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Exposure drafts of the legislation to implement the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

CHAIR —Would you like to make an opening statement, Mr Westmore?

Mr Westmore —Yes, please. Thanks for the opportunity to meet with you. I am employed with the Australian Council of Social Service as a policy analyst and advocate. We are focused on electricity issues particularly and energy issues more generally. Our work is primarily concerned with low-income households and especially households living in poverty. We advocate in the interests of low-income households across a broad range of matters. We work in this area, climate change, because we understand that low-income households and other vulnerable Australian households will bear the brunt of climate change.

They are generally less well equipped to cope, to adapt or to move. They are more exposed to the physical and economic consequences of climate change. They are also more exposed to our responses to climate change. The transitions anticipated by the CPRS on homes and industry are more likely to affect them and more likely to be significant and sustained than for people with more capacity to change and with more options. We know from previous industry reform projects that particular communities and particular cohorts of workers will experience transition more brutally than others.

On balance, however, we are convinced that immediate action is required to address climate change. We are convinced by the science that climate change is an imminent threat to our physical world, to our way of life and business as usual. While the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, as detailed in the exposure draft legislation, may not be the perfect response, it is a beginning. Along with other proposed measures, including measures proposed to address interests of low-income households, it should serve as the start and the core of our response both here and abroad.

While CPRS may produce some adverse impacts along with impacts for low-income households, we have real concerns, for example, that the community services sector will experience increases in operating costs in the absence of the capacity to change the way they do business. There will likely be unintended and collateral effects on particular industries and communities. We are satisfied, though, that the government is geared to monitor and respond to these effects.

I will make a couple of remarks about the legislation. I might begin with a story. I was at a meeting on Friday, under Chatham House rule conditions. It was a meeting of the NGOs, the environment sector and industry—serious kinds of industry people, I suppose you would call them. I had expected that there would be an absolute delineation of positions. I had more or less expected to hear that the industry people at the table were inclined to do everything that they could to see the CPRS stopped.

Similarly, with my colleagues who work in the environment movement, I had begun to be concerned that where we were headed was a place where they would say, ‘In its current form, no way.’ What surprised me about this lunch was that people were much, much closer than I had anticipated. Not only was there a preparedness to make compromises where it was necessary, but there was a really strong view that the CPRS, as it is currently proposed, was the best solution. I was genuinely taken aback by that.

I will mention a couple of particular things about the legislation. I came this morning, thinking that I may not be able to add very much more, certainly not to the expertise that you will hear about the environment and about the economics, really with an exhortation just to do what you can to get it through.

Our view is that—and I suppose they are lines that you have heard before—the longer we wait, the more expensive it is going to get. Early action is better than delayed action. While we certainly see flaws in the CPRS as it is proposed, and with the measures that sit alongside it, notably in support of low-income households, we think that it is about making a start. Our concern is that if we do not make a start in the short term, we will not be making a start for a long time to come.

We are of the view that the targets which sit in the objectives and also in the regulations ought to be amended to allow for a more optimistic view of where global leadership might go rather than climate change, so the targets should allow for an increase up to a maximum 25 per cent in response to global decision making and leadership through mechanisms that are transparent, clear and timely. I think that optimism, that little glimmer, would certainly bring some of my colleagues in the environment movement to the party.

ACOSS is still of the view that the Electricity Sector Adjustment Scheme sits like a carbuncle on the side of the CPRS. We argued in our response to the green paper that the electricity sector or the coal-fired electricity sector sits well outside the definition of a strong and effective industry and that the money that is set aside to fund that electricity sector adjustment work could be much more valuably spent on actually changing the electricity sector by investing in other forms of energy technology.

CHAIR —Thank you. If the electricity adjustment fund does not go to a transition in or an improvement of the electricity generation industry, do you not think that there will be very expensive electricity from alternative power sources?

Mr Westmore —I think that electricity bills are likely to rise as a result of the mandatory renewable target by as much as six per cent by 2020. Here in Western Australia, electricity prices will probably double over the course of the next five to seven years.

CHAIR —Yes. I understand that there is expected to be a rise anyway, and we have had that in South Australia already.

Mr Westmore —So you will know what that is like. It is about two things. Firstly, it is about entrenched interests, and it is about the market design having sprung up, quite organically, in a way to support the entrenchment of coal-fired generation as the principal source of energy in this country. It varies considerably from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but, generally speaking, the coal-fired plant that we have at the moment will be in service until 2030. As a community, we cannot do without it.

I cannot imagine, except possibly in Victoria, the economics of the situation getting to the point where we are actually looking to shut down coal-fired plants, which means that there is a clear investment environment for people who are wanting to buy energy through other means. We are going to need that energy. The purpose of the CPRS, more generally speaking, is to adjust the relative prices of things, and I think that that mechanism is sufficient in the electricity sector.

CHAIR —You are representing those lower income households that are very sensitive to price rises. When I was in state parliament, I represented a very low-income area in the northern suburbs. People often had large families and struggled to pay those sorts of utility bills. That was the thing they needed to pay first off. It seems to me that, on the one hand, while you are asking for a better compensation for them under the proposed CPRS scheme, on the other hand, you are arguing for something that may cause them an even greater price rise.

Mr Westmore —It is correct, except to the extent that, arguably, over time, the relative prices of things will shift and some things will come down. Certainly it is the case that through until 2030 prices for electricity are going to increase quite dramatically for this reason and for some other reasons as well. We think that the measures that sit alongside the CPRS will go some way to balancing that out for low-income households.

The people who we regard as the poorest in Australia, generally speaking—people who are in receipt of Newstart allowance, currently paid at $225 a week—do not have an entitlement to the utilities allowance of $500 a year to which a lot of other people do have an entitlement. So there are some perversities in a punitive form in aspects of the system as we know it right now.

For the community services sector and for people who work in the interests of low-income households, this is the big shift that has occurred in the last couple of years. In recognising that climate change is—without being hyperbolic about it—the greatest threat we have ever known and that it is coming at us more quickly than we assumed, we need to do some things. Those things, like the CPRS, are going to change some aspects of how we live. It is not a great thing that electricity prices for low-income households are going to increase. There are some measures in place to address that, but we need to be doing those things.

Senator EGGLESTON —You say that we really do have to deal with climate change and that it is the greatest threat to civilisation or society. But Australia only produces 1.4 per cent of world emissions. Some people feel that this emissions trading scheme is not going to reduce our emissions but just transfer them to other countries. Under this scheme, industries which produce emissions will buy credits, say, by buying an Indonesian rain forest or something and they will not actually reduce emissions in Australia. We are just transferring them to another country. What do you say to that?

Mr Westmore —My understanding of how the scheme is going to work means that we will almost inevitably, if not sufficiently, be reducing emissions here. The introduction of the scheme will see businesses change the way they do business from early on. There are carrots and sticks for businesses in Australia to affect the way they do business. But you are right. There is the capacity for us to buy permits overseas, and there is some small I think overstated capacity for industries that currently operate here to also go overseas. I do think that what we are seeing around the world is a clear understanding that this is a very significant threat, and we are starting to see efforts to make changes, including in developing countries.

Senator EGGLESTON —Those emission credits which Australian industry will buy will be quite costly, and that cost will flow through to consumers, including the people that you are concerned with. A lot of people think that perhaps a carbon tax might be a simpler, more effective and less costly method to adopt in Australia. Have you considered that?

Mr Westmore —As I understand it, there are two things: one is that the market itself will keep prices at some level of international parity. That level of international parity, as I understand it, is likely to be below the $40 cap that has been set here, but that $40 cap sets a maximum for people to work around. The second part of your question was—

Senator EGGLESTON —The cost through a carbon tax—it would add less to the cost of electricity and consumer goods and protect more jobs in Australia.

Mr Westmore —I have been happy to acknowledge before that I do not have a great deal of expertise in the processes that led us to decide that we will go with the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, a market mechanism rather than a tax. But I understand that all of the expertise has said that the most significant problem with the tax is that we cannot set and manage levels of emissions. We rely on the market to do that. A tax scheme is no less complicated, no less risky, than introducing the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. It is funny that I should be arguing at the moment for yet another market mechanism, given the state of the various markets around the place at the moment, but I am convinced that it is the best solution.

Senator EGGLESTON —The argument goes that a carbon tax might reduce emissions here more, but there we are. Thank you very much.

Senator XENOPHON —In relation to the issue of compensation for households, I think initially it is about 105 per cent. Is that right, Mr Westmore? It is supposed to fully compensate households for increased energy prices.

Mr Westmore —From the time of the commencement of the scheme, pensions, benefits and allowances will increase by 2.5 per cent. That 2.5 per cent has two components, as I understand it, one of which is 1.1 per cent in anticipation of the cost-of-living increases that Treasury has predicted will flow from the scheme and what is effectively another buffer—almost a collateral buffer—in anticipation of unintended consequences that arise from the scheme. There will then be a process of indexation, ex post if you like—so, looking back in subsequent years.

Senator XENOPHON —Are you satisfied, though? One of the arguments that have been put is that the compensation is important but it will not provide enough incentives for people to reduce their energy consumption at a household level. Do you see any scope for better transitional mechanisms to have incentives in place for individual households to take the measures that will reduce their consumption significantly?

Mr Westmore —I think there are two aspects to that question. The first is whether or not the compensation proposed is sufficient. We are concerned that it may not be but we are relying on Treasury modelling. Other modelling suggests that the flow-through to cost of living will be higher than 1.1 per cent, particularly for certain kinds of households, notably single pensioners and sole parents. But we are going with the Treasury modelling and with the promise of reviews and indexation subsequently. The Treasury modelling that was announced came out with a message that said $5 a week for electricity and $2 a week for gas, and 2.5 per cent of $225, which is what Newstart beneficiaries get currently, does not cover that. The sums are complicated, but we are going with a level of trust, I suppose.

With regard to the second part of your question, whether or not low-income households will be incentivised to change their behaviour, I do not wish to harp on about it, but we are talking about households of a single person on $225 a week, so chances are that that person, even with a 2.5 per cent increase in their benefit, is not going to be able to afford one single high energy efficiency light globe. Most people on low incomes—or certainly the kinds of people in whom we have got an interest—have really limited capacity to change their behaviour. They live in poorly insulated houses. They spend a lot of time in their homes. They cannot shift or change the time that they use electricity. Many of them are simply going to have to wear any increased charges for electricity, whether they are caused by the CPRS or other factors. Steps are being taken through other mechanisms trying to improve the efficiency of houses. Hopefully that will have some effect on use and consumption.

Senator XENOPHON —When it comes to energy-efficient light bulbs, in New South Wales when they had their baseline and credit scheme they actually had SWAT teams of people going in and replacing light globes and shower heads at no cost to consumers. Is that the sort of approach that you would prefer to see?

Mr Westmore —Yes, but we would prefer to see it as a coordinated approach. In fact, in Victoria, notably, energy businesses are involved in those kinds of projects. If you are a residential energy customer in Victoria and you come to the attention of a company and you enter a hardship program, generally speaking, the company will provide you with both energy-efficient light globes and a low-flow shower head. One of our concerns at the moment is that, this insulation program, which is nation wide and more or less going into just about every household in whom we have got some interest, is not coordinated with some other action to conduct audits, to educate householders, to conduct some basic retrofit draft stock and those sorts of things and to look at the need for maybe some more extensive or expansive work like replacing a hot water system or installing some double glazing and those sorts of things.

Senator XENOPHON —Thank you.

Senator CAMERON —Mr Westmore, I am interested in your argument on the insulation. Do you believe the insulation is a positive move?

Mr Westmore —Yes, I do believe it is a positive move, if only because of the message that it sends, which is that it is possible to do something. There are some details of the program that I will not bother you with, but there is a single hairline issue that we have got with the insulation thing, which is that it is not particularly targeted to low-income households.

Senator CAMERON —You have heard here this morning some of the power companies and minerals companies argue, basically, for more money to deal with the issue of climate change  How do you feel about that?

Mr Westmore —I did not hear the earlier evidence this morning, but they are arguments that I have been exposed to before. The very simple thing that industry was saying at this lunch on Friday is: ‘We just don’t want our international competitiveness tampered with. We could have a target for 25 per cent tomorrow and live with it and work with it, provided, globally, we were not disadvantaged under that regime.’ In our responses to the green paper and otherwise, we have not entered the fray so much on the support for emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries. There is a cacophony of voices out there at the moment supporting business as usual and rent seeking, particularly with anything that has got the potential to adversely affect employment at this time. We are supportive of measures that promote transition and compensate where it is necessary and where it yields results for us. But there is a clamour from people just trying to make money out of this.

Senator CAMERON —I have also been concerned that some of the submissions we have heard smack of short-termism. A lot of the companies are not prepared to look to the long term and the effects of climate change. Was there any discussion of the short-term nature of their response at your discussions last week?

Mr Westmore —Companies are legally known as a corporate entity, and they are effectively given the character of a person. That is what being corporate means. That is how companies will naturally respond; it is the next balance sheet. Arguably, it is one of the things that have got us where we are in the global financial crisis. It was about absolute short-termism. What I was hearing from people on Friday is that some of these industries are about to make decisions that affect them in the long term, so if they are about to build a plant, for example, it is going to see them through for 10, 15, 20 years. I think they do genuinely have some sense of their business in the long term but, financially, with regard to their income and expenditure statements, they have got something going on in the shorter term.

Senator CAMERON —I know it is not entirely in your purview, but has ACOSS looked at whether there could be some employment creation arising from the whole question of climate change policy?

Mr Westmore —We have been working in coalition with the ACTU, the Climate Institute and the Australian Conservation Foundation. There have been a slew of research papers that have come out over the last year or so, some of which are not addressing the work from the Climate Institute, and the partnership of the ACTU and ACF suggests there are huge opportunities. I am mindful of an exchange that I had with Senator Joyce recently and I will be careful about how I go ahead. I do not think that, all of a sudden overnight, people in coal-producing areas are going to make solar panels cheerfully. I do not believe that is the case. But I do believe that there are very significant opportunities for enterprise and employment, provided a signal is sent to assure people who might be prepared to make those investments and take people on—that there is a future for them. I do think there is going to be a transition, and I do think there is going to be some time where communities go through some changes, but there have to be huge chances for employment. Some of those chances are reliant entirely on us beginning work now, beginning work early; otherwise those chances will be taken up by other economies.

Senator CAMERON —Earlier Griffin Energy argued that there should be another $3.9 billion from the amount that is available from litigation to the coal industry. What effect will that have on your target group of low-income people who may be living in poverty?

Mr Westmore —Is he suggesting that $3.9 billion be taken from the proceeds of the CPRS?

Senator CAMERON —No, he is not saying that. He cannot tell me where it has come from. I have asked where it would come from. My view would be that, if you want to give more to the coal industry, it would probably have to come from the support for families.

Mr Westmore —Is that to fund a transition or to compensate them?

Senator CAMERON —I knew you would break it down some time so that is okay.

Mr Westmore —Is that to compensate people for what they perceive to be losses off the balance sheets or to fund them through a transition?

Senator CAMERON —For loss of what they say is the value of their company, basically.

Mr Westmore —My view at the moment is that anything that goes to compensate people for lost value off balance sheets is a joke. Similarly with the electricity sector in both Victoria and New South Wales, if you did not see this coming, then you were asleep; if you did not see this coming, you were not doing your due diligence. In the case of Victorian generator owners, you were both greedy and silly. With regard to the coal industry, it is a little more complex in that I know that coal is a significant export, a significant export earner and a significant employer, and I am as optimistic about carbon capture and storage as I possibly can be. But, when I consider all of the responses to climate change that are currently proposed and the way that we have responded to the global financial crisis—the way that the world has responded to the global financial crisis—it is like a Malteser and a basketball.

What I do not understand is how we can so quickly, thoroughly and in such a coordinated way respond to something that came as a complete surprise and was of our own doing, whereas we cannot get it together and respond to something like this. So my empathy for private sector balance sheets evaporated some time ago, and if what you were talking about was making investments in coal, infrastructure, income capture and storage, in better ways of doing their business that would keep them going and would keep people employed, then maybe I would have some sympathy, but if it is money going to shareholders, chief executives and senior executives then somebody wants to smack their fingers.

Senator CAMERON —What would the implications be, say, for $2 billion being moved from support for households to industry?

Mr Westmore —If it was money taken from the proceeds of the CPRS at the expense of compensation to low-income households at a time when we are seeing larger numbers of people on various benefits, then what you will probably see is larger numbers of people in more extreme poverty. You would see higher demand for a wide range of community sector services and, depending on what happens with unemployment—I was going to say ‘naturally’, but in the regular course of events over the next little while or so—you might see some accelerated social dislocation. There is an extent to which Senator Bushby might be right, and if industry argued reasonably and successfully for this type of compensation—and it is not going to be recurrent, it is going to be a one-off—there might be some argument for it being funded from consolidated revenue.

Senator BUSHBY —Thank you, Mr Westmore, for coming along today. I am interested that you mentioned—I think in the context of your Chatham House discussions, which we are discussing today; that is another matter—that ACOSS acknowledges that you would like the scheme to minimise job losses. Obviously what we are all hoping to achieve is a reduction in carbon dioxide and equivalent gases but at minimum cost to people’s lives and jobs and so forth, in Australia—and worldwide, presumably. So ACOSS is quite keen to ensure that the scheme is designed so that job losses are minimised because that obviously affects people you represent?

Mr Westmore —That is right, yes.

Senator BUSHBY —I just wanted to clarify that. We had Griffin Energy in here this morning. They were suggesting that they needed to be compensated, to some extent, for things which were not included in the scheme. Also, earlier you were talking about compensation for all the people you represent, and you have decided to go with the Treasury model, in which case, on the whole, the people you represent will be compensated for the costs of the CPRS. Is that correct?

Mr Westmore —They are two slightly different things, I suppose. The Treasury modelling went into the magnitude of the change, and it is not actually in the CPRS, but the government has proposed that, along with the CPRS, the social security acts will be amended to pick up the increase.

Senator BUSHBY —And ACOSS is fairly comfortable that, although there might be a bit of toing and froing here, on the whole your members are reasonably well compensated as a result of the scheme as designed and the indication of the site?

Mr Westmore —We are very concerned that the Treasury modelling may be wrong, that provisions that are in place may be inadequate, but we have learnt some lessons from what happened with the GST. We are also satisfied that this government has a view to monitoring the changes and to responding as needed after the scheme has been introduced.

Senator BUSHBY —What would ACOSS’s view be if the scheme is implemented and it turns out that the compensation is not adequate, for your members in particular?

Mr Westmore —We will be doing what we can to ask the government to increase benefits, but our sense of where the scheme sits is that an impact of 2½ per cent over the first year is unlikely, and the first round of indexation 12 months after the scheme kicks off should be in time to pick up most of the deleterious effects that flow on in that first year.

Senator BUSHBY —So you are comfortable with the scheme being implemented because you are confident that one way or the other your members will be pretty well covered by the compensation, whether indexed or otherwise?

Mr Westmore —Yes, which is not to say that we are not concerned that that compensation may be inadequate and that we are not concerned that there may be other effects of the scheme that have an adverse effect on our constituency.

Senator BUSHBY —How supportive of the scheme would you be if there were no compensation for low-income earners, if effectively all Australian businesses were required to wear the costs of addressing the action as it basically passed on to them?

Mr Westmore —So the rest of the scheme would sit exactly as it is?

Senator BUSHBY —As it is, but without any compensation on the side as you described.

Mr Westmore —We would be disappointed, for the reasons that I outlined before. We are talking about people who live on $225 a week, we are talking about people who make choices between heating and no heating and we are talking about people who do not have the capacity to make the changes that might be required to reduce their consumption. These are people who cannot afford the light bulb, let alone the installation of a new hot-water system. But, if your question is whether we would be prepared to support the scheme knowing that low-income households would be much worse off because there were not going to be measures in place, that is something I would have to consult with the board of governors about.

It is true that one of the reasons that we do bring our support to the scheme is that the government have been considering—since before they were elected, in fact, and they have made commitments that they have honoured—what they would do for low-income households. But I think it is in simple recognition of the fact that there is a large group of people who simply cannot make changes, who just do not have the resources to make changes to respond to the scheme, who cannot use energy more efficiently, who cannot use less energy, who are going to be adversely affected now that the government have taken the steps that they have.

Senator BUSHBY —I accept all of that. If the scheme could be altered so that other sectors or other Australians or businesses that employ Australians could also be in a position where they were largely compensated but still achieving the reductions that we are looking for to address climate change, do you think that would be a good thing as well—basically a minimal impact on the economy and on jobs?

Mr Westmore —My understanding is that the scheme has been designed to do that. People much more expert than me have worked out the people who are going to be mostly—

Senator BUSHBY —One of the reasons why we are here today is to examine what impact there might be. In theoretically working out an ideal scheme, there may well be unintended impacts and consequences that have not been looked at. That is what we are trying to achieve. You are comfortable that if alterations are required that would achieve that—and we are not saying anything in specific here, just in general and theoretically—that is what we should be doing to make sure that those impacts that do occur can be ironed out and are basically wrinkles in the scheme?

Mr Westmore —Yes, sir.

Senator FURNER —You made a statement earlier—I think it was in answer to Senator Xenophon—with respect to your members being in houses that are poorly insulated. Surely, the initiative of the National Building and Jobs Plan, where $1,600 will go towards insulation in homes and also $1,600 towards solar hot-water systems, is a step in the right way to have householders recognise the path we are heading down with regard to an emissions trading scheme.

Mr Westmore —ACOSS is interested primarily in households in the two lowest quintiles of income. Most of those householders live in either private rental accommodation or in public housing, but by far the bulk of them are in private rental accommodation. So the government is—

Senator FURNER —Just on that point, you are aware of the fact that landlords are also receiving $1,000 to—

Mr Westmore —That was my next point, yes. But it is only $1,000, rather than $1,600, although we understand that most houses should be able to be insulated for $1,000. As I remarked earlier, it is a fine scheme; our concern is just that it is not necessarily well targeted. It is difficult to make generalisations, but landlords who have low-income tenants also tend, obviously, to have fairly low rents. We are trying to work with the government to ensure that the scheme is as easy for landlords to access as possible. When it was first announced that landlords would get a rebate, they were not entitled, as homeowners were, to a scheme where they just dialled up and said, ‘Come and insulate my home.’ Having landlords needing to do the work to get the insulation done and then seek a rebate, we think would be a significant disincentive, such that many landlords of low-income households would not bother doing it. That is one change that we are seeking to have made.

But there does come, then, to be an issue about targeting. I do not want to plead any particular sort of case, but a lot of the kinds of landlords who we think we need to deal with are not the kind of people who would necessarily know about a scheme or think they could easily access it. There is a black market in the rental market, you may be aware. So we are trying to work with the government and the department that is administering the scheme to make it easy for landlords—‘1800-come-and-insulate-my-rental-property-please’—to make it possible for tenants to initiate, with the permission of their landlords, to have the home insulated, and a couple of other features that would assist the people in whom we are interested.

Senator FURNER —In respect of the household compensation package, how does that compare, if you are aware, with the EU and the UK arrangements?

Mr Westmore —I do not know about the EU and UK arrangements. I do not know that there were schemes put in place. I will hark back to what happened in the electricity industry in the UK, where principally coal-fired generators were compensated lavishly for what was perceived to be an impending disadvantage for them and then proceeded to pass through the costs of the permits that they won for free and increase residential electricity charges significantly—outrageously.

Senator PRATT —I wanted to ask about the carbon price. I am interested in the amount of money that the scheme is prospectively going to raise in terms of how much can then be passed on. For example, if the carbon price sits at around $10 rather than the $25 that might be assumed, then a permit auction would raise $5 billion, rather than the budgeted $12 billion. That would leave less money available in compensation, but I suppose it might also mean that the impact on household costs would not be as great because the carbon price would not be as high. Is that something you are comfortable with?

Mr Westmore —As I understand it, the proposal to increase pensions and benefits on the family tax arrangements by 2.5 per cent is linked to some assumptions that are built into the scheme. I also assume that, if the fundamentals of the scheme were changed before its introduction and the carbon price launched at a lower level, then, yes, the compensation would, at least at the outset, be lower.

Senator PRATT —Do you think that, if people are induced to be more conscious of not wasting electricity, householders are going to have some money left over to spend on other things and the economic stimulus and growth of that?

Mr Westmore —My understanding is that—and I will revisit it again—on $225 a week, an increase of 2.5 per cent is $5 a week. It is not—

Senator PRATT —Yes, I understand that it is a very low—

Mr Westmore —The description that is built in is really very limited.

Senator PRATT —I appreciate that in relation to, I suppose, ACOSS’s core constituencies, that would be the case and that probably you have not modelled for constituencies beyond that.

CHAIR —As there are no further questions, we thank you, Mr Westmore, for coming in and answering questions this morning.

Proceedings suspended from 10.05 am to 10.15 am