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Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing Committees Consolidated reports on Additional estimates 2009-2010


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Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on Additional estimates 2009-10

February 2 0 1 0

Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on Additional estimates

2009-10

February 2010

© Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 2010

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....................................................... i

Community Affairs Committee

• Additional estimates 2009-10 report, dated February 2010................................ 1

Economics Committee

• Additional estimates 2009-10 report, dated February 2010.............................. 17

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee

• Additional estimates 2009-10 report, dated February 2010.............................. 43

Environment, Communications and the Arts Committee

• Additional estimates 2009-10 report, dated February 2010.............................. 73

Finance and Public Administration Committee

• Additional estimates 2009-10 report, dated February 2010.............................. 95

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

• Additional estimates 2009-10 report, dated February 2010............................ 117

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

• Additional estimates 2009-10 report, dated February 2010............................ 141

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee

• Additional estimates 2009-10 report, dated February 2010............................ 169

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RESOLUTIONS OF THE SENATE RELATING TO ESTIMATES

7 Standing Orders—Amendment—Committees—Allocation of Departments' 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, Information 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 Affairs 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 i

8 Legislation Committees—Estimates Hearings2 The Special Minister of State (Senator Ludwig), at the request of the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion (Senator Stephens) and pursuant to notice, moved government business notice of motion no. 2— (1) That estimates hearings by legislation committees for 2010 be scheduled as follows:

2009- 10 additional estimates: Monday, 8 February and Tuesday, 9 February 2010, and, if required, Friday, 12 February 2010 (Group A) Wednesday, 10 February and Thursday, 11 February 2010, and, if required, Friday,

12 February 2010 (Group B).

2010- 11 Budget estimates: Monday, 24 May to Thursday, 27 May 2010, and, if required, Friday, 28 May 2010 (Group A) Monday, 31 May to Thursday, 3 June 2010, and, if required, Friday, 4 June 2010 (Group B) Monday, 18 October and Tuesday, 19 October 2010 (supplementary hearings—Group A) Wednesday, 20 October and Thursday, 21 October 2010 (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, 23 February 2010 in respect of the 2009-10 additional estimates; and (b) Tuesday, 22 June 2010 in respect of the 2010-11 Budget estimates. Question put and passed.

2 Journals o f the Senate, no. 94, 27 October 2009 ii

55 Particulars of P roposed Additional Expenditure—2009-10—Documents3 The Assistant Treasurer (Senator Sherry) tabled the following documents:

Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2009-2010], Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2009-2010], Senator Sherry, by leave, moved—That—

(a) the documents, together with the final budget outcome 2008-09 (see entry no. 2, 27 October 2009) and the Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2008-09 (see entry no. 2, 27 October 2009), be referred to committees for examination and report; and (b) consideration of the Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts in committee of

the whole be made an order of the day for the day on which committees report on their examination of the additional estimates.

Question put and passed.

3 Journals of the Senate, no. 104, 26 November 2009 iii

:

The Senate

Community Affairs Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2009-10

February 2010

1

© Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 2010

ISBN 978-1-74229-253-3

Senate Community Affairs Committee Secretariat

Ms Naomi Bleeser- Committee Secretary 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

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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 Member

Senator Anne McEwen to substitute for Senator Carol Brown from 10 to 12 February 2010

ALP, South Australia

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

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1.1 On 26 November 2009 the Senate referred the following documents to the Committee for examination and report in relation to the portfolios of Health and Ageing; and Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs:

• particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2009-10]

• particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2009-10]

• Final budget outcome 2008-09

• Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2008-09.

1.2 The Committee has considered the additional expenditure of the portfolios set out in their respective Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2009-2010 (PAES). Explanations relating to the estimates were received from Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig representing the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator the Hon Chris Evans and Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, and officers from the portfolio Departments at hearings held on 10 and 11 February 2010.

1.3 The Committee also considered additional expenditure at a hearing on 12 February 2010 on cross portfolio Indigenous matters pursuant to Resolution of the Senate of 26 August 2008.1 Explanations relating to the estimates were received from Senator the Hon Mark Arbib. Officers from the following portfolio Departments and agencies were in attendance:

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Health and Ageing

Australian Hearing and Centrelink agencies (Human Services portfolio).

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 information relating to the expenditure is 1 April 2010.

1 Journals o f the Senate: No.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 PAES. These discussions are detailed in the Committee's Hansard transcripts of 10 to 12 February 2010, 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 r o c e d u r a l m a tters

Cross portfolio Indigenous matters

1.7 To assist both the Committee and portfolio departments the Committee conducted the cross portfolio Indigenous matters hearing in a similar 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 in coordinating portfolios to enable the hearing to be conducted in this manner.

Public interest immunity claims

1.8 During the hearings the issue of public interest immunity pursuant to Order of the Senate dated 13 May 2009 was not raised.

Provision of answers relating to Supplementary Estimates 2009-10

1.9 The Committee acknowledges the Departments' efforts in providing answers to a large number of questions on notice relating to the supplementary estimates. Both portfolio Departments, Health and Ageing (DoHA) and Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), provided approximately half of the answers by the due date. The majority of the remaining answers were progressively provided within the following month, and all were provided by the

commencement of the hearings, with the exception of three answers which were provided by DoHA shortly after.

Attendance of portfolio agencies

1.10 A number of agencies had been requested to attend the hearing, including some who had travelled from interstate, and had spent a considerable amount of time at the hearing waiting to be called, but were not then required to answer questions. Reasons ranged from Senators who had requested their appearance unable to be in attendance at the time, or advice that questions would be placed on notice, and other

Senators not having any questions of these agencies.

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1.11 The Committee Chair apologised to representatives of the agencies concerned, and with the cooperation of the Committee intends to try to prevent this situation occurring at future hearings.

Insufficient time for questioning

1.12 The Committee regrets that for both portfolios there was insufficient hearing time for Senators to ask all of the questions they intended, and therefore a large number of these questions needed to be placed on notice.

Issu es

Health and Ageing portfolio

1.13 Senators asked a range of questions covering corporate and cross-outcome matters. The discussions included the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission's role in implementing a national plan for health reform, including the review, consultation, reporting process, and progress with the report recommendations. Other matters included details of contracts for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services for DoHA's new building, purchase of leased desktop

computers and laptops, and international health experts' professional services.2

1.14 The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) was asked to provide information relating to their contract with FaHCSIA to receive, analyse and write up the work that FaHCSIA had commissioned for an evaluation report on income management. AIHW informed the Committee that this was an unusual piece of work to undertake because they did not undertake a full evaluation. AIHW did not provide

input into the design of the evaluation, however considered that:

...it was an important piece of work for us to do from the sense of objectively looking at what the evidence was that had been collected.

AIHW further explained that:

Obviously the design of the evaluation is a very important factor with regard to the extent to which the data you have is comprehensive, is useful and is analysable. That is why in our report we made strong comments

about the limitations of the evidence. 3

1.15 Other matters discussed with AIHW included the role of their ethics committee, new strategic plan, national minimum data sets on alcohol and other drug treatment services, development of standards for the National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA), and hospital expenditure statistics.4

2 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA6-17.

3 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA17-21.

4 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA22-24.

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1.16 DoHA informed the Committee about the Elective Surgery Waiting List Reduction Plan arrangement with the states and territories, including the use of private sector services to achieve targets, and funding arrangements.5

1.17 The Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority informed the Committee in relation to the reform package for organ and tissue donation for transplantation, including increased funding and provision of specialist persoimel for hospitals; the national professional awareness and education program; donor family support; and organ donation rates.6

1.18 Senators sought information on primary care matters which included an update on progress with the GP Super Clinic project. DoHA informed the Committee that of the original 31 locations for Super Clinics 28 funding agreements had been fully executed but only two are fully operational. Information was also provided as to the number of fully and partially operational clinics. The status of several particular clinics or proposed sites, and the services already provided or planned were also discussed, as well as workforce shortage, the employment of overseas trained doctors, and relocation incentives to move to Super Clinics. Other primary care matters discussed included proposals to consolidate Divisions of General Practice and funding agreements with the Divisions.7

1.19 Private health insurance issues included the private health insurance rebate, Medicare levy surcharge, and modelling relating to the measure overall. The Committee was also informed that in the most recent quarter of data private health insurance membership had increased slightly, with the current proportion at 51.6 per cent, up from 51.4 per cent in the previous quarter.8

1.20 Senators questioned DoHA about hearing services provided to children with severe hearing loss and provision of subsidies for children requiring a direct bone conduction hearing aid device. Questions were also asked about modelling being undertaken to assess the cost of providing support for people over 21 to retain access to hearing services. The Committee also sought information in relation to hearing difficulties and building design.9

1.21 Questions relating to pharmaceutical benefits matters included the review of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) reforms, including the consultancy process, and modelling; community service obligation for pharmaceuticals, the funding pool for PBS medicines, and distribution arrangements; progress with the

fifth pharmacy agreement; and the review of the pharmacy location rules. E-script

5 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA24-28.

6 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA29-30.

7 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA31-39.

8 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA40-43.

9 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA45-47.

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payment for electronic prescriptions, implementation of the chemotherapy measure, and PBS access for nurse practitioners and midwives were also discussed. Senators also sought information in relation to new therapeutic groups and the role of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in reviewing listed medicines to determine if they fit within a therapeutic group. The Senate Community Affairs References Committee is currently inquiring into consumer access to pharmaceutical benefits and the creation of new therapeutic groups through the PBS.10 1 1

1.22 The Committee discussed aged care matters at some length with DoHA. Included in discussions were transition arrangements from the Continence Aids Assistance Scheme to the Continence Aids Payments Scheme and outcomes and services for participants in the scheme; the impact of an Emissions Trading Scheme

(ETS) on aged-care facilities and the Government's Climate Change Action Fund to provide assistance to businesses and community organisations, including operators of aged care facilities. The stocktake of aged-care places, status of reviews for accreditation standards, accreditation processes and the complaints investigation

scheme, and the engagements and activities undertaken by the Ambassador for Ageing were also discussed. A number of questions were also asked relating to the aged care approvals round and the application process, Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) review, and requirements for aged care services to provide support and quality care to people in the LBGTI group.11

1.23 DoHA was also asked to provide an update on progress with assistance to young people with disabilities to be accommodated in alternative residential care out of aged care facilities. The Nursing Home Oral and Dental Health Plan, evacuation procedures in aged care homes in the event of disasters such as bushfires, the Zero

Real Interest Loans Initiative, and viability of smaller regional aged care facilities were also discussed. Aged care workforce topics included the impact of award modernisation, aged care nursing scholarships and Bringing Nurses Back into the

Workforce program.12

1.24 The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency (ACSAA) informed the Committee in relation to the unannounced visits program, and compliance with nutrition and hydration standards in aged-care facilities.13

1.25 Following up on the Committee's report recommendations for the inquiry into children in institutional care titled Forgotten Australians, Senator Siewert asked questions relating to progress with the initiative to provide support to former children in institutional care, particularly so far as aged care was concerned. DoHA advised that development work had commenced on an educational package of support for

10 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA 47-61.

11 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA61-76.

12 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA77-86.

13 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA86-87.

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'forgotten Australians' who have now been identified as a special needs group under the aged-care legislation through an amendment to the Allocation Principles.14 1 5

1.26 Questions relating to access to medical services included take-up rates for the Healthy Kids Check program; stakeholder input to the MBS Quality Framework; changes to Medicare rebates for cataract surgery; review of Medicare schedule items for joint injections and aspirations; Medicare Teen Dental Plan; and an MRI licence

for Warmambool in Victoria.13

1.27 The Office for Health Protection informed the Committee of the strategies in place to deal with emerging infectious diseases, including preparedness and response plans. Funding and research coordination in Australia and internationally were also discussed. Senators also sought information concerning provision of health services for border protection agencies. A number of questions were asked relating to the supply of H1N1 flu vaccine, particularly with regard to the cost, uptake rate and clinical trials.16

1.28 Questions on sporting matters mainly related to the report of an Independent Sport Panel, chaired by Mr David Crawford, which reviewed all aspects of sport in Australia and its future direction, referred to as the 'Crawford report'. Panel membership was discussed, including remuneration and whether declarations of

conflicts of interest were completed before appointment of panel members. The Crawford report recommendations were also discussed, as well as the report's appendix I which the Committee was informed had not been publicly released in its entirety because of commercially confidential information pertaining to the Gemba group, the body who prepared the appendix. Other sporting topics included the hotel contract for food and beverages for the Commonwealth sports ministers' meeting in Beijing and the contract for the FIFA World Cup bid negotiations.17

1.29 Rural health matters related to the new zoning system for regional and remote communities, and the possible impact on communities, GPs, and overseas trained doctors. The rural GP locum program, number of applications and placements were also discussed, as well as the Rural Health Workforce Strategy and provision of services for rural and remote Australians.18

1.30 Questions relating to the nursing workforce included recruitment targets for nurses returning to the workforce under the Bringing Nurses Back into the Workforce program, and abuse of nurses in the workplace. Medical education and training matters discussed included the processes in place to ensure a balance between the

14 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, p.CA77.

15 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA87-96.

16 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA96-103.

17 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA103-108.

18 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA109-l 14.

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number of medical school graduates and the availability of intern and postgraduate training places.19

1.31 Further information was sought from DoHA concerning midwives, including the impact of the proposed collaborative arrangements and indemnity insurance issues, which were matters discussed at length during the Committee's inquiry into the Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 and

related Bills.20

1.32 The Committee was provided with an update on the implementation of E-Health, including system development, trialling, healthcare identifiers, the time­ frame for roll-out of the system, and capability across the health system.21

1.33 Cancer Australia agency, in response to a question relating to how priorities are set with regard to cancer research, particularly for less well-known forms of cancer, informed the Committee of their role and functions:

...we work with a large range of providers, both funders and researchers, and that has been melded into the Priority-Driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme. That process puts forward priorities, either for policy or for practice, to the research community on an annual competitive merit based program jointly with evaluation by the National Health and Medical Research Council. Then, subsequently, Cancer Australia and its committees

seek to ensure that we are investing across the full spectrum of cancer. To that end, Cancer Australia ... has put together a range of priorities which really are incredibly broad in their remit and target a number of cancers that may otherwise not be in the public eye.22

1.34 Discussions on mental health matters included the allocation of funding for the COAG National Action Plan on Mental Health for phone and web-based counselling services; and breakdowns of funding provided to organisations for stages 1 and 2 of mental health services in rural and remote areas. In relation to the provision of ongoing treatment following attempted suicide, DoHA informed the

Committee that a project had been developed under the Access to Allied Psychological Services program to support individuals upon discharge from hospital.23

1.35 Population health matters included the consultation process, research contracts, and preliminary work undertaken by the Preventative Health Taskforce. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) agency provided information on

19 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA l 15-116,120.

20 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA117-l 19.

21 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA120-126.

22 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, p.CA127.

23 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA128-132.

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requirements for testing for chemical residues in frozen vegetables in Australia and internationally.24

1.36 Questions asked of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) related to the processes followed when TGA decided whether a drug should be approved for use in Australia, and whether testing is more rigorous in relation to prescription medicines. Processes used to approve devices such as artificial joints were also discussed. TGA informed the Committee that the regulatory framework for

implantable devices is an internationally harmonised framework called the global harmonisation taskforce framework for regulation of medical devices. TGA also advised that although they have well-established processes for investigating faulty medical devices they do not have the power to compel healthcare professionals to refer faulty devices to them. TGA also informed the Committee their medical device

expert advisory committee investigates orthopaedic implants as a result of reporting by the Joint Replacement Registry. Regulatory action has been taken by this committee, including the removal of several devices from the market.2"’

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio

1.37 The Committee sought information relating to a number of corporate issues and matters which cross outcomes, including total staff numbers, the number of staff having identified a disability, people with a disability employed on the traineeship program, and the number of DLO officers attached to ministers' offices. Contracts for the procurement of services from Disability Enterprises, expenditure on consultancy

services, advertising and marketing were discussed. Information was sought in relation to the design of research programs and adherence to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and other ethical guidelines when data collection involves vulnerable people.26 2 7 2 8 This issue was further discussed later in the hearing and an explanation provided in relation to the ethical processes followed for a particular research project.™7

1.38 Matters relating to seniors included the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card concessions and eligibility thresholds, income test and changes to income streams, number of same-sex couples declaring their relationship for pension assessment, and pensioners with irregular incomes affected by assessment changes.2S

24 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA132-137.

25 Committee Hansard, 10.02.10, pp.CA137-141.

26 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, pp.CA5-15.

27 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, pp.CA121-122.

28 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, pp.CA 16-26.

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1.39 Senators discussed housing matters with FaHCSIA at length, including the effectiveness of KPIs and CO AG performance indicators in measuring outcomes in delivery of programs and initiatives relative to the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA), Homelessness National Partnership, and rent assistance. Information was sought on Housing

Affordability Fund (HAF) projects, additional housing stock, and the role and work of the National Housing Supply Council in planning to meet housing demand. Progress with work under the maintenance component of the Social Housing Initiative, delivery of housing under the stimulus package, funding agreements under HAF, and

sustainability and energy efficiency benchmarks for social housing were also included in discussions.29

1.40 A range of questions were asked by Senators relating to homelessness, including the numbers of homeless people, including women and children who are homeless due to domestic violence.

1.41 The Committee was informed by the Office for Women and Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace agency (EOWA) on matters such as the consultation process and timetable for the review of EOWA, affirmative action reporting and compliance, particularly with regard to appointment of women to

Boards. EOWA advised that workshops were provided to assist companies with compliance and reporting. Information was also provided on delegation representation and progress with preparations for attendance at the Beijing +15 UN General Assembly on women's rights. The national plan to reduce violence against women and their children was discussed in relation to progress with implementation of recommendations of the Time for Action report, including the Respectful

Relationships programs.30

1.42 A number of questions were asked relating to family matters including Family Relationship Services Australia client identification, and Indigenous service delivery issues. The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) program was also discussed in relation to provision of culturally appropriate services

to Indigenous communities. Senators sought information on a range of paid parental leave matters, including the scheme's consultation process, eligibility criteria, employer responsibilities, payment options, and implementation plans. Questions

were also asked in relation to assistance available to grandparents who care for their grandchildren, succession planning and financial planning services.31

1.43 In relation to the national apology to the 'Forgotten Australians' - former children who were in institutional care, including child migrants - FaHCSIA infonned the Committee that there had been an overwhelming positive response following the

29 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, pp.CA27-62.

30 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, pp.CA63-69.

31 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, pp.CA70-84.

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apology. FaHCSIA also advised of progress with implementation of the recommendations of the Lost Innocents and Forgotten Australians reports of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee.'" The Committee has a long standing interest in this area and will continue to monitor progress.3 2 33

1.44 The Minister commented that:

...the department should be congratulated on what a great job they did in managing that. It was really well done, but I also think ... we ought to keep reminding people that it was as a result of the committee and the work of the Senate committee that actually made this happen. That is not often acknowledged... 1 think it is one of the great examples of the way the

Senate committee system can work, so I think that we ought to keep acknowledging that is the Senate at its best in that regard and it would never have happened if it were not for the succession of Senate inquiries and pressure.34

1.45 The Committee Chair, on behalf of the Committee, also acknowledged FaHCSIA's excellent work.35 The Committee appreciates the Minister's acknowledgement of the role the Committee played in achieving outcomes for the former 'Forgotten Australians', now the 'Remembered Australians', and the importance of the Senate Committee system.

1.46 Senators asked a number of questions on disability matters, including the harmonisation of disability parking permit schemes across Australia; the national approach to universal design in housing to provide a greater range of homes as people age or for those with a disability; allocation of additional places and locations under the Outside School Hours Care for Teenagers with Disability Program; and details of procurement contracts for services purchased through Australian Disability

Enterprises. FaHCSIA provided an update on progress with operations and locations of Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres. The status of the National Autism Register, autism adviser services, and waiting time for access to services was also discussed. Other questions related to the carer adjustment payment, development of the National Carer Recognition Framework, status of legislative amendments relating to Special Disability Trusts, accommodation for young people assisted out of residential aged care facilities, and the Personal Helpers and Mentors Program to assist people with mental illness.36

1.47 Matters relating to the proposal to expand income management included the use of the BasicsCard to access income-managed funds; BasicsCard funding and

32 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, pp.CA85-86.

33 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, p.CA86.

34 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, pp.CA86-87.

35 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, p.CA87.

36 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, pp.CA 87-105.

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service delivery implementation; voluntary income management; income quarantining; participation requirements; exemption and appeals processes. Questions were also asked about financial management assistance and provision of financial services in the Cannington district and Kimberley region of WA, as well as the number of people being quarantined in these areas and the processes involved to be

able to come off the scheme. The proposal to reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 was also discussed.37

Cross portfolio Indigenous matters

1.48 Senators sought answers to Indigenous issues questions from various portfolio Departments and agencies under the thematic headings detailed on the hearing program. In response to Senators' questions concerning the Closing the Gap initiative, the Coordinator-General for Remote Indigenous Services provided a comprehensive

overview of progress being made, priorities identified in consultation with communities, and implementation plans for a range of initiatives under the National Partnership on Remote Service Delivery. Governance and leadership matters were also discussed.38

1.49 Matters discussed with Centrelink included income management, income quarantining, and some difficulties experienced in relation to the BasicsCard. Services provided by Centrelink in relation to financial counselling and assistance with improving money management skills were also discussed/9

1.50 A considerable number of housing questions were asked by Senators relating to remote Indigenous housing, the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP), including the number of new houses completed or commenced, and houses refurbished and upgraded. Funding allocation for housing in town camps, and

maintenance of housing stock were also discussed, as well as homeless Indigenous people in remote areas, State-owned and managed Indigenous housing, and the National Policy Commission on Indigenous Housing.40

1.51 Employment and economic development matters included the Australian Employment Covenant initiative to provide training and employment opportunities for Indigenous people. Options available to employers to assist with preparing people for employment were also discussed. DEEWR provided figures on outcomes of key

employment programs which showed an 18 per cent increase in Indigenous job placement compared to the previous year. Progress with the placement of Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) participants into the mainstream labour

37 Committee Hansard, 11.02.10, pp.CA106-125.

38 Committee Hansard, 12.02.10, pp.CA4-13.

39 Committee Hansard, 12.02.10, pp.CA14-18.

40 Committee Hansard, 12.02.10, pp.CA20-41.

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market was also discussed, including the Cape York income management welfare reform trial and other employment projects.41

1.52 Indigenous health issues discussed with DoHA included the size of the health workforce under the emergency response initiative, Indigenous health workers, and progress with the Bringing them Home and Link Up programs. The provision of dialysis services and difficulties for people accessing services in remote areas was also

discussed. Funding for pharmaceuticals for Indigenous people with chronic disease, and support for pharmacists and delivery of pharmaceuticals in remote areas were also raised. A number of questions were asked relating to hearing health, particularly the difficulties encountered by Indigenous children with hearing loss and their involvement with the juvenile justice system, and lack of suitable sound systems in classrooms.42

1.53 Questions were asked relating to the expected release date for the Central Australian Petrol Sniffing Strategy Unit (CAPSSU) report on petrol sniffing, and differences in payments to Board members of Divisions of General Practice and members of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations' Boards.4'1

1.54 Other more general Indigenous matters included the Queensland Government's wild rivers legislation and the affect this may have on Indigenous people in that area. Senators also sought information on the recruitment process, appointment, and early resignation of the CEO of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation.44

1.55 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

February 2010

41 Committee Hansard, 12.02.10, pp.CA42-46.

42 Committee Hansard, 12.02.10, pp.CA50-59.

43 Committee Hansard, 12.02.10, pp.CA55-57.

44 Committee Hansard, 12.02.10, pp.CA49-50, 18-20.

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The Senate

Economics

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2009-10

February 2010

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© Commonwealth of Australia 2010

ISBN 978-1-74229-254-0

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

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Senate Economics Legislation Committee Members Senator Annette Hurley, Chair Senator Alan Eggleston, Deputy Chair

Senator David Bushby Senator Doug Cameron Senator Louise Pratt Senator Nick Xenophon

South Australia, ALP Western Australia, LP Tasmania, LP News South Wales, ALP

Western Australia, ALP South Australia, IND

Other senators in attendance Senator the Hon Eric Abetz Senator the Hon Ronald Boswell Senator the Hon George Brandis SC Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck

Senator the Hon Helen Coonan Senator Steve Fielding Senator Mitch Fifield Senator the Hon Bill Heffeman Senator Bamaby Joyce Senator Scott Ludlam Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald Senator Julian McGauran Senator Christine Milne Senator the Hon Nicholas Minchin Senator Stephen Parry

Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson Senator John Williams

Tasmania, LP Queensland, NATS Queensland, LP Tasmania, LP New South Wales, LP

Victoria, FFP Victoria, LP

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

Victoria, LP Tasmania, AG South Australia, LP Tasmania, LP

Victoria, LP

New South Wales, NATS

Secretariat Mr John Hawkins, Secretary Mr Sam Bruce-Smith, Research Officer Mr Joshua See, Executive Assistant

Suite SG.64 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: 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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20

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Membership of Committee iii

Additional Estimates 2009-10 1

Report to the Senate 1

Introduction 1

Portfolio structures and outcomes 1

Questions on notice 1

General comments 1

Record of proceedings 2

Matters raised - Treasury portfolio 2

Matters raised - Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio 5

Matters raised - Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio 6

Appendix 1 9

Abbreviations 9

Appendix 2 11

Index to Proof Hansard transcripts 11

Appendix 3 13

Document tabled 13

Appendix 4 15

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Treasury portfolio 15

Appendix 5 17

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Portfolio 17

Appendix 6 19

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio 19 V

V

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Additional Estimates 2009-10 Report to the Senate

Introduction

1.1 On 26 November 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 additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2009-10];

• Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2009-10]; and

• Final Budget Outcome 2008-09.

Portfolio structures and outcomes

1.2 The committee notes that no changes have been made to the portfolio structures and outcomes of the three portfolios since the 2009-10 Budget Estimates round.

1.3 The structures and outcomes for each of the portfolios are summarised in the appendices as indicated below:

• Treasury (Appendix 4);

• Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (Appendix 5) and

• Resources, Energy and Tourism (Appendix 6).

Questions on notice

1.4 The committee draws the attention of all departments and agencies to the deadline of Thursday, 1 April 2010 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 has prepared indices for questions taken on notice during

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

General comments

1.5 The committee received evidence from Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, Assistant Treasurer; Senator the Hon Kim Can", Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Climate Change and Water and officers from the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research;

Resources, Energy and Tourism; and Treasury portfolios.

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

1.7 The committee conducted hearings on 10 and 11 February 2010. In total the committee met for 21 hours and 58 minutes, excluding breaks.

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Page 2

Record of proceedings

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

1.9 Copies of the Hansard transcripts are available on the internet at

http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/commttee/committee_transcript.asp?MODE=YEA R&ID=82&YEAR=2010. Copies are also tabled with this report for the information of the Senate.

Matters raised - Treasury portfolio

1.10 On 10 February 2010, the committee examined the estimates for the:

• Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC);

• Productivity Commission;

• Treasury - outcome 3: effective taxation and retirement income arrangements; and

• Australian Taxation Office (ATO);

1.11 On 11 February 2010, the committee examined the estimates for the:

• Treasury - outcome 1: sound macroeconomic environment;

• Treasury - outcome 2: effective government spending arrangements;

• Treasury - outcome 4: well functioning markets;

• Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA);

• Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM);

• Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS); and

• Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

1.12 Matters examined included the following:

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)' • catalogue pricing and freight costs (p. 5);

• sales of DVDs below cost in supermarkets (pp 5-7);

• ACCC's selection of cases (pp 7-10);

• bank margins and competition (pp 10-11);

• competition in wealth management (pp 12-13);

• supermarket leases and competition (pp 14-16);

• ACCC examination of fertiliser market (pp 16-17); 1

1 Transcript page numbers refer to the P ro o f Hansard and may differ slightly from the Official Hansard.

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Page 3

• franchising (pp 17-18); and

• uniform pricing by supermarkets (pp 18-19).

Productivity Commission • opening statement on developments in relation to the Productivity

Commission's work programme (pp 20-21);

• cost-benefit analyses (pp 21-23);

• visiting academic researchers (p 24);

• executive remuneration (pp 25-29);

• female labour participation and productivity (pp 29-32);

• workplace bullying (pp 32-33);

• migration and productivity (p 33); and

• hospital data collection (p 35).

Treasury — outcome 3: effective taxation and retirement income arrangements and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) • review on the Australian Tax System (pp 125-134, 139)

• temporary resident superannuation legislation (pp 134-135)

• the ATO's new computer system (pp 135-137, 141-144)

• Government tax relief packages aimed at supporting small business (pp 137-138)

• differential service model of GST issues (pp 138-139)

• improved compliance in lodging tax returns (pp 139-140)

• strategy around the GFC (pp 140-141)

• R&D concession changes (pp 144-145)

Treasury — outcome 1: sound macroeconomic environment • government spending, debt and interest rates (pp 18-19, 21,23-24, 42, 47);

• projections of government deficit and peak debt (pp 19-21, 23, 29, 43-45);

• foreign debt in Australia compared to that of other countries (pp 21-23, 32);

• impact of fiscal stimulus (pp 24-27, 31-33, 38-39, 43);

• unemployment rate and spare capacity in labour market (pp 27-30, 47);

• wage pressures (pp 30-31);

• comparison of Australian and New Zealand economies (p. 34);

• female labour participation and productivity (pp 35-36);

• impact of bank funding guarantees (pp 37-38); and

• government spending and economic growth projections (pp 40-42).

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Page 4

Treasury - outcome 2: effective government spending arrangements • climate change modelling (pp 48-61);

• state government debt (pp 61-62);

• holders of, and yields on, Australian government debt (pp 62-64, 68);

• calculation of government net debt (pp 64-66); and

• projected budget balances and government debt (pp 66-69).

Treasury - outcome 4: well functioning markets • bank funding guarantees (pp 70, 72-78, 85-87);

• FIRB activities (pp 72, 87-88);

• competition and margins in banking (pp 79-80, 90);

• cost-benefit analysis of government programmes (pp 81-82);

• car dealer special purpose vehicle (p. 82);

• support for mortgages securitisation market (pp 83-84);

• consumer law (p. 84);

• national broadband network (pp 88-90);

• Reserve Bank and banks' cost of funds (pp 90-91); and

• superannuation clearing house (pp 70-71, 91-93).

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) • opening statement outlining global financial market developments and their implications for APRA and financial institutions (pp 93-94);

• frozen mortgage funds (pp 94-97);

• bank capital and liquidity requirements (pp 97-99, 101-102);

• public sector superannuation funds (pp 99-100);

• bank lending (pp 100-101); and

• executive salaries in the finance sector (pp 102-103).

Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) • government bonds outstanding and yields (pp 104-108);

• foreign ownership of bonds (pp 106-107); and

• support for mortgages securitisation market (pp 107-109).

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) • 2011 census(pp 110-112); and

• climate change statistics (p. 111).

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Page 5

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) • opening statement on three lost litigation cases (pp 112-115);

• frozen mortgage funds (p. 115);

• appeals on three lost cases (pp 116-119);

• processing of complaints (pp 121-122);

• definition of assets (pp 119-120, 126-127);

• staffing (pp 122, 129);

• ASIC takeover of market surveillance from ASX (pp 122-123);

• Storm Financial (p. 126); and

• liquidators (pp 127-130).

Matters raised - Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio

1.13 On 10 February 2010, 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);

• Office of the Chief Scientist; and the

• Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research;

1.14 Matters examined included the following:

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) • expenses associated with Zigmund Switkowski's time working on the board of ANSTO (pp 39-40);

• negotiations with INVAP (p. 40);

• investigations into OH&S incidents (pp 40-42);

• feasibility of nuclear industry (pp 42-43); and

• climate change (pp 44-45).

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) • opening statement from the CSIRO Chief Executive (pp 44-45);

• climate change (pp 46-48);

• CSIRO adhering to internal charter (pp 48-49);

• SKA project (pp 49-50);

• research relating to northern Australia (pp 50, 53-54 );

• climate change (pp 51-52, 55-56, 60-62)

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• political influence on the CSIRO's research (pp 53-54); and

• research relating to irrigation and efficient use of water (pp 56-59).

Australian Research Council (ARC) • bionic eye research (p. 63).

Office of the Chief Scientist • bovine spongifonn encephalopathy (p. 63); and

• climate change (pp 63-66).

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research • Inspiring Australia strategy (pp 67-68);

• Excellence in Research for Australia Initiative (pp 68-69);

• nanotechnology funding (pp 69-70);

• Australian Stem Cell Centre (pp 70-71);

• R&D concession changes ( pp 71-84);

• Innovation Investment Follow-on Fund (pp 84-85);

• Commercialisation Australia (pp 85-86);

• Enterprise Connect (pp 86-91, 96-98);

• Green Building Fund (pp 91 -95);

• Green Car Innovation Fund (pp 99-100); and

• Tasmanian Innovation and Investment Fund (p. 100).

Matters raised - Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

1.15 On 10 February 2010, the committee examined the estimates for the:

• Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism; and

• Geoscience Australia.

1.16 Matters examined included the following:

Geoscience Australia • agency funding (pp 103-104); and

• offshore petroleum exploration acreage (pp 104-105).

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism - outcome 1 - resources and energy • increase in staffing levels (pp 105-106);

• the exclusion of Perth Basin from offshore petroleum exploration acreage release (pp 106-107);

• departmental travel expenditure to UN conference in Copenhagen (pp 107-108);

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Page 7

• appointment of counsellor in New Delhi (pp 108-110);

• Resources Tax (pp 110-113);

• radioactive waste (pp 113-115, 117-118);

• national radiation dose register (pp 115-117);

• Geothermal Developments in Victoria (pp 118-120); and

• Carbon Capture and Storage (pp 120-121).

1.17 On 11 February 2010, the committee examined the estimates for the:

• Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism; and

• Tourism Australia.

1.18 Matters examined included the following:

Department of Resources, Energy> and Tourism • state satellite tourism accounts (p. 4);

• tourism industry accreditation scheme (pp 5-6);

• labour costs in tourism (pp 6-7); and

• legal costs related to Apex Club grant (pp 8-10).

Tourism Australia • expenditure by Tourism Australia (pp 10-11);

• inbound tourism from China, India and Japan (pp 11-12);

• tourism in northern Queensland (pp 12-13);

• long-distance tourist road routes (p. 13); and

• tourism to South Australia (p. 14).

Senator Annette Hurley Chair

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Appendix 1 Abbreviations

ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics

ACCC Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ANSTO Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation AOFM Australian Office of Financial Management APR A Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

ARC Australian Research Council

ASIC Australian Securities and Investments Commission ASX Australian Stock Exchange

ATO Australian Taxation Office

CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation DVD Digital Versatile Disc

FIRB Foreign Investment Review Board

GFC Global Financial Crisis

GST Goods and Services Tax

INVAP an Argentine high-technology company

OH&S Occupational Health & Safety

R&D Research and Development

SKA Square Kilometre Array

UN United Nations

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:

32 J

Index to P r o o f H a n s a r d transcripts1 10 February 2010

Treasury portfolio

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

Productivity Commission

Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Australian Research Council

Office of the Chief Scientist

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

Geoscience Australia

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism - resources and energy

Treasury portfolio (continued)

Treasury - outcome 3: effective taxation and retirement income arrangements and Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

11 February 2010

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio (continued)

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism - tourism

Tourism Australia

Treasury portfolio (continued)

Treasury - outcome 1: sound macroeconomic environment

Treasuiy - outcome 2: effective government spending arrangements

Treasury - outcome 4: well functioning markets

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM)

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

Appendix 2

1 Transcript page numbers may differ slightly in the Official Hansard.

4

20

39

45

62

63

66

103

105

125

10

18

48

69

93

104

111

112

33

34

Appendix 3 Document tabled

10 February 2010

• Received from Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive, CSIRO: Letter to the Editor, The Australian, from Dr Ian Poiner, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Marine Science, 26 November 2009.

11 February 2010

No documents tabled.

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36

Appendix 4

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Treasury portfolio1

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____________

A ustralian Office of Financial M anagement Chief Executive Off cer: Mr Neil Hyden

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

Commonwealth G rants Commission Secretary/; M· John Spasojevic

Informed Government decisions on fiscal equalisation between the States and Territories through advice and recommendat ons on :he distribution of GST revenue and health care grants

A ustralian Prudential Regulation Authority Chairman: Dr John Laker

Enhanced public confidence in Australia's financial institutions through a framework of prudential regulation whicn balances financial safety a rd efficiency, competition, contestaoility and competitive neutrality

C orporations and M arkets Advisory Committee Convenor: Mr Richard St John

Informed decisions by Government on issues relating to corporations regulation and financial _________ p'oducts. services end markets through independent and expert advice_________

D epartm ent of the Treasury Secretary/: Dr Ken Henry AC

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

A ustralian Competition and C onsum er Commission Chairman: Mr Graeme Samuel AO

Lawful competit on, 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 ______________

A ustralian Taxation Office Commissioner: Mr Michael D'Ascenzc

Confidence in the administration of aspects of Australia's taxation and superannuation systems through helping people understand their rights and obligations, improving e ase of compliance and access _____________________ to benefits, and managing non-compliance with the law_____________________

Australian Securities and Investm ents C om m ission Chairman: Mr Tony D'Aloisio

Outcome 1: improved confidence in financia market integrity and protection of investors and consumers through research, policy, education, compliance and deterrence that mitigates emerging risks Outcome 2: Streamlined and cost-effective interaction and acc e ss to information for business and :he _________________ public, through registry, licensing and business facilitat on serv c es________________

Portfolio Minister - Treasurer The Hon Wayne Swan MP A ssistant T reasurer Senator tne Hon Nick Sherry

M inister for Financial S ervices, Superannuation and C orporate Law The Hon Chris Bowen MP M inister for Competition Policy and C onsum er Affairs __________________The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP__________________

1 Portfolio Budget Statements 2009-10, Treasury portfolio, pp 4-5.

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Page 16

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

Inspector-G eneral of Taxation Inspector-General: Mr All Noroozi

Office of the A ustralian A ccounting S tandards Board Chairman: Mr Kevin Stevenson

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_________

Royal A ustralian Mint

Acting Chief Executive Officer: Mr Graham Smith

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

Productivity C om m ission Chairman: Mr Gary Banks AO

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

National C om petition Council President: Mr David Crawford

Competition in markets that are dependent on a ccess to nationally significant monopoly infrastructure, through recommendations and decisions promoting the efficient operation of, use of and investment in infrastructure

Office of the Auditing and A ssu ran ce S tandards Board Chairman: Ms Merran Keisall

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_____________

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Appendix 5

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

Agency - Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) Chief Executive Officer Dr Ian Poiner

Outcome Growth of knowledge to support protection and sustainable development of Australia's marhe resources through innovative marhe science and technology.

Agency - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Chief Executive Officer: Dr Megan Clark

Outcome: 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.

Agency - Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer: Professor Margaret Sheil

Outcome: Growth of knowledge and innovation through managing research tundng schemes, measuring research excelence and providing advice.

Agency - Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Chief Executive Officer: Dr Adi Paterson

Qjtcome: Improved knowledge, innovative capacity and healthcare through nuclear-based faciities, research, training, products, services and advice to Government, industry, the education sector and the

Australian population.

Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP

Portfolio Minister

Minister fcr Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Senator the Hon Kim Cam

Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation and Industry The Hon Richard Maries MP

A gency-IP Australia Director General: Mr Philip Noonan

Outcome: Increased 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.

Agency - Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) Principal (CEO): Mr Russell Taylor

Outcome: Further understanding of Australian Indigenous cultures, past and present through undertaking and pubishing research, and prcvidng access to prht and audiovisual collections.

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Portfolio Secretary: Mr Mark I Paterson AO

CXjtcome 1: Enhanced opportunities for business innovation and growth through national leadership in converting knowledge and ideas into new processes, services, products and maiketable devices; fostering business cooperation; delivering advice;

assistance; and business, measurement and online services.

Outcome 2: The generation, utiisation and awareness ofsdence and research knowledge through investment in research, research training and infrastructure, science ccmmunication, skill development and collaboration with industry, uni vers ties and research institutes

domestically and internationally.

1 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2009-10, Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio, p. 4.

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Appendix 6

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

Portfolio Minister

Minister for Resources anc Energy

Minister for Tourism

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MF

Outcome 1: Increase demand for Australia

as a destination, strengthen the travel

distribution system, and cont'ibute to the

development of a sustainable tourism

ndvstry through consumer marketing, trade

development and research activities.

Tourism Australia

Managing Director

Mr Andrew McEvoy

Outcome 1: Informed government, industry

and community decisions on the economic,

social and environmental management of

the ration's natural resources through

enabling access to ceoscientific and spatial

information.

G eoscience Australia

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Neil Williams D$M

Outcome 1: To be reported ir the 2013-11

Dortfolio Budget Statements.

A ustralian Solar Institute

Executve Director

Mr Mark Tv/idell

O utcome 1: An Austro ian oil and gas

industry that properly controls the health and

safety risks tc tne workforce and its offshore

petroleum ooerations.

National O ffshore Petroleum Safety

Authority

Chief Executive Officer

Ms wane Cutler

O utcom e 1: The improved strength, competitiveness and

sustainability o*’ the Resources. Energy and Tourism industries to

enhance Australia's prosperity through implementation of

government policy and prog'am s.

D epartm ent of R esources, Energy and Tourism

Portfolio Secretary

Mfwonn Pierce

1 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2009-10, Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio, p. 6.

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The Senate

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2009-10

February 2010

© Commonwealth of Australia 2010

ISBN 978-1-742-29-255-7

This document was prepared by the secretariat of the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee. The report was printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

44

Membership of the Committee

iii

Members

Senator Gavin Marshall ALP, Victoria Chair

Senator Michaelia Cash LP, Western Australia Deputy Chair

Senator Chris Back LP, Western Australia

Senator Catryna Bilyk ALP, Tasmania

Senator Jacinta Collins ALP, Victoria

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young AG, South Australia

Senators participating in the scrutiny of the Additional Estimates

Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz Senator the Hon. George Brandis Senator Doug Cameron Senator Mathias Cormann Senator Irish Crossin

Senator Steve Fielding Senator Mitch Fifield Senator Mary Jo Fisher Senator the Hon. Brett Mason Senator Christine Milne Senator Stephen Parry Senator Marise Payne

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson Senator Scott Ryan

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

FFP, Victoria LP, Victoria LP, South Australia LP, Queensland AG, Tasmania LP, Tasmania

LP, New South Wales LP, Victoria LP, Victoria

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Secretariat

Dr Shona Batge, Secretary Ms Katie Meyers, Research Officer Ms Kate Middleton, Executive Assistant

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3521 Fax: 02 6277 5706 E-mail: eewr.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/eet ctte/index.htm

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

M em bership of the C o m m ittee.............................................................................. iii

C hapter 1 ...................................................................................................................... 1

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

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

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2009— 10.............................. 1

Safe Work Australia—a new agency in the portfolio............................................ 2

Hearings...................................................................................................................2

Public interest immunity claims............................................................................. 3

Questions on notice.................................................................................................4

Note on Hansard page referencing......................................................................... 5

C h ap ter 2 ......................................................................................................................7

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio.............................. 7

Cross portfolio.........................................................................................................7

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

Fair Work Ombudsman.......................................................................................... 9

Fair Work Australia...............................................................................................10

Australian Building and Construction Commission............................................. 11

Safe Work Australia..............................................................................................12

Outcome 4 (Workforce participation and labour market assistance)................... 12

Outcome 5 (Safer and more productive workplaces)........................................... 13

Outcome 2 (Schools and youth)............................................................................13

Outcome 1 (Early childhood education)............................................................... 15

Outcome 3 (Higher education, VET, international education)............................ 16

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4

Departments and agencies for which the committee has oversight.................. 19

Appendix 2 .................................................................................................................. 21

Index to Hansard transcripts................................................................................. 21

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio............................... 21

Appendix 3 .................................................................................................................. 23

Senate Standing Order 8- 13 May 2009.................................................................23

Appendix 1.........................................................................................................19

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Chapter 1

Overview

1.1 The Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee presents its report to the Senate.

1.2 On 26 November 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 additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2009-10];

• Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2009-10];

• Final budget outcome 2008-09—Report by the Treasurer (Mr Swan) and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation (Mr Tanner), September 2009; and

• Issues from the advance under the annual Appropriation Acts—Report for 2008-09.

1.3 Standing legislation committees are required to report to the Senate on 23 February 2010.

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.

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2009— 10

1.5 The Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) and the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) inform senators of the proposed allocation of funding to government outcomes by agencies within the portfolio. However, unlike the PBS, the PAES summarise only the changes in funding by outcome since the Budget. The

PAES provide information on new measures and their impact on the financial and/or non-financial planned performance of programs supporting those outcomes.

1.6 The PAES 2009-10 details the following measures that the department will deliver as a result of additional estimates:

• extension of transitional arrangements for Youth Allowance recipients to establish eligibility for independent status. As a result, 'gap year' students who

1 Journals o f the Senate, No. 104, 26 N ovember 2009, p. 2907.

2

meet the relevant conditions will have until 1 July 2010 to establish eligibility for independent status under the existing workforce participation criteria.

• establishment of an apprentice kick-start bonus and increased

pre-apprenticeship training places to encourage employers to recruit apprentices and support pre-apprenticeship training in traditional trades; and

• establishment of 10 000 new environmental and heritage training and work experience placements, available to young people aged 17 to 24.

1.7 These measures are offset by a number of savings measures, outlined in the PAES. 2

Safe Work Australia— a new agency in the portfolio

1.8 Safe Work Australia was established as a statutory agency on

1 November 2009 under the Safe Work Australia Act. According to the portfolio overview of the PAES, Safe Work Australia was established to progress national approaches to occupational health and safety (OHS) and workers' compensation in order to increase productivity and to achieve significant and continual reductions in the incidence of death, injury and disease in the workplace. Initially, Safe Work Australia was established as an executive agency on 1 July 2009 under section 65 of the Public Service Act 1999. The executive agency was then abolished, and Safe Work Australia was transferred from the portfolio department.3 Safe Work Australia will replace the Australian Safety and Compensation Council that operated within the

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). The government will contribute $36.3 million over four years to fund 50 per cent of Safe Work Australia; the remaining 50 per cent will be funded by the states and territories in proportion to their population.4

Hearings

1.9 The committee conducted two days of hearings, examining Employment and Workplace Relations outcomes and agencies on 10 February 2010 and Education outcomes and agencies on 11 February 2010. In total the committee met for 22 hours and 53 minutes, excluding breaks.

1.10 The following outcomes and agencies appeared before the committee:

• Outcomes 1 — 5

• Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

• Comcare

2 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2009-10, p. 13.

3 PAES 2009-10, p. 5.

4 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2009-2010, p. 175.

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3

• Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

• Fair Work Australia

• Fair Work Ombudsman

• Safe Work Australia

Public interest immunity claims

1.11 On 13 May 2009, the Senate passed an order relating to public interest immunity claims.5 The order sets out the processes to be followed if a witness declines to answer a question. The full text of this order has previously been provided to departments and agencies and was incorporated in the Chair's opening statement on each day of the additional estimates hearings. It is also reproduced in Appendix 3 of this report.

1.12 The order was directly referenced twice during the additional estimates hearings. On the first occasion, Senator Ronaldson was questioning an officer of the Fair Work Ombudsman as to whether they are currently inquiring into certain alleged actions of the Health Services Union. When the officer did not provide a clear answer,

Senator Ronaldson asked:

Is there a claim of public interest immunity in relation to this?6

1.13 Following some further discussion, including an indication by the Chair that it would be appropriate for the witness to state his reason for not answering the question, the witness told the committee that to answer the question in any detail may prejudice future investigations:

I am actually not at the moment investigating, and it may be that there will be no investigation. I am inquiring. As part of those inquiries, there are aspects of those inquiries that I think would prejudice, if we do proceed to an investigation in which prosecution action could take place. I think they

could impact on those prosecutions.7

1.14 The Chair indicated a belief that this was an acceptable public interest immunity ground for refusing to answer the question, and Senator Ronaldson chose not to press for an answer.

1.15 The second reference to the order occurred when Senator Cormann was questioning officers of DEEWR about the current balance of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Assurance Fund. Minister Carr intervened and

5 Journals o f the Senate, No. 68, 13 May 2009, p. 1941. The order was moved by Senator Cormann.

6 Senator Michael Ronaldson, Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 49.

7 M r Terry Nassios, Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 50.

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indicated that the question would be taken on notice in order to take further advice from the minister concerned.8

1.16 Senator Cormann called for a ruling on whether the 13 May 2009 order required that Minister Carr state a public interest immunity ground. However, the Chair ruled that, as the Minister had not refused to answer the question but had instead taken it on notice, the public interest immunity order did not apply. Following a private meeting of the committee, Senator Cormann made the following statement:

I wish to place on record the opposition’s severe disappointment that the government is not prepared to answer a question, through the mechanism of taking it on notice, as a means of avoiding providing information to a committee of the Senate which is essentially assessing the performance of executive government. This is not in the spirit of what Senate estimates is all about. We are very disappointed about the way the minister at the table in particular has handled this. We do not think that that is in the spirit of the order that was passed by the Senate on 13 May 2009 and we will be reporting on this to the Senate to seek a resolution from the Senate as to these sorts of circumstances: when clearly information is known by the minister and officers at the table but a decision made, for whatever reason, to take it on notice to avoid answering the question.9

1.17 The Minister was given an opportunity to respond, before the committee then proceeded to other areas of questioning:

I am indicating to you that I have not claimed public interest immunity because I have not refused to answer the question. I am indicating to you that your claim that the executive is seeking to avoid scrutiny is wrong and that you are misrepresenting the resolutions of the Senate in these matters in

any event. The government guides for official witnesses, from back as far as 1989, have made it very clear that witnesses are entitled to seek advice from superior officers should they have any doubt about any matters. I am saying that we have given you an assurance that the fund is cash positive, that the government will ensure that it remains sovereign, and that I am taking your question in regard to the specific balance at this point on notice.10

Questions on notice

1.18 The committee has drawn the attention of the department and its agencies to the agreed deadline of Thursday 1 April 2010 for the receipt of answers to questions taken on notice from this round, in accordance with Standing Order 26.

8 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, pp 136 - 138.

9 Senator M athias Cormann, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 154.

10 Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 154.

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1.19 For this round, written questions on notice were received from Senators Back, Barnett, Bob Brown, Cameron, Cash, Mason, Ronaldson and Siewert.

Note on Hansard page referencing

1.20 Hansard references throughout this report relate to proof Hansard page numbers. Please note page numbering may differ between the proof and final Hansard.

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Chapter 2

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

2.1 This chapter summarises areas of interest and concern raised during the committee's consideration of additional 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 10 February from

Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, 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

• Fair Work Ombudsman

• Fair Work Australia

• Australian Building and Construction Commission

• Safe Work Australia

2.3 On 11 February 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 and agencies responsible for administering education policy. In addition to departmental officials, officers from the newly established Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority were examined by the committee.

2.4 Senators present over the two days of hearings were Senator Marshall (Chair), Senator Cash (Deputy Chair), Senators Abetz, Back, Bilyk, Brandis, Cameron, Collins, Cormann, Crossin, Fielding, Fifield, Fisher, Hanson-Young, Mason, Milne, Parry, Payne, Ronaldson and Ryan.

Cross portfolio

2.5 Senator Cormann contributed to much of the committee's examination of cross portfolio issues with a series of questions relating to DEEWR's role in the economic stimulus package. The department was asked what input they had in the planning of the stimulus package, and if they provided advice as to how it should be

structured. The Secretary of DEEWR, Ms Lisa Paul, told the committee that DEEWR's role centred on implementing policy, rather than providing advice on how the policy should be formulated. The department was asked if any assessment of the

stimulus package included analysis of the impact of interest rates on jobs, and responded that such economic assessments are a matter for Treasury. Ms Paul

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reiterated that DEEWR's role in the stimulus package related only to implementing the Building the Education Revolution program. Senator Cormann raised with officers the Keep Australia Working program, and asked if the department had conducted any

formal evaluation into how successful it has been. Ms Paul told the committee that the department is monitoring the changes that happen in each priority employment region, and undertook to provide on notice the measures the department is utilising to monitor the progress of the program.1

Comcare

2.6 Much of the examination of Comcare focussed on bullying in the workplace. Comcare told the committee that a recently released Productivity Commission draft report into the issue examined how differing jurisdictions—federal, state and territory—approached workplace bullying. Mr Paul O'Connor commented on a high-profile bullying court case in Victoria when he stated:

The recent decision in Victoria highlights and sends a very strong message to the Australian community and to employers about the importance that employers and colleagues at the workplace have to keep a focus on making sure that not just the health but the welfare of people at the workplace is kept as a priority and a focus.1 2

2.7 Senator Abetz asked a series of questions relating to psychosocial bullying, and asked if there was delineation between traditional physical injury claims and claims relating primarily to bullying and harassment. Comcare explained that, within their jurisdiction, they do make a distinction between 'injury claims' and what is referred to as 'disease claims', and commented that there has been a decline in the number of claims about work-related harassment or workplace bullying. Comcare attributed this decline to increased awareness in federal workplaces regarding bullying and increased skilling of line managers in facilitating understanding of bullying policies.

2.8 Both the Chair and Senator Abetz raised the issue of the varying definition and categorisation of psychosocial claims that exists between states and territories, and how reclassification of definitions can result in misleading reductions in bullying figures. Mr O'Connor explained to the committee that the Productivity Commission report included analysis that tried to understand and interpret the points of difference between the ways the various jurisdictions applied classifications. The new national model of work health and safety laws will rectify the issue of varying definitions of bullying related injuries.3

1 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, pp 5 - 15.

2 Mr Paul O'Connor, Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 16.

3 Mr Paul O'Connor, Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 18.

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Fair Work Ombudsman

2.9 Examination of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) began with questions regarding the educational workplace visits conducted by the Ombudsman that commenced on 5 January 2010. Intended to educate workplaces on the new modem awards and the impact of the referral of the powers of four state systems to the Commonwealth system, the workplace visits focussed on small businesses moving

from the state system to the Commonwealth. Senator Abetz asked the Ombudsman if these visits would have been more effective if they had been held prior to the changes occurring. The Ombudsman told the committee that the workplace visits were always

scheduled to commence in January 2010, as the referral of state powers was only finalised in December 2009. The FWO expects to conduct 26 000 transitional educational visits in 2010.4 5

2.10 Senator Cash inquired about dispute resolution pathways that are available to people who call the FWO. Mr Wilson elaborated upon the process, noting that the office receives approximately one million phone calls per year, two-thirds of which

are from employees. Of these calls, the Ombudsman estimated that 25 000 relate to complaints of underpayment of wages. Using such a call as an example, Mr Wilson explained the process that would follow the office receiving a complaint of underpayment. Once the claim has been registered, officers initiate the process of Voluntary resolution' where both the employee and employer are contacted. The employer is told they have a period of time to remedy the situation, and, according to the Ombudsman, it is at this stage that a significant amount of cases are resolved. However, if voluntary resolution does not eventuate, the matter is formally assigned to a Fair Work inspector. If the ensuing investigation establishes that a breach has occurred, the employer is again given time to voluntarily remedy the situation. The Ombudsman commented that in 75 per cent of cases the process is concluded within 90 days. In 'very few...cases, 50 or 60 per year', litigation is commenced against the non-compliant party, with these cases going through the usual court process. The FWO agreed to provide the committee with a breakdown of the types of complaints that have been received since the office commenced.3

2.11 Senator Cameron asked the Ombudsman if a memorandum of understanding existed between the FWO and the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). The committee was told that there is an exchange of letters, not a

memorandum of understanding. The committee has demonstrated previous interest in the relationship between the FWO and the ABCC, with Senator Humphries asking a similar line of questions in the supplementary estimates hearings of October 2009.6 The Ombudsman elaborated on the process of the exchange of letters, explaining that

issues which relate to money matters are generally dealt with by the FWO, while

4 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, pp 2 0 -2 3 .

5 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, pp 28 - 30.

6 Committee Hansard, 21 October 2009, pp 102 - 103.

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matters which relate to compliance issues are handled by the ABCC. When asked how much work the building and construction industry generates for the FWO, Senator Cameron was told that, between 2006 and 2010, 16 matters were formally referred from the ABCC to the FWO and its two predecessor organisations under the exchange

of letters. Mr Wilson also told the committee that the FWO is involved with other work in the building and construction industry, receiving 5602 matters between March 2006 and December 2009. The Ombudsman undertook to provide the committee with aggregated data on underpayments and other matters related to the recoveries the Ombudsman was involved in.7

Fair Work Australia

2.12 Fair Work Australia (FWA) first appeared before the committee at Supplementary Budget Estimates in October 2009. The President of FWA, Justice Giudice, was not in attendance at that hearing. On 28 October 2009, a motion was

passed in the Senate requiring the President to attend Additional Estimates in February 2010, and all subsequent estimates hearings of the committee.8

2.13 Justice Giudice gave the committee an overview of the operations of the national industrial tribunal, outlining the key areas of responsibility of the organisation. The President explained to senators that the key area of work relates to industrial matters, which includes disputes, agreements, various applications that may relate to protected action ballots and industrial action. All industrial matters are dealt with by a panel system, with industries divided into four industry panels. While commenting that this is the 'traditional industrial work' of the tribunal, Justice Giudice remarked that the volume of such matters is not as great as it once was.9

2.14 Senator Abetz asked FWA how many applications for modem award variations had been lodged, and how many are currently being processed by FWA. Officers told the committee that there were 208 applications for variations lodged by 31 December 2009. Since this date, FWA has received a further 9 applications and has until 31 March 2010 to determine the variations. The President infomied the committee that the office has issued decisions in relation to 150 applications, and he is confident that FWA will be able to process the balance within the timeframe.10

2.15 From 1 July 2009 to 31 December 2009, 5208 applications for unfair dismissal remedy were lodged with FWA. Of these, 2783 have been resolved by conciliation. The committee was told that there are 24 conciliators across the country, and there are no plans to increase this number at the moment. The committee was told that, while there are no formal performance indicators, there are a range of measures

7 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, pp 46 - 47.

8 Journals o f the Senate, N o 95, 28 October 2009, p. 2661.

9 The Hon Geoffrey Giudice, Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, pp 52 - 53.

10 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 63.

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and matters that FWA look at to assess how the conciliation process is developing, including outcomes and results. However, the number of claims settled at conciliation is not a performance indicator. Formal key performance indicators that conciliators are to meet are currently being developed by the FWA.11

2.16 In his concluding remarks to the committee, the President of FWA stated:

I am not the head of any agency for budget purposes. I would like that to be recorded. I urge anybody connected with these proceedings to ensure it is clear in the public domain that I am not an agency head.1 1 12

The committee notes that section 658(a) of the Fair Work Act provides that the General Manager has independent responsibility for compliance with the Financial Management and Accountability Act—which FWA falls under—and that this may be

what the President was referring to.

2.17 The President's statement about his role at FWA follows on from correspondence with the committee during 2009 about which FWA executives are best placed to appear and answer estimates questions. At the time of that correspondence, the committee accepted Justice Giudice's view that the General

Manager of FWA was the appropriate representative. Having regard to the questions asked of FWA during the additional estimates hearings, the committee is still of that view.

2.18 However, the committee notes that the Senate order of 28 October 2009 is of continuing effect.

Australian Building and Construction Commission

2.19 The examination of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) began with officers providing the committee with an update on current investigations. Of the 59 active investigations being carried out by the ABCC, 25 are in Victoria, 21 in New South Wales, 10 in Western Australia and 3 in Queensland.

Senator Abetz asked officers to give the committee an overview of what the most common breaches of legislation relate to. Of the cases that have involved the ABCC, 37 per cent have related to industrial action, 21 per cent to coercion and 15 per cent to

freedom of association. Right of entry issues, strike pay and discrimination cases form the remaining workload of the agency.13

2.20 Following on from previous estimates hearings, Senator Cameron showed interest in the reports the ABCC commissioned from the economic consultancy firm Econtech. Senator Cameron questioned the findings of the report which suggested that GDP would rise by 1.5 per cent as a result of the activities of the ABCC. The

11 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 66.

12 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 69

13 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 70.

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Commissioner assured the committee that the Econtech modelling is rigorous and is used by the industry. The Commissioner went on to comment that the three reports prepared by Econtech are the most thorough investigations of the impact of the AJBCC that have been undertaken, and each report has arrived at the same conclusion.14 1 5

Safe Work Australia

2.21 Safe Work Australia (SWA) appeared before the committee for the first time as a separate agency. Prior to additional estimates, SWA was part of DEEWR. The PAES 2009— 10 indicates that while SWA does not have any new measures allocated to it, functions and resources have been transferred from the department.1"'’ Senator Abetz asked officers if SWA has been asked to investigate or look into the recent deaths related to roof insulations in Queensland. SWA told the committee that it is a national policy body only, and that occupational health and safety (OHS) issues are the responsibility of the state, territory and Commonwealth governments.16

Outcome 4 (Workforce participation and labour market assistance)

2.22 Senator Cormann opened examination of officers from outcome 4 with questions relating to the Jobs Fund. The department confirmed that Jobs Fund is part of the jobs and training compact, which is part of the Keep Australia Working program. Senator Cormann noted that DEEWR administers three jobs compacts—a compact with young Australians, a compact with local communities and a compact with retrenched workers— and asked the department to elaborate on the status of each. The committee demonstrated an interest in the compact with young Australians, which as Ms Paul explained, has several components that are all underway. The compact has three core principles, one of which states that anyone under the age of 17 must be in full-time school, training or work. Ms Paul explained to the committee that this was an aspiration and the department will never literally achieve a 100 per cent success rate due to the impact of factors such as homelessness and mental illness. Senator Cormann commented that those who fit this category in the United Kingdom were referred to as NEET—neither in education, employment or training—and that the number of young people in this category has been increasing. DEEWR is beginning to develop data on this, and commented that it has previously never been collected.17

2.23 Officers from DEEWR provided the committee with an update on the status of job seekers within the Job Sendees Australia system. Senator Cormann asked if there had been any change since the start of the new contract on 1 July 2009 to the way job seekers are allocated to the different streams. DEEWR explained that, as a

14 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, pp 77 - 78.

15 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements, 2009 - 10, p. 57.

16 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 87.

17 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 91.

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result of the global economic downturn, the compact with retrenched workers included a commitment to include retrenched workers in stream 2 automatically, meaning that they are able to receive more intensive support. Officers also informed the committee that there has been a 16 per cent increase in the number of job placements in the first six months of Job Services Australia, when compared to the

first six months of the Job Network. Overall, the department commented that the first six months of Jobs Services Australia has been very successful.18

Outcome 5 (Safer and more productive workplaces)

2.24 The Chair began with questions for officers within the Safety and Compensation Policy branch of DEEWR. Continuing on from a line of questions that were put to Comcare officers earlier in the day, the Chair asked DEEWR to elaborate upon Comcare policy that dictates injured employees who retire early receive 5 per cent less in superannuation payments than injured employees who return to work. DEEWR told the committee:

...the focus of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act is on rehabilitation and return to work, and it is probably what distinguishes it from its predecessor acts....The act specifies 75 per cent for employees who do not retire early, but for those employees who do retire early, the formula provides for them to receive 70 per cent of their pre-injury earnings.19 2 0

2.25 According to the department, the formula in the act applies to all employees equally—irrespective of which superannuation scheme they are covered by—and also applies to people who retire early by choice. The Chair acknowledged that, while the purpose of the legislation may be to dissuade people from retiring early, some injured employees are unable to return to work. It was suggested that a distinction should be made between people who retire early by choice and those who, due to injury, are incapable of returning to the workplace. Due to time constraints, the department agreed to provide the committee with a more detailed response on notice.2"

Outcome 2 (Schools and youth)

School funding

2.26 Questions were asked regarding the current school funding agreement, which is due to expire in 2012. The department informed the committee that school funding for non-government schools is currently based on socioeconomic status, and that this model will continue until the end of the current quadrennium of funding. In the

interim, the government will conduct a review of school funding, which will inform funding arrangements in the new quadrennium. While the method of consultation is

18 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, pp 115 - 116.

19 Ms Flora Carapellucci, Branch Manager, Safety and Compensation Policy Branch, DEEWR, Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 131.

20 Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 132.

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yet to be decided, officers told the committee that widespread consultation with relevant stakeholders will form part of the review process.21

Trade Training Centres in Schools

2.27 Senator Cormann asked a series of questions about the Trade Training Centres in Schools program administered by the department. To date, two funding rounds have been conducted, with DEEWR receiving 364 applications for funding, representing 1078 schools. So far, 230 applications have been successful, representing 734 schools.

Officers informed the committee that, out of the 108 projects underway, 46 have commenced construction, five have been completed and one is operational. Aviation High School in Brisbane has the only operational trade training centre, catering for 190 students. Officers were unable to tell the committee how many of these students used the centre on a full-time basis but undertook to provide this information on notice. The department expects that 68 trade training centres will be completed by the end of 2010.22

2.28 Further questions regarding the program were asked by Senator Cash. Following on from information received during supplementary budget estimates in October 2009, Senator Cash noted that the department had originally expected that 27 centres would be operational by May 2010. However, based on current progress, it would appear that only 18 will be completed in the given timeframe. DEEWR explained that some schools had experienced unexpected delays in implementing the centres, with one school affected by a cyclone. However, the department explained they are in constant contact with those schools to determine how best to progress the projects.23

My School website

2.29 The committee demonstrated strong interest in the recently launched My School website. Witnesses from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) appeared before the committee and were able to

provide senators with information regarding the functions of the website.

2.30 Responsible for the establishment of the My School website, ACARA was able to respond to concerns some senators expressed about the ability of the website to compare 'like' schools. ' Senator Mason commented that there had been criticism of the methodology used to measure statistical similarity. Elaborating on this argument, Senator Mason commented that it may be more precise to use the characteristics of the households where students reside as a measure of similarity, rather than the general community in which they live. Professor McGaw told the committee that it is problematic to attempt to compile information on individual households on a national

21 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, pp 6 - 7.

22 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, pp 13 - 15.

23 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, pp 1 9 - 2 0

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scale. The practice that is employed in Australia for detennining funding for non-government schools is to use data obtained from census collections that create a profile of the particular area. The characteristics of the census collection districts are applied to students to give an indication of their socioeconomic background. Professor

McGaw emphasised the success of this methodology when he asserted:

There is a very high correlation between these measures of students' social background and the average performance of schools on NAPLAN. The correlation is over 0.8, which is extraordinarily high. So this is a very good 24 measure.

2.31 However, ACARA acknowledged that there are certain unique situations in which the 'straight computation' of the index does not work well. Some schools may inadvertently be classed as 'advantaged' based on the seemingly prosperous socioeconomic background of their students. However, factors such as government

housing in otherwise well-off communities incorrectly alter the status of students within certain schools. In these situations, ACARA can make adjustments so that the true socioeconomic status of the school in question is available.2 4 25

2.32 When asked if the index could be improved upon, ACARA officials reiterated their belief in the robustness of the index but also told the committee of plans to strengthen it further. ACARA will add another dimension to the index that will

incorporate the results of consecutive National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) testing of students. Doing so will enable the website to chart any improvements in results and add an 'educational measure' to the social measure

already used. Analysis of educational performance of OECD countries indicated that, while Australia's education system performs well, it is clear that socioeconomic differences have more impact in Australia than in other countries that perform similarly well. As a result, the socioeconomic status of students would continue to be used as a measure on the index.26

Outcome 1 (Early childhood education)

2.33 Senator Payne led the examination of officers from outcome 1, beginning by asking the department to give a breakdown of the number of children in various child care arrangements. Quoting figures from the June quarter of 2009, officers told the committee that there were 800 000 children in approved child care. Of these, 476 000

were in long day care, and 100 000 in family day care and in-home care. DEEWR agreed to provide the committee a breakdown of the figures for those in family day care and in-home care on notice. Senator Payne asked if parents are entitled to a rebate if they employ a nanny in the family home. Officers explained that families may be

24 Professor Barry McGaw, Chair, ACARA, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 45.

25 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 45.

26 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, pp 46 - 47.

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eligible for the rebate if the nanny is registered in the system as a carer; however, the rebate is at a lower level than what is generally applied.27

2.34 Questions were asked about the Jobs Education and Training (JET) child care assistance program. The JET program provides extra child care assistance to eligible parents on income support who voluntarily take up work, study or job search activities to meet their mandatory participation requirements. In 2008—09, 34 054 children were assisted under the JET program, and roughly 70 per cent of parents utilising the service were studying or training.28

Outcome 3 (Higher education, VET, international education)

2.35 The inability of the Commonwealth to access data relating to state TAPE institutions was discussed. Senator Cormann asked officers if they had a national picture of which TAPE providers perform highly and which do not perform as well. DEEWR told the committee that they currently do not get access to state-level data and that this has long been an issue under a range of agreements that the Commonwealth has had with the states and territories.29

National VET regulator

2.36 The recent Council of Australian Governments (COAG) decision to establish a national regulator for the vocational education and training (VET) sector was discussed. Officers informed the committee of the department's progress in implementing the regulator, advising that DEEWR has begun the consultation process with the states and territories. This process centres on the draft legislation and the intergovernmental agreement, which, as a requirement of COAG, must be negotiated and back with the states and territories by May 2010. DEEWR told the committee it was on track for this process to occur. Further consultation would be conducted in March 2010 with relevant stakeholders, including training providers and industry

skills councils.30

2.37 Senator Cormann questioned whether the regulator could be described as a national body, given that the states of Western Australia and Victoria both agreed not to be part of the organisation. The committee was told that those states are likely to enact mirror legislation, providing the same legislative parameters that govern national regulation of the industry. Furthermore, providers who operate in more than one state will be covered by the national regulator, meaning that sectors of the Victorian and Western Australian markets would be covered by the national body.

State level regulatory bodies in Victoria and Western Australia will be responsible for enforcing standards which will be set by a national standards body. The national VET

27 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 74.

28 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 75.

29 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 101.

30 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 98.

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regulator will enforce these standards for the remaining participating states and territories.31

Skills Australia

2.38 Senator Cormann asked officers from Skills Australia to comment on the notion that some employers feel Skills Australia is out of touch and not adequately across the needs of employers around the country. Skills Australia refuted this notion, explaining that the strategic industry forums held by the organisation allow Skills

Australia to regularly meet with employers and all industry groups. Moreover, it was explained that there has been a 'very intensive series' of consultations conducted around the country, and that specific consultations have occurred with various industry groups and individual employers. Skills Australia agreed to provide on notice a list of all the consultations that have occurred in the preceding 3 years. Senator Cormann also raised the issue of workforce development programs, suggesting that the overlap and inconsistency that exists may be construed as a lack of a nationally cohesive strategy. Officers explained that they are in the process of finalising a

national workforce development strategy, which is anticipated to be publicly available within the coming three months.32

Higher education

2.39 University compacts, and the arrangements between the Commonwealth and universities, were raised by Senator Mason. Officers were asked if the interim arrangements for 2010, as well as the actual compacts for 2011 will be made publicly available. The committee was told that, at this stage, the intention is to make the

compacts public, and that there are currently 35 signed interim agreements. The department explained that there are two aspects to transparency in this area—the publication of the interim agreements, as well as the commitment of DEEWR to report to the university sector on the progress and decision-making of all universities

regarding the compact.

2.40 It was explained that the compacts are mission based compacts, which will include a clear outline of the university's mission, and will have two aspects-research, to be overseen by Minister for Innovation, Science and Research, and teaching and learning which will be the responsibility of the Minister for Education. Senator Mason

argued that there is a worry that the compacts will entrench the status quo. However, Minister Carr told the committee that the compacts will actually challenge the status quo of the universities. The Minister elaborated upon problems the Commonwealth

had previously faced with university funding:

We have had this long tradition in the university system that, no matter how much the Commonwealth puts in, someone will turn around and say it is not enough. We are going to hear that again and again. And we will hear

31 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 99.

32 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 120 - 121.

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this other argument that says, ‘It doesn’t matter what they say. We can keep doing what we like.’ The fact is that we have to change to meet the challenges that we currently are confronting as a country.33

2.41 The Minister asserted that the compact will allow government to objectively test the performance of universities, and will assist in lifting performance. Targets and directions that are set in the university compacts will allow government to monitor performance, and determine whether universities are on course to meet specified

objectives. Minister Carr commented:

...we are also saying that the universities are entitled to be challenged. They challenge each other, and we are entitled to challenge them as to whether or not they are meeting their claims as to their directions.34

Senator Gavin Marshall

Chair

33 Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 150.

34 Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 151.

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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 Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

• Australian Industrial Relations Commission and Australian Industrial

Registry

• Australian Learning and Teaching Council

• Comcare, the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and

the Seafarers’ Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority

(Seacare Authority)

• Fair Work Australia

• the Fair Work Ombudsman

• Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

• Safe Work Australia

• Teaching Australia- Australian Institute for Teaching and School

Leadership Ltd;

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Index to Hansard transcripts Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

A ppendix 2

Wednesday, 10 February 2010 Page no

Cross Portfolio................................................................................................ 5

Com care........................................................................................................... 15

Fair Work Ombudsman.................................................................................. 19

Fair Work Australia........................................................................................ 47

Australian Building and Construction Commission....................................... 70

Safe Work Australia........................................................................................ 86

Outcome 4— Workforce participation and labour market assistance............ 89

Outcome 5- Safer and more productive workplaces...................................... 131

Thursday, 11 Februaiy 2010

Outcome 2- Schools and youth....................................................................... 5,88

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)..... 44

Outcome 1- Early childhood education......................................................... 73

Outcome 3- Higher education, VET, international education...................... 96

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70

Senate Standing Order 8-13 May 2009

A c c o u n ta b ility

8 Public interest immunity claims

That the Senate—

(a) notes that ministers and officers have continued to refuse to provide information to Senate committees without properly raising claims of public interest immunity as required by past resolutions of the Senate;

(b) reaffirms the principles of past resolutions of the Senate by this order, to provide ministers and officers with guidance as to the proper process for raising public interest immunity claims and to consolidate those past resolutions of the Senate;

(c) orders that the following operate as an order of continuing effect:

(1) If:

(a) a Senate committee, or a senator in the course of

proceedings of a committee, requests information or a document from a Commonwealth department or agency; and

(b) an officer of the department or agency to whom the request is directed believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the officer shall state to the committee the ground on which the

officer believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, and specify the hann to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(2) If, after receiving the officer’s statement under paragraph (1), the committee or the senator requests the officer to refer the question of the disclosure of the information or document to a responsible minister, the officer shall refer that question to the minister. 3

(3) If a minister, on a reference by an officer under paragraph (2), concludes that it would not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the minister shall provide to the committee a statement of the ground for that

conclusion, specifying the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

Appendix 3

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(4) A minister, in a statement under paragraph (3), shall indicate whether the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the infonnation or document to the committee could result only from the publication of the information or document by the committee, or could result, equally or in part, from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee as in camera evidence.

(5) If, after considering a statement by a minister provided under paragraph (3), the committee concludes that the statement does not sufficiently justify the withholding of the information or document from the committee, the committee shall report the matter to the Senate.

(6) A decision by a committee not to report a matter to the Senate under paragraph (5) does not prevent a senator from raising the matter in the Senate in accordance with other procedures of the Senate.

(7) A statement that information or a document is not published, or is confidential, or consists of advice to, or internal deliberations of, government, in the absence of specification of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the

infonnation or document, is not a statement that meets the requirements of paragraph (1) or (4).

(8) If a minister concludes that a statement under paragraph (3) should more appropriately be made by the head of an agency, by reason of the independence of that agency from ministerial direction or control, the minister shall inform the committee of that conclusion and the reason for that conclusion, and shall refer the matter to the head of the agency, who shall then be required to provide a statement in accordance with paragraph (3).

(d) requires the Procedure Committee to review the operation of this order and report to the Senate by 20 August 2009.

(13 May 2009 J. 1941)

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The Senate

Environment, Communications and the Arts Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2009-10

February 2010

© Commonwealth of Australia 2010

ISBN 978-1-74229-256-4

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

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Membership of the Committee

Members:

Senator Anne McEwen (ALP, SA) (Chair) Senator Mary Jo Fisher (LP, SA) (Deputy Chair) Senator Scott Ludlam (AG, WA) Senator Kate Lundy (ALP, ACT) Senator the Lion Judith Troeth (LP, VIC) Senator Dana Wortley (ALP, SA)

Committee Secretariat Mr Stephen Palethorpe, 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: www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/eca_ctte/index.htm

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Contents

Membership of the Committee iii

Report to the Senate

Introduction 1

Hearings \

Questions on notice - date for response 1

Portfolio specific issues 2

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio 2

Enviromnent, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio 4

Acknowledgements 9

Appendix 1 - Public hearings agenda 11

Appendix 2 - Documents tabled 15 V

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Introduction

1.1 On 26 November 2009 the Senate referred the following documents to standing committees for examination and report:

• Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2009-10],

• Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2009-10], and

• Final Budget Outcome 2008-09 and the Issues from the advances to the annual Appropriation Acts for 2008-09.1

1.2 Standing committees were required to report to the Senate on 23 February 2010.1 2

Hearings

1.3 The committee conducted public hearings on the Broadband,

Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio on 8 February 2010 and on the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio on 8 and 9 February 2010.

1.4 Written answers and information provided to the committee in response to questions on notice arising from the hearings are tabled in the Senate and posted on the Committee’s web page. The answers are also compiled as volumes of Additional Information.

1.5 Links to the transcripts of the public hearings and to answers and additional information are available on the Internet at:

www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/eca_ctte/estimates/add_0910/index.htm

Questions on notice - date for response

1.6 In accordance with Standing Order 26(9)(a), the committee agreed that the date for the return of written answers or additional information in response to questions placed on notice be Friday, 26 March 2010.

1.7 As in previous estimates reports, the committee again expresses its concern about the time taken to receive answers to questions taken on notice.

1.8 The committee notes that it had set Friday, 11 December 2009 as the date for the return of answers to questions taken on notice during the Supplementary Budget

1 Journals o f the Senate, No. 104, 26 November 2009, p. 2907.

2 Journals o f the Senate, No. 94, 27 October 2009, p. 2633.

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Estimates held in October 2009. However, at that date there were 99 answers outstanding from the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio and 80 answers outstanding from the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio.

1.9 Most of these late answers were submitted during the two days of Additional Estimates hearings and several senators expressed their concerns about their late arrival. The committee notes that as at 19 February 2010, there are still 3 outstanding responses from the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio.

1.10 The committee reiterates its expectation that answers to questions on notice will be provided to the committee by the due date.

Portfolio specific issues

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio

1.11 On the first day of its examination of the 2009-10 Additional Estimates, the committee called and examined officers from the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio.

1.12 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

1.13 During its examination, the committee raised a range of matters which are noted below. The page references beside each matter refer to the proof transcript for Monday, 8 February 2010.

Outcome 1—Development of a vibrant, sustainable and internationally competitive broadband, broadcasting and communications sector, through policy development, advice and program delivery, which promotes the digital economy for all Australians

Australia Post

Matters raised included:

• the non-attendance of the newly appointed Managing Director and CEO, Mr Ahmed Fahour (pp 4-7, 8-9)

• performance of Post Logistics in 2008-09 (pp 7-8)

• Australia Post's use of surveillance equipment to monitor worker performance (pp 9, 15-17)

• cost of strike action pre-Christmas (pp 10, 21-22)

• employment conditions of Mr Fahour (p. 12)

• effect on contractors of the removal by the Queensland government of its fuel subsidy (pp 12-13)

• potential reassignment of the Koroit Post Office licence (pp 17-19)

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• acquisition of Mercedes vans (pp 20-21)

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)

Matters raised included:

• TV coverage of the Hopman Cup in 2011 and beyond (pp 23-24)

• programs produced in Perth (pp 24-25)

• refusal to provide details of Kerry O'Brien's remuneration package (pp 26-29)

• on-air corrections (pp 29-31)

• overview of the 24/7 TV news channel (pp 34-36)

• resources for ABC International which includes Australia Network television and Radio Australia (pp 36-37)

• scheduled showing of The 10 Conditions o f Love (p. 39)

• breaches of editorial policies on the Breakfast program, 936 ABC Hobart (pp 40-41)

• introduction of ABC Open (pp 41-43)

• progress of ABC3 (pp 43-44)

• allocations of free time to political parties (pp 44-45)

Special Broadcasting Service (SBS)

Matters raised included:

• strategic review of SBS activities (pp 45-46)

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

Matters raised included:

• organisation restructure (p. 46)

• processing requests for LAP (local area plans) variations (pp 46-47)

• review of the TV code of practice (pp 48-5 1)

• administration of the black list used for internet filtering (pp 51-56)

• proposed amendments to the Do Not Call Register Act (pp 56-59)

• availability to minors of MAI 5+ movies via the iTunes online store using gift cards (pp 59-60)

• introduction of the Cybersmart websites to counter cyberbullying (pp 60-61, 64)

• status of review of the spectrum band predominantly used by emergency services (pp 62-63)

• review of arrangements for use of mobile phone jammers (pp 63-64)

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NBN Co

Before questions commenced, Mr Quigley, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman, made a statement about progress of the NBN project (pp 65-67).

Matters raised included:

• employment of Mr Mike Kaiser (pp 67-78)

• update of monthly payroll cost (p. 78)

• status of the implementation study (pp 79-80, 82, 83)

Program 1.1-Broadband and Communications Infrastructure

Matters raised included:

• AN AO report No 20 of 2009-10 on the original RFP for the fibre-to-the-node process (pp 84-87)

• Internet filtering (pp 87-91)

• upgrade of services to provide digital TV to regional viewers (pp 92-94)

Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio

1.14 At the conclusion of its examination of the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio, the committee called and examined officers from the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio in relation to Outcome 5- Australia's culture and heritage.

1.15 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband and Communications, representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts.

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

Australia Council

Matters raised included:

• reduction of funding for the Quadrant magazine (p. 98)

• vacancies on Council boards (pp 98-100)

• impact of the ongoing efficiency dividend (p. 100)

National Museum of Australia

Matters raised included:

• impact of the ongoing efficiency dividend (pp 101-102)

• Council vacancies (p. 102)

• joint history project, Forgotten Australians, with the NLA (pp 102-103)

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National Gallery of Australia

Matters raised included:

• statistics for the Masterpieces from Paris exhibition (p. 103)

• impact of the ongoing efficiency dividend (p. 103)

• Council vacancies (p. 103)

National Library of Australia

Matters raised included:

• impact of the ongoing efficiency dividend (p. 104)

• progress of joint project with the NMA (p. 105)

Screen Australia

Matters raised included:

• funding for the organisation (p. 105)

• Producer Offset final certificates (p. 106)

Program 5.1—Arts and Cultural Development

Matters raised included:

• introduction of the resale royalty scheme for visual artists (pp 106-109)

• status of review of the current state of artists' incomes (p. 109)

Program 5.2—Conservation and Protection of Australia's Heritage

• progress of the Kokoda Development Program (p. 110)

• staffing of the heritage division (pp 110-111)

• progress report on the Jobs Fund (pp 111-112)

• recommendation from Hawke Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act concerning heritage matters (p. 114)

• funding of national trusts (pp 114-115)

• World Heritage listing of Cape York (pp 116-123 and pp 26-29, 9 February 2010)

1.16 On the second day of hearing the committee continued its examination of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts portfolio, commencing with agencies and outputs under Outcome 1.

1.17 The page references beside each matter below refer to the proof transcript for Tuesday, 9 February 2010.

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1.18 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Climate Change and Water, and representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, and officers. '

1.19 General questions were asked of the department about:

• Freedom of Information requests (pp 5-9)

• proposed advertising campaigns (p. 10)

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

Office of Supervising Scientist

Matters raised included:

• Hawke review recommendations relating to the role of the Supervising Scientist (pp 10-11)

• Water quality monitoring of the Ranger tailings dam (pp 11-16)

Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)

Matters raised included:

• staffing numbers (pp 16-17, 19)

• number of weather stations at Darwin International Airport (pp 17-18)

• access statistics for the BoM website (p. 18)

• Bureau participation at Copenhagen climate change conference (pp 19-20)

• development of the National Water Account (pp 21-22)

• Bureau's response to recommendations in the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission interim report (p. 22)

• purpose of Storm Spotters website (p. 22)

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)

Matters raised included:

• coral bleaching on the reef (pp 23-24)

• funding for the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF) (pp 26, 29-30)

• effect of tourism numbers on the environmental management charge (p. 31)

1.20 The chair welcomed Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Government Service Delivery to the table, representing Minister Wong to the midday break. Questioning continued.

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Director of National Parks

Matters raised included:

• monitoring of bats and other species on Christmas Island (pp 32-33)

• funding for the crazy ant control program on Christmas Island (p. 33)

• the National Reserve System (pp 34-37)

• regulations under 12.24 of the EPBC Regulations about capturing images on Commonwealth properties (pp 37-39)

• introduction of entrance fees for Kakadu (pp 39M0)

• sustainable water supply for the Australian National Botanic Gardens (pp 40-41)

Program 1.1—Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment

Matters raised included:

• management of the Coral Sea Conservation Zone and the East Marine Bioregional Plan (pp 41 — 45)

• role of the stakeholder advisory group on activities displaced by marine protected areas (pp 46-47, 48)

• listing of mako sharks under the EPBC Act (pp 49-53)

• monitoring plan relating to the Montara oil spill (pp 53-55)

• progress of further diplomatic approach with Japan over the current whaling season, and with the IWC (International Whaling Commission) (pp 56-59)

• progress of the Reef Rescue program (pp 63-65)

Program 1.2—Environmental Regulation, Information and Research

Matters raised included:

• funding for the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF) (pp 68-71)

• the TRaCK, Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge, program (pp 71-72)

• the Fox Eradication Program in Tasmania (pp 72-74)

• overview of the Working on Country Indigenous rangers project (p. 74)

• public consultation process on fire regimes as a threatening process (p. 75)

• proposed re-location of grey headed flying fox from the Sydney Botanical Gardens (pp 75-76)

• timing for the government response to the Hawke review (pp 77-78)

• update on the strategic assessment of Tasmanian native grasslands (p. 78)

• review of the NSW government decision to list red gum forests (pp 78-79)

• Sugarloaf pipeline, audit of water savings (pp 79-80)

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• progress report on the proposed temporary weir near Wellington, SA (p. 81)

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

Before commencement in relation to this program the departmental secretary, Ms Kruk, made a statement about the management and rollout of the Green Loans Program (p. 82-83).

Matters then raised included:

• the green loans program (pp 82-106)

• relationship between the department and Fieldforce (pp 91-95)

• training of assessors (pp 96-98, 102)

• home insulation program (pp 106-111)

• the National Solar Schools program (pp 111-112)

• the Solar Homes and Communities Plan (pp 112-114)

• progress of the solar power plan for Coober Pedy (p. 114)

Program 2.2—Management of Hazardous Wastes, Substances & Pollutants

Matters raised included:

• use of plastic bags (pp 115-116)

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 water resources

National Water Commission

Matters raised included:

• research into stormwater runoff (p. 116)

• funding for stormwater harvesting research (pp 1 16-118)

• Auditor-General's report on the Water Smart program (p. 120)

Murray-Darling Basin Authority and officers in relation to Program 4.1—Water Reform

Matters raised included:

• potential inflows into the Menindee region (pp 121-124)

• progress report on securing Broken Hill's water supply (pp 124-125)

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• impact of the December 2009-January 2010 rainfalls on the Darling and Murray systems (pp 126-128)

• decision-making process for environmental allocations (p. 129)

• progress in developing a definition for 'critical human water needs' (pp 131— 132)

Acknowledgements

1.21 The committee thanks Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy; and Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Climate Change and Water, and representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett MP, and Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Government Service Delivery,

representing the Minister for Climate Change and Water, along with officers from both portfolio departments and agencies, for their assistance during this additional estimates process.

Senator Anne McEwen Chair

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Appendix 1

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 STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNICATIONS AND THE ARTS

Public Hearings: Additional Estimates 2009-10 Monday, 8 and Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Committee Room 2S3 Parliament House Canberra ACT

To be televised on Channel 11 and broadcast on Radio 91.1 h ttp://w ebcast.aph.gov.au

AGENDA

MONDAY. 8 FEBRUARY 2010

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Portfolio 9.00 am Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE)

Outcome 1— Develop a vibrant, sustainable and internationally competitive broadband, broadcasting and communications sector, through policy development, advice and program delivery, which promotes the digital economy for all Australians

Australia Post Australian Broadcasting Corporation Special Broadcasting Service Australian Communications and Media Authority NBNCo

General questions of the department

Program 1.1: Broadband and Communications Infrastructure

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Program 1.2: Telecommunications, Online and Postal Services Program 1.3: Broadcasting and Digital Television

7.00 pm Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Portfolio Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) 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

Australia Council National Museum of Australia National Gallery of Australia National Library of Australia Screen Australia

Program 5.1: Arts and Cultural Development

Program 5.2: Conservation and Protection o f Australia's Heritage

11.00 pm Adjournment

TUESDAY. 9 FEBRUARY 2010

Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts Portfolio Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA)

9.00 am General questions of the department

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

Supervising Scientist Bureau of Meteorology Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Director of National Parks

Program 1.1: Sustainable M anagement o f Natural Resources and the Environment Program 1.2: Environmental Regulation, Information and Research

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 Program 2.2: M anagement o f Hazardous W astes, Substances & Pollutants

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 water resources Murray-Darling Basin Authority

National Water Commission

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Program 4.1: W ater Reform

11.00 pm Adjournment

BREAKS Morning tea 10.45 am approx

Lunch 1.00 pm 2.00 pm

Afternoon tea 3.45 pm approx

Dinner 6.00 pm 7.00 pm

Tea break 9.30 pm approx

Committee Chair: Senator Anne McEwen Contact: Jacquie Hawkins 02 6277 3528 Committee Room 2S3; Ph: 02 6277 5853

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Documents tabled

Appendix 2

9 February 2010

Environment. Water. Heritage and the Arts portfolio

Murray-Darling Basin Authority:

Chart, Menindee Inflows

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The Senate

Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2009-10

February 2010

ISBN 978-1-74229-257-1

Committee address

Finance and Public Administration Committee SG.60, Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600 Tel: 02 6277 3530 Fax: 02 6277 5809 Email: fpa.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate fpa

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

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Membership of the Committee

Senator Helen Polley (Chair) ALP, TAS

Senator Scott Ryan (Deputy Chair) LP, VIC

Senator Doug Cameron ALP, NSW

Senator Jacinta Collins ALP, VIC

Senator Helen Kroger LP, VIC

Senator Rachel Siewert AG, WA

Participating members

Senators Abetz, Adams, Arbib, Barnett, Bemardi, Birmingham, Bishop, Bilyk, Boswell, Boyce, Brandis, B. Brown, C. Brown, Bushby, Cash, Colbeck, Coonan, Cormann, Crossin, Eggleston, Farrell, Feeney, Fielding, Fisher, Forshaw, Fumer, Hanson-Young, Heffeman, Humphries, Hurley, Hutchins, Johnston, Joyce, Ludlum,

Lundy, Macdonald, Marshall, Mason, McEwen, McGauran, McLucas, Milne, Minchin, Nash, O'Brien, Parry, Payne, Pratt, Ronaldson, Scullion, Siewert, Stephens, Sterle, Troeth, Trood, Williams, Wortley, Xenophon.

Secretariat

Christine McDonald Committee Secretary

Nina Boughey Senior Research Officer

Maria Sarelas Research Officer

Tegan Gaha Executive Assistant

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Membership o f the C om m ittee.............................................................................iii

Additional Estimates 2009-10............................................................................... 1

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

Hearings................................................................................................................... 1

General Issues..........................................................................................................2

Portfolio Issues...........................................................................................................5

Department of Parliamentary Services................................................................... 5

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio.................................................................... 6

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio........................................................................ 8

Human Services Portfolio......................................................................................12

Appendix 1 ..................................................................................................................15

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversight............................ 15

Parliamentary departments....................................................................................15

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio...................................................................15

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio.......................................................................15

Human Services Portfolio......................................................................................16

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Additional Estimates 2009-10 1.1 On 26 November 2009 the Senate referred the following documents to the Committee for examination and report:

• particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2009-10];

• particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2009-10];

• final budget outcome 2008-09; and

• issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2008-09.

1.2 The Committee has considered the additional expenditure of the portfolios set out in their respective Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2009-2010 (PAES).

Portfolio coverage

1.3 The committee has responsibility for examining the expenditure and outcomes of the:

• Parliamentary departments;

• Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio;

• Finance and Deregulation portfolio; and

• Human Services portfolio.

Appendix 1 lists the departments and agencies under the portfolios mentioned above.

Hearings

1.4 The committee held public hearings on Monday, 8 and Tuesday, 9 February 2010. Over the course of the two days' hearings—totalling 20 hours and 45 minutes excluding breaks—the committee took evidence from the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon John Hogg; Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, Special Minister of State, representing the Prime Minister and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation; and

Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Climate Change and Water, together with officers of the departments and agencies concerned. The Committee expresses its appreciation for the assistance of the Ministers, Departmental Secretaries and the officers who appeared before it.

1.5 The following agencies were released from the hearings without examination: Department of the Senate; Australian Public Service Commission; Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security; Office of National Assessments; Office of the Privacy Commissioner; Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman; Old Parliament House; National Archives of Australia; Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator; and ComSuper.

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1.6 The following agencies were dismissed prior to the hearings: National Australia Day Council Ltd; Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation; Australian Industry Development Corporation; Australian Reward Investment Alliance; Australian River Co Ltd; ASC Pty Ltd; Australian Technology Group Ltd; Tuggeranong Office Park Pty Ltd; and Australian Hearing Services.

1.7 Copies of Hansard are available on the internet at the following address: www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/commttee/committee transcript.asp?MODE=YEAR &ID=107&YEAR=2010.

1.8 In accordance with Standing Order 26, the date for submission to the Committee of written answers to questions or additional information relating to the expenditure is Friday, 26 March 2010.

1.9 Further written information 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.gov.au/Senate/committee/fapa ctte/estimates/index.htm

General Issues

Conduct of hearings

1.10 Estimates hearings are a key element in ensuring the accountability of the executive to the Parliament. This is underscored by resolutions passed by the Senate which affirm its right to inquiry into the expenditure of all public funds. As a result, the estimates hearings are often characterised by vigorous and robust questioning by

Senators and spirited exchanges between Senators and the minister attending.

1.11 However, while engaging in the estimates process Senators must observe the rules of the Senate in relation to debate, to limit questions to those relevant to the inquiry and to ask questions in an orderly fashion. Witnesses should be able to answer questions in an orderly way without interruption or commentary from Senators. When the Chair is speaking there should be no interruption.

1.12 Without order in the committee, the estimates process may be undermined and the aim of ensuring accountability of the executive government compromised.

Disclosure of information

1.13 During the estimates hearings the order of the Senate of 19 May 2009 for public interest immunity claims was raised in relation to questions concerning the names of ministerial staff who had attended a Cabinet sub committee meeting on

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border protection. The Special Minister of State, Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, declined to provide the names and provided grounds for harm to the public interest.1

1.14 The Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator the Hon Penny Wong also declined to provide the Morgan Stanley summary report as the information was provided to the government on the basis that it would be treated as commercial-in­ confidence. The Minister noted that the department had 'placed on its website an articulation of the Morgan Stanley report'.1 2

1.15 The sections of the report that follow list various issues considered by the committee and discuss some of these in detail. The order is not based on hierarchy but the order in which those issues arose during the hearings.

1 Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, Special Minister o f State, Estimates Hansard, 8.2.10, pp 55, 56, 74.

2 Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Climate Change and Water, Estimates Hansard, 8.2.10, p. 101.

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Portfolio Issues

2.1 The following discussion highlights some of the major issues canvassed during the estimates hearings.

Department of Parliamentary Services

2.2 The committee questioned the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) about the road works currently underway on Parliament Drive. In particular, the need for the $1.9 million project and the intended outcome was raised. Officials explained that the project was initiated following advice from external engineers, and noted that when the works are complete the road around Parliament House will provide safer access to the slip roads with a one-way traffic flow. Other issues raised in relation to the road works included the extent of works being undertaken given the road reconstructions completed in 2005 and the priority given to the work when the department is making cuts to other services including security.

2.3 Security issues were again discussed at length. Senators drew attention to comments made in the media by security guards about the potential risk to Parliament House security following staff reductions. Ms Bronwyn Graham, Acting Assistant Secretary, Building Services Branch, stated that the staff reductions had been planned

before the department had started to experience budgetary difficulties and noted:

2009 was always going to be a year of review for security. There were a number of areas in the roster which our staff had identified were not working effectively.1

2.4 Ms Graham concluded that the changes are aimed at improving the workability of the security roster to be 'more reflective of the work that was happening in various locations at different times'.1 2

2.5 Mr Alan Thompson, Secretary, also noted that security incidents which had occurred in and around Parliament House had been effectively dealt with.3

2.6 The committee's questioning on security matters also canvassed the use of identity passes by members of parliament. It was noted that members of parliament in Ottawa, Westminster and Wellington do not have to pass through a security regime because they carry passes. The use of electronic keys was also discussed. Mr Thompson noted that at the present time security officers monitor traffic through certain areas of the building where there is very little activity. The use of electronic

1 Ms B Graham, Acting Assistant Secretary, DPS, Estimates H am ard, 8.2.10, p. 10.

2 Ms B Graham, Acting Assistant Secretary, DPS, Estimates Hansard, 8.2.10, p. 10.

3 M r A Thompson, Secretary, DPS, Estimates Hansard, 8.2.10, p. 12.

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tagging through some of the internal doors would achieve the same level of security as having officers monitoring traffic.4

2.7 The removal of the pots and pot plants from senators and members' offices was discussed at length. The committee was informed that the removal of the plants was 'in essence' a cost saving measure. Approximately 1,000 DPS-owned pots are now in storage and the plants have been taken back by the contractor or purchased by some senators and members for their suites. Discussions are underway to determine whether the pots are to be disposed of or kept stored, pending budgetary outcomes.

2.8 Following on from the previous round of Estimates, government and opposition senators examined the information technology (IT) systems and services provided to members of parliament by DPS. The primary focus was on the integration of electorate office support, with an implementation date of the end of June 2010. The broader issues relating to the examination of IT systems and services were: Blackberry phones; wireless internet connection in Parliament House; and internet website

filtering.

2.9 DPS officials were questioned about the path from Canberra City to Parliament House, which was described as 'hazardous'. DPS was requested to investigate options for a safe and accessible pedestrian and bicycle route, and to report back to the committee.

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

Office o f the Official Secretary to the Governor-General

2.10 The committee revisited discussions had in earlier Estimates regarding the Governor-General's trip to Africa, focusing on the costs and purpose of the trip. The Official Secretary to the Governor-General, Mr Stephen Brady drew attention to the growing trade market with Africa, and stated that media coverage of the event was in the national interest. Mr Brady also rejected claims the Prime Minister had commented on or directed the Governor-General's travel schedule.

2.11 Mr Brady also responded to questions about the Australian Honours system. He noted that 60 per cent of nominations for awards were successful in 2010. Although there is no formal review process, if a complaint is received the Secretary of the Order (Mr Brady) may instigate a review. Mr Brady went on to state that the effective operation of the honours system relies on 'a guarantee of complete confidentiality, as to the substance the nominator has provided and to the very fact of their having provided that information'.5

4 Mr A Thompson, Secretary, DPS, Estimates Hansard, 8.2.10, p. 28.

5 Mr S Brady, Official Secretary to the Governor-General, Estimates Hansard, 8.2.10, p. 44.

Australian Institute o f Family Studies

2.12 The committee questioned the Australian Institute of Family Studies on the media consultancy service of Cut Through Communications; shared parenting and child abuse with a reference to the AIFS report Evaluation o f the 2006 family law reforms', and the agency's 2009-2012 research plan.

Department o f Prime Minister and Cabinet

2.13 In his opening remarks, Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, the Special Minister of State, informed the committee of the following new appointments: Ms Glenys Beauchamp to the position of Coordinator-General; and Mr Stephen Sedgwick has been appointed the new Public Service Commissioner. The Minister also informed that committee that two appointments have been made to Australia's first National

Security College with Mr Michael L'Estrange being appointed the founding Executive Director and Mr Duncan Lewis the first chairman of the board of the College.

2.14 Border protection, specifically matters relating to the Oceanic Viking, was canvassed extensively. Clarification was sought on the arrangements for the processing of the Tamil refugees on the Oceanic Viking. In response, Mr Duncan Lewis, National Security Adviser stated:

T he m a tte r w as m ad e clear in a letter that w as tabled in the H ouse. It w as

from the S ecretary o f the D ep artm en t o f Im m igration an d C itizenship, and he said that these folk w ere b ein g treated in a m atter consisten t w ith that

afforded to an y o th e r asylum se ek e r o r refugee from In d o n esia .6

2.15 Discussion also focussed on a meeting of the Cabinet subcommittee on border protection which considered the matter of the Tamil refugees on the Oceanic Viking. A request for the names of ministerial staff attending the meeting was refused by the Minister who raised a claim of public interest immunity. Senator Ludwig stipulated the damage to public interest if the names were released was the undermining of the

collective responsibility of cabinet; and while relevant staff may attend cabinet meetings to provide advice when required they are not decision makers. The Minister also noted that this was the practice of successive governments.7

2.16 Continuing on from the previous examination during the 2009 Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings, the committee examined the issue of community cabinet meetings.

2.17 The committee expressed interest in the recruitment of staff within the Council of Australian Government (COAG); and the costs associated with the delegation to Copenhagen.

__________________________________________________________________________________________7_

6 Mr D Lewis, National Security Advisor, Estimates Hansard, 8.2.10, p. 71.

7 Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, Special Minister of State, Estimates Hansard, 8.2.10, p. 74.

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Australian National Audit Office

2.18 The Australian -National Audit Office (ANAO) appeared very briefly, and was questioned about the audit report on the broadband tender.

Department o f Climate Change

2.19 The Department of Climate Change (DCC) was questioned about the publication of a summary brief of the climate policy released by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Tony Abbott. The committee also continued its interest from previous Estimates as to why the Morgan Stanley analysis commissioned by the DCC has not been made public. The Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator the Hon Penny Wong, stated in response:

.. .evidence th a t I recall D r P ark in so n p ro v id in g w as that w e w o u ld be

rele asin g co m m ercial-in -co n fid en ce in fo rm atio n i f w e w ere to release the report. R eg ard in g the b asis o n w h ich the rep o rt w as done, com p an ies did p ro v id e co m m ercial-in -co n fid en ce data. It w o u ld n o t be app ro p riate fo r the g o v ern m e n t to rele ase it.8

2.20 Other issues raised included renewable energy targets; the Fifth National Communication submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Himalayan glacier melt report.

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

Medibank Private Ltd

2.21 Mr George Savvides, Managing Director of Medibank Private, was questioned with regard to membership patterns since the insurer's last annual report released in 2009. The committee heard that market growth is at a rate of 2 per cent down from 5 per cent recorded before the global financial crisis.

2.22 The possibility of negative implications of the Medicare levy threshold changes on memberships and recruitment were also examined, as were commercial aspects pertaining to Medibank Private's profitability, conservative investment portfolio and the management of case payments.

2.23 Mr Savvides was also questioned about whether claim escalations would lead to increased premiums for customers. He responded that this was unlikely as the increase in claims was offset by Medibank's revenue from investments.

8 Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Climate Change and W ater, Estimates Hansard, 8.2.10, p. 102.

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Department of Finance and Deregulation

2.24 The committee expressed interest in the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines as they relate to Australian disability enterprises. Since 2008 an exemption from mandatory procurement processes has applied where services have been

purchased from an Australian disability enterprise. The Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) indicated that it does not retain whole-of-govemment records of the use of disability enterprises however, it undertakes a range of activities to ensure that procuring officials were informed of the exemption.

2.25 The committee discussed advertising protocols in relation to a caretaker government and federal by-elections. It was noted that there are exemptions to the mle that government campaign advertising ceases during election period, for example, where there is a need in the national interest. In the case of by-elections, the

committee heard that advertising was pulled in the state or region of the by-election for the period leading up to the date of the by-election. However, it was noted that in the case of national media publications this was a 'challenge'.

2.26 The committee received an update on the Government stimulus plan. It was indicated that, as at 31 December 2009, $25.8 billion of the $42 billion for the plan had been spent.

2.27 Mr David Tune, Secretary, provided the committee with an update of the implementation of Operation Sunlight. He stated that most elements have been put in place and are operational and concluded:

Certainly one of the big benefits of Operation Sunlight has been improved transparency in the budget documentation. From that point of view, yes, I think it has been very useful. One of the recent changes being introduced is to move to what we are calling net cash appropriations on capital expenditure, which is yet another change that improves transparency. So that is a fairly major element of Operation Sunlight.9

2.28 Questions were asked about recommendations for the costing of proposed opposition policies. Mr Tune stated this was still under consideration but noted there were provisions for costing of election commitments under the Charter of Budget Honesty.

2.29 The changes to funding of depreciation were canvassed once again, with officers questioned on the recouping of funds in depreciation, amortisation and make­ good accounts. It was noted that that Finance is currently undertaking a reconciliation process and that it is anticipated some $600 million is in those funds. Mr Tim Youngberry, Division Manager, commented:

____________________________ ____ __________________________________________ 9_

9 Mr D Tune, Secretary, Department o f Finance and Deregulation, Estimates Hansard, 9.2.10, p. 31.

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We are working through it case by case. It depends on a whole range of issues because they are funded for employee entitlements, for example, and those funds are remaining with agencies. We need to work through a reconciliation that says how much funding they need for accounts payable and employee entitlements, how much depreciation funding they received, and how much of that is committed on current projects, where there may be obligations to external parties for the acquisition of assets, for example.10 1 1

2.30 The Department indicated that by 30 June 2010 the funds that remain will be recovered, but the funds already spent will not be recouped.

2.31 The impact of the matter of Mr Godwin Grech was raised by the committee in relation to ethical behaviour in the public service. Mr Tune indicated that discussions had been held within Finance to ensure that measures are in place to minimise the risk of a similar incident occurring, for example that delegations are appropriate. Mr Tune also commented on the inclusion of discussions of ethical behaviour in training programs and noted:

We do have training programs that extend throughout the organisation. So when a new graduate or a new recruit walks into the organisation they would go through a very extensive learning and development program that is provided internally by the department. As part of that, there will be sections of the courses around ethics and there will be sections of the courses around the code of conduct that applies to all public servants including everybody that works in the Department of Finance and Deregulation. That is an integral part of the training and learning and development processes. We also have follow-up sessions. These things need to be reinforced at various times so there are follow-up courses and

follow-up sessions available as well. We also encourage people, where they have particular issues whereby they are feeling uneasy or uncomfortable about particular courses of action, to have mechanisms whereby they can talk to people and work their way through those in a sensible manner.11

Future Fund

2.32 The committee pursued issues raised in previous Estimates including Nation Building fund portfolios; and Commonwealth and state government debt securities.

2.33 The committee sought the view of Mr Paul Costello, General Manager of Future Fund, regarding the risk assessment taken on possible impacts of the proposed National Broadband Network legislation with Parliament at present on Telstra shares.

Mr Costello responded to the committee:

10 M r T Youngberry, Division Manager, Department o f Finance and Deregulation, Estimates Hansard, 9.2.10, p. 36.

11 M r D Tune, Secretary, Department o f Finance and Deregulation, Estimates Hansard, 9.2.10, p. 39.

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M y p o sitio n has alw ay s b een that w e think w e should w ait until it is clear

exactly w h a t the p ro p o sal is an d then that is an appropriate tim e for us to

m ake a co m m en t, rath e r than speculate on a range o f o u tc o m e s .12

2.34 The committee heard that the Future Fund is hold around 13 to 14 per cent in cash; one-third of investments are domestic and the remaining two-thirds offshore; and the group holds shares in Telstra of almost 11 per cent of the company.

Australian Electoral Commission

2.35 The committee again raised issues around the provision of secret ballots for persons with a disability. The Electoral Commissioner, Mr Ed Killesteyn, stated that the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) would be unable to commit to providing an option for visually impaired and blind persons to cast a secret ballot because:

...a t th is stage all I have is the curren t p ro v isio n s u n d er the C om m onw ealth A ct, u n d e r sectio n 234, w h ic h prov id es fo r assiste d voting. W ithout

legislatio n , I ca n n o t do a n y th in g .13

2.36 The Special Minister of State, Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, stated that he would consider the matter.

2.37 Industrial ballots conducted by the AEC were discussed by the committee. The topic of ballot rigging and investigations into ballot rigging in the Health Services Union elections were a particular area of focus. Mr Paul Pirani, Chief Legal Officer of the AEC noted that the powers of the Commission investing industrial ballot rigging

were limited, but Work Fair Australia and the Federal Court were appropriate bodies to oversee specific complaints.

2.38 Other matters of interest raised during the examination of the Australian Electoral Commission included:

• electoral changes and campaign donations;

• electoral fraud;

• Parliamentarian gift declarations, as well as privileges and codes of conduct for ministers and members of parliament;

• plans to increase the number of people on the electoral role; and

• fee-for-service elections.

12 Mr P Costello, General Manager, Future Fund Management Agency, Estimates Hansard, 9.2.10, pp 50-51.

13 Mr E Killesteyn, Electoral Commissioner, Estimates Hansard, 9.2.10, p. 72.

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Human Services Portfolio

Department of Human Services

2.39 The committee pursued matters raised in previous Estimates including Child Support Agency debt and the accuracy of customer contact details; and inquired about the process of individual case investigations.

2.40 The committee heard that outstanding debt at the end of December 2009 over the 21 year lifetime of the agency totalled more than $1,103 billion, though it was noted that 92 per cent of total liabilities had been paid. It was also noted that international debt was a significant proportion of the increase in debt experienced between December 2008 and December 2009. Ms Philippa Godwin, Deputy

Secretary, stated:

...a significant proportion of that increase is international debt—that is, debt transferred in when a payer from another country comes to Australia. That is one of our ongoing challenges, because, just to give you some background, in the six-year period to the end of 2008-09, domestic debt

contributed $61 million to the total debt but international debt contributed $185 million to the total debt. International debt is in a sense a disproportionate contributor to that overall debt picture, so one of the other things that we are focusing on is how to better manage international debt.14 1 5

2.41 The committee examined the practical issues of co-locating agency (Medicare, Centrelink, CSA, CRS) offices. Mr Finn Pratt, Secretary, Department of Human Services (DHS), described the move to co-locations as resulting in 'significant improvements in service and convenience for customers'. He noted that there had been positive feedback from trials.13

2.42 Mr Pratt also indicated that there would be at least another 20 offices co­ located by the end of 2010, and 40 by the end of 2011. Issues relating to the locations, staffing, costs and workforce requirements associated with uprooting existing offices and co-locating them were also examined.

Centrelink

2.43 The Chief Executive Officer of Centrelink, Ms Carolyn Hogg, responded to questions about the backlog of claims processing from 2009 as a result of the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation scheme. Ms Hogg explained that there were 1,695 claims on hand in October 2009 and 601 were on hand in February 2010. In December 2009, 51 per cent of claims were processed within 15 days and 67 per cent were processed within 30 days. It was noted that the claims with lengthier processing times

were the more complex claims and where further information was required from the

14 Ms P Godwin, Deputy Secretary, Department o f Human Services, Estimates Hansard, 9.2.10, p. 89.

15 M r F Pratt, Secretary, Department o f Human Services, Estimates Hansard, 9.2.10, p. 90.

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claimant. It was also noted that staffing levels had increased to address delays and investigations were being undertaken to improve the process.

2.44 The committee heard a comprehensive account of the changes to the laws affecting same-sex couples from July 2009 in relation to Centrelink payments. The number of same-sex couples declared since the amendments led to questioning around how the process is validated, reviewed and investigated towards achieving compliance.

2.45 Other matters of interest during the Centrelink examination were:

• increased staff levels;

• pensions and pension settlements;

• the Household Assistance Scheme;

• disability Support Pension and Age Pension; and

• truancy trials in Queensland.

Medicare Australia

2.46 The committee queried the significant increase in complaints placed directly to Medicare Australia as well as to the Ombudsman. Ms Lynne O'Brien, Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer, explained 'part of the increase is the improvement in our processes for recording feedback from the public' that has occurred in the last

12 months.16

2.47 Other matters of interest raised by the committee during the examination of Medicare Australia included:

• the increased number of Medicare cards;

• fraud prevention and detection;

• recovery and compliance; and

• electronic claiming through the Transitional Support Package.

Senator Helen Policy

Chair

16 Ms L O'Brien, Acting Deputy C hief Executive Officer, Medicare Australia, Estimates Hansard, 9.2.10, p. 114.

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Appendix 1

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversight

Parliamentary departments

• Department of the Senate; and

• Department of Parliamentary Services.

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

• 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;

• National Australia Day Council Limited;

• 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.

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

• Department of Finance and Deregulation;

• Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation;

• Australian Electoral Commission;

• Australian Industry Development Corporation;

• Australian Reward Investment Alliance;

• Australian River Co. Limited;

• ASC Pty Limited;

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• Australian Technology Group Limited;

• ComSuper;

• Future Fund Management Agency;

• Medibank Private Limited; and

• Tuggeranong Office Park Pty Limited.

Human Services Portfolio

• Department of Human Services (includes Child Support Agency and CRS Australia);

• Australian Hearing Services;

• Centrelink; and

• Medicare Australia.

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The Senate

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2009-10

February 2010

117

© Commonwealth of Australia

ISBN 978-1-74229-258-8

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.

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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, CRN, WA

O th e r s e n a to r s w h o p a r ti c ip a t e d

Senator Guy Barnett, LP, Tas Senator Simon Birmingham, LP, SA Senator Hon Ron Boswell, NP, Qld Senator Hon George Brandis, LP, Qld Senator Hon Alan Ferguson, LP, SA Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, GRN, SA Senator Hon Bill Heffeman, LP, NSW Senator Steve Hutchins, ALP, NSW Senator Hon David Johnston, LP, WA Senator Hon Ian Macdonald, LP, Qld Senator Anne McEwen, ALP, SA Senator Stephen Parry, LP, Tas Senator Nick Xenophon, Ind, SA

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Committee secretariat

Dr Kathleen Demiody, Secretary Ms Pamela Corrigan, Research Officer Dr Tim Kendall, Principal Research Officer Ms Erja 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

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Table of contents

Page

Membership..........................................................................................................iii

Report to the Senate Introduction...............................................................................................................7

Questions on notice....................................................................................................7

Defence portfolio..................................................................................................... 7

Department of Defence...........................................................................................7

Department of Veterans' Affairs............................................................................ 10

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio.......................................................................11

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.............................................................. 11

AusAID................................................................................................................ 13

Austrade and DFAT trade programs.......................................................................14

Acknowledgements.................................................................................................. 15

Index to proof transcripts Defence portfolio ...................................................................................................19

Department of Defence......................................................................................... 19

Defence Materiel Organisation.............................................................................. 19

Department of Veterans' Affairs............................................................................ 20

Australian War Memorial..................................................................................... 21

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio...................................................................... 22

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.............................................................. 22

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)..................................23 Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).............................................................. 23

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Report to the Senate

Introduction

1.1 On 26 November 2009, the Senate referred to the committee, for examination and report, the following documents:

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

1.2 The committee has considered the proposed additional expenditure for the year ending 30 June 2010. It has received evidence from the Minister for Defence who also represented the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The committee also received evidence from the Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion who represented the Minister for Trade and the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, and officers of the departments and agencies concerned.

1.3 The committee met in public session on 10 and 11 February 2010. Further written explanations provided by departments and agencies will be presented separately in volumes of additional information. This information 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, 1 April 2010.

Defence portfolio

Department of Defence 1.5 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC, AFC, Chief of the Defence Force (CDF), Dr Ian Watt AO, Secretary of the Department of Defence, and officers of the Defence organisation.1

S ecretary's o p en in g sta tem en t

1.6 Dr Watt made a statement to the committee about the strategic reform program (SRP), which was announced with the defence white paper.

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

1 T ra n sc rip t p a g e n u m b e rs fo r th e D e fe n c e p o rtfo lio re fe r to P r o o f C om m ittee Hansard, 10 F e b ru a ry 2 0 1 0 . (S e e th e tra n sc rip t in d ex at th e b ack o f th is re p o rt.)

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...As recommended by the defence budget audit, for the last six months or so Defence has conducted detailed diagnostic and implementation planning for the SRP. The package of measures resulting from that analysis is under consideration by the government.

Ultimately, the goals of the SRP will only be achieved through transforming Defence's business processes, practices and systems and, most importantly, Defence's culture. Careful implementation planning is essential if we are to achieve this transformation while continuing to deliver the full range of defence outcomes that government expects from us.

The government is expected to finalise consideration of Defence's implementation plans in the near future. The government and Defence will then be in a position to provide more detail publicly about the reforms that will result in the reinvestment of $20 million over the next ten years.2

Chief of the Defence Force's opening statement

1.7 Air Chief Marshal Houston briefed the committee on a range of topics including Afghanistan, health care, recruitment and retention, reserves and military justice.

1.8 In relation to Afghanistan, the CDF is of the opinion that the tide is turning:

I think this is the year we will turn the situation around. Following my discussion at the Chiefs of Defence conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, I can also share with the committee that NATO consultation with Australia is improving, and NATO has undertaken to resolve the issue of

leadership in the Oruzgan Province.

In terms of our mission progress, I am very pleased with the Australian contingent in Tarin Kowt has adapted well to the change in campaign focus to population support and protection. This has been very evident over the past few months with joint Australian and Afghan operations in the Mirabad Valley region. ...These recent operations have highlighted the benefits of engaging with the local population.3

1.9 In concluding his opening statement, Air Chief Marshal Houston gave the committee a progress report on the ADF's military justice system, since the High Court decision in the case of Lane v Morrison, which declared invalid the Australian Military Court:

Immediately following this decision in late August 2009, our previous system of trials of serious service offences by court martial and Defence Force magistrate was reinstated. This interim system commenced operation in October 2009 and is functioning well. Fifteen trials were conducted before Christmas and already a further 20 trials have been listed for 2010.

2 P ro o f Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, pp. 5-6.

3 P ro o f Committee Hansard, 10 February 2010, p. 7.

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R e p o rt o n A d d itio n a l E stim a te s 2 0 0 9 -2 0 1 0 9

In S ep tem b er last year, I d irec ted th e form ation o f a n ew directorate w ithin D efence L egal D ivision ded icated to w orking w ith s ta ff from the A ttorney- G eneral's D ep artm en t to exam ine options for the future trail o f serious

serv ice offen ces. T he m in iste r h a s p u b lic ly indicated th a t a pro p o sed

ap p ro ach w o u ld include a co u rt estab lish ed in accordance w ith chapter III o f the C onstitution.

...T o ensure every angle o f th is new system is considered, w e have

co n su lted broadly. T he L aw C o u n cil o f A ustralia has b een engaged during the p ro c e ss o f develo p in g op tio n s for a future m ilita ry discipline system , an d leg al advice has b een o b tain ed from the A u stralian G overnm ent

S olicitor an d the S olicitor-G eneral for the C o m m o n w ealth on a w ide range o f issu e s.4

1.1 0 A c o p y o f b o th s ta te m e n ts a n d a c c o m p a n y in g d o c u m e n ta tio n w e re p r o v id e d

to th e c o m m itte e at th e h e a rin g .

1.11 O th e r to p ic s e x a m in e d d u rin g th e h e a r in g in c lu d e d :

• C am paign allo w an ces for A D F p erso n n el an d audit o f o ver-paym ents (pp. 9-13, 15, 20).

D ep lo y m en t allo w an ce and p ay allo w an ce in E ast T im or (pp. 13-14).

D efence p a y system s and the A D F p ay ro ll task force (pp. 14-17, 21).

Special forces recru itin g (p. 18).

F ood facilities at T arin K o w t (pp. 18-19,21).

M ilitary ju stic e : A u stralian M ilitary C ourt; (pp. 19-25, 60); adm inistrative inquiries (pp. 26-27, 60).

A fgh an istan (pp. 27-30).

M ilitary co m p en sa tio n review (pp. 30-31).

A D F v eh icle accid en t in D ili, T im o r (pp. 31-36).

E xercises w ith m u ltilateral p artn ers and E xercise M ilan (pp. 36-37, 64-67, 85).

L an d 125 p ro jec t; F orce P ro tectio n R eview (pp. 37-42, 60).

D isruptive p attern com bat uniform (pp. 42M7).

S ubm arines: m issio n capability (pp. 47-58, 60).

C ollins class rep la ce m en t p ro ject (pp. 58).

C apability p la n S E A 1654: rep lacem en t for H M A S Success (pp. 60-63).

4 P r o o f C om m ittee H ansard, 10 F e b ru a ry 20 1 0 , p. 9.

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10 R e p o rt o n A d d itio n a l E stim a te s 2 0 0 9 -2 0 1 0

• A ir W arfare D estroyers: p ro d u ctiv ity a n d term s and conditions o f em p lo y m en t (pp. 63­ 64).

• S ecurity C ouncil R eso lu tio n 1325: w om en, p ea ce and security (pp. 67-68, 70).

• R o le o f nuclear w eap o n s in A u stralia's se cu rity p olicy; reco m m en d atio n s o f th e

International C o m m issio n o n N o n -p ro life ra tio n an d D isarm am en t (pp. 69-70).

• D efen ce h o using stock in V icto ria (pp. 70-72, 75).

• D efence A ssistan ce to C ivil C o m m u n ity pro g ram : u se o f B lack H aw k helico p ter (pp.

72-75).

• W o o m era P roh ib ited A rea: D efen c e’s rela tio n sh ip w ith m in in g and other interests in

th e area (pp. 75-77).

• R eserves: train in g tim e in V ictoria; A d ap tiv e A rm y (pp. 77-79).

• L eo p ard tanks to R S L s (pp. 80-81).

• B ushm aster: light p ro tec ted m ob ility v eh icle an d L A N D 121 p h a se 4 (pp. 81-83).

• T rack m ounted m o b ile 155 H o w itzer (pp. 83-85).

1.12 During proceedings of the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio, the Minister for Defence sought leave to make a statement regarding military justice and HMAS Success. The minister sought leave to make a statement while the committee was still in session, on the grounds that the matter was of public importance, and relevant to the business of the committee. -’

Department of Veterans' Affairs 1.13 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Mr Ian Campbell PSM, Secretary, and officers of the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA). Matters raised by the committee during the hearing included:

• F lag at F rom elles (pp. 87-88).

• M in ister's overseas trip (pp. 88-89).

• D epartm ental s ta ff levels (pp. 89-90).

• S uperannuation co n trib u tio n s and D V A s ta ff num b ers (pp. 90-91).

• C onsultants em ployed b y the d epartm ent (p. 90).

• P rim e M inisterial A d v iso ry C ouncil (p. 92).

• R eco m m en d atio n s o f the C lark e R ev iew an d M a ralin g a (pp. 93-98).

5 P r o o f C om m ittee H ansard, 11 F e b ru a ry 2 0 1 0 , p p . 78—79.

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• T otal and P erm an e n t Incapacity (T P I) veterans in T asm an ia (p. 98).

• Index atio n o f p en sio n s (p. 99).

• B E S T an d T IP applicatio n fun d in g rounds (pp. 100-101).

• H ealth id e n tifiers and e-health (pp. 101-102).

• V eterans allo w an c es to travel to m edical appointm ents (pp. 102-103).

• F u zzy W u z zy co m m em orations (pp. 103-104).

• The Centaur ship w reck (p. 104).

Australian War Memorial

1.14 T he co m m ittee ackno w led g ed the attendance o f M ajo r G eneral Steve G o w er A O ,

D irector, and o ffic ers o f the A u stralian W ar M em orial (A W M ). M atters raised b y the

com m ittee included:

• C om p letio n o f th e final volum e o f Official History o f Southeast Asian Conflicts (pp. 104-106).

• M ilitary C ro ss H all o f V alo u r (pp. 106-107).

• S ponsorship o f activities at A W M (pp. 107-108).

• P reparation fo r the 100th anniversary o f G allipoli (p. 108).

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 1.15 The committee acknowledged the attendance at the hearings of Mr Dennis Richardson AO, Secretary, and officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.6

1.16 Over a period of years, the committee has written to successive secretaries of the department, inviting them to attend estimates—invitations they declined. The committee, in its report of May 2006, stated:

T he co m m ittee believ es that the S ecretary o f the D ep artm en t o f F oreign A ffairs an d T rad e w o u ld m ake a valuable contribution to the estim ates

process. H is know ledge, experience and the authority w ith w hich he speaks

6 Transcript page numbers for the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio refer to P roof Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010. (See the transcript index at the back of this report.)

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would be much appreciated. The committee makes an open invitation to the Secretary to attend future estimates hearings.

1.17 At this session of estimates, the committee welcomed Mr Richardson to his first estimates meeting as the Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. One member noted:

[This] is the first time we have had a secretary of the department attend an estimates committee meeting. It is something we have been urging, both back in government and in opposition, for a long, long time. So I think it is a welcome departure from what has been previous practice and we are very pleased to see Mr Richardson here.

1.18 The minister responded that when the secretary took up his position, he indicated that:

...if Minister Smith, the government and I were comfortable, it certainly would be his intention to attend the committee and, of course, assist the committee wherever possible. We thank him for that. I am sure, in the main, he is very much looking forward to the experience.9

1.19 The committee is pleased with this development and is of the view that the attendance of the secretary of the department has set a valuable precedent.

1.20 Matters raised by the committee during the hearings included:

• Former DFAT secretary, Mr L'Estrange (pp. 5-6, 77).

• Rationalisation of diplomatic services: accommodation arrangements and operating costs (pp. 66-68).

• Securency, the reserve Bank entity (pp. 9-10).

• Climate Change Conference, Copenhagen: DFAT staffing activities (pp. 10-16).

• AUSVEG conference, Berlin (pp. 17, 111-112).

• Role of Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs (pp. 17-19).

• Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade overseas trip to Africa (pp. 19-22).

• Departmental 'X-flles' (pp. 22-25).

• Status of the new embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan (pp. 25-28).

7 Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, Budget Estimates Report 2006-2007, May 2006, p. 2.

8 P ro o f Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 5.

9 P ro o f Committee Hansard, 11 February 2010, p. 96.

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• L egal p ro ce ed in g s b y M r S m ith ag ain st the departm ent (pp. 28-29).

• F unding o f refu g ee cam ps on the T h a i-B u n n a b order (p. 30).

• S anctions im p o sed ag ain st B urm a (p. 30); lead-up to th e elections in B urm a, an d cross­ bo rd er aid (pp. 31-32).

• D avid W ilso n In q u est (pp. 32-40).

• R efugee b o a t in p o rt at M erak (pp. 41-47).

• V isit to A u stralia in M arch by A m eric an P resident, M r O b am a (pp. 47M8).

• A ustralia—C h in a dialogue in relation to T ibet (pp. 49-51); indictm ent o f M r S tem Hu

(pp. 51-54).

• R efu rb ish m en t in the em bassy in the H oly S ee (pp. 54-57).

• C o m m o n w ealth G am es in India an d security issues (pp. 57-58).

• A u stralia’s relatio n sh ip w ith In d ia (pp. 58-62).

• Sri L anka and the d etention cam ps in T am il areas (pp. 63-68).

• S yria and A u stralia’s concerns ab o u t n u clea r program s in Iran (pp. 68-70, 77).

• A sia -P a c ific com m unity and a conference in S ydney (pp. 70-74).

• A ustralian S afeguards and N o n -P ro liferatio n O ffice (A S N O ) activities (pp. 74—75).

• D em ocratic P eople's R epublic o f K o rea and A S N O (pp. 75-77).

AusAID

1.21 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Mr Peter Baxter, Acting Director General, and officers representing AusAID. Matters raised by the committee during the hearing included:

• A ustralia's co m m itm en t to global food security (pp. 79-80).

• A usA ID an d an A N A O audit rep o rt findings and recom m endations (pp. 80-81, 90-94).

• C hild and m aternal h ealth (pp. 81-82).

• N ew g u id in g p rin cip les and req u ests for funding p ro jects w ith a fam ily planning

com p o n en t (pp. 82-85).

• H aiti and A u stralia's com m itm en t fo r funding and assistan ce (pp. 85-86).

• A ustralia's E d u catio n S ector S upport Program (E S S P ) in Indonesia (pp. 86-88).

• U pdate on A u stralia's aid budget to B urm a and the delivery o f program s (pp. 88-90).

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• Office of the Deployment of Civilian Capability (p. 94).

• Donation of HINI.flu vaccine to Pacific island countries (p. 95).

Austrade and DFAT trade programs 1.22 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Mr Peter Yuile, Acting Chief Executive Officer, and officers representing Austrade. The committee also welcomed officers from the trade divisions of the department, to a joint sitting of Austrade and DFAT.

1.23 During the trade section of the estimates program, Mr Richardson made a statement on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The statement was given against the background of DFAT's interest and involvement in, and the recent attention given to, the proposed policy change on BSE.

1.24 Mr Richardson stated in part, that:

The policy rationale for the change in BSE policy is contained in various documents and submissions by departments including DFAT. The process followed in coming to the decision was a full and detailed one in which the safety of the Australian people and of our food supply, as well as animal health, were the uppermost considerations. A comprehensive range of meat industry and health stakeholders were consulted. An independent expert, Professor John Matthews—an eminent scientist with 40 years experience— provided a report indicating that the risks to human health of a change in policy were negligible, provided the appropriate risk mitigation strategies

were in place.

The report was peer reviewed and endorsed by expert scientists under the National Health and Medical Research Council. The three lead departments on the issue—the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; the Department of Health and Ageing; and the Department of Foreign Affairs

and Trade—have worked closely together to ensure that all aspects of the change have been carefully dealt with. I believe we are on a very firm footing to proceed with a policy change on 1 March this year.10

1.25 The committee sought information on the trade implications of the policy change. Mr Richardson explained:

The view has also been put that this decision is driven purely by trade concerns. This is inaccurate. Trade considerations are one of a number of key issues considered in the policy change but not the sole issue. Peak industry groups support the change, the science has moved on since 2001 when the current policy was put in place and, as shown by Professor Matthew's report, the policy can be changed while assuring a very high

level of safety to the Australian population.

10 P r o o f C om m ittee H ansard, 11 F e b m a ry 2 0 1 0 , p. 96.

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A change will also provide assurances that Australia continues to abide by its international trade obligations...There was a strong risk, if the policy was not changed, of a WTO challenge... It is strongly in the interests of an export dependent country like Australia that we work within our WTO

obligations. The changed policy rectifies this and removes the risk of WTO challenge which could have major consequences for Australian agriculture.11

1.26 M a tte rs r a is e d b y th e c o m m itte e d u rin g th is s e s s io n in c lu d e d :

• Australia's policy on BSE (pp. 95-103).

• Export Market Development Grants scheme (pp. 103-105).

• Export Finance Insurance Coiporation (pp. 105-108).

• Update on the status of various free trade agreements (pp. 108-109).

• Counterfeiting trade agreement (pp. 109-111).

Acknowledgements

1.27 F o r th e ir a s s is ta n c e d u rin g its h e a r in g s , th e c o m m itte e th a n k s S e n a to r th e H o n

J o h n F a u lk n e r a n d S e n a to r th e H o n U rs u la S te p h e n s . T h e c o m m itte e also

a c k n o w le d g e s th e a tte n d a n c e a n d c o o p e r a tio n o f th e m a n y d e p a r tm e n ta l a n d a g e n c y

o ffic e rs a n d th e s e rv ic e s o f v a r io u s p a r lia m e n ta r y s ta f f in v o lv e d in th e e s tim a te s

p ro c e s s .

Senator Mark Bishop

Chair

11 P r o o f C om m ittee H ansard, 11 F e b ru a ry 2010, p. 97.

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Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Index to proof transcripts

Additional estimates 2009-2010

Defence portfolio W e d n e s d a y , 10 F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 0

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio T h u rs d a y , 11 F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 0

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DEFENCE PORTFOLIO

W ednesday, 10 F ebruary 2010

Department of Defence

Page no

In attendance ..................................................................................................................... 1

Matters relating to opening statements............................................................................................. 9-85

Outcome 1: The protection and advancement of Australia’s national interests through the provision of military capabilities and promotion of security and stability

Program 1.2: N avy capabilities.................................................................................................................47-64

Capability development................................................................................................................47-64

Defence Materiel Organisation DMO Outcome 1: Contributing to the preparedness of the Australian Defence Force organisation through acquisition and through-life support of military equipment and supplies.

DMO program 1.1: M anagement of capability acquisition..................................................................37-64

DMO program 1.2: M anagement o f capability sustainm ent............................................................... 37-64

DMO program 1.3: Provision o f policy advice and management services...................................... 37-64

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W ednesday, 10 F eb ru ary 2010

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Page no

In a tte n d a n c e .......................................................................................................................................................... 4

Portfolio overview and budget summary..................................................................................... 86-104

Outcome 1: Compensation and support M aintain and enhance the financial w ellbeing and98 self-sufficiency o f eligible persons an d th eir dependants th ro u g h access to incom e support, com pensation, and other support services, including advice an d inform ation about entitlem ents.

Program 1.1: Veterans’ income support and allow ances................................................................... 86-104

Program 1.2: Veterans’ disability support............................................................................................. 86-104

Program 1.3: Assistance to Defence widow(er)s and dependants....................................................86-104

Program 1.4: Assistance and other compensation for veterans and dependants...........................86-104

Program 1.5: Veterans’ children education schem e............................................................................86-104

Program 1.6: Rehabilitation compensation acts payments— income support and com pensation86-104

Program 1.7: Adjustments to the rehabilitation compensation acts liability provisions— income support and com pensation.......................................................................................................................... 86-104

Outcome 2: Health M aintain and enhance the physical w ellbeing and quality o f the life o f eligible persons and th e ir dependents through health an d other care services that prom ote early intervention, p revention and treatm ent, including advice and inform ation about health service entitlem ents.

Program 2.1: General medical consultations and services.................................................................86-104

Program 2.2: V eterans' hospital services...............................................................................................86-104

Program 2.3: Veterans’ pharmaceutical b en efits................................................................................. 86-104

Program 2.4: Veterans’ community care and support........................................................................ 86-104

Program 2.5: V eterans’ counselling and other health se rv ic es........................................................ 86-104

Program 2.6: Rehabilitation compensation acts— health and counselling and other health services......................................................................................................................................86-104

Program 2.7: Adjustment to the rehabilitation compensation acts liability provisions— health and counselling and other health services....................................................................................86-104

Outcome 3: Commemorations A cknow ledgem ent and com m em oration o f those w ho served A ustralia and its allies in w ars, conflicts and p ea ce operations through p rom oting recognition o f service and sacrifice, preservation o f A u stralia’s w artim e heritage, and official

com m em orations.

Program 3.1: W ar graves and com m em orations..................................................................................86-104

Program 3.2: Gallipoli related activities............................................................................................... 86-104

W ednesday, 10 F ebruary 2010

Australian War Memorial

Page no

In a tte n d a n c e ......................................................................................................................................................... 2

Outcome 1: A u stralian s rem em bering, interpreting and understan d in g the A ustralian experience o f w a r an d its enduring im p act through m aintaining and developing the national m em orial, its co llec tio n ex h ib itio n o f h istorical m aterial, com m em o rativ e cerem onies and research.

Program 1.1: Commemorative cerem onies.........................................................................................105-108

Program 1.2: National memorial and grounds................................................................................... 105-108

Program 1.3: National collection..........................................................................................................105-108

Program 1.4: E xhibitions....................................................................................................................... 105-108

Program 1.5: Interpretive serv ices....................................................................................................... 105-108

Program 1.6: Promotion and community services............................................................................ 105-108

Program 1.7: Research and information dissemination.................................................................... 105-108

Program 1.8: V isitor services.................................................................................................................105-108

T hursday, 11 F eb ru ary 2010

FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PORTFOLIO

Department o f Foreign Affairs and Trade

Page no

In a tte n d a n c e ..........................................................................................................................................................1

Portfolio overview .......................................................................................................................................... 5-29

Outcome 1: T he advancem ent o f A u stralia’s intern atio n al strategic, secu rity and econom ic interests including thro u g h b ilateral, regional and m u ltilateral en gagem ent on A ustralian G o v ern m e n t foreign an d trad e policies.

Program 1.1: Other departmental

North A sia................................................................................................................................................49-54, 75

South-East A sia.............................................................................................................................................. 30-47

A m ericas...........................................................................................................................................................47-48

E urope............................................................................................................................................................... 54-57

South and West Asia, M iddle East and Africa.......................................................................................... 57-69

P a c ific ............................................................................................................................................................... 70-74

National security, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation..............................................................74-77

Bilateral, regional and multilateral trade negotiations.......................................................................... 95-103

Trade development/policy coordination & A sia-Pacific Economic Cooperation...........................95-103

Outcome 3: A secure A ustralian G overnm ent p resence overseas through the provision o f security services and inform ation and com m unications technology infrastructure, and the m anagem ent o f the C o m m o n w ealth ’s overseas ow ned estate.

Program 3.2: Overseas property 54-57

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T hursday, 11 F ebruary 2010

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

Page no

In a tte n d a n c e .......................................................................................................................................................... 3

Outcome 1: To assist d eveloping countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable developm ent, in line w ith A u stralia’s national interest.

Program 1.1: Official development assistance— PNG and Pacific........................................................79-95

Program 1.2: Official development assistance— East A sia....................................................................79-95

Program 1.3: Official development assistance— Africa, South and Central Asia, Middle East and other........................................................................................................................................................... 79-95

Program 1.4: Official development assistance— Emergency, humanitarian and refugee programs 79-95

Program 1.5: Official development assistance—Multilateral replenishments.................................... 79-95

Program 1.6: Official development assistance— UN, Commonwealth and other international organisations....................................................................................................................................................79-95

Program 1.7: Official development assistance—NGO, volunteer and community program s.........79-95

Outcome 2: A u stralia’s national interest advanced by im plem enting a partnership betw een A ustralia and Indonesia for reconstruction and developm ent.

Program 2.1: East A sia................................................................................................................................. 79-95

Australian Trade Commission (Austrode)

In attendance .........................................................................................................................................................3

Outcome 1: A dvance A u stralia’s trade and investm ent interests through inform ation, advice and services to businesses, industry and governm ents.

Program 1.1: Trade and investment development............................................................................... 103-105

Program 1.2: Trade development schemes (Export Market Development G rants)......................103-105

Outcome 2: T he protection and w elfare o f A ustralians abroad through tim ely and responsive co nsular and p assp o rt services in specific locations overseas.

Program 2.1: Consular, passport services.............................................................................................103-105

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" S i

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The Senate

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2009-10

February 2010

141

Commonwealth o f Australia ISBN 978-1-74229-259-5

This document was prepared by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

142

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

Substitute Members Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, ALP, QLD, replaced Senator Marshall for consideration of the Additional Estimates 2009-10 (8 and 9 February 2010) Senator Stephen Parry, LP, TAS, replaced Senator Fisher for consideration of the Additional Estimates 2009-10 (8 and 9 February 2010)

Senators in attendance Senator Patricia Crossin, (Chair), Senator Guy Barnett (Deputy Chair), Senator David Feeney, Senator Scott Ludlam, Senator Gavin Marshall, Senator the Hon Eric Abetz, Senator Chris Back, Senator Catryna Bilyk, Senator Mark Bishop, Senator the Hon George Brandis, Senator Steve Fielding, Senator Mitch Fifield, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Senator Gary Humphries, Senator Steve Hutchins, Senator Julian McGauran, Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, Senator Stephen Parry, Senator Louise Pratt, Senator Russell Trood, Senator Nick Xenophon

Secretariat Ms Julie Dennett Ms Margaret Cahill Ms Jane McArthur

Secretary Research Officer Executive Assistant

Suite SI. 61 Telephone: (02) 6277 3560

Parliament House Fax: (02) 6277 5794

CANBERRA ACT 2600 Email: legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

M em bership of the C o m m ittee...............................................................................iii

P R E F A C E ...................................................................................................................vii

Reference of documents....................................................................................... vii

Estimates hearings................................................................................................ vii

Ministers...............................................................................................................viii

Questions on notice............................................................................................. viii

C H A PTE R 1 .................................................................................................................1

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PORTFOLIO............................................................ 1

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

Australian Human Rights Commission.................................................................. 1

Classification Board and Classification Review Board......................................... 1

Australian Federal Police (AFP)............................................................................ 3

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs).............................4

Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)....................................4

Attorney-General's Department.............................................................................. 5

C H A PTER 2 .................................................................................................................7

IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PO R TFO LIO ........................................7

Introduction.............................................................................................................7

Department of Immigration and Citizenship.......................................................... 7

APPENDIX 1 ..............................................................................................................13

ADVICE PROVIDED BY THE CLERK REGARDING CLAIMS OF PUBLIC INTEREST IMMUNITY....................................................................... 13

APPENDIX 2 ..............................................................................................................15

D EPA RTM EN TS AND A G EN CIES UNDER TH E TW O PO R TFO LIO S FO R W H IC H T H E C O M M IT T E E HAS O V E R S IG H T ............................... 15

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Attorney-General's Portfolio................................................................................. 15

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio.................................................................. 16

APPENDIX 3 .............................................................................................................. 17

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PO RTFO LIO ............................................................................................................17

TABLED DOCUMENTS........................................................................................ 17

APPENDIX 4 .............................................................................................................. 19

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO................................................................................ 19

TABLED DOCUMENTS........................................................................................ 19

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PREFACE

On 26 November 2009, the Senate referred to the committee the examination of estimates of proposed additional 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 additional estimates

statements were tabled on 26 November 2009. A correction to the Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2009-2010 was tabled at the committee's hearing on 9 February 2010.

Reference of documents

The Senate referred to the committee, for examination and report, the following documents:

• Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2009-2010];

• Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2009-2010];

• Final budget outcome 2008-09 - Reports by the Treasurer (Mr Swan) and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation (Mr Tanner), September 2009; and

• Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts - Report for 2008-09.

The committee was required to report on its consideration of the Additional Estimates on or before 23 February 2010.

Estimates hearings

The committee met in public session on 8 and 9 February 2010.

Over the course of the two days' hearings, totalling over 22 hours, the committee took evidence from the following departments and agencies:

• Administrative Appeals Tribunal;

• Attorney-General's Department;

• Australian Customs and Border Protection Service;

• Australian Federal Police;

• Australian Human Rights Commission;

• Australian Security Intelligence Organisation;

• Classification Board and Classification Review Board;

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship;

• Family Court of Australia;

• Federal Court of Australia;

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Federal Magistrates Court of Australia; and

Fligh Court of Australia.

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 3 and Appendix 4.

Ministers

On 8 February 2010, the committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig, Cabinet Secretary and Special Minister of State, and Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Minister for Employment Participation and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Government Service Delivery, representing the Attorney-General and Minister for Home Affairs. On 9 February 2010, the committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Chris Evans, 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 Additional Estimates round is 26 March 2010.

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CHAPTER 1

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PORTFOLIO

Introduction

1.1 This chapter summarises some of the matters raised during the committee's consideration of the Additional Estimates for the Attorney-General's Portfolio for the 2009-10 financial year.

Australian Human Rights Commission

1.2 The committee welcomed the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mr Mick Gooda, who commenced his five-year term in early February.1

1.3 The committee followed up an answer provided by the Australian Human Rights Commission to a question on notice from the supplementary Budget Estimates 2009-10 hearings concerning Australia's anti-terrorism laws.2 In an answer provided to the committee, the Commission concluded that some provisions of Australia's

anti-terrorism laws do not adequately meet Australia's international obligations.3 The answer stated that the Commission's views were in submissions made to the government in relation to relevant anti-terrorism laws. While the Commissioner would not be drawn on whether a person being dealt with under these laws is likely to have had their human rights violated, she advised the committee that:

Human rights involves a balancing of competing interests on all occasions. It is the case that it is possible for different people to reach different conclusions on that balancing exercise. We have not sought to suggest precise answers to any of the issues raised, but we have sought to raise the issues where we understand, for reasons which are contained in the submissions...that Australia's position should be reviewed to be consistent with international obligations set out in the submissions.1 2 3 4

Classification Board and Classification Review Board

1.4 The committee took a continuing interest in the work of the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board. The Director of the Classification Board

1 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 7.

2 Answers to Question on N otice No. 7, Supplementary Budget Estimates 2009-10.

3 In this context, the Commission specifically identified obligations under the following:

• International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

• Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishm ent (CAT)

• Convention on the Rights o f the Child (CRC).

4 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 10.

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P age 2

advised the committee that, since July 2009, he has 'called in' for classification 440 adult films and 36 adult magazines. However, none of the publishers of the relevant films and magazines- complied with these notices. All of the publishers have

subsequently been referred to relevant state and territory law enforcement agencies for appropriate action." The Department provided the committee with a list of the films and magazines called in for classification between 1 July and 31 December 2009.5 6

1.5 The Director also explained to the committee that the National Classification Scheme is a cooperative scheme between the Commonwealth and all Australian states and territories.7 While it is the Classification Board's fundamental role to make classification decisions, it is the states and territories that are primarily responsible for enforcement. The Australian Customs and Border Protection Service regulates the importation of material into Australia. In response to a suggestion from some senators that the current system is inadequate, the Attorney-General's Department conceded that there are shortcomings in the system:

BARNETT—To sum up, the department and the government are oversighting a system that you have confirmed today, and which you confirmed at least in part in October, is in failure, a system that is not working...We are overseeing a system in failure. That seems to be confirmed again today by the opening statement from Mr McDonald and the evidence that we have had before this committee. Is that correct?

Mr Wilkins—I think that overstates the position considerably.

Senator BARNETT—That is how I see it.

Mr Wilkins—There are obviously shortcomings in the system and we are trying to address those. That is undoubtedly the case.

Senator BARNETT—But you have been doing that for years.

Mr Wilkins-—There is always room for improvement.

Senator BARNETT—Indeed.

Mr Wilkins—For example, the minister has now stiffened the penalties under the customs legislation and regulations to try to ensure that people have appropriate negative incentives to report matters and to make them available. That gives Customs more power. Of course there are problems with this system and it is under considerable strain with the emergence] of new technologies, the burgeoning of publications et cetera. So it is silly to pretend that there are not a whole bunch of questions and some quite radical

challenges to the system of classification—for example, with the R-rated games question. That is a whole new genre of material that may or may not come within the classification scheme. Also, there is the federal system—in

5 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 14.

6 Tabled document number 6, Attorney-General's Portfolio: Films called in for classification between 1 July and 31 December 2009 and adult magazines called in for classification between 1 July and 31 December 2009.

7 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 14.

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other words, the fact that we rely on the states to basically enforce the law while the standards are made at a national level. All of that needs to be kept under close review, and it is being kept under close review. There are significant challenges for us all in doing that.8

1.6 Senators also questioned officers on the consultation process and recently released discussion paper relating to an R18+ Classification for computer games. Officers of the Attorney-General's Department advised the committee that they had received 6,239 submissions to date, and that a majority of those processed tended to

support having an R18+ classification for computer games.9 During questioning on the submission process, including the template for submissions and the information required of submitters, officers assured the committee that submissions would be equally weighted and that advice to the minister would be both qualitative and quantitative.10 1 1

Australian Federal Police (AFP)

1.7 The committee sought details of the AFP's recent organisational restructure which came into effect on 1 February 2010, following the audit conducted by Mr Roger Beale AO. Commissioner Tony Negus APM provided some background information on the restructure:

This is really a philosophical or cultural change for the AFP in the investigations area. What we are saying is that we should look at organised crime—quite apart from terrorism, which is a specialist and separate portfolio, and quite apart from the international deployment group, again

which is a separate portfolio—in the investigations area wholisticly. What we are saying is that we need to address these issues in taskforces jointly with our partners. We need to look at the states and territories and the Australian Crime Commission and what they are doing, deconflict in some

of those areas about who is investigating what, and bring people in with specialist skills, such as forensic accountants and others, as needs be, but look at criminal syndicates wholisticly rather than looking at them as drug traffickers, fraudsters or money launderers. It is a cultural and philosophical change in the way they do their business.11

1.8 In response to concerns raised by senators about the impact of the restructure on the AFP's focus and efforts in the area of counter-terrorism, the Commissioner advised the committee that there will be a separate area for counterterrorism and that current resourcing levels will be maintained:

I can assure you that counterterrorism remains an important, if not the most important, thing we do for the Australian community. Resources can be taken from any other portfolio and are taken from other portfolios when there is a requirement to investigate a counterterrorism offence. I look back

8 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 23.

9 Committee Hansard, 8 Febmary 2010, pp 18-19.

10 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 20.

11 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 75.

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to Operation Neath, which were the arrests in Melbourne late last year. There were a significant number of resources taken from other portfolios to support that counterterrorism operation. It is one of the strengths of the AFP that we can move flexibly into and out of investigations as required.12

1.9 The AFP was also questioned extensively on a range of other issues, including people smuggling, staffing levels, measures to combat organised crime, and regional partnership arrangements.

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (Customs)

1.10 The committee took evidence from Customs on a range of issues. Customs was closely questioned on the rescue of 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers by the Customs vessel, Oceanic Viking, in October last year. Senators also sought details more broadly on the rules of engagement in relation to interception of suspected irregular entry vessels by the Border Protection Command.13

1.11 Senators also questioned officials on the frequency of suspected irregular entry vessels over recent years and the ability of Customs to deal with this increased demand while also suffering a decline in staffing numbers. The Chief Executive Officer, Mr Michael Carmody, explained to the committee:

...overall staffing levels have been declining in recent years. However, customs and border protection performs a whole range of roles, and that decline is not reflected in the staff that we have engaged in border protection issues, including people smuggling. You would be aware that the

government injected a series of sums of money into customs and border protection both for patrol assets and others. We have increased our capacity within what you might call a central intelligence and operational hub for dealing with maritime people-smuggling. So, while I do not have the figures light in front of me, I am sure you would find that the actual number of staff there has certainly not diminished and, if anything, has increased. We were also given staff for expanding our overseas representation.14

1.12 The committee also took evidence during the hearing on the Australian Government's decision to lift anti-dumping duties on toilet paper imports from the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Indonesia. Officials provided details on the processes leading to the decision to remove the duties.15

Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO)

1.13 The committee questioned ASIO about its officers approaching members of various ethnic, religious or activist communities seeking information. The committee was assured that, if ASIO officers do approach members of the public to obtain

12 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 74.

13 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 102-109.

14 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 113.

15 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 88-101.

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information in the course of investigative inquiries, they would identify themselves and seek the support of the person being questioned.16

1.14 ASIO was further questioned about its policy and resourcing relating to the tracking of peaceful demonstrations or protest activity. The Director-General of Security addressed this issue in some detail:

ASIO does not devote any resources to constraining legitimate protest. We are specifically prevented from doing so by our act, and we do not do it. Our sole interest—and this is the second point—in protest activity is where that activity may be associated with or have the potential for political

violence and, as such, it would come under the ASIO head of security relating to the issue of politically motivated violence. At present, the protest movement—if that is what you want to call it—or the demonstrations that take part in Australia are overwhelmingly peaceful. ASIO would devote only minimal resources to concerns about politically motivated violence related to protest activity. If there were an upswing in the potential for violent protest then ASIO would devote more resources accordingly. But I think the important thing to say is that ASIO's first and foremost priority at the moment is preventing terrorist attacks in Australia and against Australians. The vast majority of our resources are focused on this fact.17

1.15 Senators sought details of ASIO's involvement in the processing of Sri Lankan asylum seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking and, more broadly, detainees on Christmas Island. The committee heard that ASIO makes security assessments of asylum seekers in order to assess whether the granting of a visa to enter or remain in Australia is consistent with Australia's security interests and that this information is then passed to other departments, including the Department of Immigration and

Citizenship.18 In relation to the processing of asylum seekers on the Oceanic Viking, questioning focussed on the timing and prioritising of those assessments.19

Attorney-General's Department

1.16 The committee sought an explanation from the Attorney-General's Department on the timing of the release of the Anti-Terrorism White Paper, which was due for publication over one year ago. Officials explained the delay by reference to the evolving character of the anti-terror environment, and the need to amend the

document accordingly.20

16 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 42.

17 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 43.

18 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 46; and Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 67.

19 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 46-48 and pp 53-55.

20 Committee Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 125-126 and pp 130-138.

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CHAPTER 2

IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO

Introduction

2.1 This chapter summarises some of the matters raised during the committee's consideration of the Additional Estimates for the Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio for the 2009-10 financial year.

Department o f Immigration and Citizenship

Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) 2.2 The committee questioned officers on a number of matters concerning MARA. These included the figures on registered migration agents and complaints for the period of 1 July to 31 December 2009, an update on MARA's website, the fidelity

fund, staffing levels, and the English language requirement for migration agents.1

Staffing 2.3 The committee sought details on the current staffing levels of the Department. The Secretary advised the committee that, at 31 December 2009, the total staffing was 6,857, a reduction from the figure of 7,027 as at 30 June 2009.2 In response to

questioning about the link between staff reductions and the efficiency dividend, the Secretary explained:

It would not be possible to attribute particular changes to staffing numbers to the efficiency dividend of itself but, as I have said, there certainly have been efforts to reduce the size of the department. We have grown very rapidly over the last four or five years. We went through a program of

voluntary redundancies last year and the year before, but that is the net result of a whole series of measures, of which the efficiency dividend is but one.3

Skilled migration reforms 2.4 The Department was questioned in depth on the reforms to the skilled migration program which were announced by the Australian Government on the day

before the hearing. The minister provided comprehensive information to the committee about the reasons for the changes.

I understand that there are a lot of changes; it is quite a complex package. Effectively, all students who held a student visa as of yesterday’s date have, if you like, some grandfathered entitlements. That has not been widely

1 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, pp 3-9.

2 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 11.

3 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 11.

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reported in many of the press articles, which have focused on the new SOL, as if that was the only way currently enrolled students could get access to a pathway to permanent residency in this country. That is not right. That will apply to future students—students enrolling after yesterday. But there is a

set of transitional/grand fathering arrangements...for students who are currently enrolled. It certainly tightens the conditions. It makes them meet a range of conditions that more strongly link them to the labour market, and their capacity to seek permanent residency is very much linked to whether they get skilled labour market outcomes. But they do have a range of

conditions which give them the opportunity to pursue permanency if they so wish. I make the key point that if you have applied for a student visa to come to Australia then you come here to study. There is no necessary link between that and permanent residency. I will get the officers to take you through that but it is important. We are dealing with two sets of things: the conditions which apply to students who were enrolled as of yesterday’s date, they held student visas, and those that come and enrol after yesterday’s date.4 5

2.5 The committee sought details of the review of the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) which had resulted in the list being revoked. The committee heard that the review found that MODL had failed to serve its purpose and was not responsive to changing labour market demands:

When the economic downturn hit Australia, the government had to react quickly to meet the changing labour market needs, and a decision was made at the time that the whole focus of skilled migration should be directed to the employer sponsored, so-called demand driven, skilled migration

program, which is better placed to quickly adjust to the changing labour market conditions. That opened up the issue of what to do with MODL and, given that general skilled migration is usually not very well placed to target the immediate labour market needs because of the time lag I explained, the view was taken that general skilled migration needed to target prospective medium- to long-term skill needs and target high-value occupations that would suit the economy in the medium to long term. That reflected pretty much the view of the major stakeholders during the consultation.3

2.6 The committee was further advised that a new list will be developed by the independent body, Skills Australia, and will focus on the medium- to long-term labour market needs. The new list will be known as the Skilled Occupations List.6

2.7 In addressing questions about the impact of the skilled migration program reforms on current student visa holders, Mr Kukoc from the Department summarised the three groups that are impacted by the changes:

The first group are the people who have already lodged an application for permanent residence onshore. They are all protected; they can use the

4 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, pp 23-24.

5 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 21.

6 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 22.

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MODL points as previously and nothing will change for them. There is a second group: all people who are currently holders of 485 or have applied for 485, which is a temporary skilled graduate visa for 18 months. They are also protected and they can use the MODL points. All current students who have not applied for 485 or are not former students on 485 or have not

applied for permanent residence—so we are talking about students who still have not had a chance to apply for 485 or permanent residence—will still be eligible to apply for 485 under the old list, get 18 months work experience in Australia, try to find an employer sponsorship or state

sponsorship and have that pathway to permanent residence. And that grandfathering will continue until the end of 2012.7

Permanent residency for certain retirees 2.8 The committee was updated on progress with the proposal to 'provide retirees with a pathway to permanent residency'.8 The minister explained that he was sympathetic to the circumstances of a group of 410 relevant visa holders, but was constrained by budgetary considerations. He indicated that the Australian Government has brought in interim changes, including increased work rights and a 10-year visa and that this 'was the best [he] could do'. He further advised:

The hurdle for them is the cost of moving to permanent residency. They are an older group and when you talk to Treasury about the costing of their moving though to permanent residency there are issues of potential access to health care and social security benefits. The numbers are quite high. I

have indicated a policy desire to make some progress. I brought in those interim changes. I have always been clear with them that it is a budgetary consideration. I have been frank with them that in the current budgetary context we are unlikely to be able to do anything.9

Oceanic Viking 2.9 The committee heard detailed evidence on the Department's involvement in October 2009 with the Sri Lankan asylum seekers aboard the Oceanic Viking. This included the Department's involvement in the discussions leading to the decision by the asylum seekers to disembark, and their subsequent processing in Indonesia.

2.10 The Minister advised that the Border Protection Committee (BPC) of Cabinet had provided the 'authority' of the government's agreement with Indonesia in managing the Oceanic Viking incident.10 The minister subsequently declined to provide information about meetings of the BPC, including dates, venues and the people present, and indicated that it was his understanding that the government does not reveal details about meetings of cabinet committees:

7 Committee H ansard, 9 February 2010, p. 24.

8 Answer to Question on Notice No. 84, Budget Estimates 2009-10.

9 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 39.

10 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 49.

P a g e 10

...1 am happy to be as helpful as I can, but we do not, as I understand it— this is over many years—reveal information about the meetings, the times, the agendas or. the attendees of cabinet committees. It is a longstanding practice. What I have said to you, though, is that the BPC met and

authorised the key factors involved in the incident and that a working group of ministers and officials worked through the issues and managed the issues. They varied from ensuring that there was fresh water made available on the boat to the negotiations with the Indonesians.11

2.11 Senator Barnett later advised the committee that he had requested and obtained advice from the Clerk of the Senate in relation to:

1. the entitlement (or otherwise) of the Immigration Minister to refuse to disclose the meeting dates of the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet (which he Chairs); and

2. the entitlement (or otherwise) of the Secretary of the Department to refuse to disclose the dates of the meetings (at which he was in attendance).1 1 12

2.12 The Clerk's advice stated that:

I understand that the minister has stated the ground for refusing to provide this information, as required by the order of the Senate of 13 May 2009. I also understand that the stated ground is that the information is cabinet-in­ confidence, although I have not yet had the opportunity to consult a transcript of the proceedings and am therefore not certain of the extent to which the minister has explained the nature of the harm to the public

interest that could result from the disclosure of the information about the date of the meetings in question. By the order of the Senator of 13 May 2009, the minister is also required to indicate whether the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information could

result only from the publication of the information, or whether it could also result, equally or in part, from the disclosure of the information to the committee as in camera evidence.

In summaiy, if you do not consider that the claim has been sufficiently justified, your options are to explore the possibility of the information being provided in camera at another time, to encourage the committee to pursue the matter in accordance with the order of 13 May [2009], or to pursue the

matter yourself in the Senate by, for example, giving notice of a motion ordering the production of the information.13

11 Committee H ansard, 9 February 2010, p. 52.

12 Tabled document number 3: Letter from the Clerk o f the Senate to Senator Barnett dated 9 February 2010, regarding claims o f public interest immunity (cabinet deliberations); Committee H ansard, 9 February 2010, p. 76.

13 Tabled document number 3: Letter from the Clerk o f the Senate to Senator Barnett dated 9 February 2010, regarding claims o f public interest immunity (cabinet deliberations).

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2.13 After the Clerk's advice was tabled (see Appendix 1), the minister and the Secretary of the Department indicated that they would take the matter on notice in order to seek further advice.14

Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre 2.14 The committee also questioned officers on a range of matters concerning the Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre. Areas of interest included additional funding and the estimated increase in the number of arrivals, accommodation capacity and contingency planning, length of detention and processing times, mental health issues, security arrangements, and the impact of the detention centre on local services and infrastructure.

Senator Trish Crossin

Chair

14 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 76.

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A P P E N D I X 1

ADVICE PROVIDED BY THE CLERK REGARDING CLAIMS OF PUBLIC INTEREST IMMUNITY

aji

|J S 7

A U S T R A L I A N S E N A T E

CLERK CF THE SENATE

P A R LIA M E N T H O U S E C A N B E R R A A C.T. 2600 TE _ (02) 627 7 3350

FAX (02) 627 7 3199 £ n a il . u ! e r k .s tm @ a p i y u v .a u

rm.let 17113

9 February 2010

Senator Guy Barnett The Senate Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

S enate Legal & C o n stitu tio n a l A ffairs C om m ittee Additional Estimates 2009-20!0 S-9 February 2010

Tabled Document No

Se.rxA_.Fx3 f J&AarrucsH-

Date: _o i O .

Dear Senator Barnett

Estimates hearings - C laims of public interest immunity (Cabinet DELIBERATIONS)

You have asked for advice on the following matters:

1. the entitlement (or otherwise) o f the Immigration Minister to refuse to disclose the meeting dates of the Border Protection committee o f Cabinet (which he Chairs); and 2. the entitlement (or otherwise) of the Secretary of the Department tc refuse to disclose the dates o f the meetings (at which he was in attendance).

1 understand that the minister has stated the ground for refusing to provide this information, as required by the order of the Senate of 13 May 2009. 1 also understand that the stated ground is that the information is cabinet-in-confidence, although 1 have not yet had the opportunity to consult a transcript of the proceedings and am therefore not certain of the extent to which the minister has explained the nature of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure o f the information about the dates of the meetings in

question. By the order of the Senate of 13 May 2009, the minister is also required to indicate whether the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information could result only from the publication of the information, or whether it could also result, equally or in part, from the disclosure of the information to the committee as in camera evidence. (To receive tire information in camera, the committee would need to reconvene in a non-eslimales mode, pursuant to standing order 25(2)(a) which authorises it to conduct inquiries o f its own motion into tire performance of departments and agencies.)

The process under the order of 13 May is for die committee to consider the minister's stated grounds (and for this purpose a private meeting would be required) and to decide whether the statement justifies the withholding of the information, if the committee does not consider the statement sufficiently justifies the withholding of the information, it must report the matter to

the Senate. A decision by the committee not to report the matter does not prevent you using the procedures of the Senate to pursue the matter yourself.

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The decision whether you or the committee considers the grounds to be sufficient is a decision for you or the committee, as the case m ay be. In considering these issues in the past, the point has been m ade that the ground relates only to the disclosure o f the deliberations of cabinet (or of a cabinet committee), It does not apply merely to something connected to a cabinet meeting or the cabinet process. Questions have freely been answered in the past, for

example, about the dates that particular matters went to cabinet. As recently as last night, for example, the Secretary o f the Attorney-General's Department, in response to questions from Senator Brandis, provided the dates that matters went to cabinet and other officers indicated the dates that they had drafted cabinet submissions.

In the courts, recent judgm ents have supported the narrower view that only documents which reveal the decisions or deliberations o f cabinet are immune. Odgers' Australian Senate Practice, 12ljl edition, cites the following cases in support o f this view : Commonwealth v Construction, Forestry, M ining and Energy Union 2000 171 ALR 379; NTE1U v the Commonwealth 2001 111 FCR 583; Secretary, Department o f Infrastructure v Asher 2007 VSC.A 272 (page 472).

O f course, the Senate is not bound by how the issue is treated in the courts but the fact that courts have been taking a narrower view o f the scope of the immunity is clearly o f interest to the Senate. Also o f interest is the courts' unwillingness to allow the executive government to act as judge in its own cause by asserting, or providing conclusive certificates in support of claims, that disclosure o f material would be detrimental to the public interest. Courts have determined such claims after examining the documents themselves. The Senate asserted the right to determine claims o f public interest immunity' for itself in 1975 in connection with the overseas loans affair, but the issue has been a recurring source o f disagreement with governments, hence the development o f the recent mechanism in the order o f 13 May to establish a process for the raising and handling o f these claims.

In summary, i f you do not consider that the claim has been sufficiently justified, your options are to explore the possibility o f the information being provided in cam era at another time, to encourage the committee to pursue the matter in accordance with the order o f 13 May 2010, or to pursue die m atter yourself in the Senate by, for example, giving notice o f a motion ordering the production o f the information.

I will examine the transcript o f the relevant exchanges and write to you again should I have anything to add.

Yours sincerely

(Rosemary Laing)

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A P P E N D I X 2

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.

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Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship;

• Migration Review Tribunal; and

• Refugee Review Tribunal.

164

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S PORTFOLIO

A P P E N D I X 3

Monday, 8 February 2010

Pages

Australian Human Rights Commission 7-14

Classification Board/Classification Review Board 14-24

Federal Court of Australia 24-28

High Court of Australia 28-33

Family Court of Australia 33-40

Federal Magistrates Court 33-40

Administrative Appeals Tribunal 40-42

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation 42-55

Australian Federal Police 55-84

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service 84-118

Attorney-General's Department 118-139

TABLED DOCUMENTS Documents tabled at the hearing

Letter dated 5 February 2010 from the Attorney-General's Department to the committee regarding the revised answer to Question on Notice No. 51 from Supplementary Budget Estimates 2009-2010

Opening statement by Mr Donald McDonald AC, Director, Classification Board, Senate L&CA Committee Estimates Hearing, 8 February 2010

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Workload and Performance Information

Email from Commissioner Tony Negus to AFP Staff dated 25 January 2010, regarding revised AFP structure

Details and Process for Council of Australian Governments' Review of Counter-Terrorism Legislation

Films called in for classification between 1 July and 31 December 2009; Adult magazines called in for classification between 1 July and 31 December 2009

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APPENDIX 4

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Pages

3-124

TABLED DOCUMENTS Documents tabled at the hearing

• Corrected answer to Question on Notice No. 65 from Supplementary Budget Estimates 2009-10

• Corrected pages 15-17, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2009-10, Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio

• Letter from Clerk of the Senate to Senator Barnett dated 9 February 2010, regarding Claims of Public Interest Immunity (Cabinet Deliberations)

• Breakdown by clients, Christmas Island

• Irregular Maritime Arrivals (by sea) - 1 July 2008 to 9 February 2010

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The Senate

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2009-10

February 2010

169

© Commonwealth of Australia

ISBN 978-1-74229-260-1

This document was produced from camera-ready copy prepared by the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Department o f the Senate, Parliament House, Canberra.

170

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Glenn Sterle ALP, Western Australia Chair Senator Fiona Nash NPA, New South Wales Deputy Chair Senator the Hon. Bill Heffeman LP, New South Wales

Senator Steve Hutchins ALP, New South Wales Senator Kerry O'Brien ALP, Tasmania

Senator Rachel Siewert AG, Western Australia

Substitute Members Senator Back replaced Senator Heffeman for the consideration of 2009-10 additional estimates on Monday 8 February 2010

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 Cormann Senator Crossin Senator Eggleston Senator Farrell Senator Feeney Senator Ferguson Senator Fielding Senator Fierravanti-Wells

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 M inchin Senator Moore Senator Parry Senator Payne Senator Policy Senator Pratt Senator Ronaldson Senator Ryan Senator Scullion Senator Troeth Senator Trood Senator Williams Senator Wortley Senator Xenophon

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Committee Secretariat

Ms Jeanette Radcliffe, Secretary Ms Jenene James, Research Officer Ms Cassimah Mackay, Research Officer

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.gov.au/senate rrat

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Table of Contents

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

List of Abbreviations................................................................................................. viii

C h ap ter 1........................................................................................................................1

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

Changes to departmental structures........................................................................ 2

Questions on N otice................................................................................................2

Additional information........................................................................................... 2

Note on references.................................................................................................. 2

C h ap ter 2....................................................................................................................... 3

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio........................................................ 3

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry................................................ 3

Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy......................................3

Biosecurity Services Group.................................................................................... 4

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).................................................................... 5

Climate Change.......................................................................................................5

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) and Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS)............................................................................ 6

Sustainable Resource Management (SRM)............................................................ 7

SRM (international fisheries issues) and Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFM A)................................................................................................. 8

Agricultural Productivity........................................................................................9

Wheat Exports Australia (WEA).......................................................................... 10

Trade and Market Access..................................................................................... 10

C h ap ter 3.....................................................................................................................13

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio.................................................................................................................... 13

173

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government............................................................................................................13

Corporate Services..................................................................................................13

Infrastructure Australia.......................................................................................... 14

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC)...................................................15

Nation Building—Infrastructure Investment.........................................................15

Infrastructure and Surface Transport Policy.........................................................16

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)...................................................17

Local Government and Regional Development....................................................17

Office of Northern Australia................................................................................ 18

Office of Transport Security................................................................................. 18

Aviation and Airports............................................................................................20

Airservices Australia............................................................................................ 20

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).............................................................20

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).......................................................21

Appendix 1 ..................................................................................................................23

Table of contents to proof Hansard transcripts.................................................. 23

Monday 8 February 2010....................................................................................... 24

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.......................................................24

Tuesday 9 February 2010.......................................................................................25

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio................................................................................................................. 25

Appendix 2 .................................................................................................................. 27

Tabled Documents................................................................................................... 27

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio....................................................... 27

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio................................................................................................................. 27

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Appendix 3 ..................................................................................................................29

Topic list - Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio..................................29

Appendix 4 ..................................................................................................................33

Topic list - Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio..............................................................................................33

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175

List of Abbreviations

ABARE Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics

ACCC Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

AFMA Australian Fisheries Management Authority

AFP Australian Federal Police

AMSA Australian Maritime Safety Authority

APVMA Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

AQIS Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

ARTC Australian Rail Track Corporation

ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations

ASL Average staffing level

ASRIS Australian Soils Resources Information System

ATSB Australian Transport Safety Bureau

BRS Bureau of Rural Sciences

BSE Bovine spongiform encephalopathy

CASA Civil Aviation Safety Authority

CEO Chief Executive Officer

CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

COAG Council of Australian Governments

CPRS Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

DAFF Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

DCC Department of Climate Change

DEWHA Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

DITRDLG Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

EC Exceptional Circumstances

EPBC Act Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

ETS Emissions Trading Scheme

FSANZ Food Standards Australia New Zealand

ETA Free trade agreement

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GMO Genetically modified organism

GRDC Grains Research and Development Corporation

ICT Information and communications technology

IOTC Indian Ocean Tuna Commission

IRA Import Risk Analysis

IT Information technology

MERI Monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement

MLA Meat and Livestock Australia

NRM Natural resource management

OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

PAES Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements

PBS Portfolio Budget Statements

PIAPH Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health

PNG Papua New Guinea

R&D Research and development

RDA Regional Development Australia

RLCIP Regional and Local Community Infrastructure program

SRM Sustainable resource management

TEES Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme

WEA Wheat Exports Australia

WTO World Trade Organisation

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178

C hapter 1

Introduction

1.1 On 26 November 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 additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2009-2010];

• Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2010 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2009-2010];

• Final budget outcome 2008-2009; and

• Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2008­ 09.'

1.2 The committee was required to report to the Senate on its consideration of 2009-2010 additional estimates on 23 February 2010.

1.3 The committee considered the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2009-2010 for both portfolios at hearings on 8 and 9 February 2010. The hearings were conducted in accordance with the agreed agenda as follows:

• Monday 8 February 2010 - Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.

• Tuesday 9 February 2010 - Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio.

1.4 The committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, Assistant Treasurer, representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry,1 2 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 Mike Mrdak, 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. 104, 26 November 2009, p. 2907.

2 Senator Kim Carr, M inister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, and Senator Mark Arbib, M inister for Employment Participation and Minister Assisting the Prime M inister for Government Service Delivery, also represented the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry for short periods.

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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 changes have been made to the departmental structure for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry since the 2009-10 Budget Estimates round. From 1 July 2009, all of the department's quarantine and biosecurity functions have been brought together in the new Biosecurity Services

Group. This includes the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS); Biosecurity Australia; the biosecurity areas of the Product Integrity, Animal and Plant Health Division; and the Quarantine and Biosecurity Policy Unit.3

1.7 The committee also notes that a change has been made to the departmental structure of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government since the 2009-10 Budget Estimates round. As at 1 July 2009, the National Transport Strategy division was incorporated into the Infrastructure and

Surface Transport division.

Questions on Notice

1.8 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

14 April 2010.

Additional information

1.9 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 additional estimates 2009-2010 - February 2010 - 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.

1.10 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

1.11 References to the Hansard transcript are to the proof Hansard; page numbers may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcript.

3 Department o f Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, A nim al Report 2008-09, pp x and xix.

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C hapter 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 additional estimates hearings for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio. A complete list of all the topics discussed, and relevant proof Hansard page numbers, can be found at Appendix 3.

2.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Monday 8 Febmary 2010. The hearing was conducted in the following order:

• Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy

• Biosecurity Services Group

• Meat and Livestock Australia

• Climate Change

• Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Bureau of Rural Sciences

• Sustainable Resource Management

• Australian Fisheries Management Authority

• Agricultural Productivity

• Wheat Exports Australia

• Trade and Market Access

Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy

2.3 The committee was interested in the department's management of the efficiency dividend once again. In particular, it asked about the freeze on this year's graduate program. The department indicated that while the graduate program will be

reintroduced in 2011, the suspension of the program for this year resulted in savings of around $2 million. Part of the savings is in staff salaries, as next year's graduates will be filling positions in the divisions that would have been filled by other staff. The graduate recruitment process has also been streamlined, by cutting back on travel and assessment centres and increasing the amount of work done online.1

2.4 The committee raised concerns about the department's business continuity and disaster recovery systems. The department indicated that 'it is true to say there are risks in our operational systems'. It explained that:

1 P roof Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 4— 5.

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The corporate applications are low risk—they are very modem. The operational systems are, indeed, legacy systems in the true sense. They are nearing 20 years old. We have identified a number of what we call single points of failure which we are addressing at the moment. We have already done a fair bit of work to do that and the department has funded some capital projects to address what we think are the highest risks. So there is a plan of action in place.2

2.5 The secretary advised the committee that the government has announced $7.8 million to be spent on developing a two-pass business case for upgrading biosecurity information and communications technology (ICT) as part of the Beale

reform process. He observed that 'it is fairly clear that over the last decade or so there has been underinvestment in the area, and that is why the business case is being put through with the two-pass business case'.3

Biosecurity Services Group

2.6 The committee raised concerns about the government's decision to relax restrictions on the importation of beef from countries that have had outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and sought clarification of DAFF's role. The department advised that the ban was implemented in 2001 on the grounds of human food safety, under the Food Standards Code, not on the grounds of animal quarantine. Biosecurity Services Group will have responsibility for implementing the revised protocols specified by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). The department explained that 'our role is essentially that, when product comes to the border, we will be in the business of assessing whether or not they meet the import requirements'.4

2.7 The committee requested an update on the import risk analysis (IRA) for the importation of apples from China which began in March 2008. The department indicated that a draft was released in January 2009 and went to the Eminent Scientists Group in September 2009. The department is currently preparing the provisional final IRA which is due for completion in mid-2010.5

2.8 The committee was interested in the assessment process and whether there was any kind of investigation into the existence of fire blight in China. The department advised that it has undertaken three verification visits to China in 2006, 2008 and 2009, visiting seven of the nine provinces that China expressed interest in exporting from. Once access has been granted there is provision for ongoing audit and

2 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 7.

3 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 8. Information about the government's two pass review process, introduced in 2008, is available at: http://www2.finance.gov.au/budget/ict- investment-framework/business-case-guide.html (accessed 15 February 2010)

4 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 18, 20 and 21.

5 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 22.

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the initial trade is expected to be conducted under a pre-clearance arrangement, with AQIS officers in China undertaking the final clearance of the export fruit.6

2.9 The committee sought an update on the export certification reform process. The department explained that all of the new fees commenced from 1 December 2009 'which essentially then recovered full costs of all those export certification programs'. In parallel with that process, the equivalent of a 40 per cent rebate is applied to those

fees, with the net balance being the invoice charge back to the exporters. Since December, ministerial task forces for each of the six industry sectors have met to reaffirm the reform agendas for each sector and are in the process of developing detailed reform blueprints for completion by 28 Febmary 2010.7

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)

2.10 The committee was interested in MLA's position on the relaxation of import restrictions for beef (as discussed above at paragraph 2.6). MLA had input into a submission prepared by the Red Meat Advisory Council on this issue, however, MLA

indicated that it is not a policy-making or industry representative body.8 Its consultative role with industry:

is c o n fin e d to th e d ev elo p m en t and ex ecution o f o u r annual operating p lan b ased o n o u r le v y incom e, w h ich is all around trying to drive dem and here and aro u n d the w o rld and m a n ag e an R & D investm ent portfolio.9

2.11 Mr Palmer, Managing Director, expressed his view that a relaxation on import protocols seemed to be justified, based on his personal observations of how America dealt with their BSE incident. He also pointed to the fact that only three countries in the OECD were still maintaining a ban on American beef and that other sensitive

markets, including Korea, Japan and New Zealand had lifted their bans. He emphasised the need for a consistent, even-handed approach to trade policy.10

Climate Change

2.12 The committee was interested in the role of two DAFF officers who participated in Australia's delegation to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. The department informed the committee that the officers provided advice to Department of Climate Change (DCC) officers who were

leading the negotiations and assisted them to prepare for meetings about the

6 P roof Estimates H ansard, 8 February 2010, pp 22, 24 and 25.

7 P roof Estimates H ansard, 8 February 2010, p. 25.

8 P roof Estimates H ansard, 8 February 2010, pp 35-40.

9 P roof Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 36— 37.

10 P roof Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 35, 36 and 37.

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accounting rules for land use, including the debate about whether to count man-made emissions or natural emissions."

2.13 The committee sought an update on the government's review of drought policy. The department advised that the government is continuing to look at a number of changes to existing drought assistance measures as the current Exceptional

Circumstances (EC) arrangements are no longer considered appropriate in the context of a changing climate. The department explained that:

The government has yet to reach a final landing point. Basically, there have been a number of reviews undertaken by the Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, the expert social panel and the Productivity Commission, which is

all fed into the government's ongoing consideration of the matter.12

2.14 The committee asked for further details about the soil carbon research program, a component of the Climate Change Research Program. The department indicated that $9.6 million has been allocated to the program which is being led by the

CSIRO. It explained that an important and lengthy process was carried out to identify where to conduct samples:

Around Australia, we have based samples on management techniques and also on where we can match the management technique to a history, as soil carbon takes some time to increase. It is important to have a history of what has been happening on a piece of land under a certain management technique. We have sites across Australia in every state and in the Northern Territory...13

2.15 The department is hoping to collect a couple of thousand samples under the program and by the middle of this year expects to have sampled and analysed up to 20 per cent of these.14

Australian Bureau o f Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) and Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS)

2.16 The committee held a discussion with ABARE and BRS about land use mapping, soil carbon research and upgrading of modelling on the impacts of climate change.13

2.17 BRS indicated that it is currently in the process of updating a publication it released last year, Science fo r decision makers: soil carbon management and carbon trading, which reviewed all the available information at that time. BRS also referred 1 1

11 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 43.

12 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 51.

13 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 52.

14 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 52.

15 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 68-71.

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to the Australian Soils Resources Information System (ASRIS) which is a national database of soil information.16

2.18 ABARE advised the committee that it is upgrading its modelling to incorporate the government's current policy settings in relation to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and the current international settings, such as changes to accounting rules. In the area of land use change, for example, it is working on revising the models to 'be able to handle things at a finer degree of resolution, such as changes in water et cetera'.17

Sustainable Resource M anagement (SRM)

2.19 The committee sought an update on the Caring for our Country program and asked about delays in the release of the business plan. The department indicated that the business plan was released on 7 January 2010, later than anticipated, as:

...we went through quite a consultation process with a range of stakeholders to get feedback on what they wanted in the business plan— changes to targets, changes to application processes and assessment processes and, in particular, some changes to the application form and the

electronic application form. The plan includes quite a number of those changes. We have also made quite a few changes to the process by which the applications are received online. We had to get all that right. We felt it was better to get that right rather than to put out a rushed business plan that could generate quite a degree of confusion.18

2.20 The committee requested details of the assessment process for the program. The department advised that it is still working on that process but it is expected to be finalised in the next couple of weeks. Caring for our Country applications close in

April and the department is hoping to go through the assessment process and announce projects as early as possible in the new financial year. Under the business plan, total project funding of $171 million is available. In addition, $138 million is available for regional base funding.19

2.21 The committee also expressed interest in the monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement (MERI) strategy for the Caring for our Country program. The department explained that every project of $80,000 and over has to have a full MERI plan. All projects have to report biannually on progress towards their measurable targets and provide a final report with details of results against targets.20

16 P ro o f Estimates H ansard, 8 February 2010, pp 68— 69.

17 P roof Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 70.

18 P roof Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 75.

19 P roof Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 75— 76 and 81.

20 P roof Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 80.

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2.22 The committee was interested to know what happens to the funding for projects that do not meet their milestones. The department advised that:

...the milestones" are negotiated at the start of the project and they are fairly dependent on what activities and the timing of those activities that the proponent put forward—it does not matter whether it is a regional body or another organisation. We normally contact each of those proponents around

the time that a milestone report is due to see how they are going and remind them that one is due. If they have some delays or something, we will work out a way to work with them. But we cannot make a payment that is based on a contractual commitment if they have not been able to meet the commitment.21

SRM (international fisheries issues) and Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)

2.23 The committee sought information about the role of the department in the marine bioregional planning process. The department indicated that it liaises with the lead agency, the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

(DEWHA), and also with industry. There are four bioregional planning processes currently underway around Australia, for the east, north, north-west and south-west bioregions.22

2.24 AFMA has a more active involvement: officers attend stakeholder meetings and try to ensure that DEWHA has the best available information about the commercial fisheries to assess the impacts on that sector as part of their planning process. BRS provides scientific input on the biophysical aspects of the proposed bioregional areas.23

2.25 The committee raised concerns expressed by fishermen in the Gulf of Carpentaria about the possible impacts of the marine planning process for the north bioregion. The department stated that it was aware of some concerns and sensitivities given that there are high value prawn trawl areas in that region and that those are the kinds of factors that will need to be taken into account. In response to the committee's concerns that the fishing industry is complaining about a lack of information generally, AFMA advised that it provides a fortnightly newsletter which includes a regular update on bioregional marine planning to keep industry informed about the process.24

2.26 The committee requested an update on patrols of the Oceanic Viking in the Southern Ocean. AFMA indicated that there has been one patrol this financial year

21 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 81.

22 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 87 and 89.

23 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 87 and 89.

24 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, pp 90-91.

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which concluded on 31 July 2009. On average there are four patrols per year, with three others scheduled before the end of this financial year. AFMA explained further:

Border Protection Command coordinates the patrolling of the Southern Oceans with those conducted by the French Navy patrol vessels so that there is maximum coverage of the area and so that we are not down there at

the same time. There was a French patrol that essentially went for two months from October through to the end of December 2009. When the Oceanic Viking was not on station, the French patrol essentially was covering the area.25

2.27 The committee was interested to know whether the events surrounding the interception of a vessel containing asylum seekers by the Oceanic Viking last year had disrupted any planned patrols. AFMA advised that one patrol scheduled for October 2009 had to be postponed, however, it will not prevent the full four trips occurring during this financial year. AFMA confirmed that there were no patrols in the Southern Ocean between 31 July and 19 October 2009.26

Agricultural Productivity

2.28 The committee expressed concern about the delay in the introduction of a new 'Grown in Australia' label. The department indicated that it had an initial meeting with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in August 2008 to discuss the viability of amending the Trade Practices Act. DAFF stated that, as the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research has policy responsibility

for amending the Trade Practices Act, 'since then...we have had most of our dealings with that department and they have been working with the ACCC on issues around that election commitment'.27 2 8

2.29 The department emphasised that it is a complex issue:

We have been trying to find a solution where we are actually going to provide the consumer with more information that is clear and consistent rather than simply more information that is confusing. So a lot of the

discussions we have been having, both internally in the department and with our colleagues in the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, are about trying to work out how the new ‘grown in Australia’ label would fit with the provisions which are already in the Trade Practices Act, which is product made in Australia. So that has been the centre of a

fair bit of the discussion to date, and we have straggled to work and find an equitable solution that is easy to implement and easy to understand, but we are continuing to work on that.

25 P roof Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 94.

26 P roof Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 95.

27 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 103.

28 P roof Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 103.

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2.30 The committee was interested in mechanisms to encourage state governments to maintain a reasonable level of funding on research and development (R&D). The department advised that, through the Primary Industries Ministerial Council, there is a collaboration of the states, research and development corporations, universities and industry to develop a national research development and extension framework. It aims to develop a framework for future investment across each individual sector of the agricultural industry by identifying the long-term demand for R&D. The department observed that 'it is an ambitious project, but so far it is going very positively through that process'.29

W heat Exports Australia (WEA)

2.31 The committee raised concerns about the current price of wheat. WEA explained that Australia's price is largely determined by world prices which are largely based on supply and demand, with world wheat stocks a major influence on that. In 2007 Australia had some of the lowest world stocks of wheat around, however, in 2008 and 2009 they have grown. Because of the turnaround in the stock situation, there has been a consequential fall in price.30

2.32 The committee asked about the benefits of the new wheat marketing arrangements, from WEA's point of view. WEA informed the committee that 'of course there has been a dramatic change'. The main benefit for growers is that they have more choice and there is competition, with 28 organisations accredited. While not all of those are active in the market at any one time, at least 15 or more are active and vying for business. WEA observed that with competition, they are already seeing innovative products and new approaches. In addition, there has been an increase in liquidity in the market.31

Trade and Market Access

2.33 The committee sought an update on negotiations with the Russian Federation to resolve suspensions of red meat exports from Australia. The department advised that there have been some positive developments over the last six months or so. A number of red meat establishments have been relisted, but eight remain suspended. To

apply for relisting, individual establishments have to prepare a report which is endorsed by AQIS. It is then sent at government level to the Russians who assess it and decide whether to relist or not.32

2.34 In relation to kangaroo meat exports, the department indicated that the Russians suspended all trade from 1 August 2009, following an audit visit to

29 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 107.

30 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 116.

31 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 118.

32 P ro o f Estimates Hansard, 8 February 2010, p. 124.

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Australia. Since that time, Biosecurity Services Group has been working with state regulatory authorities, state governments and industry to make improvements to the supply chain. The next step is a submission to the Russian Federation, followed by a re-establishment of the trade or an audit visit from Russian authorities before the trade is re-established.33

33 P roof Estimates H ansard, 8 February 2010, p. 124.

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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 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2009-2010 additional estimates hearings for the Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio. A complete list of all the topics discussed, and relevant proof Hansard page numbers, can be found at Appendix 4.

3.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Tuesday 9 February 2010. The hearing was conducted in the following order:

• Corporate Services

• Infrastructure Australia

• Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd

• Nation Building—Infrastructure Investment

• Infrastructure and Surface Transport Policy

• Australian Maritime Safety Authority

• Local Government and Regional Development

• Office of Northern Australia

• Office of Transport Security

• Aviation and Airports

• Airservices Australia

• Civil Aviation Safety Authority

• Australian Transport Safety Bureau

Corporate Services

3.3 The committee began by expressing its dissatisfaction with the delay in provision of answers to questions taken on notice during the Supplementary Budget Estimates in October 2009. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (the department) was questioned as to the processes involved in providing the answers. The committee also raised its continuing concern with the appropriateness of answers consisting of links to websites.1 1

1 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, pp 8— 13.

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Infrastructure Australia

3.4 The committee sought to clarify the analysis used to determine the selection of office space for the Major Cities Unit building. The secretary, Mr Mike Mrdak, explained:

[M ]y u n d ersta n d in g is th e d ep artm en t d id do a ben ch m ark in g exercise. It en gaged external advice, did b en c h m a rk in g against equ iv alen t rentals in th at locatio n and estab lish ed th e b en c h m a rk rate for the building. M y

u n d erstan d in g at the tim e w as th e b u ild in g rep resen ted good value for

m o n e y b ased o n rental, but also b ecau se it co ntained fit-o u t from the

p revious tenants w h ich enabled us to, effectively, m ove straight in w ithout an y fit-out costs req u ired .2

3.5 The port of Townsville eastern access rail corridor project was examined and the committee discussed community concern for the positioning of the proposed major road. Officers explained the shared responsibilities of Commonwealth and state for this project by giving examples of previous projects where the Commonwealth has raised issues but noted it is the state's responsibility to undertake those processes.3

3.6 Infrastructure Australia explained its process for selection and prioritisation of projects. The committee questioned why some proposals are approved and others are not, in particular, the Outback Highway Development Council's proposal.4 Officers explained:

In our rep o rts o f b o th D ecem b er 2008 an d M a y 2009, w e outlin ed the

process that w e h av e u n dertaken to con sid er th e various p roposals. C learly, w h en you are seeking to prioritise, som e receiv e a higher ackno w led g em en t than others. T he level o f d evelopm ent o f p articu la r p rojects w as an issue for us as w as the extent to w hich econom ic analysis had been u ndertaken and a host o f issues asso ciated w ith the p ro p o sed ap plication o f ta x p a y e rs’ fu n d s.5

3.7 The committee further queried why certain projects, which appear to meet the selection criteria, were not included. Officers explained that in assessing these proposals they look for the best return for the taxpayer, in terms of national productivity and as there are a series of projects, it is inevitable that not all will be successful. However it was also explained that the department does seek further information from proponents and that these circumstances may change, making it a possibility to review those matters.6

2 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 18.

3 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 27.

4 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 27.

5 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 28.

6 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 28.

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Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC)

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3.8 The committee asked for an update on the upgrade of freight lines between Melbourne and the South Australian border. The committee noted that this upgrade included replacing timber sleepers with concrete sleepers from the Dynon Port framework in the centre of Melbourne through to the South Australian border. The committee heard that this upgrade would have a significant impact on productivity for rail operators minimising the impact of high temperatures on train speeds, enabling an increase of axle loads, reducing ongoing maintenance costs and providing a smoother ride for fragile loads.7

3.9 The committee was informed of several other upgrades taking place across the country and expressed its appreciation of the impressive nature of these upgrades.

Nation Building— Infrastructure Investment

3.10 The department was queried about the shared responsibilities of Commonwealth and state in road upgrades in several areas. The committee sought an explanation of how funding is allocated and priority areas are identified for these upgrades. For the Pacific Motorway election commitment, the shared state and Commonwealth funding was explained:

T he m o n e y w as allocated o rig in a lly thro u g h an elec tio n com m itm ent and then th e re w ere also n eg o tiatio n s w ith the Q ueen slan d governm ent in

resp ect o f th e ir com m itm ent. So the overall am o u n t o f w ork that is

o cc u rrin g on th e P acific M o to rw ay is an around $910 m illio n package, o f w h ich th e A u stralian g o v ern m e n t is p u ttin g in $455 m illion. In respect to that p a rtic u la r section, that w o u ld be p art o f that o v erall com m itm en t.8

3.11 The committee enquired as to the processes involved in declaring a highway a road of national importance. Officers explained submissions are considered against the Nation Building Program (National Land Transport) Act 2009 in terms of whether a section of road is part of the national network. Officers explained that there is no fonnal submission process:

S o m etim es it com es thro u g h from th e state governm ent, w ho have then

b een alerted fro m vario u s people. Som etim es it com es through from

com m u n ities. B asically, an y o n e can m ake a subm ission. T here is not a

form al process. A s M s O ’C onnell said, there is the a c t and people ju s t need to p ro v id e us th e rele v an t in fo rm atio n and w e w ill h av e a look at that, b u t it is up to the g o v ern m e n t to m a k e that final decision.9

3.12 The department explained how election commitments are listed on their website after an answer to a previous question on notice led to some confusion. The

Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 32.

8 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 39.

9 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 45.

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minister clarified that all projects marked 'New Nation Building Program' are election commitments.10 1 1 This was further explained by officers:

Since the election of the government, there have been a number of projects added to the Nation Building Program...They are detailed as well on the website, and they are the 15 budget major projects that were announced in last year's budget."

3.13 The committee discussed the likelihood of additional funding needed for the duplication of the Pacific Highway. Officers explained that the project has been funded until 2013, however the project is scheduled to finish in 2016, meaning the remaining three years of funding are yet to be estimated.12

Infrastructure and Surface Transport Policy

3.14 Officers informed the committee that the heavy vehicle driver fatigue reforms have now been passed in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.13 The complexities involved in logbook requirements differing between each state and territory was noted by the committee as a possible point of confusion for interstate and

inter-territory truck drivers.14

3.15 The committee questioned officers on the likelihood of a national reform agreement, including when a national heavy vehicle regulator could be in place. Officers explained that:

... [t]he significant step is that this is a single national regulator now achieving whole-of-nation regulations. It is not simply harmonising but actually laying down national regulation for the first time...There has been a lot of work done by the National Transport Commission and its predecessor, the National Road Transport Commission, over many years to

try to get some standardisation on these regulatory approaches...The reality is that in 2010 a higher mass vehicle cannot cross from Victoria to New South Wales on the Hume Highway, and that remains a major issue for this nation. Moving to a single national regulator, although it will involve a difficult process to get that in place, is a significant step forward.15

3.16 The Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme was raised by the committee in the context of a 2006 Productivity Commission report which raises concerns regarding

10 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 49.

11 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 50.

12 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 60.

13 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 63.

14 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 64.

15 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 65.

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the lack of transparency involved in assistance under the scheme.16 Officers described the type of information they would need to improve the transparency:

,..[w]e would need evidence—not every time—that the original producer or the recipient of the inputs to further manufacture had agreed that such and such a firm or intermediary could act as their agent. Centrelink would need evidence of that. Clearly there would need to be clarity about the

shipper or recipient, the charge and the nature of goods...the scheme is really quite complex in its eligibility and the way in which the calculation of the level of assistance is done.17 1 8

3.17 The committee noted that if claims were able to be lodged entirely electronically, these claims may be processed faster.1 s

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

3.18 The department was questioned about the clean up of the Pacific Adventurer oil spill that occurred in early 2009. The committee was informed that since the event, officers have raised concerns with the International Maritime Organisation. Officers stated a concern that for shipowners' liability, 'the extent of the limitation is, in fact, too limited'.19

3.19 Officers advised that compensation for this event has been provided but that the company responsible also provided a donation to help improve the marine protection. However, this donation is being included as part of its overall contribution. Due to a shortfall in compensation paid to damages done, it is expected the sea levy will rise until this shortfall is met.20

Local Government and Regional Development

3.20 The committee sought clarification of activities undertaken by Regional Development Australia (RDA). By way of example, officers stated:

For example, RDA Illawarra hosted a state of the region conference in November last year to identify critical projects and strategies for 2010. The RDA in Northern Rivers is hosting 70 Innovative Development of Excellent Aged Services workshops to upskill the work force. The RDA Central West

is partnering with Forests NSW and local councils to hold a timber forum in 2010.21

16 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 69.

17 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 70.

18 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 71.

19 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 73.

20 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, pp 74-75.

21 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 83.

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18

3.21 The committee sought to clarify how the RDA determines value for money. Officers stated these are non-government, independent committees that are often community-based. Committees are all asked to do a business plan, which is provided to the department and to the state, where the state is involved, for approval.22

3.22 The committee sought the status of the current Better Regions projects being funded.23

Office o f Northern Australia

3.23 The committee queried the department about the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce report, including authorisation of the early release of the report to the Australian newspaper. Mr Mrdak advised that the department did not authorise the release of the report to the newspaper.24

3.24 The committee sought clarification of some of the content and findings of the report, however, officers advised that as the taskforce was not present they were unable to comment.

T h e d ep artm en t p ro v id ed secretariat services fo r the ta sk force. T he report is v e ry m u c h the w ork o f the ta sk force. Y ou h av e a sk ed opinions o f m y

officers in rela tio n to m atters w h ich are contained in the ta sk force. I do not b eliev e w e ca n com m en t b ecau se th e y are decisions, ju d g m e n ts an d view s o f th e task force m e m b ers.25

3.25 Officers informed the committee that as the taskforce has delivered the report they were asked to do, with the exception of follow-up discussions and government responses, it is possible the taskforce may now be disbanded.26

Office of Transport Security

3.26 The introduction of full body scanners at airports was discussed at great length. Privacy issues were a particularly important issue. The department explained a range of processes involved, including working closely with the Privacy Commissioner and coming up with a set of procedures that address the range of concerns expressed by the committee. The department strongly emphasised that:

,..[t]h e g o v ern m en t has a strong p o sitio n to ensure th a t the technology

selected d oes not p ro v id e an y issues in relation to p erso n al p rivacy

p rotection. T he g o vernm ent is v e ry firm on th at.27

22 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, pp 83-84.

23 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 79.

24 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 90.

25 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 92.

26 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 105.

27 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 127.

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3.27 Officers also explained that while the cost of training and the number of staff necessary to operate these scanners have not yet been finalised, neither of these will be paid for by the Australian government but will be borne by industry instead.28

3.28 Officers were questioned on the processes involved in inspecting ports and how they determine which ones are to be inspected. Officers confirmed inspections are based on risk assessments which consider:

...ft]he nature of the vessels that use the port, the amount of cargo that goes through the port, the nature of the cargo, whether that port is within a capital city precinct or whether it is a regional port.29

3.29 The committee asked whether the department had publicly released a GHD report into Australia's maritime security industry card scheme. The department informed the committee that:

The department commissioned work, as we do regularly, to review aspects of our security regime. This is one element of that. The department normally uses these reports to then undertake consultation with industry where there are measures being proposed or considered for enhancements to the regime...[w]e were undertaking a consultation regime, as Mr Retter has indicated, in relation to the maritime regime. At the same time there was an FOI application which sought that material and that material was handled in the normal process as an FOI. We would be happy to make available to you a copy of that work.30

3.30 The committee sought details of industry consultation in relation to the report.31

3.31 The committee noted that the 2005 Wheeler review contained 9 out of 17 recommendations relating to the Office of Transport Security. Officers informed the committee that all the recommendations they are responsible for have been addressed however expressed caution that this is a changing environment.

My view is that the Wheeler report was a valuable input at its time. As I have said, most of those issues were addressed. Policy moves on as the environment changes. We have subsequently had, in the case of the aviation

environment, a government white paper which lays out a range of recommendations that pertain to a number of the issues that were touched on by the Wheeler review.32

28 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 126.

29 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 117.

30 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 118.

31 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 119.

32 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 120.

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Aviation and Airports

3.32 The committee held a brief discussion with Aviation and Airports about the government commitment to a formal review of the need for a curfew at Brisbane Airport. Officers informed the committee that there has been no structure set up for the review at this stage and that the intention of the review would be to canvass all arrangements for the management of aircraft noise at Brisbane Airport.33

Airservices Australia

3.33 The committee sought clarification of Airservices Australia's process for establishing what is or is not an acceptable amount of aircraft activity over inhabited areas. It was explained that an acceptable amount is in order of 60 decibels, but that in terms of departures and arrivals the decibel reading can be higher than that however this is usually closer to the airport where there is vacant land rather than residential

34

areas.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

3.34 The committee discussed the issue of unlawful landings; in particular, the landings of Trans Air and what steps could be taken to prevent further unlawful landings. Officers explained that non-scheduled flights operated by a foreign air carrier can request a medivac flight, in which they seek a one-off permission to fly to Australia, which goes through CASA for approval. The request must be deemed a life and death situation and not a medivac or non-ambulatory case. The Trans Air landings were originally proposed as medivac flights. This particular request to land is meant to be used as an ad hoc occasional device, not a surrogate for the air operator certificate

which is the normal requirement to land. Officers explained that while they could appreciate the committee's view on why they would have what appear to be unenforceable rules, they must still abide by the law and are not responsible for border security or for logging aircraft in and out.3"

So w e are in a situation w here o u r rules say w hat they say — that it is illegal to operate into A u stralia w ith o u t a fo reig n air o p era to r’s ce rtificate— and w e try to en fo rce tho se as b est w e can. W e do it from discovery, from

seein g the flights ourselves, from bein g told o f the flights o r from know ing o f the flights, b u t w e have no m an d ate or p o w er to go and stand on airfields everyw here and w atch peo p le arriv e and then go and ask them w h at their situation is.36

33 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, pp 131—132.

34 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 134.

35 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 138.

36 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 138.

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3.35 The committee sought clarification on action taken in the absence of jurisdiction for airlines in other countries. Officers explained there is no set of defined rales to follow; it invariably comes down to judgement.37

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)

3.36 The Australian Transport Safety Bureau gave the committee a detailed explanation into the requirements of reporting air traffic incidents and circumstances in which formal investigations are undertaken. Officers noted that they receive around 14,000 notifications a year, which translates to 8,000 occurrences. There are then

significant judgements made as to what will be taken on in terms of conducting a full investigation.

3.37 The committee noted that of the 8,000 occurrences, only 80 are investigated on a yearly average. The department reassured the committee about this figure by further adding:

W e are co nscious that, w h ate v er the n u m b e r is, it is alw ays going to have som e lev el o f d isco m fo rt th a t w e m a y m iss som ething. W hat w e have added as an ad d itio n al strin g to our b o w is a n ew level o f investigation, w hich is to take an occu rren ce th a t w o u ld n o t m erit sending out a team to look at all the

details an d go to the th o ro u g h g o in g one but to actually w ork w ith the

rep o rtin g o rg an isatio n to fin d m o re details and do a very short one-page

report th at m ean s th at ov er tim e w e are getting v isib ility o f m ore o f them .

So, in term s o f w h ere yo u p erh ap s feel a little uneasy, that is our response

to th a t.38 3 9

3.38 Officers also explained that there are systems in place to review procedures where necessary and there is the capacity for confidential reporting if staff feel something may have been overlooked or not reported.30

Senator Glenn Sterle Chair

37 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 143.

38 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 145.

39 Committee Hansard, 9 February 2010, p. 145.

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A ppendix 1

Table of contents to proof Hansard transcripts

Additional estimates 2009-2010

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Monday 8 February 2010

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

Tuesday 9 February 2010

201

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Monday 8 February 2010

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Hansard page

In attendance 1

Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy 4

Biosecurity Services Group 16

Meat and Livestock Australia 32

Climate Change 42

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Bureau of Rural Sciences 67

Sustainable Resource Management 72

Australian Fisheries Management Authority 83

Agricultural Productivity 99

Wheat Exports Australia 115

Trade and Market Access 123

24______________________________________________________________________________________________________

202

Tuesday 9 February 2010

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

__________________ _________________________________________________________ 2 25

Hansard page

In attendance 1

Corporate Services 3

Infrastructure Australia 14

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd 31

Nation Building—Infrastructure Investment 38

Infrastructure and Surface Transport Policy 63

Australian Maritime Safety Authority 73

Local Government and Regional Development 79

Office of Northern Australia 90

Office of Transport Security 116

Aviation and Airports 131

Airservices Australia 133

Civil Aviation Safety Authority 135

Australian Transport Safety Bureau 144

203

204

A ppendix 2

Tabled Documents

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Documents tabled at hearing on Monday 8 February 2010

1. Answers to questions taken on notice during the hearing on 8 February 2010, in relation to Corporate Services Division, Biosecurity Services Group, Climate Change Division and Sustainable Resource Management - tabled by DAFF

2. Wheat Export Accreditation Scheme, 2008/09 Marketing Year, Report for growers - tabled by Wheat Exports Australia

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

Documents tabled at hearing on Tuesday 9 February 2010

1. Upgrading the Tanami Road: Economic Impact Study prepared for Shire of Halls Creek by Cummings Economics, December 2009 - tabled by Senator Alan Eggleston

205

2 0 6

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

A ppendix 3

Topic list

Monday 8 February 2010

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard page

reference

Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy 4-15 Efficiency dividend/productivity savings 4-6, 12-13

Graduate recruitment program 4-5

Staffing levels 5-6, 9

Business continuity and disaster recovery plans for IT systems 6-9 Increase in car parking costs 9-10

Recruitment of new Deputy Secretary for Biosecurity Services 11 Use of frequent flyer points 13-14

Advertising 14-15

Number of pot plants in the Minister's office 15

Biosecurity Services Group 16-34

Importation requirements for beef from countries which have had bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) 16-21,100 New Deputy Secretary for Biosecurity Services 21

Import Risk Analysis (IRA) for apples from China 21-24,25

World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute with New Zealand 24 Export certification reform process 25-29

Importation of illegal timber 29-30, 34

Equine influenza 30-33

Hendra virus 33-34

Meat and Livestock Australia 35-42

BSE 35-40

Australian Meat Processing Corporation 40

Export of live sheep and boxed meat from Australia 40-42

Climate Change 42-67

DAFF officers in Australia's delegation to Copenhagen 42-47 Farm Ready grants 45, 56, 100

Impact of emissions trading scheme (ETS) on food processing sector 47-48 Feral camels and greenhouse gas emissions 48-50

Exceptional Circumstances and drought policy reviews 51,55-56, 58-59 Soil carbon 51-54

2 0 7

3 0

Communication strategy 56

Community networks and capacity building projects 56

Climate Change Action program - re-establishment grants 56-57 Climate Change Research program 57

Rural Financial Counselling Service 57

Measures for reducing agricultural emissions 59-60

Measurement of livestock emissions 60-61

Forest Industries Development Fund 61-63, 67

Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement 63

Australian Forestry Standard/Forest Stewardship Council 63, 64-66 Forest industry database 64

Climate Change Commercial Forestry Action Plan 2009-12 64 Forest Industries Climate Change Research Fund 64, 66

Illegal logging 66-67

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource 67-71

Economics and Bureau of Rural Sciences Definition of marginal land 67-68

Australian Collaborative Land Use Mapping Program 68

Soil carbon levels and modelling 68-71

Upgrading of ABARE's modelling on impacts of climate 70 change Sustainable Resource Management (SRM) 72-83

Feral camels 72-73, 74-75

Wild dogs 73-74

Caring for our Country 75-78, 79-83

Border Rivers-Gwydir - Landcare projects 78-79

Landcare coordinators 82-83

SRM (international fisheries issues) and 83-99

Australian Fisheries Management Authority 10-kilo rule in the southern bluefin tuna industry 83-84, 99

Listing of mako sharks, long fin, short fin and porbeagles 84-87 under the EPBC Act and impact on recreational and commercial fishing sectors Convention on Migratory Species 84-85,87

Native fish management in the Murray-Darling Basin area 87 Marine bioregional planning process 87-88, 89-91

Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee 88-89

Recfish 89

Coral Sea fishing permits 91

Indian Ocean Tuna Commission 91-93

Use of gill nets 93-94

Patrols of the Oceanic Viking 94-96

Southern bluefin tuna catch 96-97

Recognition of statutory fishing rights 97

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31

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 97-98 Reopening of the Bass Strait central zone scallop fishery 98-99 Agricultural Productivity 99-115

Sheepmeat industry 100-101

Beef industry 101

Fertiliser 101

Agricultural production trends since 2002 101-102

Grape and wine industry 102-103

Food labelling and 'Grown in Australia' label 103-106

Expenditure on R&D by state governments 106-108

Productivity trends 108-109

Horticultural code of conduct 109-110

Fruit Logistica trade fair 110

AUSVEG 110

Regional Food Producers Innovation and Productivity program 110-112 National Horticulture Award 112

VegVision 112

Food security issues 113-114

Wheat Exports Australia 115-123

Productivity Commission review 115,119

Wheat price 116-118

Benefits of new wheat marketing arrangements 118

Access arrangements for ports and shipping 119,120, 121

Future role of WEA 119

Registered exporting companies 119-120

Levies 119,122

Grain being stored on farms 120,121

Expansion of markets 120-121

Relationship with GRDC 121-122

Size of wheat harvest 122-123

Trade and Market Access 123-126

Withdrawal of agricultural attache positions in Brussels, Paris and Washington 123 Negotiations with the Russian Federation to resolve

suspensions of red meat exports

123-124

Australia-New Zealand-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement 125 International markets for Australian meat 125-126

209

210

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government portfolio

A ppendix 4

Topic list

Tuesday 9 February 2010

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard page

reference

Corporate Services 3-14

Parliamentary Secretary for states 6

Advertising and marketing since November 2007 9

Green vehicle guide 9

Public notice advertising 9

Marketing figures 2008-09 10

Discretionary grants 10

Pot plants in the Minister's office 10

Cut backs due to efficiency dividend 11

Freedom of Information requests 11

Reviews 12

Aviation White Paper 12

Review of the aviation capacity for Sydney region 12

Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce report 13

Infrastructure Australia 14-31

Barraba water supply 14

Building Australia Fund 15

National urban policies 16

Major Cities Unit 16-18,24-26

Regional Development Australia 24-25

Major road corridor in Cairns 26-27

Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce 28

Outback Flighway Development Council 27-28

Horn Island Airport project 28-29

National freight network 29-30

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd 31-38

Melbourne to South Australia border line upgrade 31-32

Concrete sleepering 31

Increase in axle load 31

Queensland border to Acacia Ridge 32-33

Hunter Valiev Coal Network Capacity Improvement program 33 Southern Sydney Freight Line 34-36

Inland rail, Melbourne - Brisbane plan 37

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34

Nation Building - Infrastructure Investment 38-63

'Nation Building for the future' document 38

National city planning-framework 39

Pacific Motorway upgrades 39

Ingham and Cardwell Range 40

Application of funding for the Jubilee Bridge 41

Darwin Port Expansion Project 42

Alternative Southern access route to Cairns 42

Indigenous employment targets in construction programs 42 Upgrading the Bruce Highway 43

Princes Highway east from Traralgon to Sale 44-45

Election commitments detailed on websites 46-50

New Nation Building program 49

Two Wells Road and Penfield Road structures 52

Invitations to opening ceremonies 51-54

Hancock and Waratah coalmining projects 54-57

Northern Economic Triangle project 56

Wanneroo project in Western Australia 57-58

Perth urban upgrade transport and freight corridor 58

Pacific Highway 58-61

Heavy vehicle driver fatigue 60-61

Midland Highway duplication 61-62

Tasmanian Government submissions for infrastructure 63

funding Infrastructure and Surface Transport Policy 63-73

Cost of conflicting transport regulations 63

Heavy vehicle driver fatigue reforms 63-64

State implementation of the National Transport Commission 64 (Model Legislation - Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue) Regulations Cross border issues 63-65

Volume load regulation problems between Queensland and 66 New South Wales Heavy vehicle charging regime 66-67

National partnership agreements for single national heavy 67 vehicle and maritime regulators Time processing issues involved in applications through 67-72 Centrelink Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme 69

King Island and Flinders Island claims 72

Australian Maritime Safety Authority 73-79

Pacific Adventurer oil spill 73-75

Increase of limit for shipowners' liability 73

Compensation payments 74

Montara spill recovery process 75-77

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35

Tender process for the under keel clearance management system 78 Local Government and Regional Development 79-89

Better Regions Program and associated projects 79-81,85

Regional Development Australia offices 80-89

Division of funding between states 82

Number of offices 82

Examples of day to day work for Regional Development Australia 83 Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program

(RLCIP)

84

Politically neutral appointments of the RDA 86-87

Federal and state partnerships in the RDA 89

Office of Northern Australia 90-116

Early release of the Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce report 90-93 Dam proposals in the Taskforce's report 91-93, 103

Irrigation in Northern Australia 94

Membership of the Taskforce 96

Wild Rivers legislation 97-99

Invitations to the opening of the Karumba airport 99-100

Northern Australia Water Futures Assessment 103

Cost of the Taskforce since January 2008 105

Time frames or deadlines for recommendations in Taskforce's report 106-107 Consultation with Indigenous elders for Taskforce's report 107-108 Economic potential for Northern Australia 108

Northern Australia Land and Water Science Review 2009 108-109 Responsibilities of the Parliamentary Secretary for Western and Northern Australia 110-113,115 Allocation of funds through the national partnership 112-113 Possibility of World Heritage listing for the Cape York peninsula

113

Upgrade of the Tanami Road from Halls Creek to Alice Springs 114 Roads to Recovery Program 114

Possibility of upgrades of the Kununurra airport and the port of Wyndham 115-116 Office of Transport Security 116-131

Compliance activities at ports 116

Staff numbers between 2008-09 116

Risk assessments done to determine the inspection of ports 117 GHD report into Australia's maritime security industry card scheme 117-118 Consultation with industry in regards to the GHD report 118-119

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36

Recommendations from the Wheeler review 119-20

Detection dogs at airports 120-121

National Security Committee of Cabinet 121-122

Number of additional AFP dog handlers required to supervise 121 the additional dogs National Security Adviser 122

Minister's responsibility for the aviation security regulatory 123 regime Northwest 253 attempted plane bombing in Detroit 120-123

Full body scanners 123-127

Privacy issues regarding full body scanners 124-125, 127

Price of full body scanners 125-126

Possible health issues resulting from use of body scanners 126-127 Security contractors at airports 127-129

Rates of pay for security contractors 128-129

Screening facilities in country airports 130

Upgrading of airports 130

Aviation and Airports 131-133

Steering committee for formal review into Brisbane Airport 131 Consideration of curfew at Brisbane airport 132

Question of productivity in curfew enforced areas 132

Airservices Australia 133-135

Details of noise complaints received 133-134

Flights over Stoneville in Perth Hills, WA 134

Acceptable noise decibel readings 134

Possibility of insulation program for Perth areas 134

Requests for dispensations 134-135

Trial of the Unicom system 135

Civil Aviation Safety Authority 135-144

Non-scheduled flights by foreign air carriers 136-137

Foreign air operator certificates 136-137

Medivac flights 136-137, 140

Procedures involved in granting unscheduled operations 136-137 Trans Air PNG 136-138

Enforcing rules of landings without foreign air operator's 138 certificates Possibility of spot audits in Airservices Australia 139

Lockhardt River crash 140

After-hours number to seek unscheduled landings 140

Unicom System trial 141-142

Jurisdictional issues overseas 142-143

Outsourcing of maintenance 143

Australian Transport Safety Bureau 144-146

Specifics of a redirected flight from Los Angeles to Brisbane 144

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37

Report from United Airlines regarding the engineering problems of the redirected flight 144 Number of reports and number of incidents 144-145

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THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

PARLIAMENTARY PAPER No. 78 of 2010 ORDERED TO BE PRINTED

ISSN 0727-4181