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Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee - 28/05/2012 - Estimates - EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS PORTFOLIO

EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS PORTFOLIO

In Attendance

Senator Collins, Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations, Manager of Government Business in the Senate

Senator Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recovery

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Human Services

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Ms Lisa Paul, Secretary

Mr Michael Manthorpe, Deputy Secretary

Ms Jennifer Taylor, Deputy Secretary

Mr Tony Cook, Associate Secretary

Mr Martin Hehir, Deputy Secretary

Ms Sandra Parker, Deputy Secretary

Mr John Kovacic, Deputy Secretary

Corporate and Network

Mr Michael Manthorpe, Deputy Secretary

Ms Robyn Kingston, Chief Internal Auditor

Mr Craig Storen, Chief Finance Officer

Mr George Kriz, Chief Lawyer and Group Manager, Legal and Investigations

Ms Helen Willoughby, Group Manager, Communication and Parlia mentary

Ms Deb Rollings, Branch Manager, Communication and Parliamentary

Mr Tim Pigot, Branch Manager, Communication and Parliamentary

Ms Meredith Fairweather, Branch Manager, Communication and Parliamentary

Mr Benjamin Wyers, Acting Group Manager, People and Organisational Development

Ms Susan Monkley, Group Manager, Technology Solutions

Ms Michelle Cornish, Group Manager`, State and Regional Services Strategy

Ms Helen McCormack, Branch Manager, State and Regional Services Strategy

Outcome 1—Early Childhood, Working Age and Indigenous Participation

Ms Jennifer Taylor, Deputy Secretary

Mr David DeSilva, Group Manager, Early Childhood Quality and Workforce

Ms Suzanne Northcott, Branch Manager, Early Childhood Quality and Workforce

Ms Joanna Stanion, Branch Manager, Early Childhood Quality and Workforce

Ms Joan T en Brummelaar, Branch Manager, Early Childhood Quality and Workforce

Mr Michael Maynard, Group Manager, Early Learning and Care Support

Ms Robyn Priddle, Branch Manager, Early Learning and Care Support

Mr Matthew Hardy, Branch Manager, Early Learning and Care Support

Ms Kellie Hippit, Acting Branch Manager, Early Learning and Care Support

Ms Jo Caldwell, Group Manager, Strategy and Family Payments

Mr Murray Kimber, Branch Manager, Strategy and Family Payments

Dr Russell Ayres, Branch Manager , Strategy and Family Payments

Ms Gillian Mitchell, Branch Manager, Strategy and Family Payments

Outcome 2—Schools and Youth

Mr Tony Cook, Deputy Secretary

Mr Martin Hehir, Deputy Secretary

Ms Janet Davy, Group Manager, Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching

Ms Alex Gordon, Branch Manager, Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching, National School Reform Support

Ms Jan Febey, Branch Manager, Curriculum, Assessment and Teaching, School Improvement and Transparency

Mr Chris Sheedy, SA State Manager, Engagement and Wellbeing, National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program Branch

Mr Matt Davies, Group Manager, Engagement and Wellbeing

Mr Anthony Fernando, Branch Manager, Engagement and Wellbeing, Office for Youth

Mr Stephen Goodwin, Branch Manager, Engagement and Wellbeing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Schooling

Ms Joanne Skinner, Branch Manager, Engagement and Wellbeing, Inclusive Education and En g agement

Ms Susan Smith, Group Manager, Infrastructure and Funding

Ms Oon Ying Chin, Branch Manager, Infrastructure and Funding, Schools Grants and Funding Policy Branch

Mr Alan Edwards, Branch Manager, Infrastructure and Funding, Schools Vocational Pathways Branch

Ms Hilary Riggs, Branch Manager, Infrastructure and Funding, Schools Corporate Support

Ms Margaret Sykes, Branch Manager, Infrastructure and Funding, National Trade Cadetships Taskforce

Mr Stewart Thomas, Branch Manager, Infrastructure and Funding, Building the Education Revolution Branch

Ms Louise Hanlon, Group Manager, National Schools and Youth Partnerships

Ms Helen McLaren, Branch Manager, National Schools and Youth Partnerships, Youth Attainment and Transitions Branch

Ms Rhyan Bloor, Branch Manager, National Schools and Youth Partnerships, Digital Education Branch

Ms Wenda Donaldson, Branch Manager, National Schools and Youth Partnerships, Smarter School Partnerships Branch

Ms Gabrielle Phillips, Branch Manager, National Schools and Youth Partnerships, Educational Accountability and Reporting Branch

Ms Sue Dawson, Group Manager, Schools Funding Taskforce, Schools Funding Taskforce Group

Mr Patrick Burford, Branch Manager, Schools Funding Taskforce, Schools Funding Taskforce Group

Ms Debbie Mitchell , Branch Manager, Schools Funding Taskforce, Schools Funding Taskforce Group

Outcome 3- Employment

Ms Sandra Parker, Deputy Secretary

Ms Anthony Parsons, Group Manager, Employment Services Management Procurement

Ms Alison Durbin, Branch Manager, Employment Services Management Procurement

Ms Jenny Harrison, Branch Manager, Employment Services Management Procurement

Mr Stephen Moore, Group Manager, Employment Systems

Ms Moya Drayton, Group Manager, Job Services Australia

Ms Linda Laker, Branch Manager, Job Services Australia

Mr Stuart Watson, Branch Manager, Job Services Australia

Mr Derek Stiller, Branch Manager, Job Services Australia

Mr James McDonald, Branch Manager, Job Services Australia

Ms Fiona Buffinton, Group Manager, Specialist Employment Services

Ms Sharon Stuart, Branch Manager, Specialist Employment Services

Ms Suzie Northcott, Branch Manager, Specialist Employment Services

Ms Lis Kelly, Branch Manager, Specialist Employment Services

Ms Margaret Kidd, Group Manager, Labour Market Strategy

Mr Ali Jalayer, Branch Manager, Labour Market Strategy

Mr John Kovacic, Deputy Secretary

Ms Ngaire Hosking, Group Manager, Social Policy and Economic S trategy

Ms Rose Verspaandonk, Branch Manager, Social Policy and Economic S trategy

Mr Mark Roddam, Branch Manager, Social Policy and Economic S trategy

Ms Helen Innes, Branch Manager, Social Policy and Economic S trategy

Mr Scott Matheson, Branch Manager, Social Policy and Economic S trategy

Ms Jennifer Taylor, Deputy Secretary

Ms Marsha Milliken, Group Manager, Income Support

Mr David Pattie, Branch Manager, Income Support

Mr Ty Emerson, Branch Manager, Income Support

Ms Ingrid Kemp, Branch Manager, Income Support

Ms Jennifer Taylor, Deputy Secretary, Executive

Ms Jo Wood, Group Manager, Indigenous Economic Strategy

Ms Tania Rishniw, Branch Manager, Indigenous Economic Strategy

Ms Brenda Love, Branch Manager, Indigenous Economic Strategy

Outcome 4 - Workplace Relations and Economic Strategy

Mr John Kovacic, Deputy Secretary

Ms Kylie Emery, Acting Group Manager, Workplace Relations Implementation and Safety

Mr Jeff Willing, Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Implementation and Safety

Ms Sue Saunders, Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Implementation and Safety

Ms Nikki Armour, Acting Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Implementation and Safety

Mr Jeremy O'Sullivan, Chief Counsel, Workplace Relations Legal

Ms Sarah McKinnon, Acting Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Legal

Mr Adrian Breen, Acting Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Legal

Mr David Bohn, Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Legal

Dr Alison Morehead, Group Manager, Workplace Relations Policy

Ms Lisa Berry, Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Policy

Mr Peter Cully, Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Policy

Ms Michelle Boundy, Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Policy

Ms Sharon Huender, Acting , Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Policy

Ms Colette Shelley, Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Policy

Ms Louise McDonough, Branch Manager, Workplace Relations Policy

Ms Clare Firth, Acting Assistant Director , Workplace Relations Policy

Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commission er

Mr Leigh Johns, ABC Commissioner

Mr Brian Corney, Deputy ABC Commissioner

Mr Michael Campbell, Deputy ABC Commissioner

Mr John Casey, Chief Financial Officer

Mr Murray Furlong, Executive Director

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority

Mr Rob Randall, Acting CEO and GM, Curriculum

Mr Peter Adams, GM-Assessment and Reporting

Prof Barry McGaw, Chair ACARA Board

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

Ms Margery Evans, Chief Executive Officer

Ms Madel eine Scully, Company Secretary

Mr Edmund Misson, General Manager

Comcare

Mr Paul O'Connor, Chief Executive Officer

Mr Steve Kibble, Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Fair Work Australia

Ms Berna dette O'Neill, General Manager

Mr Iain Ross, President

Mr Brendan Hower, Director

Ms Pauline Burke, Directo r (Acting)

Ms Lean ne Lawrence, Director (Acting)

Ms Lo uise Clarke, Director (Acting)

Ms Ailsa Carru th ers, Director (Acting)

Fair Work Ombudsman

Mr Nichol as Wilson, Fair Work Ombudsman

Mr Russ ell Jacob, Executive Director, Regional Services and T argeting

Mr Kar sten Lehn, Executive Director, Project Management Office

Mr Mark Scully, Group Manager, Finance and Information Management

M r Alfred Bongi, Group Manager, Customer Servi ce Group

Mr T om O'Shea, Executive Director, Policy and Partnership

Ms Janine Webster, Chi ef Counsel

Mr Michael Clark, Executi ve Director - Customer Contact

Ms Su Kearns, Group Manager, Corpo rate and Strategic Development

Ms Lynda McAl ary-Smith, Executive Director, Education and Major E mployers

Safe Work Australia

Mr Re x Hoy, Chief Executive Officer

Mr Drew Wagner, Branch Mana ger, Corporate Services Branch

Ms Amanda Grey, Branch Ma nager, Strategic Policy Branch

Ms Julia Collins, Acting Branch Manager, Work Health and Safety Branch

Ms Justine Ross, Branch Manager, Harmonisa tion and Legal Services Branch

Mr Andrew Craig, Chief Financial Officer

Mr Wayne C reaser, Branch Manager, Mining

Ms Ivanka Debevec, Director, Legal Policy

Committee met at 09:00

CHAIR ( Senator Marshall ): I open this public hearing of the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee. The Senate has referred to the committee the particulars of proposed expenditure for 2012-13 and related documents for the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolios. The committee must report to the Senate on Tuesday 22 June 2012 and has set Friday 27 July 2012 as the date by which answers to questions on notice are to be returned. Under standing order 26, the committee must take all evidence in public. This includes answers to questions on notice. Officers and senators are familiar with the rules of the Senate governing estimates hearings. If anyone needs assistance with these rules, the secretary has copies of those rules.

The Senate has resolved that officers shall not be asked to give opinions on matters of policy and shall be given reasonable opportunity to refer such questions to superior officers or to the minister. The resolution, however, does not preclude questions asking for explanations of policies or factual questions about when and how policies were adopted. Where an officer declines to answer a question, the grounds for this should be stated so the committee may consider the matter. The giving of false or misleading evidence to the committee may constitute a contempt of the Senate. I particularly draw the attention of editors to an order of the Senate of 13 May 2009 specifying the process by which a claim of public interest immunity should be raised, which I now incorporate into Hansard.

The extract read as follows—

Public interest immunity claims

That the Senate—

(a) notes that ministers and officers have continued to refuse to provide information to Senate committees without properly raising claims of public interest immunity as required by past resolutions of the Senate;

(b) reaffirms the principles of past resolutions of the Senate by this order, to provide ministers and officers with guidance as to the proper process for raising public interest immunity claims and to consolidate those past resolutions of the Senate;

(c) orders that the following operate as an order of continuing effect:

(1) If:

(a) a Senate committee, or a senator in the course of proceedings of a committee, requests information or a document from a Commonwealth department or agency; and

(b) an officer of the department or agency to whom the request is directed believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the officer shall state to the committee the ground on which the officer believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, and specify the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(2) If, after receiving the officer’s statement under paragraph (1), the committee or the senator requests the officer to refer the question of the disclosure of the information or document to a responsible minister, the officer shall refer that question to the minister.

(3) If a minister, on a reference by an officer under paragraph (2), concludes that it would not be in the public interest to dis-close the information or document to the committee, the minister shall provide to the committee a statement of the ground for that conclusion, specifying the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(4) A minister, in a statement under paragraph (3), shall indicate whether the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee could result only from the publication of the information or document by the committee, or could result, equally or in part, from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee as in camera evidence.

(5) If, after considering a statement by a minister provided under paragraph (3), the committee concludes that the statement does not sufficiently justify the withholding of the information or document from the committee, the committee shall report the matter to the Senate.

(6) A decision by a committee not to report a matter to the Senate under paragraph (5) does not prevent a senator from raising the matter in the Senate in accordance with other procedures of the Senate.

(7) A statement that information or a document is not published, or is confidential, or consists of advice to, or internal delib-erations of, government, in the absence of specification of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document, is not a statement that meets the requirements of paragraph (I) or (4).

(8) If a minister concludes that a statement under paragraph (3) should more appropriately be made by the head of an agency, by reason of the independence of that agency from ministerial direction or control, the minister shall inform the committee of that conclusion and the reason for that conclusion, and shall refer the matter to the head of the agency, who shall then be re-quired to provide a statement in accordance with paragraph (3).

(Extract, Senate Standing Orders, pp 124-125)