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Senate Legislation Committees Consolidated reports on Budget estimates 2009-2010


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Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on Budget estimates 2009-10

June 2009

Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on Budget estimates 2009-10

June 2009

© Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 2009

ISSN 1834-4038

This document was printed by the Printing Unit, Department of the Senate, Parliament House, Canberra.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Resolutions of the Senate relating to estimates

Community Affairs Committee

• Budget estimates 2009-10 report, dated June 2009........................................... 1

Economics Committee

• Budget estimates 2009-10 report, dated June 2009......................................... 17

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee

• Budget estimates 2009-10 report, dated June 2009......................................... 79

Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee

• Budget estimates 2009-10 report, dated June 2009....................................... 113

Finance and Public Administration Committee

• Budget estimates 2009-10 report, dated June 2009....................................... 143

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

• Budget estimates 2009-10 report, dated June 2009....................................... 195

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

• Budget estimates 2009-10 report, dated June 2009....................................... 221

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee

• Budget estimates 2009-10 report, dated June 2009....................................... 257

RESOLUTIONS OF THE SENATE RELATING TO ESTIMATES

7 Standing O rders—Amendment—Committees—Allocation of Departments 1 The Minister for Human Services (Senator Ludwig), pursuant to notice, moved government business notice of motion no. 3— (1) That standing order 25(1) be amended as follows:

Omit: ‘Employment, Workplace Relations and Education’ Substitute: ‘Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ Omit: ‘Environment, Communications, Infonnation Technology and the Arts’ Substitute: ‘Environment, Communications and the Arts’.

(2) That departments and agencies be allocated to legislative and general purpose standing committees as follows:

Community A[fairs Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Health and Ageing Economics

Treasury Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Resources, Energy and Tourism Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Environment, Communications and the Arts Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Finance and Public Administration

Parliament Prime Minister and Cabinet (including Climate Change) Finance and Deregulation

Human Services Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Foreign Affairs and Trade Defence (including Veterans’ Affairs)

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Attorney-General Immigration and Citizenship Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Question put and passed.

1 Journals o f the Senate, no. 2, 13 February 2008

13 Committees—Estimates Hearings2 The Minister for Human Services (Senator Ludwig), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved government business notice of motion no. 2— (1) That estimates hearings by standing committees for 2009 be scheduled as follows:

2008- 09 additional estimates: Monday, 23 February and Tuesday, 24 February 2009, and, if required, Friday, 27 February 2009 (Group A) Wednesday, 25 February and Thursday, 26 February 2009, and, if required, Friday, 27 February 2009 (Group B), 2009- 10 Budget estimates:

Monday, 25 May to Thursday, 28 May 2009, and, if required, Friday, 29 May 2009 (Group A) Monday, I June to Thursday, 4 June 2009, and, if required, Friday, 5 June 2009 (Group B)

Monday, 19 October and Tuesday, 20 October 2009 (supplementary hearings—Group Λ) Wednesday, 21 October and Thursday, 22 October 2009 (supplementary hearings— Group B). (2) That the committees consider the proposed expenditure in accordance with the allocation of

departments and agencies to committees agreed to by the Senate.

(3) That committees meet in the following groups: Group A: Environment, Communications and the Arts Finance and Public Administration

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Group B: Community Affairs

Economics Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

(4) That the committees report to the Senate on the following dates:

(a) Tuesday, 17 March 2009 in respect of the 2008-09 additional estimates; and (b) Tuesday, 23 June 2009 in respect of the 2009-10 Budget estimates.

Question put and passed.

2 Journals o f the Senate, no 43, 12 November 2008: amended 5 February 2009

58 Particulars of Proposed and Certain Expenditure for 2009-10—Documents— Reference of Estimates to Committees3 The Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law (Senator Sherry) tabled the following documents:

Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010.

Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010.

Particulars of proposed expenditure in relation to the parliamentary departments in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010.

Senator Sherry, by leave, moved—That the particulars documents be referred to standing committees for consideration of estimates.

Question put and passed.

3 Journals o f the Senate, no. 67, 12 May 2009 iii

The Senate

Community Affairs Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2009-10

June 2009

1

© Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 2009

ISBN 978-1-74229-110-9

Senate Community Affairs Committee Secretariat

Mr Elton Humphery - Secretary Ms Naomi Blesser- Committee Secretary Mr Ivan Powell - Principal Research Officer Mr Owen Griffiths - Senior Research Officer Ms Leonie Peake - Research Officer

The Senate

Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 3515

Fax: 02 6277 5829

E-mail: community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

Internet: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

This document was prepared by the Senate Community Affairs Committee Secretariat and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra

Ill

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Claire Moore, Chair ALP, Queensland

Senator Rachel Siewert, Deputy Chair AG, Western Australia

Senator Judith Adams LP, Western Australia

Senator Sue Boyce LP, Queensland

Senator Carol Brown ALP, Tasmania

Senator Mark Burner ALP, Queensland

Substitute Members

Senator Kerry O'Brien to substitute for Senator Burner on 1 and 2 June 2009 ALP, Tasmania

Senator Jacinta Collins to substitute for Senator Burner on 3 June 2009 ALP, Victoria

Senator Trish Crossin to substitute for Senator Burner on 4 and 5 June 2009 ALP, Northern Territory

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Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Report on Budget Estimates 2009-2010

1.1 On 12 May 2009 the Senate referred the following documents to the Committee for examination and report in relation to the portfolios of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; and Health and Ageing:

• particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010

• particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010.

1.2 The Committee has considered the budget expenditure of the portfolios set out in their respective Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-2010 (PBS). Explanations relating to the estimates were received from Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, Senator the Hon Penny Wong, and Senator the Hon Mark Arbib representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Senator the Hon

Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing and officers from the portfolio Departments at hearings held from 1 to 4 June 2009.

1.3 The Committee also considered budget expenditure at a hearing on 5 June 2009 on cross portfolio Indigenous issues pursuant to Resolution of the Senate of 26 August 2008.1 Explanations relating to the estimates were received from Senator the Hon Jan McLucas. Officers from the following portfolio Departments were in

attendance:

Attorney-General's

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Health and Ageing

Human Services

Prime Minister and Cabinet

Treasury.

1.4 The Committee expresses its appreciation for the assistance of the Ministers, Departmental Secretaries and the officers who appeared before it.

1.5 In accordance with Standing Order 26, the date for submission to the Committee of written answers to questions or additional infonnation relating to the expenditure is 30 July 2009.

1 Journals o f the Senate: N o.22 - 26 August 2008, p.683.

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1.6 The Committee discussed many of the expenditure proposals and information contained in the PBS. These discussions are detailed in the Committee’s Hansard transcripts of I to 5 June 2009, copies of which will be tabled in the Senate. Hansard transcripts of the estimates proceedings are also accessible on the Committee’s website at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca. Answers to questions taken on notice and tabled documents relating to the Committee's hearings will be tabled separately in the Senate. Consolidated volumes of this additional information may be accessed from the Committee's website.

P ro ced u ra l m atters

Cross portfolio Indigenous issues

1.7 To assist both the Committee and portfolio departments the Committee conducted the cross portfolio Indigenous issues hearing in a similar but slightly more streamlined program format to the previous hearing. Themes and issues were again listed for consideration across portfolios and this approach has proven to be a

satisfactory way for Senators to seek information on cross portfolio matters. The Committee acknowledges and appreciates the assistance of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) in coordinating portfolios to enable the hearing to be conducted in this manner.

Public interest immunity claims

1.8 On several occasions during the hearings the issue of public interest immunity was raised or implied, and the question taken on notice for further investigation as to whether the information requested could be provided. The Committee will be keeping a close watch on the responses that are provided to ensure that they are in confoimity with the Order of the Senate dated 13 May 2009 relating to public interest immunity claims.

Provision of answers relating to Additional Estimates 2008-09

1.9 The Committee acknowledges the Departments' efforts in providing answers to a large number of questions on notice relating to the additional estimates. The Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) provided approximately two-thirds of the answers by the due date, and the majority of the remaining answers during the following month.

1.10 FaHCSIA was not able to provide any answers to the very large number of questions on notice by the due date, however the majority of answers were progressively provided from the end of April to mid May. Most of the few remaining answers were provided in the weeks leading up to the budget estimates hearings, and the remaining two answers post hearings.

Revisions to Portfolio Structure and Outcomes 2009-2010 from 2008-09

1.11 As outlined in the portfolios' PBS, from the 2009-10 Budget, all General Government Sector (GGS) entities will be reporting on a program basis, which

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replaces the former output group structure. Some revisions to portfolio Outcomes were necessary following the Operation Sunlight Outcome Statements Review.

1.12 The 15 Outcomes within the Health and Ageing Portfolio Structure were unchanged from the previous year, although there were some minor changes in Divisional responsibility. Two new agencies were established, the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority and the National Breast and

Ovarian Cancer Centre.

1.13 Significant changes were made to the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio Outcome structure. The four outcome structure was replaced with a seven outcome structure. This involved a considerable number of changes which were detailed in a transition table in FaHCSIA's PBS.- The

Committee was also provided with a clearly set out Outcomes and program structure translator which mapped the former output groups to the program structure and was of considerable assistance to Senators. FaHCSIA advised the Committee on the rationale behind the change and the advantages of the new seven-outcome structure over the

former four outcomes. The seven outcomes were now more closely linked with the way FaHCSIA engages with clients, and allows for greater transparency and management efficiencies.2 3

1.14 During the hearings the Committee Chair called the programs within Outcomes which assisted Senators to focus their questioning on matters within the programs. Generally, the revised PBS structure provided for a more streamlined approach to consideration of the budget estimates and the hearing process.

Issu es

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio

1.15 The Committee asked a range of questions covering corporate and cross­ outcome matters which included staff numbers, staff superannuation schemes, paid parental leave, ex-gratia payments, media-monitoring service, consultancies, national agreements and national partnership agreements.4

1.16 Discussions covering a wide range of housing matters spanned a large amount of the hearing time. The majority of Senators' questions related to affordable housing, housing assistance and prevention of homelessness. Under these thematic headings matters discussed included the National Rental Affordability Scheme, Housing

Affordability Fund, homeless people in regional and rural areas, social housing,

2 FaH CSIA PBS, pp.33-38.

3 Committee Hansard, 1.06.09, pp.CA6-7.

4 Committee Hansard, 1.06.09, pp.C A 4-l 7.

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housing designs and standards, rent assistance, partnership agreements, and supported accommodation/

1.17 Senators sought information on a number of issues relating to women. The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) provided answers to questions relating to leadership and development programs, funding and grants. Questions were also asked of the Office for Women which covered the women's

safety agenda, respectful relationships programs, helpline and other support initiatives, and measures to reduce violence against women. Parental and maternity leave were also discussed.5 6

1.18 The Committee's inquiry into children in institutional care, titled Forgotten Australians, and the recent report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse in Ireland was discussed. FaHCSIA was asked what work was being undertaken 'around overseas experience and current practice in Australia in terms of institutions and the

development of same'. The Committee was informed that overseas reports and other research material of this nature were used to build up a research and analytic base for use in briefing government.7 8 9

1.19 Questions relating to family support included the family relationship services program; communities for children program; paid parental leave scheme; family tax benefit; payments under the Economic Security Strategy; parenting payment; child support payment; protecting Australia's children initiative, and the responding early

assisting children program/

1.20 Senators sought information on matters relating to seniors that covered income support, allowances, concessions and services. Issues concerning age pensioners which were discussed at length included the Economic Security Strategy bonus, reciprocal social security agreements, pension reform package, indexation, taper rates, transitional safety net, pension bonus scheme, work bonus, increase in age eligibility for a pension, possible impact on the disability support pension (DSP) as a result of increase in the pension age, impact of loss of investment income due to the economic crisis, and the pension review. The Committee was also informed with regard to a number of supplements such as the utilities, telephone and pharmaceutical allowances, Commonwealth seniors health cards, and the self-funded retirees'

supplement. Questions were also asked in relation to the national reciprocal transport agreement, eligibility for seniors' cards varying between States, and the broadband for seniors program/

5 Committee Hansard. 1.06.09, pp.CA 18-63.

6 Committee Hansard, 1.06.09, pp.CA63-83.

7 Committee Hansard, 1.06.09, p.CA84.

8 Committee Hansard, 1.06.09. pp.CA 85-122.

9 Committee Hansard, 2.06.09, pp.CA2-54.

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1.21 In relation to disability and carer matters FaHCSIA answered a number of questions concerning the DSP and carer payments, and Australian disability enterprises. Programs and services relating to the helping children with autism package and young people in residential aged care were also canvassed in some detail.

Disability trusts were discussed at length, particularly with regard to the Government's response to recommendations in the Committee's report titled Building trust: supporting families through disability trusts. Senators sought detailed information on progress being made with some of the responses to the recommendations, as well as

clarification of some aspects of the Government's response. Further matters discussed included a national disability insurance scheme, outside school hours care for teenagers with a disability, the national companion card, disability parking scheme, print disability services program, personal helpers and mentors program, carers assisted through the community-based program and mental health issues in rural areas.10 1 1 1 2

1.22 Senators also asked questions regarding national compacts with the not-for- profit sector, volunteer management and volunteer grants programs, income quarantining trials in Western Australia, social inclusion, and Victorian bushfire assistance and recovery.11

Health and Ageing portfolio

1.23 The Committee sought information relating to a number of corporate issues and matters which cross outcomes, including the organisational structure, staffing numbers, the number of people with disabilities employed, parental leave, and superannuation entitlements. Media monitoring, FOI requests, performance of State hospitals, the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission, Health and

Hospitals Fund, and human gene patenting were also included in discussions.1”

1.24 A range of questions were asked by Senators relating to sporting matters. The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) informed the Committee regarding action being taken to encourage more people into sport to improve their physical and mental health, which included Indigenous sport and recreation programs. A number of questions

were asked concerning the Crawford review, active after-schools communities program, sport and recreation facilities grants, programs and funding for women in sport. Senators also sought an update on the status of Taekwondo Australia and discussed the impact and uncertainties of this sport currently not having a recognised

body. Questions were also asked regarding sports funding, codes of behaviour and community leadership. The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) provided information on funding and anti-doping programs and measures.13

10 Committee Hansard, 2.06.09, pp.CA54-106.

11 Committee Hansard, 2.06.09, pp.CA108-124.

12 Committee Hansard, 3.06.09, pp.CA5-20.

13 Committee Hansard, 3.06.09, pp.CA20-40.

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1.25 Private health insurance matters were discussed at length. Included in debate were the current levels and forward estimates for private health insurance membership, proposed changes to the private health insurance rebate, Medicare levy surcharge thresholds and lifetime health cover, and future premium increases. The possible impact on the public hospital and public dental system and allied healthcare providers of people dropping or downgrading hospital or general treatment cover was

also discussed. The Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC) provided information concerning the private health insurance industry.14 1 5

1.26 The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and officers involved with biosecurity and emergency response matters provided the Committee with a comprehensive and informative overview of the H1N1 influenza 09 (Swine flu) infection outbreak and response. This included detailed information relating to the outbreak, virulence of the

organism, and measures activated under the National Action Plan for Human Influenza Pandemic to contain and control the spread of the virus. Testing for swine flu, quarantine measures, severity, and treatment options were also discussed. The Committee was also informed regarding the status of the national medical stockpile,

agreements for further supply of influenza vaccine, including an order for a human swine flu vaccine being development by CSL. Answers were also provided to a number of concerns that were raised by Senators in relation to the pandemic. The Minister, Senator McLucas, and the Committee Chair commended and thanked the CMO and officers, who were also managing the operation of the 24-hour a day national incident room, for attending at such a busy time to inform the Committee and public of the current situation and the procedures actioned.1:1

1.27 Population health matters discussed included the public health education and research program; funding for preventative health and treatment; Preventative Health Taskforce; initiatives to lower tobacco use and to reduce obesity levels; marketing campaign to combat obesity; gastric banding; the Australian Better Health Initiative; bowel, breast and cervical screening programs; the National Binge Drinking Strategy; national immunisation strategy; and Naltrexone implants.16

1.28 Senators asked questions of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) relating to complementary medicines, the baseline assessment survey, audits of drug manufacturers that are approved for imports into Australia, and evaluation of applications to extend the shelf-life of drugs.17

1.29 Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) provided answers relating to Bisphenola A (BPA) found in polycarbonate plastic products such as baby bottles.

14 Committee Hansard, 3.06.09, pp.CA40-44, 66-86.

15 Committee Hansard, 3.06.09, pp.CA45-66.

16 Committee Hansard, 3.06.09, pp.CA87-104, 112-113.

17 Committee Hansard, 3.06.09, pp.CA104-l 11.

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Food labelling and labelling on wine bottles and other alcoholic beverages were also included in discussions.ls

1.30 Matters discussed under Acute Care programs included details of Treasury's responsibility for funding and policy arrangements for Special Purpose Payments (SPPs) and DoHA's responsibility for the national healthcare agreement. Questions also covered the Health and Hospitals Fund, hospital accountability and performance programs, elective surgery waiting lists, public dental services in rural and remote

areas, Commonwealth Dental Health program, teen dental program, review of the national blood arrangements, improving transfusion services, and indemnity for midwives.1 8 19 2 0 2 1

1.31 The National Blood Authority provided information on initiatives to improve the appropriateness of blood usage and reduce wastage, including programs for the education of practitioners working in the blood area and programs for improving communications with practitioners to improve the sharing of knowledge and to

stimulate best practice. The new blood manufacturing site which will provide fresh blood products to Victoria and Tasmania was also discussed, as well as the plasma fractionation and product distribution contract with CSL.™°

1.32 The CEO of the recently established Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority provided details of the establishment, structure and operation of the Authority, appointment of the advisory council and Authority staff. Further answers were provided regarding organ donation and the importance of family

awareness and consent to the donor’s wishes, funding for community awareness and marketing, and access to the patient assisted travel scheme for donors and recipients."1

1.33 A large number of questions were asked relating to aged care matters, including the continence aids assistance scheme, level of care being provided to residents of aged-care facilities, funding for an increase in numbers of high-care residents, ratio of staff to residents, increased cost of care, and funding for nursing staff. Matters raised in the Senate inquiry into residential and community aged care were also discussed as well as the complaints investigation scheme, expenditure on palliative care, review of the allocation process, aged care approvals process, and the

aged care workforce.22

1.34 Cancer Australia agency was asked to provide an overview of staffing and operation of the agency. The linkages between Cancer Australia and other cancer organisations were discussed as well as the likely long-term impact on the cost of

18 Committee Hansard, 3.06.09, pp.CA l 14-118.

19 Committee Hansard, 3.06.09, pp.C A l 19-132, 135-136.

20 Committee Hansard, 3.06.09, pp.CA133-135.

21 Committee Hansard, 3.06.09, pp.CA136-140.

22 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09, pp.CA5-14, 31-67.

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research relating to gene patent issues, and the cancer prevalence and survival data published jointly with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).23 2 4 2 5

1.35 The National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre also provided the Committee with an outline of their organisation's operations and outcomes, including current projects. The Centre reported that they were very pleased with the improvement in awareness of ovarian cancer, and the evidence had been reviewed in relation to best practice in follow-up for a woman who had been diagnosed with breast cancer."4

1.36 Senators sought information from the National Health and Medical Research Council relating to their research funding and the guidelines and system used for allocating grants. The review of the public health research funding, and Naltrexone implant clinical trials were also included in discussions.23

1.37 Information was sought from DoHA relating to implementation of the national e-health strategy, funding for diabetes research, Lift for Life strength training program for people with diabetes, and the National Partnership for Health Infrastructure.26

1.38 Discussions relating to mental health issues included the demand and provision of mental health services in rural areas, the national suicide prevention strategy, National Mental Health Youth Foundation providing mental health services for young people, funding for mental health services, the mental health workforce,

including the mental health nurse incentive program. Other mental health issues discussed included the Victorian bushfires mental health response package, the status of the Government response to the Committee's recommendations in the report of the inquiry into mental health services, action taken to combat stigma in mental health, and the alleged use of electroconvulsive therapy on teenagers.27 2 8

1.39 Health workforce questions covered the number of GPs, general surgeons and dentists per head of population in rural and regional areas, RAMUS Scheme graduates, initiatives to overcome the shortage of rural workforce health professionals, specialist medical services in rural areas, and overseas trained medical practitioners. The national men's health strategy, nurses re-entering the workforce under the Bringing Nurses Back into the Workforce program, the General Practitioner Rural Incentive Program, the remote areas classification system, and allied health professionals were also discussed."8

23 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09, pp.CA 15-20.

24 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09, pp.CA21-23.

25 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09, pp.CA24-30.

26 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09, pp.CA68-79.

27 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09, pp.CA80-90.

28 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09, pp.CA91-102.

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1.40 Senators sought information on a range of pharmaceutical matters. The more efficient use of chemotherapy drugs, payment of benefits, and the consultation process was discussed in some detail. PBAC approval process for listing of Avastin on the PBS, limitation of palliative care drugs on the PBS. Progress with the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, customer medicine information, fee for dispensing

of medicines in Aboriginal communities, PBS cost recovery, insulin pumps, Improving Maternity Sendees Package and eligible midwives' access to the PBS were also included in discussions.”9

1.41 With regard to access to medical services, questions were asked relating to Medicare Benefits Schedule fees for cataract surgery, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) services and location of scanners, Magnetic-Resonance Imaging (MRI) services in Tasmania, cancer support services for Launceston Hospital, training and education

for a range of professions involved in radiation oncology.2 9 30 3 1

1.42 The Professional Services Review agency informed the Committee about Medicare compliance audits and issues relating to medical practitioners' inappropriate • 31

practices.

1.43 Primary care questions included the GP Assist (Tasmania) program, progress being made with Super Clinics becoming operational and their locations, and the Practice Incentives Program for general practice. The General Practice Education and Training agency confirmed to the Committee that all funded training places to address

workforce shortages had been filled. The program also included training in Indigenous health.32

1.44 Rural health matters which were discussed included proposed changes from the RRMA classification system to ASGCRA which may impact on the Gawler, SA and Sunshine Coast, Qld areas. The consultation process is continuing so as to allay concerns. Senator Adams was advised that the Australian Health Ministers Advisory

Council taskforce had not yet reported on the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS). The Committee was also informed on the development of a replacement to the Healthy Horizons initiative for improving the health of rural, regional and remote Australians; and progress being made with the Medical Specialist Outreach Assistance

program, and the Rural Women's GP Service.33

29 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09, pp.C A 103-l 19.

30 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09, pp.CA120-128.

31 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09, pp.CA129-131.

32 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09. pp.CA131-140.

33 Committee Hansard, 4.06.09, pp.CA141-145.

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Cross portfolio Indigenous issues

1.45 Senators sought answers to Indigenous issues questions from various portfolio Departments and agencies under the thematic headings detailed on the hearing program. The majority of questions were on a wide range of issues relating to the Northern Territory Emergency Response and the Closing the Gap initiative, which

included the consultation process for future directions for the Response, conformity with the Racial Discrimination Act, and welfare reform matters such as income quarantining, CDEP, and school attendance trials. The Indigenous Business Australia agency informed the Committee with regard to home loans and home ownership on

Indigenous lands, the Outback Stores subsidy and evaluation of stores.'4

1.46 Many housing questions were asked by Senators relating to remote Indigenous housing, the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP), land tenure and leasing, and the Alice Springs town camps.3'

1.47 Indigenous health matters discussed included life expectancy data, dental services, foetal alcohol syndrome, petrol sniffing, trachoma, asthma, and dialysis. 6

1.48 A range of Indigenous employment services were discussed, including the new Community Employment Development Projects (CDEP) which will be implemented in remote areas and the community support program operating in regional and urban areas.3 4 3 5 3 6 37

1.49 Senators asked questions relating to education matters, including the Improving School Enrolment and Attendance through Welfare Reform Measures (SEAM) project in the NT, children and family centres, and funding for Indigenous children from the NT to attend boarding schools in Perth.38

1.50 Other more general Indigenous issues discussed included establishment of the Indigenous Healing Foundation, exposure to asbestos across the Wallaga Lake community, the suicide prevention project at Narrogin, and income management in the Cape York area.39

1.51 Questions relating to law and justice matters covered demands being placed on legal sendee providers in the NT and the impact on the justice system, police presence and provision of police stations, native title claims and native title bodies.40

34 Committee Hansard, 5.06.09, pp.CA5-23.

35 Committee Hansard, 5.06.09. pp.CA30-44.

36 Committee Hansard, 5.06.09. pp.CA44-51.

37 Committee Hansard, 5.06.09, pp.CA52-58.

38 Committee Hansard, 5.06.09, pp.CA59-68.

39 Committee Hansard, 5.06.09. pp.CA24-29.

40 Committee Hansard, 5.06.09, pp.CA68-73.

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1.52 In addition to the above issues a number of administrative and process issues were discussed during the estimates hearings and these are detailed in the Hansard transcripts of evidence.

Senator Claire Moore Chair

June 2009

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The Senate

Economics

Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2009-10

June 2009

17

© Commonwealth of Australia 2009

ISBN 978-1-74229-11 1-6

Printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

Senate Economics Legislation Committee

Members

Senator Annette Hurley, Chair Senator Alan Eggleston, Deputy Chair Senator Doug Cameron Senator Bamaby Joyce

Senator Louise Pratt Senator Nick Xenophon

South Australia, ALP Western Australia, LP New South Wales, ALP Queensland, LNP Western Australia, ALP

South Australia, IND

Other senators in attendance

Senator the Hon Eric Abetz Senator Guy Barnett Senator Cory Bemardi Senator Simon Birmingham Senator the Hon Ronald Boswell

Senator David Bushby Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Senator Mathias Cormann Senator David Feeney

Senator Mary Jo Fisher Senator the Hon Bill Heffeman Senator Scott Ludlam Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald

Senator Christine Milne Senator Kerry O'Brien Senator Stephen Parry Senator Marise Payne

Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson Senator Glenn Sterle Senator John Williams

Tasmania, LP Tasmania, LP South Australia, LP South Australia, LP Queensland, LNP

Tasmania, LP

New South Wales, LP Western Australia, LP Victoria, ALP South Australia, LP

New South Wales, LP Western Australia, AG Queensland, LP Tasmania, AG

Tasmania, ALP Tasmania, LP

New South Wales, LP Victoria, LP

Western Australia, ALP New South Wales, NATS

Secretariat

Mr John Hawkins, Secretary Dr Richard Grant, Principal Research Officer Mr Greg Lake, Principal Research Officer Mr Glenn Ryall, Senior Research Officer Ms Meredith Bond, Executive Assistant Ms Hana Jones, Executive Assistant Ms Lauren McDougall, Executive Assistant

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3540 Fax: 02 6277 5719 E-mail: economics.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate economics/

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

M em bership of Com m ittee.......................................................................... iii

Budget Estim ates 2009-10......... 1

Report to the Senate................................................................................................. 1

Introduction............................. 1

Portfolio structures and outcomes.......................................................................... 1

Questions on notice.................................................................................................1

General comments.................................................................................................. 2

Record of proceedings............................................................................................ 2

Matters raised - Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio.................2

Matters raised - Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio...................................5

Matters raised - Treasury portfolio........................................................................ 6

Appendix 1 ................................................................................................................. 13

Abbreviations.......................................................................................................... 13

Appendix 2 ................................................... 15

Index to proof Hansard transcripts...................................................................... 15

1 June 2009............................................................................................................15

2 June 2009........................................................................................................... 15

3 June 2009........................................................................................................... 16

4 June 2009...................................................................................... 16

22 June 2009......................................................................................................... 16

Appendix 3 ................................................................................................................. 17

Documents tabled.................................................................... 17

1 June 2009........................................................................................................... 17

2 June 2009........................................................................................................... 17

3 June 2009...........................................................................................................17

4 June 2009...........................................................................................................17

Appendix 4 .............................................................................. 19

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Portfolio............. 19

Portfolio Overview...............................................................................................19

Transition table - Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research... 20

Transition table - Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies................................................................................................................. 25

Transition table - Australian Institute of Marine Science....................................26

Transition table - Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation ....27

Transition table - Australian Research Council...................................................28

Transition table - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation........................................................................................................ 29

Transition table - IP Australia............................................................................. 30

Appendix 5 ............................................................. 31

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio........................................................................... 31

Portfolio Overview.............................................................................................. 31

Transition table - Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.....................32

Transition table - Geoscience Australia.............................................................. 33

Transition table - National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority......................34

Transition table - Tourism Australia................................................................... 35

Appendix 6 ................................................................................................................37

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Treasury Portfolio...........................37

Portfolio Overview.............................................................................................. 37

Transition table - Department of the Treasury................................................... 39

Transition table - Australian Bureau of Statistics................................................40

vi

22

41 Transition table - Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Transition table - Australian Office of Financial Management...........................42

Transition table - Australian Prudential Regulation Authority...........................43

Transition table - Australian Securities and Investments Commission.............. 44

Transition table - Australian Taxation Office......................................................45

Transition table - Commonwealth Grants Commission......................................47

Transition table - Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee....................48

Transition table - Inspector-General of Taxation................................................49

Transition table - National Competition Council................................................50

Transition table - Office of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board........51

Transition table - Office of the Australian Accounting Standards Board...........52

Transition table - Productivity Commission........................................................53

Transition table - Royal Australian Mint.............................................................54

vii

23

■

■

24

Budget Estimates 2009-10

Report to the Senate

Introduction

1.1 On 12 May 2009 the Senate referred to the committee for examination and report the following documents in relation to the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; Resources, Energy and Tourism; and Treasury portfolios:

• Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2009-2010]; and

• Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2009-2010].'

Portfolio structures and outcomes

1.2 The committee notes that from the 2009-10 Budget all General Government Sector entities will be reporting on a program basis. Tables outlining the transition from the 2008-09 Budget, which was presented in administered items, outputs and output groups, to the program reporting framework used for the 2009-10 Budget, are included in the appendices as indicated below:

• Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio (Appendix 4);

• Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio (Appendix 5); and

• Treasury portfolio (Appendix 6).

1.3 The committee notes that revisions were also made to outcome statements

under the Operation Sunlight Outcome Statements Review. These changes affected all three portfolios and are also reflected in the tables in Appendices 4-6.

Questions on notice

3.4 The committee draws the attention of all departments and agencies to the

deadline of Friday, 31 July 2009 for the receipt of answers to questions taken on notice from this round. As the committee is required to report before responses to questions are due, this report has been prepared without reference to any of these responses. The secretariat is preparing indexes for questions taken on notice during

and after the hearings and these will be made available on the following website http://wxvw.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/economics_ctte/estimates/bud_0910/index.htm.

1.5 For the 2008-09 Additional Estimates round answers to questions on notice

were due to be provided to the committee by 17 April 2009. The committee expresses concern that, out of 92 questions placed on notice with the Treasury portfolio, 1

1 Journals o f the Senate, No. 67, 12 M ay 2009, p. 1920.

Page 2

65 remained unanswered at close of business on the due date. Furthermore, the final five answers were not received until 2 June 2009.

General comments

1.6 The committee received evidence from Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, representing the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer; Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, representing the Minister for Resources and Energy; Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law; and officers from the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; Resources, Energy and Tourism; and Treasury portfolios.

1.7 The committee thanks the ministers and officers who attended the hearings for their assistance.

1.8 The committee conducted hearings over five days, from 1-4 June 2009 and on 22 June 2009 to consider estimates for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. In total the committee met for 45 hours and 6 minutes, excluding breaks.

Record of proceedings

1.9 This report does not attempt to analyse the evidence presented over the five days of hearings. However, it does include a brief list of the issues that were traversed by the committee for all portfolios.

1.10 Copies of the Hansard transcripts are available on the internet at http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/economics_ctte/estimates/bud_0910/index.htm. Copies are also tabled with this report for the information of the Senate.

Matters raised - Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio

1.11 On 1 June 2009, the committee examined the estimates for the:

• Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO);

• Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO);

• Australian Research Council (ARC);

• IP Australia;

• Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; and

• Office of the Chief Scientist.

1.12 Matters examined included the following:

Page 3

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (A NS TO)

• return of nuclear waste material to Australia (pp 4-6);

• ANSTO Portfolio Budget Statement and budget items (pp 6-7 and 13-15);

• school visits program (pp 7-8);

• operation of the OPAL nuclear reactor (pp 8, 10-13 and 15-16); and

• production of medical isotopes (pp 8-10).

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

• research relating to the development of a day-night cricket ball (p. 16);

• CSIRO Portfolio Budget Statement (pp 16-18);

• legal action relating to intellectual property (pp 18-22);

• staffing (pp 22-23);

• impact of the discontinuation of the Commercial Ready program on the CSIRO (pp 23-24)

• biochar research and funding (pp 24-29);

• Square Kilometre Array (pp 29-31 and 40);

• North West Shelf Joint Environmental Management Study (pp 31-32);

• new automation technologies for longwall mines (pp 32-33);

• water research and the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce (pp 33-36);

• Northern Prawn Fishery (pp 36-37);

• climate change research (pp 37-38);

• grapevine research (pp 38-39);

• bushfire research (pp 39— 40); and

• Moreton Bay fisheries (pp 40-41).

Australian Research Council (ARC)4

• staffing (pp 41-43); * 1

2 Transcript page numbers for the Australian N uclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), refer to Proof Hansard, 1 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

3 Transcript page numbers for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), refer to P roof Hansard, 1 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

4 Transcript page numbers for the Australian Research Council (ARC), refer to P roof Hansard, 1 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

Page 4

• Excellence in Research for Australia Initiative and the assessment of academic journals (pp 43-55); and

• Super Science Fellowships (p. 55).

IP Australia'

• patenting of human biological materials (pp 56-63 and 65-66);

• IP Australia Portfolio Budget Statement (pp 63-64); and

• Impact of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement on generic pharmaceuticals (pp 64-65).

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research5 6

• Business Enterprise Centres (pp 66-70);

• Pacific Brands (pp 70-74);

• speech by the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research at Questacon on budget day (pp 74-76);

• bank complaints clearing house for small business (pp 76-83);

• research and development tax credit (p. 83);

• establishment of the Small Business Support Line (pp 83-85);

• preparation of a document entitled Powering Ideas: An Innovation Agenda for the 21st Century (pp 85-86 and 102-103);

• media monitoring (pp 86-87);

• responses to Senate orders of 24 June 2008 relating to departmental and agency appointments, vacancies and grants (pp 87 and 122);

• jobs in the manufacturing sector (pp 87-88);

• changes to Portfolio Budget Statements and departmental outcomes (PP 88-90);

• funding to the textiles, clothing and footwear sector (pp 90-92);

• ACL Bearings and the Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program (pp 92-94, 106-108 and 122-123);

• grant to Holden (pp 103-106);

• Melba Industries (pp 108-110 and 116);

• mandatory vehicle emissions standards (pp 110-111);

5 Transcript page numbers for IP Australia, refer to Proof Hansard, 1 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

6 Transcript page numbers for the Department o f Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, refer to Proof Hansard, 1 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

Page 5

LPG Vehicle Scheme (pp 111-114);

business productivity and investment in research and development (pp 114-115);

elaborately transformed manufactures exports (pp 115-116);

space science and industry and the establishment of a space policy unit in the department (pp 116-117);

production of a new Holden car in Australia (pp 118-122);

Green Building Fund (pp 123-124);

Establishment of the Commonwealth Commercialisation Institute (PP 124-125); '

Ventracor Limited (pp 125-126);

introduction of mission-based compacts with universities (pp 126-127);

National Research Infrastructure Committee (pp 128-129);

Super Science investment fund (p. 129);

Centre for Climate Change and Energy Research (pp 129-131); and

Australian Postgraduate Awards (p. 131).

Office of the Chief Scientist

Chief Scientist's employment conditions (pp 94-97); and

climate change research (pp 97-101).

Matters raised - Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

1.13 On 2 June 2009, the committee examined the estimates for the:

• Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Resources and Energy];

• Geoscience Australia; and

• Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Tourism] and Tourism Australia.

1.14 Matters examined included the following:

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Resources and Energyf

• impact of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) on the resources and energy industries (pp 3-16 and 37-38); 7 8

7 Transcript page numbers for the Office o f the C hief Scientist, refer to Proof Hansard, 1 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

8 Transcript page numbers for the Departm ent o f Resources, Energy and Tourism [Resources and Energy], refer to Proof Hansard, 2 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

Page 6

• nuclear waste disposal (ρρ 16-25);

• Clean Energy Initiative (pp 25-29);

• Carbon capture and storage (pp 29-35);

• flow through share schemes (pp 35-36); and

• uranium mining (pp 36-37 and 38-39).

Geoscience Australia9 1 0

• Geoscience Australia's involvement in agriculture (pp 39-40);

• Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre (pp 40-41);

• Geoscience Australia's budget (p. 41);

• uranium resources (pp 41— 42); and

• certified agreement negotiations (pp 42^43).

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Tourism] and Tourism Australia1

• departure of Tourism Australia's managing director and recruitment of a replacement (pp 43-45 and 56-57);

• proposal to move Tourism Research Australia to the department (pp 45-48);

• impact of the Victorian bushfires on the tourism industry (pp 48^49);

• impact of swine flu on the tourism industry (pp 49-52);

• impact of the CPRS on aviation and the tourism industry (pp 52-53);

• impact of the global financial crisis on the aviation and the tourism industry (P- 53); • tourism campaign based on the film Australia (pp 53-54);

• increased airline services between Australia and United States (pp 54-55);

• workplace relations in the restaurant and catering sector (pp 55-56);

• No Leave, No Life campaign (pp 57-59 and 61-62); and

• Business Events Australia (pp 59-61).

Matters raised - Treasury portfolio

1.15 On 2 June 2009, the committee examined the estimates for the:

9 Transcript page numbers for Geoscience Australia, refer to Proof Hansard. 2 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

10 The Department o f Resources. Energy and Tourism [Tourism] and Tourism Australia were heard together. Transcript page numbers for the Department o f Resources, Energy and Tourism [Tourism] and Tourism Australia, refer to Proof Hansard, 2 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

Page 7

• Treasury [Revenue Group] and Australian Taxation Office (ATO);

• Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM); and

• Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

1.16 On 3 June 2009, the committee examined the estimates for the:

• Treasury [Macroeconomic Group]; and

• Treasury [Fiscal Group].

1.17 On 4 June 2009, the committee examined the estimates for the:

• Treasury [Markets Group]; .

• Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA);

• Productivity Commission; and

• Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

1.18 On 22 June 2009, the committee examined the estimates for the:

• Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

1.19 Matters examined included the following:

Treasury [Revenue Groupj and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)n

• reduction of the superannuation co-contribution (pp 65-68 and 77-78);

• lost superannuation (p. 68);

• default superannuation funds (pp 68-71);

• superannuation inquiry announced on 29 May 2009 (pp 71-73);

• temporary residents' superannuation (pp 73-75);

• superannuation guarantee payments (p. 75);

• employer superannuation contributions (pp 75-77);

• allocated pensions (pp 78-80);

• ATO website (pp 80-81);

• distribution of stimulus payments (pp 81-85 and 104);

• impact of Division 7A of Part III of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA) on farming (pp 86-89 and 104-105);

• means testing of the private health insurance rebate (pp 89-90 and 113-114);

• employee share schemes (pp 90-94 and 114-117); 1 1

11 Treasury [Revenue Group] and the Australian Taxation Office were heard together. Transcript page numbers for the Treasury [Revenue Group] and the ATO, refer to P roof Hansard, 2 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

Page 8

• taxation arrangements for offshore online companies trading within Australia (pp 94-96);

• future government revenues (pp 96-97);

• administration of the GST (pp 97-98);

• taxation of hobby farms (pp 98-100);

• government revenue statements (pp 100-102);

• proposed amendments to Section 23 AG of the ITAA (pp 102-103);

• government revenue and the CPRS (pp 103-104 and 111-113);

• Treasury analysis of proposed changes to tobacco excise (pp 105-110);

• luxury car tax (pp 110-111)

• decline in tax receipts (pp 117-119); and

• managed investment schemes (pp 119-120).

Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM)~

• management of Australia's debt portfolio (pp 120-133)

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 1 2 13

• labour force statistics (pp 133-134); and

• balance of payments surveys (pp 134-135).

Treasury [Macroeconomic Group]14

• opening statement by the Executive Director, Macroeconomic Group (PP 4-6); • global financial crisis, economic stimulus packages, government debt and macroeconomic forecasts (pp 6-39, 48-62 and 69-72);

• Treasurer's budget speech (pp 39-40);

• pulping of Budget Paper No. 1 (pp 40-41);

• provision of hardcopy portfolio budget statements (pp 41-43);

• Australian involvement in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (pp 43-48); and

• National Broadband Network (pp 62-69 and 72-77).

12 Transcript page numbers for the Australian Office o f Financial M anagement (AOFM ), refer to P roof Hansard, 2 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

13 Transcript page numbers for the Australian Bureau o f Statistics (ABS) refer to P roof Hansard, 2 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

14 Transcript page numbers for the Treasury [Macroeconomic Group], refer to Proof Hansard, 2 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

Page 9

Treasury [Fiscal Group]1'

• First Home Owners Grant and the First Home Owners Boost (pp 77-78);

• means testing of the private health insurance rebate (pp 78-91);

« modelling undertaken for the CPRS (pp 91-121);

• $6.2 billion assistance package for the automotive sector (pp 121-122);

• interest payable on government debt (pp 122-125);

• infrastructure funds (pp 125-126);

• national accounts figures (pp 126-128);

• 'other economic affairs' in Budget Paper No. 1 (pp 128-129); and

• modelling of unemployment (pp 129-133).

Treasury [Markets Group]1 5 16

• impact of economic stimulus packages on the economy (pp 4-7);

« Australian fuel market (pp 7-9);

• inflation in food prices (pp 9-10);

• sovereign wealth funds and foreign investment in Australia (pp 10-14 and 55-58);

• executive termination payments (p. 15);

• introduction of new consumer protection and redress mechanisms (pp 15-16);

• regulation of trustee companies (pp 16-17);

• standardisation of market regulation across Australia (pp 17-20);

• Australian Business Investment Partnership (pp 20-24 and 49-50);

• guarantee of deposits in authorised deposit taking institutions (pp 24-27);

• Grocerychoice (pp 27-33 and 45-49);

• OzCar (pp 33-45 and 54-55);

• bank switching (pp 50-51); and

• short selling (pp 51-54).

15 Transcript page numbers for the Treasury [Fiscal Group], refer to P roof Hansard, 3 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

16 Transcript page numbers for the Treasury [Markets Group], refer to P roof Hansard, 4 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

Page 10

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (4PRA)1

• opening statement by the Chairman (pp 58-59);

• impact of the global financial crisis on Australia's banking system (pp 59-62 and 67-71)

• executive remuneration (pp 62-64);

• regulation of Australia's superannuation industry (pp 64-67 and 72-75); and

• Storm Financial (pp 71-72).

Productivity Commission1 7 18

• opening statement by the Chairman (pp 75-76);

• study on the performance of public and private hospital systems (pp 76-77);

• gambling inquiry (pp 77-79);

• emissions trading schemes (pp 79-80);

• government infrastructure spending (pp 80-82 and 84-85);

• government support for research and development and the automotive, biotechnology and information technologies sectors (pp 82-84);

• reports on indigenous disadvantage (p. 84);

• research paper on urban water reform (pp 85-87); and

• Richard Snape lecture series (pp 87-89).

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) 19

• opening statement by the Chairman (pp 89-90);

• ASIC fees and charges (p. 91);

• Storm Financial (pp 91-94 and 99-103);

• inquiries relating to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett MP (p. 94);

• complaints handling (p. 95)

• additional funding (pp 95-96)

• managed investment schemes, including Great Southern (pp 96-98);

• short selling (pp 98-99 and 107-111)

17 Transcript page numbers for the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) refer to P roof Hansard, 4 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

18 Transcript page numbers for the Productivity Commission refer to P roof Hansard, 4 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

19 Transcript page numbers for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) refer to Proof Hansard, 4 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

Page 11

• regulation of over the counter derivatives (p. 103)

• unclaimed money from bank accounts, company shares and life policies (pp 103-105);

• proposed changes to consumer credit legislation (pp 105-106);

• scrutiny of listed companies' financial statements (pp 106-107); and

• dispute resolution schemes (pp 111-112).

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)20

• predatory pricing investigations (pp 2-10);

• competition in the retail food market, grocery prices and managed investment schemes (pp 10-12 and 23);

• allegations made by Cuthbertson Brothers Pty Ltd relating to sheep and lamb skins in Tasmania (pp 12-13);

• patenting of human biological materials (p. 13);

• government tender processes (pp 13-14);

• energy regulation in Western Australia (pp 14-16);

o ABC childcare centres (pp 16-17);

• resignation of petrol commissioner (p. 17);

• introduction of new consumer protection and redress mechanisms (p. 18);

• default superannuation funds (p. 18);

• water market (pp 18-20);

• Australian Business Investment Partnership (pp 20-22);

• component pricing legislation (pp 22-23);

• prosecution of Mr Richard Pratt (pp 23-28);

• unconscionable conduct complaints (p. 28);

• mergers and acquisitions (pp 28-29);

• creeping acquisitions (p. 29);

• geographical price discrimination (p. 29);

• Grocerychoice (p. 29);

• competition in the banking sector (pp 30-31); and

• National Broadband Network and competition in the telecommunications industry (pp 31-33).

20 Transcript page numbers for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) refer to P roof Hansard, 22 June 2009 (see the index at Appendix 2 o f this report).

Page 12

Senator Annette Hurley Chair

Appendix 1

Abbreviations

ABS

ACCC

ANSTO

AOFM

APRA

ARC

ASIC

ATO

CPRS

CSIRO

GST

IT A A

LPG

OPAL

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

Australian Office of Financial Management

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

Australian Research Council

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Australian Taxation Office

Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Goods and Services Tax

Income Tax Assessment Act 1936

liquefied petroleum gas

Open Pool Australian Lightwater Reactor

Page 14

38

Appendix 2

Index to proof Hansard transcripts

1 June 2009

Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) 1

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) 16

Australian Research Council (ARC) 41

IP Australia 56

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research 66

Office of the Chief Scientist 94

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (continued) 102

2 June 2009

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Resources and Energy] 1

Geoscience Australia 39

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Tourism] and Tourism Australia 43

Treasury portfolio

Treasury [Revenue Group] and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) 62

Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) 120

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 133

3 June 2009

Treasury portfolio (continued)

Treasury [Macroeconomic Group] 1

Treasury [Fiscal Group] 77

4 June 2009

Treasury portfolio (continued)

Treasury [Markets Group] 1

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) 58

Productivity Commission 75

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) 89

22 June 2009

Page 16

Treasury portfolio (continued)

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) I

Appendix 3

Documents tabled

1 June 2009

• Received from Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation: Opening statement

• Received from Mr Mark Paterson, Secretary, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research: Textile, clothing and footwear innovation package budget fact sheet

• Received from Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research: Photographs - Simon Muntz vehicles

• Received from Mr Mark Paterson, Secretary, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research: Media Release - Senator Kim Carr: National research infrastructure committee announced, dated 20 May 2009

2 June 2009

• Received from Ms Jane Madden, Head of Division, Tourism Division, Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism: Tourism industry support package - approved proposals

3 June 2009

• Received from Dr David Gruen, Executive Director, Macroeconomic Group, The Treasury: Opening statement

• Received from Senator Doug Cameron: Chart - Britain's debt compared

• Received from Mr Marty Robinson, Tax Analysis Division: Private health insurance - fair and sustainable support for the future: costing details

4 June 2009

• Received from Senator John Williams: Judgments of the Supreme Court of South Australia - Fortson Pty Ltd v Commonwealth Bank of Australia & Anor [2008] SASC 49 and Jovanovic & Ors v Commonwealth Bank of Australia [2004] SASC 61

Page 18

42

Appendix 4

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Portfolio1

Portfolio Overview

Portfolio Minister

Minister for femsvatan, Industry, Science and Research S enator the Hon K-m Carr

Minster far Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy Minister Assisting the Finance Minister c n Deregulation The Hon Dr Craig Em erson MP

Departm ent of innovation. Industry, Science and R esearch Portfolio Secretary: Mr Mark i Paterson AO

Outcome 1: Enhanced copartunr es for business innovation s i c growth through nations'; eedersh p in converting knowledge and icess into r processes, services, products and marketable devices: foster ng bus ness cooperation.; delivering advice: assistance: and business, measurement

and cnime services.

Outcome 2: The generation, utilisation ane aw areness of science ard research knowledge through investrsent in research, research training and infrastruciuTs, science communication, si ll development anti colacc-'ation with industry, universities anc research institutes domestieaWy sns

intern aticnariy.

Agency - IP Australia Director General: Mr Phiiip Noonan

Outcome increased innovation, investment and trade n Australia, a rd by Australians overseas through the administration of the registrable intellectual property rights system, promoting public awareness ard industry

engagement, and advising pavemmerit.

Agency - A ustralian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) Chief Executive Officer: Dr Ian Petrter Otitecrte: Growth of knowledge to support protection and sustainable development of Australia's marine resources

through innovative marine science and technology,

A gency - Australian R esearch Council: {ARC) Chief Executive Officer: Prof. Margaret Sheil Outcome: Growth of knowledge and innovation through managing research funding schemes, measuring research

e

Agenc y - Australian institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Studies fAIATSIS) Chief Executive Officer: Mr Russell Taylor

Outcome: Further understanding of Australian Indigenous cultures. past and present through undertaking and publishing research. and providing s tr e s s to print and audiovisual ocEections..

Agency - Australian Nuclear Science and Technology O rganisation (ANSTOj Chief Executive O fficer Dr Adi Paterson

Outcome: Improved knowledge, innovative capacity ano health-bare through nuclear-based facilities, research, training, products, sendees and advice to Government industry, ihs education sector ard the Australian

populsfi on.

Agency - Commonwealth Scientific and industrial R esearch O rganisation (CS1RO) Chief Executive Officer. Dr Megan Clark

Outcome: innovative scterWi a and technology solutions to national challenges and cpportuniSes to benefit industry, the environment and die commuriity, through scientific research and caoaoiity development, services ard advice.

1 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio, p. 5.

43

Page 20

Transition table - Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research2

2008-09 Budget year

Outcome 1: Improve the economic viability and competitive advantage of Australian industry, including the manufacturing and services sectors, through the delivery of initiatives to address impediments to market development and encourage the take up of innovation within those sectors.

Output Group 11: Admimstered Items

Administered Items: Ausiral an Made Campaign Building Ertrep'eneurship .n Sma'I Business Program

Business Enterprise Centres

Enterprise Connect Innovation Centres - establishment Geelong Innovation and Investment

Fund Labour Market and Structural Adjustment Assistance - South Australia Assistance Package

Liquitied Petro eum Gas (LPG) Vehicle Scheme Scottsdale Industry and Community Develooment Fund

2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1: Enhanced opportunities for business innovation and growth through national leadership in converting knowledge and ideas into new processes, services, products and marketable devices: fostering business cooperation: delivering advice; assistance; and business, measurement and online services.

Program 11: Industry Developmem and investment Administered Items: Australian Mace Campaign

Bui ding Entrepreneurship in Small Business Program Small Business Advisory Services1 Enterprise Connect Innovation Centres Geelong Innovation and Investment Fund Labour Market and Structural Adjustment Assistance - South Australia Assistance Package

Liquifiec Petroleum Gas (LPG) Vehicle Scheme North East Tasmania Innovation and

Investment Fund2

2 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Innovation. Industry. Science and Research portfolio, pp 25-29.

44

Page 21

Output Group 1.1; Administered Items Program 1.1; Industry Development and Investment

Snail scale mammalian cell P1.2 production facility -establishment

South Australia Innovation and South Australia Innovation and

Investment Fund and Labour Investment Fund and Labour

Assistance Package - Assistance Package -

supplementary tUnding to Mitsubishi supplementary funding to Mitsubishi Employees Employees

Structural Adjustment Package Stmctu'ai Adjustment Package (Electrolux) - establishment (Electrolux)

Support for Industry Service Support for Industry Service

Organisations program Organisations program

Textile Clotting anc Footwear - Textile Clothing and Footwear -

Structural Adjustment Program Structural Adjustment Program3 Automotive Industry Strucmal Automotive Industry Siructual

Adjustment Program Adjustment Program

Automotive Supply Chain Automotive Supply Chain

Development Program Development Program

North East Tasmania Development Green Building Fund Package5 Re-tooling for Climate Change Green Car innovation Fund =1.2

S p e c ia l A p p ro p ria tio n S p e c ia l Appropriation

Textile Clothing a n d F o o tw e a r Textile, d o m in g and Foot,veer

S trategic in vestm en t P ro g ram Act S trategic in vestm ent P rogram A ct

19 9 9 15 9 9

S p e c ia l A c c o u n t S p e c ia l A c c o u n t

Services to other Government and Services to other Government and r.on-FMA agencies non-FMA agencies

45

Page 22

Output Group 1.2: Program_______ Departmental Outputs: Program Management

Revenue from other sources (s.31)

S p e c ia l A c c o u n ts

Ministerial Council on Energy Account

Output Group 1.3: Policy Advice Departmental Outputs: Policy Advice Revenue from other sources (s.3i)

S p e c ia l A c c o u n t

Australian Building Codes Board Account

Output Group 1.4: Business Services Departmental Outputs: Business Services Revenue from other sources (s.31)

Program 1,2: Innovative Industry Administered Items:

Climate Ready Program Commercial Ready Program Program

National Stem Cel Centre Small scale mammalian cell production facility - establishment COMET Cooperative Research Centres Program Green Car Innovation Fund

Program 1.3: Program Support_____ Program Support: Program Support and Policy Advice Revenue from other sources {s.31}

S p e c ia l A c c o u n t

Australian Building Codes Board Account

.Formerly Business Enterprise Centres. ‘‘Formerly North East Tasmania Development ^acsage & Scottsdale Industry and Community Development Fund. *7his item covers four programs - Textile Clothing and Footwear Structural Adjustment Program consists of TCP Corporate Wear, TCP Expanded Overseas Assembly Provisions (EOAFj, TCP Products Diversification Scheme (PDS) and TCP Structural Program.

46

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Output Group 2.1: Administered items Program 2.1: Investment in Higher Education Research

Administered Items:

Clean Business Australia - Climate Ready Program PI.2

Clean Business Australia - Green Building Fund F1 1

Clean Business Australia - Retooling for Ciimate Change F1.1

COMET P1.2

Commercial Ready Program P1 2 Industry Cooperative Innovation Program R1.2

National Stem Cell Centre P1 2

Administered Items: S p e c ia l A p p ro p ria tio n

H ig h e r E d u catio n S u p p o rt A c t 2 0 0 3

- institutional Grants Scheme - International Postgraduate Research Scholarship Scheme - Research infrastructure Block Grants - Research Training Scheme - Commercialisation Training Scheme

- Jo nt Research Engagement - Regional Protection Scheme - Sustainable Research Excellence

In Universities - The Australian Postgraduate Awards

Output Grouo 2.2: Program Management Program 2.2: Science and Research Capacity

Departmental Outputs:

Program Management Revenue from other sources- (s.31)

Administered Items: Science Connections Program (SCOPE) Anglo-Australian Observatory - new governance arrangements

National Collaborative Research infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) International Science Linkages

S p e c ia l A p p ro p ria tio n

H ig h e r Education Support A c t 20 0 3

- Higher Education Research Promotion - Excellence in Research for Australia

S p e c ia l A c c o u n t

EIF Research ^ortfoho Account

Output Group 2.3: Policy Advice Program 2.3: Program Support Departmental Outputs: Policy Advice Revenue from other sources (s.31)

Program Support: Program Support and Policy Advice Revenue from other sources (s.31)

S p e c ia l A c c o u n t

Scence and Technology Donations / Sponsorship Account

47

Page 24

Output Group 3 1: Administered Items4

Administered Items: Learned Academies - supplementation P2.2

Ang-o-Australian Telescope Board P2.2 Cooperative Research Centres PI.2 International Education and Training (Australis-India Strategic Research Fund element only) P2.2

International Science Linkages P2.2 National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy F2.2

Science Connections Program P2.2

S p e c ia l A p p ro p ria tio n

H ig h e r E ducation S u p p o rt A ct 2 0 0 3

- Institutional Grants Scheme

- International Postgraduate P2.1 Research Scholarship Scheme - Research Infrastructure Block P2.1 Grants - Research Training Scheme P2.1 - Regional Protection Scheme P2.1

- Excellence in Research for P2.1

Australia F2.2

- Higher Education Research Promotion P2.2

Output Group 3.2: Program Management______ Departmental Outputs: Program Management Revenue from other sources (s 31) S p e c ia l A c c o u n t

Science and Technology Donations! Sponsorship Account F2.3

Output Group 3.3: Policy Advice Departmental Outputs: Policy Advice Revenue from other sources is.31) F2.3

4 All items listed under previous Output groups 3.1. 3.2 and 3 3 are now included in Programs 1 and 2 as indicated.

48

Page 25

Transition table - Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies3

2006-09 Budget year

Outcome 1 .The promotion of knowledge and understanding of Australian Indigenous cultures, past and present.

2009-10 Budget year

Outcome t: Further understanding o? Australian indigenous cultures, past and present through undertaking and publishing

research, and providing access to print and audiovisual collections

[Output Group 1.1: Research [Program 1.1: Research

Output Group 1.2: Dissemination of Information

Program 1.2: Dissemination of Information

Output Group 1.3: Collection [Program 1.3: Collection development

3 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio, p. 92.

49

Page 26

Transition table - Australian Institute of Marine Science4

2008-09 Budget year 2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1: Enhanced scientific knowledge supporting the protection and sustainable development of Australia's marine resources.

Outcome 1: Growth of knowledge to support protection and sustainable development of Australia’s marine resources through innovative marine science and technology.

Output Group 1.1: New knowledge for users of marine resources Program 1.1: Marine research

4 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10. Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio, p. 118.

50

Page 27

Transition table - Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation5

2008-09 Budget year

Outcome 1: Nuclear-based Infrastructure

2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1: Improved knowledge, innovative capacity and healthcare through nuclear-based facilities, research, training, products, services and advice to Government, industry, the

education sector and the Australian population

Output Group 1.1: Commissioning of the OPAL reactor

This outcome for the Commissioning of the OPAL reactor is no longer current. Any costs incurred will be borne out of program 1.1.1

>

Outcome 2: Disposition of Spent Fuel -------------►

Output Group 2.1: Shipment program This outcome for the Disposition of Spent Fuel is no longer current. Any costs incurred will also be borne out of Program 1.1.1

Outcome 3: Science and Technology X

Output Group 3.1: Management of core nuclear facilities

Output Group 3.2: Scientific and technical services for Government

Output Group 3.3: Knowledge acquisition and utilisation

Output Group 3.4: Provision of education and training

Output Group 3.5: Radiopharmaceutical sales

Output Group 3.6: Exploitation of assets

Program 1.1: Science and Technology Solutions

D e p a r tm e n ta l P ro g ra m E le m e n ts :

1.1.1: Management of core nuclear facilities 1.1.2: Scientific and technical services for Government 1.1.3: Research into, and Application of, nuclear science and technology

1.1.4: Provision of education and training 1.1.5: Radiopharmaceutical sales 1.1.6: Exploitation of assets________________

Comment: As a result of the review of outcomes and programs. ANSTO has moved from 3 outcomes and 3 programs, to the one outcome and one program. Two of the old outcomes have now lapsed and the 6 outputs under the remaining old Outcome 3, are now picked up as 6 departmental program elements under Outcome 1.1 in 2009-10.

5 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio, p. 139.

51

Page 28

Transition table - Australian Research Council6

2008-09 Budget year

Outcome 1: Australian research that advances the global knowledge and skills base leading to economic, social, cultural and environmental

benefits for the Australain community

Output Group 1.1: Competitive research schemes Administered Items: D is c o v e ry P 1.1

L in k a g e P 1.2

Departmental Outputs: P ro g r a m M a n a g e m e n t

2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1: Growth of knowledge and innovation through managing research funding schemes, measuring research excellence and providing advice

Program 1.1: Discovery - research and research training Administered Items: D is c o v e ry fu n d in g s c h e m e s

Program Support OG1.1

Program 1.2: Linkage - cross sector research partnerships Administered Items:

L in k a g e fu n d in g s c h e m e s

Program Support OG1.1

Program 1.3: Excellence in research for Australia Administered Items: E x c e lle n c e in re s e a r c h fo r A u s tra lia

Program Support

6 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio, p. 167.

52

Page 29

Transition table - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Outcome 1: Australia has a strong capability in scientific research and development that delivers ongoing economic, social and environmental benefits and provides science and technology solutions relevant to

current and emerging national challenges and opportunities

Output Group 1.1: National Research Flagships |

Output Group 1.2: Core Research______________

Departmental Outputs: i P ro g ra m M a n a g e m e n t P ro g r a m 1 .2 o p p o s ite

Program 1.3: Science Outreach: Educational and Scientific Publishing

Departmental Outputs: P ro g ra m M a n a g e m e n t P ro g r a m 1 .3 o p p o s ite

Output Group 1.4: National Research Infrastructure: National Facilities and Collections

Departmental Outputs: P ro g ra m M a n a g e m e n t P ro g r a m 1 .4 o p p o s ite

Outcome 1: Innovative scientific and technology solutions to national challenges and opportunities to benefit industry, the environment and the community, through scientific research and

capability development, services and advice.

Program 1.1: National Research Flagships

Program 1.2: Core Research and Services Program Support:

Program 1.3: Science Outreach: Educational and Scientific Publishing

Program Support:

Output Group 1.4: National Research Infrastructure: National Facilities and Collections

Program Support:

7 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio, p. 198.

53

Page 30

Transition table - IP Australia8

2008-09 Budget year

Outcome 1: Australians benefit from the effective use of intellectual property, particularly through increased innovation, investment and trade.

Output Group 1.1: IP Rights Administration and Professional Registration

Output Group 1.2: Awareness, Education and International Engagement

Output Group 1.3: Advice to Government

2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 11ncreased innovation, investment and trade in Australia and by Australians overseas, through the administration of the registrable intellectual property rights system, promoting public awareness and industry engagement and advising government.

Sub-program 1.1: IP Rights Administration and Professional Registration

Sub-program 1.2: Awareness, Education and International Engagement

Sub-program 1.3: Advice to Government

8 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10. Innovation. Industry. Science and Research portfolio, p. 226.

54

Appendix 5

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio1

Portfolio Overview

Portfolio Minister

Minister for Resources and Energy

Minister for Tourism

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MR

O utcom e 1: Informed government, Industry and

community decisions on the economic, social

and environmental m anagem ent of tne nation's

natural resources through enabling ac cess to

geo scientific and spatial information.

G eoscien ce A ustralia

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Neil Williams PSM

O utcom e 1: An Australian oil and gas

industry that properly controls the health

anti safety risks to the workforce and its

offshore petroleum operations.

National O ffshore Petroleum Safety

Authority

Chief Executive Officer

Mr John Ciegg

O utcom e 1: increase dem and for Australia

a s a destination, strengthen the travel

distribution system, and: contribute to the

development of a sustainable tourism

industry' through consum er marketing, trade

development and research activities

Tourism Australia

Managing Director

Mr G e c f Buckiey

O utcom e 1: The improved strength, competitiveness and

sustainability· of the Resources. Energy and Tourism industries to

enhance Australia's prosperity through implementation of

government policy and programs.

D epartm ent of R e so u rc e s, Energy and Tourism

Portfolio Secretary

Mr John Pierce

1 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio, p. 5.

55

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Transition table - Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism2

Outcome 1: The improved strength, competitiveness and sustainability of the Resources, Energy and Tourism industnes to enhance Australia's prosperity through implementation of government policy and programs.

Output Group 1.1: Resources Program 1.1: Assistance to State and

Territory Government for Resources and Energy

S p e c ia l A ppropriations: S p e c ia l A ppropriation

- P e tro le u m (S u b m e rg e d Lands} A ct 1 9 6 7 - - O ffsh o re P etro leu m a n d G reen h o u se

A s h m o re C a rtie r islands G as A c t 2 0 0 6 - A s h m o re C a rtie r islands

- O fisn o re M inerals A c t 1 9 9 4 - O ffsh ore - O ffshore M in erals A c t 1994 - O ffshore

M in e ra ls A c t fe e s M in e ra ls A c t fees

- P e tro le u m (S u b m e rg e d Land s} A c t 1 9 6 7 - - O ffsh ore P etro leu m a n d G reen h o u se

O ffs h o re P e tro le u m F e e s G as A c t 2 0 0 6 - O ffsh ore P etro le u m F e e s

- O ffsh ore P etro leu m a n d G reen h o u se

- P e tro le u m (S u b m e rg e d L a n d s1 A c t 1 9 6 7 - G a s A c t 2 0 0 6 - O ffsh o re P etro leu m

O ffs h o re P e tro le u m Royalties R o yalties

Administered Items: - S n o w y Hydro Ltd - C o m p a n y Tax C om pen sation

Departmental Outputs: Program Support:

- Program M a n a g e m e n t - P rogram M a n a g e m e n t

Program 1.2: Resources Related initiatives and Management

Administered Items: Administered Items:

- E th a n o l Production S ub sid y - E th a n o l Production S u b s id y

- N a tio n a l L o w E m issio ns C o ai F u n d - N a tio n a l Low E m issio ns C o a i F und

- R a d io a c tiv e Waste M a n a g e m e n t - R ad io active Waste M a n a g e m e n t

- O th e r A d m in istered - O th e r A d m in istered

Departmental Outputs: Program Support:

- P ro g ra m M a n a g e m e n t P ro g ra m M a n a g e m e n t

Output Group 1.2: Energy Program 1.3: Energy Related Initiatives and

Management

Admin stered Items: Administered Items:

- A s ia P acific P artn ersh ip - A s ia P acific P artn ersh ip

- Energy* Inno vatio n F u n d - E n e rg y Innovation F u n d

- L o w E m ission T echn o lo g y D em o n stratio n - L o w E m ission Technology

F u n d D em o n stratio n F u n d

- A d v a n c e d E iecth city S to rag e Technology

- Snowy H y d ro L td - C o m p an y Tax

C o m p en satio n

- A d v a n c e d E iecin city S to rag e Technology

- O th e r A d m in istered O th e r A d m in istered

Depahmental Outputs: Program Support:

- P ro g ra m M a n a g e m e n t P ro g ra m M a n a g e m e n t

Output Group 1.3: Tourism Program 1.4: Tounsm Related Initiatives and

Management

2 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10. Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio, p. 22.

56

Page 33

Transition table - Geoscience Australia3

2008-09 Budge! year 2009-10 Budget year

Outcome' Enhanced potential for the Australian community to obtain economic, social and environmental benefits through the application of first class geosc entitle research and information

Output Geoscientific information and knowledge

Outcome Informed Government, industry and community decisions on the economic, social and

environmental management of trie Nation's natural resources through enabling access to geoscientific and spatial

information

Program: Geoscientific and spatial information services

3 Portfolio Budget. Statements 2009-10, Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio, p. 67.

57

Page 34

Transition table - National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority4

2008-09 Budget year

Outcome 1: An Australian oil and gas industry that properly controls :he health and safety risks to me workforce a: its offshore petroleum operations.

2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1 An Australian oil and gas industry that property controls the health anc safety risks to the workforce at its offshore petroleum operations.

Output Group 1: Regulatory oversight of Program Group 1: Regulatory Operators' Safety Cases, safety oversight of Operators' Safety Cases, management systems and operational safety management systems and oractices couoled with effective operational practices coupled with monitoring, investigation and effective monitoring investigation and

enforcement. enforcement.

Departmental Outputs Departmental Items:

R e v e n u e from o th e r s o u rces R e v e n u e from other sources

4 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio, p. 90.

58

Page 35

Transition table - Tourism Australia"

20Q8-Q9 Budget year 2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1: Increased economic benefits to Australia from tourism underpinned by a sustainable tourism industry

Outcome 1: increase demand for Australia as a destination, strengthen the travel distribution system and contribute to the development of a sustainab e tourism industry through consumer marketing, trade development and research activities.

Output Group 1.1: Industry and market development through strategic insights Program 1.1: industry development: Contribute to the development of a sustainable tourism

industry through stakeholder engagement and provision of insights to assist strategic decision making

Output Group 1.2: Increased distribution of Australian tourism product and facilitation of niche, events and regional tourism growth

Program 1.2: Strengthen the travel distribution system: Educate the trade to improve saies capability, facilitate engagement and business

between Australian tourism product and the distribution network and motivate and inspire consumers through Quality content

Output Group 1.3: Consumer demand stimulation Program 1.3: Increase demand for Australia as a destination: Build Australia's profile and

reputation as an exciting and desirable leisure and business events destination, driving demand and subsequently visitation

5 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio, p. 112.

59

60

Appendix 6

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Treasury Portfolio1

Portfolio Overview

Australian Office of Financial Management Chief Executive Officer Mr Neil Hyden

To enhance the Commonwealth's capacity tc manage its net debt portfolio, offering the prospect of savings in ________ deb: servicing costs anti an improvement in the net worth of the Conmor.wealtn over time________

A ustralian Bureau of Statistics Statistician: Mr Brian Pink

Informed decisions, research and discussion within governments and the community by leading the collection, ____________analysis and provision of high quality, objective and relevant statistical information____________

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Chairman: Dr ^ohn Laker

Enhanced public confidence :n Australia’s financial institutions through a framework of prudential regulation which balances fr anca safety and efficiency, competition, contestability and competitive neutrality

Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee Convenor Mr Richard St John

Informed decisions by Government on issues relating to corporators regulation and financial _________ products, services and markets through nospentient and sxoe~. advice_________

Commonwealth G rants Commission Secretary: Mr uohn Spasojevie

Informed Government decisions on fiscal equalisation between the States and Territories through advice and recom nencatons cn tns dsTitution τ GST revenue and n e a tr ca~e grams

Department of the Treasury Secretary: Dr Ken Henry AC

Informed decisions on the development and implementation of policies tc improve the wellbeing of the Austraiian people, including by achieving strong, sustainable economic growth through the provision of advice ________________ to government and the efficient adroinisration of federal financial relations________________

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairperson: Mr Graeme Samuel

Lawful competition, consumer protection, and regulated national infrastructure markets and services through regulation, including enforcement, education, price monitoring and determining the terms of access to infrastructure services

Australian Taxation Office Commissioner: Mr Michael D'Ascertzo

Confidence In the administration of aspects of Australia’s taxation and superannuation systems through helping people understand their rights and obligations, improving ease of compliance and access to benefits, anc managing non-compiiance with the law

Portfolio Minister - Treasurer The Hon Wayne Swan MP

A ssistant Treasurer and Minister for Competition Policy and C onsum er Affairs The Hon Chrs Bowen MP Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law _______________________ Senator the Han Nick Sherry_______________________

Australian Securities and Investm ents Commission Chairman: Mr Tony D'Aloisio

Outcom e 1: improved confidence in financial market integrity anti protection of investors and consumers through research, policy, education, compliance and deterrence that mitigates emerging risks Outcom e 2: Streamlined and cost-effective interaction and access to information for business and the ________________ public, through registry, licensing and business facilitation services________________

1 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, pp 6— 7.

61

Page 38

Inspector-General of Taxation Inspector-General: Mr All Norcoii

Improved tax administration through community consultation, review, and independent advice to Government

Office of the Australian Accounting Standards Board Acting Chairman: Mr Bruce Porter

The formulation and making of accounting standards tha; are used by Australian entities to p'epare _________financial reports and enable users of trs s e reports to make informed decisions________

Productivity Commission Chairman: Mr G an/ Banks AO

Wei-informed policy decision-making and public understanding on matters relating to Australia's productivity and living standards sased on noecendent and transparent analysis from a comninTity-wide perspective

Royal Australian Mint Chief Executive Officer Ms canine Murphy

The coinage needs of the Australian economy, cdiectors and foreign countries are met through the manufacture and sale of circulating coins, collector coins and otner minted like products

National Competition Council ^resident Mr David Crawford

Competition n markets that are dependent cm access to nationally significant mcnopoloy infrastructure. through recommendations and decisions promoting the efficient operation of. use of and investment In infrastructure

Office of the Auditing and A ssurance Standards Board Chairman Ms Me man Kelsal

The formulation and making of auditing and assurance standards that are used by auditors of Australian ______________ entity financial reports or for other auditing and assurar.ce engagements_____________

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Transition table - Department of the Treasury2

2 0 0 8 - 0 9 B u d g e t y e a r 2 0 0 9 - 1 0 B u d g e t y e a r

O u t c o m e !: S o u n d m a c r o e c o n o m i c 2 0 2 9 - 1 0 O u t c o m e 1: i n f o r m e d d e c i a o n e o n t h e d e v e l o p m e n t

e n v ir o n m e n t P r o g r a m a n d im p l e m e n t a t io n o f p o lio e s t o i m p r o v e t h e

O u t p u t G r o u o 1 .1 : M a c r o e c o n o m i c G r o u p w e llb e in g o f t h e A u s tr a l ia n p e e p e . in c lu d in g b y

A d m in is te r e d I te m s : a c h ie v in g s tr o n g , s u s t a i n a b l e e c o n o m i c g r o w th .

S u b s c r i p t i o n s t o in te r n a t i o n a l 1 .2 t h r o u g h t h e p ro v is io n o f a d v ic e to g o v e r n m e n t a n d

f in a n c ia l i n s t itu tio n s th e e ffic ie n t a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f f e d e r a l f in a n c ia l

S p e c ia l A p p r o p r ia tio n - 1 .2 r e la tio n s

in te rn a tio n a l! M o n e ta ry 2 0 0 3 -Ό 9

A g re e m e n ts A c t 1947 O u tp u t G r o u p

D e p a r t m e n t a l O u t p u t s : P r o g r a m 1 .1 : D e o a r t m e n t o f t h e T r e a s u r y 1 1 . 2 . 1 .

O u tp u t 1 .1 .1 D o m e s t ic e c o n o m i c 1.1 P r a g - a m S u o p o n 3 . 1 , 4 . 1

d o 'ic y a d v i c e a n d f o r e c a s t i n g

O u tp u t 1 .1 .2 I n te r n a ti o n a : e c o n o m i c 1.1 P r o g r a m 1 .2 : P a y m e n t s to I n t e r n a tio n a l

o o iic y a d v c e a n d a s s e s s m e n t F in a n c ia l lin s titu tio n s

S u b s c r i p t i o n s t o i n te r n a t i o n a l 1.1

O u t c o m e 2 : E f f e c tiv e g o v e r n m e n t s p e n d n g fin a n c ia l in s titu tio n s

a r r a n g e m e n 's S p e c ia l A p p r o p r ia tio n - 1.1

O u t p u t G r o u o 2 .1 : F i s c a l G r o u o In te rn a tio n a l M o n e ta ry

A d m in is te r e d I te m s : A g re e m e n ts A c t 1947

C r u d e oil e x c i s e c o n d e n s a t e 1 .1 0

S p e c ia l A p p r o p r ia tio n - A N e w Tax 1 .4 P ro g ra m . 1 .3 : S u p p o r t f o r M a r k e t s

S yste m (C o m m o n w e a lth -S ta te a n d B u s i n e s s

F in a n c ia l A rra n g e m e n ts ) A c t '‘9 3 5 A u s tr a i a r B u s i n e s s I n v e s t m e n t n e w

E c o n o m i c S e c u r it y S t r a t e g y - F irs t 1 .1 0 P a r t n e r s h io

H o m e O w n e r s B o o s t - S p e c ia l HIH C la im s S u o p o n S c h e m e 4,1

A p p r o p r ia tio n - A p p ro p ria tio n H o u s in g L o a n I n s u r a n c e C o m p a n y 4.1

(E c o n o m ic S e c u rity S tra te g y ! •Limited - p a y m e n t s in r e s p e c t o f

A c t (N o. 2) 2 0 0 8 -0 9 i n s u r a n c e m a im s

D e p a r t m e n t a l O u t p u t s :

O u tp u t 2 .1 .1 B u d g e t p o lic y a d v ic e 1.1 P r o g r a m 1 .4: G e n e r a l R e v e n u e 2 .1 a n d

a n d c o o r d in a ti o n A s s i s t a n c e n e w

O u tp u t 2 .1 .2 C o m m o n w e a l t h - S t a t e 1.1 F e d e ra l F in a n c ia l R e la tio n s A c t 20 0 9

f in a n c ia l p o lic y a d v i c e C C AG R e f o r m F u n d - S p e c a A c c o u n t

O u tp u t 2 . f .3 I n d u s tr y , e n v ir o n m e n t 1.1

a n d d e f e n c e p o lic y a d v ic e P r o g r a m 1 .5 : A s s i s t a n c e to t h e S t a t e s f o r n e w

O u tp u t 2 .1 .4 S o c ia l a n d n c o r n e 1.1 H e a l t h c a r e S e r v i c e s

s u p p o r t p o lic y a d v ic e F ed e ra l F in a n c ia l R e la tio n s A c t 2 0 0 5

O u t c o m e 3: E f f e c tiv e t a x a t i o n a n d P r o g r a m 1 .6 : A s s i s t a n c e to t h e S t a t e s fo r n e w

r e ti r e m e n t i n c o m e a r r a n g e m e n t s G o v e r n m e n t S c h o o l s

F e d e ra l F in a n c ia l R e la tio n s A c t 2 0 0 9

O u tp u t G r o u p 3 .1 : R e v e n u e G r o u o

D e p a r t m e n t a l O u t p u t s : P r o g r a m 1 .7 : A s s i s t a n c e t o t h e S t a t e s f o r n e w

O u t p u t 3 .1 .1 T a x a ti o n p o icy a n d 1.1 S k s ls a n d W o r k f o r c e D e v e o s m e n t

e g i s l a t o n a d v i c e F e d e ra l F in a n c ia l R e la tio n s A c t 2 0 0 5

O u t p u t 3 .1 .2 R e t i r e m e n t in c o m e a n d 1.1

s a v i n g p o lic y a n d l e g is la tio n a c v ice P r o g r a m 1 .8 : A s s i s t a n c e t o t h e S t a t e s fo r n e w

D isa b ility S e r v i c e s

O u t c o m e 4 : W e i f u n c tio n in g m a r k e t s F e d e ra l F in a n c ia l R e n d o n s A c : 2 0 0 5

O u t p u t G r o u p 4 .1 ; M a r k e ts G r o u p

A d m in is te r e d I te m s : P r o g r a m 1 .9: A s s i s t a n c e t o t h e S t a t e s fo r n e w

H IH C la im s S u p p o r t S c h e m e 1 .3 A ffo rd a b le H o u s in g

H o u s in g L o a n I n s u r a n c e C o m p a n y 1 .3 F e d e ra l F in a n c ia l R e la tio n s A ct 2 0 0 5

L im ite d - p a y m e n t s in r e s p e c t o f

i n s u r a n c e c la i m s P r o g r a m 1 .1 0 : N a t io n a l P a r t n e r s n i p 2 .1 a n d

S t a n d a r d B u s i n e s s R e p o r ti n g - 1 .1 2 P a y m e n t s to m e S t a t e s n e w

p a y m e n t s to S t a t e R e v e n u e O ffic e s C C -A S R e f o r m F u n s - S p e c i a A c c o u n t

D e p a r t m e n t a O u t p u t s :

O u tp u t 4 .1 .1 F o r e i g n i n v e s t m e n t a n d 1.1

t r a d e p o lic y a d v i c e a n d a d m in i s t r a t i o n

O u t p u t 4 .1 .2 F i n a n c ia l s y s te m a n d 1.1

c o r p o r a t e g o v e r n a n c e p o lic y a d v ic e

O u tp u t 4 . 1 .3 C o m p e t i ti o n a n d 1.1

c o n s u m e r p o lic y a d v ic e

O u tp u t 4 . 1 .4 A c t u a r i a s e r v i c e s 1.1

2 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 25.

63

Page 40

Transition table - Australian Bureau of Statistics'

2008-09 Budget 2009-10 Budget

Outcome 1: Informed decision making, research and discussion within governments and the community based on the provision of a high quality, objective and responsive national statistical service

Outcome 1: Informed decisions, research and discussion within governments and the community by leading the collection, analysis and provision of high quality', objective and relevant statistical information

Output Group 1.1: Australian Bureau of Statistics Program 11: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Departmental Outputs: Departmental Items:

Output 1.1.1 Economic Statistics

Output 1.1.2 Population and social

Program support

3 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 74.

64

Page 41

Transition table - Australian Competition and Consumer Commission4

2008-09 Budget 2009-10 Budget

Outcome 1: To enhance social and economic welfare of the Australian community by fostering competitive, efficient, fair and informed Australian markets

Outcome 1: Lawful competition, consumer protection, and regulated national infrastructure markets and services through regulation, including enforcement, education,

price monitoring and determining the terms of access to infrastaicture services

Output Group 1.1: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Program 1: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Administered revenue: Departmental items:

Departmental outputs: Program support

Output 1.1.1 Compliance with competition, fair tradinq and consumer protection laws and appropriate remedies when the law is

not followed

Output 1.1.2 Competitive market structures and informed behaviour

4 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 95.

65

Page 42

Transition table - Australian Office of Financial Management"

2008-09 Budget 2009-10 Budget

Outcome 1: To enhance the Commonwealth's capacity to manage its net debt portfolio, offering the prospect of savings in debt servicing costs and an improvement in the net worth of the Commonwealth over time

Outcome 1: To enhance the Commonwealth's capacity to manage its net debt portfolio, offering the prospect of savings in debt servicing costs and an improvement in the net worth of the Commonwealth over time

Output Group 1.1: Australian Office of Financial Management Program 1.1: Australian Office of Financial Management

Departmental outputs:

Output 1.1.1 Debt management

Departmental items:

Program support

Administered items: Administered items:

Annual Appropriation Bills Annual Appropriation Bills

Special appropriations:

C o m m o n w e a lth In s c rib e d S to c K A c t 1911

Special appropriations:

C o m m o n w e a lth In s c rib e d S to c K A c t 1911

F in a n c ia l M a n a g e m e n t a n d A c c o u n ta b ility A c t 1997

F inancial M a n a g e m e n t a n d A c c o u n ta b ility A c t 1997

L o a n s S e curities A c t 1919 L o a n s S e curities A c t 1919

S n o w y H ydro C o rp o ra tisa tio n A c t 1997 S n o w y H ydro C o rp o ra tisa tio n A c t 1997

5 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 118

66

Transition table - Australian Prudential Regulation Authority0

2008-09 Budget 2009-10 Budget

Outcome 1: To enhance public confidence in Australia’s financial institutions through a framework of prudential regulation which balances financial safety and efficiency,

competition, contestability and competitive neutrality

Outcome 1: Enhanced public confidence in Australia's financial institutions through a framework of prudential regulation which balances financial safety and efficiency,

competition, contestability and competitive neutrality

Output Group 1.1: Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Program 1.1: Australian Prudential Regulation Authonty

Departmental outputs: Departmental item:

Output 1.1.1 Policy development Program support

Output 1.1.2 Surveillance programs Administered items: Output 1.1.3 Prudential Advice

Administered Items:

Special appropriation

Special appropriation

F in a n c ia l M a n a g e m e n t and A c c o u n ta b ility A c t 1997

F in a n c ia l Management a n d A c c o u n ta b ility A c t 1997

6 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 143.

Page 44

Transition table - Australian Securities and Investments Commission

2008-09 Budget year

Outcome 1: A fa r and efficient market characterised by integrity and transparency and supporting confident and informed participation of investors and consumers

Output Group 1.1: Australian Securities and investments Commission Administered items:

Assetless Administration Fund P 1.2 Special appropriation - B an kin g Ac: 1959 - Banking Unclaimed Moneys P 2.2

Special appropriation - Life In s u ra n c e Act 1 9 9 5 - Life

Unclaimed Moneys P 2.2

Deparimenta! cutouts: Output 1 1 1 Policy and guidance about the laws administered by ASiC F 1.1

Output 1.1.2 Comprehensive and accurate information on companies and corporate activity P 2.1

Output 1 1.3 Compliance, monitoring and iicensing of participants in the financial system to protect P 1.1 consumer interests and ensure &

market integrity F 2.1

Output 1 1.4 Enforcement activity to give effect to the laws administered by ASIC P 1.2

2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1: Imoroved confidence in financial market integrity and protection of investors and consumers through

research, policy, education, compliance and deterrence that mitigates emerging risks

Program 1.1: Research, policy, compliance, education and information initiatives Departmental items:

Program support OG 1.1

Program 1.2: Enforcement / deterrence Administered items: Assetless Administration Fund Depatmental items:

Program support

OG 1.1

OG 1.1

Outcome 2: Streamlined and cost- effective interaction and access to information far business anc the public, th'ough registry, licensing and business facilitation services Program 2.1: Legal infrastructure for companies and financial services providers Departmental items:

Program support OG 1.1

Program 2.2: Banking Act and Life Insurance Act, Unclaimed Moneys and Special accounts

Administered items Special appropriation - B an kin g A c t 19 5 9 - Banking Unclaimed

Moneys OG 1.1

Special appropriation - Life In su ran ce A ct 1995 - Life

Unclaimed Moneys OG 1.1

Special accounts OG 1.1

Departmental items: Program support OG 1.1

7 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 166.

68

Page 45

Transition table - Australian Taxation Office'

2008-09 Budget year 2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1: -ffactively managed and shaped systems that support and fund services for Australians and give effect to social and

economic policy through the tax, superannuation, excise and other related systems

Output Group 1.1: Australian Taxation Office Departmental outputs: Output 111 Shape, design

and build administrative systems P1.1

Output 1.1.2 Management of revenue collection and transfers P1.2

Output 1.1.3 Compliance assurance and support - revenue collection P1.3 Ouput 1.1.4 Compliance

assurance and support for transfers and recusation of superannuation funds P1.4 Output 1.1.5 Services to

governments and agencies P1.5

Administered Items: Special Appropriations Product G rants and

Benefits Administration

A ct 2 0 0 0 - cleaner fuel

grants Product Grants and

Benefits Administration

Act 2 0 0 0 - product

stewardship waste (oil) scheme Superannuation G uarantee

Administration A ct 1992

T a x a tv n Administration

Act 1953 - section 16

(Non-refund items)

Outcome 1: Confidence in the administration of aspects of Australia's taxation anc superannuation systems through helping people understand thei' rights and obligations improving ease of compliance and access to benefits, and managing non-compliance with the law

Program 1.1: Shape, Design and build administrative systems______ Departmental items: Program support_______ OG1 1

Program 1.2: Management erf revenue collections and transfers

Program 1.8: Cleaner Fuels Grant Scheme____________

Administered items: Special Appropriation Product Grants and B enefits

Adm inistration A ct 2 0 0 0 -

cleaner fuel grants_____

Departmental items: Program suppoi_______ 031 1

Program 1.3: Compliance assurance and support for revenue coiiections____________

Departments items: Program support QG1 1 Administered items

Program 1.4: Compliance assurance and support for transfer and regulation of superannuation funds__________ Departmental items:

Program support_______ OG1.1

Program 1.5: Services to government and agencies Departmental items:

Program 1.5: Refundable Film and Television Tax Offset_______ Administered items: Special appropriation

Taxation Administration A ct 1953

- section 16 iNon-rafund -items)

Program 1.10: Research and Development Tax Offset________ Administered items: Spec a appropriation

Taxation Administration Act 1953

-section 16 (Non-refund items)

Program 1.11: Private Health Insurance Rebate_____________

Administered items: Special appropriation Taxation Administration A ct 1953

- section 16 (Non-refund items)

Program support_______ 031.1

rogram 1.6: Tax Bonus________ Administered items: Special appropriation Taxation Administration Act 1953

- section 16 (Non-refund items)

Program 1.7: Product Stewardship Waste (Oil) Scheme__________

Administered items: Special appropriation P roduct G rants an d Benefits

A d m aistratio n A c t 2 0 0 0 -

product stewardship waste (o il) (oil) scheme____________

=Tog:an 1.12: Superannuation Co-contribution Scheme________ Administered items: Special appropriation

Taxation Administration A ct 1953

- section 16 iNon-refund tens)

Program 1.13: Superannuation Guarantee Scheme________ Administered items: Specra appropriation

Superannuation G uarantee

iAdmnUst'ation' Act 1992

8 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, pp 199-200.

69

Page 46

2008-09 Budget year 2009-10 Budget year Outcome 1: Effectively managed and shaped systems that support and fund services for Australians and give effect to social and economic policy through the tax, superannuation, excise and other related systems

Outcome 1: Confidence in the administration of aspects of Australia's taxation and superannuation systems through helping people understand their rights and obligations, improving ease of compliance and access to benefits, and managing non-comoliance wth the law

Program 1.14; Fuel Tax Credits Scheme___________________

Administered items: Special appropriation Taxation Administration A ct 1953 - section 16 (Non-refund items)

Program 118; First Home Saver Accounts___________________

Administered items: Special appropriation Taxation Administration Act 1953 - section 16 (Non-refund items)

Program 1.15: Education Tax Program 119: Baby Bonus Refund Administered items:

Administered items: Special appropriation Speciai appropriation Taxation Administrateon A ct 1953 Taxation Administration Act 1953 - section 16 (Non-refund items) - section 16 (Non-refund items)

Program 1.20: Interest on

Program 1.16; National Urban Overpayments and Early Water and Desalination Plan Payments of Tax Administered items: Administered items: Special appropriation Special appropriation

Taxation Administration A ct 1953 Taxation Administration Act 1953 - section 16 (Non-refund items) - section 16 (Non-refund lens)

Program 1.17: National Rental Affordability Scheme___________

Administered items: Special appropriation Taxation Administration A ct 1953 - section 16; Non-refund items)

Program 121: Bad and Doubtliu! Defats and Remissions_______ Administered items: Expenses not requiring

appropriation in the Budget year_________________

70

Page 47

Transition table - Commonwealth Grants Commission9

2008-09 Budget 2009-10 Budget

Outcome 1: Fiscal equalisation between the States, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory is achieved through the distribution, by Government, of GST revenue

and Health Care Grants

Outcome 1: Informed Government decisions on fiscal equalisation between the States and Territories through advice and recommendations on the distribution of GST

revenue and Health Care Grants

Output Group 1.1: Commonwealth Grants Commission Program 1.1: Commonwealth Grants Commission

Departmental Outputs: Departmental item:

Output 1.1.1 Report on State revenue snaring relativities Program support

9 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 247.

71

Transition table - Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee1'

2008-09 Budget year 2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1: A fair and efficient market characterised by integrity and transparency and supporting confident and informed participation of investors and consumers

Outcome 1: Informed decisions by Government on issues relating to corporations regulation and financial products, services and markets through independent and expert advice

Output Group 1.1: Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee Program 1.1: Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee

Departmental outputs: Departmental items:

Output 1.1.1 Annual report and discussion papers Program support Output 1.1.2 Recommendations and reports

10 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 261.

Transition table - Inspector-General of Taxation11

2008-09 B udget

Outcome 1: Improved administration of the tax laws for the benefit of all taxpayers

Output Group 1: Inspector-General of Taxation

Departmental outputs:

Output 1.1.1 Identification of issues for review' and prioritisation of work program

Output 1.1.2 Provision of independent advice to the government on the administration of the tax laws

2009-10 Budget

Outcome 1: Improved tax administration through community consultation, review and independent advice to Government

Program 1: Inspector-General of Taxation

Departmental items:

Program support

11 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 275.

Page 50

Transition table - National Competition Council12

2008-09 Budget 2009-10 Budget

Outcome 1: The achievement of effective and fair competition reforms and better use of Australia's infrastructure for the benefit of the community

Outcome 1: Competition in markets that are dependent on access to nationally significant monopoly infrastructure, through

recommendations and decisions promoting the efficient operation of, use of and investment in infrastructure

Output Group 1.1: National Competition Council Program 1.1: National Competition Council

Departmental outputs:

Output 1.1.1 Advice provided to governments on infrastructure access issues

Departmental items:

Program support

12 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 289.

74

Page 51

Transition table - Office of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board13

2008-09 Budget 2009-10 Budget

Outcome 1: The formulation and making of auditing and assurance standards that are used by auditors of Australian entity financial reports or for other auditing and assurance engagements

Outcome 1: The formulation and making of auditing and assurance standards that are used by auditors of Australian entity financial reports or for other auditing and assurance

engagements

Output Group 1.1: Auditing and Assurance Standards Board Program 1.1: Auditing and Assurance Standards Board

Departmental Outputs: Departmental items:

Output 1.1.1 Making auditing standards under section 336 of the Corporations Act 2001 and related guidance for use by Australian auditors who are undertaking audit engagements for the purpose of Corporations legislation

Program support

Output 1.1.2 Formulating auditing and assurance standards and related guidance for use by Australian auditors who are undertaking auditing and assurance

engagements for purposes other than the purposes of the Corporations legislation

Output 1.1.3 To provide Australian participation in, and contribution to, the development of a single set of auditing standards for world-wide use

13 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 305.

75

Page 52

Transition table - Office of the Australian Accounting Standards Board14

2008-09 Budget 2009-10 Budget

Outcome 1: The formulation and making of accounting standards that are used by Australian entities to prepare financial reports and enable users of these reports to make informed decisions

Outcome 1: The formulation and making of accounting standards that are used by Australian entities to prepare financial reports and enable users of these reports to make informed decisions

Output Group 1.1: Australian Accounting Standards Board Program 1.1: Australian Accounting Standards Board

Departmental Outputs: Departmental items:

Output 1.1.1 Making accounting standards under section 334 of the Corporations A ct 2001 for the purpose of the financial reporting requirements of the Corporations legislation and providing guidance on the interpretation of those standards

Program support

Output 1.1.2 Formulating accounting standards for purposes of financial reporting by Australian entities that are not subject to the reporting requirements of the Corporations legislation and providing guidance on the interpretation of those standards

Output 1.1.3 To provide Australian participation in, and contribution to, the development of a single set of accounting standards for world-wide use

14 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 321.

76

Page 53

Transition table - Productivity Commission "

2008-09 Budget 2009-10 Budget

Outcome 1: Well-informed policy decision-makin.q and public understanding on matters relating to Australia's productivity and living standards, based on independent and

transparent analysis from a community-wide perspective

Outcome 1: Well-informed policy decision-making and public understanding on matters relating to Australia's productivity and living standards, based on independent and transparent analysis from a community­ wide perspective

Output Group 1.1: Productivity·- Commission Program 1.1: Productivity Commission

Departmental outputs:

Output 1.1.1 Government commissioned projects

Output 1.1.2 Performance reporting and other services to government bodies

Output 1.1.3 Competitive neutrality complaints activities

Output 1.1.4 Supporting research and activities and annual reporting

Departmental items:

Program support

15 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 338

77

Page 54

Transition table - Royal Australian M int16

2008-09 Budget 2009-10 Budget

Outcome 1: Manufacture and sale of circulating coins, to meet the coinage needs of the Australian economy, and collector corns and other minted products for Australia and foreign countries

Outcome 1: The coinage needs of the Australian economy, collectors and foreign countries are met through the manufacture and sale of circulating coins, collector coins

and other minted like products

Output Group 1.1: Royal Australian Mint Program 1.1: Royal Australian Mint

Departmental outputs: Administered items:

Output 1.1.1 Manufacture and sale of circulating coins for Australia and provision of associated policy' and technical advice

Warehousing, sale and distribution of circulating coins

Departmental items:

Output 1.1.2 Manufacture and sale of circulation coins for foreign countries

Program support

Output 1.1.3 Production and sale of collector coins and other minted and like products for Australian and other clients

Output 1.1.4 Provide gallery and visitor services

16 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, p. 353.

78

The Senate

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2009-10

June 2009

© Commonwealth of Australia 2009

ISBN 978-1-74229-112-3

This docum ent was prepared by the secretariat o f the Senate E ducation, Em ploym ent and W orkplace Relations C om m ittee. The report was printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliam ent House, Canberra.

80

Members

Membership of the Committee

Senator Gavin Marshall

Senator Gary Humphries

Senator Catryna Bilyk

Senator Michaelia Cash

Senator Jacinta Collins

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

ALP, Victoria Chair

LP, Australian Capital Territory Deputy Chair

ALP, Tasmania

LP, Western Australia

ALP, Victoria

AG, South Australia

Senators participating in the scrutiny o f the Budget Estimates

Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz Senator Judith Adams Senator Chris Back Senator the Hon. George Brandis

Senator Doug Cameron Senator Mathias Cormann Senator Trish Crossin Senator Mitch Fifield

Senator Mary Jo Fisher Senator the Hon. Ian Macdonald Senator the Hon. Brett Mason Senator Fiona Nash

Senator Stephen Parry Senator Marise Payne Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson Senator Scott Ryan

Senator Glenn Sterle Senator Nick Xenophon

LP, Tasmania LP, Western Australia LP, Western Australia LP, Queensland ALP, New South Wales LP, Western Australia ALP, Northern Territory

LP, Victoria LP, South Australia LP, Queensland LP, Queensland Nats, New South Wales

LP, Tasmania LP, New South Wales LP, Victoria LP, Victoria

ALP, Western Australia Ind, South Australia

Secretariat

Mr John Carter, Secretary Ms Katie Meyers, Research Officer Ms Lauren McDougall, Executive Assistant

Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Australia

Phone: 02 6277 3521 Fax: 02 6277 5706 Email: eewr.sen(a aph.gov.au

Internet: Av\v>v.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/eet ctte/index.htm

82

Table of Contents

Membership of the Committee..............................................................................iii

Chapter 1 .....................................................................................................................1

Overview....................................................................................................................1

Portfolio coverage............................................. 1

Restructure of the Portfolio Budget Statements..................................................... 1

Revised outcome structure.....................................................................................2

New workplace relations system............................................................................3

Questions on notice................................................................................................3

Chapter 2 .....................................................................................................................5

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio..............................5

Introduction........................................................................................................... 5

Public Interest Immunity Claims........................................................................... 5

Cross Portfolio........................................................................................................6

Outcome 4 (Workforce participation and labour market assistance).....................6

Comcare............................................................................................................ 8

Australian Fair Pay Commission Secretariat..........................................................9

Australian Industrial Registry............................................................................. ...9

Workplace Ombudsman.........................................................................................9

Workplace Authority............................................................................................10

Australian Building and Construction Commission............................................. 10

Outcome 5 (Safer and more productive workplaces)........................................... 11

Outcome 1 (Early childhood learning).................................................................11

Outcome 2 (Schools, career transitions and youth),............................................. 11

Outcome 3 (Higher education, VET, international education) 13

Appendix 1................................................................................................................ 17

Departments and agencies for which the committee has oversight.........................17

Appendix 2 ................................................................................................................ 19

Index to Hansard transcripts.............................................................................. .19

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio...............................19

Appendix 3 ................................................................................................................21

New Outcome structure for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations......................................................................... 21

84

Chapter 1

Overview

1.1 The Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Workplace Relations presents its report to the Senate.

1.2 On 12 May 20091 the Senate referred the following documents to the committee for examination and report in relation to the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio:

• Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010;

• Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010; and

• Particulars of proposed expenditure in relation to the parliamentary departments in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010.

1.3 Standing committees are required to report to the Senate on 23 June 2009.

Portfolio coverage

1.4 The committee has responsibility for examining the expenditure and outcomes of the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio. Appendix 1 lists the department and agencies under this portfolio.

1.5 The committee conducted four days of hearings, examining Employment and Workplace Relations outcomes and related agencies on 1 and 2 June 2009 and Education outcomes on 3 and 4 June 2009. In total the committee met for 27 hours and 37 minutes, excluding breaks.

1.6 Appendix 2 of this report lists the table of contents of the Hansard transcripts. These transcripts are available on the committee's homepage under estimates and on the Hansard website: http://www.aph.qov.au/hansard/senate/commttee/comsen.asp

Restructure of the Portfolio Budget Statements

1.7 The committee notes the changes to the 2009-10 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS), as developed by the Department of Finance and Deregulation in order to increase the transparency and accountability of government expenditure. In line with Operation Sunlight, a number of changes have been made to the 2009-10 Budget documents. Operation Sunlight is the Government's reform agenda to improve the

1 Journals o f the Senate No. 67, 12 M ay 2009, p. 1920.

2

openness and transparency of public sector budgetary and financial management.2 3 At the request of the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, the former Senator Andrew Murray reviewed budget transparency issues as part of Operation Sunlight. A key change is the reporting of expenditure at program level as suggested in the Murray review, with the aim of presenting a higher level of detail in the appropriation bills.'1 A transition table has been included in the 2009-10 PBS illustrating the changes from the 2008-09 PBS.

1.8 The implementation of the Federal Financial Relations Act 2009 (FFR Act) directly affects Appropriation Bill No. 2 and payments to the states and territories. The FFR Act implements the centralised payments arrangement agreed by COAG in the Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations. Due to these changes, Appropriation Bill No. 2 is no longer used for the purpose of most annual appropriations for payments to the states and territories. This is done instead through the FFR Act. The reason for the change is outlined in Budget Paper No. 4:

The detail of the Commonwealth's payments to the States and Territories is now contained in one piece of Commonwealth legislation. This streamlining will also greatly improve public transparency of these payments and the ability of the Parliament to scrutinise the payment arrangements.4 5

1.9 Exceptions to the agreement include payments direction to local government, which will continue to be paid from Appropriation Bill No. 2 and some payments for non-government schools that are not paid from the Schools Assistance Act 2008 or the COAG reform fund. Payment arrangements for schools, VET and child care programs have been divided with government portions now managed by Treasury, while DEEWR is responsible for policy and administration of the payments and estimates

for the non-govemment portions of program expenditures.Form er DEEWR programs for which Treasury now appropriates funds are listed on page 46 of the PBS.

Revised outcome structure

1.10 The 2009-10 Budget reflected changes made to the number of outcomes within the Department. Where once the portfolio consisted of 9 outcomes, this has now been reduced to 5. Transition charts are provided on pages 38-44 of the PBS which map the restructuring of the outcomes. A new feature of the 2009-10 PBS is the use of key performance indicators and targets in order to assess and monitor performance of the Department in achieving outcomes.

2 www.fmance.gov.au/fmancial-framework/financial-management-policy-guidance/operation- sunlight/index/html

3 Murray, A.. Review o f Operation Sunlight: Overhauling Budget Transparency, June 2008, pp 24-26.

4 Australian Government, Budget Paper No. 4 Agency Resourcing, 2009-10, p. 8

5 Department of Education, Employment and W orkplace Relations, Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, p. 17.

86

___________________________________________________________________________________________ 3_

New workplace relations system

1.11 Due to the introduction of the new workplace relations system, the seven current workplace relations agencies will be amalgamated to form a new framework consisting of Fair Work Australia and Fair Work Ombudsman. These new agencies will come into being 1 July 2009 and replace:

• Australian Industrial Relations Commission / Australian Industrial Registry

• Australian Fair Pay Commission / Australian Fair Pay Commission Secretariat

• Workplace Authority

• Workplace Ombudsman .

1.12 The Australian Building and Construction commission will continue to operate until it is transferred to the Fair Work Ombudsman. Legislation to provide for this will be introduced at the end of the winter sittings. A further two new portfolio agencies will commence operation during the financial year- the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority and Safe Work Australia. Agency resources and planned performance information for these new agencies will be

included in the 2009-10 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.6

Questions on notice

1.13 The committee has drawn the attention of the department and its agencies to the agreed deadline of Friday 31 July 2009 for the receipt of answers to questions taken on notice from this round, in accordance with Standing Order 26.

1.14 For this round, written questions on notice were received from Senators Abetz, Boyce, Brown, Cash, Fisher, Hanson-Young, Mason, Payne, Siewert and Xenophon.

6 Department o f Education, Employment and W orkplace Relations, Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, p. 4.

87

4

88

Chapter 2

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

Introduction

2.1 This chapter summarises areas of interest and concern raised during the committee's consideration of the Budget Estimates for the 2009-10 financial year. This section of the report follows the order of proceedings and is an indicative, but not

exhaustive, list of issues examined.

2.2 The committee heard evidence on 1 and 2 June from Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, as minister representing the Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, along with officers from areas of the department and agencies responsible for employment and workplace relations, including:

• Comcare

• Australian Industrial Registry

• Australian Fair Pay Commission Secretariat

• Workplace Ombudsman

• Workplace Authority

• Australian Building and Construction Commission

On 3 and 4 June the committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Kim Carr, as the minister representing the Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and from officers from areas of the department responsible for

administering education policy. Senator Mark Arbib also represented the Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for part of the hearings.

2.3 Senators present over the four days of hearings were Senator Marshall (Chair), Senator Humphries (Deputy Chair), Senators Abetz, Adams, Back, Bilyk, Brandis, Cameron, Cash, Collins, Cormann, Crossin, Fifield, Fisher, Hanson-Young, Macdonald, Mason, Nash, Parry, Payne, Ronaldson, Ryan, Sterle and Xenophon.

Public Interest Immunity Claims

2.4 On 13 May 2009, the Senate passed an order detailing the process to be followed by public sector witnesses who feel they have grounds for withholding information from Senate committees. The order requires that witnesses state recognised public interest grounds for withholding information and if requested by a committee or any senator, refer the matter to the relevant minister. The minister is also required to state recognised public interest grounds for any claim to withhold

89

6

information. The order does not change the existing procedures of the Senate, but consolidates the formerly established process for the guidance of public sector witnesses. This order was formally incorporated into the Hansard in the Chair's opening statement for each day.

Cross Portfolio

2.5 Senator Humphries commenced the committee's examination of cross portfolio issues with questions regarding the resources of the department. After inquiring about the total appropriations of the department as stated in the portfolio budget statements, officers explained to the committee that the table had incorrectly

listed the figure in millions of dollars, as opposed to thousands of dollars which is consistent with the rest of the document. The department confirmed that the Portfolio Budget Statements available on the website have been corrected.

2.6 Following on from questions asked at Additional Estimates 2008— 09, the committee showed interest in contracts entered into by DEEWR, with particular reference to editorial and speech writing services. At the Additional Budget Estimates round in February, Senator Ronaldson inquired into a contract with Mr Samuel Glover for speech writing services. Continuing this line of questioning, Senator Mason raised the issue of the department's outsourced speech writing functions. It was explained to the committee that it is often difficult to employ good speechwriters, and given the high number of speeches associated with the five ministerial officers the department utilises a number of external speechwriters when needed.1

2.7 Senator Humphries asked a series of questions relating to industrial agreements covering officers of the department. The Secretary, Ms Lisa Paul, told the committee that a collective agreement is in place for the majority of staff below the SES level, but a few may remain on Australian Workplace Agreements or individual

agreements. Further explanation revealed that the majority of the remaining 150 employees not covered by the collective agreement are on leave from the department.

Outcome 4 (Workforce participation and labour market assistance)

2.8 Senator Cash commenced the examination of Outcome 4 with questions relating to employment sendees and issues affecting job seekers. Many questions related to the new employment sendees mode- Job Senices Australia- due to start on 1 July 2009. Officers from the department explained to the committee that a new'

version of the Job Seeker Classification Instrument will be ready in conjunction w ith Job Services Australia. Senator Collins asked about the variety of employment providers awarded Job Services tenders. The committee was told that a range of specialist providers had been identified, including Indigenous-specific organisations,

1 Ms M argaret Pearce, Group Manager, Parliamentary and Communications Group. DEEWR. Committee Hansard, 1 June 2009, p. 5.

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youth specialists, groups that specialise in homelessness cases and those that work with job seekers from non-English speaking backgrounds.

2.9 The department told the committee that ninety-five per cent of providers under Job Services Australia had operated in Job Network. Senator Cash asked the department for a break down of the service providers into those who represented specialist needs, including youth and mental health disability specialist providers.

There was concern that the new employment services model would not identify and target effectively employment categories such as women and youth. The department was asked to prove a list of specific elements that target individual groups on notice.

2.10 Senator Mason continued the line of questioning regarding the Job Seeker Classification Instrument (JSCI), asking about the review process that was conducted. According to the Department, the review carried out by Taylor Nelson Sofres Australia (TNS) had a particular focus on testing, and subsequently refining, the new wording developed by DEEWR in the JSCI. Officers explained that as way of researching the effectiveness of the new instrument, interv iews were conducted with

78 job seekers, varying in age, lenght of employment, allowance type and disability status. In addition, the JSCI was tested with Centrelink and Job Network staff. Mr Scott Matheson explained to the committee why an external consultant conducted the research, citing particular expertise in social research surveys and in developing survey instruments. Mr Matheson explained that although the testing is conducted by an external consultant, the actual policy work around JSCI was done by the Department.

2.11 Further questions regarding job seekers were from Senator Cash, who asked the department to outline specific initiatives undertaken since November 2007 aimed at employment participation as opposed to employment training. The department described the role of Job Sendees Australia, of which the JSCI is an important

component. Ms Paul also told the committee of the S650 million Jobs Fund aimed at increasing employment participation in local communities. Senator Bilyk asked the department to clarify how the employment pathway fund would differ from the current jobseeker account. Officers explained to the committee that the fund is a pool of resources available to be spent supporting the jobseeker, such as the procurement of necessary equipment, clothing or to assist in transport costs. The fund also provides non-vocational interventions such as drug and alcohol counselling.

2.12 Senator Fifield asked a series of questions regarding the Golden Gurus program which developed following the 2020 summit. The program offers the expertise of retirees aged 55 years and over to new small businesses. Senator Fifield asked if any similar schemes were operating under the auspices of state and local

governments. Officers explained that the aim of Golden Gurus at a national level is to provide a national scheme to which other schemes may wish to join. Senator Fifield asked if any existing schemes had been invited to join. The department replied that

they are in the process of consulting with a range of interested stakeholders including volunteer associations and pre-existing business mentoring services. Under the New Enterprises Incentives Scheme, new businesses receive assistance for the first 12

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months of operation. Officers explained that the Golden Gurus scheme would complement NEIS by continuing to provide assistance to these businesses following the initial 12 months of support. The program is due to commence 1 July 2009. Senator Fifield inquired as to whether the scheme will include rural and regional businesses. The department told the committee they were in the development phase of

the program, and the issue of rural and regional businesses will be taken into account.

Comcare

2.13 Senator Humphries began with questions about the review of the Comcare scheme which commenced in December 2006. The CEO of Comcare, told the committee that the review was with the Minister, awaiting a response. As noted in the committee's report on Annual Reports (No. 1 o f 2009), the findings of this review are yet to be made public, despite being presented to the Minister on 1 August 2008."

Senator Humphries asked when the Minister was going to respond, and this was taken on notice.

2.14 Continuing the examination of Comcare, Senator Humphries asked a series of questions relating to self-insuring. Officers explained that under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act, a company 'that is in competition with an existing or former Commonwealth authority can be declared eligible by the Minister

for Employment and Workplace Relations for a licence for what is called, in shorthand, self-insurance.0 Comcare told the committee there were currently 29 self­ insurers in the scheme.

2.15 The hannonisation of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) was discussed, with Senator Humphries inquiring into the current state of the process. Mr Dolan told the committee that the Workplace Relations Ministers' Council agreed to this policy

following recommendations from a panel report to the Deputy Prime Minister. This policy will form the base of model laws for Safe Work Australia and will be incorporated into an exposure draft bill for release later this year. The Workplace

Relations Ministers' Council will later endorse these model laws for adoption and enactment by each of the jurisdictions around the country. Comcare was asked to comment on which particular areas of OHS laws were most diverse and most in need of hannonisation. One area highlighted was the differing level of penalty for breaches of OHS legislation.

2.16 The committee was interested in the role played by Comcare in the Commonwealth's common-law liabilities for asbestos compensation. In evidence given by Mr Dolan, the committee was infonned that a number of claims are currently before the courts, and it was likely there will be a considerable number in the future. It was estimated that there would be '$700 million or $800 million worth of liabilities 2 3

2 Senate Education. Employment and W orkplace Relations Committee, Annual Reports (No. 1 o f 2009), p. 10.

3 Mr M artin Dolan, CEO, Comcare, Committee Hansard, 2 June 2009. p. 5.

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into the future'.4 In addition, the committee was told that it was generally agreed that the number of asbestos-related injuries has not yet reached its peak; but should do so in the next five or ten years. Senator Humphries asked whether asbestos has been removed from all Commonwealth assets, Mr Dolan explained that its use has been banned, with very limited exceptions, since 2004. The Defence Force continues to use

asbestos in parts for certain aircraft, yet the exemption that allows this use is due to expire at the end of 2010. The Chair asked if there had been an audit of Commonwealth assets to identify where the asbestos is, but was told a comprehensive and central register does not exist.

Australian Fair Pay Commission Secretariat

2.17 The Chair asked the Director of the -Australian Fair Pay Commission Secretariat what transition the commission will experience when Fair Work Australia commences operation. The committee was told that the secretariat will form part of Fair Work Australia to assist the minimum wage panel in their minimum wage reviews.

Australian Industrial Registry

2.18 The committee took interest in the award modernisation function of the Australian Industrial Registry (AIR), with Senator Humphries asking officers to provide an updated award modernisation program. Mr Terry Nassios told the committee that the program had four stages, with the AIR currently in the third stage

of the process. Mr Nassios explained that exposure drafts have been published, and the AIR will hold a series of public hearings based on submissions received in relation to these drafts. The committee was told that the legislation provides for a five year

transition period from 1 January 2010 to allow transfer from current awards to the modem award. The AIR explained that further information regarding the progress of the award modernisation exercises is on the AIR website.

2.19 The AIR confirmed for the committee the transition arrangements for the commencement of Fair Work Australia, explaining that all 233 staff of the AIR will automatically transfer to the new agency.

Workplace Ombudsman

2.20 Senator Abetz led the examination of the Office of the Workplace Ombudsman, beginning with a series of questions relating to unpaid wages. The Workplace Ombudsman told the committee that on some occasions employers pay the underpaid money to the Workplace Ombudsman who, under current arrangements,

holds the money in a trust account while locating the relevant employees. Officers informed the committee that roughly $860 000 is currently held in trust, owed to

4 Mr M artin Dolan, CEO, Comcare, Committee Hansard, 2 June 2009, p. 9.

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around 2,500 employees.' Senator Abetz asked for this figure to be broken down into money that has been held for three, six and twelve months or more. This request was taken on notice. Mr Nicholas Wilson, the Workplace Ombudsman, told the committee that his office goes to considerable lengths to locate employers who are owed unpaid wages. A new pilot program was launched just prior to estimates that would use the

social networking site Facebook to locate these employees who are not contactable by other means. The Office of the Workplace Ombudsman undertook to provide an outcome of this initiative at the next estimates round.

2.21 Senator Abetz continued with questions asked in previous estimates rounds regarding Ms Maureen Healey and the Theatre Royal Hotel in Hobart. Mr Michael Campbell told the committee that of the 41 employees owed money in the case, 23 had received their outstanding entitlements. Senator Abetz asked what happens with the outstanding money that is in trust and if any interest is earned, does this go to the employee or consolidated revenue. This was taken on notice.

2.22 Senator Fisher asked the Ombudsman if the number of employees who have sought the assistance of the Workplace Ombudsman had risen as a consequence of the global financial crisis. Mr Wilson told the committee that between 1 July 2008 and 30 April 2009, there was a 37 per cent increase in the recorded number of breaches relating to termination compared with the previous financial year. Mr Wilson commented that this data reflects the changing nature of the work conducted by the office, commenting that while the volume of work has not necessarily increased, the nature of the work has.

Workplace Authority

2.23 Senator Humphries began the examination of the Workplace Authority with a question regarding staffing arrangements. The Acting Director of the Workplace Authority, told the committee that of the 586 employees, 104 were on Workplace Authority AWAs, 11 were on ex-Office of the Employment Advocate AWAs, 462 were covered by collective agreements and nine SES staff were on section 24

determinations. When asked how the transition to Fair Work Australia would affect these arrangements, the committee was told that existing employment agreements would continue to operate until they are replaced with a new set of arrangements.

Australian Building and Construction Commission

2.24 Many questions asked of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) were intended to highlight the need for the continued operation of the organisation. Senator Brandis commenced the examination of the ABCC with a series of questions relating to the Wilcox report, mainly as to whether the adoption of

recommendations from the report would alter certain powers of the ABCC. One of the 5

5 Mr Mark Scully, C hief Financial Officer. Workplace Ombudsman. Committee Hansard, 2 June 2009, p. 19.

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recommendations discussed relates to bringing penalty levels in line with those in the Fair Work Act, which are lower than those that apply in the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act. Senator Brandis asked whether a reduction in penalties could reduce the effectiveness of the ABCC as a deterrent to unlawful conduct. Questions were asked of entry permits required to be held by union officials when entering a worksite.

Outcome 5 (Safer and more productive workplaces)

2.25 Senator Cash commenced examination of Outcome 5 with questions relating to the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS), and how this is publicised. Officers told the committee the department is in regular contact with insolvency practitioners, businesses and employer and employee groups regarding

GEERS. Furthermore, the scheme is publicised online which provides information on making claims and the eligibility requirements. Senator Xenophon asked a number of questions relating to the implementation of specialist information assistance for small

and medium sized enterprises within the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Outcome 1 (Early childhood learning)

2.26 Opening the questioning of Outcome 1, Senator Payne asked questions relating to Child Care Management System (CCMS). Officers told the department that 12 525 child care services have transitioned to the CCMS, representing 99.9 per cent of all child care services. The few that remain relate to the final ABC settlement. Officers told the committee that the department is working on strengthening the capacity to gather meaningful vacancy data.

2.27 Questions were asked regarding the election commitment to develop 260 early childhood centres, an issue discussed at the Additional Estimates 2008-09. The department hopes to have all centres operational by the end of 2010. A number of initiatives developed by the department relating to early childhood education are going before COAG for endorsement. The Early Childhood Development strategy

will provide direction for future policy, and will assist the department in the roll out of infrastructure for childcare centre. The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) is an example of an initiative established in conjunction with states and the Commonwealth. The EYLF trial was conducted in 28 centres, which were chosen by the EYLF working party to which each state and territory is a signatory. Once the framework is

endorsed by COAG in July, officers envisage that it will be available to centres to use in the planning and implementation of their programs.

Outcome 2 (Schools, career transitions and youth)

Asian languages

2.28 Questions were asked about the Asian Languages in Schools program. The first concerned measures that were being taken to attract specialist language teachers. Officers replied that a number of programs existed to identify and recruit qualified teachers, and funding has been allocated to improve the skills of current language

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teachers. Officers told the committee that $9.36 million of the funding available is for establishing links between schools and universities, and to assist Asian related businesses to promote teaching and learning of the four target languages: Chinese, Indonesian, Korean and Japanese.6 , 7

Fibre Connection to Schools initiative

2.29 Questions about the Fibre Connection to Schools initiative continued an earlier theme of interest in the government's policy of ensuring that schools are able to teach computer-based literacy and bring IT connections onto all school desks. Questions were asked about the connection which might exist between the Fibre

Connection initiative and the National Broadband Network. The Fibre Connection to Schools is a five-year program, but the department was unable to provide details of its connectivity with the more recently announced National Broadband Network.

Administration of the stimulus package on school building

2.30 Questions relating to the expenditure of $14.7 billion on school education as part of the economic stimulus package generated extensive questioning which revealed a great deal about the interaction between the Commonwealth and the states

and territories in the disbursal of funds. While the overall policy of the Commonwealth, through DEEWR, of ensuring compliance with the conditions of Commonwealth funding appears to be unchanged there is evidence that under this program some states and territories are required to implement long-overdue change to their administrative cultures, particularly in the matter of local consultation and consent.

2.31 For many years this committee has been aware of the difficulties in ensuring proper levels of accountability that is owed to the Commonwealth in regard to its direct grant funding. The fear of policy makers and administrators at the

Commonwealth level is that such direct grants may be used to substitute for, rather than supplement, state and territory expenditure. As one officer told the committee in regard to this current expenditure, part of the condition of funding under agreements made with states is that, first, they get value for money in their contracting (for school building projects) and second, that they maintain their own capital expenditure over time. ' Senator Mason put a series of questions on notice requesting explicit information on the administration of grants, supervisory practices of the department, and action to be taken in the event of non-compliance.

2.32 One indication of the Commonwealth's more direct role in school funding made relevant at the hearings is the readiness of DEEWR to respond to complaints and difficulties faced by schools, presumably in circumstances where they might claim that local needs have received insufficient recognition by state authorities.

6 Committee Hansard, 3 June 2009, pp 30-31.

7 Ibid., p.47

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DEEWR officers emphasised the importance of education authorities consulting principals and their school communities to ensure their agreement with proposed capital works projects at their schools. New guidelines require that school principals indicate their agreement with proposals that are put forward to DEEWR by education

authorities. In some states, notably Victoria, where a large measure of school autonomy exists in the public system, principals routinely deal with architects and builders. Such guidelines will have most effect in more traditionally centralised systems like Queensland and New South Wales where principals enjoy less autonomy.

2.33 Nationally, however, such guidelines should hasten changes to administrative culture, particularly in the way in which education authorities manage relationships with school principals and communities. Senators raised specific cases of schools having local difficulties with their authorities. For instance in South Australia, Senator Fisher identified Naracoorte Primary School as being faced with a 30 per cent loading on its building costs imposed by the state department. The committee was advised that this was not usually permissible under the Commonwealth guidelines, and the matter would be investigated.8 9 Senator Hanson-Young raised another matter in regard to

education authorities in South Australia: a claim that they are making the receipt of stimulus funding to schools in the north of the state conditional on an amalgamation of schools which is opposed by local communities. Without commenting on the specific case, the Secretary of DEEWR gave a strong indication that the Commonwealth would, as a matter of principle pay close heed to local concerns.10 1 1 1 2

Senator Cash raised the case of Burbridge Primary School in Western Australia which caters for children with serious disabilities and which 'desperately' needs funds for its pool which is used for physiotherapy. The school has been offered playground equipment or a library instead. DEEWR officials undertook to follow this and other matters up.

Outcome 3 (Higher education, VET, international education)

Education Investment Fund

2.34 Senator Mason commenced the examination of Outcome 3, with questions relating to the Education Investment Fund (EIF). The 2008-09 Budget papers indicated that the EIF would be comprise $6 billion of asset transfer funds from the fonner Higher Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) and $5 billion from the 2007-08

and 2008-09 budget surpluses. At Additional Estimates 2008-09, Senator Mason asked the department when the government would be depositing the S5 billion, and was told that half of the allocated amount would be deposited by 30 June 2009.

8 Ibid., p.52

9 Ibid., p.64

10 Ibid., p.75

11 Ibid., p.63

12 Committee Hansard, 25 February 2009, p. 126.

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Following up on this, Senator Mason asked the department if the allocated S2.5 billion had been deposited into the EIF. The Minister representing, the Hon Senator Carr, told the committee:

As part of the Australian government’s commitment to creating and supporting the jobs of the future, the planned allocation of $2.5 billion of funds to EIF, due no later than 30 June 2009, will instead be allocated to the groundbreaking Clean Energy Initiative. This new initiative will place Australia at the forefront of the response to climate and drive research in clean energy. On the basis of the budget and other commitments, and the

impact of interest and management fees, at the end of the budget forward estimates in 2012-13, it is estimated that EIF will have an approximate value of $3.1 billion for additional investments in vocational education and training, universities and research.13

2.35 Senator Mason asked the department to explain to the committee the link between the Clean Energy Initiative and universities. The committee was told that the initiative funds renewable energy research in universities, as well as research agencies. The Clean Energy Initiative is a joint initiative between DEEWR and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.14 1 5 1 6

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

2.36 Continuing the examination of Outcome 3, Senator Mason asked a series of questions relating the announcement of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) in the 2009-10 Budget. Officers from the department explained that the new agency would be operational on 1 January 2011, and there is the potential for it to be a independent, statutory authority that will report to the Minister. The reasoning behind the development of TESQA was discussed, with officers explaining the need for national consistency in quality assurance standards for universities. One aspect of the new agency will be performance measurement, the details of which will be worked out over the next six to 12 months.13

Youth Allowance (Tertiary)

2.37 In response to recommendations made in the Bradley Review, the government has made a number of changes to student income funding in the 2009-10 Budget. The budget introduces a range of measures to assist students studying at university, with particular emphasis on supporting students from low socio-economic backgrounds. 6

Part of the overhaul of student income requirements and eligibility has resulted in a tightening of workforce participation criteria for independence under Youth Allowance and ABSTUDY. While current student income recipients will be

13 Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Committee Hansard, 4 June 2009, p. 5.

14 Committee Hansard, 4 June 2009. p. 8.

15 Ibid., p. 17.

16 Ibid., p. 27.

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'grandfathered' in terms of retaining their existing benefits, the changes made to the independence criteria will be implemented by January 2010. Therefore, prospective claimants under this scheme may no longer be eligible for independence status as had previously been thought. From January 2010, students will no longer be able to claim

independence after working 15 hours per week in 24 months, or earning S18 000 in 18 months. Rather, those wishing to attain independence status will be required to work 30 hours per week for 18 months within a two year period.

2.38 The committee showed strong interest in these changes to the 'gap year' independence eligibility requirements. Concern was expressed for students who had currently deferred university study in order to gain independent status but who would

now no longer be eligible to do so. The effect the new measures would have on rural and regional students was raised, with Senator Cash seeking an indication of what response the department had received from affected students.

2.39 The department took this on notice. Minister Carr told the committee that with the more generous parental income thresholds, an additional 68 000 dependent young people in rural areas will receive access to Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY.17 Senator Nash asked questions relating to the removal of the option to earn SI8 000 in any period within 18 months. Arguing that many rural students earn irregular amounts of money during the harvest season, the senator questioned the fairness of removing the

ability to earn the required amount of money in any given time frame.18

2.40 Opposition Senators raised questions regarding the youth allowance thresholds with particular reference to parental assets of students from farms. Officers told the committee that for a family, the assets limit is S571 500 but for farm assets the limit increases to S2.286 million. Senator Back questioned the appropriateness of this

amount, commenting that the average net assets of farming properties were above this figure, yet the annual income generated was quite low in comparison.19

International Students

2.41 International education continues to be a topic of interest to senators, because it is the third highest export in terms of earnings, after iron ore and coal. Officers from the department told the committee that last year international education was believed to have been worth SI 5.5 billion, and commented that Australia has become one of the

leaders in international education worldwide.20

2.42 Senator Cash began the examination of officers from the international education section with a series of questions relating to the role of education agents in representing universities abroad. Senator Cash raised concerns regarding the

17 Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Committee Hansard, 4 June 2009, p. 32.

18 Committee Hansard, 4 June 2009, p. 37.

19 Ibid., p. 49.

20 Ib id . p. 51.

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reputation of these agents, and asked officers if there were any provisions in the 2009­ 10 Budget to bring education agents under increased supervision. Officials told the committee that no provisions were made in the budget, but there is a national code of practice for registration authorities and providers of education and training. In addition, officers explained there is an onus on education providers to ensure that the marketing of their education and training services is professional, accurate and maintains the integrity and reputation of the industry/1

2.43 A number of senators raised the issue of safety of international students following the recent assaults on Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney. Senator Hanson-Young asked the department how long they had been aware of issues surrounding the safety of international students. Officers told the committee that it had been aware of concerns for several years, and the department worked in conjunction with Universities Australia to deal with the issue. Moreover, the department is regularly in contact with organisations that represent TAPE and private higher education providers regarding the safety of students.

Senator Gavin Marshall

Chair 2 1

21 Ibid.

ioo

Appendix 1

Departments and agencies for which the committee has oversight

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

• Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations;

• Australian Industrial Relations Commission and Australian Industrial

Registry;

• Teaching Australia- Australian Institute for Teaching and School

Leadership Ltd;

• Australian Learning and Teaching Council;

• Comcare, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and

the Seafarers’ Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority

(Seacare Authority);

• Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner;

• Lair Work Australia;

• The Lair Work Ombudsman; and

• The Workplace Authority

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102

Index to Hansard transcripts Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

Appendix 2

Monday, 1 June 2009 Page no

Cross Portfolio........................................................................................... 4

Outcome 4- Workforce Participation................................................................. 13

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Comcare.............................................................................................................. 4

Australian Fair Pay Commission Secretariat...................................................... 12

Australian Industrial Registry............................................................................. 13

Workplace Ombudsman..................................................................................... 18

Workplace Authority.................................................................. 32

Australian Building and Construction Commission.................................... 34

Outcome 5- More productive and safer workplaces.......................................... 76

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Outcome 1- Early childhood learning................................................................ 4

Outcome 2- Schooling.................................................................................. 29

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Outcome 3- Higher Education, VET.................................................................. 3

103

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104

New Outcome structure for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Figure 2: Transition table

Appendix 3

2008-09 B udget year 2009-10 B udget year

Outcom e 1: Early Childhood E ducation and Child

C are - children receive quality early childhood education and child c a re th a t m e e ts the n e e d s of their parents

O utcom e 1: Im proved a c c e s s to quality serv ices that support early childhood learning an d c are for children through a national quality fram ew ork, ag reed national sta n d a rd s , investm ent in infrastructure, an d support for paren ts, carers, se rv ice s a n d th e workforce

Administered Items: Adm inistered Items:

P rogram 1.2: Child C are F e e A ssistan c e Child C are Benefit

Child C are Tax R eb ate

P rogram 1.1: Support for th e Child C are S ystem Child C are S e rv ice s Support J o b s , E ducation an d Training (JET) Child

C are F e e A ssistan c e

Program 1.3: Early Childhood E ducation Universal A c ce ss to P resch o o l Early Learning and C are C e n tre s Children and Family C e n tre s

Child C are for eligible p a ren ts

undergoing training S upport for Child C are S upport for Child C are S P P

Special Appropriations:

Child C are Benefit Child C are Tax R eb ate

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22

2008-09 Budget year 2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 2: School Education - schools and other educators provide high quality teaching and learning to all Australian children, creating good foundation skills and positive life opportunities

O u tc o m e 2: Improved learning and literacy, numeracy and educational attainm ent fo r school students, through funding fo r quality teaching and learning environm ents, workplace learning and career advice

Administered Items: Adm inistered Items:

Digital Education Revolution Program 2.1: Governm ent Schools National

Draught Assistance for Schools S upport’

Helping Children with Autism National Asian Languages and Program 2.2: Non-Government Schools National

Studies in Schools Support

Even Start National Tuition Program Schools Assistance A ct 2008

National Curriculum Board for Schools General Recurrent Grants

Australian Schools Schools Capital Grants

National School Chaplaincy Program Literacy, Numeracy and Special

Online Curriculum Content for Learning Needs

Australian Schools Schools Country Areas

Australian Governm ent Quality Schools English as a Second Language

Teacher Program Schools Languages Program

Targeted Quality Outcomes Non-Governm ent School Term Hostels

Closing the Gap fo r Indigenous Indigenous Education Program

Australians Trade Training Centres for Schools Program 2.3: Schools Support

National Action Plan for Literacy Drought A ssistance for Schools

and Numeracy Helping Children with Autism

Special Appropriations National Asian Languages and

Schools General Recurrent Grants Studies in Schools

Schools Capital Grants Quality Outcom es

Investing in Our Schools Grants and Awards

Literacy, Numeracy and Special Framework for Open Learning

Learning Needs Schools Country Areas

National Student Aptitude Test for Tertiary Admission

Schools English as a Second Supplem entary funding for school operations

Language National Schools Chaplaincy Program

Schools Languages Program Local Schools W orking Together

Non-Government School Term Hostels Indigenous Education

Indigenous Education Program Australian Technical Colleges Program 2.4 Trade Training Centres

ABSTUDY - Secondary

*

Trade Training Centres in Schools

Assistance fo r Isolated Children Australian Technical Colleges

Youth Allowance Superannuation Benefits fo r Aboriginal ► | Program 2.5 Digital Education Revolution !

Tutor A ssistance Scheme

Program 2.6 National Action Plan on Literacy and Numeracy-1

----- ►!Program 2.7: Building the Education Revolution*

Program 2.8: Sm arter Schools - Low Econom ic Status Comm unities*

* Program 2.9: Sm arter Schools - Improving Teacher

Notes: Q uality2 3

1. From 1 January 2009, there are no separate administered item s under Program 2.1. The ► [Program 2.10: Youth Support-3

National Education Agreem ent incorporates supplem entary funding to government schools Program 2.11: School Student Assistance

(previously known as specific purpose payments ABSTUDY Secondary

for Recurrent Grants, Capital Grants and Targeted Assistance for Isolated Children

Programs) and includes a number o f Indigenous Youth Allowance

education program s previously implemented under Superannuation Benefits for Aboriginal

the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Tutor Assistance Scheme

Act 2000. Refer Section 2, Outcome 2 for further information.

2. New National Partnerships agreed in 2009 3. Administered item s from Outcome 5 in the 2008-09 structure were transferred to the new Outcome 2. Refer Outcome 5 Transition table for details.

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2008-09 B udget year

O utcom e 3: Higher Education - A ustralian higher

education institutions provide high quality teaching and learning for all stu d e n ts, re se a rc h training for relevant stu d e n ts a n d e n h a n c e the accessibility of their learning and re se a rc h

2009-10 B udget year

O utcom e 3: A growth in skills, qualifications an d productivity through funding to im prove teaching quality, learning, and tertiary s e c to r infrastructure, international prom otion of A ustralia's edu catio n and training secto rs, an d partn ersh ip s with industry

Adm inistered Item s: Adm inistered Items:

Higher Education S pecial P rojects P rogram 3.1: Higher E ducation S upport

Fram ew ork for O p en Learning C om m onw ealth G rants S c h e m e

Indigenous Higher E ducation Advisory P erfo rm an ce Funding

Council Tertiary E ducation Quality a n d S ta n d a rd s

Higher E ducation Contribution to Australian A gency

Education International Funding to S upport iow S E S participation

S uperan n u atio n P a y m en ts for F orm er Disability Support Program

C om m issioners Indigenous Support Program

Special Appropriations: Structural A djustm ent

C om m onw ealth G rants S c h e m e S uperan n u atio n Program

Regional Loading Quality Initiatives

Enabling Loading O pen Learning Initiative

W orkplace Productivity Program National Institutes

W orkplace Reform P rogram Indexation

Capital D evelopm ent Pool C om m onw ealth S ch o larsh ip s

Collaboration an d Structural Reform Indigenous Higher E ducation Advisory

Program Council

Quality Initiatives H igher Education S pecial Projects

Learning an d T eaching P erform ance Fund E ducation Investm ent Fund (Higher E ducation)

National Institutes Equity Program s P rogram 3.2: HELP

Higher E ducation Loan P rogram s HECS-HELP

Learning S cholarships * FEE-HELP

Indigenous S upport Fund O S-H ELP

O pen Learning Initiative SA-HELP

T ransition Fund - H igher E ducation ABSTUDY - Tertiary

ABSTUDY - S tu d en t Financial S u p plem ent P rogram 3.3: Tertiary S tu d e n t A ssistan c e

Loans ABSTUDY - Tertiary

S tu d en t Financial S upplem ent AUSTUDY - Tertiary

Loan S ch em e (Austudy) Youth Allowance

Austudy S tu d en t Start Up S cholarships

F a re s Allowance R elocation S cholarship

Youth Allowance Higher Education E ndow m ent Fund P rogram 3.6: International E ducation Support

H igher Education Contribution to A ustralian Education International

107

24

2008-09 B udget year 2009-10 B udget year

O u tc o m e 4: V ocational E ducation a n d T raining - individuals a c h ie v e relevant skills from vocational e d u ca tio n a n d training which e n h a n c e em ployability a n d productivity

O u tc o m e 3: A growth in skills, qualifications an d productivity through funding to im prove tea ch in g quality, learning, and tertiary s e c to r infrastructure, international prom otion of A ustralia's e d u c a tio n a n d training s e c to rs , a n d partn ersh ip s with industry

A d m in is te re d Item s: A d m in istered Items:

V ocational E ducation an d Training P ro g ram 3.2: HELP

National P ro g ra m s VET FEE HELP

N ational C e n tre for V ocational E ducation R e se a rc h Ltd P rogram 3.3: T ertiary S tu d e n t A s sista n c e

A ustralian A p p renticeship C e n tre s ABSTUDY - Tertiary

S u p p o rt for A ustralian A pp ren ticesh ip s AUSTUDY - Tertiary

A ustralian A p p ren ticesh ip W orkforce Youth A llow ance

Skills D ev elo p m en t A ustralian A p p ren ticesh ip A c c e s s P ro g ram 3.4: V ocational E d u catio n a n d

Program 1 Training

W o rk p lace E nglish L a n g u a g e and

Literacy P ro g ram 3.5: V ET National S u p p o rt

L a n g u a g e, L iteracy an d N um eracy N ational C e n tre for V ocational E d u ca tio n

N ational Disability C oordination O fficers R e s e a rc h

S ch o o l of F in e Furniture A ustralian A p p renticeship C e n tre s

Special Appropnations: S u p p o rt for A ustralian A p p re n tic esh ip s

V ocational E d u catio n a n d Training A ustralian A p p ren ticesh ip s W orkforce

R e c u rre n t Funding Skills D evelopm ent

FE E HELP for V ocational E d u catio n and A ustralian A p p ren ticesh ip s A c c e s s

T raining C o u rs e s P ro g ra m 1

Youth A llow ance E ducation In v estm en t Fund (VET)

1. A ustralian A p p re n tic esh ip s A c c e s s P rogram in clu d e s W o rk p la ce English L an g u a g e a n d Literacy a n d L a n g u a g e , Literacy a n d N um eracy, National P ro g ra m s, T a s m a n ia n C om m unity F o rest A g reem en t, a n d National Disability C oordination O fficers

108

25

2008-09 B u d g e t year

O u tc o m e 5: T ran sitio n s a n d Y outh - young peo p le a re e n g a g e d and s u p p o rte d to m a k e su c c essfu l tran sitio n s to adu lth o o d a n d activ e com m unity participation, including th ro u g h c a r e e r d e v elo p m en t

skills, fu rth er e d u ca tio n , training a n d em p lo y m en t

2009-10 B u d g e t year

O u tc o m e 2: Im proved learn in g a n d literacy, n u m e ra c y a n d e d u ca tio n a l a tta in m e n t for sch o o l s tu d e n ts , th ro u g h funding for quality te a c h in g a n d learn in g en v iro n m en ts, w o rk p la ce learning and c a r e e r adv ice

A d m in istered Item s: A d m in is te re d Item s:

C a re e rs T ran sitio n s a n d P a rtn e rs h ip s P ro g ra m 2.10: Y outh S u p p o rt

C a re e r P lan n in g 1 ---------------1- C a re e rs T ran sitio n s a n d P a rtn e rs h ip s

Youth E n g a g e m e n t Y outh E n g a g e m e n t

O u tc o m e 6: International Influence - A ustralian e d u c a tio n a n d training is re c o g n ise d a s world c la s s an d is globally c o n n e c te d

O u tc o m e 3: A grow th in skills, qualifications a n d productivity through funding to im prove teach in g quality, learning, an d tertiary s e c to r infrastructure, international prom otion of A u stra lia 's e d u ca tio n an d training se c to rs , and p a rtn e rs h ip s with industry

A d m in istered Item s: A d m in istered Item s:

International E d u catio n a n d T raining P ro g ra m 3.6: International E d u catio n S u p p o rt

A s s e s s m e n t S u b sid y for O v e rs e a s International E d u ca tio n a n d Training

T rained P ro fe ss io n a ls * A s s e s s m e n t S u b s id y for O v e rs e a s

T rain ed P ro fe ss io n a ls

1. C a re e r P lanning w a s th e N ational Disability C oordination O fficer program w hich h a s

tran sferre d to P ro g ra m 3.5

109

26

2008-09 Budget year

O utcom e 7: Labour M arket A ssistan c e - individuals

h a v e a c c e s s to incom e support a n d socially inclusive labour m arket p ro g ram s which further econom ic d evelopm ent

2009-10 Budget year

O utcom e 4: E n h an ced employability and

acquisition of labour m arket skills and know ledge and participation in society through direct financial su p p o rt a n d funding of em ploym ent a n d training serv ices

A d m inistered Items: A d m inistered Items:

Jo b Network P rogram 4,1: Em ploym ent S erv ices

W ork for th e Dole J o b S e rv ice s A ustralia1

Indigenous Em ploym ent J o b C apacity A s se ssm e n t

J o b P lacem en t, E m ploym ent a n d Training J o b s Fund

G reen C o rp s

E m ploym ent A ssistan c e a n d O th er S erv ices P rogram 4.2: Indigenous Em ploym ent

P e rso n a l S upport Program Indigenous E m ploym ent

Rehabilitation S ervices Modified C om pliance Fram ew ork Program 4.3: Disability Em ploym ent S erv ices

Ex G ratia P a y m en t Em ploym ent A ssistan c e and O th er S erv ices

Advertising V ocational R ehabilitation S e rv ice s

Special Appropriations:

M ature A ge Allowance Program 4.4: W orking A ge P a y m e n ts

Mobility Allow ance Ex G ratia P aym ent

N ew start Allowance Modified C om pliance Fram ew ork

P aren tin g P ay m en t (P artnered) M ature Age Allowance

P aren tin g P ay m en t (Single) Mobility Allowance

P artn er Allow ance (Benefit) N ew start Allowance

P a rtn er Allow ance (P ension) Parenting P a y m en t (P artnered)

P e n sio n e r E ducation S u p p lem en t P arenting P a y m en t (Single)

S ic k n e ss Allowance P artn er Allowance (Benefit)

Utilities Allowance P artn er Allowance (P ension)

W idow Allowance P e n sio n e r Education S u p p le m e n t

Youth Allowance (Other) S ic k n e s s Allowance

Utilities Allow ance W idow Allowance Youth Allowance (Other)

O utcom e 8: W orkforce Participation - Policies and

s tra te g ie s a re d eveloped to a s s is t d isa d v an tag e d A ustralians to in c re a se their skills an d w orkforce participation through e n h a n c e d em ploym ent serv ices an d em ployer e n g ag e m e n t

O utcom e 4: E n h an c ed em ployability a n d

acquisition of labour m arket skills an d know ledge and participation in society through direct financial support and tunding of em ploym ent an d training services

Adm inistered Item s: Adm inistered Items:

Advertising Program 4.1: Em ploym ent S e rv ice s

Evaluation * Advertising

Evaluation

1. In 2009-10 Jo b S erv ices A ustralia replaced J o b Network, W ork for th e Dole, JP E T , G reen C orps

an d P erso n al S upport P rogram

110

27

2008-09 B udget year

O utcom e 9: More productive a n d s a fe r w orkplaces -

improved productivity through the dev elo p m en t of safer, fairer and m o re flexible w o rk p laces leading to g reater em ploym ent for A u stralian s and strong and su stain ab le growth

Adm inistered Item s:

W orkplace Reform - S e c re t Ballots international L abour O rganisation

Subscription

G eneral E m ployee E ntitlem ents a n d

R ed u n d an cy S c h e m e W orkplace R elatio n s Reform - Unlawful

T erm ination A s sista n c e S c h e m e W orkplace R elations Reform - A lternative

D ispute R esolution

Sm all B u sin e ss W ork an d Fam ily H om e W o rkers C o d e of P ractice

Special Appropriations:

Coal Mining Industry (LSL) Funding Act 1992

2009-10 B u d g e t y e a r

O utcom e 5: Safer, fairer a n d m ore productive

w orkplaces for em p lo y ers a n d e m p lo y e e s by prom oting and supporting th e ad option of fair and flexible w orkplace a rra n g e m e n ts a n d s a fe r working a rra n g e m e n ts

A d m in istered Items:

P rogram 5.1: E m ployee A s sista n c e _______ ____

G e te r a E m ployee E ntitlem ents an d

R ed u n d an cy S c h e m e

Unlawful T erm ination A s sista n c e S c h e m e Coal Mining Industry (LSL) F unding Act 1992

P rogram 5.2: W orkplace A ssistan c e

Fair W ork E ducation and inform ation C am paign P ro tected Action B allots S c h e m e

International Labour O rganisation Subscription A lternative D ispute R esolution Sm all B u sin e ss W ork and Fam ily P rogram

H om e W orkers C o d e of P ractice Program

111

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112

The Senate

Environment, Communications and the Arts Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2009-10

June 2009

© Commonwealth of Australia 2009

ISBN 978-1-74229-113-0

This document was printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra

Membership of the Committee

Members:

Senator Anne McEwen (ALP, SA) (Chair) Senator Simon Birmingham (LP, SA) (Deputy Chair) Senator Scott Ludlam (AG, WA) '

Senator Kate Lundy (ALP, ACT) Senator the Hon Judith Troeth (LP, VIC) Senator Dana Wortley (ALP, SA)

Committee Secretariat

Dr Ian Holland, Secretary Ms Jacquie Hawkins, Research Officer

Committee Address

Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts PO Box 6100 ‘ Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Tel: 02 6277 3526

Fax: 02 6277 5818

Email: eca.sen@aph.gov.au

Internet: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/eca_ctte/index.htm

iii

115

116

Contents

Membership of the Committee iii

Chapter 1 — Introduction

Reference 1

Hearings 1

Questions on notice - date for response 1

Procedural and other matters 2

Late return of responses to questions on notice 2

Comprehensiveness of Budget Estimates process 2

Portfolio budget statements 2

Acknowledgements 5

Chapter 2 — Examination of portfolios

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 7

Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 12

Appendix 1 - Agenda 19

Appendix 2 - Tabled documents 23

v

117

118

Chapter 1

Introduction

Reference

1.1 On 12 May 2009 the Senate referred the following documents to standing committees for examination and report:

• Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010

• Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010.1

1.2 The committee was required to report to the Senate by 23 June 2009.1 2

Hearings

1.3 The committee conducted public hearings on the Broadband,

Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio on 25 and 26 May 2009 and on the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio on 27 and 28 May 2009. The agenda is at Appendix 1.

1.4 Links to the transcripts of the public hearings, and to responses and additional information, are available on the Internet at:

http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/eca_ctte/estimates/bud_0910/index.htm

1.5 Written answers and additional information provided to the committee on notice arising from the hearings are tabled in the Senate and also compiled as volumes of Additional Information. The answers are also posted on the committee’s web page.

Questions on notice - date for response

1.6 In accordance with Standing Order 26(9)(a), the committee has fixed Friday, 31 July 2009 as the date for the return of written answers or additional information in response to questions placed on notice.

1 Journals o f the Senate, No. 67, 12 M ay 2009, p. 1920.

2 Journals o f the Senate, No. 43, 12 Novem ber 2008, pp 1159.

2

Procedural and other matters

Late return of responses to questions on notice

1.7 In previous reports the committee has expressed its concern about past failures to provide responses in a timely manner and its expectation that responses to questions on notice should be provided to it by the due date.

1.8 The committee notes that answers were still being provided to the secretariat during this round of hearings - some seven weeks after the date the committee had set for the return of answers.

1.9 In setting 31 July 2009 as the deadline for answers to questions on notice from the current round of hearings, the committee believes that it is allowing ample opportunity for answers to be carefully considered and submitted in a timely manner.

Comprehensiveness of Budget Estimates process

1.10 As the then Chair noted in previous estimates,' the committee expects that all agencies will be available for the main round of Budget Estimates, unlike Supplementary Estimates where senators nominate agencies they wish to examine.

1.11 For this round the committee again continued its practice of listing all government agencies and companies in the program under the relevant departmental outcome. It is left to the discretion of officials to detenuine whether company representatives need to attend the hearings in person or whether departmental officers are sufficiently knowledgeable to respond to the committee's inquiries on their behalf.

1.12 The committee believes that, by including all relevant portfolio bodies in the hearing program, senators are made aware of the opportunity to question them.3 4

Portfolio budget statements

1.13 The Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) 2009-10 reflect changes in reporting from the outcome/output structure to a program reporting framework. The statements also include revisions made to General Government Sector (GGS) entities outcome statements under the Operation Sunlight Outcome Statements Review. As a result of these changes both the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolios have undergone reorganisation of their structures and each PBS contains a transition table reflecting the restructures. These tables are reproduced below:

3 P roof Committee Hansard, 25 May 2005, p. 55.

4 Budget Estimates 2004-05, Report o f the Environment, Communications. Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee, June 2004, p. 13.

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3

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy"

2008-09 B udget year

O utcom e 1: D evelopment of a vibrant, su sta in a b le an d internationally com petitive b ro ad b an d and com m unications se c to r w hich prom otes th e digital econom y for th e

benefit of all A ustralians

O utput G roup 1.1: Policy ad v ice a n d program m anagem ent that delivers competitively priced, a c c e s s ib le an d high quality b ro ad b a n d and other communication s e rv ic e s and that su p p o rts th e digital econom y A dm inistered Items:

A B C & S B S D igital In terferen ce P 1.3

S c h e m e

A u stra lia n B r o a d b a n d G u a ra n te e P 1.2

C o m m u n ity B r o a d c a stin g P 1.3

F o u n d a tio n 1 * i C o n n e c t A u stra lia P 1.2

C y b e r - s a f e ty P 1.2

D igital T e le v isio n S w itc h o v er P 1.3

e - S e c u r ity P 1.2

IC T C e n tre o f E x c e lle n c e P 1.2

International O rg a n isa tio n s P 1.2

C o n trib u tio n s N ation al T ra n sm issio n N etw ork P 1.3

R e s id u a l F u nding P ool R e g io n a l E q u a lisa tio n P lan P 1.3

R e g io n a l T e le c o m m u n ic a tio n s P 1.2

Inquiry r e s p o n s e 3 5 T e le c o m m u n ic a tio n s A ction P lan P 1.2

for R e m o te In digen ous C o m m u n ities T e le c o m m u n ic a tio n s C o n su m e r P 1,2

R e p r e s e n ta tio n a n d R e s e a r c h 2 T e le v is io n T o w ers P 1-3

D epartm ental O utputs.

P rogram M anagem ent P I .1, 1.2 & 1.3

1 The Community B roadcasting Foundation p rogram h a s b e e n renam ed th e Community B roadcasting Program an d now includes funding for th e Radio for the Print

H andicapped, (RPH C o-operative Ltd).

2009-10 B udget year

O utcom e 1: D evelop a vibrant, su stain a b le and internationally com petitive broadband, broadcasting an d com m unications se c to r, through policy developm ent, advice and

program delivery, w hich prom otes th e digital econom y fo r all A ustralians

Program 1.1: B roadband and Communications Infrastructure A dm inistered Seims:

International O rg a n isa tio n s C o n trib u tio n s N ation al B ro a d b a n d N etw ork Program Support:

P o lic y & P ro g ra m S u p p o rt Program 1.2: Telecom m unications, Online and Postal S erv ice s A dm inistered items:

C o n su m e r R e p re s e n ta tio n G ra n ts P rogram 2 A u stralian B ro a d b a n d G u a ra n te e C o n n e c t A u stralia

C y b e r -s a fe ty e -S e c u r ity ICT C e n tre o f E x c e lle n c e

R e g io n a l T ele c o m m u n ic a tio n s R e v ie w R e s p o n s e 3 T ele c o m m u n ic a tio n s A ction Plan for R e m o te In digen ou s

C o m m u n ities Program Support:

P o lic y & P rogram S u p p o rt Program 1.3: B roadcasting and Digital Television A dm inistered Items:

A B C & S B S D igital In terferen ce i S c h e m e

S C om m uni ty B r o a d c a s ting j P rogram 1

f D igital T e le v isio n S w itc h o v er : N ational T r a n s m is s io n N etw ork R e s id u a l F unding P ool R e g io n a l E q u a lisa tio n P lan ' T e le v isio n T o w ers

Program Support:

! P o lic y & P rogram S u p p o rt

2 The Telecommunications Consumer Representation and Research program has been renamed the Consum er Representation Grants Program.

3 The Regional Telecommunications Inquiry R esponse has been renamed the Regional Telecommunications Review Response

5 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-2010, Budget Related Paper No. 1.3, Broadband, Com m unications and the Digital Economy Portfolio, p. 31.

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4

Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts6

2008-09 Budget Year 2009-10 Budget Year

Outcome 1: The environment, especially those aspects that are m atters of national environm ental significance, is protected and conserved.

Outcom e 1: The conservation and protectio n o f A ustra lia’ s terrestrial and marine b io d iv e rs ity and ecosystem s through supporting research, developing

inform ation, supporting natural resource management,

6 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-2010, Budget Related Paper No. 1.3, Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Portfolio, p. 31.

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5

Acknowledgements

1.14 The committee thanks Senators Conroy, McLucas, Carr, Arbib and Wong, officers from portfolio departments and agencies, and Broadcasting, Hansard and the Secretariat for their assistance during this Budget Estimates process.

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6

124

Chapter 2

Examination of portfolios

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio

1.1 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

1.2 During its examination, the committee raised a variety of issues which are noted below. The page numbers beside each issue refer to the proof transcript for Monday, 25 May 2009.

Australia Post

1.3 Members of the committee raised newspaper reports of alleged irregularities in the issuing of passports at one Australia Post office.1 Officials undertook to provide further information to the committee about the review being undertaken into the reported breach.

1.4 In correspondence dated 1 June 2009, Australia Post advised:

Immediately following the arrest of the Australia Post staff member at Fairfield a review into the incident by senior Australia Post staff from the Corporate Security and Commercial Divisions was launched.

The review examined the specifics of the incident, the policies and procedures in place, their effectiveness and any changes required to them."

1.5 Mr McCloskey further advised that as part of the review there had been numerous discussions with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and concluded that:

At this stage the review has not found any evidence to suggest that the Fairfield case is anything more than an isolated incident and DFAT have expressed confidence in Australia Post's current policies and procedures. Any request to modify these by DFAT or the AFP would be acted on as a

matter of priority.1 2 3

1.6 Other issues raised included:

» attendance of the Managing Director at estimates hearings (pp 3-5)

• effect of the current economic downturn on volume of mail (pp 6-7)

1 P roof Committee Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 21-25,

2 Correspondence from M r M cCloskey, Corporate Secretary, Australia Post, dated 1 June 2009.

3 Correspondence from Mr McCloskey, Corporate Secretary, Australia Post, dated 1 June 2009.

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8

• removal of GPO designation from Hobart City post office (p. 7)

• the Licensee Advisory Council (pp 7-9)

• new Australia Post headquarters (pp 10-11)

• reduced profit levels (pp 11-12)

• contraction of contact-centre network sites from six to two and arrangements for staff affected by the decision (pp 13-20)

• Australia Post bicentenary celebrations (pp 25-27, 33)

• expenditure on consultancies for current and next financial years (pp 29-30)

• provision of Mercedes vans for collection of mail from roadside post boxes (PP 31-32)

• dividend projections (pp 34-36).

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

• broadcasting of the Hopman Cup (pp 37-39)

• coverage of women's sport (pp 39-41)

• corrections to story broadcast concerning Gaza (pp 42-43)

• allegations of systemic bias (pp 44-46)

• audience selection for Q&A program (pp 46-48)

• on-air apologies (pp 49-52)

• current status of Mr Peter Lloyd (pp 52-53)

• increased funding under the current triennial funding (pp 53-60)

• co-production agreements (pp 60-62)

• reintroduction of a staff-elected director (pp 62-63)

• joint efficiency savings with SBS (pp 63-64)

• creation of regional broadband hubs (pp 65-68)

• Quality Assurance Project 8 (pp 69-70)

• use of various registered clubs for live Play School concerts (pp 70-71)

• unauthorised loading of ABC footage on YouTube (pp 72-74, 75)

• issues around suspension of Stephen Crittenden (pp 74-75)

• Freeview campaign (p. 76)

• Issues surrounding two Four Corners programs: the murder of John Newman and the NRL/Mathew Johns (pp 77-80)

• Commercial partnership with Haiper Collins (pp 80-82).

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9

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation

• level of triennial funding (pp 83-87)

• downturn in revenue (pp 87-88)

• in-program breaks for advertising (pp 89-94)

• ratings for Top Gear Australia (pp 94— 95)

• spot audits and spot checks on SBS Radio (p. 96).

Australian Communications and Media Authority

• registration of a new code dealing with mobile premium services (pp 96-99)

• cybersafety education program (pp 99-101)

• number of URLs currently on the ACMA blacklist (pp 101-102, 105-108)

• investigation into alleged leaking of the blacklist (pp 102-104)

• triple-0 tracking (pp 109-111)

• the Integrated Public Number Database (p. 112)

• extending scope of the Do Not Call register to enable registration of business, fax and emergency numbers (pp 112-116)

• closure of Adelaide and Perth offices (pp 116-117)

• savings under the Gershon review (pp 117-118, 124)

• interference of wind farms with digital TV and mobile phone reception (pp 119-120)

• funding for digital dividend - technical planning and restacking (pp 120-122)

• funding for Digital Television Switchover-regional South Australia, Victoria and Queensland (pp 123-125)

• number of commercial radio licenses affected by trigger events (pp 125-126).

1.7 On Tuesday, 26 May the committee continued its examination of the portfolio commencing with some general questions of the department. The page numbers beside each issue below refer to the proof transcript for Tuesday, 26 May 2009.

1.8 General issues included:

• providers of staff training (p. 4)

• attendance of Minister at community cabinet meetings (p. 4)

• restructure of the department (pp 5-6).

1.9 Questioning commenced in relation to Program 1.2: Telecommunications, Online and Postal Services:

• initiatives to improve access to communications services and technologies for people with disabilities (pp 7-8, 9-10)

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10

• formation and role of ACCAN (Australian Communications Consumer Action Network) (pp 8-9, 10-12)

• Australian Broadband Guarantee program - access to metro-comparable broadband sendees (pp 12-21)

• response to the Glasson report (pp 21-27)

• provisions for internet service provider-level fdtering (pp 27-40)

• steps to address cyberbullying; Youth Advisory Group (pp 4CM-2)

• further funding for National ICT Australia (NICTA) (pp 42^-3)

• expansion of the Do Not Call Register (pp 43^46)

• release of draft Digital Economy Future Directions paper (pp 46-47)

• Connect Resolve Campaign run by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (p. 48).

1.10 At the commencement of the examination of officers in relation to Program 1.1: Broadband and Communications Infrastructure, the Minister made a statement about the National Broadband Network and progress on the implementation of this policy, noting that:

W e have consulted w id ely w ith local and state and territory g o v ern m en t, teleco m m u n ic atio n s co m p an ies, electricity com panies, the build in g

industry, other C om m o n w ealth d ep artm en ts and co n su m er groups. This co n su ltatio n occu rred around the p ro p o sed regulatory ch an g es, o p tio n s for ro llin g out new fibre back b o n e n etw o rk s and the greenfields p o lic y .4 5

1.11 The Minister set out a number of activities being undertaken to implement the rollout of high-speed broadband infrastructure including:

• the establishment of a company to build and operate the Network, providing a separation between the infrastructure provider of a national

telecommunications network and retail sendee providers';"

• the release of a regulatory reform discussion paper canvassing options to improve competition and strengthen consumer safeguards in the period leading up to, and during the deployment of, the national Broadband Network;6 7 and

• commencement of negotiations with the Tasmanian government for the rollout of high-speed broadband in that state.

4 Proof Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 49.

5 Proof Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 49.

6 Proof Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 50.

7 Proof Committee Hansard. 26 May 2009, p. 51.

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11

1.12 The Minister concluded that while not as constrained to answer questions with the termination of the RFP process,

... the d etails o f the p r o p o s a ls ] su b m itted and th e e v alu atio n o f these

p ro p o sa ls rem ain co n fid e n tia l. T h ere fo re , w e w ill n o t b e d etailin g the

co n ten ts o f eith er th e p an el's rep o rt to g o v ern m en t, the p ro p o sals

th e m selv es o r the A C C C 's in d iv id u al and co m p arativ e assessm en t o f the p ro p o sals. I also ask th a t y o u re s p e c t the fact th a t w e are in co m m ercial

n eg o tiatio n s w ith the T a sm a n ia n g o v e rn m e n t.8

1.13 In later questioning about the Panel's report and a report by the ACCC which included requests for copies of the reports, the Minister indicated that the reports contained 'extensive commercially sensitive information provided by NBN proponents in strict confidence'9 and 'that the release of commercially sensitive information would be irresponsible'.10 1 1 There were further interchanges about the release of the reports.

1.14 Upon further questioning about the establishment of a cabinet sub-committee to consider the NBN policy, the Minister undertook to seek advice as to what further information he may be able to provide to the committee.11

1.15 Further questions relating to Program 1.1 included:

• costs of the NBN panel (pp 52-53)

• timeline for the NBN process (pp 64— 70)

• establishment of a new government business enterprise to implement the NBN (pp 77-81, 89-90)

• the Regional Backbone Black Spots Program (pp 83-85, 86, 90-92, 105)

• selection of Tasmania for the first NBN roll out (pp 85-88)

• ACCC's view in relation to the proposed regulatory structure on the NBN (pp 97-98)

• commercial viability of the NBN company (pp 98-101)

• release of discussion paper on options and issues for fibre in greenfields estates (pp 107-109)

• sale arrangements of the NBN company (pp 109-110).

1.16 At the conclusion of questioning about Program 1.1, officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.3: Broadcasting and Digital Television. Issues raised included:

8 Proof Committee Hansard, 26 M ay 2009, p. 52.

9 P roof Committee Hansard, 26 M ay 2009, p. 54.

10 P roof Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 54.

11 P roof Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 66-67; Proof Committee Hansard, 26 M ay 2009, pp 69-70.

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12

• review of the antisiphoning list (pp 115-118)

• campaign to raise awareness of the switchover to digital television (pp 118-119)

• role of the Consumer Expert Group in the digital switchover awareness campaign (p. 119)

• assistance packages for pensioners to help with switchover process (pp 120-123)

• rectifying signal-deficiency television black spots (pp 123-127)

• assistance for community broadcasters during the switchover (pp 129-133).

Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio

1.17 On Wednesday, 27 May the committee commenced its examination of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio and welcomed Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett MP, and portfolio officers.

1.18 The committee welcomed Ms Robin Kruk, recently appointed Secretary of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, to estimates.

1.19 The committee commenced with general questions of the portfolio including about Arts Indemnity Australia and the Australian government International Exhibitions Insurance Program;12 the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach program13 and funding for art training organisations.14 It then moved to

items as listed on the circulated agenda. The page numbers refer to the proof transcript for 27 May 2009.

1.20 The chair called officers in relation to Outcome 5: Participation in, and access to Australia's culture and heritage through developing and supporting cultural expression, and protecting and conserving Australia's heritage:

National Film and Sound Archive

• relocation of offices (p. 9)

• development of business plan (p. 10)

• archiving of material from additional television channels with the introduction of multichannelling (pp 10-11)

• Australian Screen program (p. 11)

12 Proof Committee Hansard, 28 May 2009. pp 5-7.

13 Proof Committee Hansard, 28 May 2009. pp 7-8.

14 Proof Committee Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 8-9.

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13

National Gallery of Australia

• final report on possible cancer cluster (pp 13-14)

• revenue raised from the Degas exhibition (p. 14)

• joint marketing exercises with the National Portrait Gallery (pp 14-15)

National Library of Australia

• digital archiving proposal (pp 15-16, 19-20)

• Hidden Treasures exhibition and update on progress of the building of the new Treasures Gallery (pp 17-18)

• visitor trends at the Library (pp 18-19) .

• continuing program to digitise Australian newspapers (p. 20)

National Museum of Australia

• commissioning of the musical work Garden o f Dreams (pp 20-22)

• cost of new acquisitions (p. 22, 24)

• proposal to extend the administration wing (pp 23-24)

• opening of the Australian Journeys gallery (p. 25)

Australia Council

• the ArtStart program (pp 25-26)

• funding for the Melba Foundation (pp 26-27)

• residencies for artists (pp 27-29)

• funding for the Books Alive program (pp 29-30)

• funding for orchestras (p. 31)

Screen Australia

• awarding of Camera d’Or for the film Samson and Delilah (pp 31,35)

• role of the Indigenous Unit (p. 32)

• returns on money invested in films (pp 32-33)

• funding for the Underbelly programs (p. 33)

• feedback on the producer offset scheme (pp 34-35)

• filling of Board vacancies (p. 35)

Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS)

• impact of the two per cent efficiency dividend (p. 36)

• relocation of Melbourne premises (pp 36-37)

• student numbers (p. 37)

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• courses provided (pp 37-38)

• fees or payments charged to students (pp 39^40)

Australian National Maritime Museum

• Maritime Museums Assistance Program (pp 41-42)

• proposal concerning the City o f Adelaide clipper ship (pp 42^44)

Program 5.1: Arts and Cultural Development

• establishment of the Creative Australia Advisory Group (pp 44^46)

• opening of the new National Portrait Gallery building (p. 47)

• acquisitions budget for the NPG (p. 47)

• joint promotions with other Canberra institutions (p. 48)

Program 5.2: Conservation and Protection of Australia's Heritage

• update on the Kokoda Track initiatives (p. 49)

• funding for the National Trust Partnerships Program (pp 49-50, 58-59)

• funding for heritage projects in current financial year (pp 50-51, 55-56)

• nomination of Ningaloo for World Heritage listing (pp 51, 70— 71)

• listing of 10 new National Heritage places (p. 51)

• core Commonwealth funding for heritage programs (pp 52-53)

• review of National Heritage management plans (p, 57)

• issues surrounding nomination of Port Arthur for World Heritage listing (pp 59-63)

• management plan for the Richmond Bridge (pp 63-64)

• investigation into destruction of rock art in the Burrup (pp 64-67)

• nominating Antarctica for World Heritage listing (pp 68-69)

• possible World Heritage listing of Cape York Peninsula (pp 69-70)

• National Heritage listing of West Kimberley (pp 71-72).

1.21 At the conclusion of the examination of Outcome 5, the Chair called officers in relation to Outcome 3: Advancement of Australia's strategic, scientific, environmental and economic interests in the Antarctic by protecting, administering and researching the region:

Program 3.1: Antarctic Science, Policy and Presence

• additional funding for research and scientific activities (pp 72-73)

• impact on Tasmanian economy of the Antarctic Division being based in Hobart (pp 73-74)

1 4 ___________________________________________________________________________________

132

British Antarctic Survey of sea ice in the Antarctic region (pp 74-75)

forward funding for the program (pp 76-77)

outcome from the Antarctic Treaty nations conference (pp 77-78).

15

1.22 At the conclusion of the examination of Outcome 3, the Chair called officers in relation to Outcome 1: The conservation and protection of Australia's terrestrial and marine biodiversity and ecosystems through supporting research, developing information, supporting natural resource management, regulating matters of national environmental significance and managing Commonwealth protected areas:

Bureau of Meteorology

• appointment of new Director of the Bureau (p. 78)

• increased funding for the Bureau (pp 78-79, 82)

• sites for new strategic radar enhancement project (pp 79-80)

• monitoring of sea water temperatures (pp 81-82)

• information gathered by Auto sonde balloons (pp 83-84)

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

• status of legislation concerning fishing convictions (pp 88-89)

• review of the Great Barrier Reef Structural Adjustment Package (pp 89-90)

• policy options for activities displaced by marine protected areas and zoning (p. 90)

• input of GBRMPA to decisions about the Coral Sea conservation zone (pp 91-94)

• funding for the Reef HQ’s aquarium (pp 94-95)

• staffing levels (pp 95-96, 97)

Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

• approval of the MOU with the Department of Defence for the clean-up of the HMAS Platypus site (pp 98-99)

• activities on Cockatoo Island (pp 100-101)

• education program on Cockatoo Island (p. 101)

Office of the Supervising Scientist

• seepage from the Ranger tailings dam (pp 101-104, 108-109)

• proposed new tailings dam (pp 105-106)

• rehabilitation plans to remedy any effects on the surrounding areas (pp 106-107)

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• role of the OSS and staffing levels (pp 107-108)

Director of National Parks

• rehabilitation programs on Christmas Island (pp 110-111)

• response to the biodiversity monitoring report (pp 111-112)

• eradication of the yellow crazy ant (pp 112-113)

• control of feral pests (pp 113-114)

• update on the bat captive breeding program (pp 114-115)

• National Landscapes program (p. 117)

• new action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (p. 118)

• staffing levels (p. 118)

• issues surrounding the hunting of the red-footed booby on Cocos (Keeling) Islands (pp 119-122, 123-124)

• concerns about the dugong population on Cocos (Keeling) Islands (pp 124-125)

• bushfire management in national parks (pp 125-127)

Program 1.1: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment

• changes to budget allocations under the various programs in Caring for our Country (pp 127-130).

1.23 The committee continued its examination of Program 1.1 on Thursday and page references below refer to the transcript of hearing for Thursday, 28 May 2009.

1.24 Issues included:

• funding for Caring for our Country programs (pp 3-10)

• assessment process (pp 10-12)

• numbers of people employed by NRM groups (pp 14-15)

• Reef Rescue package (pp 15-16)

• activities permitted within Indigenous protected areas (p. 17)

• types of weeds programs (pp 17-18)

Program 1.2: Environmental Regulation, Information and Research

• Coral Sea Conservation Zone (pp 19-33)

• budget for marine expenditure (p. 35)

• funding for whaling programs (pp 3 5— 36)

• Japanese whaling proposals for the 2009-2010 season (p. 37)

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• appointment and role of the whaling envoy (pp 40^43, 45-47)

• progress of reform proposals for the IWC (pp 44^47)

• assessment of contemporary fire regimes (pp 48-50)

• procedures for exporting animal products (pp 50-51)

• mining on Christmas Island proposal (pp 51-52)

• update on proposals to harvest the red-footed booby on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (pp 52-55)

• logging in the central Murray forest (pp 55-65)

• assessment process for the Traveston Dam proposal (pp 66-68)

• issues surrounding the Gunns proposal (pp 70-79)

• approval process for the Lower Lakes, SA and the proposed Wellington weir (pp 79-80)

• regulators for the Gawler channel (pp 80-81).

1.25 At the conclusion of Program 1.2, officers were called in relation to Outcome 2: Improved capacity of Australian communities and industry to protect the environment by promoting energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and regulating hazardous substances, wastes, pollutants, ozone depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases:

Program 2.1: Energy Efficiency and Climate Change

• explanation of terminations and repackaging of programs (pp 82-83)

• Green Loans program (pp 84-89)

• The Renewable Remote Power Generation Program (pp 89-90)

• Solar systems programs (p. 91)

• National Solar Schools Program (pp 91-92).

1.26 At the conclusion of Program 2.1, the committee called officers in relation to Outcome 4: Adaptation to climate change, wise water use, secure water supplies and improved health of rivers, waterways and freshwater ecosystems by supporting research, and reforming the management and use of w ater resources:

Murray-Darling Basin Authority

• appointments to the Board (p. 92)

• progress in the development and funding of the basin plan (pp 93-94)

• staffing levels of the Authority (pp 93-94)

• audit of water storage in the basin (pp 95-97)

• proposed Wellington weir (pp 98-99, 103)

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• contingency plans in the event of continued drought in the Murray-Goulbum systems (pp 99-100)

• savings from the Living Murray initiative (pp 101-103)

• nature and extent of legal rights in respect of Queensland authorisations or rights in relation to WRP for the Condamine-Balonne (pp 105-107)

• definition of the term 'critical human needs’ (pp 107-113)

National Water Commission

• extra funding related to Water for the Future and reform in the Murray- Darling Basin (pp 113-114)

• urban and rural water pricing matters (p. 115)

• review of urban water restrictions (pp 116-117)

Program 4.1: Water Reform

• purchase of water entitlements at Twynam (pp 118-121, 124, 134-136)

• spend on infrastructure investment in New South Wales (pp 121-124, 129)

• expenditure to date on water purchases (pp 127-128)

• Commonwealth contribution to the Adelaide desalination plant (pp 131-132)

• Port Pirie water recycling proposal (p. 133)

• rainwater tanks for surf life saving clubs (pp 133-134)

• Lower Lakes and Coorong region projects (pp 136-137)

• progress on the Menindee Lakes project (p. 137)

• guidelines for the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program (p. 139).

Senator Anne McEwen Chair

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Appendix 1

Agenda

The Senate BUSINESS OF COMMITTEES This document is issued as a guide to Senators Business listed is subject to change

It should be noted that times allocated for the consideration of outcomes, items and agencies within portfolios are indicative only.

Senators, staff and departments should liaise with secretariats on the progress of portfolios during the estimates process.

SENATE ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS LEGISLATION COMMITTEE

Public Hearings: Budget Estimates 2009-2010 Monday, 25 to Thursday, 28 May 2009 and if required, Friday, 29 May 2009

Committee Room 2S3 Parliament House Canberra ACT

To be televised on Channel 11 and broadcast on Radio 91.1 http://webcast.aph.gov.au

AGENDA

MONDAY, 25 May 2009

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Portfolio Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) 9.00am O utcom e 1— D evelop a vibrant, sustainable and internationally com petitive

broadband, broadcasting and com m unications sector, through policy developm ent, advice and program delivery, w hich prom otes the digital econom y for all A ustralians

Australia Post

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Special Broadcasting Service

137

2 0

Australian Communications and Media Authority

Program 1.1: Broadband and Communications Infrastructure

Program 1.2: Telecommunications, Online and Postal Services

Program 1.3: Broadcasting and Digital Television

11.00pm Adjournment

TUESDAY, 26 MAY 2009

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Portfolio Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) O utcom e 1— D evelop a vibrant, sustainable and internationally com petitive broadband, broadcasting and com m unications sector, through policy developm ent, advice and program delivery, which prom otes the digital econom y for all A ustralians

9.00am OUTCOME 1 I N C O N T IN U A T IO N F R O M M O N D A Y agency / program not called on Monday

1 1.00pm Adjournment

WEDNESDAY, 27 MAY 2009

Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Portfolio Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA)

9.00 am O utcom e 5: Participation in, and access to, A ustralia's culture and heritage through developing and supporting cultural expression, and protecting and conserving A ustralia's heritage

National Film and Sound Archive

National Gallery of Australia

National Library of Australia

National Museum of Australia

Australia Council

Screen Australia

Australian Film, Television and Radio School

Australian National Maritime Museum

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P rogram 5.1: A rts a n d C u ltu ral D evelopm ent, including National Portrait Gallery Australia Business Arts Foundation Ltd Bundanon Trust

P rogram 5.2: C onservation an d Protection o f A u s tr a lia ’s H eritage

O utcom e 3— A dvancem ent o f A ustralia's strategic, scientific, environm ental and econom ic interests in the A ntarctic by protecting, adm inistering and researchin g the region

P rogram 3 .1 : A n ta rctic Science, P o licy < £ P resen ce

O utcom e 1: The conservation and protection o f A ustralia's terrestrial and m arine biodiversity and ecosystem s through supporting research, developing inform ation, supp orting natural resource m anagem ent, regulating m atters o f national environm ental significance and m anaging C om m on w ealth protected areas

Bureau of Meteorology

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

Office of Supervising Scientist

Director of National Parks

P rogram 1.1: C aring f o r C ountry — S u stain able M an agem en t o f N atu ral R esources

P rogram 1.2: E n viron m en tal R egulation, In form ation & R esearch

11.00pm Adjournment

THURSDAY, 28 MAY 2009

Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Portfolio Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA)

9.00 am OUTCOME 1 I N C O N T IN U A T IO N F R O M W E D N E SD A Y, IF R E Q U IR E D

O utcom e 2 im p r o v e d capacity o f A ustralian com m unities and industry to p rotect the environm ent by prom oting energy efficiency, reducing carbon em issions, and regulating hazardous substances, w astes, pollutants, ozone depleting substances and synthetic

P rogram 2.1: E n ergy E fficien cy & C lim ate C hange

P rogram 2.2: M an agem en t o f H azardou s W astes, S ubstances& Pollutants

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4.00 pm O utcom e 4: A daptation to clim ate change, w ise w ater use, secure water supplies and im proved health o f rivers, w aterw ays and freshw ater ecosystem s by supporting research, and reform ing the m anagem ent and use o f w ater resources

Murray-Darling Basin Authority

National Water Commission

Program 4.1: Water Reform

11.00pm Adjournment

BREAKS Morning tea 10.45am approx

Lunch 1,00pm 2.00pm

Afternoon tea 3.45pm approx

Dinner 6.00pm 7.00pm

Tea break 9.30pm approx

Committee Chair: Senator Ann McEwen Contact: Jacquie Hawkins 02 6277 3528 Committee Room 2S3; Ph: 02 6277 5853

140

Appendix 2

Documents tabled

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Ms Scott, Secretary, DBCDE, Staff Training Providers for the 2008/09 Financial Year to Date

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Ms Kruk, Secretary, DEWHA, revised table indicating Program 5.1 Deliverables, at p. 73 in the DEWHA PBS

Ms Kruk, List of National Gallery of Australia (NGA) and Art Exhibitions Australia (AEA) exhibitions over last 10 years

Mr Cochrane, Director of National Parks Copy of Deed between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Council, dated 18 September 1984 Copy of Lease, North Keeling Island, dated 19 January 1995

Ms Rankin, FAS, Australian Government Land and Coast, List of Indigenous land management projects

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Ms Petrachenko, FAS, Marine Division, The East Marine Bioregional Plan, Bioregional Profile, A description of the Ecosystems, Conservation Values and uses of the East Marine Region, DEWHA, 2009

Senator Boswell, two maps of a proposed Australian Coral Sea Heritage Park reproduced from a PEW document

Ms Petrachenko, copy of DEWHA map of the Coral Sea Conservation Zone

Mr McNee, AS, Marine Initiative Branch, copy of The Southern Ocean Research Partnership Workshop: Summary of Outcomes

Ms Kruk, copy of the Minister for the Environment, Water and Heritage, Hon Peter Garrett's Media Release PG/268, South West NSW Logging Operations, 11 May 2009

Senator Colbeck, copy of email concerning Minister Garrett's press release re logging in river redgum forests in southern NSW

141

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142

The Senate

Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2009-10

June 2009

© Commonwealth of Australia 2009

ISBN 978-1-74229-114-7

Committee address

Finance and Public Administration Committee SG.60, Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600 Tel: 02 6277 3530 Fax: 02 6277 5809 Email: fpa.sendfaph,gov.au Internet: www.aph.aov.au/senate_fp

Printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House. Canberra.

144

Membership of the Committee

Senator Helen Policy (Chair) Senator Cory Bernard! (Deputy Chair) Senator Doug Cameron Senator Jacinta Collins Senator Scott Ryan Senator Rachel Siewert

Participating members Senator the Hon Eric Abetz, TAS, LP Senator Judith Adams, WA, LP Senator Chris Back, WA, LP

Senator Guy Barnett, TAS, LP Senator Catryna Bilyk, TAS, ALP Senator Simon Birmingham, SA, LP Senator Mark Bishop, WA, ALP Senator the Hon Ronald Boswell, QLD, NATS Senator Sue Boyce, QLD, LP Senator the Hon George Brandis, QLD, LP Senator Bob Brown, TAS, AG Senator Carol Brown, TAS, ALP

Senator David Bushby, TAS, LP Senator Michaelia Cash, WA, LP Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, TAS, LP Senator Jacinta Collins, VIC, ALP Senator the Hon Helen Coonan, NSW, LP Senator Mathias Cormann, WA, LP Senator Trish Crossin, NT, ALP Senator Alan Eggleston, WA, LP Senator Don Farrell, SA, ALP Senator David Feeney, VIC, ALP Senator the Hon Alan Ferguson. SA, LP Senator Steve Fielding, VIC, FF Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, NSW, LP Senator Mitch Fifield, VIC, LP

Senator Mary Jo Fisher, SA, LP Senator Michael Forshaw, NSW, ALP Senator Mark Fumer, QLD, ALP Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, SA, AG Senator the Hon Bill Heffeman, NSW, LP

Secretariat

Christine McDonald Jane Thomson Alex Wilson Bill Bannear

Samantha Ferry

ALP, TAS LP, SA ALP, NSW ALP, VIC

LP, VIC AG, WA

Senator Gary' Humphries, ACT, LP Senator Annette Hurley, SA, ALP Senator Steve Hutchins, NSW, ALP Senator the Hon David Johnston, WA, LP Senator Bamaby Joyce, QLD, NATS

Senator Helen Kroger, VIC, LP Senator Scott Ludlum, WA, AG Senator Kate Lundy, ACT, ALP Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald, QLD, LP Senator Gavin Marshall, VIC, ALP

Senator the Hon Brett Mason, QLD, LP Senator Anne McEwen, SA, ALP Senator Julian McGauran, VIC, LP Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, QLD, ALP Senator Christine Milne, TAS, AG Senator the Hon Nick Minchin, SA, LP Senator Claire Moore, QLD, ALP Senator Fiona Nash, NSW, NATS Senator Kerry O'Brien, TAS, ALP

Senator Marise Payne, NSW, LP Senator Louise Pratt, WA, ALP Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson, VIC, LP Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, NT, CLP Senator Rachel Siewert, WA, AG Senator Glenn Sterle, WA, ALP Senator the Hon Judith Troeth, VIC, LP Senator Russell Trood, QLD, LP Senator John Williams, NSW, NATS Senator Dana Wortley, SA. ALP Senator Nick Xenophon, SA, Ind

Committee Secretary Senior Research Officer Research Officer Research Officer Executive Assistant

in 1 4 5

IV

146

Table of Contents

Membership of the C om m ittee..............................................................................iii

Budget Estimates 2009-10........................................................................................1

Introduction............................................................................................................ .1

Portfolio coverage.................................................................................................1

Restructure of portfolios......................................................................................... 1

Hearings................................................................................................................. 2

General issues................................................. 3

Parliam entary D ep artm en ts................................................................................... 9

Department of the Senate.......................................................................................9

Department of Parliamentary Services................................................................. 10

Prime M inister and Cabinet P o rtfo lio ................................................................ 13

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General.................................... 13

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.................................................... 15

Office of the Privacy Commissioner.................................................................... 19

Australian Institute of Family Studies..................................................................20

Australian National Audit Office.........................................................................20

Australian Public Service Commission................................................................21

Old Parliament House...........................................................................................21

Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security...............................21

Office of National Assessments...........................................................................22

Finance and Deregulation P ortfolio.................................................................... 23

Department of Finance and Deregulation............................................................23

ASC Pty. Ltd........................................................................................................ 27

Medibank Private................................................................................................. 28

Future Fund Management Agency.......................................................................29

Australian Electoral Commission.........................................................................29

Human Services Portfolio.......................................................................................31

Department of Human Services............................................................................21

Centrelink............................................................................................................ 22

Medicare Australia.............................................................................................. 22

Australian Hearing 32

Department of Climate Change.......................................................................... 33

Appendix 1...............................................................................................................37

Departments, agencies, authorities and companies under the Committee's oversight.............................................................. 37

Parliamentary departments..................................................................................37

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio................................................................. 37

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio.................................................................... 37

Human Services Portfolio....................................................................................38

Appendix 2 ............................................................................................................... 39

Transition tables....................................................................................................39

Department of Parliamentary Services................................................................39

Department of the Senate....................................................................................39

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet................................................... 40

Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet (continued)...................................41

Department of Climate Change...........................................................................42

Department of Finance and Deregulation...........................................................43

Department of Human Services...........................................................................44

Appendix 3 ...............................................................................................................45

Index to Hansard Transcripts............................................................................. 45

vi

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1

Budget Estimates 2009-10 Introduction

1.1 On 12 May 2009, the Senate referred to the Finance and Public

Administration Legislation Committee (the committee) for examination and report the following documents:

• Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010;

• Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010; and .

• Particulars of proposed expenditure in relation to parliamentary departments in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010.1

Portfolio coverage

1.2 The committee has responsibility for examining the expenditure and outcomes of the:

• Parliamentary departments;1 2

• Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio;

• Finance and Deregulation portfolio; and

• Fluman Services portfolio.

1.3 Appendix 1 lists the departments, agencies, authorities and companies under the portfolios mentioned above.

Restructure of portfolios

1.4 With the implementation of Operation Sunlight, departments and agencies have redefined outcome statements and moved to program-based reporting. Appendix 2 shows the transition tables for the core departments under the committee's oversight. Transition tables for other agencies can be found in the relevant Portfolio Budget

Statement, available at http://www.budget.gov.au/.

1.5 There have been no changes in the allocation of agencies to the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio. Within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet there has been the addition of the Office of the Commonwealth Coordinator- General in order to manage implementation of the Nation Building and Jobs Plan. The department has also been funded to establish the new Office of the Information Commissioner, contingent on the relevant legislation being passed.

1 Journals o f the Senate, 12 M ay 2008, p. 1920.

2 A s a m atter o f comity between the Houses, it is traditional that neither House inquires into the operations o f the other House. For this reason, neither the annual report of, nor the proposed expenditure for, the Department o f the House o f Representatives is referred to a Senate committee for review.

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2

1.6 Within the Finance and Deregulation portfolio, Medibank Private and Health Services Australia (previously in the Human Services portfolio) merged on 1 April 2009. Medibank Private will continue to appear before the committee under the Finance and Deregulation portfolio.

1.7 The Department of Finance and Deregulation established a new program entitled 'program 1.3: Nation Building Funds'. Through this program, the department will advise on the Government's three nation-building funds, including on 'the investment mandates, transfers of amounts to the funds, debits for payments to Portfolio Special Accounts and other governance matters'.3

1.8 The Department of Human Services has had one change, with the Job Capacity Assessment program moving to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Hearings

1.9 The committee held public hearings on Monday 25, through to Friday, 29 May 2009. Copies of the committee's transcripts of evidence are tabled in five volumes of Hansard. Copies of Hansard are available on the internet at the following address: www.aph.iiov.au/hansard.4

1.10 In accordance with Standing Order 26, the committee is required to set a date for the lodgement of written answers and additional information. The committee resolved that written answers and additional information be submitted by Friday, 10 July 2009.

1.11 Further written explanations furnished by departments and agencies will be tabled, as received, in the Senate. That information is also available on the committee's internet page: www.aph.!>:ov.au/Senat&/committee/fapa ctte/estimates/index.htm. As a matter of Parliamentary Privilege, all information is 'tabled' on receipt.

1.12 The committee notes its appreciation that the vast majority of agencies submitted their responses to Questions on Notice from Additional Estimates 2008-09 (February 2009), by the specified deadline of 9 April 2009.

1.13 Over the course of the five days' hearings—totalling over 45 hours—the committee took evidence from: the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon John Hogg; Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary, Senator the Hon John Faulkner, representing the Prime Minister; Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, representing the Finance Minister; Minister for Human Sendees, Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig; and Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator the Hon Penny Wong, together with officers of the departments and agencies concerned.

1.14 The following agencies were released from the hearings without examination: the National Archives of Australia; National Australia Day Council Limited; Office of

3 Department o f Finance and Deregulation. Portfolio Budget Statement 2009-10, p. 29.

4 Appendix 3 provides an index to the Hansard transcripts.

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the Commonwealth Ombudsman; Australian Industry Development Corporation; Australian Reward Investment Alliance; Australian River Co. Ltd; and Telstra Sale Company Ltd.

General issues

1.15 The sections of the report that follow list various issues considered by the committee and discuss some of these in detail:

• public interest immunity claims;

• changes to the Portfolio Budget Statements; and

• the use of websites under the advertising guidelines.

Public interest immunity claims

1.16 On 13 May 2009, the Senate passed an order relating to public interest immunity claims moved by Senator Cormann.3 The full text of this order was provided to departments and agencies prior to the hearing, and was also incorporated into the daily opening statements.

1.17 The order was directly referenced during the hearing on two separate occasions. The first occasion occurred during questioning of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet when a copy of advice supplied to the Government by the department on the subject of taxation of Ready-to-Drink beverages was requested. The

Special Minister of State, the Hon John Faulkner declined to provide this information, stating:

...y o u are w ell aw are, S enator, that the actual co n ten t o f the advice w ill not

and, I w o u ld resp ectfu lly su g g est to you, sh o u ld not b e p ro v id ed to the

com m ittee. T his is, as y ou k n o w , a v ery lo ngstanding co n v en tio n o f these com m ittees. B ut w hat w e are h a p p y to p rovide for y ou and are doing so in a fu lso m e m a n n er is the details aro u n d the pro cesses leading to the p ro v isio n o f the ad v ice.5 6

1.18 When pressed to specify whether the refusal to provide the information was based on a relevant public immunity claim, the Minister pointed to the convention of not providing advice that went to cabinet deliberations, stating:

I th in k m y approach h as b een co n sisten t, reg ard less o f w hat side o f the

estim ates tab le I h av e sat on, and it is c o n siste n t today. T he p ro cess

q u estio n s around this ad v ice to governm ent w h ich in fo rm ed a cab in et

d ecision, I think, should be an sw ered , if th ey are able to be answ ered, b y

m in isters o r officials; if w e are n o t able to an sw er m atters d irectly, w e

sh o u ld tak e them o n n o tice and p ro v id e an an sw er to the com m ittee, w h ich is p recise ly w h at w e are doing. T he content o f ad v ice to governm ent, w h ich o f co u rse is a v ery rele v an t m a tte r in relation to the cab in et consideration, is

5 Journals o f the Senate, 13.5.09, p. 1941

6 Senator the Hon John Faulkner, Special Minister of State, Estimates Hansard, p. 80.

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som ething again on w hich I have tak en th is consistent view [to not disclose the content o f a d v ice].7 8

1.19 The issue was again pursued later in the hearing. At that time, the Government guidelines for official witnesses before parliamentary committees and related matters were discussed.s The Minister noted that paragraph 2.32(d) of the guidelines addresses the disclosure of material disclosing relating to opinion, advice or recommendation of

the deliberative processes involved in the functions of the Government where disclosure would be contrary to the public interest. The Minister stated 'obviously ministers have, for very many years, asserted that their obligations under the resolution [are] discharged by that particular part of the document'.9 He went on to

state:

I com e back to w h ere I started from and say to you that I co m m en d w h at I

think is a lo n g stan d in g and co n sisten t approach that I have taken on these issues. I think there has been a co n sisten t v iew from b o th g o v ern m en t and opposition, reg ard less o f w hich p a rty form s governm ent and w h ich p arty is in go v ern m en t o r oppo sitio n , to accept that it is co n trary to the public

interest for advice to go v ern m en t p rep ared for the p u rp o ses o f such

deliberative p u rp o ses and input into cabinet and the like for th o se sorts o f m atters to be disclosed. G o v ern m en t m inisters at the table have said that co n sisten tly for the p ast 20 years.

W h at I am say in g is that w hat has n o t been applied co n siste n tly is

in fo m iatio n around the process o f the p ro v isio n o f advice. I certa in ly w ant to provide as m uch in fo m iatio n to you as I can. B ut let the reco rd at least

stand— i f w e are goin g to talk about public interest im m u n ity — o f the full scope o f that p u b lic interest im m unity, w hich som eone in read in g the

transcript m ight think it m ig h t b e left at issues such as national security,

defence, international relations or the lik e .10 1 1

1.20 The committee also examined the final section of paragraph 2.32 from the guidelines which state that the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act have no actual application to a parliamentary inquiry, but are a general guide to grounds for non-disclosure.

1.21 The order was also raised during questioning of the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) on the subject of advice given to government on the ownership status of Medibank Private. The Secretary of Finance, Dr Ian Watt, infomied the committee that 'we do not usually provide our advice to government'.11

7 Senator the Hon John Faulkner. Special Minister o f State, Estimates Hansard, p. 81.

8 Government Guidelines for Official Witnesses before Parliamentary Committees and Related M atters-N ovem ber 1989. Department o f the Prime Minister and Cabinet, pp 8-9. Document is available from http://www.dpm c.gov.au/guidelines/inde\.cfm - accessed 17 M ay 2009.

9 Senator the Hon John Faulkner, Special Minister o f State, Estimates Hansard, p. 90.

10 Senator the Hon John Faulkner, Special M inister o f State, Estimates Hansard, p. 91.

11 Dr Ian Watt, Finance, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 17.

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The department was reminded of the order, and agreed to take the question on notice. The committee will closely monitor the responses that are provided.

Changes to Portfolio Budget Statements

1.22 The 2009-10 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) include new information as part of the Government's implementation of the Operation Sunlight recommendations. The committee commends the inclusion of program level information, including performance indicators and expenditure data.

1.23 Outcome statements for agencies have also been reviewed. In response to a question about progress in implementing the Operation Sunlight recommendations, Ms Kathryn Campbell, General Manager of the Financial Management Group stated:

O n e o f the o th er sig n ifican t ch an g es in this b u d g et w as th e intro d u ctio n o f n ew o u tco m e statem en ts for a n u m b e r o f agencies. M in iste r T an n er, in

O p eratio n S unlight, had referred to th e fact that som e o u tco m e statem ents w ere v ag u e an d not d escrip tiv e and did not really capture, in a d efin itiv e

m an n er, w h a t agencies w ere ex p ec ted to deliver. T h ere has b een a rev iew o f a g reat deal— in fact the m a jo rity — o f the o u tco m e statem en ts over th e last 12 m o n th s, and th ese h av e b een p u b lish e d in the po rtfo lio b u d g et

statem en ts this year. T h o se th a t h av e n o t b een rev ie w e d are gen erally for o rg an isatio n s u n d erg o in g m a jo r ch an g es. T here are o n ly a handful o f those an d th e y w ill be rev iew ed o v er the n e x t few m o n th s in tim e for the n ex t

b u d g e t.1"

Use of websites under the advertising guidelines

1.24 The committee examined issues relating to the website

www.economicstimulusplan.gov.au. The website was developed by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, with input front various agencies for a total cost, including maintenance, of $164,000. This process was managed by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C).1' The committee was

informed that the purpose of the website was to act as a 'one-stop shop for information on the government's economic stimulus plan'.1 2 1 3 14 1 5 Mr Mike Mrdak, Deputy Secretary of PM&C, elaborated further, stating:

It has p ro v en to be a v e ry p o p u la r tool for co m m u n ities in term s o f

accessin g in fo rm atio n and also for bu sin esses lo o k in g for em ploym ent.

T h ro u g h the w eb site w e have co n tact p oints for state and territory tenders and also local g o v ern m en t co n tact p o in ts for the v arious local g o v ern m en t projects. M y u n d erstan d in g is that it is ach iev in g about 20,000 individual hits p e r w e e k .1:1

12 Ms K athryn Campbell, Finance, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 88.

13 Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 32.

14 Senator the Hon John Faulkner, Special M inister o f State, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 33.

15 Mr M ike Mrdak, PM&C, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 34.

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1.25 There were some concerns raised that the use of video clips featuring government ministers was outside of government convention and may be partisan in nature. In response, Mr Mrdak stated:

We have been very careful to ensure that the material that goes on the website meets the long-established [Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO)] guidelines in relation to departmental websites. That clearly ensures that the material that goes on the website meets all of the APS values and the AGIMO requirements for publicly

funded websites.

We have been very careful to ensure that the video clips are apolitical in the sense that they are at ministers commenting on their portfolio responsibilities and announcements within their portfolios. Increasingly, this medium is being used across a number of websites where ministers are presenting information—essentially wrhat would otherwise in the past have been media releases, speeches or comments by ministers in relation to their programs. Ministers now have the technical capacity to place video footage of themselves announcing or commenting on their policies and programs.16 1 7

1.26 PM&C's attention was drawn to the use of the term 'Rudd Labor Government' in one of the videos, suggesting that the word 'Labor' should not have appeared. Mr Mrdak agreed to examine the matter on notice, stating that PM&C had been 'very conscious of ensuring that party political references are not mentioned'.1'

1.27 The website was again raised during discussion with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). Mr Steve Chapman, the Deputy Auditor-General, informed the committee that no review had been conducted as it had not been referred to ANAO. The committee heard that under the existing guidelines the Department of Finance and Deregulation referred campaigns over the value of $250,000. As the costs of many websites fall below the $250,000 threshold, they would not be referred for review by the ANAO, thus potentially escaping scrutiny. The Minister reminded the committee that websites still fell under the scrutiny of AGIMO, stating:

Senator, you make the point that the current guidelines do not deal with agency websites. I think we have heard that that is true. You would be aware of the evidence that was provided earlier today...about the responsibilities that AGIMO has in relation to those websites.

There is a key point that I have to stress to you, as I think officials did earlier, in relation to the website which you are drawing attention to now and which you drew attention to earlier in the day—the www.economicstimulusplan.gov.au website—and that is that it would be

16 Mr Mike Mrdak, PM&C, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09. p. 32.

17 Mr M ike Mrdak, PM&C, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 56.

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in a p p ro p riate to describe it as a 'cam paign w eb site' in an y w ay, shape or

fo rm .18

1.28 The matter was also raised with AGIMO during the committee's scrutiny of the Finance portfolio. The committee questioned AGIMO on the guidelines for registering government domain names. In particular, the committee asked whether the domain name 'www.buildingtheeducationrevolution.gov.au', which was related to the

economic stimulus plan website, violated the guidelines for registration. The clauses referenced before the committee were as follows:

16. D o m ain n am es m u st b e a r a d irect sem antic co n n ec tio n to the stated

p u rp o se. F u rth erm o re, such n am es should rep resen t a read ily reco g n ised co n ce p t asso ciated w ith the stated purpose.

17. N o tw ith sta n d in g the p rece d in g parag rap h , the d o m a in n am e m ust not:

v. ex p ress a p o litical statem en t or b e a r any sem an tic co n n ectio n to a

reg istered A u stralian p o litic al p a rty ;19 2 0

1.29 AGIMO informed the committee that the website had been checked against all elements of the policy, and took some related matters on notice.""

18 Senator the Hon John Faulkner. Special Minister o f State, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09. pp 97­ 98

19 Eligibility and Allocation Policy, AGIM O, available at: http://www.dom ainnam e.gov.au/Eligibility and Allocation Policy. Accessed on 17 June 2009.

20 Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09. p. 108.

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Parliamentary Departments 2.1 The committee took evidence from the parliamentary departments on Monday, 25 May 2009.

Department of the Senate

Level of committee activity and change in committee structure

2.2 A discussion of the level of committee activity, raised during an additional estimates hearing in February 2009, was continued at this hearing. The President advised that the Department of the Senate was expecting a deficit of approximately $300,000 for the financial year. This was largely attributed to the sustained higher

activity levels of the Senate committees.1 Statistics supplied to the committee by the Clerk of the Senate indicated that in the 2008 calendar year there were 111 matters referred to the committees, which was the highest number in the 15 years covered by the data.1 2

2.3 In the context of this discussion, it was asked if the recent change to the committee system would increase staffing costs. In response, the Clerk of the Senate, Mr Harry Evans stated:

N o. B asic ally our costs are d ue to th e level o f co m m ittee activ ity rath e r th an the forum s in w h ich that activ ity tak es place. I th in k it w o u ld be true to say

it is m a rg in ally m ore ex p e n siv e to run select co m m ittees rath er th a n

referen ces to standing co m m ittees, b u t b asically the cost is due to the level o f activ ity — the n u m b er o f in q u iries to be u n d ertak en and the n u m b e r o f

rep o rts to be done and so on. So w e do n o t ex p ect a great in crease o r

d ecrease in the costs as a resu lt o f th e change in the com m ittee structure.

B asically , as you know , it aim s to avoid so m a n y select com m ittees and

m ak e it a b it m o re effic ien t in rela tio n to the use o f senators' tim e as w ell as

s ta ff tim e .3

Accessibility of Senate documents for people with disabilities

2.4 The committee sought further information on the Department's response to a motion in the Senate concerning access for people with disabilities to documents of the Senate. The Department advised that discussions were continuing with Vision Australia about new technology that could potentially be used to provide greater

access.4

2.5 Other matters of interest discussed by the committee included the process undertaken in conducting staff redundancies and the relationship between the

1 Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 4.

2 ’Senate Committee Activities' Report to Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee - Budget estimates 2009-10, p. 4.

3 Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 6.

4 Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 5.

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Presiding Officers Infonnation Technology Advisory Group and the President of the Senate.

Department of Parliamentary Services

Budgetary pressures

2.6 The Department of Parliamentary Services informed the committee that they would need to find approximately $4.5 million worth of savings to remain within their budget. Reasons for this included an increase in electricity costs, rising insurance premiums, IT efficiency requirements arising from the Gershon IT review, staff wage

increases and the recent announcement that Australian Federal Police security costs will significantly increase."

Security’ arrangements at Parliament House

2.7 The committee examined the decision to reduce the number of security staff employed by approximately 25. The Department explained that security costs accounted for about a third of its budget, and that the reduction represented a return to the security staffing levels of 200506. In response to concerns that this may represent

a threat to the safety of building occupants, the Department Secretary, Mr Alan Thompson stated:

Our assessment is that we can deliver a comparable level of security. This building is open for public visitation during normal hours but we actually have some staff in and around the building 24 hours a day seven days a week, and our assessment is that we can still provide a very high level of

security.5 6

2.8 There was also a continuation of discussion from the February additional estimates about whether a need existed to screen members and senators on entry to Parliament House, and access to the parliamentary slip roads. The Department reported that the number of pass-holders with access to the slip roads had been reduced from 8000 to 1400.7

Hansard Production System

2.9 The Department reported on plans to upgrade the existing Hansard Production System which is approximately 10 years old. According to the Department, the upgrade is necessary to provide improved service levels and because the technology used in the old system is no longer supported. The budget for this system is approximately S3.5 million and is expected to be implemented in approximately

12 months' time.8

2.10 Other issues discussed with the Department included the recommissioning of select water features at Parliament House, proposed changes to a greener air­

5 Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 13.

6 Mr Alan Thompson, DPS, Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09. p. 15.

7 Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 26.

8 Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 26.

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conditioning system, continued couch grass trials, businesses within Parliament and artworks administered by the Department.

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Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio 3.1 The committee took evidence from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) and portfolio agencies on Monday, 25 May and Tuesday, 26 May 2009, and the Department of Climate Change on Friday, 29 May 2009.

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General

Governor-General's trip to Africa

3.2 A large proportion of the questions addressed to the Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General (OOSGG) concerned the Governor-General's recent trip to Africa. The committee heard that during this trip, which occurred in March and April 2009, Her Excellency visited nine African countries.

3.3 The Official Secretary, Mr Stephen Brady, responded to questions about the primary aim of the visit and stated:

The visit was regarded as a watershed in Australia's relations with Africa. It was about the Governor-General conveying in person that strength and engagement with Africa and the commitment to a broader and deeper engagement with the African continent as a whole, with the nine countries

that were identified for the Governor-General to travel to. This was a visit that was without precedent. Over 30 years or more no Australian Governor- General has travelled to Africa.1

3.4 He went on to say:

...the government is campaigning for election to the UNSC [United Nations Security Council], and those elections are to be held at the end of 2012. The issues are related but they are not the same thing. The Governor-General was in Africa to underline to senior levels of government that Australia

wants to contribute to Africa's development where and when we have something unique to offer. She was there to highlight Australia’s expanding business and people-to-people links. She was there because Australian mining companies, in particular, have a strong involvement on the

continent. The visit pointed to the positive contributions those companies make to jobs, investments, skills, community development and environmental sustainability and responsibility. She met, whilst on that 18- day trip, with any number of Australian NGOs operating in Africa. The

visit was not about promoting Australia's UNSC candidacy as the star purpose/

3.5 The Official Secretary stated that any discussion of the UNSC bid was in the context of Australia's commitment to multilateralism:

The Governor-General referred to the bid in her meetings with the heads of state and heads of government that she met with. She put that into the 1 2

1 Mr Stephen Brady, OOSGG, Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 45

2 Mr Stephen Brady, OOSGG, Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, pp 45-46.

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context o f A ustralia's en g ag em en t m u ltilaterally , and tow ards the end o f conversations it w as raised tw ic e w ith h e r b y her in terlo cu to rs b u t, to m y know ledge, on o th e r occasions she referred to it as co n v ersatio n s w ound up.3

3.6 A lengthy discussion took place concerning whether the trip to Africa represented a politicisation of the role of the Governor-General. The Official Secretary responded to this stating:

It is en tirely ap p ro p riate for the G ov ern o r-G en eral— an y G overnor-

G eneral— to p ro m o te A ustralia's interests overseas. I w ould h av e assum ed that as a statem ent o f fact.4 5

3.7 The Official Secretary went on to reject claims that the Governor-General had been involved in Australian foreign policy^ and informed the committee that the trip was similar to that taken by the former Governor-General to China, stating:

I w ould regard and characterise M r B ry c e ’s travel to A frica in identical

term s. C an I also say that here y ou h av e P rim e M inister H arp er an n o u n cin g a state v isit o f the G ov ern o r-G en eral o f C an ad a to A frica. T h at p re c e d e d the v isit o f G o v ernor-G eneral B ryce. H ere, the G o v ernor-G eneral o f C anada w ill represent C anada on a fiv e-co u n try state v isit to A frica. A t th e request o f the C anadian P rim e M inister, the G overnor-G eneral w ill lead a trip to these countries. I do not see how this trip w as different.6

Briefings delivered to the Governor-General

3.8 The committee questioned the OOSGG on the subject of briefings given by heads of federal departments to the Governor-General. Mr Brady answered that it was usual for newly-appointed Govemors-General to receive briefings in their first 100 days of office.7 The committee heard that more recently, the Governor-General had proactively arranged a briefing for state governors and a territory administrator,

and that invitations had gone directly through to the heads of the relevant departments, bypassing the ministers. OOSGG agreed to take on notice how they would handle this in the future, if the situation arose.

Appointments of staff

3.9 The OOSGG was asked about several senior staff vacancies that were not advertised, including the position of Deputy Official Secretary. The Official Secretary informed the committee that:

U nder section 13 o f the G o v ern o r-G e n eral A ct, the official secretary is

given the right to em p lo y staff. It is usual, for a variety o f p o sitio n s at

G overnm ent H ouse, th a t w e do reg u larly advertise them . F or th e deputy

3 M r Stephen Brady, OOSGG, Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 48

4 M r Stephen Brady, OOSGG. Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09. p. 48

5 M r Stephen Brady, OOSGG, Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09. p. 52.

6 M r Stephen Brady, OOSGG, Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 53.

7 M r Stephen Brady, OOSGG, Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 62

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official secretary, I decided that a secondment was the best way of proceeding—from the public sector. A secondment is straightforward because, if an arrangement does not work out, the person is able to return to their home department.8

3.10 Mr Brady also pointed to the six month probation condition under which the Deputy Official Secretary had been employed, which was in excess of the usual probation period.9

3.11 Other issues covered by the committee with the OOSGG included the Governor-General's comments on an Australian republic, and staffing levels at Government House.

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Increase in overall staff numbers

3.12 The committee heard that the 2009-10 budget provides for an increase in PM&C's staffing numbers by 71 positions in terms of the average staffing level. Of these 71 positions, 17 are for the CO AG Reform Council, for which funding is shared between the Commonwealth and the states. Sixteen of the new staff will work in the

newly created Office of the Information Commissioner. There is provision for nine extra staff for the Community Cabinet function and 17 new positions in the National Security and International Policy Group, relating to the National Security Advisory

Group. The remaining positions are spread across other areas of the Department.10 1 1 1 2

Economic stimulus measures

3.13 The committee questioned the newly-appointed Commonwealth Coordinator- General, Mr Mike Mrdak, on the progress of building measures under the Nation Building and Jobs Plan. Mr Mrdak responded to the question, stating:

The implementation of the nation-building program is going very well. At this stage all of the COAG time frames are being met and work is starting on a range of projects. We are effectively now transitioning out of the project approval and planning processes into the start of construction.11

3.14 Mr Mrdak went on to list the status of various construction programs under the purview of the Coordinator-General.1" He also reported favourably on state relations, stating that he has weekly meetings with his state counter-parts, and that a new reporting system would commence within the next month. Mr Mrdak stated that

the reporting system would deliver a ’report every month on expenditure and project

8 M r Stephen Brady, OOSGG, Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 67.

9 M r Stephen Brady, OOSGG. Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 68

10 See discussion, Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 86, p. 102.

11 M r M ike Mrdak, PM&C, Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 92.

12 For full detail, please see Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 92.

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process against every project, so for every school and every housing project we get a monthly report'.13

3.15 Mr Mrdak was asked whether the Commonwealth had oversight of the selection of state and territory Coordinators-General. He advised the committee that states and territories had responsibility for these appointments, stating:

Certainly a number of jurisdictions advised us of their intention to appoint particular people. That was a decision that they made, and they simply advised us of their intentions as to whom they were going to appoint.14 1 5

3.16 The committee questioned Mr Mrdak on how the Commonwealth deals with the differing issues associated with different jurisdictions. Noting that, to date, all COAG milestones had been met, Mr Mrdak outlined his approach:

It is fair to say that what I do is work with each of those jurisdictions. Quite early on we met as a group to understand each of the different approaches being adopted. What has been happening through the exchange of information from coordinators-general is jurisdictions are picking up best practice, essentially. Where one jurisdiction has put in place a better method

of procurement or, for instance, a jurisdiction has had template designs for school buildings, they have been shared with other jurisdictions. So we have actually done that as a means of keeping the program moving.

Coming back to your point, Senator: yes, there are different approaches being adopted, but what we have tried to do through the coordination arrangements is to make sure we are picking those up. Similarly, a number

of jurisdictions have made changes to their planning laws and regulations to facilitate the faster development of these projects. That has been, in a couple of cases copied by other jurisdictions. ?

3.17 A committee member asked the Coordinator-General to detail what oversight is in place to ensure that states or territories do not cost-shift at the expense of the Commonwealth. In answer to this question, Mr Mrdak stated:

The most important one is that, as part of the COAG agreement in February, the states and territories agreed to maintain their effort in relation to existing forward estimates spending in education, housing and infrastructure. That is locked into the national partnership agreement. That

is monitored by the Treasury. The heads of Treasury process monitors that. States and territories have been required to provide details of their forward estimates spending in each of those portfolios where the Commonwealth is putting additional investment in. That is then monitored on a quarterly basis by the treasurers to ensure that there is no diminution of state effort and spend. That is the main process that is taking place at the macro level. At the micro level, in relation to individual project costs, we look closely at the project proposals that have been put forward for states to make sure that we

13 Mr Mike Mrdak. PM&C, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09. p. 28.

14 M r Mike Mrdak, PM&C, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 25.

15 Mr Mike Mrdak, PM&C, Estimates Hansard. 26.5.09. p. 26.

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do have a look at issues like project management fees and the like that are proposed in there. I am not aware at this stage that any state is using any Commonwealth program funds to fund the coordination process.16

National Security Advisory Group

3.18 One of the budget measures included in the PM&C portfolio for 2009-10 was the establishment of the National Security Advisory Group, at a cost of $17.9 million over 5 years.17 The committee asked what additional capabilities this group would add to PM&C. Mr Angus Campbell, Deputy National Security Adviser, informed the

committee that the adjustments to PM&C's National Security and International Policy Group occurring as the result of the establishment of the National Security Advisory Group were driven by the recommendations of the Smith Review into Homeland and Border Security.18 He emphasised that one of the key outcomes was an improvement in intelligence coordination:

Intelligence coordination prior to the announcement of the Smith review was being undertaken first through a foreign intelligence coordination group looking only at our foreign intelligence but not then across the breadth of other forms of intelligence, such as law enforcement, border,

immigration or security intelligence. This national intelligence coordination approach is new and is undertaken in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. It was not being done before.19

Response to swine flu outbreak

3.19 The committee questioned the department on their response to the potential for a swine flu pandemic in Australia. The committee was informed that the Pandemic Emergency Taskforce had been 'stood up' on 28 April 2009, within two days of swine flu cases being reported from Mexico, but that it had been stood down by the time of the hearing (26 May 2009). Dr Rob Floyd, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Homeland

and Border Security Division explained further, stating:

The role of the Pandemic Emergency Taskforce is to coordinate whole-of- govemment responses and activities around a pandemic, or pandemic like disease situation, such as the one we have. The primary work of coordination of the health response comes through the Department of Health and Ageing. So the decisions which are about appropriate health measures are all done through the Department of Health and Ageing in consultation with the states and territories through the Australian Health

Protection Committee. When there are broader whole-of-govemment issues

16 Mr M ike Mrdak, PM&C, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 27.

17 Budget Paper No. 2, p. 372. Note that funding was provided in additional estimates 2008-09 under 'Departmental output, tba'.

18 Mr Angus Campbell, PM&C, Estimates Hansard, 25.5.09, p. 102

19 Mr Angus Campbell, PM&C, Estimates Hansard. 25.5.09, p. 104.

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that need to be considered, then the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is called together."0

3.20 In response to committee concerns that the taskforce had been stood down at a time when swine flu cases appeared to be increasing, Dr Floyd explained that the department continued to monitor the situation, and would reconvene the taskforce when necessary. He went on to provide further detail, stating:

Yesterday we held discussions about whether we needed to stand up the pandemic emergency task force again or not, so this is very actively and constantly monitored. It does depend on the circumstances within Australia,

and the need for the pandemic emergency task force is in the area of whole of government coordination, not in terms of the health response, which is being managed through the Department of Health and Ageing with jurisdictional colleagues... We have a number of staff who are continuing to work full-time on the pandemic issue; although we do not have it formally constituted as a pandemic emergency team, they are still fulfilling that kind of role. So there is a proportionate staffing response that we use, and we continue to engage and monitor whole of government issues as required."1

3.21 The committee heard that the taskforce is comprised of members of PM&C and provides support to the National Pandemic Emergency Committee (NPEC). Dr Floyd provided further detail in regard to the NPEC, stating:

We are involved in standing up the National Pandemic Emergency Committee as issues come up where we need to coordinate with jurisdictions and with the Australian government. That committee stood up late last week for the puipose of considering the schools' issues and it will

stand again, as it needs to. Those senior officials are from first ministers' departments, emergency service departments and health departments in all jurisdictions and the Commonwealth. The NPEC is a mechanism that we are responsible for bringing together as is required and we have done that

over the history of this event."2

Economic stimulus plan websites

3.22 Extensive discussion between the committee and the department took place concerning the websites associated with the Nation Building and Jobs Plan, including www.economicstimulusplan.uov.au. More detail can be found in the general issues section in Chapter I.

Use of Commonwealth Cars

3.23 In the context of questioning surrounding several Comcar contracts from the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, the committee asked for clarification of the policy on usage of Commonwealth cars by the Prime Minister's staff. Senator Faulkner, Special Minister of State, informed the committee that the policy stands as follows: 2 0 2 1 2 2

20 Dr Rob Floyd, PM&C, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, pp 4-5.

21 Dr Rob Floyd. PM&C, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09. p. 7.

22 Dr Rob Floyd. PM&C, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 5.

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...all employees of the Prime Minister may use a Comcar to travel to and from RAAF Base Fairbaim when embarking or returning from travel with or on behalf of the Prime Minister. That is clause 36. Clause 37 says that with prior notification to the Comcar client liaison manager, the Prime Minister’s employees may also travel in a Comcar when the car would

otherwise be travelling without passengers, in a range of circumstances: (a) if the Comcar as travelling out of zone, for example, from Canberra to Merimbula to meet the Prime Minister and employees need to travel on the same route to meet the Prime Minister, and (b) if a Comcar is travelling as part of the Prime Minister’s advance party and the employees need to travel

along the same route. Finally, in using Comcar for these purposes the Comcar booking will be based solely on the Prime Minister's requirements. Employees must make their own way to and from any pick-up drop-off point that Comcar advise which will be on the direct intended route. The

Comcar schedule cannot be altered to incur waiting time on behalf of an employee.23

Other issues

3.24 Other matters discussed with the department included: changes to the private health insurance rebate; the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission; Community Cabinets; Medibank Private; health services for staff; the National

Broadband Network; executive training for national security groups; the Defence White Paper; the Ashmore Reef incident; establishment of a crisis coordination centre; and matters relating to the Prime Minister's VIP jet.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner

3.25 The committee heard that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) is to be absorbed into the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) and that this process is currently scheduled to commence in January 2010. Also sitting beneath the OIC will be a Freedom of Information Commissioner. The committee asked the

Privacy Commissioner, Ms Karen Curtis, whether the potential existed for a conflict of interest between the Privacy and Freedom of Information Commissioners. Ms Curtis responded, stating:

I would expect that the Information Commissioner, as the CEO, will manage any internal conflicts that do arise. But, essentially, there will be two major pieces of legislation being administered, the FOI Act and the Privacy Act, and there are specific provisions that will necessarily mean

that normal activities will still occur in those two broad streams. The idea of bringing information, the FOI function, and privacy together is that there will be greater scope for information management across the Commonwealth.24

3.26 Ms Curtis went on to assure the committee that though the two agencies may share office space, their information management would be strictly in accord with the

23 Senator the Hon John Faulkner, Special M inister o f State, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 90.

24 M s Karen Curtis, Privacy Commissioner, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 39.

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Privacy Act, ensuring that there would be no misuse of information across the two offices.

3.27 Other issues discussed with the committee included the performance of government departments in handling privacy issues, the office's response rate in dealing with complaints, and the ongoing privacy awareness campaign run by the office.

Australian Institute of Family Studies

3.28 The committee briefly examined the Australian Institute of Family Studies. Matters discussed included the effect of the efficiency dividend on the agency, and the amount of research currently being undertaken.

Australian National Audit Office

3.29 The committee spent considerable time questioning the Australian National Audit Office (AN AO) on government advertising. The AN AO explained that under the guidelines developed and administered by the Department of Finance and Deregulation, any campaign over the value of $250,000 conducted by an agency is referred to the AN AO for possible review. Since the current guidelines came into

operation in July 2008, there have been approximately 29 campaigns reviewed by ANAO.2* Mr Peter White, Group Executive Director of the Performance Audit Services Group was asked to outline the guideline, and responded stating:

There are five broad categories in the guidelines: material should be relevant to government responsibilities; the material should be presented in an objective, fair and accessible manner; material should not be directed at promoting party political interests; material should be produced and

distributed in an efficient, effective and relevant manner with due regard to accountability; and the last, very broad one is that the advertising must comply with legal requirements.*'6

3.30 It was asked whether the advertising campaign on the cash stimulus payments was in accordance with ANAO’s guidelines in that recipients did not need to do anything to receive the payments, rendering the campaign unnecessary. Mr Michael White, an Executive Director of the Performance Audit Services Group, replied:

In a number of those types of situations that we have looked at, one of the things we would look at are the operational costs of call centres when those kinds of payments are made and someone has not provided advice in advance. If the call centre advices are extreme then obviously it is part of the cost-benefit analysis. It would be listed as one of the costs of the campaign, as opposed to the benefit of, say, providing them a letter of advice in advance of them receiving it.2 5 2 6 27

25 Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 91.

26 Mr Peter White, ANAO, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 90.

27 Mr Michael White, ANAO, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09. p. 92.

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3.31 The discussion moved on to campaigns below the value of $250,000. According to the ANAO, unless a campaign was deemed sensitive by the Department of Finance and Deregulation and referred to the ANAO, they would not necessarily be aware of it."8 When asked whether there could be many low-value campaigns that are not being referred to ANAO, the Deputy Auditor-General, Mr Steve Chapman responded:

Correct, but 1 suspect that public scrutiny and others might have an opinion about that and there would be some feedback mechanism to it. We have found that, in our relationship with departments who are referring campaigns to us, they tend to take a conservative approach and often seek

to discuss the campaign with us in an informal way—I am talking here about campaigns of over $250,000—to ensure that they do fully comply with the guidelines.2 8 29

3.32 Other issues considered include a Department of Climate Change advertising campaign, credit card use in the public service, and the economic stimulus website. Further detail on the last issue can be found in the general issues section of Chapter 1.

Australian Public Service Commission

3.33 The Public Service Commissioner, Ms Lynelle Briggs, was asked to comment on a potential affiliation of the Community and Public Sector Union with ACT Labor. The Commissioner was not aware of any concerns raised with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC), though agreed to take the matter on notice. Senator Faulkner made reference to APS Values and Code of Conduct, and noted that it was

quite acceptable for APS employees to participate in political activities and that they were expected to separate their personal views on policy issues in the performance of their official duties.30

Old Parliament House

3.34 Old Parliament Flouse was questioned on the recent opening of the Museum of Australian Democracy with reference to the consultation of former Prime Minister Howard in relation to exhibits concerning his time as Prime Minister. The matter was taken on notice.

Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security'

3.35 Following on from discussion of the Defence White Paper with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Inspector-General, Mr Ian Camell was questioned about media reports that he had investigated alleged pressure on

Defence Intelligence Organisation officials to alter their assessments for the White Paper. Mr Camell confirmed that he had conducted an investigation, but it was as part

28 Mr Steve Chapman, ANAO, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 94.

29 Mr Steve Chapman, ANAO, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, pp 94-95

30 Senator the Hon John Faulkner, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 110

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of his routine activities.' 1 He informed the committee that he found no evidence of improper pressure, stating:

In the course of that inquiry, one of the several things I did was to do a survey of DIO staff. We examined the responses, naturally. There was some questioning in a small number of the survey responses as to the debate and pressure that had gone on—at least pressure in the eyes of some—in relation to DIO's contribution to the white paper. When I say contribution, I had the advantage of listening to a part of the proceedings earlier in the day. As the minister at the table described, DIO produced a set of papers that were provided to the white paper as input. I did examine this question of had there been improper pressure. You naturally expect, in the course of assessment activity, for there to be debate or challenge and sometimes that can be robust. For me, it is a question of: is a line crossed where it is said to be improper pressure? The sorts of things that I have in mind there are: is there an attempt to direct what the judgments ought to be; are there threats either expressed or implied; or, indeed, does the conduct approach harassment or bullying or that sort of thing? The finding I made in this regard was that there was no improper pressure in relation to DIO’s development of those products. In my forthcoming annual report I propose to have as an annexe the unclassified executive summary findings and recommendations from this inquiry. You will be able to see there that it is stated as a clear finding that I found no evidence of improper pressure.3"

3.36 The Inspector-General also discussed budgetary matters with the committee.

Office of National Assessments

3.37 The committee also questioned the Office of National Assessments (ONA) on the Defence White Paper. In particular, the Director-General of ON A, Mr Peter Varghese was asked whether he had written to the Prime Minister expressing concern about a distortion of national security priorities in relation to China. Mr Varghese replied:

I am not going to go into the details of any correspondence I have with the Prime Minister, but what is very relevant to your question is that the issue I may have raised in a letter to the Prime Minister went to the methodology of the white paper and not to the issue to which you refer. And I should add that the methodology issue that I raised was very satisfactorily resolved.3 '

3.38 In response to a question, on whether Mr Varghese, and officers of ONA’s views were satisfactorily reflected in the White Paper, Mr Varghese answered that there were 'no strategic judgments in the White Paper with which I disagree'/'4 3 1 3 2 3 3 3 4

31 Mr Ian Camel 1. IGIS, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 113.

32 Mr Ian Camell, IGIS, Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09. pp 113-114.

33 Mr Peter Varghese, ON A, Estimates Hansard. 26.5.09. p. 116.

34 Mr Peter Varghese, ONA. Estimates Hansard, 26.5.09, p. 117.

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Finance and Deregulation Portfolio 4.1 The committee took evidence from the Department of Finance and Deregulation and portfolio agencies on Wednesday, 27 May and Thursday, 28 May 2009.

Department of Finance and Deregulation

Fiscal sustainability in the medium term

4.2 The committee asked the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) to confirm debt figures across the forward estimates. Finance suggested that this was an area to question the Department of the Treasury,1 but were able to confinn public figures from the budget papers. The committee heard that net debt in 2012-13 is

forecast to be $188.2 billion, while gross debt would be $300.8 billion.1 2

4.3 The committee asked Finance how it would observe fiscal discipline in order to hold real growth spending down to two per cent per annum. Dr Ian Watt, Secretary of the department, responded to the question stating:

Ultimately, it is a matter of government deciding to keep new spending tight, limited, and to bear down on existing spending wherever possible. When you look at the periods where the government had had low rates of growth of real spending-—these have occurred in the case of all three former

governments, going back to the late seventies—they have usually come in periods of tight budgets and been sustained as long as budgets stayed tight. I think the answer is that the government has made a commitment and that

commitment is certainly able to be realised, but it will be a matter of all agencies, all departments and all members of the government being signed on for that commitment and working towards meeting it.3

Contingent liabilities

4.4 The committee spent some time discussing the subject of contingent liabilities. A contingent liability is 'a specific category of fiscal risks. Broadly, they represent possible costs or gains to the Australian Government arising from past events which will be confirmed or otherwise by the outcome of future events that are not within the Government's ability to control'.4 5 In response to questioning, Finance

informed the committee that it has 'a role to play in collecting information on contingent liabilities and reporting those in the statement of risks'."

4.5 The department was also questioned on methodology adopted in advising the government on potential exposure to contingent liabilities for policy decisions.

1 Dr Ian W att, Finance, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 3.

2 Dr Paul Grimes, Finance, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, pp 3— 4

3 Dr Ian Watt, Finance, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 5.

4 Budget Paper No. 1 2009-10, p. 8-4

5 Dr Paul Grimes, Finance, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 6.

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Dr Paul Grimes, General Manager of the Budget Group, explained that Finance conducts a survey of agencies each year, stating 'in the lead-up to preparing the budget documents we will be in contact with all agencies to collect this information'.0 He went on to state:

...the risks here are reporting both positive and negative risk to the budget; they are not conducting an analysis of weighing up the benefits and costs of specific risks. Obviously those are things that are considered through the budget process proper and through the policy development process. If the

government takes on a contingent liability, in taking on that liability, that would have been a policy decision that the government had made, and in making that decision the government would way of benefits and costs. That

is not outlined in this statement. The statement is a disclosure of the actual liabilities and risks that have been recognised.6 7

National Broadband Network

4.6 Following on from the subject of contingent liabilities, the committee questioned Finance on matters relating to the proposal for a National Broadband Network (NBN). Finance was asked to give more detail on the costing of the NBN proposal, but initially declined on the grounds that it went to a cabinet process, and involved commercial-in-confidence material, opting instead to take the matter on notice.8 On the subject of what technology was involved in the costing, Mr Peter

Saunders, Division Manager of the Budget Review Division, confirmed that there were assumptions about technology and uptake, but cited commercial-in-confidence issues, taking the question on notice.9 The committee did hear however, that it was assumed in the costing that 90 per cent of the network would involve fibre-to-the- premise, while the remainder would adopt wireless and satellite technology.10 1 1 In response to further questions on the costing process, Mr Saunders stated:

We were provided with unit costs and the number of kilometres that had to be covered, with unit rates per kilometre. We sought to find benchmarks for those, had an iterative dialogue with the department of broadband about that

and eventually narrowed down the range to the one that has been mentioned—$38 billion to $43 billion.1 1

4.7 The committee asked what mechanisms would be in place to ensure that the new NBN company, which would be formed under the proposal, operated at arm's length from the Government. Mr Lewis replied that the new company will be established as a government business enterprise and that:

6 Dr Paul Grimes, Finance, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 6.

7 Dr Paul Grimes, Finance, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09. p. 6.

8 Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 10

9 Estimates Hansard. 27.5.09, p. 11.

10 Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 11

11 M r Paul Saunders, Finance, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 11

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It w ill o perate in acco rd an ce w ith the usual g o v ern an c e arran g em en ts for g o v ern m en t b u sin ess enterprises. A n ap p ro p riate b o a rd w ill b e ap p o in ted to o versee the m a n ag em e n t o f the com pany. L eg islatio n w ill b e in tro d u ced to give effect to a ran g e o f p o lic y an n o u n ce m en ts th a t th e g o v ern m en t has

alre ad y m a d e ...T h e re w ill b e the reg u la to ry arran g em en ts in relatio n to h o w the w h o lesale c o m p an y sh o u ld op erate and there w ill also n eed to be

arran g em en ts p u t in leg islatio n in rela tio n to future p riv atisatio n o f the

c o m p a n y .12

Suggestion o f a joint sitting ofTreasuiy and Finance at an estimates hearing

4.8 Following a series of questions on both the budget and the NBN that were referred to Treasury by Finance, Senator the Hon Helen Coonan made the following comments: „

Ju st as a m a tte r o f interest, has an y th o u g h t b een g iven— this is so m eth in g for you, S en ato r S herry— to th e u tility o f h a v in g som e sort o f jo in t S enate estim ates w ith b o th T re a su ry and F in an ce? I m ak e the su g g estio n in all

seriousness. T o get a c o m p o site p ic tu re , in fairn ess— in term s o f p u b lic

acc o u n tab ility and g eneral tra n sp a re n c y o f the estim ates p ro cess— it seem s to m e that, rath e r than p u ttin g w itn e sses in p o sitio n s w h ere th ey h av e to

assum e resp o n sib ility o v e r and o v e r again, there co u ld b e som e u tility in

h av in g a jo in t sittin g .13

4.9 The minister representing the Finance Minister, Senator Sherry responded to these comments by taking the suggestion on notice, stating:

I have not given it any co n sid era tio n . I w o u ld w ant to consult w ith the

ap p ro p riate m in isters and so I w o u ld take that o n notice. W e w ill deal w ith this su g g estio n i f it em erg es in the S e n a te .14 1 5

Deregulation program

4.10 The committee asked Finance how savings through deregulatory measures were costed. Finance informed the committee that often in the case of major economic deregulatory measures, the Productivity Commission will have provided a costing, though these tend to be for a broad series of reforms. Other savings that relate to

reforms within government are generally costed in the standard budget or similar process.13

4.11 The committee heard that, generally, the focus is on savings to business and business processes. Ms Susan Page, General Manager of the Deregulation Policy Division, provided more detail, stating:

...in v a ria b ly there is an in v e stm en t u p fro n t in o rd er to achieve the savings

for business. IT system s are a good ex am p le o f this. F or exam ple, som e o f

12 Mr Simon Lewis, Finance, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 34.

13 Senator the Hon Helen Coonan, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 34.

14 Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, M inister representing the Finance M inister, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 34.

15 Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 82

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the work that is being done through the financial services working group, which Senator Sherry is overseeing, that requires an investment initially in departmental and other time in order to develop the simplified product disclosure statements that will hopefully provide savings for both

consumers and business over time. But some savings over time, such as removal of particular types of regulation processes, things like that, they do provide savings for government.16

4.12 Finance was also asked about a further round of microeconomic reform scheduled as part of the Nation Building and Jobs Plan. Ms Page commented that in addition to a role in relation to a reform of the legal profession through the Business Regulation and Competition Working Group of COAG, Finance is conducting a review of pre-2008 subordinate legislation. Ms Page explained further, stating:

That involves scrutinising the Commonwealth database, the FRLI database, which has about 30,000 items. We are in the middle of filtering that so that we can go to agencies and say, O f all of these instruments, these are the ones that appear to us to impose costs on business'—in other words, those

that are in fact economic regulations. There are a lot of things in the database that are gazette notices, notification, court notices and things like that.

So what we are doing at the moment is working with agencies, and we have a first tranche of agencies that we are working with at the moment, showing them what we think the major pieces of economic regulation are. Then we are working with them essentially to refine further the nature of the regulation—what the puipose of it was, at the age of it, whether or not it has been recently reviewed—and on the basis of that we will prepare a report for our minister to say, 'There is a scope here,' perhaps for further review, perhaps not, depending on what we find. As a secondary effect of

that process, we may even be able to identify further redundant regulation for clean-up or removal.17

4.13 When questioned about the Government's previously announced 'one-in, one- out' policy towards new' regulation, Ms Page stated:

The government has instituted the ’one in, one out' policy. The uuy in which it works is that ministers are asked to identify scope for an offsetting regulation. It is not mandatory that they have to provide one. Part of the

reason for that is that the deregulatory agenda has expanded since that initial commitment by the government.

There are a range of other things that ministers have done. They have provided various offsets in the form of redundant regulation as part of various clean-ups. Some of them are involved in various reviews at the moment. But we do have some examples of offsets that are provided from time to time by ministers. It is proving to be quite an important discipline— when people are proposing regulation, they are starting to think about how

16 Ms Susan Page, Finance, Estimates Hansard. 27.5.09, pp 82-83

17 Ms Susan Page, Finance, Estimates Hansard. 27.5.09, p. 85.

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it will affect the stock of regulation that they have and whether or not there is scope for any further rationalisation.18

Gershon Review of ICT

4.14 Finance provided an update of the implementation of recommendations from the Review o f the Australian Government's Use o f Information and Communication Technology by Sir Peter Gershon. Finance informed the committee that they have completed phase 1 of the 'business-as-usual' review and realised savings of

approximately $110 million across 51 agencies.19 'Business-as-usual' refers to ICT expenditure on the normal operations, as opposed to projects that alter an agency's. ICT capability.20

4.15 The committee also heard that Finance had revised down the expected savings from implementing the Gershon findings. This was the result of collecting improved data since the publication of the review, which suggested less savings were available from 'business-as-usual' activities. The revised saving figures were $298.2 million in 2010-11, $303.1 million in 2011-12 and $306.1 million in 2012-13.21

Travel entitlements

4.16 There was extensive questioning of the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (MAPS) branch of Finance over travel entitlements. The committee questioned MAPS over media reports alleging that Senator McLucas had incorrectly drawn a travel allowance while in Canberra.

4.17 The committee was infonned that the Special Minister of State had requested a brief on the matter, and the advice given by MAPS was that Senator McLucas was within entitlement and that the protocol for investigation of alleged misuse of entitlements did not need to be invoked.22

Other issues discussed

4.18 Other issues discussed with Finance included its role in the decision to convert Medibank Private to for-profit status, the balance of the three nation building funds, the public sector superannuation liability, consultancy costs across government, government procurement, the Commonwealth grants framework, ministerial staff

travel and Comcar.

ASC Pty. Ltd.

4.19 ASC Pty. Ltd. (formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation) appeared before the committee for the first time. The committee discussed the history of the plan to privatise the company, which has been put on hold due to the global financial

18 Ms Susan Page, Finance, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09. p. 86.

19 Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09. p. 105.

20 Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09. p. 105.

21 Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, pp 105-106

22 Estimates Hansard, 28.5.09, pp 14—15.

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crisis and related factors.23 The committee also discussed consultancy costs related to the postponed sale, the company's relationship with the Defence Materiel Organisation and the economic benefits of the company's activities.

Medibank Private

4.20 Issues discussed with Medibank Private included its conversion to for-profit status, the impact of the Medicare Levy Surcharge, the use of generic prostheses and the prevalence of fraud.

Conversion to for-profit status

4.21 The committee sought advice from Mr Savvides, Managing Director of Medibank Private, on the initiation of the discussion to convert Medibank to for-profit status. In response, Mr Savvides stated:

...it is not a new idea. All I am really dealing with here is the word ‘initiating’. From the time of the previous government, when Medibank was being reviewed for sale and there was a process in play for preparation of

that event if it did take place, Medibank back at that time, with the help of their external auditors, started to put in place the process of accounting as a for-profit, in the event that that might happen. If you were to walk inside of

our organisation, especially in the finance department, and see what our people do, you would have seen the capability starting to be reflected. So it is quite an old idea. It goes back several years.

In our conversations with our shareholder and finance department, which are regular conversations, it is not something that we do not talk about. We are in parallel mode and we are ready to move if we need to move. So ‘initiation’ is the wrong word. When the correspondence occurs between the chair and the shareholder, that correspondence is about making sure that both sides understand. Certainly, the board is expressing its view about what it thinks is important and, if there is a decision by the owner to make a

change, then the organisation is obviously ready because it has been in parallel mode for some time.24

4.22 When asked what Medibank's assumptions were about tax and dividend policy after the conversion, Mr Savvides declined to go into detail on the grounds that it was commercial-in-confidence information. He later provided further information stating:

The payment of tax and dividends only occurs if there is surplus or a profit for a converted company. That is an after-the-event distribution. As I said earlier the fund has a strong balance sheet with reserves beyond the capital adequacy requirement. If in fact the fund has covered its risk, paid its

claims, paid its overheads, met its margin requirement for its coiporate plan

23 Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 58.

24 Mr George Savvides, Medibank, Estimates Hansard. 27.5.09. p. 65.

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to achieve a certain profitability and delivered a surplus then it is distributing after having achieved all of its required obligations.25

Future Fund Management Agency

4.23 There was an extensive discussion with the Future Fund Management Agency (FFMA) concerning the fund's current investment strategy. FFMA indicated to the committee that they have been targeting higher rates of return on their investments in

the last three months. Mr Paul Costello, General Manager of FFMA, provided more detail to the committee stating:

The best way to observe that is in the lowering of the proportion of cash held in the portfolio as the proportion of other higher return seeking assets grows. That has always been the expectation—and it has been commented on continuously since we began—of the rate at which the Future Fund

program would become invested. By definition, that is reducing the cash holding to a more normal size for a long-term program like ours and replacing that with a range of other exposures in equity markets, debt markets, property markets and a range of other areas.26 2 7

4.24 Other matters discussed with FFMA included its policy towards hedge funds, and expectations of the future inflation rate.

Australian Electoral Commission

4.25 The committee spent considerable time questioning the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on the decision to close electoral education centres in Melbourne and Adelaide. The committee heard that the closure of these centres will yield savings

to the AEC of $620,000. Mr Ed Killesteyn, the Electoral Commissioner, stated that the decision was made with regard to falling attendance at the centres, the continuation of outreach education programs and the need to ensure the maintenance of the core capability of the AEC to conduct elections and manage the roll."'

4.26 The committee also questioned the AEC extensively on the process by which new addresses are registered on the electoral roll after electors moved, followed by a discussion of the enrolment of members and senators in their electorate in the event that they reside outside that electorate.

4.27 Other issues discussed with the AEC included progress in assisting people with disabilities to vote more easily, and allegations of undeclared campaign donations.

25 Mr George Savvides, Medibank, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 68.

26 Mr Paul Costello, FFMA, Estimates Hansard, 27.5.09, p. 113.

27 Mr Ed Killesteyn, AEC, Estimates Hansard, 28.5.09, pp 35-36.

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Human Services Portfolio

5.1 The Committee took evidence from the Department of Human Services (DHS), Centrelink, Medicare and Australian Hearing on Thursday, 28 May 2009.

Department of Human Services

Agency staffing

5.2 The Department of Human Sendees (DHS) provided information on why the Portfolio Budget Statement for 2009-10 did not include a breakdown of staff between the core department, the Child Support Agency (CSA) and CRS Australia (CRS) as it had in previous years. Ms Helen Williams, Secretary of DHS, stated that a process of consolidation of processes across the department had been implemented. In explaining the reasons for this initiative, she stated:

The CRS and the child support program have always, as you know, been part of the department. When I looked across the department, I was concerned about a couple of things: firstly, that as head of the department I did not have proper accountability for the whole department—it was not

pulling together properly—and, secondly, that I could see that, as we are all pressed for resources, we would get a lot more efficiency and effectiveness if, in fact, I brought together the enabling areas of the department—that is, things like human resources, financial planning, information technology et

cetera.1

5.3 The committee heard that this process was already underway with the child support program, making it difficult to give a separate staffing figure for the CSA. As CRS had not yet undergone the process of consolidation, the secretary confirmed the number of staff in CRS to be 2090 as at 31 March 2009."

Increased resources for Child Support Agency

5.4 In discussing the increase in staffing for the department as a whole, the Secretary informed the committee that the majority of the increase in staff from 2008­ 09 to 2009-10 was due to an increase in funding for the child support program (CSP).1 2 3 Ms Williams provided more detail to the committee, and stated that Cabinet approved

an increase in funding of $239.7 million over four years to:

...firstly to maintain customer services for separated parents; CSP is funded according to the size of the case load and the complexity of cases. There was also a further amount to prevent growth in uncollected child support debt on 2008-09 levels. This measure also ensures that CSP has dedicated resources to support its efforts in pursuing those parents who are non-

1 Ms Helen W illiams, DHS, Estimates Hansard, 28.5.09, p. 55.

2 Estimates Hansard, 28.5.09, p. 57.

3 Ms Helen Williams. DHS, Estimates Hansard, 28.5.09, p. 57.

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compliant and not paying or minimising their child support. So the major increase in staffing was through that redone funding agreement.4 5

5.5 The department noted that uncollected debt as at 30 April 2009 was $1.07 billion - $793.4 million domestic debt and $274.4 million international debtf

Optical Surveillance

5.6 The committee heard that CSA had conducted a successful 12-month optical surveillance pilot program that was due to conclude in July 2009. During the course of the pilot program, eleven cases had been investigated, with six cases referred for prosecution and three cases where collection options had been identified.6 The department could not confirm whether the program would continue, and agreed to take the matter on notice.7

5.7 Other issues discussed with the committee included the treatment of redundancies with regard to child support payment assessments, the DHS response to a report by the Commonwealth Ombudsman, departure prohibition orders and the relocation of the Job Capability Assessment program to the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Centrelink

5.8 The committee discussed overpayment by Centrelink to overseas pensioners due to incorrect declarations of foreign pensions. It also spent considerable time examining call centre performance, changes in staffing levels, and continuing plans to deliver customer services through the internet.

Medicare Australia

5.9 The committee briefly examined Medicare Australia. The notable issues covered during this examination included the opening of new centres in Western Australia and New South Wales, the rural health workforce, and the prevalence of

fraud in the Medicare system.

Australian Hearing

5.10 The committee also briefly examined Australian Hearing. A substantive issue covered was the 25 per cent increase in rural outreach sites, with a focus on the Northern Territory.

4 Ms Helen Williams. DHS. Estimates Hansard, 28.5.09, pp 59-60.

5 Estimates Hansard, 28.5.09, p. 62.

6 Estimates Hansard, 28.5.09, p. 73.

7 Estimates Hansard, 28.5.09, p. 74.

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Departm ent of Climate Change 6.1 The Department of Climate Change sits in the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio, but produces a separate Portfolio Budget Statement that also incorporates the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator. The committee took evidence from the

Department of Climate Change on Friday, 29 May 2009.

Main issues discussed

School essay competition

6.2 The committee questioned the department on the subject of the 'Think Climate Change, Think Change Competition', which is an essay competition for school children. Concerns were raised about the judging for the competition as the website appeared to indicate that the department would be responsible for selecting winning entries. In response to these concerns, Dr Martin Parkinson, secretary of the department, commented that three judges will undertake the final judging: two educators and Mr Parkinson as the third member.1

6.3 Dr Parkinson went on to inform the committee that the competition had been quite successful so far with more printed material required because of demand:

There have been 422 requests for materials as of 19 May, 566 requests for school packs, 722 poster packs and we are told by the consultants who we have been working with on this that this is, at this stage, one of the most successful competitions that they have ever seen.1 2

Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme 2009 Exposure Draft

6.4 The committee, following up on a question on notice from the Senate Standing Committee on Economics, asked for clarification of a statement made in the commentary attached to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme 2009 Exposure Draft. The statement included the tenn 'major economies' and a definition of this term was sought.3 Mr Blair Comley, Deputy Secretary of the department provided the

following response:

Firstly, the point to note is that document is not now the most recent document because the bill is now in parliament and therefore it is the explanatory memorandum that is the most relevant document. Secondly, that was released before the 4 May announcement by the government which clarified the target-setting process and put more specificity around the economies. The Prime Minister’s press release with the Treasurer and the Minister for Climate Change and Water of 4 May indicated that the conditions hooked off advanced economies and major developing

economies and that the:

1 Dr M artin Parkinson, DCC, Estimates Hansard, 29.5.09, p. 7.

2 Dr M artin Parkinson, DCC, Estimates Hansard, 29.5.09, p. 7.

3 Estimates Hansard, 29.5.09, p. 8.

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...'major developing economies' refers to non-Annex 1 members of the Major Economies Forum.4

6.5 The department tabled a list of these economies at the hearing, which is available from the committee website. Subsequently, the committee also asked for clarification of the term 'advanced economies' and was informed by Mr Comley that the term:

...refers to the Annex 1 parties to the UNFCCC 'and at least some other high/middle income economies'. The press release also makes it clear that the precise nature of which high and middle income economies are not part of the Annex 1 would be a matter for negotiation. 5

Treatm ent of the coal industry under the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

6.6 The department provided an explanation as to why coal was not considered an emissions-intensive trade-exposed industry for the purposes of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). Mr Comley, stated:

There are two principal reasons why certain coal activities were not considered part of the ΕΙΤΕ regime. The first is the dispersion of emissions in coal production. If you look at the emissions intensity of producing a tonne of saleable coal, it varies across different mines by a factor of around

1,000. So the most emissions-intensive mine is around 1,000 times the emissions intensity of the least emissions-intensive mine. Therefore, if coal were to qualify under the ΕΙΤΕ program and you applied the standard ΕΙΤΕ rules, you would be providing significantly more permits than the actual emissions of a large number of mines. That was the principal reason. That

led to the use of the coal sector adjustment scheme, which targets emissions of the gassiest mines directly rather than using the ΕΙΤΕ principles.

The second question that would also have to be addressed is the question of, to put it bluntly, whether coal is coal. As you would be aware, Senator, different qualities of coal are actually quite different. They command very

different prices in both domestic and international markets. So often when people talk about the 'coal industry', you would have to ask the question: is thermal coal and coking coal et cetera the same thing?6

6.7 Following on from this, there was a discussion of the department's progress in developing activity definitions. The department stated that they were making good progress, with 14 activity definitions thought to be finalised as at 1 May 2009.7

Prime Minister's press announcement

6.8 Questions were asked about a joint announcement by the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and the Climate Change Minister on 4 May 2009. The announcement included a statement that the Government was committed to a reduction in Australia's

4 Mr Blair Comley, DCC, Estimates Hansard, 29.5.09, p. 8.

5 Mr Blair Comley. DCC, Estimates Hansard, 29.5.09. p. 9.

6 M r Blair Comley, DCC, Estimates Hansard, 29.5.09, p. 15

7 Estimates Hansard, 29.5.09. p. 16.

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carbon pollution by 25 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020 if the world agrees to an ambitious global deal to stabilise levels of C02 equivalent at 450 parts per million or lower by mid century.8 9

6.9 The department confirmed that the words 'by mid-century' were in error, and that the statement should not have set a target date.4 The department pointed out that the error was confined to the press statement. The explanatory memorandum before Parliament, the white paper and previous speeches did not repeat the error.10 1 1

Consideration of Waxman-Markey Bill

6.10 The committee asked the department to elaborate on the assistance to industry provided by the proposed US climate change legislation commonly known as the Waxman-Markey Bill. Specifically, the department was asked to make comment on

suggestions that assistance to industry under the Waxman-Markey Bill was more generous than under the proposed CPRS in Australia.

6.11 The department informed the committee that the emissions intensity threshold used to establish whether an industry qualified for assistance was in fact set higher under the Waxman Markey Bill compared to the CPRS. Secondly, the Waxman- Markey Bill did not include eligibility criteria taking into account 'value-added', and

was restricted to the manufacturing sector. Thirdly, there was more flexibility under the CPRS for an industry to qualify as trade exposed. Finally, the department informed the committee that unlike under the CPRS, the proportion of permits that can be allocated to emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries is fixed, initially at 15 per

cent, with the proportion set to reduce over time.11 The department agreed to provide further detail on notice, including a comparison of how the electricity sector is handled under each proposed scheme.

Other issues

6.12 Other issues discussed with the department included the proposed operation of the Australian Carbon Trust, costs of a call centre and advertising campaign administered by the department, a report by Concept Economics, the Renewable

Energy Target, the methodology used to account for carbon stored in forests and coal- fired power stations under the CPRS.

Senator Helen Polley Chair

8 Estimates Hansard, 29.5.09, p. 17

9 Estimates Hansard, 29.5.09, p. 17.

10 Estimates Hansard, 29.5.09, p. 20.

11 Estimates Hansard, 29.5.09, p. 21

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37

Appendix 1

Departments, agencies, authorities and companies under the Committee’s oversight

Parliamentary departments

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act):

• Department of the Senate; and

• Department of Parliamentary Services.

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

FMA Act:

• Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet;

• Department of Climate Change;

• Australian Institute of Family Studies;

• Australian National Audit Office;

• Australian Public Service Commission;

• National Archives of Australia;

• Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman;

• Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security;

• Office of National Assessments;

• Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General;

• Office of the Privacy Commissioner;

• Old Parliament House; and

• Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator.

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act):

• National Australia Day Council Pty Ltd

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

FMA Act:

• Department of Finance and Deregulation;

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• Australian Electoral Commission;

• Commissioner for Superannuation;

• Australian Reward Investment Alliance; and

• Future Fund Management Agency.

CAC Act:

• Australian Industry Development Corporation;

• Australian River Co. Ltd.;

• ASC Pty. Ltd.;

• Australian Technology Group Limited;

• Medibank Private Limited; and

• Tuggeranong Office Park Pty. Ltd.

Human Services Portfolio

FMA Act:

• Department of Human Services (includes Child Support Agency and CRS

Australia);

• Centrelink; and

• Medicare Australia.

CAC Act:

• Australian Hearing Services

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39

Appendix 2

Transition tables1

Department of Parliamentary Services

Department of Parliamentary services - transition from Outputs to Programs Framework

2008-09 Budget year 2009-10 Budget year

Outcome: Occupants of Parliament House are supported by integrated services and facilities, Parliament functions effectively and its work and

building are accessible to the public.

Output Group 1: Library Services___________

Output Group 2: Building and Occupant Services

Output Group 3: Infrastructure Services

Output Group 4: Parliamentary Records Service

Administered items: Works Programs

Outcome: Occupants of Parliament House are supported by integrated services and facilities, Parliament functions effectively and its work and

building are accessible to the public.

Program 1: Library Services_______________

Program 2: Building and Occupant Services

Program 3: Infrastructure Services

Program 4: Parliamentary Records Service

Program 5: Parliament House Works Programs

Department of the Senate

The department continues to have the one outcome, which changed from:

• Effective provision of services to support the functioning of the Senate as a House of the Commonwealth Parliament

to:

• Advisory and administrative support services to enable the Senate and Senators to fulfil their representative and legislative duties.

The department manages two programs:

• Other Departmental; and • Parliamentarians Remuneration and Entitlements (administered).

"Other Departmental* consists of its five offices which correspond directly to the five output groups it used in the previous budgeting framework.

1 Please note that all tables are taken directly from the relevant department's Portfolio Budget Statement.

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40

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

2008-09 Budget year

Outcome 1: Sound and well-coordinated government policies, programs and decision making process

Output Group

Output Group 1.1: Economic and Industry Departmental outputs: E c o n o m ic a n d in d u stry p o lic y P 1.1

C O A G R e fo rm C o u n c il P 1.1

Output Group 1.2: Social policy Departmental outputs: S o c ia l p o lic y P 1.1

W o rk a n d fa m ily P 1.1

S o c ia l inclusion P 1.1

Output Group 1.3: International and national security policy Administered items: N a tio n a l co u n ter-terro rism

c o m m itte e P 1.2

Departmental outputs: In te rn a tio n a l p o licy P 1.2

N a tio n a l s e c u rity p o licy P 1.2

A P E C ta s k fo rc e Note 2

2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1: Coordination of government activities; policy development; advice and program delivery to support and inform the

Prime Minister, Cabinet and the Cabinet Secretary

Program 1: Prime Minister & Cabinet

1.1: Domestic policy Departmental items: E c o n o m ic a n d in d u s try p o lic y OG 1.1

S o c ia l p o licy OG 1.2

W o rk a n d fa m ily OG 1.2

S o c ia l inclusion OG 1.2

C O A G R e fo rm C o u n c il OG 1.1

O ffice o f th e C o m m o n w e a lth

C o o rd in a to r-G e n e ra l Note 1

1.2: National security and international policy

Administered items: N a tio n a l co u n te r-te rro ris m

co m m ittee OG 1.3

Departmental items: In te rn a tio n a l p o lic y OG 1.3

H o m e la n d a n d b o rd e r s e c u rity OG 1.3

D e fe n c e , in tellig en ce a n d

re s e a rc h co o rd in atio n OG 1.3

In te rn a tio n a l s tra te g y OG 1.3

188

Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet (continued)

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ 41

2008-09 Budget year

Output Group 1.4: Strategic policy Departmental outputs: S trateg ic p o lic y P 1.3

Output Group 1.5: Support services for government operations Administered items:

N a tio n a l A u s tra lia D a y C o u n c il P 1.4

P rim e M in is te r's o ffic ia l re s id e n c e s P 2.1

A llo w a n c e s a n d s u p p o rt to

d e s ig n a te d & fo rm e r Note 3

G o v e rn o rs -G e n e ra l P 2.1

S ta te o c c a s io n s a n d o fficial visits P 2.1

C o m p e n s a tio n a n d le g a l P 1.4

Departmental outputs: C a b in e t s u p p o rt P 1.4

S u p p o rt to o ffic ia l e s ta b lis h m e n ts P 2.1

S u p p o rt fo r m in is te ria l o ffices P 1.4

C e re m o n ia l a n d h o s p ita lity P 2.1

F re e d o m o f in fo rm a tio n a n d

p riv a c y p o lic y P 1.4

2 0 2 0 S u m m it Note 4

G o v e rn m e n t c o m m u n ic a tio n s Note 5

P acific Is la n d s F o ru m P 1.4

2009-10 Budget year

1.3: Strategic policy and implementation Departmental items: S tra te g ic p o lic y & im p le m e n ta tio n OG 1.4

1.4: Support services for government operations Administered items:

N a tio n a l A u s tra lia D a y C o u n c il OG 1.5

C o m p e n s a tio n a n d le g a l OG 1.5

Departmental items: C a b in e t su p p o rt OG 1.5

S u p p o rt fo r m in is te ria l offices OG 1.5

F re e d o m o f in fo rm a tio n a n d

p riv a c y p o lic y OG 1.5

P a c ific Is la n d s F o ru m OG 1.5

Program 2: Official and ceremonial support

2.1 Official and ceremonial support Administered items: P rim e M in is te r's o ffic ia l re s id e n c e s OG 1.5

S u p p o rt to d e s ig n a te d & fo rm e r

G o v e rn o rs -G e n e ra l OG 1.5

S ta te o c c a s io n s a n d o fficial visits OG 1.5

Program support: S u p p o rt to o fficial e s ta b lis h m e n ts OG 1.5

C e re m o n ia l a n d h o s p ita lity OG 1.5

P = Program OG = Output group 1

1 The Office of the Commonwealth Coordinator-General w as established as a new activity in 2009. 2 Funding for the APEC taskforce terminated in 2007-08. Som e residual costs have been incurred in 2008-09. No expense is anticipated in 2009-10. 3 Policy responsibility and administration of th e superannuation arrangements for former Governors-General will transfer from

PM&C to the Department of Finance and Deregulation on 1 July 2009. 4 Funding for the 2020 Summit terminated in 2007-08. 5 The Government Communications Unit w as abolished in 2007-08 and the aggregated media buying function and AUSPIC transferred to the Department of Finance and Deregulation.

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4 2

Department of Climate Change

2008-09 Budget year 2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1: The well being of present and future generations of Australians is improved by contributing to effective national and global responses to climate change through policy advice, negotiations and program delivery

Outcome 1: Reduction of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the impacts of climate change, and negotiation of an effective global solution, through the development and implementation of a national

response to climate change; and bilateral,

Output Group 1.1: Reducing Australia’s Program 1.1: Reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse gas emissions

Administered Items: Administered Items:

G re e n h o u s e actio n to e n h a n c e A u stralian C a rb o n T ru st

s u s ta in a b ility in re g io n a l A u s tra lia C lim a te C h a n g e A c tio n F u n d

Departmental Outputs: Program Support:

Reducing Australia's greenhouse gas Reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions emissions

Output Group 1.2: Adaptation to the impacts of Program 1.2: Adapting to Climate climate change we cannot avoid Change

Administered Items: Administered Items:

C lim a te C h a n g e S c ie n c e P ro g ra m C lim a te C h a n g e S c ie n c e P ro g ra m

A u s tra lia n C e n tre fo r C lim a te C h a n g e A u stralian C e n tre fo r C lim a te C h a n g e

A d a p ta tio n A d a p ta tio n

C lim a te C h a n g e a d a p ta tio n s tra te g ie s

fo r th e S e rp e n tin e J a rra h d a le sh ire

a n d city o f M a n d u ra h

Departmental Outputs: Program Support:

Adapting to the impacts of climate change we Adapting to Climate Change cannot avoid

Output Group 1.3: Helping to shape a Program 1.3: Helping to shape a global solution global climate change solution

Administered Items: Administered Items:

In flu e n c in g in te rn a tio n a l clim a te c h a n g e In flu encin g in te rn a tio n a l c lim a te c h a n g e

Departmental Outputs: Program Support:

Helping to shape a global solution Helping to shape a global climate change solution

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43

Department of Finance and Deregulation

Transition from Outputs to Programs Framework

2008-09 Budget year

O u tc o m e 1: S u s ta in a b le G o v e rn m e n t F in a n c e s

O u tp u t G ro u p 1.1: B u d g e t

B u d g et A dvice P 1.1

O u tp u t G ro u p 1.2: F in an cial

M a n a g e m e n t

P ublic S e c to r S u p e ra n n u a tio n P 1.2

F inancial F ra m ew o rk P 1.1

F inancial R ep o rtin g P 1.1

O ffice of E v a lu atio n a n d A udit P 1.1

D ereg u latio n a n d R e g u la to ry

R eform P 1.1

O u tc o m e 2: Im p ro v ed a n d m o re efficient

g o v e rn m e n t o p e ra tio n s .

O u tp u t G ro u p 2 .1: G o v e rn m e n t B u s in e s s

G o v e rn m e n t B u s in e s s P 2.1

E n te rp ris e s O w n e rsh ip a n d P 2.1

D iv estm en t

In s u ra n c e & R isk M a n a g e m e n t P 2.3

S p e c ia l C laim s & L and Policy P 2.1

O u tp u t G ro u p 2 .2 : P ro p e rty a n d P 2 .2

C o n stru c tio n

O u tp u t G ro u p 2 .3: P ro c u re m e n t P 2.1 j

F ram ew ork

O u tc o m e 3: Efficiently F u n ctio n in g P a rlia m en t.

O u tp u t G ro u p 3 .1 : S e r v ic e s to S e n a to rs ,

M e m b ers a n d th e ir s ta ff

P 3.1

O u tc o m e 4: E ffective a n d efficient u s e of

inform ation a n d c o m m u n ic a tio n te c h n o lo g ie s by th e A u stralian G o v e rn m e n t.

O u tp u t G ro u p 4 .1 : A u stra lia n

G o v e rn m e n t Inform ation M a n a g e m e n t Office

P 2.1

2009-10 Budget year

O u t c o m e 1: Inform ed d e c is io n s o n G o v e rn m e n t

fin a n c e s a n d c o n tin u o u s im p ro v e m e n t in re g u la tio n m aking th ro u g h : b u d g e ta ry

m a n a g e m e n t a n d a d v ic e ; tr a n s p a r e n t financial

rep o rtin g ; a ro b u st financial fram ew o rk ; a n d b e s t p ra c tic e reg u lato ry p r o c e s s e s .

P ro g ra m 1.1: B u d g e t. F in ancial M a n a g e m e n t a n d D e reg u la tio n

B u d g e t A dvice O G 1.1

F in a n cia l F ram ew o rk O G 1.2

F in a n cia l R ep o rtin g OG 1.2

O ffice of E v alu atio n a n d Audit OG 1.2

D e reg u la tio n a n d R e g u la to ry

R efo rm O G 1.2

P ro g ra m 1.2: P u b lic S e c to r S u p e ra n n u a tio n

P u b lic S e c to r S u p e ra n n u a tio n O G 1.2

P ro g ra m 1.3: N ation Building F u n d s

Building A u stralia F und N E W

E d u c a tio n In v e s tm e n t F und N E W

H e alth a n d H o sp ita ls F und N E W

O u t c o m e 2: Im p ro v ed G o v e rn m e n t adm in istratio n

a n d o p e ra tio n s th ro u g h , s y s te m s , policy an d a d v ic e on: p ro c u re m e n t; C o m m o n w ea lth p roperty m a n a g e m e n t a n d c o n stru c tio n ; g o v e rn m e n t

e n te r p r is e s : risk m a n a g e m e n t; a n d a p p licatio n of in fo rm atio n a n d c o m m u n ic a tio n s tec h n o lo g y .

P ro g ra m 2 .1: G o v e rn m e n t B u s in e s s a n d

ICT

G o v e rn m e n t B u s in e s s O G 2.1

E n te r p r is e s O w n ersh ip a n d O G 2.1

D iv e stm e n t

S p e c ia l C laim s a n d L and Policy O G 2.1

P ro c u re m e n t F ra m ew o rk O G 2 .3

A u stra lia n G o v e rn m e n t O G 4.1

Inform ation M a n a g e m e n t O ffice

P ro g ra m 2.2: P ro p e rty a n d C o n stru c tio n O G 2 .2

P ro g ra m 2.3: I n s u ra n c e a n d R isk M a n a g e m e n t O G 2.1

O u t c o m e 3: S u p p o rt for P a rlia m e n ta ria n s , o th e rs

w ith e n title m e n ts a n d o rg a n is a tio n s a s a p p ro v e d

by G o v e rn m e n t th ro u g h th e d e liv e ry of

e n title m e n ts a n d ta r g e te d a s s is ta n c e .

P ro g ra m 3.1: M inisterial a n d

P a rlia m e n ta ry S e r v ic e s

O G 3.1

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Department of Human Services

Transition from Outputs to Programs Framework 2008-09 Budget year 2009-10 Budget year

Outcome 1: Effective and efficient delivery of social and health related services, including financial assistance to the Australian community.

Outcome 1:lnformed government decisions on. and access to. social, health and child support services for Australians through policy development and advice, and the coordination and delivery of services.

Output Group 1.1: Core Department Administered Items: Job C a p a c ity A s s e s s m e n t7

O tn e r A d m in is te re d P 1.1

Departmental Outputs: Core D e p a rtm e n t P 1.1

Program 1.1: Human Services Administered Items:

O th e r A d m in is te re d OG 1.1

Departmental Items: C en tral D e p a rtm e n t OG 1.1

Child S upport OG 1.2

C R S A ustralia OG 1.3

Output Group 1.2: Child Support Administered Items:

C h ild S u p p o rt (R eg istratio n a n d

C ollectio n) A c t 1 9 8 8 P 1.2

S p e c ia l A ppropriation - C h ild

S u p p o rt s 7 7 - U n re m itte d

D ed u c tio n s P 1.2

S p e c ia l A ppropriation - C hild

S u p p o rt s 7 8 - U n e x p la in e d

R e m itta n c e P 1.2

S p e c ia l A cco u n t - C hild S u p p o rt

Trust P 1.2

Departmental Outputs: C hild S upport P 1.1

Program 1.2: Child Support Administered Items:

C hild S up p o rt (R e g is tra tio n a n d

Collection) A c t 1 9 8 8 OG 1.2

S p e c ia l A p p ro p ria tio n - C hild

S upport s 7 7 - U n re m itte d

D edu ction s OG 1.2

S p ecial A pp ro p riatio n - C hild

S upport s 7 8 - U n e x p la in e d

R em ittan ce OG 1.2

S p ecial A cco u n t - C n iid S upport

Trust OG 1.2

Output Group 1.3: CRS Australia___________ Departmental Outputs: C R S A ustralia___________________ P 1.1

1

F rom 1 J u ly 2 0 0 9 th e C e o a r tm e n t of E d u ca tio n . E m o b y r n e n t a n d W o rk p la c e H e a t o n s wil a d m in is te r th e -.ob

C a p a c ity A s s e s s m e n t p ro g ra m

192

Appendix 3

Index to Hansard Transcripts1

45

Page no.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Parliamentary Departments

Department of the Senate....................................................................................... 4

Department of Parliamentary Services................. 12

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General.................................. 43

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet................................................... 72

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.............................................. 4, 48

Office of the Privacy Commissioner.......................................................... 38

Australian Institute of Family Studies................................................................. 45

Australian National Audit Office......................................................................... 91

Australian Public Service Commission............................................................. 108

Old Parliament House........................................................................................ I l l

Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security.............................112

Office of National Assessments......................................................................... 114

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

Department of Finance and Deregulation....................................................... 2, 78

ComSuper............................................................................................................ 52

ASC Pty. Ltd........................................................................................................ 57

Medibank Private................................................................................................. 60

Future Fund Management Agency.....................................................................112 1

1 Page numbers correspond to the proof H a n s a r d s . Sometimes there are slight variations with the final version.

193

46

Thursday, 28 May 2009

F in a n c e a n d D e re g u la tio n P o rtfo lio

Department of Finance and Deregulation (MAPS)............................................... 2

Australian Electoral Commission........................................................................32

H u m a n S e n d e e s P o rtfo lio

Department of Human Services...........................................................................55

Centrelink............................................................................................................ 83

Medicare............................................................................................................. 99

Australian Hearing.............................................................................................106

Friday, 29 May 2009

P r im e M in is te r a n d C a b in e t P o rtfo lio

Department of Climate Change.............................................................................2

194

The Senate

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2009-10

June 2009

195

© C om m onw ealth o f A ustralia

ISBN 978-1-74229-115-4

This document is produced by the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Secretariat, and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

196

Membership

Senator Mark Bishop. ALP, WA (Chair) Senator Russell Trood, LP, Qld (Deputy Chair) Senator Don Farrell, ALP, SA Senator Michael Forshaw, ALP, NSW Senator Helen Kroger, LP, Vic

Senator Scott Ludlam, GRN, WA

O ther s e n a to r s w ho p a r tic ip a te d

Senator Judith Adams, LP, WA Senator Chris Back, LP, WA Senator Hon Eric Abetz, LP, Tas Senator Guy Barnett, LP, Tas Senator Cory Bemardi, LP, SA Senator Simon Birmingham, LP, SA Senator Hon Ron Boswell, NP, Qld Senator Hon George Brandis, LP, Qld Senator Don Farrell, ALP, SA Senator Hon Alan Ferguson, LP, SA Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, LP, NSW Senator Hon Bill Heffeman, LP, NSW

Senator Hon John Hogg, ALP, Qld Senator Steve Hutchins, ALP, NSW Senator Hon David Johnston, LP, WA Senator Bamaby Joyce, NP, Qld Senator Hon Ian Macdonald, LP, Qld Senator Anne McEwen, ALP, SA Senator Fiona Nash, NP, NSW

Senator Stephen Parry, LP, Tas Senator Marise Payne, LP, NSW Senator Glenn Sterle, ALP, WA Senator Nick Xenophon, Ind, SA

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Committee secretariat Dr Kathleen Dermody, Secretary Ms Pamela Corrigan, Research Officer Dr Tim Kendall, Principal Research Officer Ms Eija Stephenson, Senior Research Officer

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Phone: (02) 6277 3535, fax: (02) 6277 5818

e-mail: fadt.sen@aph.gov.au: Internet: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate fadt

198

Table of contents

Page

Membership........................................................................................................ iii

Report to the Senate

Introduction............................................................................................................. 7

Questions on notice.................................................................................................. 7

Portfolio budget statements....................................................................................... 7

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio....................................................................... 8

Preparation for hearing...................................;..................................................... 8

D epartm ent o f F oreign A ffairs and T rade..................................................................................... 8

Portfolio overview.............................................................................................9

Outcome 1.........................................................................................................9

North Asia........................................................................................................ 9

South East Asia................................................................................................10

Americas.............................. 10

Europe....................................................................................................... ,,...10

South and West Asia, the Middle East and Africa...............................................10

Pacific.............................................................................................................10

International organisations, legal and environment............................................. 10

Bilateral, regional and multi-lateral trade negotiations (heard 02Jun09)...............10 Trade development/policy coordination.............................................................11

Outcome 2.................... ................................................................... ............. 11

Consular and passport services (heard 02Jun09).................................................11

Outcome 3....................................................................................................... 11

A ustralian C entre f o r International Agricultural Research (A C IA R )............................... 11

A u sA ID ......................................................................................................................................................11

A us tr a d e ....................................................................................................................................................12

Defence portfolio..... .............................................................................................12

Preparation for hearing........................................................................................ 12

D epartm ent o f D e fe n c e .......................................................................................................................13

Secretary's opening statement........................................................................... 13

Chief of the Defence Force's opening statement................................ 13

Portfolio overview and budget summary............................................................14

White paper..................................................................................................... 15

Outcome 1 Program 1.2: Navy capabilities......................................................................... 15

Program 1.6 Capital facilities and Defence support............................................ 15

Program 1.11 Capability development...............................................................16

v

199

Program 1.13 People strategies and policy........................................................ 16

Program 3.1 Defence contribution to support tasks in Australia.......................... .16 Exercise Talisman Sabre...........................................................................16

D efence M ateriel O rg a nisation............................................................................16

D efence H ousing A u stra lia.................................................................................. 17

D epartm ent o f Veterans' A ffa ir s .....................................................................................................17

Portfolio overview/Corporate and general matters..............................................17

Australian War M em o ria l....................................................................................18

Acknowledgements................................................................................................18

Index to transcripts

Foreign A ffairs and Trade portfolio

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.............................................................21

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)........................ 22 Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).................................. 22 Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).............................................................23

D efence portfolio

Department of Defence....................................................................................... 24

Defence Materiel Organisation............................................................................ 24

Defence Housing Australia..................................................................................24

Department of Veterans' Affairs.......................................................................... 25

Australian War Memorial................................................................................... 26

vi

200

Report to the Senate

Introduction

1.1 On 12 May 2009, the Senate referred to the committee for examination and report the following documents:

• Particulars of certain proposed budget expenditure in respect of the year ending 30 June 2010 relating to the Defence portfolio and the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio, and

• Particulars of proposed budget expenditure in respect of the year ending 30 June 2009.

1.2 The committee has considered the proposed budget expenditure for the year ending 30 June 2010. It has received evidence from the Minister representing the following ministers: the Minister for Foreign Affairs; the Minister for Trade; the Minister for Defence; and the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, and officers of the

departments and agencies concerned.

1.3 The committee met in public session on 1, 2, 3 and 4 June 2009. Further written explanations provided by departments and agencies will be presented separately in volumes of additional infonnation. This infonnation will also be placed on the committee’s internet site (www.aph.gov.au/senate_fadt).

Questions on notice

1.4 The committee resolved, under Standing Order 26, that written answers and additional information should be submitted to the committee by close of business on Thursday, 30 July 2009.

Portfolio budget statements

1.5 The committee notes that from the 2009-2010 budget, all general government sector (CGS) entities will be reporting on a program basis. In real terms, this means that departments and agencies will move from an accrual structure using administered items, outputs and output groups, to a program reporting framework.

1.6 In some instances, departments and agencies for the Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Defence portfolios have undergone significant change. Other entities have made minor changes to conform to the new requirements.

1.7 The departments and agencies that have undergone significant change are:

• Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: programs refined and old outcome 3 is integrated into new outcome 1. See PBS, DFAT, pp. 22-23, Figure 2, for a transition table.

• AusAID: more programs added to outcome 1 to describe the range of functions. See PBS, DFAT, pp. 111-112, Figure 2, for a transition table.

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

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8 Report on Budget estimates 2009-2010

• Austrade: integrated output groups 1.3 to 1.5 into new program 1.1. See PBS, DFAT, pp. 76-77, Figure 2, for a transition table.

• Department of Veterans' Affairs: more programs added to outcomes 1 to 3 to better describe services offered. Outcomes 4 and 5 and output group 6, have been integrated into updated outcomes 1 to 3. See PBS, DVA, pp. 28-29, Figure 2, for a transition table.

1.8 The Department of Defence and Defence Materiel Organisation, Defence Housing Australia, Australian War Memorial, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) made little or no change to their respective program structures, and some made minor changes to descriptive headers.

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

P r e p a r a tio n f o r h e a r in g

1.9 The committee received a briefing from DFAT officers on 14 May. They explained changes to the outcome structures, the reasons behind these changes and the overall structure of the Portfolio Budget statements. Committee members asked questions particularly about where details of particular programs could be found.

D e p a r tm e n t o f F o re ig n A f f a ir s a n d T ra d e

1.10 The committee acknowledged the attendance at the hearings of Mr David Ritchie, Deputy Secretary, and officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.1

1.11 The committee sought an update on the issue of the root and branch review, which was discussed at additional estimates in February 2009. The department responded that the outcome of the review was taken into account by the government in determining the department's budget for 2009-2010.

1.12 In response to a question on how it was reflected in the department's accounts, Mr Ritchie stated that:

It was not quantified. It was a measurement of the department's base budget against the outcomes that the government required of it. It concluded...that the department's base budget required some addition. Some of that has been taken into account in the funding that we received in the 2009-2010 budget. This provides for a modest increase in the department's budget against the background of a very tight budgetary situation, which we acknowledge... We are in a situation where a number of other portfolios had to suffer

serious cuts. I think the government has manifested that in the decisions

1 T ran scrip t p a g e n u m b ers fo r th e F o reig n A ffairs an d T rade p ortfolio re fe r to p r o o f Committee Hansards, 1 and 2 Ju n e 2009. (S ee th e tran scrip t index at the b ack o f th is rep o rt.)

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that it has made about the department's budget, in which, as I say, there is a modest increase involved.2

1.13 The committee sought information on how the department quantified the modest increase. Mr Ritchie explained:

Just to give you a summary, the budget provides DFAT with $331.1 million over four years in new departmental funding; that is, non-property funding. Property funding is extra. That works out at about $80 million a year.

In addition, in property funding, we have received $163.6 million over four years for three property projects. That involves the relocation of our embassies in Jakarta and Bangkok and a feasibility study for a secure, purpose-built embassy in Kabul.

We received an additional $2.4 million over four years from 2009-2010 in administered funding on behalf of the Commonwealth. That is mainly dues we pay to various international organisations and other things.

We received funding to continue some important existing activities. I mentioned, I think, at the last estimates that, for example, for initiatives like the United Nations Security Council campaign and the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament we had received funding for 2008-2009 but not for the out-years. That funding has now been continued for at least the next two years.3

1.14 Matters raised by the committee during the hearings included:

Portfolio overview

• Root and branch review of the department and its budget for 2009-2010 (pp. 5-8).

• Budget allocations and staff numbers (pp. 8-11,14).

• Security clearances for staff (pp. 11-12)

• Appropriations and the portfolio budget statements (pp. 12-14)

• Appointment of heads of missions to Germany and Sweden (pp. 34-57).

Outcome 1 North Asia

• North Korea and Australia's diplomatic representation (pp. 67-69)

• Shanghai Expo (0 2 Ju n 0 9 , pp. 3 1 -3 2 )

• Australia-China relationship and briefings on the Defence white paper (0 2 Ju n 0 9 , pp. 3 2 -3 9 ).

2 P roof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2009, p. 5.

3 P roof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2009, p. 5.

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South E ast Asia

• Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, and elections (pp. 94-101) • ASEAN human rights and Burma (pp. 101-102).

• Asia-Pacific Community (pp. 112-118).

A m ericas

• Guantanamo Bay detainees and resettlement (pp. 57-58).

Europe

• The Ambassador to the Holy See (0 2 Ju n 0 9 , pp. 4-7).

• Australia and the Asia-Europe meeting (0 2 Ju n 0 9 , p. 8).

South and West Asia, the M iddle E ast and A frica

• Zimbabwe and Australian government funding (pp, 58-61)

• Zimbabwe and travel advisories (pp. 61-65)

• Violence against Indian students in Australia (pp. 66-67)

• Gaza and UNRWA (pp. 102-106)

• Pakistan and Afghanistan (pp. 106-112).

Pacific

• Fiji and Australian aid (pp. 89-90) • Fiji and a future election; travel advisories and peacekeeping activities (pp. 90-93)

• Pacific Partnerships for Development (0 2 Ju n 0 9 , pp. 30-31).

International organisations, legal and environm ent

• Australia's bid for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council ( p p . 15-34)

• People smuggling and Australia’s response (pp. 69-73)

• Durban conference I and Durban conference II and the Human Rights

Commission (pp. 73-88)

• Australia, the International Whaling Commission and the International Court of Justice (0 2 Ju n 0 9 , pp. 8-14)

« Inadvertent tabling of bilateral treaty documents (0 2 Ju n 0 9 , pp. 16-18)

• International Commission on Nuclear Disarmament (0 2 Ju n 0 9 , pp. 39-40).

Bilateral, regional and m ulti-lateral trade negotiations (heard 02Jun09)

• Australia-China free trade negotiations (pp. 97-102)

• Australia-New Zealand-ASEAN free trade agreement (pp. 103-106)

• Australia-Japan free trade agreement negotiations (pp. 106-107)

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• Gulf Cooperation Council free trade agreement negotiations (pp. 107-108)

• Vietnam's market economy status (pp. 108-109).

Trade development/policy coordination (heard 02Jun09)

• Export Finance Insurance Corporation (pp. 109-110).

Outcome 2

Consular and passport sendees (heard 02Jun09)

• Chaser incident in the Vatican (pp. 7-8; 14-15)

• West Papua and the 'Merauke Five’ (pp. 18-27,40-41)

• Travel advisories and people travelling by seafpp. 27-28)

• Australia’s new N series passport (pp. 28-30).

Outcome 3

• Ambassador to the Holy See—accommodation (02Jun09, pp. 4-7).

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) (heard 02Jun09)

1.15 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Mr Peter Core, Chief Executive Officer o f ACIAR.

1.16 Matters raised by the committee during the hearing included:

• Development of a food security strategy (pp. 42-45,47)

• Bilateral relationship between ACIAR and Thailand (p. 45)

• Consultation Group on International Agricultural Research (pp. 45-47).

AusAID (heard 02Jun09)

1.17 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Mr Bruce Davis, Director General, and officers representing AusAID.

1.18 Matters raised by the committee during the hearing included:

• Composition of Australian Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) (pp. 47-48)

• The global economic crisis task force and its activities (pp. 48-50,51-52)

• Pacific Partnerships for Development (pp. 50-51,65-69)

• Food security program in Africa (pp. 52-54)

• Contributions to humanitarian assistance in Africa (pp. 54-55)

• Microfmance activities and financial services (pp. 55-56,64-65)

• Education statements and the Australian Development Scholarship program (p. 56)

• Aid funding, family planning guidelines and abortion (pp. 57-61)

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12 Report on Budget estimates 2009-2010

• Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (pp. 62-64)

• Pacific Partnerships for Development and DFAT’s work (pp. 69-71)

• Aid budget and the Solomon Islands, China and Vietnam (pp. 71-74)

• ODA and Indonesia and Burma (pp. 74-75)

• Debt-to-heath swap (pp. 75-76)

• Afghanistan (pp. 76-81)

• Somalia (pp. 81-82)

• Budget papers: Africa (pp. 82-83)

• Pacific programs: responsiveness and accountability (pp. 84-85)

• Responsibility to Protect Fund (R2P) (pp. 85-87).

Austrade (heard 02Jun09)

1.19 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Mr Peter Yuile, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, and officers representing Austrade.

1.20 Matters raised by the committee at the hearing included:

• Clean energy investment strategy (p. 88)

• Austrade challenges and the global financial crisis (pp. 88-90)

• Austrade staffing (p. 90)

• Automotive market access program (pp. 90-92)

• Australia's Pacific Investment Commissioner (p. 92)

• Export Market Development Grant Scheme (EMDG) (pp. 92-96)

• Free trade agreement: United States (pp. 96-97).

Defence portfolio

Preparation for hearing

1.21 The committee received a briefing from Defence officers on 14 May at which they explained the outcome and program structure of the Portfolio Budget statements. Committee members asked questions particularly about where details of particular programs could be found.

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Department of Defence

1.22 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC, AFC, Chief of the Defence Force (CDF), Mr Nick Warner PSM, Secretary of the Department of Defence, and officers of the Defence organisation.4

Secretary's opening statement

1.23 Mr Nick Warner made a statement to the committee about Defence's strategic reform program, the special forces' pay issues, and, allegations that Defence personnel improperly accessed the Minister for Defences' IT systems.5

1.24 With regard to the strategic reform programs, Mr Warner stated:

The Strategic Reform Program will focus on 15 key areas or reform streams, some of which will deliver savings through sustainable reform. While other reforms will not deliver quantifiable savings, they will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Defence. The reform will generate savings of $20 billion over the next ten years, which has been earmarked

for reinvestment in current and future military capabilities and remediation of the 'broken backbone' of Defence.6

Chief of the Defence Force's opening statement

1.25 Air Chief Marshal Houston addressed the committee about the Defence white paper, Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030. He also made some specific points about Afghanistan, counter-piracy, East Timor, the Solomon Islands and border protection.7

1.26 In relation to the Defence white paper, Air Chief Marshal Houston commented that it is a very good outcome for the Australian Defence Force:

It is exactly what we need to ensure we have the long-term guidance, planning and force structure to provide Australia with a military' that has the capacity to protect Australia and our interests. I am delighted with the capability decisions that have been made and the balance between the three

services.

Force 2030 will provide Australia with a formidable set of integrated military capabilities that will keep our country secure against the backdrop of a changing strategic environment. Importantly, our three services are ready to begin this significant transition period. Indeed, they are already

4 Transcript page numbers for the Defence portfolio refer to p ro o f Committee Hansards, 3 and 4 June 2009. (See the transcript index at the back o f this report.)

5 Proof Committee Hansard, 3 June 2009, pp. 5-10.

6 Proof Committee Hansard, 3 June 2009, p. 6.

7 Proof Committee Hansard, 3 June 2009, pp. 10-11.

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well underway, making the necessary cultural and structural reforms that we need to help transform defence.8

1.27 A copy of both statements and accompanying documentation were provided to the committee at the hearing. Attention was drawn to the length and complex nature of the information contained in the Secretary's opening statement and accompanying document, which made it difficult for committee members to digest this material in time to use it constructively during the hearing.

1.28 It has been a long standing and welcomed tradition for the Secretary of the department and the CDF to make detailed opening statements. The committee finds these statements helpful and appreciates the efforts that the Secretary and CDF make to present these informative introductions. They provide an important starting point upon which committee members then proceed to ask questions. Even so, the

committee notes that, if the material presented is detailed, comprehensive and complex, committee members require ample time before the hearing to consider the material.9

1.29 Other topics examined during the hearing included:

Portfolio overview and budget summary

• Oruzgan province (pp. 15-16); Tarin Kowt: quality of food for ADF personnel (pp. 16-22)

• Communications from families of personnel serving in Afghanistan and other overseas deployments (pp. 22, 105)

• Australia's troop deployment to Afghanistan in light of the United State's new commitment to the region (pp. 22-24,95-96)

• Honour payments and acts of grace payments (pp. 27-30, 50)

• AP3C maritime surveillance and frigate in the Gulf of Aden (pp. 30-33)

• East Timor and the Defence Cooperation Program (p. 33)

• United States health provider Humana (pp. 80-85)

• SAS pays, training remediation plan; and ADF personnel debt recovery (pp. 85­ 89)

• Body mass index of ADF personnel (pp. 90-95)

• Afghan Army Trust Fund (pp. 95-96)

• Trust funds specific to SAS and other trust funds (p. 97; 04Jun09, pp. 60-61)

• Contract for submarine rescue and Remora (pp. 110-113)

8 P roof Committee Hansard, 3 June 2009, p. 10.

9 Proof Committee Hansard, 3 June 2009, pp. 12-15.

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• Security inquiry: report on allegations of the department investigating the Defence minister (04Jun09, pp. 29-38)

• Reporting on the SIEV36 incident (04Jun09, pp. 55-57).

White paper

• White paper and the portfolio budget statements (pp. 35-40)

• ‘Government’s financial plan for Defence* and transparency, a force structure review, and major capability acquisitions (pp. 40-50)

• White paper briefings to other countries, to Australian politicians and to the media (pp. 50-55,66-67)

• Public consultation process prior to the production of the white paper (pp. 67-72; 04Jun09, pp.57-59)

• Strategic challenges Australia will face over the life of the white paper (pp. 55-59)

• American nuclear capacity within the Asia-Pacific region (pp. 59-62)

• The acquisition of two new submarines and the submarine workforce

sustainability program (pp. 62-66,106-110)

• Australian Strategic Policy Institute (pp. 72-73)

• Antisubmarine warfare capabilities (p. 74)

• Foreign language training (pp. 74-75)

• Cultural change and organisational practices with the ADF (pp. 76-77)

• Better managing Defence costs and financial risks (p. 77)

• Potential major power adversaries (pp. 78-80)

• Workforce requirements of the Defence organisation through the life of the white paper, and, efficiency improvements (04Jun09, pp. 4-14)

• Details of provisional savings and costs to 2019-2020 and the reform program (04Jun09, pp.15-27)

• The reform program and reserves (04Jun09, pp. 27-29).

Outcome 1

Program 1.2: Navy capabilities

• Submarine Force Element Group, training, crewing levels and mental health (pp. 106-110; 04Jun09, p .60)

• Assault o f a Navy electronics technician while on shore leave from Operation Resolute in September 2007 (pp. 115).

Program 1.6 Capital facilities and Defence support

• Deployed personnel from Townsxdlle and life insurance issues (pp. 24-26, 34)

• Marangaroo ammunitions facility in the Blue Mountains (04Jun09, pp. 61-62)

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• Kings Hill, Williamtown air base and proposed rezoning of land to the northeast of the base (04Jun09, pp. 62-64).

• Uniform allowances and equipment for service police dog (pp. 90; 04Jun09, p. 64).

Program 1.11 Capability development

• Acquiring airborne electric attack capabilities (p. 75)

• Situational awareness: communication between platforms (pp. 75-76)

• Capital investment program for the period 2009 out to 2030 (pp. 77-78).

Program 1.13 People strategies and policy

• Mental health issues: post deployment management of troops (pp. 102, 107)

• Communication with families of personnel deployed overseas and the Defence Community Organisation (pp. 105-106)

• Drug testing of ADF personnel (pp. 113-115; 04Jun09, p. 38).

Program 3.1 Defence contribution to support tasks in Australia Exercise Talisman Sabre

• H1N1 influenza (pp. 97-98, 101-102)

• Importation of military equipment and troops for exercises and quarantine issues (pp.99-100; 04Jun09, pp.59-60, 72)

• Naval operations and precautions to protect marine mammals from high-power sonar (pp. 100-101; 04Jun09, p. 60).

Defence Materiel Organisation (heard 04Jun09)

• Air warfare destroyer project (pp. 39-40)

• Armouring of vehicles used in Afghanistan (pp. 40-42)

• 'Bushmaster light’ (p. 42)

• Land 17 field vehicles project (pp. 42-44)

• Super Seasprite (pp. 44-46)

• Wedgetail project (pp. 46-49)

• Vigilaire project (pp. 49-50)

• BAMS project (pp. 50-53)

• Joint Strike Fighter program: proposal for an advanced processing capability in Australia (pp. 53-55, 72)

• Update on the Ml 13 project (pp. 64-65)

• Land 125 soldier combat system (pp. 65-67)

• M l A1 Abrams fleet (pp. 67-68)

• HFMOD high frequency modernisation project (p. 69)

• FFG upgrade (pp. 69-70)

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• JASSM project (pp. 70-71)

• C l7 project (p. 71)

• MRH90 project (p. 71).

Defence Housing Australia (heard 04Jun09)

1.30 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Mr Michael Del Gigante, Managing Director, and officers from Defence Housing Australia (DHA).

1.31 Matters raised by the committee included:

• Joint venture for housing in Darwin (pp. 72-75)

• Stimulus package project around Australia (pp: 75-76)

• Tendering process and the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (pp. 76­ 78,91-92).

Department of Veterans’ Affairs (heard 04Jun09)

1.32 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Mr Ian Campbell PSM, Secretary, and officers of the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA).

1.33 Matters raised by the committee during the hearing included:

Portfolio overview/Corporate and general matters

• Invoice processing and payment times (pp. 78-79)

• Dependent pensions (p. 79)

• Budget measures: decline in departmental expenses (pp. 79-80)

• Vehicle assistance scheme (p. 81)

• Legal challenges to claims lodged by veterans (pp. 81-82)

• Defective administration and acts of grace (pp. 82-83)

• Veterans and the stimulus packages (pp. 83-84)

• Newstart and the partner service pension (pp. 84-86)

• DVA staffing matters (p. 86, 89-90, 96)

• Veterans moving to low and high care residential facilities (pp. 86-87)

• Increased health care expenses and veterans (pp. 87-88)

• Travel expenses claims (pp. 88-89)

• Veterans community care and support: veterans and community grants (p, 89)

• Outreach programs (p. 90)

» DVA indigenous liaison officers (p. 90)

• Compensation payments made to finalise outstanding claims from the HMAS Voyager and HMAS Melbourne collision (pp. 90-91)

18 Report on Budget estimates 2009-2010

• Tendering process and the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme (pp. 76­ 78. and p. 91-92)

• Upgrade to the Hyde Park memorial in London (pp. 92-94)

• Western Front Interpretive Trail (pp. 94-96)

• Decrease in the funding for war graves and commemorations (pp. 96-98).

Australian War Memorial

1.34 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Major General Steve Gower AO, Director, and officers of the Australian War Memorial (AWM).

1.35 Matters raised by the committee included:

• Construction developments and public consultation (pp. 98-100)

• Guidelines for taking photographs in the grounds of the AWM (pp. 100)

• Vietnam official history (pp. 103-105).

Acknowledgements

1.36 For their assistance during its hearings, the committee thanks Senator the Hon John Faulkner, Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens, Senator the Hon Mark Arbib and Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig. The committee also acknowledges the attendance and cooperation of the many departmental and agency officers and the services of various parliamentary staff involved in the estimates process.

Senator Mark Bishop Chair

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Index to proof transcripts

Budget estimates 2009-2010

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 June 2009

Defence portfolio

Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 June 2009

2 1 4

Monday, 1 June, 2009

FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PORTFOLIO

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Page no

In a tte n d a n c e ...........................................................................................................................................................1

Portfolio overview ...............................................................................................................................5-14, 34-57

Outcome 1: The advancem ent o f A u stralia’s international strategic, security and econom ic interests inclu d in g th rough bilateral, regional an d m ultilateral en g ag em en t on A ustralian G overnm ent foreign an d trade policies.

Program 1.1: Other departmental

North A sia.................................................................................................................................67; 02Jun09, 31-39

South-East A sia............................................................................................................................ 94-102, 112-118

A m ericas..................................................................................................................................................................57

Europe...................................................................................................................................................02Jun09, 4-8

South and West Asia, Middle East and A frica.......................................................................... 58-67, 102-112

P acific........................................................................................................................................89-93; 02Jun09, 30

International organisations and legal issues................................................15-34, 69-88; 92Jun09. 8-18, 39

Bilateral, regional and multilateral trade negotiations.........................................................02Jun09, 97-109

Trade development/policy coordination & A sia-Pacific Economic C ooperation................02Jun09, 109

Outcome 2: The protection and welfare of Australians abroad and access to secure international travel documentation through timely and responsive travel advice and consular and passport sendees overseas Program 2.1 and 2.3: Consular services.............................................................................. 02Jun09, 7-27, 40

Program 2.2 and 2.4: Passport services................................................................................... 02Jun09, 28-30

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

Program 3.2: Overseas property....................................................................................................02Jun09, 4-7 2 1

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Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

Page no

In attendance.................................................................................................................. 3

Outcome 1: Agriculture in developing countries and Australia is more productive and sustainable as a result of better technologies, practices, policies and systems.

Program 1: International agricultural research and development.......................................................... 42-47

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

In attendance...................................................................................................................3

Outcome 1: To assist developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia's national interest.

Program 1.1: Official development assistance— PNG and Pacific........................................................ 47-87

Program 1.2: Official development assistance— East A sia.................................................................... 47-87

Program 1.3: Official development assistance— Africa, South and Central Asia, Middle East and other........................................................................................................................................................... 47-87

Program 1.4: Official development assistance— Emergency, humanitarian and refugee programs 47-87

Program 1.5: Official development assistance— Multilateral replenishments.................................... 47-87

Program 1.6: Official development assistance— UN, Commonwealth and other international organisations....................................................................................................................................................47-87

Program 1.7: Official development assistance— NGO, volunteer and community program s.........47-87

Outcome 2: Australia’s national interest advanced by implementing a partnership between Australia and Indonesia for reconstruction and development.

Program 2.1: East Asia..................................................................................................................................47-87 2 2

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Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)

In attendance ......................................................................................................................................................... 4

Outcome 1: A dvance A u stralia's trade and investm ent interests thro u g h inform ation, advice and services to businesses, industry and governm ents.

Program 1.1: Trade and investment development................................................................................... 88-97

Program 1.2: Trade development schemes (Export Market Development G rants)........................... 88-97

Outcom e 2: T he protection and w elfare o f A ustralians abroad through tim ely and responsive co n su lar and passport services in specific locations overseas.

Program 2.1: Consular, passport services................................................................................................. 88-97 2 3

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DEFENCE PORTFOLIO

Wednesday, 3 June and Thursday 4 June, 2009

Department of Defence

Page no

In attendance ........................................................................................................................................................ 1

Portfolio overview and budget summary............ 15-24, 27-33, 80-97; 04Jun09, 29-38, 55-57

White p a p e r ................................................................................................... 35-66, 72-80; 04Jun09, 4-29

Outcome 1: The p ro tec tio n and ad v an cem en t o f A u stralia’s national interests thro u g h the p ro v isio n o f m ilitary cap ab ilities and p ro m o tio n o f security and stability

Program 1.2: Navy capabilities............................................................................................................. 60, 115

Program 1.6: Defence support................................................................... 24-26, 34, 90; 04Jun09, 61-64

Program 1.11: Capability developm ent................................... ............................................................... 75-78

Program 1.13: People strategies and policy......................................... 102-107, 113-115; 04Jun09, 38

Outcome 3: S upport to the A u stralian co m m unity and civilian au th o rities as requested b y G overnm ent

Program 3.1: Defence contribution to national support tasks in Australia

Exercise Talisman S abre......................................................................................... 97-1 0 2 ; 04Jun09, 60, 72

Thursday 4 June, 2009

Defence Materiel Organisation

DMO Outcome 1: C o n trib u tin g to the prep ared n ess o f the A u stralian D efen ce F orce o rg an isatio n through acq u isitio n and through-life support o f m ilitary eq u ip m en t and supplies.

DMO program 1.1: M anagement of capability acquisition................................................................ 39-71

DMO program 1.2: Management of capability sustainm ent.............................................................. 39-71

DMO program 1.3: Provision o f policy advice and management services...................................... 39-71 *

Defence Housing Australia

In a tte n d a n c e ......................................................................................................................................................... 2

G eneral q u estio n s.........................................................................................................................................72-92

Thursday 4 June, 2009

Department of Veterans' ,4ffairs

P a g e no

In attendance.................. ................................................................................................ 2

Portfolio overview and budget summary........................................................................................78-98

Outcome 1: Compensation and support Maintain and enhance the financial wellbeing and98 self-sufficiency of eligible persons and their dependants through access to income support, compensation, and other support sendees, including advice and information about entitlements. Program 1.1: Veterans’ income support and allow ances............................................................ ........ 78-98

Program 1.2: V eterans’ disability support................................................................................................78-98

Program 1.3: Assistance to Defence widow(er)s and dependants.......................................................78-98

Program 1.4: Assistance and other compensation for veterans and dependants............................. 78-98

Program 1.5: V eterans’ children education schem e.............................................................................. 78-98

Program 1.6: Rehabilitation compensation acts payments— income support and compensation .78-98

Program 1.7: Adjustments to the rehabilitation compensation acts liability provisions— income support and com pensation............................................................................................................................. 78-98

Outcome 2: Health Maintain and enhance the physical wellbeing and quality of the life of eligible persons and their dependents through health and other care services that promote early intervention, prevention and treatment, including advice and infonnation about health service entitlements.

Program 2,1: General medical consultations and services.................................................................... 78-98

Program 2.2: V eterans’ hospital services..................................................................................................78-98

Program 2.3: V eterans’ pharmaceutical b e n e fits....................................................................................78-98

Program 2.4: V eterans’ community care and support............................................................................ 78-98

Program 2.5: V eterans’ counselling and other health services............................................................ 78-98

Program 2.6: Rehabilitation compensation acts— health and counselling and other health services......

Program 2.7: Adjustment to the rehabilitation compensation acts liability provisions— health and counselling and other health services..........................................................................................................78-98

Outcome 3: Commemorations Acknowledgement and commemoration of those who served Australia and its allies in wars, conflicts and peace operations through promoting recognition of sendee and sacrifice, preservation of Australia's wartime heritage, and official commemorations.

Program 3.1: W ar graves and com m em orations.................................................................................... 78-98

Program 3.2: Gallipoli related activ ities..................................................................................................78-98 2 5

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Thursday 4 June, 2009

Australian War Memorial

Page no

In a tte n d a n c e .........................................................................................................................................................2

O utcom e 1: A ustralians rem em bering, in terp retin g and u n d erstan d in g the A ustralian ex p erien ce o f w ar and its en d u rin g im pact th ro u g h m aintaining and d ev elo p in g the national m em orial, its collection ex h ib itio n o f histo rical m aterial, co m m em o rativ e cerem onies and research.

Program 1.1: Commemorative cerem onies............................................................................................ 98-105

Program 1.2: National memorial and grounds..................................... 98-105

Program 1.3: National collection...................................................................... 98-105

Program 1.4: E xhibitions...........................................................................................................................98-105

Program 1.5: Interpretive serv ice s...........................................................................................................98-105

Program 1.6: Promotion and community serv ices................................................................................98-105

Program 1.7: Research and information dissemination............... 98-105

Program 1.8: Visitor services.................................................................................................................... 98-105 2 6

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The Senate

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2009-10

June 2009

Commonwealth of Australia ISBN 978-1-74229-116-1

This document was prepared by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

Membership of the Committee

Members Senator Patricia Crossin, Chair, ALP, NT Senator Guy Barnett, Deputy Chair, LP, TAS Senator David Feeney, ALP, VIC Senator Mary Jo Fisher, LP, SA Senator Scott Ludlam, AG, WA

Senator Gavin Marshall, ALP, VIC (Acting Chair from 4pm, 28 May 2009) Senator Louise Pratt, ALP, WA (substitute for Senator Crossin from 4pm, 28 May 2009) Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, LP, NSW (substitute for Senator Barnett from 4pm, 28 May 2009)

Senators in attendance Senator Patricia Crossin, (Chair), Senator Guy Barnett (Deputy Chair), Senator David Feeney, Senator Mary Jo Fisher, Senator Scott Ludlam, Senator Gavin Marshall, Senator the Hon Eric Abetz, Senator the Hon Ron Boswell, Senator Mark Bishop,

Senator the Hon George Brandis, Senator Jacinta Collins, Senator Steve Fielding, Senator Mitch Fifield, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Senator Sarah Hanson- Young, Senator the Hon Bill Heffeman, Senator Gary Humphries, Senator Steve Hutchins, Senator Julian McGauran, Senator Claire Moore, Senator Stephen Parry,

Senator Louise Pratt, Senator Russell Trood, Senator Nick Xenophon

Secretariat Mr Peter Hallahan Mr Tim Watling Ms Toni Dawes

Ms Monika Sheppard Ms Margaret Cahill Ms Cassimah Mackay

Secretary Principal Research Officer Principal Research Officer

Senior Research Officer Estimates Officer Executive Assistant

Suite SI. 61 Telephone: (02) 6277 3560

Parliament House Fax: (02) 6277 5794

CANBERRA ACT 2600 Email: legcon.senfhlaph.gov.au

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

M em bership of the C om m ittee............................................................................. iii

PREFA C E................................................................................................................ vii

Reference of documents......................................................................................vii

Estimates hearings...............................................................................................vii

Ministers............................................................................................................ viii

Questions on notice............................................................................................viii

CHAPTER 1 ...............................................................................................................1

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PORTFOLIO........................................................... 1

Introduction........................................................................................................... 1

Australian Human Rights Commission................................................................. 1

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)......................1

Classification Board and Classification Review Board........................................ 2

Family Court of Australia and Federal Magistrates Court of Australia.................2

Australian Federal Police...................................................................................... 3

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.............................................. 4

Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation................................................ 4

Non provision of information and public interest immunity................................. 5

CHAPTER 2 .............................................................................................................. 7

IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO........................... 7

Introduction...........................................................................................................7

Migration Agents Registration Authority....................................... 7

Department of Immigration and Citizenship......................................................... 7

Non provision of information and public interest immunity................................. 9

APPENDIX 1 11

DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES UNDER THE TWO PORTFOLIOS FOR WHICH THE COMMITTEE HAS OVERSIGHT................... 11

Attorney-General's Portfolio..................................................................... ........ 11

immigration and Citizenship Portfolio................................................................ 12

APPENDIX 2 ...........................................................................................................13

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S PORTFOLIO........................................................................................................ 13

TABLED DOCUMENTS......................................................................................14

APPENDIX 3 ...........................................................................................................17

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO.............................................................................. 17

TABLED DOCUMENTS......................................................................................17

APPENDIX 4 ................................................................................................ 19

CHANGES TO OUTCOME/OUTPUT STRUCTURE ATTORNEY- GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT............................................................................. 19

Transition from outcomes and outputs to outcomes and programs.....................19

APPENDIX 5 ...........................................................................................................21

CHANGES TO OUTCOME/OUTPUT STRUCTURE DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP.............................................................. 21

Transition from outcomes and outputs to outcomes and programs.................... 21

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PREFACE

On 12 May 2009, the Senate referred to the committee the examination of estimates of proposed expenditure for the financial year 2009-10. The committee is responsible for the examination of the Attorney-General's portfolio and the Immigration and

Citizenship portfolio. The portfolio budget statements were tabled on 12 May 2009. A correction to the Attorney-General's Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-2010 was tabled on 14 May 2009. An erratum to the Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-2010 was tabled at the committee's hearing on 27 May 2009.

Reference of documents

The Senate referred to the committee, for examination and report, the following documents:

• Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010;and

• Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010.

The committee was required to report on its consideration of the Budget Estimates on or before 23 June 2009.

Estimates hearings

The committee met in public session on 25, 26, 27 and 28 May 2009.

Over the course of the four days' hearings, totalling over 39 hours, the committee took evidence from the following departments and agencies:

• Attorney-General's Department;

• Australian Human Rights Commission;

• Australian Law Refonn Commission;

• Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre;

• Classification Board and Classification Review Board;

• Family Court of Australia;

• Federal Court of Australia;

• Federal Magistrates Court of Australia;

• National Native Title Tribunal;

• Australian Federal Police;

• Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity;

• Australian Crime Commission;

• Australian Customs and Border Protection Service;

• Australian Security Intelligence Organisation;

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227

• CrimTrac Agency;

• Australian Institute of Criminology and Criminology Research Council;

• High Court of Australia;

• Insolvency and Trustee Sendee Australia;

• Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions;

• Migration Review Tribunal;

• Refugee Review Tribunal;

• Migration Agents' Registration Authority; and

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Copies of Hansard are available on the internet at the following address: http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/index.htm.

An index of the Hansard for each portfolio appears at Appendix 2 and Appendix 3.

Ministers

The committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig, then Minister for Human Services, representing the Attorney-General and Minister for Home Affairs, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, and Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, then Minister for Superannuation, representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

Officers from both departments and associated agencies also appeared. The committee thanks Ministers and officers for their assistance.

Questions on notice

Further written explanations, and answers to questions on notice, will be tabled as soon as possible after they are received. That information is also available on the committee's internet page at the following address:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/legcon_ctte/estimates/index.

The committee has resolved that the due date for submitting responses to questions on notice from the Budget Estimates round is 13 July 2009.

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CHAPTER 1

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PORTFOLIO Introduction

LI This chapter summarises areas of interest and concern raised during the committee's consideration of the Budget Estimates for the Attorney-General's portfolio for the 2009-10 financial year.

Australian Human Rights Commission

1.2 The Committee's initial questioning of the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) focussed on the attendance of Commissioner Calma and AHRC staff at the Durban Review Conference in Geneva on 20-24 April 2009. AHRC representatives attended this conference, although the Government had decided to boycott it.1

1.3 The Committee also took evidence from the AHRC concerning its promotion of a particular model for a possible Charter of Rights, although the government has not set a policy position on the matter. The President of the AHRC, the Hon Catherine Branson QC, advised the committee that:

...th e co m m issio n has in d icated in broad term s its su p p o rt for w hat is

o rd in arily k n o w n as a d ia lo g u e m odel hum an rig h ts act .... It w ould

id e n tify the p articu la r rights th a t A u stralia w ishes to have pro tected by its o v erarch in g hu m an rights in stitu tio n .1 2

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)

1.4 The committee sought information about AUSTRAC's budget cutbacks and the effects on its core business operations, including reductions in staff numbers, and a reduction of $2.8 million over four years from the budget dealing with Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act compliance.3

1.5 Committee members also questioned officers about the appointment of an AUSTRAC officer who had a criminal record for the supply of drugs dating back eleven years, and who had been disqualified from practising law in NSW and Queensland.4 Questions focussed on security vetting processes for this person, who

had received a ‘protected' level security clearance. Officers explained that the individual had been deemed suitable after two independent reviews and that the

1 Committee Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 6-36.

2 Committee Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 40.

3 Committee Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 52.

4 Committee Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 54.

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checking processes had been consistent with the Protective Security Manual procedures for the level, which required checks going back five years."

1.6 As a result of this experience, AUSTRAC advised the committee that a review of security vetting procedures had been completed and the clearance process had been strengthened with the addition of more checks made of information in the public domain; however the agency would maintain the five-year checking period for

clearance at the 'protected' level.5 6

Classification Board and Classification Review Board

1.7 The Director of the Classification Review Board, Mr Donald McDonald AC, made an extensive opening statement detailing activities of the board in relation to the pursuit of its responsibilities concerning the sale of unclassified and misclassified pornographic publications.7 This matter had been the subject of close questioning by

senators in a previous round of hearings.

1.8 While the board has a role in the classification of publications, films and games, it has no enforcement role, which is the responsibility of state and territory police forces. Senators expressed their concern regarding the sale in convenience stores of publications which have been refused classification, and sought details on the

government’s response in addressing the matter.8 The issues of more severe penalties for non compliance and federal laws in this area were also raised by senators.9

Family Court of Australia and Federal Magistrates Court of Australia

1.9 The committee questioned the Chief Executive of the Family Court of Australia, Mr Richard Foster PSM, on the judicial complaints handling procedures in that Court.10 1 1 The Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee's inquiry into Australia's judicial system and the role of judges has given rise to particular

interest among committee members in the Court's procedures. The committee heard that the Deputy Chief Justice has primary carriage of complaints, which are coordinated through a judicial complaints adviser, who is a legally qualified registrar

of the court."

Semple review

1.10 Senators questioned officers of the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court about the implementation of the Semple review recommendations.

5 Committee Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 55.

6 Committee Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 56-57.

7 Committee Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, pp 57-58.

8 Committee Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, pp 62-63.

9 Committee Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, pp 64-65.

10 Committee Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 66-69.

11 Committee Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 67.

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The committee heard that at this stage, the review implementation has been confined to the merging of corporate services for the courts.52

1.11 When Senators suggested that Semple review implementation is moving ahead of Parliamentary approval, the Chief Executive confirmed that the decision to proceed with integration of administration of both courts was made at a meeting of the Family Court Advisory Group on 23 March 2009.

T h e C h ie f Ju stice and th e C h ie f F ed eral m ag istrate m ade this d ecisio n in

advance o f the g o v e rn m e n t’s an n o u n ce m en t on 5 M ay ab o u t the p ro p o sed m e rg e r o f the tw o courts in o rd e r to m ax im ise effic ien cy and resources and to h elp ad d ress both c o u rts ’ d ifficu lt financial p o sitio n s, as th ey are

resp o n sib le for the a d m in istratio n o f the courts. U n d er th e ir resp ectiv e acts the ju risd ic tio n a l heads are re sp o n sib le for the ad m in istratio n o f the acts, and u n d er the act they can d irect the C EO to p erfo rm certain functions. In

effect, they h av e d irected m e to p ro c e e d w ith this m e rg e r.1 2 13

Australian Federal Police

1.12 The committee spent considerable time examining the Australian Federal Police (AFP) estimates on the second day of hearings. Questions were asked about AFP involvement in the system of advice to government relating to unauthorised boat arrivals and people smuggling, the nature and form of Australia’s interdiction with

Indonesia, and the operation of the People Smuggling Taskforce and associated organisations. These issues were examined in the context of the SIEV 36 disaster.14 1 5

1.13 Amongst a range of other matters pursued by the committee, information was sought on the AFP’s pursuit of Paul Henry Dean in India. Senators also asked about the resulting difficulties in gathering evidence for the purposes of a prosecution under extra-territorial Australian sex tourism laws.1'

1.14 The committee sought details on the AFP's work with the police force in Burma and was informed that this principally involves developmental and training work in the area of counter narcotics.

1.15 Addressing concerns expressed by Senators about the AFP's activities in Burma, the Commissioner advised:

C ertain ly w e w o u ld not p ro v id e co o p eratio n w here that co o p eratio n w o u ld resu lt in o ffen ces occu rrin g eith e r in B urm a o r in A ustralia. W e are v ery

co n scio u s o f the political situ a tio n but, at the sam e tim e, w e are aw are o f

the ad v an tag es o f b ein g th ere w ith o th er agencies try in g to develop th e ir

cap ab ility and certain ly try in g to get an u n d erstan d in g o f the im pact o f th eir n arco tics p ro d u c tio n .16

_________________________________________________________________________________ Page 3

12 Committee Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 76.

13 Committee Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 77.

14 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 26-37 and 40-48.

15 Committee Hansard, 26 M ay 2009, p. 16.

16 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 23.

Page 4

1.16 The AFP confirmed that there has been a significant reduction in heroin being trafficked from Burma to Australia since the introduction of these programs.1

1.17 The committee notes that the appearance by Commissioner Mick Keelty APM before the committee was his last before his retirement on 2 September 2009. Members of the committee and Minister Ludwig acknowledged his contribution over his many years of service with the AFP, including as Commissioner since 2001.1 7 18

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

1.18 Senators sought details about the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service's (ACBPS) risk-based approach to air cargo inspections, first port boarding inspections and sea cargo inspections. The committee was advised that in respect of each of these categories of inspection, there will be fewer inspections than previously.19 2 0

1.19 The committee also sought advice more generally on programs or activities that have been cut back or reduced. Mr Camiody explained that:

a lot of this is about more efficient and effective delivery of what we do. Efficiency requirements that have been in place for many years have been a significant contributor to this. We are continuing with our strategy of ensuring that highest proportion of reductions is in our corporate support

20

areas.

1.20 Continuing examination of the ACBPS, the committee questioned officers on the operation of the Maritime Incident Operations Group, receiving evidence about the chronology of events and meetings that took place on the day of the SIEV 36 incident.21

1.21 The ACBPS was also questioned on airport security and implementation of the recommendation of the Wheeler review which arose out of the treatment of whistleblower Alan Kessing.22 2 3 Customs maintained that there had been a substantial change of culture and processes in the organisation that would prevent a repetition of

such an incident, but would not be drawn on the case, as it is still before the courts.-3

Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation

1.22 The new Director-General of ASIO, Mr David Irvine AO, was questioned about the large increases in funding for the organisation over the last two budget years. Mr Irvine confirmed that over a four year period, ASIO staffing had increased

17 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 23.

18 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 54-55.

19 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 56.

20 Committee Hansard, 26 M ay 2009, p. 60.

21 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 62-74.

22 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 79.

23 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 81.

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from 800 to 1600, and was projected to increase to approximately 1800 by the end of next year. Mr Irvine explained that the increased staffing related to ASIO's needs to increase its expertise and capabilities following the advent of terrorism:

..it [ASIO] has had to develop the capability to provide reliable and useful threat assessments to the Australian government, which requires a highly developed analytical capability that four or five years ago we did not have to the extent required. It has required us to have considerably more

intelligence officers who get out and do the business of security intelligence collection to identify and if necessary', and often in consultation and collaboration with other government agencies, to dismpt potential terrorist threats to Australia.24 2 5

1.23 The committee also questioned Mr Irvine about a wide range of other areas, including accountability mechanisms, the extent to which the organisation monitors environmental and other civil protest groups, outcomes of the inquiry into the Ul- Haque case, telecommunications interceptions, the Habib and Hicks cases, and

security checking of visa applicants.

Non provision of information and public interest immunity

1.24 This round of estimates was the first since the Senate passed the order on public interest immunity claims on 13 May 2009. This order sets out the process to be followed by public sector witnesses who believe that they have grounds for withholding information from Senate committees. The order requires witnesses to

state recognised public interest grounds for withholding information and, at the request of a committee or any senator, refer the matter to the responsible minister, who is also required to state recognised public interest grounds for any claim to withhold the information.

1.25 The issue of public interest immunity claims arose on several occasions during consideration of the Attorney-General's portfolio.

1.26 During examination of the AHRC senators requested that the President of the Commission table briefing notes that were prepared for use during the estimates hearings in relation to the attendance by Commissioner Calma at the Durban Review Conference.-^ The Commission was reluctant to provide the notes and the President

of the Commission referred the matter to the Minister who provided reasons why the notes should not be provided:

Senator Ludwig—The question has been asked of the president of the Commission to provide a briefing note that has been prepared by her office to assist her in answering estimates questions. I do not think it is

appropriate to provide that briefing booklet; ...What would otherwise occur is that, at every turn, you would be in a position where estimates committees would ask for briefing booklets to be provided. The question as to whether or not public officials would provide information into the future

24 Committee H ansard, 26 May 2009, p. 95.

25 Committee Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 29.

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to assist estim ates com m ittees w o u ld b e o f grave concern o f all us I suspect.

... Q uestioning o f course can be detailed and the w itn ess should provide

answ ers to those questions. I f they are d ifficu lt questions, the p resid en t o f the com m issio n can eith er take them o n n o tice o r p ro v id e full an sw ers here.

I think that is the appropriate w ay to p roceed. "6

1.27 The committee did not pursue the matter further, the Senator asking for the notes expressing agreement with the Minister's view. The committee notes that the Minister did not make any public interest immunity claim, and that none of the established grounds for making such a claim are applicable in these circumstances.

1.28 A claim also arose during questioning of program 2.1.2 of the Attorney- General's Department. The committee requested that a report commissioned by the Department on the state of volunteering in Australia be tabled. Officials were reluctant to provide the report on the grounds that it was subject to public interest immunity on the basis that it is a Commonwealth-state document and had not yet been considered by state ministers.2 6 27

1.29 The Minister took the tabling of the report on notice, advising the committee that:

... 1 w ant to take the question on notice and find out w h e th e r there is a

claim o f public interest im m unity, p articu larly because it goes to state and federal relations. I f it does n o t, the m in ister w ill be able to p ro v id e an

answ er to y o u ...28 2 9

1.30 The committee notes that prejudice to relations between the Commonwealth and the States is a recognised ground for making a public interest immunity claim.

1.31 A further occasion when this issue arose was during consideration of the Estimates for the High Court. Committee members sought a copy of submissions made by the Chief Justice to the Government in relation to the funding for the Court. The Minister representing the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. Chris Evans, refused to release the documents, telling the committee that:

A s you know , w e do not release d o cu m en ts relating to the p re p a ra tio n o f a budget. D iscussions b etw een th e H igh C o u rt and the d ep artm en t reg ard in g b u d g etary m atters in the lead-up to the p resen tatio n o f the b u d g et w o u ld not b e m ade available to the co m m ittee in accordance w ith lo n g -stan d in g

,. 29

practice.

26 Committee Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 30.

27 Committee Hansard. 25 May 2009, p. 88.

28 Committee Hansard. 25 May 2009, p. 89.

29 Committee Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 14.

CHAPTER 2

IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO Introduction

2.1 This chapter summarises areas of interest and concern raised during the committee's consideration of the budget estimates for the Immigration and Citizenship portfolio for the 2009-10 financial year.

Migration Agents Registration Authority

2.2 The committee asked a number of questions in relation to the final stages of Migration Agents Registration Authority's (MARA)·absorption within the department, which is to take effect from 1 July 2009. The committee was told that 26 MARA staff had been invited to submit their job descriptions to the Department. 19 had received offers of employment and 17 appointments were confirmed.1

2.3 The committee also questioned officers about MARA's operating surplus of *$3 to $4 million’ concerning the ownership of the money and the proposed use after the merger. The Minister stated:

MARA is the government regulatory authority and. as 1 understand it, these are Commonwealth funds we are debating. Any question about what might be done with those or other Commonwealth funds is a decision for the Commonwealth government.1 2

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Outcomes structure and staffing

2.4 In his opening statement, the Department's Secretary, Mr Andrew Metcalfe, outlined the Department’s new outcome and program structure, which is a result of changes made to the reporting arrangements as part of Operation Sunlight.3 The new structure can be found at Appendix 5.

2.5 The committee sought information concerning the department’s reported staff reductions of 10 per cent. The Secretary advised the committee that the department was expected to reduce staffing numbers over the year ahead but at a lower level than that reported, commenting that 'the one in 10 article that appeared in the media was made up by someone. I do not know where that came from.'4

2.6 The Secretary gave a detailed explanation of the reasons for the reductions:

A range of measures in the budget, such as the Gershon review relating to IT, are seeking savings from the department’s IT expenditure. Conversely,

1 Committee Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 58.

2 Committee Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 60.

3 Committee Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 67.

4 Committee Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 69.

235

Page 8

part of that strategy has been to reduce the number of consultants and contractors that we use and to replace them with full-time staff. While we are making savings, some of that is reducing contracted numbers but increasing our own employees. Like all agencies we are subject to the

normal efficiency dividend, so that has an impact on us as well.

There are a range of other savings measures or measures that needed to be absorbed by the portfolio. Another significant driver of our financial position is described as activity levels under our resourcing agreement with the Department of Finance.5

Residency tests

2.7 The committee also questioned officers in relation to the changes that are in train for the test applied to applicants for permanent residency in respect of serious health conditions that have the potential to cost the public health system more than $21 000.6 7 Officers explained that negotiations are underway with state governments

to raise the threshold of the test to $100 000, on the basis that it is state governments that bear the majority of health costs. The new arrangements are already in place in the ACT, Victoria and Western Australia.

Unauthorised arrivals

2.8 Senators sought information about the rise in unauthorised boat arrivals since last year, and the factors that have contributed to this.8 Mr Metcalfe addressed this issue:

To only look at the picture from an Australian perspective is missing probably 95 per cent of the story. The real story is what is happening in terms of global refugee matters; stability in key areas; protection for people

in places near their homes, such as Pakistan, and whether that is effective; the role of people smugglers; the ability to cooperate with countries of transit, such as Malaysia and Indonesia; and the fact that, although we certainly receive numbers of refugee applicants in Australia, what we see here is tiny compared with other countries.9

2.9 Senators also asked about research undertaken into what factors encourage or deter people to seek to come to Australia.10 1 1 The committee wras told that there was a specific budget measure of $810 000 to improve capacity which will increase the department's capability to do research in this area.11 The committee also asked

5 Committee Hatisard. 27 May 2009. p. 69.

6 Committee Hansard, 27 May 2009. p. 88.

7 Committee Hansard, 27 May 2009. p. 89.

8 Committee Hansard, 27 May 2009. p. 99.

9 Committee Hansard, 27 May 2009. p. 101

10 Committee Hansard, 28 May 2009. p. 16.

11 Committee Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 16.

236

Page 9

questions about the people smuggling taskforce and the range of interv iews conducted with illegal entrants by a range of agencies.

Non provision of information and public interest immunity

2.10 As was the case during consideration of the Estimates for the Attorney- General's portfolio, there were a number of occasions when officers or the Minister declined to provide infonnation.

2.11 The Department refused to supply advice to government regarding the number of extra refugee tribunal members needed to deal with its workload. The Department referred the matter to the Minister who did not make a claim of public interest immunity but stated that such advice is never provided to committee:

Senator Chris Evans—Departments do not give Senate estimates advice that has been provided to government. The Senate order does not change any of those things. That deals with documents in a public interest defence. No public interest defence has been advanced here. The officer made clear

that the selection panel, as described by the secretary, has reported to government. The government is in the process of making a decision and that will be publicly announced when the decision has been made.1”

2.12 The committee revisited the issue on two occasions later in the hearings, where the Minister reiterated his position:

Senator Chris Evans—1 do not need to take it on notice, Senator Barnett. This is advice to government for consideration by cabinet. It has not been provided in the past, will not be provided now, and you can take it as a formal rejection. The government will not be providing you details of

advice for decisions by cabinet, full stop.1'

Senator Chris Evans—Let me just be clear to you. What the department has provided me with is a submission which is to be taken to cabinet. It wall be a cabinet document. Will I be releasing it to you? No. Will I be discussing its contents? No. I have been very clear about this. You may not

like the answer and you may get advice that says I should. This will be a cabinet document and a cabinet decision. You raise the public interest criteria defence and the Senate’s motion in relation to that. I am not

claiming the public interest defence. I am making it clear to you that it is a cabinet document. Neither I nor any other ministers, I suggest, will be releasing or discussing the contents of advice to the cabinet....! am happy to defend the process and the decisions with you when they are made, but this is a document that has been provided as advice to cabinet for decision

and appointment by cabinet. I will not have officers discussing the content of that—not the numbers, who is recommended, what states they are from. It is a submission to cabinet. I do not, quite frankly, care what the Attorney- General’s Department does. I will not, and my officers will not, be 1 2 1 3

12 Committee Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 48.

13 Committee Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 66.

Page 10

d iscussing su b m issio n s to cab in et at estim ates. U n d er the p rev io u s

go v ern m en t th e y w o u ld n o t have, e ith e r.14

2.13 During consideration of the Immigration and Citizenship portfolio, questions were asked about the protocol for interviewing asylum seekers. The Secretary of the Department, Mr Metcalfe, objected to answering the question in the following terms:

Mr Metcalfe— S enator, I th in k there is a very stro n g p u b lic in terest as to w h y in p u b lic ev id en ce b efo re this co m m ittee w e w o u ld n o t disclose

o p erational m eth o d s d esig n ed to com bat p eo p le sm uggling. O th erw ise p eo p le w ho are en g ag e d in p eo p le sm u g g lin g w ill lo o k at w h at w e do and

d ev ise co u n term easu res. W h at is v ery clear from m any years o f p ractice in this area is that p e o p le sm ugglers are sm art crim inals; they alter th e ir tactics to respond to A u stralian and international m e a su re s.15

2.14 The committee accepted Mr Metcalfe's explanation and did not persist with the question.

Senator Trish Crossin

Committee Chair

14 Committee Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 4.

15 Committee Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 29.

238

APPENDIX 1

DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES UNDER THE TWO PORTFOLIOS FOR WHICH THE COMMITTEE HAS OVERSIGHT Attorney-General's Portfolio

• Attorney General's Department;

• Administrative Appeals Tribunal;

• Australian Federal Police;

• Australian Customs and Border Protection Service;

• Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity;

• Australian Crime Commission;

• Australian Government Solicitor;

• Australian Human Rights Commission;

• Australian Institute of Criminology and Criminology Research Council

» Australian Law Reform Commission;

« Australian Security Intelligence Organisation;

• Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre;

• Classification Board;

• Classification Review Board;

• CrimTrac;

• Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions;

• Family Court of Australia;

• Family Law Council;

• Federal Court of Australia;

• Federal Magistrates Court of Australia;

• High Court of Australia;

• Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia;

• National Capital Authority;

• National Native Title Tribunal; and

• Office of Parliamentary Counsel.

239

Page 12

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship;

• Migration Agents Registration Authority (until 30 June 2009);

• Migration Review Tribunal; and

• Refugee Review Tribunal.

240

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL S PORTFOLIO

APPENDIX 2

Monday, 25 May 2009 Pages

• Australian Human Rights Commission 6-44

• Australian Law Reform Commission 44-48

• Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre 48-57

• Classification Board/Classification Review Board 57-66

• Family Court of Australia 66-81

• Attorney-General's Department (subprogram 2.1.2) 81-95

• Federal Court of Australia 95-111

• Federal Magistrates Court 111-128

• National Native Title Tribunal 128-132

Tuesday, 26 May 2009 Pages

• Australian Federal Police 5-55

• Australian Customs and Border Protection Sendee 55-92

• Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity 92-94

• Australian Security Intelligence Organisation 94-104

• Australian Crime Commission 104-117

• Australian Institute of Criminology and

Criminology Research Council 117-122

• CrimTrac Agency 122-123

Wednesday, 27 May 2009 Pages

• CrimTrac Agency 4-11

• High Court of Australia 11-19

• Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia 19-24

• Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions 24-35

• Attorney-General's Department 35-40

Page 14

TABLED DOCUMENTS Documents tabled at Hearing

Monday, 25 May 2009

• Australian Human Rights Commission - Letter dated 16/12/08 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the President, Australian Human Rights Commission

• Australian Human Rights Commission - Letter dated 25/7/08 from the President, Australian Human Rights Commission to the Minister for Foreign Affairs

• Australian Human Rights Commission - Letter dated 14/1/2009 from the President, Australian Human Rights Commission to the Minister for Foreign Affairs

• Senator Brandis - Press Release by the Minister for Foreign Affairs dated 19/4/09 entitled Durban Review Conference

• Australian Human Rights Commission - Extracts of Australian Human Rights Commission Minutes dated 3/6/08, 11/11/08, and 17/12/08

• Family Court of Australia - Graph, Family Law Workload Trend - Final Orders Applications filed in Family Law from 1 July 1999

• Family Court of Australia - Graph, Family Law Workload Trend - Final Orders Applications filed with FCoA and FMC

• Family Court of Australia - Terms of Reference for all the review of Family Consultant's and Registrars

• Family Court of Australia - Response to Senator Brandis - Integration of Courts Administration

• Attorney-General's Department — Letters from the Minister for Home Affairs to Federal and State Police Commissioners regarding the enforcement of classification laws

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

• Attorney-General's Department - SCAG Resolutions for a national response to combat organised crime

• Attorney-General's Department - Ministerial Hospitality Table

• Attorney-General's Department - Ministerial Hospitality - Response to questions by Senator Barnett at Senate Estimates on 25 May 2009

242

Page 15

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

• High Court of Australia - High Court of Australia Water Foundation Waterproofing Scoping Study

• Attorney-General's Department — Work undertaken by Des Semple for AGD, Family Court and FMC (2007-2009)

• Attorney-General's Department - Question No. 115, Attorney-General's Department consultancies entered into between November 2007 and 23 February 2009 - Corrections

Letters o f Correction/clarification

• AUSTRAC, dated 27 May 2009

• Attorney-General's Department, dated 27 May 2009

• Australian Human Rights Commission, dated 3 June 2009

• Attorney-General's Department, dated 1 June 2009

• Attorney-General's Department, dated 2 June 2009

243

2 4 4

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO

APPENDIX 3

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

• Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

• Migration Agents Registration Authority

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship - 65-126

Pages

42-52

52-65

Thursday, 28 May 2009

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Pages

3-79

TABLED DOCUMENTS Documents tabled at Hearing

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship - 2009-10 DIAC Outcomes and Programs

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship - Department of Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio Budget Statements — Erratum

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship - Subclass 457 Business (Long stay) State/Territory Summary Report 2008-09

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship 457 Visas - Top 10

occupations/countries primary applicant visas granted

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship - Unauthorised Arrivals (by sea)

Thursday, 28 May 2009

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship - Conditions on which entry permits may be granted after entry into Australia from 1980

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship - Top Five Destination Countries (2008) - Various

• Senator Barnett - Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Audit - Answers to questions on notice - Australian Taxation Office - 30 March 2009

245

Page 18

Letter o f correction

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship, dated 5 June 2009

246

CHANGES TO OUTCOME/OUTPUT STRUCTURE ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT

APPENDIX 4

Transition from outcomes and outputs to outcomes and programs

^Source: Attorney-General's Portfolio, Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-2010, pp 22­ 23.)

2008-09 Budget year 2009-10 Budget year

Output Group 1.4: International law

Output Group 1.6: Native title PI 1.2

Output Group 1.8: Personal property Pi.2.1 securities

Output Group 1.5: Legislative instruments

Outcome 1; An equitable and accessible system o f federal civil justice

Output Group 1.7: Indigenous law and justice and legal assistance

Outcome 1: An equitable and accessible system of federal civil justice

Output Group 1.1: Family law, federal courts and tribunals, civil procedure and alternative dispute resolution

Pt.1.1

Output Group 1.3: Classification, copyright and human rights human rights classification and copyright

Output Group 1.2: Support for the Attorney-General as First Law- Officer. constitutional policy [moved to 1.2.5], personal insolvency and

international legal services

Pt.2,1

Program 1.1: Access to justice an d social inclusion 1.1.1: Access to justice

1.1.2: Social inclusion 0613

0-31.6 OG1 7

Program 1.2: Legal services

1.2.1: Civil law

1.2.2: Classification and copyright 1.2.3: Legislative drafting and publishing

1.2.4: International law 1.2.5: Constitutional policy

OG1.8

Page 20

2008-09 Budget year

Output Group 2.6: AusChecR

Output Group 3,2: Natural disaster relief and mitigation________

Output Group 2.4: National emergency management

Output Group 2.3: National security F2.1 and critical infrastructure protection______

Output Group 2.5: Protective security and national security crises coordination

Outcome 2: Coordinated federal criminal justice, security and emergency management activity, for a safer Australia

2009-10 B udget year

Outcome 2: Coordinated federal criminal justice, security and emergency management activity, for a safer Australia

Program 2 .1: National security OG2.3 OG2.4 OG2.5

OG2.6 3G 3.2

2.1.1: National security resilience policy 2.12: Emergency management 2.1.3: National security capability development

2.1.4: National security law and policy

Outcome 2: Coordinated federal criminal justice, security and emergency management activity, for a safer Australia

Output Group 2.2: International criminal justice cooperation

Output Group 2.1: Criminal justice P2.2.1 and crime prevention 2.2.1: Criminal justice

2.2.2: international crime cooperation

Program 2.2: Criminal justice

Outcome 3: Assisting regons to Outcome 3: Assisting regions to manage their own futures manage their own futures

O u t p u t G r o u p 3 .1 : S e r v i c e s to P3.1

territories

Note: P = Program, OG = Output Group.

* ■ Program 3.1: Services to territories OG3.1

248

APPENDIX 5

CHANGES TO OUTCOME/OUTPUT STRUCTURE DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP

Transition from outcomes and outputs to outcomes and programs

(source: Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio, Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-2010, pp 23-30.)

2008-09 Budget year

O u tc o m e 1: C ontributing to A u stra lia 's

so ciety and its eco n o m ic a d v a n c e m e n t

through th e lawful a n d orderly en try a n d

sta y of p e o p le.

2009-10 Budget year

O u tc o m e 1: M an ag ed m igration th ro u g h

v isas gran ted for p e rm a n e n t se ttle m e n t,

work, study, tourism , working holidays or

other sp e c ia lis e d activities in A ustralia,

regulation, r e s e a rc h and m igration policy

advice an d program d e s ig n .

O u tp u t G ro u p 1.1: M igration a n d

-----► P ro g ram 1.1.1: V isa a n d Migration - S e rv ic e

T em p o rary E ntry D elivery

Departmental Outputs: Departmental Items:

Economic Migration Economic Migration

Famiy Migration Family Migration

Resident Return Visas, Former Resident Resident Return Visas, Former Resident

Visas, Australian Declaratory Visas Visas, Australian Declaratory Visas

and Certificates of Evidence of and Certificates of Evidence of

Resident Status Resident Status

Students Students

Temporary Residents (Economic) Temporary Residents (Economic)

Temporary Residents (Non-Economic) Temporary Residents (Non-Economic)

Visitors and Working Holiday Makers Visitors and Working Holiday Makers

> P rogram 1.1.2: V isa a n d Migration - P olicy A dvice and P ro g ram D esig n _________________

Departmental Items:

Economic Migration Family Migration Resident Return Visas, Former Resident Visas, Australian Declaratory Visas

and Certificates of Evidence of

Resident Status Students Temporary Residents (Economic) Temporary Residents (Non-Economic)

Visitors and Working Holiday Makers

249

Page 22

200 8-0 9 B udget y e a r 2009-10 B u d g et y e a r

O u tc o m e 1 continued O u tc o m e 1 co n tin u e d

P ro g ram 1.1.3: Visa an d Migration -

O ffice of the MARA

Regulation o f migration agents

A d m in is te re d Item :

Joint Commonwealth, State and Territory

Research Program (for paym ent to

the Australian Population,

Multicultural and Immigration

Research Program A ccount)_________

P ro g ra m 1.1: V isa an d M igration

Sp ecial A p prop riatio n:

Special Appropriation: Statutory

self-regulation o f migration agents

O u tp u t G roup 1.1: Migration a n d

T em p o rary Entry________________

A d m in is te re d Item:

Joint Commonwealth, State and Territory

Research Program (for paym ent to

the Australian Population,

Multicultural and Immigration

Research Program Account)

250

Page 23

2 0 0 8 -0 9 B u d g et y e a r 2 0 0 9-1 0 B u d g e t y e a r

O u tc o m e 1 c o n tin u e d O u tc o m e 2: P ro tectio n , re settlem en t an d

tem p o rary s a f e h a v en for re fu g e e s and

peo p le in hum an itarian n e ed th ro u g h

partnering with international a g e n c ie s ;

a s s e s s in g hu m an itarian visa ap p lic atio n s;

and re fu g e e an d h u m anitarian policy a d v ic e

an d program d e s ig n .

O utput G ro u p 1.2: R e fu g e e an d ------------ ► P ro g ram 2.1: R e fu g e e a n d H u m a n ita ria n

H um anitarian E ntry a n d S tay A s s is ta n c e

A d m in is te re d Item s: A d m in istered Ite m s :

Allowances for persons granted visas in Allowances for persons granted visas in

the Humanitarian Program the Humanitarian P rogram

Initiatives to address the situation o f Immigration A dvice and Application

displaced persons and promote Assistance Scheme - onshore

sustainable returns protection 2

International Organization for Migration, Initiatives to address the situation o f

- contribution displaced persons and prom ote

M anagem ent and care o f treguiar sustainable returns

immigrants project in Indonesia 1 International Organization for M igration

Paym ents to the Australian Red Cross - contribution

Society for the Asylum Seeker Payments to the Australian Red C ross

Assistance (ASA) Scheme Society for the Asylum S eeker

Refugee, humanitarian and assisted Assistance (ASA) Schem e

m ovem ents - passage and associated Refugee and humanitarian passage,

costs associated costs and related services

Secretariat for Inter-G overnm ental Secretariat for Inter-G overnm ental

Consultations on asylum , refugee and Consultations on migration, asylum

migration policies - membership and refugees - m em bership

contribution contribution

transferred to 2009-10 Program 4.3 2 previously a com ponent o f O utput Group 1.2

in 2008-09

O u tp u t G ro u p 1.2: R e fu g e e and

H um anitarian E ntry an d S tay

D e p a rtm e n ta l O u tp uts:

Offshore Humanitarian Program

Protection visas (Onshore)

P rogram 2.1.1: R e fu g e e a n d H u m a n ita ria n

A s s is ta n c e - S e rv ic e D elivery

D ep artm en tal Item s :

Offshore Humanitarian Program

Protection visas (O nshore)

P ro g ram 2.1.2: R e fu g e e an d H um an itarian

A s s is ta n c e - Policy A dvice a n d P ro g ra m

D esig n

D ep artm en tal Ite m s :

Offshore Humanitarian Program

P rotectbn visas (O nshore)

251

Page 24

2008-09 B u dg et y e a r 2009-10 B udget y e a r

O u tc o m e 1 co n tin u e d O u tc o m e 3: Lawful entry of p eo p le to

A u stralia through b o rd er m a n a g e m e n t

se rv ic e s involving b o n a fid e trav eller

facilitation; identity m an a g em e n t; d o c u m e n t

verification; intelligence a n aly sis;

p a rtn e rsh ip s with international a n d d o m e s tic

a g e n c ie s; and b o rder policy a d v ic e an d

program d e sig n .

new administered item

A d m in is te re d Item :

Combating people smuggling

P ro g ra m 3.1: B order M a n a g e m e n t

D ep artm en tal O utputs:

Borders Identity

O utput G rou p 1 .3 : B order S e c u rity P ro g ra m 3.1.1: B order M a n a g em en t -

S erv ice D eliv ery ______________________

D ep artm en tal Item s:

Borders Identity

P ro g ram 3.1.2: B order M a n a g em en t - Policy A dvice a n d P ro g ra m D e sig n

D ep artm en tal Item s :

Borders Identity

252

Page 25

2 0 0 8 -0 9 B u d g et y e a r 20 0 9-1 0 B u d g et y e a r

O u tc o m e 1 c o n tin u e d O u tc o m e 4: Lawful s ta y of v isa hold ers a n d a c c e s s to

citizenship rights for eligible

people through prom otion of visa c o m p lia n c e

responsibilities, s ta tu s re so lu tio n ,

citizenship acquisition integrity, c a s e

m an a g em e n t, rem oval an d detention, and

policy advice and pro g ram d e s ig n .

P ro g ra m 4 .1: V isa C o m p lian ce a n d

S ta tu s R e so lu tio n

A d m in is te re d Ite m s :

Compliance Resolution, C om m unity

Care and Assistance e____________________

6 previously a component o f Output Group 1 2

and Output G roup 1.4 in 2008-09

O u tp u t G ro u p 1.4: C o m p lia n c e

A d m in is te re d Item s:

Reintegration Allowances 4

D e p a rtm e n ta l O utp uts:

Detection Onshore

Removals

Status Resolution

discontinued in 2009-10

O u tp u t G ro u p 1.5: D e ten tio n

A d m in is te re d Item s:

Detention C o n tra c t6

D e p a rtm e n ta l O utp uts:

Detention

’ the com ponent relating to illegal foreign

fishers has been transferred to

program 4.4 in 2009-10

P ro g ra m 4 .1 .1 : V isa C o m p lian ce a n d S t a tu s R e s o lu tio n - S e r v ic e D elivery

D e p a rtm e n ta l Ite m s :

Detection O nshore

R em ovals

Status R e so lu tb n

P ro g ram 4 .1 .2 : V isa C o m p lian ce a n d S t a tu s

R esolution - Policy A dvice a n d P ro g ram D e sig n

D e p a rtm e n ta l Item s :

Detection O nshore

R em ovals

Status Resolution

P rogram 4.2: O n s h o re D etention N etw ork

A d m in is te re d Ite m s :

Community and Detention Services

Contracts

Payments under Section 3 3

fFM A A c t) - A c t of Grace Payments 7

7 previously allocated to all outcom es

P ro g ram 4.2.1: O n s h o re D etention Network

S erv ice Delivery ______________

D ep artm en tal Item :

Community and D etention

Services

P rogram 4.2.2: O n s h o re D etention Netw ork P olicy Ad vic e a nd P ro g ram D e s ig n--------------

D epartm ental Item :

Community and D etention

Services

C o n tin u e d o n n e x t p a g e .

253

Page 26

2 0 0 8 -0 9 B u d g e t y e a r 2 0 09-10 B u d g e t y e a r

O u tc o m e 1 continued O u tc o m e 4 co n tin u ed

O u tp u t G roup 1.6: O ffsh o re A sylum ------- ► P ro g ra m 4.3: O ffsh o re A sylum S e e k e r

S e e k e r M anagem ent M a n a g e m e n t

A d m in is te re d Ite m s: A d m in is te r e d Ite m s :

Offshore Asylum Seeker Community and Detention

M a n a g e m en t8 Services Contracts 10

D e p a rtm e n ta l O u tp u ts : Managem ent and Care o f Irregular

Offshore Asylum Seeker Immigrants in Indonesia 11

Management Regional Cooperation and C apacity

6 included in new 2009-10 structure as two _____ Building --------------------------------------------------------

Administered Items: "Community and

Detention Services C ontracts" and

"Regional Cooperation and Capacity Building"

item resulting from split o f the 2008-09 Administered Item "Offshore A sylum

Seeker M anagem ent"

11 transferred from Output Group 1.2 in 2008-09

A d m in is te r e d I te m s :

Community and D etention _____ SprtWrp.*? C ontrac ts 10

■ P ro g ra m 4 .4 : Ille gal-F ore ig n F is h e r s

P ro g ra m 4.3.1: O ffshore A sylum S e e k e r M an ag em en t - S ervice D elivery

D e p a rtm e n ta l Item : Offshore Asylum S e e ke r M anagem ent

P ro g ra m 4.3.2: O ffsh o re A sylum S e e k e r

M an ag em en t - Policy A dvice a n d P ro g ra m

D e sig n ____________________________________

D e p a rtm e n ta l Item :

Offshore Asylum S eeker

M anagem ent_________

O u tp u t G roup 1.7 S y s te m s for P e o p le

D e p a rtm e n ta l O u tp u ts :

Systems for People 9

9 attributed across all program s in 2009-10

P ro g ram 4.4.1: Illegal F oreign F is h e rs -

S e n /ic e Delivery

D e p a rtm e n ta l Item :

Illegal Foreign Fishers 12______________

P ro g ram 4.4.2: Illegal Foreign F is h e rs -Policy A dvice and P ro g ra m D e sig n ________________

D e p a rtm e n ta l Item :

Illegal Foreign Fishers

’ 2 previously a component o f O u tp ut G roup 1.5 in 2008-09

254

Page 27

2 0 0 8 -0 9 B u d g et y e a r 200 9-1 0 B u d g et y e a r

O u tc o m e 2: A so ciety w hich v a lu e s

A ustralian citizenship a n d so cial c o h e s io n ,

and e n a b le s m igrants a n d re fu g e e s to

participate equitably.

O u tc o m e 5: E q u itab le eco n o m ic and social

participation of m ig ra n ts a n d re fu g e e s ,

su p p o rte d th ro u g h se ttle m e n t s e rv ic e s ,

including E nglish la n g u a g e training;

re fu g e e se ttle m e n t; c a s e coordination;

translation s e rv ic e s; an d se ttle m e n t policy

ad v ice an d p rogram d e s ig n .

to be discontinued during 2009-10

O u tp u t G roup 2.2: T ranslating an d

Interpreting S e rv ic e s

D e p a rtm e n ta l O u tp u ts :

Docum ent Translating

On-site Interpreting

Telephone Interpreting

O u tp u t G ro u p 2.1: S ettlem en t S e rv ic e s

D e p a rtm e n ta l O utputs:

A M E P Administration

Free Translating and Interpreting S ervices

Humanitarian Settlement S ervices

Settlement Planning and Information D elivery

Support for Community Services

D e p a rtm e n ta l Item s :

A M E P A dm inistration

Free Translating and Interpreting Services

Humanitarian Settlement Services

Settlement Planning and Information D elivery

Support for Com munity Services

TIS On-site Interpreting

TIS Telephone Interpreting

P ro g ra m 5.1.1: S ettlem en t S e rv ic e s for

M igrants a n d R e fu g e e s - S e rv ice Delivery

P rogram 5.1,2: S ettlem en t S e rv ic e s for

M igrants an d R e fu g e e s - P olicy

A dvice and P ro g ra m D esig n

D e p a rtm e n ta l Ite m s :

A M E P Adm inistration

Free Translating and Interpreting Services

Humanitarian Settlement Services

Settlement Planning and Information D elivery

Support for Community Services

TIS On-site Interpreting

TIS Telephone Interpreting___________________

O u tp u t G roup 2.1: S ettle m e n t S e rv ic e s

A d m in is te re d Item s:

Adult M igrant English Program (AMEP)

Assistance for Form er Child Migrants

Grants for M igrant Community Services

Humanitarian Settlem ent Services

National Accreditation Authority for

Translators and Interpreters Limited -

contribution

Supervision and welfare support fo r

unaccom panied humanitarian minors

(SPP Bill No. 2)____________________

P ro g ra m 5.1: S e ttle m e n t S e rv ice s for

M igrants an d R e f u g e e s

A d m in is te re d Ite m s :

A dult M igrant English Program (AM EP)

Assistance for Form er Child M igrants

Grants for Com munity Settlem ent Services

Humanitarian Settlement Services

National Accreditation Authority fo r

Translators and Interpreters Ltd -

contribution

Supervisbn a n d welfare fo r

unaccom panied humanitarian m inors

(C O PE Bill N o 1)

C o n tin u e d o n n e x t p a g e .

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200 8-0 9 B u d g e t y e a r 2009-10 B u d g et y e a r

O u tc o m e 2 continued

O u tpu t G roup 2 ,3; A ustralian C itizenship

A d m in is te re d Item s :

Citizenship T e s t Preparation

D ep artm en tal O utp u ts:

Decisions on Citizenship Status

Promoting the Value o f Australian

-------- Citiz enship ----------------------------------------

O u tp u t G roup 2.4: P rom oting th e

B enefits of a U nited a n d D iverse ^ptpm ty_______________________________________

A d m in is te re d Item s:

Grants for Community Relations u

Grants for Multicultural Affairs

Msrabooka M ulticultural Centre -

contribution

National A ctb n Plan to Build Social

Cohesion, Harm ony and Security

Community Engagement

National Action Plan to Build Social

Cohesion, Harmony and Security

State/Territory Governm ent

Partnership (SPP Bill No, 2) 15

Pacific Seasonal W orker Pilot

Scheme

Parliament o f the World's Religions

2009 Contribution

D e p a rtm e n ta l O u tp uts:

Promoting the Benefits o f a United and

Diverse Society______________________

11 renam ed as "Diverse Australia Program"

15 funding ceases in June 2009

O u tp u t G roup 2.5: S y s te m s for P e o p le

D e p a rtm e n ta l O u tp u ts :

Systems for People 16

16 attributed across all programs in 2009-10

O u tc o m e 6: A co h esiv e, m ulticultural

A ustralian society th ro u g h prom otion of

cultural diversity a n d a unifying c itize n sh ip ,

d e c isio n s on citizenship sta tu s , a n d

m ulticultural and citizenship policy a d v ic e

a n d program d e sig n .

P ro g ram 6.1: Multicultural a n d C itiz en sh ip

Services----- — ------ — --------—-------

A d m in is te re d Item s :

Citizenship Test Preparation 17

Diverse Australia Program

Grants for Multicultural Affairs

Mirrabooka Multicultural Centre -

contribution

National Action Plan to Build Social

Cohesion, Harmony and Security -

Community E ngagem ent

Pacific Seasonal W orker Pilot

Scheme

Parliament o f the World's Religions 9ΩΠΟ - r.n n trifriffin n_______________ .

2 0 0 9 -10

P ro g ra m 6.1.1: Multicultural a n d

C itizenship S ervices - S e rv ic e

Delivery_________________________

D ep artm en tal Item s:

Decisions on Citizenship S tatus

Promoting the Benefits o f a United and

Diverse Society

Promoting the Value o f A ustralian

Citizenship_____________________________

> P ro g ra m 6.1.2: Multicultural a n d C itizenship S e rv ice s - P olicy A d v ice

a n d P ro g ra m D e sig n _______________________________

D epartm ental Item s:

D ecisbns on Citizenship Status

Promoting the Benefits o f a United and

Diverse Society

Promoting the Value o f Australian

Citizenship____________________________________|

256

The Senate

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2009-10

June 2009

© Commonwealth of Australia

ISBN 978-1-74229-117-8

T his d o cum ent w as p roduced from cam era-ready copy prep ared by the S enate R ural an d R egional A ffairs an d T ransport L egislation C o m m ittee and printed b y the S enate P rinting U nit, D ep artm en t o f th e Senate, P arliam ent H ouse, C anberra. ii

ii

258

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Glenn Sterle

Senator Fiona Nash

Senator the Hon. Bill Heffeman

Senator Steve Hutchins

Senator Kerry O'Brien

Senator Rachel Siewert

ALP, Western Australia Chair

NPA, New South Wales Deputy Chair

LP, New South Wales

ALP, New South Wales

ALP, Tasmania

AG, Western Australia

Participating Members

Senator Abetz Senator Adams Senator Back Senator Barnett Senator Bemardi Senator Bilyk Senator Birmingham

Senator Bishop Senator Boswell Senator Boyce Senator Brandis Senator B Brown Senator C Brown Senator Bushby Senator Cameron

Senator Cash Senator Colbeck Senator Collins Senator Coonan Senator Connann Senator Crossin Senator Eggleston Senator Farrell Senator Feeney

Senator Ferguson Senator Fielding Senator F ierravanti-Well s Senator Fifield

Senator Fisher Senator Forshaw

Senator Fumer Senator Hanson- Young Senator Humphries

Senator Hurley Senator Johnston Senator Joyce Senator Kroger Senator Ludlam Senator Lundy Senator Macdonald Senator McEwen Senator McGauran Senator McLucas Senator Marshall Senator Mason

Senator Milne Senator Minchin Senator Moore Senator Parry Senator Payne Senator Policy Senator Pratt Senator Ronaldson Senator Ryan Senator Scullion Senator Troeth Senator Trood Senator Williams Senator Wortley

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Committee Secretariat

Ms Jeanette Radcliffe, Secretary Ms Jenene James, Research Officer Mr Alex Wilson, Research Officer Ms Maria Sarelas, Executive Assistant

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

phone: (02) 6277 3511 fax: (02) 6277 5811 e-mail: rrat.sen@aph.gov.au internet: www.aph.uov.au/senate_n-at

Table of Contents

Membership of the C om m ittee..............................................................................iii

List of A bbreviations............................................................................................ viii

Chapter 1

Introduction......................................................................... 1

Changes to departmental structures....................................................................... 2

Questions on Notice............................................................. 2

Additional information.......................................................................................... 2

Note on references........................................... 2

C hapter 2

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio....................................................... 3

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry............................................... 3

Secretary's overview.............................................................................................. 3

Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy..................................... 4

Land and Water Australia (LWA)......................................................................... 6

Wheat Exports Australia (WEA)............................................................................7

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)................................................................... 9

Climate Change; and Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE).............................................................................................................. 10

Sustainable Resource Management...................................................................... 12

Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)........................................ 12

Trade and Market Access..................................................................................... 13

Quarantine and Biosecurity Policy Unit; Australian Quarantine and Inspection Sendee (AQIS); and Biosecurity Australia..........................................................13

Australian Wool innovation (AWI)......................................................................15

Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health (PIAPH)..........................................15

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)............... 16

Agricultural Productivity......................................................................................17

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC)................... 18

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Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)..................................19

Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS)........................................................................ 20

Chapter 3

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio..................................................................................................................23

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.........................................................................................................23

Acting Secretary's overview................................................................................23

Corporate Services............................................................................................... 24

Infrastructure Australia........................................................................................ 25

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC).............................................. ...26

Nation Building—Infrastructure Investment...................... ............................... 27

Infrastructure and Surface Transport Policy; and National Transport Strategy ...27

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)................................................. 28

Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE).............29

Inspector of Transport Security (ITS)................................................................. 29

Office of Transport Security.............................................................................. 30

Aviation and Airports..........................................................................................30

Airservices Australia...........................................................................................31

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)............................................................ 32

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)...................................................... 33

Local Government and Regional Development.................................................. 33

Office of Northern Australia............................................................................... 34

Appendix 1

Table of contents to proof Hansard transcripts................................................. 35

Monday 25 May 2009............................................................................................36

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio...................................................... 36

Tuesday 26 May 2009..... 37

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio...................................................... 37

Wednesday 27 May 2009.......................................................................................38

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio...............................................................................................................38

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Thursday 28 May 2009...........................................................................................39

infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio............................................................................................................... 39

Appendix 2

Tabled Documents..................................................................................................41

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio...................................................... 41

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio........................................................... ................................................... 41

Appendix 3

List of topics discussed with the Agriculture, Fisheries

and Forestry portfolio....................................... ...................................................43

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List of Abbreviations

AAHL Australian Animal Health Laboratory

AANRO Australian Agriculture and Natural Resources Online

ABARE Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics

ACCC Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

AFMA Australian Fisheries Management Authority

AFP Australian Federal Police

AMS A Australian Maritime Safety Authority

ANAO Australian National Audit Office

APVMA Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

AQIS

ARTC

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

Australian Rail Track Corporation

ASL Average Staffing Level

ATSB Australian Transport Safety Bureau

AWI Australian Wool Innovation

BITRE Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics

BRS Bureau of Rural Sciences

CASA Civil Aviation Safety Authority

CCRSPI Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries

CEO Chief Executive Officer

CIE Centre for International Economics

COAG Council of Australian Governments

CPRS Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

DAFF Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

DCC Department of Climate Change

DITRDLG Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

DEO Departmental Liaison Officer

EC Exceptional Circumstances

ΕΙΤΕ Emissions-intensive and trade-exposed

EPBC Act Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

ETS Emissions Trading Scheme

FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation

vm 264

FMA Act Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

FOI Freedom of Information

FTA Free Trade Agreement

GM Genetically Modified

GRDC Grains Research and Development Corporation

IOTC Indian Ocean Tuna Commission

IRA Import Risk Analysis

ITS Inspector of Transport Security

LWA Land and Water Australia

MAC Management Advisory Committee

MIS Managed Investment Scheme

MLA Meat and Livestock Australia

MRL Maximum Residue Limit

MSIC Maritime Security Identification Card

NLIS National Livestock Identification Scheme

NRM Natural Resource Management

NTC National Transport Commission

PAES Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements

PBS Portfolio Budget Statements

PIAPH Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health

R&D Research and Development

RDA Regional Development Australia

RDCs Research and Development Corporations

RIRDC Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

RPP Regional Partnerships Program

SRM Sustainable Resource Management

TFES Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme

TRaCK Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

UK United Kingdom

US United States

WEA Wheat Exports Australia

WTO World Trade Organisation

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266

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 On 12 May 2009, the Senate referred the following documents to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (the committee) for examination and report in relation to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio and the Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio:

• Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010; ■

• Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010; and

• Particulars of proposed expenditure in relation to the parliamentary departments in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010.1

1.2 The committee was required to report to the Senate on its consideration of 2009-2010 budget estimates on 23 June 2009.

1.3 The committee considered the Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-2010 for both portfolios at hearings on 25, 26, 27 and 28 May 2009. The hearings were conducted in accordance with the agreed agenda as follows:

• Monday 25 May 2009 - Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.

• Tuesday 26 May 2009 - Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.

• Wednesday 27 May 2009 - Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio.

• Thursday 28 May 2009 — Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio.

1.4 The committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, the then Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, representing the Minister

for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government. Evidence was also provided by Dr Conall O'Connell. Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Mr Andrew Tongue, Acting Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local

Government, and officers representing the departments and agencies covered by the estimates before the committee.

1 Journals o f the Senate, No. 67, 12 M ay 2009, p. 1920.

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1.5 The committee thanks the ministers, departmental secretaries and officers for their assistance and cooperation during the hearings.

Changes to departmental structures

1.6 The committee notes that no changes have been made to the departmental structure for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry or the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government since the 2008-09 Additional Estimates round.

Questions on Notice

1.7 In accordance with Standing Order 26, the committee is required to set a date for the lodgement of written answers and additional information. The committee requested that written answers and additional information be submitted by Wednesday 22 July 2009.

Additional information

1.8 Answers to questions taken on notice at the committee's budget estimates hearings will be tabled in the Senate in separate volumes entitled 'Additional information relating to the examination of budget estimates 2009-2010 - May 2009 - Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee'. Documents not suitable for inclusion in the additional information volumes will be available on request from the committee secretariat.

1.9 Answers to questions on notice received from the departments will also be posted on the committee's website at a later date.

Note on references

1.10 References to the Hansard transcript are to the proof Hansard; page numbers may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcript.

268

Chapter 2

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

2.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2009-2010 budget estimates hearings for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio. A complete list of all the topics discussed, and relevant page numbers, can be found at appendix 3.

2.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Monday 25 May and Tuesday 26 May 2009. The hearing was conducted in the following order:

• Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy

• Land and Water Australia

• Wheat Exports Australia

• Meat and Livestock Australia

• Climate Change

• Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics

• Sustainable Resource Management

• Australian Fisheries Management Authority

• Trade and Market Access

• Quarantine and Biosecurity Policy Unit

• Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

• Biosecurity Australia

• Australian Wool Innovation

• Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health

• Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

• Agricultural Productivity

• Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

• Grains Research and Development Corporation

• Bureau of Rural Sciences

Secretary’s overview

2.3 In his opening remarks to the committee, the secretary, Dr Conall O'Connell, sought to clarify aspects of the department's budget for 2009-10. He indicated that drought funding estimates have been revised downward by $433 million due to a decrease in the number of areas that are Exceptional Circumstances (EC) declared. He explained that the budget papers can appear to show a greater reduction, as funds

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previously recorded in this portfolio for EC interest rate subsidies are now accounted for by the Treasury as part of the financial relations reforms stemming from the CO AG agreement.1

2.4 Biosecurity funding has been received for a number of lapsing programs, pending the government's consideration of reforms to the biosecurity framework proposed by the Beale review. The 40 percent subsidy of AQIS fees and charges

provided to the agricultural export industry is due to expire as scheduled at the end of 2008-09, equating to $37.4 million. Fees for 2009-10 are under discussion with industry clients.1 2

2.5 The government has decided to cease funding for Land and Water Australia (LWA), providing savings of $6.3 million in 2009-10 and $13 million in each of the out years. Funding has been reduced by $3 million per year for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).3

2.6 The department is subject to a 3.25 percent efficiency dividend, amounting to $5,935 million. This year the department has also been asked to find further efficiencies of $800,000 in relation to information technology spending as a result of

the Gershon review. In addition, the department is subject to a savings measure of $3.4 million, equating to 1.2 percent of the department's departmental appropriation. This will require a reduction in departmental and agency running costs. To manage outcomes within its appropriation while maintaining the department in a financially

secure position, it is estimated that staffing levels may need to decrease by about six percent, or 250 ASL.4 5

Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy

2.7 The committee began by expressing concern about the level of cuts to the department's budget for 2009-2010, in particular the application of the 1.2 percent savings measures in addition to the 3.25 percent efficiency dividend. The Minister indicated that he considered there had been a range of both inadvertent and deliberate misrepresentations about the size of the budget cuts. The Secretary added that most other departments also had savings measures."

2.8 The committee was interested in the impact of the savings measures on staffing levels, estimated to decrease by six percent, equivalent to 250 staff. The secretary indicated that no decisions have been taken on how this will be managed.

The department is currently assessing priorities, taking into account statutory

1 Proof Estimates Hansard. 25 May 2009. p. 5.

2 Proof Estimates Hansard. 25 May 2009, p. 5.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard. 25 May 2009, p. 6.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 6.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 7-9.

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requirements, government priorities and other needs. The secretary emphasised that any changes to staffing levels will not come from the frontline, that is, AQIS, quarantine and export staff.6 He explained that:

it is our intention to achieve changes to staffing levels primarily through managing normal turnover and placing staff in suitable positions within the department or, if necessary, other departments. We will minimise reliance on voluntary redundancies and there should be no need for an open offer of

voluntary redundancies. It is also our aim to achieve no involuntary redundancies.7

2.9 In addition, a freeze has been placed on next year's graduate program of approximately 60 positions.8 9

2.10 The committee questioned the rationale behind the decision to abolish LWA, given its importance as a central research organisation. In response, the Minister stated that:

A great deal has changed since Land and Water was established over 20 years ago. Natural resource management is now a mainstream issue for government, the community and the R&D network generally. Land and Water Australia has played an important role in progressing innovative responses to natural resource management issues and it, rightly and justly, is proud of its contribution. Land and Water Australia has created momentum that is now being carried forward by major natural resource management programs funded by the government, including the $2.25 billion Caring for our Country program, the $13 billion water reform and the $130 million investment program Australia Farming Future initiative.

This was a policy decision taken as part of the budget and the government stands by the decision to end this program,4

2.11 The committee was interested in the impact of the decision on existing contracts. The department indicated that LWA will receive an appropriation this year of $6.7 million, firstly, to wind-up the organisation itself and, secondly, to enable transition to occur in relation to key research programs managed by LWA. It is

anticipated that a number of programs will be continued, including the Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI); Managing Climate Variability; Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge (TRaCK); the National Program for Sustainable Irrigation; and the Australian Agriculture and Natural Resources

Online (AANRO) facility. The committee was informed that negotiations to identify new hosts for these programs are underway at the moment. The Minister has asked

6 P roof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 11.

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 7.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 12.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 23.

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LWA to identify which programs and projects may possibly be continued and which may be modified or transferred to another agency to manage.10 1 1 1 2

2.12 The committee raised concerns that some of the initiatives mentioned by the Minister as replacement programs for those managed by LWA, such as Caring for Country (see paragraph 2.10 above) are not research-based. The department pointed out that:

there now exist a sig n ifican t n u m b e r o f bodies w ith a p o lic y and research interest in land and w ater issues w hich exist now but did n o t ex ist at the

tim e Land and W ater A u stralia w as established. A nd they are to vary in g

degrees p u rch asers and in som e cases conductors o f re s e a rc h .11

2.13 The committee also highlighted LWA's important role in carrying out a range of projects around natural resource management and in relation to knowledge brokering. The committee questioned who would now assume responsibility for networking and liaising between all research organisations. The department indicated that it is working through those issues with LWA at the moment.1"

2.14 The committee also sought information about:

• rationale for removing drought-related payments to the states from the department to Treasury {Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 9­ 10);

• explanation of the application of the efficiency dividend and specific savings measures (pp 16-20);

• Gershon review and cuts to IT spending; contract with new IT service provider (pp 20-22); and

• administrative support for Minister's video on the departmental website (PP 31-33).

Land and Water Australia (LWA)

2.15 In his opening statement, the Executive Director, Dr Michael Robinson, indicated that while the LWA board accepts the government's decision to abolish the corporation and is committed to managing the wind-up of the organisation as professionally as possible, they are

deeply d isap p o in ted at the g o v ern m en t’s decision to abolish L and and W ater A ustralia and red u ce g o v ern m en t investm ent in research and

d ev e lo p m e n t.13

10 P roof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 24. See also p. 29.

11 P roof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 25.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 26.

13 P roof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 33. See also p. 34.

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2.16 The committee sought information about the projects LWA is currently running either on its own or in partnership with other research organisations or industry groups and legal liability in relation to funding agreements. LWA indicated that it has about 120 research projects on its books and it has given in-principle commitment to another 26. LWA is about to begin an assessment of each project as to its relative priority and make a judgement, according to its budget, as to what will continue in what form. The 26 projects will be assessed according to the stage of negotiations they have reached. Some have already signed a contract while others are at earlier stages in the process.14

2.17 The committee asked whether there had been any formal undertaking from the government in relation to the future of the Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CCRSPI). The department indicated that the Minister has made it clear that CCRSPI is a priority, with the department expected to play a role in

ensuring it is maintained and continues. LWA explained that the CCRSPI steering committee recently met to find a new managing agent. LWA continued:

All of the partners, which include all the RDCs and P1SC agencies, the Commonwealth and CSIRO, have reiterated their commitment to continuing CCRSPI but it is a matter of finding a managing agent who has the independence and partnership brokering role that we have played to

carry on the role in the same way. That is the process we are working through.15

2.18 The committee also pursued the following matters:

• rationale for abolishing LWA and cutting research funding for agriculture {Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 34 and 35-36);

• estimated number of job losses and loss of research capacity if current projects do not go ahead (pp 38, 39-40, 41-42 and 44);

• timeframe for the process to determine the future of programs and projects currently managed by LWA (p. 42);

• cost of termination of building lease (pp 43— 44); and

• breakdown of funding allocation for winding-up LWA (pp 47— 49).

2.19 LWA was also discussed with the departmental executive under the section on Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy at paragraphs 2.10-2.13.

Wheat Exports Australia (WEA)

2.20 The committee sought an assessment of the first year's operation of the new deregulated market. WEA responded that 'the system had gone about as well as it could do'. There are now 23 accredited exporters and a majority of those have been

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, pp 36, 37 and 38.

15 P roof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 41.

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actively exporting grain. Feedback provided to WE A indicates that people within the industry are 'generally fairly comfortable' with the accreditation scheme.16 1 7

2.21 WEA considers that all of the companies it has a close association with through the accreditation scheme have been performing 'well and creditably'. WEA observed that while the accreditation process is rigorous and difficult, some of the smaller or medium-sized companies have actually improved their systems, such as

governance, risk management or credit facilities, as a result of the accreditation process. WEA pointed out that there have been some teething problems, particularly at the ports, however, the bulk handlers have responded 'very openly and well'.11

2.22 WEA informed the committee that, since deregulation, a number of companies have established new markets in countries such as Rwanda, Mozambique and Israel. While quantities have been small, WEA sees this as an encouraging trend.18 1 9 The committee was also interested in the impact of deregulation on wheat exporting costs. WEA advised that overall, bulk cargo rates have come down by

95 percent.1

2.23 WEA emphasised that the prime issue to be addressed at present is the access undertaking process, which is due to come into effect on 1 October 2009. Providers of export port terminal services need to have an access undertaking if they wish to be accredited. To date, three major bodies have submitted their draft access undertakings to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), namely CBH,

ABB and GrainCorp.20 2 1 WEA explained that while it has no role in developing the access undertakings, it has had discussions with the ACCC and will provide them with assistance and advice if requested."1

2.24 The committee also discussed the following matters:

• issues in relation to current access arrangements for port terminals {Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 53);

• reviews of the grain freight rail networks in NSW and WA (pp 57 and 61); • update on delays with unloading of road freight at Newcastle terminal (pp 57-58); and

• factors taken into account during assessment of applications for accreditation (pp 58-59).

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 53.

17 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 62.

18 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 61.

19 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 58.

20 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009. p. 53. See also pp 62-63.

21 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 54.

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Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)

2.25 The committee was interested to know how Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) will be affected by budget cutbacks. MLA explained that it is largely funded by levies and private sources, with the exception of a significant amount of government funding through the matching R&D dollar, so there has been no change to

its income streams.22

2.26 The committee sought information about the impact of the proposed removal of the 40 percent quarantine exporter's subsidy and the extent to which Australian producers may be disadvantaged in comparison with overseas competitors. MLA indicated that the additional cost will be around $32 million-$34 million for meat

inspection. It is widely recognised in the meat and livestock industry that all costs apportioned to a processor will either be passed back to the grower or forward to the consumer. MLA also pointed out that this will be an additional impost that American producers do not incur.23

2.27 The committee held a long discussion with MLA about the impact of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)ZCarbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) on production costs and profitability. MLA described its role in relation to this issue as twofold: primarily, MLA devotes its energies to stimulate and lift demand for

Australian meat domestically and worldwide; separately, its research portfolio is carrying out research into any imposts, burdens or impacts relating to production or productivity. This has included funding of a number of research projects into the possible effects of climate change.24

2.28 The committee also heard evidence on the following matters:

• consultation with the government on AQIS fees {Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 66);

• assumptions behind research into the impact of CPRS conducted by the Centre for International Economics (CIE) and modelling by ABARE (pp 67-68 and 71-73);

• extent to which meat processors will qualify for assistance as emissions- intensive and trade-exposed (EITEs) (pp 75-76);

• NSW proposal to introduce a meat labelling program; Primary Industries Ministerial Council working group examination of consumer labelling for meat (pp 77-78); and

• research into methane emissions from sheep and cattle (pp 82-84).

22 P roof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 65.

23 P roof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 66. See also p. 84.

24 P roof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 67. See also pages 68-77.

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Climate Change; and Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE)

2.29 The Climate Change division and ABARE appeared together.

2.30 The committee was interested in the extent of ABARE's research into the impact of climate change, the ETS, and the CPRS on agriculture. In particular, it asked whether ABARE had considered factors such as the impact at a state level, flow-on effects on rural communities, population shifts from rural to urban areas and so on. ABARE indicated that while it has not, as yet, looked at the impact of the CPRS below the national level, it is part of its work plan to do so.'2 '

2.31 In relation to flow-on effects on rural and regional communities, ABARE explained that it is limited to a certain extent by lack of data which makes it difficult to develop comprehensive modelling across the country. Data is available on the economy and employment at a fairly fine-grain level, but not on some of the social

impacts. Mr Phillip Clyde, Executive Director, ABARE, stated:

I sense a fair bit o f frustration about the m o d ellin g w o rk that w e do, but 1

think it ju s t goes to the lim itations o f m o d ellin g itself. T here is only so far

you can go w ith the level o f data w e have in the country. If w e do not have

fine-grain data from the A B S in relation to p o p u la tio n tren d s and dynam ics and things like that, it is not w orth the effo rt o f m o d ellin g it.2 5 26

2.32 The committee sought an update on forestry Managed Investment Schemes (MIS), in particular, arrangements for the ongoing management of Timbercorp and Great Southern plantations while they are in the hands of the receivers. The department indicated that the Minister has met with the receivers and discussed the handling of the administration process and employee issues. The department observed that:

It is p retty d ifficult, i f n o t im possible, to say anything about th a t at this

stage because the w h o le question o f o w n ersh ip o f those assets is not clear. T im bercorp and G reat Southern are b o th in the hands o f receiv ers, so at this stage they rem ain ow ned b y the current ow ners. N o d ecisio n has b een taken as to w ho the future ow ners m ig h t b e or w hat the m an ag em en t

arrangem ents for them m ight be, so w hat w e have to do at this stage is

aw ait the outcom e o f the process that the receivers have to go through. T he receivers have to follow corporate law in doing their jo b in term s o f an

orderly treatm ent, w ind-up if that is the case, o r w h atev er, o f those

corporations and assets in the interests o f the ow ners. T hen, from there on, I think there is a q u estio n as to h o w th e y m ight be m an ag ed , b u t it is

im possible to say— and indeed w e can n o t really p reju d g e— w h at the

25 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 94—95.

26 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 95.

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ownership arrangements might be and what the management arrangements might be."

2.33 The department suggested that as these are privately owned pieces of land containing privately owned assets, issues of land use and management of fire risk, feral animals, weeds and so on are most appropriately dealt with at the state government level.2 7 28 2 9

2.34 The committee was interested to know whether the government intends to review the effectiveness of forestry MIS. In response, the Minister indicated that there are three sets of intersecting policy issues across three portfolio areas:

Firstly, there are my responsibilities in respect of corporate law managed investment schemes—the direct regulation and supervision of the investment entities themselves. It is not appropriate for me to go into those issues here and now. The second group of policy issues relate to tax

treatment. That is an issue for Minister Bowen and the Treasurer. The third set of issues which would be appropriate here are the various issues around the agricultural effect on production markets et cetera.-9

2.35 The department added that it will be examining the consequences of the two failed MIS with a view to providing advice to the government on whether there are issues to be addressed. However, 'that is at the preliminary stage here and now'.30

2.36 The committee also heard evidence on:

• drought policy review process {Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 86-87);

• funding for research into climate change impacts on the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector, including the Climate Change Research program (pp 91-93 and 103-104);

• cost of impact of the CPRS on the dairy industry (pp 96, 97-100 and 101);

• National Carbon Accounting Toolbox - development of a standard methodology for measuring and modelling the impact of soil carbon under different farm practices (pp 102-103); and

• update on the government's election commitments in relation to forestry, including: addressing forestry skills shortages; boosting the export of forest products; forestry industry database; development of regulatory framework to restrict illegally logged timber; preparing forest industries

for climate change (pp 114-118 and 122).

27 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 119.

28 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 119.

29 P roof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 120.

30 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2009, p. 121.

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Sustainable Resource Management

2.37 The committee sought detailed information on the Caring for Country program, including the following:

• breakdown of funding for the Caring for Country program — regional base funding, competitive grants and administration component (Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 122-124);

• methodology for determining regional allocations (pp 123-127 and 135);

• assessment of applications for competitive grants by multijurisdictional community panels; assessment framework; standard assessment tool (pp 127 and 131-133);

• grant application process (pp 127 and 129); and

• steps taken to improve transparency in decision making to achieve expected project outcomes (p 133).

2.38 The following matters were also raised by the committee:

• replacement for Defeating the Weed Menace program; funding for the National Weeds and Productivity Research program; cost of weeds to Australia {Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 138-140);

• work of the Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee; progress on the recreational fishing industry development strategy; funding allocated under the Recreational Fishing Community Grants program; funding options for Recfish Australia (pp 140-142); and

• impact of the Coral Sea conservation zone on commercial and recreational fishing; statistics in relation to the Eastern Tuna and Billfish fishery and Coral Sea fishery; bioregional marine planning processes {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 4-13).

Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)

2.39 The committee heard evidence on the following issues:

• update on patrols of the Oceanic Viking to the Southern Ocean {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 14-15);

• incursions in the north-west fishing zone; discussions with the East Timorese government about illegal fishing in East Timorese waters (P- 16); • update on the amalgamation of management advisory committees

(MACs) (p. 17); and

• change to AFMA's funding basis when it became an FMA Act agency (p. 17).

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Trade and Market Access

2.40 The committee discussed the following matters:

• funding for the Live Trade Animal Welfare Partnership, replacing the Live Animal Trade Program; proportion of industry to government funding; operation of the new program (Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 19-20);

• progress towards the resumption of the live cattle and sheep trade into Egypt (pp 21-22);

• operation of Australia's existing Live Animal Trade Program; improvements since the program began in 2004-05 (pp 22-23);

• export trade in southern bluefin tuna; quotas for Australia and Japan; review of quotas (pp 23-24);

• update on the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) (pp 25-27); and

• role of agricultural attaches; plans to reduce the number of staff in Brussels and Washington and combine the positions in Paris and Rome (pp 27-28).

Quarantine and Biosecurity Policy Unit; Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS); and Biosecurity Australia

2.41 The Quarantine and Biosecurity Policy Unit, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), and Biosecurity Australia appeared together.

2.42 The committee raised concerns about the proposed return to full cost recovery of AQIS fees, following the government's decision to cease the 40 percent quarantine export subsidy paid to exporters. The department indicated that the cost saving to the government is expected to be around $37 million to $41 million per year depending on

the volume of exports.

2.43 The department advised that the export subsidy:

...w a s a m easu re in tro d u ced eight y ears ago. T he d ecisio n w as m ade w hen it w as ren ew ed four years ago that it w ould in fact lapse. T he p rev io u s

g o v ern m en t m ad e that decision. T h e d ecisio n that it w o u ld lapse on 30 June this y ear w as c learly co m m u n ica ted to all p arties. T h e B eale rev iew lo o k ed at that and m a n y other issues and reac h ed the sam e co n clu sio n — that the

assistan ce m easu re sh o u ld lapse— and th at is th e actio n that has been

ta k en .31

2.44 The department explained that since the decision was taken by the government to formally endorse the recommendations of the Beale report, its officers

31 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 M ay 2009, p. 34.

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have met a number of times with each of the six commodity groups that are affected by the increase in the export certification charge. A departmental officer observed:

Specifically, there is always concern when exporters are confronted with an increase. This is a large increase that they have to respond to in terms of their business. So 1 have spent significant time with each of those sectors to respond with a set of fees and charges that seek to be the most reasonable you could have in reintroducing full cost to these industries.32

2.45 In terms of the impact on affected businesses, the department advised that the industries have not given specific details, however, industry groups have suggested that the increased fees and charges will have an impact in terms of competitiveness with international markets. The department pointed out that it has received

independent economic advice about the impact of currency movements in comparison with the $40 million increase:

For the meat program, for example, less than half a cent movement in currency offsets the total cost of the $40 million. For horticulture in terms of the subsidy down around $2 million, that is less of an event. In terms of competitiveness in international markets, the $40 million is probably almost unrecognisable in teims of its impact at this stage.33

2.46 The committee was also interested in the potential for AQIS to introduce productivity gains and efficiencies to bring about reduced costs. The department explained that AQIS is scrutinised every year in terms of the costs underpinning its delivery of services, and if these are wound back too tightly, its regulatory oversight becomes frail. The department continued:

If it is reviewed by importing countries, there is the risk that they will actually delist the country from accessing that market. So you have to run that regulatory framework in a robust way without imposing any unnecessary additional costs on the industry sector.

So you need to maintain an infrastructure there. Yes, there is a capacity to create efficiencies, and I concede that point, but I do not concede that you could ever create a 40 per cent efficiency without actually putting at risk export markets. So I think there is a big percentage that is an efficiency opportunity. I think there is also an investment there that gives you

sustainable long-term benefits, in terms of export market opportunities and the robustness of our system in the face of very difficult international trade environments at the moment. So there is a bit of a balancing act between those two items.34

2.47 The committee discussed a range of issues in relation to AQIS fees and charges. For further details please see listing at appendix 3.

32 P roof Estimates Hansard, 26 M ay 2009, p. 35.

33 P roof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p, 35.

34 P roof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 57.

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2.48 The committee also raised the following matters:

• importation of uncooked dry marinated green prawns into Australia; concerns that the regulations are inadequate to protect against marinade being rinsed off then used for fish bait or by restaurants as a cheap source of raw prawns instead of more expensive local product; justification for the dry marinade being adequate to protect the

Australian prawn industry (,Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, PP 30-34);

• update on equine influenza and preparation for the coming breeding season; changes implemented as a result of the previous outbreak (pp 64-65);

• development of an Australian standard for organic production; AQIS' ongoing involvement in certification (pp 65-70);

• progress towards resumption of red meat and wild game exports to the Russian Federation following suspension of 19 processing plants due to microbial contamination in meat (pp 72-73); and

• removal of irradiation as an option for treating imported dried cat food due to its harmful effect on the health of cats; irradiation of other products including some types of dog food and dried pigs' ears (pp 73­ 74).

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI)

2.49 The committee discussed the following issues with AWI:

• actions taken in the last three months since new Chief Executive Officer, Ms Brenda McGahan, joined AWI (Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 76);

• AWI marketing and branding strategy using the Woolmark; marketing of Australian wool products, including Australian Merino (pp 76-77 and 80-82);

• management of conflicts of interest on AWI board, including Dr Meredith Shiel's connection with the drug Tri-Solfen; governance procedures (pp 77-79);

• commercial release of clips (pp 82 and 85); and

• progress towards the phasing out of mulesing by the end of 2010 (pp 83­ 84).

Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health (PIAPH)

2.50 The committee raised the following matters:

• role of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in swine flu diagnostic surveillance {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 99);

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• changes in AAHL's diagnostic workload over the past few years (pp 99­ 100);

• PIAPH's budget (pp 100-101);

• progress toward eradication of the red imported fire ant (p. 101); and

• update on the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) (pp 101 — 102).

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)

2.51 The committee raised concerns about the use of the triazine herbicides such as Atrazine and Simazine, following their discovery in drinking water supplies in Hobart and a number of other places in Tasmania. The committee noted that in 2004 the APVMA concluded that the labelling instructions for Atrazine were inadequate and needed improvement. The APVMA explained that the recommendations from its review were implemented in early 2008 when changes to the labelling were made. '"

2.52 The committee pointed to work conducted by the CSIRO which expressed concern about endocrine disruption caused by this group of herbicides. The APVMA responded that it looked at endocrine disruption potential in quite extensive detail as part of its Atrazine review, and was unable to conclude that there was sufficient

evidence that it was going to occur at a level that would be harmful to humans.3 5 36 3 7 The APVMA continued:

H aving said that, w e are continuing to investigate all the research that is

going on in the area that is suggesting that there m a y b e o th e r m o d es o f

action that m a y not have b een taken into account, and w e h av e ask ed the

O ffice o f C hem ical S afety w ithin the D epartm ent o f H ealth and A g ein g to review all the n ew est literature and pro v id e a rep o rt to us. W e ex p ect to

have that report finalised in the near future.

...T o d a y , w ith the in fo rm atio n that w e have before us, w e are co n fid en t

[that it is not a p ro b lem for hum an h e a lth ]. I f new science co m es up, w hich happens in these areas continuously, w e keep an eye on a n y new

developm ents. B ut w e can o n ly m ake a decision to d a y b a se d on the

inform ation that w e h av e before us to d a y /'

2.53 The committee was interested in the difference between the Australian and European framework for assessing chemicals, noting that Atrazine has been prohibited in Europe. The APVMA confirmed that Atrazine is no longer available in Europe as it

has been removed from the listing of approved chemicals. It was removed due to

35 P roof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 91.

36 P roof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 91-92.

37 P roof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 92.

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insufficient monitoring studies for the authorities to be satisfied that it would not get into waterways, rather than human health concerns.38

2.54 The APYMA informed the committee that;

In E urope, th e y have a re g u la r re -re g istra tio n p ro g ra m w h ere the com panies have to put in a full su b m issio n o f all th e data and th e re is a new assessm ent m ad e from scratch. T hen, w h e n th e y com e to the en d o f th a t assessm ent,

th e y decide w h eth er th ey h av e all the data and e ith e r include the chem ical or ex clu d e the chem ical.

In A u stralia w e have a p ro g ra m re v ie w in g n ew co n ce rn s w ith chem icals and, at th e end o f the p ro cess, i f w e com e up w ith a co n cern about the

ch em ical, the leg islatio n ac tu a lly req u ire s us to lo o k for risk m itig atio n

b efo re w e can rem o v e the chem ical. S o, in o u r in stan ce, w e also cam e to the co n clu sio n that there w ere in su ffic ie n t m o n ito rin g stu d ies w hen w e looked at A trazin e, b u t w e actu ally w en t out there and req u ire d the in d u stry to

g en erate those m o n ito rin g studies so that w e w o u ld b e able to m ake a

d ecisio n w ith the k n ow ledge rath e r th a n w ith o u t the k n o w le d g e .39

2.55 The committee also pursued the following matters:

• review of APVMA's cost recovery arrangements {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 87— 88);

• update on work being done in relation to permits issued for minor use, including stakeholder liaison (pp 90-91);

• pesticides and herbicides registered for use by the forestry industry in Tasmania; work done to assess the toxicology of the mixture of those chemicals (pp 96-97); and

• use of chemicals by Tasmanian forestry industry that are not registered for general use by APVMA; use of chemicals under research permits (pp 97-98).

Agricultural Productivity

2.56 The committee was interested in the productivity performance of Australia's agricultural sector over the past decade, in view of its importance as a world food supplier. The department indicated that

O v er th e last 30 years A u stralian ag ricu ltu re has h ad a very strong

p ro d u ctiv ity p e rfo rm a n c e ...w a y ab o v e w hat the e co n o m y -w id e av erag e is for p ro d u c tiv ity grow th— b y o u r m easu rem en t, b y ab o u t 1.5 p e r cent a year.

S ince the tu rn o f the century, th o u g h , w e have b eg u n to n o tice that the rate o f g ro w th o f p ro d u ctiv ity h as b eg u n to fall. W e th in k that m ight have

so m eth in g to do w ith the fact th a t it has b een a co u p le o f dry years.

38 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 M ay 2009, p. 92.

39 P roof Estimates Hansard, 26 M ay 2009, p. 92.

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...productivity is simply a measure of outputs by inputs. It is not a measure of absolute production but simply a measure of efficiency of production, so when the outputs fall, as they do during drought, then you are going to expect a decline in productivity. It is hard to be definitive about that, because it is a fairly imprecise measure at the national level, but there are

certainly some concerns—and we have certainly been expressing them— that agricultural productivity, broadacre productivity, might have been falling over the last eight to nine years.40

2.57 The committee also sought information on the following issues:

• impact of amendments to Division 7A of the tax laws on farms owned by family companies; extent to which the department was consulted by Treasury in the development of this measure {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 102-105);

• review of the Horticultural Code of Conduct (pp 107-108);

• 'Grown in Australia' label operated by the Australian Made Campaign Ltd (pp 108-109);

• Food Regulation Ministerial Council’s review of food labelling across Australia (pp 109-110);

• research into the long-tenn impact of non-forestry managed investment schemes on agricultural production (pp 110-112); and

• Regional Food Producers Innovation and Productivity program (pp 112­ 115).

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC)

2.58 The committee raised concerns about the RIRDC's budget which has been reduced by $3 million per year for the next four years. The committee was interested to know how the funding cut will be managed. The RIRDC indicated that the Minister has provided some broad guidance to the RIRDC's board on the implementation of the budget measure. The Minister has asked that:

the corporation's vital role in investing in priority research for a range of new, emerging and established small industries, funded in part by industry levy collections, not be affected and suggested] that savings might be made through administrative overheads and prioritisation within the corporation's national rural industries portfolio. He also suggested that within that, if possible, the priority programs such as Rural People and Learning Systems,

Rural Leadership and farm health and safety continue to receive the board's attention.41

40 P roof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 106.

41 P roof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009. p. 116.

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2.59 The RIRDC explained that its board has considered and agreed on a set of principles for implementing the reduction to its budget, as follows:

...firs t, th a t w e address th e g o v e rn m e n t's d irectio n s and p rio rities: second, th a t it has co n sisten cy w ith co rp o rate and in d u stry stra te g y and d eliv erin g on o u r ob jectiv es to the m ax im u m ex ten t possible; th ird , th a t w e m in im ise rep u ta tio n and relationship im pact; fourth, m in im ise im p acts on s ta ff and

deal, in the b est w ay p o ssib le, w ith an y affected staff; next, that w e rev iew and assess co m m itm en ts, w h ich is to say th at w e w ill open up existing

co n tracts as p art o f this rev iew p ro cess; next, th at any s ta ff and su p p lier

im p acts follow activity red u ctio n s; n ex t, that w e co n tin u e o u r focus and

ex istin g focus on effic ien cy and effectiv en ess; next, that w e are tran sp aren t and ex p licit in im p lem en tin g th e se cuts; and, finally, th a t w e co m m u n icate cle a rly about them . So th a t is o u r in ten tio n as w e ap p ly those prin cip les to o u r rev ised b u d g e t.4"

2.60 The RIRDC stated that the board's decision will be incorporated into its draft annual operating plan, due to be lodged with the Minister by 31 May, however, this year an extension has been granted until 16 June. Under statutory requirements, the annual operating plan must be submitted to the Minister for his approval by 30 June, and will take effect from 1 July.4 2 43

2.61 The committee also discussed:

• invitations to the RIRDC's rural women's award; continuation of RIRDC's sponsorship {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 115 and 121-122);

• impact of budget cuts on RIRDC's work with new and emerging industries (pp 116 and 118-119);

• other possible sources of funding for the RIRDC (pp 117 and 120-121); and

• R&D budget; five-year R&D plan; R&D program (pp 118, 121 and 122).

Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)

2.62 The committee was again interested in the issue of genetically modified (GM) crops. It sought information about the yields for GM canola from the national variety trials undertaken by the GRDC. The GRDC indicated that of the five specific yield trials carried out, three failed due to poor climatic conditions and the other two trials harvested returned similar yields with some of the conventional canolas in front. A

number of reports have been released based on the results of the field trials. In addition, the GRDC has commenced a survey of growers in southern NSW and

42 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 M ay 2009, p. 121.

43 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 M ay 2009, pp 116, 118, 120 and 121.

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Victoria who grew canola last year. It is expected that this will be an ongoing study for the next three years.44

2.63 The committee raised concerns from some growers about the decision by GrainCorp to bin GM and non-GM canola together, given their 2008 statement in which they were very clear about maintaining segregation. The GRDC advised that:

this year the in d u stry has d ecid ed to have tw o standards for canola, given that there is G M p ro d u ctio n and n on-G M production. P rev io u sly it o n ly had one standard. O ne standard w ill be for com bined G M and n o n -G M crops and the second standard w ill b e for n o n -G M crops only. F arm ers have the option to pursue the second stan d ard o n ly if th e y w an t to. B u t it is an

industry driven stan d ard .45

2.64 The committee asked about the benefits of binning the two crops together. In the CROC's opinion, as many of the markets do not differentiate between GM or non- GM canola, the extra cost of segregation was not justified. The GRDC observed that

'from GrainCorp's perspective, it is an efficiency measure, a cost-saving measure'.46

2.65 The committee also discussed:

• new wheat classification panel {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 123-124);

• research into other potential GM traits in crops such as wheat and barley (P- 125); • additional costs associated with segregation of non-GM canola; feedback from growers (pp 126-127); and

• ongoing GM trials across Australia (p. 127).

Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS)

2.66 The committee heard evidence on the following matters:

• modelling of drivers for land use change; clarification of the definition of 'marginal land' {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 129­ 131);

• modelling in relation to fish species considered at risk; production of the Fisheries Status Report (p. 131);

• research into the relationship between forestry and rainfall generation (p. 133); and

44 P roof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 124.

45 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 125.

46 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 126.

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• monitoring of soil health and assessment of the impact of the drought on soil health (pp 133-134).

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Chapter 3

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

3.1 The committee heard evidence from the department on Wednesday 27 May and Thursday 28 May 2009. The hearing was conducted in the following order:

• Corporate Services

• Infrastructure Australia

• Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd

• N a tio n B u ild in g — I n f r a s tr u c tu r e In v e s tm e n t

• Infrastructure and Surface Transport Policy

• National Transport Strategy

• Australian Maritime Safety Authority

• Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics

• Inspector of Transport Security

• Office of Transport Security

• Aviation and Airports

• Airservices Australia

• Civil Aviation Safety Authority

• Australian Transport Safety Bureau

• Local Government and Regional Development

• Office of Northern Australia

Acting Secretary's overview

3.2 In his opening remarks, the Acting Secretary, Mr Andrew Tongue, noted that since Additional Estimates hearings in February 2009, Mr Michael Taylor had retired as Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (the department). The Acting Secretary reported that on

14 May 2009 the Prime Minister announced the appointment of Mr Mike Mrdak as

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secretary' of the department commencing on 29 June 2009.1 The committee thanks Mr Taylor for his work with the department and wishes him well in retirement.

Corporate Services

3.3 Committee members sought information on current and projected staffing levels for the department. The committee heard from the department that:

As at 31 March we had 1,242 full-time equivalent staff. That is probably around 36 up from where we were projecting, but we still expect to finish the year on our projections or around 1,200.1 2

3.4 The department went on to explain that 108 staff would transfer to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau when it completed the process of becoming an independent statutory authority.3 Seeking more detail on staffing levels the committee questioned officers on the anticipated use of consultants.4 5 Officers told the committee that the department was not anticipating the use of 'lots of consultants' but may employ a number of non-ongoing staff."' Officers undertook to provide more detail to the committee on notice when divisional budgets were finalised.6

3.5 The committee was interested in how funding for various programs was reported in the budget documents and portfolio budget statements.7 Officers advised the committee that under the new federal financial framework a large proportion of funding is paid directly from the Commonwealth Treasury to state and territory treasuries.8 In his opening statement the Acting Secretary advised the committee that under this structure 'the department retains policy and implementation responsibility

for these programs while Treasury recognises the appropriation and expenses'.9 The remainder of the programs, officers also told the committee, were funded through the department.10

3.6 The committee also sought information about:

• media monitoring {Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 12-14):

1 P roof Estimates Hansard. 27 May 2009, p. 3.

2 P roof Estimates Hansard. 27 May 2009, p. 18.

3 P roof Estimates Hansard. 27 May 2009, p. 18.

4 P roof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 18-19.

5 P roof Estimates Hansard. 27 May 2009, pp 18-19.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 19.

7 Proof Estimates Hansard. 27 May 2009, pp 6-7.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009. p. 6.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 3-4.

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 7.

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• departmental liaison officers (pp 20-21 ); and

• the division of responsibilities between the Parliamentary Secretary and the Minister (p. 21).

Infrastructure Australia

3.7 The committee sought information on infrastructure projects announced in the budget.11 Specifically, the committee sought more detail on the process for selecting the projects. Infrastructure Australia advised that the projects had been selected following prioritisation in accordance with the Outline o f Infrastructure Australia's Prioritisation Methodologyn The committee heard that all the projects announced in

the budget had been considered by Infrastructure Australia and approved on merit and in a competitive selection process.1 1 1 2 13

3.8 Continuing its interest from Additional Estimates the committee questioned officers on Infrastructure Australia's consideration of future oil prices when prioritising infrastructure.14 1 5 Officers told the committee that Infrastructure Australia was still grappling with how to model the impact of future oil prices. The committee

also sought information about the consideration of land use planning issues and how these affect the consideration of infrastructure projects.O fficers told the committee that when working with proponents of projects Infrastructure Australia examines issues such as land use as part of a cost benefit analysis.16

3.9 Committee members questioned Infrastructure Australia on whether it assessed greenhouse gas emissions of proposed infrastructure projects. Officers told the committee that in regards to its prioritisation methodology:

One of the criteria that we seek to deal with...is a rating against whether or not the particular project and proponent would reduce greenhouse emissions.17

3.10 The committee also discussed the following infrastructure projects:

• the National Electricity Market {Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 46);

• Majura Parkway project (p. 50); and

• Bell Bay Port expansion (pp 59-60).

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 21-31.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 21-22.

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 25.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 43-45.

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 44-45.

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 My 2009, p. 44.

17 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 47.

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26

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC)

3.11 The committee sought details on rail projects funded by the Australian Rail Track Corporation. Specifically senators sought information on ARTC's programs to upgrade rail sleepers.1S Officers told the committee that 4 rail sleeper manufacturing plants in Wagga Wagga, Mittagong, Grafton and Geelong that were previously

scheduled to close would now remain open to provide sleepers for the program, explaining that:

A ll o f those plants w ould have d isco n tin u ed op eratio n in Jan u ary , so this actually continues those plants through until D ecem ber this y ear to facilitate the m illion-plus concrete sleepers to be m an u factu red at th ese locations.

E ach o f them have actually taken up the opportunity fo r the contracts in

Jan u ary and, in fact, each o f them co m m en ced o p eration in m anufacturing the concrete sleepers in F ebruary and they are underw ay n o w .1 8 19 2 0

3.12 The committee was interested in the Hunter Valley rail expansion program."'1 ARTC advised that the program aimed to:

...in c re a s e the p resen t capacity o f the H u n ter V alley coal ch ain to export 97 m illio n tonnes p e r annum o f coal to reach the p ro jec ted level o f 2 00 m illion tonnes o f coal b y 2 0 1 3 .21 2 2

3.13 ARTC told the committee that the program would involve $1.2 billion worth of works involving duplication of rail lines, rail loops and upgraded signalling. " Officers told the committee that the project would create 800 jobs per year peaking at 900 jobs in 2010.23 To fund the program ARTC advised that it had received a $580 million equity injection from the government which it would borrow against to achieve $1.2 billion in funding.24 2 5 2 6

3.14 The committee sought information on the upgrade of the Cootamundra-Parkes rail line.2-' Officers advised that the project included replacing all timber sleepers with concrete sleepers as well as replacing 201km of track."'' The program was projected to cost $91.5 million dollars and employ 160 people.27

18 P roof Estimates Hansard. 27 May 2009. pp 65— 66.

19 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 66.

20 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 66-70.

21 P roof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 67.

22 P roof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 66-67.

23 P roof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 67.

24 P roof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 66.

25 P roof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 71— 72.

26 P roof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009. p. 71.

27 P roof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009. p. 71.

292

Nation Building— Infrastructure Investment

3.15 The committee sought an update from the department on the following projects:

• Gold Coast Light Rail project (Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 83-88);

• the Sydney West Metro rail project (p. 91);

• Rail capacity improvements at Rhyndaston in Tasmania (pp 95-96); and

• Northern Sydney rail freight corridor (pp 116-117).

3.16 The committee also discussed: -

• signage for infrastructure projects (pp 79-82);

• the Black Spot Program (pp 106-109); and

• rail level crossings upgrade program (pp 132-134).

Infrastructure and Surface Transport Policy; and National Transport Strategy

3.17 The committee sought detailed information on the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES).28 2 9 Officers told the committee that the budget had allocated $117.9 million for the TFES.24 The committee heard that the scheme is demand driven and for the 2008-09 financial year the program would be close to the budgeted amount.30 The committee questioned officers on whether the government

was currently considering changes to the TFES. The committee heard that changes were currently being considered following a report produced by the Productivity Commission.31 Committee members then sought detailed information on the consultation process the department had undertaken with stakeholders regarding the

proposed changes.3' Officers told the committee that:

A s p art o f the process, w e saw it im p o rtan t to have face-to -face m eetings

w ith p eo p le w ho w e k n ew h ad a stro n g interest in the sch em e and w ere able to o ffer insights into the o p eratio n o f the schem e that w o u ld assist us in

fram ing ad v ice for the m in ister on the c h a n g e s.33

_____________________________________________________________________________________ 27_

28 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 140-148.

29 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 140.

30 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 140-141.

31 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 141-146.

32 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 141-146.

33 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 142.

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28

3.18 Officers undertook to provide, on notice, more detailed information on who had been consulted in the process.34

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

3.19 Committee members sought information on a proposed under-keel monitoring system for the Torres Strait.3" Officers explained that:

W e are looking at in troducing an u n der-keel clearance m o n ito rin g system that can gauge the depth o f the w ater b en eath the ship, for safe p assage

th ro u g h the T orres Strait. It has p o ten tial benefits for safety, and it has

p o ten tial b enefits for the industry itself, because o b v io u sly the lo w er the ship sits in the w ater, the m ore freight can go on to p .36 3 7 3 8

3.20 The committee heard that owing to its very technical and complex nature AMSA had been examining the issue for 12 months with officers advising that they were not able to provide an estimated cost at this stage.3'

3.21 The committee inquired about AMSA's role in the Pacific Adventurer maritime accident/3 Officers told the committee that:

W e w ere not the lead a g e n c y ...o u r counterparts in Q u een slan d w ere. W e

w ere, how ever, involved pretty m uch from the start, both p ro v id in g advice to our counterparts and also deploying som e o f our p eo p le and co o rd in atin g the dep lo y m en t o f o th e r trained p eo p le in this area to the region. 39

3.22 Officers explained to the committee that a report was being prepared by AMSA into the incident and that no recommendations had yet been made.40 AMSA also provided the committee with details of the communications between the Queensland authorities and AMSA immediately following the incident advising that AMSA was contacted within six minutes of the accident occurring.41

3.23 The committee also discussed:

• AMSA's involvement with the SIEV boat explosion off the coast of Western Australia {Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 151).

34 Proof Estimates Hansard. 27 May 2009, pp 141-142.

35 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 149-150

36 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009. p. 149.

37 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 149-150.

38 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, pp 150—152.

39 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009. p. 150.

40 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 151.

41 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 151.

294

Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE)

3.24 The committee held a brief discussion with officers of the BITRE about current research into the social impacts of water allocation policies in the Murray- Darling Basin.42 Officers advised the committee that while BITRE had undertaken some research into the Murray-Darling Basin it had not undertaken research directly relating to the social impacts of water allocation policies.43

Inspector of Transport Security (ITS)

3.25 Committee members were interested in the staffing and funding arrangements for the office of Inspector of Transport Security.44 4 5 Officers told the committee that:

We have a base budget of $600,000 per annum, which is intended to cover the basic administration of the office and the things that go to keeping up to speed in terms of and understanding of the environment and the changing nature of it—attending conferences, perhaps commencing inquiries or

doing peripheral matters on the either end of debriefing or briefing ministers, groups of the ITC, that sort of thing.43

3.26 In respect of staffing the committee heard that the office of the Inspector of Transport Security employs two-full time staff and two-part time staff (including the inspector in a part-time position).46 4 7

3.27 The committee questioned officers on whether ITS would be undertaking an investigation into a security incident at Sydney airport on 22 March 2009.4/ Committee members expressed concern when the Inspector, Mr Palmer, advised that he had not been asked to inquire into the incident.48 The Acting Secretary responded that the incident was:

...the subject of an AFP investigation, a New South Wales Police investigation and an independent investigation by the Secretary of the Attorney-General's Department. Looking at that number of investigations, the fact that they are still court matters and that the New South Wales

Police investigation is ongoing, the question we often face is: what more would we learn?49

_____________________________________________________________________________________ 29_

42 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 May 2009, p. 153.

43 Proof Estimates Hansard, 27 M ay 2009, p. 153.

44 P roof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 4—5.

45 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 4—5.

46 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 5.

47 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 7-9.

48 P roof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 6.

49 P roof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 6.

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30

3.28 The committee was interested in the activities of the ITS in relation to shipping piracy.50 5 1 5 2 Committee members were interested to know if there is a possibility of shipping piracy coming to Australia. The committee heard that Mr Palmer was currently engaged in an inquiry into shipping piracy. ITS observed that

such piracy is a global issue and potentially it 'always has the capacity to impact on Australian trade shipping or foreign trade shipping carrying Australian crew... or foreign registered ships that are carrying Australian cargo...'.31

3.29 The committee also discussed the following matters:

• inquiries undertaken by the inspector in the current financial year (Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 5); and

• travel costs for the ITS (pp 5-6).

Office of Transport Security

3.30 The committee sought information on the security screening of passengers at Australian airports.32 Officers advised that a review had been undertaken with regards to screening of passengers and a report provided to the minister.53 5 4 5 5 5 6 Committee members questioned officers on what inconsistencies in security screening had been identified in the review. Officers told the committee that in terms of security outcomes no inconsistencies had been identified.34 Officers also advised that federal legislation

governed the security screening of passengers and as a result there was no legislative inconsistency between states and territories.33

3.31 The committee also discussed:

• cargo security screening at airports {Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 15-20); and

• the Maritime Security Identification Card (p. 9).

Aviation and Airports

3.32 The committee sought detailed information on the proposed upgrade of Perth Airport.36 The committee heard that a draft master plan for Perth Airport had been released which, under the Airports Act, was currently subject to a 60-business-day

50 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 6.

51 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 6.

52 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 14—20.

53 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 14.

54 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 15.

55 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 15.

56 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 26-28.

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31

consultation process.3' Officers advised that the draft master plan would be submitted to the minister in August 2009.38

3.33 The committee also discussed:

• the Sydney Airport master plan (.Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 29); and

• aircraft noise (pp 29-32).

Airservices Australia

3.34 The committee sought an update on reforms to air traffic control services and staffing.39 Committee members were interested in the details of new arrangements with regards to sick leave for air traffic controllers.5 7 5 8 5 9 60 Officers advised the committee that a new collective agreement had commenced operation which contained 'a wage increase of 4.3 per cent per annum in return for productivity improvements relating to both sick leave and rostering'.61 6 2 Committee members sought more details on the new sick leave arrangements.6- Officers told the committee:

In re g a rd to sick leave, co n strain ts h av e b een p u t in in the area o f sin g le-d ay ab sen ces. P rev io u sly there w e re u n lim ited sin g le-d ay absences w ith o u t a certificate. A t the m o m en t in th e 12-m onth p erio d there is up to eight single days w ith o u t a certificate. F o r any ab sen ces o f m ore than 15 days in a 12-

m o n th p erio d there is a m a n ag em e n t rev ie w that is u n d ertak en , and v arious options apply in that m a n ag em e n t re v ie w .63

3.35 The committee also questioned officers on the workforce issues relating to air traffic controllers.64 6 5 Committee members were interested in the number of air traffic controllers who had had resigned and moved overseas. Officers told the committee that in the current year 50 air traffic controllers had left Airservices Australia of which

32 had resigned.63 The committee heard that that it was not possible to establish how many of those resigning had moved overseas.66 With regard to the recruitment of new

57 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 26.

58 P roof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 26.

59 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 43-46 and 50-55.

60 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 43— 46 and 50-55.

61 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 43.

62 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 43— 46 and 50-55.

63 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 43.

64 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 43— 46.

65 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 45.

66 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 M ay 2009, p. 45.

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32

air traffic control officers, officers told the committee that this year 93 air traffic controller applicants will commence at Airservices Australia's training college.67

3.36 Officers told the committee that across almost all of its operating groups Airservices Australia had an ageing workforce and that many air traffic controllers have retired.68 Officers expanded, saying:

The average age of our air traffic controller workforce is between 42 and 43 and without some action similar to what we have taken there could be a problem going forward...so this area of training and recruitment is a very high priority for the organisation/’9 7 0

3.37 The committee also raised the following issues:

• Airspace management arrangements in northern Australia (Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 46-48); and

• Airservices Australia training establishments (pp 49-50).

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

3.38 The committee maintained its long and active interest in the operation of CASA. The committee welcomed the new Chief Executive Officer, Mr John McCormick, and congratulated him on his appointment.'0

3.39 Committee members questioned officers about what steps CASA was undertaking to address findings made in the International Civil Aviation Organization audit of Australian air safety oversight.71 7 2 7 3 CASA advised the committee that the report had identified that CASA did not have a 'comprehensive formal training program* that

included ’initial on-the-job, recurrent and specialised training*.CASA advised the committee that in response it will 'develop a comprehensive initial on-the-job, recurrent and specialised training program* for its technical staff./3 Officers told the committee that this was expected to be implemented by 31 December 2009.

3.40 The committee sought details on the new structure of CASA and what advantages this had over the previous structure. Officers told the committee that the new structure would 'give us more direct responsibility and accountability for where a certain standard is in place'. For example:

67 P roof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p, 45.

68 P roof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 45.

69 P roof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 45.

70 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 62.

71 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 65-66.

72 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 65-66.

73 P roof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009. p. 65.

298

There has been inconsistent application of regulation in the industry at large. We will try and get rid of this history of inconsistency, by centralising those functions, putting them under the responsibility of one

person and then having someone specific in charge of, for instance, the maintenance regulations, the flying regulations, the small aeroplane regulations.,4

3.41 The committee also asked about:

• National Airspace Policy Statement {Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 68-81);

• airspace management in northern Australia (pp 66-68); and

• drug and alcohol testing (pp 85-90).

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)

3.42 The committee sought information on the number of inquiries currently before the ATSB. ° Officers told the committee that they currently had 94 aviation, 12 rail, and 14 marine investigations underway.

3.43 The committee heard that of the 94 aviation investigations underway, 35 were considered to be complex or very complex.7 4 7 5 76 Furthermore, officers told the committee that three of the aviation inquiries 'are very significant investigations requiring significant resources'.77 7 8

3.44 The committee also heard evidence about:

• The transition of the ATSB to a separate statutory authority {Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 90); and

• Investigations into the Pacific Adventurer maritime accident (pp 91-94).

Local Government and Regional Development

3.45 The committee sought information on the status of the Better Regions program. s Officers told the committee that 20 funding contracts had been entered into while there were 48 projects that had been approved for the release of funds but for

which funding contracts were yet to be entered into.79 Committee members sought

33

74 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 66

75 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 90.

76 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 90.

77 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 90.

78 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 97-100.

79 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 98.

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34

more detail on the individual projects which the department agreed to provide on 80 notice.

Office of Northern Australia

3.46 The committee was interested in the budget for the Office of Northern Australia. Officers told the committee that the total budget for 2008-09 is $3.54 million.8 0 81 Of this, $2 million was allocated for the Canberra office, $0.69 million for the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce, and $0.85 million for the Townsville and Darwin offices.82 The committee heard that there were no

anticipated changes to staffing levels.83

3.47 The committee sought an update on the work of the Northern Australian Land and Water Taskforce (the taskforce).84 The committee heard that the taskforce had met three times and had agreed on a work plan.85 Officers also told the committee that the taskforce was planning to conduct consultation and forums with Indigenous,

industry, agriculture, conservation and education groups.86

Senator Glenn Sterle Chair

80 P roof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 98.

81 P roof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, pp 136-137.

82 P roof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009. pp 136—137.

83 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 136.

84 Proof Estimates Hansard. 28 May 2009, pp 138-140.

85 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 138.

86 Proof Estimates Hansard, 28 May 2009, p. 138.

300

Appendix 1

Table of contents to proof Hansard transcripts

Budget estimates 2009-2010

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestiy portfolio

Monday 25 May 2009

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Thursday 28 May 2009

301

Monday 25 May 2009

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

36___________________________________________________________________

Hansard page

In attendance 1

Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy 5

Land and Water Australia 33

Wheat Exports Australia 52

Meat and Livestock Australia 65

Climate Change 86

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics 86

Sustainable Resource Management 122

302

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

__________________________________________________________ 37

Hansard page

In attendance 1

Sustainable Resource Management (continued from 25 May) 4

Australian Fisheries Management Authority ' 14

Trade and Market Access 19

Quarantine and Biosecurity Policy Unit 30

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service 30

Biosecurity Australia 30

Australian Wool Innovation 76

Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health 87

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority 87

Agricultural Productivity 102

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation 115

Grains Research and Development Corporation 123

Bureau of Rural Sciences 129

303

38

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

Hansard page

In attendance 1

Corporate Services 3

Infrastructure Australia 21

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd 65

Nation Building—Infrastructure Investment 79

Infrastructure and Surface Transport Policy 140

National Transport Strategy 140

Australian Maritime Safety Authority 149

Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics 153

304

39

Thursday 28 May 2009

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

Hansard page

In attendance 1

Inspector of Transport Security 4

Office of Transport Security 9

Aviation and Airports 26

Airservices Australia 43

Civil Aviation Safety Authority 62

Australian Transport Safety Bureau 90

Local Government and Regional Development 97

Office of Northern Australia 136

305

3 0 6

Appendix 2

Tabled Documents

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Documents tabled at hearing on Monday, 25 May 2009

1. Opening statement - Dr Conall O'Connell, Secretary, DAFF

2. Summary reconciliation - Dr Conall O'Connell, Secretary, DAFF

3. Average staffing level - Ms Anne Hazelk Chief Operating Officer, DAFF

4. Opening statement - Dr Michael Robinson, Executive Director, Land and Water Australia

Documents tabled at hearing on Tuesday, 26 May 2009

5. Forest Works Industry Skills Council - Mr John Talbot, General Manager, Forestry DAFF

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

Documents tabled at hearing on Wednesday, 27 May 2009

No documents were tabled at this hearing

Documents tabled at hearing on Thursday, 28 May 2009

1. Aircraft permitted to take-off or land during a curfew period: Sydney Airport and Adelaide Airport - Ms Maureen Ellis, General Manager, Aviation Environment, DITRDLG

2. ATSB Transport Safety Investigation Report: Loss of containers from Pacific Adventurer off Cape Moreton, Queensland, 11 March 2009 - ATSB

307

3 0 8

Appendix 3

List of topics discussed with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Division or Agency/Topic/Hansard page reference

Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy

• rationale for removing drought-related payments to the states from the department to Treasury {Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 9-10);

• reduction in the number of Exceptional Circumstances regions from 74 to 58 (p. 10);

• basis for termination of a number of programs scheduled to conclude (pp 10-11); • change to funding basis of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) since it became an FMA Act agency (pp 12-13);

• staff turnover rates; movement between departments (pp 14-16);

• explanation of the application of the efficiency dividend and specific savings measures (pp 16-20);

• graduate program intake (pp 17 and 52);

• Gershon review and cuts to IT spending; contract with new IT service provider (pp 20-22);

• new spending on rural science and innovation programs (pp 26-29);

• removal of the 40 percent quarantine export subsidy paid to exporters (pp 29-30);

• expenditure on staff travel (p. 30); and

• administrative support for Minister's video on the departmental website (pp 31-33).

Land and Water Australia

• future of the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge (TRaCK) initiative; public release of TRaCK research reports {Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 35 and 44-45);

• rationale for abolishing LWA and cutting research funding for agriculture (pp 34 and 35-36);

• analysis of economic benefit gained from every dollar invested in LWA (pp 38 and 40);

309

44

• estimated number of job losses and loss of research capacity if current projects do not go ahead (pp 38, 39-40, 41^42 and 44);

• government consultation with LWA before the decision was made to abolish LWA (pp 38-39); .

• government's view on the Productivity Commission report recommending more funding to be spent on agricultural R&D (p. 39);

• future priority of projects relating to environmental flows in agricultural landscapes (pp 40-41);

• government undertaking in relation to the future of the Managing Variability in Climate Change program (p. 41);

• timeframe for the process to determine the future of programs and projects currently managed by LWA (p. 42);

• leveraging of direct government funding through investment by the industry sector (pp 42 and 45-46);

• inconsistency with Prime Minister's support for the Chinese stimulus package providing direct assistance for agriculture (pp 42-43);

• cost of tennination of building lease (pp 43-44);

• breakdown of funding allocation for winding-up LWA (pp 47^49);

• future of the Environmental Water Allocation Forum (p. 50);

• status of the draft operational plan (p. 51); and

• projects related to the sustainability of Australia's groundwater (p. 52).

Wheat Exports Australia (WEA)

• issues in relation to current access arrangements for port terminals {Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 53);

• reasons for the significant basis difference between west and east grain prices (pp 54 and 61);

• complaints process; requests for reconsideration of a decision (pp 54-55);

• whether licensed exporters have had difficulty in accessing finance (pp 56 and 62);

• potential takeover of ABB by Viterra (p. 56);

• current exemption of Melbourne Port Terminal from access arrangements (p. 56);

• survey of overseas vessels by marine survey underwriters and AQIS before Australian grain can be loaded (pp 56-57);

• reviews of the grain freight rail networks in NSW and WA (pp 57 and 61);

• update on delays wdth unloading of road freight at Newcastle terminal

310

45

(PP 57-58);

• initiatives implemented by the Wheat Industry Expert Group (p. 58);

• factors taken into account during assessment of applications for accreditation (pp 58-59);

• auditing of accredited exporters (p. 59);

• discussions with Japanese flour millers about the new deregulated system (p. 59);

• concerns from overseas markets about delays in loading grain at four ports in WA (p. 60);

• freight costs for growers (pp 60-61);

• quality control issues: chemical residues and wheat substitution (p. 61);

• statistics on market tomiage and exports to new markets (pp 63 and 64-65); and

• update on the Wheat Export Technical Market Support Grants program (pp 63-64).

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)

• consultation with the government on AQIS fees (Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 66);

• assumptions behind research into the impact of CPRS conducted by the Centre for International Economics (CIE) and modelling by ABARE (pp 67-68 and 71-73).

• increased costs associated with the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) (p. 67);

• steps to be taken before a decision is made in 2013 about the inclusion of the agricultural sector in the CPRS (pp 68-69);

• whether any work is being done by MLA regarding adaptation to changes in climate and rainfall (pp 69-70);

• ABARE modelling on the cost of an ETS to the beef industry at a domestic and export level (p. 70);

• percentage of greenhouse gases in Australia that come from livestock (PP 70-71);

• concerns that Australia will lose its competitive edge in a global market following the introduction of the CPRS (pp 71 and 73);

• international trends in relation to inclusion of agriculture in CPRS-type schemes (p. 74);

• extent to which meat processors will qualify for assistance as emissions- intensive and trade-exposed (ElTEs) (pp 75-76);

46

• assistance available to farmers from the date of introduction of the CPRS to mitigate increased costs (pp 76-77);

• NSW proposal to introduce a meat labelling program; Primary Industries Ministerial Council working group examination of consumer labelling for meat (pp 77-78);

• legal pricing mechanisms for meat (p. 79);

• MLA's views on a national standards system for meat labelling (p. 80);

• lamb dentition testing (p. 80);

• alignment of Australian and New Zealand ETS (p. 80);

• projections for growth in the national herd levels (p. 81);

• review of current beef levy (pp 81-82);

• research into methane emissions from sheep and cattle (pp 82-84); and

• waiver of $5 transaction levy in areas affected by bushfires in Victoria (pp 84-86).

Clim ate Change; and A ustralian Bureau of A gricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE)

• government expenditure on drought programs (Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, p. 86); " j

• clarification of wording in the PBS regarding reduction in expenses 'due to cessation of drought programs' (p. 86);

• drought policy review process (pp 86-87);

• drought programs, including Exceptional Circumstances assistance; Transitional Income Support (pp 87-88);

• cost and government consideration of three reports into drought: climate report by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO; Expert Social Panel process and report; and Productivity Commission independent report on government drought support programs (pp 88-90);

• level of carbon emissions due to logging compared to carbon emissions from bushfires (pp 90-91);

• funding for research into climate change impacts on the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector, including the Climate Change Research program (pp 91-93 and 103-104);

• reconsiderations of areas that are no longer Exceptional Circumstances declared (pp 93-94);

• classification of the processing sector of agriculture as manufacturing under the CPRS (pp 96-97);

• cost of impact of the CPRS on the dairy industry (pp 96, 97-100 and 101);

312

47

• farm financial sector modelling (pp 100-101);

• National Carbon Accounting Toolbox - development of a standard methodology for measuring and modelling the impact of soil carbon under different farm practices (pp 102-103);

• Climate Change Action Fund (p. 103);

• funding for the biochar project (p. 104);

• department's public relations budget (p. 104);

• Mr Clyde's comments about the difficulty of getting a new international agreement on climate change, quoted in the Rural Press (p. 105);

• ABARE's updated modelling released in March 2009 (p. 106);

• extent to which the manufacturing sector of agriculture will qualify for assistance as emissions-intensive and trade-exposed (EITEs) (pp 106-107);

• environmental protection of the superb parrot under the EPBC Act and impact on forestry in the Riverina area (pp 107-109);

• ABARE estimates in relation to on-farm stocks of wheat (pp 109— 110);

• economic impact of swine flu on consumption of pork (p. 110);

• impact of changes to the Youth Allowance on rural and regional areas (PP 110-111); • AB ARE's projections on potential land that can be converted into afforestation; interception of water by plantations; research on the

relationship between forestry and rainfall generation (pp 111-114);

• update on the government's election commitments in relation to forestry, including: addressing forestry skills shortages; boosting the export of forest products; forestry industry database; development of regulatory framework to restrict illegally logged timber; preparing forest industries for climate

change (pp 114-118 and 122);

• payments made under the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement (p. H8);

• lessons for carbon sink forests legislation (p. 120); and

• review of non-forestry MIS (p. 120).

Sustainable Resource M anagem ent

Details on the Caring for Country program:

• breakdown of funding for the Caring for Country program - regional base funding and competitive grants (Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009, pp 122-123);

• proportion of funding for administration (pp 123-124);

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• methodology for determining regional allocations (pp 123-127 and 135);

• assessment of applications for competitive grants by multijurisdictional community panels; assessment framework; standard assessment tool (pp 127 and 131-133);

• grant application process (pp 127 and 129);

• probity audit of the application and assessment process (p. 128);

• limits on the size of the grants (p. 128);

• review of the grant and application process (p. 129);

• impact of budget cuts on the Caring for Country program (pp 129-130);

• annual review of projects funded and outcomes achieved under the Caring for Country program (pp 130 and 136);

• consultation process with NRM groups (pp 130-131);

• potential funding gap for NRM groups between 1 July and September (p. 131); • steps taken to improve transparency in decision making to achieve expected project outcomes (p 133);

• whether applications for Landcare funding are part of the Caring for Country process (pp 133-134);

• level of funding requests under the Caring for Country7 program; notional funding allocation for future years for projects extending over several years (pp 134-135 and 136-137); and

• funding for the Ghost Nets project run by the Northern Gulf Natural Resource Management Region (p 137).

Other matters raised:

• replacement for Defeating the Weed Menace program; funding for the National Weeds and Productivity Research program; cost of weeds to Australia {Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2009. pp 138-140);

• work of the Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee; progress on the recreational fishing industry development strategy; funding allocated under the Recreational Fishing Community Grants program; funding options for Recfish Australia (pp 140-142);

• funding for the establishment of a new peak industry body, following the demise of the Australian Seafood Industry Council in 2006 (pp 142-143 );

• funding for the Fisheries Research program and the Reef Rescue program (pp 143-144);

• consultation with the department before the announcement of the Coral Sea Conservation Zone (p 144); and

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• impact of the Coral Sea conservation zone on commercial and recreational fishing; statistics in relation to the Eastern Tuna and Billfish fishery and Coral Sea fishery; bioregional marine planning processes (Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 4-13).

• update on patrols of the Oceanic Viking to the Southern Ocean {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 14— 15);

• management of the Southern Bluefin Tuna fishery (p 15);

• incursions in the north-west fishing zone; discussions with the East Timorese government about illegal fishing in East Timorese waters (p. 16);

• update on the amalgamation of management advisory committees (MACs) (p. 17); e change to AFMA's funding basis when it became an FMA Act agency (P-17); • new appointments to board of directors (pp 17-18);

• management and monitoring of fish species classified as overfished, including Pink Ling (p. 18); and

• proposed boat burning facility on Cape York (p. 19).

Trade and Market Access

• funding for the Live Trade Animal Welfare Partnership, replacing the Live Animal Trade Program; proportion of industry to government funding; operation of the new program {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 19-20);

• funding for DAFF position in Dubai involved in govemment-to-govemment negotiations on agricultural issues (pp 20-21);

• progress towards the resumption of the live cattle and sheep trade into Egypt (pp 21-22);

• ABARE database of trade with our agricultural trading partners (p. 22);

• trading of livestock into the Middle East and North Africa by competing countries (p. 22);

• international funding contributions to improve animal welfare standards (P- 22); • operation of Australia’s existing Live Animal Trade Program; improvements since the program began in 2004-05 (pp 22-23);

• export trade in southern bluefin tuna; quotas for Australia and Japan; review of quotas (pp 23-24);

• update on the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC); resolution to address deficiencies identified in its performance review; meeting of coastal states convened by Australia (pp 25-27);

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• role of agricultural attaches; plans to reduce the number of staff in Brussels and Washington and combine the positions in Paris and Rome (pp 27-28);

• update on negotiations for a free trade agreement with Chile (pp 28-29); and

• evaluation of the US free trade agreement in terms of benefits to primary industries in Australia (pp 29-30).

Quarantine and Biosecurity Policy Unit; Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS); and Biosecurity Australia

Issues in relation to AQIS fees and charges:

• comparison with New Zealand cost recovery practices (Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 35 and 36);

• AQIS efficiencies and reforms; engagement with industry sectors on reforms and forward work plans (pp 35-37 and 57-58);

• scope for phasing in full cost recovery (pp 38, 47 and 55);

• whether the previous government had taken the decision to cease the subsidy; whether there was provision for a further four year's funding in the forward budget estimates (pp 38-39);

• cost-recovery impact statements (pp 39-40 and 55);

• revenue shortfalls (pp 41-44);

• Minister's involvement in the consultation process with industry; department's schedule of meetings with industry groups; timing of recommendations arising from consultative process (pp 45 and 47-A8);

• timetable for presentation of regulations to parliament (pp 45-46);

• subsidies provided by competing countries (pp 46-47);

• whether there is expected to be a decline in demand for sendees as a result of the downturn in economic activity (p. 47);

• cost increase of electronic and manual certification for the wool industry (P- 49); • other non-food industries facing fee increases arising from the budget (p. 49); • comparison of Australia's level of support and funding for inspection

services in the meat industry with international competitors such as Brazil and the US (p. 50);

• AQIS review of fees and charges to fully cost-recover activities performed on behalf of importers; cost recovery impact statement (pp 50-54);

• modelling on the impact of removal of the subsidy; whether any modelling has been done at an enterprise level (pp 55 and 58-59);

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• potential impact of the subsidy removal on jobs, particularly in regional areas (p. 60);

• consultation with industry (pp 60-61); and

• timing of implementation of new fees and charges (pp 61-62).

Other matters raised:

• importation of uncooked dry marinated green prawns into Australia; concerns that the regulations are inadequate to protect against marinade being rinsed off then used for fish bait or by restaurants as a cheap source of raw prawns instead of more expensive local product; justification for the dry

marinade being adequate to protect the Australian prawn industry {Proof Estimates Hansard', 26 May 2009, pp 30-34);

• whether live animal exports are still a high-risk enterprise (p. 48);

• protocol for the importation of animals into Australia (p. 48);

• issues relating to the export of bananas from the Philippines to Australia (p. 50); • establishment of a ministerial task force to work with the agriculture export industry (p. 57);

• importation requirements for Australian sausage casings sent offshore for processing; (pp 63-64);

• update on equine influenza and preparation for the coming breeding season; changes implemented as a result of the previous outbreak (pp 64-65);

• development of an Australian standard for organic production; AQIS' ongoing involvement in certification (pp 65-70);

• provision of fresh fruit on incoming international flights and measures to mitigate the risk of bringing such items into Australia (p, 71);

• impact of budget cuts on staffing levels (pp 71— 72):

• progress towards resumption of red meat and wild game exports to the Russian Federation following suspension of 19 processing plants due to microbial contamination in meat (pp 72-73); and

• removal of irradiation as an option for treating imported dried cat food due to its harmful effect on the health of cats; irradiation of other products including some types of dog food and dried pigs' ears (pp 73-74).

Australian Wool Innovation

• actions taken in the last three months since new Chief Executive Officer, Ms Brenda McGahan, joined AWI {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 76);

• AWI marketing and branding strategy using the Woolmark; marketing of Australian wool products, including Australian Merino (pp 76-77 and 80-

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82);

• management of conflicts of interest on AWI board, including Dr Meredith Shiel's connection with the drug Tri-Solfen; governance procedures (pp 77­ 79);

• misleading reports in the media about AWI funding Bayer's registration of the mulesing pain relief treatment Tri-Solfen (pp 79-80);

• update on corporate social responsibility program (p. 82);

• commercial release of clips (pp 82 and 85);

• sales of non-mulesed wool (pp 82-83);

• progress towards the phasing out of mulesing bv the end of 2010 (pp 83­ 84);

• whether AWI has a marketing program in Thailand (p. 85);

• percentage of wool being processed by China (p. 85);

• whether shearer numbers are adequate; training of shearers (p. 85);

• feedback from national wool grower day (pp 85-86);

• advertising to promote the sale of woollen products within Australia (p. 86);

• presentation of the draft annual operating plan to wool growers (p. 86);

• relationship between AWI and Bayer (pp 86-87); and

• whether Zegna is still buying Australian wool (p. 87).

Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health

• role of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in swine flu diagnostic surveillance {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, p. 99);

• changes in AAHL’s diagnostic workload over the past few years (pp 99­ 100);

• PIAPH's budget (pp 100-101);

• progress toward eradication of the red imported fire ant (p. 101);

• update on the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) (pp 101 — 102); and

• Australian export of alpacas to the UK based on mutual recognition of alpaca 'bluetongue-free zones' (p. 102).

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

• review of APVMA's cost recovery arrangements {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 87-88);

• request from AWI for APVMA to review its current species-specific guidelines on setting maximum residue limits (p. 88);

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• application from Bayer for registration of Tri-Solfen (pp 88-89);

• budget and staffing issues, including: impact of departmental budget cuts on APVMA; APVMA workload (pp 89-90);

• agency’s jurisdiction (p. 90);

• update on work being done in relation to permits issued for minor use, including stakeholder liaison (pp 90-91);

• safety threshold for the presence of Atrazine in waterways; drinking water standards; extent of APVMA's role and responsibility in relation to drinking water (pp 92-95);

• investigation into the link between fish deaths, abnormalities and chemical run-off in Queensland (p. 93);

• studies into the correlation between Atrazine and obesity (pp 94 and 95);

• use of the precautionary principle (pp 95-96);

• pesticides and herbicides registered for use by the forestry industry in Tasmania; work done to assess the toxicology of the mixture of those chemicals (pp 96-97);

• use of chemicals by Tasmanian forestry industry that are not registered for general use by APVMA; use of chemicals under research permits (pp 97­ 98); and

• British High Court ruling in relation to spray drift from pesticides; European Union decisions (p. 98).

Agricultural Productivity

• impact of amendments to Division 7A of the tax laws on farms owned by family companies; extent to which the department was consulted by Treasury in the development of this measure (Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 102-105);

• impact of the budget cuts on the division's programs (p. 105);

• value of Australia's total farm and fisheries production; level of food imports and exports (pp 105-106);

• work on soil condition and fertility (p. 106);

• revie w of the Horticultural Code of Conduct (pp 107-108);

• Agricultural Finance Forum (p. 108);

• 'Grown in Australia' label operated by the Australian Made Campaign Ltd (pp 108-109);

• Food Regulation Ministerial Council's review of food labelling across Australia (pp 109-110);

• research into the long-term impact of non-forestry managed investment

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schemes on agricultural production (pp 110-112); and

• Regional Food Producers Innovation and Productivity program (pp 112— 115).

R u ral Industries Research and Development C orporation

• invitations to the RIRDC's rural women's award; continuation of RIRDC's sponsorship {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 115 and 121 — 122);

• impact of budget cuts on RIRDC's work with new and emerging industries (pp 116 and 118-119);

• other possible sources of funding for the RIRDC (pp 117 and 120-121);

® provision of managing agent services to the Council of Chairs (p. 117);

• leveraging of funds from the government (pp 117-118);

• R&D budget; five-year R&D plan; R&D program (pp 118, 121 and 122);

• funding levies from industry (p. 120); and

• RIRDC's commercialisation policy (p. 122).

G rains Research and Development C orporation

• new wheat classification panel {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 123-124);

• research into the effectiveness and suitability of GM canola (p. 124);

• level of anti-GM sentiment amongst farmers (p. 124);

• obligation on the non-GM grower to avoid contamination with GM crops (pp 124-125);

• research into other potential GM traits in crops such as wheat and barley (p. 125);

• additional costs associated with segregation of non-GM canola; feedback from growers (pp 126-127);

• ongoing GM trials across Australia (p. 127);

• evaluation of seeding of last year's GM canola crop outside the paddock (pp 127-128); and

• other GM crops grown commercially in Australia and overseas (p. 128).

B ureau of R ural Sciences

• modelling of drivers for land use change; clarification of the definition of 'marginal land' {Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2009, pp 129-131);

• modelling in relation to fish species considered at risk; production of the Fisheries Status Report (p. 131);

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• whether the BRS has been commissioned to do any work on structural change in regional communities with respect to the CPRS (pp 131-132);

• BRS report on the estimation of seabird bycatch rates in the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (p. 132);

• trends for plantation development over the next three to five years in Australia (p. 132);

• research into the relationship between forestry and rainfall generation (p. 133); and

• monitoring of soil health and assessment of the impact of the drought on soil health (pp 133-134).

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THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

PARLIAMENTARY PAPER N o. 148 o f 2009 ORDERED TO BE PRINTED

ISSN 0727-4181