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Community Affairs Legislation Committee
Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Food Standards Australia New Zealand


Senator RICE: My questions are for FSANZ. In August 2016 FSANZ held a workshop with states and territories regarding new breeding techniques. There were some talking points for that workshop which stated that, from a scientific and safety perspective, we're quite comfortable with foods derived from those types of techniques not having to undergo pre-market assessment and approval, given their similarity to conventional food products. Is this still the position of FSANZ on these new breeding techniques?

Mr Booth : I'll pass over to Dr Crerar in a second, but, essentially, we've been doing a significant amount of work on new breeding techniques over the last year or so. We've gone out and been doing consultation on exactly the issues you have talked about. We did a big series of consultations earlier this year, and earlier this year we produced a summary of submissions to a discussion document on new breeding techniques. We have not made any decision as yet, because it's not been to our board, but that summary of submissions is in the public domain and we're continuing to work on that. I'll ask Dr Crerar if there is anything to add to that.

Dr Crerar : In relation to your question, the scientific conclusions from that workshop and the consensus were in general that some of these techniques, from a risk basis, possibly in the future didn't have to be encompassed in a pre-market safety assessment. But, as Mr Booth has said, we have not come to any decisions on what sorts of techniques would be captured in a standard going forward at this stage. We have had lots of discussions, and so we're working on possible options at this stage.

Senator RICE: So for some of those techniques you would stand by the statement that you are comfortable with them not having to undergo premarket assessment and approval?

Dr Crerar : From a risk perspective, yes. But obviously there are other factors that come into that, in terms of perceptions, stakeholder views and, importantly, the jurisdictional comfort with how we would capture some of these techniques.

Senator RICE: I presume that FSANZ is aware of the recent European Court of Justice decision that ruled the new GM techniques pose similar risks to the older GM techniques and need to be assessed for safety in the same way?

Dr Crerar : We are.

Senator RICE: In terms of these GM techniques, how does that influence you in the regulations and labelling that would be required?

Dr Crerar : Obviously, we look at what's happening throughout the world in terms of decisions of that nature—how other bodies and agencies are regulating the particular area. We do still have a labelling regime. If it is considered a GM food captured for premarket assessment, it needs to be labelled if it does have foreign DNA or protein in the food product. That is the case, and we haven't changed that as of yet.

Senator RICE: Have you reviewed your position on new GM techniques since the European Court of Justice decision?

Dr Crerar : We haven't reviewed it in direct response to that decision but, as I said, we will take that into account in terms of what options we go forward with.

Mr Booth : That's the purpose of the work that we've been doing, which is this review. We've been out to ask communities and different groups what their views are to inform a decision going forward, but we've not actually made any decisions yet.

Senator RICE: And you haven't done an internal review in response to that CJ decision?

Mr Booth : No, because it's been part of the NBT work that is ongoing, and we expect something more to come out of that possibly in the first half of next year.

Senator RICE: If you went down the path of potentially deregulating these foods—as you said, you're comfortable that some of them wouldn't need to be assessed—would you therefore be comfortable they wouldn't need to be labelled as GM?

Mr Booth : I think that's bit of a hypothetical at the moment. I guess our position is that we're doing that work, we are taking the work that we've done to the FSANZ board, and we'll be having a discussion with them. It's difficult to give a hypothetical as of where we would head without doing that.

Senator RICE: But you said that you were comfortable with some of them not having to undergo further premarket assessment and approval, essentially saying that they aren't recognised as GM foods.

Mr Booth : I'm saying—and to reiterate what Dr Crerar said—that is one of the positions that has come out on a risk assessment basis but there are a whole host of other issues to take into account. And that's the work that we're doing at the moment. So nothing has changed. We're doing the work at the moment to actually look at the NBTs.

Senator RICE: Do you agree that by doing that work and heading down the track of basically saying that at least some of them would not be recognised in Australia—they wouldn't have to be identified in Australia as GM—it could be very problematic in terms of the European Court of Justice saying that foods created with these gene-editing techniques would have to be labelled as GM? Isn't this going to interfere with our ability to export products, if they are not being labelled as GM in Australia?

Mr Booth : I think, again, it's a kind of hypothetical.

Senator RICE: It's not a hypothetical—

Mr Booth : You're taking a stance up-front, because we are not there.

Senator RICE: because you're saying, with at least some of these, your current position is that you accept they essentially don't need to be labelled.

Mr Booth : That's why we're doing the work at the moment, and we will take that position forward to see whether or not the board agrees with it.

Senator RICE: But do you agree that, if that were the case, it would be problematic given the decision of the European Court of Justice on labelling?

Mr Booth : I'm not saying anything until we've done the work on it.

Dr Crerar : Senator, could I add that if there were an importing country requirement for labelling then the exporting body or country would have to comply with it.

Senator RICE: Given that polling has suggested that over 90 per cent of Australians think all GM food should be labelled, if you go down the track of having some of these foods, which in Europe would have to be labelled as GM, not labelled here, how does that fit with the key objective of the food acts, which is the provision of adequate information relating to food to enable consumers to make informed choices?

Mr Booth : Again, I think we're jumping ahead here, because we've not finished the work on NBTs that we set out to do some time ago, which followed on from the workshop that you're talking about. We've gone out, we've done public consultation, we've done a lot of talking to people. We've put those opinions and views up on the website. They're out there. And we're now doing the work to take it to the board to actually talk about these issues.

Senator RICE: Can you talk me through the timing, then, for when you're expecting to take it to the board and a final decision to be made?

Mr Booth : Well, I can't say when a final decision would be and where it goes afterwards, but we're certainly hoping to have a substantive discussion at our December board meeting, which is in early December, and we're looking to get something out, potentially, in the first half of next year.

Senator RICE: What's the process once it goes through your board, as to whether your recommendations get adopted?

Dr Crerar : In terms of wanting a steer from the board, a direction, in terms of, I suppose, where they want to go with options in this area. Then we would have to raise a proposal through our statutory requirements, if there are going to be any changes to standards, and then that would be the subject of public consultation. That could be a number of rounds of consultation. In that sense, we're not too sure of the time frame, but, pending the board saying they're happy with us to go with options, it would be some time in the first half of next year we'd have some initial consultation.

Senator RICE: And then, depending on how that went, your timing would then develop from there.

Dr Crerar : Yes.

Senator RICE: Thank you, Chair.

CHAIR: You're welcome. Senator Waters.

Senator WATERS: Thank you, Chair. I've got some questions about maternity services. I don't think that's you guys. Do we have the folk in the room?

Ms Edwards : Fire away.

Senator WATERS: Thanks. The 2008 national review of maternity services showed that women want access to primary midwifery care as close to home as possible. Can you provide me an update on what you're doing to advance that?

Ms Edwards : What the Commonwealth is doing at the moment is convening the development of a national strategic approach to maternity services, and that's part way through development at the moment. There's been a big consultation process happening, and there was a discussion paper, which you might have seen, Senator, which raises issues such as continuity of midwifery care and so on.

Senator WATERS: That's the primary way through which you are progressing the earlier—

Ms Edwards : That's our primary activity: having a big consultation with states and territories and with stakeholders in order to come up with a national strategy. The primary responsibility for maternity services lies with the states and territories.

Senator WATERS: Moving to NSAMS, the national strategic approach, does that include a review of funding or is it merely structural: who's going to do what in the future?

Ms Edwards : It's not really about funding. I'm just looking for the correct words in my briefing. It's to provide an overarching national approach to maintaining Australia's high-quality maternity care service and work towards further improvements in line with contemporary practice, research and international developments. It's being led by the chief nurse, so it's really got to do with clinical services, the views of obstetricians, midwives, other industry and, in particular, women and their families.

Senator WATERS: I do have some questions about consultation, but, sticking with the document itself, if it's about the future direction of maternity services, how come it doesn't include funding considerations?

Ms Edwards : It's about clinical services and what good practice is. The discussion paper collected all the data and so on.

Senator WATERS: Again, why is it not considering the funding for those—

Ms Edwards : Funding is a matter for states and territories—how services are funded, including maternity services. What this is about is bringing together expertise and the experience of women for the best way to deliver those services.

Senator WATERS: Okay, but the Commonwealth does play a role in funding.

Ms Edwards : Well, we provide funding through the MBS and PBS systems and through hospitals. But, really, these sorts of issues are primarily matters for states and territories. We work with them through the intergovernmental arrangements. We don't purport to tell them how to do it, but we do want to collect the evidence.

Senator WATERS: Was that decision for this national strategic approach to not include funding issues a decision of you or of government? Who made that call?

Ms Edwards : It was set up by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council, so a collaboration of all states and territories and the Commonwealth.

Senator WATERS: I'll ask some questions on notice about that particular aspect. I'm advised that currently a small number of hospitals have an exemption to be able to bill Medicare for services provided for maternity care. Has the government considered expanding this exemption to all sites offering primary maternity care?

Ms Edwards : We're not aware of the detail of those exemptions. We're aware there is scope for—

Senator WATERS: Section 19(2)?

Ms Edwards : Yes. That allows block funded institutions to also bill Medicare. But I'm not aware of the particular hospitals or the issues that are at play at the moment.

Senator WATERS: My question goes to whether there's consideration of expanding that. Who can avail themselves of that block funding?

Ms Edwards : I think that's probably dealt with by our colleagues whose deal with outcome 4, in relation to MBS, because it goes to that.

Senator WATERS: I will take it up with them; thank you. The feedback to my office about the consultation process that you mentioned earlier on NSAMS is that women want midwifery continuity of care—at least many women do—and obviously the Commonwealth has got a role to play in that through Medicare. But my understanding is there's no specific recommendations to expand Medicare access for midwives in the consultation paper. Why not? And is that issue coming up in the feedback? I'll have some more questions about the feedback that's been received.

Ms Edwards : I discussed this issue with the chief nurse the other day—she wasn't able to be here today. It's an issue raised in item 2.1 of the discussion paper, and it's an issue in the course of discussions. But we wouldn't want to pre-empt where we're going to go with the agreement on how the strategy works on that issue.

Senator WATERS: Can you tell me about the feedback that you're receiving so far on midwifery continuity of care through the consultation?

Ms Edwards : I can take that on notice; I'm not across the detail of that.

Senator WATERS: Thank you. Will there be any sort of summary of the public consultation and the feedback received, and will that be made public?

Ms Edwards : I'm sorry, I don't know the answer to that; I'll have to take it on notice. I think it will depend on the nature of the things people have said and the basis on which they've said it. You'd be aware there have been some focus groups of women; I doubt we'll be making public what particular women are saying. Perhaps we could take on notice to provide to you what's planned to do with the outcomes of the consultation. Obviously the outcomes will be reflected in the final strategy.

Senator WATERS: You'd hope so, yes.

Ms Edwards : But the extent to which it would be (a) appropriate and (b) intended to release it—

Senator WATERS: Surely it would be de-identified.

Ms Edwards : Yes.

Senator WATERS: I'm not suggesting that we reveal people's personal information, but certainly their views.

Ms Edwards : Yes.

Ms Beauchamp : We could look at that. I think there were 200 submissions and then there was another survey of another 535—a template-type approach. But we can look at consolidating and see what we can provide.

Ms Edwards : Yes, I think that sounds like it would be eminently reasonable. But I just don't want to speak for the chief nurse.

Senator WATERS: Thank you. I look forward to your advice both on how that feedback will be summarised and then whether or not that will be made available to the public as well as to someone like me, on notice. Can you tell me how consumers have been involved in this strategy and what the representation is of consumers on the respective committees?

Ms Edwards : Yes, I can. As I said, there have been focus groups which were held with women, trying to get a really grassroots approach; it was held around the country. In addition, perhaps I could table the list of people who have been on the committees—

Senator WATERS: Sure.

Ms Edwards : It includes, for example, Safe Motherhood for All, which is maternity consumers' group, the refugee and migrant research program, the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia and a range of consumer groups.

Senator WATERS: Thank you. If we can have that tabled, I'd love to get a copy of that detail. Is it roughly an even split of consumers and other health practitioners? What proportion of those committee members could be classed as consumers?

Ms Edwards : I think the simplest thing would be to table the list. It was a very inclusive process.

Senator WATERS: You'll know a bit more about what category they fit in than I will, I fear—so your view would be helpful.

Ms Edwards : I'm not sure I would, actually, Senator; that's probably one of the issues here. But it's representatives of midwives, obstetricians, general practitioners, but also consumers. On the list I have here there are a range of people represented. There would be six or seven groups representing consumers.

Senator WATERS: Out of how many?

Ms Edwards : Out of about 20.

Senator WATERS: So roughly a quarter?

Ms Beauchamp : Why don't we table it?

Ms Edwards : Yes, I think we should table the document.

Senator WATERS: Will I be able to work it out?

Ms Edwards : As well as I am!

Senator WATERS: I'm happy to receive the document. Could you take on notice the proportion of consumers—

Ms Edwards : I will table the document. I would note that we haven't asked permission of the individuals who are named as the contacts. Would you like me to take the contacts off and give it to you without that part?

Senator WATERS: Whatever you consider appropriate. I won't share it around. Whatever the normal practice is fine.

Ms Edwards : It should be okay. I just mention that.

Senator WATERS: I'm also interested in whether you're weighing that consumer input to the same degree as other expert input on those committees? Is that weighted?

Ms Edwards : Again, this is a matter for the chief nurse, but we are weighing all views. All views are welcome. This is a matter of trying to find a way through that really represents all of the people involved, from specialists through to women having babies.

Senator WATERS: Can you tell me about the time frame? When will this consultation be finished? When will it progress to the next stage?

Ms Edwards : I think the consultation has concluded. And the report is expected—

Ms Beauchamp : Sorry, there's further consultation.

Ms Edwards : Yes, until October-November, and then the report is due to be concluded in late 2019.

Senator WATERS: Late next year?

Ms Edwards : Yes.

Senator WATERS: Goodness. That seems like an awfully long time to finish a report.

Ms Edwards : July 2019, I beg your pardon. But, still, it goes back through all the states and territories and so on. This is a collaborative effort. Those processes are significant.

Senator WATERS: Will the report be the thing that—

Ms Edwards : The strategy will be agreed. That is the intention of all states and territories.

Senator WATERS: So the strategy itself will be completed in July 2019?

Ms Edwards : We expect it to be completed by then. Obviously, there are processes.

Senator WATERS: Thank you. I'll pop some more questions on notice.

Senator LEYONHJELM: Good afternoon. You may have to help me as to the scope of your responsibilities. My understanding is you regulate imported food but not domestically produced food—is that right?

Mr Booth : We're not regulators; we're standard-setters. We don't do the regulation. In terms of responsibility for imports, it would fall to Agriculture and Water Resources.

Senator LEYONHJELM: And Biosecurity. They take advice from you on keeping food safe?

Mr Booth : They take advice from us in terms of food that comes in. We set a number of markers, I guess, in terms of food that comes in. Yes, we provide that advice.

Senator LEYONHJELM: Would it be true to say that imported food is more likely to be safe than domestically produced food because of the work you do?

Mr Booth : No. We set standards for food and the standards for domestically produced food need to reach our standards, just as much as imported—

Senator LEYONHJELM: They would be the same, you think?

Mr Booth : I had a feeling that might be the case. That ruins my line of questioning. I want to have a quick follow-up on the vaping questioning from earlier, if I can, please.

Ms Beauchamp : Do we need FSANZ anymore?

Senator LEYONHJELM: I don't need FSANZ anymore. No-one else does.

Senator WATT: I will put some things on notice.

Senator LEYONHJELM: There are a couple of aspects in response to your answers to Senator Griff—particularly your response, Mr Laffan, and your concerns about e-cigarettes being a gateway to smoking. Do you think the health authorities in countries which have approved e-cigarettes have got it wrong, because they take a different view?

Dr Studdert : Senator, I think you're asking for an opinion from my officials. There are, as you would know, evidence reviews that frequently arrive at different conclusions, but at this stage, for Australia, we are working off the NHMRC's considered advice, and that has been updated. We have continued to pursue active engagement with the research literature. We're reviewing the CSIRO data, and the minister has indicated he continues to ask for more data and literature and to review that as it becomes available.

Senator LEYONHJELM: Yes, I'm aware of all that. The National Health Service in the UK is actively encouraging smokers to take up e-cigarettes as a quitting device. I was wondering whether you think that would be an appropriate policy for Australia.

Dr Studdert : To be promoted as a quitting device in Australia would mean it would have to be reviewed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods as a therapeutic product, with evidence to support its effectiveness as a quitting mechanism.

Senator LEYONHJELM: Has it been through that process in the UK?

Dr Studdert : I believe the MHRA—which, if I recall correctly, is the TGA equivalent—has approved one device or product as a therapeutic product for quitting purposes.

Senator LEYONHJELM: Would that process be relevant to how it would be approached here?

Dr Studdert : Australia has its own processes. I'm sure you could talk to my colleagues from the TGA later about how we cross-reference and keep an eye on and in some cases use evidence from other regulators and their reviews of products. But to be on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods it would have to go through the Australian process.

Senator LEYONHJELM: Is it your view, Dr Studdert, or your colleagues' view that the major tobacco companies have a dominant role in the e-cigarette market?

Dr Studdert : I wouldn't want to express a view. I think they've made it very clear that they do have a role and have been actively engaged in conversations and promotions given that role.

Senator LEYONHJELM: Relative to their role in selling tobacco products, do you have a view as to whether it's greater or lesser than in e-cigarettes?

Dr Studdert : Their role?

Senator LEYONHJELM: Or their share of the market.

Dr Studdert : Again, you're asking me and my colleagues for a view, and we can't give that. I'm not quite sure how I would assess that.

Senator LEYONHJELM: You haven't looked at that—okay. I'm just wondering whether you are under the impression that the tobacco companies dominate the e-cigarette market in any countries or internationally or whatever. I'm just wondering whether that's a perception that is common in the department.

Ms Beauchamp : I don't think we would offer a view. Obviously there's a lot of research going on, so we'd have to draw on the evidence. So why don't we have a look at what the evidence is and what research is being done in this regard? I think views and perceptions are not something that we should offer any comment on.

Senator LEYONHJELM: Okay. It's just that I have heard that view expressed, and it seems to have been sourced from your department. I guess I'm just wondering whether it has ever occurred to you folks in the department that, for every month, year or whatever that e-cigarettes are not available in Australia, the tobacco companies make more money. In other words, their share of the e-cigarette market is substantially less than their share of the tobacco market. Obviously, if you add them all up, their share of the tobacco market is 100 per cent. They have less than half of the e-cigarette market. So preventing people from switching to e-cigarettes is, in fact, assisting the tobacco companies to sell their products. I wonder whether that's ever been a consideration or has ever been talked about in the department.

Dr Studdert : Our assessments and advice to government are entirely based on the public health evidence that is available and, as I said earlier, is reviewed on a regular basis. Obviously, the role of tobacco companies has been prominent in much of what the department has done over the years in relation to tobacco control, but I don't think it's a consideration in terms of the public health advice we provide to government as to the harms, benefits or otherwise of tobacco-related products.

Senator LEYONHJELM: I anticipate e-cigarettes will be widely available in New Zealand soon. I know there was some discussion about whether that's still going to occur, but I understand that it will occur. What's your impression of the enforceability of the current prohibition on e-cigarettes in Australia if they are widely available in New Zealand?

Dr Studdert : Just to clarify, the position for the Australian government is the regulation of nicotine. Somewhat in contrast to the New Zealand situation, there is also a lot of regulation around e-cigarettes in the states and territories.

Senator LEYONHJELM: By state governments, yes.

Dr Studdert : So there would be a dual role in consideration here. For the Commonwealth, the importation of nicotine would have to be something that would be under prescription, other than for a limited amount of personal use.

CHAIR: Senator Leyonhjelm, you have two minutes.

Senator LEYONHJELM: Okay. This is my last question. My question was around enforceability. Have you turned your mind to enforceability if they're widely available in New Zealand?

Ms Beauchamp : Are you talking about the nicotine based e-cigarettes?

Senator LEYONHJELM: Nicotine based e-cigarettes.

Ms Beauchamp : I think we would have to rely on the current regulatory arrangements through Home Affairs, Border Force and border protection.

Senator LEYONHJELM: All right. I will leave that there.

Senator DEAN SMITH: Chair, if the committee is in agreement, I propose that we deal with outcome 3 now, given that Senator Farrell is here, and proceed perhaps a little into the dinner break and then, after bringing that to conclusion, come back to outcome 2 first up after dinner.

Senator WATT: I'm happy with that, and I'm happy to flag that the only remaining outcome 2 questions we have will be about the Cancer Screening Register.

Senator DI NATALE: I have a couple more prevention questions.

Senator WATT: Yes, I think Senator Di Natale has other questions, which he may or may not wish to flag. It's up to him.

Senator DI NATALE: Yes, I have some prevention questions when we come back.

CHAIR: We will go to outcome 3 now, and then, when we come back after dinner, we will go back to outcome 2.

Senator DI NATALE: Great.

Ms Beauchamp : Chair, can I just confirm that the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority and the National Health Funding Body will not be required?

Senator WATT: We had intended to ask them questions, but, given the time, we're going to have to let that go and put some things on notice instead.

Ms Beauchamp : Also, there were health workforce issues under program 2.3?

Senator WATT: The same. From the opposition, we're going to have to let that go as well.

Ms Beauchamp : Thank you for the clarification.


CHAIR: So we are on outcome 3.

Senator FARRELL: Thank you for the cooperation of the committee to bring on sport before dinner. I will try to be as brief as I can be.

Senator McKenzie: My favourite shadow minister! We like each other. He said so in his press release.

Senator FARRELL: I just want to thank all of the agencies who are coming in as we speak and the officials for making yourselves available and for the hard work that you've been doing since the last round of estimates. Minister, we finally have a sports plan.

Senator McKenzie: We do. I promised you would have it before the next estimates

Senator FARRELL: Yes, you did.

Senator McKenzie: And I love that you have brought it along.

Senator FARRELL: You have delivered, so congratulations.

Senator McKenzie: Thank you, Senator Farrell.

Senator FARRELL: I just want to indicate that I think most people, including me, would broadly agree with the plan's strategic priorities and its target outcomes. My questions will be in relation to how those objectives will be achieved.

Senator McKenzie: Yes, sure.

Senator FARRELL: I would like to start by referencing the fact that you've announced this morning a $50 million high-performance sports funding for over two years.

Senator McKenzie: Yes.

Senator FARRELL: I note that it's on the same day you're moving to Indi to take on Cathy McGowan.

Senator McKenzie: Yes, I'm going home, Senator Farrell.

Senator FARRELL: I know.

Senator McKenzie: Born and raised.

Senator FARRELL: I think you were born there.

Senator McKenzie: I was born in a little town called Alexandra, and I grew up in Benalla.

Senator FARRELL: I just thought you would like to use this audience to perhaps make a formal announcement or an indication—

Senator McKenzie: Thank you for the opportunity, but I think there's been enough commentary. I am looking forward to going home as soon as possible.

Senator FARRELL: So the story is accurate? It's true?

Senator McKenzie: Yes. I am heading to Indi, with my office set up in Wodonga, and I'm looking for some digs.

Senator FARRELL: Very good.

Senator WATT: Sophie Mirabella had a house there. You might be able to grab that one.

Senator McKenzie: Senator Watt, do you have somewhere to be?

Senator FARRELL: Your announcement about the $50 million worth of high-performance sports funding came hours before the Olympic Committee with Matt Carroll made his address at the National Press Club this afternoon. I noticed you were at that event.

Senator McKenzie: Yes.

Senator FARRELL: Matt Carroll called for an extra $60 million per year—not over two years—to be invested in the Olympic and the Paralympic sports. With respect to your $50 million that you announced this morning, did you discuss that with Prime Minister Turnbull?

Senator McKenzie: We made a decision, as a government, to invest an additional $50 million into high-performance sport in order to assist our elite athletes and our national sporting organisations in their bid for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Bear in mind that at the budget we also announced a suite of initiatives around strengthening community participation. I note that Matt Carroll also notes the AOC supports that dual role of sport in our—

Senator FARRELL: I'm just talking about this $50 million. Was that discussed with Prime Minister Turnbull?

Senator McKenzie: The $50 million that we announced was part of our budget bid going into the budget this year.

Senator FARRELL: So you say this is money that's already in the budget? This is not new money?

Senator McKenzie: This is new money. This is a new $50 million, in addition to the $100 million we give every year.

Senator FARRELL: Yes. My question is a simple enough question: did you discuss the $50 million proposal with Prime Minister Turnbull?

Senator McKenzie: It was provisioned for in our budget.

Senator FARRELL: You say it's already in the budget. Therefore, it's not any new money. If it's in the budget—

Senator McKenzie: It wasn't around prior to our budget. For instance, high-performance funding in this country gets an ongoing provision of close to $100 million per annum, year in, year out, for them to do their business. We decided, as a government, given the need to inject some money into support our Tokyo 2020 bid, that some additional resources were required, and that was done within the budget context this year.

Senator FARRELL: So your announcement today was not new money; it was money that was previously announced in the last budget?

Senator McKenzie: It was part of a decision taken but not yet announced. It was the announcement of a decision taken in the budget, but, if you go through the budget papers, there's a provision for decisions taken but not yet announced. This $50 million was part of that.

Senator FARRELL: Why did you wait until today to do it? Did you know Mr Carroll was going to make his comments about lack of funding in sport?

Senator McKenzie: I've been in discussions with national sporting organisations since the budget. I knew that they needed that funding prior to the end of the year, so I found an appropriate time in my diary and an appropriate time in the athletes' diaries. You will note, Senator Farrell, who else was at that announcement this morning: our Paralympic Committee, the Australian Olympic Committee, the Chair of Sport Australia and the federal government.

Senator FARRELL: Yes.

Senator McKenzie: To actually get all of those people at the same place at the same time, with our Olympic athletes and with the rowers from Canberra Grammar School, required a bit of diary juggling, but we got it done.

Senator FARRELL: I can see, by the smile on your face, that even you know that it was a funny—

Senator McKenzie: I think it's a great announcement, Senator Farrell.

Senator FARRELL: I'm not complaining about the announcement. I know everybody in sport is desperate for some funding.

Senator McKenzie: Yes.

Senator FARRELL: I get that. I will leave it at this, but I think it's a strange coincidence that, on the day that Matt Carroll comes to Canberra to tell people that there's a lack of funding in sport, you make an announcement which—

Senator McKenzie: Which was a decision taken in May.

Senator FARRELL: I get that. Of the $50 million that you've announced today, there was $19.8 million in the budget set aside as an exemption from the efficiency dividend. Is this $50 million inclusive of that $19.8 million or in addition to?

Senator McKenzie: This is additional funding. This has nothing to do with the efficiency dividend. This is $50 million—$25 million this year and $25 million next year—given to Sport Australia to give to our national sporting organisations to assist them with our Tokyo 2020 campaign.

Senator FARRELL: In the media release, you broadly mentioned AIS initiatives, programs and supplementing existing high-performance grants. Ms Palmer, could you perhaps provide a more detailed breakdown of exactly how much funding will be provided to which sports and which activities or initiatives with this $25 million each year for the next two years?

Ms Palmer : The decisions around any additional investment in sports have not been decided as yet, and need to be approved by the minister, so I can't provide details on that. One of the really critical pieces that we funded through that is our athlete wellbeing and engagement program. It's one of the most critical programs. We're investing significantly, actually four-fold, into that program across the nation and putting resources into a range of sports to help athletes, especially in the mental health space—I think that's one of the really key investments—but also in solving some of the performance problems that sports have in the technology and innovation area. They're some of the key examples that we will be investing in.

Senator FARRELL: Okay. Do you have a proportion that would be allocated to both of those two areas that you've just mentioned?

Ms Palmer : No, we don't. It's based on our strategy and priorities. A new investment model will look at what core funding is required, then funding that's needed to meet requirements for Tokyo and then beyond that into Paris.

Senator FARRELL: Will any of the money go directly to athlete support grants?

Ms Palmer : It's unlikely it will go to dAIS funding. At the moment, dAIS funding is at $12 million annually. Where the grants are provided, that would go to sports to provide for their high-performance programs.

Senator McKenzie: Under dAIS we're currently supporting 934 athletes with that ongoing funding piece I talked about earlier.

Senator FARRELL: But none of this new money—or this reannounced money—

Senator McKenzie: It's not reannounced, Senator Farrell.

Senator FARRELL: No, first announcement—

Senator McKenzie: A decision was taken in the budget and we announced it today to much acclaim.

Senator FARRELL: We are limited in time, so we won't go over ground already covered, thanks, Minister. How much will go to Paralympic or other disability sports?

Ms Palmer : Again, that will be decided through the allocation of the investment model that has not yet been approved. But, certainly, Paralympians receive the same amount of dAIS funding, the athlete funding, but it depends on the disciplines that are being represented in Tokyo.

Senator FARRELL: It was terrific to see all those athletes at the Invictus Games on Sunday afternoon, wasn't it, Minister?

Senator McKenzie: Yes, it really was. I think, since we last met, Senator Farrell, the inclusion of our para-athletes in the Commonwealth Games piece was incredibly inspirational. It is a key component of this funding, and it will be appropriated to both.

Senator FARRELL: I appreciate that. I take it, Ms Palmer, that, when you finally decide how this $25 million per year for the next two years is going to be spent, the minister has to approve that allocation?

Ms Palmer : Yes, that's correct.

Senator FARRELL: Do you have a time frame for that?

Ms Palmer : Next week.

Senator FARRELL: Next week!

Senator McKenzie: No.

Ms Palmer : The Sport Australia board approved the final investment framework at their board meeting last week, and now we'll prepare a report and brief for the minister to review.

Senator FARRELL: Let's hope it doesn't take as long as the sports plan to be approved.

Senator McKenzie: Well, I think it was worth the wait, Senator Farrell.

Senator FARRELL: Sorry, I don't want to encourage you to go off on a tangent. Mr Carroll mentioned no new funding announced with the launch of the sports 2030 plan, so obviously this is new money, although it came out of the budget. Recommendation 10 of the report of the review of Australia's sports integrity arrangements refers to allowing online in-play wagering. I won't read the particular section, but I'm sure you're familiar with that particular recommendation. Legalising online in-play sports betting and then taxing it, is that how you plan to fund future investment in sport, Minister?

Senator McKenzie: Well, Senator Farrell, I'd like to correct a couple of things you said. I don't necessarily agree with Mr Carroll saying that Sport 2030—which is a 13-year plan, quite frankly, around the pipeline from participation to elite performance, integrity and other issues around the sport ecosystem in this country—didn't come with significant investment. There was $230 million attached to this, which we have seen rolled out in community sporting infrastructure grants, participation grants, grants to assist older Australians get more active and a whole suite of initiatives, including increasing funding to our local sporting champions to assist families with the cost of getting their kids into participation. That was a significant additional investment.

Senator FARRELL: You think Mr Carroll was wrong?

Senator McKenzie: Sorry, Senator Farrell, I really want to correct this.

Senator FARRELL: I'll let you.

Senator McKenzie: People running around saying there was no investment by the federal government in our vision for sport in this country are simply incorrect. There was an additional $230 million in the federal budget for this, bearing in mind, as you and I know, sport in this country—yes, responsibility for some components lies with the federal government but in other areas it's with the sports themselves, with our professional codes and with our state and territory counterparts.

Senator FARRELL: And they're spending big.

Senator McKenzie: There's a lot of money going into sport in this country, and we've got to avoid duplication and make sure it's spent effectively.

Senator FARRELL: Your point is that Mr Carroll was wrong in the comments he made at the National Press Club today—is that what you're saying?

Senator McKenzie: It's not just my view. I'm happy to throw to the CEO of Sport Australia. I'm happy to go to the department. The reality was the plan had $280 million attached to the first tranche—

Senator FARRELL: Okay, but I—

Senator McKenzie: Sorry, Senator Farrell. 13 years. Attached to the first tranche of its implementation.

Senator FARRELL: To summarise, Mr Carroll was wrong?

Senator McKenzie: To summarise, $280 million was given to fulfil the first tranche of implementation of Sport 2030 in the federal budget in May. I'm happy to walk you through each and every component. We can do that. Do you want us to do that? We can do that.

Senator FARRELL: No.

Senator McKenzie: On top of the ongoing funding.

Senator FARRELL: Unfortunately, we've only got a few minutes left—

Senator McKenzie: Hundreds of millions of dollars.

Senator FARRELL: Can I get back to the direction of the question I was asking?

Senator McKenzie: Yes, you're trying to do a gotcha, Senator Farrell. You're trying to make me say something. I have answered your question.

Senator FARRELL: Well, you've disputed Mr Carroll's characterisation—I understand that—

Senator McKenzie: Well, I've given you the facts, Senator Farrell.

Senator FARRELL: and you've sought to provide another—

Senator McKenzie: There's $280 million to fund this plan.

Senator FARRELL: I'm asking you to think about recommendation 10 of the sports and integrity review arrangements, which propose to allow online in-play wagering. My question is: is that the mechanism—you might recall, at the last estimates I asked some questions about whether this was going to be a source of income for sports. I didn't get an answer. I'd previously asked these questions at estimates before that. What I'm asking you now is: is this the direction in which the government plans to go to fund sports? You've talked about this huge amount of money that you're planning to invest in sport. Are you going to pay for it by legalising online in-play sports betting?

Senator McKenzie: Senator Farrell, when you talk about the Wood review, the most comprehensive review into sports integrity in our nation's history, it uncovered a lot of issues in our sport, not just domestically but internationally. I'm happy for Mr Godkin to take you through what that might look like. There are 52 recommendations and we've been leading a whole-of-government response. And I'm not going to be announcing—

Senator FARRELL: Minister, I'd just like you to focus on one—

Senator McKenzie: Excuse me, Senator Farrell, I'm not going to be announcing the whole-of-government response here at estimates. I've got to work with everybody. I don't have responsibility for every single area that's covered by the Wood review.

Senator FARRELL: I might put the rest of the questions on notice. I notice ASADA is here.

Senator McKenzie: Yes, we've got ASADA.

Senator FARRELL: I hate getting people in and not giving them an opportunity to answer some questions.