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Economics Legislation Committee
05/04/2019
Estimates
TREASURY PORTFOLIO

TREASURY PORTFOLIO

In a ttendance

SenatorCormann, Minister for Finance and the Public Service

Senator Seselja , Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance

Department of the Treasury

Mr Philip Gaetjens, Secretary

Macroeconomic Group

Ms Meghan Quinn, Deputy Secretary, Macroeconomic Group

Dr Angelia Grant, Division Head, Macroeconomic Conditions Division

Ms Laura Berger-Thomson, Principal Adviser Forecasting, Macroeconomic Conditions Division

Ms Lisa Elliston, Division Head, International Policy and Engagement Division

Mr Damian Mullaly, Principal Adviser, Macroeconomic Modelling and Policy Division

Corporate Services and Business Strategy Group

Mr Matt Flavel, Deputy Secretary, Corporate Services and Business Strategy Group

Mr Robert Twomey, Chief Finance Officer, Chief Financial Officer Division

Ms Cristy England, Acting Division Head, People and Organisational Strategy Division

Ms Shannon Kenna, Division Head, Communications and Parliamentary Division

Mr Mike Webb, Division Head, Information Services Division

Fiscal Group

Mr Simon Atkinson, Deputy Secretary, Fiscal Group

Mr Jonathan Rollings, Division Head, Budget Policy Division

Mr Adam McKissack, Principal Adviser, Budget Policy Division

Ms Vicki Wilkinson, Division Head, Social Policy Division

Ms Philippa Brown, Principal Adviser, Social Policy Division

Ms Joanne Evans, Principal Adviser, Social Policy Division

Mr Robert Jeremenko, Division Head, Retirement Income Policy Division

Mr Darren Kennedy, Principal Adviser, Retirement Income Policy Division

Ms Michelle Dowdell, Principal Adviser, Retirement Income Policy Division

Mr Robb Preston, Principal Adviser, Retirement Income Policy Division

Ms Kate Phipps, Division Head, Commonwealth-State Policy Division

Mr Hamish McDonald, Division Head, Structural Reform Division

Mr Damien Dunn, Principal Adviser, Structural Reform Division

Mr Tom Dickson, Principal Adviser, Structural Reform Division

Ms Kirsten Baker, Principal Adviser, Structural Reform Division

Mr Damien White, Chief Adviser, Fiscal Group

Markets Group

Ms Diane Brown, Division Head, Financial System Division

Mr Warren Tease, Chief Adviser, Financial System Division

Ms Nghi Luu, Acting Principal Adviser, Financial System Division

Ms Julie Greenall-Ota, Principal Adviser, Financial System Division

Mr James Kelly, Chief Adviser, Financial Services Reform Implementation Taskforce

Ms Mohita Zaheed, Acting Principal Adviser, Financial Services Reform Implementation Taskforce

Ms Neena Pai, Acting Principal Adviser, Financial Services Reform Implementation Taskforce

Mr Warren Tease, Chief Adviser, Financial System Division

Ms Nghi Luu, Acting Principal Adviser, Financial System Division

   Ms Julie Greenall-Ota, Principal Adviser, Financial System Division

Ms Christine Barron, Division Head, Consumer and Corporations Policy Division

Ms Kate O'Rourke, Principal Adviser, Consumer and Corporations Policy Division

Ms Lucy Vincent, Principal Adviser, Consumer and Corporations Policy Division

Ms Kate Lynch, Principal Adviser, Consumer and Corporations Policy Division

Mr Roger Brake, Division Head, Foreign Investment Division

Ms Kerstin Wijeyewardene, Principal Adviser, Foreign Investment Division

Mr Tim Baird, Principal Adviser, Foreign Investment Division

Ms Lina Wong, Acting Principal Adviser, Foreign Investment Division

Revenue Group

Ms Maryanne Mrakovcic, Deputy Secretary, Revenue Group

Mr Matthew Brine, Division Head, Tax Analysis Division

Mr Graeme Davis, Acting Division Head, Tax Framework Division

Mr Paul McCullough, Division Head, Corporate and International Tax Division

Ms Kathryn Davy, Principal Adviser, Corporate and International Tax Division

Mr Hector Thompson, Principal Adviser, Corporate and International Tax Division

Ms Marisa Purvis-Smith, Division Head, Individuals and Indirect Tax Division

Mr Patrick Boneham, Division Head, Black Economy Division

Mr Simon Writer, Division Head, Law Design Office

Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission

The Hon. Dr Gary Johns, Commissioner, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Australian Taxation Office

Ms Jacqui Curtis, Acting Commissioner of Taxation

Mr Jeremy Hirschhorn, Second Commissioner, Client Engagement Group

Mr Alex Adams, Deputy Commissioner Service Operations, Enterprise Solutions and Technology

Ms Melinda Smith, Chief Service Delivery Officer, Service Delivery Group

Mr Andrew Mills, Second Commissioner Law Design and Practice

Ms Frances Cawthra, Chief Finance Officer

Mr James O'Halloran, Deputy Commissioner, Superannuation

Mr Jonathan Todd, Australian Taxation Office General Counsel, Australian Taxation Office Corporate

Mr Jeremy Geale, Deputy Commissioner, Review and Dispute Resolution

Mr Brad Chapman, Acting Chief Operating Officer

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Mr Rod Sims, Chair

Ms Rayne de Gruchy, Chief Operating Officer

Mr Scott Gregson, Executive General Manager, Merger and Authorisation Review Division

Ms Gabrielle Ford, General Manager, Advocacy, International and Agriculture Branch

Mr Rami Greiss, Executive General Manager, Enforcement Division

Mr Tim Grimwade, Executive General Manager, Consumer, Small Business and Product Safety Division

Mr Michael Cosgrave, Executive General Manager, Infrastructure Regulation Division

Mr Peter Maybury, Chief Finance Officer

Australian Energy Regulator

Mr Warwick Anderson, General Manager, Network Finance and Reporting

Mr Peter Adams, General Manager, Market Performance

Ms Angela Bourke, Director, Strategy and External Affairs

Ms Mark Feather, General Manager, Policy and Performance

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

Mr Wayne Byres, Chair

Mr John Lonsdale, Deputy Chair

Mrs Helen Rowell, Deputy Chair

Mr Geoff Summerhayes, Member

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Mr James Shipton, Chair

Ms Karen Chester, Deputy Chair

Mr Dan Crennan, Deputy Chair

Ms Cathie Armour, Commissioner

Ms Danielle Press, Commissioner

Mr John Price, Commissioner

Mr Warren Day, Executive Director Assessment and Intelligence

Ms Joanna Bird, Executive Director Wealth Management

Ms Emily Hodgson, Chief Financial Officer

Mr Greg Kirk, Executive Director Strategy

Mr Tim Mullaly, Executive Director Financial Services Enforcement

Mr Michael Saadat, Executive Director Financial Services

Mr Chris Savundra, General Counsel

Productivity Commission

Mr Michael Brennan, Chair

Ms Nina Davidson, Head of Office

Ms Rosalyn Bell, Assistant Commissioner

Committee met at 09:00

CHAIR ( Senator Hume ): I declare open this meeting of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee. The Senate has referred to the committee the particulars of proposed expenditure for 2019-20 and related documents for the Treasury portfolio and the Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio. The committee may also examine the annual reports of the departments and agencies appearing before it. The committee has set Thursday, 18 April 2019 as the date by which senators are to submit written questions on notice and has fixed Thursday, 30 May 2019 as the date for the return of answers to questions taken on notice.

Under standing order 26, 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. In particular, I 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 (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)

CHAIR: 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 public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or the document.

I remind senators and witnesses that microphones remain live unless I instruct otherwise—for example, at suspension or adjournment. I ask photographers and camera operators to follow the established media guidelines and the instructions of the committee secretariat. As set out in the guidelines, senators and witnesses' laptops, mobile phones, other devices and personal papers are not to be filmed or photographed. I remind members of the public and everyone in the gallery that they are not permitted to speak or interfere with the proceedings or with witnesses at any point during the hearing. Security is present, and they will be asked to remove anyone who does not follow these instructions.

The committee's proceedings today will examine the Treasury portfolio, beginning with the Department of the Treasury macro-economic and corporate groups. The hearing will then follow the order as set out in the circulated program.