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EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS REFERENCES COMMITTEE
04/02/2011
Primary Schools for the 21st Century program

CHAIR —I invite you now to make a brief opening statement before members of the committee proceed to questions.

Mr Orgill —I will just summarise some of the key points out of our first report, which was issued after our last such session. It was issued in December and it built on the initial analysis, observations and recommendations contained in our interim August report. In our first full report, we now have project data presented for all 22 educational authorities across all project types. We have data for more than 30 per cent of all projects—3,186 implemented under the P21 program. We found that the vast majority of the BER projects across the country in the government and non-government systems are being successfully and competently delivered. We found excellent performances of project delivery across both government and non-government jurisdictions. We found, in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, that the Catholic system schools had materially lower costs than government schools, but the reverse was the case in WA, Tasmania and South Australia. We found that the New South Wales government has the highest cost per square metre of all 22 EAs and on average builds the smallest facilities, but we did note that the New South Wales government cost per square meter has declined by 11 per cent since our interim report, and that was very encouraging.

We expressed the view in our report that the high cost of New South Wales government projects is a product of outsourcing program delivery and risk, together with diseconomies of scale in a centralised process, and that the approach used was overly expensive and overly sophisticated for delivering relatively simple, small- and medium-sized projects in some cases. However, the New South Wales government is on target to meet the Commonwealth deadlines and complete well ahead of its large education peers and so, in terms of stimulus, which has been its focus, it has achieved very encouraging results.

In terms of complaints, we highlighted in our first report that there had been a total of 40 new complaints between our interim report and our first report—so that at the time of our first report we had received complaints from 294 schools, or 3 per cent of all schools involved in the program—and that, of the 136 open complaints, 107 were categorised as complaints about value for money. New South Wales government schools represented about 55 per cent of those complaints at the time of our report and Victorian government about 19 per cent. Of the New South Wales government complaints, 76 per cent related to value for money. We also noted that there was a cluster of schools with particular problems in New South Wales in the mid-North Coast, where there was a group of prefabricated buildings with significant shortcomings arising from the managing contractor’s delivery and installation process. That included Eungai, Stuarts Point and Scotts Head.

We commented in our report that, up to our December report, we had made over 320 visits to schools and that we had been able to visit every school that had raised a value for money concern with us at the time of our interim report. We also undertook, for the first time in this report, 57 detailed value for money case studies. We continued to evolve our methodology, we applied that and we presented our results in full. All projects of those 57 were individually assessed to arrive at a component score, which was then aggregated to give a total value for money score. We found that, of the 57, 17 schools had not received value for money and that 13 of these were from the New South Wales government system.

In phase 3 of our work, which we have already started and which we will report on in May-June, we will look at a further 75 to 80 projects, and we list those in this report, although there may be some changes to the composition just as a result of the activities and substantial damage that has occurred in Queensland et cetera.

We commented on the assessment of value for money achieved by the educational authorities. We looked in some depth at WA, South Australia and Tasmania, which we had not looked at in our interim report, and the way in which they had gone about implementing the program, and we commented that we considered that overall value for money had been achieved in the state systems in WA, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania. We further commented that while more analysis is required to fully understand the experiences in both the ACT and the Northern Territory we had no basis at this point for concern. We also expressed a view that we have a high level of confidence that value for money is being achieved in the Catholic and independent schools, which is about 30 per cent of the program. We did comment, however, that we felt that value for money was not being consistently achieved in New South Wales and that with Victoria’s rollout being relatively slow we needed to spend more time analysing the Victorian performance, which we will do in this phase. That will be a key focus of this phase of the report, although we were comfortable with what we had found in Victoria to date.

We also talked about the overall premium to pre-BER business-as-usual costs. You may recall in the interim report we mentioned five to six per cent. The better results than we expected in some of the authorities, particularly, say, WA, have led us to conclude and that it is likely to be at the bottom of that range, at about five per cent. That is probably a quick summary and I might stop there and take questions, if that is appropriate.

Senator MASON —Mr Orgill, you mentioned in your opening statement that there were 3,186 P21 projects. In your report you say that about 50 per cent of all the P21 projects are in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland state schools.

Mr Orgill —Yes, that sounds right.

Senator MASON —How many of the P21 projects are in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland all up, including Catholic and independent schools? What percentage?

Mr Orgill —I would have to take that on notice and add it up.

Senator MASON —I have done a little calculation based on the front cover of your interim report and projections, and it is about 70 per cent, or close to.

Mr Orgill —Just to make sure I understand, your calculation for that 70 per cent is Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales public, Catholic and independent.

Senator MASON —Yes. Does that sound about right?

Mr Orgill —It does not sound incorrect but I would have to add the numbers myself to be sure.

Senator MASON —If your assistant wants to check that, that is fine. But that is how I projected it. It could be out a little bit but not a lot, I don’t think. Given that, let me go through schematic 4—it used to be figure 4 in my day but now it is schematic 4.

Mr Orgill —We tried to make it easier to read by making all the figures, tables and graphs just ‘schematics’ so that it was easier to navigate. I am not sure we achieved it but that was the aspiration.

Senator MASON —All right. Let me go through this. In schematic 4, on costs per square metre you have got there New South Wales government $3,477, New South Wales Catholic $2,724 and New South Wales independent $2,148.

Mr Orgill —Yes.

Senator MASON —Ms Paul, at the back of the room, knows that I always carry around my calculator—and to save time, Mr Chair, I have gone through those figures.

CHAIR —We are most appreciative of you doing this in advance.

Senator MASON —The difference between the government price and the Catholic price in New South Wales per square metre is $753 and the difference between the New South Wales Catholic schools and New South Wales independent schools is $576. So the difference between the independent and the New South Wales government schools per square metre is $1,329. Is there any objection to that as a statement of fact? No objection?

Mr Orgill —No objection, although I would say—

Senator BILYK —Bear in mind that I have had no formal notice of this issue and I have not actually looked at the statistics and the graphs. I would just like to put that rider on if I could.

Senator MASON —The chair can check the figures. I even have my calculator here.

Senator BILYK —I love your trusty calculator, Senator Mason, but I would just like to put that rider on from the government side.

Mr Orgill —I was just going to add that I do not think it is materially different on the examples that you have quoted. The regionally adjusted numbers are the ones that we have focused on to take account of the distribution of schools across the states.

Senator MASON —I have looked at that and I can honestly say that it makes no material difference. If it does in a particular case, feel free to bring it up. Let us go to Victoria, where the figure is $2,850. Victorian Catholic is $2,359 and Victorian independent $1,841. The difference between the Catholic schools and the Victorian government schools per square metre is $491, and between the Catholic schools and the independent schools it is $518. The difference between the government schools and the independent schools per square metre, if you add them up from most expensive to least expensive, is $1,009 per square metre. Catholic schools, just like in New South Wales, are roughly in between.

In my home state of Queensland, which I hear is suffering this morning, government schools are $2,743 per square metre. Queensland Catholic schools are $2,094 and Queensland independent schools are $1,736. The difference between the government and the independent schools is $1,007—exactly the same as Victoria. The difference between independent and Catholic is $358 and between Catholic and government is $649. If you add that together, it is $1,007. Is what I have said correct?

Mr Orgill —Yes.

Senator MASON —I think it is about right to say about 70 per cent of the projects in the country are within those three states—New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. It could be more or it could be a bit less but, subject to argument, it is about that. Correct?

Mr Orgill —Yes.

Senator MASON —If we look at the New South Wales independent figure, which is $2,148 per square metre, it is 50 per cent more for New South Wales government schools per square metre. That is right, isn’t it?

Mr Orgill —You are comparing $2,148 to $3,477?

Senator MASON —Yes.

Mr Orgill —I do not have a calculator but—

Senator MASON —Half of $2,100 is a bit over $1,000, so it is in fact more than 50 per cent. Chair, if I make a mistake with these sums, pull me up. The difference between independent and New South Wales government is more than 50 per cent, and the Catholic system is a little more than half of that, so it might be about 30 per cent different. If we go to Victoria, the Victorian government is $2,850 and Victorian independent is $1,841. Half of that is $900, so again the Victorian government is 50 per cent more expensive than the Victorian independent and the Catholics are about halfway. Is that right?

Mr Orgill —The Catholic figure looks like it is 27 per cent in New South Wales. So it is in that order of magnitude.

Senator MASON —Queensland government is $2,743 and Queensland independent is $1,736. Half of $1,700 is $850, so the difference is more than 50 per cent. There is about a 60 per cent difference between Queensland independent and Queensland government. That is right, isn’t it?

Mr Orgill —I have not checked the numbers, but I have no reason to disagree with your assessment.

Senator MASON —Indeed, it is significantly more than 50 per cent. And the difference is even greater between the Catholic schools and the government schools, so that is significant: it is roughly a third. I point all that out. Also, the cost in state government schools is 50 per cent more than in independent schools, and the gradient—if you draw a line down there—is pretty similar in those three states. Any disagreement with any of that?

Mr Orgill —No.

Senator MASON —Before I go on with the analysis of the report, I want to raise something you mentioned in the opening statement this morning and in the report, because it illustrates some of the complexities. You mentioned that in each of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, Catholic schools deliver lower costs than government schools but the reverse is the case in WA, South Australia and Tasmania. That is right, isn’t it?

Mr Orgill —Yes, it is.

Senator MASON —So that is true, but the budget expended in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland is far, far greater than WA, South Australia and Tasmania, isn’t it?

Mr Orgill —The size for New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria is bigger than those states, yes, that is true.

Senator MASON —Also, that comparison omits the independent system, doesn’t it, which is cheaper in every case except by a couple of dollars in Tasmania, and that is very marginal. That is right, isn’t it? The only place where government schools are cheaper than independent schools is in Tasmania, and there the difference is about $40 a square metre, I think.

Mr Orgill —No, the independent schools are also more expensive in WA. We focus, as I mentioned before, on the regionally adjusted numbers.

Senator MASON —Okay. In that case, you are right; there is one difference there. In fact in other cases it makes your argument worse, but it does not make that much difference. My point is that in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland there are far, far more projects and far greater budget expenditure. That is right, isn’t it?

Mr Orgill —The size of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria is bigger than South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania, yes.

Senator MASON —Therefore, in the great majority of projects, the Catholic systems are much cheaper than government and the independents are nearly always cheaper, in terms of projects.

Mr Orgill —In New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, absolutely the Catholic systems have produced lower per square metre costs than the state systems, and the independents are lower than both.

Senator MASON —Indeed. But if you add up all the projects Australia-wide, in the great majority of projects the Catholic system is much cheaper. That is right, isn’t it?

Mr Orgill —If you add up all the Catholics across the country and compare it to all the state systems across the country, the Catholic systems would be lower than the state systems, yes.

Senator BILYK —Senator Mason, I am not sure what your question is there.

Senator MASON —The question is the budgetary implications are far more significant in the eastern seaboard then they are elsewhere in terms of expenditure. I think there is no real argument about that.

Senator BILYK —No, I just was not clear what your actual question was.

Senator MASON —And the Catholic system Australia-wide is cheaper. Can we go to value for money. I remember at the last hearing, Mr Orgill, you argued that value for money is a composite of time, quality and cost factors. Is that right?

Mr Orgill —Absolutely.

Senator MASON —I think it is fair to say there is potential for a trade-off between these three values. For example, focusing on timely delivery can result in a higher cost premium, or focusing on lower cost might mean that the delivery is not as speedy. Is that right?

Mr Orgill —There are clear trade-offs between cost, quality and time.

Senator MASON —In the New South Wales upper house inquiry there was an argument that there were quality differences between the sectors. I know the Chair will recall that argument. The argument was put by Mr Coutts-Trotter that one of the reasons why New South Wales government schools were more expensive was that the quality was greater. What did you find in terms of quality?

Mr Orgill —We comment on that in our interim report, and we comment further in this report. We do not think the differential that may exist in quality justifies the higher costs in the New South Wales state system. I would go onto say that we found no observable differences in quality between the Catholic system and the state system.

Senator MASON —That is the point I am interested in. You say you did not observe any significant systemic differences between the various sectors in terms of quality.

Mr Orgill —That is correct, yes.

Senator MASON —This is an important point. So, if quality is very much a constant, we have cost and then we have time. Is that right?

Mr Orgill —Yes, cost and time.

Senator MASON —Cost and time, because it would seem that quality is a constant. Various authorities might argue they did achieve value for money; for example, New South Wales might argue they were more expensive but they completed their projects more quickly, whereas the Victorian government might say they are taking longer to deliver projects but they are doing that to reduce the price. That is the argument—New South Wales is more expensive but faster. Is that right?

Mr Orgill —New South Wales would certainly contend that their focus was stimulus, that they rolled out the program faster than the other systems in their state and faster than the other states and that they have achieved fully the stimulus objective. Victoria would make the case that they already had a major capital expenditure program in place and that conditions were more buoyant in Victoria and therefore a slower roll-out was sensible to ensure they got better value for money outcomes.

—Let us go to that. We have just looked at cost, in schematic 4; we agree that quality is a constant, with no observable differences; let us now go to timeliness. Chair, can I pass out to members of the committee and to Mr Orgill, and maybe to the press, a photocopy of schematic 17 on page 30 of the report. Again I am looking at the shape of the curve. This is the BER-CAM Average Days by Project Phase for P21 Projects—schematic 17. The green line is the price per square metre. That comes from schematic 4 on page 22. The orange line my staffer has drawn is what the duration of a project should be if we accept the assumption that the cheaper it is the longer it takes, or the shorter it takes the more expensive it is. That is the assumption you would expect—the inverse of the cost. In schematic 17, is it right to say that nearly all sectors completed the projects in somewhere between 500 and 600 days?

Mr Orgill —On the data that we have in our 30 per cent of samples, that is correct.

Senator MASON —There is not that much difference between 500 and 600 days. The difference is 100 days, which is about three months. So to get value for money you can have your project, but it will be more expensive. There is a trade-off between time and money—that is the argument; let us go to that. If we look at New South Wales, which is on the left here, that is correct. If you look at the green line from schematic 4—price per square metre—and then completion times, I agree. Do you accept that that is right, Mr Orgill—that according to the thesis there is a trade-off between cost and time? New South Wales seems to indicate that.

Mr Orgill —The point you are making about the trade-off is correct. That is the methodology that we evolved and that we published, and I am delighted that people are referring to it and using it. In terms of the data presented in that table, it is also correct that the time extends as you go across those three systems within New South Wales. I will mention one other factor, though—and it is not in defence of the performance in New South Wales, but I do think it is an important perspective—and that is that there is both a project-level perspective of time, cost and quality and an educational authority-wide perspective of time, cost and quality. The complexities of rolling out the big number of projects—2,000-odd projects in New South Wales, for example—versus smaller systems and the complexity of implementing that program as a whole quite separate from each project as an individual case also need to be taken into account in looking at value for money for the education authority as whole, which we have tried to do in our analysis. So I will just add that, as well as the fact that they are looking at specific projects. We talk about diseconomies of scale and we talk about the model that they used to implement, and size is a big factor in assessing different education authorities.

Senator MASON —Sure. I accept that. In New South Wales, there does seem to be a trade-off between cost and timeliness. There is a tick above there because the gradients are the inverse. Looking at Victoria, there the thesis does not work at all. The Victorian government schools are the most expensive in the state, and the slowest. It does not work in Queensland either, where the independent schools are the fastest and the cheapest—that is right, is it not, according to your document?

Mr Orgill —But it does work for the Queensland government as compared with the Queensland Catholic schools.

Senator MASON —We will get to that later. But even then, it is how much the trade-off is worth, and we will get to that.

Mr Orgill —I would also say that I think it is premature to make those sorts of observations until we are further into the program than Victoria is. At the time of this report we were in the low 20s. We would need to see whether that holds for the program as a whole once we are at the 75 per cent completion rate across the three systems.

Senator MASON —Sure, but you have made some interim conclusions, and we will get to that.

Mr Orgill —We have, yes—absolutely.

CHAIR —I know I am interrupting you, Senator Mason, but I have a question. In Victoria, is it the Victorian government school projects that are delayed, or is it the projects in all three systems—Catholic, independent and government?

Mr Orgill —The Victorian government has stood out in Victoria as deciding to re-tender a number of projects and as being slower than one would have expected, whereas the Victorian Catholic schools have actually gone—

CHAIR —Is it not likely, then, as time goes on that the Victorian government circumstance will actually get worse in terms of average days? The clock is ticking.

Mr Orgill —We will need to see. The data we will get between now and May will be very interesting.

Senator BILYK —I think the question is too hypothetical to ask you to say yea or nay.

Mr Orgill —We cannot make that conclusion until we see the data for this three months. We met with Victoria in the last couple of days. We have assessed New South Wales intensively because that had the highest number of complaints—55 per cent. Victoria has the second highest number of complaints and they have been slower in the program. But this report will intensively focus on analysing Victoria and we will have a lot more data in three months.

Senator MASON —So in New South Wales the thesis works. There is a trade-off. It does not work in Victoria thus far, or in Queensland, or in Western Australia.

Mr Orgill —It is not correct to say that it does not work in Queensland if you are suggesting that hypothesis in the sense of the Catholics versus the government.

Senator MASON —Yes, but still it does not work because it does not work across the board. You may say it works in the sense that there is a distinction that it is justifiable in terms of the Catholics and the government but it still does not take into account the independents. You have the copy of this, haven’t you?

Mr Orgill —Yes, I have.

Senator MASON —The gradient is not right. The trade-off—the thesis that timeliness and expense are necessarily related—does not work right across the country, except New South Wales.

Mr Orgill —I think you are jumping. What you are suggesting—if I can summarise it—is that there is a trade-off between time, cost and quality across independent, state and Catholic. That is an extension of what we have said in our methodology. Our methodology says that, in making a decision how you implement a program or a project, there is a trade-off between cost, time and quality and, therefore, that New South Wales faced a situation of how important is speed, cost or quality, as did other educational authorities. But to suggest that that is the only trade-off between the educational authorities is incorrect because there are good and bad systematic differences between the approaches taken in independent schools, Catholic schools and state schools. To say that the differential in cost is either quality or time is not correct. They are very different.

Senator MASON —Mr Orgill, I am just going on your figures. I did not draw this up; your committee did. We know quality is a standard and quality is the same—we have accepted that. You accepted that both in the interim report and the first report. This schematic 17 table—the idea that somehow timeliness justifies the expense—just does not work.

Mr Orgill —We have never said that.

Senator MASON —I know.

Mr Orgill —We have never said—

Senator MASON —But it is one of the three components to receive value for money. You have said that in your methodology.

Mr Orgill —No—

Senator MASON —It is not my table; it is yours.

Mr Orgill —But you are misrepresenting what we are saying in our table and you are misrepresenting the conclusion that it is what justifies the differential in Catholic, independent and public school systems. That is not what we have said. We go to some length to talk about why New South Wales has the highest cost—over-sophisticated delivery mechanisms. They had relatively simple schools. There were systemic differences between the educational authorities which I think are more important elements than your saying—if I am interpreting you correctly—that you can just look at time, cost and quality across 22 educational authorities and there should be a consistent pattern as if they are one authority. That is not correct.

Senator MASON —Mr Orgill, you drew this up.

Mr Orgill —And I stand by it. But what I am saying is you are misusing the data.

Senator MASON —Otherwise, we would have schematic 4 or schematic 5, in which case the government systems would stand absolutely condemned. We have this, which partly exculpates New South Wales but no-one else. That is the problem. Let us go to New South Wales. If we look at timeliness, New South Wales government schools completed in roughly 500 days. Is that right, Mr Orgill?

Mr Orgill —Are you reading to me the New South Wales government statistic on schematic 17?

Senator MASON —Yes, because this is the state where the big excuse was that they were faster and therefore more expensive. That was one of the principal reasons to justify the expense. They completed on average in 500 days, is that correct?

CHAIR —That is what the graph says.

Senator MASON —And New South Wales Catholic, 540—would that be right, roughly? And New South Wales independent just under 600? Would that be fair, Mr Orgill?

Mr Orgill —Your hypothesis for concluding, using this table, is not as appropriate as looking at the actual completion rates for the individual education authorities. Each education authority makes a decision as to the importance of cost, quality and time in their implementation. The completion rates are available on the dashboard, and we talked about them at some length last time and we can go through them again. The completion rates for the system as a whole is, I think, a more appropriate measure of, say, New South Wales government versus New South Wales Catholic. With this you are looking at the average project days, which is also relevant, but to jump to the conclusion that you are making is, I think, an extension.

Senator MASON —Mr Orgill, this is taken from your report. This is your work, not mine.

Mr Orgill —I am not debating that. I stand by it.

Senator MASON —Okay, so I am analysing it now. If there are other complexities and other tables that we should look at that are more important, please refer the committee to them but surely this is the principal evidence of this inquiry. Let us go back to it. We have got New South Wales and let us say roughly 500 versus 600. What is that—100 days difference between average completion of government and independent schools? Is that right? That is three months—is that right, Mr Orgill, in terms of average? What we do know is that even in New South Wales the cost in government schools was 50 per cent more than it was in independent schools. That is supposed to justify the fact that the average completion rate was only three months faster. That is right, Mr Orgill, isn’t it?

Mr Orgill —The reported completions of 31 December 2010 for the New South Wales government system is 79 per cent. For the New South Wales Catholic system it is 47 per cent.

Senator MASON —Can I ask what table you are referring to.

Mr Orgill —I am looking at the monthly progress report on—

Senator MASON —So it is not the report in front of us?

Mr Orgill —No, it is not in the report.

Senator MASON —Oh, I see.

Mr Orgill —But you recall that at our last session when you asked me—

Senator MASON —I am examining your report. I do not know if I am supposed to be doing something else, am I?

Mr Orgill —No, I am trying to supplement your question in terms of giving you an answer to what you are asking.

Senator MASON —Well, I want you to answer my question.

Mr Orgill —Okay, sorry. What is the question?

Senator MASON —This is the question. Is it correct that for New South Wales the average time for P21 projects in New South Wales government schools was about 500 days?

Mr Orgill —On the schools that are in our database to date.

Senator MASON —In the report right there?

Mr Orgill —Absolutely.

Senator MASON —And New South Wales independent was about 600, roughly?

Mr Orgill —On the figures we have in our database—

Senator MASON —So there is about 100 days difference, roughly?

Mr Orgill —Yes.

Senator MASON —About three months, roughly?

Mr Orgill —Yes.

Senator MASON —And yet the cost of the New South Wales government per square metre is $3,477 versus $2,148. Therefore, from the New South Wales independent cost per square metre, it is greater than 50 per cent more in New South Wales government schools. And the only difference is that New South Wales government schools were completed three months faster. Is that correct?

Mr Orgill —No, that is not correct.

Senator MASON —So what you are saying is that schematic 4 is wrong. I thought we were just agreed. We went through schematic 4.

Mr Orgill —Your understanding of our work in the 250 pages of our report, and our interim report, where we go to great lengths to talk about the differences in the way that the program has been implemented by each education authority and how that has driven costs, seems to be missing from this analysis.

Senator MASON —No. I have read it. Believe me, I note what you have said about it.

Mr Orgill —But it is not—

Senator MASON —But you have—

CHAIR —Let Mr Orgill finish, if you would, Senator.

Senator MASON —Okay, sure.

Mr Orgill —I stand absolutely behind the data in our report and I am delighted that it has given more accountability and transparency. It is not correct to conclude that the only difference between the independent system and the state system was a trade-off between time, cost and quality. There are very significant differences—both good and bad, between different education authorities’ approaches to the task, between their standards and between their engagement of external contractors—which have led to higher costs and a number of other factors which one needs to take into account in assessing their performance. Do I think the New South Wales government has consistently got value for money for its schools? No. That is what we comment in our report. But to say that it is just a question of comparing across authorities time, cost and quality misses the necessity for analysis of the different models.

Senator MASON —Mr Orgill, in your report, what three components did you decide should constitute value for money? What three components were they? Just remind the committee.

Mr Orgill —Chapter 5 of our report—

Senator MASON —I have read chapter 5. What three components—

Mr Orgill —I am answering your question. Chapter 5 of our report talks about value for money in terms of time, cost and quality. Chapter 6 looks at the BER P21 implementation and strategy—how the program was designed, managed, tendered and constructed. You need to consider both chapter 5 and chapter 6 to come to any conclusion that you are attempting to come to.

Senator MASON —So you would agree, on the issues of timeliness, cost and quality—on those three factors—state governments have not performed well in terms of value from money?

Mr Orgill —Sorry, would you repeat the question?

Senator MASON —Let me go into more analysis. It will make it a bit easier.

Mr Orgill —May I just say that schematic 28 is the schematic that you really would want to look at for the completion of the different EAs, the 62 EAs. I would suggest that you are misusing schematic 17 to come to come to a conclusion on—

Senator MASON —It is your work, not mine.

Senator BILYK —It is your interpretation though, Senator Mason. Mr Orgill is trying to explain to you—

Senator MASON —Do you think any of that is misleading, Senator? You tell me what part.

Senator BILYK —I did not say that. I said Mr Orgill is trying to explain to you—

Senator MASON —Mr Orgill might give that evidence but—

CHAIR —I would just invite Mr Orgill to continue his response.

Senator BILYK —I just find the sarcasm from the senator to be a bit demeaning, to be honest.

CHAIR —Senator Mason, can I ask Mr Orgill if it is reasonable to say that, in terms of time, comparing New South Wales government to New South Wales independent you are looking at about an 18 per cent difference—500 to 600 days—whereas in dollars per square metre you are looking at a 61 per cent difference. Is it unduly simplistic to look at that in percentage terms?

Mr Orgill —Looking at it at that project level and drawing conclusions is simplistic. One also needs to look at schematic 28 on page 62 and look at the completion rate by the EAs as a whole and where they are. Okay, New South Wales decided to go fast and therefore there was higher cost but have they actually delivered a quicker completion of the program? Taking the results on page 62 and comparing those to cost is absolutely valid. So I am not really disagreeing with the senator in terms of the trade-off at all. I am just saying you should look at the completion for the program if you are going across authorities, rather than just looking at schematic 17, which is looking at individual projects.

Senator BILYK —Mr Orgill, could you talk us through schematic 28 on page 62 to explain it more fully to the committee.

Mr Orgill —Sure. If we look at the bottom—the percentage of projects completed—the New South Wales government and the Victorian Catholics are out on the right of that band at the bottom of that schematic at close to 60 per cent. So they have actually implemented their programs very quickly. If you then go further down, you can see the New South Wales Catholics are about half of the New South Wales government in terms of the completion of their projects. You can also see that the Victorian government is even below them. So in giving an assessment—and asking, as the senator was asking: okay, the cost is higher but how have they gone on completions?—I would compare it to this schematic which shows that New South Wales government has done very well on stimulus but has had very high cost and has not had consistent value for money. Victorian Catholics have done a great job. They have had high completion rates and good control of costs. They are two points that I would make.

Senator BILYK —Supplementary to that, as a senator from Tasmania it would be remiss of me not to ask how you think Tasmania went through the process. You did mention in your opening speech that you have had a chance to look at it in depth.

Mr Orgill —I think Tasmania did very well. They are ahead of the middle of the pack in terms of completions and their costs are very comparable to the independents and Catholics in Tasmania. Moreover, and this is the nuance of the approach, Tasmania appointed architects with the schools and got as much customisation of their projects as was possible and so got really good results for its schools. It was not a cookie cutter approach; there was no lack of consultation. They actually consulted with the schools and the schools had a degree of autonomy. So the end product in terms of quality and usefulness was also very good from our observations.

Senator BILYK —With regard to that, I have been to a number of the facilities throughout Tasmania, and the whole of the Tasmanian community seemed very happy with the outcome.

Mr Orgill —Yes, I think they implemented it very well. So I am not at all disappointed with the senators’ trade-off of cost, quality and time. If you are looking at educational authorities rather than individual projects, the right schematic is 28.

CHAIR —But it does make Senator Mason’s point, doesn’t it, that the Victorian Catholics achieved the same speed of completion but did not trade off cost—

Mr Orgill —They did a very good job.

Senator MASON —Let me move towards some conclusions, Mr Orgill. In the report you have written something that is somewhat contradictory. You say:

With project completions at 43 per cent it is too early to be definitive—

okay, ‘definitive’ is the qualifying word—

as to whether individual education authorities have attained value for money.

You say that on page 10. Then you make some education authority specific comments. You say on page 10:

While the NSW Government has outperformed all its peers on the Program’s primary objective of delivering stimulus, the view of the Taskforce is that it is not delivering consistent value for money for its schools.

Is that right?

Mr Orgill —Absolutely.

Senator MASON —So New South Wales gets a cross. And you have said:

... we consider that overall value for money is being achieved in the state systems in WA, SA, Queensland, and Tasmania.

Is that right?

Mr Orgill —Absolutely.

Senator MASON —And Victoria?

Mr Orgill —As we commented in the second paragraph on page 11, it is behind schedule. There has been some frustration. We think they can get value for money. There is not enough data to reach an early conclusion. We will be focusing on it heavily in this report. You saw in schematic 28 that their completion rate, and the availability of data as a result, is behind the others.

Senator MASON —Let’s have a look here at Victoria. It is $2,850 per square metre. For Victorian independents it is $1,841. The Catholics are in between. So there is about $1,000 difference between the Victorian government and the Victorian independents per square metre thus far. According to your schematic 17, the Victorian government is—what? About the slowest in the country.

Mr Orgill —Yes, it is.

Senator MASON —Damn close to it.

Mr Orgill —Yes. We draw some comfort from—

Senator MASON —I am not looking forward to Victoria’s mark in the end, Mr Orgill. New South Wales has not done too well. Victoria looks even worse, doesn’t it?

Mr Orgill —If I could just point you to schematic 53 on page 222—we presented that in the interim report and I think that it generated some interest—one of the reasons why we have more confidence in Victoria is that New South Wales appointed external managing contractors. You will see in the first column of that table that the New South Wales government’s estimated total program and project management fees and site supervision were 20 to 24 per cent. They were very high. When we talk about an overly sophisticated delivery mechanism, that is what we are talking about. The fees they paid out were very high.

Our detailed analysis of the Victorian contracts, with their project managers and their program managers, shows that it is 12½ per cent. It is about half. Compared to New South Wales, they have not got that overhead in the way that they are implementing. That gives us more confidence, even though we want more data and we will be focusing on a detailed examination into this phase.

Senator MASON —The problem though, you see, for the public—and the chair has flagged this—is that, you are right, their completion rate is slower. In terms of schematic 17 it is going to get worse not better. But, more than that, the argument was put that the construction industry was overheating in Victoria, so government had to slow down its building program. In other words, that is counterintuitive. It looks like Victoria is going to be worse because the argument was put that, no, we have to slow it down; we have to take longer to complete so we can save money. In fact, the Victorian government is more than 50 per cent more expensive than Victorian independents per square metre. It doesn’t look good, does it?

Mr Orgill —You are comparing independent schools to the government schools.

Senator MASON —Even the Catholic schools. It does not make much difference. They are halfway in between.

Mr Orgill —I suspect that there has always been a differential between the government’s ability to construct school buildings and the ability of independent organisations and Catholic Education to do so. That goes to the nature of their processes and the overheads that they occur, which were different pre BR and different during BR.

Senator MASON —I think that you are right. That is one of the things that we have to get to the bottom of. I am not saying that that is wrong; I think that that is right. But we can get to that.

Mr Orgill —When we started out, our aspiration and our commitment was to give all these data so that we could look at those questions seriously, which we are doing.

Senator MASON —But as the chairman said, it is a huge difference. This is not a fractional difference; this is more than 50 per cent. That is an enormous difference. So we have New South Wales not looking too good and Victoria not looking good. What about Queensland, my home state? That would cover the three big eastern seaboard states. What do we have there? We know the cost from schematic 4. Independent schools paid $1,736 per square metre. Queensland government schools paid $2,743. So for Queensland government schools it was about 60 per cent more expensive per square metre than for independent schools and about 40 per cent to 45 per cent more expensive than the Catholic schools. That would be right, wouldn’t it, from schematic 4?

CHAIR —From the figures—

Senator MASON —Mr Orgill’s schematic 4.

CHAIR —There is a $649 and a $348 differential makes $1,007.

Senator MASON —Yes. That is between a Queensland government school and a Queensland independent school. Let us look at the timeliness, schematic 17.

Mr Orgill —I would refer you to schematic 28, which I would referred to earlier. It is on page 62.

Senator MASON —We will do it my way first and then we can do it your way if you like.

Mr Orgill —It shows that Queensland’s—

Senator MASON —I will ask the question, Mr Orgill. I will do my bit and then you can do your bit. What do we have for Queensland government schools? It is fair to say that it is about a fraction over 500 days for the average days for completion of projects. That is from schematic 17. Is that roughly right, Mr Orgill?

Mr Orgill —In terms of your reading of schematic 17? Yes.

Senator MASON —No, this is your graph. Is that right?

CHAIR —The figure is 520.

Senator MASON —For Queensland catholic schools, what would it be?

CHAIR —610.

Senator MASON —What about for Queensland independent schools?

CHAIR —475.

Senator BILYK —Are these questions or statements?

Senator MASON —What was that?

Senator BILYK —Are you asking questions or are you—

Senator MASON —Absolutely. If everyone agrees with that—

Senator BILYK —They are very long-winded questions.

Senator MASON —What we have is Queensland independent schools completing their projects about 45 days earlier on average than Queensland government schools. In other words, they are 45 days faster than for government schools. The government’s cost is 60 per cent per square metre to be 45 days slower.

Mr Orgill —I do not accept your—

Senator MASON —It is your table, not mine.

Mr Orgill —It is my table. I totally accept the data in the table. You are misusing the data in the table to reach your conclusions.

Senator MASON —Let us let the public decide.

Senator BILYK —Let Mr Orgill answer the question.

Senator MASON —He can answer the question, but let us let the public decide who is being misleading.

Senator BILYK —You have been citing statistics and figures all morning and every time Mr Orgill tries to answer you interrupt.

CHAIR —I request that Mr Orgill go to his schematic 28 on page 62 and explain it from his perspective.

Mr Orgill —I would highlight two things. If you look at page 62 and you look at the implementation of the program and the completion rates, Queensland is above 40 per cent and falls almost in the middle of Victoria and New South Wales in terms of completion performance. So in terms of speed of implementation, New South Wales is first, then Queensland and then Victoria. That is how one would appropriately assess it, rather than looking at individual projects and the average days. If you are looking at the authority as a whole and how they have done, this is the measure to look at. That is my point.

Senator MASON —You say that, sir; I disagree. I will put it on the record. That is fine. The public can decide.

CHAIR —To assist us in response to Senator Mason’s query, where are Queensland independents on your schematic 28, Mr Orgill? I do not see them.

Mr Orgill —They are not of such a significant size that we added them on there, but I can tell you that at this point they are 81 per cent complete and therefore the best of the three in Queensland. The Queensland Catholics as at 31 December were 40 per cent; the government was 52 per cent; and the independents were 81 per cent, so the independents have—

CHAIR —So they are right out to the rail.

Mr Orgill —They are right out to the rail; exactly.

Senator MASON —And a thousand dollars a square metre cheaper.

Mr Orgill —Yes, but here is where we come back to chapter 6 in the analysis. If you are implementing a huge program as a state authority and you have four or five or 10 times the number of projects to do that the independents or the Catholics have to do, you need to look at the cost of doing that as a whole program and not assume that they are all implementing the same number of projects. You are suggesting that the independents and the Catholics and the state are all implementing the same size program or that they all operate in the same structure and the same delivery model. Clearly there are differences, and there were always differences—differences pre BER and differences post BER.

Senator MASON —So for, let us say, the Queensland government, your argument then is that, even though the Queensland government might be slower than the independent sector and it might be much, much more expensive than the independent sector, it might also still get value for money?

Mr Orgill —Yes.

Senator MASON —That is an interesting conclusion, Mr Chairman, because that really says it all. When I was at school, some people believed that you should not be assessed on outcomes, that everyone should get a pass mark. You see, Mr Orgill—

Mr Orgill —We certainly do not agree with that.

Senator MASON —I think it is important here, with Commonwealth government money, that it is a fact that, on the face of it, for New South Wales and Victoria and potentially even Queensland, more than 70 per cent of schools—by far the largest part of the budget—have failed.

Mr Orgill —We do not—

Senator MASON —I would not even give them a conceded pass, and I used to be an academic in my heyday! I would not even give them a conceded pass.

Mr Orgill —We do not agree with that. Our analysis—

Senator MASON —You may not, but—

Mr Orgill —In our evidence based analysis—just so that it is not misrepresented—this report and the evidence in our 3,186, plus our detailed value for money, we conclude that for Queensland, WA, South Australia and Tasmania we have confidence that they are getting value for money. We express our concerns on New South Wales and the lack of consistent value for money, and we have commented on Victoria that it is attainable but it is too early to judge that, given the data availability.

Senator MASON —I am with the chairman; it does not look too good at the moment, I have to say. It looks worse than New South Wales. Anyway, we can wait; I accept that. We can wait for May. But really that says it all. You would say that the Queensland government, for example, even though it is a lot slower than the independent sector and a lot, lot more expensive, has still given value for money. You said yes. I think that says it all. I think that explains the difference between you and perhaps much of the public. Can I ask a question, Mr Orgill? Have you had a little look at projecting some figures? Do you know how much the government could have saved if state governments had achieved the same square metre price as independent schools in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland? Have you worked that out?

Mr Orgill —I have not worked that out.

Senator MASON —Well, I have: $2.617 billion. And, you know, if state governments had achieved the same outcomes as Catholic schools in those states, the Commonwealth could have saved $1.475 billion.

Mr Orgill —Do you think it was feasible for state systems to implement the program in the same way as independent schools have implemented the program? And do you think that as independent schools are less than or around 10 per cent of the total schools in the country that that it is a valid comparison, to say that we could have rolled this money out in the big state systems on the basis of independents who, typically, have a governance structure, a board structure and an access to resource structure that simply would not have been available in the time frames and the historical structures that exist in state systems across the country? That is why I suggest that the comparison is not valid.

Senator MASON —This is where you are wrong.

Mr Orgill —I am wrong?

Senator MASON —With the greatest of respect; as I mentioned, independent schools were $2.6 billion, Catholic schools—that is a big sector with a lot of the same problems—were nearly $1½ billion—

Mr Orgill —The Catholic systems are roughly 20 per cent of the country.

Senator MASON —Yes, which was $1½ billion.

Mr Orgill —You have still got 70 per cent of the country which is in the state system.

Senator MASON —The question is not black and white. The question is: should the government systems, particularly in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, have done better? And did people pay too much? I would say unequivocally, ‘Yes, they did’. The government should have done better, and I think that is the general conclusion of the public now. I am afraid to say that it is.

Mr Orgill —I would not disagree with you on New South Wales. I think they should have done better; that is what we conclude. We have done the 57-detail value for money and found 13 in New South Wales that were not value for money. I agree that New South Wales could have done better. They have achieved the stimulus objective but not in terms of value for money. I would disagree with you on Queensland and I would say that it is too early to make that judgment on Victoria, but I would agree with you on New South Wales.

Senator MASON —We are repeating ourselves but that is fine. I am delighted.

CHAIR —Just talking about New South Wales, if we may for a moment: I saw a report the other day that the New South Wales government is having to expend some $50 million to retrofit air conditioning into classrooms. Are you aware of this information that has come forward?

Mr Orgill —It goes back to the policy that the New South Wales government implemented about air conditioning versus non-air conditioning approaches to cooling. There has been concern that students are worse off than when they had air conditioning in demountables, so the New South Wales government has revisited its approach as to its willingness to put air conditioning into newly constructed and MDR buildings. I understand that it will be part of their rescoping and adding back features that either were not in policy or were excluded.

CHAIR —The advice that I had was that 80 per cent—1,280-odd out of 1,640—classrooms find themselves in that position. Do you know how many of those would have been classrooms that actually had been replaced with a BER funded classroom; indeed, classrooms that had air conditioning in them that were replaced by classrooms without air conditioning? Would you have that?

Mr Orgill —I do not have the number. There has been a very inconsistent approach to the whole issue of heating, cooling and environmental design attributes across the Catholic, independent and various state systems. To look at the inconsistencies is a clear piece of work that we have underway now for our next report. For example, you get areas in the north of New South Wales where the policy was no air conditioning then you go across the state and there is air conditioning. You get variations that we need to work through. In answer to your specific question, I do not have the numbers but could refer them to you and follow that up.

CHAIR —Do you know whether this has been or is appearing as an issue in other states as well?

Mr Orgill —I am not conscious of air conditioning being an issue in the other states. Generally, no; even specifically I cannot think of any examples. It is, though, an issue in New South Wales.

Senator BILYK —I doubt it is in Tasmania!

CHAIR —I would doubt it in Tasmania; 24 degrees was a heatwave as I remember when I was in Tasmania.

Senator BILYK —I have to agree with you.

CHAIR —I ask the question because you do make the observation in your report—and you draw on some UK experience where, again, I do not think that air conditioning from a cooling point of view is much of an issue—

Senator BILYK —Certainly not at the moment.

CHAIR —but the quality of the buildings should reflect, in fact, an improvement in the overall quality of the education delivered. I think you made that point.

Mr Orgill —Yes.

CHAIR —I certainly can refer to our own state of Western Australia; in the event that that proportion of classrooms were not air conditioned that would have a profoundly negative impact on the capacity of teachers to be able to engage with kids. In many states, my own included, that is from the beginning of February then right through to the end of April and then probably from October through November into December. It is disappointing, because I agree with you that the injection of capital into education buildings should reflect itself in improved outcomes for the kids—although I would also plead that investment in teachers probably has a more remarkable impact. It is just disappointing to see that statistic in New South Wales, because that would actually predicate against the conclusion you have drawn about investment of capital.

Mr Orgill —I would agree. In fact, page 43—we gave same thinking to how we get better outcomes for the schools which came up red and amber in New South Wales on our detailed value for money assessment. So here is our rectification proposal, which we are currently in discussion about with New South Wales. For specific schools, what are the defects which have to be fixed and also what are the re-scoping additions. I mention that because in the re-scoping additions for a number of those schools we have said air conditioning. For example, Scotts Head, which was an egregious complaint, poor-value-for-money outcome, we want them to add back air conditioning, covered walkways et cetera—the same for Stuarts Point, air conditioning. These schools are on the way to Byron, which is quite north. That is part of the cluster of NBRs that we talked about before on the mid north coast. More generally we are working to get better outcomes in New South Wales by getting an acceleration of their re-scoping plans, adding back air conditioning and other items quicker rather than slower. So we are on the same page.

CHAIR —But this correction specifically in New South Wales of this $50 million, which I think has been quoted by the minister in that state, is not a cost against BER; that is a cost against the New South Wales education department’s vote, is it?

Mr Orgill —It is not my area of expertise in terms of the funding for New South Wales but I do not see them getting additional funding beyond what is currently their allocation.

CHAIR —Do you have evidence in any of the states, be it in the government, Catholic of independent system, where providers of services—electricity, water, waste water—may have actually upgraded their supplies on the street away from the school and applied those costs back to schools as part of the upgrading process? In other words, yes, there may have been a need for an improved supply of power contingent on a new classroom or a project at a school but they have actually incurred the cost for a community wider than the school but applied the cost to that project. Are you aware of any instances where that has happened?

Mr Orgill —Generally, the electrical systems have had to be upgraded as a result of the BER projects because the capacity was needed to be raised but also over the last 10 to 15 years schools have become a lot more intense in terms of using electricity, computers et cetera. I am not aware of the question you ask: has there been an unfair cross-subsidisation with the community benefiting from funds? There was a question in the back of my mind around Tottenham raised by the P&C and which we raised with the IPO for investigation. I would have to go back to check the result as to where the upgrade was. Was it in the school or was it outside the school. Beyond that, I am not aware of any case but I could investigate.

CHAIR —As you are visiting schools and reviewing projects would your teams become aware of that or would it only be if an education authority or indeed a school principal alerted you to that?

Mr Orgill —If the school alluded—and the Tottenham example was from speaking with the head of the P&C. We express in our report our concerns about the control across New South Wales. I think it will come in the close-out of costs through clear diligence of what has been charged to each project and looking for things that look exorbitantly high.

CHAIR —Outside the trend.

Mr Orgill —Outside the trend.

CHAIR —I agree that, once you have that wealth of data, these things would become apparent to you.

Mr Orgill —Yes, that is right. We have done some of that, although I would say the responsibility ultimately is with the education authority; they are the people who pay the bills. But the close-out, the acquittal and the agreement on cost is going to be a very critical phase over the next three to four months, particularly in New South Wales, so that they actually have the capacity to get down and make sure that all the costs are costs properly for the school and not beyond that. And they are focusing heavily on that because they are aware of that risk.

CHAIR —I would be keen to know that your group is looking at that, because it has been put to me that in some of the states the costs of upgrades that should have been done anyway and met from other budgets have in fact found their way into this. It is anecdotal only, so I would be very keen to know more about it.

When we last met with you, you and I were discussing the fact that one contractor—I think it was Bovis Lend Lease—had overseen the projects on behalf of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney and had also been engaged by the New South Wales government to oversee projects. I think you and I agreed that it would be of some use to see whether it would be possible to collate an equivalent number of projects from the New South Wales government scheme that Bovis had overseen and compare that with an equivalent number of schools in the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. Have you been able to undertake that work and what was your conclusion?

Mr Orgill —It is preliminary at the moment. We do have the ability in BER-CAM. We have referred to it in one of our appendices looking at quality because we got information from Bovis Lend Lease on the Catholic system and the government system around quality. We have found that there are more differences in terms of the outcome for the school than in straight cost. The biggest difference has been in the consultation process with the school and the school being happy with what they have and feeling they have a much more customised solution as a result of the structure of the process—that is, the Catholic Education Office giving much more autonomy and perspective to the school’s desire for a classroom, library or hall than has been the case in the state system. We have seen that most of the difference is in the quality of the product outcome rather than the cost. But we do refer to it in our appendix; we have the ability to do it in BER-CAM; and once we have more complete data from the Catholic system we may well include it in our final report. I will take that and make sure we do that as a feature.

CHAIR —We have a commonality there, don’t we, in terms of—

Mr Orgill —We will do a number of those because we also have commonalities of APP working for the Wollongong diocese and the Victorian government and in WA and the Northern Territory. There are a number of those that we will be able to compare as we get more data from the project managers.

Senator MASON —My questions are more on the layout of the report. You would agree that schematic 4, which refers to total project cost per square metre, and schematic 17, average days by project phase for P21 projects, which I have been referring to, are both in chapter 4, ‘BER cost analysis model’. Do you agree with that?

Mr Orgill —Sure.

Senator MASON —You have been referring to schematic 28, progress and stimulus, which is in chapter 8—correct?

Mr Orgill —I think that is right.

Senator MASON —In chapter 4, for example, schematic 4 is total project cost per square metre, schematic 5 is total project cost per square metre regionally adjusted, schematic 6 is about total project costs, schematic 7 is the average square metres per project for halls, classrooms and libraries, schematic 8 is total program fees and so on. They are all through chapter 4. Schematic 16 is project duration by P21 funding category. Schematic 17 is the one I have just referred to and schematic 18 is time duration and rate of spend for selected education authorities. That is all right, isn’t it?

Mr Orgill —Yes.

Senator MASON —It is all about the cost analysis model that your inquiry set up. You have been referring to schematic 28. In chapter 8, schematic 25 is international stimulus per cent of GDP; schematic 26 is weathering the storm, global GDP growth; and schematic 27 is Australian growth. There are all these macro factors, like unemployment rates—‘Australian growth and employment exceeded the 2009-10 budget projections’. You have mentioned schematic 28, around P21 progress. Schematic 29 is funding spent. Schematic 30 is construction commencements and spend. And so forth. That is right, isn’t it?

Mr Orgill —Is what right?

Senator MASON —What I have just said is a correct assessment of how your chapters are laid out and where your emphasis lies in terms of cost?

Mr Orgill —I am not sure I understood your question on the emphasis.

Senator MASON —Chapter 4 is about the BER cost analysis model. Is that correct?

Mr Orgill —Yes. BER-CAM is a specific database.

Senator MASON —Sure, but it is about the cost analysis model. That is right, isn’t it?

Mr Orgill —Yes, it is.

Senator MASON —The model that your committee developed.

Mr Orgill —Yes.

Senator MASON —Right. This may be on the record already, but I just want to make sure this is on the record. According to schematic 28, the one you pointed out, the Victorian government percentage of projects completed is 25 per cent. Yes?

Mr Orgill —On this table it is between 20 and 30. It is circa 25 per cent.

Senator MASON —On schematic 28 I think it says 25, doesn’t it? Does it say 25?

Mr Orgill —Yes, 25 per cent.

Senator MASON —The Queensland government 41 per cent?

Mr Orgill —Yes.

Senator MASON —And the New South Wales government 61 per cent?

Mr Orgill —Yes.

Senator MASON —Right, that is fine. Thank you.

Mr Orgill —And this information is October 2010.

Senator MASON —Sure, but it is in your report, it is in schematic 28. I just wanted to make sure that was on the record.

CHAIR —If there are no further questions for the witnesses, I will let them go.

Senator BILYK —I want to say thank you for the work you have done to date. It has been illuminating for all the committee. Thank you for your patience today.

Mr Orgill —It is a pleasure.

[10.37 am]