delivered next Tuesday, the ABC has reported that the Australian government will be pumping AU$50 million into the creation of a space agency. It is believed the "seed funding" will be used to finally establish a dedicated Australian space agency to coordinate existing efforts in the aeronautical industry, with the aim of generating thousands of future jobs. While the ABC said the government is yet to decide where the new space agency will be hosted, the reported flagged Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory as all having expressed interest in claiming the headquarters. The Australian government had revealed in September that it would be establishing a national space agency once its review into the space industry was complete. It then announced signing a Space Tracking Treaty with NASA in October, with Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Michaelia Cash saying the treaty "remains the foundation for a continued cooperative program between Australia and the United States".