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Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing Committees Consolidated reports on Additional estimates 2011-2012


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Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on Additional estimates 2011-12

March 2012

Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on Additional estimates

2011-12

March 2012

© Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 2012

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 2011-12 report, dated March 2012 ..................................... 1

Economics Committee

" Additional estimates 2011-12 report, dated March 2012 ................................... 33

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee

" Additional estimates 2011-12 report, dated March 2012 ................................... 63

Environment and Communications Committee

" Additional estimates 2011-12 report, dated March 2012 ................................... 91

Finance and Public Administration Committee

" Additional estimates 2011-12 report, dated March 2012 ................................. 113

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

" Additional estimates 2011-12 report, dated March 2012 ................................. 139

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

" Additional estimates 2011-12 report, dated March 2012 ................................. 167

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee

" Additional estimates 2011-12 report, dated March 2012 ................................. 195

RESOLUTIONS OF THE SENATE RELATING TO ESTIMATES

42 Pa r t ic ul a r s o f Pr o po se d Addit io na l Ex pe ndit ur e *2011-12 *D o c ume nt s *

The Minister for Manufacturing (Senator Carr) tabled the following documents:

Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2011-2012], Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2011-2012], Senator Carr, by leave, moved *That *

(a) the documents, together with the final budget outcome 2010-11 (see entiy no. 34, 11 October 2011) and the Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2010-11 (see entiy no. 2, 7 Febivaiy 2012), 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 L e g isl a t io n Co mmit t e e s *e st ima t e s h e a r ing s 1 2

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Senator Ludwig), pursuant to notice, moved government business notice of motion no. 1 * (1) That estimates hearings by legislation committees for 2012 be scheduled as follows:

2011- 12 additional estimates: Monday, 13 February and Tuesday, 14 February (Group A) Wednesday, 15 February and Thursday, 16 February (Group B).

2012- 13 Budget estimates: Monday, 21 May to Thursday, 24 May, and, if required, Friday, 25 May (Group A) Monday, 28 May to Thursday, 31 May, and, if required, Friday, 1 June ( Group B) Monday, 15 October and Tuesday, 16 October (supplementary hearings *Group A) Wednesday, 17 October and Thursday, 18 October (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 and Communications Finance and Public Administration Legal and Constitutional Affairs Rural 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, 20 March 2012 in respect of the 2011-12 additional estimates; and (b) Tuesday, 26 June 2012 in respect of the 2012-13 Budget estimates.

Question put and passed.

1 Journals of the Senate, no. 75, 9 February 2012 2 Journals of the Senate, no. 62, 2 November 2011

3 St a nding Or de r s *a me ndme nt *Co mmit t e e s *Al l o c a t io n o f de pa r t me nt s 3

The Assistant Treasurer (Senator Arbib), at the request of the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research (Senator Evans) and pursuant to notice, moved government business notice of motion no. 1 * That the resolution of the Senate of 29 September 2010 be amended as follows:

(1) Paragraph (1), omit *Rural Affairs and Transport *, substitute *Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport *.

(2) Omit paragraph (2), substitute:

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 Human Services Economics

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

Education Employment and Workplace Relations Environment and Communications Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Finance and Public Administration Finance and Deregulation

Parliament Prime Minister and Cabinet Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Defence, including Veterans * Affairs

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

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Infrastructure and Transport Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport.

Debate ensued.

Question agreed to.

3 Journals of the Senate, no. 74, 8 February 2012 ii

11 St a nding Or de r s * Ame ndme nt - C o mmit t e e s * Al l o c a t io n o f De pa r t me nt s 4

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Senator Ludwig), pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved government business notice of motion no. 2 * (1) That standing order 25(1) be amended as follows: Omit: *Environment, Communications and the Arts *

Substitute: *Environment and Communications *. Omit: *Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport * Substitute: *Rural Affairs and Transport *.

(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 Human Services Economics

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

Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, including School Education, Early Childhood and Youth Environment and Communications Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Finance and Public Administration Finance and Deregulation

Parliament Prime Minister and Cabinet, including Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Foreign Affairs , Defence and Trade Defence, including Veterans * Affairs Foreign Affairs and Trade Legal and Constitutional Affairs Attorney-General Immigration and Citizenship Rural Affairs and Transport

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Infrastructure and Transport.

Statements by leave: Senators Fifield and Ludwig, by leave, made statements relating to the motion. Question put and passed.

4 Journals of the Senate, no. 2, 29 September 2010 iii

13 EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS LEGISLATION COMMITTEE *ESTIMATES H EARINGS *WITNESS5

Senator Fisher, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 596 *That * (a) when the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee meets to consider additional estimates in 2010:

(i) the committee further examine Fair Work Australia, and (ii) the President of Fair Work Australia appear before the committee to answer questions; and (b) on each subsequent occasion on which the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee meets to consider estimates in relation to Fair Work Australia, the President of

Fair Work Australia appear before the committee to answer questions.

Senator Siewert, by leave, moved the following amendment:

Omit paragraph (b).

Question *That the amendment be agreed to *put and negatived.

Statements by leave : Senator Fisher, the Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) and Senator Marshall, by leave, made statements relating to the motion.

Leave refused∑. Senator Collins sought leave to make a statement, relating to the motion. An objection was raised and leave was not granted.

Main question put.

Question agreed to.

21 COMMUNITY AFFAIRS * STANDING COMMITTEE * REPORT *2008-09 BUDGET ESTIMATES * E ndo r se me nt o f Re c o mme nda t io n 6

Senator O *Brien, at the request of the Chair of the Community Affairs Committee (Senator Moore) and pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a fonnal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 144 *That the Senate endorse the recommendation contained in paragraph 1.10 of the Community Affairs Committee report on the 2008-09 Budget estimates that:

Future estimates hearing programs include a separate time to conduct an estimates hearing on Indigenous matters that would include all the portfolios with budget expenditure or responsibility for indigenous issues.

Question put and passed.

s Journals of the Senate, no. 95, 28 October 2009 6 Journals of the Senate, no. 22, 26 August 2008 iv

The Senate

Community Affairs

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2011-12

March 2012

1

© Commonwealth of Australia 2012

ISBN 978-1-74229-581-7

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

MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE 43rd Parliament

Members

Senator Claire Moore, Chair

Senator Rachel Siewert, Deputy Chair

Senator Carol Brown

Senator Mark Fumer

Senator Bridget McKenzie

Queensland, ALP

Western Australia, AG

Tasmania, ALP

Queensland, ALP

Victoria, NATS

Substitute member

Senator Sue BoyceQueensland, LP

for Senator Judith Adams (from 7 February to 30 March 2012)

Senators in attendance

Senators Moore (Chair), Siewert (Deputy Chair), Abetz, Bemardi, Bilyk, Boyce, Brandis, Carol Brown, Bushby, Cash, Di Natale, Edwards, Fierravanti-Wells, Fifield, Fumer, Herffeman, Humphries, Johnston, Kroger, Ludlarn, McKenzie, Pany, Payne, Polley, Rhiannon, Scullion, Wright and Xenophon

Secretariat

Dr Ian Holland, Committee Secretary Mr Tim Hillman, Administrative Officer

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3515

Fax: 02 6277 5829 E-mail: coimnunity.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

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Table of Contents

MEMBERSHIP OF THE COM M ITTEE.............................................................iii

Chapter 1

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

Changes to departmental structures...........................................................................2

Questions on Notice...................................................................................................3

Additional information .............................................................................................. 3

Note on references......................................................................................................3

Chapter 2

Health and Ageing portfolio.......................................................................................5

Department of Health and Ageing.............................................................................5

Whole of Portfolio/Corporate Matters ..................................................................... 6

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care ............................... 7

Primary Care...............................................................................................................7

Mental Health.............................................................................................................8

Hearing Services.........................................................................................................9

National E-Health Transition Authority ................................................................... 9

Cancer Australia.......................................................................................................10

National Health and Medical Research Council .................................................... 10

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency ............................... 10

Food Standards Australia New Zealand..................................................................11

Population Health.....................................................................................................11

Workforce Capacity..................................................................................................11

Biosecurity and Emergency Response....................................................................12

Death of Jenny Bryant 12

Chapter 3

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio .... 13

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs ................................................................................................................................. 13

Cross Outcomes/Corporate Matters.......................................................................13

Families and Children............................................................................................. 14

Australian Institute of Family Studies ............... 14

Housing....................................................................................................................15

Community Capability and the Vulnerable ........................................................... 15

Seniors.....................................................................................................................15

Disability and Carers.............................................................................................. 16

Women.....................................................................................................................16

Torres Strait Regional Authority............................................................................17

Chapter 4

Human Services Portfolio........................................................................................19

Department of Human Services..............................................................................19

Australian Hearing...................................................................................................19

Medicare Australia ................................................................................................. 19

Corporate.................................................................................................................19

Centrelink................................................................................................................20

Acknowledgement of Senator Judith Adams........................................................20

Chapter 5

Cross Portfolio Indigenous Matters ....................................................................... 21

Closing the Gap...................................................................................................... 21

Northern Territory Emergency Response..............................................................22

Indigenous Business Australia...............................................................................22

Housing....................................................................................................................23

Health.......................................................................................................................23

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Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 On 9 February 2012, the Senate referred the following documents to the Community Affairs Legislation Committee (the committee) for examination and report:

" Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2011-12;

" Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2011-12];

" Final Budget outcome for 2010-2011; and

" Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2010≠ 2011.1

1.2 The committee is responsible for the examination of the Health and Ageing portfolio; the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio; and the Human Services portfolio.

1.3 The committee was required to report to the Senate on its consideration of the 2011-2012 additional estimates by 29 March 2012.

1.4 The committee considered the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements for 2011-2012 for both portfolios at hearings on the 15, 16, and 17 February 2012. The Hearing were conducted in accordance with the agreed agenda as follows:

" Wednesday 15 February 2012 - Health and Ageing Portfolio

" Thursday 16 February 2012 - Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio; Human Services portfolio

" Friday 17 February 2012 - Cross Portfolio - Indigenous Matters

" Thursday 22 March 2012 - Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio

1.5 The committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon. Jan McLucas,

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers (representing the Minister for Health and Ageing; and the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs); Senator the Hon. David Feeney, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence (representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs); and Senator the Hon. Kate Lundy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

(representing the Minister for the Department of Human Services).

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 75, 9 February 2012, p. 2090.

2

1.6 Evidence was also provided by Ms Jane Halton, Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing; Mr Finn Pratt, Secretary of the Department of Families, Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; Ms Kathryn Campbell, Secretary of the Department of Human Services; and officers representing the departments and agencies covered by the estimates before the committee.

1.7 The committee thanks the ministers, departmental secretaries and officers for their assistance and cooperation during the hearings.

Changes to departmental structures

1.8 The committee notes that since the 2011-12 Budget the following agencies have been added to the departmental structure of the Department of Health and Ageing:

" The National Health Performance Authority2

" The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority3

1.9 The committee notes that since the 2011-12 Budget the following agencies have been added to the departmental structure of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs:

" Aboriginal Land Commissioner, Northern Territory

" Australian Institute of Family Studies

" Office of the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Communities

" Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations

" Social Security Appeals Tribunal4 5

1.10 Due to the Administrative Arrangement Orders changes, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs is no longer responsible for the following:

" Volunteer Management

" Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment

" Repatriation of Indigenous Remains3

2 National Health Reform Amendment (National Health Performance Authority) Act 2011

3 National Health Reform Amendment (Independent Hospital Pricing Authority) Act 2011

4 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2011-12, Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio: Explanations of Additional Estimates 2011-12, p.4.

5 Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Annual Report 2010-11, pp. 24-27.

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1.11 The committee also notes that as a result of the Human Services Legislation Act 2011, the Department of Human Services is responsible for all programs formerly provided by Centrelink and Medicare Australia.6

Questions on Notice

1.12 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 Thursday 29 March 2012. For the additional hearing held on 22 March 2012 for the Torres Strait Regional Authority the committee requested that written answers and additional information be submitted by Friday 20 April 2012.

Additional information

1.13 Answers to questions taken on notice at the committee's additional estimates hearings will be tabled in the Senate in separate volumes entitled 'Additional information relating to the examination of additional estimates 2011-2012, February 2011, Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee.' Documents not suitable for

inclusion in the additional information volumes will be available on request from the committee secretariat.

1.14 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

1.15 References to the Hansard transcript are to the proof Hansard; page numbers may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcript.

6 Department of Human Services (DHS), Annual Report 2010-11, p. 6.

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Chapter 2

Health and Ageing portfolio

Department of Health and Ageing

2.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2011-2012 additional estimates hearing for the Health and Ageing portfolio.

2.2 The committee heard evidence from the Department on Wednesday 15 February 2012. Areas of the portfolio were called in the following order:

" Whole of Portfolio/Corporate matters

" Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

" General Practice Education and Training Ltd

" Primary Care

" Private Health

" Mental Health

" Aged Care and Population Ageing

" Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd

" Hearing Services

" National E-Health Transition Authority

" Cancer Australia

" Health Infrastructure

" National Health and Medical Research Council

" Medical Services

" Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

" Australian National Preventive Health Agency

" Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

(ARP ANSA)

" Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

" Office of the Gene Technology Regulator

" Therapeutic Goods Administration

" Population Health

" Access to Pharmaceutical Services

" Acute Care

" Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority

6____________________________________________________________________________________________

" Rural Health

" Health Workforce Capacity

" Biosecurity and Emergency Response

2.3 The committee agreed to provide any questions on notice to the following outcomes and agencies:

" Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC)

Whole of Portfolio/Corporate Matters

The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority

2.4 The conunittee made a number of inquiries of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA). These included whether IHPA had completed its recruitment process, its final staffing numbers, and if a breakdown by staffing levels

and classifications was available. The committee also noted the difficulties involved in achieving the 1 July 2012 deadline for activity based payment.1

2.5 Dr Sherbon, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, stated that IHPA is presently fully staffed for its current role. Dr Sherbon added that there were currently 37 full time equivalents and they included technical positions to assist with statistical modelling.1 2 Dr Sherbon gave a breakdown

of these positions: 'APS4, three FTE; APS5, two FTE; APS6, five FTE; E01 executive level 1,13 FTE, executive level 2, 11 FTE; SES band 1, two FTE; and one holder of the public office.'3

2.6 Ms Jane Halton, Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing,

reinforced Dr Sherbon's position that the deadline of 1 July 2012 would be met for the activity based payments for agreed classifications.4 5

2.7 The Department was asked why it had contracted a company $420,000^ to develop a comprehensive pricing framework. Ms Halton reassured the committee by explaining that a number of public discussions are required when attempting to set a certain price.6 Policy and philosophical debates are needed to create framework, and it is important that they are publicly discussed. Ms Halton stated that:

The authority will [then] many together a draft of framework, feedback from all the interested parties, [...] ultimately that all comes together as a

1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 10.

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 10.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 10.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 10.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, pp. 12-13.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 13.

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proposition, as a debate, however the authority will run this. They will then decide on what it looks like.7

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Health Reform Agreement

2.8 The committee sought information on the Health Reform Agreement, with regards to the transparency of funding agreements and how these would evolve under the new agreement reached by Council of Australian Governments (COAG). Mr Charles Maskell-Knight, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Health Reform Transition office, explained that Commonwealth funding is reported in budget papers and is allotted to hospitals on a basis of activity, while block funding is appropriated to a few other hospitals.8 The funding is to flow into state accounts within the national health funding pool. The states make their payments for activity based funding into the same account and this is dispersed to local hospital networks. A monthly report is produced on the amount of money spent and on what basis spending has occurred.9

Primary Care

2.9 The committee inquired about the number of GPs currently employed at the Springwood Super Clinic. In addition, information was sought as to whether these positions were full-time and if it was possible for a super clinic to open without the presence of GPs.10 11 Ms Meredeth Taylor, Assistant Secretary of the GP Super Clinics Branch, assured the committee that there were several GPs available when the clinic

opened and more were going to be recruited. Ms Taylor added that there would be approximately two GPs currently working at the clinic, that the super clinic had to open for certain hours, and that there were always GPs present.11

2.10 The committee sought clarification as to the reason for the removal of dates from a copy of an agreement between the government and the Redcliffe Hospital Foundation, which was supplied in response to a question on notice to the committee at a previous estimates hearing. The committee also sought the reason behind classing these dates as commercial-in-confidence.12 Mr Mark Booth, First Assistant Secretary

for the Primary and Ambulatory Care Division, responded by stating that as many dates and as much information as possible is provided to the committee for answers to questions, but that external parties may want to keep some information from being

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 13.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 17.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 17.

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, pp. 21-22.

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 22.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 23.

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released to the public so that the information does not negatively impact on their business.13

2.11 The committee sought an update on HealthDirect, concerning the amount of callers that had requested medical care within one to four hours of the call. The committee added a request for information on the options given to these callers and

whether the advice was followed by the caller.14 15 Officers stated that from 1 July 2011 to 12 February 2012 the service received approximately 97 000 calls and that 60 per cent of these were referred to a GP within four hours.1" These callers usually have three options, consisting of: consultation with a GP after-hours service, the medical deputising service or attendance at an emergency department. The Officers explained that it was difficult to record compliance, however the National Health Call Centre Network are conducting a study that follows up with callers in order to identify whether advice was followed.16 17

2.12 The committee asked for information concerning the funding formula for Medicare Locals based on characteristics from individual Medicare Local communities.1' Officers explained that a number of characteristics were taken into account including: age, socioeconomic status, English as a second language and Indigenous population.18 The funding formula is population based.19

Mental Health

2.13 The committee asked officers about the reduction in the number of treatment sessions available for Better Access and whether there are any other current programs that will be able to replace the need for services created by the changes that take effect on 1 January 2013.20 Officers identified several programs that would be able to achieve this:

Some of the programs that will meet the needs of those patients include the Partners in Recovery measure, [...] the expansion of the Support for Day to Day Living in the Community program, [...] and the early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre program.21

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, pp. 22-23.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 30.

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 30.

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 F ebruary 2012, pp. 3 0-31.

17 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 35.

18 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p.35.

19 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p.35.

20 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 43.

21 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 43.

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2.14 In addition, officers stated that funding for the Access to Allied Psychological Service (ATAPS) program has been more than doubled and that:

...both Better Access and AT APS have the same client group. A decision about whether a client should be referred to Better Access or to AT APS would need to take into account what the needs of the client were. AT APS has been specifically designed and developed to complement Better Access and to deliver psychological services and other allied therapy services to people who would not otherwise be able to access them under Better Access. It particularly targets the hard-to-reach groups like rural and remote people, people in low socioeconomic positions, and Aboriginal and Torres

Strait Islanders.22

2.15 Officers updated the committee on actions taken after a number of suicides in Mount Isa. The department held community forums at the end of 2011 and created a suicide prevention coordination group. A group was established by the Commonwealth and the Queensland governments to work on a local action plan.23 A

critical response service was provided by a locally based organisation called United Synergies and a final report issued by StandBy is being assessed. 24

2.16 The department later added that Queensland Health has staff based at Mount Isa, that includes relevant mental health counselling qualified staff. A suicide prevention group also operates in Mount Isa.25

Hearing Services

2.17 The committee sought information on hearing aid usage, noting that some hearing aids supplied are often not used. Using a National Acoustics Laboratory additional analysis of client surveys, officers corrected a previous statistic of hearing aid non usage of 30 per cent to being approximately 13 per cent.26

National E-Health Transition Authority

2.18 The committee had queried surrounding the introduction of personally controlled e-health records. The committee sought clarification on whether the problems occurring within the smaller e-health system being trialled by NeHTA, which is not personally controlled and has a small number of health records, would be exacerbated when the more complex, personally controlled system is introduced.27 Mr Peter Fleming, Chief Executive Officer of the National E-Health Transition Authority,

22 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 43.

23 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 53.

24 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 54.

25 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 94.

26 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p.65.

27 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 72.

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reassured the committee that the issues arising were due to the testing of the specifications.28 This testing is done to ensure that problems such as the one that was found do not arise later in the more complex system:

It is very early days. It is not yet in production. That is the reason why we are doing it in those early wave sites, to pick up and make sure it is

scalable. We are not implementing a component of it; we are doing the full build with them to see how it works in a local environment and therefore how it will scale.29

Cancer Australia

2.19 The committee asked the department if any resources had been provided towards prostate cancer screening. Associate Professor Christine Giles, Executive Director of Cancer Australia, informed the committee that it had received $3.97 million over three years to 20 1 4.30 This funding will help provide national evidence based information, resources and psychological support for men and their families who are affected by prostate cancer.31

National Health and Medical Research Council

2.20 The committee asked officers to clarify the Australian Dietary Guidelines report, particularly with regards to the research that the report was based on, the public consultation process and the manner in which information is communicated.32 It was noted that the report was based on international best practice standards and it has undergone extensive review. Professor Warwick Anderson, Chief Executive Officer

of the National Health and Medical Research Council stated:

The important thing here is that there was an extraordinary amount of work to get to these guidelines. All the recommendations were built on all the work that was put together for the 2003 guidelines. Then 55,000 pieces of additional published peer-reviewed research since 2003 were analysed by our expert groups, all graded in terms of the evidence in support of it, and then that ranked A, B, C, or D, depending on the strength. Any of the recommendations in there are based on level A or level B evidence. I am not the expert, but I can assure you that the work that undeipins any of these recommendations is extremely *I was going to say dense *well

done.

28 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 72.

29 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 72.

30 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 75.

31 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 75.

32 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, pp. 78-79.

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One of the reasons for putting this out to public consultation is that, not only does our act require it, but we always know that people pick up things. Committees are looking intensely at the evidence.33

2.21 The department added that in order for the Guidelines to be successful, they need to be easily comprehensible for consumers and that the public consultation process aids this goal/4 35

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

2.22 The committee noted that while processes unfold around a nuclear waste dump in central Australia, nuclear material is coming back from Europe and being stored temporarily in Sydney.33 Dr Carl-Magnus Larsson, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, told the committee that the work ARP ANSA is currently undertaking covers both the storage of the nuclear material as well as its disposal.36

Food Standards Australia New Zealand

2.23 The committee sought clarification as to why the use of the chemical carbendazim has been banned for Citrus growers in Australia for two years, and yet Australia accepts orange juice imports from Brazil that can contain up to 10 parts per billion Maximum Residue Limits (MRL).37 Mr Steve McCutcheon, Chief Executive Officer of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, explained that there are also chemicals used in Australia that are not used in some of its export markets and as a result Australia seeks import tolerances in those markets.38

Population Health

2.24 The committee queried officers as to the international response regarding the implementation of plain-packaging procedures for tobacco.39 The department responded that there had been a large amount of international interest and support:

We are definitely a world leader with this particular initiative, as I think is well known and acknowledged. [...] We have had a great deal of support from a number of countries that are similarly tackling some of these issues [ - ] - 40

33 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 78.

34 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 79.

35 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 103.

36 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 103.

37 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 108.

38 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 108.

39 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 121.

40 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 121.

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Workforce Capacity

2.25 The committee sought information on the criteria used in addition to the national average of medical practitioners per capita to determine if a location is categorised as having a district workforce shortage (DWS).41

2.26 Officers explained that DWS is defined as a location where there is less access to medical services rather than medical practitioners compared to the national average:

This is worked out by using ABS population data for an area and

comparing that to Medicare billing data. The district of workforce shortage will be an area where the Medicare billing per population is below the national average.42

Biosecurity and Emergency Response

2.27 The committee discussed the closure of TB clinics in the Torres Strait Islands, particularly noting the effects this would have on TB patients arriving from Papua New Guinea. 43 Professor Chris Baggoley, Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Ageing, explained that it is important for Papua New Guineans to

receive treatment in their local communities rather than in the Torres Strait in order to reduce drug resistant TB:

The concern is that the best treatment for tuberculosis is what is called directly observed treatment, which can only occur when someone is being treated within their local community [...] when someone goes offshore to get their medication and takes some of it but in fact is not observed to take it because they are not part of a treatment program, they may then either discontinue taking the treatment or provide that medication for others. [...] That is the greatest risk for developing multi drug resistant TB.44

Death of Jenny Bryant

2.28 The committee took the opportunity to offer its commiserations to the staff of the department and the family of Ms Jenny Bryant who passed away on 20 January 2012. The committee remembered Ms Bryant by her compassion, intelligence, patience and focus.

41 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 Febmaiy 2012, p. 131.

42 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 131.

43 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 Febmaiy 2012, p. 132.

44 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 132.

18

Chapter 3

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

3.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2011-2012 additional estimates hearings for the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio.

3.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Thursday 16 February 2012. Areas of the portfolio were called in the following order:

" Cross Outcomes/Corporate Matters

" Families and Children

" Australian Institute of Family Studies

" Housing

" Community Capability and the Vulnerable

" Seniors

" Disability and Carers

" Women

" Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency

3.3 The committee also heard evidence from the department on Thursday 22 March 2012. The area of the portfolio that was called was the Torres Strait Regional Authority.

Cross Outcomes/Corporate Matters

3.4 The committee sought information on answers to questions on notice provided from the previous round of estimates. Mr Finn Pratt, Secretary of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, stated that all

answers to questions on notice had been received by the day of the estimates hearing and that the majority of those answers were delivered before the due date. Officers added that 262 questions had been taken on notice and that 56.9 per cent of answers were submitted before the deadline.1

1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 6.

14

Assistance for Carbon Price Impacts

3.5 The committee questioned the department on the assistance provide to citizens to offset the increase of cost of living created by the carbon price and whether this would be an ongoing commitment.2 Officers replied that government is assisting low and middle-income households by providing tax cuts and a 1.7 per cent increase in pensions, allowance and family payments:

Some of the elements of that assistance are [...] all taxpayers earning under $80,000 a year will get a tax cut and most will get a tax cut of at least $300 a year... The 3.4 million pensioners will get a payment increase... There is assistance for low-income households who may not receive tax cuts or government payment through an annual low income supplement... The assistance is ongoing.3

Families and Children

3.6 The committee queried the progress of the Forgotten Australians exhibition. Officers reported that the exhibition launched on 15 November 2011 at the National Museum of Australia and has had approximately 1500 visitors per week. The exhibition closed on 26 February 2012 with the expectation that around 50 000 people would have attended. Officers explained that it also included a public forum in which issues around Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants were discussed. The department stated that the amount of public interest in the exhibition shows how effectively this aspect of Australia's history has been brought to light.4

Australian Institute of Family Studies

3.7 The committee asked a series of questions relating to the adoption research project being undertaken by Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS). The committee was particularly interested in whether the project would meet its deadline

and the process of public engagement. 5

3.8 Officers reported that 1300 people had responded to the online survey and that it is expected that approximately 1500 people in total will have participated when it is closed. In addition, focus groups and face-to-face interviews are being conducted, with over 300 people having participated.6 The department clarified that it was on

track to meet its deadline.7

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, pp. 15-16.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, pp. 15-16.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 23.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, pp. 26 *27.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 26.

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 27.

20

____________________________________________________________________________ 15_

Housing

3.9 The committee sought an update on the Social Housing Initiative. Officers reported that they are reasonably on track in terms of the allocated construction timetable and that the initiative will be close to full completion by 30 June 2012. The department added that there would be a few projects that could be completed after the deadline and that only 28 sites had not yet commenced construction. These sites are located in Victoria and they would incorporate sites already under construction rather than new sites.8

Community Capability and the Vulnerable

Gambling

3.10 The committee queried statements made by game manufacturers as to whether or not the ACT poker machine trial date was unrealistic. Officers reassured the committee by explaining that manufacturers had been consulted on the trial for the ACT as well as its time frame. The department added that an independent technical adviser was also consulted.9

Seniors

3.11 The committee sought information on senior internet kiosks, whether they were successful and if there was any training involved for the use of the kiosks.10 11 Officers were eager to share the success of the senior internet kiosks stating that:

The kiosks have been very successful. We have heard of lots of stories where people have not had any involvement with the internet but, after a period of time, they have actually been very comfortable to use it for things such as Skype and keeping in contact with family.11

3.12 The department highlighted the tutoring involved with the internet kiosks, including the use of the mouse and, depending on the individual, different programs available. The tutoring is conducted by volunteers from the organisation that hosts the kiosk.12

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 30.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 51.

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 63.

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 63.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p .63.

21

16

Disability and Carers

3.13 The committee asked officers about the community consultation process for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).13 Officers explained:

Certainly there is an intention to engage with stakeholders and the broader community... All officials, and I believe all ministers, are cognisant of the importance of that as their work on design and the NDIS progresses.14 15

3.14 The committee asked the department if there were any programs that had been proposed in relation to achieving the objectives laid out in the draft of the ten year roadmap for national mental health reform.13 Officers stated that the draft is an attempt to create overarching general directions in order to guide reform rather than to build specific programs.16

Women

3.15 The committee asked officers for an update on the priorities that the Office of Women is focused on. Officers outlined key priorities such as reforms to the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) and the implementation

of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women.17

3.16 The committee sought further information on domestic violence against women with disabilities and the actions that EOWA was taking in order to address this issue.18 Officers replied:

[Establishing the Violence against Women Advisory Group [...] ensured that there was somebody [...] who was able to represent those views. We have now agreed a national plan through COAG with the states and territories. One of the projects that was seen as critical [...] relates to women with disabilities and trying to [...] understand the issues from their point of view but also understand the practical actions that can be taken.19

3.17 The department added that it had been working with Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) on the development of the project and that WWDA would be returning with a formal project proposal.20

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 69.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 69.

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 72.

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 72.

17 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p.76.

18 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 81.

19 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 81.

20 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 81.

22

Torres Strait Regional Authority

3.18 The committee welcomed representatives of the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) noting that it had been some since they had been invited to appear at estimates. The committee sought further information on the tuberculosis clinics in the Torres Strait Islands and the treatment of Papua New Guineans.21 Mr John Kris,

Chairperson of the Torres Strait Regional Authority, explained that a clinic is needed within or close to the Papua New Guinean community, eliminating the need for people to travel to the Torres Strait Islands.22 Mr Kris added that if more TB clinics close there is a higher potential for people with untreated TB to be travelling to the Torres

Strait Region for treatment.23

3.19 The committee asked officers about increased costs in food and petrol due to the distance from supply centres.24 Officers stated that there was a significant increase to petrol prices in comparison to the mainland. Due to the lower median earning in the Torres Strait and higher food prices, food security becomes a clear issue.2' Officers mentioned a possible solution consisting of a subsidy for the region to assist with maintaining an affordable cost of living, such as Tasmania's freight subsidy.26 27 28

3.20 The committee queried whether it would be beneficial for the TSRA to have separate statistics for Torres Strait Islanders separate from those for the Aboriginal people as a whole, for the closing the gap analysis."7 Officers stated that although the major issues presented for the indigenous populations remain the same, it would be beneficial for the TSRA to have access to separate figures to aid planning for the region and so that baselines can be conceptualised.2s

________________________________________________________________________________________ 17

21 Proof Estimates Hansard, 22 March 2012, p. 4.

22 Proof Estimates Hansard, 22 March 2012, p. 5.

23 Proof Estimates Hansard, 22 March 2012, p. 4.

24 Proof Estimates Hansard, 22 March 2012, p. 6.

25 Proof Estimates Hansard, 22 March 2012, p. 7.

26 Proof Estimates Hansard, 22 March 2012, p. 7.

27 Proof Estimates Hansard, 22 March 2012, p. 7.

28 Proof Estimates Hansard, 22 March 2012, p. 7.

23

24

Chapter 4

Human Services Portfolio

Department of Human Services

4.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2011-2012 additional estimates hearings for the Human Services portfolio.

4.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Thursday 16 February 2012. Areas of the portfolio were called in the following order:

" Australian Hearing

" Medicare Australia

" Corporate

" Centrelink

Australian Hearing

4.3 The committee began proceedings by asking about the work being done to encourage people to use hearing aids that are being supplied to them.1 Ms Michelle Clapham, Executive Manager of Clinical Practice, reported that Australian Hearing encourages all of its clients to talk to staff when they are uncertain about their hearing aids and that staff are trained to help with all basic management and questions. Clients are also surveyed every year, with results showing that 10 per cent of clients do not

wear their hearing aids for more than one hour per day.1 2

Medicare Australia

4.4 Committee members asked an extensive series of questions relating to the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme. Senators asked about the numbers of audits conducted of participants in the scheme and the outcomes of those audits. They queried the extent of non-compliance and the approach taken to the recovery of funds. Officers reported that while 540 audits are still ongoing, 89 audit processes have been closed. 3 Of these cases, 26 were found to be compliant with the requirements of the scheme while 63 cases were noncompliant.4

1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 86.

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 86.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 88.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 88.

20

Corporate

4.5 The committee questioned the department about a newspaper article that stated that the department spent $2.5 million in taxi fares over the 2011-12 period.3 Officers explained that this was an estimate for the contract entered into by the department and that the number was the value for potential Cabcharge vouchers that could be purchased over two financial years, 2010-11 and 2011-12.5 6 The committee noted that after the two years it would be possible that the final figure could be lower than the original estimate.7

Centrelink

4.6 The committee asked the department about the role that staff have in relation to the set-top box rollout. Officers replied that they are assisting the Department of Broadband in identifying customers who are eligible and writing to those customers to indicate the period of eligibility to claim for a set-top box. The department added that it offers call centre support, and quality checks for customers on the services provided

to them by installers.8

4.7 The committee sought an update on the role the department played during the recent floods in Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Ms Kathryn Campbell, Secretary of the Department of Human Services, reported that the Minister for Human Services visited the region and that the department delivered the Australian

government disaster recovery payment, in location and through call centres.9

4.8 The department added that it had received 20 000 claims and that 15 851 of those claims had been processed totalling $18.5 million.10 11 Officers reported that there was a greater awareness of the assistance available to the public after the flooding of 2011 and that claims were processed almost immediately.11 Officers also added that as of yet there had been no fraudulent claims.12

Acknowledgement of Senator Judith Adams

4.9 The committee concluded its proceedings by acknowledging the absence of Senator Judith Adams, a member of the committee since July 2005, who was unable to attend the estimates hearing process for health reasons. The committee added that

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 103.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 106.

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 107.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 114.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 123.

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 123.

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 F ebruary 2012, pp. 123-124.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 124.

26

21

her input and questioning during estimates had been missed. The department and officials also passed on their best regards.

27

28

Chapter 5

Cross Portfolio Indigenous Matters

5.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2011-2012 additional estimates hearings for cross portfolio Indigenous matters pursuant to Resolution of the Senate of 26 August 2008.1 The following portfolio departments were in attendance:

" Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

" Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

" Department of Health and Ageing

" Department of Human Services

5.2 The committee heard evidence from the departments on Friday 17 February 2012. Areas of the portfolios were called in the following order:

" Closing the Gap

" Northern Territory Emergency Response

" Employment and Economic Development

" Indigenous Business Australia

" Indigenous Housing

" Health Issues

Closing the Gap

5.3 The committee sought information on the reported 90 per cent of Indigenous children that were enrolled in a preschool program in the year before full-time schooling and whether any additional data had been collected on the attendance at preschool.1 2 Officers reported that a new national collection is being developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that will attempt to measure attendance where it is possible. 3 The department also clarified that attendance data for preschool is available by jurisdiction, however the difficulty with monitoring attendance at preschool is that it is not compulsory.4

1 Journals of the Senate: No.22-26 August 2008, p. 683.

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 10.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 10.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 11.

24

Office of the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services

5.4 The committee asked officers about the gap between opportunities in metropolitan and regional Australia, mentioning that there is a 50 per cent gap in educational outcomes for Indigenous Australians who in live in metropolitan areas compared to those that live in remote areas, and queried the department on its role in measuring the standards of delivery in remote areas.5

5.5 Mr Brian Gleeson, Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services, explained that his office is attempting to develop performance indicators in order to achieve measurable examples of progress. This will lead to an evaluation to assess whether outcomes are being achieved:

As an example of that [...] I convened a series of roundtables last year around school attendance. I found it very helpful to get the jurisdictions around the table to ask some very hard questions about the issues of teaching, quality of teaching, school attendance.6

Northern Territory Emergency Response

5.6 The committee queried on what basis new signs were being installed in indigenous communities. The department replied that the new signs incorporated new words and better placement in order to be succinct and clear.7 Officers stated that communities were consulted around what messages they thought the signs needed to reflect, as well as the messaging the government needs to add. Officers added that

these signs will be located in places which give people a general warning that there are restrictions that apply in the Northern Territory.8 Officers added that if a community does not want a sign, the legislation does not require it.9

Indigenous Business Australia

5.7 The committee began by commending the Indigenous Land Corporation for the work they had done in increasing the amount of full-time employees at the Ayers Rock Resort.10 11

5.8 The committee sought further information on the issue of cadastral boundaries and if the circumstances for the drawing of these boundaries had changed.11 Officers replied that different surveying is currently taking place:

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 16.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 16.

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 24.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 24.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 24

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 26.

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 33.

30

25

What is different with the surveying that the Executive Director of Township Leasing is doing now is that the work involves the subdivision of the actual blocks within the town. This sets up the ability of proponents of leases to take a particular block of land without having to pay the survey costs up front.12

5.9 Indigenous Business Australia was keen to update the committee on its home ownership program, pointing out that it was about to approve its 15 000th home loan.13 Mr Chris Fry, Chief Executive Officer, explained that most of the home loan clients would not have got a home loan through mainstream finance and that it is important because it represents a wealth transfer to the clients.14 15

Housing

5.10 The committee noted that there are some houses in Indigenous communities that are in need of repair. Officers explained that work and repairs are earned on after construction by the Northern Territory government during regular repairs and maintenance.1:1 Occasionally, staff from the repairs and maintenance program have to schedule a particular visit to a house if there is a long waiting period before they were originally scheduled to visit that area.

Health

5.11 The committee noted that there are currently a few petrol stations that are still refusing to stock Opal fuel. Officers stated that there are eight stations refusing Opal and that these consist of five in the Northern Territory, two in South Australia and one

in Queensland.16 17

5.12 The committee sought information on children receiving the first ear, nose and throat health checks in the Northern Territory Emergency Response, particularly whether children were referred for a second check up.1' The department stated that of the 1968 children who had a first consultation there were 1283 who required a follow up:

As of May 2011, of those 1,283 who required further follow up, 227 had been reviewed by an ENT specialist, 85 still had their reviewperiod active, 751 had not been reviewed by an ENT specialist and 170 had no fixed review period and had not been seen.18

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 33.

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 35.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 35.

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 47.

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 Februaiy 2012, p. 58.

17 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 59.

18 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 59.

31

26

5.13 The committee asked the department about the funding allotted to address suicides in the Kimberley, specifically involving the Taking Action to Tackle Suicide initiative.19 Officers stated that Boab Health Services was funded in order to deliver extra services in the region and that it had employed two experienced psychologists that are delivering Indigenous suicide prevention services under the initiative. These

services are being provided out of Broome and Kununurra.20

Conclusion

5.14 The committee thanked the departments, officers and ministers for their attendance and confirmed the importance of the cross portfolio estimates hearings for addressing Indigenous issues. During the entire Additional Estimates process for 2011-2012 the committee asked over 850 questions on notice.

Senator Claire Moore

Chair

19 Proof Estimates Hansard, 17 February 2012, p. 65.

20 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 65.

32

The Senate

Economics

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2011-12

March 2012

© Commonwealth of Australia 2012

ISBN 978-1-74229-582-4

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

Senate Economics Legislation Committee

Members

Senator Mark Bishop, Chair Senator David Bushby, Deputy Chair Senator Alan Eggleston Senator Doug Cameron Senator Ann Urquhart Senator Nick Xenophon

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

Tasmania, ALP South Australia, IND

Other senators in attendance

Senator the Hon Eric Abetz Senator Cory Bemardi Senator Simon Birmingham Senator the Hon Ronald Boswell Senator the Hon George Brandis Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck Senator Mathias Cormann Senator Sean Edwards Senator the Hon Bill Heffeman Senator Scott Ludlam Senator the Hon Brett Mason Senator Bridget McKenzie Senator Christine Milne Senator Fiona Nash Senator Stephen Parry Senator Lee Rhiannon Senator Michael Ronaldson Senator Scott Ryan Senator the Hon Nick Sherry Senator Rachel Siewert Senator Arthur Sinodinos Senator Glenn Sterle Senator Larissa Waters Senator John Williams

Tasmania, LP South Australia, LP South Australia, LP Queensland, NATS

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

Queensland, LP Victoria, NP Tasmania, AG New South Wales, NP

Tasmania, LP

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

New South Wales, LP Western Australia, ALP Queensland, AG New South Wales, NP

Secretariat Mr Tim Bryant, Secretary Dr Noemi Muiphy, Research Officer Ms Morana Kavgic, Administrative Officer

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3540

Fax: 02 6277 5719 E-mail: economics.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentarv Business/Committees/Senate Committees ?url=economics ctte/index.htm

36

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

Additional Estimates 2011-12: Report to the Senate ......................................... 1

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

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

Questions on notice....................................................................................................2

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

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

Matters raised - Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio..............................................................3

Matters raised - Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio .................................... 6

Matters raised - Treasury portfolio...........................................................................7

Appendix 1: Abbreviations......................................................................................13

Appendix 2: Index to proof Hansard transcripts..............................................15

Wednesday, 15 February 2012................................................................................15

Thursday, 16 February 2012.................................................................................... 16

Friday, 17 February 2012.........................................................................................16

Appendix 3: Documents tabled............................................................................... 17

Wednesday, 15 February 2012................................................................................17

Thursday, 16 February 2012 .................................................................................... 17

Appendix 4: Portfolio structure for the Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education Portfolio ........................................ 19

Appendix 5: Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio ............................................ 21

Appendix 6: Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Treasury Portfolio.........................................................................................23

38

Additional Estimates 2011-12

Report to the Senate

Introduction

1.1 On 9 February 2012 the Senate referred to the committee for examination and report the following documents in relation to the Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education; Resources, Energy and Tourism; and Treasury portfolios:1

" particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2011-12];

" particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2011-12]; and

" estimates of proposed additional expenditure for 2011-2012 (Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements).

" the final budget outcome 2010-11; and

" consideration of the issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts.

Portfolio structures and outcomes

1.2 The committee notes that changes have been made to the portfolio structure and outcomes of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research since the 2011-12 Budget Estimates round.

1.3 The portfolio has been renamed Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. As a part of this restructuring, the Tertiary Education and Skills portfolio has been shifted to the department formally known as the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. Tertiary education and skills has been designated as the department's third outcome and the department has been renamed the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

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

" Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (Appendix 4);

" Resources, Energy and Tourism (Appendix 5); and

" Treasury (Appendix 6).

1 Journals of the Senate No. 75, 9 February 2012, p. 2090

Page 2

Questions on notice

1.5 The committee draws the attention of all departments and agencies to the deadline of Thursday, 29 March 2012 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

1.6 The committee received evidence from Senator the Hon Christopher Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research; Senator the Hon Kim CaiT, Minister for Manufacturing; Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Assistant Treasurer; Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation; and officers from the Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education; Resources, Energy and Tourism; and Treasury portfolios.

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

1.8 The committee conducted hearings on 15, 16 and 17 February 2012. In total the committee met for 24 hours and 20 min, excluding breaks.

Procedural issues

1.9 On 16 February 2012, there was discussion regarding the Future of Financial Advice bills (currently the subject of inquiries by both the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services and the Economics Legislation Committee) which required a judgement from the Chair about whether the discussion was approaching the provisions of the bill rather than, for example, the process of

developing the bill.

1.10 The Chair referred to the Clerk's advice about the discussion of bills (rm.adv. 17256) and moved the questioning on to an examination of the Regulation Impact Statements that accompanied the bills.

1.11 The same issue emerged in relation to the Minerals Resource Rent Tax bills, into which this committee was to hold hearings the following week (21 and 22 February 2012). The chair limited the discussion to areas not related to the provisions of the bills.

Record of proceedings

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

Page 3

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

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary Business/Hansard/Estimates Transcript Sched ule. Copies are also tabled with this report for the information of the Senate.

Matters raised - Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio

1.14 On 15 February 2012, the committee examined the estimates for the:

" Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO);

" Office of the Chief Scientist;

" Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO);

" Australian Research Council (ARC); and

" Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary

Education.

1.15 Matters examined included the following:

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) 2

" CSIRO's ability to comment on public policy (p. 5);

" the Carbon Tax and a debate about the science that underpins it (pp 56,

12-14);

" the resignation of Dr Spash and the publication list of CSIRO (pp 6-8);

" Merbein CSIRO Research facility, its sell off and the impact this has had on research (pp 8-9);

" CSIRO's final report into the Murray Darling Basin and socioeconomic data (p. 9);

" the CarbonKids program and its educational content (pp 9-12);

" the effect of climate change on the oceans and the usefulness of oceans in

predicting or analysing climate change (pp 14-15);

" Dr McDougall and the circumstances surrounding the termination of his employment at CSIRO (pp 15-16);

" staffing related issues (p. 17); and

" The Conversation website and CSIRO's contributions to it (p. 18).

Office of the Chief Scientist

" Chief Scientist's role in providing advice to the government regarding climate change (pp 19-21);

2 Page numbers refer to the Proof Committee Hansard , Wednesday 15 February 2012. Transcript page numbers in the Proof Hansard may differ slightly from the Official Hansard.

Page 4

" the promotion/advocacy of science throughout the community and the debate on Darwinism versus Creationism (pp 21 *23); and

" the Chief Scientist's knowledge of the Climate Commission report and other articles relating to climate change (pp 23-24).

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

" the Department of Health and Aging review into ARPANSA's handling of safety matters at ANSTO (pp 24-25);

" the sale and production of isotopes and issues relating to pricing (pp. 25-26);

" Comcare report on incidents at ANSTO and subsequent action by ANSTO (PP 26-28, 29);

" ANSTO's whistleblower policy (pp 28-29);

" the treatment of nuclear waste (p. 29); and

" ANSTO's compliance with the government's competitive neutrality

guidelines, particularly in relation to ANSTO's investment in PETNET.

Australian Research Council (ARC)

" the final appearance at estimates by Professor Sheil (p. 30);

" funding for the Hearts and Stones project (p. 31);

" the Industrial Transformation Program and the use of the ARC Linkage

Scheme (pp 31-32); and

" quality controls on privately funded research in universities (pp 32-33).

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education -outcome 1 * Industry and Innovation

" machinery of government changes to the department (pp 33-36);

" Auslndustry and government funding (p. 36);

" the Green Car fund, the car industry in general and the government assistance it is being provided (pp 37-53, 55-57);

" free trade agreements, specifically with Thailand, car exports and excise (PP 53-54);

" manufacturing support and the importance of manufacturing to the mining industry (pp 54-55);

" the Carbon Tax and its impact on aluminium production (p. 57);

" the Steel Transformation Plan and the assistance it is providing (p. 58);

" the impact of the Carbon tax on the steel industry and groceries (p. 59);

" Ethical Clothing Australia and the support the department is providing to the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia (pp 60-61);

" Senator Arbib's attendance at the Olympic games and the National Small Business Summit (pp 61-62);

" the impact of payroll tax and the Carbon Tax on small business (pp 63-64);

" the implementation of a new small business dispute resolution policy (p. 64); and

" small business' reluctance to seek interest payments on overdue invoices paid by the department (pp 65-67).

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education -outcome 3 - Tertiary Education and Skills

" machinery of government changes to the department (p. 67);

" cattle deaths at Mataranka Station and Charles Darwin University's continued license to deliver rural operations training (pp 67-69);

" agricultural subjects and curriculum material taught at universities and the need for greater sponsorship (pp 69-71, 80);

" interest earned on the Education Investment Fund and its expenditures (p. 71);

" the release of the Lomax-Smith base funding report and government's

response (pp 71-72);

" voluntary student fees, their amounts and the number of students who defer their fees (pp 72-74);

" the rise in student debt levels in the United States and Australia and the

amount of debt being repaid (pp 74-75);

" questions surrounding the relevance of certain research projects (p. 75);

" the financial difficulties experienced by regional students when attending university and the lack of financial assistance provided to regional students by the government (pp 76-80);

´ the funding of skills and workforce development and related negotiations between states and territories (pp 80-82); and

" the establishment of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to regulate the quality of skills training in Australia (pp 82-83).

Tertiary * Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEOSA)

" issues surrounding a current investigation into a matter at the University of Queensland (pp 84-86, 87);

" TEQSA's risk assessment of all education providers (p. 86);

" TEQSA's fee schedules and its consultations (p. 87); and

" budget allocations and agency structure (pp 88-89).

_______________________________________________________________________________________ Page 5

Page 6________________________________________________________________________

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

" ASQA's role as regulator, its relationship with the states and territories and fee schedules (pp 89-90, 91);

" the number of complaints lodged with ASQA in the last 6 months and the

regulator's responses (p. 91);

" referral of state regulatory powers to ASQA (p. 91); and

" the selection process for the three commissioners at ASQA (p. 92).

Matters raised - Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

1.16 On 15 February 2012, the committee examined the estimates for the:

" Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism; and

" Tourism Australia.

1.17 Matters examined included the following:

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism - outcome 1 - Resources and Energy

" the Secretary's opening statement (pp 93-94);

" the achievability of the efficiency dividend (p 94);

" the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, funding issues and the appearance of a funding related story on the 7.30 Report (pp 94-98);

" the future role of carbon capture and storage in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the funding of related projects (pp 98-100);

" Solar Flagship Program and its budget figures (pp 100, 101-104);

" implementation of the clean energy package and the role of the Australian Energy Market Operator (p. 101);

" government grants to HRL Limited (p. 104);

" departmental employee conflicts of interest when leaving to work in the mining sector (p. 105);

" carbon capture and storage, its importance and the composition of the mining sector (pp 105-107); and

" the skills shortage in the mining industry (p. 107).

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism * outcome 2 - Tourism; and Tourism Australia

" budget allocations for tourism and the impact of the efficiency dividend (pp 108-109);

" impact of the Carbon Tax on the tourism industry (pp 109-112);

" government support for tourism when compared with other sectors such as manufacturing (p. 113);

" the passenger movement charge, its impact on travellers and its role in

Australia's slide from fourth to thirteenth ranking on the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index rankings (pp 113-114); and

" Tourism Australia's research priorities.

Matters raised * Treasury portfolio

1.18 On 15 February 2012, the committee examined the estimates for the:

" Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC); and

" Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM).

1.19 Matters examined included the following:

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)3

" discussions regarding the absence of the Chairman (p. 120);

" issues surrounding Woolworth's bid to purchase Franklin, with some

discussions regarding SPAR and Coles' bids (pp 121-124);

" the integrity of ACCC research and public comments made by Senator

Xenophon (pp 124-126);

" petrol prices, potential predatory pricing issues and concerns surrounding the Woolworths/Coles shopper docket discount vouchers (p. 126);

" moves by Mastercard and other financial service providers to institute a financial blockade of Wikileaks (pp 127-129);

" ACCC's declaration of Telstra's ADSL services (p. 129);

" repair notices issued by ACCC/guidelines on how to repair goods capable of retaining user generated data (p. 131);

" supermarket pricing of fruit and vegetables (p. 132); and

" issues relating to the default super market, the registration of funds and anti≠ competitive arrangements with employees (pp 133-124).

Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM)

" value of government securities (p. 134);

" discussion about an article in the Australian Financial Review and costs of borrowing in Australia (pp 134-136); and

____________________________________________________________________________________ Page 7

3

Transcript page numbers refer to the Proof Hansard and may differ slightly from the Official Hansard.

Page 8

" Mr Nicholls' presentation at the Australian Business Economists luncheon regarding government debt and international comparisons of debt levels (pp 136-139).

1.20 On 16 February 2012, the committee examined the estimates for the:

" Treasury - outcome 1: Macroeconomic Group;

" Treasury - outcome 1: Fiscal Group;

" Treasury - outcome 1: Markets Group;

" Treasury - outcome 1: Revenue Group;

" Australian Taxation Office (ATO);

" Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC);

" Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA);

" Productivity Commission (PC); and

" Inspector-General of Taxation.

1.21 Matters examined included the following:

Treasury - outcome 1: Macroeconomic Group

" the Secretary's absence and lines of questioning suggested for Friday's session (P∑ 5); " risks, including the high-dollar, to the budget bottom line and the impact of international economic conditions on the Australian economy (pp 57);

" the forecasted unemployment rate, participation rates and the disparity between public comments and MYEFO. (pp 7-10, 22-23);

" current interaction between fiscal and monetary policy and its impact on interest rates (pp 10-14);

" the Carbon Tax and its influence on nominal wage rises (pp 14-15);

" mining and its influence on the value of the Australian dollar (pp 15-16);

" the distribution of unemployment and the impact of the mining boom on

inflation, interest rates and exchanges rates (pp 16-18, 23-24);

" job losses in the car industry and its impact on the broader economy (p. 18);

" criticism of Treasury's Wellbeing Framework (p. 19); and

" discussions relating to the analysis of the impact of the stimulus package (pp 19-22.

Treasury ~ outcome 1: Fiscal Group

" meetings between Treasury officials and Mr Wilkie, MP, regarding gambling reforms (pp 24-25);

46

" government debt, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and revenue and

expenditure trends (pp 25-32).

" the timing of the establishment of the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) (pp 32-33);

" discussions relating to a speech given by Mr Rob Nicholls, CEO of the

AOFM, and his views regarding the sovereign debt market (pp 33-35);

" Australia's capacity to service its debt and the impact of the stimulus package (PP 35-36);

" infrastructure spending and the potential contribution to this by the Mineral Resources Rent Tax (MRRT) (p. 36);

" Treasury's involvement in the assessment of Environmental Impact

Statements (p. 37);

" Australia's tax rate and the 2008 decision to not let it rise beyond 2007-8

proportions (pp 37-38);

" government spending before and post the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) (pp 38-39); and

" the government's Clean Energy Package, its links to the carbon price and the international carbon market's influence on Australia's carbon price (pp 39-46).

Treasury - outcome 1: Markets Group

" the Energy Security Council and its sources of funding (pp 47-48);

" the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services (PJC) recommendations and the current consultation phase regarding the Consumer Credit and Corporations Legislation Amendment (Enhancements) Bill 2011 (pp 48-50);

" issues relating to the Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) reforms, including the timing of its implementation and conflicted remuneration (pp 50-53);

" the Productivity Commission's review into the selection of default funds on modem awards (p. 53);

" the Howard government's financial services refomis and whether or not a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) was prepared for them (pp 53-54);

" the St John inquiry into the definitions of wholesale and retail clients

(pp 54-55);

" future plans to enable the transferral of superannuation between Australia and New Zealand (pp 55-56);

" Trio Capital's compensation payments and their progress (p. 56);

" the Banking Competition package and it influence in increasing the

competitiveness of market accounts (pp 56-59);

Page 9

Page 10

" the independent lifting of interest rates by the big four banks (pp 59-61);

" the Australian Financial Centre Task Force's report on the corporate bond market (pp 61-64);

" bank guarantees and role they play in maintaining employment in the sector (PP 64-65);

" covered bonds and their costs to borrowers (pp 65-66); and

" changes under Basel III and the modelling Treasury has completed regarding these changes (pp 66-67).

Treasury * outcome 1: Revenue Group and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

" changes to the private health insurance rebate (pp 67-70);

" new tax systems for managed investment funds (pp 77-72);

" MRRT revenue and its tax implications (pp 72-77, 91-93);

" increases to the super guarantee and its implications (pp 77-78);

" lost superannuation and reporting requirements for superfunds (pp 78-81);

" the mining industry and various related taxation issues (pp 81-83);

" tax concessions on superannuation (p. 83);

" not-for-profit sector reform (pp 83-87);

" ATO procurement policies (pp 87-89);

" TPG Capital court case (p. 89);

" double taxation agreement with the United States (pp 89-91); and

" audits and self-assessment in relation to taxpayers in the financial services industry (pp 93-95).

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

" ASIC's new powers acquired as a result of the FoFA reforms and the issuance of guidance notes (pp 95-98);

" the rolling out of cost recovery in relation to market supervision (p. 98);

" the best execution rule and how it will impact, in the context of Chi-X, on the requirements of stockbrokers (pp 98-99);

" Australia Post and the high fees charged for the processing of cheques (p. 99);

" the impact of budget cuts on ASIC and a related article in the Australian Financial Review (pp 99 *101);

" superfund adverts (p. 101);

" complaints regarding the perception that Bankwest customers are being treated unfairly by the new owners, Commonwealth Bank (p. 102);

" private equity takeovers (pp 102-103);

48

Page 11

" secured note products (pp 103-104);

" the repercussions for the firesale of assets (p. 104);

" the liquidation of Ansett by KordaMentha (pp 104-105); and

" an update on issues surrounding the collapse of Storm Financial (p. 105).

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

" opening statement by Dr Laker (p. 106);

" QT Mutual Bank and tracker loans (pp 107-108);

" new prudential standards and the impact on retirement savings (pp 132 *133);

" APRA's risk registers of financial institutions (pp 109-110);

" changes to the regulatory capital regime and the overall capital requirements across both life and general insurance industries (pp 110-111);

" changes to rules for superannuation funds concerning disclosure and

improved transparency (pp 111-112);

" APRA *s statistics on superannuation data (pp 112-113); and

" the effects of covered bonds on other funds (pp 113-114).

Productivity Commission

" Mr Banks * speech Industry assistance in a patchwork economy and industry related reform (pp 115-116); and

" levels of assistance to the car industry (p. 116).

Inspector-General of Taxation

" the perception of an increased focus on litigation by the ATO and a review

into alternative dispute resolution (pp 117-118); and

" the current review into self assessment (p. 118).

1.22 On 17 February 2012, the committee questioned the Secretary of the Department of Treasury, Dr Martin Parkinson and officers from the:

" Treasury - outcome 1: Macroeconomic Group;

" Treasury - outcome 1: Fiscal Group;

" Treasury - outcome 1: Markets Group; and

" Treasury - outcome 1: Revenue Group.

1.23 Matters examined included the following:

" the shape of Australia's economy and the good indicators of economic health (PP 5-6);

" Australia's connection to Asia, its terms of trade and the exchange rate

(PP 7-8);

Page 12

" the assessment of the level of consumer/business/investor confidence (PP 8-9);

" income tax rates after the commencement of the Carbon Tax and its effect on household budgets (pp 9-11);

" the structural adjustment of the Australian economy and the implications this has for employment (pp 11-12);

" the tightening up of regulation and dealing with asset price bubbles (p. 12);

" questions surrounding the appropriateness of achieving a budget surplus in 2012-13 (p. 12);

" the implications of Chinese investment in African mineral resources for the Australian economy (p. 13);

" the impact of the MRRT on the Australian export market (pp 14, 20);

" assistance provided to the car industry, Treasury's Wellbeing Framework and a related article in the Australian Financial Review (pp 15 *19);

" planned mining investment projects (pp 19-20);

" the Wellbeing Framework and how it seeks to address wealth/income

inequality in Australia (pp 21-22); and

" the estimated structural budget balance (pp 22-23).

Senator Mark Bishop

Chair

50

Appendix 1

Abbreviations

ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission

ADSL Asymmetric digital subscriber line

ANSTO Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

AOFM Australian Office of Financial Management

APRA Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

ARC Australian Research Council

ARP ANSA Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission

ASQA Australian Skills Quality Authority

ASX Australian Securities Exchange

ATO Australian Taxation Office

AUASB Auditing and Assurance Standards Board

CEO Chief Executive Officer

CGS Commonwealth Government Securities

COAG Council of Australian Governments

CRCCooperative Research Centres

CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

FoFA Future of Financial Advice

GDP Gross Domestic Product

MYEFO Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook

MRRT Mineral Resource Rent Tax

PBO Parliamentary Budget Office

Page 14

PC Productivity Commission

PRRT Petroleum Resource Rent Tax

RMBS Residential mortgage-backed security

SME Small and Medium Enterprises

TEQSA Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency

Index to proof Hansard transcripts

Appendix 2

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) 5

Office of the Chief Scientist 19

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) 24

Australian Research Council (ARC) 30

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Industry and Innovation; Small Business] 33

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Tertiary Education and Skills] 67

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency 83

Australian Skills Quality Authority 89

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Resources and Energy] 93

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Tourism] and Tourism Australia 108

Treasury portfolio (commenced)

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) 119

Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) 134

53

Page 16

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Treasury portfolio (continued)

Treasury [Macroeconomic Group] 4

Treasury [Fiscal Group] 24

Treasury [Markets Group] 46

Treasury [Revenue Group] and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) 67

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) 94

Australian Pmdential Regulation Authority (APRA) 105

Productivity Commission 114

Inspector General of Taxation 117

Friday, 17 February 2012

Treasury portfolio (continued)

The Secretary of the Department of Treasury 4

Appendix 3

Documents tabled

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

1. Received from Mr Paul Sexton, General Manager, Customer Services Branch: 'Automotive Transformation Scheme';

2. Received from Mr Mark Pearson, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Regulation, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission: 'Gross Indicative Retail Differences';

3. Received from Senator Mathias Cormann: 'Labor dodges blowout in debt ceiling' featured in the Australian Financial Review, 1 December 2011.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

4. Received from Mr Rob Nicholl, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Office of Financial Management: 'Nominal CGS Yields';

5. Received from Mr Greg Medcraft, Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission: 'Opening Statement for Senate Estimates'.

55

56

Portfolio structure for the Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education Portfolio1

Appendix 4

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research * Senator the Hon Chris Evans

Minister for industry and Innovation 2 The Hon Greg Combet AM MP

Minister for Manufacturing 2 Senator the Hon Kim Carr

Minister for Small Business 4 Senator the Hon Mark Arbib

Parliamentary Secretary for industry and Innovation 2 The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education Secretary: Dr Don Russell

Agency-Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Agency * IP Australia Director General: Mr Philip Noonan

Organisation (ANSTO) Chief Executive Officer; Dr Adi Paterson

Agency- Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Agency-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Islander Studies (AlATSiS) " *j *∑ Organisation (CSIRO)

Principal (CEO): Mr Russell Taylor Chief Executive Officer: Dr Megan Clark

Agency - Australian Research Council (ARC) Agency - Australian institute of Marine Science (AIMS) Chief Executive Officer: Professor Margaret Sheil Chief Executive Officer: Mr John Gunn

Agency - Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) Agency- Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Chief Commissioner: Dr Carol Nicoll Chief Commissioner: Mr Chris Robinson

1 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2011-12, Innovation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio, p, 4.

57

58

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

Appendix 5

O u tco me-1: rcreas e demand for Australia as a destination, strengthen 1he travel distribution system, and contribute :o the development of a sustar.aole

tourism industry through, consumer marketing, trace cevetoormr.t and research activities.

To u rism A ustralia Managing Director Mr Andrew MoEvoy

O u tco me 1: informed government, industry and community decisions on tne economy, social and environmental management of the nation's natural resources through erahing

access to geoscientfic and spatial information.

G eo scien ce A ustralia Che∑ Executive Officer Dr Chris Pigram

Out com e 1: Encourage innovation and cost effective developments in solar energy technologies to accelerate commercial deployment through know ledge buidhg and collaborative research, development and sv p o ct for

A ust'aian industries and research insttutons.

A u stralian Solar In stitu te Executive Director to Mark Tw :deS

O u tco me 1: An Australian oil and gas industry tost property centres tne health and safety risks to the w orkforce at its offshore petroleum ooeratiens.

N ational O ffshore P etro leu m Safety and Environmental M an ag emen t A uthority

Vs Jar* Cutter

Portfolio Minister M nister for Resources and Energy tomster for Tourism The Hon Martin Ferguson AM M3

O utcome 1 :7he improvec strength, competitiveness and sustanability of the resources, ene'gy and tourism industries to enhance A u straias prosperity through implementation of gov ern men: poicy and programs.

D ep artmen t of Res o u rces , Energy an d To u rism Portfolio Secretary to Drew Clarke

1 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2011-12, Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio, p. 6.

so

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Treasury Portfolio1

Appendix 6

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Chairman; Dr John Laker AO

Enhanced public cenfidenae n Australia's f-andal hstthtitrs through a framework of prude-da regobtao which salaries fnantia s.a~er.∑ and eFdi&ncy ccmpr-itsn ccntestab rty an: ccm-cer.>e neut-aiity

Australian Bureau of Statistics Statistician; Mr Brian∑ Pink

Informed decisions, research and d sstssdr. within governments and the canmtiefcy by leadng the objection, ___________ a-a.w s a-.d crcyistor. of high Quality, cc-.#ckvt arc relevant statist cai infcrmatior∑. ____________

inferred Government decis cns on fatal eq-jaisaten between the States and Territories through scy'.ce and neccrrmerrcattcns cn the d sf fcut.cn c-J -3S~ -eyen.e and -ealm care grams

Commonwealth Grants Commission

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman: Mr Rod Sins

Lawful competition. consumer imectcn. an; reo-iated national .'frastiucture markets ana services through regulation, nearing enforcement edacation. crioe monitoring and determining the ter-s of assess to infrastructure servees

The advancement of nacroeccronfc growth and stab ty, anti the effective operator* of fmancis. markets, through issuing cebt. investing n financial assets arc manag-g cebt. nvestmems and cash for the Australian Government

Australian Office of Financial Management

Department of the Treasury Secretary: Dr Madr. Parkinson

Informed decisions cn the development and inpiemersalicn of policies ic mereve me we being of the Aussa; an people. mclud -g by accievrg smeng, sustainable eeoncmc growth, tore ugh toe pev sfon of a:vise

Australian Taxation Office Ccmmisscner: Mr Michae D'Asoenao AO

Ccnf, dense in the administration of aspects o' Austra1 a *s taxatso and superannuation systems tiireu^i hep ng peobe tmerstare their rights and obligations, improving ease d compi ante arc access ____________________t∑:. becePs. and mr∑."seine nor-compliyce with the law ___________________

Australian Securities and Investments Commission Chairman: Mr Greg Med craft

Cutccne t: Imcrcved confidence in finarosa market integrity anti protester of investors and consumers through researc" policy, educat-on, comp,anoe and oetemence that met gates emerging nsxs Occcctne 2: Smear-lines and cost-effectve nteracdon anti access to nformaton far business anc the subli: through registry, icersmn anti business faci tafxn se-vices _______________

Portfolio Minister * Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer "The Hen Wayne Swan M? Assistant Treasurer Senator the Boa Mark Arbib Minister for financial Services and Superannuation

The Hen B3 Shorter MP Minister for Housing and Homelessness The Hen Robert McCie and f/F Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer _____________ The Hon Casio Sracburv MP _____________

1 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2011-12, Treasury portfolio, pp 6-7.

Page 24

Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee Converter Ms Jcame Rees

Infames decisions sy Government on issues relating to corporators regulation and fnartcai croduccs, setv-tes and markets tirough indeoendent a-c exoer. advice

Office of the Audrting and Assurance Standards Board Charmer MsMerranKelsall

The formulation and making si auditing and assurance standards that are used by auditors c∑ Austrian _____________ entity finsnaa reports orfor ether audit--g and assurance engagements ____________

Office of the Australian Accounting Standards Board Chairman: Mr Kevin Stevenson

"he fomiticioR and making of accounting *∫*π-dards that a-e used by Australian entities to prepare firtancia' reoats and enable users of these reports to make iNfewneg cec's-cns

Productivity Commission Chairman: Mr Gary Banks AO

Well-informed policy decision-making and public understanding on matters relating to Australia s croducevtiy and I hr eg standards. bases or inaecender, and fa- so; -ent ara.-vsis frci" a cctr.muncy-v.ide perspeccve

Royal Australian Mint Chief Executive Officer Mr Ross MacOiamti

The coinage needs of die Australian economy, ca actors atw foreign countries are met through the manufacture am sale cf crcu atr,: coins oaSeetor cons and ether mrtec like products

62

The Senate

Education, Employment

and Workplace Relations

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2011-12

March 2012

© Commonwealth of Australia 2012

ISBN 978-1-74229-583-1

This document was produced by the Senate Standing Committees on Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra

MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE

Members

Senator Gavin Marshall, Chair, ALP, Vic.

Senator Chris Back, Deputy Chair, LP, WA

Senator Catryna Bilyk, ALP, Tas

Senator Bridget McKenzie, Nat, Vic.

Senator Lee Rhiannon, AG, NSW

Senator Matt Thistlethwaite, ALP, NSW

Participating Senators

Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz, LP, Tas

Senator Cory Bemadi, LP, SA

Senator Sue Boyce, LP, QLD

Senator Michaelia Cash, LP, WA

Senator Doug Cameron, ALP, NSW

Senator Trish Crossin, ALP, NT

Senator Sean Edwards, LP, SA

Senator Mary Jo Fisher, LP, SA

Senator Alex Gallacher, ALP, SA

Senator the Hon. Brett Mason, LP, QLD

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, LP, VIC

Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion, Nat., NT

Senator Rachael Siewert, AG, WA

Senator Larissa Waters, AG, QLD

Secretariat

Mr Tim Watling, Secretary

Ms Bonnie Allan, Principal Research Officer

Ms Natasha Rusjakovski, Senior Research Officer

Mr Jarred Baker, Research Officer

Ms Ashleigh Webb, Administrative Officer

Ph:02 6277 3521 Fax: 02 6277 5706

E-mail: eewr.sen@aph.gov.au

66

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

iv

Table of Contents

MEMBERSHIP OF THE COM M ITTEE.............................................................iii

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

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

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

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2010-11 ................................. 1

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

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

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

Note on Hansard page referencing............................................................................3

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

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

Fair Work Australia....................................................................................................5

Fair Work Ombudsman............................................................................................. 7

Office of the Australia Building and Construction Commissioner ......................... 8

Comcare...................................................................................................................... 9

Safe Work Australia.................................................................................................10

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 4 - Workforce participation and labour market assistance..........................................10

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 5 - Safer and more productive workplaces...................................................................12

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 1 - Early Childhood Education ..................................................................................... 12

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority .............................. 14

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 2 - Schools and Youth....................................................................................................15

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

Committee oversight of departments and agencies...............................................19

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

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

68

Chapter 1

Overview

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

1.2 On 9 February 20121 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 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2011-12];

" Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2011-12];

" Final budget outcome 2010 * 11 *Report by the Treasurer (Mr Swan) and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation (Senator Wong), October 2011; and

" Issues from the Advance under the annual Appropriation Acts *Report for 2010-11.

1.3 Standing legislation committees are required to report to the Senate on 20 March 2012.

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) 2010-11

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

1.6 The PAES 2011-12 notes that there have been no changes to the overall outcomes of the portfolio. The PAES does list a number of new measures since the May 2011 Budget including:

1 Journals of the Senate No. 75, 9 February 2012, p. 2090.

69

Page 2

" $5 million for the provision of one-off grants to select Long Day Care service providers to assist in the transition to the National Quality Framework;

" $28.1 million for a National Broadband Network-enabled education portal that includes access to, and allows the use of, the Australian Broadcasting Corporations' database of contemporary and archival content; and

" Several measures associated with the Clean Energy Future compensation package.2

1.7 These measures are offset by a number of savings measures, outlined in the PAES.3

Hearings

1.8 The committee conducted two days of hearings, examining Employment and Workplace Relations outcomes and agencies on 15 February 2011 and Education outcomes and agencies on 16 February 2011. In total the committee met for 19 hours and 14 minutes, excluding breaks.

1.9 The following outcomes and agencies appeared before the committee:

" Outcomes 1, 2, 4 and 5

" Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

" Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership

" Comcare

" Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner

" Fair Work Australia

" Fair Work Ombudsman

" Safe Work Australia

1.10 The committee's consideration of the referred documents listed in 1.2 was made more difficult by the late amendment of the Allocation of Departments by the Senate on 8 February 2012 in response to Administrative Arrangement Order (AAO) changes from December 2011.4 As a result of the changes to the AAO responsibility for Tertiary Education, Skills and International functions and policy has transferred to the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. This functional transfer largely represents the Outcome 3 objectives and programs and

2 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2011-12, pp 32-54.

3 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2011-12, pp 17-21.

4 Journals of the Senate No. 74, 8 February 2012, p. 2043.

also includes the Australian Skills Quality Authority and the

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.3

1.11 Some Senators expressed concerns regarding the lack of time allocated to the consideration of higher education because of the new AAO. This matter was canvassed during the Additional Budget Estimates of the Senate Economics Legislation committee. Senator Mason sought to emphasize that the short period of time allocated to higher education in the Economics committee 'makes the parliamentary oversight of higher education very difficult'.5 6

Public interest immunity claims

1.12 On 13 May 2009, the Senate passed an order relating to public interest immunity claims.7 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 hearing.

Questions on notice

1.13 The committee has drawn the attention of the department and its agencies to the agreed deadline of Thursday 29 March 2012 for the receipt of answers to questions taken on notice from this round, in accordance with Standing Order 26.

1.14 For this round, written questions on notice were received from Senators Abetz, Back, Bemardi, Boyce, Brown, Bushby, Cameron, Cash, Humphries, Mason, McKenzie, Nash, Ronaldson, Siewert, Williams and Xenophon.

Note on Hansard page referencing

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

________________________________________________________________________________________Page 3

5 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2011-12, p. 45.

6 Senate Economics Legislation committee, Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 34.

7 Journals of the Seriate, No. 68, 13 May 2009, p. 1941. The order was moved by Senator Cormann.

72

Chapter 2

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

2.1 This chapter summarises key areas of interest raised during the committee's consideration of additional budget estimates for the 2011-12 financial year. This chapter 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 15 February 2012 from

Senator the Hon. Jacinta Collins, as the Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations, along with officers from areas of the

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and agencies responsible for employment and workplace relations, including:

" Fair Work Australia;

" The Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman;

" The Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commission;

" Comcare; and

e Safe Work Australia.

2.3 On 16 February 2012 the committee heard evidence from the Parliamentary Secretary and officers from areas of DEEWR and agencies responsible for administering education policy. In addition to departmental officials, officers from the

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) were examined by the committee.

2.4 Senators present over the two days of hearings include

Senator Marshall (Chair), Senator Back (Deputy Chair), Senators Abetz, Bemardi, Bilyk, Boyce, Cameron, Cash, Crossin, Edwards, Fifield, Fisher, Gallacher, Mason, McKenzie, Ronaldson, Scullion, Siewert, Thistlethwaite, Waters, Williams and Xenophon.

Fair Work Australia

Health Services Union Investigations

2.5 Representatives from Fair Work Australia (FWA) tabled an opening statement providing an update on the inquiries into the National Office of the Health Services Union (HSU), and the HSU No. 1 Victoria Branch. The investigation into the National

Office is still underway. It was reported to the committee that the investigation into

Page 6

the No. 1 Victoria Branch found 25 contraventions of the registration and accountability of organisations schedule and/or rules of the HSU.1 Acting General Manager Ms O'Neill informed the committee that the report in the No. 1 Victoria Branch would not be made public by FWA:

I have considered whether to make the delegate's report publicly available. However, I have decided not to do so. The reason for this decision is that the report contains material in respect of individuals concerned that may be considered to be defamatory...However, I am aware that the report may be the subject of a request for production under Freedom of Information legislation or indeed an order for production by this committee.1 2

2.6 The committee was informed that the services of KPMG have been retained to undertake an independent review of the conduct of the investigations following their conclusion. The committee was assured that the outcome of the KPMG review would be made public.3

2.7 The committee also explored with FWA their policies around issuing corrections in response to false reporting of on-going investigations in the media. Witnesses informed the committee that corrections are issued when misinformation in the media is procedural or administrative in nature, but that FWA does not comment on current investigations to ensure that those investigations are not prejudiced.4 5

President of Fair Work Australia

2.8 The inaugural President of Fair Work Australia,

the Hon Justice GM Giudice AO, will retire from his role at the end of February 2012. The committee thanked Justice Giudice for his public service over two decades with both the superseded Australian Industrial Relations Commission and Fair Work Australia.3

Timely supply of evidence

2.9 In response to questions during the hearing uncovering the fact that erroneous information had been provided to the committee in answers to questions on notice, the Chair emphasised for the benefit of all witnesses the importance of providing corrections to evidence in a timely manner.6

1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 5.

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 7.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 6.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 Februaiy 2012, pp 14-17.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 40.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 23.

Page 7

Fair Work Ombudsman

Targeted Campaigns

2.10 The committee was informed that the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has recently conducted national campaigns that have focused on the security industry, the clerical sector and vehicle repairers. A national campaign targeting the structural metal product manufacturing sector will commence shortly.7 Senator Fisher queried how sectors were selected for auditing. Mr Ronson explained to the committee that:

Our approach in auditing - whether national or state * is to perform some complaint analysis. We look at trends. We do research. This shows us those sectors where there are just not high complains but also high contraventions or high violations. We are also interested in looking at sectors where there might be low numbers of complains but we have reason to believe that there are high violations.8

PayCheck Plus

2.11 The committee discussed with representatives of the FWO the issue of incorrect advice being provided to the public by the online information tool PayCheck Plus. PayCheck Plus is an online application that automatically calculates

rates of pay under modem awards. Senator Abetz asked witnesses about an alleged occurrence of PayCheck Plus returning different wage rates on separate occasions. Discussion ensued around amendments and improvements to the software to minimise information errors. It was reported to the committee that since 1 July 2012 there have

been a total of 101 amendments to PayCheck Plus.9

2.12 Senator Abetz questioned what measures had been undertaken to ensure that employers were made aware of any changes amendments to PayCheck Plus. The committee was informed that:

[W]e have put and continued to put in place a whole range of mechanisms to detect, correct and notify people about these. At the beginning of this month we listed on our website all the errors since 1 July last year and we have built an RSS feed service so that for the award that they are interested in, or all awards, they can get a regular update on their electronic mailbox of what changes have occurred...within the application itself we are doing

some things to improve the visibility of those changes as well.10

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 F ebruary 2012, pp 40 *41.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 41.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 48.

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 48.

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Entitlement offsetting

2.13 The committee explored with witnesses the matter of over and under payment of wages and the possibilities of offsetting award entitlements. Senator Abetz questioned what would happen if a workplace audit identified overpayments during the week, with simultaneous underpayments on weekends. Witnesses confirmed for the committee that there are currently no provisions in the Fair Work Act to offset any underpayments against previous made over-award payments. In such a circumstance, the business involved would need to rectify the weekend underpayment.11

2.14 Witnesses from the FWO explained that there is the possibility of offsetting award entitlements in certain circumstances, specifically when the employer and employee agree to the arrangements before payments are made. As explained by Mr Ronson:

[T]he way we approach the question of offsetting we look for clear designation. We look for agreements between an employer and an employee, preferable written, that it is their intention to pay over, say a Monday-Friday rate, if it is to compensate deliberately a weekend rate. There could be a verbal agreement and that would require the assent of both parties. In the absence of agreement, it is hard *the authorities are fairly established *to be too liberal in the offsetting regime.11 12

Office of the Australia Building and Construction Commissioner

Litigation: process, policies, performance

2.15 The committee considered at some length litigation undertaken by the Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner (ABCC). Australian Building and Construction Commissioner Johns reported to the committee that:

Since October 2005 the ABCC has litigated 90 matters. It has been successful in 76 of those. That is 84 per cent. I can tell you that in the past financial year we have finalised 15 matters and we have been successful in 13 of them. That is a success rate of 93 per cent.13

2.16 Senator Thistlethwaite queried how many prosecutions were brought under the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act 2005 (BCII Act), and how many were brought under the Fair Work Act 2009. The committee heard that:

[T]here are a range of acts in which the civil prosecutions are taken. At one end of the spectrum, there will be matters under the BCII Act alone. There will be other matters, of course, that are under the BCII Act and the Fair Work Act. There are others under the Fair Work Act...I think you have to

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, pp 49-50.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 49.

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 55.

Page 9

see it across that whole spectrum...! would think, without having the final figures in front of me, that there would be something in the order of around 25 per cent of matters would be solely under the BCII Act.14

Efficiency gains

2.17 During the hearing the committee heard of a number of areas that the ABCC is improving its operational capabilities and efficiency. Commissioner Johns reported to the committee that the Field Operations and National Code teams have been integrated:

[RJather than have two separate groups doing two separate bodies of work, we now have available to us a combined inspectorate that can be more easily deployed to do the work where the work needs to be done. Rather than have a separate group for national code, who then cannot be moved in investigations, they are now all together.15

2.18 Commissioner Johns also informed the committee regarding the progress and rationale for co-locating ABCC offices with those of the FWO. The committee heard that co-locating offices in cities has proved mutually beneficial for the ABCC and the FWO and that there was an ever-present search for efficiencies.16

Comcare

Record maintenance

2.19 Senator Bilyk discussed with Comcare the matter of missing records, the impact they can have on claims and the incidence of incomplete records. Comcare reported that measures have been put in place to improve the organisation's records management following a data transfer error that resulted in the files of some clients being lost:

A number of reforms have been implemented over the many years since that data transfer error occurred. I believe it was back in the early nineties. It was in the migration of information from one of our technology systems to another. We have a very strict control rules around the migration of data. It is not something we do regularly; it is something that occurred back at the time of a technology refresh. We believe we have very good controls in place to make sure that the accuracy of that data is maintained and that there is integrity there.17

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 62.

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 63.

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 67.

17 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 72.

Page 10

Immigration Detention Centres

2.20 Comcare reported to the committee that there are three open investigations in relation to incidents that have occurred in immigration detention centres. The investigations relate to an incident involving a forklift at Scherger in March 2011, the death of a client at Curtin in March 2011, and a SERCO officer being found

unconscious at Curtin in November 2011. Since 1 January 2012 three improvement notices have been issued in relation to detention centres.18

Safe Work Australia

Model Regulations

2.21 The committee questioned representatives of Safe Work Australia (SWA) regarding the progress in implementing the national harmonised regulations for occupational health and safety.

2.22 Senators asked FWA how the model regulations would impact on the volunteer sector. Representatives from SWA informed the committee that following Minister Shorten's roundtable with volunteering organisations, additional information has been prepared and distributed informing volunteers and volunteer organisations how the model regulations impact upon them.19 Senator Fifield and SWA Chief Executive Officer Mr Hoy discussed penalties for volunteers under the new regulations. Mr Hoy informed the committee that the maximum penalty applicable was for reckless conduct which carries the penalty of up to $300 000 or five years imprisonment. Mr Hoy noted that volunteers in the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Queensland were covered by workplace health and safety laws

and penalties prior to harmonisation.20

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 4 - Workforce participation and labour market assistance

Job Services Australia

2.23 The committee inquired into a number of matters surrounding Job Services Australia (JSA). In particular, the committee discussed an on-going audit of JSA led by Mr Butterworth. The audit will include around ten per cent of providers covering 2 500 claims. The Department reported that it hopes to have completed the audit by March 2012.21

18 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, pp 75-76.

19 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 76.

20 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 77.

21 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, pp 91 *96.

2.24 Senator Siewert asked about the frequency and scope of audits covering major programs and was informed by Department Deputy Secretary Ms Parker:

We regularly do these kinds of activities. One of the things we look at is our range of program assurance mechanisms. Part of that is about having national targeted projects. We survey employers, we look at data analysis and we look at the information we have in our system. We work with each of our contract managers in the states and we hone in on areas where we think there might be an issue. It might come up in one state that there appears to be an issue. Our contract managers meet as a group regularly with our national office people and they say to us, 'We think there might be an issue here. We have been desktop monitoring; we think there is a bit of

sharp practice potentially.' We would then decide whether that is a local issue or a national issue, and then we would drill in.22

Resourcing the future

2.25 Senator Waters led a discussion on the findings and methodology of the 2010 report Resourcing the Future by the National Resources Sector Employment Task Force. The committee heard that the report included in excess of 30 recommendations where are being processed by an implementation committee. Ms Paul elaborated on the value of the report and workings of the implementation committee:

The recommendations are quite broad. They go from things like remote housing through to employment arrangements, all sorts of things. They are all quite important to try to get the whole sector working well, with the purpose of enabling economic growth and not fettering it because of skills shortages, labour shortages or any employment, housing or municipal regulation barriers of any kind. On the group that I have been chairing sit the key players; the mining industry representatives, the union representatives, WA government representatives et cetera. The committee has not met that often, but has been quite important, at a very high level, to dip into the recommendations of that report and drive their

implementation.23

2.26 Specifically, the committee discussed the impact of a fly-in fly-out workforce on communities, labour retention within the industry, and the importance of creating local employment opportunities around resourcing projects.24

Disability Employment Services

2.27 The committee heard that the government's Response to the

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References committee's inquiry into the purchasing and administration of Disability Employment Services -

______________________________________________________________________________________ Page 11

22 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 94.

23 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 105.

24 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, pp 104-106.

Page 12

Employment Support Services (DES-ESS) would be presented within the standard 3-month timeline.

2.28 Witnesses updated the committee on preparations currently underway in order to proceed with an open tender process from May 2012. The committee learnt that starting from 27 February 2012 an exposure draft of the Request for Tender document would be released followed by public consultations in all capital cities and around 20 regional centres.23

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 5 * Safer and more productive workplaces

Appointment of the Fair Work Australia General Manager

2.29 Senator Abetz queried DEEWR about the process of appointing a new general manager for Fair Work Australia following the elevation to Commissioner of the then General Manager Mr Lee. Deputy Secretary Mr Kovacic told the committee that the position is a ministerial appointment. Section 669 of the Fair Work Act 2009 requires the minister consult with the president regarding potential appointments. The committee was informed that Mr Kovacic consulted with the president of FWA regarding potential candidates on behalf of the Minister. Following this consultation process advice was provided to the Minister on 2 September recommending that Ms O'Neill be appointed as acting General Manager.25 26

Review of the Fair Work Act 2009

2.30 Senator Abetz discussed with witnesses the size, composition and duties of the secretariat supporting the panel appointed to review the Fair Work Act 2009. The committee was told that the secretariat includes six staff members who provide research and administrative support to the panel. The secretariat also has the capacity to provide drafting support under the guidance of panellists.27

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 1 - Early Childhood Education

Childcare management system

2.31 The committee discussed with representatives of DEEWR the cause of the recent technical difficulties with the childcare management system that disrupted payments to some service providers. The childcare management system determines how much a provider is owed in childcare benefits from the government. Senator Back summarised the seriousness of the issue: *ä understand that it has led to

25 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 109.

26 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, pp 119-120.

27 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2012, pp 120-121.

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Page 13

28

2.32 DEEWR Deputy Secretary Ms Taylor explained to the committee the genesis of the problem:

I understand that there were upgrades in December. The problem did not become evident until around 13 January. It was a combination of issues exacerbated and bought to the fore by the volume of transactions.28 29

2.33 It was reported to the committee that the problem appears to have been resolved by the introduction of an additional server to support the computer platform. Of the approximately 14 200 accredited services using the childcare management system only a minority are thought to have been effected. Six applications for business

continuity grants were received by DEEWR from services that had their cash flow compromised by the service interruptions. All six services have been provided with funding by DEEWR.30

2.34 On a related matter, Senator Bilyk sought clarification from the DEEWR that money could not be collected from parents through the childcare management system. Officers from DEEWR assured the committee that: 'We pay money to the service but we cannot get any money from the parents and certainly not though their bank

accounts. It does not go that way.'31

Long Day Care quality framework transition support

2.35 The National Quality Framework (Framework) came into effect on 1 January 2012. The Framework aims to raise quality and drive continuous improvement in education and care services. The committee discussed the one-off grants available to Long Day Care service providers in areas of relative

socioeconomic disadvantage. As explained by the witnesses, the grant provides eligible services with $5000 to:

[Ajssist services with the implementation of the national quality framework. It was a broad range. It may be used for training. It could be used to purchase necessary equipment, to do signage - because there is a requirement to do certain signs to meet the standards - or subsidising relief staff to relieve staff doing upgrades. It could also be used for any modifications in the internal or external environment so that services could come up to standard and outreach activities that would improve access and outcomes for vulnerable children.32

28 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 4.

29 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 5.

30 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, pp 5-7.

31 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 19.

32 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 12.

81

2.36 The committee was informed that 991 centres had received the $5000 grants.33

2.37 Among others, the following matters were discussed during Outcome 1:

" Indigenous Early Childhood Education Centres;

" Vacancy rates for childcare workers;

" Teenage parent pilot programs; and

" Long day care centres.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy

2.38 The committee discussed with witnesses the results of the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests and what they indicated about Australia's level of educational attainment. Witnesses provided some background information on trends in student development and the spread of abilities between age groups and individual classes.34

2.39 The usefulness and criteria of national minimum standards for literacy and numeracy were discussed at some length. Some senators expressed concern that the minimum standards were set at too low a level. Explaining the rationale and purpose

of national minimum standards, Chief Executive Office Dr Hill explained:

In tenns of literacy, which is what we are talking about, the standard that we have is deliberately set so that we have a benchmark as to whether the student can meaningfully participate in the instruction. That is where it is

set. I think it is an appropriate standard to have. Yes, it is a minimal standard, but that is its purpose. It is to highlight for us where we have a student who cannot meet that and clearly we really have to have very special support for that student so that they can engage productively in the instruction in the classroom.35

Chief Executive Officer

2.40 The committee was informed that the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority's Chief Executive Officer Dr Hill would be retiring, and that this would be his last appearance before the EEWR committee. The Hansard transcript bears witness to the high regard in which Dr Hill is held:

Page 14______________________________________________________________________________________

33 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, pp 11-12.

34 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, pp 27-28, 30.

35 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 31.

Senator Jacinta Collins: The work that Dr Hill has conducted has been of extreme value to the government and to the country more generally. We note his departure with regret and wish him well in retirement.

Ms Paul: On behalf of the department, I reinforce what the parliamentary secretaiy has said. Dr Hill has been the first CEO of ACARA, and has had a very distinguished career. ACARA has been very fortunate to have Dr Hill as its first chief executive, and Dr Hill has seen through the groundbreaking and, in many areas, world-leading work that ACARA does.

Senator MASON: On behalf of the opposition, Dr Hill, you have always been a very gentlemanly witness, despite all provocations, so thank you very much.

CHAIR: Thank you, Dr Hill. We are very privileged in this country to have a very professional and expert public service. You have certainly been a fine example of that. My personal thanks go to you. You have brought great calmness to this issue. I do recall many times when Senator Mason has been in full flight and your calm, considered response has brought him back to earth to the benefit of all of us. So thank you, Dr Hill.36

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 2 - Schools and Youth

School Enrolment Attendance Measure

2.41 The committee undertook an expansive discussion of the School Enrolment Attendance Measure (SEAM); specifically the SEAM Evaluation Report for 2010 released on 2 February 2012.

2.42 Senator Siewert discussed with representatives the difficulties in collecting data on attendance in non-government education facilities. Witnesses, building upon this theme, reported difficulty in accessing the appropriate data from the Catholic Education Authority in some instances.37

2.43 Senator Scullion went on to discuss with officers the efficacy of the SEAM trial and some of the reasons behind the minimal increase in attendance in many places. The committee was informed that:

[Y]ou have to have reasonable expectations about a program like SEAM. It is operating in the most challenging communities, probably, that we have to deal with. The fact that there is an improvement is something that suggests that this is worth tiying, but there is no doubting that the families face multiple barriers, as is documented in the report. These are some of the most difficult circumstances.38

______________________________________________________________________________________ Page 15

36 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 36.

37 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, pp 49-50.

38 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 53.

Page 16

Cybersafety and bullying in schools

2.44 The committee discussed at length the issue of bullying in schools, and in particular measures that are either in place or being developed to ensure that the online playground is a safe one.

2.45 Officers of DEEWR reported progress on a number of fronts including the development and maintenance of the Bullying. No Way! website, as well as more traditional information resources provided under the National Safe Schools Framework. These resources help educate teachers and parents how to identify, discuss, and prevent bullying. The committee was also informed of work undertaken by the Department of Broadband, Communication and Digital Economy to improve cybersafety; notably a website called Cybersmart.39

2.46 Witnesses also highlighted for the committee on the work undertaken by the Australian Communication and Media Authority in providing information to teachers, students and parents on strategies to mitigate cyberbullying. To date, over 350 000 individuals have attended events organised by ACMA covering issues around cybersafety.40

2.47 The committee heard that 16 March 2012 is the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence which will be observed across all states and territories.41

National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program

2.48 The committee questioned witnesses regarding recent changes to the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program (Program). The Program replaced the former National School Chaplaincy Program at the beginning of 2012 enabling schools to choose between either a chaplain or a secular student welfare worker. Minimum qualifications, benchmark standards for service providers, and improvements to the complaint management system have also been introduced.42

2.49 New requirements for chaplains and student welfare workers include minimum qualification levels. Witnesses informed the committee that there were numerous education service providers that offered the required qualifications, and that the relevant units were also available online.43

39 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, pp 60-65.

40 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, pp 61-62.

41 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 61.

42 The Hon Peter Garrett MP, Schools given greater choice under expanded chaplains program, Media release, 7 September 2011.

43 Proof Estimates Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 71.

________________________________________________________________ _______Page 17

2.50 Among others, the following matters were discussed during Outcome 2:

" Reward for School Improvement program;

" Indigenous Boarding Schools;

" Building the Education Revolution;

" National Safe Schools Framework

Senator Gavin Marshall

Chair

86

Committee oversight of departments and agencies

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

" Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations;

" Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

" Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Ltd;

" ComCare;

" The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission;

" The Seafarers * Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority

(Seacare Authority);

" Fair Work Australia;

" The Fair Work Ombudsman;

" Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner; and

" Safe Work Australia.

Appendix 1

'

88

Index to Hansard transcripts Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

Appendix 2

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 Page no

F air W ork Australia................................................................................................ 5

Fair Work Ombudsman......................................................................................... 40

Australian Building and Construction Commission............................................. 54

Comcare................................................................................................................... 68

Safe Work Australia............................................................................................... 76

Outcome 4- Workforce participation and labour market assistance............. 91

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

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Outcome 1- Early childhood education................................................................ 4

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) ..... 27

Cross Portfolio........................................................................................................ 36

Outcome 2- Schools and youth............................................................................ 43

89

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The Senate

Environment and Communications

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2011-12

March 2012

© Commonwealth of Australia 2012

ISBN 978-1-74229-584-8

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

Membership of the Committee

Members:

Senator Doug Cameron (ALP, NSW) (Chair) Senator Mary Jo Fisher (LP, SA) (Deputy Chair) Senator Catryna Bilyk (ALP, TAS) Senator Bridget McKenzie (NATS, VIC) Senator the Hon Lisa Singh (ALP, TAS) Senator Larissa Waters (AG, QLD)

Committee Secretariat

Ms Sophie Dunstone, Acting Secretary Ms Jacquie Hawkins, Research Officer

Committee Address

Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Tel: 02 6277 3526

Fax: 02 6277 5818

Email: ec.sen@aph.gov.au

Internet: www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_JBusiness/Cornmittees/Senate_Committees7urHec_ctte/mdex.htm

iii 93

94

Contents

Membership of the Committee iii

Report to the Senate

Introduction 1

Hearings 1

Questions on notice - date for response 1

Portfolio specific issues 2

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency 2

Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities 4

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy 8

Acknowledgements 10

Appendix 1 - Public hearings agenda 11

Appendix 2 - Documents tabled 15 V

V

95

vi 96

Budget estimates 2011-12

Introduction

1.1 On 9 February 2012 the Senate referred the following documents to standing committees for examination and report:

" Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2011 *12]: and

" Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2011-12].1

1.2 Standing committees were required to report to the Senate on 21 June 2011.1 2

Hearings

1.3 The committee conducted public hearings with the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio on 13 February 2012, the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio on 13 and 14 February 2012 and the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio on 14 February 2012. The committee's public hearings program is at Appendix 1. Documents tabled during the hearings are listed at Appendix 2.

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.

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

www.aph.gov.au/Parhamentary_Busmess/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=ec_ctt e/estimates/add 1112/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 during the 13-14 February hearings be Friday, 30 March 2012.

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 Journals of the Senate, No. 28, 10 May 2011, p. 878.

2 Journals of the Senate , No. 14, 26 November 2010, pp 408-409.

2

1.8 The committee notes that it had set Friday, 2 December 2011 as the date for the return of answers to questions taken on notice during the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings held in October 2011. However, at that date there was a total of 916 answers outstanding to 1037 questions on notice across the three portfolios, as follows:

" Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio, 583 of 583;

" Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio, 94 of 215; and

" Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio, 239 of 239.

1.9 The last of the late answers were submitted in the days prior to and during the Additional Estimates hearings.

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

Portfolio specific issues

1.11 On the first day of its examination of the 2011-12 Additional Estimates, the committee called and examined officers from the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (CCEE) portfolio.

1.12 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Pemiy Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the Hon Greg Combet MP.

1.13 The committee raised a range of matters which are noted below. The page references beside each matter refer to the proof transcript for Monday, 13 February 2012.

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio

1.14 General questions were asked of the department about:

" freedom of information requests; vexatious applications (pp 3, 4, 30-32, 74)

" Zoo Advertising Pty Ltd contract for a corporate communications branding and visual identity for the clean energy regulator (pp 5-6)

" cost of department fit-out and re-location to the Nishi Building (pp 6-7)

" graduate intake numbers (p. 7).

1.15 At the conclusion of general questions, the committee called departmental officers in relation to Program 1.1: Reducing Australia *s greenhouse gas emissions. Matters raised included:

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" establishment of the clean energy regulator and the climate change authority (pp 8-12)

" impact of the current exchange rate on Australia's carbon price (pp 12-15, 29-30)

" estimated fugitive emissions from coal seam gas operations (pp 15-18)

" costs of the Power Shift 2011 conference (p. 18)

" applications for the Climate Change Grant Program (p. 18)

" current price of carbon in the European Union Emission Trading Scheme and other overseas schemes (pp 19-22)

" impact of the carbon price on Australian fann businesses (pp 23-27)

" analysis of the advertising campaign of the Australian Trade and Industry Alliance (pp 27-28)

" assistance under the Jobs and Competitiveness Program in Tasmania (pp 28-29)

" allocations of funding from the energy security fund (pp 33-34)

" advertising in the lead-up to the implementation of the carbon price package (pp 34-35)

" release of report based on Open Mind tracking research (pp 35-36)

" status of the renewable energy atlas (p. 37).

1.16 Officers from the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator were called and examined in relation to:

" time frame for clearing solar credits in the clearing house (p. 38)

" inspections undertaken by the regulator (pp 38-39)

" amalgamation of the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator with the Clean Energy Regulator (p. 40)

1.17 Officers from Low Carbon Australia Limited were called and examined. Ms McDonald made an opening statement noting this was the organisation's first appearance at Senate Estimates. Questioning commenced and matters raised included:

" funding of the organisation (41 *42)

" status of the upgrade agreement with the City of Melbourne (p. 43).

1.18 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.2: Improving Australia's Energy Efficiency. Matters raised included:

" eligibility for grants under the Community Energy Efficiency Program (PP 43 *45)

" operation of the Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (pp 45-46)

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" operation of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants program

(pp 46-49)

" finalisation of the home insulation and green loans programs (pp 49-57)

" funding for the National Solar School program (p. 57)

" status of the Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program (p. 57)

" status of the Residential Mandatory Disclosure program (pp 57-58)

" ratings under the Mandatory Energy Performance Standards for Appliances (pp 58-59).

1.19 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.3: Adapting to Climate Change. Matters raised included:

" schedule of activities of the Climate Commission (pp 59-61)

" processes for assessing climate change scientific material (pp 63-69)

" funding for natural resource management for climate change (pp 69-70).

1.20 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.4: Helping to shape a global climate change solution. Matters raised included:

" Durban climate change conference: cost of delegation; outcomes (pp 71-74, 75-76)

" role of the World Bank in assisting developing countries develop carbon markets (pp 74-75).

Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) portfolio

1.21 At the conclusion of the examination of the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio, the committee called and examined officers from the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio.

1.22 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Conununications and the Digital Economy, and Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, both representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Hon Tony Burke MP, at various times during the examination of this portfolio, and

officers.

1.23 The committee raised a range of matters which are noted below. The page references beside each matter refer to the proof transcript for Monday, 13 February 2012.

1.24 General questions were asked of the department about:

" departmental program re-structure as a result of machinery of government changes in December 2011 (p. 80)

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" status of the Renewable Energy Atlas (pp 81, 102)

" reporting under section 516A of the EPBC Act, ecologically sustainable development activities (p. 82)

" regulatory impact statement process (p. 83)

" implementation of the Biodiversity Fund (pp 83-85, 96-97).

1.25 The committee called agencies and departmental officers in relation to Outcome 1: The conservation and protection of Australia's terrestrial and marine biodiversity and ecosystems through supporting research, developing information, supporting natural resource management, and establishing and managing Commonwealth protected areas.

1.26 The Bureau of Meteorology was called and examined. Matters raised included:

" role of former employee William Kininmonth (pp 85-86)

" bureau travel and expense budgets (pp 86-87)

" long term forecasts of rain events in the south Murray-Darling Basin catchment area (p. 87)

" weather data collection and dissemination of information in the Wimmera region (p. 88).

1.27 The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority was called and examined. Matters raised included:

" fish deaths and other matters in relation to Gladstone Harbour (pp 88-89)

" proposed strategic assessment of the World Heritage region and future development proposals (pp 89, 90-91)

" reef recovery post Cyclone Yasi (pp 89-90)

" impacts on the reef on increased shipping movements (p. 91).

1.28 The Director of National Parks was called and examined. Matters raised included:

" ANAO report into Indigenous protected areas (pp 91-92)

" costs of running Uluru and Kakadu (pp 92-93)

" shipwreck and oil spill at Christmas Island (pp 93-94).

1.29 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.1: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment. Matters raised included:

" managing pests in national parks (p. 95)

" status of the Environmental Stewardship Program (pp 95-96)

" wildlife corridors program (pp 96, 99-100)

" review of the Caring for our Country program (pp 97-98)

101

" Tasmanian forests taskforce (p. 101)

" Biodiversity Conservation Strategy (p. 101).

1.30 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.2, Environmental Information and Research. Matters raised included;

" State of the Environment report (pp 103 *104)

" submission about proposals for the Coral Sea (p. 105)

" exclusion of trawling from the Coral Sea and other bioregions (pp 105-108)

" International Whaling Commission issues (pp ] 08-109)

" marine planning process for the south-west marine region (pp 109-110).

1.31 Officers were called and examined in relation to Outcome 2, Program 2.1: Management of Hazardous Wastes, Substances and Pollutants. Matters raised included:

" Packaging Impacts Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (pp 111-112)

" collection of revenue in relation to synthetic greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances under the Clean Energy Future package (p. 112)

" audit of the Australian Refrigeration Council licensing program (p. 113)

" investigation into the dumping of e-waste (pp 113-114).

1.32 Responsibility for Affordable Housing matters, formerly Program 2.2, was transferred to the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio in December 2011.

1.33 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 2.3: Sustainable Communities. Matters raised included:

" sustainability indicators and suburban jobs program (pp 114-116).

1.34 On the second day of hearings, the committee continued its examination of the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio, commencing with Outcome 5.

1.35 The page references beside each matter below refer to the proof transcript for Tuesday, 14 February 2012.

1.36 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, both representing the Minister for Sustainability, Enviromnent, Water, Population and Communities, the Hon Tony Burke MP, at various times during the examination of this portfolio, and officers.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 6_

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1.37 Officers were called and examined in relation to Outcome 5, Program 5.1: Conservation of Australia's Heritage and Environment. Matters raised included;

" number of new assessments planned (p. 4)

" budget cuts across the heritage division (p. 4)

" report to the World Heritage Committee about the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area (pp 5-6)

" heritage grants available to the public (pp 6-7)

" funding for World Heritage listing activities (p. 9).

1.38 Questioning of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust commenced. Matters raised included:

" status of HMAS Platypus redevelopment (pp 10-12).

1.39 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 5.2: Environmental Regulation, commencing with the Office of Supervising Scientist. Matters raised included:

" impact of wet season on operations at the Ranger mine (pp 12-13)

" construction of the brine concentrator (p. 13)

" real time monitoring and publication of water quality monitoring (PP 13-14)

" seepage under the tailings dam (p. 14).

1.40 Departmental officers were then called in relation to Program 5.2: Environmental Regulation. Matters raised included:

" coal seam gas projects under assessment under the EPBC Act (pp 15-19)

" impacts of coal seam gas on the Great Barrier Reef (pp 19-20)

" monitoring of the western basin dredging program at Gladstone (pp 20-21)

" spills of produced coal seam gas water in the Pilliga state forest (p. 21)

" cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park (pp 21-22)

" release of acreage in areas proposed for marine sanctuaries and blue whale feeding habitat (pp 22-23)

" James Price Point strategic assessment process (p. 23).

1.41 Officers from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the National Water Commission and departmental officers in relation to Program 4.1: Water Reform. Matters raised included:

" formation of the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Coal Mining (pp 24-26, 41)

" funding to Irrigation Efficiency Partners (pp 26-28)

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" Victorian Auditor-General's report on the Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Project (pp 29-30)

" interaction between ground water and surface water (pp 30-31, 33-36)

" water extractions from unregulated rivers (pp 32, 37-39)

" issue of exporting sale from the basin (p. 31)

" salinity level in Lake Albert (pp 32-33, 36)

" mining on Stradbroke Island (p. 42)

" water usage and modelling (pp 43-46)

" consultation process with communities, states and industry stakeholders (P- 47).

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio

1.42 At the conclusion of its examination of the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio, the committee called and examined officers from the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio.

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

1.44 The page references beside each matter refer to the proof transcript for Tuesday, 14 February 2012.

1.45 General questions were asked of the department about:

" police investigation into the Australia Network tender process (pp 50-51)

ª funding for cybersafety activities beyond 2013-14 (p. 51)

" the Regional Backbone Blackspots Program (pp 51-52).

1.46 Officers from Australia Post were called and examined. Matters raised included:

" franchises arrangements (pp 55-56)

" appointment of new board member (pp 56-57)

" statistics on lost parcels and delayed deliveries (pp 58-59, 61-62)

" Bandara and Attunga post offices (pp 60-61)

" introduction of super stores (p. 63).

1.47 Officers from the department were called and examined in relation to Program 1.2: Digital Economy and Postal Services. Matters raised included:

" cybersafety helpline (pp 64, 66)

" youth advisory group: membership of; outcomes (pp 64-65)

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_______________________ _____________________________________________ ______ _9_

" mandatory ISP filers (pp 65-66)

" hubs and enterprise programs (p. 67)

" convergence review (pp 67-69).

1.48 Officers from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation were called. Mr Scott, Managing Director made an opening statement after which questioning commenced. Matters raised included:

" contents of responses to questions on notice (p. 70)

" coal seam gas website (pp 70-72)

" status of the Australia Network tender process (pp 74-76)

" paid advertising in other media (p. 76)

" casualisation of staff positions, proportion of casual to permanent journalists (p. 82)

" new ABC building in Brisbane (pp 82-84)

" sports broadcasting (pp 84-85).

1.49 Officers from the Special Broadcasting Service were called and examined. MrEbeid, Managing Director, made an opening statement after which questioning commenced. Matters raised included:

" screening of The Promise (pp 88 *92, 94-95)

" declining advertising revenue (pp 92-93)

" budget issues (pp 95-96).

1.50 Officers from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) were called and examined. Matters raised included:

" localism on regional radio stations (pp 96-98)

" ACMA's role in the Safer Internet Day (pp 98-99)

" spectrum sales (pp 99-100)

" funding for the Connect.ed program (p. 101).

1.51 Officers from the department were called and examined in relation to Program 1.3: Broadcasting and Digital Television. Matters raised included:

" digital television switchover (pp 105, 106)

" role of the department in ending the Australia Network tender process (p. 105).

1.52 Officers from the department were called and examined in relation to Program 1.1: Broadband and Communications Infrastructure. Matters raised included:

" Telstra fibre deployment in south Brisbane (pp 107-108)

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" NBN community hubs (pp 108-109)

" Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) oversight of the NBN's investment in its network (pp 109-111).

1.53 The NBN Co was then called and examined. Mr Quigley, Chief Executive Officer, made an opening statement after which questioning commenced. Matters raised included:

" number of premises passed with fibre compared with the corporate plan target (pp 115-117, 125-126)

" cost of backhaul for greenfields sites (p. 117)

" content of answers to Supplementary Budget Estimates questions on notice concerning legal fees (pp 119-120, 125, 128)

" contract for two purpose-built Ka band satellites (pp 113, 121, 138)

" numbers connected to NBN (p. 122)

" installation of wireless towers (pp 123-124, 133-135)

" licensing of third-party contractors conducting installation and maintenance (P- 127)

" possible exclusion of Tasmania from Telstra NBN packages (pp 129-131)

" market research companies engaged by NBN Co (pp 131-133)

" Australian industry participation (pp 135-137).

Acknowledgements

1.54 The committee thanks Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation; Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, and Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, along with officers from the three portfolio departments and agencies, for their assistance during this Budget

estimates process. The committee also thanks Hansard, Broadcasting and the committee secretariat.

Senator Doug Cameron 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 ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS LEGISLATION

COMMITTEE

Public Hearings: A D D ITION A L ESTIMA TES FOR 2011-12

Monday, 13 February and Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Committee Room 2S3

Parliament House Canberra ACT

To be televised on Channel 11 /Radio 91.1 iutp://webcast. apli eov. ait/live broadcasting/

AGENDA

MONDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 2012 9.00 am Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Portfolio

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE)

9.00 am General questions o f the departm ent

Outcom e 1: R eduction o f A ustralia's greenhouse gas em issions, adaptation to the im pacts of clim ate change, and negotiation o f an effective global solution, through the developm ent and

im plem entation o f a national response to clim ate change; and bilateral, regional and m ultilateral engagem ent internationally

9.30 am Program 1.1: Reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions

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Morning Tea: 10.45-11.00 am

12.30 pm Office of the R enew able Energy R egulator

12.45 pm Low C arbon A ustralia Lim ited

Lunch: 1.00-2.00 pm

2.00 pm Program 1.2: Improving Australia's Energy Efficiency

Afternoon Tea: 3.45-4.00 pm

4.00 pm Program 1.3: Adapting to Climate Change

5.00 pm Program 1.4: Helping to shape a global climate change solution

Dinner: 6.00-7.00 pm

7.00 pm

Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Portfolio

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC)

7.00 pm General questions o f the departm ent

Outcom e 1: The conservation and protection of A ustralia's terrestrial and m arine biodiversity and ecosystem s through supporting research, developing inform ation, supporting natural resource m anagem ent, and establishing and m anaging C om m onw ealth protected areas

7.30 pm Bureau of Meteorology

7.50 pm Great Barrier R eef Marine Park A uthority

8.10 pm D irector o f N ational Parks

8.30 pm Program 1.1: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment

Tea break: 9.15-9.30 pm

9.30 pm Program 1.2: Environmental Information and Research

Outcom e 2: Im proved sustainability o f A ustralia's population, com m unities and environm ent through coordination and developm ent o f sustainable population and com m unities policies, supporting affordable housing and the reduction and regulation of w aste, pollutants and hazardous substances

10.20 pm Program 2.1: Management of Hazardous Wastes, Substances and Pollutants

10.40 pm Program 2.3: Sustainable Communities

11.00 pm ADJOURNMENT

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TUESDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2012

9.00 am

Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Portfolio

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC)

Outcom e 5: Increased protection, aw areness and appreciation o f A ustralia *s environm ent and heritage through regulating m atters

o f national environm ental significance and the identification, conservation and celebration o f natural, Indigenous and historic

places o f national and W orld Heritage significance

9.00 am Program 5.1: Conservation of Australia's Heritage & Environment

9.35 am Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

9.45 am Office o f Supervising Scientist

10.00 am Program 5.2: Environmental Regulation

Morning Tea: 10.45-11.00 am

11.00 am Outcom e 4: A daptation to clim ate change, w ise w ater use, secure

w ater supplies and im proved health o f rivers, w aterw ays and

freshw ater ecosystem s by supporting research, and reform ing the

m anagem ent and use o f w ater resources

11.00 am Murray-D arling Basin A uthority

Program 4.1: Water Reform

C om m onw ealth Environm ental W ater Office

N ational W ater C om m ission

Lunch: 1.00-2.00 pm

2.00 pm Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Portfolio

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

2.00 pm General questions o f the departm ent

Outcom e 1 * D evelop a vibrant, sustainable and internationally

com petitive broadband, broadcasting and com m unications sector, through policy developm ent, advice and program delivery, w hich

prom otes the digital econom y for all A ustralians

2.30 pm A ustralia Post

3.15 pm Program 1.2: Digital Economy and Postal Services

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Afternoon Tea: 3.45-4.00 pm

4.00 pm A ustralian Broadcasting C orporation

5.30 pm Special Broadcasting Service

Dinner: 6.15-7.15 pm

7.15 pm A ustralian C om m unications and Media A uthority

7.45 pm Program 1.3: Broadcasting and Digital Television

8.15 pm Program 1.1: Broadband and Communications Infrastructure

Tea break: 9.00-9.15 pm

9.15 pm NBN Co Limited

11.00 pm ADJOURNMENT

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Appendix 2

Tabled documents

Monday, 13 February 2012

Senator Macdonald, copy of article "Climate change 'heretics' rebuff carbon dangers" from The Australian, 1 February 2012

Ms McDonald, CEO, Low Carbon Australia, opening statement

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Ms Murray, A/AS, Environment Assessment Branch 3, SEWPaC, copy of Minister's Statement of Reasons for a Decision, cattle grazing in Victoria's high country, 31 January 2012

Mr Quigley, CEO, NBN Co, opening statement

Mr Quigley, CEO, NBN Co, New Developments Map

Minister Conroy, maps: OPEL towers and Broadband Connect Fact Sheet

112

The Senate

Finance and Public Administration

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2011-12

March 2012

© Commonwealth of Australia 2012

ISBN 978-1-74229-585-5

The Senate

PO Box 6100

Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600

Ph: 02 6277 3439

Fax: 02 6277 5809

E-mail: fpa.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate fpa

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

114

Membership of the Committee

Senator Helen Policy (Chair) ALP, TAS

Senator Scott Ryan (Deputy Chair) LP, VIC

Senator the Hon John Faulkner ALP, NSW

Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens ALP, NSW

Senator Arthur Sinodinos LP, NSW

Senator Richard Di NataleAG, WA

Pa rticip a tin g m em b ers

Senators Abetz, Adams, Back, Bemardi, Bilyk, Birmingham, Bishop, Boswell, Boyce, Brandis, Bob Brown, Carol Brown, Bushby, Cameron, Cash, Colbeck, Cormann, Crossin, Edwards, Eggleston, Fawcett, Fierravanti-Wells, Fifield, Fisher, Fumer, Gallacher, Hanson-Young, Heffeman, Humphries, Johnston, Joyce, Kroger, Ludlam, Macdonald, Madigan, Marshall, Mason, McEwen, McKenzie, Milne, Moore, Nash, Parry, Payne, Pratt, Rhiannon, Ronaldson, Scullion, Sherry, Siewert, Singh, Stephens,

Sterle, Thistlethwaite, Urquhart, Waters, Williams, Wright and Xenophon

S ecreta ria t

Ms Christine McDonald Committee Secretary

Ms Katie Bird Research Officer

Ms Penelope Bear Administrative Officer

iii

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116

Table of contents

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

Chapter 1

Additional Estimates 2011-12.............................. 1

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

Variation of portfolios................................................................................................1

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements ............................................................... 2

Hearings.......................................................................................................................3

Note on references......................................................................................................3

Chapter 2

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

Department of the Senate................................................................. 5

Department of Parliamentary Services................................................................... ..6

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio.......................................................................8

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio........................................................................12

Appendix 1

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversight ............................. 17

Parliament..................................................................................................................17

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio.....................................................................17

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio........................................................................17

Appendix 2

Index to Hansard transcripts....................................................................................19

Monday, 13 February 2012......................................................................................19

Tuesday, 14 February 2012.....................................................................................20

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Chapter 1

Additional Estimates 2011-12

1.1 On 9 February 2011, the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee (the committee) was referred the following documents from the Senate:

" Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2011-2012];

" Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2011-2012]; and

" Final budget outcome 2010-11 and the Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriations Acts for 2010-11.

Portfolio coverage

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

" Parliament;1

" Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio; and

" Finance and Deregulation portfolio.

1.3 Appendix 1 lists the departments, agencies, authorities and companies under the portfolios mentioned above.

Variation of portfolios

1.4 There were a number of changes to the committee's portfolio oversight resulting from changes to the continuing order relating to the allocation of departments and agencies to committees and various changes to the Administrative Arrangements Orders.

1.5 As a result of the Administrative Arrangements Order on 14 December 2011, responsibility for the Arts and Sport was transferred to the new Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio.1 2 On 8 February 2012, the allocation of departments and agencies to committees was amended by the Senate with the

1 As a matter of comity between the Houses neither House inquired into the operations of the other House. For this reason, neither the annual report of, nor the proposed expenditure for, the Department of the House of Representatives is referred to a Senate committee for review.

2 The Administrative Arrangements Order of 14 December 2011 can be accessed at the following link: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/parliamentary/docs/aao_20111214.pdf (accessed 20 December 2011).

2

oversight of the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio transferred to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee.3

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements

Prime Minister and Cabinet

1.6 There were a number of significant changes to the outcomes and programs of the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio resulting from the Administrative Arrangements Orders on 19 October4 5 and T and 14 December 2011.6

1.7 As was previously noted, responsibility for the Arts and Sport functions was transferred to the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio. This resulted in the removal of outcomes 2 and 3 from the portfolio. The National Archives of Australia and Old Parliament House were also transferred to the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio.

1.8 Other changes to the PM&C portfolio include:

" responsibility for the Freedom of Information Act 1982 , the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 , including the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner was transferred to the Attorney- General's portfolio;

" transfer of the national security science and innovation function to the

Department of Defence;

" transfer of the Australian Institute of Family Studies to the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio, including responsibility for the Family Law Act 1975, Part XIVA; and

" the cyber security policy function was transferred from the Attorney-General's Department to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

1.9 In addition, the National Mental Health Commission was established as an executive agency within the Prime Minister and Cab met portfolio on 1 January 2012.

3 Journals of the Senate, 8 February 2012, p. 3.

4 The Administrative Arrangements Order of 19 October 2011 can be accessed at the following link: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/parliamentaiVdocs/aao_20111019.pdf (accessed 20 December 2012).

5 The Administrative Arrangements Order of 7 December 2011 can be accessed at the following link: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/parliamentaVdocs/aao 20111207.pdf (accessed 20 December 2011).

6 The Administrative Arrangements Order of 14 December 2011 can be accessed at the following link: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/parliamentaVdocs/aao 20111214.pdf (accessed 20 December 2011).

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3

Finance and Deregulation

1.10 As was discussed in the committee *s second report on annual reports for 2011, the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation was established when the Australian Reward Investment Alliance, the Military Superannuation and Benefits Board and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority were merged to form a single trustee body under the Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Scheme Act 2011 with effect from 1 July 2011.

Hearings

1.11 The committee held public hearings on Monday, 13 and Tuesday, 14 February 2012. The committee took evidence from the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon John Hogg; Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, representing the Prime Minister and Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, together with officers of departments and agencies. The committee expresses its appreciation for the assistance of the President, Ministers, Departmental Secretaries and the officers who appeared before it.

1.12 The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the National Australia Day Council were released from the hearing without examination. The Office of National Assessments, Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation and the Australian River Company Ltd were dismissed prior to the hearings.

1.13 Copies of the Hansard transcripts are available on the internet at: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary Business/Committees/Senate Committees?url= fapa_ctte/estimates/add 1112/index.htm

1.14 Further written information from departments and agencies will be tabled, as received, in the Senate. This information is available on the committee's website: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_ConnTiittees7urN fapa ctte/estimates/index.htm

Programming

1.15 As in previous estimates rounds, the committee's programs including indicative timings for departments and agencies. The committee continues to find this helpful as it contributes to the smooth running of the hearing and enables senators to focus their questioning on matters within the program.

Note on references

1.16 References to the estimates Hansard are to the proof Hansard; page numbers may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcript.

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Chapter 2

Portfolio Issues

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

Department of the Senate

2.2 The committee discussed changes in staffing in the Department of the Senate, including the movement of staff within the committee office and the impact this may have on workforce planning. The Clerk noted the recent departure of a number of long-term staff:

Over the past small number of years we have had the retirements of a number of staff with a significant number of years service so it seems like there are a lot of new staff. But in fact, at the moment, about 12 per cent of

our employees have over 20 years service. Another quarter of employees have over 10 years service. But a third of the department has less than two years service, so we are going through a period of renewal. It is a

generational thing because we have had significant departures and significant retirements over the past few years and we have also been doing quite a lot of recruitment, particularly in the committee office.1

2.3 The role of the Senate Appropriations and Staffing Committee and the separation of the executive and the legislature in respect to resourcing of the Parliament were canvassed by the committee. The Clerk explained that negotiation occurs between the Appropriations and Staffing Committee and the Government regarding disputed bids, and noted that a level of independence of the Parliament from the executive occurred within the constraints of the Constitution. The Clerk stated:

But I think that the main barrier to complete independence of the parliament in terms of funding models is the constitution, which requires that all expenditure be recommended by a message from the Governor-General * and, of course, the Governor-General is advised by the executive. Within

that constitutional constraint there are some models for greater parliamentary independence. I would not say that what we have is perfect, but it is a useful mechanism.

One of the problems is that the department of finance and executive agencies tend to see the parliament as a portfolio just like an executive portfolio. So, rather than recognising the independence of the house to determine their own business and to some extent their own budget, they

lump everybody together and say 'You go and work it out', which is a constitutionally difficult situation because it invites the Speaker of the House to get involved in Senate business and the President of the Senate to

1 Estimates Hansard , 13 February 2012, p. 6.

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get involved in decisions about House business, which is entirely inappropriate. This is something we keep pointing out to officials.2

2.4 Other issues raised by the committee related to risk assessments for stationary items and committee room booking notifications.3 The committee also discussed the impact of overseas parliamentary delegations on departmental resources and funding.

The Clerk noted that while some funding comes from the department, 'over the past few years we have also been bidding for AusAID funding and have been quite successful in getting some AusAID funding'.4 5

Department of Parliamentary Services

2.5 The committee questioned the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) in relation to the new Australian Parliament House (APH) website, in particular delays and costs associated with the launch of the new site. The committee was informed that the launch of the new website was delayed by 12 months which resulted in an

additional cost of $614,000.3 The President stated that security breaches had contributed to the delay:

Part of the delay was caused by a major breach of the security system externally from this place. That was something addressed not only in respect of that website but in terms of the operation of all IT in this place. That occurred in December 2010. That put additional costs on IT right throughout this place...6

2.6 The committee notes that the new APH website was launched on Friday, 17 February 2012.

2.7 Following on from previous estimates, the committee questioned DPS on the move from the previous MaxPro security system which was isolated from the Parliamentary Computer Network (PCN) to the new BAE security system which was connected to the PCN. The committee was informed that the cost for the total project was approximately $7 million and that, following a review of IT systems, the BAE

system will need to be isolated from the PCN.7

2.8 Following the retirement of former Secretary, Mr Alan Thompson, the committee questioned DPS on the recruitment process for the new secretary. The committee heard that an executive search agency had been engaged to identify potential suitable candidates. The President noted that 'this is a role that has proven

2 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 9.

3 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 5, 7-8.

4 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 9-10.

5 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 17.

6 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2010, p. 17.

7 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 25 *29.

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difficult to attract a strong field of applicants from standard vacancy advertising and this extra step might serve to produce a larger and stronger field'.8 The committee heard that advice was being provided by the Parliamentary Service Commissioner and that no DPS employees were involved in advising the Presiding Officers on the

selection process for the new secretary.

2.9 The committee maintained its interest in the establishment of the

Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) including the location and accommodation of staff within Parliament House. The President commented in his opening statement that legislation to establish the PBO had received royal assent on 4 December 2011 and advice had been sought regarding an appropriate salary for the Parliamentary Budget Officer.9 The President tabled a timeline indicating the PBO should be fully established in August 2012.10 11

2.10 As at previous estimates, the committee questioned DPS regarding allegations of bullying within the department. In particular, the committee discussed allegations made in an article by Mr Phillip Dorling on 12 December 2011 in the Age, titled 'Disorder in the House: bureaucracy under fire', that CCTV footage was being used to track whistleblowers in the committee's current inquiry into the performance of DPS.11 Ms Bronwyn Graham, Assistant Secretary, Building Services Branch, stated that inquiries had indicated no request for footage had been made:

...I made some inquiries with the staff who may have received such a request. When I was told that no-one received such requests, I considered the matter to not require any further action. Could I also state that the

footage in corridors is not recorded during the day and so it would be impossible to go back and have a look at that footage anyhow.12

2.11 The committee continued its discussion at previous estimates regarding the sale of billiard tables by DPS and heard that additional costs associated with sale were finalised at $92,183.48.13 The committee also heard evidence that DPS participated in a Comcare bullying prevention audit in September 2011 and is developing an action plan to implement the recommendations from the report.

____________________________________________________________________________________________ 7_

8 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 11.

9 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 11.

10 Senator the Hon John Hogg, President of the Senate, Tabled document, 'Timetable for implementation of the Parliamentary Budget Office'.

11 Mr Philip Dorling, 'Disorder in the House: bureaucracy under fire', Age, 12 December 2011, http://www.theage.com.au/national/disorder-in-the-house-bureaucracv-under-fire-20111211- loprk.html (accessed 13 February 2012).

12 Estimates Hansard , 13 February 2012, p. 29.

13 Department of Parliamentary Services, Additional Information, Breakdown of costs associated with billiard table disposal and subsequent investigations.

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2.12 The committee questioned DPS about the protest that occurred on

27 January 2012 involving the lighting of a fire on the parliamentary forecourt. The President explained that standard procedure for bringing a fire onto the parliamentary forecourt was that it is 'only permitted with the approval of the Presiding Officers'.

The committee heard that in this instance, the Presiding Officers were not present and authority was delegated to the Usher of the Black Rod and Sergeant-at-Arms:

As I said, I was not there on the day. That is the difficulty I have. I was not confronted with the circumstances. There is a delegated authority to both the Black Rod and the Sergeant at Arms in these matters as part of the security management board.

2.13 The Usher of the Black Rod subsequently provided the committee with a written explanation of the events of that day including his decision to allow a ceremonial fire to be brought onto the parliamentary forecourt, and the presentation of

a petition by members of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.14 15

2.14 Other issues canvassed by the committee included: policy responsibility for handheld devices for senators and members; the use and provision of iPads for senators and members; WiFi access in electorate offices; Key Performance Indicators for 2020 client services; impact of the efficiency dividend; and blocking of access by

senators and members to websites using the .info domain.

2.15 The committee noted the resignation of Ms Roxanne Missingham and thanked her for her work during her tenure as Parliamentary Librarian and during her appearances before the committee.

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

Independent National Security Monitor

2.16 The Independent National Security Legislation Monitor made its first appearance at a Senate estimates hearing and answered questions relating to the development of its work plan. The committee also discussed the publication of classified material. Mr Brett Walker SC, Independent National Security Monitor, stated that 'classified material will not be published by me or the Prime Minister, I am sure, and the law requires so', however some material may be made public following the redaction of classified information.1"

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

2.17 The committee commenced its questioning of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) with extensive questioning around the events that occurred at The Lobby Restaurant on Australia Day. Questioning focused on: the

14 Mr Brien Hallett, Usher of the Black Rod, Department of the Senate, Tabled document, 'Additional information regarding the protest at Parliament House on 27 January 2012'.

15 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 46.

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organisation of the function, the timeline of events that occurred on that day; and discrepancies between the versions of events. The committee discussed the events that occurred in the days following the incident, including the investigation conducted by the Prime Minister *s Office.

2.18 The written agreement between the Prime Minister and Mr Andrew

Wilkie MP was discussed at length by the committee, with particular focus given to the agreement to implement mandatory pre-commitment technology on all poker machines by 2014. The committee questioned PM&C on whether advice had been provided to the Prime Minister indicating that the 2014 deadline was unattainable prior to her meeting with Mr Wilkie on 15 January 2012. Minister Evans noted that while the agreement was between the Prime Minister and Mr Wilkie MP, the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs had the 'main lead policy' and would be best placed to provide information on the issue.16

2.19 The matter was pursued with questioning on whether draft papers were prepared for cabinet in relation to the broader agreement between the Prime Minister and Mr Wilkie MP. Ms Renee Leon, Deputy Secretary, Governance responded that, as

a general rule, PM&C does not reveal what matters are taken before Cabinet;

We do not reveal what matters are taken before cabinet, not only the details of them but whether particular matters have been taken to cabinet for consideration...We do not reveal the preparation of documents for cabinet consideration. It is consistent with the longstanding practices surrounding cabinet confidentiality.17

2.20 The committee also questioned PM&C on the proposed trial of pre≠ commitment technology on poker machines for the ACT, specifically focusing on any advice that was provided to the Prime Minister on the potential conflict of interest that may arise with Labor Clubs in the ACT receiving funding as part of the trial. The department agreed to take questions on notice and respond to the committee.

2.21 The committee discussed the calculation and assignment of staff to members of the opposition. While the department advised that the question would be more appropriately asked of the Department of Finance and Deregulation, Senator Faulkner explained that while the final decision ultimately rests with the Prime Minister:

...the calculation is the number of government ministerial staff multiplied by 0.21, which was the figure that existed at the time when the Keating government lost office in 1996. Mr Howard, during the period of his prime ministership, adopted the same principle, and it has also applied since the change of government in 2007.18

16 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 70.

17 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 71.

18 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 87.

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2.22 Continued interest was shown in the work of COAG, with the committee questioning PM&C on the establishment of the COAG Select Council on Disability Reform and the national disability insurance scheme. The committee also discussed ministers' overseas travel, including the approval process and whether any requests

had been refused.

2.23 The department provided the committee with an update on the progress towards the establishment of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), stating that:

The exposure draft of the ACNC legislation and the discussion paper on governance arrangements was released on 9 December. That only closed on 27 January 2012, so the comments that were received will still be in the process of being incorporated.19

2.24 Other issues canvassed by the committee included: the proposed change of name of Parkes Place in the parliamentary triangle to Queen Elizabeth Terrace; decisions relating to the seating arrangements in the cabinet room; and the appointment and role of Mr Ken Henry as special advisor to the Prime Minister. The committee continued its questioning on the progress of the State Coach to be provided to Her Majesty the Queen and indicated it will pursue the matter further at budget

estimates in May this year.

National Mental Health Commission

2.25 The National Mental Health Commission made its first appearance before the committee and was questioned on the selection process for commissioners. The committee also discussed possible conflicts of interest for commissioners and how potential conflicts of interest are dealt with in relation to the work of the commission. Ms Rebecca Cross responded that 'as a standard part of any of these types of appointments there is a declaration by any of the people being considered as to whether they have any conflicts of interest, and this is taken into account in the approval process'.20

Office of the Official Secretaiy to the Governor-General

2.26 In his opening statement, Mr Stephen Brady, Official Secretary to the Governor-General, provided an explanation of the ongoing issue of access to documents relating to the Australian Honours System, including the decision to

provide more information on the Governor-General's website and the formation of a subcommittee to ensure equity and greater public engagement.21

19 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 80.

20 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 95.

21 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 97-98.

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______________________________________________________ _______ ______ n_

2.27 The committee questioned the Office of the Official Secretary regarding the current matter before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, including the legal costs associated with the matter. The committee discussed the protocols and communication in relation to the decision to award an Order of Merit to Mr John Howard. Mr Brady responded that his office was not notified before the decision to award the Order of Merit was made and that the matter was 'entirely between the Queen and Mr Howard, and the communication of the award, I understand, was direct.'22

Australian National Audit Office

2.28 The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) answered questions on the current audit of the Australia Network tender. The ANAO stated that preliminary findings were not available due to statutory due process requirements whereby a complete draft is circulated to interested parties for a 28 day period for comment. The ANAO advised that the report was due to be tabled in late March or early April this year.

2.29 The committee questioned the ANAO on the use of new powers under the Auditor-General Amendment Act 2011, which provides the ANAO with the power to audit private contractors engaged by the Commonwealth, and state and territory agencies that are responsible for delivering Commonwealth funded programs. The

committee heard that the ANAO was preparing for their annual planning process and was not in a position to comment on whether the new powers would be used in the near future. The committee also canvassed the impact of these powers on small businesses. The Auditor-General stated:

We do have extensive powers. We are updating our guidance material on how we would propose to use these powers...To my mind, it would need to be a significant contractor and we would need, I think, a good reason to undertake an audit of a contractor's performance.23

2.30 The committee canvassed two reports with the ANAO: Report 24 2011-12, Administration of Government Advertising Arrangements: March 2010 to August 2011 and Report 26 2011 *12, Capacity Development for Indigenous Service Deliveiy.

Australian Public Service Commission

2.31 The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) answered questions from the committee on the progress of reform to the APS, including the impact of budget cuts on the reforms. The committee was informed that following the budget cuts, agencies with over 200 employees have agreed to fund the work of the APSC in this

area for five years.24

22 Estimates Hansard, 13 February y2012, p. 101.

23 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 103.

24 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 109.

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2.32 For the first time, the committee questioned the Parliamentary Services Commissioner, discussing the recruitment and appointment of the new secretary for DPS and allegations of bullying and harassment within DPS.

2.33 The committee continued to discuss the level of absenteeism within the APS and the general increase in unscheduled absence and sick leave since 2001. The committee also showed continued interest in the employment and satisfaction levels of employees with a disability within the APS.

2.34 Other issues canvassed by the committee included the occurrence and reporting of bullying and harassment within the APS and the ability of the Remuneration Tribunal to take submissions from the public.

Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

2.35 The committee questioned the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security on the security vetting report released in December 2011, paying particular attention to the interviews conducted with three whistleblowers that appeared on Lateline on 16 March 2011. The committee's questioning also included discussion of the focus of the investigation; recommendations included in the report; and other malpractice uncovered during the reporting process.2"

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation

2.36 The committee began its questioning of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) with discussion on the amalgamation of Australian Rewards Investment Alliance and the Military Trustee Boards, focusing on staffing levels and the various costs associated with the merger. Mr Peter Carrigy-Ryan, Chief Executive Officer, informed the committee that approximately $1.1 million had been received.25 26 27

2.37 In relation to projected savings, the committee questioned CSC on efficiency targets. Mr Carigy-Ryan informed the committee that savings would be achieved through investment cost efficiency resulting from the merger. The committee also heard that no efficiency targets had been set:

I would expect it would wait until a first year of operation to be complete. It would also wait for the assets to be integrated into a single investment trust, as they are being, then for investment to take place and then to do some comparative analysis, when you have got some experience with that.2 y

25 Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 120-124.

26 Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 7.

27 Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p 5.

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Medibank Private Ltd

2.38 Continuing from previous estimates, the committee questioned Medibank Private on the payment of special and ordinary dividends to the Government. The committee continued its interest in the value of Medibank, staffing numbers and levels

of customer satisfaction.

2.39 The committee discussed the implementation of the My Health program, which offers 24 hour health advice to Medibank members. Medibank informed the committee that the program has been rolled out in Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT and that discussions between the state governments and NHCCN were ongoing.28

ASC Pty Ltd

2.40 The committee questioned ASC Pty Ltd (ASC) regarding the current negotiations between ASC and the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) relating to the In-Service Support contract and potential sanctions included within the contact. Mr Stephen Ludlam, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, took a number of questions on notice noting that 'the sanctions are within the commercial confidentiality that I have to observe due to our negotiations with the DMO.'29

2.41 Continuing from previous estimates, the committee questioned ASC on the revenue and operations of Deep Blue Tech Pty Ltd. ASC advised the committee that the revenue from Deep Blue Tech was provided by ASC. ASC also commented on the separation of Deep Blue Tech from involvement in the sustainment of the Collins

class submarines due to intellectual property constraints.

2.42 Other issues canvassed by the committee included: ASC's insurance policy and premiums; the continued placement of the Collins class on the Projects of Concern list; and the schedule for completion of the full-cycle docking of HMAS

Rankin.

Department of Finance and Deregulation

2.43 The committee opened questioning of the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) on the progress toward the establishment of the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO). Finance informed the committee that work on legislation had

been completed and that a Memorandum of Understanding between the PBO, Finance and Treasury would be created following the appointment of the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

2.44 The committee showed continued interest in the Office of Best Practice Regulation, questioning the Office on regulatory impact statements (RIS) in relation to

28 Estimates Hansard , 14 February 2012, pp 16-17.

29 Estimates Hansard , 14 February 2012, p. 19.

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the Government's Future of Financial Advice legislation. The Office noted that while RISs were created by Treasury in the lead up to the Government's introduction of the legislation, the RIS's of six elements of the reforms were not of an adequate standard, noting time constraints as a contributing factor.30

2.45 Government campaign advertising was discussed with Finance following the release of the ANAO report Administration of Government Advertising Arrangements: March 2010 to August 2011. The committee questioned the department on the Clean Energy Future advertising campaign and the recommendations included in the ANAO

report. Finance noted that they have accepted recommendations and are working to 'provide more guidance to agencies so they have a better handle on assessing whether it meets the requirements around value for money'.31 The committee also canvassed

the results of a TliinkPlace review of procurement processes for procurements under $80,000, which indicated that the department had breached its own internal procurement guidelines. Finance noted that these were not breaches of the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines (CPGs):

What we had done was put a lot of extra rules in place internally to try to make our own internal procurement best practice and all of those went beyond what was required by the CPGs.32

2.46 The committee canvassed requirements under section 44 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) regarding the responsibilities of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and the use of Commonwealth funds, specifically if any cases of noncompliance have been investigated by the department. Finance noted

that 'it is the responsibility under the FMA Act for the CEO [of an agency] to investigate particular situations' of noncompliance and undertook to provide the committee with information on the number of investigations conducted by Finance into allegations of noncompliance.33

2.47 Similar to previous estimates, Finance answered questions on the balances and expenditure of the Building Australia Fund, the Education Investment Fund and the Health and Hospitals Fund. In addition, the committee continued discussion on NBN Co. from previous estimates, questioning Finance on the number of meetings between the Minister and the NBN Co. Board. The committee also asked questions concerning the NBN Co. corporate plan and required equity.

2.48 Other issues canvassed by the committee included: timeliness of responses to Questions on Notice; the Skehill review into small agencies within the Attorney- General's portfolio; the structural integrity of the budget and the debt ceiling; the

30 Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 31.

31 Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 65.

32 Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 67.

33 Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 45.

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deregulation target of one-in-one-out; and the process for small businesses to claim interest on late invoice payments.

2.49 The committee again questioned Finance on ministerial and parliamentarians' staff numbers, including personal classifications of staff for previous ministers who remain in parliament. The committee continued its discussion of the provision of IT support and services for senators and members, questioning Finance on the access of iPhones and iPads to the Parliamentary Computer Network and the storage, applications and password costs and settings on blackberry devices.

2.50 Finally the committee canvassed the printing budget for senators; Finance's policy on the timeframe for payment of accounts relating to senators' electorate offices; and parliamentary staff training opportunities and costs, including First Aid

training.

ComSuper

2.51 The committee continued to discuss the expected staff decrease for ComSuper and was advised that the targeted reduction of 56 staff is expected to be met within three to six months. Similar to previous estimates, the committee canvassed the claims made by Community and Public Sector Union relating to staff contributions made by ComSuper. Mr Richard Bridge, Chief Governance Officer, informed the committee that under the new enterprise agreement, ComSuper had 'agreed to pay 15.4% to all

staff members regardless of which fund they belong to'/4

Future Fund Management Agency

2.52 The committee continued its discussion from previous estimates, questioning the Future Fund on the current balance of the Fund, the investment strategy and the sale and management of assets. The committee continued its interest in the extent of Government oversight of the Fund and factors behind decisions for international

investments.

2.53 The committee also discussed investment by the Fund in companies with links to nuclear weapons manufacturing and the current value of the Fund's tobacco stocks. Following the release of documents by the Fund under Freedom of Information, the committee questioned the Fund on the involvement of Mr Paul Costello in the

allocation of funds to Blackstone Alternative Asset Management.

Australian Electoral Commission

2.54 The committee began its questioning of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) with extensive discussion relating to multiple voting in the 2007 federal election, particularly in relation to the seat of McEwen. The committee questioned the 34

34 Estimates Hansard , 14 February 2012, p. 48.

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AEC on prosecution action relating to multiple voting. Mr Ed Killesteyn, Australian Electoral Commissioner, advised the committee:

Essentially our role is to refer maters to the Australian Federal Police who then take a decision about whether they will proceed with an investigation. Subject to that, any further prosecution action based on the evidence that the AFP may collect is a matter for the DPP. Our role is essentially a referral agency and beyond that it is out of our hands.35

2.55 The committee was advised that the last time an individual was prosecuted for multiple voting occurred sometime before the 2004 general election.

2.56 The committee returned to questions from previous estimates on the Fair Work Australia investigation into the member for Dobell and the BDO Kendall report.

2.57 Other issues canvassed by the committee included the relationship between Coastal Voice inc and the Australian Labor Party (ALP), donations from Mr Graham Wood to the Australian Greens, options for parties, candidates and donors to submit returns online and state and territory reporting obligations in relation to disclosure periods.

Senator Helen Polley

Chair

35 Estimates Hansard , 14 February 2012, p. 81.

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Appendix 1

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversight

Parliament

" Department of the Senate

" Department of Parliamentary Services

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

" Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

" Australian National Audit Office

" Australian Public Service Commission

" Independent National Security Legislation Monitor

" National Mental Health Commission

" National Australia Day Council

" 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

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

" Department of Finance and Deregulation

" Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation

" ASC Pty Ltd (formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation)

" Australian Electoral Conmiission

" Australian River Company Ltd

" ComSuper

" Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation

" Future Fund Management Agency

" Medibank Private Ltd

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Index to Hansard transcripts1

Page no.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Parliament

Department of the Senate...................................................................................................2

Department of Parliamentary Services............................................................................10

Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio

Independent National Security Legislation Monitor......................................................43

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet..............................................................46

National Mental Health Commission..............................................................................93

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General..............................................96

Australian National Audit Office..................................................................................101

Australian Public Service Commission.........................................................................109

Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security .......... ...........................120

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Finance and Deregulation portfolio

Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation .................................................................. 4

Medibank Private................................................................................................................9

ASC Pty Ltd.......................................................................................................................18

Department of Finance and Deregulation................................................................24. 63

ComSuper.........................................................................................................................47

Future Fund Management Agency..................................................................................49

Australian Electoral Commission....................................................................................80

Appendix 2

1 Hansard page numbers referred to in this appendix are based on proof Hansards. Page numbers may vary slightly in the final Official Hansard transcripts.

%†

138

The Senate

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2011-12

March 2012

139

© Commonwealth of Australia

ISBN 978-1-74229-586-2

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.

ii 140

Membership of the Committee

Members:

Senator the Hon. Ursula Stephens, ALP, NSW (Chair)

Senator Alan Eggleston, LP, WA (Deputy Chair)

Senator Mark Bishop, ALP, WA

Senator David Fawcett, LP, SA

Senator Scott Ludlam, GRN, WA

Senator Anne McEwen, ALP, SA

Committee secretariat

Dr Kathleen Dermody, Secretary

Ms Jedidiah Reardon, Senior Research Officer

Ms Alpana Modi, Research Officer (until 5 March 2012)

Ms Penny Bear, Research Officer (from 9 March 2012)

Ms Jo-Anne Holmes, Administrative Officer

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6277 3535, fax: (02) 6277 5818

e-mail: fadt.sen@aph.gov.au; Internet: httn://Www.aph.gov.au/senate fadt

142

Table of Contents

Membership of the Committee

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

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

Introduction.................................................................................................

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

Defence portfolio........................................................................................

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio..........................................................

Trade portfolio............................................................................................

Acknowledgements....................................................................................

Appendix 1........................................................................................................

Index to proof transcripts............................................................................

Defence Portfolio........................................................................................

Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio..........................................................

Appendix 2 ........................................................................................................

..1

..1

..1

..1

..2

..6

10

13

15

15

17

19

21

Tabled documents 21

144

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Report to the Senate

Introduction

1.1 On 9 February 2012,1 the Senate referred to the committee for examination and report the following documents:

" Estimates of proposed additional expenditure for 2011 *2012 relating to the Defence portfolio and the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio;

" Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2011 *2012]; and

" Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2011 *2012],

1.2 The committee conducted public hearings with the Defence portfolio on 15 February 2012 and the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio on 16 February 2012. The committee received evidence from the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator the Hon. David Feeney, representing the Minister for Defence and the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and from officers from the relevant departments and agencies. The committee further received evidence from the Minister for Defence Materiel and Minister for Manufacturing, Senator the Hon. Kim Can-. It also received evidence from the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy; and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Digital Productivity, Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy, representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

1.3 Links to the transcripts of these public hearings and to answers and additional infonnation are available on the committee's internet site at:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentai-y Business/Committees/Senate Committees?url= fadt ctte/estimates/add 1112/index.htm

Questions on notice

1,4 In accordance with Standing Order 26(9)(a), the committee agreed that the date for the return of written answers in response to questions placed on notice would be 29 March 2012.

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 75, 9 February 2012, p. 2090.

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2

Defence portfolio

Department of Defence

1.5 The committee acknowledged the attendance of General David Hurley, AC, DSC, Chief of the Defence Force (CDF); Mr Duncan Lewis, AO, DSC, CSC, the Secretary of the Department of Defence; and officers of the Defence organisation.2

Secretary's opening statement

1.6 Mr Lewis made an opening statement. The topics covered in the statement included the strategic reform program, the Coles Review, the Rizzo Review, the Black Review, Defence achievements, vetting arrangements, questions on notice, and inquiry into the management of the Australian Defence Force Academy Skype incident.

1.7 In respect of the return of answers to questions on notice the Secretary stated:

From the last estimates hearing in October last year, Defence took 160 questions on notice. The questions were made up of 447 sub-questions. Of the 160 questions on notice, Defence provided to the committee 98 responses, 55.6 per cent, by the due lodgement date. This stands in stark contrast to the number of questions on notice that were answered on time from the February hearings last year, which were zero.

Returning to out October estimates hearing last year a further 64 responses, or 40 per cent, were provided one week late and we will continue to work to improve that. Of the remaining seven responses, four per cent were provided in early February. So at this point we have no questions on notice currently outstanding from October. This represents an improvement. We still have further work to do to provide you with more timely responses and we will continue to do that.3

Chief of the Defence Force's opening statement

1.8 General Hurley also made an opening statement. The CDF remembered the soldiers that were killed in action when a member of the Afghan National Army opened fire following a regular weekly parade at Forward Operating Base Pacemaker. In relation to the incident, General Hurley stated:

I would like to place on record my condolences to the families of Captain Bryce Duffy, 4th Field Regiment, Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery; Corporal Ashley Birt, 6th Engineer Support Regiment; and Lance Coiporal Luke Gavin, 2nd Battalion; The Royal Australian Regiment.4

2 Proof Committee Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 3. 3 Proof Committee Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 6. 4 Proof Committee Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 7.

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1.9 In terms of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) General Hurley explained:

ISAF data shows that at least half of these "insider attacks" are not linked directly to the insurgency but arise from an individual's personal grievances.5

1.10 In regards to the transition in Afghanistan, the CDF stated:

Eight months ago the first tranche of provinces began the transition to an Afghan security lead.

In our own area of responsibility, Uruzgan remains on track for transition to Afghan security lead and we anticipate Uruzgan province will be included in tranche 3, which we expect will be announced in the first half of this year.6

1.11 With respect to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the CDF stated:

Last month I attended the NATO, Chiefs of Defence Staff ISAF session on Afghanistan at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. I also accompanied the Minister to the NATO/ISAF Defence Ministers Meeting in Brussels. It is very clear that we are at a decisive point in the transition from an ISAF to an Afghan security lead. The model is changing and this will be more clearly articulated by the NATO Summit in Chicago in May this year.7

1.12 The CDF also discussed other operations, stating:

East Timor will hold presidential and parliamentary elections this year. At the invitation of the government of East Timor, Australia's military contribution to the International Security Force remains about 390 personnel. We do not anticipate any significant change to the level and force structure of the International Security Force until after the 2012 elections.

In the Solomon Islands, the government has agreed to maintain our existing commitment to the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands until at least mid 2013.8

1.13 In his opening statement, the CDF also addressed the issue of Defence culture and the suite of completed cultural reviews.9

1.14 Other topics examined during the hearing on 15 February 2012 included:

5 Proof Committee Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 7.

6 Proof Committee Hansard , 15 February 2012, p. 7. 7 Proof Committee Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 8. 8 Proof Committee Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 8.

9 Proof Committee Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 8.

147

4

Questions arising from opening statements

" Gyles report (pp. 9-10)

" The Department spending on actions relating to the three petty officers landed in Singapore from the HMAS Success (pp. 11-12)

e Promotions within the Department (p. 12)

" Australia Defence Force Academy (ADFA) reviews (pp. 12 *14)

" DLA Piper review: costs, terms of reference (pp. 13-14)

" Defence workplace agreements (p. 15)

" Additional staff appointed: Chief Operating Officer (pp. 15-16)

" Cultural reviews: report on the treatment of women at ADFA (p. 16)

" Defence posture review (pp. 17-19)

" Cultural reviews (p. 20)

" Visibility of Defence on the North-West coast (p. 19-20)

" Security vetting report of the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security (pp. 21-23)

" Turnover of staff: position of Associate Secretary Capability (pp. 23-24)

" Strategic Reform Program (SRP) (pp. 24, 48-49, 51)

" Coles Report (pp. 24-29)

" Recruitment of Afghan National Army soldiers (pp. 30-32)

" Handling of detainees in Iraq (pp. 32-33)

" Australian military forces use of drone technology (pp. 33-34)

" Exercise Milan hosted by India (pp. 34-35)

" Establishment of a US Marine base (pp. 35-36)

" Fleet Base West at Garden Island and the Australian Marine Complex in

Western Australia (pp. 36-37)

" Garrison support services at Robertson Barracks (p. 39-40)

" Adagold air sustainment contract (pp. 40^43)

" The impact on fuel and electricity the carbon tax will impose upon Defence (pp. 43 *44)

Portfolio Overview and budget summary

" The underlying structural causes that have led to a shortfall in skilled and competent people (p. 44)

" Rizzo report (pp. 44^16)

" Black review (pp. 47-48)

148

5

" Australian Women's Land Army and the arrangements between the

Department of Defence and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (P- 51)

Program 1.6 Defence Support

" Defence force bases: RAAF Williamtown and Robertson (pp. 52-55)

" Anglesea Barracks (pp. 55-56)

Defence Materiel Organisation

" Coles report/Collins class sustainment review: clause 5.6 (pp. 56-60)

" HMAS Sheean, HMAS Dechaineux, HMAS Rankin (pp. 61-64)

. SEA 1000 (pp. 66-67)

" RIMPAC (Exercise Rim-of-the-Pacific) (p. 66)

" Japanese submarines (pp. 67-68)

" Defence White Paper 2009: Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Centuiy: Force 2030 (pp. 69-70)

" Projects of concern (pp. 60-61, 71 *76)

" Rizzo report (pp. 76-79)

. HMAS Success (pp. 79-80)

" HMAS Sirius (p. 80)

" HMNZS Endeavour (p. 80)

" Joint Strike Fighter (pp. 80-82)

Program 1.17 Other administered items

" School of Military Engineering (pp. 82-84)

" Mount Ainslie Nature Reserve (pp. 84-86)

Department of Veterans' Affairs

1.15 The committee welcomed Mr Ian Campbell PSM, Secretary of the

Department of Veterans' Affairs, and officers from the Department of Veterans' Affairs.10

1.16 Topics examined during the hearing on 15 February 2012 included:

10 Proof Committee Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 87.

149

6

" BEST program and funding (pp. 88-91, 109-112)

" Response to questions from Supplementary Estimates 2011: BCOF

(British Commonwealth Occupation Force) service (pp. 91-92)

´ Sutherland report (pp. 92-93)

" Clarke recommendations (p. 93)

" DVA training (pp. 94-95)

" Correcting information given to the committee: letter from Ms Dotta

(pp. 95-96)

" Training sessions to the Veterans' Services Centre staff (pp. 96-99)

" Military rehabilitation and compensation review (pp. 99-101)

" Impact of efficiency dividend on DVA (pp. 101-103)

" Atomic veterans: nuclear tests between 1952 and 1967 (pp. 103-105)

" Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (WCS) and Lismore (pp. 105-109)

" Health tele-monitoring initiative (pp. 112-116)

" Celebrations of the Centenary of the Gallipoli landings (pp. 116-117)

" Annual report: contracts for Colmar Brunton (pp. 117-118)

Australian War Memorial

1.17 The committee acknowledged the attendance of officers of the Australian War Memorial.11 Topics examined during the hearing on 15 February 2012 included:

" Impact of efficiency dividend on the Australian War Memorial (p. 119)

" Final volume of the history of the Vietnam War (p. 119)

" Funding, approval for funding, request for funding (p. 120)

1.18 The committee notes that for some time, it has been seeking advice on progress toward the publication of the final volume of the official histoiy on the Vietnam War. The Australian War Memorial was pleased to announce that this final volume would be launched in early March this year. It acknowledged that this event would attract a deal of great interest.

11 Proof Committee Hansard, 15 February 2012, p. 119.

150

________________________________________________________________ _____________7_

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

1.19 The committee welcomed Mr Dennis Richardson, Secretary, and officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).12 13

1.20 The Secretary of DFAT informed the committee that the Prime Minister had announced on 28 September 2011 the commissioning of a white paper on Australia in the Asia century. He stated:

Former Treasury Secretary Ken Henry is heading up the exercise, which does involve public consultation. On 17 December [2011] the Prime Minister invited public submissions in the context of the white paper to be lodged by 26 February [2012], and the white paper of course will be a

government white paper so it will obviously need to be considered at the appropriate time by ministers.

The Asian Century White Paper committee of the cabinet has been established to oversee the development of the white paper. That committee comprises the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, the

Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Trade, and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation. There is also a secretaries committee supporting the work the cabinet committee, which consists of the secretaries of PM&C, Treasury and DFAT. There is an advisory panel which Deputy Secretary Heather Smith of DFAT sits on.1-'

1.21 Mr Richardson explained that a reference group has been established on which DFAT is represented. There is also the White Paper Task Force, established in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which is supporting Dr Henry in his work. A former Ambassador to Tokyo, Murray McLean, is a special advisor to Dr Henry.

1.22 Topics examined during the hearing on 16 February 2012 included:

Portfolio Overview

" Cable: Australian ambassador or high commissioner meeting with a senior official (pp. 4-14)

" European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (pp. 14-16)

" Budget for the Department (pp. 16-17)

" Staff reductions (pp. 17-19)

" Travel: process in which the Foreign Minister's travel priorities are

determined (pp. 19-25)

12 Proof Committee Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 4.

13 Proof Committee Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 29.

151

8

" Amount spent on hospitality and entertainment (p. 24)

" Costs of representation (p. 25)

" Durban climate change conference (pp. 25-26)

" Foreign Minister's address to the United Nations General Assembly (p. 26)

" United Nations Security Council bid (pp. 26-27)

" Travel by special envoys (pp. 26-27).

North Asia

" Death of Kim Jong II, engagement with North Korea (pp. 27-28)

" Presence in Mongolia (pp. 28-29)

" Asia White paper (p. 29)

" Valuation of Chinese currency (pp. 29-30)

" Status of Matthew Ng (p. 31)

" Taiwanese policy: more favourably disposed to improving relationships with the People's Republic of China (pp. 31-32)

" Radiation levels in Japan (p. 32)

" Staffing in Tokyo embassy since earthquake (p. 32)

" Assistance to Japan since the earthquake and tsunami in relation to nuclear safety issues or humanitarian concerns (p. 32)

" Protesters on the Shonan Maru No. 2 (pp. 32-35)

" Whaling program by the Japanese Government (p. 35)

South-East Asia

" An Australian arrested in Bali (pp. 35-37)

" Live cattle in Indonesia (pp. 37-39)

" Access through ports in Indonesia (pp. 38-40)

" Level of consultation with Indonesia: banning of live exports to Indonesia, logging (pp. 40^12)

" Foreign Minister's visa application to Burma (pp. 42^43)

" Karen refugees (p. 43)

" Australian tourists in Laos: loss of lives (pp. 43-44)

" Consular positions in Vientiane (p. 44)

" Cost of Smartraveller application (p. 44)

" Detention centre in Malaysia (p. 44)

152

9

" People smuggling, offshore processing (p. 45)

" Withdrawal of Australian troops from East Timor (p. 45)

" Justin Hale: Australian journalist who had visa withdrawn in Indonesia (p. 45)

" Kidnapping incident in Philippines, recommendations of the McCarthy review (P- 45)

Americas

" Alliance with the USA, American engagement in the Asia-Pacific (pp. 45-46)

" Location of embassies in South America, diplomatic presence in South America (pp. 46-47)

Africa

" Aid payments, Libya (p. 47)

" Australian citizens in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia (p. 48)

" Christians in Egypt (p. 48)

" US NGOs in Egypt (p. 49)

" Food security (p. 49)

" Changing situation in Burma (p. 50)

" Political prisoners (pp. 50-51)

" Australia's policy on investment in trade between Australia and Burma (p. 52)

" Chinese funding for the building of a headquarters for the Organisation of African Unity (p. 52)

Europe

" Relationship with Europe (p. 52)

South and West Asia, Middle East

" Response to war crimes in Sri Lanka, Lessons learnt and reconciliation commission report (pp. 53-55, 58-59)

" Current situation in Syria (p. 54)

" Current relationship with India, exports, number of Indian students coming to study, nature of the relationship (p. 56)

" Folke Bernadotte Academy: quiet diplomacy (pp. 56-57)

153

10

Uranium sales to India (pp. 57-59)

Pacific

" PNG: status of Peter O'Neill and Sir Michael Somare (p. 59)

" Foreign Minister's last visit to PNG (p. 59)

" Elections in PNG, female representation in the Pacific parliament (pp. 59-61)

" Economic cooperation treaty entered by PNG and Australia (p. 61)

" Fiji (p. 61)

Program 1.3 Public Information Services and Public Diplomacy

" Tender evaluation board meetings for the Australia Network contract (pp. 61-68)

International organisations and legal issues

" Migrant women's workers' convention (p. 69)

" Commission on the Status of Women meeting at the UN (pp. 69-70)

" Conventions and policy for Australian citizens who are detained overseas (pp. 70-71)

Trade portfolio

DFAT trade programs, Australian Trade Commission and Export Finance and Insurance Corporation

1.23 The committee welcomed officers of the Australian Trade Commission who appeared with DFAT officers in the trade programs.14 Topics examined during the hearing on 16 February 2012 included:

Bilateral, regional and multilateral trade negotiations

" PACER Plus negotiations (pp. 71-72)

" Staffing of Austrade (p. 72)

" Smaller offices being closed down (pp. 72-73)

" Office in Mongolia (p. 73)

" Chinese Ministry of Education (pp. 73-74)

14 Proof Committee Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 71.

154

11

" China International Education Exhibition (p. 74)

" Trade delegation to the Middle East (p. 74)

" Abattoirs in Indonesia (pp. 74-75)

" Importation of New Zealand apples (p. 75)

" Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) (pp. 75-76)

" Category A projects disclosed in the 2010-2011 Annual report (pp. 76-77)

" Live export trade (pp. 77-78)

" Procedures in dealing with Eurozone (pp. 78-79)

" PNG Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) (pp. 79-80)

Australian Agency for International Development

1.24 The committee welcomed officers of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).13

Opening statement

1.25 Mr Peter Baxter, Director General, made an opening statement. The topics covered in the statement included progress on An Effective Aid Program for Australia: Making a real difference *Delivering real results, ; recommendation 39 of the Independent Review; first annual consultative forum between AusAID and the business community.

1.26 Mr Baxter provided a brief update on AusAID's progress in implementing the government's new aid policy. He informed the committee that the government had agreed to 38 recommendations in full or in principle. Of these 38, 27 have now been implemented in full and implementation of the remainder is underway and set for completion by the end of this year. He also stated that the government announced its

intention to issue a transparency charter which committed AusAID 'to providing more information on what we fund and the results we achieve'.15 16 Mr Baxter announced that this undertaking has been delivered and on 23 November 2011 the minister launched the new transparency charter.

15 Proof Committee Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 81.

16 Proof Committee Hansard, 16 February 2012, p. 82.

155

12

Topics examined during the hearing on 16 February 2012 included:

" Tuberculosis clinics in Torres Strait and their transfer to Daru (pp. 83-86)

" Effective Aid review recommendations 15 and 16 about increasing core funding to NGOs and partnerships (pp. 86-87)

" Burma (pp. 87-88)

" Effective Aid review recommendation 39 (pp. 88-91)

" Projects in Sri Lanka (p. 91)

" Reduction in the amount of advisers (pp. 91-92)

" Asian Development Bank (pp. 92-93)

" Sexual and reproductive health issues in PNG (p. 93)

" AusAID funded scholarships (pp. 93-94)

" Pacific Seasonal Worker Program (p. 94)

" East Timorese coming to the Kimberley (pp. 94-95)

" Reproductive health and women particularly in Cambodia (pp. 95-96)

" Cambodian railways project (pp. 96-98)

" Australia's development program in Sri Lanka (p. 98)

" Mekong (pp. 98-99)

" Libya, Middle East and North Africa regional strategy (pp. 99-100)

" Mine clearances (p. 100)

" UN DP A (United Nations Department of Political Affairs) (p. 100)

" Zimbabwe: cost of the establishment of an AusAID office, HIV program (pp. 100-101)

" Obstetric support (p. 101)

" Tarin Kowt school (pp. 101-102)

. Staffing (pp. 102-103)

" Funding with NGOs (pp. 103-104)

" AusAID post in Ramallah (p. 104)

" Multilateral agencies: draft document on multilateral engagement strategy that was written in 2009 (pp. 104-106)

" Afghanistan: talks with the Australian military about managing AusAID projects in Afghanistan (pp. 106-107)

" Australian aid in the Aliceghan project (p. 107)

" Proposal to host a global fund donors meeting in 2012 (p. 108)

" Australian Mining for Development Initiative (pp. 108, 110)

156

13

" BHP workforce (pp. 108-109)

" Food Security Through Rural Development initiative (p. 110)

" Cambodia: rights of in-country NGOs trying to advocate on behalf of their communities (p. Ill)

" Indonesian carbon partnership (p. Ill)

Acknowledgements

1.27 For their assistance during its heanngs, the committee thanks Senator the Hon. David Feeney, Senator the Hon. Kim Carr and Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy. The committee also acknowledges the attendance and cooperation of the many departmental and agency officers and the services of various parliamentary staff involved in the estimates process.

Senator the Hon. Ursula Stephens Chair

157

158

Appendix 1

Index to proof transcripts

Additional estimates 2011 *2012

Defence portfolio

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Thursday, 16 February 2012

160

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Defence Portfolio

Department of Defence

Page no

In attendance ......... ................................................... ..................................................................... 1

Secretary's opening statement.................................................. .................................... ............. 2-7

Chief of the Defence Force's opening statement ................................... ..................................... 7-8

Questions arising from opening statements .......................................... ................................... 9-51

Portfolio overview and budget summary..................... 44-51

Program 1.6: Defence Support..............................................................................................52-56

Defence Materiel Organisation ........................................................................................... 56-82

Program 1.17: Other administered items.................................................................................82-86

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Page no

Portfolio overview............................................................................................................... 88-118

Program 1.1: Veterans * income support and allowances .............. ..........................................88-118

Program 1.2: Veterans * disability support ...................... ........................................................88-118

Program 1.3: Assistance to Defence widows/widowers and dependants..................................88-118

Program 1.4: Assistance and other compensation for veterans and dependants ....................... 88-118

Program 1.5: Veterans * children education scheme ........................................ .... ............. ..... 88-118

Program 1.6: Military rehabilitation and compensation acts * income support and compensation.....................................................................................................................88-118

Program 1.7: Adjustments to military rehabilitation compensation acts liability provisions - income support and compensation .............................................................. ....... 88-118

Program 2.1: General medical consultations and services ....................................................... 88-118

Program 2.2: Veterans * hospital services ....................... 88-118

Program 2.3: Veterans * pharmaceutical benefits.............................................................. ...... 88-118

Program 2.4: Veterans * community care and support..............................................................88-118

Program 2.5: Veterans * counselling and other health services ................................................ 88-118

Program 2.6: Military rehabilitation and compensation acts - health and other care services ...88-118

Program 2.7: Adjustment to the military rehabilitation and compensation acts

liability provisions - health and other care services .................. .............................................. 88-118

______________________________________________________________________________ _17

161

18

Australian War Memorial

Program 1.1: Commemorative ceremonies...........................................................................119-120

Program 1.2: National memorial and grounds ...................................................................... 119-120

Program 1.3: National collection ........................................................ 119-120

Program 1.4: Exhibitions................. 119-120

Program 1.5: Interpretive services .............................. 119-120

Program 1.6: Promotion and community services ................................................................ 119-120

Program 1.7: Research and information dissemination ........................... 119-120

Program 1.8: Visitor services ........... ............ 119-120

162

19

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Page no

In attendance ................................................................................................................................. 1

Portfolio Overview................................................................................................. .................... 4-27

Program 1.1: Foreign Affairs and Trade Operations

North Asia..................................................................................................................................27-35

South - East Asia............................................................................................................ 35-45

Americas....................................................................................................................................45-47

Africa........................................................................................................................................ 47-52

Europe.......................................................................................... 52

South and West Asia, Middle East.............................................................................................. 53-59

Pacific ............................. 59-61

Program 1.3: Public information services and public diplomacy ............................................... 61-68

International organisations and legal issues................... 69-71

DFAT Trade Programs, Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC)

Page no

Program 1.1: Trade and investment development........................... 71-80

Program 1.2: Trade development schemes (Export Market Development Grants) ..... ................. 71-80

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

Program 1.1: Official development assistance *PNG and Pacific........ .................................... 83-111

Program 1.2: Official development assistance *East Asia........................................................83-111

Program 1.3: Official development assistance *Africa, South and Central Asia,

Middle East and other................................................................................................................83-111

Program 1.4: Official development assistance *Emergency, humanitarian and

refugee programs.......................................................................... 83-111

Program 1.5: Official development assistance *Multilateral replenishments ............................. 83-111

Program 1.6: Official development assistance *UN, Commonwealth and other

international organisations ..................................................................... 83-111

Program 1.7: Official development assistance *NGO, volunteer and community programs ..... 83-111

Program 2.1: East Asia............................................................... ............................................ 83-111

163

164

Appendix 2

Tabled documents

Additional estimates 2011-2012

Defence portfolio

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

1. Received from Mr Duncan Lewis, AO, DSC, CSC, Secretary of Defence, 'Opening Remarks'

2. Received from General David Hurley, AC, DSC, Chief of the Defence Force, 'Opening Statement'

3. Received from Mr Duncan Lewis, AO, DSC, CSC, Secretary of Defence, 'Terms of Reference for ADFA incident'

4. Received from Department of Defence, 'Responses to Questions on Notice'

5. Received from the Department of Veterans' Affairs, 'Costing Report on British Nuclear Testing participants with Gold Cards'

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Thursday, 16 February 2012

1. Received from Mr Peter Baxter, Director General, 'Director General Statement for Additional Estimates'

165

166

The Senate

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2011-12

March 2012

Commonwealth of Australia ISBN 978-1-74229-587-9

This document was prepared by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

168

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Patricia Crossin, Chair, ALP, NT

Senator Gary Humphries, Deputy Chair, LP, ACT

Senator Sue Boyce, LP, QLD

Senator Mark Fumer, ALP, QLD

Senator Louise Pratt, ALP, WA

Senator Penny Wright, AG, SA

Senators in attendance

Senator Patricia Crossin (Chair)

Senator Gary Humphries (Deputy Chair)

Senator Sue Boyce

Senator Mark Fumer

Senator Louise Pratt

Senator Penny Wright

Senator the Hon Eric Abetz

Senator Simon Birmingham

Senator the Hon George Brandis

Senator David Bushby

Senator Michaelia Cash

Senator Mitch Fifield

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

Senator Scott Ludlam

Senator John Madigan

Senator the Hon Bill Heffeman

Senator Helen Kroger

Senator Bridget McKenzie

Senator Lee Rhiannon

Senator Rachel Siewert

Senator Nick Xenophon

Secretariat

Ms Julie Dennett

Ms Margaret Cahill

Ms Hannah Dibley

Ms Elise Williamson

Committee Secretary

Research Officer

Administrative Officer

Administrative Officer

Suite SI.61 Telephone: (02) 6277 3560

Parliament House Fax: (02) 6277 5794

CANBERRA ACT 2600 Email: legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

iii

169

170

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

PREFACE......................................................................................................................vii

Reference of documents..........................................................................................vii

Estimates hearings................................................................................................... vii

Minister and parliamentary secretary....................................................................viii

Questions on notice................................................................................................viii

CHAPTER 1 ....................................................................................................................1

IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO..........................................1

Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal (MRT-RRT) ................. 1

Department of Immigration and Citizenship............................................................2

CHAPTER 2 ....................................................................................................................9

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PORTFOLIO .............................................................. 9

Australian Human Rights Commission .................................................................... 9

Australian Federal Police (AFP).............................................................................10

Attorney-General's Department ............................................................................... 12

Efficiency dividend increase................................................................................... 12

APPENDIX 1 .................................................................................................................15

DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES FOR WHICH THE COMMITTEE HAS OVERSIGHT..............................................................................................................15

Attorney-General's Portfolio ................................................................................... 15

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio....................................................................16

APPENDIX 2 .................................................................................................................17

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARDS............................................................................17

APPENDIX 3 .................................................................................................................19

TABLED DOCUMENTS .......................................................................................... 19

172

PREFACE

On 9 February 2012, the Senate referred to the committee for examination the estimates of proposed additional expenditure for the financial year 2011-12. The committee is responsible for the examination of the Attorney-General's Portfolio and the Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio. The portfolio additional estimates statements for 2011-12 were tabled on 9 February 2012.

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 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2011-2012];

" Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2011-2012];

" Final budget outcome 2010-11; and

" Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2010-11.

The committee was required to report on its consideration of the additional estimates on or before 20 March 2012.

Estimates hearings

The committee met in public session on 13 and 14 February 2012.

Over the course of the two days of hearings, totalling over 21 hours, the committee took evidence from the following departments and agencies:

" Attorney-General *s Department

" Australian Crime Commission

" Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

" Australian Federal Police

" Australian Government Solicitor

" Australian Human Rights Commission

" Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

" Department of Immigration and Citizenship

" Family Court of Australia

" Federal Magistrates Court of Australia

" Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

" Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

Copies of the transcripts of Hansard are available from the committee *s internet page at: www.aph.gov.au/senate legalcon.

An index of the Hansard for each portfolio appears at Appendix 2.

Minister and parliamentary secretary

On 13 February 2012, the committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Kate Lundy, the then Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

On 14 February 2012, the committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recoveiy, representing the Attorney-General and the Minister for Home Affairs.

Officers from both departments and associated agencies also appeared. The committee thanks the Minister, Parliamentary Secretary 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 above address.

The committee has resolved that the due date for submitting responses to questions on notice from the additional estimates round is 30 March 2012.

viii 174

CHAPTER 1

IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO

1.1 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 2011-12 financial year.

Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal (MRT-RRT)

1.2 The Principal Member of the MRT-RRT, Mr Denis O'Brien, advised that lodgements for both tribunals continue to rise, and updated the committee on workload statistics since his last appearance before the committee. He advised that, as at 31 December, there has been an increase of 43 per cent in active cases for the MRT compared to the same period for 2010-11, with the highest rate of lodgements in the areas of student visa refusals and cancellations. MRT lodgements have increased by 21 per cent, and decisions have increased by 28 per cent, compared to the same period in 2010-11. For the RRT, Mr O'Brien advised that there was a 68 per cent increase in active cases as at 31 December compared to the same period in 2010-11, a six per cent increase in lodgements, and nine per cent fewer decisions during tins period.1

1.3 The committee was also advised that the recent amendment to the

Migration Act 1958, which inserts complementary protection into the Act, would result in the RRT having jurisdiction in relation to irregular maritime arrivals (IMAs) with members now dealing with complementary protection claims. As a result of this change, Mr O'Brien indicated that he anticipated a further increase in the RRT's case load.1 2

1.4 Mr O'Brien informed the committee that, even though 23 new members were nominally appointed to the tribunals from 1 July 2011, he did not consider the number of members sufficient to carry out the current workload. Accordingly, the committee heard that the Minister had agreed to another recruitment round for new members, which Mr O'Brien anticipated would result in the engagement of approximately 20 full-time-equivalent members.3

1.5 The committee was advised that the tribunals were facing significant financial challenges in the current financial year attributed, in particular, to the net increase in active membership and increases in member remuneration.4

1 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 6.

2 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 6.

3 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 8.

4 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 7.

Page 2

1.6 Senators asked about the current review of the tribunals conducted by Professor Michael Lavarch. The committee was advised that this review would consider strategies for reducing the tribunals' backlog and management of the transition of the IMA caseload to the RRT's jurisdiction.5 The committee looks forward to the outcome of the review with interest.

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) (Sub-program 1.1.3)

1.7 The Office of the MARA provided an update of operations since it last appeared before the committee in relation to statistics on registered agents, application refusals, complaints, and reforms to continuing professional development.6

1.8 The committee also heard details of the reforms to the standard ethical framework which was developed for use by migration agents. Officers from MARA advised that it was hoped that the framework would provide better guidance to identify and manage ethical dilemmas and conflicts of interest, and would be supported by a free and confidential counselling service.7

1.9 As part of MARA's communications strategy, a translated booklet has been developed to enhance communication with ethnic communities. The committee was advised that the booklet has been made available in 24 languages online and has been well received.8

Enterprise migration agreements and regional migration agreements

1.10 The committee revisited the enterprise migration agreement (EMA) scheme which was introduced in May 2011. While only one submission has been received, there is currently discussion around a number of projects, and the department estimates that between 17 and 37 projects are likely to be eligible for an EMA.9 Mr Kruno Kukoc elaborated on the reasons why only one submission has been received to date:

...This is a completely new and innovative approach through bringing temporary, skilled migrants into the country and that is the reason a lot of stakeholders expressed initial interest in the process; however, they were seeking more information from the department about the process. As part of the process related to any investment project, once they apply they need to get information documentation to make the application successful. That is in the interests of all project owners who may apply for enterprise migration

5 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 10.

6 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 26.

7 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 27.

8 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 27.

9 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 32.

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agreements. That is the reason that by the end of last year we had one submission. But, as I said, we expect many more to come along in the coming months.

Senator C A S H:...When you said that project owners sought information about the process, were you able to then put together something that you have been able to hand out to project owners?

Mr Kukoc: Yes. We issued very comprehensive guidelines on how to make a submission under the enterprise migration agreement. That was on 2 September 2011. Those guidelines were informed by a very comprehensive early consultation process in mid 2011, so we knew what information and guidelines project owners might need before we finally put together the guidelines, got them approved by the minister and released them on 2 September 2011. I think the guidelines and a template are on our website and provide veiy comprehensive information on how to make an application for an enterprise migration agreement.10

1.11 Senators indicated that they would follow-up on this initiative at the budget estimates hearings.

1.12 The committee also sought an update on the regional migration agreement (RMA) scheme. The department advised that consultations throughout regional Australia have been conducted, particularly focussing on the Northern Territory and Queensland, and that draft guidelines have been prepared. Senators asked about the definition of'region' under this scheme:

Mr Kukoc: The definition is that the population is less than 150,000, employment growth is very strong, the unemployment rate is very low and the participation rate is very high...

Senator C A SH: Are there specific figures, though, in relation to 'very low unemployment rate'? What is a 'very low unemployment rate'?

Mr Kukoc: Much lower than the national unemployment rate.

Senator C A SH: Are there any guidelines surrounding what you have just said?

Mr Metcalfe: You are trying to ask if there is a particular percentage?

Senator C ASH: Exactly. I can understand 'a population less than 150,000';

that is obvious. But a 'very low unemployment rate' *is that objective, subjective or at the discretion of the person reviewing the RMA?

Mr Kukoc: It is ultimately at the discretion of the minister, but the overall

proposal will need to prove that the labour market shortages in that region are arising out of the very strong employment growth and economic growth and out of the fact that this region currently has very low unemployment and high participation. So there are a number of factors that will be taken into account at the time of the decision. There is no prescribed threshold. It

10 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 34.

Page 4

is more a very solid labour market analysis put forward that actually proves the case for the regional migration agreement.11

1.13 When asked about the timeframe for the scheme, the department advised that it expected the first RMAs to be finalised this year.11 12

Budget

Revised forward estimates

1.14 Senators questioned the department about the revisions to forward estimates through the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) process and the additional estimates, particularly with respect to Program 4.3 - Offshore Asylum Seeker Management. There was robust discussion between some members of the committee, and the Parliamentary Secretary and the Secretaiy of the department, about the reasons for the substantial increase in funding for the department in the forward estimates. The Chief Financial Officer, Mr Stephen Sheehan, provided the following explanation of the adjustments that were part of the MYEFO process:

...The increase in IMA funding is $1,296 billion. Then there were a number of adjustments that were made as part of the operating costs for New Guinea *the offshore processing centre that were reduced; the Regional Protection Framework *the net amount for Malaysia; and in addition the return of funding for the humanitarian program, where we had budgeted for an additional 1,000 entrants. So the amount required for the department, after taking into consideration those adjustments, was $564 million, but in addition there was an amount for the regional cooperation measure of about $5,228,000, which, in terms of the reconciliation for the DIAC MYEFO adjustment, was $570,033 million.

...In addition, the announcements as part of MYEFO included an increase in the arrival estimate for 450 per month. There was also a change in the model for the number of clients that we would have in general society as well, which is roughly six per cent for the 2011-12 financial year. In addition, in terms of funding now available for the humanitarian program, the reversal of capital works that was held in the contingency reserve was announced as part of the budget process and the whole-of-govemment fiscal impact was $232 million, and including the regional cooperation measure it was $230,300,000 net...13

1.15 Mr Sheehan sought to provide further clarification:

...The difference between additional estimates and the MYEFO numbers in the estimate for the department for program 4.3, including depreciation, is $179,762,000. That is related to an increase in the arrival estimates because

11 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 36.

12 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 37.

13 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 73-74.

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of the increases that we have had in November and December, and also an increase in our overall occupancy rate.14

Efficiency dividend increase

1.16 Members of the committee also questioned officers about the 2.5 per cent increase in the efficiency dividend for 2012-13.15 The committee was advised that the dollar amount impact for the department, including the capital efficiency dividend of approximately $ 19 million and the departmental efficiency dividend of approximately $28 million, is $47 million a year across the forward estimates.16 It was further clarified that the capital amount is quarantined from the recurrent amount.17

1.17 The Secretary provided a detailed account to the committee of the impact on the department and how it intends to manage the additional impost:

Mr Metcalfe: ...Effectively, we are funded for what we spend and if the

efficiency dividend does not apply to that, it does not require us to seek efficiencies in contracts, cut services or reduce the number of meals or anything like that *far from it.

The department is also funded on an activity based formula. Essentially, depending on the number of visa applications we receive and are decided and so on, we are funded for those on a widget basis. So it is not just a question of us cutting services and making cutting decisions because in fact

we will be cutting our own budget.

Mr Metcalfe: This saving will largely need to come from areas which are

not funded in that way. Clearly in relation to capital, we are a large consumer of information technology and we are looking very carefully at our technology spend. In relation to the administered costs we will be going through all of our expenses. We have a large property expense, we have a large staff cost expense, and travel and other areas. So there is not a definitive answer on, 'We will be cutting this,' but effectively will be

looking across all of those to ensure that, as we have in recent years, we continue to live within our budget.

Senator HU MPHR IES: Are you examining the possibility of staff

reductions?

14 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 74.

15 On 29 November 2011, the Minister for Finance and Deregulation announced an additional one-off 2.5 per cent efficiency dividend, on top of the existing efficiency dividend of 1.5 per cent: see Minister for Finance and Deregulation, 'Driving Efficiency Savings Within Government', Media Release, PW 253/11, 29 November 2011, http://www.financeminister.gov.au/media/2011/mr pw25311 .html (accessed 6 March 2012). The Migration Review Tribunal and the Refugee Review Tribunal are exempt from the additional efficiency dividend.

16 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 25.

17 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 26.

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Mr Metcalfe: We are. We are certainly not looking at the issue of

involuntary redundancies. Like all big organisations there is a significant turnover *we have almost 8,000 staff. And, of course, because of the ongoing nature of activity levels such as irregular maritime arrivals

servicing there is always the potential to move staff from an area that is losing funding to an area that has high activity levels. So there is the ability to transfer resources as well. I should properly say that of course we will be looking at staffing budgets and that could impact on some areas...

Senator HUMPHRIES: You would surely say, with 8,000 staff and those administered expenses separately quarantined, that it is almost inevitable that you are going to look at some reduction in staffing?

Mr Metcalfe: Yes, and that is exactly what we are doing. Exactly where

and how we achieve that *most likely through not filling vacancies and therefore slowing down on recruitment...18

Community detention program

1.18 Officers of the department were questioned in detail about the community detention program. The committee was advised that the occupation rate at the time of the additional estimates hearing was 1,576, and the approximate cost of the program for the 2011-12 financial year is $150 million.19

1.19 Senators followed up a response provided to a question on notice from the Supplementary Budget Estimates 2011-12 hearings concerning the average cost per client, which the department advised that an amount could not be provided until the program stabilises. At the additional estimates hearing, the committee was informed that this continues to be the case and this cost cannot be meaningfully derived at present:

Mr Metcalfe: I think we will find there is an average cost but in due course there will be a lower average cost because those setup costs of acquiring the property, the bond, the household formation and the furniture cost will be rolled over across multiple clients. So while there is a setup cost, the ongoing costs are going to average out to a lower number.

Mr Sheehan: There is another complicating factor. It depends on the different client mix *whether we have small families, large families, or singles. There is a range of other complicating factors that we need to work our way through as well.20

1.20 The committee learnt that the Red Cross administers the rental program and housing package for community detention, which currently comprises approximately 550 rental properties across all states and territories, excluding the Northern

18 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 25.

19 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 79.

20 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 86.

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Territory.21 The committee was assisted with its examination of this topic by the tabling of two documents: Location of Community Detention Properties and the Household Goods Formation Package List.

1.21 Senators also sought clarification of other costs associated with the community detention program, including health, pharmaceuticals, dental, transportation and education costs.22

Answers to questions on notice

1.22 The committee notes that all answers to questions on notice from the Supplementary Budget Estimates 2011-12 hearings for the Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio were provided after the due date of 2 December 2011. This is the fifth successive estimates round where that has occurred. The first batch of answers was provided to the committee on 20 January 2012, and a significant number of answers were provided on the weekend before the additional estimates hearings, and also during the hearing on 13 February. Such late provision of answers clearly does not allow members of the committee reasonable time to consider those answers prior to the hearings.

1.23 On 9 February 2012, pursuant to Senate standing order 74(5), Senator Cash asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig) for an explanation of answers not provided to questions placed on notice during the Supplementary Budget Estimates 2011-12 hearings.23

1.24 Senator Ludwig provided an explanation:

...the number of questions asked of the department at Senate estimates hearings has increased significantly over recent years, but the department has put significant effort into ensuring that all questions on notice have been answered prior to the next committee hearing.

At the supplementary hearing in October last year, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship received 423 questions on notice, including those taken on notice during the hearing and additional questions provided subsequently in writing. The department remains fully committed to

providing responses to the questions on notice as soon as possible. All endeavours will continue to be made in this regard. However, many of the questions do seek detailed information on a number of complex and sensitive issues. Providing responses to all of these questions is also extremely resource-intensive and places a significant burden on the department.

21 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 80.

22 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 87-88 and 101.

23 Journals of the Senate No. 75, 9 Februaiy 2012, p. 2088.

Page 8

The department has already provided the committee with responses to most of the 423 questions, which does demonstrate the commitment of the department to answering all questions on notice as quickly as possible.24

1.25 The Senate noted the Minister's explanation.2"

Other matters of interest

1.26 Other areas of interest to Senators during examination of the department included the department's new media access policy, the new visa pricing regime, prospective marriage visas subclass 300, minors charged with people smuggling who are currently held in detention facilities, status of discussions with Papua New Guinea on the establishment of a processing centre, the inspection and infrastructure report on re-opening offshore processing centres on Nauru, the provision of services to people with a disability in detention centres, and the closing of the Pontville Immigration Detention Centre in Tasmania.

1.27 The Secretary of the department, Mr Andrew Metcalfe AO, advised the committee that he would be taking extended leave over the coming year and that Mr Martin Bowles PSM will act as Secretary in his absence.26 The committee and the Parliamentary Secretary also acknowledged Mr Metcalfe's recent appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2012 Australia Day Honours List, in recognition of his distinguished service to public sector leadership through, among other things, his contributions to public policy development in the areas of immigration, citizenship and cultural diversity.27

24 Senate Hansard , 9 February 2012, p. 53.

25 Journals of the Senate No. 75, 9 February 2012, p. 2088.

26 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 5.

27 Committee Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 3 and 119

182

CHAPTER 2

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PORTFOLIO

2.1 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 2011-12 financial year.

Australian Human Rights Commission

2.2 The committee asked about the commission's work on the issue of wheelchair capacity on airlines following the recent Federal Court of Australia case of King v Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd.

2.3 The Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Graeme Innes AM, advised that he is continuing to work with airlines about the current policy of only carrying two people per flight who use wheelchairs. He further advised that an appeal to the King case has been filed and the commission is still assessing whether it will seek to intervene in the matter.1

2.4 The Commissioner was asked whether the best resolution to this issue would be through legislative changes rather than through the courts:

Senator SIEWERT: To resolve this issue, would it not be better to make sure the legislation was fairly clear rather than people having to take court action over such a matter?

Mr Innes: The process for alleging discrimination is common across all of the legislation with which we deal on the basis of gender, age, race and disability. There is always an option for legislators to do other things to

change that process. I suppose in the broader term that is a matter before the government in its consideration of consolidation of discrimination legislation. But at present the way the disability area is dealt with is no different to the way that areas which are the responsibility of my colleagues

are dealt with.

Senator SIEWERT: You have just touched on the reform or the consolidation process. It could be dealt with through that process, could it not?

Mr Innes: It could.1 2

1 Committee Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 8.

2 Committee Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 8.

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Australian Federal Police (AFP)

2.5 The AFP was questioned extensively on a range of issues. One area of interest was the outsourcing of 'open-source monitoring' with the company National Open Source Intelligence Centre (NOSIC). The committee heard that NOSIC has been

contracted by the AFP since 2002. The contract is valued at just under $100,000 a year. NOSIC is required to scan publicly available information, collate the material and provide a daily report to the AFP on matters relating to general law enforcement.

Commissioner Tony Negus APM noted that the AFP considers the outsourcing of this service as a cost-effective approach and that, if the AFP were to undertake this role in≠ house, it would cost approximately four times that of the contracted service.3

2.6 When asked if NOSIC is tasked with monitoring a specific area,

Commissioner Negus responded:

...We do not specifically task them with looking at a type of criminal offence per se. These are things that may be of interest to general law enforcement *really keeping tabs on what is happening in that protest community. As I said, our protection liaison officers are out there speaking to these communities. They are making very overt contact with them on a weekly basis to try to understand what is happening and to work with them to achieve those outcomes. Again, we want to keep the public safe and make sure that nothing untoward happens along the way. It is very much a professional relationship. They provide details of things that they may feel are of interest to law enforcement. My understanding is that they are not tasked with specific elements of what is available. It is a longstanding contract *about ten years.

Senator WRIGHT: It would then be quite feasible to think that they would be obtaining open-source information about citizens who may not have committed any criminal offence at all.

Mr N egus: They would collect what is available on the internet and in newspapers *those sorts of things *and provide it to us. This is in a macro sense. If there were any semblance of a criminal investigation that needed to be undertaken, we of course would launch that separately. We would do our own intelligence work and collection on that process. But, as I said, a criminal offence would have to be identified or it would have to relate to the protection of high office holders, foreign dignitaries or something like that.4

2.7 Continuing examination of the AFP, the committee requested details of the AFP *s role in the Australia Day protest at the Lobby Restaurant in Canberra. Commissioner Negus and officers of the AFP provided a detailed timeline of the

3 Committee Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 54.

4 Committee Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 54.

184

AFP's involvement and response. Commissioner Negus further advised that a post- operational report was being prepared. "

2.8 The AFP was also questioned about the attack on the Syrian Embassy in Canberra on 4 February 2012. Senators sought details of the sequence of events in the lead-up to the incident, and the AFP's response. Commissioner Negus advised the committee that knowledge of attacks on three Syrian embassies overseas was not

known to the AFP at the time of its response to the incident. He also confirmed that an assessment by the National Threat Assessment Centre was not conducted prior to the attack.5 6

2.9 Commissioner Negus assured the committee that resourcing levels for this area of intelligence gathering is satisfactory, and further advised:

I am confident...that we can respond appropriately. We had responded appropriately based on the available information. We are now examining if there are ways to better communicate what is happening overseas and make sure our officers are afforded the availability of that information immediately rather than relying on the course of events that took place the other night, where a couple of hours made a big difference in regard to what happened. In fact, the AFP first became aware of the incidents overseas at

10 pm that night. So 20 minutes after the attack took place, the AFP were formally notified of the issues surrounding the Syrian embassy.

Senator HU MPHR IES: As you pointed out, it should not be the AFP's job to gather intelligence about what is happening overseas. It should be somebody else's job to directly get that information.

Mr Negus: You are right. The AFP plays a role in that, of course. The agencies, overwhelmingly, provide that intelligence in sufficient time for the AFP to take appropriate responses. This was an unfortunate incident in which a couple of hours of notification of what was happening overseas would have changed the conditions on the ground. My officers made those

decisions based on what was happening.7

2.10 The committee also took evidence from the AFP on a range of other matters including the investigation into the alleged leaks relating to the Australia Network tender, the process for charging people suspected of people smuggling, the status of matters relating to Wikileaks, the AFP's role in the development of a cybersecurity strategy, and interception authorisations under the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979.

______________________________________________________________________________________Page 11

5 Committee Hansard , 14 February 2012, p. 68.

6 Committee Hansard , 14 February 2012, p. 76.

7 Committee Hansard , 14 February 2012, p. 77.

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Attorney-General *s Department

2.11 The Attorney-General's Department was briefly examined on a range of issues, including justice reinvestment, the government's response to the Doing time - time for doing report, Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments to people in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia following flooding in 2010, and the emergency alert upgrade.

Efficiency dividend increase

2.12 The committee raised the increase of 2.5 per cent in the efficiency dividend in 2012-13 with a number of agencies within the Attorney-General's Portfolio which appeared at the hearing. The committee notes that all the courts and tribunals within the portfolio are exempt from this 'one-off increase.8

2.13 The President of the Australian Human Rights Commission,

the Hon Catherine Branson QC, tabled a letter to the Minister for Finance and Deregulation outlining the impact of the increased efficiency dividend on the commission. Her letter revealed that the dollar amount of the increase is $1.6 million over four years. This may potentially impact the commission's ability to perform its key statutory functions, and could place at risk the commission's accreditation as a

'status A' national human rights institution.9 Ms Branson elaborated at the hearing:

The commission, as you know, is evaluated at the international level under the Paris Principles, which have been adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations as the principles which an independent national human rights institution should meet. We were re-assessed late last year and were very gratified to have our status A confirmed. But one of the observations made by those who undertook the assessment was that the growing impact of efficiency dividends on our budget was regrettable and we would be expected to limit our capacity to undertake policy work of our own choice

in the way they would wish a national human rights institution to be able to do. That is a concern.

We have greatly appreciated the additional funding that has come the commission's way in recent years, but it has been funding linked to particular areas of work. It has not been funding that has a significant impact on our ability to decide for ourselves that an issue warrants our

8 These include the Family Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia, the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, the High Court of Australia, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and the National Native Title Tribunal: see attachment to the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, 'Driving Efficiency Savings Within Government', Media Release, PW 253/11, 29 November 2011, http://www.financemmister.2ov.au/media/2011/mr pw25311 .html (accessed 6 March 2012).

9 Tabled Document No. 1, Correspondence from the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission to the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, dated 7 December 2011.

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attention. Without the capacity to do that, the commission cannot hold its status A accreditation.10 11

2.14 Ms Branson further advised at the hearing that the commission has not yet made any decisions on how it will manage the increased efficiency dividend, but expected that it will result in both staffing losses and the loss of some program work.11

2.15 The committee also heard that the Australian Information Commissioner has written to the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation regarding the additional efficiency dividend, outlining its main areas of concern and requesting a review of the measure.12 The committee was advised that the impact on the agency would be approximately $300,000 a year and that it would result in a reduction in staff numbers.13

2.16 The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions advised the committee that the increase in the efficiency dividend will reduce its budget by approximately $2 million each year over the next three years, and will result in a decrease in staffing numbers (most likely by natural attrition).14

2.17 The Australian Crime Commission advised the committee that the increased efficiency dividend will equate to approximately $2.1 million a year over the forward estimates. While the Chief Executive Officer, Mr John Lawler, could not provide a

definitive answer in teims of staffing losses at the time of the hearing, he advised the committee that 'in all probability, depending on how the budget falls, there will be staffing reductions.'15

2.18 The committee also questioned the Australian Federal Police about the impact of the increased efficiency dividend on its budget. The committee heard that it would represent $24,545 million in the 2012-13 financial year for the AFP budget, and approximately $22 million each year over the forward estimates.16 The organisation is currently looking at approaches to minimise the impact. Commissioner Negus conceded that there will be staff reductions as a result of these budgetary impacts; however, he confirmed that the AFP would be aiming to minimise the impact on operational staff.17

10 Committee Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 13.

11 Committee Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 13.

12 Tabled Document No. 2, Correspondence from the Australian Information Commissioner to the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation, dated 2 February 2012.

13 Committee Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 28.

14 Committee Hansard, 14 February 2012, pp 45-46.

15 Committee Hansard, 14 Februaiy 2012, p. 47.

16 Committee Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 72.

17 Committee Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 72.

Page 14

2.19 Finally, the committee heard briefly from the Attorney-General's Department on its approach to finding savings as a result of the increased efficiency dividend. The Secretary advised that the department would be prioritising savings from reductions in areas such as consultants and contractors, virtual meeting facilities, hospitality and entertainment, and media and advertising, so that front line services that are provided to the community are kept intact.18

Senator Trish Crossin Chair

18 Committee Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 118.

APPENDIX 1

DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES 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;

" 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 Native Title Tribunal;

" Office of the Australian Information Commissioner;

" Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions; and

" Office of Parliamentary Counsel.

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Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio

* Department of Immigration and Citizenship (including the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority); and

" Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal.

190

APPENDIX 2

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARDS

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio, 13 February 2012 Pages

Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal 3-10

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Cross portfolio/corporate/general 10-26

Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (sub-program 1.1.3) 26-29

Outcome 1 29-52

Outcome 2 52-68

Outcome 3 68-72

Outcome 4 72-118

Outcomes 118-119

Outcome 6 (released without examination)

Attorney-General's Portfolio, 14 February 2012 Pages

Australian Human Rights Commission 6-19

Family Court of Australia and Federal Magistrates Court of Australia 19-26

Office of Australian Infonnation Commissioner 26-30

Australian Government Solicitor 30-39

Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions 39-46

Australian Crime Commission 46-49

Australian Federal Police 49-90

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service 90-108

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation 108-112

Attorney-General's Department 112-118

192

APPENDIX 3

TABLED DOCUMENTS

Immigration and Citizenship, Monday, 13 February 2012

No. Tabled by: Topic

1 Mr Andrew Metcalfe, Secretary, Department of Immigration and Citizenship Opening statement

2 Mr Denis O'Brien, Principal Member, Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

Opening statement

3 Ms Christine Sykes, CEO, Office of the MARA Opening statement

4 Ms Kate Pope, First Assistant Secretary, Community Programs and Children Division, Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Location of Community Detention Properties as at 1 November 2011

5 Ms Kate Pope, First Assistant Secretary, Community Programs and Children Division, Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Household Goods Formation Package List

6 Mr Ken Douglas, First Assistant Secretaiy, Detention Infrastructure and Services Division, Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Infrastructure Report on Nauru

Attorney-General's Portfolio, Tuesday, 14 February 2012

No. Tabled by: Topic

1 The Hon Catherine Branson QC, President, Australian Human Rights Commission Correspondence from the President of the Australian Human Rights

Commission to the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, dated 7 December 2011

2 Mr Timothy Pilgrim, Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Correspondence from the Australian Information Commissioner to the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation, dated 2 February 2012

3 Mr Ian Govey, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Government Solicitor Opening statement

193

194

The Senate

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2011-12

March 2012

195

© Commonwealth of Australia

ISBN 978-1-74229-588-6

This document was produced from camera-ready copy prepared by the Senate Rural Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Department of the Senate, Parliament House, Canberra.

ii 196

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Glenn SterleALP, Western AustraliaChair

Senator the Hon. Bill Heffeman LP, New South Wales Deputy Chair

Senator Richard Colbeck* LP, Tasmania

Senator Alex Gallacher ALP, South Australia

Senator Anne McEwen** ALP, South Australia

Senator Rachel SiewertAG, Western Australia

Senator John Williams*** NPA, New South Wales

* Senator Colbeck was a substitute member for Senator Nash on Monday 13 February 2012 ** Senator McEwen was a substitute member for Senator Urquhart on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 February 2012 *** Senator Williams was a substitute member for Senator Nash on Tuesday 14

February 2012

Participating Members

Senator Abetz Senator Adams Senator Back

Senator Bernard! 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 Cormann

Senator Crossin Senator Di Natale Senator Edwards Senator Eggleston Senator Faulkner Senator Fawcett Senator F i err avanti-W ells

Senator Fifield Senator Fisher Senator Fumer Senator Hanson- Young

Senator Humphries Senator Johnston Senator Joyce Senator Kroger

Senator Ludlam Senator Macdonald Senator Madigan Senator McEwen Senator McKenzie Senator Marshall Senator Mason Senator Milne Senator Moore Senator Pany Senator Payne

Senator Polley Senator Pratt Senator Rhiannon Senator Ronaldson

Senator Ryan Senator Scullion Senator Singh Senator Stephens Senator Thistlethwaite Senator Waters Senator Williams Senator Wright Senator Xenophon

iii 197

C om m ittee Secretariat

Ms Jeanette Radcliffe, Secretary (until 2 March 2012) Mr Stephen Palethorpe, Secretary (commenced 5 March 2012) 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.anh.gov.au/senate rrat

198

Table of Contents

Committee M embership.............................................................................................iii

List of Abbreviations...................................................................................................ix

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

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

Variation of portfolios................................................................................................1

Additional Estimates hearings ................................................................................... 1

Changes to departmental structures...........................................................................2

Questions on Notice...................................................................................................3

Additional information.............................................................................................. 3

Note on references......................................................................................................3

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

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio..........................................................5

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) ................................... 5

Finance & Business Support/Government/Information Services/People & Service Delivery...................................................................................................................... 5

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)..................................................................................................................6

Biosecurity ................... 7

Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)............................................9

Sustainable Resource Management.........................................................................10

Climate Change........................................................................................................11

Trade and Market Access.........................................................................................12

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) ................ 13

Chapter 3.........................................................................................................................15

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio..................................................................15

Department of Infrastructure and Transport ........................................................... 15

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Corporate Services................................................................................................. 15

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)..........................................................16

Infrastructure Australia.......................................................................................... 16

Nation Building *Infrastructure Investment.........................................................17

Surface Transport Policy ....................................................................................... 18

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)...................................................18

Office of Transport Security ......................................................... 19

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)..............................................................19

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)........................................................20

Chapter 4......................................................................................................................21

Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio .................... 21

Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport ............. 21

Appendix 1.................................................................................................................. 25

Table of contents to proof Hansard transcripts...................................................25

Monday 13 February 2012 *Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ....... 25

Tuesday 14 February 2012 *Infrastructure and Transport portfolio ................... 26

Tuesday 14 February 2012 *Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio.......................................................................................................27

Appendix 2 .................................................................................................................. 29

Tabled Documents................................................................................................... 29

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio........................................................29

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio...................................................................29

Appendix 3 .................................................................................................................. 31

Topic list....................................................................................................................31

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.......................................................31

Monday 13 February 2012....................................................................................31

Appendix 4..........................................................................................................35

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Topic list.....................................................................................................................35

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio ................................................................ 35

Tuesday 14 February 2012.....................................................................................35

Appendix 5 ................................................................................................................... 39

Topic list.....................................................................................................................39

Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio .................... 39

Tuesday 14 February 2012.....................................................................................39

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List of Abbreviations

ABARES Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics

ACCC Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

*ë*°*ú*ë Australian Fisheries Management Authority

AMSA Australian Maritime Safety Authority

ANAO Australian National Audit Office

APVMA Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

AQIS Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

ARTCAustralian Rail Track Corporation

ATSBAustralian Transport Safety Bureau

CASA Civil Aviation Safety Authority

CEO Chief Executive Officer

COAG Council of Australian Governments

co2 Carbon Dioxide

CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

DAFF Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

DRALGAS Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport

EASA European Aviation Safety Agency

EC Exceptional Circumstances

ECEG Exceptional Circumstances Exit Grant

IT Information Technology

MCU Major Cities Unit

MSICMaritime Safety Identification Card

NDRRA National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements

NOI Notice of Intention

NRM Natural resource management

OTS Office of Transport Security

PAES Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements

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PBS Portfolio Budget Statements

PNG Papua New Guinea

RIRDC Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

SARDI South Australian Research Development Institute

SEWPaC Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities SRM Sustainable resource management

TPP Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 On 9 February 2012, 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, the Infrastructure and Transport portfolio, and the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio:

" particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2011-12];

" particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2011-12];

" final budget outcome 2010-11; and

" issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2010- 11.1

1.2 The committee was required to report to the Senate on its consideration of the 2011-12 additional estimates on 20 March 2012. On Thursday 15 March, the Senate granted an extension of time to report until Thursday 22 March 2012.1 2

Variation of portfolios

1.3 Following the Administrative Arrangements Order of 14 December 2011, the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government became its own portfolio and gained responsibility for Arts and Sport. The department became the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport.

1.4 On 8 February 2012, the Senate amended the continuing order relating to the allocation of departments and agencies to committees. The change of allocations resulted in the committee changing its name from Rural Affairs and Transport, to Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport, and also taking responsibility for the oversight of the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio.

Additional Estimates hearings

1.5 The committee considered the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2011-12 for all portfolios at hearings on 13 and 14 February 2012. The hearings were conducted in accordance with the agreed agenda as follows:

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 75, 9 February 2012, pp 2090-2091.

2 Journals of the Senate, No. 82, 15 February 2012, p. 2257.

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" Monday 13 February 2012 - Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

portfolio.

" Tuesday 14 February 2012 - Infrastructure and Transport portfolio; and Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio.

1.6 The committee heard evidence from:

" Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry;

" Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Manufacturing and Minister for Defence Materiel, representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport; and

" Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Small Business and Minister for Sport, representing the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, and Minister for the Arts.

1.7 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 and Transport;

" Ms Glenys Beauchamp, Secretary for the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport; and

" officers representing the departments and agencies covered by the estimates before the committee.

1.8 The committee thanks the ministers, departmental secretaries and officers for their assistance and cooperation during the hearings.

Changes to departmental structures

1.9 On 14 November 2011, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) launched its new Strategic Statement. As a result there were some minor changes to DAFF's departmental structure. Most noticeably, the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) is now known as DAFF Biosecurity. The name change will not affect the authority under which audit, inspection, and certification activities are conducted.3

3 Correspondence received from DAFF, 3 February 2012, document can be found at: www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary Business/Committees/Senate Committees?url=rrat ctte/estim ates/add 1112/daff/index.htm (accessed 16 March 2012).

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_____________________________________________________________________________ 3_

Questions on Notice

1.10 In accordance with Standing Order 26, the committee is required to set a date for the lodgement of written answers and additional information. The committee resolved that written answers and additional information be submitted by Friday 30 March 2012.

Additional information

1.11 Answers to questions taken on notice at the committee's additional estimates hearings will be tabled in the Senate in separate volumes entitled 'Additional information relating to the examination of additional estimates 2011-12, February 2012, 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.

1.12 Answers to questions on notice received from the departments will also be posted on the committee's website at a later date.4

Note on references

1.13 References to the Hansard transcript are to the proof Hansard; page numbers may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcript.

4 Answers to questions on notice, once received, will be published at the following: www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentarv Business/Committees/Senate Committees?url=n~at ctte/estim ates/add 1112/index .htm (accessed 19 March 2012).

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Chapter 2

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF)

2.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2011-12 additional estimates hearings for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio. A complete list of all the topics discussed, and relevant page numbers, can be found at Appendix 3.

2.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Monday 13 February 2012. The hearing was conducted in the following order:

" Finance & Business Support/Government/Information Services/People & Service Delivery

" Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

" Bio security

" Wheat Exports Australia

" Australian Fisheries Management Authority

" Sustainable Resource Management

" Climate Change

" Agricultural Productivity

" Trade and Market Access

" Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

Finance & Business Support/Government/Information Services/People & Service Delivery

2.3 The committee discussed the processes and costs involved in DAFF *s mission statement, which was released on 14 September 2011. The departmental secretary, DrConall O'Connell explained that the purpose of the strategic statement was to ensure that DAFF *s work is well targeted and clearly aligned, to communicate what DAFF *s principal priorities are to both staff and the public. Work on the strategic statement was predominantly internal, through the normal work of the executive, however, $76 627 was spent on a consultant who provided a review of the corporate identities across DAFF *s portfolios. The process for designing the strategic statement involved DAFF *s executive holding sessions with staff across DAFF, discussing the

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identity, mission, and vision of the department to ensure that staff understood what the objectives were, and also to get feedback as to how to better state those objectives.1

2.4 The discontinuation of the position of Principal Plant Scientist was raised. Officers explained that the position was originally filled by a Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) officer on secondment, but that at the end of the secondment it was decided that the work of that position would be shared across the Plant Bio security Division. Officers also told the committee that DAFPs relationship with CSIRO continues, particularly in relation to biosecurity, but also on a number of other key areas that affect agriculture, fisheries and forestry.1 2

2.5 The committee also discussed the following:

" costs incurred for a Blake Dawson Waldron contract;

" hospitality spending by the Minister; and

" the number and costs of mobile phones provided to DAFF officers.3

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

2.6 Continuing its interest from Budget Estimates 2011-12, the committee discussed the costs and processes involved in producing the Foreign Investment and Australian Agriculture report. The committee heard that the Rural Industries Research and Development Coiporation (RIRDC) funded ABARES $131 000 over two years

for the report, which was then published by RIRDC. The committee queried the figures used in the report to calculate the amount of agricultural businesses that are foreign owned. Officers told the committee that the figures contained in the report are based on data from an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey conducted in

2011, and that the figures used *faithfully reflect the results of the ABS survey'.4 5

2.7 The committee asked ABARES about the modelling used for its research into food production and food security in Australia. Officers informed the committee that traditionally, modelling predictions are done over a five year period, with predictions based on normal seasonal conditions. In the past, ABARES looked at providing a range of forecasts based on market based factors, however it was found to be extremely difficult. Officers told the committee that with the potential for significant variability in the future, ABARES may need to adjust its modelling to provide a range of forecasts."

1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 5-6.

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 8-10.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 12-13 and 14-15.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 15 *16.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 24 *25.

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2.8 The committee discussed ABARES * report on the impact of the new carbon tax policy arrangements on agriculture. Officers informed the committee that while agriculture is exempt (in terms of direct emissions from agriculture), the new policy arrangements have indirect effects on the industry, through changes in input prices,

and the potential for marketing charges to be passed down from processors to farmers. The report found that the dairy industry was the most affected, which was mainly due to increased electricity costs. Officers told the committee that working off the assumption that 100 per cent of the increased processing costs would be passed back to farmers, the average dairy farm would lose approximately $4000 per annum. However, officers were keen to explain that the $4000 figure:

...was on the basis of 100 per cent, which is the high end, and on the

assumption that there is no other change in behaviour by the dairy farms to manage that extra, or there is no additional support going into it. So that is very much a worst case scenario.6

Biosecurity

2.9 The committee began its discussions with Biosecurity on live animal export issues, with the animal welfare division. The committee sought an update on live cattle to Indonesia, and compliance with supply chain assurances by exporters, since the introduction of the new live exports scheme. Officers told the committee that since the resumption of trade to Indonesia, 66 Notice of Intentions (NOIs) have been submitted, of which, 61 have been approved. From 7 July 2011 (the date that the export ban was lifted), to 31 December 2011, a total of 186 767 cattle and buffalo were exported, which made a total of 402 517 exported for the 2011 calendar year.7

2.10 Officers informed the committee that initial audit reports are conducted for each NOI, against each facility, and that these are published on DAFF *s website. However, the performance reports are required 180 days after export, or 10 days after the last animal slaughtered, meaning that at the time of additional estimates, end-of- performance audit reports had not yet been received. Officers told the committee the reports are due to be received throughout February 2012.8

2.11 The committee asked the Minister and the Secretary to describe the reaction of the Bahrain and Qatar Governments, as countries that import live animals from Australia, to the new requirements being placed on Australian exporters. Dr O *Connell told the committee that the response was positive, with an acceptance that the measures were to be managed by industry. The Minister agreed with the

Secretary *s summary, adding that this is the biggest single reform to Australia *s live animal export market.9

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 25-26.

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 27.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 27.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 27 *28.

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2.12 In continuing its interest from previous estimates, the committee asked officers for information on an incident in January 2012, where Asian honey bees were detected onboard a vessel in Townsville. Officers began by detailing the arrangements in place to prevent and/or minimise the risk of Asian honey bees entering Australia. These arrangements include container cleanliness operations, mandatory reporting by ship's masters, and maintaining a high degree of awareness among people that work in these areas.10 11

2.13 Officers informed the committee that in this particular incident, officers were made aware that bees had been seen near a shipping container on the vessel, a pest controller was called, and the 250 bees were exterminated. Using remote diagnostics,

images of the bees were sent to an entomologist in Brisbane, where it was confirmed that the 250 bees were Asian honey bees. Officers told the committee that:

The very positive part of this story is it identifies how the department and the people working in the wharfs have a higher degree of awareness and work in conjunction with each other.11

2.14 The committee heard that this was a cooperative effort between DAFF and the Queensland department, with the initial work conducted by DAFF, and the ongoing surveillance and trapping done by Queensland officers.12

2.15 The committee sought further information on an answer to a question on notice from Supplementary Budget Estimates 2011-12, involving the illegal importation of food products from Korea. Officers informed the committee that some

of the food products were cooked, and some were uncooked, but that they had all arrived frozen. They were deliberately not declared in the normal import process, with products either improperly described, or not listed on the declaration at all.13

2.16 Overall, approximately 100 tonnes of food products were seized from the Quarantine Approved Premise, and from retail outlets such as restaurants and grocery stores. Officers obtained a large quantity of electronic records and paper records, which is being analysed. Evidence is also being gathered for prosecutions:

We have 14 briefs of evidence that are being compiled. One of those matters is already in the system and was recently where a matter was put over for trial in Queensland. One further matter is with the Director of Public Prosecutions and 12 other matters are at various stages of compilation.14

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 44-45.

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 44-45.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 45.

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 F ebruaty 2012, pp 50-51.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p, 52.

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2.17 Dr O'Connell further added, to underscore the seriousness of the situation, that somebody convicted of illegal importation can get up to 10 years in prison, and a commercial entity can be fined over $1 million for illegal importation offences.1'

Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)

2.18 The committee sought further information on the cost recovery budget changes and levy fee increases that AFMA recently introduced. AFMA explained that any cost recovery changes are prepared in line with the Fisheries Management Act 1991 and the Cost Recovery Impact Statement 2010. AFMA also told the committee

that while some areas have experienced an increase, 12 of AFMA's 18 fisheries have seen a cost recovery budget decrease for 2011-12.15 16 17 18 19 20 Officers also informed the committee that over the last five years, AFMA's cost recovery has increased by

2.1 percent.17

2.19 The committee asked for examples of drivers that resulted in a change in the budget. AFMA raised the Bass Strait scallop fishery as an example, which alleged that there was a significant kill in its fishery, due to seismic testing. AFMA informed the committee that because of the significant changes in the operating environment of that

fishery, at the industry's request, AFMA had to change its management structure to adjust to those changes. AFMA also informed the committee that, again at industry's request, it undertook research that looked into the impact of seismic surveys, and found no correlation. Officers emphasised that the result of the research is 'not to say that there is not an impact' but that nevertheless, an additional cost was incurred. The Commonwealth contributed some funding to assist in the study, but AFMA is required by the legislation to cost recover those services provided to the industry.18

2.20 The committee discussed steps taken in reducing the number of sea lions accidentally entangled in gill nets. AFMA infomied the committee that a report by the South Australian Research Development Institute (SARDI) in March 201019 suggested that as many as 374 sea lions were being killed in each 18-month cycle. Officers noted that this is a high number, especially for an endangered species, and that AFMA has an obligation under the Fisheries Management Act 1991 to manage the interactions between fisheries and endangered species, to ensure that fishing activities are not driving a species towards extinction.20

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 52.

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 65.

17 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 67.

18 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 66 and 68.

19 SARDI report can be found at: www.sardi.sa.gov.au/ data/assets/pdf file/0005/128894/No 405 Mitigating Seal Interaction s in the SRLF and the Gillnet Sector SESSF in SA.pdf (accessed 16 March 2012).

20 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 71.

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2.21 The cost recovered budget for gillnet hook and trap fisheries, from 2010-11 to 2011-12, saw a 35.4 per cent increase.21 Officers attribute part of this increase to the change in management operations as a result of the apparent increase in the risks posed to sea lions and dolphins in that fishery.22 Officers also informed the committee that since the formal management plan was introduced in May 2010, reports indicate that four sea lion mortalities have occurred. The committee heard that the reduced risk is as a result of fishers, and the management arrangements, working together.23

2.22 The committee sought an update on the Commonwealth fisheries harvest strategy. AFMA told the committee that the details and formal timeline had not yet been settled, but that draft terms of reference, draft timetables, arrangements and work plans were expected to be finalised by the end of March 2012. Officers informed the

committee that the harvest policy has been recognised as a successful tool for fisheries policy, and that while discussions around the definition of "by-catch" and "by-product" would occur, the process is more 'a matter of refinement rather than a dramatic change'.24

Sustainable Resource Management

2.23 In continuing its interest from Budget Estimates 2011-12, the committee sought an update on the Australian Feral Camel Management Project (the project). Officers told the committee that $19 million was allocated over a four-year period,

targeting up to 350 000 camels, and that 2012-13 will be the fourth year of the project. Officers also informed the committee that in mid-2008, the estimated number of feral camels was one million, and that it was an increasing number.25

2.24 The committee heard that due to the unseasonable rainfall in 2010-11, the numbers of camels culled dropped to 13 000, 10 000 less than the previous year. The committee sought further information on commercial parties and whether or not their participation is welcome. Officers told the committee that in some remote areas it

would not be economic to seek commercial involvement, however, in some areas it is encouraged to work with commercial parties and that there is 'nothing to stop them doing that within the scope of the program.'26

21 Document tabled by AFMA at additional estimates hearing Monday 13 February 2012. Document can be found at: www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary Business/Committees/Senate Committees?url=rrat ctte/estim ates/add 1112/daff/tabled docs/td 02.pdf (accessed on 14 March 2012).

22 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 66 and 71.

23 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 71.

24 Proof Estimates Hansard , 13 February 2012, pp 77-78.

25 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 84 *85.

26 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 85.

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2.25 The committee sought further information on DAFF's involvement in the management of the Biodiversity Fund and the Carbon Farming Initiative.

2.26 Officers explained that it is a multi-departmental approach, with the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) managing the Biodiversity Fund and Natural Resources Management planning, and DAFF managing the Action on the Ground program, as part of the Carbon Farming Initiative.27

2.27 Officers emphasised that the staff involved across all programs meet regularly to discuss details and arrangements, and DAFF officers in Caring for Our Country and Landcare Australia have been briefed on all elements of the program to enable them to help community groups, farmers and any others access elements of the program.28

Climate Change

2.28 The committee sought an update from its Budget Estimates 2011-12 hearing on farmers affected by the closure of the Exceptional Circumstances Exit Grant (ECEG). Officers informed the committee that DAFF is currently investigating a range of claims made by people who believe that they have been disenfranchised by the closure of the ECEG. The circumstances of these people are being assessed by DAFF and the Department of Human Services, and assistance has been provided to those wishing to lodge act-of-grace applications with the Department of Finance and Deregulation.29

2.29 Officers told the committee that seven individuals have lodged act-of-grace applications, and DAFF has contacted a further 14 to advise them of the act-of-grace process, and to offer to coordinate a meeting with a rural financial counsellor to assist them if they wish to lodge an application. Officers also told the committee that there is no set time period in which the applications need to be made, but that officers are trying to move things along as quickly as possible.30

2.30 The committee heard that there were some applicants to the ECEG that had provided their applications and met the criteria before the ECEG closed, however, details were still being finalised and had therefore not yet been processed. Dr O'Connell informed the committee that these applicants will be paid.31

2.31 The committee sought further information on the conservation agreement between the Commonwealth, Forestry Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government.

27 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 86.

28 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 86.

29 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 95.

30 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 95.

31 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 96.

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Specifically, the committee sought clarification on the terms of the agreement that provided the protection of 99*Ü per cent of 430 000 hectares of high-conservation- value forests. Officers informed the committee that the intergovernmental agreement provided this protection, however, clause 26 of the agreement states that where harvesting work has already begun within the nominated area, rescheduling will occur as soon as practicable, and that a list of coupes to be harvested will be agreed to by the governments and signatories.32

2.32 The department agreed to take a number of questions on notice in relation to:

" the number of coupes agreed to be harvested;

" the scheduling of logging and completion dates for harvesting in the agreed protected area;

" the oversight of the closure of the Tasmanian Forest Industry

Development and Assistance Programs;

" investigation into reimbursements made prior to receipt of the required reporting documentation; and

" details on the meetings of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement Independent Verification Group.33

2.33 The committee discussed DAFF's work with the Asia-Pacific Forestry Skills and the Capacity Building Program. Officers told the committee that there are currently two projects, one in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and one in Indonesia. Officers explained that it has been difficult to get the Indonesian project up and running, due to negotiations over the 'subsidiary agreement', which gives Australian officials the ability to not pay tax in Indonesia. Officers told the committee that DAFF is also looking at other options in place of this arrangement.

2.34 The project in PNG, however, is in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, and looks at promoting sustainable forest management by developing effective systems of forest planning, monitoring, and control in PNG.34 35

Trade and Market Access

2.35 The committee raised a number of agricultural issues in relation to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreements, and sought further information on these. The committee heard that there have been 10 rounds of TPP so far, with a further round scheduled for the second week of March.'"

32 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 97-98.

33 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 98, 99 *100 and 106.

34 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 108.

35 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, pp 121-122.

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2.36 Of the particular agricultural issues raised, the committee heard that issues of genetically modified crops or country of origin labelling has not been discussed at those meetings. Officers confirmed that quarantine and phytosanitary measures are not up for negotiation, and that one of Australia's goals in the TPP process is to seek reaffirmation of the World Trade Organisation's role in dealing with sanitary and phytosanitary matters/6

2.37 The committee sought an update in Thailand's suspension of imports of cherries and stone fruit from 1 January 2012. Officers, by way of providing background, informed the committee that Thailand has been working on establishing import conditions for a range of horticultural products over the last few years. Some interim import conditions were established to allow trade to continue, however, these conditions required a verification audit to be undertaken as part of that process. The audit was originally scheduled for December 2011, but at the request of industry, the audit visit was postponed. Officers explained to the committee that the suspension in January 2012 was as a result of this.36 37

2.38 Dr O'Connell emphasised that at the time the audit was postponed, it was made clear to industry that if the audit did not go ahead, there would be a suspension of trade.38

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)

2.39 The committee sought further information on the suspension of Diuron, a weedkiller, during wet summer months and high-rainfall times. APVMA told the committee that in July 2011 a report was released which raised concerns about the risks the weedkiller posed to aquatic environments. APVMA also told the committee that it had received approximately 70 submissions that question some of the assumptions used in that report, and also provide new data.39

2.40 APVMA informed the committee that given that the body of evidence to assess was so large, and the seriousness of the concerns raised in the report, interim risk mitigation measures were put in place while APVMA undertook the extensive assessment. Officers also told the committee, to demonstrate the timeframe between notification and suspension, the notification was in July 2011, and the decision for the suspension was not finalised until December 2011.40

36 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 122.

37 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 123.

38 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 124.

39 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 128.

40 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2012, p. 128.

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Chapter 3

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

Department of Infrastructure and Transport

3.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2011-12 additional estimates hearings for the Infrastructure and Transport portfolio. A complete list of all the topics discussed, and relevant page numbers, can be found at Appendix 4,

3.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Tuesday 14 February 2012. The hearing was conducted in the following order:

" Corporate Services

" Australian Rail Track Corporation

" Infrastructure Australia

" Nation Building *Infrastructure Investment

" Surface Transport Policy

" Australian Maritime Safety Authority

" Policy and Research (incorporating the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics)

" Major Cities Unit

" 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 discussing the department's airfare and

accommodation policies for staff travelling with the minister or parliamentary secretary. The Secretary, Mr Mike Mrdak, informed the committee that Infrastructure's policies are as per the normal guidelines for departmental staff for airfares, and that accommodation arrangements are left to the discretion of the officers, as long as it is within the budget for that area of the department.1

3.4 The committee sought further information on the difference in travel allowance systems for the Secretary compared to the rest of the department. Mr Mrdak

1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 4.

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explained that secretaries are on a different arrangement to the rest of departmental staff, where the Secretary is reimbursed based on a daily rate set by the remuneration tribunal, and other departmental staff use a corporate travel card.2

3.5 The committee discussed Infrastructure's efficiency dividend, and the increase from 1.5 to 4 per cent for the 2012-13 financial year. Mr Mrdak told the committee that it will be met by focusing on areas such as travel, supplier expenditure, IT, and other running costs of the department. Mr Mrdak also told the committee that it is anticipated that the current level of staffing will be maintained, and that some vacancies that are currently available will not be filled.3

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)

3.6 The committee sought further information on the Government's commitment of $300 million to an inland rail network. Mr Mrdak informed the committee that $15 million was provided to the ARTC to undertake a detailed study that looked at

alignment and other issues, which has now been completed and publicly released. This initial study formed the basis of the $300 million from the Commonwealth, of which $30 million has been allocated in the 2015-16 forward estimates, with the remaining $270 million allocated for 2016-17 and 2017-18, which will go towards the exact details of the corridor route, the engineering design, some initial land acquisitions as well as completion of the planning and environmental assessments.4

3.7 The ARTC told the committee that the $270 million is the commitment for the second stage, and that further commitments of funding would be needed to complete the inland rail.5

3.8 The committee discussed speed restrictions on the Melbourne to Sydney rail, and the issues that causes. The ARTC explained that on that particular rail, the problems primarily relate to track-geometry issues as a result of poor ballast conditions and loss of alignment of the rail tracks. The ARTC informed the committee that it recently announced a $134 million upgrade to improve the ballast and the drainage.6

Infrastructure Australia

3.9 The committee sought an update on the National Ports Strategy. Mr Michael Deegan, Infrastructure Coordinator, informed the committee that the National Ports Strategy has been endorsed by all state and territory transport ministers and will now

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 6.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 12.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 F ebruary 2012, pp 6-7.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 7.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 9.

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go to Council of Australian Governments (COAG). If passed by COAG, it will build a collaborative relationship between the Commonwealth and the states, as the states are the owners of the ports.7 The final document for the strategy has been released and is published on Infrastructure Australia's website. It includes a long-term recommendation that ports undertake a 50 year view of the growth of the port and the

supply chain, and also the range of key performance indicators, so that the transparency of each port's performance is ensured.8

Nation Building *Infrastructure Investment

3.10 The committee sought further information on the maintenance of the New England Highway. Mr Mrdak told the committee that maintenance is the responsibility of the asset owner, which in this case is the New South Wales roads and maritime portfolio. The Government's contribution for New South Wales for the

2011-12 financial year is $114 million. The committee heard that maintenance cost varies as a result of, among other things, vehicle kilometres travelled and lanes travelled.9

3.11 The committee sought an update on the Pacific Highway duplication and the funding arrangements in place. Officers informed the committee that to date, 346 kilometres (52 per cent) has been duplicated, with a further 69 kilometres (9 per cent) currently under construction, and a further 2 per cent about to commence construction.10 11

3.12 The committee discussed the Roads to Recovery Program, and the processes involved in funding allocations for councils. Officers explained that the allocations are based on two things: the total funding is divided between jurisdictions; then councils' life of the program allocations are determined on the basis of the recommendations of the Local Governments Grants Commissions. Officers further explained:

This methodology has been used for the previous Roads to Recovery programs. The amount spent at the moment depends on the submissions from each council. The councils know what they are going to receive. They then get paid on the basis of the work that they do and they tell us what projects they intend to fund within the rules and guidelines set out for the program.11

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 17.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 13.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, pp 24-25.

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 25.

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 28.

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3.13 The committee asked officers to detail the progress of a number of road, rail and port projects, and the distribution of funding between the commonwealth and states and territories.12

Surface Transport Policy

3.14 The committee sought further information on Infrastructure's exposure draft of the Coastal Trading (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2012. Officers told the committee that Infrastructure had received 22 submissions that vary from arguing that the legislation is not prescriptive enough and does not provide

sufficient benefit to the Australian domestic industry, to arguing that it is too prescriptive and provides a situation which closes the coast.13

3.15 Officers also told the committee that Infrastructure is working with the Department of the Treasury to finalise draft bills to form an overall package. These bills include the International Shipping Register Bill, the Shipping Reform (Tax Incentives) Bill and the Tax Laws Amendment (Shipping Reform) Bill.14

3.16 The committee sought an update on the mandatory vehicle fuel efficiency standards and the process of setting light vehicle C02 standards. Officers told the committee that a discussion paper was released in September 2011, which received 38 submissions. Infrastructure has also commissioned a consultant to provide technical advice on the issues involved with standards, and how the Australian industry compares to other industries, in particular the European Union and the United States, as they have both introduced mandatory standards systems. Infrastructure expects that the technical consultancy work will be completed in May 2012.15

3.17 Officers informed the committee that setting an appropriate system of standards and an appropriate target, relevant to the Australian industry, will be a key issue in the determination process.16

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

3.18 The committee discussed AMSA's work on Marine Order Part 3, which determines the qualifications required of seafarers and how the change in qualifications compares to international standards. Officers told the committee that it is generally consistent with international standards, and in some cases, the Australian standards are higher.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, pp 22-24, 27-29, 31-33, 35 and 36.

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 38.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 38.

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 41.

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 41.

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3.19 Officers further explained that AMS A is taking the opportunity to ensure the standards are contemporary, and that they meet the needs of the industry. Mr Graham Peachey, Chief Executive Officer, told the committee that the new standards also remove some anomalies:

I will give you an example: we go to the engineers. A lower level engineer to be qualified has to pass the academic requirements to become a watchkeeper, he or she has to pass half the requirements to become the next level up, plus half the requirements to become the next level up, just to become a watchkeeper. An analogy could be, if you wanted to become a

doctor you would be required to pass the doctor's exam, half the surgeon's exam and half the special exam to be a GP operating in a suburb. That does not ring true to meet the requirements of the industry, so we are looking at those sorts of anomalies to try and sort them out.17

3.20 The committee also discussed AMSA's role in shipwrecks in Australian waters, and its legislative responsibilities under the Navigation Act 1912.

Office of Transport Security

3.21 The committee sought an update on the result of trials of body scanners in Sydney and Melbourne airports. Officers told the committee that over 20 000 scans of volunteer passengers were conducted. The trials allowed officers to look at things such as facilitation, communication with passengers, education of passengers, and to see what impacts would occur in terms of the timing for passengers, as well as improved security outcomes.18

3.22 The committee heard that as the body scanners look for non-metallic, as well as metallic objects, the results were a five- to six-fold increase in the chances of detection, compared to the current metal detectors in place. A range of resolution

techniques have been applied to ensure that the increase in chances of detection does not result in an unduly delayed process.19

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

3.23 The committee discussed a known risk of cracked wings in A380 airliners. CASA informed the committee that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) advised CASA on 6 January 2012 of one particular type of crack, and that EASA has

described two types of cracking in total. CASA has requested additional information from EASA in relation to these cracks.

3.24 The committee also discussed the following matters with CASA:

" aircraft policy for ageing aircrafts;

17 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 42.

18 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 61.

19 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 61.

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" legal costs, tribunal and Federal Court proceedings;

" chairman's lounge membership of CASA personnel;

" fatigue management systems; and

" CASA's contributions to the National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)

3.25 The committee discussed the ATSB's Starved and Exhausted report, in relation to the levels of fuel that operators carry on their aircraft. The ATSB informed the committee that the report, and publicity around the report, was designed to increase awareness that fuel management continues to cause accidents. Officers told the committee that the ATSB is in regular discussions with CASA about how to best use their education channels to get safety messages through.20

3.26 The committee sought further information on the ATSB's investigations into loss of 'breakdown' and 'assurance'. The ATSB informed the committee that 'breakdown of separation' is where aircraft fly so close to each other that the defined

standards are broken, and that 'separation assurance' is the process to try and keep the aircraft away from that situation. Officers informed the committee that at this stage, it is unclear if there is a pattern in the relation to breakdowns of separation and loss of

separation assurance, but that the ATSB is conducting a number of investigations to establish whether or not this is a systemic issue.21

20 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, pp 76-77.

21 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 78.

224

Chapter 4

Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio

Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport

4.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2011-12 additional estimates hearings for the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio. A number of agencies provided evidence at the same time during these hearings, and as such this chapter reflects that arrangement. A complete list of all the topics discussed, and relevant Hansard page numbers, can be found at Appendix 5.

4.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Tuesday 14 February 2012. The hearing was conducted in the following order:

" Coiporate Services

" Regional Development

" Local Government

" Services to Territories

" Australia Council

" Office for the Arts; Screen Australia; National Film and Sound Archive; National Gallery of Australia; National Library of Australia; National Museum of Australia (appeared concurrently)

" Office for Sport; Australian Sports Commission (appeared concurrently)

4.3 The committee began its proceedings with the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport (DRALGAS) with an opening statement by the Secretary, Ms Glenys Beauchamp. Ms Beauchamp provided information relating to the creation of the department, and its main policies and programs. Ms Beauchamp informed the committee that DRALGAS was created on

14 December 2011, and that its key functions are:

...the provision of community infrastructure and services in regional and local government areas and financial support to local government; maintaining good governance in the Australian tenitories and providing essential services for the non-self governing tenitories; providing opportunities for participation and access to Australia *s arts and culture; to promote excellence and provide support for cultural heritage; and providing opportunities for community participation in sport and recreation; and to promote excellence in high-performance athletes.1

1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 83.

22

4.4 The committee sought further information on how the department was planning to meet the efficiency dividend. Ms Beauchamp informed the committee that the machinery of government changes that created the department may actually assist in meeting the efficiency dividend, as DRALGAS has a number of locations across Australia, and it may now be possible to co-locate the sport, arts and regional

functions to save on accommodation.2

4.5 The committee questioned DRALGAS on a range of programs and grants that it administers in regional Australia and local government areas. In particular, the committee sought further information on the Community Infrastructure Grants

program. Officers detailed the assessment process, the amount of funding allocated to each approved application, and provided an update as to the status of each project.3

4.6 The committee asked similar questions in relation to the Regional

Development Australia Fund, and sought information on the progress of the 292 requests for feedback that the department had received from participants of the first round of applicants for the fund.4

4.7 The committee sought further infomiation on the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy, a study that will be conducted by the CSIRO. Officers informed the committee that it is a joint initiative, with funding from both the Commonwealth and Queensland governments. The strategy will work with fanners and regional communities to look at viability and farm practices around irrigated agriculture on the Flinders and Gilbert rivers.5

4.8 Officers explained that while it will build on work done previously through the Sustainable Water Futures program, the CSIRO will be implementing technology that has the ability to look into catchments and water modelling at a level of detail that has not been possible before. This will allow the CSIRO to look at surface water opportunities, as well as storage opportunities.6

4.9 The committee sought further information on the Australia Council's notice for review process, and its fair notice provisions. Officers told the committee that the fair notice provisions generally provide a 12-month notice period, from when bodies are told they are put 'on notice', to when they are notified that their funding will be discontinued. Officers also told the committee that in some cases, it is possible to be

put on notice for multiple years, before a decision is made to discontinue funds.7

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, pp 91-92.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, pp 83 *86.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, pp 86-87.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 94.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, pp 94 *95.

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 118.

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4.10 The committee discussed the register of peers, and the processes involved in applying to join the register. Officers explained that any individual can apply to join the register of peers, but whether or not that individual is selected to peer review work is a decision for the board.8

4.11 The committee sought further information on the review of the Australia Council. Officers informed the committee that the outcomes of the review will be reflected in the National Cultural Policy, which has received 450 submissions, and has held significant consultation with the sector.9 Officers also told the committee that while the review of the Australia Council will not be made public while the National Cultural Policy is in development, it will be a decision for the minister whether the review is released once the National Cultural Policy has been completed.10 11

4.12 The National Gallery of Australia, National Film and Sound Archive, National Library of Australia and National Museum of Australia were each asked what actions had been put in place to meet the 1.5 per cent efficiency dividend:

" The National Gallery of Australia told the committee that it postponed several exhibitions, reduced the number of touring exhibitions by a small amount and have not filled the 17 positions made vacant in 2011.11

" The National Film and Sound Archive told the committee that it is reducing costs on travel, and is looking into the use of mobile phones and ICT services to find efficiencies.12

" The National Library of Australia told the committee that it has reduced the level of retrospective cataloguing, increased the charges for inter-library loans and reduced the level of support for some internal help desk services.13

" The National Museum of Australia told the committee that in 2011-12 it

undertook a round of voluntary redundancies, reduced the temporary exhibition program, and the smaller exhibitions have been reduced from tweleve to six.14

4.13 The committee also discussed a further $7.5 million of funding allocated to the Football Federation of Australia announced in the Portfolio Additional Estimates

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 120.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 124.

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 125.

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 129.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 129.

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, p. 129.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, pp 129-130.

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Statements. Officers informed the committee that the funding was already accounted for and is not additional funding.15

4.14 The committee sought further information on what input the Office for Sport had in the recently announced $15 million upgrade to Bellerive Oval in Tasmania. Officers explained that the Office for Sport provided background information on the plans for the redevelopment of the oval to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and that the funding was made as a separate process from Regional Development Australia.16

Senator Glenn Sterle Chair

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, pp 131-132.

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2012, pp 135-136.

228

Monday 13 February 2012 *Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Appendix 1

Table of contents to proof Hansard transcripts

Monday 13 February 2012 *Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Hansard page

In attendance 1

Finance & Business Support/Govemment/Information Services/People & Service Delivery 4

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences 15

Biosecurity 26

Wheat Exports Australia 62

Australian Fisheries Management Authority 65

Sustainable Resource Management 77

Climate Change 91

Agricultural Productivity 111

Trade and Market Access 121

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority 126

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26

Tuesday 14 February 2012 *Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

In attendance

Hansard page

1

Corporate Services 3

Australian Rail Track Corporation 6

Infrastructure Australia13

Nation Building *Infrastructure Investment21

Surface Transport Policy 38

Australian Maritime Safety Authority 42

Policy and Research 47

Major Cities Unit54

Office of Transport Security 59

Aviation and Airports 62

Airservices Australia 67

Civil Aviation Safety Authority 69

Australian Transport Safety Bureau 76

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Tuesday 14 February 2012 *Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio

Hansard page

In attendance 80

Corporate Services 82-83, 90-92

Regional Development, Local Government 83-90, 93-106

Services to Territories 106

Australia Council 111

Office for the Arts; Screen Australia; National Film and Sound Archive; National Gallery of Australia; National Library of Australia; National Museum of Australia 128

Office for Sport; Australian Sports Commission 131

231

232

Appendix 2

Tabled Documents

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Documents tabled at hearing on M onday 13 February 2012

1. Photos of parts of an air cleaner from a D4 Caterpillar, tabled by Senator Williams, 13/02/12

2. Tables containing fishery/sector figures & budget figures, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, 13/02/12

3. Answers to questions on notice in relation to the Tasmanian Forest Agreement Independent Verification Group, 13/02/12

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

Documents tabled at hearing on Tuesday 14 February 2012

1. Correspondence from Polar Aviation in relation to CASA, tabled by Senator Eggleston, 14/02/12

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234

Appendix 3

Topic list

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Monday 13 February 2012

Division/Agency and TopicProof Hansard page

reference

Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy 4-15 Department *s mission/strategic statement4-8 Principal plant and animal scientist8-10 Efficiency dividend 10-12

Hospitality spend by the Minister and Parliamentary Secretary 12-13 New Zealand apples 12-14

Blake Dawson fees 12, 13-14

Mobile phones 14-15

Australian Bureau Of Agricultural And Resource Economics And Sciences 15-26 Foreign investment and Australian agriculture report 15-19

Capacity of Australia to meet its domestic wood supply requirements 19-22 Intergovernmental agreement19-21 Information available on foreign ownership 22-23

Climate variability, peak oil and impacts on food Security either 23-25 Trans-Pacific partnership free trade agreement25 Impacts of the carbon tax on the dairy industry 25-26

Biosecurity Services Australia 26-62

Live cattle exports to Indonesia and the Middle East26-32 Live animal slaughtering 32-33

Financial assistance to live cattle exporting farmers 33-36

Indonesian food security summit in Jakarta 36

Private development of an abattoir 36-37

Animal welfare37-38 Importation of machinery 38-40

National Independent Animal Welfare Office40-41 Assistance to the dairy industry 41-42

Importation of oak 43

Branched broomrape in South Australia43-45 Asian honey bee45-50 Illegal importation of Korean food products 50-60

Requirements for individual's entry into Sydney airport60-61

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32

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard page

reference

Export licence conditions 61

AQIS fees for small manufacturers 61-62

Wheat Exports Australia 62-65

Transition away from WEA 62-64

Number of grain shipments rejected 64

Grain farmers, insurance against exporting company collapse 64 Classification 64-65

Australian Fisheries Management Authority 65-91

Changes in fees and charges 65-73

Fish stocks survey 73

Role of Commissioners 73-74

Dolphin and sea lion fatalities 74-76

AFMA involvement with marine bioregions 76-77

Commonwealth fisheries harvest strategy 77-80

Coles and Woolworths consultations about the sustainability of orange roughy and Blue eyed Tuna 80-81 Funding grant program to WA Fishing Industry Council 81-82

Savannah burning program in the Kimberley region 82

Carbon farming initiative 82-83

CEO of Clean Energy Regulator 83

Ninti One limited 84-85

Natural Resource Management boards *reporting obligations 85-86 Interaction between Caring for our Country and Biodiversity Fund 86-89 Caring for our Country review 2012 89-90

McKell Medal 90-91

Climate Change 91-111

Number of beneficiaries of various programs in WA 91-92, 93-94 Australian livestock productions contribution to emissions 92-93 List of research projects 93

National Food Plan 93

National Rural Advisoiy Council review for the Bundara EC 94-96 Protection for Tasmanian forests 96-99

Ta Ann 99

Tasmanian forestry industry development and assistance programs Australian National Audit Office Report 99-103 Tasmanian forestry industry assistance 103

Exit grant processes 103-107

Illegal logging workshops 107-108

Asia-Pacific forestry skills and capacity building program108-109 International Forest Carbon Initiative109 Specialty timbers 109-110

Fraud inquiry 110-111

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33

Division/Agency and TopicProof Hansard page

reference

Agricultural Productivity 111-121

Science, Engineering and Innovation Council - Australia and food security in a changing world report 111 FarmReady Scheme 111-112

Primary Industries Education Foundation 112-113

Western Australian Fishing Industry Council annual report 113-114 Senate committee report into native vegetation laws, greenhouse gas abatement and climate change measures 114-115 Coles versus Woolworths 'We sell everything for less' 115-116 Regional food producers program 116-120

COAG Refonns 120

Productivity division and 'Supermarket war' 120-121

Trade and Market Access 121-126

Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement 121-123 Stone fruit exports to Thailand 123-125

Overseas postings 125-126

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority 126-131 APVMA certification 126-127

Diuron and other chemicals 127-130

COAG Reforms around Chemicals 130-131

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238

Appendix 4

Topic list

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Division/Agency and TopicProof Hansard page

reference

Corporate Services 3-13

No. of departmental staff 4

Accommodation and flights for departmental staff 4-5

Travel allowances 6

Efficiency dividend 12-13

Australian Rail Track Corporation 6-13

$300 million commitment to inland rail link 6-8, 10

Upgrades on the Melbourne to Sydney rail line8-9, 12 Speed restrictions 9

$134 million to upgrade ballast, drainage and rail9-10 Southern Sydney Freight Line10 ARTC's response to ATSB report 11

Train controller reports 11

Consultants hired 11

Funds allocated to address mud holes 12

Infrastructure Australia 13-21

National Ports Strategy 13-14, 17, 18

Point Torment 14, 17

WA submissions to Infrastructure Australia14-15 Projects approved in WA 15

North Bridge rail project15 Priority list and Stirling Alliance 15-16

Route 86 tram line 16

Proposal to widen the Great Eastern Flighway 16

Oil prices, crude oil production 16-17

Cross River Rail project17 Supply port in Derby 17

Strategic approaches around ports 17

Oakajee port17-18 Coal lines in the Hunter Valley 18-19

Upgrades to rail lines in Tasmania18 National Land Freight Strategy 18

Climate change implications 19

Southern Sydney Freight Line19

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36

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard page

reference

Maldon to Dombarton rail line 19

Moorebank Intermodal 19-20

Proposed abattoir in Darwin 20

Federal Government commitment to urban passenger rail projects 20-21 Nation Building *Infrastructure Investment 21-38

Proposed abattoir in Darwin 21

Yeppen Floodplain study 21-22

Yeppen crossing upgrade 22

Vantassel St project 22

Reconstruction of roads damaged by Cyclone Yasi and floods 22-23 O'Bahn project 23

Gawler rail electrification project 23-24

Penrice Soda 24

New England Highway 24

Pacific Highway 24, 25, 34-36

Funding for New South Wales maintenance 25

Funding arrangements between State and Commonwealth 25 Kempsey bypass 25-26

Cycling in relation to the National Urban Policy 26

National Cycling Strategy 26

Removal of cycle paths 27

Sydney intermodal terminal27 Moorebank project office 27-28

Moorebank School of Military Engineering base at Moorebank 27 Ho Is worthy defence base 27

Handling of containers from Port Botany 27

Tanami Road 28

Roads to Recovery Program28-29 Pape decision by the High Court 28-29

WA allocation for Roads to Recovery 29

Brighton Bypass 29

Bridgewater Bridge 29-30

Bell Bay port proposal30-31 Outback Highway Development Council31-32 Tanami Highway 31-32

Hahn Highway 32

Burdekin Road Safety Audit32 Bruce Highway upgrade32, 33-34 Cardwell Range realignment33 Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements 33

Upgrade to southern approach to Cairns 34

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37

Division/Agency and TopicProof Hansard page

reference

Fatality rates 35-36

Advice on Nambucca to Nurrunga section 35-36

Oil prices 36-37

Energy policy impacts on infrastructure policy 37

Gladstone Harbour redevelopment37-38 Surface Transport Policy 38-42

Shipping reform38-41 Regulation impact statement38-39 Mandatory vehicle fuel efficiency standards 41-42

Green car fund 42

Australian Maritime Safety Authority 42-47

Maritime training certification standards 42-43

Safety standards for vessels 43

Christmas Island shipwreck 43-45

Protection of the Sea (Powers of Intervention) Act 44-15 Commitment across government agencies 45

National Parks Australia45-46 Montara45 *46 Gladstone Harbour 46, 47

Conflicts of interest 46-47

Policy and Research 47-54

BITRE Report 117, Transport energy futures, long-term oil supply trends and predictions 47-49, 50-53 Reports into transport energy, fuel prices, transport emissions 47 *18 Media release - a return of $2.65 for every $1 invested in nation building

49-50

Oil depletion and oil/energy security issues 52-53

International Energy Agency 53

Major Cities Unit 54-59

National Urban Policy 54

State o f Australian Cities report 54, 58-59

Urban policy forum54 Liveable Cities Program 54-55, 56,58

Continuity of ownership test 55-56

National Airport Safeguarding Advisory Group 56-57

Planning and development in major cities 56

Active travel discussion paper 57-58

Office of Transport Security 59-62

Strengthening Aviation Security Initiative 59, 60, 62

Screening of air cargo 59

Optimal Technologies program, Regional and Domestic Aviation Security program, Securing the Supply Chain program

59

241

38

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard page

reference

Air marshal program 60

Aviation Security Identification Cards/Maritime Security Identification Cards 60-61

Full-body scanners 61-62

Aviation and Airports 62-67

National framework 62-63

National Airport Safeguarding Advisory Group 62-63, 64-65

Archerfield plan 63,66

Bankstown Airport63-64 Evans Head 64

Tralee development 64-65, 67

Second Sydney airport 65

Badgerys creek 66

Bendigo Airport66-67 Airservices Australia 67-69

Instrument Landing System 67-68

Gold Coast Airport 67-68

Airspace regulation 68

Required Navigation Performance 68

Aircraft noise 68-69

Queensland Scouts 69

Archerfield Airport 69

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) 69-76

Age of aircrafts 70

Reportable incidents and maintenance failures 70

Incident involving the force of an engine 70

Missed approach into Melbourne 70

Cracked wings in A380's 71

Polar Aviation 71-73

Chairman's lounge memberships 73

Fatigue management systems 73-74, 75-76

Aerotoxic syndrome 73

Full-body scanners 74

National Airport Safeguarding Advisory Group 75

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) 76-79

Fuel levels in planes, Starved and Exhausted report 76-77 Turbulence occurrence 77

National Airport Safeguarding Advisory Group 77

Current investigations 77-79

Breakdown of separation, separation assurance 78

242

Appendix 5

Topic list

Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard page

reference

Corporate Services; Regional Australia; Local 83-106 Government Creation of the department 83

Staffing and portfolio agencies 83

Clean Energy Future package 83

Community Infrastructure Grants program 83-86

Jingili BMX Club 84

Burnside Hockey Club 85

Riverstone Football Club 85

Townsville Convention Centre 85

Port of Karumba Sea Wall 85

Port Macquarie Indoor Sports Stadium 85

Margaret Olley Art Centre 85

Better Regions program 86

Regional Development Australia fund and projects 86-89, 92-94, 97-98 Feedback for applications to the RDA fund 86-87

Clunes Community and Interpretive Centre 89

Spatial accounting 89, 101-103, 104-

106

Northern Australia branch 90

Ministerial portfolio responsibility 90-91

Flood recovery 91

Disaster recovery taskforce 91, 100-101

Efficiency dividend 91-92

Why alia and Eyre Peninsula division 92-93

National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group 93

Port Lincoln 93

Aviation White Paper 93-94

CSIRO study on water 94-95

Sustainable Water Futures program 94-95

Cairns Plan 95-96

Northern Queensland Irrigated Agriculture project 96-97 Wheat Belt Regional Development Commission and the 97

243

40

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard page

reference

Wheat Belt Regional Development Authority East Kimberley Development package 98-99

Wyndham Jetty 98-99

Office of Northern Australia 99-100

Kununurra Hospital 100

My Region 103-104

Centrelink activity 104

Services to Territories 106-111

Financial support to Norfolk Island 106-107

Transport into Norfolk Island 107

Public service review 108

Norfolk Island administration and management arrangements 108 Implementation of Australian tax system 108-109, 111

Land tenure 109

Prospect for agriculture on Norfolk Island 109

Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area 109-110

World Heritage 110

Appointment of administrator 110

Continuous Improvement Group report 110-111

Australia Council 111-122

Prize for works by artists interested in using broadband 111-117 Craft Australia 118-119

Processes involved in defunding organisations 118-119 Leigh Warren and Dancers 119

Review of the Australia Council 119-120

Register of peers 120-121

Spend on air travel 121

Appeals against decisions made by the Australia Council 121-122 Complaints to the Australia Council 122

Office for the Arts; Screen Australia; National Film and Sound Archive; National Gallery of Australia; National Library of Australia; National Museum of Australia

123-128

Support for games developers 123

Cultural Policy 123,124

Tax offsets for filmmaking *location offset 123-124

Review of the Australia Council 124-125

Machinery of Government changes 125-126

Efficiency dividend 126-127, 128-131

National Portrait Gallery 127

Resale rules 127-128

Office for Sport; Australian Sports Commission 131-137 Funding for the Football Federation of Australia 131-134 Australian Sports Outreach Program 132-133

244

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Division/Agency and TopicProof Hansard page

reference

Active After-Schools Communities program 134-135

Bellerive Oval135-137

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THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

PARLIAMENTARY PAPER No. 466 of 2012 ORDERED TO BE PRINTED

ISSN 0727-4181