Productivity Commission claims wide-spread regtech adoption will lift compliance

An information paper by the Productivity Commission has highlighted how there is scope for Australia to adopt regulatory technology (regtech) beyond the financial sector, with the belief it can improve regulatory outcomes and reduce the costs of administration and compliance.

In its regulatory technology information paper [PDF], the Productivity Commission noted how Australia is “well-placed” to develop regtech solutions given its “relatively stable and sophisticated” regulatory systems, but currently, extensive use of regtech remains relatively low.

“Low awareness can dampen both demand and supply responses — business need to see value in changing their software so that developers see value in investing in applications, which in turn deliver the value businesses need to see,” the paper stated.

It went on to suggest that Australia could extend its existing use of “low-tech” solutions, including digitised data, forms, registers, and transactions to streamline business and individual transactions with government, as well as

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PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ are widespread and threaten human health

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

(THE CONVERSATION) Like many inventions, the discovery of Teflon happened by accident. In 1938, chemists from Dupont (now Chemours) were studying refrigerant gases when, much to their surprise, one concoction solidified. Upon investigation, they found it was not only the slipperiest substance they’d ever seen – it was also noncorrosive and extremely stable and had a high melting point.

In 1954 the revolutionary “nonstick” Teflon pan was introduced. Since then, an entire class of human-made chemicals has evolved: per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS. There are upward of 6,000 of these chemicals. Many are used for stain-, grease- and waterproofing. PFAS are found in clothing, plastic, food packaging, electronics, personal care products, firefighting foams, medical devices and numerous other products.

But over time, evidence has slowly built that some commonly used PFAS

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Widespread wildfires in the far north aren’t just bigger; they’re different — ScienceDaily

“Zombie fires” and burning of fire-resistant vegetation are new features driving Arctic fires — with strong consequences for the global climate — warn international fire scientists in a commentary published in Nature Geoscience.

The 2020 Arctic wildfire season began two months early and was unprecedented in scope.

“It’s not just the amount of burned area that is alarming,” said Dr. Merritt Turetsky, a coauthor of the study who is a fire and permafrost ecologist at the University of Colorado Boulder. “There are other trends we noticed in the satellite data that tell us how the Arctic fire regime is changing and what this spells for our climate future.”

The scientists contend that input and expertise of Indigenous and other local and communities is essential to understanding and managing this global issue.

The commentary identifies two new features of recent Arctic fires. The first is the prevalence of holdover fires, also

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