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Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee


In Attendance

Senator Reynolds, Minister for Defence

Department of Defence

Mr Greg Moriarty, Secretary

General Angus Campbell, Chief of the Defence Force

Ms Rebecca Skinner, Associate Secretary

Dr Tom Clarke, First Assistant Secretary Audit and Fraud Control

Ms Megan Lees, First Assistant Secretary Governance and Reform

Ms Kylie Scholten, First Assistant Secretary Security and Vetting Service

Ms Rowena Bain, Acting First Assistant Secretary Ministerial Executive Coordination and Communication

Mrs Elizabeth Sisley, Acting Assistant Secretary Ministerial and Parliamentary

Vice Admiral David Johnston AO, Vice Chief of the Defence Force

Major General Roger Noble DCS AM CSC, Head Military Strategic Commitments

Lieutenant General Richard Burr AO DSC MVO, Chief of Army

Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, Chief of Navy

Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld AM DSM, Chief of Air Force

Air Vice Marshal, Cath Roberts AM CSC, Head of Air Force Capability

Mr Tony Fraser AO CSC, Deputy Secretary Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group

Mr Tony Dalton, Deputy Secretary, National Naval Shipbuilding

Mr Shane Fairweather, Acting Group Business Manager

Rear Admiral Gregory Sammut, General Manager Submarines

Rear Admiral Wendy Malcolm CSM, Head Maritime Systems

Major General Andrew Bottrell CSC and Bar, DSM, Head Land Systems

Major General David Coghlan AM, Head Armoured Vehicle

Air Vice Marshal Leigh Gordon AM CSM, Head Joint Strike Fighter

Air Commodore Graham Edwards, Acting Head Aerospace Systems Division

Ms Sheryl Lutz, First Assistant Secretary Ships

Mr Peter Chesworth, First Assistant Secretary National Naval Shipbuilding Office

Ms Traci-Ann Byrnes, First Assistant Secretary Program Performance

Mr Ivan Zlabur, First Assistant Secretary Joint Systems

Mr Andrew Staines, First Assistant Secretary Procurement and Contracting

Brigadier Jeremy King, Acting Head Helicopter Systems

Mr Daniel Fankhauser, Assistant Secretary, Naval Shipbuilding

Mr Stephen Pearson, Chief Information Officer

Mr Jeff Goedecke, First Assistant Secretary Service Delivery and Reform

Mr Steven Groves, Chief Finance Officer

Ms Angela Diamond, First Assistant Secretary Financial Management and Performance

Ms Sally Druhan, First Assistant Secretary Budget and Financial Services

Mr Adrian D'Amico, Head Defence Legal

Ms Justine Greig, Deputy Secretary Defence People

Mr Patrick Hetherington, First Assistant Secretary People Policy and Culture

Mrs Lisa Phelps, First Assistant Secretary People Services Division

Air Commodore Kenneth Robinson, Acting Head People Capability

Mr Paul Way, Director General Defence Community Organisation

Dr David Kershaw, Chief Maritime Division

Mr Steven Grzeskowiak, Deputy Secretary Estate and Infrastructure

Mr Chris Birrer, First Assistant Secretary Infrastructure

Air Marshal Warren McDonald AM CSC, Chief of Joint Capabilities

Major General Marcus Thompson AM, Deputy Chief of Joint Capabilities; Head Information Warfare

Air Vice Marshal Tracy Smart AO, Commander Joint Health; Surgeon General Australian Defence Force

Rear Admiral Brett Wolski AM, Head Reserve and Youth Division; Commander Australian Defence Force Cadets

Rear Admiral Ian Murray, Commander Joint Logistics

Brigadier Phil Winter AM CSC, Director General Australian Defence Force Sport

Colonel Nicholas Surtees, Provost Marshal, Australian Defence Force

Mr Peter Tesch, Deputy Secretary Strategic Policy and Intelligence

Ms Celia Perkins, First Assistant Secretary Strategic Policy

Mr Hugh Jeffrey, First Assistant Secretary International Policy

Dr Sheridan Kearnan, First Assistant Secretary Defence Industry Policy

Australian Signals Directorate

Lieutenant General John Frewen DSC AM, Acting Director-General

Ms Hazel Bennett, Deputy Director-General Corporate and Capability Group

Ms Rachel Noble PSM, Head Australian Cyber Security Centre

Mr Scott MacLeod, First Assistant Director-General Protect, Assure and Enable

Mr Karl Hanmore, First Assistant Director-General Engagement, Operations and Intelligence

Australian War Memorial

Dr Brendan Nelson, Director

Ms Leanne Patterson, Assistant Director, Corporate Services

Major General Brian Dawson (Retired), Assistant Director, National Collections

Ms Anne Bennie, Assistant Director, Public Programs Memorial

Mr Wayne Hitches, Executive Project Director

Ms Georgina McKenzie, Chief Finance Officer

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Ms Liz Cosson AM, CSC, Secretary

Mr Mark Cormack, Deputy Secretary, Policy and Programs

Mr Charles McHardie AM, Deputy Secretary, Transformation and Enabling Services

Mr Craig Orme DSC AM CSC, Deputy President

Mr Don Spinks AM, Repatriation Commissioner

Dr Jenny Firman, Chief Health Officer

Mr John Fely, First Assistant Secretary, Transformation and Organisational Performance

Ms Natasha Cole, First Assistant Secretary, Clients' Benefits Division

Mr Mark Harrigan, First Assistant Secretary, Business Support Services Division

Mr Mark Fraser AO CVO, Head of Executive and People Engagement Division

Ms Kate Pope PSM, First Assistant Secretary, Veterans' Services Design Division

Ms Leanne Cameron, First Assistant Secretary, Client Engagement and Support Services Division

Mr Graeme Rochow, Chief Finance Officer, Assistant Secretary, Finance and Property Branch

Brigadier Bronwyn Worswick, Assistant Secretary, Legal Services and Audit Branch

Mr Paul Nothard AM CSC, National Manager, Commemorations and War Graves Branch

Ms Alison Hale, Assistant Secretary, Community Policy Branch

Ms Carly Partridge, Assistant Secretary, Royal Commission Taskforce

Ms Karen Pickering, Assistant Secretary, Provider Engagement and Management Branch

Ms Leonie Nowland, Assistant Secretary, Client Coordination and Support Branch

Ms Edel Kairouz, Assistant Secretary, Policy Development Branch

Ms Veronica Hancock, Assistant Secretary, Wellbeing Policy Branch

Ms Moira Campbell, Assistant Secretary, Wellbeing Policy Branch

Dr Stephanie Hodson CSC, National Manager, Open Arms—Veterans and Families Counselling

Defence Housing Australia

Mr Paul Groenewegen, Acting Managing Director

Mr Brett Jorgensen, General Manager, Property Provisioning Group

Ms Suzanne Pitson, General Manager, Portfolio Management Group

Ms Christine Steele, Acting General Manager, Property and Tenancy Services

Mr Ross Jordan, General Manager, Governance

Mr Hamid Heydarian, General Manager, Business Intelligence

Ms Lisa Barlin, Chief General Counsel

Mr Andrew Oliver, National Manager, People and Capability

Ms Katische Vinning, National Manager, Business Solutions, Technology and Services

Committee met at 09 : 00

CHAIR ( Senator Abetz ): I declare open this supplementary budget estimates 2019-20 hearing of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee. Today the committee will examine the Defence portfolio as set out on the circulated program. The committee has fixed 1 November 2019 as the date for senators to submit written questions on notice and 6 December 2019 is the due date for the return of responses. Information on procedural rules governing the estimates hearings and claims of public interest immunity has been provided to departments and agencies and is available from the secretariat.

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)

Before welcoming people at the table, can I extend a warm welcome to a group of ASEAN students studying at the ANU under the new ASEAN-Australia Defence Postgraduate Scholarship Program, which was announced in March 2018 by the then defence minister, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne. Their work focuses on issues of leadership in a defence and ASEAN context, and they are spending time looking at the issue of accountability and defence leadership. To those students from our neighbouring countries: you're very welcome and I hope that you find the proceedings informative, if not enjoyable.