The South Australian Government has announced major cuts to the state's rail infrastructure spending after Treasurer Jack Snelling handed down a lean 2012-13 State Budget.

Mr Snelling blamed a 'record revenue write-down' on his Government's decision to suspend a number of major projects in the state's rail sector.

“A total saving of $372.9 million through to 2015-16 will result from the suspension of electrification while we wait for revenues to return to more normal levels before proceeding with the electrification of the Gawler and Outer Harbor lines.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released key construction findings for the March quarter, which show that engineering work has lead a modest growth in the construction sector.

The South Australian Government has announced $8.3 million over four years for the implementation of an Advanced Manufacturing Strategy. The State Government announced the move after recommendations were made in the Manufacturing into the future report compiled by Thinker-in-Residence Professor Göran Roos.

The South Australian Government has announced it will invest $38.3  million for the construction of a dedicated centre of training excellence for the mining, engineering, defence and transport industries.

The Queensland Government has given conditional approval for the $6.4 billion Alpha Coal Project in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, the first mine in the region.

Global property development giant Lend Lease has announced it will construct Australia’s first timber high rise apartment building.

Engineering services company Hastie Group has announced the appointment of Voluntary Administrators after it was revealed last week that the company had found accounting irregularities to the value of an estimated $20 million. The impending collapse of the company casts doubt over the 2,000 people employed in Victoria and New South Wales.

The Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb has released his Health of Australian Science report, providing an overview of Australia's science system in schools and universities, through to research sectors and industry.

The Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Senator Kate Lundy, has announced the appointment of an independent expert committee to help Innovation Australia deliver the $1 billion Clean Technology Investment programs.

Committed investment to increase the capacity of Australia’s mining industry at the end of April 2012 was a record $260.8 billion, an increase of 12 per cent from October 2011 according to the Mining Industry Major Projects - April 2012, released by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE).

The Victorian Government has announced it has chosen a preferred framework for development contribution plans.

Design researcher, practitioner and Australian Future Fellow, Professor Andy Dong has been appointed to the new Warren Chair in Engineering Innovation within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies at the University of Sydney. 

The Queensland Coordinator-General has announced the approval of Rio Tinto’s planned $1.45 billion South of the Embley bauxite mining extension on Cape York. The project is expected to enxtend the life of the bauxite mining operations for another 40 years.

Australia’s consulting engineering, architecture and associated industries are set to experience a chaotic next three years with continual restructures required in order to remain globally competitive, according to Consult Australia’s 2012 Economic Forecast report.

The Report, written by former BHP Chief Economist, Geoffrey Bills is considered one of the industry’s most valuable economic predictors and is used by many of Australia’s largest firms, including Parsons Brinkerhoff, SMEC, Hyder, GHD and AECOM.

In the short-term, the Report forecasts a fairly rosy future for the industry.

The backlog of work in engineering construction is set to sustain high levels of activity until 2016 with firms operating in this space expected to experience 22 per cent growth over the next 12 months.

Consult Australia CEO, Megan Motto said this signifies a welcome commitment to infrastructure development in the short-term but warned it wasn’t all good news.

The Chief Executive of Boral, Mark Selway, has stepped down, effective immediately, after two years in the position.  Ross Batstone, currently Division Managing Director Boral Building Products, has been appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer while a successor to Mr Selway is recruited.

Norsk Hydro has announced it is considering ceasing its operations at its Kurri Kurri aluminium plant following the curtailing of three pot lines in January this year, citing the effects of the Federal Government's carbon tax. 

The Queensland Government has announced it will move to scrap the proposed expansion of the Abbot Point multi-cargo facility (MCF) after it has become ‘abundantly apparent’ that industry does not support the move.

The South Australian Government has announced Peter Nolan as the newly appointed Director of the Sustainable Industries Education Centre (SIEC).

The Queensland Coordinator-General has declared the $2.2 billion coal terminal at Yarwun in the Port of Gladstone a ‘significant project’, meaning the project will now undergo an environmental assessment.

The Tasmanian Government has announced $195 million in spending on the state’s road and rail network in 2012/13.

The Western Australian Government has outlined a $3.9 billion spend on new and ongoing transport projects in the state’s 2012-13 Budget.

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