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Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee
05/03/2020
Estimates
FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PORTFOLIO

FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PORTFOLIO

In Attendance

Senator Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Minister for Tourism and Investment

Senator Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (non-trade programs)

Ms Frances Adamson, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Mr Daniel Sloper, Chief People Officer

Mr Murali Venugopal, Chief Finance Officer

Ms Suzanne McCourt, Assistant Secretary, Executive Branch

Outcome 1: The advancement of Australia's international strategic, security and economic interests including through bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement on Australian Government foreign, trade and international development policy priorities

Program 1.1: Foreign Affairs and Trade Operations

Program 1.2: Official Development Assistance

Program 1.3: Official Development Assistance - Multilateral Replenishments

Program 1.4: Payments to International Organisations

Program 1.5: New Colombo Plan - Transforming Regional Relationships

Program 1.6: Public Information Services and Public Diplomacy

Program 1.7: Programs to promote Australia's International Tourism Interests

Ms Frances Adamson, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Ms Bridget Brill, Executive Director, Australian Passport Office

Dr Robert Floyd, Director General, Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office

Mr Andrew Todd, First Assistant Secretary, Consular and Crisis Management Division

Ms Beth Delaney, First Assistant Secretary, Contracting and Aid Management Division

Ms Paula Ganly, Executive Director, Diplomatic Academy

Mr Luke Williams, Chief Security Officer, Diplomatic Security Division

Mr Jamie Isbister, Ambassador for the Environment and First Assistant Secretary, Economic Growth and Sustainability Division

Ms Catherine Raper, First Assistant Secretary, Europe and Latin America Division

Ms Suzanne McCourt, Assistant Secretary, Executive Branch

Mr Murali Venugopal, Chief Finance Officer, Finance Division

Ms Elizabeth Peak, First Assistant Secretary, Human Development and Governance Division

Dr Stephanie Williams, Ambassador for Regional Health Security

Ms Sarah Goulding, Assistant Secretary, Education, Social Protection and Human Development Finance Branch

Mr James Gilling, First Assistant Secretary, Humanitarian NGOs and Partnerships Division

Mr Timothy Spackman, Chief Information Officer, Information Management and Technology Division

Mrs Magda Gibbons, Assistant Secretary, Information and Communications Technology Strategic Planning and Governance Branch

Ms Lisa Wright, Assistant Secretary, innovationXchange

Ms Amanda Gorely, First Assistant Secretary, International Security Division

Mr Paul Foley, Ambassador for Counter Terrorism

Mr Bruce Hutchesson, Ambassador for People Smuggling and Human Trafficking Taskforce

Dr Tobias Feakin, Ambassador for Cyber Affairs

Mr James Larsen, Chief Legal Officer

Dr Angela Macdonald, First Assistant Secretary, Middle East and Africa Division

Dr Justin Lee, First Assistant Secretary, Multilateral Policy Division

Ms Alice Cawte, Acting First Assistant Secretary, North Asia Division

Ms Nancy Gordon, Assistant Secretary, North East Asia Branch

Dr Robert Christie, Assistant Secretary, Office of Development Effectiveness

Dr Jennifer Gordon, Chief Economist, Office of the Chief Economist

Mr Gerald Thomson, First Assistant Secretary, Pacific Bilateral Division, Office of the Pacific

Ms Kathy Klugman, First Assistant Secretary, Pacific Strategy Division, Office of the Pacific

Ms Danielle Heinecke, First Assistant Secretary, Pacific Operations and Development, Office of the Pacific

Mr George Mina, First Assistant Secretary, Office of Trade Negotiations

Ms Alison Burrows, Chief Negotiator, Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement

Mr Kevin Nixon, Executive Director, Overseas Property Office

Mr Daniel Sloper, Chief People Officer, People Division

Ms Kate Logan, Chief of Protocol, Protocol Branch

Mr James Baxter, First Assistant Secretary, Regional Trade Agreements Division

Ms Caroline McCarthy, Assistant Secretary, Free Trade Agreement Investment, Digital Trade and Other Issues Branch

Mr Simon Farbenbloom, Assistant Secretary, Free Trade Agreement Policy and Implementation Branch

Mr Michael Dean, Acting Assistant Secretary, Trade and Investment Advocacy Branch

Mr John Karatsoreos, Acting Assistant Secretary, Free Trade Agreement Goods Branch

Mr John Geering, First Assistant Secretary, Soft Power, Communications and Scholarships Division

Ms Angela Robinson, Assistant Secretary, Communications and Parliamentary Branch

Mr Damien Miller, Assistant Secretary, Soft Power, Partnerships and Research Branch

Mr Paul Lehmann, Assistant Secretary, Scholarships and Alumni Branch

Mr Roderick Brazier, First Assistant Secretary, South and West Asia Division

Mr Ian Biggs, Assistant Secretary, Pakistan Afghanistan and Central Asia Branch

Ms Julie Heckscher, First Assistant Secretary, Southeast Asia Division

Ms Julianne Merriman, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Trade Investment and Business Engagement Division

Mr Anthony Stannard, Acting Assistant Secretary, Investment Branch

Ms Edwina Stevens, Assistant Secretary, Multilateral Economic Branch

Mr Craig Chittick, First Assistant Secretary, United States and Indo-Pacific Strategy Division

Mr Angus Mackenzie, Head of the Bushfire Recovery Unit

Mr Simon Newnham, Head of the Coronavirus Coordination Taskforce

Outcome 2: The protection and welfare of Australians abroad and access to secure international travel documentation through timely and responsive travel advice and consular and passport services in Australia and overseas

Program 2.1: Consular Services

Program 2.2: Passport Services

Mr Andrew Todd, First Assistant Secretary, Consular and Crisis Management Division

Ms Bridget Brill, Executive Director, Australian Passport Office

Outcome 3: A secure Australian Government presence overseas through the provision of security services and information and communications technology infrastructure, and the management of the Commonwealth's overseas property estate

Program 3.1: Foreign Affairs and Trade Security and IT

Program 3.2: Overseas Property

Mr Luke Williams, Chief Security Officer

Mr Tim Spackman, Chief Information Officer

Mr Kevin Nixon, Executive Director, Overseas Property Office

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (trade programs)

Ms Frances Adamson, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Dr Jennifer Gordon, Chief Economist, Office of the Chief Economist

Mr George Mina, First Assistant Secretary, Office of Trade Negotiations

Ms Alison Burrows, Chief Negotiator, Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement

Mr James Baxter, First Assistant Secretary, Regional Trade Agreements Division

Ms Caroline McCarthy, Assistant Secretary, Free Trade Agreement Investment, Digital Trade and Other Issues Branch

Mr Simon Farbenbloom, Assistant Secretary, Free Trade Agreement Policy and Implementation Branch

Mr Michael Dean, Acting Assistant Secretary, Trade and Investment Advocacy Branch

Mr John Karatsoreos, Acting Assistant Secretary, Free Trade Agreement Goods Branch

Ms Julianne Merriman, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Trade Investment and Business Engagement Division

Mr Anthony Stannard, Acting Assistant Secretary, Investment Branch

Ms Edwina Stevens, Assistant Secretary, Multilateral Economic Branch

Aust ralian Tr ade and Investment Commission

Outcome 1: Contribute to Australia’s economic pr osperity by promoting Australia' s export and other international economic interests through the provision of information, advice and services to business, associations, institutions and government.

Program 1.1 Promotion of Australia' s export and other international economic interests.

Program 1.2 Program s to promote Australia' s export and other international economic interests.

Dr Stephanie Fahey, Chief Executive Officer

Mr David Hazlehurst, Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Mr Tim Beresford, Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Ms Kelly Ralston, Chief Innovation Officer

Mr Rob Donelly, Chief Operating Officer

Ms Jenny West, General Manager, Trade and Investment

Ms Margaret Bowen, Acting General Manager, Government and Partnerships

Mr Nick Woodruff, Chief Information Officer

Mr Ken Wedgwood, Chief Finance Officer

Outcome 2: The protection and welfare of Australians abroad through timely and responsive consular and passport services in specific locations overseas.

Program 2.1 Consular and Passport Services

Dr Stephanie Fahey, Chief Executive Officer

Mr Rob Donelly, Chief Operating Officer

Mr Dom Bilbie, Assistant General Manager, Client Programs

Export Finance Australia

Ms Swati Dave, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Mr John Hopkins, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel

Mr John Pacey, Chief Credit Officer

Tourism Australia

Ms Phillipa Harrison, Managing Director

Mr Mark Craig, Executive General Manager Corporate Services

Mr Bede Fennell, Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Government and Industry

Ms Victoria Maigre, Global Manager Government Relations

Ms Erin Forster, Government Media and Communications Manager

Ms Elisa Jakymin, Government Relations Stakeholder and Policy Manager

Committee met at 09:02

CHAIR ( Senator Abetz ): I declare open this additional estimates 2019-20 hearing of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee. Today the committee will examine the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio as set out on the circulated program. The committee is due to report to the Senate on 24 April 2020 and has set Friday 17 April 2020 as the date for the return of responses to questions taken on notice. Information on procedural rules governing the estimates hearings and claims of public interest immunity has been provided to departments and agencies, is available from the secretariat, and will be incorporated 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 (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)