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Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee


In Attendance

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Human Services, representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

Department of Infrastructure and Transport


Mr Mike Mrdak, Secretary

Mr Andrew Wilson, Deputy Secretary

Ms Lyn O'Connell, Deputy Secretary

Corporate Services

Mr David Banham, Chief Operating Officer

Ms Marilyn Prothero, Chief Financial Officer

Inspector of Transport Security

Mr Mick Palmer AO APM, Inspector of Transport Security

Mr Andrew Hughes APM, Designate Inspector of Transport Security

Mr Dave Ellis, Acting Director, Office of the Inspector of Transport Security

Office of Transport Security

Mr Paul Retter, Executive Director

Mr David Nockels, General Manager, Analysis and Operational Support

Mr George Brenan, General Manager, Transport Security Operations

Mr Jeremy Thomas, Acting General Manager, Maritime, Identity and Surface Security

Mr Peter Robertson, General Manager, Aviation Security

Mr David Tansey, Director, Aviation Security

Ms Karly Pidgeon, General Manager, Supply Chain and Technology

Aviation and Airports

Mr John Doherty, Executive Director

Mr Jim Wolfe, General Manager, Air Traffic Policy

Mr Scott Stone, General Manager, Aviation Environment

Ms Leonie Horrocks, General Manager, Airports

Mr Stephen Borthwick, General Manager, Aviation Industry Policy

Mr Brendan McRandle, General Manager, Sydney Aviation Capacity

Airservices Australia

Mr Andrew Clark , Acting Chief Executive Officer

Mr Jason Harfield, Executive General Manager, Air Traffic Control

Mr Unni Menon, Executive General Manager, Government and Industry Affairs

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Mr John McCormick, Director of Aviation Safety

Dr Jonathan Aleck, Associate Director of Aviation Safety

Mr Terry Farquharson, Deputy Director of Aviation Safety

Mr Peter Cromarty, Executive Manager, Operations

Mr Peter Boyd, Executive Manager, Standards

Mr Greg Hood, Executive Manager, Operations Regulations Implementation

Mr Gerard Campbell, Executive Manager, Safety Education and Promotion

Mr Malcolm McGregor, Acting Executive Manager, Airspace and Aerodrome Regulation

Mr Peter Fereday, Executive Manager, Industry Permissions

Mr Adam Anastasi, Executive Manager, Legal Services

Ms Elizabeth Hampton, Industry Complaints Commissioner

Mr Craig Jordan, Chief Finance Officer

Mr Brian Keech, Head, People and Performance

Australian Transport Safety Bureau

Mr Martin Dolan, Chief Commissioner

Mr Ian Sangston, General Manager, Aviation Safety Investigations

Mr Julian Walsh, General Manager, Strategic Capability

Mr Peter Foley, General Manager, Surface Safety Investigations

Infrastructure Australia

Mr Michael Deegan, Infrastructure Coordinator

Nation Building—Infrastructure Investment

Mr Andrew Jaggers, Executive Director

Mr Richard Wood, General Manager, Rail and Intermodal

Mr Neil Williams, General Manager, Infrastructure Policy

Mr Roland Pittar, General Manager, North West Roads

Mr Alex Foulds, General Manager, South East Roads

Mr Troy Sloan, General Manager, Major Infrastructure Projects Office

Australian Rail Track Corporation

Mr John Fullerton, Chief Executive Officer

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Mr Graham Peachey, Chief Executive Officer

Mr Mick Kinley, Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Mr Allan Schwartz, General Manager, Maritime Operations Division

Mr Yew Weng Ho, General Manager, Corporate Services Division

Mr John Young, General Manager, Emergency Response Division

Mr Brad Groves, General Manager, Maritime Standards Division

Mr Toby Stone, General Manager, Marine Environment Division

Mr John Fladun, General Manager, Regulatory Affairs and Reform

Mr Alan Lloyd, Manager, Search and Rescue Operations

Surface Transport Policy

Ms Karen Gosling, Executive Director

Mr Michael Sutton, General Manager, Land Transport Reform

Mr Robert Hogan, General Manager, Vehicle Safety Standards

Ms Philippa Power, General Manager, Maritime Policy Reform

Mr Marcus James, General Manager, Road Safety and Programs

Ms Donna Wieland, General Manager, Surface Transport Regulation Taskforce

Ms Pauline Sullivan, General Manager, Shipping Policy Reform

Policy and Research

Mr David Williamson, Executive Director

Mr James Collett, General Manager, Policy Development Unit

Dr Gary Dolman, Head of Bureau, BITRE

Mr Stuart Sargent, General Manager

Mr Richard Farmer, General Manager, High Speed Rail

Major Cities Unit

Mr Mike Mrdak, Secretary

Mr Andrew Wilson, Deputy Secretary

Committee met at 0 9 : 01

CHAIR ( Senator Sterle ): I declare open this public hearing of the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee. The Senate has referred to the committee the particulars of proposed expenditure for 2012-13 and related documents for the infrastructure and transport portfolio. The committee is due to report to the Senate on 26 June 2012 and has fixed Friday, 20 July as the date for the return of answers to questions taken on notice. This deadline is longer than the usual timeframe that the committee sets for the return of answers to questions taken on notice to account for the time agreed by the committee that senators should provide written questions to the committee secretariat. Senators are reminded that any written questions on notice should be provided to the committee secretariat by close of business Friday, 8 June 2012. Under standing order 126, the committee must take all evidence in public session. This includes answers to questions on notice. Officers and senators are familiar with the rules of the Senate governing estimates hearings. If you need assistance, the secretariat has a copy of the rules. 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 and which I now incorporate in 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 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 (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 required to provide a statement in accordance with paragraph (3).

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