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Community Affairs Legislation Committee
10/02/2016
Estimates
HEALTH PORTFOLIO

HEALTH PORTFOLIO

IN ATTENDANCE

Senator Nash, Minister for Rural Health

Department of Health

Whole of Portfolio

Mr Martin Bowles PSM, Secretary

Professor Chris Baggoley, Chief Medical Officer

Ms Liz Cosson, Deputy Secretary, Chief Operating Officer Group

Mr Mark Cormack, Deputy Secretary, Strategic Policy and Innovation Group

Mr Andrew Stuart, Deputy Secretary, Health Benefits Group

Dr Wendy Southern PSM, Deputy Secretary, National Program Delivery Group

Mr Paul Madden, Special Adviser, Strategic Health Systems and Information Management

Adjunct Professor John Skerritt, Deputy Secretary, Regulatory Services Group

Ms Margot McCarthy, Deputy Secretary, Ageing and Aged Care

Ms Kate Pope PSM, First Assistant Secretary, Grant Services Division

Mr Paul McCormack, Assistant Secretary, Regional Services Grants Branch, Grant Services Division

Mr Craig Rayner, Assistant Secretary, Capital Grants Management Branch, Grant Services Division

Mr John Cahill, First Assistant Secretary, Payment Services Taskforce

Mr Adam Davey, First Assistant Secretary, People, Capability and Communication Division

Mr Robert Wright, Assistant Secretary, Ministerial, Parliamentary, Executive Support and Governance Branch, People, Capability and Communication Division

Ms Jodie Grieve, Assistant Secretary, Communication Branch, People, Capability and Communication Division

Mr Matt Yannopoulos, First Assistant Secretary, Portfolio Investment Division

Mr Keith Tracey-Patte, Assistant Secretary, Budget Branch, Portfolio Investment Division

Mr Anthony Howatson, Acting Assistant Secretary, Finance Branch, Portfolio Investment Division

Mr Chris Reid, Legal and Assurance

Mr Daniel McCabe, First Assistant Secretary, Information Technology Division

Mr Michael Maynard, First Assistant Secretary, Delivery Strategy and Operations Division

Mr Mark Booth, First Assistant Secretary, Health Systems Policy Division

Ms Alanna Foster, First Assistant Secretary, Research Data and Evaluation Division

Ms Natasha Cole, First Assistant Secretary, Health Services Division

Mr Andrew Kettle, Acting Director, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Ms Jenny Hargreaves, Senior Executive, Hospitals, Resourcing and Classifications Group, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Mr Geoff Neideck, Senior Executive, Chief Information Officer Group, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Mr Nigel Murray, Funding Policy and Legislation Branch

Outcome 1

Dr Lisa Studdert, First Assistant Secretary, Population Health and Sport Division

Dr Bernie Towler, Principal Medical Adviser

Ms Sharon Appleyard, First Assistant Secretary, Office of Health Protection

Dr Gary Lum, Principal Medical Adviser

Dr Jenny Firman, Principal Medical Adviser

Ms Masha Somi, Assistant Secretary, Immunisation Branch, Office of Health Protection

Mr Graeme Barden, Assistant Secretary, Health Protection Policy Branch, Office of Health Protection

Ms Rhonda Owen, Assistant Secretary, Health Emergency Management Branch, Office of Health Protection

Ms Natasha Cole, First Assistant Secretary, Health Services Division

Adjunct Professor John Skerritt, Deputy Secretary, Regulatory Services Group

Professor Anne Kelso, Chief Executive Officer, National Health and Medical Research Council

Mr Tony Kingdon, General Manager, Research and Operations Group, National Health and Medical Research Council

Ms Samantha Robertson, Executive Director, Research and Operations Group, National Health and Medical Research Council

Mr Steve McCutcheon, Chief Executive Officer, Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Mr Peter May, General Manager, Food Safety and Regulatory Affairs, Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Dr Scott Crerar, General Manager, Risk ad Regulatory Assessment, Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Dr Utz Mueller, Section Manager, Risk Assessment - Chemical Safety and Nutrition, Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Outcome 2

Ms Penny Shakespeare, First Assistant Secretary, Pharmaceutical Benefits Division

Ms Andriana Platona, Assistant Secretary, Pharmaceutical Evaluation Branch, Pharmaceutical Benefits Division

Ms Julianne Quaine, Pharmaceutical Access Branch, Pharmaceutical Benefits Division

Mr Nick Henderson, Assistant Secretary, Pharmaceutical Policy Branch, Pharmaceutical Benefits Division

Dr Tony Hobbs, Principal Medical Adviser

Outcome 3

Ms Maria Jolly, First Assistant Secretary, Medical Benefits Division

Ms Fifine Cahill, Assistant Secretary, MBS Review Taskforce, Medical Benefits Division

Dr Megan Keaney, Senior Medical Adviser, Medical Benefits Division

Ms Natasha Cole, First Assistant Secretary, Health Services Division

Mr Mark Booth, First Assistant Secretary, Health Systems Policy Division

Ms Kerryn Vine-Camp, First Assistant Secretary, Health Provider Compliance Division

Ms Chris Jeacle, Assistant Secretary, Health Compliance Strategy Branch

Ms Jo Benson, Assistant Secretary, Health Professional Review and Advice Branch

Mr Ben Noyen, Assistant Secretary, Health Compliance Branch

Outcome 4

Ms Alanna Foster, First Assistant Secretary, Research, Data and Evaluation Division

Mr Shannon White, Assistant Secretary, Health System Financing, Research, Data and Evaluation Division

Ms Natasha Cole, First Assistant Secretary, Health Services Division

Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms, Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer

Dr Tony Hobbs, Principal Medical Adviser

Dr Andrew Singer, Principal Medical Adviser

Mr Mark Booth, First Assistant Secretary, Health Systems Policy Division

Outcome 5

Mr Mark Booth, First Assistant Secretary, Health Systems Policy Division

Ms Natasha Cole, First Assistant Secretary, Health Services Division

Ms Colleen Krestensen, Assistant Secretary, Mental Health Reform Taskforce, Health Services Division

Mr Chris Bedford, Assistant Secretary, Primary Health Networks, Health Services Division

Dr Andrew Singer, Principal Medical Adviser

Dr Tony Hobbs, Principal Medical Adviser

Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms, Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer

Mr David Hallinan, First Assistant Secretary, Health Workforce Division

Ms Bobbi Campbell, First Assistant Secretary, Indigenous Health Division

Mr David Butt, Chief Executive Officer, National Mental Health Commission

Ms Jackie Davis, Assistant Secretary, Tobacco Control

Ms Tracey Duffy, Assistant Secretary, Private Health Insurance

Ms Natasha Ryan, Assistant Secretary, Medical Specialist Services

Outcome 6

Ms Maria Jolly, First Assistant Secretary, Medical Benefits Division

Mr Mark Booth, First Assistant Secretary, Health Systems Policy Division

Outcome 7

Ms Bettina Konti, First Assistant Secretary, Digital Health Division

Mr David Paull, Assistant Secretary, Digital health Operations, Digital Health Division

Ms Linda Jackson, Assistant Secretary, Legislation and Policy Branch, Digital Health Division

Mr Mark Booth, First Assistant Secretary, Health Systems Policy Division

Ms Alanna Foster, First Assistant Secretary, Research Data and Evaluation Division

Mr Shannon White, Assistant Secretary, Health System Financing, Research Data and Evaluation Division

Ms Natasha Cole, First Assistant Secretary, Health Services Division

Mr Simon Cotterell, Assistant Secretary, International Strategies Branch, Health Systems Policy Division

Dr Andrew Singer, Principal Medical Adviser

Dr Lisa Studdert, First Assistant Secretary, Population Health and Sport Division

Ms Penny Shakespeare, First Assistant Secretary, Pharmaceutical Benefits Division

Adjunct Professor John Skerritt, Deputy Secretary, Regulatory Services Group

Ms Philippa Horner, Principal Legal and Policy Advisor

Dr Tony Gill, Acting Principal Medical Adviser

Mr David Weiss, First Assistant Secretary Regulatory Practice and Support Division

Dr Larry Kelly, First Assistant Secretary, Medical Devices and Product Quality

Ms Nicole McLay, Assistant Secretary, Regulatory Services and Improvement Branch

Mr Bill Turner, Assistant Secretary, Office of Drug Control

Dr Brian Richards, Executive Director, Office of Chemical Safety & Director National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme

Ms Felicity McNeill, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Organ and Tissue Authority

Ms Judy Harrison, Chief Financial Officer, Organ and Tissue Authority

Dr Helen Opdam, National Medical Director, Organ and Tissue Authority

Outcome 8

Mr David Hallinan, First Assistant Secretary, Health Workforce Division

Ms Tarja Saastamoinen, Assistant Secretary Health Workforce Reform Branch, Health Workforce Division

Ms Lisa La Rance, Assistant Secretary, Rural Access Branch, Health Workforce Division

Dr Andrew Singer, Principal Medical Adviser

Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms, Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer

Dr Tony Hobbs, Principal Medical Adviser

Mr Jaye Smith, Assistant Secretary, Primary Care and Diagnostics

Outcome 9

Ms Sharon Appleyard, First Assistant Secretary, Office of Health Protection

Dr Gary Lum, Principal Medical Adviser

Dr Jenny Firman, Principal Medical Adviser

Ms Masha Somi, Assistant Secretary, Immunisation Branch, Office of Health Protection

Mr Graeme Barden, Assistant Secretary, Health Protection Policy Branch, Office of Health Protection

Ms Rhonda Owen, Assistant Secretary, Health Emergency Management Branch, Office of Health Protection

Dr Lisa Studdert, First Assistant Secretary, Population Health and Sport Division

Outcome 10

Dr Lisa Studdert, First Assistant Secretary, Population Health and Sport Division

Mr Andrew Godkin, Sport Integrity Adviser, Population Health and Sport Division

Mr Simon Hollingsworth, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Sports Commission

Mr Matt Favier, Director, Australian Institute of Sport

Ms Fiona Johnstone, Chief Financial Officer, Australian Sports Commission

Mr Michael Thomson, General Manager, Participation and Sustainable Sport, Australian Sports Commission

Mr Ben McDevitt AM, APM, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority

Mr Trevor Burgess, National Manager, Operations, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority

Ms Elen Perdikogiannis, National Manager, Legal and Support Services, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority

Outcome 11

Ms Margot McCarthy, Deputy Secretary, Ageing and Aged Care

Mr Nick Hartland, First Assistant Secretary, Aged Care Policy and Reform Group

Ms Donna Moody, First Assistant Secretary, Ageing and Aged Care Services Group

Ms Rachel Balmanno, First Assistant Secretary, Aged Care Reform Taskforce

Ms Fiona Buffinton, First Assistant Secretary, Access, Quality and Compliance Group

Ms Rachel Goddard, Acting Assistant Secretary, My Aged Care Operations

Committee met at 09 :02

CHAIR ( Senator Seselja ): I declare open this meeting of the Community Affairs Legislation Committee. The Senate has referred to the committee the particulars of proposed additional expenditure for 2015-16 for the portfolios of Health and Social Services, including Human Services. The committee may also examine the annual reports of the departments and agencies appearing before it.

The committee is due to report to the Senate on 1 March 2016 and has fixed 4 April 2016 as the date for the return of answers to questions taken on notice. Senators are reminded that any written questions on notice should be provided to the committee secretariat by close of business on 19 February 2016.

Under standing order 26 the committee must take all evidence in public session. This includes answers to questions taken on notice. I remind all witnesses that, in giving evidence to the committee, they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee, and such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to a committee.

The Senate, by resolution in 1999, endorsed the following test of relevance of questions at estimates hearings. Any questions going to the operations or financial positions of the departments and agencies which are seeking funds in the estimates are relevant questions for the purpose of estimates hearings. I remind officers that the Senate has resolved that there are no areas in connection with the expenditure of public funds where any person has a discretion to withhold details or explanations from the parliament or its committees unless the parliament has expressly provided otherwise.

The Senate has resolved also that an officer of a department of the Commonwealth shall not be asked to give opinions on matters of policy, and shall be given reasonable opportunity to refer questions asked of the officer to superior officers or to a minister. This resolution prohibits only questions asking for opinions on matters of policy, and does not preclude questions asking for explanations of policies or factual questions about when and how policies were adopted.

I particularly draw the attention of witnesses to an order of the Senate of 13 May 2009 specifying the process by which a claim of public interest immunity should be raised.

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 disclose 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 deliberations 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 (1) 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 required to provide a statement in accordance with paragraph (3).

(d) requires the Procedure Committee to review the operation of this order and report to the Senate by 20 August 2009.

(13 May 2009 J.1941)

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

Witnesses are specifically reminded that a statement that information or a document is confidential, or consists of advice to government, is not a statement that meets the requirements of the 2009 order. Instead witnesses are required to provide some specific indication of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or the document.