Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Senate Legislative and General Purpose Standing Committees Consolidated reports on Additional estimates 2012-2013


Download PDF Download PDF

Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on Additional estimates 2012-13

March 2013

© Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 2013

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 2012-13 report, dated March 2013 .................................... 1

Economics Committee

• Additional estimates 2012-13 report, dated March 2013 .................................. 49

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee

• Additional estimates 2012-13 report, dated March 2013 .................................. 87

Environment and Communications Committee

• Additional estimates 2012-13 report, dated March 2013 ................................ 109

Finance and Public Administration Committee

• Additional estimates 2012-13 report, dated March 2013 ................................ 135

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

• Additional estimates 2012-13 report, dated March 2013 ................................ 165

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

• Additional estimates 2012-13 report, dated March 2013 ................................ 185

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee

• Additional estimates 2012-13 report, dated March 2013 ................................ 211

RESOLUTIONS OF THE SENATE RELATING TO ESTIMATES

45 PARTICULARS OF PROPOSED ADDITIONAL EXPENDITURE—2012-13—DOCUMENTS1 The Minister for Human Services (Senator Kim Carr) tabled the following documents: Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2012-2013].

Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2012-2013]. Senator Kim Carr, by leave, moved—That— (a) the documents, together with the final budget outcome 2011-12 (see entry no. 24, 9 October 2012)

and the Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2011-12 (see entry no. 2, 5 February 2013), 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.

8 LEGISLATION COMMITTEES—ESTIMATES HEARINGS2 The Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations (Senator Collins), by leave, moved— (1) That estimates hearings by legislation committees for 2013 be scheduled as follows: 2012-13 additional estimates: Monday, 11 February and Tuesday, 12 February (Group A)

Wednesday, 13 February and Thursday, 14 February (Group B). 2013-14 Budget estimates: Monday, 27 May to Thursday, 30 May, and, if required, Friday, 31 May (Group A) Monday, 3 June to Thursday, 6 June, and, if required, Friday, 7 June (Group B)

Monday, 21 October and Tuesday, 22 October (supplementary hearings-Group A) Wednesday, 23 October and Thursday, 24 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 and Regional Affairs and Transport

Group B:

Community Affairs

Economics

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

(4) That the committees report to the Senate on the following dates: (a) Tuesday, 19 March 2013 in respect of the 2012-13 additional estimates; and (b) Tuesday, 25 June 2013 in respect of the 2013-14 Budget estimates. Question put and passed.

1 Journals of the Senate, no. 132, 7 February 2013 2 Journals of the Senate, no. 121, 1 November 2012

i

3 STANDING ORDERS—AMENDMENT—COMMITTEES—ALLOCATION OF DEPARTMENTS3 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 STANDING ORDERS—AMENDMENT—COMMITTEES—ALLOCATION OF DEPARTMENTS4 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 HEARINGS—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— ENDORSEMENT OF RECOMMENDATION6 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 formal 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.

5 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 2012-13

March 2013

1

 Commonwealth of Australia 2013

ISBN 978-1-74229-766-8

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

2

iii

iii

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Claire Moore, Chair ALP, Queensland

Senator Rachel Siewert, Deputy Chair AG, Western Australia

Senator Carol Brown ALP, Tasmania

Senator Mark Furner

Senator Bridget McKenzie

Senator Dean Smith

ALP, Queensland

NP, Victoria

LP, Western Australia

Senators in attendance Senator Claire Moore (Chair), Senator Rachel Siewert (Deputy Chair), Senator Sue Boyce, Senator the Hon George Brandis, Senator Carol Brown, Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Senator Michaelia Cash, Senator Richard Di Natale, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Senator Mitch Fifield, Senator Mark Furner, Senator Anne McEwan, Senator Bridget McKenzie, Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, Senator Stephen Parry, Senator Lee Rhiannon, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, Senator Dean Smith, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Senator Penny Wright, Senator Nick Xenophon

Secretariat Dr Ian Holland Committee Secretary

Mr Gerry McInally Principal Research Officer Mr Jarrod Baker Senior Research Officer Mr Patrick Hodder Research Officer Ms Eloise Menzies Research Officer Ms Carol Stewart Administration Officer

Suite S1.59 Telephone: (02) 6277 3515

Parliament House Fax: (02) 6277 5829

CANBERRA ACT 2600 Email: community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

3

iv

4

Table of Contents

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

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

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

Details of hearings .................................................................................................. 1

Questions on Notice ............................................................................................... 2

Hansard transcripts ................................................................................................. 3

Changes in the PAES .............................................................................................. 3

Procedural issues .................................................................................................... 4

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

Health and Ageing Portfolio .................................................................................... 5

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

Cross Outcomes/Corporate Matters .................................................................... 6

Population Health ................................................................................................ 7

Therapeutic Goods Administration ..................................................................... 7

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) ............................... 8

Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA) .............................. 8

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) ....................................... 8

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) ....... 9

Biosecurity and Emergency Response ................................................................ 9

Private Health .................................................................................................... 10

Private Health Insurance Administration Council............................................. 10

Hearing Services ................................................................................................ 10

Health Workforce Capacity ............................................................................... 10

Health Workforce Australia (HWA) ................................................................. 11

Aged Care and Population Ageing .................................................................... 11

5

vi

Health System Capacity and Quality ................................................................. 12

Acute Care ......................................................................................................... 12

National Health Performance Authority ............................................................ 13

Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority ............ 13

Primary Care ...................................................................................................... 13

Rural Health ....................................................................................................... 14

Access to Pharmaceuticals ................................................................................ 14

Mental Health .................................................................................................... 16

Chapter 3............................................................................................................ 17

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio ..... 17

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs .............................................................................................................................. 17

Cross Outcomes/Corporate Matters .................................................................. 17

Families and Children........................................................................................ 18

Housing .............................................................................................................. 19

Australian Institute of Family Studies ............................................................... 20

Community Capability and the Vulnerable ....................................................... 20

Seniors ............................................................................................................... 21

Disability and Carers ......................................................................................... 21

Women and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency ...................................... 22

Chapter 4........................................................................................................... 25

Human Services Portfolio ...................................................................................... 25

Department of Human Services............................................................................ 25

Corporate ........................................................................................................... 25

Services to the Community ............................................................................... 26

Chapter 5............................................................................................................ 29

Cross Portfolio Matters .......................................................................................... 29

General Matters ................................................................................................. 29

6

vii

Closing the Gap ................................................................................................. 30

Stronger Futures ................................................................................................ 31

Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) .................................................................. 31

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) ................................................................ 32

Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) ............................. 32

Health ................................................................................................................ 32

Employment and Economic Development ........................................................ 33

Indigenous Housing ........................................................................................... 33

Appendix 1

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversight ............................ 35

Appendix 2

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies under the Committee's oversight .................................................................................................................................. 37

Appendix 3

Index to Hansard Transcripts ............................................................................... 39

7

viii

8

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 On 7 February 2013 the Senate referred the following documents to the committee for examination and report in relation to its portfolios:

• Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year

ending on 30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2012-2013].

• Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the

year ending on 30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2012-2013].

• Final Budget outcome for 2011-2012; and

• Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2011-2012.1

1.2 The committee is responsible for the examination of the following portfolios:

• Health and Ageing;

• Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; and

• Human Services.

1.3 The committee was required to report to the Senate on its consideration of 2012-2013 additional estimates on Tuesday 19 March 2013.2

Details of hearings

1.4 The committee considered the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2012-2013 for the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio, the Human Services portfolio, and the Health and Ageing portfolio, at hearings from 13 February 2013 to 15 February 2013 (inclusive). The hearings were conducted in accordance with the agreed agenda outlined as follows:

• Wednesday 13 February 2013 - Health and Ageing portfolio

• Thursday 14 February 2013 - Families, Housing, Community Services

and Indigenous Affairs portfolio and Human Services portfolio

• Friday 15 February 2013 - Cross Portfolio - Indigenous Matters

1.5 The committee heard evidence from the following Senators:

• Senator the Hon Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers (representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 132, 7 February 2013, p. 3603.

2 Journals of the Senate, No. 121, 1 November 2012, p. 3239.

9

2

Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Minister for Health and Ageing).

• Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Human Services.

• Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability

and Urban Water (representing the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and all relevant Ministers for the Cross Portfolio - Indigenous Matters).

1.6 Evidence was also provided by the following:

• 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;

• Ms Jennifer Taylor, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Education,

Employment and Workplace relations;

• Mr David Learmonth, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and

Ageing; and

• officers representing the departments and agencies covered by the estimates before the committee.

1.7 The committee also considered budget expenditure at a hearing on 15 February 2013 on cross portfolio Indigenous matters pursuant to Resolution of the Senate of 26 August 2008.3 Explanations relating to the estimates were received from Senator the Hon Don Farrell. Officers from the following portfolio Departments were in attendance:

• Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs;

• Health and Ageing; and

• Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

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

Questions on Notice

1.9 In accordance with Standing Order 26, the date for submission to the committee of written answers to questions or additional information relating to the expenditure is 5 April 2013.

3 Journals of the Senate, No. 22, 26 August 2008, p. 683.

10

3

1.10 Answers to questions taken on notice and tabled documents relating to the committee's hearings will be tabled in the Senate. Answers to questions on notice and additional information may be accessed via the committee's website.

Hansard transcripts

1.11 The committee discussed many of the expenditure proposals and information contained in the PAES. These discussions are detailed in the committee’s Hansard transcripts of 13 February 2013 to 15 February 2013 (inclusive), copies of which will be tabled in the Senate. Hansard transcripts of the estimates proceedings are also accessible on the committee’s website at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca.

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

Changes in the PAES

1.13 The committee notes the establishment of the National Health Funding Body in the Health and Ageing portfolio since the Budget 2012-13. This new Portfolio agency was established on 25 June 2012 under the National Health Reform Act 2011

to:

provide transparent, comparable and efficient administration of Commonwealth and state and territory funding of the Australian public hospital system, and support the obligations and responsibilities of the Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool under common multi-jurisdictional health reform legislation.4

1.14 The committee also notes Ministerial changes in the Health and Ageing and Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio since the publication of the 2012-13 Portfolio Budget Statements:

• In the Health and Ageing portfolio, on 2 February 2013 the Hon.

Melissa Parke MP was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Mental Health;5

• In the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

portfolio, on 4 February 2013 the Hon. Mark Butler MP replaced the Hon. Brendan O'Connor MP as the Minister for Housing and Homelessness and the Hon. Melissa Parke MP was sworn in as Parliamentary Secretary for Homelessness and Social Housing.6

4 Health and Ageing, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13, p. 3.

5 Health and Ageing, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13, p. 3.

6 Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13, p. 3.

11

4

1.15 Finally, the committee notes a change to the name of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA), in the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio. Following the replacement of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 with the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, the agency's name has been changed to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. The PAES states that:

the outcome has been updated to reflect the shift in focus from equal opportunity for women to equality between the genders and associated responsibilities.7

Procedural issues

1.16 The following procedural issue during the committee's hearings was noted.

Grounds for not answering questions

1.17 The secretary of the Department at one point also claimed legal professional privilege as a reason for not releasing legal advice. The senator asking the question, however, appeared already to have moved on and did not press the matter. The committee also notes that no formal claims were made for public interest immunity. Departments should be aware of and adhere to the order of the Senate of 13 May 2009.

7 Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13, p. 3.

12

Chapter 2

Health and Ageing Portfolio

Department of Health and Ageing

2.1 This chapter outlines key issues discussed during the 2012-2013 additional estimates hearings for the Health and Ageing portfolio.

2.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Wednesday 13 February 2013. Areas of the portfolio and agencies were called in the following order:

• Whole of Portfolio/Corporate Matters

• Australian Institution of Health and Welfare

• Population Health

• Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

• National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

• Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA)

• Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

• Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

(ACSQHC)

• Biosecurity and Emergency Response

• Private Health

• Private health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC)

• Hearing Services

• Health Workforce Capacity

• Health Workforce Australia (HWA)

• Aged Care and Population Ageing

• Aged Care Standards Accreditation Agency

• Acute Care

• Independent Hospital Pricing Authority

• National Health Performance Authority

• Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority

• Access to Medical Services

• Professional Services Review (PSR)

• Health System Capacity and Quality

• Primary Care

13

6

• Rural Health

• Access to Pharmaceutical Services

• Mental Health

2.3 The committee also heard evidence from the National e-Health Transition Authority (NeHTA) under the department's "Health System Capacity and Quality" area.

Cross Outcomes/Corporate Matters1

2.4 Proceedings commenced with questions about the provision of information on actual expense and budget estimates at the subprogram level. In this line of questioning, the committee examined the clarity around budget processes, including

the financial information available at the sub-program level and the difficulties involved in discerning how money is spent at the sub-program level from the portfolio budget statements.2 The department pointed out that activity at the sub-program level cuts across several divisions and is rarely reconcilable with the budget documents.3 Later in the hearing the department also pointed out that sub-programs are monitored against performance indicators, but that the individual financial detail for the sub-program level is compiled manually because it does not universally align with the budget structure. The current departmental IT structure is only capable of compiling budgetary data at the outcome and program level.4 The department does manually compile some areas of sub-program expenditure for an incoming minister or government, but these briefs do not contain everything. The department offered to compile sub-program financial information for the committee on notice in selected program areas.5

2.5 The department also noted that flexible funds may be a complicating factor because a lot of the sub-programs have been amalgamated into flexible funds.6 The need to retain transparency with the move to flexible funding has been canvassed in the Community Affairs Report on Annual Reports (2013 No.1).

2.6 The committee also discussed the following items:

• Commonwealth spending in relation to the Tasmanian Health Assistance

Package, in particular the Commission on Delivery of Health Services in Tasmania;

1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 6.

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 7.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 7.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 41.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 42.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 15.

14

7

• The alignment of responsibilities between the Australian National

Health Performance Authority (ANPHA) and the department, including recommendations made by the auditor-general;

• Revenue generated by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Population Health7

2.7 Senator Furner asked the department to update the committee on its measures to help people give up smoking. The department noted that the arrangements for retail compliance with plain packaging of tobacco came into force on 1 December 2012. The department noted that it has encountered strong interest from overseas in the plain packaging initiative, such as the release in the United Kingdom of a discussion paper on plain packaging. Questions were also asked about research commissioned to accompany the introduction of plain-packaging.8

2.8 Senator Brown asked the department to provide an update on the bowel cancer program. The department provided the committee with information on bowel cancer screening programs including the public distribution of screening kits and subsequent screening participation rates by members of the public.

2.9 The committee also discussed the national strategy documents between the Commonwealth and all states and territories on HIV, noting that whilst the documents contain principles of best practice, the states face different challenges and need to implement their own strategies.

2.10 The committee also discussed the funding allocated to palliative care under the Tasmanian Health Assistance Package.

Therapeutic Goods Administration9

2.11 Senators Fierravanti-Wells and Di Natale had a discussion with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) about the registries that the TGA maintains for high-risk implantable devices, clinical evidence advice, risk communication, and the potential adverse impacts of high-risk implantable devices. The TGA noted that

they are still finalising recommendations to government on options for the introduction of registries, and outlined for the committee some of the key advantages and disadvantages of the different types of registries.10

2.12 The TGA took a question on notice from Senator Xenophon concerning a possible inconsistency between a response to an earlier question on notice regarding urogynaecological mesh, and the TGA's response to the ABC's 7:30 program on the

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 13-27.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 23.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 27-31.

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 28.

15

8

product.11 The committee also discussed TGA recommendations on the regulation of complementary medicines.

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)12

2.13 Senator Fierravanti-Wells asked the NHMRC about an article appearing in the Sunday Age on 27 January 2013 concerning drug trials in India. The NHMRC confirmed it was aware of the article and undertook to provide detail on notice to the committee on the proportion of funding spent on overseas trials. The NHMRC also noted that they have followed up with the university that conducted the trial to ensure ethical guidelines were adhered to.

2.14 Senator Fierravanti-Wells also asked questions about the development of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. The NHMRC explained that the basis of the guidelines is an examination of 50 000 new pieces of evidence since the development of the last guidelines in 2003.

2.15 Senator Di Natale inquired into the NHMRC's role in providing advice on antimicrobial resistance. The NHMRC noted that their role changed when they ceased to be a division of the department and referred the majority of questions to the department.

Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA)13

2.16 The committee had a discussion with ANPHA about a report on public interest case for minimum floor price of alcohol. ANPHA confirmed that the report is due to government in the first quarter of 2013 and that they are on target to provide this to the Minster by the due date. The Minister will then decide whether the report is to be made public.

2.17 Senator Fierravanti-Wells asked additional questions of ANPHA concerning protocols on conflicts of interest in awarding research grants, ANPHA's interaction or coordination with NHMRC and the department, and recommendations from the Auditor-General for ANPHA to 'actively review the alignment of (their) responsibilities.'14 ANPHA took a number of these questions on notice.

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ )15

2.18 Senator Sinodinos inquired into FSANZ's cost recovery fees. FSANZ pointed out that they have a legislative obligation to recover costs, and therefore have to

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 29.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 31-37.

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 37-40.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 38.

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 43-49.

16

9

comply with government guidelines about review of their cost recovery process. Although historically FSANZ have not reviewed their cost recovery fees annually, they have now discussed whether to do so. FSANZ also provided the committee with information on the numbers of staff involved in cost recovery work as opposed to other work.

2.19 Senator Di Natale put further questions to FSANZ about anti-microbial resistance issues relating to a risk assessment done on New Zealand apple orchards.

2.20 Senator Whish-Wilson questioned FSANZ about its reviews of low-THC hemp for food. FSANZ noted that its more recent review further explored economic and cost impacts on the regulatory system, and that they engaged in a lot of consultation with international bodies. Senator Whish-Wilson noted that the COAG legislative and governance forum on food regulation requested a review of FSANZ's decision. FSANZ indicated that the reasoning underpinning the request for review concerned enforcement issues, and potential conflicts with current legislation.

2.21 FSANZ also took questions on notice from Senator Fierravanti-Wells regarding food on international cruise ships and the use of carbon monoxide in fish.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC)16

2.22 The committee inquired into the progress of the ASCQHC's three year data plan, and other activities of the ACSQHC in the aged care and mental health spaces including the development of a national aged care residential medication chart, which was tabled during the hearing.

2.23 Senator Di Natale had further questions for ACSQHC and the department on anti-microbial resistance, and the government's approach to addressing the issue. There was a discussion about coordination of effort between departments and agencies, and the issue of antibiotic usage and anti-microbial resistance in animals does not currently appear to have been explored to the same degree as anti-microbial resistance in humans. Ms Halton provided an update on activities in this area including an agreement with Andrew Metcalfe, secretary of DAFF about the coordination of activities between DoHA and DAFF from a policy and regulatory perspective, and the development of a new steering group comprising the Chief Medical Officer, Chief Veterinary Officer, Ms Halton and Mr Metcalfe.

Biosecurity and Emergency Response17

2.24 The committee's questions under this outcome focused on the department's emergency response plans in the case of extreme weather events. The department outlined the Commonwealth's role in coordinating a response to natural disasters

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 49-54.

17 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 54-55.

17

10

including in relation to aged-care facilities, mental health, outbreaks of infectious diseases and pharmacies.

Private Health18

2.25 Following on from the committee hearing on Friday 8 February into the proposed legislative changes to the Private Health Insurance Rebate, the committee had further questions about the consultation process and the projected impacts of the legislative changes.

Private Health Insurance Administration Council19

2.26 Senator Fierravanti-Wells inquired into comments made by PHIAC in relation to people downgrading their level of private health insurance cover, and the effects of pre-paying for cover. Senator Fierravanti-Wells asked PHIAC to provide the committee with any further comments they may have on notice.

Hearing Services20

2.27 The department undertook to provide the committee with an update on progress in this outcome beyond that documented in the report on the committee's Inquiry into Hearing Health in Australia.21 The committee established that the department does not collect information on the impact of industrial hearing impairments.

Health Workforce Capacity22

2.28 Senator Fierravanti-Wells raised questions about the review of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification for Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA). The department confirmed the government has asked Ms Jenny Mason to complete a general review of health workforce programs, including ASGC-RA. The report is expected to be finalised at the end of March 2013.

2.29 The department undertook to provide list of programs that have been moved into the Health Workforce Fund on notice. The department also took further questions on notice in relation to the allocation of monies from this fund and the financial years involved.

2.30 The committee also discussed the evaluation of the National Partnership Agreement on hospital and health workforce reform, which will cease to be funded on

18 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 55-57.

19 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 58-59.

20 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 59-61.

21 Community Affairs References Committee, Hear Us: Inquiry into Hearing Health in Australia, May 2010. 22 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 61-63.

18

11

1 July 2013, and the dental relocation grant scheme, due to commence in the new financial year.

Health Workforce Australia (HWA)23

2.31 HWA and the department provided information to the committee on the Rural Health Professionals Program, including the location of funding for the program in the budget papers and a list of relocation grants allocated by profession.

Aged Care and Population Ageing24

2.32 Senator Fierravanti-Wells led questions on this outcome, beginning with questions on recent financial modelling and recommendations from the Productivity Commission in its Caring for Older Australian's report.25 The committee established that the department had done its own subsequent modelling and analysis of the report.

2.33 The committee had a number of questions concerning reviews of and changes to the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI). The committee discussed issues around the department's response to high levels of inaccurate claiming, and the department clarified its role in monitoring and investigating the detail of payments, as opposed to the role of the Department of Human Services in 'looking at the integrity of the payments themselves'.26 The department took a question on notice to clarify the information it is able to provide to the committee surrounding ongoing fraud investigations against providers. The department outlined some of the factors that may be attributed to the high levels of inaccurate claiming, such as the increasing use of consultants without a clinical background. The department also noted that a proportion of down-graded claims are overturned because evidence is subsequently provided by the facility to back up the unusual claims.

2.34 The committee also discussed the recent set of changes to the ACFI and the potential impacts these changes may have on remote and regional aged care homes and smaller aged care homes. The department took a question on notice to explain the application process for the viability supplement for these facilities.

2.35 The committee also discussed aged care approval rounds, Home and Community Care (HACC) funding, the Living Longer, Living Better package, assistive technology, no-interest loans for aged care providers, non-operational bed licences, occupancy rates, complaint schemes, transport, aged care facility assessors and Meals on Wheels funding. Questions on notice were taken in relation to forward estimates funding for aged care, and the aged care assessment program.

23 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 63.

24 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 64-78.

25 Productivity Commission, Caring for Older Australians, Report No. 53, Final Inquiry Report, 2011. 26 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 65.

19

12

Health System Capacity and Quality27

2.36 Questions under this outcome largely concerned the progress of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records system. The committee established that the initial sign-up target of 500 000 by 2013 would not be met, as to date there had been only 56 761 sign-ups to the system. The department noted, however, that the registration phase was the last in a series of steps to establishing the system and that there had not yet been a big push for registration. The department also answered questions relating to the methods by which consumers can register with the PCEHR, funding for Medicare locals to promote a PCEHR registration process, software compatibility, and security and privacy in relation to the e-health record.

2.37 Senator Brown sought information from the department on electronic advance care programs in Tasmania. The department noted that it is still in consultation with Tasmanian government over an expanded rollout of the advance care planning facility that is already in place in the Cradle Coast connected care e-health site. While funding will be available for the rollout on 1 July 2013, the department noted that there are currently no agreed timeframes or implementation plans. The department also outlined the e-health initiatives that are funded under the Tasmanian health assistance package. It was noted that NeHTA would coordinate and facilitate a number of these initiatives.

2.38 The committee also discussed and placed questions on notice about visits from overseas delegations and the projects funded by the Health Hospitals fund.

Acute Care28

2.39 The department provided the committee with the latest figures on organ donation, noting that while there has been growth in organ donation there is much more capacity to continue to increase the rate of organ donation in Australia. The committee also discussed training being conducted around the family donation conversation. The department took questions on notice concerning state by state figures for organ donation.

2.40 Ms Halton and Ms Flanagan explained the operation of the indexation formula that resulted in the reduction of funding in the forward estimates. Ms Flanagan and Ms Anderson told the committee that 712.79 of a target of 1 325 beds or their equivalents have been delivered nationally. Ms Anderson took a question on notice regarding the mental health component of these beds. Ms Flanagan clarified details of National Emergency Access Target (NEAT) reward funding.

27 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 78-92.

28 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 92-99.

20

13

National Health Performance Authority29

2.41 The Authority outlined for the committee information on performance of emergency departments contained in its recent report, and noted that it will be releasing reports for both hospitals and healthy communities for each of the quarters in 2013.

Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority

2.42 The Authority gave some context to organ donation targets and the rate that was achieved in 2012. Ms Cass noted that while the target of 16.3 donors per million people (DPMP) was not achieved, the achieved rate of 15.6 still represented a third year of consecutive growth, and that there had actually been agreements with enough donor families to have reached the target, explaining the difference between consented and actual donors. Ms Cass also pointed out that 6 of 8 jurisdictions achieved a donation rate outcome above 16.3 DPMP in 2012. The committee was interested to elaborate on the different achievements across jurisdictions and Ms Cass provided some possible reasons for the difference including that the smaller jurisdictions are easier to influence and achieve change in practice.

Primary Care30

2.43 Mr Booth confirmed that outcomes will be monitored throughout and at the end of the diabetes coordinated care trial.

2.44 The majority of questions directed to the department under this outcome concerned Medicare Locals. Mr Butt clarified some aspects of funding for Medicare Locals, noting that the funding that each gets will vary, as 'there is a whole range of programs that have been rolled out through all of them. The difference will be based on their weighted population.'31 Ms Kneipp also outlined the after-hours funding directed through the Medicare Local flexible fund, Rural GP locum funding, and some key aspects of the formula used to allocate core funding to Medicare Locals. The department took a question on notice to provide the total amount of core funding for Medicare locals to the committee, and to provide a breakdown of funding delivered in terms of program.

2.45 Senator Fierravanti-Wells inquired into a workshop being advertised at two Medicare Locals promising to 'double (a General Practitioner's) income'. Ms Halton agreed that the language used to advertised the workshop was inappropriate and affirmed that the department would look into the workshop and particularly the advertising around it. The department agreed to find out on notice whether any funding from the department was being used to pay for the workshops. The

29 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 97-98.

30 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 99-115.

31 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 101.

21

14

committee also discussed the Medicare Locals forum, fit-outs for Medicare Locals, staff numbers in the Medicare Locals branch of the department, and the ability of Medicare Locals to contract out their services. In relation to staff numbers, Ms Halton gave a breakdown of the reduction in departmental staff working in primary care from 2009-10 to 2012-13.

2.46 The committee then discussed and clarified reasons for delay in construction of various GP superclinics, such as the Redcliffe and Wannaroo Superclinics. Mr Butt noted that the plan is to have all superclinics built in five years, but acknowledged that problems such as floods and rezoning of land that may delay the construction of some of the superclinics. Ms Faichney ran the committee through some of the examples, provided a list of the 15 superclinics that have not yet begun construction, provided more information on the 4 that are yet to sign a funding agreement.

Rural Health32

2.47 The department confirmed that the Rural Health Outreach fund is on track to be implemented by July 1 2013 and that there have been no changes to the fund's guidelines. The department also confirmed that they envisage that $9 million or $10 million will be available for the seventh round of the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program. Ms Faichney confirmed that the majority of approved projects from previous funding rounds have been completed or are due for completion within their planned budget and frameworks.

Access to Pharmaceuticals33

2.48 The committee first discussed official listing times for medicines, and Ms McNeill and Mr Learmonth provided the committee with information about the reduction in time taken between approval for listing of high-cost medicines by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and when the Minister announces that there has been cabinet approval for listing of the medicines.

2.49 Ms McNeill noted that:

The government made a commitment under the memorandum of understanding that it would use its best endeavours to consider medicines worth over $10 million in any financial year within six months of the pricing being agreed.34

2.50 Senator Di Natale queried the meaning of 'best endeavours' and tabled an analysis of listing times for high-cost medicines which indicated that while the time between PBAC approval and the ministerial announcement has significantly decreased, the time between announcement and actual listing has significantly

32 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 115-116.

33 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 116-124.

34 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 116.

22

15

increased. The department had not seen this analysis, and disputed it, wanting to know which drugs were included in the analysis. The Senator noted that it concerned high-cost drugs, and Ms Halton noted that that she "would want to look at the particular circumstances of what is in which category because, if there is a statistical issue… I bet you I can explain it based on exactly the drugs."35 The Senator asked the department to look at this analysis and provide the committee with a response. The committee clarified exactly the phase of time being discussed in the memorandum of understanding.

2.51 The committee also discussed details of the listing process for a selection of specific medicines, including one rejected for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and partially rejected for the life-saving drugs scheme. Mr Learmonth and Ms McNeill explained the rationale for the life-saving drugs program and some of the processes that PBAC go through when deciding whether to recommend a medicine for listing.

2.52 Ms McNeill outlined aspects of post-market reviews of PBS listed medicines including where to view the frameworks and procedures put in place to manage post-market reviews, how stakeholders are notified and identified and variation in timeframes for reviews. Ms McNeill highlighted how the independence of PBAC is maintained during the review process, noting that secretariats and independent evaluators actually do the work for the PBAC in evaluating and putting review material together. The work to date conducted around post-market reviews has cost $1.1 million.

2.53 The committee also discussed the statutory price reduction triggered when a medicine moves from an F1 formula to an F2 formula under section 99ACB of the National Health Act 1953 (Cth). Senator Di Natale was interested in how this price reduction applies when a company releases the same medicine with different delivery mechanism, rather than when a generic is introduced into the market. Ms McNeill, Ms Halton and Mr Learmonth explained that sometimes a company will introduce a slightly different product onto the market to eat up or retain market share before the

introduction of a generic, and often also remove the original product from sale, to hamper the introduction of a generic. The department took questions on notice about current annual expenditure for F1 drugs expected to come off patent and trigger the statutory price reduction, the estimated saving to government over forward estimates due to the statutory price reduction, and the number and detail of cases where the originator company with a product in F1 introduced a new mechanism that triggered a statutory price reduction.

35 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 117.

23

16

Mental Health36

2.54 The committee discussed the progress of negotiations around the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres (EPPICs), and recommendations in the National Mental Health Commission's report card. Ms Campion noted that the process for COAG to prepare a response to the report card will follow through this year.

2.55 The committee clarified that the programs listed in Minister Plibersek's brief remain unchanged aside from the introduction of the Mental Health Reform Package.

2.56 Senator Wright focused on the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program. Ms Campion noted for the committee that there are currently 434 organisations participating in the program. Mr Nicholls took on notice to provide information on how many organisations have left the program since 9 May last year, or for the financial year. The department also took a number of questions on notice relating to the session allocations for the program.

2.57 In response to Senator Wright's question concerning whether there were arrangements in place to provide services where organisations have used up their allocation or are about to do so, Ms Nicholls and Ms Campion clarified that organisation in the program are given an opportunity to ask for review of the allocations. The majority of requests for reviews seeking increases to session allocations are granted, and the program allows for unused sessions to be transferred to organisations seeking extra sessions, or to organisations seeking to enter the program. The department agreed to provide the committee with information about whether any organisations had given up un-used sessions on notice. Ms Nicholls also clarified that the client's GP or psychiatrist is actually the primary care provider, and that the mental health nurse works alongside the GP or psychiatrist.

2.58 The committee finally discussed the representation of people with mental illness, carers and from the non-government sector in the Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Principal Committee and the Working Group on Mental Health Reform, two national advisory structures in mental health reporting to COAG. Ms Huxtable explained that Committee is comprised of state and Commonwealth officials, but that the Committee is able to engage with stakeholders before its meetings. The working group is made up of health departments and first ministers, but is supported by an expert reference group. States are currently in the process of nominating representatives for this group, and the nominations that the department have seen thus far indicate that some consumers and carers are being nominated.

36 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 124-130.

24

Chapter 3

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

3.1 This chapter outlines key issues discussed during the 2012-2013 additional estimates hearings for the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio.

3.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Thursday 14 February 2013. Areas of the portfolio were called in the following order:

• Cross Outcomes/Corporate Matters

• Families and Children

• Housing

• Australian Institute of Family Studies

• Community Capability and the Vulnerable

• Seniors

• Disability and Carers

• Women

• Workplace Gender Equality Agency

Cross Outcomes/Corporate Matters1

3.3 Proceedings commenced with the Chair noting that questions on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) would be open for discussion during the hearing despite the current inquiry by the committee into the NDIS legislation. Mr Finn Pratt, Secretary of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, tabled an updated organisational chart for the department.

3.4 Senator Fifield inquired into communications methods used to raise awareness of the Schoolkids Bonus payments and the Household Assistance Package, focusing on contracts between the department and companies contracted to develop and test advertisements and to conduct market research.

3.5 There was then a discussion of the department's audit findings. The secretary noted that he was 'moderately pleased' with the zero audit findings by the Australian

1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp. 4-16.

25

18

National Audit Office (ANAO), the best in the department's history. The committee also discussed the ANAO legislative finding relating to potential breaches of section 83 of the Constitution arising from adjusted mining royalty payments to the Aboriginals Benefit Account. Departmental officers noted that the department is

pursuing legislative amendments with regards to this issue. The zero audit findings and the potential breaches of section 83 of the Constitution have been covered in this committee's Report on Annual Reports (2013 No. 1).2 Departmental officers also clarified their approach to potential breaches of section 83 in relation to the payment of the Family Tax Benefit.

3.6 Senators Fifield and Siewert asked questions about the government response to the social and community services (SACS) award case. Departmental officers confirmed that the government has committed $2.8 billion in assistance to organisations over forward estimates and that $8 million has been paid out to date. Questions on Notice were accepted relating to the organisations who have received offers for funding, and specifically relating to Western Australian organisations who have taken up those offers.

3.7 The Committee also discussed the following items:

• Variations in the department's forward estimates;

• Funding directed through the department in relation to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; and

• The Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission.

Families and Children3

3.8 The committee directed the majority of questions under this outcome to the efficiency and effectiveness of the various communications methods in relation to the Schoolkids bonus. Members of the committee queried the use a mass media campaign to advertise an automatic payment. Departmental officers outlined the strategic purpose of the advertising campaign and clarified that the advertising is targeted to informing people about why they are receiving a payment. The information campaign sought to avert the possibility of the Department of Human Services, who would be administering the payments, being inundated with a large volume of calls from recipients. The department took to provide research on notice to the committee regarding the relative merits of an advertising campaign and a mail-out.

3.9 Ms Bell, Branch Manager, Communications and Media, provided the committee with figures on expenditure to date and anticipated expenditure in relation to advertising the schoolkids bonus, and undertook to provide details of the tender process for advertising, and a breakdown of monies spent. The department also

2 Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Report on Annual Reports (No. 1 of 2013), March 2013, p. 14.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp. 16-26, 34-36.

26

19

undertook on notice to determine whether they are able to provide the research and media strategies provided by the media contractors, the detail of cohorts in focus groups and a breakdown by jurisdiction of the amount of payments. In response to questions from Senator Furner, Mr Whitecross, Branch Manager, Family Payments and Child Support, clarified that more families are receiving larger payments under the schoolkids bonus than were under the Education Tax Refund, and noted that over the life of a child, a family would receive around $8 000 in schoolkids bonus payments.

3.10 Senator Cash inquired into promotional materials around family payments. Ms Bell clarified that the kits in question related to a range of family measures, not solely the schoolkids bonus. Ms Bell took a number of questions on notice relating to the specific products included in the kits and the research behind the kits.

3.11 The committee had questions relating to the numbers of families receiving Family Tax Benefit Parts A and B, and the eligibility requirements including immunisation requirements, for the Family Tax Benefit. The committee also discussed the number of people accessing Dad and Partner payments and Paid parental leave, and the funding arrangements for Family and Relationship Services Australia (FRSA), including the funding for the FRSA national conference and senior executives forum.

Housing4

3.12 The committee began under this outcome by seeking clarification of the responsibilities of the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary. Mr Pratt noted that the breakdown of responsibilities between the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary are still being finalised but confirmed that Minister Butler is responsible for housing and homelessness and Parliamentary Secretary Parke is responsible for social housing and homelessness. Mr Pratt took to provide a more detailed breakdown of responsibilities to the committee on notice.

3.13 Ms Carroll, Deputy Secretary, responded to the committee's questions on the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on housing and homelessness and the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) with updates on these agreements, noting that the NPA is still being negotiated, while the NAHA is an ongoing agreement subject to a funding review. Senator Payne asked the department to provide on notice advice from the minister of what they intend to do with the NAHA advisory committee.

3.14 Senator Payne also asked for an update on social housing initiative dwellings. Mr Palmer, Manager, Housing and Homelessness, provided this, noting that 99.4 per cent of approved dwellings have been completed. Ms Pickering, Branch Manager, Commonwealth State Relations, provided the committee with information on the review conducted by KPMG into the initiative.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp. 26-34.

27

20

3.15 The committee also discussed the following items:

• consultation processes around community housing;

• the bulk verification process for community housing rents;

• engagement of indigenous community housing organisations;

• the Public Housing Rent Deduction Scheme;

• the Building Better Regional Cities program; and

• the National Rental Affordability Scheme

Australian Institute of Family Studies5

3.16 The Institute outlined their process of setting strategic directions and directed the committee to their annual report which details the membership of the Institute's advisory council.

3.17 The Institute then discussed the work that is being undertaken in the area of grandparents providing care for children, noting that they are collecting information from various research and studies including the longitudinal study of Australian children.

3.18 Senator Siewert inquired into the input from stakeholders into the Institute's past adoption experience study. The Institute noted that it had received input from a range of different affected stakeholders in the study but that these were kept as separate sources of information and that therefore groups did not comment on statements from other groups. The Institute assured the committee that there should be no concern that service providers were given extra opportunity to comment.

Community Capability and the Vulnerable6

3.19 The committee began with questions concerning gambling reform including the pokies trial in ACT, and consultations with the states about what federal regulation may entail. In relation to the ACT trial, Ms Croke, Acting Group Manager, Problem

Gambling and SACS, gave details on the establishment, membership and meetings of the oversight committee for the trial, and undertook to provide the minutes and meeting papers for the meetings. Departmental officers took questions concerning control mechanisms for funds received as compensation by clubs, and money to date spent by the Commonwealth on the trial.

3.20 Regarding wider consultation with states around federal regulation of problem gambling, Senator Cash asked the department to provide on notice the dates of those meetings. The committee also discussed the consultation around and status of the drafting of pre-commitment regulations. Ms Croke noted that the department is

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp. 36-39.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp. 39-58.

28

21

working on a consultation strategy, the form of which may include a discussion paper, to be released at the end of March or April this year, followed by consultation.

3.21 The committee also discussed the expert advice provided to the department on pre-commitment and the response of manufacturers to this advice, the post-implementation review of the trial, the level of expertise in the Problem Gambling Taskforce, research into problem gambling, and the powers and staff of the National Gambling Regulator.

3.22 An extended discussion of income management followed, with a range of views being expressed by the committee and the department over the effectiveness or otherwise of the measure. Senator Siewert asked questions about the report of the Social Policy Research Centre, which held that there was "no measurable evidence of any positive impact of income management".7 The department noted that this report had mixed findings.8 There was also discussion concerning difficulty in effectively measuring outcomes for income support programs and the issue of data scarcity precluding a thorough evaluation of the program over the period of its operation.

Seniors9

3.23 Senator Fierravanti-Wells asked the department to provide a breakdown of recipients of the age pension for a number of variables including receipt of part and full pensions, male and female, and singles and couples. The department also provided further data on staffing levels in the seniors area, the seniors supplement, department of veterans affairs and seniors healthcare cardholders, and recipients of couple payments.

3.24 Ms Foster, Branch Manager, Seniors and Means Test provided an update on the seniors work bonus and pension reforms, noting that aged-care pensions increased by around $172 a fortnight for single people and $182 a fortnight for couples combined. The committee also discussed the effect of the Household Assistance Package.

Disability and Carers10

3.25 The committee began questions in outcome five with a comprehensive discussion of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the NDIS Launch Transition Agency. Senator Fifield commenced with questions on the budget for the scheme and for the agency, and inquired into the difference between the phases for the scheme outlined by the Productivity Commission and the Government. The committee

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, p. 51.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, p. 52.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp. 58-60.

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp. 60-84.

29

22

followed this with questions concerning access to mainstream services by persons within the NDIS, and the timeframe for release of draft rules for the scheme.

3.26 The committee queried the rationale for the apparent extensive use of delegated legislative instruments. Ms Wilson, Branch Manager, Disability and Carers Policy, noted that the practice of containing detail in disallowable instruments or statutory instruments under framework or enabling legislation allows for greater flexibility in the implementation and allows rules to be changed quickly if this becomes appropriate.

3.27 The committee also discussed appeal mechanisms, governance arrangements, the age cut-off, carers, the National Injury Insurance Scheme, the NDIS Launch Transition Agency and the contingency planning and preparations underway in the launch regions.

3.28 In relation to mental health, Senator Fierravanti-Wells confirmed with the department that it is still responsible for selected components of the National Mental Health Reform Package -- Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) service, Family Mental Health Support Services, Mental Health Respite, and Carer Support -- and sought details around expenditure, projections over the forward estimates, and client profiles for these programs. Senator Fierravanti-Wells also sought details on the number of people on the disability support pension that have a mental illness, and the number of those clients who are working up to 30 hours per week.

3.29 The committee inquired into the new assessment processes for the disability support pension (DSP) and Newstart, and asked for the percentage of DSP claimants with a severe impairment. The committee also sought an update on the Federal Court case concerning the business services wage assessment tool. Departmental officers outlined what they regarded as the implications and consequences of the finding and the process for appeal. The committee also discussed the issue of people entering into and retiring from Australian Disability Enterprises.

Women and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency11

3.30 The Office for Women and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) were called together for the final outcome discussed in the hearing. The WGEA provided information on the update of their website to reflect changes to the legislation underpinning the agency and confirmed that the majority of calls the agency is receiving concern the requirements on employers for the current reporting year. Ms Conway, Director of the WGEA, outlined the Agency's involvement in developing gender equality indicators, which has included consultation with stakeholders and meeting with Ms Carol Schwartz, appointed by the minister to conduct the consultation.

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp. 84-90.

30

23

3.31 Senator Cash questioned the Office for Women about the department's role in the BoardLinks initiative, noting her concern to ensure that the initiatives outcomes were monitored effectively.12

3.32 The committee also discussed progress on the national data collection and reporting framework, partnerships with music festivals in The Line program, the domestic implementation of the national action plan on UN Security Council resolution 1325, the Board Diversity Scholarship program, the UN forum in March,13 and women's alliances.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, p. 85.

13 The fifty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women, 4-15 March 2013.

31

24

32

Chapter 4

Human Services Portfolio

Department of Human Services

4.1 This chapter contains key issues discussed during the 2012-2013 additional estimates hearings for the Human Services portfolio.

4.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Thursday 14 February 2013. Areas of the portfolio and agencies were called in the following order:

• Corporate

• Services to the Community

4.3 Senator the Hon. Kim Carr, Minister for Human Services, and department secretary Ms Kathryn Campbell both gave opening statements concerning a letter containing incorrect advice sent in December 2012 to people moving from the parenting payment to Newstart allowance. The letter incorrectly instructed recipients to destroy their healthcare cards. Senator Carr emphasised the achievements of the department in the past financial year before expressing his disappointment that the error could occur and confirming the department will conduct a review of its approach to communicating with citizens. Ms Campbell provided the committee with a full outline of the facts surrounding the incorrect advice, the department's response when it discovered the error, and the safeguards put in place to ensure such an error will not reoccur.

Corporate1

4.4 The committee began with questions into the department's response when it discovered that incorrect advice had been sent to clients. Senator Fifield thanked the minister and secretary for addressing the issue first off,2 and inquired into the delay between 30 November 2012, when departmental officers became aware of the error, and 13 January, when the minister and secretary became aware of the error. Ms Campbell noted that the department has a detailed escalation process that did not work on this occasion,3 acknowledging the role of human error in the incident. Ms Campbell confirmed that reasonably senior staff had been responsible for the initial failure to review the entire letter, and then to escalate the incident, and that these staff had been counselled but that no code of practice breaches had been established. Ms Campbell also confirmed that the wider review would consider issues such as cutting down the number of paragraphs and templates for mail out letters.

1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp. 92-106.

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, p. 94.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, p. 95.

33

26

4.5 The committee queried whether large mail outs detailing significant changes in policy or activities should ever go through the minister's office. Ms Campbell and Senator Carr noted that 'business-as-usual' will generally not go through the office but noted that the review will look at issues of whether letters advising in changes of policy should be shown to the minister and follow different protocols to other standard letters.

4.6 Some committee members noted that the paragraphs instructing people to destroy their concession cards were quite harsh, and that a similar issue had arisen with regard to letters sent to income management recipients when a policy change occurred. The committee also inquired into the number of people who actually destroyed their cards, issues around eligibility for concession cards generally and for people transitioning between payments, and timeframes involved for people transitioning to a new payment to receive a new card.

4.7 The committee then moved to questions on a feature piece in the Age by the minister on the safety of DHS staff, and discussed the decision by the minister to cease face-to-face services for child support in the open plan Smart Centres. Ms Campbell and Senator Carr noted that face-to-face services will continue to be provided in existing centres with appropriate guarantees of security for staff, such as security staff, duress alarms, exits that allow safe exit if a violent situation occurs, and closed-circuit television.

4.8 The committee returned to the uptake of online services, requesting an update on the number of DHS customers registered online, and the number of people who report their income online. The minister noted that the department has introduced a series of apps for Smartphones, that there had been substantial progress in this area, and highlighted the department's preference for persuasive rather than draconian approach to online engagement. Senator Furner inquired into the effect of online engagement on the department's ability to respond more quickly to the recent natural disasters, such as flooding in Queensland and bushfires in Tasmania.

Services to the Community4

4.9 The committee inquired into whether there had been movements in frontline staff for call centres. Ms Campbell responded that while the transition phase is still afoot this issue is difficult to discuss, but that the department is aiming to blend its workforce across master programs (Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support) and transitioning from call centres to Smart Centres where both call and processing work can occur.

4.10 The committee asked a range of questions about the public tip-off line, compliance program, and the weekly payment program before returning to issues surrounding people transferring from parenting payment single to different payments

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp. 106-115.

34

27

provided by the department. Mr Sandison, Deputy Secretary, Participation, Families and Older Australians, noted that there is a dedicated team of departmental staff to support the group transitioning to a new payment, and that group is treated with a high priority in terms of engagement with the officers. Mr Sandison then outlined in more detail the processes of engaging with customers transitioning to a new payment, also answering questions from the committee about Centrepay arrangements for this group and the feedback provided to local offices in relation to people who are transitioning from one payment to another.

4.11 The committee also discussed Jobskills expos, with the department providing a general outline of its role in coordinating these figures relating to attendance at expos and how many jobseekers have gained employment as a result of attending. Finally the committee returned to a brief discussion of disaster recovery payments, with the department describing the way it operates in situations where there are power

and telecommunications outages.

35

28

36

Chapter 5

Cross Portfolio Matters

5.1 This chapter contains key issues discussed during the 2012-2013 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:

• Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

• Health and Ageing

• Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

5.2 The committee heard evidence from portfolio departments on Friday 15 February 2013. Areas of the portfolios were called in the following order:

• General Matters

• Closing the Gap

• Stronger Futures

• Indigenous Land Corporation

• Indigenous Business Australia

• Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC)

• Health Issues

• Employment and Economic Development

• Indigenous Housing

General Matters2

5.3 The morning session began with a discussion of the number of late answers to questions on notice in the cross portfolio Indigenous matters area following supplementary estimates. The committee requested notification from FaHCSIA in the future when the department becomes aware of a significant delay in providing answers to estimates questions on notice. The Chair put on record that,

this is a standard process in our committee and we understand the difficulty, particularly with the wide range of issues and a number of questions… If there is going to be a delay with particular answers because of the complexity or because you need to get in contact with other people, we need to be advised of that.3

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

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 3-8.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, p. 3.

37

30

5.4 And additionally:

…I would put on record our disappointment with the answers from the Northern Land Council …I know it was followed up by the secretariat. It took the secretariat a number of contacts with the Northern Land Council to get responses and the last of those came through last night… I particularly wanted it put on the record that numerous contacts were made.4

5.5 Mr Dillion noted that:

In relation to the Northern Land Council, I also put on record that we have recorded on file 26 follow-ups from the department to the Northern Land Council between November 2012 and last night.5

5.6 The committee requested a briefing from FaHCSIA on the reporting processes and arrangements in place between the Land Councils and the Royalty Associations. The committee was keen to ascertain what governance processes are in place to monitor the transfer of royalty funds from the Aboriginals Benefit Account to the responsible Land Council for distribution to Aboriginal corporations under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act).6

5.7 The committee also discussed funding options for successful programs that are first developed through one-off grants provided by the Aboriginal Benefits Account.7

Closing the Gap8

5.8 The committee discussed specific programs directed to closing the gap in life expectancy between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, as well as infant mortality, numeracy and literacy. Discussion focused on the difficulty in obtaining data around early childhood education programs directed to this outcome. The issue of data consistency was highlighted by both the department and the Coordinator General for Remote Indigenous Services, Mr Brian Gleeson. Senator Scullion summed up the discussion of access to childhood education by noting that access needs to be accompanied by attendance if these measures are to reach a satisfactory outcome. 9

5.9 The committee returned to the problem of matching progress to particular measures, most notably income management. Ms Hefren-Webb, Branch Manager, Welfare Payments reform commented,

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, p. 4.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, p. 4.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, p. 6.

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 7-8.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 8-19.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, p. 14.

38

31

I guess what I was talking about yesterday was not the question that there is no measureable data on outcomes for children but how do you attribute them to a particular program in the context of a very complex policy environment.10

Stronger Futures11

5.10 The committee's questions around Stronger Futures included questions on collaboration between the Commonwealth and Northern Territory governments and the scrutiny provisions relating to licensed premises. The department outlined the decision making process for review of licensed establishments, and particularly the timeline involved in the review, clarifying that a review will not necessarily focus on breach of licence conditions and is more concerned over whether an establishment is associated with harm in the community.

5.11 The committee moved to a discussion of alcohol management plans, powers of referral for the alcohol and other drugs tribunal, and possibilities for dealing with persons referred if the tribunal is abolished. The committee also discussed the ways that the Commonwealth is generally handling programs jointly funded by the Northern Territory that have lost funding as a result of Territory budget cuts.

Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC)12

5.12 The ILC provided an update on its employment programs, particularly Ayres Rock Resort. Senator Scullion congratulated the ILC on the calibre of this facility.13 The committee asked questions about money expended by the ILC for procuring a consultant to facilitate an ILC board and senior management planning day. The committee questioned the ILC about its procurement processes and the number of actual quotes obtained as opposed to the number of organisations approached about the supply of a service.14

5.13 The committee asked questions of officers from FaHCSIA and the ILC concerning the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) and the procedures undertaken by the board of the ILC during the time that Mr Bruce Gemmell was resigned from his position as CEO of the ILC. The committee also inquired into the legal advice received by FaHCSIA, with regard to this event.15

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, p. 13.

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 19-24.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 24-32.

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, p. 25.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 24-27.

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 27-30.

39

32

5.14 The committee also inquired into funding support provided to the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE), by the ILC, in particular, remuneration provided to members of the NCIE board, and the actions of CEO in authorising a contribution from the NCIE towards the construction of a statue.16

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA)17

5.15 The committee had been requesting, over the course of previous estimates, a letter to the board of IBA from the then General Manager, Mr Ron Morony, dated 17 March 2010. The letter addressed issues of administration of IBA, in particular the relationships between the Board and the officers of IBA. This letter was tabled by IBA at the hearing. After consultation with the committee, a response by the IBA to Mr Moroney's letter was published on the committee's website.

5.16 The committee briefly returned to its discussion of IBA's investments in Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, which had been discussed during the 2012-13 budget estimates hearings.18

Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC)19

5.17 The committee briefly questioned ORIC and FaHCSIA officers about funding of the Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation. Mr Bevan, Registrar, Office of Registrar of Indigenous Corporations, noted that inquiries into this issue are ongoing and he was therefore unable to make substantive comments. Mr Dillon and Ms Hand, Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer gave a brief account of FaHCSIA's funding of this organisation.

Health20

5.18 Mr Smyth, First Assistant Secretary, Population Health Division, provided an update on the Indigenous Marathon Program, and Ms Killen, Assistant Secretary, Program Management and Evaluation Branch, outlined future funding for programs after the expiry of the National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap in Indigenous Health Outcomes, noting that the Commonwealth's contribution to the Agreement does not end at the end of this financial year.

5.19 The committee also discussed the progress of a range of Indigenous health strategies in the areas of chronic disease, hearing health, smoking rates, mental health, dialysis and renal health, and aged care.

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 30-31.

17 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 32-34.

18 See Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, Report on Budget Estimates 2012-13, June 2012, p 34.

19 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 34-35.

20 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 35-48.

40

33

Employment and Economic Development21

5.20 Officers from the Department of Education, Employment, and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) provided a detailed progress update on the operation of the Indigenous Employment Program (IEP), noting that the program has seen unprecedented demand over the last 12 months and the department therefore had to put together a priority list for future funding. Ms Wood, Group Manager, Indigenous Economic Strategy, explained that the IEP is useful for employers develop new models or innovate but is not a recurrent finding source; rather, the program is project based. DEEWR officers undertook to provide the priority list for future IEP funding on notice to the committee. The committee then discussed specific IEP funded projects.

5.21 Moving to the Remote Jobs and Communities Program (RJCP), the committee queried the justification for excluding the great southern area from the 59 remote regions identified under the program. Ms Milliken, Group Manager, Income Support and Remote Service Implementation, explained that the classification draws on historical measures of remoteness from other employment services. Ms Milliken also provided the committee with detail of the assessment process and selection criteria for the RJCP, and the timeline for its adoption.

5.22 The committee also discussed community action plans, the Australian Employment Covenant, and the report on the review of the Vocational Training and Employment Centre model. Senator Scullion expressed his disappointment at being unable to view the report.

Indigenous Housing22

5.23 Immediately prior to discussion under this outcome, FaHCSIA officers had responded to a written question from Senator Scullion relating to ownership and management of remote housing, noting that the 'vast majority of remote houses are actually located on Aboriginal land trust land and therefore the ownership is with the land trust whether or not they are then leased to someone else.'23

5.24 The committee discussed the progress of the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing (NPARIH) including the tenancy agreements in public housing, land tenure reform to enable the development of a private housing sector, and the division of Commonwealth and Northern Territory government expenditures under NPARIH.

5.25 In relation to tenancy agreements, FaHCSIA officers gave detail of progress in this area, including a brief description of the tenancy support program. Ms Edwards

21 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 48-58.

22 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, pp. 59-69.

23 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, p. 57.

41

34

added that, 'the enhanced tenancy support and tenancy management arrangements are a fundamental part of the reforms that the NPARIH has brought. It is certainly something we take very seriously.'24 Senator Scullion noted that in his experience many of the occupants have trouble understanding the underlying nature of tenancy arrangements.

5.26 There appeared to be agreement between the committee and the officers of FaHCSIA on the need for land tenure reform to enable private tenure and the development of a private housing sector alongside the existing public housing sector:

Mr Dillon: This is why NPARIH focuses on structural reforms and in particular why it focuses on land tenure reform. These remote communities are the only part of Australia where there is absolutely no private sector investment in the housing market. There is no home ownership and there is no housing market; therefore, everything falls to the social housing sector. That is untenable going forward over the next 20, 30 or 40 years. Yes, there can be a social housing sector, but surely we aspire to a situation where there is more than social housing in these places.

Senator SCULLION: I do not think you will get disagreement from me or from probably most people in this place on that.25

Senator Claire Moore Chair

24 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, p. 62.

25 Proof Estimates Hansard, 15 February 2013, p. 65.

42

Appendix 1

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversight1

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio • Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous

Affairs (FaHCSIA)

• Australian Institute of Family Studies

• Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA)

Health and Ageing Portfolio • Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA)

• Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA)

• Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority

• Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)

• Cancer Australia

• Independent Hospital Pricing Authority

• National Blood Authority

• National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

• National Health Performance Authority

• Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

• Professional Services Review Scheme

Human Services Portfolio • Department of Human Services (DHS)

1 This document has been prepared based on the Department of Finance and Deregulation's Chart of 110 Agencies under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) as at 1 June 2012, http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/flipchart/docs/FMACACFlipchart.pdf

43

36

44

Appendix 2

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies under the Committee's oversight1

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio • Aboriginal Hostels Limited

• Anindilyakwa Land Council

• Central Land Council

• Indigenous Business Australia

• Indigenous Land Corporation

• Northern Land Council

• Outback Stores Pty Ltd

• Tiwi Land Council

• Torres Strait Regional Authority

• Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council

Health and Ageing Portfolio • Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd

• Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

• Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

• Food Standards Australia New Zealand

• General Practice Education and Training Limited

• Health Workforce Australia

• Private Health Insurance Administration Council

Human Services Portfolio • Australian Hearing Services (Australian Hearing)

1 This document has been prepared based on the Department of Finance and Deregulation's Chart of 84 bodies under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) as at 1 June 2012, http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/flipchart/docs/FMACACFlipchart.pdf

45

38

46

Appendix 3

Index to Hansard Transcripts1 Page no.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Health and Ageing Portfolio

Cross Outcomes/ Corporate Matters ...................................................................... 6

Population Health ................................................................................................. 13

Therapeutic Goods Administration ....................................................................... 27

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) ................................ 31

Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA) ............................... 37

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ ) ....................................... 43

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) ........ 49

Biosecurity and Emergency Response .................................................................. 54

Private Health........................................................................................................ 55

Private Health Insurance Administration Council ................................................ 58

Hearing Services ................................................................................................... 59

Health Workforce Capacity ................................................................................. 61

Health Workforce Australia (HWA) ..................................................................... 63

Aged Care and Population Ageing ...................................................................... 64

Health System Capacity and Quality ................................................................... 78

Acute Care ............................................................................................................ 92

National Health Performance Authority ............................................................... 97

Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority .............. 98

Primary Care ........................................................................................................ 99

Rural Health ....................................................................................................... 115

Access to Pharmaceuticals ................................................................................. 116

Mental Health...................................................................................................... 124

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.

47

40

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio

Cross Outcomes/ Corporate Matters ....................................................................... 4

Families and Children ........................................................................................... 16

Housing ................................................................................................................. 27

Australian Institute of Family Studies ................................................................. 36

Community Capability and the Vulnerable .......................................................... 39

Seniors ................................................................................................................... 58

Disability and Carers ........................................................................................... 60

Women and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) .......................... 84

Human Services Portfolio

Corporate Operations and Enabling Services ...................................................... 92

Services to the Community ................................................................................ 106

Friday, 15 February 2013

Cross Portfolio - Indigenous Matters

General Matters ...................................................................................................... 3

Closing the Gap ...................................................................................................... 8

Stronger Futures ................................................................................................... 19

Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) ..................................................................... 24

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) .................................................................. 32

Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations ............................................ 34

Health ................................................................................................................... 35

Employment and Economic Development .......................................................... 48

Indigenous Housing ............................................................................................. 59

48

The Senate

Economics

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2012-13

March 2013

49

ii

©

Commonwealth of Australia 2013

ISBN 978-1-74229-767-5

P

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

50

iii

Senate Economics Legislation Committee

Members

Senator Mark Bishop, Chair Western Australia, ALP

Senator David Bushby, Deputy Chair Tasmania, LP

Senator Doug Cameron New South Wales, ALP

Senator Alan Eggleston Western Australia, LP

Senator Anne Urquhart Tasmania, ALP

Senator Nick Xenophon South Australia, IND

Other senators in attendance

Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz Tasmania, LP

Senator the Hon. George Brandis SC Queensland, LP

Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck Tasmania, LP

Senator Mathias Cormann Western Australia, LP

Senator Sean Edwards South Australia, LP

Senator Mitch Fifield Victoria, LP

Senator Alex Gallacher South Australia, ALP

Senator the Hon. Bill Heffernan New South Wales, LP

Senator John Madigan Victoria, DLP

Senator the Hon. Brett Mason Queensland, LP

Senator Christine Milne Tasmania, AG

Senator Fiona Nash New South Wales, NATS

Senator Stephen Parry Tasmania, LP

Senator Lee Rhiannon New South Wales, AG

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson Victoria, LP

Senator Scott Ryan Victoria, LP

Senator Rachel Siewert Western Australia, AG

Senator Arthur Sinodinos AO New South Wales, ALP

Senator Glenn Sterle Western Australia, ALP

Senator Larissa Waters Queensland, AG

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson Tasmania, AG

Senator John Williams New South Wales, NATS

51

iv

Secretariat Mr Tim Bryant, Secretary Ms Morana Kavgic, Acting Research 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/senate_economics

52

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Membership of Committee iii

Abbreviations ............................................................................................................. ix

Additional Budget Estimates 2012-13: Report to the Senate .......................... 1

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

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

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

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

Procedural issues .................................................................................................... 3

Public interest immunity claims ............................................................................. 4

Ordinary annual services of the government .......................................................... 4

Record of proceedings ............................................................................................ 6

Matters rais

ed - Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio .................................................................................................................. 6

Matters raised - Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio ................................. 13

Matters raised - Treasury portfolio ...................................................................... 14

Appendix 1:

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

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 ............................................................................. 21

Thursday, 14 February 2013................................................................................. 22

Appendix 2:

Tabled documents ................................................................................................... 23

Additional information .......................................................................................... 24

Appendix 3:

Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio structure ........................................................... 25

53

vi

Appendix 4:

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio structure and outcomes ..................... 27

Appendix 5:

Treasury portfolio structure and outcomes ........................................................... 29

54

vii

Abbreviations

ACL Australian Consumer Law

ATAR Australian Tertiary Admission Rank

CRC Cooperative Research Centre

ELICOS English Language for Overseas Students

FOFA Future of Financial Advice

GFC Global Financial Crisis

HECS-HELP Higher Education Contribution Scheme - Higher Education Loan Programme

ICT Information and communications technology

MoU Memorandum of Understanding

MRRT Minerals Resource Rent Tax

MYEFO Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook

OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

PEFO Pre-Election Fiscal Outlook

PRRT Petroleum Resource Rent Tax

RMBS Residential mortgage backed securities

SES Socio-Economic Status

TAFE Technical and further education

VET Vocational education and training

55

viii

56

Additional Budget Estimates 2012-13

Report to the Senate

Introduction

1.1 On 7 February 2013, 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:

 Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on

30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2012-2013];

 Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2012-2013];

 Final Budget outcome for 2011-12; and

 Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2011-12. 1

1.2 The committee is required to report to the Senate on its consideration of 2012-13 Additional Estimates on Tuesday 19 March 2013.2

Portfolio structures and outcomes

1.3 The committee notes the following changes to two portfolios' responsibilities as reported in Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13:

Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education:

 The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) replaced Skills Australia from 1 July 2012.

Resources, Energy and Tourism:

 The Australian Solar Institute (ASI) ceased operations and its functions were incorporated into the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

1.4 The complete structure and outcomes for each portfolio are summarised in the appendices as indicated below:

 Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (Appendix 3);

 Resources, Energy and Tourism (Appendix 4); and

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 132, 7 February 2013, p. 3606.

2 Journals of the Senate, No. 121, 1 November 2012, p. 3239.

57

Page 2

 Treasury (Appendix 5).

General comments

1.5 The committee conducted hearings over two days:

 13 February 2013 - Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio, and Treasury portfolio; and

 14 February 2013 - Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio, and Treasury portfolio (continued).

1.6 In total, the committee met for 21 hours and 19 minutes, excluding breaks.

1.7 The committee received evidence from the following Senators:

 Senator the Hon. Kate Lundy, Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Sport and Minister for Multicultural Affairs (representing the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research; and Small Business);

 Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recovery (representing the Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism); and

 Senator the Hon. Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation.

1.8 The committee thanks the ministers and officers who attended the hearings for their assistance. Evidence was also provided by:

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

 Mr Drew Clarke, Secretary, Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism;

 Dr Martin Parkinson, PSM, Secretary, Department of the Treasury; and

 officers from the Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education; Resources, Energy and Tourism; and Treasury portfolios.

1.9 The committee is concerned about insufficient time available for questioning the three portfolio departments and agencies ever since the machinery of government changes on 12 December 2011 which added a third outcome, tertiary education and skills, to the former Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

58

Page 3

Questions on notice

1.10 The committee draws the attention of all departments and agencies to the agreed deadline of Friday, 5 April 2013 for the receipt of answers to questions taken on notice from this round, in accordance with Standing Order 26.

1.11 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. Indices of questions taken on notice during and after the hearings are available at: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url= economics_ctte/estimates/add_1213/index.htm.

1.12 Answers to questions taken on notice are tabled in the Senate. They may be accessed from the committee's website.

1.13 For the 2012-13 Supplementary Budget Estimates round, answers to questions on notice were due to be provided to the committee by Friday, 7 December 2012. The committee commends the Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio for submitting all answers on time. The committee notes that:

 the Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio submitted all their answers before the commencement of the 2012-13 Additional

Budget Estimates hearings, however only 22 out of the total of 203 questions were answered by the deadline set by the committee; and

 answers to 1003 out of 1881 questions placed on notice with the Treasury portfolio were still outstanding at 7 December 2012. Answers were still being sent to the committee secretariat during the Treasury portfolio's appearance at the Additional estimates hearings, which is a practice best to be avoided. On the date of tabling of this report, Treasury had 11 answers from the Supplementary Budget Estimates 2012-13 still outstanding. Furthermore, 13 questions still remained to be answered by Treasury from the Budget Estimates hearings of 2012-13.

Procedural issues

1.14 On a few occasions, officers were asked to express their opinions and views on matters of policy or hypothetical situations.3 As per the Government guidelines for official witnesses before Parliamentary Committees and related matters released in November 1989, public servants are not expected to comment on policy or express their opinion on matters of policy.

1.15 On three occasions during the hearing held on Wednesday 13 February, various reasons were outlined for not providing the information requested:

3 Refer to Proof Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp 64 and 129; and Proof Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp 37-38.

59

Page 4

 The first was on the ground of prejudice to legal proceedings and related to a discussion about a Comcare report concerning a former employee of CSIRO. The claim was accepted by the committee and the information was elicited in other ways;4

 The second was a claim of 'commercial confidentiality' involving the government's funding of car manufacturers. It was also implied, however, that the legislation under which the funding occurred prevented the disclosure of the funding amounts; a position that wasn't challenged. The senator asking the questions indicated that he would explore other ways to obtain the information, possibly through the freedom of information process;5 and

 The third was when an officer didn't believe it appropriate to respond to a question about whether advice had been given to the government about the implications of current funding levels for TAFE infrastructure. This response was accepted but could have been challenged as an unacceptable ground on which to decline to provide information.6

Public interest immunity claims

1.16 On 13 May 2009, the Senate passed an order relating to public interest immunity claims.7 The order, moved by Senator Cormann, set out the processes to be followed if a witness declines to answer a question. The full text of this order was provided to departments and agencies prior to the hearings and was also incorporated in the Chair's opening statements on both days of the Additional Estimates hearings.

Ordinary annual services of the government

1.17 On 17 June 2010, the Appropriations and Staffing Committee tabled its 50th Report in the Senate. The report focused on an ongoing issue relating to the classification of ordinary annual services of the government. In the report, the Appropriations and Staffing Committee highlighted that:

Expenditure for the ordinary annual services of the government has always been contained in a separate bill to preserve the Senate's right under section 53 of the Constitution to amend bills appropriating funds other than for the ordinary annual services of the government and to comply with section 54.8

4 Refer to Proof Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp 16-18.

5 Refer to Proof Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp 33-36.

6 Refer to Proof Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 77.

7 Journals of the Senate, No. 68, 13 May 2009, p. 1941.

8 Senate Appropriations and Staffing Committee, 50th Report, Ordinary annual services of the government, June 2010, p. 1.

60

Page 5

1.18 In this most recent report, the Appropriations and Staffing Committee restated concerns it had raised in its 45th Report:

Recent appropriation bills have been based on a mistaken assumption that the committee agreed to abandon the long-standing principle that all new policies would be classified as not part of the ordinary annual services of the government, and that the committee agreed that any expenditure falling within an existing outcome would be classified as ordinary annual services expenditure. On this view, completely new programs and projects may be started up using money appropriated for the ordinary annual services of the government, and the Senate is unable to distinguish between normal ongoing activities of government and new programs and projects or to identify the expenditure on each of those areas.9

1.19 The Appropriations and Staffing Committee considered correspondence from the Minister for Finance and Deregulation in relation to the matter and noted 'that the Minister's response has not provided a way forward to resolve this difference of view.'10 The committee therefore resolved that:

…the solution to the problem is to return to the Senate's original determination, so that new policies for which no money has been appropriated in previous years are separately identified in their first year in the appropriation bill which is not for the ordinary annual services of the government.11

1.20 In light of this, the Economics Legislation Committee draws the attention of the Senate to measures included in Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2012-2013, that is, the ordinary annual services bill, that appear to be new policies for which no money has been previously appropriated. These include:

 Superannuation Consumer Centre - investment fund ($10.0 million over three

years) in the Treasury portfolio.12

 Official Development Assistance - Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust

($13.9 million in 2012-13) in the Treasury portfolio.13

9 Senate Appropriations and Staffing Committee, 50th Report, Ordinary annual services of the government, June 2010, p. 1.

10 Senate Appropriations and Staffing Committee, 50th Report, Ordinary annual services of the government, June 2010, p. 2.

11 Senate Appropriations and Staffing Committee, 50th Report, Ordinary annual services of the government, June 2010, p. 2.

12 Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, pp 196 and 280; and Treasury PAES, pp 11, 14, 16 and 19.

13 Treasury PAES, pp 11, 14, 15 and 16.

61

Page 6

Record of proceedings

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

1.22 Copies of the Hansard transcripts, documents tabled at the hearings and additional information provided following the hearings (see Appendix 2 for a list of the documents) are tabled in the Senate and available on the committee's website.

1.23 Page numbers in brackets following the topics listed below refer to Proof Hansard transcripts. Page numbers in the Official Hansard transcripts, once they are produced, may differ from the page numbers in the Proofs.

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

1.24 On 13 February 2013, the committee examined the estimates for the:

 Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO);

 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO);

 Australian Research Council (ARC);

 Office of the Chief Scientist;

 Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Outcome 1: Industry and Innovation] and the Small Business Commissioner;

 Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Outcome 2: Science and Research] and Questacon;

 Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Outcome 3: Tertiary Education and Skills] with the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) and the National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE);

 Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA); and

 Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

1.25 Matters examined included the following:

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO)

 ICT policy and action taken as a result of a misuse of resources (pp 5-6);

 PETNET subsidiary and the Productivity Commission's report discussing issues that have arisen about PETNET's competitive neutrality in the marketplace and PETNET's ex ante breach of competitive neutrality policy; the Australian Competitive Neutrality Complaints Office investigation and

62

Page 7

legal proceedings following a report filed by Cyclopet, a subsidiary of Cyclopharm in competition with PETNET in New South Wales (p. 6);

 PETNET's profitability and functioning in a commercial market, and the transparency and disclosure of its financials (pp 6-7); and

 the September 2012 announcement of a $168 million investment in a new synroc and molybdenum plant, and a discussion involving the cost of the development (p. 7).

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

 CSIRO's involvement in the rollout of the government's Manufacturing

Technology Innovation Centre (p. 8);

 recent job cuts in the wireless research division (p. 8);

 discussions between CSIRO and the government on how to share cash proceeds from CSIRO's wireless networking technology licensing scheme, and providing a dividend to taxpayers for their investments in wireless technology over the years (pp 8-9);

 the declining numbers for sponsored and supervised postgraduates in the last

two years, as they relate to the students' interest in CSIRO's research programs (pp 9-10);

 CSIRO's annual report and five-year community awareness strategy, and the relevance and impact of research projects undertaken at CSIRO relative to the results of an online survey from 2011 showing overall positive community attitudes towards CSIRO but a lack of awareness of CSIRO's projects (pp 10-11 and 20-21);

 an independent two-phased review of allegations of bullying and harassment, commissioned by CSIRO and announced on 5 February 2013, the development of the terms of reference for the inquiry, and plans for the conduct of the inquiry (pp 11-16);

 action taken following reports of incidents of workplace bullying at CSIRO, and approachability of the senior executive by employees with concerns (pp 17-18);

 findings of a Comcare report into the allegations made by a former employee, and CSIRO's adopted approach and internal practices (pp 18-19);

 CEO position beyond the end of 2013, after the expiry of Dr Clark's appointment (p. 19);

 Science and Industry Endowment Fund, its equity and funding (p. 20);

 the progress made in the implementation of the 10 recommendations

contained in the Regional Sites Working Group's report from November 2011 (pp 20-21);

 terms of reference for a government-commissioned study of the water

resources in Northern Australia (pp 21-22); and

63

Page 8

 the handling and future of the last preserved worsted wool equipment in

Australia, currently in CSIRO's ownership (pp 22-24).

Australian Research Council (ARC)

 the ARC website (p. 24);

 absenteeism statistics according to the State of the Service Report 2011-12 (p. 24);

 yearly costs of the Excellence in Research for Australia initiative (pp 24-25);

 Linkage Projects grants and the rationale for introducing the 'partner

investigator' requirement in the rules for funding commencing in 2013; and the degree of involvement from a 'partner organisation' (p. 25);

 success and funding rates for the ARC's grant schemes, and research

vulnerabilities identified in the Chief Scientist's Health of Australian Science report published in May 2012 (pp 25-26);

 the Future Fellowships scheme - last year of allocation for the four-year programs under the scheme (p. 26); and

 changes to university research funding that occurred in the midyear budget

(pp 26-27).

Office of the Chief Scientist

 Health of Australian Science report and the vulnerabilities identified, including access to research funding for early-career researchers (pp 27-28);

 the extent of the 'comprehensive consultation process to look at the actions government and business bodies could take to use research to contribute to national productivity growth and innovation,' and the report on this topic produced for the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (pp 28-29);

 advice to the Minister in the form of the National Research Investment Plan 2012, regarding a whole-of-government approach for opening access to data from publicly funded research (p. 28); and

 Professor Chubb's role as Chair of the Climate Change Authority in addition

to his role as the Chief Scientist (pp 29-30).

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Outcome 1: Industry and Innovation]

 the Industry and Innovation Statement - staffing and external assistance for its preparation, its progress and release (pp 30-32 and 46);

 a breakdown of spending on each of the programs under the New Car Plan for a Greener Future (p. 32);

 discussions with motor manufacturers regarding their seeking special

government grants; the reasons for the rejection of the Australian Financial

64

Page 9

Review's request under Freedom of Information about the amount of public money provided to Holden, Toyota and Ford; and the restrictions of the disclosure of information under the legislation of the Automotive Transformation Scheme (pp 30-36);

 changes to the Automotive Transformation Scheme Act 2009 compared to the legislation from 2003; openness in government and restrictions on the access to the information on schemes in the vehicle industry (pp 36-37);

 potential economic implications and employment in the vehicle and

components sector if government support to the automotive industry was to be removed; and the contribution of this sector to the economy (pp 37-39);

 transferability of skills between trades and occupations in the automotive

manufacturing sector and the minerals resource sector; and the value of the automotive manufacturing sector to the economy (pp 39-40); and

 model cycles for manufacturers' investment in car manufacturing in Australia (pp 40-41).

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Outcome 1: Industry and Innovation] and small business

Outcome 1: Industry and Innovation

 funding and completion of the EV Engineering project administered by AusIndustry (pp 42-43);

 motor vehicle companies receiving government grants concurrently as making substantial payments for marketing and sponsorships of, for example, sports clubs from their internal cash resources (pp 43-44);

 the National Measurement Institute's sports drug testing (pp 44-46);

 the Manufacturing Technology Innovation Centre (p. 46);

 expenditure on the Researchers in Business component of the Enterprise Connect program, and mathematics and science based internships (pp 46-47);

 Australian representation at OECD meetings, the benefits of departmental staff travel to these and other international events, and the dissemination of accrued knowledge throughout the Department (pp 47-49);

 the Department's OECD reference group, the chairmanship of OECD committees and Mr Richard Snabel's appointment as Chair in June 2012 (p. 49);

 the commissioning of and funding for the production of reports by overseas

bodies, including the OECD (pp 49-50);

 the Clean Technology Innovation Program and the Clean Technology

Investment Program; funding for the training of staff working on the carbon tax compensation programs and on the Steel Transformation Plan (pp 50-51);

65

Page 10

 funding for the Department's information and advertising campaigns for the

Clean Technology Innovation Program, the Clean Technology Investment Program and the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Program (pp 51-52);

 the cost of relocating AusIndustry's Melbourne office from Collins Street to

Bourke Street (p. 52);

 current distribution of food manufacturing businesses across Australia (p. 52);

 a ministerial release of 29 June 2012 by Ministers Combet, Ferguson and Crean in relation to the funds provided to Energy Brix Corporation to maintain its production of briquettes during the first years of the carbon tax (pp 52-53); and

 the Department's role in the implementation of Operation Sunlight (p. 53).

Small Business Commissioner

 the appointment of Mr Mark Brennan as the first federal Small Business

Commissioner, the terms and scope of the role and responsibilities, the requirements and issues raised by the small business community, and the identified challenges and work plan (pp 53-59); and

 the definition of small business, including the proposed definition by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (pp 60-62).

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

 the development of strategic research priorities, and the funding of the strategies endorsed in the National Research Investment Plan released by the ARC in November 2012; challenges and priorities identified, the progress of the Australian Research Committee's report on the impact assessment measures; and the Department's planned discussion paper to be done jointly with the ARC (pp 62-63);

 the termination and the evaluation of the Future Fellowships program (p. 64);

 current research workforce outcomes of PhD candidates, the casualisation of the academic workforce impacting on completion rates of PhD study, the average length of time taken to complete postgraduate degrees in different areas of study, and the possibility of different costs of PhDs influencing students' choice of area of study (pp 64-66);

 the Research Workforce Strategy released in 2011; and the review of the research training arrangements, including the Research Training Scheme (p. 65);

 the government's consideration of national collaborative research

infrastructure programs to replace the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy which expired in June 2011 and the Super Science funding which expires on 30 June 2013 (p. 66);

66

Page 11

 the government's allocation to the Cooperative Research Centres (CRC)

program over the forward estimates; the future of the Advanced Manufacturing CRC, the Bushfire CRC and the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Environment CRC (pp 66-68);

 Questacon staffing and applying for grants, and their administration of government programs (pp 68-69); and

 the

decision about the extension of the Australia-China Science and Research Fund (p. 69).

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Tertiary Education and Skills] and the National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE)

 the International Education Advisory Council's final recommendations in relation to the government's five-year national strategy to support the sustainability and quality of the international education sector (pp 69-70);

 the transfer of responsibility for the marketing and promotion of Australia's

international education industry from Australian Education International to Austrade; and Austrade's revised Future Unlimited campaign launched in June 2011 (pp 70-71);

 the Queensland government's formal response to the report published by the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce on 5 November 2012; and implications for funding and quality outcomes in the state's TAFE system (pp 71-72);

 implications of budget and job cuts to the TAFE systems in New South Wales

and Victoria; and the implementation plans under the national partnership (pp 72-74 and 77);

 Undergraduate applications, offers and acceptances 2012 and Undergraduate applications, preliminary data 2013 (pp 74-75);

 the yearly number of acceptances between 2013 and 2025 necessary to obtain the Bradley target of 40 per cent of the population holding a bachelor's degree (pp 75-76);

 implementation plans for the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform (pp 76-77);

 consideration given to allow use of TAFE facilities and infrastructure to private providers of vocational education (pp 77-78);

 TAFE and VET access to the Education Investment Fund (p. 78);

 a research paper commissioned from the Office for Learning and Teaching in

relation to the changing trends in the academic workforce, and the professionalisation of the academic workforce (pp 78-79);

67

Page 12

 the repayment of the HECS-HELP debt - the amount of the debt at risk of not

being repaid, the debt held by Australians working overseas, and the possibilities for debt collection from overseas clients (pp 79-81);

 university admissions of students with low Australian Tertiary Admission

Rank (ATAR) scores; and plans for improving the quality of teachers (pp 81-83);

 budget for the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program, and the proportion of the increase in the program having to do with the increase in the number of low SES students, as opposed to the proportion of the increase in the program having to do with the increase of the overall allocation and/or indexation; and projections of the number of low SES students over the next few years (pp 83-84);

 independent and dependent Youth Allowance and the parental income test

(pp 85-86);

 the cost of undertaking agricultural courses at university (pp 86-87);

 post-study work rights of international students (pp 87-88); and

 the Prime Minister's announcement of a new Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC operating from 1 July 2013 (p. 89).

Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA)

 total cost of running the agency for the 2012-13 financial year; the research

being outsourced; and the way in which funding is administered (pp 88-89).

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA)

 concerns about the quality of teaching and learning; and the relationship

between industrial relations conditions and the impact on the threshold standards (pp 89-90);

 the development of guidelines on Massive Open Online Courses for universities (pp 91-93);

 TEQSA's quality and risk assessments, including in relation to third-party delivery and student services, and the English language proficiency (pp 93-94); and

 university admissions of students with a low ATAR score, and the impact on university quality and standards (pp 94-96).

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

 audits done to date, staffing levels, and complaints received from students and

stakeholders about registered training organisations (pp 96-98); and

 the English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) and

the minimum requirements for ELICOS teachers (pp 99-100).

68

Page 13

Matters raised - Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

1.26 On 14 February 2013, the committee examined the estimates for the:

 Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Tourism] with Tourism

Australia; and

 Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Resources and Energy] with

Geoscience Australia.

1.27 Matters examined included the following:

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

 the tourism trade deficit and the release of the national satellite account (pp 3-4);

 numbers in inbound and outbound tourism (p. 4);

 Australia's rating on the World Economic Forum of Tourism competitiveness

index (pp 4-5);

 factors for an increase in the tourism trade deficit (pp 5-7);

 cost as a factor in people's travel decisions (p. 7);

 studies of the financial impact of tourism taxes and charges in the last five years, and the impact from the carbon tax on the costs for local tourism operators (pp 7-9);

 the industry consultation program which will frame the research program of

Tourism Research Australia over the next year (p. 9);

 passenger movement charge (p. 10);

 the Department's interest into the impact that staff cuts at the Department of

Customs and Border Protection will have on customer processing times, and the Department's interest in airport satisfaction surveys (p. 11);

 consultation with other departments on issues relating to taxation and levies (p. 12);

 the tourist experience and tourism visa regime (p. 13);

 support provided to tourism operators to cater for growing interest from

markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and India; the training and development of the tourism industry in Australia; and the funding through the strategic tourism industry grants for a Welcoming Chinese Visitors project (p. 14);

 tourism employment plans, and a labour and skills working group looking at

issues confronting the tourism industry as part of Tourism 2020 (p. 14);

 the T-QUAL accreditation program which provides a framework for quality

tourism products (p. 15);

 increasing Indigenous participation in the tourism industry (p. 15); and

69

Page 14

 the use of the National Tourism Incident Communication plan during natural

disasters, and the criteria determining when the plan can be invoked (pp 15-17).

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

 the reach of the earthquake centred near Moe in Victoria on 19 June 2012

(pp 17-18);

 exploration of the potential of unconventional energy sources such as shale

gas (pp 18-20);

 future domestic energy needs, and the latest Australian Energy Projections published in December 2012 (pp 20-21); and

 the renewable energy target; the calculation of federal royalties from James Price Point; and offshore fracking (pp 21-23).

Matters raised - Treasury Portfolio

1.28 On 13 February 2013, the committee examined the estimates for the:

 Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC);

 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC);

 Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM);

 Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC); and

 Productivity Commission.

1.29 On 14 February 2013, the committee examined the estimates for the:

 Treasury [Macroeconomic Group];

 Treasury [Fiscal Group] with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC);

 Treasury [Markets Group];

 Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT);

 Treasury [Revenue Group] with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO);

 Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA); and

 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

 investigation into the distortion and manipulation of the stock market by hoaxes such as the Whitehaven coal hoax, the related examination of section 1041E of the Corporations Act which covers misleading and deceptive statements, and the penalties regime in place (pp 105-106);

 the Storm Financial settlement, and ASIC's role in the matter (pp 107-108);

 access to flood cover as part of insurance contracts (pp 107-108);

70

Page 15

 the suitability of ASIC resources and the delays in answering phone calls due

to the increase in workload caused by the recently introduced Business Names Registration service (p. 108);

 ASIC's guidance on the fee disclosure statement as part of the Future of

Financial Advice reforms; professional indemnity insurance; and regulatory guide 126 (pp 109-111);

 issues being considered by ASIC's self-managed superannuation funds taskforce, such as property investment advice, particularly targeting the self-managed super sector (p. 111);

 current enforcement actions and investigations, ASIC's public comment policy, and the enforcement special account (pp 112-113);

 the Treasurer's recent decision to allow the ASX to retain its monopoly over clearing, and the costs incurred if competition were introduced in clearing in Australia (pp 113-114); and

 ASIC's budget and criteria for allocating resources to ensure an appropriate

level of resilience in the financial system (pp 114-115).

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

 the investigation which commenced in 2012 into the shopper docket

discounting schemes; the ACCC's concerns over the extended duration and increasing size of the shopper docket promotions and the impact of shopper dockets on competition and consumer interests (p. 116);

 perceived breaches of country of origin labelling requirements since the

enactment of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) (p. 116);

 complaints received in relation to price signalling in the banking sector (pp 116-117);

 the response of larger businesses to new responsibilities under the ACL relating to the unfair contract provisions (p. 117);

 the implementation of and the compliance with the ACL by different regulators (pp 117-118);

 investigations into union conduct with respect to campaigns against builders

(p. 118);

 the formal merger and acquisition approval process, and reviewing guidelines

on the informal merger process (p. 118);

 investigation into the supermarket supply chain issues; and the current

legislative enforcement framework (pp 118-119);

 the Richmond amendment and predatory pricing or conduct that shows an

abuse of market power (p. 119);

 recommendation fifteen of the Prime Minister's Manufacturing Task Force report saying that there should be a priority given to addressing misleading

71

Page 16

claims of conformity with Australian regulations and standards, and the number of instances of false or misleading claims in relation to imports (p. 119);

 the ACCC's market surveillance program (pp 119-120); and

 the British government's appointment of a farming executive to its new supermarket regulatory body, with powers to fine supermarkets (p. 120).

Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM)

 the current outstanding debt of the Commonwealth; total Commonwealth

government securities on issue; and the AOFM's process of doing forecasts for financing requirements for the government (pp 121-122);

 the issuing of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and the current

exposure of the Commonwealth in terms of moneys tied up in RMBS (pp 122-123);

 updated bond yields (p. 124); and

 the Australian economy's benefit from the sovereign fiscal stimulus program;

the resilience of the local market and offshore investment (p. 125).

Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC)

 the GST review panel's final report to the government which was released on

30 November 2012 (pp 125-126);

 state royalties and the impact of royalty credits offsetting the Minerals

Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) (p. 126); and

 the financial relationship between local government and the Commonwealth,

and the purpose of the review on improving the impact of the financial assistance grants on local government financial sustainability (pp 126-127).

Productivity Commission

 the process followed for the appointment of the new Chairman of the

Productivity Commission, Mr Peter Harris (p. 127);

 a paper which the former Chairman, Mr Gary Banks, presented at the

Economic and Social Outlook Conference in November 2012 (pp 127-128);

 coastal shipping protection and the shipping reform package (pp 128-129); and

 a brief for the new Chairman (p. 130).

Treasury [Macroeconomic Group]

 economic developments since the Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), and the state of global financial markets (pp 28-29);

 the distinction between nominal and real GDP (29-30);

72

Page 17

 implications of the election timetable for the release of the Pre-Election Fiscal

Outlook (PEFO) and the Final Budget Outcome for 2012-13; the data available before PEFO, and the extent of the data released (pp 31-35);

 Treasury's approach to forecasting revenue from the mining tax, and their

report on economic and revenue forecasting (pp 36-39);

 monetary and quantitative easing (pp 39-40);

 an analysis undertaken by Professors Ross Garnaut and Bob Gregory;

 a change in the terms of trade and commodity prices; the structural budget

position, and the sustainable long-term position of the terms of trade (pp 40-41);

 an examination of the impact of extraction of non-renewable resources

(pp 41-42);

 skills shortages as a function of the mining investment boom; and the impacts

of infrastructure demand in new mining towns (p. 43);

 the nature of the mining boom which occurred in the 1980s as opposed to the

current mining boom, in relation to the transfer of skills from manufacturing and engineering into mining (pp 45-46); and

 Treasury's MoU with the Parliamentary Budget Office (pp 47-48).

Treasury [Fiscal Group] and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC)

Fiscal Group

 carbon price forecasts for 2015-16 (p. 48);

 revenue estimates from the carbon tax in 2015-16 (pp 48-49);

 the relationship between lower emissions according to partial data from the

Department of Climate Change and Energy and carbon tax revenue estimates, and the variables involved such as price and volume (pp 49-50);

 data available for the revision of estimates in the Budget; and a previously announced budget surplus for 2012-13 (pp 51, 53-55);

 the current fiscal position of the Commonwealth (pp 51-52);

 the government's medium-term fiscal strategy, and the difference between the

current and the previous governments' strategies (p. 53);

 the government's structural saves (pp 55-56);

 the community wage case and new offers to the states for the federal-state

arrangements as part of the community wage case (pp 62-63);

 fiscal strategy, and the position the government has taken in relation to

offsetting revenue downgrades (64-68).

73

Page 18

Clean Energy Finance Corporation ()CEFC)

 the CEFC's current expenditure, and the proposed merger with Low Carbon

Australia (pp 56-57);

 the CEFC's establishing legislation and its investment mandate which is

currently being developed (pp 58-59);

 a letter from Andrew Robb and Greg Hunt indicating that there are new

considerations for CEFC funding commitments as a result of the election time frame (pp 59-60); and

 risk assessment of investments, and the diversification of the CEFC's portfolio

(pp 60-61).

Treasury [Markets Group]

 the implications of increasing taxes on retirement savings, and revenue measures targeting superannuation (p. 69);

 the implementation of FOFA and MySuper legislation and initiatives; and a new licensing regime designed for accountants (pp 69-73, and 78-83);

 a media release issued by the Minister for Financial Services and

Superannuation, titled 'Safety First Following Victorian Quake' (pp 73-74 and 78);

 the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority's (APRA) release of the final package in the implementation of the Basel III capital banking reforms (pp 74-76);

 the funding composition for banks; and home lending (pp 76-77);

 projections on housing supply, and the possibility for the reallocation of

resources from mining construction into housing construction (pp 77-78);

 shareholders' access to information on executive remuneration (p. 84);

 household debt levels and banks' liquidity necessary to deal with a possible upsurge in demand for venture capital and debt (pp 85-86);

 bank lending rate for small business and for big business; historical levels for Small Business Enterprises' interest rates, and their decline since the GFC from 10% to 8% (pp 86-87);

 the establishment and implementation of the National Injury Insurance Scheme (pp 87-88);

 possible distortion of the capital and commodity markets with foreign passive investments, and the bypassing of the market by declaring the production to be for humanitarian purposes; and the tax avoided due to the incapacity of countries to audit transfer pricing (pp 88-89); and

 Treasury's Strategic Workforce Plan 2012-16 (pp 89-90).

74

Page 19

Inspector-General of Taxation (IGT)

 the findings of the IGT review into the self-assessment system, released on

13 February 2013 by the Treasurer (pp 90-91);

 the transparency and risk rating of the Australian Taxation Office (ATO); the

sustainability and administration of the ATO's penalties; concerns relating to the interaction between the ATO and the Australian Valuation Office (AVO) and the independence of the AVO; and a review scheduled for the second half of 2013 (pp 91-92); and

 IGT reviews into transfer pricing and compliance approaches to individual

taxpayers (p. 92).

Treasury [Revenue Group] with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

 Mr

Chris Jordan's first appearance at estimates as the new ATO Commissioner (p. 92);

 the total of the instalments received in relation to the Minerals Resource Rent Tax; and MRRT revenue variables (pp 92-95);

 estimated cost to the MRRT revenue in 2012-13 from royalty credits and

depreciation

(pp 95-100);

 f

oreign sovereign wealth fund investments (pp 100-102);

 the

taxation and operation of trusts, and the 1999 Ralph Review which recommended that trusts be taxed as companies; loans between trusts; and tax avoidance through trusts (pp 102-105);

 the development and implementation of the Charity Passport (pp 107-109);

 disclosures

under the Australian tax regime of moneys fraudulently collected for a charitable purpose (pp 110-111);

 unauthorised access to data by ATO staff (p. 111);

 revenue from superannuation funds (pp 112-116); and

 Australia

's Tax Expenditures Statement (pp 113-114).

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

 Basel III implementation and the new liquidity coverage ratio (pp 117-118);

and

 advice provided to the National Disability Insurance Scheme Launch Transition Agency (p. 118).

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

 the incorporation of the Time Use Survey into a broader survey: the Work,

Life and Family Survey, scheduled for 2019 (pp 118-119);

 constraints in the ABS funding allocation (pp 118-119);

 voluntary redundancies in the field interview workforce (pp 119-120);

75

Page 20

 the impact of any future efficiency dividends on staffing levels and the quality

of work produced (p. 121); and

 the use and application of data obtained through particular ABS surveys (p. 121).

Senator Mark Bishop Chair

76

Appendix 1

Index to proof Hansard transcripts

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) 4

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) 8

Australian Research Council (ARC) 24

Office of the Chief Scientist 27

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Outcome 1: Industry and Innovation] 30

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Outcome 1: Industry and Innovation] including the National Measurement Institute and the s

mall business component 42

Small Business Commissioner 53

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Outcome 2: Science and Research] and Questacon 62

Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education [Outcome 3: Tertiary Education and Skills] and the National Advisory for Tertiar

y Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE) 69

Australian Workforce Productivity Agency (AWPA) 88

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) 89

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) 96

Treasury portfolio

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) 105

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) 115

Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) 121

Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC) 125

Productivity Commission 127

77

Page 22

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Outcome 1: Tourism] and Tourism Australia 3

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Outcome 1: Resources and Energy] and Geoscience Australia 17

Treasury portfolio (continued)

Treasury [Macroeconomic Group] 28

Treasury [Fiscal Group] and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) 48

Treasury [Markets Group] 69

Inspector General of Taxation (IGT) 90

Treasury [Revenue Group] and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) 92

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) 117

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 118

78

Appendix 2

Tabled documents

Tuesday, 13 February 2013

Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio

1. Opening statement, received from Dr. Adrian Paterson, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO);

2. A letter from Mr Mike Woods, Commissioner, Competitive Neutrality Complaints (Australian Government Competitive Neutrality Complaints Office, Productivity Commission) to ANSTO; received from Dr. Adrian Paterson, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO);

3. An article entitled 'CSIRO resolves to strengthen values and culture', received from Dr. Megan Clark, Chief Executive, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO);

4. Documents relating to the Australian wool industry, received from Senator the Hon. Bill Heffernan;

Treasury portfolio

5. Opening statement, received from Mr Greg Medcraft, Chairman, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC);

6. Opening statement, received from Mr Rod Sims, Chairman, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC);

7. Charts depicting Nominal Commonwealth Government Securities (CGS) yields, and Treasury Bond Yields; received from Mr Rob Nicholl, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM);

8. Opening statement, received from Mr Mike Woods, Acting Chairman, Productivity Commission;

Wednesday, 14 February 2013

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

9. A graph, 'Tourism balance of trade, 1997-98 to 2012-13' received from Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson;

79

Page 24

Treasury portfolio

10. Opening statement, received from Dr. David Gruen, Executive Director, Macroeconomic Group (Domestic), Department of the Treasury; and

11. Opening statement, received from Mr Oliver Yates, Chief Executive Officer, Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).

Additional information

Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio

1. A letter received from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) on 26 February 2013, in relation to an email sent by an ANSTO employee and referred to by Senator David Bushby at the hearing held on 13 February 2013.

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

2. Charts provided by Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson relating to the Working Holiday Maker and Work and Holiday visas referred to in his written question on notice of 25 February 2013 for the Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio (question AR15 in the index to questions on notice).

Treasury portfolio

1. The article referred to by Dr Martin Parkinson, Secretary of the Treasury, at the hearing held on 14 February 2013 (Proof Hansard, p. 45): Globalisation and Unemployment, Michael Spence, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2011.

2. COAG Regulatory Impact Assessment referred to by Ms Susan Pascoe AM, Commissioner, Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC), at the hearing held on 14 February 2013.

3. A letter of clarification received from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on 13 March 2013, clarifying the terminology of 'voluntary' and 'involuntary' redundancies used in the Australian Statistician's testimony at the hearing held on 14 February 2013.

80

Appendix 3

Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio structure

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research1 Senator the Hon Chris Evans

Minister for Industry and Innovation2 The Hon Greg Combet AM MP

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

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

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

Agency - IP Australia Director General: Mr Philip Noonan

Agency - Australian Research Council (ARC) A/g Chief Executive Officer: Ms Leanne Harvey

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

Agency - Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) Chief Commissioner: Mr Chris Robinson

Agency - Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) Chief Executive Officer: Mr John Gunn

Agency - Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Chief Commissioner: Dr Carol Nicoll

2

Minister Combet is also the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency 3

Minister O’Connor is also the Minister for Housing and the Minister for Homelessness

4 Senator Lundy is also the Minister for Sport and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs 5 Parliamentary Secretary Dreyfus is also the Cabinet Secretary and Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

1 Senator Evans is also Leader of the Government in the Senate

Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills The Hon Sharon Bird MP

Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation5 The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP

Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation4 Senator the Hon Kate Lundy

Minister for Small Business3 The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

Source: Portfolio Additional Budget Statements 2012-13, Industry, I nnovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio, p. 4.

81

82

Appendix 4

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio structure and outcomes

Source: Portfolio Additional Budget Statements 2012-13, Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio, p. 4.

Portfolio Minister The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

Minister for Resources and Energy Minister for Tourism

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio Secretary Mr Drew Clarke Outcome 1: The improved strength, competitiveness and sustainability of the resources, energy and tourism industries to

enhance Australia's prosperity through implementation of government policy and programs.

Geoscience Australia Chief Executive Officer: Dr Chris Pigram Outcome 1: Informed government, industry and community decisions on the

economic, social and environmental management of the nation's natural resources through enabling access to geoscientific and spatial information.

Tourism Australia Managing Director: Mr Andrew McEvoy Outcome 1: Increase demand for Australia as a destination, strengthen the

travel distribution system, and contribute to the development of a sustainable tourism industry through consumer marketing, trade development and

research activities.

Australian Renewable Energy Agency Chief Executive Officer: Mr Ivor Frischknecht Outcome 1: Support improvements in the competitiveness of renewable energy and related technologies and the supply of

renewables energy by administering financial assistance, developing analysis and advice about and sharing information and knowledge with regard to, renewable energy and related technologies.

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority Chief Executive Officer

Ms Jane Cutler

Outcome 1: Promote and enforce the effective management of risks to the workforce, the environment and the structural integrity of facilities, wells and well-related equipment of the Australian offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas

storage industries through regulatory oversight.

Australian Solar Institute Executive Director: Mr Mark Twidell Outcome 1: Encourage innovation and

cost effective developments in solar energy technologies to accelerate commercial deployment through knowledge building and collaborative

research, development and support for Australian industries and research institutions.

83

84

Appendix 5

Treasury portfolio structure and outcomes

85

Page 30

Source: Portfolio Additional Budget Statements 2012-13, Treasury portfolio, pp 4-5.

86

The Senate

Education, Employment

and Workplace Relations

Legislation Committee

Additional Estimates 2012-13

March 2013

87

© Commonwealth of Australia 2013

ISBN 978-1-74229-768-2

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

88

iii

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 the Hon. George Brandis SC, LP, QLD

Senator Michaelia Cash, LP, WA

Senator Alex Gallacher, ALP, SA

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, AG, SA

Senator Barnaby Joyce, Nat., QLD

Senator the Hon. Brett Mason, LP, QLD

Senator Fiona Nash, Nat., NSW

Senator Stephen Parry, LP, Tas

Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion, Nat., NT

Senator Rachael Siewert, AG, WA

Senator Arthur Sinodinos SO, LP, NSW

Senator Penny Wright, AG, SA

Senator Nick Xenophon, Ind., SA

89

iv

Secretariat

Mr Tim Watling, Secretary

Ms Bonnie Allan, Principal Research Officer

Ms Nerissa Stewart, Senior Research Officer

Mr Isaac Overton, Research Officer

Ms Sarah Bainbridge, Administrative Officer

PO Box 6100 Ph:02 6277 3521

Parliament House Fax: 02 6277 5706

Canberra ACT 2600 E-mail: eewr.sen@aph.gov.au

90

Table of Contents

Membership of the committee ......................................................................... iii

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

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

Portf

olio coverage .................................................................................................. 1

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2012-13 ................................ 1

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

Public inte

rest immunity claims ............................................................................. 2

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

Note on Hansard page referencing ......................................................................... 2

Chapter 2.............................................................................................................. 3

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio .............................. 3

Fair Work Commission .......................................................................................... 3

Fair Work Ombudsman .......................................................................................... 4

Safe Work Australia ............................................................................................... 5

Comcare .................................................................................................................. 6

Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate ........................................ 6

Depart

ment of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 3 - Employment and training services ......................................................................... 7

Depart

ment of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 4 - Safer and more productive workplaces .................................................................. 7

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 1 - Early Childhood Education .................................................................................... 8

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority ............................. 10

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership .................................... 11

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 2 - Schools and Youth ................................................................................................ 11

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

91

Committee oversight of departments and agencies ............................................. 13

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

Index to Proof Committee Hansard transcripts .................................................. 15

92

Chapter 1

Overview

1.1 On 7 February 20131 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 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2012-13];

 Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2012-13];

 Final budget outcome 2011-12 Report by the Treasurer (Mr Swan) and the

Minister for Finance and Deregulation (Senator Wong), October 2012; and

 Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts—Report for

2011-12.

1.2 Standing legislation committees are required to report to the Senate on 19 March 2013.

Portfolio coverage

1.3 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) 2012-1 3

1.4 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-financial planned performance of programs supporting those outcomes.

1.5 The PAES 2012-13 notes that there have been no changes to the overall outcomes of the portfolio. The PAES does not list any new measures since the May 2012 Budget.

Hearings

1.6 The committee conducted two days of hearings, examining Employment and Workplace Relations outcomes and agencies on 13 February 2013 and Education

1 Journals of the Senate No.132, 7 February 2013, p. 3606.

93

outcomes and agencies on 14 February 2013. In total the committee met for 20 hours and 29 minutes, excluding breaks.

1.7 The following outcomes and agencies appeared before the committee:

 Outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4

 Australian

Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

 Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership

 Comcare

 Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate

 Fair Work Commission

 Fair Work Ombudsman

 Safe Work Australia

Public interest immunity claims

1.8 On 13 May 2009, the Senate passed an order relating to public interest immunity claims.2 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

1.9 The committee has drawn the attention of the department and its agencies to the agreed deadline of Friday 12 April 2013 for the receipt of answers to questions taken on notice from this round, in accordance with Standing Order 26.

1.10 For this round, written questions on notice were received from Senators Abetz, Back, Cash, Hanson-Young, McKenzie, Nash, Sinodinos and Xenophon.

N

ote on Hansard page referencing

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

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

94

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 2012-13 financial year. This chapter of the report follows the order of proceedings and is an indicative, but not exhaustive, account of issues examined.

2.2 The committee heard evidence on 13 February 2013 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 Commission;  Fair Work Ombudsman;

 Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate;  Comcare; and

 Safe Work Australia.

2.3 On 14 February 2013 the committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon. Kim Carr, Minister for Human Services, Senator the Hon. Jacinta Collins, as the Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations 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, Bilyk, Brandis, Cash, Gallacher, Joyce, Mason, McKenzie, Nash, Parry, Scullion, Siewert, Sinodinos, Thistlethwaite and Wright.

Fair Work Commission

Review of key activities

2.5 Representatives from the Fair Work Commission (FWC) responded to questions on FWC's operations. These questions included coverage of the following issues:

 Reporting obligations under section 653 of the Fair Work Act 2009 and updates on progress of these reports;

95

Page 4

 Implementation of amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 regarding provisions for unfair dismissals;

 Costing and rationale for the name change of the Fair Work Commission from its previous name 'Fair Work Australia'; and

 The capacity for FWC to undertake new responsibilities regarding bullying issues in light of current financial constraints.

Appointment of Vice Presidents for FWC

2.6 FWC responded to questions over the decision to appoint two Vice Presidents to the Commission, as well as other issues associated with the application process and selection process for these positions. Concerns raised included a lack of information in the recruitment process outlining remuneration and the effect that this may have had on attracting quality applicants.1

Health Services Union investigations

2.7 Senators questioned FWC in regard to its capacity to investigate and audit registered organisations and particularly in relation to issues of jurisdiction. Concerns were raised over the organisation's capacity to investigate alleged breaches in reporting, particularly in light of current investigations into the Health Services Union. Additionally, FWC was queried in regard to any involvement it had with legal proceedings into the conduct of the Member for Dobell, Mr Craig Thomson MP.2

Fair Work Ombudsman

Compliance in the restaurant and catering industry

2.8 The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) provided information on its activities relating to compliance in the restaurant and catering industry. Senators highlighted concerns that a large portion of restaurants within the industry were failing to comply with official pay rates, leaving compliant restaurants at a significant disadvantage.

2.9 FWO informed the committee of a three-year campaign it has undertaken across the hospitality sector. The campaign is in its second year and activities now being undertaken include consultation and preparation for audits in the near future. FWO also highlighted a number of other campaigns across the sector that it had been involved with.3

Voluntary work legislation and payment issues

1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 11-12. 2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 20-23. 3

Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 28-32.

96

Page 5

2.10 The committee was informed that research has been undertaken regarding unpaid work trials and internships; particularly a report produced for FWO by the University of Adelaide Law School. FWO reported on difficulties in identifying appropriate boundaries for potential pay arrangements, and in particular the point at which work experience becomes exploitation of volunteer workers.

2.11 FWO said that forums had been organised to consult with industrial parties, major employer groups and unions on the issues, and to seek their views on potential options for further progress.

Safe Work Australia

Research and development costing

2.12 The committee began its examination of Safe Work Australia (SWA) looking at employment statistics and annual spending on research and development. SWA reported that its research comprises two main areas: evaluation programs; and hazards and perceptions on work health and safety. SWA outlined current activities relating to the collection of baseline data across state jurisdictions examining perceptions of work health and safety.

Workplace health and safety in relation to bullying issues

2.13 The committee heard that, as mental and psychological health are both referred to under the Work Health and Safety Act, bullying is a relevant issue in relation to workplace health and safety. SWA stated that such concerns are being addressed through the development of codes of practice for adoption by states, territories and the Australian Government. SWA also stated that although management of this issue occurs at the state and territory level, there is a role for a body such as FWC to provide complimentary work in the area.

Workplace safety and legislation regarding use of quad bikes

2.14 SWA noted that it is currently assisting the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations to improve quad bike safety in the workplace. Discussion focused on issues of banning children who are sixteen years and under from using quad bikes. SWA confirmed that this was the intention of these changes. Senators raised concerns over the viability of banning the use of quad bikes in light of ambiguity over whether a place is a workplace or a private property. In addition, senators noted that enforcement of this measure could be problematic and said that provision should be made for exemptions under certain circumstances.4

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 46-49.

97

Page 6

Comcare

Longstanding unresolved compensation claims

2.15 Senator Bilyk noted that in previous estimates hearings senators had suggested a review of longstanding unresolved compensation claims. She further noted that such a measure had been raised in the draft terms of reference for the review of the Safety, rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 currently being conducted by Mr Peter Hanks QC and Mr Allan Hawke AC.

2.16 Comcare confirmed that it had been decided that this review would be conducted separately to the review of the legislation and that Former Victorian Attorney-General the Hon. John Cain was conducting the review.

2.17 Senator Bilyk raised concerns as to the review process, including the need for claimants involved in unresolved claims to have the opportunity to provide input. She further noted that the reviewer did not have access to complete records in regard to analysing the longstanding unresolved compensation claims examined in the review.

Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate

Investigations update, agency office resourcing and other matters5

2.18 Senator Abetz led questioning of the Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate (OFWBII) with discussion covering a variety of issues. These included:

 Current status of certain inspections and investigations for the OFWBII - including in relation to the Queensland Royal Children's Hospital and proceedings in the Federal Court regarding the Myer Emporium;

 Decisions and issues regarding office relocations (OFWBII officials noted that although opportunities to reduce property holdings were regularly considered, no current proposals had been brought forward); and

 Media comment by Mr Leigh Johns, Chief Executive of the OFWBII. Senator Abetz raised issues concerning the appropriateness of these comments in light of Mr Johns' official capacities and responsibilities in the OFWBII.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 54-60.

98

Page 7

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 3 - Employment and training services

Job Services Australia

2.19 Senator Sinodinos opened questioning under Outcome 3 requesting details on the current caseload for Job Services Australia (JSA), unemployment statistics and associated percentage changes. He also raised questions about the effectiveness of JSA in addressing underlying causes of unemployment such as mental illness or alcohol abuse. Ms Lisa Paul, DEEWR Secretary, noted that the Employment Pathway Fund gives JSA providers opportunities to address these underlying causes6.

2.20 Senator Sinodinos also raised the issue of compliance, seeking statistics on compliance failures, assessments and financial penalties. Senator Siewert raised the issue of assistance provided to single parents and the impacts of any changes that had been made regarding Newstart streams7.

2.21 Further questioning also addressed the Building Australia's Future Workforce package and funding amendments outlined in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13 for the EEWR portfolio.

Disability Employment Services

2.22 Senators raised a number of issues regarding disability employment services including caseloads for these services over time; expenditure and allocation; and particular details on contracts offered in the last tender round.8

2.23 Particular concern was raised regarding the tendering of disability employment support services and the impact that this would have on an estimated 35,000 people with disabilities having to move employment providers. It was noted that in one instance a service provider had said that some of their clients had been with the organisation for 28 years. DEEWR officials responded by saying that these transitions were strongly backed by the consumer sectors and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations as they represent an opportunity to enhance the quality of providers.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations: Outcome 4 - Safer and more productive workplaces

Appointment of the Fair Work Commission Vice Presidents

2.24 Senator Abetz queried DEEWR about the process of appointing two Vice Presidents for the Fair Work Commission (FWC). He particularly queried DEEWR

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 60-3. 7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 66-7. 8

Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 75-6.

99

Page 8

officials on what he saw as the disparity between public comments from the President of FWC indicating that he requested the appointment of one Vice President, and other public comment indicating that the President was supportive of two appointments. DEEWR indicated that this question had been addressed in previous hearings but also agreed to take questioning on the particular details of this disparity on notice.9

Progress on dealing with asbestos safety matters

2.25 Senator Abetz discussed with witnesses progress relating to the establishment of a body to handle asbestos safety issues. DEEWR officials indicated that, although this matter was a matter for the consideration of government at this stage, some advice has been provided to the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and the minister had indicated that he wanted the national strategic plan in place by 1 July 2013.10

Leave arrangements for expectant mothers

2.26 DEEWR officials gave evidence on the proposed amendment to provide pregnant women in the workplace the capacity to exercise a right to move to a safe job in the event that continuing in their normal job posed a threat to the health of the mother and the child. It was submitted that, under the proposal, if no appropriate safe job is available, then the employee would be entitled to take paid, 'no-safe-job leave' for the risk period providing that certain criteria are met.

2.27 Senators raised concerns that these measures would place too great a burden on employers who may be required to pay for such leave in the event that no appropriate safe job was available for employees. Other concerns related to the implications that these changes might have for selecting employees.11

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

Childcare management system

2.28 The committee discussed with representatives of DEEWR the number of qualified staff currently in the childcare system. Senators questioned the department on:

 the number of qualified staff that will be required in the future;

 capacity in the training system to meet demand;

 complaints to the department about problems faced by centres in regard to the

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 87-8. 10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp 95-6. 11

Proof Estimates Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 97-109.

100

Page 9

approval of supervisors;

 increases in how many approved supervisors are required; and

 uniformity in requirements across states.

2.29 The committee also questioned officials on the Community Support Program for childcare services. These questions covered the revised budget from additional estimates, data on the specific use of the inclusion support subsidy, and use of services under the subsidy as they relate to bringing on additional support staff for children.

National Quality Framework

2.30 DEEWR responded to questions on a range of issues regarding the National Quality Framework (the framework), which aims to raise quality and drive continuous improvement in education and childcare services. In particular, senators questioned DEEWR on feedback from states and territories regarding implementation of the framework, and whether any concerns were raised.

2.31 DEEWR noted that it meets with states and territories regularly on a whole range of issues through the early childhood development working group and that there are additional mechanisms for feedback including Ministerial involvement through a ministerial council. 12

Indigenous pre-school access and early childhood education centres

2.32 Senators canvassed an array of issues regarding indigenous preschool access and early childhood education centres. Issues raised included:

 data on enrolment numbers and attendance of indigenous children;  access to trained and qualified early childhood staff;  future funding arrangements for community centres;  current implementation and reporting on the use of funding provided for

universal access in centres;  reporting milestones, and penalties for state and territories not meeting targets; and  progress on construction of Indigenous early childhood centres in Roebourne

and the Swan region in Western Australia, as well as progress with other centres - including details on current staffing levels.

2.33 DEEWR officials brought to the attention of the committee the National Partnership for Indigenous Early Childhood Development, a partnership running until June 2014 and providing funding to states and territories for the construction of

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, p. 21-22.

101

Page 10

children and family centres. The department stated that ten of a planned twenty-two early childhood education centres have been completed.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

My School website

2.34 Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) officials were questioned on the potential to provide transparency and accountability of financial assets through the My School website. ACARA officials responded by saying that a number of measures were in place that contribute to that. These measures included:

 a new feature showing an accumulation of capital expenditure over time; and

 ongoing discussions seeking common ground for comparing accounting methods across independent, government and other schools.

2.35 ACARA noted that there are significant difficulties associated with reaching a definitional consensus across the education sector on this issue.

National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy

2.36 Senator Mason posed a number of questions on cultural disadvantage in relation to the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). In particular, he cited Meadow Heights Primary School, which has 75 per cent of its 600 students coming from non-English speaking backgrounds. He noted that students from the primary school were still required to sit NAPLAN alongside everyone else, despite never having received schooling prior to arriving Australia.

2.37 Senator Carr and DEEWR officials responded by saying that withdrawal by some schools from NAPLAN would be an inappropriate way of dealing with such disadvantage, and that NAPLAN results assist in identifying the areas requiring the most improvement in the education system.13

2.38 Other concerns raised included the amount of time required by teachers in preparing for NAPLAN, and participation trends and outcomes. Senator Back raised further concerns over the timeliness and relevance of test results. DEEWR officials noted that they are making efforts to shorten the timelines between testing and making results available.

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp 37-9.

102

Page 11

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

Update on programs and activities

2.39 Senators questioned officials from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) across a range of issues.

2.40 Senators raised questions on delays with the National Partnership on improving teacher quality. AITSL responded by noting that reassessment of milestones and renegotiations with states and territories under the national partnership has meant that timelines were necessarily revised. An independent contractor has been working with states and territories to look at milestones and rework them.

2.41 Senators also sought updates and further information on the implementation of the Teacher Performance and Development Framework, and the expenditure of $1.25 million under the Empowering Local Schools program. AITSL noted that a consultation report had been finalised on the Teacher Performance and Development Framework and that implementation of the framework had now begun. In addition, AITSL provided information outlining the intent of the Empowering Local Schools program, in particular that it attempts to give leaders the required skills for managing and leading autonomously. Activities under the program included conferences, group and project work and opportunities for national and international experience.14

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

Accountability for government and nongovernment schools funding

2.42 Senator Wright led a line of questioning on various accountability measures and statistics on funding for government and non-government schools.

2.43 In response to questioning on the obligations of non-government schools to provide annual audited financial statements to DEEWR, the Department provided information on the annual census of nongovernment schools, and the collection of financial information from schools on expenditures.15

2.44 Senator Wright also questioned DEEWR on compliance, and in particular the sample and percentage size of school spending that is verified through compliance auditing, as well as the number of 'extended' compliance audits, which went further than basic compliance checks.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp 48-9. 15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp 50-1.

103

Page 12

National Plan for School Improvement tool

2.45 In December 2012, the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood endorsed the National Plan for School Improvement tool. DEEWR responded to questions regarding the implementation of the tool.

2.46 Senators expressed concern over the tool's focus on self-assessment instead of independent auditing. It was suggested that an independent external quality assurance authority would be more appropriate for ensuring expenditure accountability to the public. DEEWR officials responded by saying that these sorts of accountability measures are the responsibility of state governments and school authorities.

Community attitudes towards teaching and the teaching profession

2.47 Senator Mason raised a number of measures proposed in the report by Mr Gonski which aimed to foster the development of community attitudes that better value teachers and the teaching profession. DEEWR officials submitted that there are a range of proposals up for discussion in this regard, including:

 the teacher performance framework which better enables teachers to work cooperatively;

 developing strong links between the schools and their communities through measures such as the increased use of school utilities; and

 supporting research outlining the significance of better engagement with the parent body and the community - and specifically the observable positive benefits that these factors had on student results.

Senator Gavin Marshall

Chair

104

Appendix 1

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

 ComCare

 The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission

 The Seafarers’ Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Authority

(Seacare)

 Fair Work Commission

 Fair Work Ombudsman

 Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate

 Safe Work Australia

 Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave Funding) Corporation

105

Page 14

106

Appendix 2

Index to Proof Committee Hansard transcripts Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 Page no

Fair Work Commission...…………………………………………………… 5

Fair Work Ombudsman…………………………………………………….. 28

Safe Work Australia………………………………………………………… 41

Comcare……………………………………………………………………... 50

Office of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate…………………… 54

Outcome 3 - Employment………………………………………….………. 60

Outcome 4 - Workplace Relations and Economic Strategy……………….. 87

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Cross Portfolio……………………………………………………………… 5

Outcome 1- Early childhood, Working Age and Indigenous Participation.... 13

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).… 32

Outcome 2- Schools and youth...…………………………………………… 50

107

108

The Senate

Environment and Communications

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2012-13

March 2013

109

© Commonwealth of Australia 2013

ISBN 978-1-74229-769-9

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

110

iii

Membership of the Committee

Members:

Senator Doug Cameron (ALP, NSW) (Chair) Senator Simon Birmingham (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_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=ec_ctte/ind ex.htm

111

iv 112

v

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

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency 3

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

113

vi

114

Additional estimates 2012-13 Introduction 1.1 On 7 February 2013 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 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2012-13]; and

• Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on

30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2012-13]

together with the final budget outcome 2011-12 and the issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2011-12.1

1.2 Standing committees were required to report to the Senate on

19 March 2013.2

Hearings 1.3 The committee conducted public hearings with the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio on 11 and 12 February; the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio on 11 February, and the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio on 11 and 12 February 2013. 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/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=ec_ctt e/estimates/add_1213/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 11-12 February hearings be Friday, 12 April 2013.

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. 132, 7 February 2013, p. 3606.

2 Journals of the Senate, No. 121, 1 November 2012, p. 3239.

115

2

1.8 The committee notes that it had set Friday, 7 December 2012 as the date for the return of answers to questions taken on notice during the Supplementary Budget Estimates hearings held in October 2012. However, at that date there was a total of 927 answers outstanding to 1177 questions on notice across the three portfolios, as follows:

• Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio,

463 of 514;

• Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio, 141 of 340; and

• Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio,

323 of 323.

1.9 Many of the late answers were submitted in the days prior to and during the Additional Estimates hearings and there were still answers outstanding at the conclusion of the Additional Estimates hearings.

1.10 Once again 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 2012-13 Additional Estimates, the committee called and examined officers from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC); the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (CCEE) portfolio; and the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) portfolio.

1.12 The committee raised a range of matters which are noted below. The page references beside each matter refer to the proof transcript for Monday, 11 February 2013.

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio

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

1.14 Officers from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation were called. Mr Scott, Managing Director made an opening statement after which questioning commenced. Matters raised included:

• monitoring of tweets aired during the Q&A program (pp 4-5)

• additional funding of $10 million for enhanced news services (pp 6-7, 14-15)

• closure of the Hobart production unit (pp 7-8)

• complaints investigation process (p. 8)

• election timing, part 5, section 79A of the ABC Act (pp 9-12, 15-16)

• revenue contribution of ABC Commercial (pp 12-14)

116

3

1.15 At the conclusion of its examination of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the committee called and examined officers from the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (CCEE) portfolio.

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio

1.16 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, and portfolio officers.

1.17 General questions were asked of the department about:

• grants pause and re-phasing (pp 21-23)

• move of the department to new premises at the Nishi building (pp 23-24).

1.18 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:

• public information campaigns for the carbon tax (pp 25-28)

• carbon price modelling and updates to emissions projections (pp 28-31)

• development of methodologies for use under the Carbon Farming Initiative

(pp 31-34)

• purchase of Henbury Station; carbon credits under the carbon farming

initiative (pp 35-40).

1.19 Officers from the Clean Energy Regulator were called and examined in relation to:

• small-scale technology certificates, allegations of fraud (pp 40-42)

• prerequisites for power stations to be eligible for accreditation under the

Commonwealth Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act (pp 42-43)

• renewable energy targets (pp 43-45)

• overview of the Jobs and Competitiveness Program providing assistance to emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries (pp 45-48, 52-53).

1.20 Officers from the Climate Change Authority were called and examined. Matters raised included:

• procedures for conducting caps and targets and carbon budgets review

(pp 54-55)

• timing of a review of the Carbon Farming Initiative (pp 57-58).

1.21 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.2: Improving Australia's Energy Efficiency. Matters raised included:

• update on progress of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants program (pp 59-61)

• updates on outstanding debts to the department under programs including

the National Solar Schools Program, the Insulation Industry Assistance

117

4

Package, the Green Loans Program and the Home Insulation Program (pp 61-63, 65-66)

• progress of the white certificate scheme under the National Energy Savings Initiative (pp 63-65)

• ratings for thermal performance of building under the NABERS program (pp 66-67)

• introduction of the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) (pp 67-68).

1.22 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.3: Adapting to Climate Change. Matters raised included:

• research undertaken around farmers' capacity to adapt farming operations

(pp 68-69)

• impact of budget cuts program 1.3 (pp 69-70)

• role of the department in the IPCC held in Hobart (pp 70-71)

• funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility

(pp 71-73)

• impacts of climate change, health effects and priorities for mitigations (pp 74 75).

1.23 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.4: Helping to shape a global climate change solution. Matters raised included:

• outcomes of the Doha conference (pp 75-76, 78-79)

• establishment of the Green Climate Fund (pp 76-77)

• the OECD's Taxing energy use report (pp 81-82).

1.24 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.

Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) portfolio

1.25 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, and portfolio officers.

1.26 The committee raised a range of matters which are noted below. The page references beside each matter refer to the proof transcript for Monday, 11 February 2013.

1.27 General questions were asked of the department about:

• electronic equipment and mobile devices supplied to the minister's office

(pp 87-87)

118

5

• impact of the grants reallocation on departmental programs (pp 88-89.

1.28 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.

1.29 The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) was called and examined. Matters raised included:

• number and role of operational meteorologists (p. 90)

• funding reductions in the Queensland BoM office (p. 91)

• forecasting for the recent extreme weather events in Queensland

(pp 92-95)

• staffing levels at Tennant Creek and across the north of Australia (p. 95).

1.30 The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) was called and examined. Matters raised included:

• implications of recent extreme weather events on the Reef (p. 96)

• funding increase for surveillance and enforcement (pp 96-97)

• funding for the Reef Rescue program (p. 98)

• GBRMPA's input to the state party report to UNESCO (p. 99)

• update on the status of the proposed sea dumping fee system (pp 99-100).

1.31 The Director of National Parks was called and examined. Matters raised included:

• recreational shooting in national parks and reserves (pp 101-103)

• status of the crazy ants eradication program (p. 103)

• funding for the National Reserves System (pp 103-104)

• funding for Henbury Station (pp 104-106).

1.32 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.1: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment. Matters raised included:

• establishment of the expert panel into declared fishing activities

(pp 106-107)

• marine debris threat abatement plans (pp 107-108)

• grant under the Environmental Stewardship Program (pp 108-111)

• funding under the Caring for our Country program (pp 111-112)

• review of guidelines for NRM groups (pp 112-114)

• consultation on the marine bioregional planning process (p. 114)

• consultation around the adjustment assistance package (pp 114-115)

119

6

• conditions for the approval of the demersal gillnet and the demersal

longline fisheries (pp 115-116).

1.33 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.2, Environmental Information and Research. Matters raised included:

• monitoring of the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean (pp 117-119, 120)

• update on legal action against Japan in the International Court of Justice (pp 119-120)

1.34 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.3, Carbon Pollution Reduction-Land Sector Initiatives and the land Sector Taskforce. Matters raised included:

• progress report on the Biodiversity Fund (pp 122-126)

• number of applications received under the Indigenous Carbon Farming

Fund for capacity building and business support (pp126-127).

1.35 On the second day of hearings, the committee continued its examination of the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio, commencing with Outcome 2.

1.36 The page references beside each matter below refer to the proof transcript for Tuesday, 12 February 2013.

1.37 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and portfolio officers.

1.38 Officers were called and examined in relation to Outcome 2, Program 2.1: Management of Hazardous Wastes, Substances and Pollutants. Matters raised included:

• cost recovery for the voluntary productive stewardship program (p. 4)

• revenue from the equivalent carbon price charges on refrigerants (pp 4-6)

• establishment of the Office of Asbestos Safety (p.7)

• update on collections under the National Television and Computer

Recycling Scheme (p. 7).

1.39 Questioning of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust commenced. Matters raised included:

• visitor numbers to Trust sites (pp 8-9)

• number of accommodation facilities operated by the Trust (p. 9)

• progress of the clean up of the HMAS Platypus site (pp 9-10)

• festivals held on Cockatoo Island (p. 10).

120

7

1.40 Officers were called and examined in relation to Outcome 5, Program 5.1: Conservation of Australia's Heritage and Environment. Matters raised included:

• status of Aboriginal heritage applications at Yindjibarndi and James Price Point (pp 11-13)

• impact of funding reduction of heritage grants (pp 13-14)

• status of heritage assessments for the Canberra Central National Area and

Inner Hills and surrounding areas (p. 14)

• recreational shooting in the Blue Mountains National Park and the World

Heritage area (pp 14-15)

• ministerial decision on the natural heritage listing of the Tarkine (p. 16).

1.41 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 5.2: Environmental Regulation. Matters raised included:

• the department's role in the flying fox problem at Charters Towers and

Yungaburra, Atherton Tableland (pp 16-18)

• status of the James Price Point assessment (pp 18-19)

• conditional approval of the Whitehaven Coal project (pp 20-23, 24-27, 30)

• establishment of the Gladstone independent panel (p. 24)

• approval applications for the destruction of illegal entry vessels off

Christmas Island (pp 27-29)

• progress report on the drafting process of the EPBC amendment bill (p.

30).

1.42 Officers from the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and departmental officers in relation to Program 4.1: Water Reform were called and examined. Matters raised included:

• the Huon Valley Regional Water Scheme (p. 33)

• funding under the Stormwater Grants Program for the Nyrstar project in Hobart (pp 33-34)

• impact on the MDBA of reductions in state government funding (pp 34-36, 44)

• progress of the Menindee Lakes project (p. 36)

• progress of negotiations on the intergovernmental agreement between the states on the implementation of the Basin plan (pp 36-39)

• purchase of water at Nimmie-Caira (pp 39-40, 46-48)

• the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas

(pp 40-42)

• funds allocated to projects under the Water Industry Alliance program

(pp 42-44)

121

8

• update on scoping study for managing Lake Albert water quality and the

Narrung Narrows (p. 46).

1.43 Officers were called and examined in relation to Outcome 6, Program 6.1: Protection and restoration of environmental assets and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office. Matters raised included:

• status of the Water Office (pp 48-50)

• value of the water asset currently held (pp 50-51).

1.44 Officers from the National Water Commission (NWC) were called and examined. Matters raised included:

• position paper on coal seam gas (pp 52-53)

• timing of an audit on the MDBA (p. 53).

1.45 At the conclusion of its examination of the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio, the committee called and continued its examination of officers from the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio.

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio

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

1.47 The page references beside each matter refer to the proof transcript for Tuesday, 12 February 2013.

1.48 General questions were asked of the department about:

• departmental advice in relation to the interpretation of the election period

definition in the Broadcasting Services Act (pp 56-58)

• international mobile roaming prices (pp 58-59).

1.49 Officers from Australia Post were called and examined at the conclusion of the opening statement made by Mr Fahour, Managing Director. Matters raised included:

• complaints procedures (p. 61)

• support provided to licensees (pp 61-62)

• payments to licensees for handling carded items (pp 63-64)

• closure of post offices (pp 64-66).

1.50 Officers from the department were called and examined in relation to Program 1.2: Digital Economy and Postal Services. Matters raised included:

• effectiveness of the first National Telework Week (pp 66-67)

• update on the Digital Local Government program (p. 67)

• auction for the 700 megahertz spectrum (pp 68-71).

122

9

1.51 Officers from the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) were called and examined. Matters raised included:

• review of language broadcasts and implementation of new radio network schedule (pp 72-74)

• launch of the NITV channel (pp 74-75).

1.52 Officers from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) were called and examined. Matters raised included:

• statement released by the ACMA regarding the election period definition in

the Broadcasting Services Act (pp 76-80)

• progress of the new online resource Zippep's Astro Circul (p. 80)

• cybersafety programs specifically for Indigenous communities (p. 81)

• designing and commissioning of a new ACMA website (pp 81-82)

• access to digital radio (pp 83-84)

• purpose of the Reconnecting the Customer program (p. 85).

1.53 Officers from the department were called and examined in relation to Program 1.3: Broadcasting and Digital Television. Matters raised included:

• commencement of election under the Broadcasting Services Act (p. 86)

• reception problems around the digital switchover in the Hunter region

(pp 86-88)

• progress of switchover in Adelaide and Western Australia (pp 88-90)

• rollout of digital radio services to regional Australia (pp 90-91)

• revenue collected from commercial television licence fees (p. 91)

• implications for the Indigenous Broadcasting Program and Imparja of the

introduction of NITV (p. 93).

1.54 Officers from the department were called and examined in relation to Program 1.1: Broadband and Communications Infrastructure. Matters raised included:

• funding for NBN related advertising (pp 93-94)

• payments to Telstra in relation to the Universal Service Obligation (USO) and the Telecommunications Universal Service Management Agency (TUSMA) funding arrangements (pp 97-99).

1.55 The NBN Co was then called and examined. Mr Quigley, Chief Executive Officer, made an opening statement. He also tabled charts showing rollout progress which are at appendix 2. Questioning then commenced. Matters raised included:

• content of answers provided to questions on notice (pp 101-106)

• employment of contractor Syntheo (pp 106-109)

• retail prices for the NBN (pp 110-111)

• progress of rollout in Tasmania (pp 111-113, 114-117)

123

10

• provision of answers to questions on notice (pp 117-118)

• compatibility of alarm systems with the NBN system (pp 119-120)

• data on the cost of rollout per premise (pp 120-122)

• service provided by providers other than the NBN (pp 122-125, 126).

Acknowledgements

1.56 The chair noted that the Supervising Scientist, Mr Alan Hughes, would be retiring prior to the next estimates hearings. On behalf of the committee, he thanked Mr Hughes for his contributions over the years and wished him and his family well for the future.3

1.57 The chair also noted that this was Mr Peter Harris's last estimates round as Secretary of the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, as he has been appointed a Productivity Commissioner. On behalf of the committee, the chair expressed its appreciation for his input and the way he has conducted himself before this committee.4

1.58 The committee thanks 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 Additional Estimates process. The committee also thanks Hansard, Broadcasting and the committee secretariat.

Senator Doug Cameron Chair

3 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 117.

4 Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 56.

124

11

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: Additional Estimates 2012-13 Monday, 11 and Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Committee Room 2S3

Parliament House

Canberra ACT

To be televised on Channel 11 and broadcast on Radio 91.1

http://www.aph.gov.au/News_and_Events/Watch_Parliament

AGENDA

Monday, 11 February 2013 9.00 am Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Portfolio 9.00 am Australian Broadcasting Corporation

10.20 am Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) 10.20 am General questions of the Department

Morning Tea: 10.45-11.00 am

11.00 am Outcome 1: Reduction of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the impacts of climate change, and negotiation of an effective global solution, through the development and implementation of a national response to climate change; and bilateral, regional and multilateral engagement internationally

11.00 am Program 1.1: Reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions

12.30 pm Clean Energy Regulator 125

12

Lunch: 1.00-2.00 pm

Clean Energy Regulator in continuation

2.45 pm Climate Change Authority

3.15 pm Program 1.2: Improving Australia's Energy Efficiency

Afternoon Tea: 3.45-4.00 pm

Program 1.2: Improving Australia's Energy Efficiency in continuation

4.30 pm Program 1.3: Adapting to Climate Change

5.15 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 of the Department

Outcome 1: The conservation and protection of Australia's terrestrial and marine biodiversity and ecosystems through supporting research, developing information, supporting natural resource management, and establishing and managing Commonwealth protected areas

7.20 pm Bureau of Meteorology

7.50 pm Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

8.20 pm Director of National Parks

8.40 pm Program 1.1: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment

Tea break: 9.00-9.15 pm

Program 1.1: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment in continuation

10.00 pm Program 1.2: Environmental Information and Research

10.30 pm Program 1.3: Carbon Pollution Reduction - Land Sector Initiatives

Land Sector Taskforce

11.00 pm Adjournment

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 9.00 am Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Portfolio

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) 9.00 am Outcome 2: Improved sustainability of Australia's population, communities and environment through coordination and development of

126

13

sustainable population and communities policies, and the reduction and regulation of waste, pollutants and hazardous substances

9.00 am Program 2.1: Management of Hazardous Wastes, Substances and Pollutants

9.30 am Outcome 5: Increased protection, awareness and appreciation of Australia's environment and heritage through regulating matters of national environmental significance and the identification, conservation and celebration of natural, Indigenous and historic places of national and World Heritage significance

9.30 am Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

9.50 am Program 5.1: Conservation of Australia's Heritage and Environment

10.20am Program 5.2: Environmental Regulation

Morning Tea: 10.45-11.00 am

Program 5.2: Environmental Regulation in continuation

12 noon Outcome 4: Adaptation to climate change, wise water use, secure water supplies and improved health of rivers, waterways and freshwater ecosystems by supporting research, and reforming the management and use of water resources

12 noon Murray-Darling Basin Authority

12 noon Program 4.1: Water Reform

Lunch: 1.00-2.00 pm

Murray-Darling Basin Authority / Program 4.1: Water Reform in continuation

2.20 pm Outcome 6: Protection and restoration of environmental assets through the management and use of Commonwealth environmental water

2.20 pm Commonwealth Environmental Water Office

2.20 pm Program 6.1: Commonwealth Environmental Water

2.40 pm National Water Commission

3.00 pm Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Portfolio Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) 3.00 pm General questions of the department

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

3.20 pm Australia Post

Afternoon Tea: 4.00-4.15 pm

4.15 pm Program 1.2: Digital Economy and Postal Services

127

14

4.45 pm Special Broadcasting Service

5.15 pm Australian Communications and Media Authority

Dinner: 6.15-7.15 pm

7.15 pm Program 1.3: Broadcasting and Digital Television

8.00 pm Program 1.1: Broadband and Communications Infrastructure

8.30 pm NBN Co

Tea break: 9.15-9.30 pm

NBN Co in continuation

11.00 pm Adjournment

128

15

Appendix 2

Tabled documents

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

NBN Co. Limited

Activity Profiles

129

FTTP Brownfields Activity Profile

Legend

Network Design Documents (31-Jan-13)

(JCNBN Baseline)

12 mths average

0k

200k

400k

600k

800k

1,000k

1,200k

1,400k

Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

Construction Commenced (31-Jan-13)

(JCNBN Baseline)

0k

200k

400k

600k

800k

1,000k

1,200k

1,400k

Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

Telstra Commencement Notice (31-Jan-13)

JCNBN Baseline)

0k

200k

400k

600k

800k

1,000k

1,200k

1,400k

Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

Final Contract Instruction (31-Jan-13)

(JCNBN Baseline)

0k

200k

400k

600k

800k

1,000k

1,200k

1,400k

Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

Premises Passed (31-Jan-13)

(JCNBN Baseline)

0k

50k

100k

150k

200k

250k

300k

Jul -12 Aug

-12

Sep

-12

Oct -12 Nov

-12

Dec

-12

Jan

-13

Feb

-13

Mar

-13

Apr

-13

May

-13

Jun

-13

Physical Design - rodding / roping - field inspections

Remediation (Telstra) and Build Integration

8 mths 3 mths 2 mths 1 mth

Activation

Cumulative Premises

actual f’cast

Planning & Design

0k

200k

400k

600k

800k

1,000k

1,200k

1,400k

Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k

200k

400k

600k

800k

1,000k

1,200k

1,400k

Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k

200k

400k

600k

800k

1,000k

1,200k

1,400k

Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k

200k

400k

600k

800k

1,000k

1,200k

1,400k

Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k

50k

100k

150k

200k

250k

300k

Jul -12 Aug

-12

Sep

-12

Oct -12 Nov

-12

Dec

-12

Jan

-13

Feb

-13

Mar

-13

Apr

-13

May

-13

Jun

-13

130

FTTP Brownfields LNDN Capital Expenditure

Access Seekers

Telstra Infrastructure

Transit Network

AN

Local Network and Distribution Network

FDH

Lead-in End-User Premises

FAN

PCD

OTHER NETWORK SERVICES

NAP

NAP PIT

Lead-In Conduit

OLT NTD

PSU

EAS

PIT TLS Fibre

DWDM DWDM NBN Fibre

POP

Routers

POI TLS duct

NBN duct ODF S

AN: Aggregation Node DWDM: Dense Wave Division Multiplexing EAS: Ethernet Aggregation Switch FAN: Fibre Access Node

FDH: Fibre Distribution Hub FWO: Fibre Wall Outlet NAP: Network Access Point NTD: Network Termination Device

ODF: Optical Distribution Frame OLT: Optical Line Terminal PCD: Premise Connection Device POI: Point of Interconnect

POP: Point of Presence PSU: Power Supply Unit S: Optical Splitter TLS: Telstra

Glossary

FWO

$1,500

Tasmania Pre-Release 4,000 premises Tasmania Stage 2 8,500 premises

Mainland First Release 14,000 premises FY2013 256,000 premises

LNDN Capex Per Premise Passed

Cost at Completion

Estimate at completion

Corporate Plan (FY2013)

$1,200

131

Fixed Wireless Capital Expenditure Per Site

Access Seekers

Telstra Infrastructure

Transit Network (link to Packet Core in Melbourne and Sydney)

AN

Wireless Access Network

Lead-in End-User Premises

FAN

OTHER NETWORK SERVICES

WNTD PSU

EAS

TLS Fibre

DWDM NBN Fibre

POP

Routers

POI

ODF Base Station with integrated Microwave Backhaul

Microwave Antenna

Base Station Antennas

NBN duct DWDM EAS

microwave link

Hub Site

buried fibre

Base Station with integrated Microwave Backhaul

Microwave Antenna

Base Station Antennas

Base Station

TLS duct

Base Station with integrated Microwave Backhaul

Microwave Antenna

Base Station Antennas

active antenna

PGW

AN: Aggregation Node DWDM: Dense Wave Division Multiplexing EAS: Ethernet Aggregation Switch

FAN: Fibre Access Node FDH: Fibre Distribution Hub ODF: Optical Distribution Frame

PGW: Packet Gateway POI: Point of Interconnect POP: Point of Presence

Glossary

· Co-Location: When NBN Co uses space on existing tower site

· New Site: When NBN Co acquires and commissions a new fixed wireless tower site

PSU: Power Supply Unit WNTD: Wireless Network Termination Device

Co-location New Site

Fixed Wireless Capex per Site

Estimate at completion (FY13)

Corporate Plan

132

Long Term Satellite Service Capital Costs

Access Seekers

Telstra Infrastructure

Transit Network

AN

Satellite Access Network

End-User Premises

FAN

OTHER NETWORK SERVICES

PSU

EAS

POP

Routers

POI

ODF

AN: Aggregation Node DPC: Data Processing Centre DWDM: Dense Wave Division Multiplexing

EAS: Ethernet Aggregation Switch FAN: Fibre Access Node NTD: Network Termination Device

Glossary

SGS NTD

ODF: Optical Distribution Frame POI: Point of Interconnect POP: Point of Presence

PSU: Power Supply Unit SGS: Satellite Ground Station

AN

DPC

DWDM DWDM EAS DWDM DWDM EAS buried fibre

Corporate Plan Estimate at Completion FY15

LTSS Estimated Capital Cost

Other

VSAT Connections 50% contracted

Ground Stations contracted

Spacecraft (incl . TT&C) contracted

Launch (incl. Insurance)

133

New Developments Activity Profile

Premises Activated (31-Jan-13)

(JCNBN Baseline)

Lots Passed (31-Jan-13)

(JCNBN Baseline)

Construction Commenced (31-Jan-13)

(JCNBN Baseline)

Network Design Documents (31-Jan-13)

(JCNBN Baseline)

Developer Requests & Contracts Signed (31-Jan-13)

(JCNBN Baseline)

Legend Design and Build Integrate

5 mths 1 mth 2 mths 1 mth

Developer Engagement

Planning Activate

0k

10k

20k

30k

40k

50k

60k

Jan

-11

Mar

-11

May

-11 Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k

10k

20k

30k

40k

50k

60k

Jan

-11

Mar

-11

May

-11 Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k 1k

2k 3k

4k 5k

6k 7k

8k 9k

10k

Jan

-11

Mar

-11

May

-11 Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k 1k

2k 3k

4k 5k

6k 7k

8k 9k

10k

Jan

-11

Mar

-11

May

-11 Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k

20k

40k

60k

80k

100k

120k

140k

160k

Jan

-11

Mar

-11

May

-11 Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

Cumulative Premises

actual f’cast

0k 10k

20k 30k

40k 50k

60k 70k

80k 90k

100k

Jan

-11

Mar

-11

May

-11 Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k 10k

20k 30k

40k 50k

60k 70k

80k 90k

100k

Jan

-11

Mar

-11

May

-11 Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k

20k

40k

60k

80k

100k

120k

140k

160k

Jan

-11

Mar

-11

May

-11 Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k

20k

40k

60k

80k

100k

120k

140k

160k

Jan

-11

Mar

-11

May

-11 Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

0k 20k

40k 60k

80k 100k

120k 140k

160k 180k

Jan

-11

Mar

-11

May

-11 Jul -11 Sep

-11

Nov

-11

Jan

-12

Mar

-12

May

-12 Jul -12 Sep

-12

Nov

-12

Jan

-13

Mar

-13

May

-13

Feb-13 onwards subject to demand

134

The Senate

Finance and Public Administration

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2012-13

March 2013

135

© Commonwealth of Australia 2013

ISBN 978-1-74229-770-5

Senate Fina

nce and Public Administration Committee Secretariat:

Ms Christine McDonald (Secretary)

Dr Jon Bell (Principal Research Officer)

Ms Margaret Cahill (Research Officer)

Ms Marina Katic (Administrative Officer)

The Senate PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: 02 6277 3530 Fax: 02 6277 5809 E-mail: fpa.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate_fpa

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

136

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Helen Polley (Chair) ALP, Tasmania

Senator Scott Ryan (Deputy Chair) LP, Victoria

Senator Richard Di Natale AG, Victoria

Senator the Hon John Faulkner ALP, New South Wales

Senator Arthur Sinodinos LP, New South Wales

Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens ALP, New South Wales

Participating members Senators Abetz, Brandis, Bushby, Colbeck, Cormann, Fierravanti-Wells, Fifield, Johnston, Kroger, Mason, McKenzie, Moore, Parry, Payne, Rhiannon, Ronaldson, Siewert, Singh, Thistlethwaite and Waters.

137

138

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

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

Additional Estimates 2012-13 ................................................................................. 1

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

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements ............................................................. 1

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

Questions

on notice and Hansard transcripts ......................................................... 2

Note on ref

erences .................................................................................................. 3

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

Parliamentary departments and portfolio issues .................................................. 5

Parlia

mentary departments ..................................................................................... 5

Pri

me Minister and Cabinet Portfolio .................................................................... 9

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio ..................................................................... 13

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 21

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversight ............................ 21

Parliament ............................................................................................................. 21

Pri

me Minister and Cabinet Portfolio .................................................................. 21

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio ..................................................................... 21

Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 23

Index to Hansard transcripts ................................................................................ 23

Monday, 11 February 2013 .................................................................................. 23

Tuesda

y, 12 February 2013 .................................................................................. 23

139

140

Chapter 1

Additional Estimates 2012-13 1.1 On 7 February 2013, the Senate referred the following to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee (the committee):

 Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on

30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2012-2013];

 Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year

ending on 30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2012-2013];

 Final Budget Outcome 2011-12; and

 Issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2011-12.

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.

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 1.3 The Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) sought additional estimates and variations for 2012-13. The Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2012-13 for the Finance and Deregulation Portfolio was tabled in the Senate on 7 February 2013.

1.4 Finance sought net additional funding of $27.6 million through Appropriation Bill (No. 3) as follows:

 $0.2 million in 2012-13 to extend overseas travel entitlements for the leader

of the Opposition and the leaders of minority parties; and

 $27.4 million in 2012-13 for the MoP(S) Act Enterprise Agreement.

1.5 Finance also sought net additional funding of $5.0 million in Appropriation Bill (No. 4), for the establishment of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal Company.

1.6 It was also indicated in the PAES that Finance's administered special appropriation will increase by $1.1 billion in 2012-13 due to revisions of superannuation estimates.2

1 As a matter of comity between the Houses neither House inquires 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 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13, Finance and Deregulation Portfolio, p. 3.

141

2

1.7 The parliamentary departments and the Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio did not seek additional funding through the 2012-13 additional estimates.

Hearings 1.8 The committee held public hearings on Monday, 11 February 2013 (parliamentary departments and Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio) and Tuesday, 12 February 2013 (Finance and Deregulation Portfolio). The committee took evidence from the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon. John Hogg; Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and Leader of the Government in the Senate, and Senator the Hon. David Feeney, Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, representing the Prime Minister; and Senator the Hon. Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, together with officers of relevant departments and agencies. The committee expresses its appreciation for the assistance of the President, Ministers, Departmental Secretaries and the officers who appeared before it.

1.9 The Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security was released from the hearing on 11 February 2013 without examination, while the following agencies were not required to attend the hearings:

 Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation;

 Australian River Co Ltd;

 Independent National Security Legislation Monitor;

 National Australia Day Council;

 Office of National Assessments; and

 COAG Reform Council Secretariat.

1.10 A delegation from the Parliament of Afghanistan attended the hearing on Tuesday, 12 February 2013, during examination of the Finance and Deregulation Portfolio, to observe proceedings. The delegation included the chair of the Economic Budget and Finance Committee, the chair and members of the Public Accounts Subcommittee, the Deputy Minister for Finance and the Auditor-General. The delegation's focus was to learn from international practice in conducting their roles in budget and oversight processes.

Questions on notice and Hansard transcripts 1.11 Most departments and agencies provided answers to questions on notice from the supplementary budget estimates hearings in October last year by the due date of 30 November 2012. However, the committee notes the late submission of a number of answers to questions on notice for the Finance and Deregulation Portfolio, with only 21 answers out of a total of 111 outstanding questions received by the due date. The committee hopes to see a more timely provision of answers in the future.

1.12 The committee has set 2 April 2013 as the date for the return of answers to questions on notice arising from the additional estimates hearings. This information, together with the Hansards transcripts of proceedings of hearings, are published on the committee's website at:

142

3

http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url= fapa_ctte/estimates/add_1213/index.htm.

Note on references 1.13 References to the estimates Hansard are to the proof Hansard; page number may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcript.

143

144

Chapter 2

Parliamentary departments and portfolio issues 2.1 This chapter summarises some of the matters raised during the committee's hearings on the additional estimates 2012-13.

Parliamentary departments

Department of the Senate

2.2 The committee sought advice on the relationship between the work of the newly established Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the work of the Parliament. It was noted that in relation to this issue there has been a number of comprehensive Senate committee inquiries which published submissions, evidence and reports. In particular, the committee sought clarification on the status of this evidence in light of term of reference (l) of the Royal Commission which states:

…the need to establish appropriate arrangements in relation to current and previous inquiries, in Australia and elsewhere, for evidence and information to be shared with you in ways consistent with relevant obligations so that the work of those inquiries, including, with any necessary consents, the testimony of witnesses, can be taken into account by you in a way that avoids unnecessary duplication, improves efficiency and avoids unnecessary trauma to witnesses.1

2.3 The Clerk of the Senate provided a detailed response, noting the valuable information generated from Senate inquiries which may inform the proceedings of the Royal Commission, but also noting the limitations on the use of parliamentary proceedings. The Clerk stated:

The royal commission is obviously a major and significant inquiry that no-one would want to see limited by unnecessary impediments, but by law there are some limitations on the use that bodies such as royal commissions can make of parliamentary proceedings. Houses have exclusive cognisance over their proceedings. They cannot be questioned or impeached in any place outside of parliament.

The basic restriction is that people cannot be questioned on their parliamentary evidence, and there are some limitations on the conclusions that can be drawn from the parliamentary evidence by outside bodies. The royal commission can access any or all of the published evidence and information, but not the unpublished or in camera material without further decision by the Senate. From the published material it can derive its own lines of inquiry, follow up things, learn information from what is on the

1 Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Letters Patent, http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/LettersPatent/Pages/default.aspx

145

6

record from the committee evidence and independently pursue inquiries. People can give to the royal commission the same information that they gave to the Senate committee, but if they provide to the royal commission a copy of their actual submission then those limitations would apply; if they top and tail it and turn it into a different document then it is perfectly okay. If people provided to Senate committees documents that had a prior existence—say, records of what happened in institutions, or whatever— then there is no limitation on them providing the same documents to the royal commission and the royal commission investigating those matters and questioning them about the documents. The only limitation is questioning on their parliamentary evidence, so it is really quite a narrow area.

It is conceivable that people might want to provide to the royal commission their in camera evidence to the Senate committees. That is where a difficulty might arise and that is where we would probably have to work through those issues on a case-by-case basis.2

2.4 The Clerk advised that she was considering ways of making information on the status and use of parliamentary evidence more widely available, including a note on the Senate website.3

2.5 Other matters canvassed during the examination of the Department of the Senate included the timing of the publication of the Senate Order of Business (The Red) on Tuesdays, an update on the status of a Code of Code of Conduct for Senators, the scheduling of work on the lighting rectification project in Senators' offices, and the the

department's submission to the review of the operation of Freedom of Information (FOI) laws by Dr Allan Hawke AC (the Hawke review).

Parliamentary Budget Office

2.6 The Parliamentary Budget Officer, Mr Phil Bowen PSM, made a detailed opening statement which provided an update on recent progress in the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) in regard to staffing, workload, priority setting, access to information and the self-initiated work program.

2.7 The office's staffing level is now at 24 and it is expect ed to reach a full complement of 30 to 35 on a permanent basis within the next couple months.4

2.8 The committee was informed that the demand for services had increased significantly in recent months with the office having received 207 requests and provided 152 responses. The committee suggested that disaggregation of these statistics, where appropriate, may be useful in future to monitor the work of the PBO. Mr Bowen responded by advising that he would be reluctant to divulge sources of requests, but considered statistics presented by broad categorisations would not breach

2 Dr Rosemary Laing, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 8.

3 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 8.

4 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 14.

146

7

confidentiality. He further advised that 'with one exception, the requests have all come from parties'.5

2.9 Mr Bowen expressed his gratitude at the high level of cooperation of departments and agencies in the provision of information, often within tight time frames, with only very few requests currently overdue. He further noted that the office is currently looking at options to gain access to certain detailed taxation information from the Australian Taxation Office which is currently restricted because of taxpayer privacy considerations.6

2.10 Mr Bowen advised the committee that the office will ensure that resources will be deployed on a fair and equitable basis and will consider the number, complexity and urgency of the requests received from each requestor. In regard to the caretaker period, Mr Bowen confirmed that:

…we will attempt to finalise any outstanding confidential costings that were submitted prior to the caretaker period commencing. However, we cannot guarantee to do so since our first priority in the caretaker period will be to cost publicly announced policies received during the caretaker period.7

2.11 Mr Bowen also encouraged the submission of policies to the PBO for costings prior to the caretaker period so that they can be costed with the best information to that point in time and if an update is requested during the caretaker period it would be quicker to prepare a costing that had been previously costed on a confidential basis. Mr Bowen stated:

The problem for us will be that if we have to do every costing from the ground up during the caretaker period, we just may not physically be able to do all the costing. If we have costed them previously, then we will have the models, much of the physical data will not be changed and we can update for an economic variables that have changed.8

2.12 It was noted that under the PBO's legislation, the submission of an update on a previous confidential costing request during the caretaker period would be publicly released. In response to questions on the time it will take to update policy costings after the release of the Pre-Election Economic & Fiscal Outlook (PEFO), Mr Bowen advised that it will depend on the nature of the costings and the extent to which they are influenced by the economic parameters set out in the PEFO.9

2.13 The committee was informed that the PBO's first published study will examine trends in the structural budget balance over the past decade and the projected shape of the structural budget balance over the 2013-14 budget and forward estimates

5 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 13.

6 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 14.

7 Mr Phil Bowen PSM, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 12.

8 Mr Phil Bowen PSM, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 19.

9 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 19

147

8

period. This is expected to be published later in this financial year and after the budget.10

Department of Parliamentary Services

2.14 The Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS), M Carol Mills, updated the committee on progress on the department's implementation of reform, which will involve staffing, business model processes, technology and systems, organisation and culture, and reporting and monitoring processes. Many of these areas were identified as issues for attention in the committee's report on the inquiry into the performance of DPS.11 Ms Mills elaborated on the DPS's response to the committee's report and its commitment to implement change:

You will note in the response that 21 of the 23 recommendations which we deem to be fully the responsibility of the department were accepted, and a work program attached to those. One recommendation related to the governance of the department and, as the presiding officers have indicated in discussion with me, they wish to consider this further as it is a matter for them to provide a final view on. One recommendation also related to funding arrangements for the department, and whilst on a departmental basis we welcomed that recommendation and the committee's recognition of the budgetary pressures under which DPS is currently operating, it is clearly ultimately a matter for government as to whether they take that up. For each recommendation we have endeavoured to put a list of actions currently underway or scheduled, and have made a strong commitment to provide regular feedback to this committee against our progress.12

2.15 The Parliamentary Librarian, Dr Dianne Heriot, was asked about a recent letter of advice to all senators and members concerning freedom of information (FOI) issues in regard to processes of the Parliamentary Library. In particular, the issue of exemption for research/advice to members of parliament provided by the Parliamentary Library was raised. Dr Heriot advised that she has made a submission to the Hawke review and recommended that there should be a provision that would exempt confidential client advices from the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. She suggested the consideration of two possible analogous models which may apply to the Parliamentary Library: exemptions applying to the PBO; and, to the courts. Dr Heriot stated:

The impetus for my submissions and my letter was that, when parliament turned its mind to the operation of the library, it clearly was of the view, in enacting amendments to the Parliamentary Service Act in 2005, that the client advices that the librarian provides are confidential. I have a degree of complication there when the FOI Act does not explicitly recognise that and

10 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 12-13.

11 Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Report on the inquiry into the Performance of the Department of Parliamentary Services, November 2012.

12 Ms Carol Mills, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 20.

148

9

I am not able to say with certainty that under the FOI Act all advices will be treated as confidential. That is my concern.13

2.16 Other issues raised during the examination of DPS included the recent investigation into the use of the parliamentary computer network to post political material online using false names, the appointment of Ms Carolyn Walsh to conduct a an investigation into a security breach, and the impact of email outages on the electronic fax service.

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

2.17 At the beginning of the examination of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), it was noted that the Secretary, Dr Ian Watt AO, was not in attendance. It was pointed out to the committee by officers in attendance that it has been a longstanding practice that the Secretary of PM&C is represented by officials at Senate estimates hearings:

…I would clarify that there is a longstanding practice, going back over the past seven secretaries—back 30 years, back to Sir Geoffrey Yeend—that the secretary does not attend and in fact delegates to his senior officers. There has been one exception—Mr Moore-Wilton in 2002—but that has been the longstanding practice. I just wanted to clarify that for members.14

2.18 The committee reminds PM&C that, in accordance with Senate Standing Orders, it could require the appearance of any officer if it considered it necessary to do so. The committee notes that most departments and agencies that appear before it at Senate estimates hearings are represented at the highest levels.

2.19 The department was questioned extensively on the document entitled Guidance on caretaker conventions (the guidelines). In particular, the committee sought guidance on the section dealing with pre-election consultation with the Opposition and the interpretation of paragraph 7.5.2 concerning the commencement of the guidelines. Paragraph 7.5.2 states:

The Guidelines are distinct from the caretaker conventions and commence on a different date. They apply as soon as an election for the House of Representatives is announced or three months before the expiry of the House of Representatives, whichever occurs first.15

2.20 Questioning focussed in whether the Prime Minister had 'announced' the election during her address to the National Press Club on 30 January 2013, thus bringing into effect the operation of the Guidelines. The Deputy Secretary, Governance, Ms Renee Leon, conveyed PM&C's view:

13 Dr Dianne Heriot, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 26.

14 Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM, Associate Secretary, Domestic Policy, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 63.

15 Guidance on caretaker conventions, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 2010, p. 9.

149

10

The Prime Minister announced in a speech to [the] National Press Club that she intended to advise the Governor-General to call the election on or around 12 August with the election to be held on 14 September. But she has not yet formally announced the election. That will occur on or around the time that the Prime Minister advises the Governor-General to dissolve the House of Representatives.16

2.21 The department made the distinction between its responsibilities in regard to the Guidelines and the Caretaker Conventions:

The caretaker conventions are ones on which the department regularly provides advice, both before and in particular during caretaker, and does so without reference to the government of the day in the sense—unless we are seeking to give advice to the government of the day as to what they can and cannot do. They are guidelines that the department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet is responsible for. The guidelines on pre-election consultation were and are a product of the then government. They may have been the subject of consultation with then opposition but they are guidelines that were produced by and, ultimately, belong to what you are calling the political arm of government.17

2.22 The department further advised that it had independently formed its view about when the pre-election consultation period would commence prior to putting that view to the Prime Minister. The department sought the Prime Minister's confirmation of its view before replying to a letter from the Leader of the Opposition seeking advice on when the period for pre-election consultations would commence.18

2.23 The committee also discussed the development of the national security strategy statement and announcement of the establishment of the Australian Cyber Security Centre. In response to questions about commentary on the apparent diminution of attention to the threat of non-state actors in the strategy, PM&C advised that the strategy was clear in articulating that the threat of terrorism remains real and persistent, despite the emergence of state actors as an increasingly important focus:

The point being made in the strategy, and also the point that the Prime Minister made in the speech at the launch of the strategy, was that while the threat of terrorism remains, while it persists and while vigilance is very much required, in future decades the role of state actors is going to be increasingly important as economic and strategic weight shifts from the West to our part of the world. I think some of that commentary misread and misheard what was said.19

16 Ms Renee Leon, Deputy Secretary Governance, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 40.

17 Ms Renee Leon, Deputy Secretary Governance, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 45.

18 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 45.

19 Dr Margot McCarthy, National Security Adviser, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 97.

150

11

2.24 The department confirmed that there is no new funding associated with the strategy.20 When asked about adequacy of current resourcing levels, the committee was advised:

There is a very large amount of Commonwealth resources devoted to national security—over $30 billion. Agencies, particularly with the benefit of the guidance on the national security strategy, have a good, clear set of directions about the importance of using those resources efficiently and effectively. One of the five-year priorities, effective partnerships to achieve innovative and efficient national security outcomes, goes very much to that point.21

2.25 The committee was informed that the newly announced Australian Cyber Security Centre will be established by the end of 2013 within current agency resources through co-locating all areas of government involved in cyber security. It will build on the current cyber-security operations centre within the Defence Signals Directorate with officials from other parts of government co-locating to the centre. It will focus not only on government networks, as the current centre within DSD does, but also on the protection of private sector networks.22 The department elaborated on what it sees as the benefits of the structure of the new body:

Colocation means that officials working on similar challenges are able to interact on a more day-to-day basis than is currently the case. Certainly I think the experience with DSD's cybersecurity centre is that having a very small number of officials from other agencies working with them has been effective and has been helpful, and the judgement of the national security community in working on this particular issue is that those arrangements and those outcomes would be made even more effective through colocation. If the concern is that we have not developed an entirely new organisation to deal with these threats, I guess I would point to similar cross-cutting security challenges like, for example, terrorism, in relation to which we did not create a new agency that deals only with terrorism; we have brought together, for example, in the Counter-terrorism Control Centre, a number of agencies working on that particular challenge. They are still responsible to their home agencies, but we are ensuring that they are together in the one place and are able to share information and expertise more efficiently and more effectively.23

2.26 The committee was particularly interested in the governance and accountability arrangements of the new centre. The committee was advised that it will not be an 'independent organisation', but will be a 'standalone organisation', with guidance provided by a board of secretaries and agency heads from the agencies with

20 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 97.

21 Dr Margot McCarthy, National Security Adviser, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 97.

22 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 97.

23 Dr Margot McCarthy, National Security Adviser, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 99-100.

151

12

representatives forming the centre. Officers from PM&C indicated that there will be a senior official appointed to head the centre, however, 'all of the officials working in the centre will be responsible to their own agencies'. On the question of whether a particular portfolio or agency will provide administrative support and where the centre will sit for oversight by Senate committees, the committee was advised that those arrangements are still being considered.24

2.27 The committee also questioned officers of PM&C about a letter from the Attorney-General to the Australian Information Commissioner dated 27 June 2012 concerning an invitation by the United States Secretary of State for Australia to join the Open Government Partnership initiative. PM&C advised that a decision on this proposal has not been made and was still under consideration by a number of government agencies. Officers further advised that on 17 September 2012, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister replied to an earlier letter from the Attorney-General about this matter which indicated that 'further work needs to be done including involving a number of other ministers in that further consideration.'25 PM&C undertook to provide a copy of this letter to the committee on notice.

2.28 Other areas of interest during examination of the department included FOI applications and processes, the drafting process for the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, Council of Australian Governments processes, and the funding model for the National Plan for School Improvement.

Portfolio agencies

2.29 Some of the matters raised with Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio agencies are set out below.

2.30 The Official Secretary to the Governor-General, Mr Stephen Brady CVO, updated the committee on the Governor-General's recent schedule, which included visits to communities across several states affected by natural disasters. One area of interest to Senators was the Governor-General's recent trip to Antarctica. Information was sought on the logistics, aircraft, accompanying staff and the consideration of the former Prime Minister, the Hon. Robert Hawke AC, travelling on the same flight as the Governor-General.26

2.31 The committee questioned the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) on a number of issues in regard to the first national report card. The NMHC indicated that it was under a number of time and data constraints in the preparation of the report card. Some of the areas discussed included cross-government oversight in terms of Commonwealth and state responsibilities, budgeting and evaluation of programs. Senators also raised the issue of the current powers of the NMHC in comparison to similar state bodies and how this may impact on its effectiveness.27

24 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 99.

25 Ms Renee Leon, Deputy Secretary, Governance, Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p.108.

26 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 37-38.

27 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 75-78.

152

13

2.32 During examination of the Australian Public Service Commission, the committee returned to the issue of the level unscheduled absences in the Australian Public Service. It was confirmed by officers that this topic appeared on the agenda of the Secretaries Board for the first time in November 2012.

2.33 The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman was questioned on the outsourcing of services for an own motion investigation. In particular, the committee sought details of a contract valued at $20,000 for project management services in relation to an own motion investigation into the incidence of suicide and self-harm in immigration detention. It was confirmed that this contract was awarded to a former staff member of the former Attorney-General and former Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. The office confirmed that relevant procurement processes were followed in the engagement of this contactor.28

2.34 As the independence of the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman is fundamental to its role, the committee raised concerns about awarding this particular contract for such a contentious issue in relation to government policy. The Ombudsman informed the committee that other people would contribute to the report and not solely the contractor. He further advised that he would ultimately be responsible for the content of the report and it would be for others to judge if it was appropriately balanced.29

2.35 The committee sought an update on the allocation of staff travel cards and corporate credit cards at the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO). The office's increase in travel expenditure of approximately 50 per cent of $1.081 million in 2010- 11 to 1,577,893 in 2011-12 was also raised and it was noted that the office has a relatively large travel budget due to the nature of the work. However, the Auditor-General was unable to provide more detail for the large increase and undertook to provide further information to the committee on notice.30

2.36 The committee also questioned officers of the ANAO on Performance Audit Report No. 17 for 2012-13: Design and implementation of the Energy Efficiency Information Grants Program.

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

Department of Finance and Deregulation

2.37 Senators sought details on the methodology used for determining the revised estimates for asylum seeker and border protection expenses released in the additional estimates for the Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio. The Secretary of the Department of the Finance and Deregulation (Finance), Mr David Tune, advised the committee that figures are based on assumptions about the number of arrivals. He further advised that Finance is constantly in discussion with the Department of

28 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 111-112.

29 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 112.

30 Committee Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 114-115.

153

14

Immigration and Citizenship in regard to the number of arrivals and these figure are updated when required for reporting purposes. Mr Tune added:

Obviously we had continuing arrivals after the budget during the course of 2012, we had the Houston review in 2012 and the decisions on that fit into MYEFO and since then the numbers are still reasonably high—as mentioned earlier, the number of arrivals to date this financial year are greater than the number that we have implicit in the financial numbers—so we will need to make an adjustment to that in the budget, and we will be doing so. That is broadly the process. That is for the current year and we are doing

the same for the out-years as well.31

2.38 When asked about where the final decision rests on the estimates of arrivals on which estimates of cost are based, the Minister explained that:

The Finance portfolio has to be satisfied with the estimates. Where in this area or other areas departments may provide their view about those estimates, ultimately the Secretary [of Finance] and the government have to agree with those estimates.32

2.39 Mr Tune further commented that in regards to assumptions which underpin estimates in the PEFO document, he would make that judgement at the time, absent from government.33

2.40 Finance updated the committee on the BoardLinks Network which was launched on 7 November 2012. This initiative was established to provide more opportunities for women to be appointed to their first board, to launch and further their directorship careers, and to the increase the number of potential candidates for Australian Government boards.34 The BoardLinks objective is to have at least 40 per cent of women and 40 per cent men on government boards by 2015.

2.41 The committee heard that a number of 'champions' have agreed to support and publicly promote the initiative. Minister Wong confirmed that she selected people who are well regarded as leaders in the business community and have an interest in this issue. Finance has also identified a range of organisations that also have an interest in promoting greater participation of women on boards to be affiliate organisations and to work with the government on this initiative. A website has been established and the initiative will look to providing networking opportunities, induction for newly appointed women on government boards and mentoring arrangements.35

2.42 Minister Wong expanded further on the aims of BoardLinks:

31 Mr David Tune, Secretary, Department of Finance and Deregulation, Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 24.

32 Senator the Hon. Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 24.

33 Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 27.

34 http://www.boardlinks.gov.au/

35 Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 35-36.

154

15

We are trying to overcome a couple of the excuses that often get made for women not being in positions. One is that there are not enough suitably qualified women. I frankly do not accept that. I suspect there are probably not enough suitably qualified women within the purview of government— at department level or other. Part of this process is to try and use these mechanisms to identify more women of ability and more women who are suitably credentialed to go on to boards. So that is the pool issue. The second issue is making sure that we try and give opportunities to those women who are appointed or who are seeking appointment to get supported in that through these networking and engagement opportunities. There is no science to this. But it seemed to me as minister that, if we are serious about the 40 per cent target—and the government is—then we need to put in place some practical strategies to support that.36

2.43 The committee sought an update on Finance's work program in regard to regulation. It was advised that in relation to the Commonwealth-State agenda it was still completing some of the seamless national economy and that there is continuing reforms associated with the Business Advisory Forum agenda. In particular, information was also sought on the more informal processes the department has for monitoring and identifying concerns from business on areas of regulations which are impacting on the 'red tape burden'. The committee was advised:

For a start, to the extent to which they are Commonwealth legislation, they ought to be identified or picked up in Commonwealth regulation impact statements. More generally, the BAF agenda has been a very iterative agenda with business. The initial BAF agenda was developed in very close consultation with the four peak business organisations and then was the subject of consultation with major industry groups. We propose to do the same thing with any future agenda. So, we have fairly regular consultation with business about the nature of their concerns and where they think we could add value.37

2.44 Further discussion on regulation focussed on the recent publication, Sharpening the focus: a framework for improving Commonwealth performances', and its reference to 'a growing aversion to risk across the Commonwealth and a tendency to respond to perceived risks and failure with more rules…'38 Finance advised that, while this paper predominantly deals with regulatory responses to risk within the public sector, they have a flow through to the private sector. The Secretary elaborated further for the committee:

We are talking about the Financial Management Accountability Act which governs the financial management of a large number of entities plus the CAC Act which covers the corporations. When they are outward focused—

36 Senator the Hon. Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 36.

37 Ms Susan Page, Deputy Secretary, Deregulation and Review Group, Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 57.

38 Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 59.

155

16

that is, dealing with customers—they can be business, they can be not-for-profits, they can be individuals, there are a whole lot of practices that exist within the Public Service, the GBEs and so forth which can be influenced by the attitude that is taken through the Financial Management Accountability Act and, as the minister mentioned, by the political climate that surrounds it. The two things are linked very closely. The first one is focused on the inner workings of government, but we recognise that there are very strong connections through to the interactions with business and not-for-profits.

If you are risk averse you may put in place a very strict compliance mechanism whereby you check everything that comes in and double-check it and get it audited. That would mean internally that red tape would be imposed on the customers. If you take a different attitude to that, a more risk based approach, you might be able to maintain the compliance effort but at reduced cost and with less time wasted. That is the philosophy that we are trying to work towards.39

2.45 The committee also sought an update on the Review of the Australian Government’s Regulatory Impact Analysis Process (Milliner and Borthwick review), and was advised that the Government presented a final response on 4 December 2012. The department indicated that it is currently consulting across Commonwealth agencies, business and not-for-profits on the development of a new handbook with a view for it to commence on 1 July 2013.40

2.46 Other areas of interest to Senators during examination of Finance included the production of the Final Budget Outcome, costings for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Gonski Reforms, redevelopment of the Central Budget Management System project, and the waiver of dentists' debts to Medicare from the former Chronic Disease Dental Scheme.

Medibank Private Ltd

2.47 The committee again questioned Medibank Private Ltd on the $300 million special dividend payment. The committee was advised that it has not yet been paid and was due to be paid towards the end of the second half of the year. 41

2.48 The committee sought advice on Medibank Private's position in regard to the Private Health Australia campaign against further changes to the private health insurance rebate. The Managing Director, Mr George Savvides, said that the organisation is not distancing itself from the campaign, however considers there are other areas of advocacy the industry should be pursuing:

39 Mr David Tune PSM, Secretary, Department of Finance and Deregulation, Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 60.

40 Ms Susan Page, Deputy Secretary, Deregulation and Review Group, Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 60.

41 Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 40.

156

17

The rebate is fine for today, but all of the economic critique that has come around that proposition suggests that if you extrapolate that into the future with the ageing population it becomes an exponential curve—a very high-cost curve. So our argument has been that beyond subsidy—which is what the rebate is about—we do need a more permanent solution for Australia which deals with care coordination, care at the right point of servicing— more chronic is more primary care, less acute. If we do not get that right the rebate becomes a very small problem in the light of a significant expanding cost base for an ageing Australia.42

2.49 Other issues canvassed during the examination of Medibank Private included the process for the appointment of Ms Anna Bligh to the board, the operation of Medibank Health Solutions within the organisation's current framework, and premium increases.

Future Fund Management Agency

2.50 The committee questioned the Future Fund Management Agency on the significant increase in costs of administration from $50 million to $417.09 million over the last five years. The Managing Director, Mr Mark Burgess, explained that the fund has developed over that period of time from a high cash weighting to being fully invested and this has impacted on the associated costs:

It is going back a long way in terms of the development of the fund. As you recall, in 2007-08—and I think the board deserves a lot of credit—during that very volatile period in the markets, the fund essentially kept a very high cash weighting. The cost of managing cash is very small. And at that point the fund held cash. So I do not think it is comparing like with like. We are looking at a fund today that is now essentially close to fully invested. It is getting closer to, let's call it its 'normal fee level'. It would be incorrect to compare the fees over those two periods, because they are completely different asset class structures.43

2.51 The committee also discussed the new internal conflicts committee, which has been established to ensure that proper processes take place if a director or a guardian of the fund has a conflict of interest and is required to exclude themselves from a particular process. It was explained that the conflicts committee has only met once to set up its charter and establish its future direction.

2.52 The committee revisited the issue of the level of holdings in tobacco companies. The agency confirmed that there had been one new holding in the tobacco portfolio and went on to note that holdings in tobacco companies are at the discretion of external fund managers.

2.53 The committee noted the high level of expenditure on travel and sought more detail from the agency. Mr Burgess informed the committee that it is an issue that is

42 Mr George Savvides, Managing Director, Medibank Private Ltd, Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 41.

43 Mr Mark Burgess, Managing Director, Future Fund Management Agency, Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 47.

157

18

monitored and taken seriously by the agency. As the agency is centrally located in Melbourne, and does not have investment offices in other locations, this impacts on the travel budget and needs to be weighed against the cost of locating people overseas and reducing travel requirements.44

Other Portfolio agencies

2.54 The committee explored a number of issues with the Australian Electoral Commission. Of interest to Senators was the early announcement of the election date and the impact on the office and processes. Other matters considered included the voting arrangements for blind and vision impaired persons at the next election, voting eligibility for people living overseas for longer than six years, rules and processes for viewing the electoral roll.45

2.55 ComSuper and the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) were examined together. The committee welcomed Dr Jill Charker as the new Chief Executive Officer of ComSuper and sought her views on how she would approach her new role. She cited the major challenge as continuing to provide efficient services within the financial constraints and in accordance with legislative requirements to meet the needs of members and trustees. The committee also questioned ComSuper about staffing reductions and corporate governance structure.46

2.56 The committee asked the CSC about its conflict of interest management policy in regard to multiple directorships for its directors, staffing levels, and the efficiencies following the merger of the nine superannuation schemes for public sector employees and Australian Defence Force personnel. 47

2.57 The ASC Pty Ltd was asked about the operation of the new Collins Class Submarine support contract, the In-Service Support Contract (ISSC), which came into operation 1 July 2012. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Stephen Ludlam, explained that it had been a positive beginning:

We have set some hard targets for improvement in that program. We are currently on track—a little bit ahead on an aggregate basis—with the neighbour's requirement for availability. We expect in our forecasts and the management of risk going forward that we will give the Navy what they wanted throughout the whole of the financial year. We are able to work the supply chain in a much better way, so we have greater efficiency in the supply chain and are getting quite good supply input at levels greater than 95 per cent across the piece on each work package…We are progressively removing waste from the operation under the lean methods, and our return on investments for the investments that we are making are around five to one—for every dollar we put in, we gain around $5 back in savings. So I think ISSC has really been pretty good for us.

44 Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 53-54.

45 Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 74-84.

46 Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 54-55.

47 Committee Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 55-56.

158

19

2.58 The committee also questioned the ASC Pty Ltd on the full cycle docking program, the delay in the air warfare destroyer project and the process for setting dividend targets.

Senator Helen Polley Chair

159

160

Appendix 1

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversight Parliament  Department of the Senate

 Parliamentary Budget Office

 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 Australia Day Council

 National Mental Health Commission

 Office of National Assessments

 Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman

 Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

 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 Commission

 Australian River Co. Limited

 ComSuper

 Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation

 Future Fund Management Agency

 Medibank Private Limited

161

162

Appendix 2

Index to Hansard transcripts1

Page

Monday, 11 February 2013

Parliament

Department of the Senate ................................................................................................ 1

Parliamentary Budget Office ......................................................................................... 11

Department of Parliamentary Services ......................................................................... 19

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General ............................................. 36

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet ....................................................... 39, 78

National Mental Health Commission ............................................................................ 75

Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman ................................................................. 110

Australian National Audit Office ................................................................................ 114

Australian Public Service Commission ....................................................................... 117

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

Department of Finance and Deregulation .................................................................. 3, 56

Medibank Private Limited ............................................................................................. 39

Future Fund Management Agency ................................................................................ 45

ComSuper ...................................................................................................................... 54

Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation ............................................................... 55

Australian Electoral Commission .................................................................................. 74

ASC Pty Ltd (formerly the Australian Submarine Corporation) .................................. 84

1 Hansard page numbers referred to in this appendix are based on proof Hansards. Page numbers may vary slightly in the final Office Hansard transcripts.

163

164

The Senate

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2012-13

March 2013

165

© Commonwealth of Australia ISBN 978-1-74229-771-2

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

166

iii

Membership of the Committee Core 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, AG, WA Senator Anne McEwen, ALP, SA

Deputy Chair

Senator Helen Kroger (substitute member) was Deputy Chair of the committee for the committee's consideration of the 2012-13 Additional estimates, 13 February and 14 February 2013.

Secretariat

Dr Kathleen Dermody, Secretary Mr Owen Griffith, Principal Research Officer Miss Jedidiah Reardon, Senior Research Officer Ms Penny Bear, Research Officer Ms Jo-Anne Holmes, Administrative Officer

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee Department of the Senate PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Australia

Phone: + 61 2 6277 3535 Fax: + 61 2 6277 5818 Email: fadt.sen@aph.gov.au Internet: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_fadt

167

168

v

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

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

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

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

Defence portfolio .................................................................................................... 1

Department of Defence........................................................................................ 1

Department of Veterans' Affairs.......................................................................... 5

Australian War Memorial .................................................................................... 5

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio ....................................................................... 6

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ........................................................... 6

DFAT trade programs, Australian Trade Commission, and Export Finance and Insurance Corporation .................................................. 9

Australian Agency for International Development ........................................... 10

Acknowledgements .............................................................................................. 11

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

Tabled documents ................................................................................................... 13

Defence portfolio .................................................................................................. 13

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio ..................................................................... 13

169

170

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee Report to the Senate

Introduction 1.1 On 7 February 2013,1 the Senate referred the following documents to the committee for examination and report:

• Estimates of proposed additional expenditure for 2012-2013 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 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2012-2013]; and

• Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year

ending on 30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2012-2013].

1.2 The committee conducted public hearings with the Defence portfolio on 13 February 2013 and the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio on 14 February 2013. 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 also received evidence from the Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs, also representing the Minister for Trade, and from officers from the relevant departments and agencies.

1.3 Links to the transcripts of these public hearings and to answers and additional information are available on the committee's internet site at:

http://aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=fadt_ ctte/estimates/add_1213/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 12 April 2013.

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 Warren King, the Chief Executive Officer of Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), and officers of the Defence organisation. On behalf of the committee, the Chair welcomed Mr Dennis Richardson AO to his first estimates as Secretary of the Department of Defence. The Chair took

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 132, 7 February 2013, p. 3606.

171

2

the opportunity to thank Mr Richardson for his assistance to the committee in his previous role as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.2

Chief of the Defence Force's opening statement

1.6 General Hurley made an opening statement. The CDF began by recording his condolences to the family and friends of Corporal Scott Smith, who was killed in action when an improvised explosive device detonated during a clearance operation in Uruzgan on 21 October 2012. The CDF noted that Corporal Smith's:

…dedication to duty was formally recognised on Australia Day when he received a posthumous Commendation for Gallantry. Cpl Smith was one of more than 100 Australian Defence Force [ADF] members whose efforts were acknowledged on Australia Day, but there are thousands more Defence personnel who are doing an outstanding job at home or on deployments around the world. Many of those who were recognised have been part of Australia's ongoing contribution to the mission in Afghanistan.3

1.7 The CDF provided an operational update on the transition in Uruzgan province whereby the Afghan National Security Forces will assume full responsibility for security. The CDF commented that:

It is sometimes difficult to appreciate the scale and significance of progress in Afghanistan when looking from a distance and from the outside, where we tend to apply our own Western perceptions of normal…Significant progress has been made which has provided the Afghans with the opportunity and capacity to manage their own future and to assist the international community in defeating and deterring threats emanating from Afghanistan.4

1.8 In relation to the timing of the scaling back of Australia's operations in Afghanistan, the CDF stated:

The first significant decrease in the number of ADF personnel in Afghanistan will coincide with the end of transition in Uruzgan. Based on our current assessments, transition will be complete and the majority of ADF personnel will be withdrawn from Uruzgan by the end of this year—in December I would think.5

1.9 The CDF also commented on the winding down of Australia's operations in East Timor and the Solomon Islands. He then noted that as well as continuing contributions to Australia's border protection, the ADF had provided emergency assistance to Fiji, Samoa and the Solomon Islands, and to flood and fire affected communities in Queensland, Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Australia.6

2 Proof Committee Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 5. 3 Proof Committee Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 6.

4 Proof Committee Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 7.

5 Proof Committee Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 8.

6 Proof Committee Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 8.

172

3

1.10 In his opening statement, the CDF addressed the apology, issued on 26 November 2012, to those who have suffered sexual, physical or mental abuse while serving in the ADF.7 The CDF stated:

Together with the ADF senior leadership, I am committed to ensuring we provided a fair, just and inclusive work environment. I have given my personal undertaking to endeavour strenuously to defend the right of all ADF members to serve in an environment free from abusive behaviour of any kind.

Defence is working with the Hon. Len Roberts-Smith and the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce. To date, we have established protocols and commenced the transfer of Defence records requested by the taskforce. We will continue to cooperate fully as the taskforce undertakes this important body of work.8

1.11 In his opening statement, the CDF also addressed the issue of Defence culture and reported on progress of the Pathway to Change strategy, which was released in response to the suite of reviews conducted in 2011-12.9

1.12 Other topics examined during the hearing on 13 February 2013 included:

Questions arising from opening statements, portfolio overview and budget summary

• Medibank Health Solutions (pp. 10-18)

• Mental health and suicide rates (pp. 18-20)

• The Navy's humanitarian and disaster relief capability (pp. 20-21)

• Payment of bonuses/allowances to reservists (pp. 21-23)

• Defence Logistics Transformation Program (pp. 23-26, 47-48, 49-51)

• Update on women in the ADF (pp. 26-28)

• Retention of skilled ADF personnel (pp. 28-29)

• Foreign Military Sales (pp. 29, 76)

• Leaked draft of the Defence White Paper (pp. 30-33, 81)

• Incidences of hydrogen sulphide poisoning in the Navy (pp. 33-35)

• Defence and DMO Budget Paper (pp. 35-36)

Program 1.2 Navy Capabilities

• Dry-docking facilities (pp. 36-37)

• Marine technician retention bonuses (pp. 38-39, 63-64, 76)

• Perisher training program (pp. 39-40, 59)

7 Proof Committee Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 9.

8 Proof Committee Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 9.

9 Proof Committee Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 9.

173

4

• Rizzo Review (pp. 40-42)

• Collins Class submarines (54-59, 62-63)

• Mutual Service Agreement between Navy and DMO (pp. 59-60)

• Coles Review (pp. 60-61)

• Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (pp. 61-62)

• SEA 1000 (pp. 67-70)

• Mine warfare (pp. 70-71)

• Unmanned underwater vehicles (pp. 70-72)

Program 1.2 Army Capabilities

• Project Overlander (pp. 42-43)

• Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) sustainment (pp. 43-45)

• LAND 121 Phase 3B (pp. 45-47)

• LAND 400 (pp. 48-49)

• Cancellation of self-propelled howitzers in LAND 17 (pp. 51-53)

Program 1.6 Defence Support and Reform

• Freedom of information request 'Detained in Dubai' (pp. 65, 66)

• Enoggera redevelopment stage 2 (pp. 65-67)

• Base security investment program (pp. 73-74)

Program 1.9 Vice Chief of the Defence Force

• Decrease in spending in the area of health workforce (p. 77)

• Dunt review of mental health care (pp. 77-78)

Program 1.12 Chief Finance Officer

• Official Development Assistance (ODA) (pp. 79-80)

Program 1.13 Defence People Group

• Vietnam Logistics and Support Medal for Ubon servicemen (pp. 81-82)

Defence Materiel Organisation

• Mulwala redevelopment project (pp. 75-76)

• LAND 40 phase 2—direct fire support weapons (p. 76)

• JP 2072 project (pp. 83-84)

• Air Qarfare Destroyer (AWD) project (84-86)

174

5

Department of Veterans' Affairs

1.13 The committee welcomed Mr Ian Campbell PSM, Secretary of the Department of Veterans' Affairs, and officers from the Department of Veterans' Affairs.10

1.14 Topics examined during the hearing on 13 February 2013 included:

• Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) program and funding

(pp. 86-92)

• Booked Car with Driver service (pp. 93-94)

• Report on mental health in the ADF (pp. 95-98)

• Healthcare costs (p. 99)

• Commencement of the caretaker period following the announcement of

September 2013 Federal election (pp. 99-100)

• Defence health services contract (pp. 101-106)

• Costs of future payments under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (pp. 106-107)

• Centenary of Anzac commemorations (pp. 107-114)

• Anzac Centenary fund (pp. 114-116)

Australian War Memorial

1.15 The committee acknowledged the attendance of officers of the Australian War Memorial. On behalf of the committee, both the Chair and Senator Ronaldson, congratulated Dr Brendan Nelson AO on his appointment as Director of the Australian

War Memorial. Dr Nelson noted that his new appointment was an 'immense honour' and that he and his staff looked forward to working with the committee. The committee thanked the representatives of the Australian War Memorial for their time, but as there were no questions they were excused.11

10 Proof Committee Hansard, 13 February 2013, p. 86. 11 Proof Committee Hansard, 13 February 2013, pp. 100-101.

175

6

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

1.16 The committee welcomed officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). On behalf of the committee, the Chair welcomed Mr Peter Varghese AO to his first estimates as the Secretary of DFAT.12

Minister's opening statement

1.17 Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs, made a brief opening statement regarding the case of Mr Benjamin Zygier, a dual Australian-Israeli citizen who died in detention in Israel in 2010.

…I am advised in the form of an interim report that the Australian government was informed in February 2010 through intelligence channels that the Israeli authorities had detained a dual Australian-Israeli citizen, and they provided the name of the citizen, in relation to serious offences under Israeli national security legislation.

The Australian government specifically sought assurances from Israel that (1) the individual's legal rights would be respected (2) he had legal representation of his own choosing (3) the individual's family members had been notified of his arrest and detention and (4) he was not being mistreated. The Israeli government further advised the Australian government that the individual would be treated in accordance with his lawful rights as an Israeli citizen. The Australian government relied on these assurances. At no stage during his detention did the Australian government receive any request from the individual or his family to extend consular support.

The Australian government was advised through intelligence channels on 16 December 2010 of this individual's death on the previous day, and the deceased's family had been notified by Israeli authorities. The Australian embassy in Tel Aviv provided assistance in the repatriation of the body to Australia in December 2010. I speak with respect for the grieving of this man's family; I respect their grief at this news. I hope we can all discuss this matter, if there is further discussion, with that in mind.13

1.18 Mr Varghese was asked to outline his priorities as the Secretary of DFAT. In response, Mr Varghese stated:

On my first day in the job I spoke with all of our staff about the outlook for the department and about my priorities. The priorities of a secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade are the priorities of the government, obviously; that goes without saying. I think over the last year or so that has been sketched out in some detail by the government, including in the white paper on the Asian century and more recently by the Prime Minister in the National Security Strategy. I did indicate in my remarks to all staff that I would be paying particular attention to our major bilateral relationships,

12 Proof Committee Hansard, 14 February 2013, p. 3. 13 Proof Committee Hansard, 14 February 2013, pp. 4-5.

176

7

that the East Asia Summit and the objectives of the G20 were very important formative institutions which Australian diplomacy would like to see bedded down and made effective, and that the demands and the challenges and the opportunities of the neighbourhood would of course be a continuing priority for this and I suspect every Australian government. That in the broad are the priorities that I sketched out. There are obviously many other very important issues that the department will be dealing with, and that list was not meant to be in any way exclusive.14

1.19 Topics examined during the hearing on 14 February 2013 included:

Portfolio Overview

• Recommendations of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs,

Defence and Trade's inquiry into Australia's overseas representation (p. 5)

• Expenditure on consultancy contracts (p. 6)

• Reports of workplace bullying within the department (pp. 6-7)

• The case of Mr Benjamin Zygier, a dual Australian-Israeli citizen who died in detention in Israel in 2010 (pp. 7-12, 33)

• Policy planning branch and scenario planning (pp. 12-14)

• Australia-UK Ministerial Consultations (AUKMIN) communiqué in relation

to Israeli settlements (pp. 15-16)

• Overseas travel for Foreign Ministers' spouses (pp. 16-17)

• The minister's four point plan proposal to reduce anger in the Arab world

following the release of an anti-Islamic movie (pp. 18-19)

• Australia's seat on the United Nations Security Council (pp. 19-21)

• Direct aid program funding (pp. 21-22)

• Counter-terrorism (p. 23)

• The National Security Strategy (pp. 23-24)

• The announcement that North Korea was proposing to re-establish a diplomatic presence in Australia (pp. 24-25)

1.20 The committee then moved on through the program, beginning with the geographical areas under outcome 1.

Outcome 1

North Asia

• Annual leadership meetings between Australia and China (p. 25)

• Australia-Japan talks regarding protests against whaling (p. 25)

• The election of the new Japanese government (p. 25)

14 Proof Committee Hansard, 14 February 2013, p. 5.

177

8

• Australian journalist, Chris Buckley, who was expelled from China in late

2012 (p. 26)

• Reports of self-immolations in Tibet (p. 26)

• Burma (pp. 26-27, 28-29, 30-31)

• Travel advisories regarding spiked drinks in popular destinations such as Bali and Thailand (pp. 27-28)

• Travel advisories for the Philippines (p. 28)

• Travel advisories regarding travel insurance and international driver's licences

(p. 28)

• The disappearance of Sombath Somphone, a Lao non-government organisation (NGO) campaigner (pp. 30, 51)

• The election process in Malaysia (pp. 31-33)

Americas

• Venezuela (p. 33)

• Recent US school shootings (p. 34)

• Beef imports and biosecurity (pp. 34-35)

Pacific

• Detention centre on Manus Island (p. 35)

• Foreign aid in the Pacific (pp. 36-37)

• Climate change and natural disasters (pp. 37-38)

• Pacific Women's Parliamentary Partnership Forum (pp. 38-39)

• Papua New Guinea (PNG) case of woman, Kepari Leniata, burned alive for

sorcery (p. 39)

South and West Asia, and the Middle East.

• Asylum seeker boats leaving Sri Lanka for Australia (pp. 39-42)

• Deportation of Sri Lankan asylum seekers (pp. 42-44)

International organisations and legal issues.

• Australia joining the Open Government Partnership (pp. 44-47)

• UN vote on Palestinian observer status (pp. 47-48)

• The case of two Australians, Marcus Lee and Matt Jones detained in Dubai

(pp. 48-50)

• UN Commission on the Status of Women (pp. 50-51)

• G20 Summit in to be held Brisbane in 2014 (p. 50)

Services to diplomatic/consular representatives

• Availability of diplomatic real estate in Canberra (p. 53)

178

9

• Chinese embassy construction (pp. 53-55)

Program 2.1 Consular services

• Consular assistance provided to Laura Garrett, the ex-wife of Italian national Tommaso Vincenti, who fled Italy with her four daughters (pp. 51-52)

• Fifty-seven Australian citizens detained in China (p. 52)

• Travel advice for Australian students undertaking overseas exchange

programs (pp. 52-53)

• Guidelines in relation to consular loans (p. 55)

• Consular services in Thailand (pp. 55-56)

Program 2.2 Passport services

• Media article referring to fake documents, including passports, available on

the internet (p. 56)

Outcome 3 Foreign Affairs and Trade operations and overseas properties

• The number of security personnel employed to guard Australian embassies or high commissions (p. 56-57)

• Budget for the construction of a new embassy in Indonesia (pp. 57-58)

Trade portfolio

DFAT trade programs, Australian Trade Commission, and Export Finance and Insurance Corporation

1.21 The committee welcomed officers of the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) who appeared with DFAT officers in the trade portfolio.15

1.22 Topics examined during the hearing on 14 February 2013 included:

Bilateral, regional and multilateral trade negotiations

• Australian beef exports to Indonesia (pp. 58-59)

• Beef exports between Australia and South Korea (pp. 59-60)

• Trade relations with South Korea (pp. 60-62)

• US free trade agreement (pp. 62-64)

• Tariffs in India (p. 65)

EFIC

• The Productivity Commission's recommendations for changes to EFIC's mandate and operations (pp. 65-68)

• PNG LNG developments (pp. 68-71)

15 Proof Committee Hansard, 14 February 2013, p. 58.

179

10

• $200 million special dividend payment (p. 71)

Austrade

• The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme (pp. 71-74)

Australian Agency for International Development

1.23 The committee welcomed officers of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).16

Opening statement

1.24 Mr Peter Baxter, Director General, made an opening statement. Mr Baxter discussed the review of the way advisers are used and remunerated under Australia's aid program. He also noted the release of the Annual review of Aid Effectiveness on 25 January 2013. Mr Baxter stated:

The annual review of aid effectiveness is a key reform flowing from the government's new aid policy, Effective Aid and the independent review of aid effectiveness. The annual review was considered by cabinet in late 2012. This is the first time the aid program has reported against a standard set of results with consistent definitions and parameters across the whole of government. The review identifies the results achieved by all agencies delivering the government's aid program, issues relating to the effectiveness of the aid program, and global trends affecting development. The review follows the release of the Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework in May 2012, five months before consideration of the first annual review by government.

Next year, the 2012-13 annual review will be the first full year of reporting against the Comprehensive Aid Policy Framework. The key findings of the review were: the aid program has provided support for more than two million children to receive immunisations thus reducing child deaths and illnesses; we provided more than 3,700 scholarships in 2011, and 4,300 in 2012 mostly for Indonesia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines; and over 4,000 kilometres of national roads were rehabilitated, maintained or constructed. 17

1.25 Topics examined during the hearing on 14 February 2013 included:

• Samoa (pp. 77-78)

• Reallocation of up to $375 million of Australia's aid budget towards domestic refugee support costs (pp. 78-85, 91-93)

• The direct aid program (pp. 85-86)

• Mining for Development Initiative (pp. 86-88)

• Funding for the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

(pp. 88-89)

16 Proof Committee Hansard, 14 February 2013, p. 75. 17 Proof Committee Hansard, 14 February 2013, p. 76.

180

11

• Tuberculosis facility at Daru Hospital (pp. 90-91)

• Guidelines for Official Development Assistance (ODA) (pp. 93-94)

• The Green Book, our statistical summary (p. 94)

• Development assistance to Afghanistan (pp. 94-96)

• The commitment to increase the aid budget to 0.37 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) (p. 96)

• The annual review of aid effectiveness (pp. 96-97)

• The whole-of-government approach (pp. 97-98)

• The Mama Graon Project in Vanuatu (pp. 98-99)

• Papua New Guinea case of woman, Kepari Leniata, burned alive for sorcery (p. 99)

• Aid and humanitarian assistance to Burma (pp. 99-101)

• AusAID funding for the building of houses for Tamils in northern Sri Lanka

(pp. 101-102)

• Aid to Rwanda (pp. 102-103)

• Aid programs in Palestine (pp. 103-104)

• Global Food Security Initiative—Food Security through Rural Development (pp. 104-105)

Acknowledgements 1.26 For their assistance during its hearings, the committee thanks Senator the Hon David Feeney and Senator the Hon Bob Carr. 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

181

182

Appendix 1

Tabled documents

Additional estimates 2012−2013

Defence portfolio

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Received from General David Hurley, AC, DSC, Chief of the Defence Force 'Opening Statement Senate Estimates hearing 13 February 2013'.

Received from Senator Kroger, 'Detained in Dubai', Freedom of Information request by Radha Stirling to the Department of Defence (dated 24 January 2013).

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Received from Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs, 'Israeli Settlement Activity', background note (not dated).

Received from Senator the Hon Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Letters to the Minister from US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (not dated) and UK Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, the Rt Hon Francis Maude MP (dated 16 January 2013).

Received from Mr Peter Baxter, AusAID Director General, Photographs of the construction of the new tuberculosis ward at Daru Hospital (not dated).

183

184

The Senate

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2012-13

March 2013

185

Commonwealth of Australia ISBN 978-1-74229-772-9

This document was produced by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canberra.

186

iii

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 Furner, ALP, QLD

Senator Louise Pratt, ALP, WA

Senator Penny Wright, AG, SA

Senators in attendance

Senator Patricia Crossin (Chair) Senator Mitch Fifield

Senator Gary Humphries (Deputy Chair) Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

Senator Sue Boyce Senator the Hon Bill Heffernan

Senator Mark Furner Senator John Madigan

Senator Louise Pratt Senator Gavin Marshall

Senator Penny Wright Senator Lee Rhiannon

Senator the Hon Eric Abetz Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson

Senator the Hon George Brandis Senator Rachel Siewert

Senator David Bushby Senator Anne Urquhart

Senator Michaelia Cash Senator Larissa Waters

Senator the Hon John Faulkner Senator Nick Xenophon

Secretariat

Ms Julie Dennett Committee Secretary

Ms Leonie Lam Research Officer

Suite S1.61 Telephone: (02) 6277 3560

Parliament House Fax: (02) 6277 5794

CANBERRA ACT 2600 Email: legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

187

188

v

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PREFACE ..........................................................................................................vii

Reference of documents ....................................................................................... vii

Estimates hearings ................................................................................................ vii

Ministers ..............................................................................................................viii

Questions on notice .............................................................................................viii

Note on references ...............................................................................................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 ........................................................................................................ 7

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PORTFOLIO ............................................................ 7

Australian Crime Commission ............................................................................... 7

Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia ........... 8

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner ............................................. 8

Attorney-General's Department .............................................................................. 9

APPENDIX 1 ..................................................................................................... 13

DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES FOR WHICH THE COMMITTEE HAS OVERSIGHT .......................................................................................................... 13

Attorney-General's Portfolio ................................................................................ 13

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio ................................................................. 14

APPENDIX 2 ..................................................................................................... 15

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARDS ......................................................................... 15

APPENDIX 3 ..................................................................................................... 17

TABLED DOCUMENTS ....................................................................................... 17

189

190

vii

PREFACE

On 7 February 2013, the Senate referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee (committee) for examination the estimates of proposed additional expenditure for the financial year 2012-13. 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 2012-13 were tabled on 7 February 2012.1

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 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2012-2013];

• particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year

ending on 30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2012-2013];

• final budget outcome 2011-12; and

• issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2011-12.

The committee was required to report on its consideration of the additional estimates on or before 19 March 2013.

Estimates hearings

The committee met in public session on 11 and 12 February 2013.

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 Human Rights Commission

• CrimTrac Agency

• Department of Immigration and Citizenship

• Family Court of Australia

• Federal Magistrates Court of Australia

• Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 132 - 7 February 2013, pp 3606-3607.

191

viii

• Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

Copies of the Hansard transcripts 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.

Ministers

On 11 February 2013, the committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Kate Lundy, Minister for Sport, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, and Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

On 12 February 2013, the committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recovery, representing the Attorney-General and the Minister for Justice and Minister for Home Affairs.

Officers from both departments and associated agencies also appeared. The committee thanks the Ministers and officers for their assistance.

Questions on notice

Further written explanations, and answers to questions on notice, will be tabled as soon as possible after they are received. That information is also available on the committee's webpage.

The committee has resolved that the due date for submitting responses to questions on notice from the additional estimates round is 2 April 2013.

Note on references

References to the committee Hansard are to the proof Hansard. Page numbers may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcript.

192

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 2012-13 financial year.

Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal (MRT-RRT)

1.2 The Principal Member of the MRT-RRT, Ms Kay Ransome, highlighted developments within the organisation since its last appearance before the committee at Supplementary Budget Estimates in October 2012. Ms Ransome informed the committee of workload statistics and strategies to deal with an increased workload, including the adoption of a specialisation model in case allocations, which was assessed by an interim review to be a success and has resulted in increased productivity.1

1.3 The Principal Member advised that the MRT-RRT are on track to determine significantly more cases than the tribunals were able to in 2011-12, with an increase of 57 per cent more cases decided than in the same period in the previous financial year. In line with this upward trajectory, in 2011-12 the MRT-RRT reported an overall increase in applications of 30 per cent; this trend has continued with a 43 per cent increase in lodgements in the first six months of this financial year.2

1.4 In relation to the portfolio additional estimates statement, the committee sought an explanation of how an additional $4.663 million in allocated funding is to be spent. The committee was informed that the extra funding is to cover approximately 2,500 additional cases that the MRT-RRT has finalised this year, above the base funding for 8,300 cases.3

1.5 The committee was also advised that some of the recommendations in the Lavarch review are yet to be implemented, including: conferral of a discretionary power to dismiss a matter if a person does not attend a hearing; and legislating for tribunals to give reasons for a decision orally rather than in writing, unless otherwise requested by an applicant.4

1 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 3-4.

2 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 4.

3 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 6-7.

4 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 9.

193

Page 2

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

1.6 The Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Mr Martin Bowles PSM, gave an overview of developments in the portfolio since Supplementary Budget Estimates in October 2012. Mr Bowles covered statistical information on the various migration programs, a new online system for selecting independent skilled migrants, progress on the implementation of the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, updates on the regional facilities in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, and the numbers and profiles of asylum seekers currently residing at regional processing centres.5

Irregular maritime arrivals and budget implications

1.7 The committee sought an explanation on why the budgeted item for Irregular Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) has been lower than the additional estimates for the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 financial years. Specifically, the committee sought an explanation as to how the irregular maritime arrival caseload could be resolved into the future with a reduced budget for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years.6

1.8 The Secretary of DIAC explained that, due to the fluctuating nature of arrivals, the May 2012 Budget allocation has had to be revised in subsequent estimates to accommodate the changed circumstances. Further, since the number of arrivals is one component of the estimates process and not all arrivals are treated in the same way, the budgeted figure cannot remain static:

The budget that we had in the PBS for 2012-13 was $1.3 billion and the additional estimates statement for [outcome] 4.3 was $2.124 billion—an increase of $1.1 billion-odd. That, obviously, in the context of [outcome] 4.3, is to deal with the increase in the numbers. The budget was set…in May last year. Then we saw a spike that happened around the May time frame and there was a need at the additional estimates, and in fact in the supplementary estimates some of this came through to increase the budget for 2012-13. Hence that is what you are seeing as a change. This is a normal process. It is not unusual. If the activity in this space changes we do go back a number of times during the year, and one of them is now, and then obviously the budget. If you move that forward, yes, it does reduce from 2012-13 to 2013-14. But you will also notice it is an increase from the PBS to the additional estimates, recognising that the figure in the PBS was still in need of some improvement, if you like, based on the activity.

And then there is a reduction on the premise that, once we implement the recommendations of the expert panel, these numbers will reduce in the out

5 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 12-13.

6 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 21.

194

Page 3

years. So that is the premise for the budget. We would revise that again in the context of the budget if that were required.7

1.9 The Secretary also explained that the budget calculations are influenced by a number of other factors:

…It is not as simple as to say that everyone who turns up you treat the same way. It is based on arrivals, obviously, but it is also their length of stay, if you like, within the detention network. That is obviously across multiple streams—held detention, community detention and the bridging visa system—and there are varying cost differentials if you are in there. Obviously we will want to take into account a range of other factors like family size, security, health requirements and, of course, the location of facilities. Some locations are obviously more expensive than others if they are in difficult-to-get-to places. That policy position has changed quite a bit over the last 12 to 18 months, because we were in a situation where the majority of people were in held detention. We have already seen a shift in the numbers of people in the detention system since late last year, [with] record numbers in November. We are down to approximately 5½ thousand people in the detention network as we sit today. So it is not quite as simple as just saying 'because the numbers go up'. I appreciate though that, when the numbers do escalate, we need to respond. We responded between the PBS and the additional estimates and obviously in the context of if there were no further improvement, we would need to think about that in the context of the budget.8

Enterprise Migration Agreements

1.10 In response to the committee's questions about the Enterprise Migration Agreements (EMAs), DIAC officials informed the committee that it has received four applications to date, including the Roy Hill application which has been agreed to in-principle. There are two sections within DIAC looking after labour agreements, one dealing with resource labour agreements and the other with non-resources labour agreements. The committee was also advised that there are 11 full-time staff working in the resource labour agreement section, 5.3 of whom work on the enterprise migration agreement applications.9

Security assessment processes for IMAs and bridging visas

1.11 DIAC representatives updated the committee on the number of adverse security assessments made by ASIO. Of the 32,795 IMAs which have arrived since 2007, 63 have received an adverse assessment since 2009, with 55 of those in detention in Australia and the remaining eight having been relocated to a third

7 Mr Martin Bowles, Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 22.

8 Mr Martin Bowles, DIAC, Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 22.

9 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 36-39.

195

Page 4

country.10 DIAC clarified the figures in relation to the number of adverse security assessments which have been made:

Senator CASH:…the ASIO Report to Parliament 2011-12 states that ASIO continues to identify individuals of security concern, that since 2009, ASIO has issued 63 adverse security assessments in relation to IMAs. Why is there the difference between the 55 that you are referring to and the 63 that ASIO have said that they have issued?

Mr Bowles: [ASIO's] assessment says 63 clients, comprising 51 IMA clients and 12 Oceanic Viking clients. Of the 12 Oceanic Viking clients, eight have been resettled in a third country.

Senator CASH: Have any people with a negative security assessment from ASIO been released into the community?

Mr Bowles: No.

Senator CASH: In Australia?

Mr Bowles: No.

Senator CASH: Have they been given protection visas?

Mr Bowles: No, they are what we call '1A met'. They are recognised as a refugee, but they have never progressed past that to be granted a protection visa and they are held in detention.11

Other matters of interest

1.12 A wide range of other matters were also canvassed. These included:

• the costs of international charter flights to regional processing centres; 12

• the delivery cost and participation rate in relation to the Adult Migrant English Program;13

• staffing numbers, including for airline liaison officers; 14

• the cost of the Ethics Bytes modules produced by the Office of the Migration

Agents Registration Authority;15

• the take-up rate and use of the online system SkillSelect by potential migrants and employers;16

10 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 60-63 and 66-67.

11 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 61.

12 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 106-107.

13 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 116-118.

14 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 52-53 and 57.

15 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 11-12.

16 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 12 and 42-43.

196

Page 5

• the treatment of detention centre residents and media access to Nauru and

Manus Island in Papua New Guinea;17

• the level of intelligence and data exchange between the Sri Lankan and Australian governments;18 and

• an update on the Community Placement Network. 19

1.13 The committee was also informed that Australia Day 2013 saw a record number of more than 17,000 people become citizens in ceremonies held around the country. It is anticipated that by the end of the current program year, around 150,000 people will become Australian citizens, 40,000 more than last year.20

Answers to questions on notice

1.14 The committee again notes DIAC's lack of timeliness in providing answers to questions on notice for the Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio. Almost three hundred responses to questions on notice from the Supplementary Budget Estimates

2012-13 round remain outstanding.

1.15 The Secretary acknowledged that DIAC will commit to improving its performance in this area, and explained the lack of timeliness in the context of an increased burden of work:

I accept that we need to improve our performance in this area. I just want to give some context, though, about what we are dealing with. We have actually seen a 500 per cent increase in questions on notice in the last couple of years.

I accept and I acknowledge that there is a growing interest in our business, and all I can try to commit is that we will try and improve on this; but we do have to make sure that we get the right answer. We deal with 34 million border crossings and 4.5 million visa issues and all sorts of different things, and some of these questions go to quite specific issues.21

1.16 The committee notes that none of the answers to questions on notice for Supplementary Budget Estimates 2012-13 were provided by the due date set by the committee, and only just over half of the answers (54 per cent) have been answered as at the date of tabling of this report. The committee expects to see an improvement in the timeliness of answers provided by DIAC in future estimates rounds.

17 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 80-83.

18 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 112.

19 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 72-75 and 90.

20 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 13.

21 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 35.

197

198

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 2012-13 financial year.

Australian Crime Commission 2.2 The Australian Crime Commission's (ACC) recent report on organised crime and drugs in sport, as well as the ACC's involvement in the press conference given by the Hon Jason Clare, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Justice, and the Hon Kate Lundy, Minister for Sport, on 7 February 2013, was the subject of extensive questioning by the committee. The Chief Executive Officer of the ACC, Mr John Lawler AM APM, advised that attendance at the press conference was in accordance with due process and past practices of the commission. Mr Lawler informed the committee that the investigation, called Project Aperio, started with work related to the issue of 'serious and organised crime penetration of professional sport' in 2011.1

2.3 Mr Lawler explained that, although the ACC's report does not contain specifics of particular instances of widespread misuse of drugs by professional athletes in Australia, those details are contained in the classified report, which has been widely circulated to the relevant authorities.2 Mr Lawler informed the committee that those authorities include the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), which is the lead agency in relation to breaches of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) activities.3

2.4 Mr Lawler also updated the committee on the implications for staffing of the funding reduction of the ACC.4

2.5 With respect to whether there were some crime-fighting activities which the ACC is not able to engage in due to its reduced staffing levels, Mr Lawler advised:

[I]n relation to the organised crime threats and the issues of crime more broadly in the community there is in actual fact more crime and more criminality than all the resources combined in the country can deal with. Agencies have to constantly prioritise where those resources are best deployed, and that is an exercise of judgement and indeed that is part of my responsibility, along with the board of the [ACC], which has a statutory function to set the priorities and indeed set the strategic direction for the commission and its work in targeting the very highest threat to criminal activities that we face.

1 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 74.

2 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 81.

3 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 81.

4 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 73.

199

Page 8

So, the commission is no different to any other agency. Yes, there are crimes that the commission cannot tackle that it could tackle if there were more resources available. But I can assure this committee and the Australian public that with the resources we have, and with the support of the board, we have those resources focused on the highest threats and we are making significant inroads into the organised crime threat in this country.5

Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia 2.6 Representatives from the Family Court of Australia (FCA) and the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia (FMC) were questioned extensively on the impending merger of the executive and administrative functions of those courts.6

2.7 The committee also asked questions about why the funding allocation to the FCA and the FMC differed from the budget figure. A representative of the courts informed the committee:

That allocation in many ways is simply formula based. Essentially, if you are looking at the two courts' budgets, the Family Court's budget is significantly larger than the Magistrates Court budget. Part of the reason is that the Family Court, by and large, pays for the large bulk of the properties that are occupied by both the FMC and the Family Court. It employs the bulk of the registry staff that provide the registry services and also a large portion of the registrars and consultants. So a significant component of the budget is actually a shared budget, so those resources are providing services across both courts. So, on the face of it, yes, it looks like the Family Court is getting a huge amount of funding compared with the [FMC].7

2.8 Mr Richard Foster PSM, Chief Executive Officer of the FCA and Acting Chief Executive Officer of the FMC, also explained the funding allocation in the context of the merger of the two courts:

…I think it is important to understand that the Family Court provides nearly $30 million worth of services to the FMC free of charge. So one of the sound outcomes, I think, about the restructure of the administration of the courts is that the agency has one budget, and that is split up more easily between the two courts. So, assuming this legislation goes through, we will be able to say exactly what each court costs to run, although the money will be in the agency.8

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner 2.9 The committee questioned the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) as to why it has taken a long period of time to initiate

5 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 74.

6 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 60-65.

7 Mr Grahame Harriott, Family Court of Australia and Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, Estimates Hansard, p. 67.

8 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 68.

200

Page 9

Australia's membership of the Open Government Partnership, following an invitation from the US State Department to join in August 2011 and the then Attorney-General's express support in May 2012.9 Professor McMillan, the Australian Information Commissioner, advised the committee that it was a case of 'competing priorities' and workload:

[T]he short answer is that there have been competing priorities, certainly in my office, and I expect there would be a similar consideration in, say, the Attorney-General's Department or in other departments. If I can just explain my part. I received a letter from the Attorney-General's Department in mid-August 2012 asking me to advise on what steps my office could take to assist the Australian government to join the Open Government Partnership. It took me five months to reply with the letter that you referred to that was recently released under the FOI Act and placed on our and another website.

The only explanation, I think, is that there were quite a number of other competing priorities in the office at the time.10

2.10 The committee heard that, to date, although the previous Attorney-General has provided express support, Australia has not joined the Open Government Partnership, as no official decision has been made by the government. In response to a question about whether the OAIC anticipates 'receiving additional staff and resources to help drive whatever level of involvement the government decides to bring forward for the [Open Government Partnership]',11 Professor McMillan informed the committee that 'without some supplementary funding or assistance', the OAIC could not 'see any way forward for [it] to take on extra work'.12

2.11 Upon questioning as to whether there has been a response to the US Secretary of State's invitation to join the Open Government Partnership, a representative from the Attorney-General's Department (AGD), which is the lead agency in relation to this issue, informed the committee that it has not responded.13

2.12 An AGD representative also advised that it would be briefing the new Attorney-General about the Open Government Partnership.14

Attorney-General's Department 2.13 A number of issues were raised with AGD, including: the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture; the Native Title Respondent Funding Scheme; and the issue of justice reinvestment.

9 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 83.

10 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 83.

11 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 84-85.

12 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 85.

13 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 85.

14 Ms Elizabeth Kelly, Attorney-General's Department (AGD), Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 87.

201

Page 10

Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture

2.14 AGD officials provided an update on the progress of the department's work with states and territories to develop model legislation in relation to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, (OPCAT). The committee was informed that a draft of the model legislation has been developed under the auspices of New South Wales as they are taking the lead in its drafting.

2.15 In response to questions as to the detail of the draft model legislation, a representative from AGD advised:

I do not have the detail with me but, essentially, the arrangements are necessary to both establish the national preventative mechanism, and the legislation would also govern visits by the international body. The legislation could also be supported by MOUs or agreements between ministers to facilitate those visits as well. It sets up the regime under which the OPCAT would be introduced in every jurisdiction.15

2.16 In relation to the delay in implementing the OPCAT treaty Australia signed in 2009, the representative explained:

It is the complexity of implementing a treaty of this nature in a federal context. I should say that [I] do not think the delay can necessarily be perceived as a problem in [the] sense that there has been a lot of work amongst jurisdictions to get the system right in a way that every jurisdiction is satisfied with, and that takes time as well.16

2.17 The AGD representative explained that the Commonwealth's intention is to 'continue to work with the states and territories to achieve agreement about how [OPCAT] should be implemented'.17

Native Title Respondent Funding Scheme

2.18 The AGD was questioned on changes to the Native Title Respondent Funding Scheme. Officers confirmed those changes had reduced funding to respondents in native title claims but clarified that the pool of funding is not disaggregated from the

larger funding pool for financial assistance schemes:

Mr Fredericks: The financial assistance for the Native Title Respondent Funding Scheme is in an appropriation which picks up funding for all legal financial assistance programs. I can tell you the reduction in the level of funding across all of those financial assistance schemes.

Senator BRANDIS: No, I want to know the reduction in that part of that funding which is attributable to the Native Title Respondent Funding Scheme.

15 Mr Greg Manning, AGD, Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 99. 16 Mr Greg Manning, AGD, Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 99. 17 Mr Greg Manning, AGD, Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 100.

202

Page 11

Mr Fredericks: …I can give you a three-year figure. In the financial year 2010-11, expenditure on the Native Title Respondent Funding Scheme was $2.815 million. In the financial year 2011-12, it was $2.749 million. For the

financial year 2012-13, the year to date figure is $1.299 million. That is actual expenditure, because, as I say, there is not an individual appropriation for that scheme on its own.18

Justice reinvestment

2.19 In response to questions concerning the area of justice reinvestment, AGD representatives informed the committee that the National Justice Chief Executive Officers Working Group on Justice Reinvestment or Causes of Crime (NJCEOs) is active and has produced a report related to the topic areas of justice reinvestment and causes of crime. The Secretary indicated that the report could be made available to the committee, subject to approval from all states and territories.19

2.20 Another area of focus by the NJCEOs is improving data collection:

One of the other things that the group is focused on is efforts around improved data collection to better inform justice reinvestment approaches. Often the difficulty we have is that the data is not collected in a way that gives you the ability to make informed judgements, so the NJCEOs have requested the National Corrective Services Statistics Unit board consider specific improvements to the currently available national data prisoner set to give us a better idea of effectively why people are in prison. On 19 April [2012] the board agreed to include this request in its upcoming review of the National Corrective Services quarterly data set. That review is currently being undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in consultation with all agencies with an interest in improving data. A key issue that the department raised during those consultations was the fact that the quarterly national corrections data collection does not currently identify offence type, which is one of the barriers to accurately identifying the key drivers of incarceration generally and Indigenous incarceration specifically. The ABS is expected to conclude that review by the middle of this year.20

Other matters of interest

2.21 Other matters canvassed with the AGD by the committee included:

• the growing availability of guns in the community and the effectiveness of the work of the Commonwealth Firearms Advisory Council;21

• payments for people affected by natural disasters and the criteria used to assist

people;22

18 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 93-94. 19 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 101-102. 20 Mr Kym Duggan, AGD, Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 101. 21 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 109-114.

22 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 114-119.

203

Page 12

• a court case before the Victorian Court of Appeal in relation to the release of

sources by two journalists in the prosecution of a number of former employees from Securency and Note Printing Australia;23 and

• reviews of ASIO adverse security assessments by the Independent Reviewer

of Adverse Security Assessments.24

Senator Trish Crossin Chair

23 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 97-99.

24 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 103-104.

204

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;

• Australian Law Reform Commission;

• Australian Security Intelligence Organisation;

• Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre;

• Classification Board and Classification Review Board;

• CrimTrac Agency;

• 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.

205

Page 14

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.

206

APPENDIX 2

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARDS

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio, 11 February 2013 Pages

Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal 3

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (sub-program 1.1.3) 10

Cross portfolio/corporate/general 12

Outcome 1 35

Outcome 2 43

Outcome 3 52

Outcome 4 60

Outcome 5 116

Outcome 6 120

Attorney-General's Portfolio, 12 February 2013 Pages

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service 7

Australian Human Rights Commission 42

Family Court of Australia and Federal Magistrates Court of Australia 60

Australian Crime Commission 72

Office of Australian Information Commissioner 83

CrimTrac Agency 89

Attorney-General's Department 93

207

208

APPENDIX 3

TABLED DOCUMENTS

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio, Monday, 11 February 2013

No. Tabled by: Topic

1 Mr Stephen Wood, CEO, Office of the MARA Opening statement

2 Ms Kay Ransome, Principal Member, MRT-RRT Opening statement

3 Mr Martin Bowles PSM, Secretary, DIAC Opening statement

4 Senator Cash Comparison of Asylum Budget

2012/13

5 Senator Cash IMAS since November 2007

Attorney-General's Portfolio, Tuesday, 12 February 2013

No. Tabled by: Topic

1 Mr Michael Pezzullo, Acting CEO, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

Opening statement

2 Mr Richard Foster PSM, CEO, Family Court of Australia Courts and Tribunals Legislation (Administration) Amendment Bill

2012 - Family Court and Federal Circuit Court

3 Senator Brandis Operation Mesco - Kevin Rudd

YouTube investigation

209

210

The Senate

Rural and Regional Affairs

and Transport

Legislation Committee

Additional estimates 2012-13

March 2013

211

ii

 Commonwealth of Australia 2013

ISBN 978-1-74229-773-6

This document was produced from camera-ready copy prepared by the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Department of the Senate, Parliament House, Canberra.

212

iii

Membership of the Committee Members

Senator Glenn Sterle ALP, Western Australia Chair

Senator the Hon. Bill Heffernan LP, New South Wales Deputy Chair

Senator Alex Gallacher ALP, South Australia

Senator Fiona Nash NATS, New South Wales

Senator Rachel Siewert AG, Western Australia

Senator the Hon. Lin Thorp ALP, Tasmania

Participating Members

Senator Abetz Senator Back Senator Bernardi 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 Fierravanti-Wells Senator Fifield Senator Fisher Senator Furner 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 Parry Senator Payne

Senator Polley Senator Pratt Senator Rhiannon Senator Ronaldson Senator Ryan Senator Scullion Senator Singh Senator Smith Senator Stephens Senator Thistlethwaite Senator Waters Senator Whish-Wilson Senator Williams Senator Wright Senator Xenophon

213

iv

Committee Secretariat

Mr Stephen Palethorpe, Secretary Ms Kirsty Cattanach, Research Officer Ms Lauren Carnevale, Administration Officer

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

phone: (02) 6277 3511 fax: (02) 6277 5811 e-mail: rrat.sen@aph.gov.au internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate_rrat

214

v

Table of Contents

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

Table of Contents ................................................................................................ v

List of Abbreviations ...................................................................................... viii

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

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

Variation of portfolios ............................................................................................ 1

Additional Estimates hearings ................................................................................ 1

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

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

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

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

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

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ........................................................ 5

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry ................................................ 5

Finance and Business Support, Government, Information Services, and People and Service Delivery .............................................................................................. 6

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) .............................................................................................................. 6

Climate Change ...................................................................................................... 7

Border Compliance and Post Entry Quarantine Program ...................................... 8

Biosecurity—Plant Division ................................................................................... 8

Food Division ......................................................................................................... 9

Biosecurity—Policy Division ............................................................................... 10

Biosecurity—Animal Division ............................................................................. 10

Live Animal Export Division ............................................................................... 11

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) ............... 12

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited (LiveCorp) .......................................................................... 13

Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) ........................................ 13

215

vi

Sustainable Resource Management ...................................................................... 15

Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL) ...................................................... 16

Agricultural Productivity ...................................................................................... 17

Trade and Market Access ..................................................................................... 18

Chapter 3............................................................................................................ 19

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio................................................................ 19

Department of Infrastructure and Transport ......................................................... 19

Corporate Services ................................................................................................ 19

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) ......................................................... 20

Infrastructure Australia / Nation Building—Infrastructure Investment ............... 21

Surface Transport Policy ...................................................................................... 23

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) .................................................. 23

Policy and Research ............................................................................................. 24

Major Cities Unit .................................................................................................. 25

Office of Transport Security ................................................................................. 25

Aviation and Airports ........................................................................................... 25

Airservices Australia ............................................................................................ 26

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) ............................................................. 27

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) ....................................................... 28

Chapter 4............................................................................................................ 29

Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio .................... 29

Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport .............. 29

Corporate Services ................................................................................................ 29

Regional Development ......................................................................................... 30

Local Government ................................................................................................ 32

Services to Territories ........................................................................................... 32

Office for the Arts/Australia Council ................................................................... 33

Office for Sport ..................................................................................................... 33

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 35

Tabled of contents to proof Hansard transcripts ................................................ 35

Additional estimates 2012-13 ............................................................................... 35

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ...................................................... 35

216

vii

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio ................................................................. 35

Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio ....................... 35

Monday, 11 February 2013 .................................................................................... 36

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ....................................................... 36

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 ................................................................................... 37

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio .................................................................. 37

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 ................................................................................... 38

Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio ....................... 38

Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 39

Tabled Documents .................................................................................................. 39

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ....................................................... 39

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio .................................................................. 39

Appendix 3 ......................................................................................................... 41

Topic list .................................................................................................................. 41

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ...................................................... 41

Appendix 4 ......................................................................................................... 45

Topic list .................................................................................................................. 45

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio................................................................ 45

Appendix 5 ......................................................................................................... 49

Topic list .................................................................................................................. 49

Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio .................... 49

217

218

viii

List of Abbreviations

ABARES Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

ACC Australian Crime Commission

AECL Australian Egg Corporation Limited

AFMA Australian Fisheries Management Authority

AMSA Australian Maritime Safety Authority

ANAO Australian National Audit Office

AO Order of Australia

APVMA Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

ARTC Australian Rail Track Corporation

ATSB Australian Transport Safety Bureau

BJD Bovine Johne's Disease

CASA Civil Aviation Safety Authority

CDDA Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration

COAG Council of Australian Governments

CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

DAFF Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone

ESCAS Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System

Infrastructure Department of Infrastructure and Transport

IAC International Agricultural Cooperation

LiveCorp Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited

MLA Meat and Livestock Australia

MoU Memorandum of understanding

MSIC Maritime Safety Identification Card

NASAG National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group

Regional Australia

Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport

219

ix

SEWPaC Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

TFES Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme

The Bureau Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics

220

Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 On 7 February 2013, 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 expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No.3) 2012-13];

• particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending

on 30 June 2013 [Appropriation Bill (No.4) 2012-13];

• final budget outcome 2011-12; and

• issues from the advances under the annual Appropriation Acts for 2011-12.1

1.2 The committee was required to report to the Senate on its consideration of 2012-13 additional estimates on 19 March 2013.

Variation of portfolios 1.3 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 1.4 The committee considered the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2012-13 for all portfolios at hearings on 11 and 12 February 2013. The hearings were conducted in accordance with the agreed agenda as follows:

• Monday 11 February - Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.

• Tuesday 12 February - Infrastructure and Transport portfolio; and Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio.

1.5 The committee heard evidence from:

• Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and

Forestry and Minister Assisting on Queensland Flood Recovery;

• Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Human Services representing

the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport; and

1 Journals of the Senate, No. 132, 7 February 2013, p. 3606.

221

2

• Senator the Hon Kate Lundy, Minister for Sport, Minister for

Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, representing the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, and Minister for the Arts.

1.6 Evidence was also provided by:

• Mr Andrew Metcalfe AO, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture,

Fisheries and Forestry;

• Mr Mike Mrdak, Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and

Transport;

• Mrs 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.

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 Mr Metcalfe, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry informed the committee of changes to the department's structure in his opening statement on Monday, 11 February 2013, which have occurred since Supplementary Budget Estimates of October 2012.

1.9 In October 2012, the Live Animal Export Division was established with the primary purpose of implementing new regulatory processes resulting from the Farmer Review and the implementation of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System. The division is also responsible for providing strategic policy advice, managing stakeholder and client relations.2

1.10 In February 2013, the Post Entry Quarantine Program was established to provide strategic leadership for the program of works underway across the department to deliver the Government's new post entry quarantine facility in Melbourne.3

1.11 Currently underway is a merger of the Agricultural Productivity, Sustainable Resource Management and Climate Change divisions, essentially turning three divisions into two divisions to reflect the changing nature of the business covered by those divisions. The merger is expected to be finalised in March 2013.4

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

2 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 5.

3 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 5.

4 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 5.

222

3

resolved that written answers and additional information be submitted by 5 April 2013.

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 2012-13, February 2013, 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.

1.14 Answers to questions on notice received from the departments will also be posted on the committee's website at a later date.5

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.

5 Answers to questions on notice, once received, will be published at the following website address: www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary Business/Committees/Senate Committees?url=rrat ctte/estim ates/index.htm

223

224

Chapter 2

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2012-13 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 and agencies on Monday, 11 February 2013. The hearing was conducted in the following order:

• Finance and Business Support, Government, Information Services, and

People and Service Delivery

• Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and

Sciences

• Climate Change

• Border Compliance, and Post Entry Quarantine Program

• Biosecurity—Plant Division

• Food

• Biosecurity—Policy Division

• Biosecurity—Animal Division

• Live Animal Exports Division

• Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

• Meat and Livestock Australia

• Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited

• Australian Fisheries Management Authority

• Sustainable Resource Management

• Australian Egg Corporation Limited

• Agricultural Productivity

• Trade and Market Access

2.3 The committee welcomed Mr Andrew Metcalfe AO as the new Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Director of Animal and Plant Quarantine, who officially commenced in these roles on 29 January 2013.

2.4 Mr Metcalfe made an opening statement and advised the committee that the department is currently undergoing a capability review being led by the Australian Public Service Commission. DAFF's structural changes are outlined in chapter one, paragraphs 1.8-1.11.

225

6

Finance and Business Support, Government, Information Services, and People and Service Delivery 2.5 The committee began proceedings by asking officials about the Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA). Officers explained that CDDA claims cannot be dealt with until relevant legal avenues have been examined or exhausted. The committee was told that there is no set timeframe for dealing with claims and timing depends quite substantially on the interactions with the applicant.1

2.6 The committee discussed the issue of the number of unscheduled absences taken by staff in 2011-12. The median number of unscheduled absences was 15.2 days, which ranked DAFF as the third highest agency in the State of the Service Report 2011-12 regarding unscheduled absences. Officers explained that whilst 15.2 days was high in comparison to other large public service agencies, this result reflects a decrease from the previous year of 0.6 of a day.2

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) 2.7 The committee sought further information from Mr Paul Morris, ABARES' Executive Director, on the impact of the carbon tax on irrigators in the farming sector. Mr Morris explained that ABARES' work has focused on the following three main sectors of farming industry:

• broad acre farms;

• dairy farms; and

• vegetable farms. 3

2.8 ABARES published a report in 2011 on the possible short-term effects of a carbon trading scheme on Australian agriculture. The committee heard that there were two elements to ABARES' research. Firstly, the direct impact of a price on carbon, such as electricity prices, and secondly, the indirect impact of a price on carbon, such as higher processing costs being passed back to the farmer.4

2.9 Mr Morris, told the committee that ABARES' research has found that the economic value of dairy farm production, with a $23 a tonne carbon price in 2012-13, would result in a decline between 1.1 and 4.3 per cent, which is dependent on the proportion of the processing costs being passed back to the farmer instead of forward to the consumer.5

1 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 6.

2 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 10-11.

3 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 13.

4 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 13.

5 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 14.

226

7

2.10 The committee also heard that the average projected income for dairy farmers declined from $149 000 in 2011-12 to $92 000 in 2012-13. In terms of farm business profit, it is predicted that there will be an average reduction of $69 000 in 2011-12 to -$11 000 in 2012-13.6

2.11 Mr Morris told the committee that the impact of a carbon price on vegetable farms for 2012-13 ranges between negative 2.1 per cent and negative 0.7 per cent, depending on much of the processing costs are passed forward rather than back to the farmer.7

2.12 The committee inquired about wild dog management in Australia, as ABARES administers, on behalf of the department, the Australian Pest Animal Research Program. Mr Morris tabled a list of successful eradication and control projects and programs.8

Climate Change 2.13 The committee asked about the rejection of feral camel management methodology under the Carbon Farming Initiative. Officers told the committee that there has been some difficulty in establishing baselines and methodologies for calculating emissions from feral camels.9

2.14 The committee heard that the Commonwealth Scientific Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO) has been working with ten laboratories across Australia on the measurement of soil carbon. The CSIRO’s work has been to determine whether the new infrared spectroscopy technology is a cost effective and accurate methodology for measuring soil carbon. CSIRO will report back in March 2013, once testing of the new technology is complete. Officials told the committee that the aim of the report is to assess whether the technology can be easily and consistently provided to commercial laboratories.10

2.15 The committee clarified a response regarding the forest contractors exit package, to a question on notice from Supplementary Budget Estimates 2012. The question was in relation to whether the sale of a business to a family member could continue to operate under the package. Ms Fran Freeman, First Assistant Secretary, told the committee that if the business entity was sold then it could not access native forest contracts. There have been three formal allegations of fraud have been reported to DAFF. Two of the three allegations have been investigated and no evidence of fraud was found to have occurred. The third allegation is currently under investigation.11

6 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 14.

7 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 16.

8 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 18.

9 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 21.

10 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 23.

11 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 27.

227

8

Border Compliance and Post Entry Quarantine Program 2.16 In continuing its interest from previous estimates hearings, the committee sought an update on Operation Hayride and the cost recovery process. Officers informed the committee that targeted campaigns, such as Operation Hayride, are given a notional budget from revenue collected from fees over a period of time. 12

2.17 The committee discussed efficiencies in relation to the Import Clearance Program. Officers told the committee that DAFF has an agreement with industry to maintain the level at approximately ten per cent however, this fluctuates based on activity.13

2.18 Mr Schaeffer, Chief Financial Officer, explained that there a number of initiatives under way within the department to identify efficiencies, which could affect the Import Clearance Program. Mr Tim Chapman, First Assistant Secretary, also told the committee that:

…we are trying to make our business more efficient. We are looking to reduce costs in areas where we get better value for what we do. One example would be, as you have asked in estimates before, that we are doing lower levels of intervention in areas where there is very little risk... That is a way that we can do one of two things: one is redirect the staff who are doing that to another area where we get a bigger bang for our buck; another one is where we reduce staff numbers and therefore costs. There are lower costs for industry in doing that. They are able to move goods through faster. They are no longer paying inspection fees. One of the things we have found in the changing of our focus in the last couple of years is, perhaps ironically, that in lowering our intervention levels we are also having an impact on our revenue because we are not performing some of the activities that generated fees that we did in the past.14

Biosecurity—Plant Division 2.19 The committee sought further information on when DAFF might engage the Eminent Scientist Group to undertake an expanded import risk assessment. Ms Vanessa Findlay, Chief Plant Protection Officer, told the committee that DAFF considers a range of factors, including whether the technical information is contentious and the importance of the import to domestic stakeholders. A standard risk assessment is conducted by DAFF when the technical information is not contentious and the level of importance is low.15

2.20 The committee sought further information on why the risk assessment for the unshi mandarin from Japan was conducted as a standard assessment despite the mandarins being grown in an area immediately adjacent to a citrus canker area.

12 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 36.

13 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 41.

14 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 41.

15 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 42.

228

9

Ms Findlay, told the committee that Japan has been undertaking surveillance and assessment for 40 years and they had never found citrus canker. Ms Finlay went on to explain that:

…given the level of confidence we had in the surveillance programs that Japan had in place, that technically we could not ban that trade from that area.16

2.21 The committee asked DAFF to explain why in the cost recovery impact statement horticulture sector fees and charges are based on an eight-hour day and 40-hour week, when the enterprise agreement stipulates a 37½ hours per week. Ms Kylie Calhoun, Assistant Secretary, told the committee that DAFF is aware of the contradiction and has not charged the daily and weekly rates instead they are charging at the quarter-hourly rate, not to disadvantage exporters.17

2.22 The committee asked officers for an update on the Fijian ginger import risk analysis. Ms Findlay told the committee that DAFF publicly released its final import risk analysis on 22 January 2013 and is in the preliminary stages of establishing an appropriate work plan with Fiji to implement the risk assessment.18

Food Division 2.23 The committee asked for an update in relation to the importation of New Zealand apples into Australia. Ms Louise van Meurs, Assistant Secretary, told the committee five consignments or approximately 57 tonnes of New Zealand apples were imported into Australia in 2012. DAFF officials in New Zealand inspected the apples nine times before the apples were exported to Australia.19

2.24 The committee sought clarification on the exportation of baby food from an Australian backyard into China. Mr Greg Read, First Assistant Secretary, told the committee that the baby food sent to China weighed less than the 10-kilo weight limit, which is subject to regulation under the Export Control Act 1982. Mr Read went on to state that in this case the individual was taking advantage of an opportunity to fill a niche in the market.20

2.25 The committee sought further information on the following items:

• the integrity of the data collected by the National Residue Survey;

• reducing the regulatory burden through the labelling and ongoing use of

agricultural and veterinary chemicals; and

• the testing of antimicrobial residues in locally farmed aquaculture. 21

16 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 42.

17 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 43.

18 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 44.

19 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 46.

20 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 47.

21 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 49-52.

229

10

Biosecurity—Policy Division 2.26 The committee discussed the apparent flying fox problems in North Queensland. Ms Rona Mellor, Deputy Secretary, told the committee that the Minister for Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry, Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig announced $3 million towards a research program to promote awareness amongst vets of the risks and the management of risks.22

2.27 The committee also sought further information on the preparedness of the department for exotic diseases into Australia, specifically citrus greening disease. Ms Mellor, Deputy Secretary, explained that there is a citrus greening response plan, and response plans are generally developed by industry groups. Ms Findlay added that the citrus industry response plan will dictate and guide the industry through the first stages of an emergency response; DAFF also has an emergency plant pest response deed, which determines the roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth government as well as the state and territory governments.23

Biosecurity—Animal Division 2.28 The committee asked the department about the Commonwealth's role in relation to Bovine Johne's disease (BJD) in Queensland. Dr Schipp, Chief Veterinary Officer, told the committee that the Commonwealth's role relates to export certification, as any animals that are from properties identified as under suspicion or investigation for BJD are prevented from accessing the export market.24

2.29 The committee asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry, Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, if some form of government assistance will be provided to beef producers who are suffering from the combined effect of the live cattle export ban and BJD. The Minister told the committee that there has been no approach by the Queensland Government for BJD assistance and as it is a state based issue normally it is dealt with by the states.25

2.30 The committee sought an update on the quarantine fees for horse owners. Ms Mellor, explained that a new schedule of fees commenced on 1 February 2013. Ms Karen Schneider, First Assistant Secretary, added that the increase in quarantine

fees for horse owners was due to an under-recovery in fees since November 2009. The aim of the increase is to bring the fees into line with current costs and recover the debt that has accumulated since 2009.26

2.31 The committee asked whether the imports of horses are treated equally. Officers told the committee that all horses are treated equally, as the cost to maintain the service for the horse is the same no matter what sort of horse it is. Ms Mellor

22 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 53.

23 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 53.

24 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 55.

25 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 55.

26 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 56.

230

11

explained that race horses now go through the quarantine approved premises in Werribee, Victoria which has racing training facilities and is run by Racing Victoria. All other horses are held in the Post-Entry Quarantine Facility at Eastern Creek, Sydney.27

2.32 Officers told the committee of the current horse import risk analysis review. A draft import risk analysis was released on 22 January 2013 for public consultation. Dr Andrew Cupit, Assistant Secretary, explained that there are a number of proposed changes regarding diseases including equine influenza, contagious equine metritis, equine viral arteritis, and pyroplasmosis.28

2.33 The committee sought further information on the following topics:

• the provision of a training track for horses at the Post Entry Quarantine

Facility at Mickleham, Victoria; and

• the conversion of model codes of practice into animal welfare standards

and guidelines.29

Live Animal Export Division 2.34 The committee sought an explanation in relation to the length of time taken to investigate allegations of animal cruelty at the Cibinong Abattoir in Java, Indonesia. Mr Phillip Glyde, Deputy Secretary, explained that:

In this particular case there was an allegation from Animals Australia that was given to us that was based on some information from an informant. We were obliged to pursue that and to ask further questions to get the detail from both Animals Australia and from that informant. Those things do take time in order to do them to a standard that is going to be acceptable as we go through and implement legislation. In this particular case, the informant was either unable or unwilling to provide that information. We gave them several opportunities and indeed Animals Australia several opportunities to provide more information.30

2.35 The committee was encouraged to hear Mr Metcalfe's idea for the department and industry to come together to address concerns regarding excessive regulation and establish either a code of understanding or clearly publicised guidelines, which sets out expectations of the department and industry in order to improve transparency.31

2.36 The committee sought information from the department regarding the five complaints that are currently under investigation in relation to allegations of animal cruelty. Ms Rebecca Irwin, First Assistant Secretary, told the committee that in

27 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 56.

28 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 58.

29 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 58-60.

30 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 61.

31 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 61-62.

231

12

relation to live animal export investigations a number of divisions are involved in providing expert advice to assist in the completion of the investigation.32

2.37 The committee asked for an update on the proposed export of live cattle from North Queensland to the Solomon Islands. Dr Cupit, Assistant Secretary, told the committee that there is an agreement in place between the Australian and Solomon Island governments. DAFF is not involved in the next step, which is for commercial parties in consultation with importers in the Solomon Islands to establish a secure supply chain. The department will become reinvolved to review the commercial parties' application regarding the Exporter Supplier Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).33

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) 2.38 The committee discussed the environmental assessment charges in relation to the APVMA's service level agreements with the Department of Sustainability, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) and the Department of Health and Ageing. Mr Neville Matthew, Program Manager, told the committee that there are two components to the APVMA's service agreements:

• for assessment modules a fixed fee is negotiated with the agencies on an

annual basis; and

• for ad hoc requests, including chemical reviews, professional advice is

structured on an hourly rate and agreed through a work order process.34

2.39 The committee discussed the National Scheme for Assessment Registration and Control Use of Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals. Mr Matt Koval, Acting First Assistant Secretary, advised the committee that the reform process to harmonise the laws across all jurisdictions went to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in December 2012. COAG noted the 'progress to date' and agreed that:

…all jurisdictions will direct their regulatory and referral agencies to eliminate duplication and to avoid sequential assessments and delayed approval processes and also to utilise common information requirements for both assessments and approvals.35

2.40 The committee heard in relation to COAG's decision the next process is for state and territory primary industries and agricultural ministers to agree to the APVMA's package of reforms at the Standing Council on Primary Industries meeting in May 2013.36

2.41 The committee sought further information on the following topics:

32 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 63.

33 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 64.

34 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 66.

35 COAG Communique, 7 December 2012, p. 4.

36 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 68.

232

13

• the fenthion issue in Western Australia;

• who has responsibility for importing chemicals for use on livestock; and

• the goat industry's access to animal health chemicals. 37

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited (LiveCorp) 2.42 The committee discussed whether consultants employed by MLA had alerted them to any breaches of ESCAS. Mr Scott Hansen, Managing Director, reiterated to the committee that MLA's consultants are neither policeman nor auditors of supply chains on the ESCAS program and they are there at the invite of commercial supply chains.38

2.43 The committee also heard from Dr Peter Barnard, General Manager Trade and Economic Services, in relation to consultants alerting MLA to breaches of the ESCAS system:

I emphasise that I cannot think of a case when we are ever in an absolute position to rule on an ESCAS breach. As Mr Hansen said, that is not our role—it is the regulator's role.39

2.44 The committee asked why LiveCorp's website appears to be quite out of date. Mr Raoul Nieper, Chairman, acknowledged that the website is out of date but it is currently in the process of being updated. Mr Nieper went on to state that:

LiveCorp is a very small organisation, as you would appreciate—not like our cousins MLA. We have only four permanent staff and we do appreciate with the workload that we have at present in LiveCorp we do not have a great deal of time for some of the niceties of updating websites.40

2.45 The committee sought further information from LiveCorp on the following items:

• the review of export standards;

• the strategic plan; and

• the annual operating plan. 41

Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) 2.46 The committee discussed the publications; The Status of Australian Fish stocks reports and ABARES Fishery status reports, which were both released in December 2012. Dr Nick Rayns, Executive Manager, stated that:

37 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 69-70.

38 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 71.

39 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 72.

40 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 72.

41 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 72-74.

233

14

Over the last few months AFMA has been doing some media to promote the fact that we do have sustainable fisheries and that seafood consumers should be confident in their purchases of Australian seafood.42

2.47 The committee asked AFMA to explain the current fishing situation on Norfolk Island. Dr Rayns told the committee that Norfolk Island has a domestic fishing industry and to some extent a charter fishing industry.43

2.48 The committee sought further information from AFMA on why Norfolk Island does not have a commercial fishing industry. Dr Rayns explained that fishing rights for the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery Management Plan in the waters around Norfolk Island were granted many years ago. Officers informed the committee that Norfolk Island could buy the tradeable statutory rights to fish the Eastern Tuna and the Billfish.44

2.49 The committee asked for an update on the Seafish application to utilise its vessel as a freezer/storage trans-shipment vessel. Dr James Findlay, Chief Executive Officer, told the committee that in early January 2013 an application was received and following receipt of the application, AFMA commenced a consultation process seeking advice from a variety of stakeholders, including the Management Advisory Committee and Resource Assessment Group. A public consultation process has also commenced and AFMA has written directly to key commercial and recreation fishing groups and conservation non-government entities seeking their input. The committee heard that submissions are currently being considered and the matter was due to go before the AFMA Commission at the end of February 2013.45

2.50 The committee inquired about whether the level of consultation that AFMA has taken, in relation to Seafish's application, was usual. Dr Findlay told the committee that:

It is very usual for us to go to management advisory committees and the resource assessment groups on a question like this. It is also not unusual or us to approach key stakeholder groups. The unusual step here is the public consultation phase. That is a new phase for AFMA, and really reflects the fact that we saw a large reaction around the activities of this boat previously and it would be silly for us not to seek those comments upfront.46

2.51 The committee asked AFMA what issues it will be considering when evaluating Seafish's application. Dr Findlay explained that the current application raises two issues:

One is that this is a quota-managed fishery and we need to ensure the integrity of the quota management arrangements, which means we have a

42 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 74.

43 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 76.

44 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 76.

45 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 81.

46 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 81.

234

15

robust way of measuring the amount of fish that have been caught and by which vessel. That is how we attribute its quota. This may make that process more difficult but we also have ways to get around that. The other question for us is whether the actual process of transferring fish involves greater risk or otherwise to non-target species.47

2.52 The committee sought further information from AFMA on the following topics:

• the fish stocks of the Coral Sea fishery;

• Gulf of Carpentaria fisheries;

• the northern prawn fishery;

• an update on the bioregional planning regime in relation the joint

authority fishery;

• changes to fees and charges;

• an update on the Borthwick Review; and

• the issue of gillnetting in relation to sea lion and dolphin deaths. 48

Sustainable Resource Management 2.53 The committee asked for an update on the Caring for Our Country program, and discussed whether a prospectus would be released for the Sustainable Agriculture stream, which would contain the guidelines for grant applications. Mr Ian Thompson, First Assistant Secretary told the committee that there has been no decision yet to release a prospectus.49

2.54 The committee also discussed the funding available through the Caring for Our Country program to support regional bodies. Mr Thompson explained that regional bodies would make one application to access both the environmental and agricultural funding streams. Any funding would be provided in proportion to the

amount of money available in each stream.50

2.55 In continuing its interest from previous estimates hearings, the committee asked for an update on the number of feral camels culled. Ms Michelle Lauder, Assistant Secretary, told the committee that over four years DAFF has removed 116 000 camels.51

2.56 The committee also discussed whether the department was aware of statements made by the camel industry in relation to exporting the unmet demand for

47 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 81.

48 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 77-92.

49 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 91.

50 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 91.

51 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 95.

235

16

camel meat. Mr Thompson explained that there are two issues in relation to the exportation of camel meat:

…access to some markets as well would need to be sorted through, but that is not to say it is not possible; it is just that we do not have arrangements for exporting camel meat to every country in the world—including to some of those that might like it. The camels are widely dispersed and a long way from abattoirs and it is a very expensive business to bring them in to commercially, cost-effectively slaughter them and box them for export.52

2.57 The committee asked officers to provide an update on the feral pig management program. Officers told the committee that feral pigs have largely been the responsibility of landholders, local government and the states to manage.53

2.58 The committee asked in relation to the Weed Control and National Weed Management Strategy whether funding has supported an improved knowledge of herbicide management and alternative management strategies. Mr Thompson told the committee that the department does not have any management of how effective the research has been in terms of application. Mr Thompson went on to state that the beneficiaries of the research are land care groups, national standards bodies, and local and state governments as they apply the research to their action on weeds program.54

2.59 The committee sought further information on the following topics:

• the proposed system for counting Southern Bluefin Tuna;

• budget funding for Reef Rescue;

• the sinking of illegal entry vessels in the waters off Christmas Island and

spilling toxic water into the only known spawning ground of Southern Bluefin Tuna; and

• amending the Primary Industries Energy Research Development Act 1989 to allow prawn producers and other seafood sectors to raise levies to establish a marketing campaign to promote Australia's seafood.55

Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL) 2.60 The committee discussed why the AECL decided to withdraw its application for a Certification Trade Mark covering an enhanced Quality Assurance program for the Australian egg industry that included a free-range egg definition of 20 000 birds per hectare. Mr James Kellaway, Managing Director, told the committee that the AECL is reviewing the 171 standards that were raised in the initial assessment published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The AECL intend on resubmitting their application; however there has been no timeframe set as

52 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 95.

53 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 97.

54 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 98.

55 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 98-102.

236

17

they work through the issues raised in the initial assessment and convene a meeting of the Hen Welfare Forum.56

2.61 The committee also sought further information on the following items:

• results from the 2010 survey of egg producers;

• stocking numbers of free range egg producers;

• level of support provided to egg producers;

• Egg Corp Assured; and

• the current model code of practice for rotating chickens producing free

range eggs.57

Agricultural Productivity 2.62 The committee asked the department to provide an update on the composition of the International Agricultural Cooperation program (IAC) for citrus. Mr Koval explained that:

…the process for establishing the IAC is under Horticulture Australia Limited. They go through an independent selection process, as far as I am aware, and they call for nominations. You have to have an understanding to a certain extent of the industry and, naturally, citrus growers have that knowledge.58

2.63 The committee sought further information from the department in relation to recent trends in grain production, including factors affecting grain production and factors affecting the viability of farming properties in the broad acre farming sector. Mr Koval told the committee that productivity growth is declining not just in Australia but around the world and remarked on the importance of understanding the work that ABARES has conducted in relation to productivity and identifying what causes slow productivity growth.59

2.64 The committee discussed the issue of snail control on the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia as it poses a serious problem for all cereal growers in 2013. Mr Koval tabled a written brief on the issue of snail control on the Yorke Peninsula and added that the Grain Research and Development Corporation in collaboration with the department is about to commence a survey over the course of the year to get a better understanding of the breadth of the infestation.60

2.65 The committee sought further information on the following topics:

56 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 102.

57 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 102-105.

58 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 105.

59 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 106.

60 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 107.

237

18

• locusts and the concerns expressed by the Australian Plague Locust

Commission;

• white grain research funding;

• the expansion of irrigated agriculture in northern Australia; and

• the Regional Food Producers Innovation and Productivity Program. 61

Trade and Market Access 2.66 The committee asked the department to advise how many memorandums of understanding (MoU) have been negotiated by DAFF with trading partners to open markets for the export of livestock. Ms Jo Evans, First Assistant Secretary, told the committee that since 2004, DAFF has signed nine MoUs with countries predominately in the Middle East and Africa. The department is currently negotiating MoUs with Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco and Syria.62

2.67 The committee sought further information on the priority market for the export of livestock. Ms Evans explained that:

…the No. 1 priority market that we have been advised of the industry side is Iran. 63

2.68 Ms Evans went on to explain that DAFF has been negotiating an MoU with Iran since 2005 and a number of drafts have been exchanged, however there are a number of issues that are under review from the Australian government's perspective.64

2.69 The committee sought more information on the following topics:

• the report that Australian sheep were being sold to unaccredited livestock markets in Kuwait;

• Indian tariffs of up to 100 per cent on horticultural produce coming out

of Australia;

• the number of consignments of Australian beef sitting on the wharf in

Jakarta; and

• why Australia has not launched a World Trade Organisation challenge

on Indonesian import restrictions.65

61 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 107-114.

62 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 118.

63 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 118.

64 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, p. 118.

65 Estimates Hansard, 11 February 2013, pp 118-122.

238

Chapter 3

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio Department of Infrastructure and Transport 3.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2012-13 Additional Estimates hearings for the Infrastructure and Transport portfolio. A complete list of the topics discussed, and relevant page numbers, can be found at Appendix 4.

3.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Tuesday, 12 February 2013. 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

• 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 what actions the department is taking to address the recommendations of the departmental capability review. The Secretary, Mr Mrdak advised the committee that an action strategy had been lodged with the Australian Public Service Commissioner, which included a number of steps principally focused on three key areas:

• strategic direction;

• performance management; and

• regulatory activities. 1

3.4 Mr Mrdak told the committee that he did not see the need for a formal corporate plan to set out the Department of Infrastructure and Transport's strategic

1 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 5.

239

20

direction; instead he is considering a corporate direction statement to better communicate with industry groups.2

3.5 Officers informed the committee that the current staff performance management system has been very focused on providing training to managers. The current performance management framework is focused on the one-on-one relationship between the supervisor and the person reporting to them. The committee heard that the department would like to change the performance management framework to expand the number of people involved in the process.3

3.6 The committee asked for an update on the work that is currently being undertaken by consultants, including information on the largest consultancies. Officers told the committee that the two largest consultancy projects are the second airport for the Sydney region and the high-speed rail study.4

3.7 The committee heard that the consultancy work for second airport for the Sydney region has focused on analysing the social, economic, environmental and engineering impacts of creating an airport at the site in Wilton.5

3.8 The committee heard that the phase two report into the high-speed rail study is due for completion shortly. Officers discussed the structure of the report, which will contain the following information:

• capital cost estimates for the preferred options;

• financing options;

• revenue forecasts; and

• an overall assessment of the economic and financial viability of a

high-speed rail network.6

3.9 The committee sought an explanation from the department as to why the answers to questions on notice from the October 2012 Supplementary Budget Estimates were two months late. Mr Mrdak, explained to the committee that the department met many but not all of their timeframes.7

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) 3.10 The committee sought an update on the proposed inland rail route. Mr Fullerton, Chief Executive Officer, told the committee that the bottom section of the inland rail from Melbourne to Parkes has been upgraded. The ARTC also acquired the Werris Creek to North Star section of track which forms part of the proposed

2 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 6.

3 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 7.

4 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 8.

5 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 8.

6 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 9.

7 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 10.

240

21

inland route. The committee further heard that the Government has made a commitment of $300 million in the Nation Building Two program for the proposed inland route.8

3.11 The committee asked officers to explain the ARTC's recent takeover of the Sydney metropolitan freight network. Mr Fullerton, explained that the takeover of the network includes the Port Botany rail line. The committee sought further information on the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and how the ARTC plans to solve the congestion problems surrounding Port Botany.9

Infrastructure Australia / Nation Building—Infrastructure Investment 3.12 The committee discussed the National Freight Strategy. Officers told the committee that the Ministerial Standing Committee on Transport and Infrastructure decided to transition the strategy from Infrastructure Australia to the department, as Infrastructure Australia has provided its advice and analysis and now it is the role of the department to work with state and territory administrations to establish an implementation plan.10

3.13 In continuing its interest from previous estimates hearings, the committee sought an update on the following infrastructure projects:

• Toowoomba Range crossing;

• expanding the Warrego highway;

• Roads to Recovery budget for Western Australia;

• Yeppen floodplain;

• construction of Maranoa Bridge over the Mitchell River;

• Bruce Highway;

• Pacific Highway;

• Blakey's Crossing at Townsville;

• Scone level crossing;

• Mackay ring road;

• Great Eastern Highway;

• Great Northern Highway; and

• Burdekin bypass. 11

8 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 12.

9 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 12.

10 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 16.

11 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 17-18, 20-22, 26-27, 29 and 30.

241

22

3.14 The committee discussed the following Nation Building Two projects, specifically the funding commitments and whether the projects were contained in the contingency reverse:

• Parramatta to Epping rail link;

• Moreton Bay rail link;

• Richmond Bridge;

• Princes Highway West;

• Tasman Highway;

• Legacy Way Northern Tunnel link; and

• F3 Sydney orbital. 12

3.15 The committee inquired about budget cuts for the Nation Building Two program. The department advised the committee that the government is yet to take critical budget decisions around the overall shape and size of the program.13

3.16 The committee discussed the draft Public Transport Strategy. Mr Deegan, Infrastructure Coordinator, informed the committee that the Public Transport Strategy is regarded by Infrastructure Australia as an urban transit strategy, which will include a comprehensive overview of the different forms of road and rail public transport. The Public Transport Strategy will be released in 2013.14

3.17 The committee discussed the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator legislation (the Regulations) that has commenced operation in Queensland, which is the host jurisdiction. Officials told the committee that once the Queensland Government has passed the second tranche of bills, which occurred on Thursday, 14 February 2013,15 then other jurisdictions have the opportunity to pass enabling legislation. The only state yet to agree to the Regulations is Western Australia.16

3.18 Officials told the committee that they identified 600-800 variations from previous state-based heavy vehicle laws. The introduction of the regulations is estimated to improve the productivity benefit by up to $30 billion over 20 years.17

3.19 The committee sought a progress report on the work being completed on the Midlands Highway. Mr Jaggers, Executive Director, outlined the following key projects for the Midlands Highway which have received funding:

• Brighton bypass;

12 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 19.

13 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 19-20.

14 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 23.

15 Queensland Parliament Hansard Proof, 14 February 2013, p. 258.

16 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 34.

17 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 35-36.

242

23

• refurbishment of Bridgewater Bridge; and

• planning for the Baghdad bypass. 18

3.20 The committee asked officers whether the department had carried out a cost estimate to duplicate the Midlands Highway. Officers explained that the department had not carried out an estimate, although they believe that the Tasmanian government had.19

Surface Transport Policy 3.21 The committee sought further information regarding the availability of funding for the Seatbelts on Regional School Buses Scheme. Officers told the committee that the scheme for 2012-13 had been allocated $1 million of funding and received 50 applications, which are currently under assessment and are expected to be finalised by April 2013.20

3.22 In continuing its interest from previous estimates hearings, the committee asked the department whether costings had been prepared to extend the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) to all freight goods. Officers advised that the committee that preliminary work has begun in relation to expanding the freight categories, which will be included in the review of the TFES program and the freight rates. The committee heard that the TFES program review is about to commence.21

3.23 The committee asked whether there have been any cuts to the TFES. Officials informed the committee that there has been no reduction in funding, as the scheme is a demand-driven program.22

3.24 The committee discussed whether the department is currently considering any proposals which support an export shipping service specifically from Bells Bay, Tasmania. Officers explained that they are aware of proposals; however, there are currently no formal proposals in front of the government.23

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) 3.25 The committee discussed the Marine Orders Part 3 Issue 7, which determines the qualifications required of seafarers and how the change in qualifications compares to international standards. Officers explained that AMSA is generally consistent with international standards, and in some cases, the Australian standards are higher. The committee sought further information on whether there has been any proposals put forward to reduce the period of training a cadet requires to become a marine engineer

18 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 36.

19 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 36.

20 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 44.

21 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 45.

22 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 46.

23 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 45.

243

24

watch keeper from three years to one year. Mr Peachey, Chief Executive Officer, told the committee that no proposal had been suggested as:

The engineers in AMSA have a common interest here to ensure that standards are appropriate and deliver the safety objectives that we are bound by. We have an overriding obligation to ensure that we are consistent with international conventions relevant to these matters, in particular the [Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping] convention.24

3.26 The committee asked officials whether AMSA has been involved in or made an application to the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities (SEWPaC), to destroy illegal entry vessels in the waters off Christmas Island. Officials advised the committee, that they have had no involvement and made no application to SEWPaC to destory illegal entry vessels.25

3.27 Mr Mrdak, sought to clarify on behalf of AMSA, evidence that had been provided to the committee in relation to the destruction of illegal entry vessel:

Earlier today AMSA advised the committee…that AMSA was not involved in the dumping of asylum seeker vessels. Although there is no obligation to advise AMSA, advice of the dumping of asylum seeker vessels is occasionally provided in the context of winding up a search and rescue operation in which vessels from Defence or Customs and Border Protection have been participating. AMSA does not keep specific records of the dumping of asylum seeker vessels.26

Policy and Research 3.28 The committee asked the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (the Bureau) to explain how its yearly research plan is developed and what opportunities there are for organisations, such as state governments and businesses, to suggest research projects. Officials told the committee that the primary customer of the Bureau's work is the minister and the department. As such the Bureau liaises with divisions across the department to identify research needs for the coming year, which are approved by the Secretary.27

3.29 The committee sought further information from the Bureau on several areas including:

• a breakdown of staffing levels;

• 2012-13 research projects;

• categories of research work;

• research on the state of local, state and federally controlled bridges

across Australia; and

24 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 47-48.

25 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 50-51.

26 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 79.

27 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 51-52.

244

25

• projects currently underway with the Department of Regional Australia,

Local Government, Arts and Sport.28

Major Cities Unit 3.30 The committee asked officials to explain why in the draft Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport Report; it states that Sydney has not experienced the same growth in cycling as Melbourne. Ms Ekelund, Executive Director, told the committee that:

One of the major disincentives to cycling is safety concerns—whether they are real or perceived concerns about safety—one of the best ways to relieve the concerns is to invest in protected cycling infrastructure…and certainly the city of Sydney itself has seen quite a lot of controversy because not everybody is appreciative of the infrastructure that it is putting in there. Local government in Sydney has also been working collectively to establish a network of cycling infrastructure that spans 14 local authorities.29

3.31 The committee also asked the department for an update on process to finalise the draft Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport Report. Officials told the committee that once submissions have been assessed, then relevant areas of the department will work together to decide what options may exist and the level of funding required. The report is expected to be finalised before the end of the current financial year.30

Office of Transport Security 3.32 The committee asked officers to explain whether a Maritime Security Identity Card (MSIC) is required to work in Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Officers told the committee that a MSIC is required to work in the security designated areas of the EEZ; however, individuals could work in other areas of the EEZ without a MSIC.31

3.33 The committee briefly discussed the issues of illegal access to the port in Fremantle in an attempt to stop operations, particularly live cattle and sheep loading, and security vetting of labour hire subcontractors.32

Aviation and Airports 3.34 The committee discussed the master plan at Jandakot Airport and whether the development of the commercial precinct is taking precedence over the aviation related development. Mr Doherty, Executive Director, told the committee that:

Under the master plan process we are certainly concerned to ensure that provision is made for the growth and development of the airports…they

28 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 53-54.

29 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 55.

30 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 55.

31 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 58.

32 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 58-59.

245

26

also include a measure of development for non-aeronautical purposes, and part of the reason that balance is important is the commercial realities of funding the work under the privatised scheme that we have.33

3.35 The committee asked for an update on the work that the National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group (NASAG) has taken since the guidelines were agreed in 2012. Officer told the committee that NASAG will prepare a report in May 2013. The report will provide ministers with an overview of NASAG's first twelve months of operations and if any reforms to the group are required.34

3.36 Officers were asked what advice and action they had taken in relation to the Queanbeyan City Council's decision to rezone the land at Tralee. The committee heard that the department sought and provided legal advice to the Minister for Infrastructure

and Transport regarding recourse for the Commonwealth to intervene in the decision of the New South Wales Planning Minister.35

3.37 The committee asked whether the department or minister had published a formal response to the recommendations of the Joint Study on Aviation capacity in the Sydney region. Mr Mrdak, explained that the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon. Anthony Albanese MP released a statement setting out the government's position on some of the key outcomes of the joint study. The department is currently concluding three pieces of work, which will provide the next stage of advice for the government.36

3.38 The committee also sought information on the following topics:

• Moruya Airport;

• consideration of another environmental impact statement being

conducted on Sydney Airport;

• Jandakot Airport lease arrangements; and

• Bankstown Airport. 37

Airservices Australia 3.39 The committee discussed the Operational Performance and Capacity Assessment for Perth Airport Report and sought further information on the cost of the report, as well as the delay between receiving the report and releasing the report to the public. Officers told the committee that the delay in making the report public was due to Airservices Australia receiving the report in draft form and then holding

33 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 59.

34 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 59.

35 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 62.

36 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 62

37 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 63-66.

246

27

consultations with industry and the various stakeholders involved to develop a strategic and action plan for each site in the report.38

3.40 Officers told the committee that the most critical initiatives for Perth Airport identified in the report was to alleviate the runway occupancy times, to effectively increase the airport's capacity. The committee heard from Mr Hartfield, Executive General Manager, that currently Perth Airport experiences three peaks of demand caused by the first morning peak:

The first peak is in the morning…where there are about 110 aircraft overnight at Perth, every night. About 90 of those aircraft want to depart between 5.30 and 8.30 in the morning, in a three-hour period. All of those aircraft are departing and if we are in what I would call a departure mode, we can get away about 40-odd aeroplanes an hour… depending on how the traffic flows for the day, it gets into that afternoon peak which has a lot more airline or regular public transport traffic in it, and that is where we are seeing the excessive peaks and the excessive holding.

39

3.41 The committee sought an update on the number of airspace closures due to a lack of air traffic controllers. Ms Staib, Chief Executive Officer, tabled the number of occasions between 1 July 2009 and 10 January 2013 when airspace has been closed, and told the committee this equated to approximately 65 flights out of 12 million.40

3.42 The committee asked officers to provide an update on the following matters:

• concerns about staff turnover, including bullying and harassment within

Airservices Australia;

• the appointment of Mr Greg Hood;

• corporate sponsorship by Airservices Australia;

• Archerfield Airport; and

• freedom of information requests. 41

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) 3.43 The committee discussed CASA's current tender for indoor plants. Mr Jordon, Chief Operating Officer explained that the tender is for the maintenance of existing plants for the next three years and not for additional plants. The committee was interested in how this tender fitted within the increase in the efficiency dividend, as plants for Senators and Members were removed as cost cutting measure.42

3.44 The committee asked officers to explain the potential threat to aviators from the new wave of industrial wind turbines. Mr McCormack, Director of Aviation Safety told the committee that if wind farms are within 15-30 kilometres of an airfield, then it is the responsibility of the wind farm owner/operator to ensure the

38 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 66.

39 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 67-68.

40 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 71.

41 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 70-71.

42 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 74.

247

28

wind turbines do not impinge on the safety slope, which leads into the runway. If this does occur CASA has the power to make wind farm operators/owners place lights on the turbines.43

3.45 The committee asked in relation to the Federal Aviation Administration Audit conducted in late 2009 for an update on the items, which were found to be deficient. Mr McCormack informed the committee that the major issue was that CASA did not have sufficient training in place for the inspectorate. In response to the audit, Mr McCormack explained that a training school in Brisbane has been setup, where all inspectors undergo training to supplement their on-the-job training.44

3.46 The committee sought further information on the following topics:

• Portfolio Budget Statements;

• recreational aircraft registration; and

• aviation treaties. 45

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) 3.47 The committee discussed the ATSB's Portfolio Budget Statements, and sought more information on the budgetary pressures and areas where key savings have been made. Mr Dolan, Chief Commissioner explained that the ATSB is largely a staff driven organisation, which requires the agency to carefully manage its future staffing arrangements.46

3.48 The committee asked officers if the expected level of training for investigators has changed due to budgetary pressures or whether it remained similar. Mr Dolan, told the committee that the ATSB has slightly changed the work level standards for investigators, which was not as a result of cost pressures.47

43 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 75.

44 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 77.

45 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 75-77.

46 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 80.

47 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 80.

248

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 2012-13 Additional Estimates hearings for the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio. A complete list of all the topics discussed, and relevant page numbers, can be found at Appendix 5.

4.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Tuesday, 12 February 2013 from the following outcomes and agencies:

• Corporate Services

• Regional Development

• Local Government

• Services to Territories

• Office for the Arts

• Australia Council

• Office for Sport

Corporate Services 4.3 The committee asked for an update on the programs the department's administers. Ms Beauchamp, Secretary, advised that the department is responsible for providing support to a number of large programs, including the Regional Development Australia Fund, Community Infrastructure Grants, the Local Government Reform Fund and the Centre for Excellence in Local Government. The department also leads and coordinates many place based interventions in priority areas for government, such as the Murray-Darling, Tasmania and the Upper Spencer Gulf.1

4.4 The committee asked how the department is progressing in terms of meeting the efficiency dividend. Ms Beauchamp, explained that the total number of staff has reduced in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12, as some programs were either one-off or have finished. The committee also heard that consultancy fees have decreased, as the department actively seeks to minimise the use of consultants by focusing on up-skilling staff.2

4.5 An area of particular interest for the committee was the department’s building lease arrangements. Officers were asked to detail the most expensive office space and lease space. The committee heard that the department’s lease in Garema Court is the

1 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 88.

2 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 89-90.

249

30

most expensive in terms of total cost, and the lease for the Office for the Arts in St Georges Terrace, Perth is the most expensive office space per square metre.3

4.6 The committee sought further information on the following items:

• credit card misuse;

• engagement with the Regional Australia Institute;

• the average personal leave per employee per year; and

• the number of active compensation cases. 4

Regional Development 4.7 The committee sought an update on the amount of funding available in the Regional Australia Development Fund. The committee heard that the first two rounds of funding have already been committed with another two rounds open for expressions of interest and application. Funding for the first round was $150 million, $200 million in the second round, $50 million for the third round and $175 million in the fourth round.5

4.8 The committee heard that there are 88 projects under the Community Infrastructure Grant program, 32 have been completed, 39 are in progress, one project is under contract negotiation and 16 are unapproved as they are undergoing the due diligence process.6

4.9 The committee asked why the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy web page had not been updated since July 2012. Officers explained that due to staffing constraints the website had not been updated, however, work on the strategy has continued. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO) has provided the department with a report on the range of activities it has undertaken, which will form part of the 12 technical reports to be released this year. In addition to the technical reports, two final reports will also be released at the end of 2013, one on each catchment and an overall summary.7

4.10 The committee asked the department to detail its involvement in the beef industry specifically in northern Australia. Officers told the committee that the Northern Australian Ministerial Forum has worked with the beef industry and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Research and Economic Science to identify the risks and opportunities facing the northern beef industry.8

3 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 89, 92-94.

4 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 90-91.

5 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 94-95.

6 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 95.

7 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 100-101.

8 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 101.

250

31

4.11 The committee also asked about the work of the Northern Australia Ministerial Forum. Officers explained that the forum was established in 2010 and provides an opportunity for strategic leadership and collaboration across jurisdictions in relation to the sustainable development of northern Australia. Membership of the forum includes regional development ministers from the Commonwealth, Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia.9

4.12 Officers told the committee that the Northern Australia Ministerial Forum has met five times since 2010 and despite changes to governments in two jurisdictions (Queensland and the Northern Territory), the forum remains a consensus and collaborative based environment.10

4.13 The committee asked for an update into developing water resources in Northern Australia. Mr Dickson, Director, explained the importance of developing long-term sustainable water resources to ensure the economic development of the north. Mr Dickson went on to explain that:

…the Australian Government has commissioned primary research on both the opportunities for broad scale irrigated agriculture, drawing on the development of surface water, as well as opportunities for mosaic development, drawing on groundwater resources…this work is focused on the availability and suitability of soil and water resources through the beef industry, the animal production systems that could utilise…the socio-economic viability of beef enterprises in industries that rely in part on mosaic irrigation.11

4.14 The committee sought further information on the following items:

• Horsham theatre and art gallery;

• the funding agreement with Unity Housing;

• Gawler rail line;

• the Wakefield Regional Council water supply arrangement and the South Australian Water corporation funding agreement;

• the AACo abattoir in Darwin;

• the Ord River scheme;

• the Hunter Valley regional strategic infrastructure plan;

• the Murray-Darling Basin economic diversification fund; and

• the possibility of relocating the department above the Tropic of Capricorn.12

9 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 104-105.

10 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 105.

11 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 105-106.

12 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 96-100, 102.

251

32

Local Government 4.15 The committee discussed what actions the department has taken since the Expert Panel released its report in December 2011 on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government. Officers told the committee that the department has worked with Parliament to establish the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government, as well as forming an interdepartmental committee which will investigate the timing and success factors of a referendum.13

4.16 Officers told the committee that the government will wait and make its decision once the final report from the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government has been released at the end of March 2013. Ms Fleming, Director, advised the committee that a referendum bill is required before the department can begin negotiations with the states. The committee heard that the latest the Bills could be considered by Parliament is June 2013.14

4.17 The committee asked officers for an update of the Financial Assistance Grants review. Ms Fleming, told the committee that the Grants Commission has set dates for hearings in Canberra, and submissions were due on 1 March 2013. The Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development, and Local Government the Hon Simon Crean MP announced that the focus of the review is to assess the efficiency and effectiveness in relation to the distribution of funding.15

4.18 The committee sought an update on the Local Government Reform Fund. Officers told the committee that phase one has been completed and phase two has commenced with 12 of the 18 projects completed and the remainder due for completion by 30 June 2013.16

4.19 The committee sought an update on the work of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government. Ms Fleming, explained that the centre has built awareness on the use of debt and financing to increase the capacity of local governments.17

Services to Territories 4.20 The committee asked for an update on the Road Map for Norfolk Island, and sought specific information in relation to the privatisation and monopolisation of the marketplace, and the upgrading of the facilities at the Kingston and Cascade piers. Officers told the committee that under the current funding agreement with Norfolk Island, the department is seeking to increase the number of competitors in the marketplace. The department has no plans to upgrade the facilitates at Kingston and Cascade piers, as officers reminded the committee that Norfolk Island is a

13 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 113.

14 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 113-114, 117.

15 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 115-116.

16 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 115.

17 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 117.

252

33

self-determining government which has responsibility for infrastructure on Norfolk Island.18

4.21 The committee sought further information in relation to whether the government was committed to its agreement to extend the Australian tax system to Norfolk Island in 2014-15. Ms Beauchamp explained that the department is currently working with the Norfolk Island government and the Australian Tax Office to identify priority areas and milestones that can be sustained by Norfolk Island without negatively impacting business and the local community.19

Office for the Arts/Australia Council 4.22 The committee sought further information from the department in relation to the National Cultural Policy, specifically how many drafts have been provided to the Minister for Arts the Hon Simon Crean MP, the date when the policy might be released, and whether the policy will reflect the diversity of a 21st Century Australia.20

4.23 The committee asked officers from the Australia Council to explain literary funding specifically in relation to Quadrant. The committee heard that Quadrant received $20 000 in funding for 2012-13, which was 50 per cent less than 2011-12.21

4.24 The committee dismissed the following Arts Agencies without questioning due to timing constraints:

• National Film and Sound Archive;

• the National Gallery;

• the National Library;

• the National Museum of Australia; and

• Screen Australia. 22

Office for Sport 4.25 The committee discussed the department's Portfolio Budget Statements in relation to a reduction in funding for the Illicit Drugs In Sport (IDIS) program by $5.6 million. Mr Eccles, Deputy Secretary told the committee that the funding for the IDIS program was redirected to establish the National Integrity of Sport Unit and the IDIS was never intended to cover testing for illicit drugs in large sports.23

4.26 The Office for Sport was questioned in relation to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) Report into Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport. The committee sought further information in relation to:

18 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 119.

19 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 121.

20 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 126-133.

21 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 134.

22 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 129.

23 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 137-138.

253

34

• the press conference held by the Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Kate Lundy held with the Minister for Justice, the Hon Jason Clare MP and the various sporting codes chief executive officers on

Thursday, 7 February 2013;

• the date of the briefing from the ACC to invited sporting organisations in Canberra;

• whether the government paid for the flights of all sporting codes that attended the press conference; and

• the breath of match fixing in Australian sport. 24

4.27 Officers told the committee that the newly established National Integrity of Sport Unit is collaborating with the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority to implement components arising out of Project Aperio and the report into Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport.25

4.28 The Australian Sports Commission was dismissed without questioning due to timing constraints.26

Senator Glenn Sterle Chair

24 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, pp 138-144.

25 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 138.

26 Estimates Hansard, 12 February 2013, p. 140.

254

Appendix 1

Tabled of contents to proof Hansard transcripts Additional estimates 2012-13

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Monday, 11 February 2013

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

255

36

Monday, 11 February 2013 Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Hansard page

In attendance 1

Finance and Business Support, Government, Information Services and People and Service Delivery Divisions 4

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences 13

Climate Change 20

Border Compliance, and Post Entry Quarantine Program 35

Biosecurity—Plant 41

Food 46

Biosecurity—Policy 52

Biosecurity—Animal 54

Live Animal Exports 60

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority 66

Meat and Livestock Australia 71

Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited 72

Australian Fisheries Management Authority 74

Sustainable Resource Management 90

Australian Egg Corporation Limited 102

Agricultural Productivity 105

Trade and Market Access 117

256

37

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

Hansard page

In attendance 1

Corporate Services 3

Australian Rail Track Corporation 12

Infrastructure Australia, and Nation Building—Infrastructure Investment 16

Surface Transport Policy 43

Australian Maritime Safety Authority 47

Policy and Research 51

Major Cities Unit 54

Office of Transport Security 57

Aviation and Airports 59

Airservices Australia 66

Civil Aviation Safety Authority 73

Australian Transport Safety Bureau 80

257

38

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio

Hansard page

In attendance 83

Corporate Services 86

Regional development and local government 94

Services to territories 119

Arts and cultural development 124

Australia Council 134

Sports and recreation 137

258

Appendix 2 Tabled Documents

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Documents tabled at hearing on Monday, 11 February 2013

1. Successful projects in 2011-12 and 2012-13, tabled by Mr Paul Morris, Executive Director, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, 11/02/13

2. Correspondence from the Parliamentary Library to Senator Back regarding Professor Ross Garnaut's speech at the National Development and Reform Commission-State Information Centre Carbon Market Beijing International Workshop. Tabled by Senator Back, 11/02/13

3. 'A Premier's Perspective', The Advocate, 31 January 2013. Tabled by Senator Colbeck, 11/02/13

4. Review of Commonwealth Fisheries Management Legislation. Tabled by Senator Whish-Wilson, 11/02/13

5. Senate Estimates brief 'Snails in Grain'. Tabled by Mr Matthew Koval, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Agricultural Productivity, 11/02/13

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

Document tabled at the hearing on Tuesday, 12 February 2013

1. 'Traffic Information Broadcast by aircraft procedures implemented between 1 July 2009 and 10 January 2013'. Tabled by Ms Margaret Staib, Chief Executive Officer, Airservices Australia, 12/02/13

2. 'Time to act on Sydney's aviation capacity', media release by the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP. Tabled by Mr Mike Mrdak, Secretary, Department of Infrastructure and Transport, 12/02/13

259

260

Appendix 3 Topic list

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio Monday, 11 February 2013

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard

page reference

Finance and Business Support, Government, Information Services and People and Service Delivery Divisions 4-13 Structural changes within the department 4-5

Caring for our Country grant to Kylie Ridge 5

The Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (the CDDA Scheme) 6-9 Temporary personnel staff 10

Levels of unscheduled absences 10-12

Current allegations of bullying and harassment claims 12-13

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences 13-20 Carbon dioxide trading scheme in relation to comments by Professor Ross Garnaut

13

Impact of the carbon tax on irrigators in the farming sector 13-17 Wild dog management in Australia 17-18

Impact of reduced rainfall and increased temperatures 19

Climate Change 20-35

Carbon Farming Initiative 21

Measurement of soil carbons 21, 23-25

Feral camel management 21-23

Professor Ross Garnaut's comments in relation to the effectiveness of an emission trading scheme 26-27 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's work on the review of state and territory codes of practice for plantation management

27, 29

Tasmanian forest contractors exit assistance package 27-28, 34 Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement - contractors voluntary exit grants program 28-31

Rural Financial Counselling Service 31-32

Agricultural Finance Forum 32

Closure of the Eden chip mill 33

Export of wood pellets made from native forest wood 34

Regional Forest Agreements 33-35

Border Compliance and Post Entry Quarantine Program 35-41 Operation Hayride 35-38

'supplier in quarter profiles' 38-39

261

42

Performance targeting and effectiveness program 39

DAFF Cargo Consultative Committee 40

Operation Abecorn and Operation Balmain 40

Income Equalisation Reserve and the Import Clearance Program 40-41 Biosecurity Plant 41-46

Import risk analysis and the Eminent Scientists Group 41

Importation of Japanese Unshu mandarins 42-43

Horticulture sector fees and charges 43-44

Income Equalisation Reserve for the horticultural sector 44-45 Industry consultative committee for horticulture 45

Ginger and Fiji 45-46

Food 46-52

New Zealand apples 46

Exportation of baby formula into China 47

Cost recovery impact statements 48

Exportation of limes into New Zealand 48

National Residue Survey 49-51

Testing of antimicrobial residues in locally farmed aquaculture 52 Biosecurity—Policy 52-54

Flying fox problems in North Queensland 52-53

Preparedness of the department for exotic diseases into Australia 53 Citrus greening response plan 53

Citrus budwood 53-54

Biosecurity—Animal 54-60

Responsibilities of Biosecurity—Animal and Live Animal Exports 54 Bovine Johne's Disease 55-56

Quarantine fees for horse owners 56-57

Horse training track in post entry quarantine facilities 57-59

Review of the import risk analysis for horses 58

Animal welfare standards and guidelines 59-60

Live Animal Exports 60-65

Allegations of animal cruelty at the Cibinong abattoir 60-62

Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme 62

Current complaints under investigation 62-64

Proposed export of live cattle from North Queensland to Solomon Islands 64 Improving beef cattle productivity in Indonesia 64-65

Financial assistance provided to Australian producers in response to live cattle ban 65 Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority 66-71 Service Level Agreements 66-67

Reform of the National Scheme for Assessment Registration and Control Use of Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals 67-68 Fenthion issue in Western Australia 69-70

Importation of chemicals for livestock 70

262

43

Cost to register a chemical 70-71

Meat and Livestock Australia 71-72

Reported breaches by Meat and Livestock Australia consultants of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance Scheme 71-72 DAFF investigation into Chibanong abattoir 72

Australian Livestock Export Corporation Limited 72-74

Out-of-date website 72

Establishment of an independent authority to regulate the export of livestock 73 Review of export standards 73

Strategic plan 74

Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) 74-90 Fishery status reports 74

Marine Stewardship Council certification system 75

Norfolk Island fishing rights 76-77

Fish stocks in the Coral Sea fishery 77

Gulf of Carpentaria fisheries 77

Socioeconomic impact assessments on marine parks 78

Marine bioregional planning 79

AFMA levy for statutory fishing rights 80

Transfer of the eastern tuna and billfish quota 80-81

Seafish's application to use vessel as a freezer/transfer of fish at sea 81-84, 86-87 Total allowable catches for 2013-14 85

Borthwick Review update 87

Gillnetting 88-89

Tasmanian Conservation Trust 89-90

Sustainable Resource Management 90-102

Caring for our Country update 90-95

Feral camel cull 95-97

Feral pig control program 97-98

National Weeds Program 98

Southern Bluefin Tuna population 98-100, 101

Australian Fisheries Management Authority Commission 100 Reef Rescue and Caring for our Country 101-102

Amending the Primary Industries and Energy Research Development Act 102 Australian Egg Corporation Limited 102-105

Certified trade mark application 102-103

2010 anonymous survey of egg producers 103

Egg Corp Assured and new Egg Standards Australia 104

Optimum-stocking rates for free range 104-105

Agricultural Productivity 105-117

Industry Advisory Committee for citrus 105

Horticulture Australia Limited board 106

263

44

Multiperil crop insurance 106-107

Snail control management 107-108

Australian Plague Locust Commission's concerns about Western Australia 108 White grain research funding 108-109

Water used by agriculture in Australia 109-110

Murray-Darling Basin 110

Administrative orders regarding water 111

Funding of Australian government's science, research and innovation budget in agriculture 111-112 Patenting of plant genes 112

CSIRO's study into developing northern Australia 113

Regional Food Procedures Innovation and Productivity Program 114-116 Research and development in agriculture 116-117

Expansion of irrigated agriculture in northern Australia 117

Trade and Market Access 117-125

Memorandums of understanding under negotiation 117

Priority markets for live animal exports 118

Exporting livestock to Vietnam 118-119

Industry Government Implementation Group 119

Allegations of unaccredited livestock being sold in Kuwait's Al Rai livestock markets 119-120 DAFF employee - New Delhi, India 120

Agricultural tariffs in India 121

Allegations of corruption within the Indonesian Agricultural Ministry 121 World trade Organisation challenges 121-122

Beef trade to South Korea 123-124

Beef prices 124

Update on the free trade agreement with South Korea 125

264

Appendix 4 Topic list

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard

page reference

Corporate Services 3-11

Building lease arrangements 3-4

Progress to meet efficiency dividend 4

Department's capability review 4-6

Major Infrastructure Projects Office 6

Staff performance management 6-7

Department's financial performance 7

Consultancies and contractors 7-8

A second airport for the Sydney region consultancy 8-9

High-speed rail consultancy 9-10

Pay scales for departmental employees 10

Submitting questions on notice to the committee late 10-11

Regional affairs element of the portfolio 11

Australian Rail Track Corporation 12-16

Inland rail 12

Double-stack containers from Melbourne to Sydney 13

Sydney metropolitan freight network 13

Moorebank Intermodal Project 13-14

Air quality tests at Islington and Mayfield 14

Rail line between Karuna and Spring Ridge, Liverpool Plains 14-15 Cox's Creek rail bridge near Boggabri 15

Company Board to manage the Moorebank Intermodal Project 16 Infrastructure Australia and Nation Building—Infrastructure Investment 16-43

National Freight Strategy 16-17, 27

Toowoomba Range crossing 17-18, 37

Warrego Highway 18

National Building 2 Program projects contained in the contingency reserve 18 Funding profile of the Parramatta to Epping rail link 19

Funding profile of the Richmond Bridge 19

Funding profile of the Princes Highway West 19

Funding profile of the Tasman Highway 19

Funding profile of the Legacy Way Northern Tunnel link 19

Funding profile of the F3 Sydney orbital 19

265

46

Update on the Maranoa Bridge over the Mitchell River 20, 21

Epping Floodplain 20-21

Update on West Connex project 21, 24, 37, 39

Mackay Ring Road 21

Scone level crossing 21-22, 33

Update on Bruce Highway 22, 27, 29

Budget savings from projects 23

Consultation with states 23

Discussions with the Tasmanian government in relation to light rail project for Hobart 23 Liveable Cities Programs 23-24

Current capacity of Port Botany 24-25, 39-40

Regional Infrastructure Fund 25

Engineering skills shortages in Australia 25-26

Roads for Recovery budget for Western Australia 26

Update on the Great Northern Highway 26

Pacific Highway upgrade 27-28, 40-41

Cooroy to Curra upgrade 29

Clarke Creek Community Reference Group 30

Blakey's Crossing Townsville 30

National Port Strategy 30-31

Gawler rail electrification 31-33

Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program 33-34

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator 34-36

National Rail Regulator 36

Update on the Midlands Highway 36-37

Infrastructure Australia's discussions with the Leader of the Opposition 38 Moorebank Intermodal Project 40

Tasmanian government's submission to Infrastructure Australia in relation to irrigation projects 42 Cairns Harbour dredging 42

Funding for the Hahn Highway 42

Gold Coast light rail project 42-43

Surface Transport Policy 43-47

Kennedy Highway update 43

Seatbelts on regional school buses 44

Export shipping service out of Bell Bay, Tasmania 45

Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme 45-46

National Sea Highway Coalition 46

Light rail in Tasmania 47

Public transport investment 47

Australian flagged vessels 47

Australian Maritime Safety Authority 47-51

Maritime training certification standards 47-50

266

47

Tinny to tanker reform process 50

Destruction of illegal entry vessels in the waters off Christmas Island 50-51 Policy and Research 51-54

Scope of collaboration on research publications 51-52

Staffing resources of the unit 52

Recent publications 52-53

Research categories 53

Flinders River irrigation project 53-54

Major Cities Unit 54-57

Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport Draft Report 54-55 COAG Reform Council review of Capital Cities Strategy Planning Systems Report 56

National Airport Safeguarding Advisory Group (NASAG) 56 Perth Airport 56-57

Tralee 57

Office of Transport Security 57-59

Department's capability review 57-58

Maritime Security Identity Card (MSIC) 58

Maritime security zones 58

Exclusive Economic Zones and MSIC holder 58

Access to Fremantle port 59-59

Aviation and Airports 59-66

Jandakot Airport 59-60, 63-64

NASAG reforms, processes and guidelines 60-61

Tralee 61-62, 66

Formal response to the recommendations of the Sydney airport joint study 62 Moruya Airport 62

Sydney Airport environmental impact statement 63

Bankstown Airport 64-65

Governance frameworks 65-66

Airservices Australia 66-73

Perth Airport 66-69

Staff turnover, bullying and harassment 70

Mr Greg Hood 70

Current staffing levels of air traffic controllers 70

The closure of airspace 70-71

Freedom of Information requests in relation to Mr Russel's time at Airservices Australia 71 Credit card expenditure 71

Corporate sponsorship 71

Archerfield Airport 72

Use of non-directional beacon 72

Sydney Airport Corporation 72-73

267

48

Civil Aviation Safety Authority 73-79

AusTender plant contract 73-74

Potential threat posed by new wave industrial wave turbines 75 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 76

Recreation Aviation Australia 76-77

United States Federal Aviation Administration audit 77

Aviation treaties 77

Maintenance regulations of small aircraft 77-78

Approved testing officers 78

Flights tests by Flight Operation Inspectors 79

Australian Transport Safety Bureau 80-82

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 80

Training levels of safety investigators 80-81

Benchmarking by the International Transport Safety Association 80-81 Near mid-air collision above Darwin 81-82

268

Appendix 5 Topic list

Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard

page reference

Corporate Services 86-94

Current staffing levels 87, 89

Average salary per staff member 87

Main regional development issues 88-89

Staffing cuts to regional officers 2012-13 89

Office space 89, 93-94

Efficiency dividend 90

Credit card misuse 90

Regional Australia Institute 90-91

Compensable leave under Comcare arrangements 91

Average days taken as personal leave per employee 91-92

Active compensation cases 92

Travel costs 92-93

Regional Australia; Local Government 94-118

Regional Development Australia Fund 94-95, 109

Community Infrastructure Grants program 95-96

Horsham theatre and art gallery 96

Freeze on all regional funding 97

Unity Housing funding agreement 97-99

Wakefield region water supply 99-100

North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy 100-101

Flinders and Gilbert catchments 101

Northern Australian Sustainable Futures program 101, 103-104 Ord River Scheme 102

Northern Australia Ministerial Forum 102, 104, 106

Building lease and relocating above the Tropic of Capricorn 103, 107, 111-112

Northern Australia Land and Water Taskforce 104

Development of water resources 105-106

Liveable Cities Program 107-108

Mining tax 109

Murray-Darling Regional Diversification Plan 109-111

Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government 113-114

269

50

Local Government Ministerial Forum 114

Financial Assistance Grants review 114-116

Sustainable Local Infrastructure Report 115

Local Government Reform Fund 115-116

Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government 117

Referendum on Constitutional Recognition of Local Government 117-118 Local Government Association of South Australia Regional Airports Project - Final Report 118

Services to Territories 119-124

Norfolk Island economic development 119-120

Norfolk Island fishing industry 120

Norfolk Island road map 120-121

Norfolk Island government elections 121

Future taxation arrangements for Norfolk Island 122

ACIL Tasman 2012 report on Norfolk Island 122

Benchmarking Norfolk Island with mainland Australia 123

Pests and diseases existing on Norfolk Island 124

Office for the Arts 125-134

National Cultural Policy 125-134

Indigenous cultural in the National Cultural Policy 129

Dismissing of Arts agencies due to time constraints 129-130

Australia Council 134-137

Funding for Quadrant 134-135

The Australian Book Review 135

Quadrant - key organisations grant category 136

Cuts to Country Arts South Australia 136-137

Office for Sport 137-144

Funding cut announced in Budget Paper No.2 of 2011-12 137-138 Establishment of the National Integrity of Sport Unit 138

The press conference held by Minster for Sport, Senator the Hon Kate Lundy and Minister for Justice, the Hon Jason Clare MP 138-139, 141-142

Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports 139

Australian Crime Commission (ACC) briefing prior to the press conference 139-140 Meeting between ACC and all interest groups 140-141

Match fixing in sport 142

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's knowledge of ACC's investigation 143-144

270