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Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee - Senate Standing - Estimates - 2011-2012 - Budget - Report, dated June 2011


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Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on Budget estimates 2011 -12

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July 2011

Australian Senate

Senate Legislation Committees

Reports on Budget estimates

2011-12

July 2011

© Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 2011

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

" Budget estimates 2011-12 report, dated July 2011 .......... ........ ........ ........ .... .... .. 1

Economics Committee

" Budget estimates 2011-12 report, dated June 2011 .................. .......... ........ ..... 53

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee

" Budget estimates 2011-12 report, dated June 2011 ...... ...... .... ...... ............ ....... 87

Environment and Communications Committee

" Budget estimates 2011-12 report, dated June 2011 .... ........ .................. ........ . 117

Finance and Public Administration Committee

" Budget estimates 2011-12 report, dated June 2011 ...... ........ ...... ........ ........... 14 7

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee

" Budget estimates 2011-12 report, dated June 20 11 ........... .... .... ........ .... ...... .. 179

Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

" Budget estimates 2011-12 report, dated June 2011 ............ ................. .......... 217

Rural Affairs and Transport Committee

" Budget estimates 2011-12 report, dated June 2011 ...... .......... ........... ......... ... 251

RESOLUTIONS OF THE SENATE RELATING TO ESTIMATES

II STA:\DING ORDERS-..\:\t£!\D:\IE:\T--Co:\tl\tiTTEES-ALLOCHIO:" OF DEPARntE:\TS 1 Th e Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Senator Ludwig). pursuant to notice of mot ion not objected to as a lonna! motion. moved government business notice of motion no. 2-( I) That standing order 25( I) be amended as follows:

Omit: ∑Environment. Communications and the Arts∑ Substitute: ∑Envir onmen t and Co mmunications∑. Omit: ∑Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport" Substitute: ∑Rural Affairs and Transport∑. (2) TI1at departments and agencies be allocated to legislative and general purpose standing

comm ittee s as follovvs: 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 E111 " ironment and Colllll lltni cations

Broadband. Communications and the Digital Economy Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Commu nitie s Finance and Public Administration

Finance and Deregulation Parliament Prime Minister and Cabinet. including Regional Australia , Regional Development and Local Govcmmcnt Foreign Affairs, De.fe11ce and Trade

Defence. including Veterans∑ A ffairs Foreign Affairs at;d Trade Legal and Constitlllional Affai rs Attorney-General

Immigration and Citizens hip Rural Affairs and Tran ~port Agriculture. Fisherie s and Forestry Infrastructure and Transport. Statements by leave: Senators Fifield and Ludwig, by leave, made state m ents relating to the m otion.

Question put and passed.

1

Journals qf the Senate, no. 2, 29 September 20 I 0

4 LEG ISLA TJO'i C0:\11\IITTEES-ESTI!\IATES H EAR I'iGS 2

The Minister for Agriculture. Fisheries and Forestry (Senator Ludwig) amended govemment husine s not ice of motion no. 2 by lea,∑ e and. pursuant to notice. moved -( 1) That estimates hearings by legislation committees for 2011 be scheduled as follows: 2010-11 additional estimates:

Monday. 21 February and Tuesday. 22 February (Group A) Wedne sday. 23 February and Thursday, 24 February (Group B). 2011-12 Budget estimates: Monday. 23 May to Thursday. 26 Ma y. and, if required. Friday. 27 May (Croup A)

Monday. 30 May to Thursday. 2 June. and. if required. Friday. 3 June (Group B) M0nday . 17 Oct0hcr and Tuesday. 18 October (supplememwy hearings- (}roup . ..t) Wednesday. 19 October and Thursday. 20 October (supp/ememw:r hearings " Group B). (2) That the comm itt ees consider the proposed expenditure in accordance with the allocation of

departments and agencies to committees agreed to by the Senate. (3) That comm itt ees meet in the following groups: Group A: Environment and Com munications

Finance and Public Administration Legal and Co nstitu tional Affairs Rural AtTairs and Transport Group B:

Community Affairs Economics Education. Emp loyment and W orkplace Relations Foreign Affairs. Defence and Trade. (4) That the committees report to the Senate on the following dates:

(a) Tuesday, 22 March 20 I 1 in re$pect of the 20 I 0-11 additional estimates : and (b) Tuesday. 2 I June 20 I I in respect of the 20 I I -12 Budget estimates. Question put and passed.

2

Joumals of the Senate. no. 14. 24 November 2010 ii

86 PARTICl LAR S OF PROPO SED A!\D CEinAI:\ EXP E:\DITl"RE FOR 2011-12-DOCU .\!DTS " REFERE\"CE OF ESTI:VlAT ES TO C0\1i\11TTEES 3

TI1e Minister tor Finance and Deregulati on (Senator Wong) tabled the following docum ents:

Particul ars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012. Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012. Particulars of proposed expenditure in relation to the parliam entary departm ents in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012. Senator Wong. by leave. moved-That the particulars docume nts be referred to legislation commin ees for the consideration of estim ates. Question put and passed.

-~ Joumals of the Senate. no. 28. I 0 M ay 20 II

iii

The Senate

Community Affairs

Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2011-12

July 2011

© Conunonwealth of Australia 2011

ISBN 978-1-74229-478-0

This document was prepared by the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Conm1ittee and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, CanberTa.

2

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Claire Moore, Chair ALP, Queensland

Senator Rachel Siewert, Deputy Chair

Senator Judith Adams

AG, Western Australia

LP, Western Australia

Senator Sue Boyce

Senator Carol Brown

Senator Mark Furner

Senators in attendance

LP , Queensland

ALP, Tasmania

ALP, Queensland

Senator Claire Moore (Chair), Senator Rachel Siewert (Deputy Chair), Senator Judith Adams, Senator Sue Boyce, Senator Mark Furner, Senator Anne McEwen, Senator the Hon Jan McLucas , Senator the Hon Eric Abetz, Senator Chris Back, Senator Corey Bernardi, Senator Catryna Bilyk, Senator Michaelia Cash, Senator Mathias Connann, Senator Trish Crossin, Senator Alan Eggleston, Senator Fierravanti- Wells, Senator Mitch Fifield , Senator Scott Ludlam, Senator Fiona Nash, Senator Stephen Parry, Senator Manse Payne, Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion , Senator Jolm Williams, Senator Nick Xenophon

Secretariat Dr Ian Holland Ms Toni Matulick Ms Rebecca Walker Ms Amy Welham

Ms .Jo-Anne Holme s

Suite SI.59 Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Committee Secretary Committee Secretary Principal Research Officer Research Officer Administration Officer

Telephone: (02) 6277 3515 Fax: (02) 6277 5829

Email: community.affairs.sen (a)aph.Qov.au

Ill

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Table of Contents

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

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

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

Details of hearings .... ...... .... .................. ....... ............. ..... ............ ..... ...... ........ .......... I

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

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

Changes to portfolios , agencies or agency structure ......... ... ...... ..... ...... ................. 3

Cross portfolio coordination of programs ........................................................ ...... 3

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

Late answers to Questions on Notice ...... .......... ...... ......................... .................. .4

Grounds for not answering questions ......................... ....................... .................. 4

Portfolio complexity ......... ........... ... ..... .... ....... ............... .... ......... ........... .......... .... 5

Chapter 2 ............................................................................................................. 7

Health and Ageing Portfolio ..................................................................... ....... ........ 7

D epartment of Health and Ageing .... ................ ...... .... ................. ............... ... ...... ... 7

Whole of Portfolio /Corporate Matters ............... .............. ......................... .......... 8

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare ... .............. ........ ........... .... ............ ...... 8

Mental Health .............. ..... ..... ...... ........... ..... ..... ................... ................... ............. 9

Aged Care and Populat10n Ageing ..................... .... ......... ..... .... ........ .... ... ......... ... 9

Access to Medical Services ...... ............................ ......... ..... ... ...... ..... ... ... ........... I 0

Professional Services Review ... ............ .... ...... .......... ... ....... ....... ..... .......... ..... ... I 0

Primary Care .......... ...... ...... ... ...... ...... ..... ............ ... .......... .... ......... .... ..... ....... ...... 11

Population Health ...... ........ .... ......... ... ... ... ... ............................... .................. ...... 12

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARP ANSA) ..... 13

Access to Pharmaceutical Services ........................... ........ ............. ........... .... .... 14

5

National e-Health Transition Authority (NEHT A) .... ........... ... ..... ................ .... 14

Chapter 3 ........................................................................................................... 15

Families , Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio ..... 15

Department of Families, Housing, Conm1unity Services and Indigenous Affairs ................................... .................... ........................................ ............... ......... ....... 15

Cross Outcomes/Corporate Matters ........................ .............. .... ............... ..... .... 15

Wo1nen ...... ... ............. ...... ............ ........ ...... ....... ........... ................................ ...... 16

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) .... ...... ...... 17

Community Capability and the Vulnerable ............................. .............. ..... ....... 17

Housing ................................................. ......... .... ..... .... .... .... .... ........ ... .... ... ..... ... . 18

Families and Children .... ............. .... ......... ............... ...... ........... .......... ..... ... .... .... 19

Disability and Carers ... ........ .............. .... ....................... ........ .... ......... ..... ........... 20

Chapter 4 ........................................................................................................... 23

Homan Services Portfolio ...................................................................................... 23

Department of Human Servic ¨S .......................................... ............................ ...... 23

Corporate Operations and Enabling Services ........ ........ .... .............. ..................... 24

Child Support ...... ........................................ ..... .... ........ ................. ...... ............. ..... 25

Medicare Australia ...................... ................................... ........................ .... ....... ... 25

Centre link ........... .... ........... .......... ....... ........ ........... ........ .............. .............. ...... ..... 26

Chapter 5 ............................................................................................................ 31

Cross Portfolio Matters .......................................................................................... 31

Closing the Gap ........ .... ........ ............... ............................ ...... .................... ..... ...... 32

Indigenous Hou sing .... ........................ ............................................................. ..... 33

Northern Land Council (NLC) .... .......... ........... ................... ...... ........................... 34

Employment and Economic D evelopment ......... ... .................... ............. ............ .. 35

Health Issues ........... ..... ... ............ ..... ................. ....................... ........................... .. 35

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Appendix I ......................................................................................................... 39

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversight ............................ 39

Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 41

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies under the Committee's oversight .......................................................................... ∑∑∑∑ ∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑∑ ....... 41

Appendix 3 ......................................................................................................... 43

Index to Hansard Transcripts ............................................................................... 43

Vl

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VII

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Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 The conm1ittee is responsible for the examination of the following pm1folios:

" Health and Ageing;

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

" Human Services (following a resolution of the Senate on 29 September 2010).1

1.2 On 10 May 2011 the Senate referred the following documents to the committee for examination and report in relation to its portfolios:

" particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012; and

" particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012.

1.3 The committee was required to report to the Senate on its consideration of 2011-2012 budget estimates on 5 July 2011.

Details of hearings

1.4 The committee considered the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) 2011-20122 for all portfolios at hearings from 30 May 2011 to 3 June 2011 (inclusive). The hearings were conducted in accordance with the agreed agenda outlined as follows:

Hearing date Portfolio

Monday 30 May 20 I 1 Health and Ageing portfolio

Tuesday 31 May 2011 Health and Ageing portfolio

Wednesday 1 June 2011 Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio

Thursday 2 June 2011 Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio and Human Services portfolio

Friday 3 June 2011 Cross Portfolio - Indigenous Matters3

Journals of the Senate: o. 2, 29 September 20 I 0, pp 88-89.

2 See "Changes to portfolio s. agencies or agency structure" at 1.12 - 1.13 for clarification on PBS 2011-2012 and agreed agenda structur e.

3 See further information on Cross Portfolio - Indigenous Matters at 1.7.

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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 Health and Ageing and the Minister for Families, Housing, Conununity Services and Indigenous Affairs in the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs outcome 5).

" Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Minister for Sport, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development and Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness (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 David Learmonth, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Aaeina∑ o O' " Mr Finn Pratt , Secretary of the Department of Families, Housing, Conununity Services and Indigenous Affairs;

" Ms Kathryn Campbell, Secretary of the Department of Human Services;

" Mr Robert Griew, Associate Secretary of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace relations; and

" officers representing the departments and agencies covered by the estimates before the conunittee.

1. 7 The committee also considered budget expenditure at a hearing on 3 June 2011 on cross portfolio indigenous matters pursuant to Resolution of the Senate of 26 August 2008.4 Explanations relating to the estimates were received from Senator the Hon Mark Arbib. Officers from the following portfolio Departments and agency were in attendance:

" Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs;

" Health and Ageing; and

" Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

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

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

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3

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 infom1ation relating to the expenditure is 22 July 2011. 5

Hansard transcripts

1.10 The committee discussed many of the expenditure proposals and infom1ation contained in the PBS. These discussions are detailed in the committee∑s Hansard transcripts of 30 May 20 II to 3 June 2011 (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. Answers to questions taken on notice and tabled documents relating to the committee's hearings will be tabled separately in the Senate. Consolidated volumes of this additional information may be accessed from the committee's website.

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

Changes to portfolios, agencies or agency structure

1 .12 All departments within the committee's portfolio have indicated various changes to outcome and program structures in their 2011-2012 Portfolio Budget Statements. The most significant of these is the integration of Centrelink and Medicare Australia into the Department of Human Services from 1 July 2011.6 This integration will result in all programs currently being delivered by Centrelink and Medicare Australia being delivered by the Department of Human Services from that date.

7

1.13 Based on the potential complexities of these stmctural changes, the comn1ittee decided that the budget estimates hearings on 30 May 2011 to 3 June 2011 (inclusive) proceed in accordance with each department's outcome and program structures from the 2010-2011 Portfolio Budget Statements. This approach also assisted Senators, to a certain extent, with identifying where to ask questions during hearings.

Cross portfolio coordination of programs

1.14 The committee expresses its concerns regarding the increasing number of issues with cross portfolio coordination of programs and the effect this is having on estimates processes. The conm1ittee has at times found it difficult to ensure

5 See "Procedural issues" at 1.16 for further discussion on answers to Questions on Notice.

6 Pending passing and commencemen t of the Human Services Legislation Act Bill 2011 (Cth)

7 Budget: Portfolio Budget Statem ents 2011-2012; Budget Related Paper No. I. I I; Human Services Portfolio , pp 3-6.

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accountability during the estimates process. It notes the many occasions on whjch Senators asked questions of a witness at estimates hearings and were advised that the matter was being handled by a different department.

Procedural issues

1.15 There were few procedural issues during the committee's hearings however the following were noted.

Late answers to Questions on Notice

1.16 During hearings of the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio on Wednesday 1 June 2011, the conm1ittee asked the Department of Families, Housing, Conm1unity Services and Indigenous Affairs for an explanation in relation to late answers from the additional estimates round held in February 20 II. Mr Finn Pratt, Secretary of the department, responded as follows:

Yes, there is a reason. I am not sure that there is an excuse. We had a large number of questions on notice to answer. It was during a very busy period, around the budget, and I apologise on behalf of the department that we were late in getting so many of those answers in. We will attempt to do much better next time. 8

1.17 The Chair of the committee responded:

T~at is an ongoing issue, and we have these discussions at most estimates. One of the

things we have suggested in the past is if there is a delay, and people in the department see that there will be one because of workload and other issues, if you could let the committee know rather than just going through until the end. It is something to think about. We have raised it on a number of occasions with a number of departments. I just think that possibly could be one thing to consider within the department.

9

Grounds for not answering questions

1.18 During hearings of the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio there were a few disputes regarding not answering questions on the grounds of deliberations of, or advice to, government. The committee notes that no formal claims were made for public interest inmmnity and that responses continued to be provided. However departments should be aware of and adhere to the order of the Senate on 1 3 May 2009 which explicitly rejects reliance on such grounds for not providing an answer to a question.

1.19 During hearings of the cross portfolio - Indigenous matters on Friday 3 June 2011, issues were raised in relation to proceedings before the Federal Court in which

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 20 I L p.26.

9 ProofEstimates Hansard, 1 June 201 L p.26.

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the Northern Land Council had an interest. The Chair drew attention to the rights of '-' Senators to ask questions even where matters were before a court.

Portfolio complexity

1.20 The complexity of outcome and program arrangements, as mentioned above, did see the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) offer to provide the conm1ittee with a 'mud map' in future to assist in identifying where questions should be asked. The committee appreciates the patience shown by officers in providing direction to appropriate program areas and looks forward to receiving this information .

13

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Chapter 2

Health and Ageing Portfolio

D epartm ent of Health and Ageing

2.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed duting the 2011-2012 budget estimates beatings for the Health and Ageing portfolio.

2.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Monday 30 May 201 1 and Tuesday 31 May 20 11 . Areas of the portfolio were called in the following order:

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

Whole of Portfolio /Corporate Matters

A ustralian Institute of Health and Welfare

Mental Health

Aged Care and Population Ageing

Health System Capacity and Quality

Cancer Australia Agency/National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre

National Health and Medical Research Council

Access to Med ical Services

Professional Services Review Scheme

Health Workforce Capacity

Health Workforce Australia

Primary Care

Population Health

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

" Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA)

" Australian National Preventive Health Agency

" Rural H ealth

" Private Health

" Access to Pharmaceutical Services

" Biosecurity and Em ergency Response

" Acute Care

" Australia n Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authmity

" Hearing Services

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

Whole of Portfolio/Corporate Matter/

2.4 At the 2010-2011 additional estimates, the committee asked about post-flood and cyclone initiatives in the department and how these impacted on staff and buildings. The committee commenced proceedings by requesting an update on the department's people and property issues. 2 Ms Jane Halton, Secretary of the

Department of Health and Ageing, responded that employees have now returned to work and the department is fully operational.

Council o.f Australian Government (COA G) Heads of Agreement-National Health Reform

2.5 On 13 February 2011, the COAG at its 301h meeting agreed, under a Heads of Agreement, that every Australian government sign a full National Health Reform Agreement by 1 July 2011. Accordingly the department was asked numerous questions about this including timeframes, current discussions between Commonwealth , state and territory governments and the pending passage of legislation relating to this agreement.

2.6 The committee expressed a great deal of interest in authorities that would be created under the new agreement including the:

(a) National Performance Authority

(b) Independent Hospital Pricing Authority

(c) Local Hospital Networks

(d) Medicare Locals

2. 7 Senators raised concerns about how these new authorities would interact with each other particularly around governance arrangements and the interaction of the Commonwealth with state and territory governments. The department confirmed that negotiations are currently taking place around these issues. 3

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare4

2.8 The committee indicated particular interest around definitions of terms such as 'hospital' and 'hospital bed'. The department's secretary , Ms Halton, indicated their

Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011, pp 6-29

2 Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011 , p. 6.

3 Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011 , p. 24.

4 Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011, pp 30-35

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'fervent hope to have a standard national definition' however noted the 'degrees of difficulty' associated with producing a 'definition as applies internationally' . 5

2.9 In addition, the committee raised the issue of measuring and defming unmet need. The authority advised that they 'will be doing a bit more work with the jurisdictions around the defmition of unmet need'. 6

Mental Health7

2.10 The department was asked questions in relation to mental health, particularly in the areas of completion of 2006-2011 COAG mental health measures, expanding the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre (EPPIC) model, flexible care packages to patients with severe mental illness, suicide prevention and budget measures contained in the 2011-2012 Portfolio Budget Statement (PBS).

2.11 The most discussed of the budget measures was Better Access. Questions on this measure focused on allied mental health professionals Medicare registrations and treatment sessions with patients classified in the mild to moderate illness category. Questions were also asked of the department on the tender process involved with the Better Access evaluation , monitoring the impact of quality care and changes to rebates and complaints regarding the changes to Better Access.

2.12 The department was further asked why the new National Mental Health Commission is being established under the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The department's secretary, Jane Halton, explained to the committee that this is because mental health is seen as a whole-of-government issue and that 'to put it in health would be to downgrade the significance of the other areas' . 8

Aged Care and Population Ageing9

2.13 The department was questioned on networks of one-stop shops across Australia, Medicare Locals and how they fit in with aged care, consumer directed care packages, young people in nursing homes and the Aged Care Assessment Program.

2.14 The committee showed great interest in different aged care assessment tools and how current assessment processes are being criticised for not effectively dealing with ageing persons with a disability. The department repli ed that they 'have been progressing with putting in place a more consistent assessment tool across the Aged Care Assessment Program'.10 The department further advised they are currently

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011 , p. 31.

6 Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 M ay 2011, p. 32.

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, pp 35-62

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 Ma y 2011, p. 56.

9 Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011, pp 62-74

10 Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 71.

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putting together a toolkit incorporating three core assessment tools which will be used by aged care assessment teams. The department did not indicate a timeframe within which this toolkit would be implemented.

2.15 Following up from last estimates , the department was asked about continence aids program and the issue that some holders of Department of Veterans Affairs pensioner concession cards had missed out on this program. The department confirmed that all affected clients have now received their payments. 11

Access to Medical Services 12

2.16 The department was asked a variety of questions relating to Medicare including the review of existing Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) items, nurse practitioners and midwives with Medicare provider numbers and continuity of services to Medicare clients following changes announced as a part of the 201 1-2012 budget.

2.17 In relation to Medicare service delivery, the department was asked what arrangements are in place for formal accountability . Ms Halton advised the committee that in relation to service delivery , Medicare is accountable to its Minister and to the Parliament. 13 Ms Halton confirmed there are no other bodies in place (except for the Auditor-General) to assess performance.

14

2.18 The committee further asked questions relating to the Commonwealth Dental Health program (CDHP) , specialist services with telehealth, the targeted assistance 2011-2012 budget measure and the diagnostic imaging review and the 2011-2012 budget announcements on this area.

2.19 The committee discussed diagnostic imaging in terms of changes to licence categories, MBS eligibility and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines in both regional and metropolitan areas. The department confirmed that the budget reflects the focus on MRI's showing additional expenditure in this area. 15

Professional Services Review16

2.20 The committee asked the agency a variety of questions in relation to processes , practices and transparency of the agency and its decisions . In return the agency gave evidence of the types of matters it has recently dealt with and its interactions with Medicare who refer matters to the agency.

1 1 Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 Ma y 2011, p. 73.

12 Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 M ay 2011, pp 95-103

13 Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 Ma y 2011, p. 100.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 100.

1 5 Proof Estimates H ansard, 30 May 2011, p. 102.

16 Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011 , pp 103-109

18

P . c 17 nmmJ ' are

11

2.21 The committee discussed Aged Care Access Incentives under the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) for general practitioners. The department expressed that this area is 'one of the real fault lines in primary care' .18

2.22 The department was asked about the maternity services review particularly regarding the maternity services plan which was formally released a few weeks prior to the estimates hearing. The department was also asked about collaborative arrangements between midwives and general practitioners , funding for maternity units in rural areas and how the maternity services plan interacts with the health refom1 framework. The department confirmed that 'the new governance arrangements under the health reform framework are not explicitly articulated in the maternity services plan." 9

Medicare Locals

2.23 The department provided figures regarding the total funding for Medicare Locals. Current divisions of general practice receive around $85 million in a full funding year which will transfer to Medicare Locals. On top of this, Medicare Locals will receive $175 million core funding in a full funding year. This department clarified this will be the funding base for Medicare Locals once divisions of general practice funding ceases. 20 The funding for divisions of general practice is due to cease on 30 June 2012.21

2.24 The committee also discussed the transition of divisions of general practice to Medicare Locals and how this will affect the provision of programs. The department explained that 26 different programs currently run through divisions of general practice with additional programs announced in the 2011-2012 budget to run alongside these. The department advised that where there is a Medicare Local in place, these programs will run through them. Pending a Medicare Local covering a geographic area, programs will run through the division of general practice . 22

2.25 The committee further asked about the funding formula for Medicare Locals. The department advised that they do not know yet what this formula would be however they gave an assurance that the formula would take into account rural and remote issues. 23

17 Proof Estimates Han sard, 31 M ay 2011, pp 5-33

18 Proof Estimates Han sard, 31 M ay 2011 , p. 6.

19 Proof Estimates H ansard. 31 May 2011, p. I 0.

20 Proof Estimates Han sard. 31 M ay 2011, p. 19.

21 Proof Estimates Han sard. 31 M ay 2011, p. 16.

22 Proof Estimates H ansard, 31 M ay 2011 , p. 13.

23 Proof Estim ates H ansard, 31 M ay 2011, p. 17.

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GP Superclinics

2.26 The department tabled a document, provided to them after the 2010-2011 additional estimates round, presenting a status update on GP Superclinic sites . The Committee queried the accuracy of the timetables for completion of work for some GP Superclinics. On the issue of infrastructure, the committee asked about the budget commitments for GP Superclinics relating to allocations for new and refurbished buildings.

2.27 The department was asked to provide feedback in relation to the burden GP Superclinics are removing from local hospitals. The department advised that such information is not yet available. The Committee further sought information about the planned evaluation of GP Superclinics and whether the evaluation would include the effect on patient numbers at local private practices.

2.28 There was discussion on the scope of GP Superclinics with the department indicating that 'each clinic will have a very specific focus on preventative health measures targeted at their local population'. 24

2.29 In relation to the interaction of Medicare Locals and GP Superclinics, the department advised that 'the superclinics in a particular area will be one of the providers that they (Medicare Locals) will need to take account of and include in their I . ' 25 p annmg.

Population Health

2.30 The department provided the committee with an overview of the 'Measure up' campaign called 'Swap it, don't stop it', a campaign intended to encourage 'positive healthy changes in behaviour to contribute to a reduction in the prevalence and impact of chronic disease'. 26 The department provided a breakdown of the current 'media buy' for the campaign which accounts for approximately $10.3 million of their budget. 27 The department indicated an evaluation of the campaign would commence in mid-June 2011. The committee intends to follow up the subject at future hearings.

2.31 Following up from questions at additional estimates, the committee asked about sudden cardiac death and the availability of statistics and further information on this topic. The department advised that it does not have access to such data and outlined some of the difficulties involved with collection of same.

2.32 The department provided the committee with a document outlining the status of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests relating to tobacco companies and the

24 Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 2011, p. 21.

25 Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 20 II, p. 28.

26 Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 20II, p. 40.

27 Proof Estimates Han sard, 31 May 20 II, p. 4I.

20

13

proposed plain packaging laws. The document contained details of the number of requests received, requests received by other department and agencies, the status of each request and any Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) or Federal Court matters relating to these requests.

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

2.33 Questions were asked of the TGA in relation to the regulation of joint replacement medical devices, particularly ASR hip joints. Senators expressed concern about the timeliness of recalls in response to reviews of data about the success of particular devices. The TGA responded that:

Australians need to be aware that we have the ability in Australia, perhaps better than anywhere else in the world, to pick up when these so1is of devices are running into problems. That is why action arising from the ASR

hip failures occurred in Australia faster than anywhere else in the world. 28

2.34 The committee also discussed the review of breast imaging devices and the existence of any watchdog to ensure that devices removed from the market after review are not continuing to be used. The TGA advised that:

ultimately the oversight of the ongoing use of those devices does not rest with the TGA ... (however, they) have gone to significant lengths to make the relevant authorities aware that there may be an issue that they need to continue to watch or to take action on.

29

2.35 The committee also asked about the TGA transparency review currently underway. TGA advised that this review will 'come up with a set of recommendations about how (they) might enhance the transparency of regulatory processes and decision making'. 30

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARP ANSA)

2.36 The committee discussed the National Radiation Dose Register and the provision of worker's radiation dose records by operators of uranium mines across Australia. The agency clarified that 'at this stage the dose register is only funded for the incorporation of data from the uranium mining industry'.

31

2.3 7 The committee expressed intere st in the agency's involvement in the continuing nuclear emergency at Fukushima in Japan. The agency brought a presentation with them on this issue to show the committee however, due to time constraints , were unable to show this. Accordingly the committee agreed that a

28 Proof Estim ates Han sard, 31 May 2011, p. 34.

29 Proof Estimates Han sard, 31 M ay 2011 , p. 37.

30 Proof Estimates Han sard, 31 Ma y 2011, p. 38.

31 Proof Estimates Han sard, 31 M ay 2011 , p. 59.

21

14

briefing be arranged for interested Senators at a time to be advised, after the estimates hearings finished.

Access to Pharmaceutical Services

2.38 The conunittee raised various issues relating to the Federal Government's announcement to defer the listing of seven new medicines and a vaccine on the Pham1aceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) irrespective of approval of these medications by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC). All PBAC reconunendations are now to be reviewed by cabinet.

2.39 The department was asked about timeframes for the deferral and the pharmaceutical expertise of Cabinet and Ms Halton advised that she was not aware of a timetable and that 'the Minister indicated that it would depend on when the budget was in a position to be able to accept those listings.'

32

Ms Halton further clarified the

budgetary position stating 'I think the suggestion is that this would be able to be reconsidered potentially when the government comes back to a budget surplus'. 33

.National e-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA)

2.40 The Conunittee spent some time seeking to quantify the outcomes and products that NEHT A has created since its inception-; Mr Peter Fleming, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), advised that they have built, and are in the process of implementing, the Healthcare Identifier (HI) service. Mr Fleming also noted that a lot of work has been done around secure messaging standards and the National Product Catalogue which currently has 130,000 items in it.

34

2.41 The committee discussed NEHT A's three year plan which Mr Fleming confirmed 'goes out to where our funding ceases' (i.e. middle of June 2012).35 Mr Fleming stated that they are on track with this plan. 36

2.42 Mr Fleming was further asked if it will be possible to implement all of NEHT A's current projects under e-health by July 2012. He replied by stating that 'all of our projects are tracking to their critical path. All activities that we expect to be delivered at certain times are being delivered within those time frames'. 37

32 Proof Estimates Hansard. 31 May 2011, p. 87.

33 Proof Estimates Hansard. 31 May 2011 , p. 88.

34 Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 77.

35 Proof Estimates Hansard. 30 May 2011, p. 78.

36 Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011 , p. 78.

37 Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 79.

22

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 2011-2012 budget estimates hearings for the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio.

3.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Wednesday 1 June 2011 and Thursday 2 June 2011. Areas of the pmifolio were called in the following order:

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

Cross Outcomes/Corporate Matters

Seniors

Women

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace A gency (EOWA)

Community Capability and the Vulnerable

Housing

Families and Children

Disability and Carers

I

Cross Outcomes/Corporate Matters

3.3 The committee commenced proceedings with discussions on the following topics:

" the good health payment made to SES officers;

" contracts to provide a Media Manager to service the expert panel advising on Indigenous recognition in the Constitution and short-tem1 staffing in the Ministe( s office after the budget;

" progress on a trial of iPads;

" information technology security , blocking of access to social media sites except where it is required for work purposes and monitoring of internet usage by staff;

Proof Estimates Hansard, I June 2011 , pp 3-22

23

16

" how the department would approach costing any policy proposal from the opposition , an independent or minor party;

" the cost impact of the Fair Work Australia decision regarding wages paid to social , community and disability sector workers; and

" initiatives taken by the department to recruit , train and support employees with a disability.

3.4 The department was asked about co stings done in relation to proposals to freeze indexation of family tax benefits which were provided to the Minister immediately before the caretaker conventions commenced . The secretary took on notice a question relating to whether the Prime Minister had sought this information but flagged that there may be a public interest ground for not revealing this information or any other information about policy options the government was considering. 2

3.5 The committee further sought advice provided by the department to the Multi " Party Climate Change Committee. The department refused to provide the brief on the basis that it amounted to advice to government. No clear public interest ground for withholding the brief was articulated and Senators did not press the request for the brief.

3.6 The committee discussed the Australian-Government Panel of Gender Experts which the department described as 'a source of expertise for departments to use when they want to consider gender impact'. 4 In relation to evaluating the effectiveness of the panel, the department indicated they 'will do some surveying ... across the Commonwealth of how people have used it (the panel) to see if it is a useful thing to continue'. 5

3. 7 The committee asked about the 40 per cent gender target on government boards. The department referred the committee to the Wom en on Australian Government Boards Report which indicates overall representation of 33.9 per cent. 6 The department expressed a 'need to ensure that there are no different interpretations of that definition [of an Australian government board] that is causing any level of confusion'.

3.8 The department was questioned on the White Ribbon Workplaces program. The department indicated that, to date, they have paid $150,000 to the White Ribbon

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p. 14.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, pp 26-47

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p. 27.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p. 28.

6 Proof Estimates Han sard. 1 June 2011 , p. 30.

24

17

foundation for which they 'only recently finalised .. . negottatwns of the fundino agreement.' 7

The department went on to explain the milestones and formation of reference group for this program.

3.9 The committee discussed the changes announced in relation to legislation relevant to this area as well as the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA). The department advised that 'the nature of the amendments is the new name and focus on things like gender equality'. 8 Further discussions were had around drafting of amendments to legislation, and advisory groups.

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA/

3.10 The committee acknowledged the appointment of Ms Helen Conway as Director of EOWA effective 27 April 2011. Ms Conway expressed that her 'priority at the moment is to make sure business as usual continues under the existing legislation ... [ whilst preparing] to implement the new legislation, which involves undertaking some new responsibilities ... t1∞

3.11 The committee discussed some of the changes under the new legislation including development of a new educational program, a new online system and a name change to 'W orkp1ace Gender Equality Agency'. The agency confirmed the existence of 'new funding to enable it to effect the transition and operate under the new regime' 11 which amounts to $11 .2 million over four years, effective 1 July 2011.

12

Community Capability and the Vulnerable 13

Income Management

3.12 The committee sought an update on income management in the Northern Territory. The department provided the committee with a reference sheet containing facts and figures on this issue. 14

3.13 The committee discussed the breakdown of budget figures relating to expenditure on the income management measurement since it took effect on 1 July 2010. The department explained that 'the majority of funding ... goes directly to the

7 Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011 , p. 33.

8 Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011 , p. 37.

9 Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, pp 47-56

10 ProofEstimat es Hansard, 1 June 2011 , p. 47.

11 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p. 51.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p. 51.

13 Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, pp 56-82

14 Proof Estimates Ha nsard, 1 June 2011 , p.56.

25

18

Human Services portfolio for Centrelink service delivery'. In relation to the department's portion, as at 31 April 2011, $1.051 million of the $1.267 million appropriated had been spent. The department clarified that this funding comprised communications, evaluation and voluntary income management incentive payments.15

3.14 The department explained to the conm1ittee that there are two parts to the income management scheme:

" approved money management course for which 812 people have registered. Of this, 415 people have completed the course, 335 are still participating and 62 have withdrawn.

" matched savings for which savings can be undertaken over any period of time. To date there are four people who have availed themselves of this scheme.16

3.15 The committee further sought clarification of the budget allocation of $117.5 million over five years for the extension of the five income management trials . The department advised the bulk of this allocation is for service delivery . The department detailed its portion of this allocation and explained that the funding would comprise 'financial counselling and money management services, funding for evaluation , funding for the matched savings payment and the voluntary income management payment and departmental staff. 17

Housing18

3.16 The conm1ittee expressed interest in figures relating to construction and planning for social housing and stage two of the Social Housing Initiative. The department was asked questions on site selection and targets for this initiative to which the Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness, Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, reminded the committee that the 'primary responsibility for housing rests with the states'. 19

3.17 Minister Arbib also advised that currently the numbers of homes that have been delivered include 14 200 from the stimulus package, 3 500 from the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and 1 200 from the National Partnership Agreement on Social Housing (from which there are another 577 to come).20

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p.58.

16 Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, pp 59-60

17 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p.68.

18 Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, pp 82-106

19 Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, p.85.

20 Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, p.85.

26

19

3.18 Minister Arbib further noted the department's appreciation of the pressure on housing and, on the issue of affordability, the department referred to the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) as a 'broader agreement that contemplates refom1 across the affordability sector' . 21

3.19 The committee questioned the department on the National Partnership Agreement on Mental Health being led by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) . The department indicated the significance of their involvement is 'in relation to homelessness ... (as) evidence suggests that up to 70 per cent of people who are homeless may have a mental health issue.' The department stated that, in conjunction with DoHA , it intends to 'bind the health and hospital system better around support for

77

homeless people'. --3.20 The committee also discussed the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) current review of the methodology for calculation of homelessness. The department outlined advice from the ABS that 'the purpose of the review is to move towards a methodology that is transparent , consistent and repeatable that (the department) can use over time to track progress against the homelessness targets' . 23 The department could not indicate whether the methodology would be fixed in time for the upcoming census however they noted that, even if the methodology is produced after the census this year, ABS 'will go back and readjust the datasets back to the time the original methodology was first used. '

24

Families and Children 25

3.21 The department was questioned on details disclosed in a Sunday H erald Sun article 26 relating to the budget measure to freeze the indexation of the annual supplement for families eligible for Family Tax benefit A and B. This led to discussions on a related FOI request from News Limited and the processing of this request, part of which the department advised is 'still under consideration'. 27

3.22 The committee requested various figures in relation to the Family Tax benefit. The department indicated that the Centrelink green book contains all of the threshold figures and outlines 'at what point the family tax benefit is reduced'. 28 The department

21 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p.85.

22 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p.86.

23 Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p.97.

24 Proof Estimates Hansard, I June 2011, p. 99.

25 Proof Estimates Han sard, 2 June 2011 , pp 3-36

26 Samantha Maiden,' Prime Minister Julia Gillard kept tax squeeze under wraps', Sunday H erald Sun, 29 May 2011, http: //www.h eraldsun.eom.au/news/m ore-news/prime-minister-julia-gillard " kept-tax- squeeze-under-wraps/storv-fn7x8me2-1226064715573

27 Proof Estimates Hansard. 2 June 2011, p. 9.

28 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 13.

27

20

also agreed to provide the committee with a table, with the committee Chair suggesting the department look at 'whether there is a data set that lists these numbers that we could get as a table. '29

3.23 The department answered questions relating to the 25 My Time for Grandparents peer support groups budget measure. Minister Arbib informed the committee that it was Grandrarents Australia Incorporated who advised 'that 25 was a good number to start with'. 3 The department qualified that 'the 25 sites are not fmal yet. .. and [are] due to be fmalised very soon'.3 1 In relation to criteria for determining the 25 groups, the department expressed their primary consideration as 'a concentration of infom1al and formal grandparent carers . d 2

Disability and Carers

3.24 The committee discussed the Disability Support Pension (DSP), of which, as at March 2011, 812 790 Australians are in receipt. 33 The committee asked about the budget measure to introduce work participation requirements for recipients of the DSP aged under 35. The department explained the rationale for identifying this age group as 'choosing a group who without assistance , intervention and contact might face a very long period on income support, on the pension'. 34 The department confirmed that the cost of this measure is $92.8 million over four years from which the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) is allocated $30.4 million for services and Centrelink (under the Department of Human Services) is allocated $67.8 million to be expended on 'conducting the interviews with the clients and any systems changes that were required'. 35

3.25 The department was questioned about the National Disability Advocacy program and whether there was indexation in relation to their funding. The department advised that 'there was an indexation exercise undertaken' however the 'efficiency dividend cancelled out the indexation factor' and accordingly advocacies were offered a 'constant price this year'. 36 The department noted that they are currently negotiating with advocacies in relation to contracts as this is the first year they have asked services to provide 'performance targets for the number of clients they wil1 see'.

37

29 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 9.

30 Proof Estimates Han sard, 2 June 2011, p. 18.

31 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 16.

32 Proof Estimates Hansard. 2 June 2011, p. 16.

33 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 37.

34 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 39.

35 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 39.

36 Proof Estimates Han sard, 2 June 2011, p. 51.

3 7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 52.

28

21

3.26 Senator the Hon Jan McLucas , Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, commented on the advocacy program by stating 'we very much value the role of advocacy that we fund and we are very keen to work with (advocacy groups) to move to this new quality assurance system'. 38

38 Proof Estimates Han sard, 2 June 2011, p. 53.

29

22

30

Chapter 4

Human Services Portfolio

Department of H urn an Services

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

4.2 The committee heard evidence from portfolio departments on Thursday 2 June 2011. Areas of the portfolio were called in the following order:

"

"

"

"

"

Corporate Operations and Enabling Services

Human Services

Child Support

Medicare Australia

Centrelink

4.3 The committee commenced proceedings by welcoming Ms Kathryn Campbell, Secretary , Department of Human Services who infonned the conunittee that these would be the last estimates hearings for Centre link Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ms Caroline Hogg who retires on 6 July 2011. The Chair of the Conunittee also acknowledged these estimates hearing as the last for Mr Jolm Wadeson , Deputy Chief Executive Officer, ICT Infrastructure.

4.4 The committee acknowledged these last appearances with the following:

Ms Hogg and Mr Wadeson, on behalf of the committee I would like to thank you for your work for Senate estimates and also on numerous Senate inquiries, audit inquiries and legislation committees. Thank you so much for your patience, your professionalism and your ability to get back to senators, some of whom are asking their very first questions , which is very difficult. I am in a particular position because I have worked with both Ms Hogg and Mr Wadeson in the past. I think they have both been my bosses at different times in the past as well, so it has been of particular

interest to sit here in the Senate process. All of us want to pay tribute to your work and also to the ongoing growth and professionali sm of Centrelink. Thank you very much. 1

4.5 The conunittee asked Medicare Australia about the post-disaster process in which the whole of the Human Services portfolio has been involved, and its impact on the network. The conunittee asked about the 840 remote access booths' implementation , operation, and some closures. The agency advised that people requiring assistance:

Proof Estimates H ansard. 2 June 2011, p. 118.

31

24

... could visit a Medicare or Centrelink Office. At the moment we are working on a program of expanding opportunities for people to get their claims by bringing Medicare services into Centrelink sites. In addition is the Easyclaim service , and many doctors' surgeries make this available , and where we now have some online claiming available . There is a fairly broad suite of opportunities. 2

4.6 The committee continued with queries about assistance provided to people in rural and remote communities. Senator the Bon Mark Arbib advised:

I have been informed by Minister Plibersek's office that if any member or senator is concerned about their local community her office is very happy to sit down with them and discuss the circumstances around each community, assisting them in informing their communities and ensuring that the communities understand what alternative options are available . 3

Overall there has been a big decline in the amount of people using this service. Ninety-nine per cent of customers across-the-board are not using access points anymore ..... services have been improved and rolled out using technology, but there is always the phone.

4

4. 7 The committee sought information from the department about access to broadband services to regional areas. Senator Arbib noted:

The program that you are talking about is a FaHCSIA program, which is Broadband to Seniors. They provide kiosks for seniors. In many of these areas there would be kiosks. I think ,the program is $1 0 million over four years. The government has been rolling out services to communities in regional areas and we taken into account the views of local residents.

Corporate Operations and Enabling Services

4.8 The committee asked the department a series of detailed questions related to budget expenditure. The department took a number of questions on notice, regarding access of parental leave by departmental staff, expenditure on research and the nature of research undertaken and by whom, and expenditure on legal costs. 5

4.9 The committee questioned the department about the amount allocated in the budget to create a single website and a common phone number. The department noted:

.... that we exist, at the moment , on three separate IT systems and three separate telephone systems, and there are quite large changes that are required to standardise that across the portfolio. Some of the hardware we

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 64.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 65

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 66.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, pp. 68-69.

32

use now is a legacy hardware, which is quite mature and would need to be upgraded.6

4.10 The department further advised the committee:

.... basically the transition is not just about forming the single phone and website; it is actually about all of the contents that come together. The strategy is basically to be looking at a series of life events on the websites. 7

25

4.11 The committee requested further information about the breakdown of how the funding was being spent on this project, including any subcontractors. 8

4.12 The committee then asked about the department's monitoring of staff that have access to sensitive information and misconduct investigations during the financial year. The department advised that the department has a range of compliance measures in place. The department added that:

One of the things that we do, because we understand we have sensitive information available, is proactively monitor access to customer records. So, for example we can check at any point in time who is accessing what infmmation electronically. 9

Child Support

4.13 The committee discussed a media report alleging the Child Support Agency was lobbied to overturn a travel ban on a man after he failed to meet child support payments. The department advised:

I assume that sometimes representations are made. They might be made regularly but the circumstances in which a DPO [departure prohibition order] is issued and the circumstances in which we are required to issue a departure authorisation certificate or lift the DPO are set out in legislation. 10

4.14 The committee questioned officers about the number of overpayments, the number of debts and recovery processes and complaints about debt enforcement.

Medicare Australia

4.15 The committee asked Medicare Australia about the basis on which the CEO determines which cases should be referred to the Professional Services Review. The agency advised that:

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 70.

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 70.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 70.

9 ProofEstimates Han sard, 2 June 2011, p. 73.

10 Proof Estimates Han sard, 2 June 2011, p. 75.

33

26

Professional Services Review is focused on what is called inappropriate practice . It is based on assessing that as a peer review process .... we do not have a role to make that assessment merely to identify potential concerns that might go to that territory. We do that in a number of ways. The primary one is to look at the claiming profile of medical practitioners and we are able to monitor all of the claiming profiles of medical

. . II

practitioners.

4.16 The committee continued questioning the agency on the processes, administration, and funding of the Professional Services Review. Questioning then moved to the number of Medicare staff engaged in communications, media, public affairs and public relations and access of personal information by Medicare staff.

12

4.1 7 The committee asked a series of questions about funding for and access to the Better Access Initiative. The agency advised:

Some of those assumptions around that particular budget measure have been developed with our colleagues at the Department of Health and Ageing. There are a number of individual services that are offered undemeath the initiative , as well as group therapy sessions . Under this particular measure, the number of individual sessions , which is currently

18, will be reduced to 10 and the numbers of group sessions are currently at 12 and they will be reduced to 10, so there has been a slight reduction. 13

4.18 Senators asked officers about registration issues in relation to Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). The agency advised that:

We gave evidence in December and then in the recent Senate inquiry. We have not seen an increase at all in the December figures. Any increase in the deregistration had not been showing up in our figures .... 14

4.19 The committee continued with questioning on service billing and requested some statistics. Further questions were asked about auditing of practitioners in relation to Medicare billing and other compliance issues. 15

Centrelink

4.20 The Chair sought an update on Centrelink infrastructure and personnel post the floods. The agency advised that:

... . the office at Goodna was completely destroyed .... .it was a matter of two weeks or something before the whole place was operational again .... Apart

11 ProofEstimat es Han sard. 2 June 2011, p. 77.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, pp. 80-82.

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 83.

14 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 85.

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, pp. 86-88.

34

from that, infrastructure wise, I do not think there are any other lingering . 1 6

Issues.

With respect to staffing , the agency stated :

We had about 2,500 business-as-usual staff. ... moved on to the flood response ..... the staff are enormously proud of the response that they have had from the Australian community and, .... the respect through their efforts that the organisation has achieved in the first half of this year. I think that has been unprecedented. 17

27

4.21 The committee asked about allegations in a media article of Centrelink staff calling mothers campaigning to win back the carers allowance for parent of children with Type 1 diabetes. The agency stated:

It is not uncommon practice for us that, when we see customers reporting their distressed circumstances in the paper, we ring them to make sure that they understand the decision made about their situation , what appeal rights they have and any other assistance that we can offer them. 18

4.22 The committee asked about the number of complaints lodged against Centrelink staff to which the agency replied:

Up to March, we have had 35,459 general complaints. For the same period last year, it was 37,938.19

4.23 The agency went on to explain the procedure to get the complaint figures . The committee asked officers whether they were familiar with the Commonwealth Ombudsman's annual report of 2009-10 and whether Centrelink was taking any action to address the findings . The agency responded stating:

What we have agreed to do now is to actually run a different process, again a two-tiered approach, and this is mainly because of the costs of a full appeal approach for every case, when we could probably fix it up quite quickly if there is a genuine error on our part. 20

4.24 The committee referred to the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) report 33 of 2010-11 concerning the protection and security of electronic information held by Australian Government agencies and asked whether Centrelink uses the same data security system as Medicare Australia . The agency stated:

We work closely with DSD (Defence Signals Directorate) in this space. We are always upgrading and working on ways of countermeasures to these

16 Proof Estimates Han sard, 2 June 2011, p. 88.

17 Proof Estimates Han sard, 2 June 2011. p. 89.

18 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 89.

19 ProofEstimat esHansard. 2June2011.pp. 90-91.

20 Proof Estimates Han sard, 2 June 2011, p. 92

35

28

sorts of attacks. DSD has the view that we do everything that is appropriate for the security threats we face.

4.25 The committee asked a series of questions about the level and number of staff appointed by Centrelink working on issues of fraud, the number of tip-offs received by the public and number of claims substantiated, and the amount recovered as a result of fraud investigations. 21

4.26 The committee followed up on earlier questioning about grandparents advisers asking for a definition and job description of what a grandparent adviser is, what they do, and if that will vary with the establishment of the 25 My Tin1e for Grandparents peer groups and the details of any interaction between the two of them. The agency advised that:

Since November 2010 we have been trialling this approach. This is something we have been doing in an ad hoc way for many years ..... .It is largely working with grandparents in that area [who become carers but not custodians] and looking at other ways of connecting them to services and provision and support. .... What I am not aware of is how it connects with the .... FaHCSIA funded initiative mentioned in the budget papers ..... 22

4.27 The committee asked the agency about participation reports provided by JobSearch providers and the applied rate of failures. The agency responded by advising:

There is a number of cases where Centrelink has no choice but to reject. Examples of that would be when a job seeker is no longer on an income support payment or there has been a change in their circumstances. So, if we take those out, what we call, discretionary cases, the applied rate is at about 57 per cent. That is where we look at the cases where Centrelink actually has to make a decision . 23

4.28 The committee followed up on the new welfare reform processes and the new trial sites or pay space locations. The committee noted that quite a lot of money was allocated to Centrelink for some extra staff , particularly social workers and people to work in the ten locations. The agency advised:

... the national initiatives will cover off resource changes for our portfolio and they will also be in those 10 locations. In terms of the specifics, there was the $38 million that was provided for the 10 locations that was in this portfolio 's budget statements , and that is to cover the community innovation through collaboration, I think is the one you would be referring to. Within that it is funding that provides for 10 Commonwealth coordinators , and they would be public servants employed by this portfolio. There is funding for community facilitators and that would be used flexibly,

21 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, pp. 94-95.

22 Proof Estimates Han sard, 2 June 2011, p. 98.

23 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, pp. 99-100.

36

29

but again it would be funding for approximately 10 and they would be in h

. 24

t e commumty .

24 Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 107.

37

30

38

Chapter 5

Cross Portfolio Matters

5.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2011-2012 budget estimates hearings for cross portfolio Indigenous matters.

5.2 The committee heard evidence from portfolio departments on Friday 3 June 2011. Areas of the portfolio were called in the following order:

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Outcome 7 -Indigenous

Indigenous Business Australia

Northern Land Council

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Department of Health and Ageing

Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

Regulatory Policy and Governance Division

Pharmaceutical Benefits Division

Ageing and Aged Care Division

Health Workforce Division

Primary and Ambulatory Care Division

Acute Care Division

Mental Health and Chronic Disease Division

Business Group

Office of Aged Care Quality and Compliance

Medical Benefits Division

5.3 The Chair advised that the program had been grouped into themes and issues related to the portfolios of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; Education, Employment and Workplace Relations , particularly the employment area; Health and Ageing and Centrelink as an agency of the Human Services portfolio.

1

Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011. p. 3.

39

32

Closing the Gap

5.4 Proceedings commenced with questions to FaHCSIA related to Closing the Gap. The committee asked about the National Indigenous Reform Agreement and some of the Closing the Gap targets. Mr James, Branch Manager, Performance and Evaluation, explained that 'in terms of interim targets, we have had discussion in this committee about the so-called trajectories. These had been agreed across jurisdictions and were provided to the COAG Reform Council (CRC) just before Christmas.' The CRC was due to report on 8 June and would include some assessment against the

. . I

traJectones.-5.5 The committee then asked about where it could find information in relation to expenditure against the different measures under Closing the Gap. Ms Halbert, Acting Deputy Secretary advised that a comprehensive Indigenous Expenditure Report had been released recently. Mr James advised that this report could be found on the Productivity Commission website and is the most comprehensive ever collection of

d . 3

spen mg.

5.6 The conm1ittee asked some general questions about the interaction between FaHCSIA and the Coordinator-General for Remote Indigenous Services. Senator Arbib responded by stating, 'overall, I would say that we have a robust relationship with the Coordinator. We certainly take on board any criticism that he has and work towards ensuring that we meet our obligations'. 4

5.7 The conm1ittee then moved on to ask about the baseline maps for remote service delivery communities and the scope of the local implementation plans. 5 Mr James advised that all but four baseline maps had been provided to communities. These four baseline maps yet to be provided are for the Cape York Welfare Reform Communities. 6

5.8 Senators then posed questions to FaHCSIA about the Cape York Plan relating to its long term future and progress towards the plan's evaluation process. The committee then moved on to query the selection of specific Cape York Plan communities as part of the remote service delivery national partnership. Mr Tongue, Deputy Secretary, responded stating that the selection of the communities as part of the remove service delivery national partnership was an interaction between the federal government and the state and territory governments. 7

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 3 June 2011, p. 4.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard, 3 June 2011, p. 8.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 3 June 2011, p. 9.

5 Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011, p. 9.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 3 June 2011, p. 10.

7 Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011, p. 12.

40

33

5.9 Questions to FaHCSIA then moved on to the Alice Springs Transformation Plan with particular emphasis on the problem of overcrowding and tenancy agreement terms and conditions. Mr Coffey, Branch Manager, Alice Springs Transformation Plan, advised that there was an indication that the housing rollout had reduced the overcrowding for tenants as a result of tenancy reforms. In addition, Mr Coffey noted that this has been complemented by the opening of the visitor park in February 2011 as there is now a safe and affordable accommodation option for visitors to Alice Springs. 8 In relation to the tenancy agreement terms and conditions, Mr Coffey advised that it was a matter for the Northern Territory Department of Housing.

9

Indigenous Housing

5.10 The committee commenced questioning of FaHCSIA on the Indigenous Housing issue raising concern over the management of the budget for the Wadeye package by the Northern Territory Government and Commonwealth oversight of the expenditure and implementation. Senator Scullion queried the Department about its arrangements with the Northern Territory Government for providing information 'to say that the Commonwealth taxpayers' money has been spent properly and appropriately.r1∞ Ms Gumley , Group Manager, Office of Remote Indigenous Housing, advised that it is a Northern Territory Government (NTG) contract and that NTG officials are bound to the equivalent of the Commonwealth Financial Management Act. Ms Gumley also indicated that performance indicators for the funding were contained in the agreement and there are robust committee arrangements with all states and territories which meet monthly in the Northern Territory. Ms Gumley advised that there were also 15 staff embedded in the NTG team which enabled the Department to have better visibility and involvement in making sure outcomes from the program were delivered in line with the August 2009 report. 11

5.11 The Chair expressed the committee's desire to get clear information about progress on housing issues, particularly in relation to works at Wadeye, concluding the discussion:

.. .I think this is the third separate time in these estimates that these issues

have come up .. .I do not think it falls under the standar d notice in tenns of coming back by the date we have given. I think it is more urgent. I will leave that with you as to if we can get a comment back from your office to the committee. We would like to have a report back to the committee about the Wadeye visit and what you have seen. 12

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 3 June 2011. p. 12.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 3 June 2011, p. 13.

10 ProojEstimat es Hansard, 3 June 2011, p. 15.

11 Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011, pp. 14-16.

12 Proof Estimates Hansard, 3 June 2011, p. 22.

41

34

5.12 The department agreed and provided the committee with an update on Wadeye on 24 June 2011.

5.13 The committee then moved on to questions about Queensland Indigenous housing issues. The committee questioned what had been done to improve the underperformance in Queensland, asked for details of reporting mechanisms and a for a current status report. The committee then mo ved on to the issue of the Home Ownership on Indigenous Land (HOIL) Program and asked further questions related to responses provided by the Department to Questions on Notice, the current status of the Program and its funding.

Northern Land Council (NLC)

5.14 A range of questions were asked by the committee about the proposed national radioactive waste dump in the Muckaty Land Trust Area in the Northern Territory. The NLC explained that this matter was currently the subject of court proceedings. Senator Arbib acknowledged that ' .... Mr Hill accepts that he must answer questions , but at the same time he needs to be very careful given there is a court case in play.r13 Mr Levy, Principal Legal Officer, went on to say that 'evidence was given about the site, which is approxin1ate to but not part of the nominated land . ... -that if people wanted to challenge [what was said in previous committee hearings and in the report] the appropriate place was the court'.

14

5.15 The committee continued with questions about t~e policies of the Land Northern Council relating to public announcements by the NLC. Senator Scullion raised concern about the NLC as a Statutory Authority publicly calling for the sacking of Minister Snowden and Senator Crossin. Senator Scullion asked specifically whether 'whether the NLC have a communications plan that regulates or stipulates the process of the Northern Land Council making public announcements'.15 Mr Hill, Chief Executive Officer , explained that 'the full council has given powers to the

executive council to seek and direct both me and the chairman to represent the NLC with regard to media and public statements.' 16

5.16 The committee's questioning of the NLC concluded with the topics of their involvement in consultations about the possible creation of a Katherine Regional Land Council in the Northern Territory and the new approach taken by the government on township leases.

17

With respect to the new land council, Mr Hill advised that 'we have undertaken a consultative process to advise people that there is an application before the minister. It is our statutory responsibility to advise people of the process

13 Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011, p. 27.

14 Proof Estimates H ansard, 3 June 2011. p. 28.

15 Proof Estimates H ansard, 3 June 2011, p. 32.

16 Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011, p. 32.

17 Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011, pp. 27-38.

42

35

involved for the creation of a new land council under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territ01y) Act 1976. The process we have been involved in is purely consultation. People are seeking information in regard to the process.' 18 In relation to the new approach on township leases, Mr Hill stated:

there are a couple of concerns. There is still a bit of toing and froing between the Northern Land Council and the department regardin g the long " term benefits it will derive for traditional owners and, importantly , to the wider community, such as Wadeye or Maningrida, but part of our discussions will be to create corporations for traditional owners for them to look at investment profiles , to be part of the community's grown and share the wealth. 19

Employment and Economic Development

5.17 Senators commenced questioning D EEWR about the Indigenous Youth Career Pathways program. The Committee then moved on to questions about Indigenous Opportunities Policy including Indigenous Training, Employment and Supplier Plans, an update on the Australian Employer Covenant figures, Community Development Employment Program (CDEP) and Indigenous Employment Program (IEP) participants in the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP) and the Aged Care Workforce Fund related to training strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.20

Health Issues

5.18 The committee asked DoHA about suicide prevention programs and funding in the Kimberley, the establishment of Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres (EPPIC) and progress of Headspace Centres in developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Youth strategies. The committee then moved on to discuss the funding allocation and participants of the Indigenous Marathon Project. 21

5.19 The committee also asked questions in relation to the Commonwealth and state contributions to the cost of delivering health services in the Torres Strait for Papua New Guinea nationals. Concern was also raised as to whether this constituted a state or federal health issue. The committee also raised concerns about transition arrangements following the closure of health clinics in the Torres Strait from 30 June 2011.

22

18 Proof Estimates Hansard. 3 June 2011. pp. 34-35.

19 Proof Estimates Hansard. 3 June 2011, p. 37.

20 Proof Estimates Hansard, 3 June 2011, pp. 39-48.

21 Proof Estimates Hansard. 3 June 2011, pp. 48-54 and 60.

22 Proof Estimates Hansard. 3 June 2011, pp. 51-52.

43

36

5.20 The committee returned to aged care and mental health issues and asked a series of questions about the Aged Care Workforce Fund and the targeted training strategies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. A discussion was held about the transfer of funding from the domestic violence referral points project at DoHA to FaHCSIA's anti-domestic violence program. DoHA took on notice to liaise with FaHCSIA to provide a comprehensive response to the budget information which showed budget savings as a result of the funds transfer.

23

5.21 Senators then returned to the issue of the Indigenous Suicide Prevention Strategy and requested an update on the development of the strategy. Ms Harman , First Assistant Secretai) ', Mental H ealth and Chronic Disease Division, advised that discussions had taken place with the Australian Suicide Prevention Advisory Council (ASPAC) on 2 March and 'it had a really good discussion about the strategy and how we should take it forward .... out of that ASPAC put together a wonderful discussion paper which summarised the approach that we should be taking, based on their expertise.

24

Ms Harmon noted that the discussion paper ' .. .is not yet a public document at this stage. It was discussed and tabled at that Indigenous Youth Forum' held in April. 25 Ms Harn1an went on to say 'we might mention this to ASP AC and see if they have any objection to us circulating it more widely.'26

5.22 The committee asked about the operation of the new consolidated program that incorporates the Stolen Generation and Bringing Them Home Funding, the development of Men's Sheds and like organisations or activities into Indigenous areas. 27

5.23 The committee queried whether there were enough dialysis units to satisfy the need in the Pilbara, especially the Eastern Pilbara. Ms Powell, First Assistant Secretary , OA TSIH , noted that there was a Central Australian Renal Study which is looking at services of dialysis in Central Australia , which will have implications for other remote areas, but that dialysis is primarily a state responsibility. Ms Powell further advised that there was a capital works project funded through the Health and

Hospitals Fund in Western Australia called Bringing Renal Dialysis Closer to Home in Remote W A and said details were still being negotiated. 28

5.24 The committee went on to ask a range of questions in relation to the incidence of HIV in Indigenous communities, particularly in the North West, the rates of STDs , funding for stage 2 of the Lililwan Project in Fitzroy Crossing, general alcohol issues

23 Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011, pp. 54-56.

24 Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011, p. 56.

25 Proof Estimates H ansard. 3 June 2011, p. 57.

26 Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011, p. 57.

27 Proof Estimates H ansard, 3 June 2011. pp. 59-60.

28 Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011, pp. 61-62.

44

37

related to the Northern Territory. A discussion was then held about Opal distribution '9

to the goldfields.-

5.25 In conclusion , the committee asked about the situation of recruiting and retaining all types of staff in remote locations specifically in the area of Aboriginal Medical Services . Ms Powell noted while the Department funds Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC) to train and recruit temporary medical staff to come in to work at a variety of remote localities within the No11hem Teni.tory , it is a problem all over the country.

30

Senator Claire Moore Chair

29 Proof Estimates Han sard. 3 June 2011. pp. 62-66.

30 Proof Estimates Han sard, 3 June 2011, pp. 66-67.

45

38

46

Appendix 1

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversighe

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio

" Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)

" Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOW A)

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 (ARP ANSA)

Cancer Australia

National Blood Authority

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

Professional Services Review Scheme

Human Services Portfolio

" Department of Human Services (DHS)

This document has been prepared based on the Department of finance and Deregulation's Chart of 105 Agencies under the Financial Mana gem ent and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) as at 1 July 2011, http: //ww w .fin ance.gov.au /publications ltlipchart/docs/FM ACAC Fiipchar t.pdf

47

40

48

Appendix 2

Commonwealth Authorities and Companies under the Committee's oversighe

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio

" Anindilyakwa Land Council

" Central Land Council

" Indigenous Business Australia

" Indigenous Land Corporation

" Northern Land Council

" Tiwi Land Council

" Torres Strait Regional Authority

" Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council

" Aboriginal Hostels Limited

" Outback Stores Pty Ltd

Health and Ageing Portfolio

" Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

" Food Standards Australia New Zealand

" Health Workforce Australia

" Private Health Insurance Administration Council

" Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in H ealth Care

" Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd

" General Practice Education and Training Limited

" National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre

Human Services Portfolio

" Australian Hearing Services (Australian Hearing)

Th is document has been prepared based on the Department of Finance and Deregulation's Chart of 86 bodies under the Comm onwealth Authoriti es and Companies Act /997 (CAC Act) as at 1 July 2011, http://w ww . fi nance.gov .au/ pu bl i cation s!tl ipch art/ docs/FMA C A C FI i pchart .pdf

49

42

50

Appendix 3

Index to Hansard Transcripts 1

Monday, 30 May 2011

Health and Ageing Por(folio

Page no.

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

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare ...... ...................................... .............. 30

Mental Health ................................................... ...... ......... ................................. ..... 35

Aged Care and Population Ageing .................... ........ ...... .................................... 62

Health System Capacity and Quality .... ........................ ..... .................................. 74

National e-Health Transition Authority (NEHT A) ......... .......... ........................... 75

Health System Capacity and Quality ( cont) ................... .............. ................... ..... 84

Cancer Australia ............................................ ... .............. .............. ..... .............. ..... 90

National Health and Medical Research Council .................. ................................ 92

Access to Medical Services ........ ......................................................................... 95

Professional Services Review Scheme ........................................ ...................... 1 03

Health Workforce Capacity ....................... ......... ...... .... ...... ............................... 110

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Health and Ageing Por(folio (cant)

Primary Care .................... ...... .............. .... ................... ............. ... ................ ........... 5

Population Health ......................... .............. ... ... ....... ....................... ............. .... .... 33

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) .... .................... ........ .............. 56

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARP ANSA) ....... 58

Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) ................................. 64

Rural Health .................. ...... .... ............... .... .................................... ....... .............. . 70

Private Health .............................. ......................... ....... ......................................... 78

Access to Pham1aceutical Services ................................................. ... .... .... ........ .. 84

Biosecurity and Emergency Response ..... ......................... ................................. 103

Hansard page numbers referred to in this appendix are based on proof Hansards. Page numbers may vary slightl y in the final official Hansard transcripts.

51

Acute Care ......... ...... ................................................. ..... ................ .......... .......... 1 07

Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority ..... ....... 115

Hearing Services ....... ................... ......... ... .... ...... ............ ...... ........ ..... ....... .......... 117

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio

Cross Outcomes/ Corporate Matters ....... ....... ...... .......... ............ ........ .............. ....... 3

Seniors .... ... ..... .................. ...... ........ ......... ..... ...... ....... ....... .... ................. ... .... ........ . 22

Women ....... ........... ... ..... ........... ..... .... .... ............................. ....... ... ....... ... ......... ...... 26

Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) ... ...... .... .... .47

Community Capability and the Vulnerable ............... ............... ........ ........... ........ . 56

Housing ... ... ...... ............ .... ...... ..... .............. .... ............ ... .......... .... ........ ..... ... .... ... .... 82

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Portfolio (cont)

Families and Children ... ....... ..... ...... ........ ....................................... ....... ........ ...... .... 3

Disability and Carers ..... .................... ....... ......... ..... ......... .............. ... ....... ... ......... 36

Human Services Portfolio

Medicare Australia ..... ............ ...... .... .... ............. ........ .... .... ... .... ............... .... .... ..... 62

Corporate Operations and Enabling Services ............... .......... ......... ............ ...... .. 68

Child Support ... ....... .... ............ ................ .... .................... ..... ....... ... ... ............ ... .... 75

Medicare Australia ( cont) .......... ....... .......... ...... ............. .... ... ....... ....... .......... ...... . 77

Centrelink ...... .... ......... ..... ............ .... .......... ..... .................. ........ ..... ..... ..... ........ ..... 88

Friday, 3 June 2011

Cross Portfolio - Indigenous Matters

Closing the Gap ................... ... ...... .... ........... ...... ........ ........ ...... .... ..... ........ .... ... ....... 4

Indigenous Housing .... ...... ..... ............ ......... .......... ... ... ......... ..... ........ ..... .............. 14

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) .... ........ ........... ..... .... ......... ........ ..... ... ......... 24

Northern Land Council ..... ..... .... ... ... ... ....... ... ......... ............. ...... ..... ..... ..... ............ 27

Aboriginal Benefits Trust ..... ............... ............ ... .... .............. ..... ...... ........ ........ .... 38

Employment and Economic D evelopment ..... ... ..... ....... ........ .... ....... ............... .... 39

Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) ..... ... ........ ......... ........ .46

H ealth Issues .... .... ...... .... .... ............ ............. ...... ....... ... ........ ....... ... ........ ........ ...... . 48

52

The Senate

Economics

Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2011-12

June 2011

53

©Commonwealth of Australia 2011

ISBN 978-1-74229-4 79-7

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

54

Senate Economics Legislation Committee

Members

Senator Annette Hurley, Chair Senator Alan Eggleston, Deputy Chair Senator David Bushby Senator Doug Cameron Senator Louise Pratt Senator Nick Xenophon

Other senators in attendance

Senator the Hon Eric Abetz Senator Chris Back Senator Guy Barnett Senator Cory Bernardi Senator Simon Birn1ingham Senator the Hon Ronald Boswell Senator Sue Boyce Senator the Hon George Brandis Senator Michaelia Cash Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck Senator Helen Coonan Senator Mathias Cormann Senator the Hon Bill Heffernan Senator Barnaby Joyce Senator Scott Ludlam Senator the Hon Brett Mason Senator Christine Milne Senator Fiona Nash Senator Stephen Parry Senator Scott Ryan Senator Rachel Siewert Senator John Williams Senator Nick Xenophon

55

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

South Australia, IND

Tasmania, LP

Western Australia , LP Tasmania, LP South Australia, LP South Australia, LP

Queensland, N A TS Queensland, LP Queensland, LP Western Australia , LP

Tasmania, LP

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

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

Victoria, LP

Western Australia, AG New South Wales, NATS South Australia, fND

Secretariat Dr Richard Grant, Acting Secretary Mrs Noemi Murphy, Research Officer Ms Morana Kavgic, Administrative Officer

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

56

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

Budget Estimates 2011-12 .................................................................................. 1

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

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

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

General comments .................................................................................................. 1

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

Procedural issues ............. ................ ... .... ........ .......... ..... .............. ..... ...... ........ ... ..... 2

Ordinary annual services of the government.. ..... ............................... .......... .......... 3

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

Matters raised-Innovation , Industry , Science and Research portfolio ..... ............ 6

Matters raised- Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio ................................... 9

Matters raised- Treasury portfolio ...................................................................... 12

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

Abbreviations .......................................................................................................... 19

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

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

Monday, 30 May 2011 ......................................................................................... 21

Tuesday, 3 I May 2011 ............................................................. ........ .................... 2 I

Wednesday, 1 June 2011 ...................................................................................... 22

Thursday, 2 June 20 11 ............................................ ...... .......................... ......... ..... 22

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

Documents tabled ................... ........ .... .................................................................... 23

Monday, 30 May 2011 .... ................... ... ...................... ......................................... 23

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 ......... .... .... ...... ... ..................................... ..... ..... .............. .. 23

57

Wednesday, 1 June 20 II ................. ..... .... ...... ...... ........... ............ ................. ........ 23

Thursday, 2 June 201 I .......... ....... ......................................................................... 24

Appendix 4 .............................. ........................................................................... 25

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Innovation, Industry , Science and Research Portfolio ............................................ ............................................... ....... 25

Appendix 5 .................. ........................................................................... ... ......... 26

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio ...................... ..................................................... .................................... .... 26

Appendix 6 .................... .................................. ... ........................................ ........ 27

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Treasury Portfolio ................. .......... 27

58

Introduction

Budget Estimates 2011-12

Report to the Senate

1.1 On 10 May 2011, the Senate referred to the committee for examination and report the following documents in relation to the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; Resources, Energy and Tourism; and Treasury portfolios:

" Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2011-2012]; and

" Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No.2) 2011-2012]. 1

Portfolio structures and outcomes

1.2 The committee notes that changes have been made to the outcomes of one agency in the above three portfolios since the 2010-11 Additional Estimates round. These changes are summarised below:

Agency Old outcome New outcome

Growth of knowledge and Growth of knowledge and '

Australian Research innovation through providing policy innovation through managing Council (ARC) advice, measuring research research funding schemes,

excellence and managing research measuring research excellence and funding schemes providing advice

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

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

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

" Treasury (Appendix 6).

General comments

1.4 The committee received evidence from Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, Minister Assisting on Deregulation and Public Sector Superannuation , the Minister for Small Business and the Minister Assisting the Minister for Tourism; Senator the Hon

Journals ofthe Senate, No. 28, 10 May 2011, p. 878.

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Page 2

Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation ; and officers from the Innovation, Industry , Science and Research; Resources, Energy and Tourism; and Treasury portfolios .

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

1.6 The committee conducted hearings over four days, from 30 May 2011 to 2 June 2011. In total , the committee met for 44 hours and 45 minutes, excluding breaks.

Questions on notice

I. 7 The committee draws the attention of all departments and agencies to the deadline of Friday, 22 July 2011 for the receipt of answers to questions taken on notice from this round. As the committee is required to report before responses to questions are due, this report has been prepared without reference to any of these responses. The secretariat is preparing indexes for questions taken on notice during and after the hearings and these will be made available on the following website: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/economics_ ctte/estimates /bud _1112/index.htm.

1. 8 For the 2010-11 Additional Estimates round, answers to questions on notice were due to be provided to the committee by Friday, 8 April 2011. The committee commends the Innovation , Industry , Science and Research portfolio for submitting all answers on time. The committee notes that following an informal extension by the Secretariat , the Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio submitted all their answers four days after the due date. However, the Committee expresses concern that no questions placed on notice with the Treasury portfolio were answered by the due date. For the Treasury portfolio , 118 questions (out of 181 questions placed on notice) remained unanswered at close of business on the due date. Furthermore, one question still remains to be answered by Treasury from the Budget Estimates hearings of 2010-

11, three answers remain outstanding from the Supplementary Estimates hearings 2010-11, and 21 questions remain outstanding from the Additional Estimates hearings held in February 2011.

Procedural issues

Monda y, 30 May

1.9 On Monday , 30 May , the committee discussed the government's proposed policy of plain packaging of cigarettes with IP Australia. Opposition Senators raised a point of order in response to Senator Cameron's alleged comment to Senator Boyce 'that's what $3 million buys you'. The Chair asked Senator Cameron to withdraw the comment. Senator Cameron refused, prompting Senator Colbeck to ask that the matter be referred to the President of the Senate. The secretariat has asked Senator Colbeck and Senator Boyce if they would like to write to the President about the matter.

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Page ]

W ednesday, 1 June

1.10 Proceedings were suspended twice on Wednesday morning, I June (9 .28-9.34; 10.23-10.37) to allow the committee to consider the appearance of Dr Parkinson, the Secretary of the Treasury, before the Fiscal Group. Coalition Senators asked for Dr Parkinson to appear and, after a private meeting, he did appear for 35 minutes.

1.11 As the estimates schedule is determined well in advance of the hearings, the committee generally expects the senior officer of each agency to appear. If, f or some reason, this is not possible agencies should proactively inform the committee well before the relevant estimates hearing.

1.12 On Wednesday evening, 1 June, Senator Cameron raised a point of order concerning the hypothetical nature of the questions being asked (1 0: 19pm)-the Chair ruled that there was no point of order but called on the Senators to be succinct in their questioning given the late hour.

Thursday, 2 June

1.13 On Thursday evening, Senator Cormann noted that the Productivit y Commission (PC) had been issued with an Order of the Senate in November 2010 to produce documents in relation to the transparency of certain superannuation funds. The deadlines for the production of the documents recently passed without the docume11ts being produced.

1.14 The PC responded that compliance with the Order was in effect requiring the Commission to undertake an inquiry at the behest of the Opposition, rather than the government. The PC stated that it was different from other statutory agencies, such as the ACCC, in that it conducts public inquiries. The PC noted that an inquiry similar to the type in question will be referred by the Assistant Treasurer to the Commission next year.

1.15 Senator Cormann tabled an Occasional Note by the Clerk of the Senate from February 2010 relating to whether a statutory agency must comply with an Order of the Senate.

1.16 Senator Cameron requested an apology from Senator Eggleston for a comment made about his understanding of a Productivity Commission report. Senator Eggleston gave Senator Cameron an apology.

Ordinary annual services of the government

1.17 On 17 June 2010, the Appropriations and Staffing Committee tabled its 501h Report in the Senate. The report focussed on an ongoing issue relating to the classification of ordinary annual services of the government. In the report , the Appropriations and Staffmg Committee highlighted that:

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Page4

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 54.2

1.18 In this most recent report, the Appropriations and Staffing Committee restated concerns it had raised in its 451h 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 pa11 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. 3

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.' 4 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.5

1.20 In light of this, the Economics Legislation Committee draws the attention of the Senate to several measures included in Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2011-2012-that is, the ordinary annual services bill - that appear to be new policies for which no money has been appropriated in previous years. These include:

" the establishment of the Australia-China Science and Research Fund ($9 million over three years, commencing in 2011-2012); 6

2 Senate Appropriation s and Staffing Committee, 50 th Report, OrdinGly annual services of the government, June 2010, p. 1.

3 Senate Appropriation s and Staffing Committee, 50 1h Report, Ordinary annual services of the government, June 2010, p. I.

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

5 Senate Appropriation s and Staffing Committee, 50 th Report, O rdinGly annual services of the government, June 2010, p. 2.

6 2011-12 Budget Paper No.2, p. 275.

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Page 5

" implementation of Inspiring Australia ($21 million over three years, commencing in 2011-20 12); 7

" establishment of the South-East South Australian Innovation and Investment Fund ($10 million over two years, starting in 2011-2012);: 8

" building Australia's FutureLow Income Tax Offset ($1.37 billion in 2011-2012) ;9

" AASB & AUASB Additional Funding

($2.7 million over four years, commencing in 2011-2012); 10

" Australian Consumer Law-compliance and awareness of consumer guarantees law; ($1.6 million in 2011-20 12); 11

" Australian Energy Regulator-new consumer protection role ($18.6 million over four years, commencing in 2011-20 12); 12

" Australian Securities and Investments Commission-additional funding ($28.8 million in 2011-2012); 13

" Australian Office ofFinancial Management-implement the trading ofCGS on a retail exchange ($11.2 million over four years, commencing in 2011-2012); 14

" distribution of GST-Review ($1 million over 2 years, commencing in 2011-2012); 15

" establishment of Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (53.6 million over four years, commencing in 2011-2012); 16

" establishment of National C02 Infrastructure Plan ($60.9 million over four years, commencing in 2011-20 12); 17

7 2011-12 Budget Paper No.2, p. 279.

8 2011-12 Budget Paper No.2, p. 280.

9 2011-12 Budget Paper No.2, p. 15.

10 2011-12 Budget Paper No.2, p. 316.

11 2011-12 Budget Paper No. 2, p. 316.

12 2011-12 Budget Paper No.2, p. 317.

13 2011-12 Budget Paper No.2, p. 318.

14 2011-12 Budget Paper No.2, p. 320.

15 2011-12 Budget Paper No.2, p. 320.

16 2011-12 Budget Paper No .2, p. 322.

17 2011-12 Budget Paper No. 2, p. 301.

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" establishment of the Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund ($108.7 million over fourteen years, commencing in 2011-2012); and18

" establishment of the United States-Australia Solar Research Collaboration initiative ($50 million over four years, commencing in 2011-2012)19

Record of proceedings

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

1.22 Copies of the Hansard transcripts and documents tabled at the hearings (see Appendix 3 for a list of the documents) are available on the internet at http://www.aph .gov.au/Senate/committee/economics_ctte /estimates /bud_lll2 /index.htm. These documents are also tabled with this report for the information of the Senate.

Matters raised- Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio

1.23 On 30 May 2011, the committee examined the estimates for the:

" Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) ;

" IP Australia;

" Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO);

" Office of the Chief Scientist;

" Australian Research Council (ARC); " Department of Innovation, Industry , Science and Research

[Innovation and Industry] ; and

" Department of Innovation, Industry , Science and Research

[Science and Research].

1.24 Matters examined included the following:

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANST0/0

" Isotopes for late stage cancer treatment , in particular a letter from Professor Gray critical of ANSTO's role in producing/not producing the isotopes necessary for cancer treatment (pp 5-8);

18 2011-12 Budget Paper No .2, p. 304.

19 2011-12 Budget Paper No .2, p. 305.

20 Transcript page numbers for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) , refer to Proof Hansard, 30 May 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

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" Japan's nuclear fallout and the aid, support and monitoring that ANSTO, in conjunction with ARP ANSA, is providing for their Japanese colleagues (pp 8-9);

" the processes and licenses necessary for the decommissioning nuclear reactors in Australia (pp 9-1 0);

" the volume of waste material produced and its safe storage (pp 10-12);

" occupational health and safety issues at ANSTO's facilities and the severe repercussions reported to have been experienced by whistleblowers (pp 12-15);

" various issues relating to ANSTO's commercial activities (pp 16-18);

" ANSTO's review report into managerial practices (pp 18-19); and

" national attitudes towards nuclear power (pp 19-20).

IP Australia 21

" The plain packaging of cigarettes (pp 20-23);

" brand recognition issues and their possible legal ramifications (pp 23-24); and

" the nature of current patent laws (pp 24-25).

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIR0/2

" Staff agreements at CSIRO and union membership (pp 26-28); ,

" Climate Commission's recent report on climate change, CSIRO's input into this report and the volume of work compiled by CSIRO on the topic of Climate Change within the last four years (pp 28-31);

" Zero-emissions House project and the estimated reporting date for the project (p.31 );

" Marine National Facility Future Research Vessel project, staffing issues and international testing facilities (pp 31-34);

" automotive projects with industry , and green car projects (pp 34-36);

" climate and soil conditions for carbon storage and carbon assessment for future carbon related programs (pp 36-37);

" the decline in CRC funding and its impact on future research projects (p.36);

" the Murray Darling Basin Authority and the methodology used to model rainfall and its influence on land and the waterways of the basin (pp 37-38);

21 Transcript page numbers for IP Australia, refer to Proof Han sard, 30 Ma y 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 ofthis report).

22 Transcript page numbers for the Commonwe alth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CS IRO), refer to Proof Han sard, 30 M ay 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

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Page8

" coal seam gas in general and its location along the eastern seaboard (p.39); and

" the role of CSIRO's climate scientists (pp 38-39).

Office of the Chief Scientist 23

" The committee congratulated Professor Chubb on his appointment (pp 39-40);

" the length of Professor Chubb's appointment. He was appointed for three years while his predecessor , Dr Penny Sackett, was appointed for five years (p.44);

" issues surrounding the resignation of Penny Sackett and her communications (or lack thereof) with the PM and Senator the Hon Kim Carr (pp 40-44);

" media training received by the Chief Scientist, particularly in relation to answering questions at Estimates (pp 41-42);

" Ian Chubb's duty statement (p.43);

" questions to Professor Chubb on the state of climate science and its academic integrity (pp 45-49);

" the regularity of meetings between the State Climate Scientists and the Chief Scientist (pp 4 7, 49-50); and

" staffing levels in the Office of the Chief Scientist (p.4 7).

Australian Research Council (ARC/4

" The complete overhaul of the Excellence in Research for Australia framework for quality research (pp 50-57);

" the abandonment of the journal rankings system (pp 51-53); and

" commencement of a more consultative framework for measunng quality research and the mechanics of measurement (pp 53-57).

Department of Innovation, [Innovation and Indust1y/ 5 Industry, Science and Research

" the recruitment process of the new Secretary for the Department and dressing codes within the Department (pp 58,60-61);

23 Transcript page numbers for the Office of the Chief Scientist , refer to Proof Hansard, 30 May 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 ofthis report).

24 Transcript page numbers for the Australian R esearch Co uncil (ARC) , refer to Proof Hansard, 30 May 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

25 Transcript page numbers for the D epariment of Innovation , Industry , Science and Research [Innovation and Industry] , refer to Proof H ansard, 30 M ay 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

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" the input the Department had into Climate Change policy, particularly in relation to manufacturing (pp 59-64);

" international comparisons in carbon policy, particularly in the UK and the EU (pp 64-65);

" international suppliers and issues surrounding keeping jobs and contracts in Australia (pp 65-66);

" the funding and operation of Commercialisation Australia, and conflict of interest issues relating to the Board and Committee members (p.67, 70-72);

" the operation of 'Clean 21' (pp 67-68);

" space programs and their funding (p.68-69);

" car industry and the impact of the carbon tax;

" PricewaterhouseCoopers modelling on impact of carbon tax on Australian manufacturing (pp 72-75);

" discussions of the Green Car Innovation Fund and the numbers of engines and car parts that are imported (pp 74-84);

" discussion of Unfair dismissal laws and the impact on small business (pp 84-86);

" discussions surrounding current consultations on Fair Work Australia and the Fair Work Tribunal (pp 84-87);

" the contents and costs of the Small Business Resource Kit, made available on a USB stick on request and on the website ofBusiness.gov .au (pp 87-90); and

" budgetary allocations , grants and the re-allocation of funds between programs (pp 90-91).

Department of Innovation, [Science and Research/ 6 Industry, Science and Research

" Discussions regarding the Cooperative Research Grants and cooperative research centres and the rationale underpinning funding cuts (pp 91-1 00);

" complaints about cooperative research grants (pp 100-101 );

" commercialisation programs for PhD students (pp 104-1 06); and

" discussions of PMSETC (Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council) and the attendance rates of Ministers (pp 106-11 0).

Matters raised- Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

1.25 On 31 May 2011, the committee examined the estimates for the:

26 Transcript page numbers for the Department of Innovation , Industry , Science and Research [Science and Research], refer to Proof Han sard, 30 M ay 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report) .

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

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

Tourism Australia .

" Geoscience Australia ;

" National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA) ; and

" Australian Solar Institute (ASI);

1.26 Matters examined included the following:

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Resources and Energy/7

" Carbon Capture and Storage flagship program and associated research activities (pp 3-9);

" access to federal funding for a new HRL dual gas plant in Victoria , its approval by the Victorian EPA and its potential to fall under the CCS flagship program (pp 10-13);

" renewable energy targets (pp 13, 16);

" the role of the Uranium Industry Council, and the launch of the Australian National Radiation Dose Register (p.14);

" nuclear waste issues and cleaning sites, such as the Rum Jungle Mine (pp 16-20);

" the adequacy of the restoration fund for the Ranger Mine (p.18);

" various mine safety issues (pp 21-22);

" addressing the skills shortage in the mining industry and immigration issues (pp 20-21); and

" coal industry levy and their contribution to green technology and research and development (R&D) programs (pp 21-23).

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Tourism] and Tourism Australia 28

" Tourism Australia's ownership of land and buildings (pp 24-25);

" the impact of the high value of the dollar and international tourist numbers and expenditure in Australia for 2011-2012 (pp 25-26, 35);

" air services between Australia and China (p.26);

27 Transcript page numbers for the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Resources and Energy], refer to Proof Han sard, 31 May 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report) .

28 The D epartment of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Tourism] and Tourism Au stralia were heard together. Transcript page numbers for the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Tourism] and Tourism Au stralia , refer to Proof Han sard, 31 May 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

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Page II

" the effectiveness of the current national tourism There's Nothing Like Australia campaign and other initiatives (pp 28-30);

" current funding for Tourism Australia relative to 2007 levels (pp 26-30, 34-35);

" the economic impacts of climate change and the possible impact of a carbon tax on the tourism industry in Australia (p.31 );

" regional tourism in Australia and regional infrastructure issues (pp 33-34, 39);

" the difficulty and expense of travel to Norfolk Island (pp 31-32);

" labour shortages, particularly chefs (pp 37-38) ;

" discussion of the Sustainable Tourism report (p.39); and

" indigenous employment in the Tourism industry and industry attempts at monitoring and facilitating indigenous interest (pp 39-40).

Geoscience Australia 29

" impact of seismic testing on scallop and squid fisheries in Bass Strait (pp 41-42);and

" the impact of coal seam gas mining on aquifers including any cumulative effects (pp 43-45).

National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA/ 0

" federal division of responsibility for offshore well safety - responsibility for well integrity in Commonwealth waters was transferred to NOPSA on 29 April2011 (pp 46-47); and

" negotiations with the states and territmies regarding referrals of powers for well safety in coastal and inland waters (pp 47-49).

Australian Solar Institute (AS!/ 1

" affordability of solar energy in Australia and current solar projects /initiatives (pp 49-51);

" National Electricity Market and Western Australia's exclusion (pp 50-51); and

" The Solar Institut es budget and investment into R&D grant funding (pp 51-52).

29 Transcript page numbers for Geoscience Australia , refer to Proof Hansard, 31 May 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

30 Transcript page numbers for the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA) , refer to Proof Hansard, 31 May 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

31 Transcript page numbers for the Australian Solar Institute (ASI), refer to Proof Hansard, 31 May 2011 (see the index at App endix 2 of this report).

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Matters raised - Treasury portfolio

1.27 On 31 May 2011, the committee commenced its examination of the estimates for:

" Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC);

" Australian Bureau of Statistics;

" Australian Competition and Consumer Commission; and

" the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

1.28 On 1 June 2011, the committee examined the estimates for the:

" Treasury [Fiscal Group];

" Foreign Investments Review Board (FIRB);

" Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC) ;

" Inspector-General of Taxation; and

" Treasury [Revenue Group] and the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

1.29 On 2 June 2011, the committee examined the estimates for the:

" Treasury [Macroeconomics Group];

" Treasury [Markets Group];

" Productivity Commission; and

" Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM).

1.30 Matters examined included the following:

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC/2

" Opening statement by the Chairman (p.58);

" selection process for the appointment of Mr Medcraft, staff numbers and ASIC's budget (pp 59-64);

" the regulation of liquidators and providers of financial products (pp 65-73);

" shadow shopping, its interim results and the upcoming reporting date (pp 69-70);

" Westpoint and Storm collapses (pp 70-71);

" concerns regarding Centrebet and the taking of bets on interest rates and the ASX (pp 75-77);

32 Transcript page numbers for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) refer to Proof Hansard, 31 May 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

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Page 13

" ensuring that ASIC has adequate resources to respond to small business concerns (pp 77-78); and

" ASIC's use of coercive powers (pp 81-83).

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS/3

" forthcoming Census (p.84);

" Treasury's criticism of the ABS methodology and sample in compiling recent GDP data (pp 84-86);

" Indigenous recruitment for the collection of census data and programs designed to the generation of interest (pp 87-88); and

" the methodology in compiling Union membership statistics (p.88).

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC/ 4

" the selection process for appointing the ACCC Chairman (pp 89-90);

" predatory pricing and the Coles 'Down, down' campaign (pp 91-92);

" auditing and the monitoring of businesses and/or franchises or particular concern (pp 92-93);

" the Birdsville Amendment and the recent Cabcharge case (pp 93-94);

" various Australian Consumer Law provisions and predatory pricing (pp 93-96);

" merger issues and the possibility of an ex-post merger review (pp 99-104);

" the timeliness of the ACCC's response to complaints (pp 101-102);

" Conflict of interest among ACCC staff and board members and code of conduct discussion s (pp 105-1 06);

" Mr Samuel's involvement with DFO (Mr Samuel read out a prepared statement noting the particular legal sensitivity of his case give his public role and responsibilities) (pp 102-103);

" the takeover of Agrium by Cargill (pp 103-104); and

" various divestiture issues (pp 106-111).

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA/5

" opening statement by the Chairman (pp 111-112);

33 Transcript page numb ers for the Au stralian Bureau of Statistic s (A BS) refer to Proof H ansard, 31 M ay 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

34 Transcript page numb ers for the Au stralian C ompetition and C onsum er Commi ssion (ACCC ) refer to Proof Han sard, 31 Ma y 2011 (see the index at A ppendix 2 of this report).

35 Transcript page numb ers for the Au stralian Prudential Regulation A uthority (APRA) refer to Proof Han sard, 31 May 2011 (see the index at App endix 2 of this report).

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Page 14

" the impact of the recent natural disasters in Australia on prudential arrangements and insurance claims (pp 111-112);

" various matters relating to mergers of superannuation funds, specifically the failed merger of Vision Super and Equipsuper as reported in the Australian Financial Review article of27 May 2011 (pp 112-122, 125-126);

" Moody's recent downgrade of the major banks was discussed (122-126);

" the status of charitable funds and the definition of 'not-religious' within the context of Religious Charitable Development Funds (pp 125-126); and

" the capability of superfunds to identify the performance of investments, and the development of an agreed set of risk descriptors (pp 127-128).

TreasUJy I Fiscal Group/6

" Discussion and debate over the appearance of the Secretary of Treasury, Dr Parlcinson (pp 6-8, 16-17);

" carbon tax and climate change modelling, including discussions relating to the range of modelling scenarios Treasury is currently undertaking and comparisons between the CPRS and the carbon tax (pp 9-16, 18-20, 25-37);

" the reasons for the negative quarter of growth (p.20);

" the impact of the natural disasters on the economy (p.21 );

" the budget's structural deficit (pp 20-23);

" the effect on overall emissions if Australia chose not to buy overseas permits (pp 35-36);

" Frontier Economics' recent report on job losses in the Hunter if a carbon tax is imposed, quoted in the Daily Telegraph on 31 May 2011 (pp 36-38);

" Western Australia's GST share and Western Australia's royalties (pp 38-49, 52-53); and

" W A's royalty increases and comments from the State Government to the contrary (pp 38-41, 49-51).

Foreign Investments Review Board (F/RB/7

" The national interest test, particularly as it relates to the decision on the ASX " SGX bid (pp 54-55);

" the FIRB process for case by case assessment (pp 55-56); and

" the benefits ofFDI to the Australian economy (pp 56-58).

36 Transcript page numbers for the Treasury [Fiscal Group], refer to Proof Hansard, 1 June 2011 (see the index at App endix 2 of this report).

37 Transcript page numbers for FIRB, refer to Proof Han sard, 1 June 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

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Page 15

Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC/ 8

" WA's increase in royalty rates (pp 59-64);

" the removal of royalty concessions (p.60);

" WA's fines royalty at 7.5%;(pp 63-65);

" redistribution of GST revenue among the States (pp 65-67);

" the Commonwealth Government's statement that all of the royalties increase will go to the other States (p.64); and

" penalties against states through the CGC process if a state does not impose the average tax rate (average tax rate calculated on historical data) (pp 66-67).

Inspector-General of Taxation 39

" criticisms of IT roll out by the ATO in processing income tax refunds (pp 68-69);

" Inspector General of Taxation's report into these 'glitches ' (p.70); and

" review of ATO audits of larger SMEs (pp 70-71).

Treaswy [Revenue Group] and the Australian Taxation Office (AT0/0

" the administration of Family Tax Benefit A & B, and the number of people receiving Family Tax Benefit B (pp 71-73);

" Medibank Private modelling on the (allout from private health msurance flowing from a cut to the HI rebate (pp 73-75);

" the PRRT and the Infrastructure Fund (pp 75-77);

" the Ministerial Council of Federal Financial Relations (p.79);

" plain packaging for cigarettes and potential revenue impact (pp 81-83);

" modelling of the PRRT and issues relating to the MRRT and state royalties (pp 77-78, 83-85);

" 'Trust' regulations and the 1997 amendments in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (p. 80);

" FBT changes to cars in the May budget (pp 85-86);

" policy costing done for the Greens as part of the budget process (p.86);

38 Transcript page numbers for CGC refer to Proof Hansard, 1 June 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 ofthis report).

39 Transcript page numbers for the Inspector General of Taxation, refer to Proof Hansard, 1 June 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

40 Treasury [Revenue Group] and the Australian Taxation Office were heard together. Transcript page numb ers for the Treasury [Revenue Group] and the ATO , refer to Proof Hansard, 1 June 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

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" the top marginal tax rates for 2011-2012 (47.5% for those above $180,000) and the Medicare levy (pp 86-87);

" changes in the A TO's staffing numbers for its business line call centre (pp 8 7-89);

" the proposed updated reporting arrangements for contractors (pp 89-94);

" superannuation compliance issues relating to the self-employed and contractors (pp 94-97);

" the Inspector General of Taxation~ s review including private binding advice, A TO service standards, A TO∑ s Change Program (pp 97-1 02);

" the Tax Office's increase in ComCare claims (pp 103-106);

" the new Not-for-Profit Regulator - how the amount of funding was determined($53.6 million); how the new regulator would be staffed (Treasury advised the committee that Treasury will assist the government with issues that require more consultation before the government makes a policy choice -these issues concern the legislation to establish the regulator , legislation for a new statutory defmition of charity and charitable purpose, and how to better target tax concessions for charities); and the new Public Information Portal which will be implemented over time (pp 106-111 );

" the education tax refund (pp 112-113;

" temporary residents' superannuation and payments made under the Departing Australia Superannuation Payments (pp 114-115);

" excess contributions tax (pp 115-116);

" the main functions of the A TO's media and public relations area (pp 117 -119);

" the A TO's ability to pursue taxpayers who abscond overseas (pp 117, 120);

" total debt outstanding (pp 120-124 );

" the number of workdays lost in a year as a result of workplace absences (pp 125-126); and

" the Inspector General of Taxation's claims that ATO staff lack technical skills and expertise (pp 127-128).

Treaswy [Macroeconomic Group/1

" the 1.2% fall in GDP in the recent National Accounts (pp 9-22);

" the interaction of fiscal and monetary policy (pp 12-15, 41-42);

" Western Australia's budget forecasts and its impact on, and relevance to, the revenue forecasts contained in the Federal budget; the macroeconomic effects (pp 23-35);

41 Transcript page numbers for the Treasury [Macroeconomic Group], refer to Proof Han sard, 2 June 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 ofthis report).

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Page 17

" Australia's economic performance relative to that of the US (pp 38-39);

" impact of fiscal policy on interest rates (pp 14-15);

" trajectory of net debts and how it has been calculated by the Treasury (p.35);

" high terms of trade (price for exports vs price for imports) and Treasury's decision to bring it down by 20% over 15 years (pp 9-15);

" likelihood of higher terms of trade over next decade, and therefore the exchange rate (pp 51-52);

" impact of an increase in real wages on the unemployment rate (pp 27-29);

" the demographic make-up of minimum wage earners (p.29);

" net and gross public debt (pp 32-36);

" tax forum scheduled for October (p.37);

" the effect of natural disasters on the economy and the budget bottom line (pp 38-39);

" the evidence of Dutch disease in the Australian economy (pp 39-40);

" peak oil and whether Treasury has done any analysis of this (pp 40-41 );

" the effect of Australia deciding not to import carbon permits and comparative analysis of global initiatives surrounding climate change (pp 44-49);

" effect of a carbon tax on the manufacturing sector (pp 51-52); and

" Treasury review of GST payments to the states (pp 53-55);

TreasUiy [Markets Group/2

Superannuation Complaints Tribunal

" Unpaid superannuation and dispute resolution through the Super Complaints Tribunal (pp 56-57).

National Competition Council

" National Competition Council and the ongoing legal disputes involving the Pilbara Railway system (pp 57-59).

Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee

" Infom1ation that should be available m a shareholder's report, including executive pay (pp 59-60); and

" two current references, examining the definition of 'derivative' (pp 61-62).

42 Transcript page numb ers for the Treasury [Markets Group), refer to Proof Han sard, 2 June 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

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Page 18

The Treaswy's Markets Group

" Commissions to fmancial advisers and the regulation of these commissions (pp 64-78);

" access to lower cost financial advisers (pp 66-78);

" dollar value of RMBS, Fitch review; (pp 78-80);

" AOFM buy of AAA securities (pp 78-79);

" credit card reforms (pp 81-86);

" John Trowbridge's review of natural disaster insurance matters (pp 89-91); and

" microcredit providers and the Australian Consumer Law (p.90);

Productivity Commission43

" the Chairman's opening statement (pp 91-92);

" issues surrounding the Occasional Note issued by the senate (pp 93-95)

" carbon pricing and the difficulties in measuring and comparing international carbon policies (pp 96-99);

" inquiry into the competitiveness of the Australian retail sector (pp 98-99);

" measures of productivity; contribution of productivity to wage growth over the last 4 decades (pp 100-103 ); and

" the PC report into anti-dumping (pp 104-1 05).

Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) 44

" the dollar value ofRMBS purchased by AOFM (pp 105-107, 112);

" nominal CGS yields (pp 109-111 ); and

" the downgrade of the banks (p.1 06).

Senator Annette Hurley Chair

43 Transcript page numbers for the Productivity Commission refer to Proof Hansard, 2 June 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report) .

44 Transcript page numbers for the Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) , refer to Proof Hansard, 2 June 2011 (see the index at Appendix 2 of this report).

76

AASB

ABS

ACCC

ANSTO

AOFM

APRA

ARC

ARPANSA

ASI

ASIC

ASX

ATO

AUASB

CGC

CGS

COAG

C02

CPRS

CRC

CSIRO

DFO

FBT

Appendix 1

Abbreviations

Australian Accounting Standards Board

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

Australian Office of Financial Management

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

Australian Research Council

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

Australian Solar Institute

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Australian Securities Exchange

Australian Taxation Office

Auditing and Assurance Standards Board

Commonwealth Grants Commission

Commonwealth Government Securities

Council of Australian Governments

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

Cooperative Research Centres

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Direct Factory Outlets

Fringe Benefits Tax

77

Page 20

FDI

SME

FIRB

GDP

HIFAR

TP

LPG

MRRT

NOPSA

PC

PRRT

RMBS

Foreign Direct Investment

Small and Medium Enterprises

Foreign Investment Review Board

Gross Domestic Product

High Flux Australian Reactor

intellectual property

liquefied petroleum gas

Mineral Resource Rent Tax

National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority

Productivity Commission

Petroleum Resource Rent Tax

Residential mortgage-backed security

78

Appendix 2

Index to proof Hansard transcripts

Monday, 30 May 2011

Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) 4

IP Australia 20

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) 25

Office of the Chief Scientist 39

Australian Research Council (ARC) 50

Department of Innovation , Industry, Science and Research [Innovation and Industry ; Small Business] 57

Department of Innovation, Industry , Science and Research [Science and Research] 91

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Resources and Energy] 3

Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism [Tourism] and Tourism Australia 24

Geoscience Australia 40

National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA) 46

Australian Solar Institute (ASI) 49

Treasury portfolio (commenced)

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) 57

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 84

79

Page 22

Australian Competition and Consumer Commi ssion (ACCC)

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Treasury portfolio (continued)

Treasury [Fiscal Group]

Foreign Investment Review Board

Commonwealth Grants Commission

Inspector General of Taxation

Treasury [Revenue Group] and Australian Taxation Office (A TO)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Treasury portfolio (continued)

Treasury [Macroeconomic Group]

Treasury [Markets Group]

Productivity Commission

Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM)

80

89

111

5

52

59

68

71

5

55

91

105

Appendix 3

Documents tabled

Monday, 30 May 2011

I. Received from Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation , Industry , Science and Research: 'Review of the Current Health and Safety Arrangements at ANSTO health' dated May 2011

2. Received from Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry , Science and Research: 'Ministerial Statement to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee-Improvements to Excellence in Research for Australia '

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

3. Received from Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, Minister Assisting on Tourism: 'Tourism Ministers' Council 56th Meeting Communique' dated 15 April 2011

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

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

5. Received from Nigel Ray, Executive Director, Fiscal Group, The Treasury; Document consisting of: 5.1 Letter from the Hon Troy Buswell MLA to the Hon Wayne Swan MP , 18 March 2010

5.2 Letter from Mr Timothy Marney to Dr Ken Henry, 11 May 2010 5.3 Submission from Western Australian Department of Treasury and Finance to Policy Transition Group, 7 October 2010 5.4 Letter from Mr Timothy Marney to Dr Ken Henry, 16 November 2010 5.5 Letter from the Hon Andrew Fraser MP to the Hon Wayne Swan MP , 9

February 2011 5.6 Letter from Mr Alan Henderson AM to the Hon Andrew Fraser MP , 17 February 2011 5.7 Letter from the Hon C. Christian Porter MLA to the Hon Wayne Swan MP, 18 May 2011;

81

Page 24

6. Received from Nigel Ray, Executive Director, Fiscal Group, The Treasury: letter to Senator Cormann from Treasury Secretary regarding Treasury modelling;

7. Received from Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, Minister Assisting on Deregulation and Public Sector Superannuation: letter addressed to Mr Michael D'Ascenzo AO, from Allen Asher, Commonwealth Ombudsman, dated 10 March 2011

Thursday, 2 June 2011

8. Received from Dr Martin Parkinson, the Secretary of The Treasury: 'Underlying cash balance and rolling three fiscal consolidation' (graph)

9. Received from Senator Bill Heffernan: letter to Senator Heffernan from Peter McNamara, Superannuation Recovery Action Group

10. Received from Senator Mathias Cormann : Orders for Production of Document:

Origins and Development of the Power

11. Received from Mr Robert Nicholl, CEO, Australian Office of Financial Management: Chart-Nominal Commonwealth Government Securities (CGS) yields

82

Appendix 4

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Portfolio 1

Portfolio Minister

Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Senator the Hon K im Carr

M inister for Small Business " Senator the Hon Nick Sherry

Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Secretary: Mr Marl\ I Pa terson AO

Outcome 1: The sustainable de-velopment and growih of Au stralian indus!ry -particularty the manufacturing. services and small business sectors-by encoumging businesses to innovate. collaborate and commercialise ideas, and by dehvenng bustness

ad.-ice, assistance and ser "ices .

O utcome 2: Production, use and awa reness of science and research knowledge , by supporting research activity; tra1mng and infmstructure ; science communication: skill de~elopment ; and collaboration . w ithin t'le rese

researchers and industry, domestically and interMtlonally.

Agen cy -lP Australia D irector General: Mr Philip Noonan Outcome : Increased innovation. investment and tmde in Australia , and by Austrafians overse:lS, through the

adm inistration of the registrable intelle ctual property rights system . promoting public aware:1ess and industry engagement. and advising go .. emmenl

Agency- Australian lnstrt ute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AlA. TSIS} P rincipal (CEO ): Mr Russell Taylor Outcom e: Funher understanding of Austmlian Indigenous cultures, past a riC present through undertaklng and pubfishing research, and providing

access to print and auniovisual collecllons .

Agenqr -Commonwealth Sctentifit and looustnal Research Organisation (CS IR O) Chief E xecutive Officer: Dr Me gan Ctarl< Outcome: l nno~ ∑afrve scien!!fic and technology solutions

to national challenges and opportunities to benefit industry. the environment and the comm unity, through scient tic research and capability development, services and advice.

Agency -Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organrsation (ANS TO ) C hief Executive Officer: Dr Adi Paterson Outcome : Improved knowledge, innovative capacity

and healttlcare through nuclear-based facilities , research, training , products, services and advice to Government, industry, the education sector and the Australian population.

Agency - Australian Resea rch Council (ARC ) Chief Execu tive Officer: Professor Margaret Sheil

Outcome : Growth of l.:nowledge and innovation through managing research funding schemes . measuring research e xcellence and providing adv1ce.

Age ncy -Australian Instit ute of Marine Science (AIMS ) Ch ief Executive Officer: Dr ian Poiner Outcome : Gro~~o'th of knowledge to support protection

and sustainable development of Australi a's manne resources through innovative marine science and technology.

Portfolio Budget Statem ents 2011-12, Innovation, Industry , Science and Research portfolio , p. 7.

83

Appendix 5

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Resources, Energy and Tourism Portfolio 1

Portfolio Ministers Mnister for Resources and Blergy Mnister for Tourism The Hon M:Jrtin Ferguson AM MP

Mnister Assisting on Tourism Senator The Hon Nick Sherry

I

Department of Resources . Energy and Tourism FOrttollo Secretary Mr Drew Clarke

Outcome 1: The in"f)roved strength, con"f)etitiveness and s ustainat )~rty of the resources, energy ~md tourrsm industries to

enhance Australia's prosperity through iOT>Ien-entation of governn-ent policy and programs .

Geosc ien ce Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr Chris Agram

Tourism Australia 1

lvt-Andrew lvt:Evoy

Outcome 1: n crease denund for

Outcome 1: nforn-ed governn-ent industry f---and con11unrty decisions on the economc. social and environn-ental nunagen-ent of the nation's natural resources through enabling

3ccess to geoscien!Ific and spatial inforrrution .

Australia as a destination , strengthen the _ travel distrit >uhon system, and contribute

-

Niltional Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority Chief Executive Officer M; Jane Cu tler

Outcome 1: An Au strali;:m oil and gas industry that properly controls the health and safety risks to the V.' ort..'force at its offshore petroleum operations.

to the developn-ent of a sustainable tourism industry through consun-er nurketing. trade developn-ent and research activities.

Australian Solar Institute Executive Director rvt-lvbrk Tw idell

Outcome 1: Encourage innovation and cost effective developn-ems in solar en ergy technologies to accelerate co1111-ercial deployn-ent through know ledge t>uilding and colla! >orative research. deve!opn-ent and support for

Au strolian industri es and research 111Sti!Uti011S.

t---

1 Portfolio Budget Statem ents 2011-12, Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio , p. 6.

84

Appendix 6

Portfolio structure and outcomes for the Treasury Portfolio 1

Portfolio Minister-Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer The Hon wayne Swan r.tP Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Parliamentary Secretary to the Tre:~surer The Hon Davtd Bradburv r,,p

I

Oep:~rtment of the Treasury

Secretary Dr Martin Parktnson

Informed dectstons on the developm ent and tmplementa!IOn of pohctes to 1mprove the wellbeing or the Australian people. mclud1ng by ac111evtng strong, sustt~ lnable economtc growth. through the prov1s1on or adv tce to government and the effic tent admm tstrahon of federal ftnanctal relattons I

Australian Bureau of Statistics Sta!l stictan. 111r Bnan Pink

Informed dectsions. research and discussion w1thtn governments and the commun 1ty by leading the collectiOn. analvsts and provision or htgh quality'. ObJective and relevant stallst tc

I

Australian Competition .:1nd Consumer Commission Ch

L

Austr:~ li ;:m Office of Fin:~nc i al Management

Ch tef Exc>cutlve Off1cer: h1r Robert N icholl

The advancement of macroeconomic growth and stability. and 111e effective operation of financial markets, through tssuing debt. investmg in financial assets and manag 1ng debt. tnvestm ents

I

Austr:~li:~n Prudenti:~l Regul:1t1on Authority

Ch <:Jirm

Enhanced publ!c confidence in ALtstr<:Jtia's fin

I

Australian Securities and Investments Commission Cha 1m1 an : Mr Tony D'AIOISIO until 12 1.1

Ou tcome 1∑ Improved confidence tn ftnanctal marke t tntegnty and protectton of mvestors and consumers through research. policy. educ

I

Austr:~llan T:~ x :~tion Office

Commtsstoner . Mr Michael D'Ascenzo AO

Confidence in the admin tstmtton of aspects of Aus tr

I

Commonwe;:~lth Grants Commission

Secret

Informed Government decistons on !!seal equa lisation berween the States and Te rrnones through

I

Corporations and Markets Advisory Comminee Convenor : Ms Jo<:Jnne Rees

Informed decisions by Government on issues ret

Portfolio Budget Statements 2011-12, Treasury portfolio , pp 6-7.

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Page 28

Inspector-General of Taxation Inspector-GeneraL Mr All Norooz1

Improved tax adm 1m strat1on throuqh commun ttv consultation . reviev. ∑∑ and independent advice to Government

I

National Competition Council President: Mr David Cr

C ompet ition 1n markets th

I

Office of the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board Cha 1rman Ms M erran Kelsall

The formulation

I

Office of the Australian Account ing Standards Board Cha irman : M r Kevin Stevenson

The formulation

l

Productivity Commission Chairman ∑ Mr G

Well-1nforn1ed policy decision-making and public understanding on matters relating to Australia∑s productiVity and ilvirlg_ standards. based on Independent and transparent analvsis from a communitv-wide perspective

I

Royal Austr:Jiian Mint C h1ef Executive O ff 1cer: M r Ross MacD 1arm 1d

The co1nage needs of the Australian economy. collectors and fore1gn countries are met through the manufacture and sale of circuiJt lng co1ns , collector cotns and other m 1nted 111

86

The Senate

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2011-12

June 2011

87

©Commonwealth of Australia 2011 ISBN 978-1-74229-480-3

This document was produced by the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Secretariat and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, CanbetTa.

88

Senate Standing Committee on Education, Employment & Workplace Relations

LEGISLATION COMMITTEE

Membership of the Committee

Senator Gavin Marshall, Chair Senator Chris Back, Deputy Chair Senator Michaelia Cash Senator Catryna Bilyk Senator Sarah Hanson-Young Senator Dana Wortley

Participating Members

Victoria , ALP

Western Australia, LP Western Australia, LP Tasmania, ALP South Australia, AG

South Australia, ALP

Senators Abetz, Adams, Barnett, Bernardi, Birmingham, Bishop, Boswell, Boyce, Brandis, B. Brown, C. Brown, Bushby, Cameron, Colbeck, Coonan, Cormann, Crossin, Eggleston, Faulkner, Ferguson, Fierravanti- Wells, Fielding, Fifield, Fisher, Forshaw, Furner, Heffernan, Humphries, Hurley, Hutchins, Johnston , Joyce, Kroger,

Ludlam, Macdonald, Mason, McEwen, McGauran, Milne, Minchin, Moore, Nash, O'Brien, Parry, Payne, Polley, Pratt, Ronaldson, Ryan, Scullion, Siewert, Stephens, Sterle, Troeth, Trood, Williams & Xenophon.

Secretariat Mr Tim Watling, Secretary Ms Bonnie Allan, Principal Research Officer Ms Natasha Rusjakovski, Senior Research Officer Mr Jarrod Baker, Research Officer Mr Dylan Harrington , Administrative Officer Ms Danielle Oldfield, Administrative Officer

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

Ill

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90

Table of Contents

Table of Contents ................................................................................................. v

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

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

Overview .................................................................................................................... !

Chapter 2 ............................................................................................................. 3

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio .............................. 3

Fair Work Australia ........ .......... ............... ...... ................. ............. .......... ............ ..... 4

Fair Work Ombudsman ............. ........ ....... ......... ......... .... ......... ...... ...... ..... ....... ....... 4

Australian Building and Construction Commission ............. .................... .............. 6

Comcare .................... ............. .... .... ............. ........... ...... ..... ............ ....... ...... ........ ..... 7

Safe Work Australia ..... ..... ..... ...... ........... ..... ............... ........ ..... ... ...... ......... .......... .. 8

Outcome 5: Safer, fairer and more productive workplaces ....................... ....... ..... 9

Outcome 4: Enhanced employability and acquisition o.f labour market skills ... ... 9

Outcome 3: Growth in skills , qualifications and productivity ............................. 13

National Vocational Education and Training Regulator .... ................... .......... ..... 17

Outcome 1: Early childhood education ........ ...... ......... .... .......... ................... ........ 17

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority .... ....... .................. 17

Outcome 2: Schools and youth ............. ......... ............ ......... ....... ...... ........ ..... ........ 18

Appendix 1 ......................................................................................................... 21

Committee oversight of departments and agencies ............................................. 21

Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 23

Index to Hansard transcripts ................................................................................ 23

v

91

VI

92

Chapter 1

Overview

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

1.2 On 10 May 2011 1 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 20 12;

" Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 20 12; and

" Particulars of proposed expenditure in relation to the parliamentary departments in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012.

1.3 Standing committees are required to report to the Senate on 21 June 2011. This report of the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee is provided to the Senate in fulfilment of that requirement.

Portfolio coverage

1.4 The committee has responsibility for examining the expenditure and outcomes of the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio. Appendix 1 lists the department and agencies under this portfolio.

1.5 The National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (operating as the Australian Skills Quality Authority), due to commence operations from 1 July 2011, was called before the Senate for the first time.

Hearings

1.6 The committee conducted four days of hearings, examining Employment and Workplace Relations outcomes and agencies on 30 and 31 May 2011 and Education outcomes and agencies on 1 and 2 June 2011. In total the committee met for 35 hours and 28 minutes, excluding breaks.

1. 7 The following outcomes and agencies appeared before the committee:

" Outcomes 1 - 5

" Fair Work Australia

" Fair Work Ombudsman

1 Journals of the Senate No. 28, 10 May 2011 , p. 878.

93

2

" Australian Building and Construction Conunission

" Comcare

" Safe Work Australia

" National Vocational Education and Training Regulator

" Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority

" Skills Australia

" Australian Learning and Teaching Council

1.8 The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership was released from the hearings without examination.

Public interest immunity claims

1.9 On 13 May 2009, the Senate passed an order relating to public interest inununity 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 w as incorporated in the Chair's opening statement on the first day of the budget estimates hearing.

1.10 The issue of public interest inununity was not raised during the hearings.

Questions on notice

1.11 The committee has drawn the attention of the department and its agencies to the agreed deadline of Friday 22 July 2011 for the receipt of answers to questions taken on notice from this round, in accordance with Standing Order 26.

1.12 For this round, approximately 541 written questions on notice were received from Senators Abetz, Birmingham, Bushby, Cameron, Fisher, Mason, Nash, Ronaldson, Scullion and Siewert.

Note on Hansard page referencing

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

2 Journals of the Senate, No . 68, 13 Ma y 2009, p. 1941 . The order was mo ved by Senator Cormann.

94

Chapter 2

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

2.1 This chapter summarises areas of interest and concern raised during the committee's consideration of budget estimates for the 2011-12 financial year. This section of the report follows the order of proceedings and is an indicative, but not exhaustive, list of issues examined.

2.2 The committee heard evidence on 30 and 31 May from

Senator the Hon. Chris Evans, as the Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, along with officers from areas of the department and agencies responsible for employment and workplace relations , including:

" Comcare

" Safe Work Australia

" Fair Work Ombudsman

" Fair Work Australia

" Australian Building and Construction Commission

2.3 On I and 2 June the committee heard evidence from Minister Evans, Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations Senator the Hon. Jacinta Collins and officers from areas of the department and agencies responsible for administeting education policy, including:

" Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

" Australian Learning and Teaching Council

" Skills Australia

" National Vocational Education and Training Regulator

2.4 Senators present over the course of hearings were Senator Marshall (Chair), Senator Back (Deputy Chair), Senators Abetz, Bernardi, Bilyk, Boyce, Bushby, Cameron, Cash, Collins, Crossin, Evans, Fielding , Fifield , Fisher, Hanson-Young, Humphries, Hutchins, Mason, Nash, Parry, Ronaldson, Ryan, Scullion , Siewert, Sterle and Wortley.

95

4

Fair Work Australia

2.5 The committee examined the performance benchmarks of Fair Work Australia (FW A) including the average time required to settle claims. The committee explored the circumstances in which an application fee could be refunded.3 Senators explored the delineation of roles between the Australian Electoral Commission and FW A in conducting industrial ballots .4

2.6 Senators also sought details on the nature of adverse action claims lodged with FW A and any possible relationship these may have with unfair dismissal requirements, and discussed some statistics surrounding unfair dismissal claims. 5

2. 7 Other matters explored included the process for an official to gain a right of entry permit to a workplace for the purpose of conducting safety inspections; the training they must undertake; independent verification of evidence provided to FW A; and the penalties for making false declarations on application forms.6

Fair Work Ombudsman

Community awareness and responsiveness

2.8 Officials from the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) were asked what activities they are undertaking to promote awareness of the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees under the current workplace relations legislation . Witnesses advised that the FWO is active in local communities, engaging with interested parties through a variety of media and shop fronts.

2.9 In response to questions regarding recent natural disasters, representatives informed the committee that telephone callers from Queensland were given priority during the month of January, and that a new publication , Employment entitlements during natural disasters or emergencies, was released. Officers noted that this publication was not specific to recent flood and cyclone events in Queensland, and

would be of use in any future natural disaster or emergency. Furthem1ore, the committee was infom1ed that the FWO is currently investigating upgrading the technology used for caller identification to improve prioritisation of affected persons in future events. 7

3

4

6

7

Proof Estimates Hansard. 30 May 2011, pp. 17-8 Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011, pp. 18-9. Proof Estimates Hansard. 30 May 2011, pp. 19-20, 22-3. The possibility of a relationship between adverse action claims and unfair dismissal claims was also raised with the Fair Work

Ombudsman.

Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011, pp. 31-2. Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011, pp. 44-5.

96

5

Auditing and compliance activities

2.10 FWO discussed their auditing methodology, outcomes, objectives and follow " up activities used to monitor industry compliance with legislation. The Committee was assured that these audits result in improved industry wide outcomes as findings from an audited sample are distributed to interested participants nationally .8 The committee heard that the FWO is providing a sophisticated range of tools for employers and employees to manage their relations , protect their rights and meet their obligations .9

Sham contracting

2.11 The FWO was also asked about investigations of 'sham contracting' , the practice of retaining the services of an independent contractor when the relationship should be one of ongoing employment. The FWO informed the committee that:

[We] do take a look at sham contracting arrangements from time to time. We have a set of work which is going on at the moment in a number of industries to test the extent of sham contracting in about 90 to I 00 different entities in the cleaning, call centre and hair and beauty industries. 10

2.12 When asked about the potential overlap in operations between the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and the FWO, the committee learnt that there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) , signed in March 2011, between the FWO and the ABCC which 'sets out a framework for [the FWO] to refer wages and conditions matters explicitly to the ABCC ." 1 The MOU ensures that all work which falls under the Building and Construction Indust1y Improvement Act 2005 (BCII Act) is referred to the ABCC . Not all building companies fall within the

BCII Act as some are below the necessary scale thresholds ; therefore the FWO retains some interest in potential sham contracting in the building industry.

Annual/eave loading

2.13 The committee explored at length the question of when annual leave loading is payable when an employee is terminated. The National Employment Standards include annual leave loading on unused leave at the time of dismissal. Officials clarified for the committee what would happen in an hypothetical situation in which an agreement specifically stipulates that no annual leave loading is payable on unused annual leave:

9

10

II

[W]here an enterprise agreement had been ce11ified by Fair Work Australia and it included a clause which was inconsistent with the [National Employment Standards (NES)], we would argue that the NES survives and

Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011, pp. 46-7. Proof Estimates Hansard. 30 May 2011, p. 49. Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 M ay 2011, p. 50. Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 51.

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6

that therefore annual leave loading on termination was payable, where it is otherwise payable on annual leave taking during employment. 12

2.14 Although this position is based upon the uncontested advice from senior council, the Chair emphasised that the discussion was based around hypothetical . 13

scenanos.

Australian Building and Construction Commission

2.15 The committee discussed a wide range of matters with the ABCC including staffing, office arrangements, recmitment, information provided to the public, and workloads.

Commissioner's powers to obtain information

2.16 Section 52 of the ABII Act provides the ABCC Commissioner power to require witnesses to give evidence relating to investigations being undertaken by the ABCC. The committee explored the use of this power and upcoming reviews into its use. The Commonwealth Ombudsman (Ombudsman) has been invited by the Commission to attend section 52 hearings to ensure transparency and due process are afforded to participants. 14 The committee was informed that witnesses who are compelled to testify are eligible for compensation for travel and other expenses. 15 While it was established the three-quarters of witnesses summoned under section 52 later appeared voluntarily, it was explained to the committee that section 52 was an important tool to facilitate the work of the ABCC and to provide protection to witnesses who may be adversely affected should they be seen to cooperate with the ABCC voluntarily. 16

Sham contracting inquiry

2.17 The committee received an update into the on-going sham contracting inquiry being undertaken by the ABCC . Senators were informed that public inquiries have concluded and that information is now being collated for the report. 17

12

13

14

15

16

17

Proof Estimates Hansard. 30 May 2011, p. 57. Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, pp. 55-9. Proof Estirnat es Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 72. Proof Estimates Han sard. 30 May 2011, p. 70. Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011, p. 76, 81.

Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 79.

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7

Comcare

Review of Comcare health and safety representative training course accreditation program survey

2.18 Senators discussed the review into Comcare's Health and Safety Representative Training Course Accreditation Program. Senators raised concerns about the concentration of survey respondents in Commonwealth agencies and the potential this might have to skew the results of the survey. The quantum of, and emphasis on, face-to- face training was also raised as potentially excluding training providers that use external training methods. In response to questions regarding the

necessary duration of training for health and safety representatives (HSR), witnesses explained:

[I]n all the circumstances and taking account of a range of views from training providers, unions, employers, HSRs et cetera, did come to a view on this particular issue when they revised the guidelines in April 2010 that they would require five days face-to-face training.

18

2.19 Senators were informed that the draft regulations call for five days of face-to " face training, but they are not prescriptive in the method of delivery and consultations are still ongoing in regards this matter. 19

Immigration detention facilities

2.20 Witnesses were asked about media reports that indicated that Comcare had visited seven detention centres in the last fortnight. In response to questions on the fmdings of those visits , officials explained:

The investigations and site visits to these immigration detention facilities did find that generally the work places were compliant with federal work health and safety laws. There were four areas of concern that were shared with the department and also, through the department, with the detention

facility manages and Serco. They related to risk assessment, staff training , critical incident control and also the issue of adequate preparation to manage the risk of racial vilification. There were some specific issues with regard to Villawood, in particular, at Blaxland, the high security centre. They were raised with DIAC and immediate remedial measures were put in place.

20

2.21 It was also revealed that an improvement notice, subsequently tabled, had been issued to the Villawood detention facility. It was reported that the improvement notice had been complied with in a timely manner. 21

18

19

20

21

Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011 , p. 90.

Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, pp. 86-90, 97. Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 90. Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, pp. 90-1.

8

Service improvement

2.22 Comcare revealed that in the financial year to date, it has received around 3 700 new claims and provided ongoing support for in excess of 10 000 claimants. In that time it has received 318 complaints. 22 Comcare is putting in place measures to improve the capabilities of staff to deal with cases involving post-traumatic stress disorder. Officials undertook to consider providing applicants with a receipt for evidence received in order to minimise the possibility of evidence being misplaced. 23

Safe Work Australia

Occupation health and safety draft regulations

2.23 Safe Work Australia (SWA) was asked about the progress made to date in preparing the new national regulations relating to occupation health and safety. The committee was informed that SWA had conducted a four-month public consultation process and had received approximately 1350 submissions which were being considered. The committee discussed the potential impact of the draft regulations on the building and construction sector. It was emphasized by SW A that the draft regulations are still being refined to address concerns raised through the consultation process. 24

National standardisation of occupation health and safety regime

2.24 Officials discussed the process of implementing a nationally consistent occupational health and safety regime. Senators heard that the model legislation, endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), was being enacted and should be in place by 1 January 2012.25

2.25 In response to questions regarding the potential implication of amendments moved in the New South Wales Parliament granting unions the right to prosecute in certain circumstances, an official informed the committee:

23

24

25

26

Under the intergovernmental agreement all of the Commonwealth, the states and the territories committed to enact the model legislation . That is a matter that is under auspices of COAG, so it will be a matter for COAG to consider, when all the bills are enacted, to what extent they have actually complied with the model legislation . Safe Work Australia has a role to monitor the implementation of it. We will be reviewing that. We will be raising it with the relevant ministerial council and ultimately to COAG ?6

Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 94. Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 93. Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 99. Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 May 2011, pp. I 00-4. Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 2011, p. 101.

100

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

Safe Rates, Safe Roads

9

2.26 The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (department) was asked about any progress in the ongoing Safe Rates, Safe Roads (SRSR) investigation being undertaken as part of the government response to the National Transport Commission report Safe Payments Addressing the Underlying

Causes of Unsafe Practices in the Road Transport IndustJy. The SRSR inquiry is exploring options for a national approach to pay, conditions and safety measures across the road freight industry. The committee heard that the department is currently undertaking economic analysis of various options. 27

Fair Work Act

2.27 Senators discussed the implementation of the Fair Work Act 2009 (FWA 2009) and its impact on different sectors of the economy. Senator Evans informed the committee that the government is willing to engage with concerns but encouraged everyone to try and make the legislation work. The department has begun preparations to undertake a two year, post implementation review of the FW A 2009 from 1 January 2012.28

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations -Outcome 4: Enhanced employability and acquisition of labour market skills

Enterprise migration agreements

2.28 The committee commenced Tuesday's hearings with a discussion on Enterprise Migration Agreements (EMA) that facilitate the importation of labour for large resources sector projects valued in excess of $2 billion and employing more than 1500 people. EMA emerged as a recommendation from the National Resource Sector Employment Taskforce and are designed to meet peak demand for labour in the resources sector. 29 Minister Evans explained the government's position:

17

28

30

[EMA] were adopted as part of that cabinet budget decision-making approach in response to the skill s shortages that are likely to emerge as we see the huge growth in mining and construct ion, or mining and other resource projects. They were designed to try to deal with the larger projects, which will have very large labour needs for construction stages, but it is within the suite of measures that DIAC has in terms of 457 visas, labour agreements, and now this bigger project category. 30

Proof Estimates Han sard, 30 May 20 II, p. I 08. Proof Estimates Hansard, 30 M ay 2011, pp. II 5-6. Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 20 1I, pp. 5-I 0. Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 2011, p. 5.

101

10

Job Services Australia

2.29 Job Services Australia (JSA) assists unemployed individuals gain the skills and experience required to ensure sustainable employment. The committee heard that new contracts for JSA providers were due to commence on 1 July 20 12; contract extensions will be offered to all JSA providers that receive a star rating of three or higher on a five star scale. The committee discussed the operation and methodology of the star rating scale with departmental officials , and witnesses indicated that the department expected to be in a position to offer contracts to successful providers by March 2012 to provide certainty to jobseekers and employees of JSA providers.

31

2.30 It was reported to the committee that the government is achieving better outcomes for job seekers through the use of a broad suite of measures and incentivising JSA providers to offer a variety of options. As explained by the department:

[JSA providers] are supposed to customise the work experience for the job seeker ... The idea of the Employment Pathway Fund is that it is flexible and they are supposed to customise it for the job seeker's needs. They may do education and training; they may do national Green Jobs Corp; they may do a whole range of other activities : part-time work, volunteer work. There are many activities they can do.

32

2.31 Senators asked about the fiscal impact on JSA providers caused by increasing the work activity requirements of the very long-term unemployed from six to eleven months as announced in the 201 1-12 Budget. The department informed the committee that an addition $1000 per eligible participant will be credited to the Employment Pathway Fund for a provider to work with those people over 11 months rather than the six months currently required. The committee was assured that the extension did not represent a significant new burden on JSA providers as it was a matter of scaling rather than providing a new service. 33

2.32 JSA providers have created 2879 unpaid work experience activities nationally since the beginning of JSA to 31 March 2011. Senators expressed concern for the potential for work experience to displace paid labour. The committee was assured that the guidelines in place ensure that businesses are unable to displace paid labour with

'd 34 unpm .

Job capacity assessments

2.33 In 2010-11 there were around 465 000 job capacity assessments (JCAs) undertaken. JCAs provide a comprehensive work capacity assessment, combining

31

33

34

Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 2011, p. 10-15.

Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 2011 , p. 30. Proof Estimates Han sard, 31 May 2011, pp. 32-5.

Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 2011, pp. 35-7.

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referral to employment and related support services with assessment of work capacity for income support purposes. Officials elaborated on the processing times and performance in relation to JCAs, and were able to report that 80 per cent of non " remote JCAs were completed within 10 business days of referral. Currently 60 per cent of JCAs are undertaken by Centrelink. The committee heard that the Department of Human Services has been undergoing a significant training program in May and June 2011 in preparation for taking on all JCAs.35

Building Australia's future workforce

2.34 The committee discussed Building Australia's Future Workforce (BAFW), a $94.6 million initiative designed to assist the very long-term unemployed to find employment through wage subsidies. Senator Evans explained that:

This is a high disadvantaged group. International experience is that wage subsidy has been one of the most successful ways of giving them an opportunity they otherwise would not get. We will be looking to work with employers of good heart who are prepared to give someone a chance and we are going to help subsidise the fact that they may not be as competitive in the job market that employer in the first place. It is a very targeted program so there is not the potential waste in the program. These are really disadvantaged jobseekers . 36

2.35 The committee was assured that there would be measure in place to ensure that sustainable outcomes were achieved and jobseekers would be appropriately matched with employers. 37

Productive aging package

2.36 The productive aging package is designed to keep mature workers engaged in the workforce and share their knowledge and experience with the community; especially young people.

2.37 The committee explored the $500 000 Golden Gurus program that emerged from the 2020 Summit and offered providers grants of up to $10 000 to link up older citizens with small businesses in the community. The department reported that the program will be reviewed in 2012 to assess the effectiveness of the program at establishing mature-age people as mentors. 38

2.38 Experience Plus provides a mechanism for mature age workers with skills but not formal qualifications to have their skills assessed and formally recognised. The committee explored the decision to extend the eligibility of the Experience Plus program to those aged 50 plus, whereas it had previously been restricted to those over

35

36

37

38

Proof Estimates Han sard, 31 M ay 2011, pp. 24-26. Proof Estimates Han sard, 31 May 2011, p. 56. Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 M ay 2011, pp. 55-6. Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 M ay 201 1, p. 56.

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55 years of age. The number of eligible industries has also increased to all industries in priority employment areas. Approximately 129 people had signed up in the first 12 months of the program. 39

Disability employment services

2.39 The department was asked if the government's budget measures would have an impact on the number of people accessing Disability Employment Services (DES), an employment assistance service for jobseekers with a disability. The department informed the committee that there was strong demand for the now uncapped DES. Discussing specific measures to support people with disabilities into work, and the number impacted, a witness summarised:

There is a wage subsidy being provided: $3000 for an employer who takes on people with disability in a job for 15 hours a week for 26 weeks ... We are estimating 1000 jobseekers will be assisted through that program, as well as the $2,000 supported wage system employer payment for those who employ someone under the supported wage system for 15 hours a week for 26 weeks. So the total of those two wage subsidy measures is, we think,

1,000 jobseekers with disability .. .That is commencing 1 July 2012 and over the forward estimates .40

2.40 The $3000 wage subsidy will commence on a pilot basis as an incentive to get DSP recipients into employment.41

School enrolment and attendance measure

2.41 Senators sought details about the School Enrolment and Attendance Measure (SEAM), a trial program that suspends income support to parents in cases where students are either not enrolled in school or have poor attendance records. The trial is set to be evaluated sometime after 30 June 2012. The department reported that in the Northern Territory income support payments to six parents had been suspended for failure to enrol their child in school, and payments to 37 parents had been suspended under the attendance component of SEAM. The attendance component of SEAM activates when a child's attendance falls below a certain threshold. Four hundred and ninety parents have been issued with an attendance notice because of concerns regarding their children's attendance record; of those 169 children demonstrated improved attendance . The other 321 children were either within the 28-day compliance period, awaiting a determination on their case by Centrelink, or their parents were subject to income support suspensions. In Queensland 79 parents have had their income support suspended as a result of the enrolment component of SEAM,

39

40

4 1

Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 2011, pp. 59-60. Proof Estimates Hansard. 31 May 2011, p. 62. Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 2011, p. 78.

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and three parents have had their mcome support suspended as a result of the attendance component. 42

Income support for teenage parents

2.42 Senators inquired into how the proposed changes to income support for teenage parents would be administered to ensure the program met it stated outcomes. Officers informed the committee that the new policy aimed for more than simply ensuring that young parents finished school. The program had the potential to help teenage parents access services in the community, and complete educational qualifications other than Year 12.43 As the witness explained:

[T]he trial will very carefully explain to the parent everything that they are entitled to in order to complete their education .. .it is quite complicated for a teen parent to understand how they can finish their education once they have had a child, and that is the major focus of the trial. 44

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations -Outcome 3: Growth in skills, qualifications and productivity

Skills Australia

2.43 Senators engaged in an expansive discussion on the work that Skills Australia undertakes in predicting future skills shortages and recommending policy to government. The committee heard that Skills Australia undertakes significant modelling work - one manifestation of which is the revisions to the skilled occupations in demand list maintained by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship- in an effort to identify areas where government action may be required. Officials explained:

What we are doing is taking a medium- longer tem1 view of the economy and, in terms of our scenario modelling, we looked at what the total size of the workforce might be, what the qualification levels should be achieving and from that we have extrapolated those to cetiain industries .45

2.44 Skills Australia identified the aged-care and resources sectors as potential areas of future skill shortages. 46

2.45 Officials emphasised the importance of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector for Australia's future prosperity . They indicated the importance of ensuring nationally consistent education standards across institutions and the importance to industry of quality assurance in educational achievements. To

42

43

44

45

46

Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 2011, pp. 68-69. Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 2011, pp. 88-90. Proof Estimates Hansard, 31 May 20 1I, p. 90. Proof Estimates Hansard, I June 2011, pp. 6-9. Proof Estimates Han sard, I June 2011, pp. 5-9.

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this end Skills Australia supported the national VET regulator and recommended that registered education providers should be validated externally on an annual basis. 47

Australian Learning and Teaching Council

2.46 Senators heard evidence of the administrative work underway to liquidate the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) which will be succeeded by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency. The department explained that all grants currently awarded and administered would be transferred to the department where they would continue as before. In response to difficulties in interpreting the Portfolio Budget Statement, the department suggested it would in future list AL TC funding separately in future portfolio budget statements to improve transparency .48

Vocational education and training

2.47 The committee discussed the growth in student numbers in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector and some of the reasons for that growth. The committee discussed some of the reasons why students choose different institutions , and the differences between those institutions in terms of quality and variety. One official summarised the policy of government in terms of harmonisation:

The other point is not to harmonise- that is, the government is keen- and we have been keen for a long time-to try to promote what is called competency based training, not time based training. Rather than everyone having to take four years to get an apprenticeship, if you are that good and you'could do it in two, and you are just as competent as someone else who did it in four, then you ought to be able to finish in two.49

2.48 The committee was assured that VET training in schools and T AFE were taught by accredited instructors and was of a high quality. The department reported that it was looking at ways to ensure that there was transparency around the terminology of VET. Senators asked about completion rates of qualification and retention rates for apprentices; the department discussed the complexities of these areas and highlighted the recently announced $100 million apprenticeship mentoring program as a way of improving retention rates among apprentices. 50

VET- National support

2.49 The committee learnt that the department has been working closely with Industry Skills Councils in formulating the Enterprise Based Productivity Places Program which will initially focus on providing trained workers in the aged care and construction industries; both of which are experiencing annual growth rates in excess

47

48

49

50

Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, pp. 9-11. Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, pp. 12-22. Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p. 27. Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, pp. 23-33.

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of 4 per cent. In explanation of the government choice to focus on these two sectors, officials explained:

Both also have challenges with parts of their workforce in need of basic foundational skills. There is very strong demand and employers who are going to be-with strong industry skills councils in both industries-keen to take the lead in developing their own workforce. 51

2.50 Senators also discussed the functioning and performance of Australian Apprenticeship Centres with the department. The committee was informed that there are currently 441 000 Australian Apprentices undertaking trammg through 25 organisations providing approximately 3 50 outlets where people can access assistance. 52

2.51 The committee heard that the $100 million allocated in the budget for accelerated apprenticeships will fund approximately 25 centres that will recognise individuals' prior experience and learning under a competency based learning model. It is hoped that this program will be able to deliver the skilled workers industry needs by recognising the abilities of existing workers through formal qualifications without diminishing worker quality. 53

Higher education

2.52 Senators undertook a searching review of fiscal and infrastructure implications caused by an expected increase in tertiary enrolments by 2025, planned capital expenditure, changes in university enrolment and the implications for revised indexation methods. Witnesses stressed the difficulty in forecasting over such long timeframes due to changing learning patterns, demographic changes and other factors. Senators agreed that this is an area of significant national importance. 54

2.53 The committee discussed the recent growth of low socio-economic status students (low-SES), the department reported that those students currently account for 16.2 per cent of university students. 55 Witnesses described for the committee the methodology used to calculate the number of low-SES students and prospective changes to the methodology to ensure accuracy. 56

2.54 Senators asked about the policy design and administration of the Student Learning Entitlement (SLE). For the benefit of the committee departmental officials explained the operation of the SLE:

51

52

53

54

55

56

Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011 , p. 41. Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, pp. 47-9. Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, pp. 49-52. Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, pp. 67-82. Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, p. 93.

Proof Estimates Han sard, I June 2011, pp. 91-5.

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The ordinary SLE is your standard seven years. There is then additional SLE. There are three different formulae for providing additional SLE. The first one is where the course load of the original undergraduate course of study you are doing, other than an honours course or a graduate entry bachelor degree course, is greater than six EFTSL and, where that is the case, you get additional SLE that is equal to your course load, plus one EFTSL, minus your seven ordinary EFTSL and minus any additional SLE that you already have.

Then there is the calculation for the additional SLE where you are enrolled in an honours course, a graduate entry bachelor degree course or a postgraduate course. The formula for that one is essentially the length of your course minus any additional SLE. The last one for additional SLE is where a higher education provider restructures a course while you are in it and effectively you get additional SLE for the additional length of the course while you are in that.

These are the circumstances in which a person has lifelong SLE: the guidelines set up dates from which you initially get one year of EFTSL and then annually afterwards you get an additional quarter of an EFTSL. So if on I January 2005 the person was aged 20 years or greater , the person begins accruing lifelong SLE on I January 2012 and every January after, and if on 1 January 2005 you were less than 20 years of age, you begin accruing lifelong SLE on 1 January of the year in which you tum 27. They are the dates where you get your initial one year lifelong EFTSL for the Student Learning Entitlement, and you get a quarter of an EFTSL for every year after. 57

2.55 The committee discussed the administrative burden this placed on universities and the difficulty in monitoring each student's SLE in the absence of an integration information technology system. 58

2.56 The committee also discussed the Review of Student Income Support Reforms. The review will consider the impact of changes to student income support arrangements; with a particular focus on rural and regional students and their capacity to access higher education. Senators asked about the impacts of changes to student income support, especially as they relate to regional students . Witnesses provided statistics regarding the number of students accessing various student income support. 59 Minister Evans encapsulated the government's view on the new Youth Allowance policy settings:

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59

We think we have a fairer system and one which is actually supporting the kids who most need the support; and not only that but, now the system has grown, the number who are eligible. So we have many more eligible, many more accessing youth allowance than before, many more kids being helped, families being supported, and more kids going to universities. So I would

Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, p. 97. Proof Estimates Hansard. I June 2011, pp. 97-9. Proof Estimates Hansard, 1 June 2011, pp. 111-120; 123-6.

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have to say to you that is a pretty good result if you are ttying to assess whether something is working or not.60

17

National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (Australian Skills Quality Authority)

2.57 The committee engaged in a broad discussion on progress towards the establishment of a National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (Regulator) due to commence operations from 1 July 2011. Senators asked questions regarding cost recovery, legislative scrutiny , fmancial auditing practice, and potential policies. Departmental officials indicated that they would be able to provide answers in greater detail at the Supplementary Budget Estimates round, scheduled for

17-20 October 2011, as the Regulator would have commenced operations. 61

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Outcome 1: Early childhood education

2.58 The Department reported that one Indigenous Early Childhood Education Centre (IECEC) is complete, with interim services being provided from nine further locations, and three more to commence by the end of July 2011. The department informed senators of consultations undertaken with communities and state governments in relation to the establishment of the IECEC. 62

2.59 The committee discussed issues relating to staffmg numbers and qualifications in the early childhood education sector. Specifically, government initiatives to accredit non-qualified experienced workers with formal qualifications were discussed. 63

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

2.60 The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) reported to the committee that it was planning on including satisfaction surveys in future incarnations of its MySchool website. The committee proceeded to discuss some of the methodological uncertainties around these surveys and the comparative costs, benefits and utility of collecting such information. 64

2.61 ACARA reported to the committee on progress to date and key milestones in implementing the national curriculum. Witnesses reported that the new national curriculum has been fully implemented in government schools in the Australian

60

61

63

64

Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, p. 113.

Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, pp. 56-63. Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, pp. 107-8. Proof Estimates Han sard, 1 June 2011, pp. 109-11.

Proof Estimates Han sard, 2 June 2011, pp. 5-7.

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Capital Tenitory and is being piloted in 60 Victorian schools. These are steps on the road towards full nation-wide implementation by 2013.65

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

Building the education revolution

2.62 The committee discussed programs within Building the Education Revolution (BER) including: Primary Schools for the 21st Century; Science and Language Centres; and National School Pride. Officials provided senators with an update regarding the number of projects completed and outstanding. The department tabled a document detailing expenditure to date under the BER. 66

Indigenous boarding facilities

2.63 The government has undertaken to construct three Indigenous boarding facilities to be located at Wadeye , East Arnhem and the Warlpiri Triangle. Officials reported that below-ground construction at Wadeye is complete and the builder is on " site preparing for the commencement of above-ground construction. Garrthalala has been chosen to host the East Arnhem facility and an architect and project manager have been recruited. Infrastructure hurdles were discussed at length and the importance of ensuring access during the wet season was raised. 67

Rewards for school improvement

2.64 Officials were questioned regarding the operations and design of the Reward for School Improvement program that will reward primary and secondary schools that can demonstrate improved student performance across a number of measures including: attendance; literacy and numeracy performance; and post school destination information. Witnesses provided senators with information regarding the collection and utility of the National Assessment Program-Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) and how it may be used to measure changes in students' academic performance. Officials also about potential methodologies for the collection and comparison of student attendance data. 68

National school chaplaincy program

2.65 Senators discussed the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) at some length. Officials discussed the criteria for entry into the program and the necessary qualifications for individuals and service providers to be eligible to work in schools. Witnesses reported that service providers are responsible for undertaking eligibility

65

66

67

68

Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 201 1, pp. 7-9. Proof Estimates Hansard. 2 June 2011, pp. 11-23. Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 201I, pp. 28-33.

Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 20 II, pp. 39-43.

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assessments of individual chaplains, and that schools are primarily responsible for monitoring the quality of services and compliance with program guidelines.

2.66 Senators explored how a school engaged an individual under the NSCP; especially how a school would engage a secular person under the NSCP. The policy regarding the appointment of secular chaplains was explained to the committee:

On the change of government, a decision was made to allow schools, in those cases where they were not able to source a chaplain who had some religious affiliation, to choose a secular one. 69

Senators discussed how this policy would be applied and what evidence a school must produce validating their claims of being unable to find a religiously affiliated chaplain.

2.67 Senators discussed the process for raising complaints regarding the behaviour of chaplains and the way in which the department dealt with any complaints received. Compliance monitoring was discussed and senators learnt that departmental officials visit around 10 per cent of schools each year to speak to key figures, such as school principles, and monitor the implementation of the program.70

Digital education revolution

2.68 Senators received an update from the department on progress implementing the Digital Education Revolution (DER). The DER aims to make sustainable and meaningful change to teaching and learning in Australian schools through the effective integration of information and communication technology (ICT). Witnesses provided information regarding the distribution and use of lap-top computers to senior high school students; the provision of high speed internet services to schools nationally; and programs to improve the ICT capacity of teaching professionals to ensure they are equipped to utilise the technologies provided. 71

Senator Gavin Marshall

Chair

69

70

71

Proof Estimates Han sard, 2 June 2011, p. 50. Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, pp. 47-60. Proof Estimates Hansard, 2 June 2011, pp. 64-76.

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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 Ltd;

" Australian Learning and Teaching Council;

" ComCare ;

" Fair Work Australia;

" The Fair Work Ombudsman ;

" National Vocational Education and Training Regulator;

" Office of the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner; and

" Safe Work Australia.

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Appendix 2

Index to Hansard transcripts Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

Monday, 30 May 2011

Cross Portfolio

Fair Work Australia

Fair Work Ombudsman

Australian Building and Construction Commission

Com care

Safe Work Australia

Outcome 5-Safer and more productive workplaces

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Outcome 4-Enhanced employability and acquisition of labour market skills

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Skills Australia

Au stralian Learning and Teaching Council

Outcome 3-Growth in skills , qualifications and producti vity

National Vocational Education and Training Regulator

Outcome 1-Early childhood education

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority

Outcome 2-Schools and youth

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38

61

86

98

106

5

5

12

22

56

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The Senate

Environment and Communications Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2011-12

June 2011

117

©Commonwealth of Australia 2011

ISBN 978-1-74229-481-0

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

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Membership of the Committee

Members:

Senator Doug Cameron (ALP, NSW) (Chair) Senator Mary Jo Fisher (LP, SA) (Deputy Chair) Senator Scott Ludlam (AG, WA) Senator Anne McEwen (ALP, SA) Senator the Hon Judith Troeth (LP, VIC) Senator Dana Wortley (ALP , SA)

Committee Secretariat

Mr Stephen Palethorpe , Secretary Ms Jacquie Hawkins, Research Officer

Committee Address

Senate Standing Committee on Environment 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/senate /committee/ec_cttelindex.htm

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IV

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Contents

Membership of the Committee

Report to the Senate

Introduction

Hearings

Questions on notice- date for response

Portfolio specific issues

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

Acknowledgements

Appendix 1- Public hearings agenda

Appendix 2 - Documents tabled

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Budget estimates 2011-12

Introduction

1.1 On 10 May 2011 the Senate referred the following documents to standing committees for examination and report:

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

" Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No.2) 2011-12]. 1

1.2 Standing committees were required to report to the Senate on 21 June 2011.2 The Senate granted the Environment and Communications Committee an extension until 23 June 2011.3

Hearings

1.3 The committee conducted public hearings with the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio on 23 May 2011, the Sustainabili ty, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio on 24 and 25 May 2011 and the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio on 25, 26 May and 16 June 2011. 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 inforn1ation 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/Senate /committee/ec ctte /estimates /bud 1112/index.htm.

Questions on notice - date for response

1.6 In accordance with Standing Order 26(9)(a), the committee agreed that the date for the return of written answers or additional inforn1ation in response to questions placed on notice during the 23-26 May hearings, be Friday, 8 July 2011.

1. 7 In relation to the return of written answers or additional information arising from the hearing held on 16 June, when the Australian Conununications and Media

Journals of the Senate, No. 28, 10 May 2011, p. 878.

2 Journals of the Senate, No. 14, 26 November 2010, pp 408-409.

3 Journals of the Senate, No. 35, 21 June 2011, p. 1057.

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Authority and the NBN Co were examined, the date for the return of this material is Friday, 29 July 2011.

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

1.9 The committee notes that it had set Friday, 8 April 2011 as the date for the return of answers to questions taken on notice during the Additional Estimates held in February 2011. However, at that date there was a total of 483 answers outstanding to 574 questions on notice across the three portfolios, as follows:

" Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio, 365 of 425;

" Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio , 39 of 70; and

" Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio, 79 of79.

1.10 Most of these late answers were submitted in the days prior to and during the Budget Estimates hearings and several senators expressed their concerns about their late arrival. 4 All answers from the three portfolios were received by Thursday, 26 May 2011.

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

Portfolio specific issues

1.12 On the first day of its examination of the 20 I 1-12 8 udget Estimates, the committee called and examined officers from the Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (CCEE) portfolios.

1.13 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, the Hon Greg Combet MP.

1.14 The committee raised a range of matters which are noted below. The page references beside each matter refer to the proof transcript for Monday, 23 May 2011.

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio

1.15 General questions were asked of the department about:

" department staff numbers (p. 3)

4 See for example Committee Hansard, 24 May 20 II, Senator Fisher, pp 4-5; Senator Payne, p. 99; Committee Han sard, 25 May 2011, Senator Abetz, p. 18; and Committee Hansard, 25 May 2011, Senator Abetz, pp 11- 12.

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" work done on a people's assembly on climate change (p. 4)

" providers of contact centre services (pp 5-6)

" staffing for the proposed climate change regulatory authority (p. 8).

1.16 At the conclusion of general questions , the committee called depat1mental officers in relation to Program 1.1: Reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. Matters raised included:

" staff appointments (pp 13-14)

" impacts on the Budget of the carbon pricing regime (pp 15-20, 26-30)

" reduced estimate of abatement from the renewable energy target (pp 20-21)

" installations of solar PV systems and solar heat pump hot water systems (pp 21-22)

" numbers of fmns covered by the Emissions-Intensive Trade-Exposed entities (EITE) program (pp 22-23)

" process for calculating greenhouse gas emissions in relation to the coal industry (pp 23-25)

" impact of renewable energy programs on power prices (pp 30-32, 48--49)

" prices of Renewable Energy Target (RET) certificates (pp 32-34)

" proposed carbon prices on coal in other countries (pp 34-3 7)

" need for states and territories to pass legislation to effect a national carbon tax (pp 3 9--41 )

" rises in sea levels (pp 41--43)

" cost effectiveness of abatement measures (pp 43--46)

" impact of the EU's proposed carbon tax on Australia's aviation industry (pp 46--4 7)

" modelling on the impact of a carbon tax with different price points (pp 50-55)

" voluntary participation in the carbon farming initiative (pp 56-62)

" funding for the Climate Change Foundation campaign (pp 62-66)

" costs of and participation rates in the Climate Conm1issions' forums (pp 67-68)

" membership of the Climate Commission (pp 68-71 ).

1.17 Officers from the Pffice of the Renewable Energy Regulator were called and examined in relation to:

" number of STCs (small-scale technology certificates) generated and cleared through the clearing house since the start of the new system (pp 72-73)

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" incidents where companies buy certificates at a low price and sell through the clearing house (pp 73-75)

" number of inspections undertaken of small-scale solar installations (p. 75)

" compliance inspection regimes and actions undertaken as a result (pp 75-76).

1.18 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.2: Improving Australia's Energy Effici ency. Matters raised included:

" number of unpaid claims submitted under the home insulation program (pp 76-79)

" monies recovered from home insulation program installers (pp 89-82, I 03-1 04)

" results of the targeted inspections of homes in the home insulation program (pp 83-86)

" progress of the National Building Energy Standard-Setting, Assessment and Ratings Framework (pp 86-90)

" numbers of calls to the home insulation helpline requesting inspections (pp 90-92)

" current budget of the Home Insulation Safety Program (pp 92-93)

" companies deregistered under the Home Insulation Safety Program (pp 95-95)

" roles of PricewaterhouseCoopers and Transfield Services in the inspection program (pp 96- 1 00)

" results of the inspections undertaken (pp 1 00-1 03)

" minimum energy performance standards (pp 1 04-1 05).

1.19 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.3: Adapting to Climate Change. Matters raised included:

" appointment of Professor Flannery to the Climate Commission (p. 106)

" release of the paper The criti cal decade by the Commission (pp 107-1 08).

1.20 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.4: Helping to shape a global climate change solution. Matters raised included:

" grants under the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative , the Australian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Program and Influencing International Climate Change (pp 111- 115)

" estimated expenditure for attendance at the climate change conference in South Africa in November 2011 (pp 115-117).

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Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC) portfolio

1.21 On the second day of hearings, the committee called and examined officers from the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Conm1unities portfolio.

1.22 The conm1ittee welcomed Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy , representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Conmmnities, the Hon Tony Burke MP.

1.23 The conm1ittee raised a range of matters which are noted below. The page references beside each matter refer to the proof transcript for Tuesday, 24 May 2011.

1.24 General questions were asked of the department about:

" late provision of answers to questions on notice from the Additional Estimates round (pp 4-1 0)

" department staffing levels (p. 1 0)

" impact of the efficiency dividend on the department (p. 11)

" staff turnover at the executive level (p. 11)

" departmental and ministerial hospitality and entertaining budgets (pp11-12).

1.25 The committee called agencies and departmental officers in relation to Outcome 1: The conservation and protection of Australia's terrestrial and marine biodiversity and ecosystems through supporting research, developing infom1ation, supporting natural resource management, and establishing and managmg Commonwealth protected areas.

1.26 Questioning of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust commenced . Matters raised included:

" progress of decontamination work on HMAS Platypus (p. 13)

" visitor number at Trust sites (p. 13)

" activities on Cockatoo Island (pp 14-15)

" role of volunteers at Trust sites (pp 15-16).

1.27 The Bureau of M eteorology was called and examined. Matters raised included:

" adequacy of warnings from the network of automated weather stations and cooperative rainfall observers (pp I 7-19, 32)

" cost of and ongoing operating costs of river-level monitoring devices (p. 19)

" repairs to equipment on Willis Island (p. 20)

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" reliability of weather predictions (p. 23)

" sea level rises (pp 23-24, 26-31)

" budget for the environmental information program (pp 24-26)

" models used for predicting flash flooding (pp 31- 32).

1.28 The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority was called and examined. Matters raised included:

" extent of damage caused to the reefby Cyclone Yasi (pp 34-35)

" impact of the efficiency dividend (p. 35)

" impact of cyclone season on visitor numbers (p. 36)

" penalties and issue of enforcement notices (p. 38)

" fishing regulations and any differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishing activities (p. 38).

1.29 The Director of National Parks was called and examined. Matters raised included:

" the National Reserve System program (pp 38-40)

" crazy ant program on Christmas Island (pp 40-41)

" regional recovery plan for the flying fox population (p. 41)

" impact of global warming and climate change on national parks (pp 41-43)

" management of significant invasive species (p. 43)

" steps to increase revenue base (pp 43-44).

1.30 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.1: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the Environment. Matters raised included:

" review of the Caring for our Country program (pp 45-49, 51-52)

" import of fox scats to Tasmania (p. 49)

" the Environmental Stewardship program (pp 49-50, 56, 69-73, 74-75)

" Working on Country program, Indigenous rangers activities (pp 52-55, 61-63, 79-80,81)

" National Wildlife Corridor Plan (pp 50-51, 55-56, 65-66)

" funding provided to the Friends of Sceale Bay (pp 56-60)

" funding for regional Natural Resource Management organisations (pp 60-61)

" funding for local environmental initiatives (pp 67-69)

" the natural disaster recovery package (pp 76-77)

" the Reef Rescue and Coastcare programs (pp 77-79)

" management of dugong population (pp 79, 81).

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1.31 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 1.2, Environmental Information and Research. Matters raised included:

" number of whales taken in the last Japanese whaling season (pp 81-82)

" progress of the International Court of Justice case against Japanese whaling (pp 83-83, 88)

" Australia's fmancial contribution to the IWC (International Whaling Commission) (pp 84, 86-87)

" meeting of the IWC in July 2011 (pp 84-86)

" report on the fishing gear risk assessment process (pp 89-91)

" progress of the south-west and north bioregional plans (p 90-9 I)

" grants provided to the World Wildlife Fund (p. 92)

" impact of climate change on proposed marine reserves (pp 92-94)

" funding for the regional marine planning program (p. 94).

1.32 Officers were called and examined in relation to Outcome 2, Program 2.1: Management of Hazardous Wastes, Substances and Pollutants . Matters raised included:

" product stewardship process in relation to the Television and Computer Product Stewardship Scheme (pp 95-97, 98)

. " diesel fuel standards (pp 97-98).

1.33 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 2.2: Affordable Housing. Matters raised included:

" departmental involvement in developing principles for the imposition of infrastructure charges (pp I 00-1 02)

" National Housing Supply Council (pp 102-1 04)

" impact of the Housing Affordability Fund in developing affordable housing (pp I 04- 1 06)

" National Rental Affordability Scheme (pp 1 06-11 0).

1.34 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 2.3: Sustainable Communities. Matters raised included:

" developing sustainability indicators for the Sustainable Population Strategy (pp I 1 0-111)

" funding for employment hubs to support local jobs (pp 111-113).

1.35 Officers were called and examined in relation to Outcome 3, Program 3.1: Antarctica : Science, Policy and Presence. Matters raised included:

" funding to maintain shipping logistical support and the air link (pp 114-116)

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" procedures for tourism and visitation to Antarctica (pp 1 16-117).

1.36 On the third day of hearings, the committee continued its examination of the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio, commencing with Outcome 5.

1.3 7 The page references beside each matter below refer to the proof transcript for Wednesday, 25 May 2011.

1.38 The committee welcomed Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Conmmnic ations and the Digital Economy , representing the Minister for Sustainability , Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the Hon Tony Burke MP , and officers .

1.39 Officers were called and examined in relation to Outcome 5, Program 5.1: Conservation of Australia's Heritage and Environment. Matters raised included:

" guidelines for grants to voluntary environment and heritage organisations (pp 4-1 0, 17-18)

" maintenance of the Kokoda Track (pp 11-11)

" cuts to total funding of the heritage division (pp 11-15)

" status of the emergency assessment of the Dampier archipelago site (pp 15-16)

" baiting program on Macquarie Is land (pp 18-20)

" progress of the Conservation Management Plan for the Richmond Bridge in Tasmania (p. 20)

" update on any possible plans to the return the City of Adelaide to Australia (pp 20-21)

" impact of Budget cuts to assessment for the Commonwealth and National Heritage lists (pp 21-22).

1.40 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 5.2: Environmental Regulation, commencing with the Office of Supervising Scientist. Matters raised included:

" effects of the third largest wet season in Ranger mine operations (pp 22-25)

" status of the ERA's heap leach ElS document (pp 26-27)

" land form trials to demonstrate site rehabilitation strategies (pp 29-30)

" rehabilitation of the Nabarlek site (pp 32-34, 37)

" the Alligator Rivers Regions Advisory Committee, membership (pp 34-35).

1.41 Departmental officers were then called m relation to Program 5.2: Environmental Regulation . Matters raised included:

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" listing of the koala as a threatened species and the role of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (pp 38-44)

" assessment of proposed roadworks and walk trail at the Fitzgerald river National Park, WA (pp 44-46)

" impact of wind farms (pp 4 7-49)

" government response to the Hawke report (pp 49-50)

" investigations into allegations of illegal dugong hunting and sale of dugong bone carvings and meat (pp 50-51)

" role of Commonwealth environmental regulation laws relating to the management of crocodiles (pp 51-52)

" flow regulators in the Goolwa channel and tributaries (pp 52-55)

" water savings achieved through the Sugarloaf pipeline (pp 55-56)

" wildlife trade and conservation measures (pp 56-57)

" sites selected under the sustainable regional development plan (p. 54).

1.42 Officers were called and examined in relation to Outcome 4, commencing with the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Matters raised included:

" the proposed basin plan: release of, development processes, Proposed Basin Plan Working Group, Sustainable Diversion Limits (pp 59-86)

" funding through the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program (p. 77)

" monitoring of coal seam gas extraction projects (p. 82)

" hourly rates for consultancies (p. 87)

" environmental work and measures projects being considered (pp 88, 92).

1.43 Officers were called and examined in relation to Program 4.1: Water Reform. Matters raised included:

" spending under the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program (pp 97-98, 102-1 05)

" funding for the Coorong and Lower Lakes (pp 98-99, 1 02)

" total allocations for the Commonwealth Environmental water Holder holdings (pp 99-1 00)

" funding for the Adelaide desalination plant (pp 1 00-I 01, 1 07)

" the Native Fish Strategy (pp I 06-1 07).

1.44 Officers from the National Water Commission were called and examined. Matters raised included:

" process for appointing a new CEO (p. 1 08)

" finding in the commission recently released report National pe1jormance report on urban water utilities (pp l 08-11 0)

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" recycled water options (p. 11 0)

" NWC's position statement on coal seam gas (pp 11 0-112)

" hydraulic fracturing, or fracking for coal seam gas projects (p. 112).

Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio

1.45 At the conclusion of its examination of the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities portfolio, the committee called and examined officers from the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio.

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

1.47 Officers from Australia Post were called and examined. Matters raised included:

" ongoing concerns with the Rockhampton mai I centre (pp 114- 116)

" delivery of mail within shopping malls (p. 117)

" fees for the handling of carded articles (pp 117-118)

" availability of certain Express Post items (p. 118)

" membership of the Stamp Advisory Committee and its decision-making processes (pp II 9-120)

" review of the post office franchise model (p. 120)

" harassment or bullying complaints by licensees (p. 123)

" update of the Future Ready program (p. 123)

" workplace injuries; the use of facility nominated doctors (p. 124)

" maintenance of motorbikes in W A (pp 124-125).

1.48 Officers from the Special Broadcasting Service were called and examined. Mr Shaun Brown, Managing Director , made an opening statement after which questioning commenced. Matters raised included:

" use of the online service (p. 126)

" impact of the introduction of commercial mu1tichannels on SBS services and revenue (pp 126-128)

" audience numbers (p. 128)

" access to SBS services across the country (pp 129-130)

" review of the antisiphoning regime (pp 130-131)

" use of the High Definition channel (p. 131 ).

1.49 On the fourth day of hearings, the committee continued its examination of the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio.

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

1.51 The committee raised a range of matters which are noted below. The page references beside each matter refer to the proof transcript for Thursday, 26 May 2011.

1.52 Questioning commenced of the Australian Broadcasting C01poration. Matters raised included:

" tender process for the Australia Network contract (pp 3-6)

" funding of the international bureaus and management of the travel budget (p. 6)

" guidelines for ABC presenters undertaking outside work (pp 7-1 0)

" flood damage to new premises in Brisbane (p. 11)

" abolition of the Independent Complaints Review Panel (pp 14-15)

" selection of participants for Q&A audiences (p. 15)

" cost of the Right to Know Campaign (p. 16)

" TV transmission into regional New South Wales, specifically Albury (pp 16-17)

" programs commissioned as a result of increased funding for drama production (pp 18-19)

" journalist training at a cadet level (pp 19-20)

" amount of first-run Indigenous content (pp 20-21)

" quality control at ABC News 24 (p. 21 ).

1.53 General questions were asked of the department after the Acting Secretary made a brief opening statement. Matters raised included:

" the Household Assistance Scheme (HAS) which provides assistance to households to convert to digital TV (pp 22-26, 46)

" procedures followed in appointing a CEO or CFO to NBN Co, including due diligence and background and previous employment checks (pp 27-34).

1.54 Officers from the department were called and examined in relation to Program 1.3: Broadcasting and Digital Television. Matters raised included:

" update on the anti-siphoning list review (p. 34)

" review on the switchover to digital services and the HAS in the Mildura " Sunraysia area (pp 34-36, 38)

" update on switchover and numbers of eligible HAS households in Queensland (pp 37-38)

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" amount of payments to Centrelink for its role in the switchover program (pp 39-41)

" extent of the viewer access satellite television (VAST) service (pp 44-45, 50-51)

" eligibility for HAS (pp 46-50)

" consultations with state housing authority about the switchover program (p. 52).

1.55 Officers from the department were called and examined in relation to Program 1.2: Digital Economy and Postal Services. Matters raised included:

" internet filtering grants program (pp 53-56)

" ISP filters and protecting children on the internet (pp 58-59, 61)

" role of regional National Broadband Network coordinators (p. 62)

" purpose of the Digital Business Online website (p. 64)

" update on the convergence review (pp 64-65).

1.56 Officers from the department were called and examined in relation to Program 1.1: Broadband and Communications Infrastructure . Matters raised included:

" amount paid to Egon Zehnder in relation to appointments to NBN Co (p. 65)

" matters surrounding the appointment of the NBN Co CEO, including awareness of issues raised about Alcatei-Lucent (pp 65-70)

" indemnity provided to NBN Co directors in relation to the financial heads of agreement with Telstra (pp 72-74)

" funding ofNBN Co (pp 75-77)

" freedom of information requests, use of adviser and legal advisers (pp 77-80)

" Regional Backbone Blackspots Program in South Australia (pp 83-85)

" provision of interim satellite services (pp 85-88)

" consultants engaged to help with NBN public relations (p. 89).

1.57 On 16 June 2011 the committee resumed its examination of the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy portfolio , calling and examining the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the NBN Co .

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

1.59 The committee raised a range of matters which are noted below. The page references beside each matter refer to the proof transcript for Thursday, 16 June 2011.

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1.60 Officers from the Australian Communications and M edia Authority (ACMA) were called and examined. Matters raised included:

" progress of the provision of digital radio to regional and rural Australia (p. 2)

" spectrum available for mobile broadband services (p. 3)

" future use of the 1800 megahertz frequency currently held by state rail authorities (p. 4)

" status of the convergence review (pp 4-6)

" resources allocated to managing digital switchover issues (pp 6-8)

" broadcasting complaints handling mechanisms (pp 8-1 0)

" monitoring of free-to-air electronic program guides (pp I 0-11)

" financial information collected from licensees to undertake the broadcasting licensing fee process (pp 11-15)

" release of ACMA's draft report Reconnecting the customer: including review procedures, outcomes and recommendations (pp 16-19)

" cybersafety campaign It's Your Life and You're in Control (pp 19-20).

1.61 The NBN Co was then called and examined. After the Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mike Quigley made an opening statement, questioning commenced. Matters raised included:

" preparation of the CEO's opening statement (pp 27-30, 40-45)

" details surrounding Mr Quigley's article in The Australian on 5 May (pp 30-31)

" timing of negotiations ofthe Telstra agreement (pp 31-33)

" issues surrounding investigations of incidents at Alcatel-Lucent (pp 33-38, 45-54, 59-61 ).

1.62 During examination on this issue, the Chair raised concerns about the scope of questioning of its CEO in relation to his involvement with matters concerning his previous employer Alcatel-Lucent. In relation to estimates hearings, the Senate has determined the following test of relevance:

Any questions going to the operations or financial positions of the departments and agencies which seek funds in the estimates are relevant questions for the purpose of estimates hearings. 5

5 Journals of the Senate, No . 84, 22 November 1999.

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1.63 On this matter the Chair stated that " ... we are getting to a stage where I think we are starting to try Mr Quigley in a de facto way here. I am getting to a stage where I think this stuff is not relevant". 6 The Chair continued:

I understand that the whole approach in estimates is about the operations or financial positions of the departments or agencies. We are straying way of that. This [line of questioning] is not about the operations of NBN Co ... 7

1.64 Questioning resumed. Matters then raised also included:

" roll out of the NBN; fibre to the node versus fibre to the home (pp 38-40, 64-66)

" research opportunities following on from the establishment by IBM of a global research and development centre at the University of Melbourne (pp 54-55)

" NBN rollout in Armidale, NSW (pp 56-58, 61)

" costs of the NBN rollout for the first release sites (pp 61-62)

" indemnities for NBN Co directors in respect of the Telstra agreement (pp 62-63)

" current status ofTas NBN Co (p. 67).

Acknowledgements

1.65 During the course of the hearings, the committee noted 'that this was the final appearance at estimates hearings for three senior officers who have appeared before it over several years, namely, Ms Lyn Maddock , Director of the Australian Antarctic Division; Mr Rob Freeman, Chief Executive Officer of the Murray Darling Basin Authority, and Mr Shaun Brown, Managing Director of SBS.

1.66 The Chair and committee members thanked each of the officers for the invaluable assistance they have provided to the committee and wished them each well in their future endeavours.

1.67 On behalf of the committee, the Chair thanked Senator the Hon Judith Troeth and Senator Dana Wortley for their contributions to the committee as it was their last estimates hearing.

6 Committee Hansard, 16 June 2011, pp 35-6.

7 Committee Hansard, 16 June 2011, p. 36.

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1.68 The committee thanks Senator the Hon Penny Wong , Minister for Finance and Deregulation; Senator the Hon Don Farrell , Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, and Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy , along with officers from the three portfolio departments and agencies, for their assistance during this Budget estimates process. The committee also thanks Hansard, Broadcasting and the committee secretariat.

Senator Doug Cameron Chair

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Appendix 1

The Senate BUSINESS OF COMMITTEES

This document is issued as a guide to Senators Business listed is subject to change

It should be noted that times allocated for the consideration of outcomes, items and agencies within portfolios are indicative only.

Senators, staff and departments should liaise with secretariats on the progress of portfolios during the estimates process.

SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS LEGISLATION COMMITTEE

Public Hearings: Budget Estimates 2011-12 Monday, 23 to Thursday, 26 May 2011 and if required, Friday, 27 May 2011

Committee Room 2S3 Parliament House Canberra ACT

To be televised on Channel 11 and broadcast on Radio 91.1 h ttp://w ehcast.aph. gDl ∑.aullivebroadcasting /

AGENDA

Monday:~ 23 May 2011

9.00 am Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Portfolio

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE)

9.00 am General questions of the Department

10.00 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 multilat eral engagement internationalJy Program 1.1: Reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions

Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator Outcome 1: Administer and regulate the national renewable energy target scheme to encourage increased renewable electricity generation Program 1.1: R enewable Energy Certifi cate Man agem e111

Program 1.2: Managing Compliance with Legislation

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7.00 pm Program 1.2: Improving A ustralia's Energy Efficiency

10.00 pm Program 1.3: Adapting to Climate Change

10.30 pm Program 1.4: Helping to shape a global climate change solution

11.00 pm Adjournment

BREAKS Morning tea 10.45 am approx

Lunch 1.00 _Qm 2.00 pm

Afternoon tea 3.45 pm approx

Dinner 6.00pm 7.00 pm

Tea break 9.00 pm approx

Tuesday:~ 24 May 2011

9.00 am Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Portfolio Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) 9.00 am General questions of the Department

Outcome I: 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

10.00 am Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Outcome 1: Enhanced appreciation and understanding of the natural and cultural values of Sydney for all visitors , through the remediation , conservation and adaptive re-use of, and access to, Trust lands on Sydney Harbour

Program 1.1: Svdney H arbour Federation Trust 10.15 am Bureau of Meteorology Outcome 1: Informed safety, security, and the economic decisions by governments, industr y, and the community through the provision of information ,

forecasts, services and research relating to weather, climate and water Program 1. I: Bureau of M eteorology Program 1.2: Mo dernisation and Extension of Hydrological Mo nitoring System s

11.20 am Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authorit y Outcome 1: The long-term protection, ecologicall y sustainable use, understanding and enjoyment of the Great Barrier Reef for all Australians and the international community, through the care and development of the Marine Park

Program 1.1: Improving the outlook for the Great Barrier Reef

12.10 pm Director of National Parks Outcome 1: Conservation and appreciation of Commonwealth reserves through the provision of safe visitor access, the control of invasi ve species and working with stakeholders and neighbours

Programl.l: Parks and Reserves

2.00 pm Program 1.1: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and the 140

19

Environment

7.00 pm Program 1.2: Environmental Information and Research

Outcome 2: Improved sustainability of Australia's population, communities and environment through coordination and development of sustainable population and communities policies , supporting affordable housing and the reduction and regulation of waste, pollutants and hazardous substances

8.00 pm Program 2.1: Management of Ha zardous Wastes, Substances and Pollutants

8.30 pm Program 2.2: Affordable Housing

9.45pm Program 2.3: Sustainable Communities

10.30 pm Outcome 3: Advancement of Australia's strategic, scientific, environmental and economic interests in the Antarctic by protecting , administering and researching the region

Program 3.1: Antarctica: Science, Policy and Presence

11.00 pm Adjournment

BREAKS M orning tea 10.45 am approx

Lunch 1.00 pm 2.00 pm

A fternoon tea 3.45 pm approx

Dinner 6.00pm 7.00 pm

Tea break 9.00 pm approx

W ednesdav ~ 25 Mav 2011 9.00 am Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Portfolio Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population

and Communities (DSEWPaC) 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 9.00 am Program 5.1: Conservation of Australia's Heritage

10.30 am Office of Supervising Scientist

12.00 pm Prof(ram 5.2: Environmental Ref(ulation

3.00 pm Outcome 4: Adaptation to climate change, wise water use, secure water supplies and improved health of rivers, waterways and freshwater ecosystems by supporting research, and reforming the management and use of water resources

Murray-Darlin2 Basin Authority 141

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Outcome 1: Equitable and sustainable use of the Murray-Darling Basin by governments and the community including through development and implementation of a Basin Plan, operation of the River Murray system, shared natural resource management programs, research, information and advice

Program 1.1: Equitable and sustainabl e use of the Murray-Darling Basin

Program 4.1: Water Reform

National Water Commission Outcome 1: Informed decisions by governments on national water issues, and improved management of Australia's water resources, through advocacy, facilitation and independent advice

Program 1.1: Water Reform

9.15 pm Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Portfolio 8 Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE)

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

9.15 pm Australia Post

10.15 pm Special Broadcasting Service Outcome 1: Provide mul~ilingual and multicultural services that inform, educate and entertain all Australians and in so doing reflect Australia's multicultural society

Program 1.1: Television Program 1. 2: Radio Program 1.3: Analogue Transmission and Distribution Program 1.4: Digital Television Transmission and Distribution Program 1.5: Digital Radio Transmission and Distribution

11.00 pm Adjournment

BREAKS Morning tea 10.45 am approx

Lunch 1.00 pm 2.00 pm

Afternoon tea 3.45 pm approx

Dinner 6.00 pm 7.00 pm

Tea break 9.00 pm approx

Thursdav~ 26 Mav 2011

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

Outcome 1-Develop a vibrant, sustainable and internationally competitive

8

The ACMA and NBN Co will appear on Thursday, 16 June 2011 from 4.00 to 11.00 pm . 142

21

broadband, broadcasting and communications sector, through policy development, advice and program delivery , which promotes the digital economy for all Australians

9.00 am Australian Broadcasting Corporation Outcome 1: Informed, educated and entertained audiences-throughout Australia and overseas-through innovative and comprehensive media and related services

Program 1.1: ABC Radio Program 1.2: ABC Television Program 1.3: Online Outcome 2: Audience access to ABC satellite and analog terrestrial radio and television transmission services is, at a minimum, maintained year-on-year through the management of Transmission Service Agreements

Program 2.1: ABC Analog Transmission Outcome 3: Audience access to ABC digital television services is provided, in accordance with Government approved implementation policy, through the roll-out and maintenance of the associated distribution and transmission infrastructure

Program 3.1: Access to Digital Television Services Outcome 4: Audience access to ABC digital radio services is provided, in accordance with Government approved implementation policy, through the rollout and maintenance of the associated distribution and transmission infrastructure

Program 4.1: Access to Digital Radio Sen ,ices

11.00 am General questions of the department

12.00 pm Program 1.3: Broadcasting and Digital Television

2.30 pm Program 1.2: Digital Economy and Postal Services

4.00 pm Program 1.1: Broadband and Communications Infrastructure

6.00 pm Ad.iournment

BREAKS Morning tea 10.45 am approx

Lunch 1.00 pm 2.00 pm

Afternoon tea 3.45 pm approx

Dinner 6.00_pm 7.00 pm

Tea break 9.00 pm approx

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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: Budget Estimates 2011-12 16 June 2011

Committee Room 2S3 Parliament House Canberra ACT

To be televised on Channel I 0 and broadcast on Radio 91.1 http:// webcast.aph.gov.au/livebroadcastingl

AGENDA

Thursday, 16 June 2011 Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Portfolio 4.00 pm Australian Communications and Media Authority

Outcome 1: A communications and media environment that balances the needs of the industry and the Australian community through regulation , education and advice Program 1.1: Comm unications regulation. planning and licensing

Program 1.2: Consum er safeguards, education and information

6.00 pm Dinner break

7.00 pm NBNCo

11.00 pm Adjournment

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Appendix 2

Tabled documents

Mondav, 23 May 2011

Senator Abetz, copy of the new National Carbon Offset Standard logo

Senator Cameron, copy of a paper from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Senator Boswell, Australian M ean Sea Level Survey 2009

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Minister Conroy, Media Release: NBN Co releases Interim Satellit e eligibility crit eria and a copy of the paper: NBN Co Information Paper: NBN Co Interim Satellit e Service End User Eligibility Criteria.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Senator Birmingham, copy of Mr Quigley's opening statement

Senator Birmingham, four documents relating to the Alcatel-Lucent investigations:

" Deposition of Christian Sapsizian , dated 30 November 2010

" Affidavit (Declaration) of Edgar Valverde Acosta, dated 1 December 2010

" Securities and Exchange Conunission, complaint filed against Alcatel-Lucent , S.A., dated 27 December 201 0

" Department of Justice, press release chiding A lcatel for lack of cooperation, dated 27 December 2010

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The Senate

Finance and Public Administration

Legislation Committee

B11dget estimates 2011-12

June 2011

147

©Commonwealth of Australia 2011

ISBN 978-1-74229-482-7

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.

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148

Membership of the Committee

Senator Helen Polley (Chair)

Senator Mitch Fifield (Deputy Chair)

Senator the Hon John Faulkner

Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Senator Helen Kroger

Senator Rachel Siewert

Participating members

ALP, TAS

LP , VIC

ALP,NSW

ALP,NSW

LP, VIC

AG, WA

Senators Abetz, Adams , Back, Barnett, Bernardi, Bilyk, Birmingham, Bishop, Boswell, Boyce, Brandis, Bob Brown, Carol Brown, Bushby, Cameron, Cash, Colbeck, Coonan, Cormann, Crossin, Eggleston, Ferguson, Fielding, Fierravanti- Wells, Fisher, F orshaw, Furner, Hanson-Young, Heffernan, Humphries, Hurley, Hutchins, Johnston, Joyce, Ludlam, Macdonald, McEwen , McGauran, Marshall, Mason, Milne, Minchin, Moore, Nash, O 'Brien, Parry, Payne, Pratt, Ronaldson, Ryan, Scullion, Sterle, Troeth, Trood, Williams, Wortley and Xenophon.

Secretariat

Ms Christine McDonald

Ms Kyriaki Mechanicos

Ms Victoria Robinson-Conlon

Mr Hugh Griffin

Committee Secretary

Senior Research Officer

Research Officer

Administrative Officer

Ill

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

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

Chapter 1 ............. ..... .......................................... ......................................... ..... ... !

Budget Estimates 2011-12 ............... ....................................... ................................. !

Portfol io coverage ..... ................... ... ..... ....... ........ .... ..... ..... ........... .... ........ ......... ..... 1

Portfolio Budget Statements ....... ...... .............. ... ....... ........... ................... ........... ..... I

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

Procedural and other m atters ........................ ............... .... ................. .... ...... ........... . 3

Chapter 2 ................................................................................... ........ .................. 7

Consideration of portfolios, departments and agencies ................... ....... .............. 7

D epartment of the Senate .................. ...... ......... ......... .............. ........................... .... 7

D epartment of Parliamentary Services ....... .......... ....... ............. ...... .......... ............. . 7

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio ........ ............... ......... ....... .... ............. .... .... .... 9

D epartment of Regional A ustrali a, Regional Development and Local Governm ent .......... ........ .............. ........ .......... ... ......... ...... ...... ..... ... .......... ....... ....... 15

Finance and D eregulati on Portfolio ... ...................... ....... .............. ......... .... ........... 18

Appendix 1 ..................... ......... ......................... .................................................. 23

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversight ........ ............... ..... 23

Appendix 2 ... ......................................................................................... ............ . 25

Index to Hansard Transcripts ....... ... ..... ........ ......... ........ ................. .... ................. . 25

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Chapter 1

Budget Estimates 2011-12

1.1 On 10 May 2011, the Senate referred to the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee (the Committee), the following documents for examination and report:

" particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012;

" particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 20 12; and

" particulars of proposed expenditure in relation to the parliamentary departments in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012.

Portfolio coverage

1.2 The Committee has responsibility for exammmg the expenditure and outcomes of the:

" Parliament 1;

" Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio, including the Department of Regional Australia , Regional Development and Local Government; and

" Finance and Deregulation portfolio.

1.3 Appendix 1 lists the departments, agencies, authorities and companies under the portfolios mentioned above.

Portfolio Budget Statements

1.4 There were few changes to the portfolios under the Committee's oversight in the respective Portfolio Budget Statements. The only notable change was to the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government (DRARDLG) following the natural disasters of late 2010-early 2011. The Prime Minister announced on 7 February 2011, new governance arrangements within the department to provide coordination and oversight of the Commonwealth Government's contribution to the recovery and reconstruction effort.

1.5 The Commonwealth National Disaster Recovery Taskforce (the Taskforce) was established to provide strategic direction and oversight of the Commonwealth Government's contribution to reconstruction efforts in response to the disasters. The

As a matter of comity between the Houses, neither House inquires into the operations of the other Hou se. For this reason, neither the annual report of, nor the proposed expenditure for, the Department ofthe Hou se of Representative s is referred to a Senate committee for review.

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Taskforce also provides secretariat support to the Australian Government Reconstruction Inspectorate chaired by former Federal Minister for Finance, Mr John Fahey AC. 2

Hearings

1.6 The Committee held public hearings on Monday, 23 May through to Thursday, 26 May 2011. Over the course of the four days' hearings-totalling over 37 hours-the Committee took evidence from the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon John Hogg; Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations; Senator the Hon Mark Arbib, Minister for Sport, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development and Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness; 3 Senator the Hon Nick Sherry, Minister for Small Business; 4 and Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, together with officers of the departments and agencies concerned. The Committee expresses its appreciation for the assistance of the President, Ministers, Departmental Secretaries and the officers who appeared before it.

1. 7 Old Parliament House was the only agency released from the hearings without examination.

1.8 The following agencies were dismissed prior to the hearings: Office of the Australian Information Commissioner; National Australia Day Council; Australian Sports Conunission; Australian Sports Foundation Ltd; Australian Sports An~i-Doping Authority; Australian National Maritime Museum; Australian Film, Television and Radio School; Bundanon Trust; Australia Business Arts Foundation; Albury " Wodonga Development Corporation; Australian River Co Ltd; and ASC Pty Ltd.

1. 9 The Hansard transcripts of evidence are available on the internet at: http:// www .aph.gov.au/hansardlindex.htm

1.10 In accordance with Standing Order 26, the Committee is required to set a date for the lodgement of written answers and additional information. The Committee resolved that written answers and additional information be submitted by Friday, 8 July 2011.

1.11 Further written information from departments and agencies will be tabled, as received, in the Senate. This information is available on the Committee's website: http://www .aph. gov .au/Senate /committee/fapa ctte/estimateslindex.htm

2 Department of Regional Australia , Regional Development and Local Government, Portfolio Budget statem ents 2011-12, Budget related paper no. 1.15B pp 3-5.

3 Senator the Hon Mark Arbib replaced Senator the Hon Chris Evans as Minister at the table after the dinner break on Monday , Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp 87-97.

4 Senator the Hon Nick Sherry replaced Senator the Hon Chris Evans and Senator the Hon Mark Arbib as Minister at the table after the afternoon tea break on Tuesday, Estimates Han sard, 24 May 2011, pp 63-83.

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Procedural and other matters

Requests for officers to appear

1.12 The Committee requested the appearance at the estimates hearings ofMr John Fahey, recently appointed chair of the Australian Government Reconstruction Inspectorate and Mr Bret Walker, the new Independent National Security Legislation Monitor. Mr Fahey was unable to attend the hearing due to prior commitments, however, Mr Walker attended to provide evidence and the Committee thanks him for making himself available.

Provision of answers to questions on notice

1.13 At the commencement of the estimates hearings a number of answers to questions on notice remained outstanding from the Additional Estimates hearings of February 2011. The Committee had set 15 April 2011 for the date by which answers were to be provided.

1.14 When the Finance and Deregulation portfolio appeared on 25 May 20 11, nearly six weeks after the date for receipt of answers, seven answers remained outstanding. In particular, the Committee's attention was drawn to an unanswered question concerning the provision of legal advice by the Director of Public Prosecutions to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC). At the Committee's hearing of 22 February, the AEC initially sought to make a claim of public interest immunity ip relation to the provision of this advice. The Minister then took the question on notice.

5

1.15 During the hearing of 26 May, the AEC indicated that the response to the question had been provided to the Special Minister of State in mid March 2011. Following consideration of this matter by the Committee, the Chair expressed concern that answers to questions from the Additional Estimates remained outstanding. The Chair indicated the seriousness of the matter and requested that the answers be provided as soon as possible.

1.16 All remaining answers from the Finance and Deregulation portfolio were provided to the Committee on Friday, 27 May . The Committee acknowledges the speed with which the answers were provided following the hearing, however the Committee notes that the estimates process is an important accountability mechanism and committees expect timely responses to the questions put to departments and agencies.

5 See paragraph 1.19 of the Committee's previous report : Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee, Additional estimates 2010-11, March 2011, pp 4-5.

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Evidence provided by the Department of Parliamentary Services

1.17 The examination of the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) again canvassed issues in relation to the sale, in late 2010, of billiard tables from Parliament House.

1.18 At the Additional Estimates , DPS indicated that its policy was to require a heritage assessment of any items being disposed of, or declared surplus, and that in the case of the billiard tables, they were assessed as having no heritage value. 6 In an answer to a question on notice seeking the provision of the heritage assessment, DPS provided a copy of the 'Declaration of surplus or unserviceable items fom1' dated 6 July 2010 and the asset register with an undated hand written annotation .

7

1.19 During questioning on the asset register and the hand written annotation provided, DPS indicated that '[t]he recollection of the officer is that it was signed after 21 February, so it was after the estimates hearing in February'. 8 In relation to whether a heritage assessment had been undertaken, Mr David Kenny, DPS, stated that 'I think it is clear that the advice at the last estimates was not correct, that a heritage assessment had already taken place'. 9 Further , Mr Kenny commented:

The realisation that the heritage assessment had not taken place- 1 became aware of that at about 20 past one this afternoon ... there was some more investigation being done internally as to the history, noting that the history of all the billiard tables, in terms of the records available to us, was not clear-therefore it took a little bit longer to work through- but at about 20 past one I was advised that the heritage assessment had not been done at the time of the sale. 10

1.20 The Committee has requested that DPS provide the original version of the Declaration of surplus or unserviceable items form and the asset register with the heritage assessment annotation. The Committee will then consider the matter further.

Australian National Audit Office

1.21 During the Committee's examination of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), the Committee canvassed the ANAO's role in auditing third party contractors. When questioned on the impact this would have on the ANAO's workload, the Auditor-General stated:

6 Estimates Han sard, 21 February 2011, p. F&PA 31.

7 Additional Estimates 20 I 0- 11, Department of Parliamentmy Services, Answer to question on notice, No 2 7.

8 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. F&PA 43.

9 Mr D avid Kenny, Department of Parliamentary Services , Estimates Han sard, 23 May 2011, p. F&PA 43.

10 Mr David Kenny, Department of Parliamentary Services , Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011 , p. F&PA44.

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I have said to the public accounts committee that we would not be looking for any additional resources for this purpose. We currently do somewhere between 45 and 55 performance audits a year, and I at least saw it as a substitution issue. If we were going to do further work, in particular audits, then we would adjust our program elsewhere .. .It is all relative. 11

5

1.22 The Committee welcomes the expansion of the ANAO's role in relation to third party contractors in Government projects. The Committee will continue to monitor the effect of these third party audits on the ANAO's workload and resources.

11 Mr Ian McPhee , Australian National Audit Office, Estimates Hansard, 24 May 2011, pp F&PA 35-36.

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Chapter 2

Consideration of portfolios, departments and agencies

2.1 The following discussion provides an overview of the issues canvassed during the estimates hearings. The order is not based on hierarchy but rather on the order in which the portfolio issues arose during the hearings.

Department of the Senate

2.2 The main issue discussed with the Department of the Senate was the effect of the changeover of the Senate taking place from 1 July 2011. The Committee questioned the department on how it will cope with this changeover, particularly with the swearing in of new Senators in July. There are twelve new Senators arriving in Parliament House. The Usher of the Black Rod explained the process for helping retiring Senators leave their offices and new Senators settling in. He also noted that the process for office allocations was based on a seniority list relating to Senators' positions on the ballot. 1

2.3 In addition, the department explained the current level of activity of the Committee office, and similarly to last estimates, the Committee discussed the fluctuating workload of the office and how the department deals with staffing in this environment. Questions were also put to the department on how it supports committee staff during inquiries that deal with sensitive issues. ,

2.4 Other issues covered by the Committee included updates to Odgers' Australian Senate Practice, public education and awareness activities relating to the Senate, 2 the issue of vision impaired access to submissions provided to committees and the work currently being carried out to improve access to committee inquiries online. The Clerk noted that she would update the Committee on the progress of the department on this issue at the next round of estimates. 3

Department of Parliamentary Services

2.5 The Committee opened questioning of the Department of Parliamentary Services on the establishment of the proposed Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO). The department explained that the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) currently has oversight of the office. However, DPS commented on the structure of the PBO; with the Secretary stating 'conceptually I envisage it as being the fourth

1 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 4-8.

2 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 3-4.

3 Estimates Han sard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 8-12.

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parliamentary servtce department, accountable to the parliament, not to executive government'.

2.6 The Committee discussed with DPS the funding for the Office, possible staffing arrangements and its possible location within the Parliamentary Library. In relation to the start date of the office, DPS noted that it had received advice from Finance that 'they would be hoping for all of the legislation to be in place and appointments to have been initiated voluntarily so the new PBO could operate from ear 1 y in 2 0 12'. 4

2. 7 The Committee questioned DPS on current work to improve disability access to Australian Parliament House (APH) and advice DPS received from the Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Graeme Innes, on his experience in the APH carpark. DPS explained the action taken following this advice and other changes to parking conditions for easier access to the APH childcare centre. 5

2.8 The Committee raised the issue of recent media coverage of bullying allegations within DPS. During questioning on tllis issue, it was revealed that the Parliamentary Librarian is currently responsible for the human resources functions of DPS . Further questions on the bullying allegations within DPS covered the induction processes for new staff and the incidence of bullying with the department. The Committee noted the significance of this issue and its intention to pursue the matter at future estimates hearings. 6

2.9 Following on from previous estimates, the Committee questioned DPS on billiard tables from Parliament House that were sold in late 2010. The heritage assessment of the tables was discussed (see also paragraph 1.17) and the qualifications of the disposal delegate responsible for writing the heritage assessment. The Committee also questioned DPS on where, and when, the tables had been auctioned and the decision relating to which of the tables were to be auctioned. 7

2.10 Questions to the Parliamentary Library covered the scope of the legal advice the Library is able to offer, the cost of the Library's press clippings and the progress of the indexing backlog. 8

2.11 The Committee questioned the department on several security issues relating to Parliament House including: parliamentary security officer vacancies; plans to change the security measures at the Senate and House of Representatives entrances; and, cost savings related with remote or electronic access. 9 In addition, issues relating

4 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. F&PA 14.

5 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 16-19.

6 Estimates Han sard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 19-23.

7 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 23-25,33-37,43-48.

8 Estimates Han sard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 25-30.

9 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 30-33.

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to the building operations included partic ipation in Earth Hour, catering arrangements, status of the solar panel trial currently being carried out and the planned office furniture makeover.10

2.12 The Committee also questioned the department on IT issues including recent outages, IT security, the merging of Parliament House and electorate office computer systems and the possible use of iPads through the APH wireless network. 11

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General

2.13 Mr Stephen Brady, the Official Secretary to the Governor-General, noted in his opening statement that a range of austerity measures had been implemented at Government House to cut costs and create efficiencies. This has led to significant savings for the office, while at the same time the Governor-General 'has attended almost double the number of external engagements, has hosted over 40 per cent more

internal events and is patron of 50 per cent more community organisations'. 12

2.14 The Committee discussed the Australian wedding gift to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Governor-General's trip to the United Kingdom for the ceremony, including the functions she attended. 13 In addition, the Committee questioned the Official Secretary on various contracts for the office and the Governor " General's upcoming travel.

2.15 Following on from last estimates, the Committee canvassed the travel arrangements for the presentation of the unit citation for gallantry to veterans of Delta Company, 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment.14

2.16 Lastly, the Official Secretary provided the Committee with the Governor " General's gift-registry, the Office's revised gift policy and some information on recent gifts received by Her Excellency. 15

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

2.17 The Committee discussed the involvement of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) in relation to its support of the COAG reform agenda and the timeframes for considering the work of the Housing Supply and Affordability

10 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 19, 37-43.

11 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 43-51.

12 Mr Stephen Brady, Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General , Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. F&PA 53.

13 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 53-54.

14 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 54-57.

15 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. F&PA 57.

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Working Party, the finalisation of the development assessment reform agenda and the identification of future reform agendas. Other COAG issues covered include the review of payroll tax, directors' liability reforms, the planning, zoning and development assessment processes and the reforms of the standing structures of COAG. 16

2.18 The COAG Reform Council (CRC) secretariat appeared before the Committee for the first time as part of the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio. The officers of the secretariat provided the Committee with information on the reporting process of the COAG Reform Council and the process for COAG considering these reports . Following on from issues raised at previous estimates , the Committee noted that there was no specific indigenous affairs council, the CRC secretariat stated that '[h ]ow COAG works out how to do its Indigenous relationships across its states and territories and its ministerial councils is an issue for the jurisdictions . It is not one for the council' . 17

2.19 The Committee recommenced questioning of the department on the establishment and role of the National Mental Health Commission. PM&C noted that it will be a separate executive agency and that:

The functions of the commission will include managing and administering the annual National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention ... It will include: collating , analysing and developing data and analysing emerging trends and indicators in mental health; providing policy advice to government in consultation with relevant lead agencies. 18 ,

2.20 The Committee commented on the establishment of the Office of the Not-for " Profit sector. Questions relating to this Office covered staffing , the relationship between the Office for the Not-for-Profit sector and the Australian Charities and Not " for-Profits Commission and the establishment of the online portal to reduce the reporting process. Other questions to the department covered the volunteer management program.19

2.21 In addition , the Committee discussed the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Perth later this year. The Committee canvassed the cost of the opening ceremony, the staffing of the CHOGM taskforce and the security and level of involvement of law enforcement agencies at the event. 20

16 Estimates Han sard, 23 May 2011 , pp F&PA 59-66.

17 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 66-70.

18 Mr Ben Rimmer , Department of the Prime :Minister and Cabinet, Estimates Han sard, 23 M ay 2011, p. F&PA 77.

19 Estimates Han sard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 87-97.

20 Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp F&PA 111-114.

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2.22 The Committee covered the topic of WikiLeaks and the advice the department provided to the Prime Minister on this matter. PM&C noted that it chairs the Interdepartmental Committee for managing across Government the issue of WikiLeaks and 'certainly provided briefing[ s] to the Prime Minister ahead of the first publication of that material [the department of state cables] on the internet'. PM&C also stated that 'following a meeting of the interdepartmental committee ... we agreed

that, given the very slow release of the material into the public domain, task force members could continue to assist in that coordinated effort from their home " 1 21

agencies.

2.23 Further issues relating to national security and international policy raised by the Committee were the allegations made in The Age relating to delays by the Prime Minister to read and sign urgent material provided to her. PM&C stated 'the documents were for information ... there was no immediate action that we officials were waiting for. The urgency of which you speak is certainly not apparent from our point of view'. 22 Other national security issues raised included the decrease in funding

for the national security area, the cyber policy coordination unit, the Australian Government's policy position in relation to Libya and the National Counter-Terrorism Plan. 23

2.24 Other issues raised by the Committee in PM&C outcome 1 included:

" the mining tax;

" the leaders' debate commission;

" staffing at PM&C;

" entitlements of the Prime Minister's partner;

" communicating with the Prime Minister via email;

" the process for approving Minister's international travel ;

" Community Cabinet meetings;

" Parliament House Briefing Room;

" new medals and awards announced by the Prime Minister;

" the Royal Coach Britannia , a gift for the 801h birthday of Queen Elizabeth II;

" electricity costs at Kirribilli House and staffmg at the official residences; and

" the Prime Minister's wine cellar.

2.25 The main areas of interest for the Committee relating to the Office for the Arts, PM&C outcome 2, were the effect of the portfolio-wide efficiency dividend on

21 Estimates Han sard, 23 Ma y 2011 , pp F&PA 114-118.

22 Estimates Hansard, 24 May 2011, p. F&PA 6.

23 Estimates H ansard, 24 May 2011, pp F&PA 11-17.

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agencies, possible effects of the luxury car tax exemption for public museums and art galleries, and the most recent formal visits from the Prime Minister and/or responsible Minister to each institution . In addition, the department discussed its work on the National Cultural Policy and the findings of the review by Mr Harold Mitchell on the private sector's support for the arts in Australia.

2.26 The Committee questioned the department on the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer of the Indigenous Australian Art Commercial Code of Conduct, the decision to deny funding to Co-opera and the progress since last estimates of the re " sale royalty scheme. 24

2.27 Screen Australia discussed the announcement by the Government of the $56 million support package for the film and television industry. The Committee also noted the budget measure to provide funding to re-instate the Australian Bureau of Statistics screen industry survey to deliver the latest comprehensive data on the sector. 25

2.28 The following specific issues were raised with individual agencies:

" input by the Australia Council to the National Cultural Policy;

" the National Archives noted that it has changed the way Cabinet records are released, by releasing a selection rather than all Cabinet records to save on resources;

" the National Library of Australia provided details on its monetary assets and its upcoming touring exhibitions;

" the current storage requirements of the National Film and Sound Archive, particularly for nitrate film, were discussed along with the Australian films compulsory collection policy; and

" the National Gallery of Australia noted the exhibitions that would be postponed to meet budget cuts and the extra costs associated with the extension of the Gallery. 26

2.29 In relation to PM&C outcome 3: sport and recreation, the Committee noted the Government's increased funding of sport over the forward estimates. The department provided an update on the Active After-School Communities program and its extension to December 2012. The Committee briefly discussed the process leading up to the 2015 Asian Cup and the review being undertaken by Mr Warwick Smith into the administration of football during this lead-up period. 27

24 Estimates Hansard, 24 May 2011, pp F&PA 88-95.

25 Estimates Hansard, 24 May 2011, pp F&PA 66-70.

26 Estimates Han sard, 24 May 2011, pp F&PA 70-88.

27 Estimates Hansard, 24 May 2011, pp F&PA 95-99.

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Australian Public Service Commission

2.30 The Committee questioned officers of the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) on the general decline of people with disabilities being employed in the Australian Public Service. In response to this decline, the Public Service Commissioner stated:

We have got a number of strategies in place at agency level to establi sh forums to share good practice. There is the disability steering group. Recently we have amended the commissioner's directions regarding recruitment activity to make it easier to recruit people with a disability . 28

2.31 The Committee discussed the requirements of the Public Service Commissioner to issue certificates of dismissal to senior employees. In particular , the Committee canvassed the dismissal case of Ms Jane Wolfe and the legal proceedings surrounding the dismissal and subsequent re-instatement. 29 The Committee also covered CPSU bargaining relating to the APSC and the progress of work following the release of the report , Ahead of the Gam e: Blueprint for the Reform of Australian G Ad

. . . 30

overnment mzmstratzon.

Australian National Audit Office

2.32 The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) responded to questions from the Committee in relation to the private member's bill , Auditor-General Amendment Bill 2011, and the effects this could have on its powers if passed by the Parliament. The Committee also noted the process for the Office to decide on audit topics, several recent performance audits and the effect of the efficiency dividend on the agency. 31

2.33 The Committee discussed the possibility of the ANAO auditing third party contractors and the impact this would have on the agency's workload (see paragraph 1.21 ). The issue of auditing inter-jurisdictional government agencies was also raised. The Auditor-General explained how this could be approached:

I always say it is important when these bodies are established that, as part of the governance arrangements, consideration be given to the auditing arrangements .. .If it is controlled by the Commonwealth , it is subject to financial statement audit by us, and generally speaking, we can do performance audits .. .! think when it comes to Commonwealth -state bodies, unless there is something that has been arranged or agreed by ministers , we

28 Mr Stephen Sedgwick, Au stralian Public Service Commi ssion, Estimates Hansard, 24 May 2011 , p. F&PA 23.

29 Estimates Hansard, 24 Ma y 2011, pp F&PA 24-31.

30 Estimates Hansard, 24 May 2011, pp F&PA 31-34.

31 Estimates Han sard, 24 Ma y 2011, pp F&PA 35-44.

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would not have a natural entree to be doing the audit, nor would I wish to be doing the audit without the cover. 32

Australian Institute of Family Studies

2.34 The Committee questioned the cuts to the Australian Institute of Family Studies due to the efficiency dividend and other savings measures. The Committee also discussed the findings of the recently published report, Families in Australia 2011: Sticking together in good and tough times, and the Institute's study being carried out into adoption practices in Australia . 33

Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman

2.35 The Committee focussed its questioning of the Office on its Immigration Ombudsman role, in particular the power to review individual cases of people who have been in detention for a certain amount of time. The Ombudsman stated:

There are two aspects to our supervision of those folk. The first is a statutory one that when somebody has been in immigration detention for two years or more we are required to do a review of the circumstances and we report to both the minister and we provide a de-identified report that is tabled in parliament. By another arrangement with the former minister for

immigration, we undertake similar reviews at six months. When we first started doing that a couple of years ago the numbers in that were in the hundreds. Now , of course, they are in the thousands. I guess we are really struggling to find a way of meaningfully interviewing that many people and providing reports to the secretary of the department about aspects of, say, mental health or suitability of people remaining on Christmas Island rather than being brought on the mainland and things like that. 34

2.36 The Committee also noted several of the Ombudsman's reports to the Government on the situation of Christmas Island and other reports currently in development on similar issues. 35

Independent National Security Legislation Monitor

2.37 This was the first appearance of the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor before the Committee at an estimates hearing. The Committee questioned Mr Bret Walker on the staff numbers and budget of his office, the overall responsibilities of the role and the reasons behind the delay of his appointment. 36

32 Mr Ian McPhee , Au stralian N ational Audit Office, Estimates Hansard, 24 May 2011, p. F&PA 37.

33 Estimates Han sard, 24 May 2011, pp F&PA 44-50.

34 Mr Allan Asher, Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman , Estimates Han sard, 24 May 2011, p. F&PA 50.

35 Estimates Han sard, 24 May 2011 , pp F&PA 50-53.

36 Estimates Hansard, 24 May 2011, pp F&PA 53-56.

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Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

2.38 The Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security answered questions in relation to the Office's increased staff levels, the Government's independent review of the intelligence conununity and the Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill currently before the Parliament and the possible affects this bill could have on the work of the Inspector-General.

2.39 Following on from topics raised at previous estimates rounds, the Committee discussed the progress of the current inquiry into the arrest and detention overseas of Mr Mamdouh Habib and the number and content of complaints received relating to Australian Intelligence Conununity agencies. 37

Office of National Assessments

2.40 The Office of National Assessments was questioned on staffing levels , external contracts relating to legal, cyber and nuclear proliferation advice provided to the Director-General and the progress of the planned reallocation of the Office.

Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government

2.41 The Committee opened questioning of the D epartment of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government on the National Disaster Recovery Task Force and the arrangements in place for the funding to Victoria and Queensland following the recent natural disasters. In response, the department stated 'the elements

[of the two agreements with the Commonwealth] are substantially the same' however, as Queensland has a Reconstruct ion Authority the governance arrangements are different. 38

2.42 In response to questions on the differences in the roles of the Australian Government Reconstruction Inspectorate and the National Disaster Recovery Task Force, the department stated:

In tetms of the oversight, in terms of the value-for-money framework that we put in place through the national partnership agreements, the government decided to set up an inspectorate function, headed by John Fahey, to look at how best those Commonwealth and state dollars should be spent to ensure that they were well targeted and we were actually getting value for money for the dollars. The task force was set up in the department

in February to provide a range of functions , particularly to support the secretariat function, to support me on the Queensland Reconstruction

37 Estimates Han sard, 24 M ay 2011, pp F&PA 57-63.

38 Estimates Han sard, 25 May 2011, p. F&PA 3.

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Authority board, to support the sub-committee of cabinet; and to support a range of administrative functions. 39

2.43 Further, DRARDLG provided information on the Inspectorate's role on the ground, the process for replacing or upgrading infrastructure affected by the floods and the involvement of local small businesses in the reconstruction effort . Assistance to small businesses , and the differences between the Premier's appeal and the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) were issues also raised by the Committee. 40

2.44 During the hearing~ the Committee questioned DRARDLG on the range of programs and grants it administers to fund projects in regional Australia and local government areas. The Committee discussed the Regional Development Australia Fund and the Community Infrastructure Grants program, particularly the merit process for receiving funding from these initiatives, and the effects of the minerals resource rent tax and the efficiency dividend. 41

2.45 Following on from previous estimates, the Committee discussed the Northern Australia Sustainable Futures program including the progress of the North Australian Beef Industry Study and the Cairns plan which aims at improving the economic situation of that region. In addition, the Committee questioned the Office of Northern Australia on its regional branches and the department provided a copy of the governance arrangements of the North Australian Ministerial Forum.42

2.46 In relation to local government, the department provided information on the process of the recognition of local government. The officers stated that the Australian Local Government Association works with individual councils 'to build support within the local government sector ... they have developed what we might call a toolkit, or packages of materials for local governments to use in selling the case for constitutional recognition within their communities'. 43

2.47 In addition, the Committee canvassed the issue of Norfolk Island and the current proposals for reform of the governance arrangements of the island. The lack of funding in the Budget for Norfolk Island after the 2010-11 forward estimates was raised and the department stated:

The Norfolk Island Chief Minister has written to the minister seeking further support next year. That request is still being considered by the government. As the secretary has noted, we are working in patinership with

39 Ms Glenys Beauchamp, Department of Regional Au stralia , Regional Development and Local Go vernment, Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2011, p. F&PA 3.

40 Estimates Han sard, 25 May 2011, pp F&PA 3-12.

41 Estimates Han sard, 25 May 2011, pp F&PA 12-31.

42 Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2011 , pp F&PA 31-39.

43 Estimates Han sard, 25 May 2011, p. F&PA 42.

168

the Norfolk Island government. No decisions have been made for future years.

17

The department noted '[t]he objective around putting Norfolk Island on a more sustainable financial footing does require a number of reforms to be implemented by the Norfolk Island government'. 44

2.48 The Committee traversed the issues relating to the Norfolk Island reforms, particularly the importance of tourism to the territory's economy, the meetings that have taken place leading up to the distribution of the reform road map, the running of the hospital services and superannuation entitlements for residents. Further, the

Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area funding arrangements were discussed, with the Committee noting the historical importance of the area. 45

2.49 Other issues canvassed during the appearance of DRARDLG included its involvement in the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme and the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation. The department also provided updates on the East Kimberley Development Package, the Australian Centre for Excellence in Local Government and the national assessment framework it is conducting, Regional Development Australia committees and the funding of the Women in Local Government organisation.

National Capital Authority

2.50 During the appearance of the National Capital Authority_ (NCA), the Committee discussed a presentation by the Chairman of the NCA in which he claimed that Canberra was 'the most successful continued planned city in human history'. Proposals for First and Second World War memorials were also discussed , including the process and involvement of the Canberra National Memorials Committee.

2.51 The Committee questioned the NCA in relation to a media article published in the Canberra Times commenting on a speech by the Chief Executive Officer and the role of the Hawke review in improving the Commonwealth and ACT Governments' interaction in planning the capital.

2.52 Other topics raised with the NCA included floating turbines in Lake Burley Griffm to improve water quality , effects of the efficiency dividend and the progress of the Immigration Place project as a landscape-based commemoration to the contribution of migrants to Australia.

44 Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2011, p. F&PA 45.

45 Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2011, pp F&PA 44-51.

169

18

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

Medibank Private Ltd

2.53 Following on from previous estimates, the Committee questioned Medibank Private on the payment of the special dividend and regular dividends to the Government. Further questions covered the value of Medibank, the lower than average premium increase and the total reserves of the company.

2.54 The Committee commented on the recent changes to private health insurance rebates to which Medibank responded:

we would ... continually work away at providing members as much value as we can through our core products. More recently we have been increasing our level of health management services that we are offering to members through our product suite. We have launched a new product suite in the market earlier this year, and a range of other services that are designed to

improve that ongoing value proposition of the private health insurance product. 46

2.55 In response to the Deloitte research which projected a drop of 1.6 million people over five years from private health insurance, Medibank stated that it had carried out some internal modelling and that its 'best guess ... would be somewhere in the range of about 2 ~ per cent of the membership might downgrade their product in

some way, shape or form'. 47

Department of Finance and Deregulation

2.56 The Cornn1ittee opened questioning of the Department of Finance and Deregulation on the Government's planned savings measures in the Budget Papers, the total stock of Commonwealth Government Securities and the definition of savings over the forward estimates.

2.57 The Committee followed on from questioning from previous estimates relating to the review of the financial situation of the War Memorial. Finance had corrected the date of the initial conversation between the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of Finance.48 This led the Committee to question the department on processes for correcting evidence provided to the Committee at estimates.

2.58 The Committee questioned Finance on the Office of Best Practice Regulation and the obligations of government departments and agencies to comply with the

46 Mr Michael Sammells, M edibank Private, Estimates Han sard, 25 M ay 2011. p. F& PA 70.

4 7 Estimates Hansard, 25 Ma y 2011 , pp F&PA 71-72.

48 Estimates H ansard, 25 Ma y 2011 , pp F&PA 77-81, Estimates Han sard, 26 Ma y 2011 , p. F&PA 37.

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19

regulatory rules set by the Office, including exemptions granted on the basis of exceptional circumstances. The Committee noted that 'one of the departments that did not publish an annual regulatory plan was the department of finance', however Finance indicated that this was due to no additional regulatory activity in the department for the financial year. 49 The Committee also discussed the independence of the Office and the content of Regulation Impact Statements.

2.59 Act of grace and other discretionary payments were discussed with the department. The Committee looked at payments resulting from the home insulation program in particular, as well as the process for claims for payments across all -o Government programs.)

2.60 The Committee canvassed the issue of additional expenditure contained in the Budget Papers where a decision has not been announced on how the money is to be spent. Finance explained:

There could be a range of reasons that it could be in there. One element of that might be it was a decision taken late in the budget process. It could be that; I am not saying it is. Often there is no opportunity to reflect that in the budget papers because you have to go back into the budget papers and if it is very late in the process you cannot do that. Other times it might just be that the government chooses not to announce it in the budget...but still to include it in the bottom line so that it is transparent at the time of the budget. 51

2.61 Other issues canvassed by the Committee included the operating costs of offshore processing centres, which detention centres are Commonwealth owned and the insurance costs of these buildings. The Contingency Reserve and what initiatives are being funded through this, castings of the set-top box initiative and the efficiency dividend across the Public Service were also raised with the department.

2.62 The Committee returned to issues from previous estimates includin g any policy castings carried out by Finance for the Greens or independent members and the take-up by Commonwealth departments of the services of any Australian Disability Enterprises.

2.63 The department answered questions on the public sector superannuation accumulation plan, and the balances and expenditure of the Building Australia Fund, the Education Investment Fund and the Health and Hospitals Fund.

2.64 In addition, the Committee noted the new work point guidelines for the Public Service, the productivity improvement from IT services, the involvement of Finance

49 Estimates Hansard. 25 M ay 2011. p. F&PA 85. Estimates Han sard, 26 May 2011. p. F&PA 28

50 Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2011, pp F&PA 97-104.

51 Mr D avid Tune. Department of Finance and Deregulation. Estimates Hansard, 25 M ay 2011 , p. F&PA 95.

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20

in the appointment of Mr Michael Quigley as CEO of the NBN Co., the cost to Commonwealth property as a result of the recent natural disasters, whole-of " government travel savings and the Comcar fleet.

2.65 The Committee questioned Finance on ministerial and parliamentarians' staff numbers, including the Caucus Communications Team. The increase to staff for the Greens and Independents announced in the Budget was also raised. Lastly, the Committee discussed the transfer of all members and senators IT support matters to DPS and the management report requirements for parliamentarians.

Australian Reward Investment Alliance

2.66 The Committee opened questioning of the Australian Reward Investment Alliance (ARIA) on the agency's conflict of interest policy, the make-up of the Board of Trustees and the break-down of investment of total assets, particularly in relation to hedge funds.

ComSuper

2.67 The Committee commented on the staffing decrease expected for ComSuper over the next financial year due to contracting activity of the agency. Other issues discussed included occasions of attempted fraud relating to overpayment of pensions, claims made by the CPSU relating to a bargaining claim and the break-down of the members and customers of ComSuper . As with other agencies, the Committee also discussed the effect of the efficiency dividend.

Future Fund Management Agency

2.68 The Committee returned to topics covered at previous estimates with the Future Fund including its sell-down of Telstra shareholdings, the current balance of the Fund and the investment strategy of its assets. In addition, the Committee discussed the Fund's investments in emerging market currencies, the extent of Government oversight of the Fund and the factors taken into account with international investments.

2.69 There was extensive questioning of the Future Fund on its recent divestment in ten companies involved in the manufacturing of cluster munitions including defence company Lockheed Martin Corp. In relation to the Board's decision to divest in the companies, Mr David Neal stated:

Its position on these issues is that if an economic activity for an entity based in Australia is ille gal in Australia then that should not really be considered as an investment. If it contravenes an international convention that Australia has ratified , it should also not be considered as an investment.

52

52 Estimates Han sard. 26 May 2011, p. F&PA 17.

172

21

Further, the Future Fund stated that the decision was made independently of the legislation, the Criminal Code Amendment (Cluster Munitions Prohibition) Bill 2010, currently before the Senate. 53 The Committee questioned the Fund on how it arrived at its decision to divest in the ten companies and why it has not gone further to divest in companies that are known to manufacture nuclear weapons. 54

Australian Electoral Commission

2.70 The Committee questioned the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on donations to the Australian Labor Party (ALP) from companies likely to be located outside Australia , the entity status of the organisation GetUp and requirements for ballot boxes at polling booths. The extra funding provided to the AEC in the Budget and the scope of media work by the Commission in the lead up to federal elections were issues also canvassed by the Committee.

2.71 The Committee returned to matters covered at previous estimates relating to the organisation Coastal Voice inc and its relationship with the ALP leading up to the 2007 federal election, and the court proceedings surrounding this matter.

Senator Helen Polley

Chair

53 Estimates Han sard. 26 May 201 L p. F&PA 18.

54 Estimates H ansard, 26 May 2011, pp F&PA 18-22.

173

174

Appendix 1

Departments and agencies under the Committee's oversight

Parliament

" Department of the Senate

" Department of Parliamentary Services

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

" Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

" Australia Business Arts Foundation

" Australia Council

" Australian Film, Television and Radio School

" Australian Institute of Family Studies

" Australian National Audit Office

" Australian National Maritime Museum

" Australian Public Service Commission

" Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority

" Australian Sports Commission (AIS)

" Australian Sports Foundation Ltd

" Bundanon Trust

" COAG Reform Council secretariat

" Independent National Security Legislation Monitor

" National Archives of Australia

" National Australia D ay Council

" National Capital Authority

" National Film and Sound Archive

" National Gallery of Australia

" National Library of A ustralia

" National Museum of Australia

" Office ofNational Assessments

" Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

175

24

" Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman

" Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

" Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General

" Old Parliament House

" Screen Australia

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

" Department of Finance and Deregulation " Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation " Australian Electoral Conm1ission

" Australian Reward Investment Alliance

" Australian River Co Ltd

" Australian Technology Group Ltd

" Com Super

" Future Fund Management Agency " Medibank Private Ltd

176

Appendix 2

Index to Hansard Transcripts 1

Monday, 23 May 2011

Parliament

Page no.

Department of the Senate ......... ... ................ ............. ... .......... ....... ............. ............ .. 1

Department of Parliamentary Services .................... .................... ... .......... ...... ...... 12

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General ............................. ....... 53

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.. ......... ........ ........................... ...... 59

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Prime Minister and Cabinet Por({olio

Department of the Prime Miruster and Cabinet .... ..... .... .................. .......... ....... 5, 88

Australian Public Service Commission ..... ...... ........ ................ ....... ..... .............. ... 22

'

Australian National Audit Office ................... .......... ........... ...... .... ....... ......... ........ 35

Australian Institute of Family Studies ......... ........ ........ ............ ... ..... ... .... ... ....... ... .44

Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman ...... ....... ........ .... ... ........ .................. .... 50

Independent National Security Legislation Monitor ....... .............. ...... ........... ...... 53

Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security .................. ...... ... ... . 57

Office of National Assessments ...... ................. ......... ...... ....... ......... .... ............ ...... 63

Screen Australia .... ....... ................. ..... ......... ....... ....... ....... ...... ....... ........ ................ 66

Australia Council ..... .............. ........... ...................... ....... ...... .......... ......... .......... .... 70

National Archives of Australia ..... ............... ........................ ...... ........ ....... ... ...... ... 74

National Film and Sound Archive ..... ....................... .... ................. ........ ...... ......... 77

National Museum of Australia ......... ................ .......... ......... ... .... ..... ..... ........ ..... .... 80

National Library of Australia ..................................... .............. ... ................. ........ . 82

National Gallery of Australia ........... ....... ...... ....... .......... ......... .... ....... ... ..... ..... ...... 86

H ansard page numbers referred to in this appendix are based on proof Hansards. Page numbers m ay vary slightly in the final Official Hansard transcript s.

177

26

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Prime Minister and Cabinet Portfolio

Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government ............ .... ...... ........ .................. ....... .......... ............... ........... ....... 1

National Capital Authority ....... ........ .... ...... ............... ....... ..... .......... ........ .............. 52

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

Mediban.k Private .... ....... ...... ... ...... ............. .......... ........... ..... .... ............... ....... ....... 64

Department of Finance and Deregulation ...... ...... .... ............. ... ....... ............ .......... 72

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Finance and Deregulation Portfolio

Australian Reward Investment Alliance .......... ........... ........... ....................... ... .4, 14

ComSuper .... ...... .... ... ... ......... ............. ............ .......... ....... ...... .... ....... ...... ....... ... ... .... 9

Future Fund Management Agency ..... ................... ................ .... ..... ...................... 15

Department of Finance and Deregulation ..... ... .... ... ........................ .... .... ..... ..... .... 23

Australian Electoral Commission ........... ............... .............. .......... ..... ... ... ..... ... .... 73

178

The Senate

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2011-12

179

June 2011

@Commonwealth of Australia

ISBN 978-1-74229-483-4

This document is produced by the Senate Standing Comm ittee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Secretar iat, and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Parliament House, Canbena.

180

Members:

Membership of the Committee

Senator Mark Bishop, ALP, WA (Chair)

Senator Russell Trood, LP, Qld (Deputy Chair)

Senator Michael Forshaw, ALP , NSW Senator Steve Hutchins, ALP , NSW

Senator Helen Kroger, LP , Vic

Senator Scott Ludlam, GRN , WA

Participating Members:

Senator Hon Eric Abetz, LP, Tas Senator Simon Birmingham, LP, SA Senator Hon George Brandis, LP, Qld

Senator Hon John Faulkner, ALP , NSW Senator Hon Alan Ferguson, LP, SA

Senator Hon Bill Heffernan, LP, NSW

Senator Gary Humphries, LP, ACT Senator Hon David Johnston, LP, WA

Senator Hon Ian Macdonald, LP, Qld Senator Stephen Parry, LP , Tas

Senator Hon Michal Ronaldson, LP , Vic Senator Glenn Sterle , ALP , WA

Senator Nick Xenophon, lnd, SA

Ill

181

Committee secretariat Dr Kathleen Dennody, Secretary

Ms Alpana Modi, Research Officer

Ms Christina Raymond, Senior Research Officer Ms Jane Thomson, Principal Research Officer

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Phone: (02) 6277 3535, fax: (02) 6277 5818

e-mail: fadt.sen @ aph.!!ov.au; Intemet: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate fadt

IV

182

Table of Contents

M b h

. . ..

em ers 1p " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " 111

Report to the Senate ............................................ ....................... ..... .................. ....... !

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

ueshons on notice .... .......... .................................. ... ...... ....... ....................... ..... .... 1 Q . .

Defence portfolio ................................. ....... ..................................... .... ........ .... ... ... 2

Departnten t o.f Defence ........................................................................................ 2

Late return of answers to questions on notice ..................................................... 2

Recognition of the Chief of the Defence Force's contribution ........ ...... .............. 2

Recognition of retiring Senators contribution .......... ...... ............. .... ........ ............ 3

Defence Materiel Organisation ..................... ..... ......................... ...... ...... ............ 8

Leadership transition in the ADF ........................................................................ 9

Defence Housing Australia ..... .............................................. ... .......................... ! 0

Department of Veterans' Affairs .................................................................. ...... 10

Australian War Mentorial ............................ ......... ................................ .... ........ 11

Foreign Affairs portfolio ........ ... .............. .............. ......... ..... ................ ........ ....... 12

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ........................................................ 12

Trade portfolio ............... ........ ...... ............ ............ ..... ......... ........... ......... ..... ....... . 17

DFAT trade pograms and Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) .............. 17

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (A CIAR) .............. . 18

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) ............ ........ ....... 18

Acknowledgements ........................... ....... ....... ....... ......................... .... ................ 19

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

De_fence portfolio ..... ....... ....... .... ...... ... .......... ..... ..... ............ .......... ...... .................. 23

Departn1ent of Defence .... ....... ......... ........... ... .... .............. .......... .... ......... ...... ..... 23

Defence Materiel Organisation ..... ... ....... ........ ............... ..... .... ............. .... .......... 23

Defence Housing Australia ........... ..... ..... ..... ....... ..... ........ .... ........ ......... ...... ..... .. 24

D epartment of Veterans' Affairs ............ .... ..... ..... ..... ............................ ..... ..... ... 24

v

183

Australian War Memorial ............. ....... ...... ......... .... ..... ........ ..... ........ ........ ........ . 25

Foreign affairs and trade portfolio ................... .... ...... .............. ........... .......... ... ... 26

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ............. ....... ..... ...... ..... ...... .... ........... 26

Australian Trade Commission ( Austrade) ............ ..................... ......... ... ........ .... 2 7

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) ........... .... 27

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) ... ........ ............... 27

Index to tabled documents .... .................. ........... ....... .......... ...................... ......... 29

V I

184

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Report to the Senate

Introduction

1.1 On 1 0 May 2011, the Senate referred to the committee for examination and report the following documents:

" Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012;

" Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012; and

" Particulars of proposed expenditure in relation to the parliamentary departments in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012.1

1.2 The committee conducted public hearings with the Defence portfolio on 30 and 31 May 2011 and the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio on 1 and 2 June 2011. 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. It also received evidence from the Minister for Broadpand, Communications and the Digital Economy , Senator the Hon. Stephen Conroy, representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade and from officers from the portfolio 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:

www.ap h.gov.au/Senate /committee/fadt ctte/estimates /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 and additional information in response to questions placed on notice would be Friday 29 July 201 1.

Journals of the Senate. o. 28. 10 May 2011. p. 878.

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2 Report on budget estimates 2011-2012

Defence portfolio

Department of Defence

1.5 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC, AFC, Chief of the Defence Force, and Dr Ian Watt AO , Secretary of the Department of Defence, and officers of the Defence organisation . 2

Late return of answers to questions on notice

1.6 The committee noted that it had set 21 April 2011 as the date for the return of answers to questions taken on notice during the Additional Budget Estimates held in February 2011. However at that date all answers from the Department of Defence were outstanding. Indeed, it was noted that:

Not a single response, not a single answer, to any question was provided until last Friday; and as we sit here this morning, there remain nine answers to questions which have yet to be received .

1. 7 The committee sought an explanation from the Department as to why its answers were not received by the due date. 3 Senator the Hon. David Feeney acknowledged that the answers were late and responded:

I think it is plan that your unhappiness is justified, that we have failed in our responsibility to get those answers to this committee on time ... 4

1.8 He drew attention to the complex national security issues to which many of the questions pertained, explaining that a number of questions were properly the subject of discussion between ministers, their advisers and the department. He indicated , however, that the ministerial team and the department would 'work together to ensure a more timely response to questions on notice in future'. 5

1.9 The Secretary of the Department explained further that most of the questions were multiple questions and many of the answers were well over a page constituting a 'substantial body of work'. Notwithstanding , he also agreed that the questions could have been answered 'more quickly' and they would 'endeavour to do better'. 6

Recognition of the Chief of the Defence Force's contribution

1.10 The Chair noted that this would be the last estimates session that the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, would be attending before his

2 Proof Committee Han sard, 30 May 2011, p. 5.

3 ProofCommittee Hansard, 30 Ma y 2011 , p. 13- 14.

4 Proof Commi ttee Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 14.

5 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 126.

6 Proof Co mm ittee Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 14.

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Report on budget estimates 2011-2012 3

retirement. On behalf of the committee, the Chair acknowledged the outstanding contribution that the CDF had made to the work of the committee. The Chair stated that committee members had benefited from and greatly appreciated Air Chief Marshal Houston's willingness to engage with the committee. He said:

The committee thanks you especially for the efforts you have taken to support its work and to keep it informed through man y, many difficult issues. Through your leadership Defence and the committee have established a very sound and constructive working relation srup, and we hope that when your successor is appointed in due course that relationship will continue.

7

1.11 The Deputy Chair also acknowledged the CDF's distinguished service and the cooperative and constructive relationship that had developed between him and the committee. On behalf of the opposition, he thanked Air Chief Marshal Houston for his many years of outstanding service. 8

1.12 The committee also recognised the contributions that the service chiefs had made to the management of the Australian Defence Force and to Australia's national interest.

Recognition of retiring Senators contribution

1.13 The Chair, on behalf of the committee, acknowledged the contributions made by retiring members, Senator Alan Ferguson, Senator Michael Forshaw, Senator Steve Hutchins and Senator Russell Trood all of whom had been active participants in the work of the committee. He said:

In that period of eight or 10 years, there have been a number of significant reports brought down by this committee under the chairmanship of Senator Ferguson, Senator Hutchins, Senator Forshaw or Senator Trood. They have dealt with major issues of public interest of the time, resulting in major and, one hopes, permanent change to various operations within Defence. I mention in passing matters relating to military justice, recruitment and retention within the ADF and procurement matters which are a constant feature of work within the DMO but a part of the wider Defence family.

Each of those chaitmen have authored major reports of public note and public interest and each of those repmis has been adopted by the govemment of the time. Almost without exception, dozens and dozens if not hundreds of recommendations have been accepted by the then govemment and the Defence organisation and then moved to implementation. The work of this com mittee under those successive chairs has been a major reform impetus for public policy within the Australian

7 Proof Comm itt ee Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 6.

8 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 201 1, p. 7.

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4 Report on budget estimates 2011-2012

Defence Force and its work has been appreciated by both previous and current governments. 9

Secretmy's opening statement

1.14 Dr Ian Watt made a statement to the committee, which focused on the 2011-12 Defence budget. Other topics covered included the savings measures, approved major capital investment program (AMCIP), the Defence capability plan, the Major Capital Facilities Program, the ICT program, the impact of the white paper, strategic reform program progress, Defence workforce reductions , vetting practices in the Defence Security Authority centre in Brisbane and the Defence-ASC relationship. 10

1.15 Dr Watt stated that in the 2011-12 budget, Defence would receive departmental appropriation funding of $26.4 billion compared with $24.9 billion in 2010-11:

This funding includes new measures and adjustments, including supplementation of $1.1 billion for the net additional cost of operations, savings measures of $175 million to be returned to government and a net return of some $185 million for other budget adjustments which includes a foreign exchange hand back of $210 million. 11

Chief of the Defence Force's opening statement

1.16 Air Chief Marshal Houston also made an opening statement during which he remembered the death of an ADF soldier who was killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan the previous week. He then provided the committee with updates on Afghanistan, overseas operations, ADF progress, Operation Pacific Assist as a response to the disaster in Japan, the upcoming commencement of the transition process and charges laid against three soldiers regarding the death of civilians in Afghanistan. 12

1.17 In terms of general progress in Afghanistan, Air Chief Marshal Houston gave particular detail to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF):

I can report to the committee that ISAF and the Afghan National Security Forces have had a good winter campaign. Due to sustained defensive operations, the Taliban's momentum has been halted and its access to support infrastructure, such as safe houses, caches, medical support and lED-ma king facilities has been significantly impeded. However, we still face a very tough fighting season this year. Additionally, over the past year there has been a significant surge in the number of Afghan National Security Forces. Last year, the Afghan National Security Forces grew by

9 Proof Com mittee Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 7.

10 Proo.fCommittee Hansard, 30 May 2011, pp. 8-10.

11 Proof Comm itt ee Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 8.

12 Proof Com mittee Hansard, 30 May 2011 , pp. 11-14.

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Report on budget estimates 2011-2012

79,000 to a total of 270,000. ISAF remains ahead of schedule for its next target of 305,600 by October this year. ISAF is now widening its focus from growing the size of the Afghan National Army to improving the quality and the specialist capabilities of the Afghan forces. A key example is the combined arms artillery school in Kabul, which I visited in April, where Australia is leading the training effort. 13

5

1.18 With regard to the decision of the Director of Military Prosecutions to prosecute three members of the ADF in relation to a civilian casualty incident on 12 February 2009, Air Chief Marshal Houston stated:

Since I last updated the committee, the Registrar of Military Justice convened a general comt martial to hear the charges against two of the soldiers . Two pre-t1ial directions hearings were held in Sydney during the weeks of 28 March and 16 May. At the conclusion of these hearings, the Chief Judge Advocate issued a ruling upholding the soldiers' applications that the charges should be dismissed or petmanently stayed. The applications were upheld on the grounds that the charges did not disclose a service offence and were not otherwise wrong at law. The judge advocate adjourned the pre-trial directions hearings to allow the DMP time to consider his ruling and action that may be open to her. The judge advocate indicated that he would refer the charges back to the DMP unless the DMP initiates further action, which could include seeking a review of the judge advocate's rulings in a superior civilian court, the reframing of the charges or the preferring of new charges. However, if the DMP does not seek to

initiate further action, the cunent trial proceedings would be dissolved . There will be no further developments until the DMP has reviewed the proceedings and provided advice to the judge advocate.

Today I must stress that the ruling of the judge advocate regarding the charges against the two soldiers has no effect on the general court martial to hear the charges against the third member. The status of this case is as follows: the Registrar of Military Justice is cunently working through his case management process; fom1al court martial proceedings will follow and will include the appointment of the judge advocate, the president and members of the court martial panel, and the date and location of the trial. Senators, as I have indicated to you previously, my highest priorities with this matter are: firstly, to ensure that the members receive a fair trial; secondly, to ensure that the accused members are in no doubt about the application of the presumption of innocence to them, and that they receive all the necessary support that they require; and thirdly, to ensure that the integrity, independence and process of the military justice system are preserved. I believe each of these three priorities has been met thus far and they will continue to be our focus as matters progress. 14

13 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2011, p. 11.

14 Proof Committee Hansard, 30 May 2011 , p. 12.

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6 Report on budget estimates 2011-2012

1.19 Air Chief Marshal Houston also addressed the transition process with Army's airborne insertion capability, stating that:

For those not familiar with this capability, the primary task of this unit is to go into an area first and either seize or assist in seizing military access points for follow-on forces. Through various initiatives , such as the Hardened and Networked Army, Enhanced Land Force and Adaptive Army , Army has been looking at how this capability can be employed more efficiently and flexibly. A key judgment of all reviews was that this can best be achieved by transferring the capability from the 3rd Battalion , the Royal Australian Regiment, to Special Operations Command. Earlier this month this decision was endorsed by the Chiefs of Service Committee, and Army is now developing a detailed transition plan for special operations command to undertake a phased assumption of the airborne insertion capability, probably over the course of 2012. Members of the committee will be interested to know that, although this was not a decision driven by budget constraints, it will generate savings estimated at approximately

$600,000 in the first year followed by $1.45 million per annum thereafter. However, most impmiantly, this transition will provide the ADF with greater flexibility in tem1s of rotations for current operations, force availability for contingencies and the development of the future ADF joint amphibious capability .15

1.20 Other topics examined during the hearing on 30 May 2011 included:

Portfolio overview and budget summmy

" Slippage and re-progranuning of the maJor capital procurement projects (pp. 17-19).

" Project development and approval (pp. 21-26, 29-32).

" Defence budget (pp. 21-28).

" Staffing levels for defence workforce (p. 29).

" Identifying flawed security checks, security clearances (pp. 34-37).

" Conducting a benchmarking review and best commercial framework for submarine sustainment (pp. 37-39).

" Reviews that the Minister for Defence instituted into the events at ADF A (p. 40).

" Treatment and management of cadets at ADF A (pp. 40-42).

" Infrastructure planning and Defence Support Group Manual of Manual of Infrastructur e Engineering (pp. 96-97).

" Health situation with respect to an autoclave machine (pp. 97-1 01 ).

15 ProofCommittee Han sard, 30 May 2011, p. 12.

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" Press coverage in relation to social media campaign identifying and persecuting homosexual Defence personnel and Anti-gay facebook page (pp. 101-103).

" Proposed legislation for the Australian Military Court (pp. 103-1 08).

" Funds for cadets (pp. I 08-1 09).

" Medical facilities in Afghanistan, Kandahar facility (pp. 109-111 ).

" Numerous reviews on ADF culture (pp. 111-113).

" HMAS Success (p. 113).

" Development of ADF Drug policy with the Australian Drug Foundation (p. 113).

" Appointment of new CDF and cascading effect on the appointment of new Services Chiefs (p. 114- 115).

" Training the Afghan 41h Brigade (pp. 115-116).

" Release of WikiLeaks Afghanistan related documents (pp. 116-117).

" Projects implemented by the Australian Mentoring Task Force (pp. 118-119).

" Allocation of US Central Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) funds (p. 119)

" Purchase ofLargs Bay vessel from the UK (pp. 120-125).

1.21 Other topics examined during the hearing on 31 May 2011 included:

Program 2.1 Op erations contributing to the security of the immediate neighbourhood

" East Timor (pp. 53-54).

Program 1.5 Intellig ence capabilities

" Intelligence capabilities (pp. 54-56).

" Parliamentarians' mobile phones (p. 55).

" Inappropriate security vetting process (pp. 56-58).

" Navy celebrations (p. 58).

" ADF recruitment and recruiting targets (pp. 58-62).

Program 3.1 Defence contribution to national support tasks in Australia

" Cyber security: Military Integrated Logistics Information System (MILlS), internet access (pp. 63-67).

" Cluster munitions for use by Australians (pp. 67-71 ).

" Support from the ADF to the Queensland floods (p. 71 ).

Program 1.15 D efence Force Superannuation-Nomina/Interest

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" Submissions made by the Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal into the 13 specific acts of gallantry performed by naval and military personnel (pp. 73-74).

" Anglesea Barracks in Tasmania (pp. 74-75).

" Fort Direction in Tasmania (p. 75).

" Pontville site as a detention centre (pp. 75-78).

" Cultana facility (pp. 78-80).

" Security arrangements at Australian Baghdad embassy (pp. 80-81 ).

" ANAO maintenance of defence estates report (p. 81 ).

Defence Materiel Organisation

1.22 Because of the commitments of the CDF and Chief of Army , there was a change to the program, and DMO was heard over two days: 30-31 May 2011. However the report will address all DMO topics within this section.

1.23 Topics examined on 30 May 2011 included:

" Soldier survivability , Land 125 phase 3B and protection of soldiers (pp. 42, 46-47).

" Improved body annour, transition from Modular Combat Body Armour System (MCBAS) to Tiered Body Armour System (TBAS) (pp. 42-46).

" Ballistic plates for body armour (pp. 48-50).

" Computerised DPCU from the US (pp. 51-52).

" Progress of Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JL TV) project (pp. 52-55).

" The dismissal of a senior public servant (pp. 55-59).

" Slippages and reprogramming of the capital investment program (pp. 59-62).

" The two pass process (pp. 62-63).

" Inappropriate vettin g procedures (p. 65).

" Federal Court action 16 of2009 (pp. 65-74).

" Retaining Mr Skehill (pp. 74-77).

" Air warfare-destroyers and the anticipated delay in the delivery (pp. 77-89).

" Clothing (pp. 89-93).

" Additional white paper for 2014 (pp. 94-95).

" Handling of cabinet docum ents by DMO (p. 95).

" Rizzo review (p. 95).

" Black review (p. 95).

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1.24 Topics examined on 31 May 2011 included:

" Sustainment costs of Collins Class Submarines including the difficulties obtaining spares (pp. 6-9).

" Operational readiness (p. 9).

" Comparisons with overseas submarines (pp. 9-12).

" State of individual submarines (pp. 12-13).

" Submarine Workforce Sustainability Review (p. 15).

" Combat system C 145 (pp. 15-16).

" SEA 1439 (p. 16).

" Opportunity for Australian Industry participation and Sonar- Phase 6 (pp. 17-22).

" Benchmark review (pp. 23-25).

" SEA 1 000 (pp. 26-29).

" Status of amphibious ships (pp. 30-31 ).

" Aurora Australis (pp. 31-32).

" HMAS Tobruk (pp. 31-32).

" HMAS Sirius (pp. 32-33).

" HMAS Success (pp. 34-36).

" Hydrographical capability (pp. 36-37).

" Mine clearance divers (pp. 37-40).

" The individual projects on the Projects of Concern list (p. 42).

" UA Vs in Australia (p. 43).

" HF modification project (p. 43).

" Lightweight torpedo project (JP2070) (p. 44).

" Wedgetail project (AIR 5077) (p. 44-45).

" Project Vigilare (AIR 5333) (p. 45).

" Project Overlander (pp. 45-46).

" SEA 1448 (pp. 46-47).

" Progress of AIR 5402 (p. 48).

" Current statu s of AIR 5276 (p. 49).

Leadership transition in the ADF

1.25 To mark his fmal appearance before the conunittee as the CDF , Air Chief Marshal Angus Huston spoke of the leadership transition that was now in place. He recognised the outstanding contribution of the vice chief of the Defence Force, of the

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three service chiefs and others such as General Evans and Admiral Tripovich who formed an 'incredibly good team'. He said that they called themselves the 'Purple 7', had always worked harmoniously and responded to the challenges 'with determination , vigour ... and absolute loyalty'. He then reflected on achievements over the last three years:

New Generation Navy is absolutely the platform for Navy to go forward. I think Russ Crane has done a magnificent job in blazing the way with a great demonstration of leadership by example. Adaptive Army is the biggest organisational change in the Army since the end of the Vietnam War. Of course, Ken Gillespie has been an inspirational leader in achieving that. I think our Air Force is the best middle power air force in the world today and led very capably and very well by an absolutely superb Chief of Air Force in Mark Binskin. 16

1.26 Finally, the CDF acknowledged the men and women of the ADF and the 'magnificent job' they do for their country in meeting their difficult and demanding task. He noted that they respond and adapt 'to whatever is asked of them in the most professional, dedicated and compassionate manner-witness the 58 operations and 69,000 individual deployments on operations'. He joined his leadership team in

thanking them 'most sincerely for their superior efforts'. 17

Defence Housing Australia

1.27 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Mr Peter Howman, Chief Operating Officer , Mr Jon Brocklehurst, Chief Financial Officer , and Mr Breet Jorgensen, General Manager from Defence Housing Australia (DHA).

1.28 Matters raised by the committee on 31 May 2011 included:

" Rent allowance for a particular member of the ADF (pp. 84-87).

" Defence housing estate at Eton in Darwin (pp. 87-88).

Department of Veterans' Affairs

1.29 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Mr Ian Campbell PSM, Secretary, and officers of the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA).

Recognition of Mr Telford's work

1.30 The committee also noted the impending retirement of Mr Barry Telford and acknowledged the contribution that he had made during his 42 years in the Commonwealth Public Service. 18

16 ProofCommilfee Hansard, 31 May 2011, p. 83.

17 ProofCommilfee Hansard, 31 May 2011, p. 83.

18 ProofCommittee Hansard, 31 May 2011 , p. 88.

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Commemoration at Gallipoli

1.31 Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson, on behalf of the committee, thanked and congratulated the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DV A) on the way the 2011 Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli were conducted. In his view, the ceremony was 'both moving and spectacular and clearly a lot of work had gone into it' . He similarly acknowledged the work that had gone into the Crete commemorations.19

1.32 Matters raised by the committee during the hearing on 31 May 2011 included:

" New health measures (pp. 89-90).

" Co-location issues (pp. 90-91 ).

" National Advisory Committee (NAC) and its views on co-location (pp. 91-93. 95).

" Market search for DV A offices accommodation in Lismore (pp. 93-98).

" Protocol on people at risk of self-harm (pp. 98-99, 101 ).

" Protocol covering flow of infom1ation from DV A (pp. 99-102, 104-1 06).

" Clarke review and the government's response to its recommendation that veterans of Maralinga receive a white/gold card (pp. 102-1 04).

" Australian War Memorial (pp. 107-112).

" Differing views on the Smith decision (pp. 113-114).

" Ambulance transportation (pp. 114-116).

" PTSD programs (pp. 117-118).

" Vietnam War education centre in Washington (pp. 119-120).

" Memorials of national significance (pp. 120-121 ).

" Rotary Kokoda memorial wall and walk (p. 121 ).

Australian War Memorial

1.33 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Major-General Steve Gower AO, Director, and officers of the Australian War Memorial (A WM). 20 The main matter considered by the committee focused on the announcements for increased funding for the Memorial. (pp. 122-123).

19 Proof Committee Hansard, 31 May 2011, p. 88.

20 ProofCommittee Han sard, 31 May 201 1, p. 122.

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Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Department ofF oreign Affairs and Trade

1.34 The committee acknowledged the attendance at the hearings of Mr Dennis Richardson, Secretary, and officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).21

Return of answers

1.35 The Deputy Chair conm1ended the department for its significantly improved perfom1ance in providing answers to questions on notice.

Corrigenda to budget papers

1.36 There was a two-page corrigenda inserted in the department's PBS. The deputy chair observed:

There are two pages of conigenda to the budget. In the six years I have been sitting here there has never been an amendment to the portfolio statement from foreign affairs. 22

1.3 7 When asked about this situation, the Chief Financial Officer informed the committee that once the PBS had gone to the printer, they discovered the department had double counted in table 2.1. DF AT acknowledged the mistake and apologised.

1.38 The Department was also asked about what appeared to be an anomaly in the figure given for the department's total net resourcing. After further discussion , DF AT officers acknowledged that there may be an error in the published figure; that they were not sure how it happened: that it should not have happened but they would check further. The committee indicated that it was happy for the department to take the matter on notice and if the department felt that it needed to say more about the matter it could do so.

23

1.39 Other matters raised by the committee during the hearings on 1 June 2011 included:

Portfolio overview

" Funding for the Department (pp. 7-1 0).

" Movement between last year and this year's 2011-12 appropriation (pp. 1 O " Il).

" The savings and its effect on the Department (pp. 12-13).

21 Proof Committee Hansard, 1 June 2011, p. 5.

22 Proof Committee Han sard. 1 June 2011, p. 5.

23 Proof Committee Hansard. I June 2011, pp. 7-8 and 12

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" Overseas staff numbers (p. 13-16).

" The combined effects of the savings, the efficiency dividend and the costs associated with the new enterpri se agreement yet to come into force in the Department (p. 13).

" Australian embassy in Baghdad (pp. 13, 49-52)

" Capabilities of ASIS (p. 16).

" Demands on consular services (pp. 16-17).

" Staffing in consular areas (pp. 17-18).

" Language training (p. 18).

" Australia's bid for a place on United Nations Security Council (pp. 19, 31 ).

" Foreign minister's overseas travel, departmental travel and accommodation costs (pp. 19-25, 27-34, 37-41 ).

" Brochure prepared for the United Nations Security Council bid (pp. 34-35).

" Right of officers of the department to travel (pp. 35-43).

" Bali Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling (pp. 43-44).

" Meeting of the PNG-Australian Forum (pp. 44-46).

" Australian PNG Ministerial Forum (p. 47).

" Hillary Clinton's visit to PNG (pp. 47-48).

" Melanesian Spearhead Group summit (pp. 48-49).

" Appointment of ambassadors (pp. 52-54).

" Public interest criteria for visas in relation to short stay business and religious worker visas and Minister's discretion to refuse short time visa on the ground of public interest (pp. 55-56).

" Climate-Change Committee of Cabinet and Multi-Party Change Committee (pp. 56-58).

" Department of Climate Change (pp. 59-60).

" Travel of OF AT staff (pp. 60-61 ).

" Contingency reserve (pp. 61-62).

" Bin Laden's death (pp. 62-63).

1.40 The committee then moved on to the geographical areas under outcome 1

Outcom e 1

North Asia

" Current ambassador to China (pp. 64-65).

" Detention of Australians in China (pp. 65-68).

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" Crackdown on dissidents (pp. 68-69).

" Human rights cases (pp. 69-71).

" Tibet and Prime Minister's intention regarding Dalai Lama (pp. 71-72).

" Human rights abuses in Tibet (pp. 72-73).

" Bringing China into international institutions (pp. 73-76).

" Fukushima nuclear plant (pp. 76-77).

" Australian government personnel in Japan (p. 77).

" Services to Australian living in Japan (pp. 77-78).

" Anti-whaling action (pp. 79-80).

" International Court of Justice (p. 80).

" Japanese memorial (p. 80).

" Climate change in Mongolia and displacement resulting from drought (pp. 80-81 ).

" Australian government's support for the Mongolian mining sector (p. 81 ).

" Anniversary of recognition , Korea (p. 81 ).

South East Asia

" New ambassador following elections in Burma (pp. 81-82).

" United Nations Security Council commission of inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity in Burma (pp. 82-83).

" Cross border aid from Thai-Burma border (p. 83)

" Human rights issues in Malaysia and establishment of an arrangement in relation to asylum seekers (pp. 83-87).

" Joint statement issued on 7 May 2011 (pp. 88-89).

" Media commentary on human rights in Malaysia (pp. 89-91 ).

" Malaysia's treatment of refugees and memorandum of understanding (pp. 91-92, 93).

" East-Timor solution (p. 93).

" Memorandum of understanding with Thailand (pp. 93-94).

" Travel alert in Indonesia (pp. 94-95).

" Indonesia's live export trade (pp. 95-96).

" Prisoner transfer agreement with Indonesia (pp. 96-97).

" Umar Patek arrest (pp. 97-98).

Americas

" Proposed visit by President Obama (p. 88).

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" US Study Centre (pp. 98-99).

Africa

" High commission in Accra (pp. 99-1 00).

" Mugabe government's proposal to change timetable for elections (p. 1 00).

" Human rights activists in Zimbabwe facing charges of treason (pp. 100-101 ).

" Australian embassy in Zimbabwe (p. 10 1).

" Security Council bid and special visits by Australian representatives (p. 101 ).

" Policy of aid to Africa and other countries (p. 1 09).

Europe

" Website at the Australian embassy in Belgrade (p. 1 02).

South and West Asia and the Middle East

" Hamas (pp. 102-103).

" Role of the Palestinian Authority (pp. I 03-1 04 ).

" Safeguard for Australian aid not to flow to Hamas (pp. 1 04-1 05).

" Proposed new unity government (p. 1 05).

" Access point from Gaza to Egypt (p. 1 05).

" Foreign Minister's comments on no-fly zones for Libya (pp. 106-1 08).

" Violence in the forthcoming election (pp. 109-11 0).

" List of sanctions against Syria (pp. 110-111 ).

" President Assad and the International Criminal Court (pp. 111-112).

" Candidacy for UN Human Rights Council (p. 112).

" Gadaffi's son's investment in Australia (pp. 112-113).

" Arrest of civil society activist, Amjad Baiazy, at Damascus airport (pp. 113-114).

" Legal advice to Australian companies planning to do business in Western Sahara (pp. 114-115).

" Sahrawi refugees (p. 116).

" Civil war in Sri Lanka and offences against international law (pp. 116-117).

" Ban on sales ofuranium to India (pp. 117-118).

" Concerns about refugee families caught at Camp Ashraf (pp. 118-119).

" Representations from the Israeli government to the Australian government about the activities ofMarrickville Council (p. 120).

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1.41 The committee continued hearings on geographical areas under outcome 1 on 2 June 2011

South and West Asia and the Middle East

" Policy on Syria in light of recent Foreign Minister's speech (p. 4).

" Calls for members of Security Council to consider referring matters to the International Criminal Court (pp. 4-5).

Pac(fic

" Proposal to reopen detention centre on Manus Island (pp. 5-7).

" Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) (pp. 7-8, 12-13 ).

" Senior AusAID lawyer accused of espionage in Vanuatu (p. 8).

" Status of Australia's relations with Fiji and sanctions in Fiji (pp. 8-9).

" Possibility of having a processing centre in Solomon Islands (pp. 10-11 ).

" PIF Summits (p. 12).

" Australia's response to delivering assistance in the aftermath of the earthquake (p. 12).

" RAMSI's impact against its objectives in the Solomon Islands (pp. 12-13).

1.42 The committee then examined International organisations and legal issues.

International organisation and legal issues

" UNHCR appropriations (p. 13).

" Consultation process with DF AT in respect of size of Australia's contribution (p. 13).

" United Nations Green Climate Fund (p. 14).

" Indian Ocean grouping: proposed new diplomatic forum in the Indian Ocean; the existing grouping (pp. 14-15).

" Legal services and the reason for doubling of internal legal costs and nature of the broad areas of expenditure (p. 15)

" Australia's position in appointing head of the I MF (pp. 16-17).

National security, nuclear disarmament and non-prolif eration

" New global terrorism forum (pp. 17- 18).

" International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (p. 18).

" Australian funding for counter terrorism (pp. 18-19).

" ASPI report on Jihadists in jail (pp. 19-21 ).

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" Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Organisation (ASNO) (p. 21 ).

" Uranium mining in Australia (p. 21 ).

" Wikileaks (pp. 21-22).

" Safeguards for uranium supply and Australian policy on supplying uranium to other countries (pp. 22-23 ).

" Burma's nuclear weapons program (pp. 24-25).

" ASNO's advice to Australian government officials and the operation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Safeguards Act 1987 (p. 25).

" High-level meeting on nuclear safety (pp. 25-26).

" Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Authority (ARP ANSA) (p. 26).

Services to other agencies

" Services to other agencies (p. 27).

Public information services and public diplomacy

" Australian network contract (pp. 28-32).

" Public diplomacy officers and nature of Australia's public diplomacy program (pp. 33-36).

" Smart traveller advice for Chad (pp. 36-37).

" Passport services, information technology and security (pp. 37-38).

" New passport series and biometrics (pp. 38-40).

" IT security breaches (pp. 40-41 ).

" ANAO Report on overseas leased estates (pp. 42-43).

Trade portfolio

DFAT trade programs and Australian Trade Commission

1.43 The committee acknowledged the presence ofMr Peter Grey, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Peter Yuile, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Mr Bruce Gosper, Deputy Secretary , and officers representing Australian Trade Commission (Austrade). 24 Matters raised by the committee at the hearing on 2 June 2011 included:

" Free trade agreements with China and rock lobster industry (pp. 44-49).

" Economic modelling in respect of carbon tax and free trade agreement with China (pp. 49-50).

" Motor vehicle section and free trade agreement with China (p. 50).

24 Proof Committee Hansard, 2 June 2011, p. 45.

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" ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade agreement (pp. 50-51).

" Live cattle export industry to Indonesia (pp. 51-52).

" Negotiations in the Gulf (p. 52).

" Australia-Japan free trade agreements (pp. 52-53).

" Free trade agreement with Korea (pp. 53-54).

" Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) (pp. 54-55).

" Free trade agreement with India (p. 55).

" Free trade agreement \vith Malaysia (p. 55).

" Trans-Pacific Partnership (pp. 55-56).

" American free trade agreement (pp. 56-59).

" Quarantine provisions (pp. 59-60).

" South African mining industry (pp. 60-61 ).

" Likelihood of DOHA round being concluded (p. 61 ).

" Coal exports and international price of coal (pp. 61-62).

" EFIC (pp. 64-65).

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

1.44 The committee welcomed the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The matters raised by the committee at the hearing on 3 June 2011 included:

" Budget matters (pp. 66-67).

" Programs in Mekong Delta and Africa and prioritisation of assignments (pp. 66-67).

" Bilateral projects (p. 67).

Australian Agency for International Development

1.45 The committee acknowledged the attendance of Mr Peter Baxter, Director General, and official representing Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).25

1.46 Matters raised by the committee at the hearing on 2 June 2011 included:

" Funding allocation, auditing process, adviser remuneration framework (pp. 68-73).

" Staffing levels (pp. 73-74).

25 ProofCommittee Han sard, 2 June2011, p. 68.

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" Hallway review onto aid (pp. 74-75).

" Instances of fraud in AusAID (pp. 75-77).

" Conference in Apia, Samoa, from 23-26 May 2011 jointly convened by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and AusAID (p. 77).

" AusAID funding to Palestine and the safeguards in place to ensure that the funds are used for their intended purpose (pp. 77-79).

" Australia -Middle East NGO cooperation program (AMENCA) program (p. 79).

" ANAO review (pp. 80-81 ).

" Funding for the APHEDA , BDS campaign (pp. 81-82).

" AusAID's scholarship program which are intended to align with the needs of the recipient countries (pp. 82-83).

" Aid to Burma , cross-border aid, distribution of Australia's aid funding into Burma (pp. 84-85).

" Aid to Afghanistan (pp. 85-87).

" Aid to North Sudan (p. 87).

" Commitment for aid to microfinance (p. 88).

" Health assistance to Torres Strait (p. 88).

" Security for AusAID workers in PNG (p. 89).

" Aid to Africa (p. 90).

" Funding the clearance of landmines in Vietnam, Laos and Afghanistan (pp. 90-91).

" Establishment of UN Women (pp. 91-92).

Acknowledgements

1.47 For their assistance during its hearings, the committee thanks Senator the Hon David Feeney, and Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy. The committee also acknowledges the attendance and cooperation of the many departmental and agency officers and the services of various parliamentary staff involved in the estimates process.

Senator Mark Bishop Chair

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Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Index to proof transcripts

Budget estimates 2011-2012

Defence portfolio

Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 May 2011

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Wednesday I and Thursday 2 June 2011

205

206

Index to proof transcripts

Monday 30 May and Tuesday 31 May 2011

DEFENCE PORTFOLIO

Department of Defence

Page no

In attendance ............. ...................... ....... ......... ........ .......................... .............. ... ... ..... .... ............ 1

Portfolio overview and budget summary ...... ............... ...... ................ ....... ... ... .... ..... .... . 17 -42, 96-125

Outcome 1: The protection and advancement of Australia 's national interests through the provision of military capabilities and promotion of security and stability Program 1.5: Intelligence capabilities ..... ........ .......... ........... ..... ......... .......... ........ ...... 54-62; 31 May 11

Program 1.15: Defence force superannuation-nominal interest.. ........ ....... .... ............ 73-81; 31 May 11

Outcome 2: Advancement of Australia's strategic interests through the conduct of military operations

and other tasks directed by Govemment Program 2.1: Operations contributing to the security of the immediate

neighbourhood ................. ......... .... ................ ...................... ..... ............ ..... ...... ........ ....... 53-54; 31 May 11

Outcome 3: Support for the Australian community and civilian authorities as requested by Govemment

Program 3.1: Defence contribution to national support tasks in Australia ................ . 63-71; 31 May 11

Tuesday 31 May 2011

Defence Materiel Organisatioll

DMO Outcome 1: Contributing to the preparedness of the Australian Defence Force Organisation through acquisition and through-life support of military equipment and supplies

DMO program 1.1: Management of Capability

Acquisition ...... ...... ..... ......... ..... ................. ........................ 42-95; 30 May 1 I, 6-49; 31 May I 1

DMO program 1.2: Management of Capability

Sustainment ..... ....... ........ .......... .......... .... ...... .... ......... ........ 42-95; 30 May I 1, 6-49; 31 May 11

DMO program 1.3: Provision ofPolicy Advice and Management

Services ..... ....... ..... ............ ......... .... ... ............... ...... .......... . 42-95; 30 May 11, 6-49; 31 May 11

23

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Index to proof transcripts

Tuesday 31 May 2011

Defence Housing Australia

Page no

In attendance ............ ....... ............ ................................ .............. ......... ..... ................................ . 84

Outcome 1: To deliver total housing and relocation services that meet Defence operational and client needs through a strong customer and business focus

General questions ........ .................. .......... .......... ................ ............. .... ..... ......... ........ ......... .. 84-88

Department of Veterans' Affairs

Page no

In attendance ..... .... ................... ........ ................ ........... ..... ........ ..... ..... ......... ....... ............... ..... .. 88

Portfolio overview ...... ..... .... ........ ............... .... ........... .................. ..... ........ ... ........ ............ 89-121

Outcome 1: Compensation and support Maintain and enhance the financial wellbeing and self-sufficiency of eligible persons and their dependants through access to income support, compensa~ion, and other support services, including advice and information about entitlements .

Program 1.1: Veterans' income support and allowances ............. ...... .......... ......... ...................... . 89-121

Program 1.2: Veterans' disability support ............ ..... ... .... ............... ....... ............... .......... ............ . 89-121

Program 1.3: Assistance to Defence widows/widowers and dependants ...................... ..... ....... ... 89-121

Program 1.4: Assistance and other compensation for veterans and dependants ........ ......... ......... 89-121

Program 1.5: Veterans' children education scheme ......... ...... ...... .............. .... ... ........ ... .... .......... .. 89-121

Program 1.6: Military rehabilitation and compensation acts- income support and compensation

..... .... ......... ... ................. .... ........... ...... ...... ....... ........ .... ......................... .............. ........... ................. 89-121

Program 1.7: Adjustments to military rehabilitat ion compensation acts liability provisions - income support and compensation ... ................. ..... ... ....... ........ ........ ........ ..... ......................... ......... ........ .... 89-121

Outcome 2: Health Maintain and enhance the physical wellbeing and quality of life of eligible persons and their dependents through health and other care services that promote early intervention, prevention and treatment, including advice and information about health service

entitlements .

Program 2.1: General medical consultations and services ... .......... ........... .................. ............... .. 89-121

Program 2.2: Veterans' hospital services .... ............ .......... ............ ..... .... .... ........... ...... ........... ..... . 89-121

Program 2.3: Veterans' pharmaceutical benefits .... ....... ..... ....... .... .... .... .......................... ............ 89-121

Program 2.4: Veterans' community care and support ......... .......... ... ............. ... ...... .......... ....... ... .. 89-121

Program 2.5: Veterans' counselling and other health services .... ....... .... ..... ............................. ... 89-121

24

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Index to proof transcripts

Program 2.6: Military rehabilita tion and compensation acts-health and other care services .... 89-121

Program 2.7: Adjustment to the military rehabilitation and compensation acts liability provisions-health and other care services ....... ... ..................... ........ ........ ............ ....... .......... ........ .... ....... ......... 89-121

Tuesday 31 May 2011

Outcome 3: Commemorations Acknowledgement and commemoration of those who served Australia and its allies in wars, conflicts and peace operations through promoting recognition of serv1ce and sacrifice, preservation of Australia's wartime herit age, and official commemorations.

Program 3.1: War graves and commemorations ... .... ....... ............... ..................... ...... ..... .... ... ...... 89-121

Program 3.2: Gallipoli related activities ............... ........... .... ... ..... ............ ........... ....... ................... 89-121

Australian War Memorial Outcome 1: Au stralians remembering, interpretin g and understanding the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact through maintainin g and developing the National Memorial, its collection exhibition of historical material, commemorative ceremonies and research.

Program 1.1: Comm emorative ceremonies ... .... ........ ........... ...... ... ..... .... ..... ............................ ... 122-123

Program 1.2: National memorial and grounds ........... .......... ..... .... ....... .................. ................. ... 122-123

Program 1.3: N ational collection ..... .... .......................... ...... ................ .............. ........ ...... .......... 122-123

Program 1.4: Exhibitions ..... ............ ................. .... ... .......... ............. .......... ............ ................. .... 122-123

Program 1.5: Interpretive services .......... .... ....... ....... ....... .......................... ............. ...... ............. 122-123

Program 1.6: Promotion and community services ... ........ ... ...... ............ ..... ........ ..... ........... ...... .. 122-123

Program 1.7: Research and informati on dissemination ...... ..... ... ....... ..... ..... ....... ... ............... .... .. l22-123

Program 1.8: Visitor services ................ ..................................... ..... ......................... .......... ........ 122-123

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Index to proof transcripts

Wednesday 1 June and Thursday 2 June 2011

FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE PORTFOLIO

Departme11t of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Page no

In attendance ..... .............. ..... .... ....... ........ ... ....... ..... ........... ........... ... .......... ....... ....... ................ .. 5

Outcome 1: The advancement of Australia 's international strategic, security and economic interests including through bilateral , regional and multilateral engagement on Australian Government foreign and trade policies. Program 1.1: Foreign Affairs and Trade Operation:,

North Asia .... ... ...... ..... ........ .... .................. ......... ........... ... .... .... ... ........... ........... ...... ......... .... ............. 64-81

South-East Asia ........... ............ ............................ ................... .............. ............... .... ......... ... ........... . 81-98

Americas ....................... .... .......... ............. ........................ .... .............. .... ........... ...... ......................... 88-99

Americas ...... ................. ........... .... ............ ............ ....... .......... .... .... ............... ........... ..... ... ........... .... 99-109

Europe ..... ......... .............. .......... ................. ............................ ............. .... ................... ........................ .. 102

South and West Asia, Middle East.. .... .......... ................ ...... .......... .......... .............. 1 02-120, 4-5; 2 Jun 11

Pacific ............................ .... .... .............. ............ ....... ............... .................. ............. ............ . 5-13; 2 Jun 11

Program 1.2: Payments to International Organisations

International organisations and legal issues .... ........ ............ ........ ........ ............................. 13-17; 2 Jun 11

Program 1.3: Public information services and public diplomacy

Public information services and public diplomacy ............ .......... ................ .............. ...... 28-43; 2 Jun 11

Outcome 2: The protection and welfare of Australians abroad and access to secure international travel documentation through timely and responsive travel advice and consular and passport services overseas

Program 2.1: Consular services .... .................. .......... ........ .... ............ ........ ............ ...... ..... 37-41; 2 Jun 11

Program 2.2: Passport service s .... .............................................. ...... ........ ....................... 3 7-41; 2 J un 11

Outcome 3: A secure Australian Government presence overseas through the provision of security services and infmmation and communications technology infrastructure, and the management ofthe Commonwealth 's overseas owned estate. Program 3.1: Foreign Affairs and Trade Operations ................ ...................................... . 44-65; 2 Jun 11

Program 3.2: Overseas property ...... ...... ...... ...... ...... .................... .... .... ...... ..................... 44-65; 2 Jun 11

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Index to proof transcripts

Thursday 2 June 2011

Australian Trade Commission (Austrade)

Page no

In attendance ..... ............. ... .............. ......... ....... .......... .......... ........................... ...... ..... ......... ..... 45

Outcome 1: Advance Australia 's trade and investment interests tlu∑ough information, advice and services to businesses, industry and govemments.

Program 1.1: Trade and investment development .................... .............................................. .. .44-65

Program 1.2: Trade development schemes (Export Market Development Grants) ........ ...... ........ .44-65

Outcome 2: The protection and welfare of Australians abroad tlu∑ough timely and responsive consular and passport services in specific locations overseas.

Program 2.1: Consular, passport services ............. .... ... .... ................ ........................ .......... ...... 44-65

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Page no

In attendance ..... ...... ....... ..... ............. .......... .... ...... ...... .......... .............................. ..................... 66

Outcome 1: To achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia through international agricultural research and training partnerships

Program 1: International agricultural research for development for more productive and

sustainable agriculture ...... ....... ..... ... ... ..... ..... ............ .... .... .......... ....... .............. ......... ............ .. 66-67

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)

In attendance ......... ............ .................. ......... ........ .... ................. ........... ........ ...... .... .... .... ......... 68

Outcome 1: To assist developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia's national interest.

Program 1.1: Official development assistance-PNG and Pacific .... ............................... ........... 68-92

Program 1.2: Official development assistance - East Asia ................................. ............... ........ 68-92

Program 1.3: Official development assistance - Africa, South and Central Asia, Middle East and other ........... ........ ............. ................. ....................... ... ... .... ... .............. ..... ....... ................ 68-92

Program 1.4: Official development assistance - Emergency, humanitarian and refugee programs .. 68-92

Program 1.5: Official development assistance - Multilateral replenishments .............. ......... ....... 68-92

Program 1.6: Official development assistance-ON , Commonwealth and other international organisations .... ........ ................................. ..... ... ... .......... .... .......... ...... ..... .... ... ....... ......... ....... 68-92

Program 1.7: Official development assistance-NGO, volunteer and community programs ........ 68-92

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211

Index to proof transcripts

Outcome 2: Australia∑s national interest advanced by implementing a partnership between Australia and Indonesia for reconstruction and development.

Program 2.1: East Asia ..... .... ...................... ........ ..................... ....... ..... ....... ......... ..... ... ...... .... 68-92

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212

Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee

Index to tabled documents

Budget estimates 2011-2012

Defence portfolio

Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 May 2011

Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Wednesday I and Thursday 2 June 2011

213

214

Index to tabled documents

Monday 30 May 2011

Tabled document 1, Defence portfolio

Dr Ian Watt AO, Secretary of Defence, opening remarks

Tabled document 2. Defence portfolio

Defence Instructions, New instruction, PERS 25-7, Gifts, Hospitality and Sponsorship

Tabled document 3, Defence portfolio

Air Chief Marshall Houston AC, AFC, opening statement

Tabled document 4, Defence portfolio

Transcript of proceedings, pre-trial directions hearing, Friday 20 May 2011

Tuesday 31 May 2011

Tabled document 5, Defence portfolio

Chief of the Defence Force announcement, 2 soldiers killed in action

Tabled document 6, Defence portfolio

Letter to Major General J.G. Caligari, DSC, AM from C.R. Smith, 18 May 2011

Tabled document 7, Defence portfolio

Answers to questions 34, 35, 37 taken on notice for additional budget estimates 2010-2011

Tabled document 8, Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio

Co-Chair's Statement, Fourth Bali Regional Ministerial Conference on people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime, Bali Indonesia 29-30 March 2011

31

215

216

The Senate

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Legislation Committee

Budget estitnates 2011-12

June 2011

217

Commonwealth of Au stralia ISBN 978-1-74229-484-1

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

218

Membership of the Committee

Members Senator Patricia Crossin, Chair, ALP, NT Senator Guy Barnett, Deputy Chair, LP, TAS Senator Mark Furner, ALP, QLD Senator Scott Ludlam, AG, W A Senator Stephen Parry, LP, VIC Senator Louise Pratt, ALP, W A

Senators in attendance

Senator Patricia Crossin (Chair), Senator Guy Barnett (Deputy Chair), Senator Mark Furner, Senator Scott Ludlam, Senator Stephen Parry, Senator Louise Pratt, Senator the Hon Eric Abetz, Senator Judith Adams, Senator Catryna Bilyk, Senator Sue Boyce, Senator the Hon George Brandis, Senator Bob Brown, Senator Michaelia Cash, Senator Steve Fielding, Senator Mitch Fifield, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young,

Senator Gary Humphries, Senator the Hon Brett Mason, Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson, Senator Rachel Siewert, Senator Russell Trood, Senator John Williams, Senator Nick Xenophon

Secretariat Ms Julie Dennett Ms Margaret Cahill Ms Hana Jones

Suite S1.61 Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Committee Secretary Research Officer Administrative Officer

Telephone: (02) 6277 3560 Fax: (02) 6277 5794

Email: legcon.sen@aph.gov.au

Ill

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220

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MEMBERSHIP OF COMMITTEE ............................................................................ .111

PREFACE ........ .... .............................................................................................. ''ii

Reference of docu1nents .......... ............ ........ ............. .............. ...... ....... .......... ....... vii

E t. t h . .. s una es eanngs ...... .................. .... ...... .............. .... ....................... ......... .... ........ v11

Ministers and parliamentary secretary ...... ....... ....................... ... ..... ................... . viii

Q

. . ...

uest1ons on not1ce .......... ..... .... .......... ....................................... ......................... v111

CHAPTER 1 ........................................................................................................ 1

IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO ........................................ !

Migration Review Tribunal-Refugee Review Tribunal (MRT -RRT) .... ............ 1

Department of Immigration and Citizenship .... ........ ...... .... ..... .... ......... .................. 2

CHAPTER 2 ...................................................................................................... 11

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PORTFOLIO .......................................................... II

APPENDIX 1 ......................................... ............................................................ 19

DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES FOR WHICH THE COMMITTEE HAS

OVERSIGHT .......................................................................................................... 19

Attorney-General's Portfolio ...................................... ............. ... .......................... 19

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio ..................................... ............................ 19

APPENDIX 2 ..................................................................................................... 21

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE IMMIGRATION AND

CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLI0 ............................................................................... 21

TABLED DOCUMENTS ................ ..... .................................................................. 22

APPENDIX 3 ..................................................................................................... 23

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S

PORTFOLIO ................................. ........................................ ................................. 23

TABLED DOCUMENTS .................................... ... ................................................ 24

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222

PREFACE

On 10 May 2011, the Senate referred to the committee for examination the estimates of proposed expenditure for the fmancial year 2011-12. The committee is responsible for the examination of the Attorney-General's Portfolio and the Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio. The portfolio budget statements 2011-12 were tabled on

10 May 2011.

Reference of documents

The Senate referred to the committee, for examination and report, the following documents:

" Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2011-2012]; and

" Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No.2) 2011-2012].

The committee was required to report on its consideration of the budget estimates on or before 21 June 2011.

Estimates hearings

The committee met in public session on 23, 24, 25 and 26 May 2011.

Over the course of the four days' hearings, totalling over 43 hours, the committee took evidence from the following departments and agencies:

" Attorney-General's Department

" Australian Crime Commission

" Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

" Australian Federal Police

" Australian Government Solicitor

" Australian Human Rights Commission

" Australian Law Reform Commission

" Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

" Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre

" Classification Board and Classification Review Board

" Department of Immigration and Citizenship

" Family Court of Australia

" Federal Court of Australia

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223

" Federal Magistrates Court of Australia

" Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia

" Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

" Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

Copies of the Hansards are available on the internet at the following address: http://www.aph.!!ov.au/hansard/index.htm.

An index of the Hansard for each portfolio appears at Appendix 2 and Appendix 3.

Ministers and parliamentary secretary

On 23 and 24 May 2011, the committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry , Science and Research, and Senator the Hon Kate Lundy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship .

On 25 and 26 May 2011, the committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Joseph Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister Assisting the Attorney-General on Queensland Floods Recovery, representing the Attorney-General and Minister for Home Affairs.

Officers from both departments and associated agencies also appeared. The committee thanks the ministers , parliamentary secretary and officers for their assistance.

Questions on notice

Further written explanations, and answers to questions on notice, will be tabled as soon as possible after they are received. That information is also available on the committee's internet page at the following address:

http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/conunittee /legcon ctte/estimateslindex.

The committee has resolved that the due date for submitting responses to questions on notice from the budget estimates round is 8 July 2011.

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224

CHAPTER!

IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO

1.1 This chapter summarises some of the matters raised during the committee's consideration of the budget estimates for the Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio for the 2011-12 financial year.

Migration Review Tribunal-Refugee Review Tribunal (MRT -RRT)

1.2 The Principal Member of the MRT-RRT , Mr Denis O'Brien, updated the committee on the MRT -RRT workload. The committee was advised that lodgements across both tribunals have continued to rise, with a reported increase of 26 per cent for the MRT and an increase of 29 per cent for the RRT, in comparison to the same period

in 2009-10. The active cases as at 30 April 2011 for both tribunals is significantly higher than for the same period in 2009-10, with MRT cases increasing by 59 per cent and RRT cases increasing by 46 per cent. 1

1.3 The strategies which have been implemented to deal with the increased workload were outlined for the committee. These include the establishment of task forces to deal with particular cohorts of cases and the hatching of similar cases for allocation to members. 2

1.4 At the February estimates hearings, the committee was advised that recruitment of 20 new members was planned for the middle of 20 11 to address the workload problem. Mr O'Brien indicated that the recruitment process is well advanced, with the selection advisory committee report currently with the government, and the expectation that additional members will commence in July. However, on further questioning, he added that timing is ultimately a matter for cabinet. 3 The Minister confirmed that it was expected that appointments would commence on 1 July 2011, and his advice was that five senior members and 22 members are likely to be appointed from this round.

4

Mr O'Brien advised the

committee that he expected the organisation to be well placed to deal with the backlog when the additional members become more experienced. 5

Committee Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. 4.

2 Committee Hansard, 23 May 201 1, p. 4.

3 Committee Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp 4 and 8.

4 Committee Hansard, 23 May 2011, pp 8-9.

5 Committee Hansard, 23 May 201 1, p. 9.

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Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Ente1prise migration agreements and regional migration agreements

1.5 Senators sought details of new migration initiatives: the new enterprise migration agreement (EMA) scheme, which addresses the skill needs of the resource sector; and the new regional migration agreement (RMA) scheme, which addresses local labour needs.

1.6 In relation to EMAs , the committee was advised by Mr Kruno Kukoc:

The initiative has come as the govemment's response to the National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce recommendations in July 2010, where this idea was raised initially. The govemment has agreed to implement the enterprise migration agreements to help the national resources sector , and to address the emerging labour needs in this sector. Enterprise migration agreements is a new initiative which is a form of labour agreement that is specifically tailored to the needs of large resource projects. It is custom designed to cover the project-wide recruitment needs of skilled labour rather than going with individual labour agreements for each of the contractors and subcontractors that have contributed to the large project. The eligibility requirements for the enterprise migration agreements will be that it will only be available to so-called megaprojects. 6

1. 7 It was also explained that the definition of a megaproject under the EMA scheme is a requirement of at least $2 billion worth of capital expenditure and a peak workforce of 1,500 contracted on the project. Mr Kukoc added that it is 'implicitly assumed that the project also needs to be approved by the state government as a project. '7 The committee heard that around 13 projects are already approved by the state government authorities and will likely qualify, and a further 21 projects are subject to feasibility studies and may be eligible. 8

1.8 The committee also questioned officers about RMAs and was advised by MrKukoc:

... RMAs will be custom designed geographically based migration arrangements that will set out the occupations and numbers of overseas workers needed in the area. Individual local employers could directly sponsor workers under the terms of RMAs. It will work in similar terms as EMAs , but in relation to the geographically specific area, and predominantly in relation to the permanent migration and RSMS - regional sponsored migration scheme visas. RMAs will be negotiated with a range of stakeholders in that geographical area, including local emp loyers and community representative s. We w ill also target those regions with the

6 Committee Hansard, 23 May 2011 , p. 14.

7 Committee Hansard, 23 May 201 1, p. 27.

8 Committee Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. 27

226

greatest economic need where there are high employment growth rates and where there is a strong case and an evidence-supported case for recruiting overseas workers.

The government indicated in the budget announcement that the first priority is the training and employment of Australian workers, so RMAs will include mandatory training and local employment measures to ensure that all those unemployed and underemployed Australians are provided the opportunity to gain long-term, sustainable employment.

9

Page 3

1.9 Senators specifically sought clarification on the definition of 'region' under these agreements and were advised that the agreements will not be tied to a specific definition. The department explained that this would allow flexibility to respond to regional labour market needs.

The way it is envisaged that the agreements would work is that they would be assessed on the basis of job growth in a particular locality and also on the rate of unemployment, as some of the primary criteria. It could be tackled in a number of ways. It could be tackled through negotiations with one of the 55 regional development authorities that currently exist in Australia. It could also be tackled on the basis of discussions with a group of local government areas, if need be, or a single local government area. The government's intention was to try to leave it as open as possible, but to then be able to prioritise the negotiations around a regional migration agreement on the basis of actual need and the availability of work. 10

Streamlined processes for ASIO security clearances

1.10 Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) security clearance processes for asylum seeker applicants have been of interest to the conunittee at recent estimates hearings. While ASIO manages the process, the department was able to provide an update from its perspective on the new streamlined security checking processes which have been developed in cooperation with ASIO. The department advised that the new process is referred to as a risk-managed and intelligence-led referral framework and has resulted in some faster turnaround times, without compromising the integrity of security checking. 11

1.11 The committee was assured that under the new framework, all irregular maritime arrivals (IMAs) are still considered by ASIO, but there is now a sequencing of IMAs sent to ASIO. Ms Jackie Wilson elaborated on this point in an exchange with Senator Cash:

Ms Wilson: .. .! think you are familiar with the phrase 'lA met', which means, through the DIAC processes, a person is determined to be a refugee. Previously we were referring to ASIO all clients as they arrived and got to

9 Committee Hansard, 23 May 2011 , p. 39.

10 Mr Peter Speldwinde, Co mmittee Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. 35

11 Dr Wendy Southern, Committee Hansard, 23 M ay 201 1, p. 44.

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that point in the process. One of the major changes we achieved as a result of the changes you mentioned was that, when they are assessed as being a refugee, they are referred to ASIO for processing at the '1 A met' stage.

Senator CASH: Previously that was not the case and all IMAs were sent off, but under the change only those who have been found to be refugees-Ms Wilson: There is more of a sequencing. Those are the people who are closest to meeting all the criteria for a visa grant. They are the people who are getting referred to ASIO for ASIO to focus its assessment on.

Senator CASH: Is there any truth in the statement that there are applications from people from various areas, regions, countries, or however you may define it, that are considered to be low risk and therefore are not being forwarded to ASIO for assessment?

Ms Wilson: As I said, they are all being considered under the same framework. 12

1.12 The committee subsequently pursued further questioning on the new streamlined security processes for IMAs during ASIO's appearance under the Attorney-General's Portfolio .

Regional Cooperation Framework

1.13 The department was closely questioned about proposals to deal with the problem of people smuggling.

Arrangement with Malaysia

1.14 The Secretary of the department, Mr Andrew Metcalfe, referred to and tabled a Joint Statement by the Prime Minister of Australia and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, dated 7 May 2011, announcing a commitment to enter into a new bilateral arrangement as part of the Regional Cooperation Framework agreed to at the Bali Process Ministerial Conference on 3 0 March 2011.

1.15 The Joint Statement advised:

The Malaysian and Australian Governments have today announced a commitment to enter into a groundbreaking new arrangement to help tack people smuggling and irregular migration in the Asia-Pacific region.

The bilat eral arrangement will take the form of a cooperative transfer agreement that will see asylum seekers arriving by sea in Australia transferred to Malaysia. In exchange, Australia will expand its humanitarian program and take on a great burden-sharing responsibility for resettling

refugees currently residin g in Malaysia.

12 Committee Han sard, 23 M ay 2011, p. 45.

228

Prime Ministers Najib and Gillard have agreed that core elements of this bilateral arrangement will include:

Page 5

" 800 irregular maritime arrivals , who arrive in Australia after the date of effect of the arrangement, will be transferred to Malaysia for refugee status determination;

" in return, over four years, Australia will resettle 4000 refugees already 1 'd' . M 1 . 13 current y res I mg m a ays1a ...

1.16 The committee pursued a number of issues associated with the proposed Malaysian arrangement, including timing, the makeup of the possible 800 IMAs who will be transferred, legal challenges , costs, arrangements for transferees' transportation to Malaysia, and living conditions. As the fmal detailed agreement was, at the time of hearing, yet to be confirmed, the department was unable to provide many details to the committee.

1.1 7 Senators sought an explanation in relation to what will happen to the 110 IMAs who had arrived in Australia since the announcement on 7 May 2011 and, in particular, whether they will form part of the possible 800 IMAs who will be transferred to Malaysia. Mr Metcalfe addressed this issue:

Mr Metcalfe: ... Let me try to provide a concise statement. The government has made it clear and the minister has made announcements on several occasions that the persons who have an∑ived since 7 May will not be processed in Australia, that they will be removed pursuant to migration law to another country, that any issues they have in relation to asylum claims will be dealt with there, and that Australia will not in any way refoul those persons to a place of persecution. So that is very clear. In relation to the agreement with Malaysia, it will be operative from the date of effect of the arrangement. That date could either be prospective or date back to an earlier time.

Senator CASH: So, it could be retrospective?

Mr Metcalfe: It could be tied to the timing of the announcement, for example.

1.18 Senators also spent considerable time seeking clarification on the wording of the Joint Statement in regard to the transfer to Malaysia of the 800 IMAs who arrive in Australia after the date of effect of the arrangement, and the resettlement in Australia over four years of 4,000 refugees already residing in Malaysia. It was explained that the arrangement includes the resettlement of the 4000 refugees over four years as an expansion of Australia's humanitarian program, and that up to 800 IMAs may be transferred to Malaysia:

13 Joint Statement by the Prime Minister of Australia and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, 7 May 2011.

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Mr Metcalfe: Let me explain. If 800 people come then 800 people will be transferred. If 800 people do not come, fewer than 800 people will be transferred.

Senator CASH: However, we will still get 4,000.

Mr Metcalfe: However, we have made it clear that Malaysia has agreed to take up to 800, and we have agreed to take an additional 4,000.

Senator CASH: Is that up to 4,000 for Australia's part of the deal or is it 4,000?

Mr Metcalfe: No. We have made it likely that we will expand the humanitarian program by 4,000 places over four years, to 14,750 places per year.

Senator CASH: Will the department give consideration to amending what is on its website to include the words 'up to', which have so painfully been gone through today ?

Mr Metcalfe: The words on our website are taken from the joint statement , and that is authoritative , but it is quite clear that the Malaysians have agreed to take 800.

Senator CASH: Up to 800.

Mr Metcalfe: They have agreed to take 800, but whether we need to send them 800 we will have to wait and see.14

1.19 The Secretary conf1TI11ed that the Minister for lmmigrati _on and Citizenship had indicated that the government was anticipating potential legal challenges to this 'very decisive' and 'contested' area of public policy, and had sought legal advice in that regard. However, the Secretary declined to be more specific on the types of expected challenges as he did not want to 'coach' people:

I think he [the Minister] wanted to be open and clear with the Australian public that this would be a contested issue and that the government was committed to pursuing its policy objectives notwithstanding the fact that there may be legal challenges , there may be protests or there may be issues. The government took a very well infom1ed decision and the minister was being quite open with people. 15

Papua N ew Guinea

1.20 The committee also spent some time discussing the possible establishment of an assessment centre in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Secretary advised the committee that PNG had raised the issue with the Australian Government and that the location of a centre will ultimately be a matter for PNG. However, indications are that the Manus Island facility is the most likely place to be identified .

16

14 Com mittee Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. 75.

15 Committee Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. 86.

16 Committee Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. 1 00.

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1.21 Questioning focussed on the funding in relation to the possible reopening of the detention centre on Manus Island, and, in particular, why it was not listed as a new measure in Budget Paper No. 2. The department pointed out that the figure of $129.971 million was deemed to be an estimates variation by the Department of Finance and Deregulation for a possible proc~ssing centre as part of broader processing costs, and does not include any capital expenditure. Mr Metcalfe expanded

on this issue for the committee:

As I understand it, it is treated as an estimates variation because we would have the obligation to do that in any event. This would be a case load that would otherwise be being processed in Australia were it not for other atTangements with other countries, as we have been discussing all afternoon. As Mr Sheehan has indicated, because we are still waiting for advice from PNG as to whether they wish to proceed with the issue, it has not been possible to calculate a capital cost. That would involve us looking

at the facilities, whether it is Manus or somewhere else, and the condition of the facilities. Clearly, if the matter does proceed there will need to be a detailed assessment as to the capital cost and appropriate funding sought. 17

East Timor

1.22 Senators also questioned the department about the status of the proposal to establish a regional processing centre in East Timor, an issue that has been covered in some detail in recent estimates hearings of the committee. The Secretary advised that, in light of the announcement on 7 May 2011:

... East Timor was advised that Australia was no longer going to pursue discussions with East Timor as a first priority, but obviously as part of the regional cooperation framework we continue to look forward to working very closely with East Timor on these and related issues ... 18

1.23 When asked for clarific ation, the Secretary did not rule out the proposal all together , only that it was no longer being treated as a priority by the government. 19 The committee sought on notice a breakdown of the total costs expended in pursuing the regional processin g centre in East Timor. 20

APEC Business Card Travel Scheme

1.24 The department updated the committee on the review and consultation with the Australian business community that was foreshadowed at the last estimates hearings concerning changes to the APEC Business Card Travel Scheme. Concerns were raised at the last hearing about the lack of consultation prior to a change in the criteria for the issue of AP EC business cards.

17 Comm ittee H ansard, 23 M ay 2011, p. 103.

18 Com mittee H ansard, 23 M ay 2011, p. 48.

19 Com mittee H ansard, 23 May 2011, p. 49

20 Committee Ha nsard, 23 M ay 2011, p. 49.

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1.25 It was confirmed that the review is close to completion and that 23 organisations have now been consult ed, including peak business bodies, business council and chambers of commerce. It was further advised that, as a result of this process, possible further changes to the criteria were being evaluated. The committee was pleased to note that the department had committed to a program of annual consultation with business representatives in the future. 21

Onshore and offshore detention centre management

1.26 The committee spent considerable time examining Outcome 4 of the department, which includes programs dealing with the onshore detention network and the management of offshore asylum seekers.

1.27 The committee sought details about the contract with the service provider, Serco, in relation to the management of detention centres. Senators requested details on the number of breaches of the contract in relation to management and service provision. They were advised that the contract structure does not record breaches per incident, but has a series of abatements that apply to performance metrics.22 The department further advised that parts of the contract are publicly available , but certain parts, including the abatement regime is not, as it indicates a degree of commercial performance.23 It was explained that the department formally measures performance of the contract every month, but this information is not publicly disclosed. In response

to concerns about the transparency of this process, the committee was advised that 'we do have an extensive program of internal and external auditors who provide advice on our management of the contract'. 24

1.28 Some members of the committee also raised the issue of the delay in the establishment of the temporary detention centre planned for Pontville in Tasmania. The department explained that a number of regulatory requirements concerning heritage and environmental issues have delayed the project and, until all of these are resolved, an estimated opening date for the centre could not be provided. 25 When pressed as to whether the centre will be required if other facilities are completed during this period, the department confrm1ed that this will be a decision for the Minister :

Senator BARNETT: But, clearly , you do not have an Aboriginal heritage officer to be involved in that field audit in Tasmania, which, with respect , we have known for many weeks and probably months because it has been on the public record in Tassie. You are aware of that now. The question is: what are you going to do?

21 Committee Han sard, 23 May 2011 , p. 124.

22 Co mmittee Hansard, 24 Ma y 2011, p. 21.

23 Committee Han sard, 24 M ay 2011, p. 23.

24 M s Fiona Lynch-Magor, Co mmittee Han sard, 24 May 2011, p. 23.

25 Committee Han sard, 24 May 2011, pp 23-24 and p. Ill.

232

Mr Metcalfe: We are going to carefully consider our position as to how we take this forward.

Senator BARNETT: If we get to a position where you no longer need the temporary detention centre, because your developments in Northern Australia are nearly ready, I presume you will not proceed with the detention centre development.

Mr Moorhouse: That would be a decision for the minister. 26

Page 9

1.29 Senators also asked a range of questions regarding operations and procedures in a number of onshore and offshore detention centres, particularly in relation to recent events of public disorder at the Villawood detention centre and the detention centre on Christmas Island. These questions focused on issues such as the notification of incidents to the department, the obligations of Serco in operating detention centres, assaults on Serco and other staff, procedures regarding authorisation of the use of 'reasonable force', the suitability of the Villawood facility as a detention centre, the points system used with detainees, costs estimates of recent damage to detention facilities, charter flights to detention centres, and procedures for the age assessment of detainees.

Answers to questions on notice

1.30 The committee notes that all 355 answers to questions on notice for the Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio from the additional estimates 2010-11 hearings in February 2011 were provided to the committee after the due date of 8 April 2011. This is the second successive estimates round where this has occurred. The Secretary pointed out to the committee that half of the responses had been lodged by 29 April 2011 and that all answers were provided before the hearings. 27 The committee notes that 87 responses were provided on Wednesday, 18 May 2011, and the final batch of 18 responses were provided after close of business on Friday, 20 May 2011 (and distributed to the committee that evening). 28

1.31 Mr Metcalfe noted the vast number of questions on notice the department had received in recent rounds of estimates and conceded the difficulties this presented to the department:

The department has received significant numbers of questions, patiicularly in recent times. I think I indicated earlier that, when you include subparts of the February 2011 additional estimates hearings, we received 742 questions requiring a response. The number of questions asked in October 20 I 0 was 445; May 2010, 136; February 2010, 143; 20 October 2009, 123.

26 Committee Hansard, 24 May 2011, p. 98.

27 Committee Hansard, 24 May 2011, p. 111.

28 The date the answers were provided to the Minister's office was taken on notice by the department at the hearing.

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Page 10

The department has struggled over the years, I am soiTY to say, with meeting the committee deadline ... [S]ometimes that is because we are reliant on third parties for provision of information. So it has been unusual for us to meet the committee deadline but we certainly endeavour to do so in relation to all questions. However, we have a very good record in answering

. b c h . h . 29 questions e1ore t e committee earmg.

1.32 The Secretary also advised that '[ w ]e endeavour to ensure that we provide [answers to questions on notice] before the hearings and we seek to comply with the requirements of the Senate. We have sought to do that over many years'. 30 However, the committee notes that providing answers on the last business day before the hearings (in this case after close of business) does not assist members of the committee in the timely consideration of the content of those answers.

1.33 In this context, the committee also notes that, on 12 May 2011, pursuant to Senate Standing Order 74, Senator Barnett asked the Minister (Senator the Hon Kim Carr) representing the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship for an explanation of outstanding answers not provided to questions placed on notice during the additional estimates 2010-11 hearings. The Minister was not present and an explanation was not provided. The Senate noted the Minister's failure to provide both the answers and an explanation for the delay. 31

29 Co mmittee Han sard, 24 M ay 2011 , p. 115.

30 Committee Han sard, 24 May 2011, p. 111.

31 Journals oft he Senate No . 30, 12 May 2011, p. 920.

234

CHAPTER2

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S PORTFOLIO

2.1 This chapter summarises some of the matters raised during the committee's consideration of the budget estimates for the Attorney-General's Portfolio for the 2011-12 financial year.

Australian Human Rights Commission

2.2 The committee sought the Commission's view of the proposed arrangement to send asylum seekers in Australia to Malaysia for processing. The President, the Hon Catherine Branson QC, informed the committee that her concerns on the proposed arrangements were already on the public record through the issue of a press release . However, she articulated them at the request of the committee, advising that as Malaysia is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention, the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, there is a risk in sending people there if adequate protections are not negotiated. Ms Branson also noted that Australia's international human rights obligations may also be breached. 1

2.3 Another matter that was raised with the Commission was the decision of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva to replace the condemnation of religious defamation with a resolution underlining the rights of individuals to freedom of belief . On notice, the comn1ittee sought the Commission's view on the implications for Australia of that decision.

2

2.4 The Commission indicated to the committee that it had not considered the decision and, as such, was reluctant to provide a response on notice. However, after considerable discussion around the requirements to provide a response, the Chair advised the President to review the Hansard and the Comn1ission agreed to provide responses to all questions asked by Senators in this regard. 3

2.5 Other issues raised during the examination of the Commission, included the imprisonment of persons with cognitive or intellectual disabiliti es, employment of people with disabilities in the public sector, the community education program as part of the Human Rights Framework, the appointment and resourcing of the Age

Discrimination Commissioner, and the Sex Discrimination Commissioner's chairing of the review of the treatment of women at the Australian Defence Force Academy and in Australian Defence Force policies.

Committee Hansard, 25 May 2011, p. 19.

2 Co mmittee Hansard, 25 May 2011, p. 20.

3 Committee Hansard, 25 May 2011, p. 26.

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Page 12

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)

2.6 Further information on the savings measures of $12.1 million over four years from operational efficiencies, which were identified in Budget 2011-12, was sought by members of the committee. It was explained that AUSTRAC is currently considering a number of options to deliver services under the budget allocation , including reviewing discretionary expenditure, such as travel , and the restructure of internal business units.4 The committee was assured by AUSTRAC that its current workload would be maintained despite the reduced budget. 5

2.7 Industry concerns about AUSTRAC's cost recovery model were canvassed, and further information was sought on its response to the impact on small business. AUSTRAC summarised amendments to the model intended to address certain concerns. These include the exemption of affiliates of remitter networks to the levy; non-employing entities and microbusinesses will not be subject to the base component of the levy, and most would not be subject to any levy; and small gaming venues (entities with an entitlement to 15 or fewer gaming machines) would be exempt from the levy. 6

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (AS/0)

2.8 The committee asked a range of questions concerning the construction of ASIO's new building, including an update on its progress. The project is running within the current budget and is expected to be completed in the middle of next year. When asked about the $69 million increase from the 2010-11 capital outlays, ASIO advised that this accounted for $19.2 million for the replacement of existing assets and $41.5 million for equity injection for the new building . 7 ASIO also advised the conunittee that, at the time of the hearings, it had not been successful in finding a tenant to occupy 4,000 square metres of space in the building , following withdrawal of the Office of National Assessments as a prospective tenant.

2.9 Another area of interest to the committee was security on site as a result of an incident of unauthorised entry. It was advised that this incident led to a review of security arrangements. The Director-General of ASIO, Mr David Irvine AO , advised the committee that '[ m ]y advice is that comprehensive security procedures have been developed with the managing contractor for the design and construction phases that are commensurate with the level of risk for this project'. 8

4 Co mmittee Hansard, 25 M ay 2011, p. 29.

5 Committee H ansard, 25 May 2011, p. 30.

6 Committee Hansard, 25 Ma y 2011, p. 31.

7 Co mmittee Han sard, 25 May 2011, p. 71.

8 Committee Han sard, 25 Ma y 2011, p. 73.

236

Page 13

2.10 Following the discussion on security checks for IMAs during the earlier examination of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship , Mr Irvine provided a helpful summary of the new streamlining processes which were introduced around late February:

The criteria under which that referral process takes place have been determined by ASIO. It is an ASIO managed process right across the board. It is an intelligence led process, it is a risk managed process and it involves close cooperation with DIAC .

... the nature of the security checking is on a case-by-case basis. It is not determined solely by nationality, by ethnic origins or by religious or other reasons. The checking that we carry out varies according to the purpose for which we have been asked to make the check ... We make two types of assessment in respect of IMAs ... The first one is to dete1mine suitability for community based detention and the second one is to determine the suitability for an individual to reside permanently in Australia. The level of checking that we undertake is commensurate ultimately with the level of risk we assess the individual to have.

This referral process has been developed in consultation with DIAC. What it has done, particularly recently, is enable us to streamline security checking for what I will call non-complex cases and that is commensurate with the level of risk that they present. What it does is allow us to focus our most intensive security investigation effort into the groups or individuals of most security concern. The result is, I believe , particularly in recent times, that our security checking has become more thorough and more effective. In fact, this is evidenced in the number of adverse security assessments , which have increased as a result of our ability to focus on these complex cases.

The final point to make is that, prior to this year, it was government policy that all irregular maritime arrivals be subject to the full ASIO investigative process. In other words, every one was treated as a complex investigation . This was proving particularly difficult for everybody, partly because of the complexity of the investigations themselves and because of the numbers involved. Therefore, at the end of last year, the government agreed on two significant decisions. The first was that ASIO would refer to us for complex security checking, while it would security-check only those people who had already been accorded refugee status. In the jargon it is known as 'I A met';

in other words, their refugee claims could be accepted. Prior to that, we had been conducting full investigations on every IMA , even on those people who were unlikely to be or ultimately not accepted. So we were wasting a lot of effort on that. That decision has relieved the pressure to some extent. The second decision was to streamline the process, use greater risk management and align the process much more closely with the process that we apply to every other visa applicant. 9

9 Committee Han sard, 25 May 2011 , pp 74-75.

237

Page 14

2.11 The Director-General also provided the conm1ittee with a review of the role of the new multi-agency Counter Terrorism Control Centre (CTCC):

Mr Irvine: The purpose of the control centre is to ensure that the government's counterterrorism effort both at home and overseas is properly coordinated between the various agencies who conduct Australia's counterterrorism effort-between the collectors of intelligence and between the consumers. It is responsible not simply for assisting in the coordination of the federal government effort but also for ensuring that the cooperation and coordination in the flow of intelligence backwards and forwards between federal and state authorities is optimal. One of the big problems in intelligence, particularly in relation to counterterrorism, is ensuring that the right piece of information gets to the right person at the right time; that is part of its job.

The other key element of the work of the CTCC is to establish the priorities for our counteJierrorism effort, both at a strategic level and at what I will call a granular level in tem1s of individual investigations and so on. It is designed to ensure that the collectors of intelligence are collecting according to the right priorities , that we are coordinating the collection and that the collectors can look at those priorities and plan their resource dispositions accordingly. It also performs a role in evaluating the quite granular intelligence that comes in to ensure that the collectors are in fact meeting real, genuine requirements.

Senator LUDLAM: Thanks very much. I think that is probably the most expansive statement that we have heard on that to date) so I appreciate that. 10

2.12 ASIO was also questioned on whether it had investigated the Wikileaks organisation; and its involvement in the IGIS inquiry into the actions of relevant Australian agencies in relation to the arrest and detention overseas of Mr Mamdouh Habib from 2001 to 2005.

Australian Federal Police (AFP)

2.13 The AFP was questioned extensively on a range of issues. Of particular interest to the committee was the AFP's involvement in recent incidents of public disorder at the Christmas Island Detention Centre and the V illawood Detention Centre.

2.14 The committee sought information on a range of issues associated with the March 2011 riots at the Christmas Island Detention Centre, including when the AFP first became aware of the high-level risk of the public disorder , the interactivity between the AFP and the detention centre's contracted provider, Serco, the circumstances in which the AFP takes control of the detention centre over Serco, the number of AFP officers involved in returning the detention centre to order, and the prosecutions arising out of the riots.

10 Committee Han sard, 25 May 2011, p. 91.

238

Page 15

2.15 Questioning along similar lines continued with respect to the riots at the Villa wood Detention Centre in April 2011. Senators were advised that at present no formal memorandum of understanding exists between the AFP and the NSW Police in response to incidents at Villawood. However, work is currently underway to formulate one. The committee heard details of the AFP's involvement in the response to the incident in April and also sought details on the subsequent investigation and prosecutions arising from the riot.

2.16 Another area of questioning concerned the new Channel Nine reality television program AFP, based on the work of real AFP officers. Concerns were raised about the involvement of officers in the program who are undercover officers. The Commissioner advised that participation was voluntary and that the officers had a choice to reveal their faces and identities and, if they chose not to, would have their

faces pixelated through the series. 11

2.17 The Commissioner revealed that staff of the production company were cleared to the appropriate level. 12 Mr Andrew Wood, Chief Operating Officer , explained further:

There are a number of layers to the management of the information for which the security clearance is important to establish a base level of trustworthiness. But there are of course protocols that continue to reiterate briefing them in terms of levels of classification of the information they have access to, and there are also clauses within the contract that enable us to ensure that they continue to meet their obligations in relation to the commitments they have made.13

2.18 The Commissioner informed the committee of the objectives and benefits of participating in the program, and addressed the issue of risks associated with the program:

Understanding what the AFP does and being involved in the fight against organised crime is what we are all about and we want to publicise some of that, particularly in relation to the amount and quality of intelligence provided to law enforcement and how people can assist in that regard. It will inform and educate the public about how they may be affected by crime and put preventative measures in place so that people can see how crimes are committed, because not all of them have the opportunity to go and sit in a court room.

There has been a research survey done in 2009 to establish a benchmark of public attitudes and awareness of the AFP , and after the show has been aired we will do that again and make sure we take account of what that tells us. The AFP did not receive any financial benefit from this program from

the production company and the television series. However, we were able

I 1 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2011, p. 28.

I 2 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2011, p. 3 I.

13 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2011, p. 33.

239

Page 16

to negotiate free community messaging with Channel 9 to the value of $500,000 in advertising value. So there will be advertising, there will be community messaging around important issues like missing persons and online child protection put forward by Channel 9 at no expense to the Commonwealth but because of the participation of the AFP in this program. And when the contract was negotiated and spoken about four years ago, almost, those issues were seen to outweigh the risks, and for any risks that were identified there were appropriate mitigation strategies put in place with the production company, of which they have lived up to those

. f4

strategies.

2.19 The Commissioner was asked about the re-shooting of scenes to include the new Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP , to replace previously shot scenes with the Hon Kevin Rudd MP. The AFP confirmed that this was done at the request of the production company after that request was put to Ms Gillard, and that the cost to the AFP of this exercise was 'very moderate'. 15

2.20 The AFP was also questioned about its involvement in the examination of the Wikileaks organisation following the publication of classified material in 2010. It confirmed that it had received a referral from the Attorney-General's Department on 30 November 2010 in relation to potential criminality, and on 17 December 2010 advised the department that the evaluation was complete and that it had not identified any criminal offences. 16

2.21 The AFP pointed out that this initial referral was not an 'investigation' but an evaluation of material to assess if there were sufficient grounds to commence an investigation:

We were evaluating the material before us to see whether there was sufficient material to commence an investigation. It is a subtle distinction, but it is actually about looking at the material which is on hand. One of the primary areas of focus there is to establish whether or not there would be criminal offences and whether we would have jurisdiction. If those two issues were established then we would progress to a formal investigations . The threshold was not met for either of those two things. 17

2.22 The committee sought further details of this evaluation and the AFP advised that it did not believe anyone was interviewed in regard to the matter as 'the thresholds were not met for a criminal offence being identified for which we had jurisdiction , so therefore there was no requirement to go forward to interview any persons outside of examining those documents.' 18

14 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2011, p. 35.

15 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2011, pp 38-39.

16 Committee Han sard, 26 May 2011, p. 43.

17 Committee Han sard, 26 May 2011, p. 43.

18 Committee Hansard, 26 May 2011, p. 44.

240

Page 17

2.23 The AFP further advised that it provided two people to be involved in a whole-of-government taskforce which commenced on 29 November 2010 to assess the implications of the release of the cables. Their involvement was for a short period and then continued on an as-needs basis as further cables were released , and there is no ongoing involvement at the present tin1e. 19

2.24 Other areas of interest to the comn1ittee during examination of the AFP included: AFP deployment in Afghanistan; the increase in the number of AFP sworn officers; AFP involvement in the independent review of the intelligence community; policing and security at airports; complaints about the behaviour of AFP officers on the Solomon Islands ; and the Alan Kessing case.

Attorney-General's Department

2.25 The Attorney-General's Department was questioned on a range of matters, including the provision of legal advice in relation to plain packaging for tobacco products, a legal aid agreement with Norfolk Island, legal aid for people smugglers, inter-country adoption, reduction in funding for family relationship centres , funding for safer suburbs initiatives , delays in the provision of funding to assist flood-affected areas in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia , and security implications of people changing their names.

Senator Trish Crossin Chair

19 Committee Han sard, 26 May 2011, p. 43.

241

242

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 Comnlission;

" Australian Institute of Criminology and Criminology Research Council;

" Australian Law Reform Commission;

" Australian Security Intelligence Organisation;

" Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre;

" Classification Board;

" Classification Review Board;

" CrimTrac;

" Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions;

" Family Court of Australia ;

" Family Law Council;

" Federal Court of Australia;

" Federal Magistrates Court of Australia ;

" High Court of Australia;

" Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia;

" National Native Title Tribunal; and

" Office of Parliamentary Counsel.

Immigration and Citizenship Portfolio

" Department of Immigration and Citizenship; and

" M igration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal.

243

244

APPENDIX2

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE

IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP PORTFOLIO

Monday, 23 May 2011

Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Cross portfolio /corporate /general

Outcome 1

Outcome 2

Outcome 3

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Department of Immigration and Citizenship (in continuation)

Outcome 4

Outcome 5

Outcome 6

245

Pages

3-10

10-25

25-43

43-113

113-126

3-118

118-133

133

Page 22

TABLED DOCUMENTS

Monday, 23 May 2011

No. Tabled by: Topic

1 Mr Denis O'Brien, Principal Member, Opening statement by Mr O'Brien Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal

2 Mr Denis O'Brien, Principal Member , Statistics on MRT and RRT Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee decision outcomes Review Tribunal

3 Mr Andrew Metcalfe, Secretary , Department Fourth Bali Regional Ministerial of Immigration and Citizenship Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, Bali,

Indonesia , 29-30 March 2011, Co-chairs' Statement

4 Mr Andrew Metcalfe, Secretary , Department Opening statement by Mr Metcalfe of Immigration and Citizenship ,

5 Mr Andrew Metcalfe, Secretary, Department Joint Statement by the Prime of Immigration and Citizen ship Minister of Australia and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, dated 7 May 2011

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

No. Tabled by: Topic

6 Mr John Moorhouse, Deputy Secretary, Community Reference Group Department of Immigration and Citizenship Terms of Reference

246

APPENDIX3

INDEX OF PROOF HANSARD FOR THE ATTORNEY "

GENERAL'S PORTFOLIO

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Australian Human Rights Commission

Australian Law Reform Commission

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre

Classification Board and Classification Review Board

Federal Court of Australia

Federal Magistrates Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia

Australian Crime Commission

Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

Australian Government Solicitor

Insolvency and Trustee Service Australia

Attorney-General's Department

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Australian Federal Police

Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

Attorney-General's Department (in continuation)

247

Page

8-27

27-29

29-32

32-36

36-40

40-47

47-55

55-69

69-104

104-107

107-108

109-115

7-90

90-109

109-140

Page 24

TABLED DOCUMENTS

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

No. Tabled by: Topic

1 Mr Richard Foster PSM, CEO, Minutes of Family Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia , and Federal Magistrates Court of Australia Acting CEO, Federal Magistrates Combined Policy Advisory Committee Court of Australia Meeting ('Joint PAC'), 18 April 2011

2 Mr Richard Foster PSM , CEO , Instrument of appointment of Acting Chief Family Court of Australia , and Executive Officer of the Federal Magistrate s Acting CEO, Federal Magistrates Court of Australia Court of Australia

3 Senator Brandis Commonwealth Director of Public

Prosecutions -Director's message -Important developments for our practice in light of Government budget decisions - 11

May 2011

Thursday, 26 May 2011

No. Tabled by: Topic

4 Senator Brandis Extract of con∑espondence from the

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to heads of agencies concerning the Federal Budget

5 Senator Ronaldson Transcript of the Prime Minister's intervie w with Laurie Oakes, W eekend Today, 27 June 2010

6 Senator Barnett Article from the Australi an Financial

Review entitled 'Big tobacco horrifi ed by case costs' , 20 M ay 2011

248

249

250

The Senate

Rural Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee

Budget estimates 2011-12

June2011

251

© Commonwealth of Australia

ISBN 978-1-74229-485-8

This document was produced from camera-ready copy prepared by the Senate Ru ral Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee and printed by the Senate Printing Unit, Department of the Senate, Parliament House, Canberra.

II

252

Membership of the Committee

Members

Senator Glenn Sterle ALP, Western Australia Chair

Senator the Hon. Bill Heffernan LP , New South Wales Deputy Chair

Senator Steve Hutchins

Senator Fiona Nash

Senator Keny O'Brien

Senator Rachel Siewert

ALP, New South Wales

NP A, New South Wales

ALP , Tasmania

AG, Western Australia

Participating Members

Senator Abetz Senator Cash Senator Humphries Senator Adams Senator Colbeck Senator Hurley Senator Back Senator Coonan Senator Johnston Senator Barnett Senator Cormann Senator Joyce Senator Bernardi Senator Crossin Senator Kroger Senator Bilyk Senator Eggleston Senator Ludlam Senator Senator Faulkner Senator Macdonald Birmingham Senator Ferguson Senator McEwen

Senator Bishop Senator Fielding Senator McGauran Senator Boswell Senator Senator Marshall

Senator Boyce Fierravanti- Wells Senator Mason Senator Brandis Senator Fifield Senator Milne Senator B Brown Senator Fisher Senator Minchin Senator C Brown Senator Forshaw Senator Moore Senator Bushby Senator Furner Senator Pany Senator Cameron Senator Hanson- Senator Payne

Young

Ill

253

Senator Polley Senator Pratt Senator Ronaldson Senator Ryan Senator Scullion Senator Stephens Senator Troeth Senator Trood Senator Williams Senator Wortley Senator Xenophon

Committee Secretariat

Ms Jeanette Radcliffe, Secretary Ms Cassimah Mackay, Research Officer

PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

phone: (02) 6277 3511 fax: (02) 6277 5811 e-mail: rat.sen@aph.gov.au internet: www.aph.gov.au/senate rat

IV

254

Table of Contents

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

List of Abbreviations ......................................................................................... ix

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

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

Changes to departmental structures 00 00 0000 00 000 00 000 0 0 000 000 000 000 000 0 0000 0 0 00 000000 0000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 oo 00 0 000 000 2

Questions on Notice 000 0 0 0 0 0 00 00 0 00 00 0 0 0000000 00000 000 0 0 000 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 0 000 0 000000 0 0000 0 0 000 0 0 0 00 0000000 00 00 oooo oo 0 0 0 00 2

Additional information ooo oooooooo oooo ooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooo oooooooooooooooooo oo oo ooooo oo 2

Note on references 00 00000000000000 0000000000 0 0000000 oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 2

Chapter 2 .............................................................................................................. 3

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ........................................... ............. 3

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry oooooooooooooo ooooo oooooo ooo oooooooooooo ooo ooooo 3

Corporate Services /Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy 0 00 0 00 0 0 00 0 00 000 000 0000 0 0 oo 00 00 0 0000 0 0 3

Climate Change 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 0 0 0 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)oooOOOooooooo oo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOO ooOOOOooooooooooooooo oooooo ooooooo oOO OO OOOoo ooooooooooooo6

Sustainable Resource Management 000 0 000000000 00000000000 00000 00 0000 00 000 00 oo 0 00 0 0 0 00 0 0 0 00 00 000 0 0000000 0 0 7

Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) 0 00 00 0 000 00 00 00 00 0 0 0 0 00 0 00 000 00 0 0 0 0000 00 00 8

Australian Pesticide s and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) 000 0 000 Oo Oo 0 00000 9

Wine Australiaooooooooooooooo oooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooo ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooo ooooooooo oo lO

Trade and Market Access 0 0 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 0 00 0 0 0 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 0 0 0 00 0 0 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10

Biosecurity Services Group 00 00000 000000000 0000 0 0000000 00 0 000 00000 0000 00 0 0 0 00 000 00 Oo 00 00 000000 00 00 00 000 0 00000 12

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RJRDC) 00 00 0000 0 00 00 o ooooo 14

Agricultural Productivity 0 00000 00 000 00 0 0 0 00 0 0 00 0 0 0 0 000000 00 0 0 00 00 000000 0 00000 0 0 000 0000 0 000 00 000 000 00 0 00 00 00 0 0 00 14

Wheat Exports Australia (WEA)ooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooo oo ooooo l6

Australian Wool Innovation (AWI)ooooooooo oo oooooo oo oo oo oo ooooooooo ooo oooo oooo oooooooooooooooooooooooool6

v

255

Grains Research and Developm ent Corporation ...... ... ... ...... ....... ...... ...... .......... ... 17

M eat and Livestock Au stralia (M LA ) ............ .... ... ...... ........... ... .............. .... ..... .... 17

Chapter 3 ............................................................................................................ 19

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio ............................... ...................... .......... 19

D epartment of Infrastructure and Transport ...... .... .................... ........ ........... .... .... 19

Corporate Services .... ................. ............ ........ ....... .......... ....... ...... ... ............ ....... ... 19

Infrastructur e Australia (lA ) .... ... ...... .... ................ ............... .......... ........ .... .... ... .... 21

N ation Building-Infrastructure lnvestm ent.. .......... ............ ......... ...... ........ ......... 21

Surface Transport Policy ... ................. ................ ....... .......... ............. ....... ..... ...... .. 23

A ustralian M aritime Safety A uthority (AMS A) ...... .......... ........ ......... .... ..... ........ 24

Policy and Research (incorporating the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Econon1ics) ........ ........... ...... ........ .................... ...... ................. .... ..... .... ... 25

Major Cities Unit ....... ................. ......... ........ ........ ...... ............... ......... ........... ... ..... 25

A ustrali an Rail Track Corporation (ART C) ..... ..................... ......................... ... ... 26

O ffice of the Inspector of Transport Security ............... ... ..................... , ..... .... ..... 27

O ffice ofTransport Security ......... ...... ............ ........... ...... ........ .... ... .... ..... ............. 27

Av iation and A irports ......................... ................ ......... .... ............. ....... ... ....... ....... 28

A irservices A ustralia ........ ................ ...... ... ...... .... ............. ...... ... ........ ......... .......... 29

C ivil Aviation Safety A uthority (CAS A) ... ...... ..... ...................... ..... ....... ............. 30

A ustralian T ransport Safety B ureau (A T SB ) ........ ..... ......... ........... ........ .... .... ...... 31

Appendix 1 ............................ ........................................... ....... ........... ................ 33

Table of contents to proof Hansard transcripts ................................. ......... ........ 33

Monda y 23 Ma y 2011 ....... ..... ..... ...................... ................ ..... .......... ........ ......... ...... 34

Ag riculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ....... .......... ........ ....... ........ ........ ... .... 34

Tu esday 24 Ma y 2011 ......................... ............. ......................... ........................ ...... 35

Agricultur e, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ............ .......... ... ... ............... ..... ....... 35

W ednesday 25 Ma y 2011 ..... ........ .............. ...... .................. ..................................... 36

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio .... .... ..... ..... ... ......... ................ .......... ... ..... .. 36

V I

256

Thursday 26 May 2011 ........................................................................................... 37

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio ... ........ ............ .......... ......................... ... ... .. 3 7

Appendix 2 ......................................................................................................... 39

Tabled Documents ..................................... "............................................................ 39

Agriculture , Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ... .......... ..... .... ............. .......... ... ....... 39

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio ..... ..... ........ ........ ........... ........ ....... ...... ...... .. 39

Appendix 3 ................................................ "........................................................ 41

Topic list- Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio ................................. .41

Appendix 4 ................................................ "........................................................ 45

Topic list- Infrastructure and Transport portfolio ........................................... .45

V II

257

V III

258

List of Abbreviations

A BARES Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

ACCC Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

AFMA Australian Fisheries Management Authority

AMSA Australian Maritime Safety Authority

ANAO Australian National Audit Office

ANO Aircraft Noise Ombudsman

APVMA Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

AQIS Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service

ARTC Australian Rail Track Corporation

ATSB Australian Transport Safety Bureau

AWl Australian Wool Innovation

BSG Biosecurity Services Group

CASA Civil Aviation Safety Authority

CEO Chief Executive Officer

COAG Council of Australian Governments

DAFF Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

DCCEE Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

DFAT Department ofF oreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

EC Exceptional Circumstances

EPBC Act Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

ETS Emissions Trading Scheme

EU European Union

FSANZ Food Standards Australia New Zealand

FTA Free trade agreement

GM Genetically modified

GRDC Grains Research and Development Corporation

lA Infrastructure Australia

IRA Import Risk Analysis

MDBA Murray Darling Basin Authority

IX

259

MLA

MOU

MSIC

NRM

NSW

OTS

PAES

PBS

QLD

R&D

RAAF

RIRDC

RLCIP

SRM

TCFA

TMAD

VIC

WA

WEA

WTO

Meat and Livestock Australia

Memorandum of Understanding

Maritime Safety Identification Card

Natural resource management

New South Wales

Office of Transport Security

Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements

Portfolio Budget Statements

Queensland

Research and development

Royal Australian Air Force

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Regional and Local Community Infrastructure program

Sustainable resource management

Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement

Trade and Market Access Division

Visitor Identification Card

Western Australia

Wheat Exports Australia

World Trade Organization

X

260

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 On 11 May 2011, the Senate referred the following documents to the Rural Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (the committee) for examination and report in relation to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio and the Infrastructure and Transport portfolio:

" Particulars of proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012;

" Particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 20 12; and

" Particulars of proposed expenditure in relation to the parliamentary departments in respect of the year ending on 30 June 2012. 1

1.2 The committee was required to report to the Senate on its consideration of 2011-2012 budget estimates on 21 June 2011.

1.3 The committee considered the Portfolio Budget Statements 2011-2012 for both portfolios at hearings on 23, 24, 25 and 26 May 2011. The hearings were conducted in accordance with the agreed agenda as follows:

" Monday 23 May 20 II -Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.

" Tuesday 24 May 2011 -Agriculture , Fisheries and Forestry portfolio.

" Wednesday 25 May 2011 -Infrastructure and Transport portfolio.

" Thursday 26 May 2011 -Infrastructure and Transport portfolio.

1.4 The committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and Senator the Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Evidence was also provided by Dr Conall O'Connell, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Mr Mike Mrdak, Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, and officers representing the departments and agencies covered by the estimates before the committee.

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

Journals of the Senate, No . 28, 10 May 2011, p. 878.

261

2

Changes to departmental structures

1.6 The committee notes that no major changes have been made to the departmental structure for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry or the Department of Infrastructure and Transport since the 2010-11 Additional Estimates.

Questions on Notice

1. 7 In accordance with Standing Order 26, the committee is required to set a date for the lodgement of written answers and additional information. The committee requested that written answers and additional information be submitted by Tuesday 26 July 2011.

Additional information

1.8 Answers to questions taken on notice at the committee's budget estimates hearings will be tabled in the Senate in separate volumes entitled 'Additional information relating to the examination ofbudget estimates 2011-2012, May 2011 , Senate Rural Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee'. Documents not suitable for inclusion in the additional information volumes will be available on request from the committee secretariat.

1.9 Answers to questions on notice received from the departments will also be posted on the committee's website at a later date.

Note on references

1.1 0 References to the Hansard transcript are to the proof Hansard; page numbers may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcript.

262

Chapter 2

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

2.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2011-2012 budget estimates hearings for the Agriculture , Fisheries and Forestry portfolio . A complete list of all the topics discussed , and relevant page numbers, can be found at appendix 3.

2.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Monday 23 May and Tuesday 24 May 2011. The hearing was conducted in the following order:

" Corporate Services /Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy

" Climate Change

" Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

" Sustainable Resource Management

" Australian Fisheries Management Authority

" Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

" Wine Australia

" Trade and Market Access

" Biosecurity Services Group

" Rural Industries Research and Development C orporation

" Agricultural Productivity

" Wheat Exports Australia

" Australian Wool Innovation

" Grains Research and Development Corporation

" Meat and Livestock Australia

Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy

2.3 The committee asked the department about the measures introduced to m eet the efficiency dividend. The Secretary, using travel as an example, told the comnuttee that the department is planning to gain efficiencies by cutting all business travel to events less than three hours, and using teleconferences and videoconf erences in its place. The Secretary also indicated that a continuing assessment of the management of corporate functions is expected to achieve a more efficient outcome. 1

Proof Estimates Han sard, 23 Ma y 2011 , pp 5-6.

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4

2.4 The committee sought further information on a statement in Budget Paper No.2 that says the department will achieve savings of $32.8 million through the rationalisation of corporate functions. The Secretary explained that these savings will involve reassessing the work done in areas such as information communication technology, payroll, travel, fleet, audit and risk, to ensure that these processes are working efficiently. 2

2.5 The committee asked for an update on the department's staffmg levels. The department told the committee that the average staffing level is expected to increase over the next financial year. However, the Secretary explained that while it may be an increase in staff numbers, the estimate fits within the budget. 3

2.6 The committee was particularly interested in the department's graduate program since its resumption in 2010-11. The department told the committee that in March 2011 the cost for 2010-11 was $172,000, with 76 graduates recruited. The department also advised the committee that the recruitment for the 2012 graduate program is underway, with the cost for marketing at $62,950. The costs associated with the rest of the recruitment processes are expected to be $190,000. 4

2.7 The committee raised an answer to a question on notice that suggested that the Commonwealth funding for the department has been in decline since 2007. The Secretary explained that a large amount of the department's funding is demand driven and that the biggest reduction in funding would most likely be in exceptional circumstances and drought, noting that if you remove those payments, ~he decline over the years is substantially smaller. 5

2.8 The committee asked the department to explain the appointment process of the Interim Inspector General of Biosecurity. Officers explained that the position was created as a result of the Review of Australia's Quarantine and Biosecurity Arrangements, (the Beale review), and that the position has an interim status because

the enabling legislation has not been brought before parliament. The Minister went into further detail, explaining that:

[t)here is an exposure draft about Biosecurity legislation that should be available in late 2011. That will then deal with the interim inspector general biosecurity ... They also establish the biosecurity advisory council. It also goes through and develops some of the co-regulatory arrangements that will be necessary for the biosecurity reform agenda. All of that is in train .6

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 23 May 20 I 1, pp 11-12.

3 Proof Estimates Hansard. 23 May 2011, pp 10-1 I.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011 , p. 14-15.

5 Proof Estimates Han sard, 23 May 2011 , p. 15-16.

6 Proof Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. 19.

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Climate Change

2.9 The committee sought an update on the Western Australia (WA) drought reform pilot. The pilot was scheduled to be completed in June 2011, however, officers told the committee that at the request of the W A Government, the pilot has been extended for another 12 months. The review of the pilot will not be extended,

and it is expected to be completed by 30 September 2011. The Commonwealth is providing $44 million in the 2011-12 budget and the W A Government is contributing $11 million. 7

2.10 Officers updated the committee on the Farm Planning measure within the pilot, stating that 400 applications had been approved, which was more than double the department's original estimate of 150. Officers detailed other measures involved and noted that some will be delivered through other agencies such as Centrelink and the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio.

2.11 The committee queried the requirements for farmers to receive the Exceptional Circumstances Exit Grant. Officers confmned that the grant can only be obtained if the farmer has sold their property and is solvent. The committee expressed concern about a farmer's ability to sell their property in a time of drought, and thus being unable to receive the exit grant before bankruptcy. Officers explained:

the program is designed so that the farmer gets the grant in a situation where he is not bankrupt. If the farmer moves on to somewhere else and subsequently becomes bankrupt, that is a situation where the provisions of the scheme no longer prevail. It is beyond the coverage of the scheme. What I am saying is that t!le scheme is quite clear that the farmer needs to be in control of his own affairs to get the payment, that after that he has the payment, plus the value of any other net assets he has, and he can go on to

do whatever he wants to do after farming. 8

2.12 The Minister informed the committee that there is a wide range of exit grants across the industry and noted that these requirements may be different to others, as each is tailored to different circumstances to ensure specific policy outcomes. 9

2.13 The committee continued its questionillg about the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement (TCFA), with particular interest in the following issues:

" the possibility of recipients of the TCF A grants also receiving the Tasmanian Forest Contractors Exit Assistance Program grants;

" . results of the fraud investigations into the Tasmanian Forest Contractors Exit Assistance Program; and

" the completion date for the grants scheme performance audit.

7 Proof Estimates Hansard, 23 May 201 1, pp 30-32.

8 Proof Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. 34.

9 Proof Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. 35.

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6

2.14 The department informed the committee that nine recipients of funds under the TCFA also received exit grants. The exit grants are subject to compliance with asset disposal procedures. The fraud investigations from 2010 are complete, with no further action to be taken. However, officers indicated that if any new evidence is found, the allegations will be investigated. The performance audit of the grants scheme is expected to be completed in July 2011, with the Minister indicating that a decision to publish the findings will only be made after the audit is complete. 10

2.15 The committee asked for an update on the Carbon Farming Initiative. The department informed the committee that it has direct responsibility for delivering two elements of the initiative:

"

"

research activities on biochar; and

a communication initiative to make farmers and landholders aware of the Carbon Farming Initiative through using the network of Landcare facilitators.

2.16 The department also told the committee that it is continuing its work with the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) to develop the regulations and rules for carbon offset projects. The committee expressed concern over the lack of regulations , stating that the regulations need to be available before the

legislation is debated in Parliament. The department explained that its involvement is with technical issues, such as working groups and developments in technology and methodologies, and referred the committee to DCCEE for information on the timing of the regulations. 11

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES)

2.17 Continuing its interest from additional estimates, the committee asked ABARES about its work relating to the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA). Officers told the committee that ABARES was subcontracted by a consultant to re-run some of the work it previously did for the MDBA, using different assumptions regarding labour and capital mobility and a different set of sustainable diversion limits. ABARES' report was submitted to the consultants in May and officers told the committee that while publication is a decision for the consultants, it is expected that the report will be an appendix to the MDBA report. 12

2.18 The committee sought further information on ABARES' input into the agricultural census on foreign investment transparency. Officers told the committee that ABARES has been asked, along with the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation , to evaluate the economic impact of foreign investment in

I 0 ProofEstimates Han sard. 23 Ma y 20 I I, pp 52-54.

11 Proof Estimates H ansard, 23 May 20 I I. pp 56-58.

I 2 Proof Estimates H ansard, 23 May 20 I I. p. 79-80.

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7

Australian agricultural industries and agribusiness, and to review the monitoring and regulation done by other countries similar to Australia, in relation to foreign investment. Officers explained that the work is currently underway and is due to be completed by October 2011.13

Sustainable Resource Management

2.19 The committee sought an update on the internal review of the Caring for our Country program. The department told the committee that the consultation process is ongoing. It has involved meetings with 50 to 60 groups across Australia, including a national stakeholder forum. Officers told the committee that 170 submissions have been received, however, the number of submissions is expected to rise to 200. The review is running as scheduled and officers expect the report to be completed 'early in the financial year'. 14

2.20 The department is preparing two issues papers, with officers detailing some of the issues raised so far:

The sorts of things are involvement of local government in the program, biodiversity conservation, Indigenous land management. .. community skills, knowledge and engagement, business and industry engagement, weeds and pests, northern and remote Australia , land care, world heritage, regional governance, and efficiency as a program. That is just a snapshot. 15

2.21 The issues papers will inform the review of analysis that has been done, feedback that has been received and future options. 16

2.22 The committee was interested in the progress of the Australian Feral Camel Management Project. The department informed the committee that the project has commenced. The target of removing 15,000 camels in the first year was significantly exceeded, with approximately 23, 340 camels culled. 17

2.23 The department told the committee that unseasonable rainfall has impeded access to camels, which has made the project more difficult in its second year. To counter this, the operation has been altered to focus around semipermanent watercourses and to put in place a strategy that will take advantage of the predicted camel movement once the land starts to dry. 18

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 23 May 201 L p. 86.

14 Proof estimates Han sard, 23 May 2011, p. 88.

15 Proof Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011 , p. 93.

16 Proof Estimates Hansard, 23 May 2011, p. 94.

17 Proof Estimates Hansard. 23 May 2011. p. 97-98.

18 Proof Estimates Han sard. 23 May 2011, p. 97.

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8

2.24 The department informed the committee that the project is funded by a one " off payment through the Caring for our Country program, however, the jurisdictions involved are undertaking their own culling program, which has meant resources and transport are able to be coordinated between the two.19

Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA)

2.25 The committee asked AFMA to detail any impact from the efficiency dividend. AFMA told the committee that the departmental appropriation has reduced by $2.7 million for 2011-12, but that AFMA is expected to gain efficiencies of $114,000. Officers associated this gain with the success of programs dealing with illegal foreign fishing incursions. This improvement has meant that there are now less follow-up investigations required, which has also resulted in a reduction in staff in that area. 20

2.26 AFMA told the committee that the introduction of an electronic catch documentation program, which allows fishers to access their entitlements and trade electronically, has reduced the costs for transactions and has moved two-thirds of the previously paper-based transactions to the new program. AFMA also informed the committee that it expects to gain more efficiencies with the following measures:

" the introduction of electronic monitoring trials , which will involve cameras and other systems in place of on-board observers ;

" combining of travel and graduate programs with the department's programs to reduce the cost of running those separately; and

" installation of videoconference facilities to minimise travel between offices.

Officers told the committee that the cost recovery for 2011-12 IS expected to be $13.8 million in total. 21

2.27 The committee sought an update on the numbers of southern bluefin tuna. AFMA told the committee that the most recent aerial survey has produced positive signals, noting that the numbers produced are comparable to the levels from aerial surveys done in 1992. AFMA infom1ed the committee that an assessment of the numbers, including why they are higher than predicted , will occur in July 2011. All member countries will have access to the data that the assessment produces. 22

2.28 The committee asked AFMA if there is capacity for the fishing industry to access support under the natural disaster recovery programs. The Minister told the

19 Proof Estimates Han sard, 23 Ma y 2011, p. 97.

20 Proof Estimates Han sard, 23 May 2011 , p. 102.

21 Proof Estimates Han sard, 23 May 2011 , p. I 02.

22 Proof Estimates Han sard, 23 Ma y 2011, p. 106.

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9

committee that the fishing industry has its complications in that unlike a farn1 business , there is no damage to property. However, the Minister encouraged the committee to put these questions to the Attorney-General's portfolio , as it holds responsibility for the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements. 23

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)

2.29 The committee discussed the recent mouse plague and asked officers about the availability of chemicals to control the plague. The APVMA told the committee that it is aware of a shortage of chemicals in particular areas and that there are a number of registered products for treatment , but that the products are unavailable in some areas. The APVMA has received applications to make more chemicals available to users, one of which is currently under assessment.

24

2.30 Officers told the committee that assessing that particular application will have occupational health and safety issues for on-farm use, as the chemical used is a 2"

schedule seven dangerous poison. '

2.31 The committee sought further information on fruit fly chemical use, and in particular, assessments on public health aspects arising from the use of the chemicals. The APVMA informed the committee that it is currently working on an assessment into residue aspects, and the public health aspects arising out of residues in food. It expects the reports to be available for public consultation by July or August 2011.26

2.32 The committee requested an update on the investigation into two-headed fish at a Queensland hatchery. Officers informed the committee that the APVMA has provided technical input to the investigation. The report was finalised in 20 I 0, however, it has not been released due to an ongoing court case.

2.33 The committee asked officers to explain the use of particular chemicals in Australia when they have been banned in other countries because of the harm it has caused bees. The APVMA told the committee that those particular issues related to a particular treatment type, with concerns about the formulation type and the spread of dust offsite, which is a problem that Australia does not have. Officer s emphasised that if the product is used in accordance with the label instructions and is not sprayed when bees are foraging, it will not pose a risk to bees in Australia .27

23 Proof Estimates Han sard. 23 May 2011 , p. 112.

24 ProofEstimates Han sard. 23 May 2011, pp 117-118.

25 Proof Estimates H ansard, 23 May 2011. p. 118.

26 Proof Estimates Han sard. 23 May 2011 , p. 118.

27 Proof Estimates H ansard, 23 May 2011, p. 121.

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Wine Australia

2.34 The committee sought an update on the investigation into the counterfeiting of Australian wine being sold overseas. The Chief Executive advised that the alleged counterfeited wine was sourced in China, where the relevant body was asked to investigate. The regulator told Wine Australia that it could not fmd any evidence of counterfeited wine but that it would be happy to pursue further investigations with any additional information that may help. 28

2.35 The committee asked Wine Australia what steps would be taken in the case of a proven counterfeit case. Wine Australia explained that counterfeiting can involve a whole range of activities and that its mandate is to focus on the truthfulness of claims made on the wine's label. In those circumstances, Wine Australia would advise the owner to take up enforcement action on their own behalf because it becomes a matter of intellectual property. 29

Trade and Market Access

2.36 The committee sought updates on the free trade agreement negotiations with Malaysia, Japan, China and Korea. Officers infom1ed the committee that the last meeting with Malaysia was in October 2010, with progress made on rules of origin , sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Officers expect the negotiations to be completed within 2011.30

2.37 Officers told the committee that the earthquake and tsunami have had significant impacts on discussions with Japan. The most recent negotiation planned has been postponed, with no proposed rescheduled date. 31

2.38 Officers infom1ed the committee that the last meeting with China was in June 2010, and that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DF AT) is in discussions about the timing for the next negotiation round, however, no date has been confirmed. Officers told the committee that in terms of agriculture , the department is seeking an outcome similar to the free trade agreement between New Zealand and China.32

2.39 The committee asked the department about seafood exports to China, specifically the rock lobster trade. Officers informed the committee that the department has been engaged in discussions with the trade Minister, DFAT , Austrade and Chinese officials , however, there remain a number of concerns. The Secretary explained the department's aim:

28 Proof Estimates H ansard. 23 M ay 2011. pp 127- 128.

29 Proof Estimates H ansard, 23 M ay 2011, p. 129.

30 Proof Estimates H ansard, 24 May 20 II, pp 5-6.

31 Proof Estimates Han sard, 24 M ay 2011 , p. 6.

32 Proof Estimates Han sard. 24 M ay 2011 , p. 6.

270

The issues we are talking about, all other things being equal, are between New Zealand and ourselves and China. We may well have issues around the currency and the handling of the currency but they are not ones that are directly relevant to the capacity to manage this trade and its comparison with the New Zealand trade ... What our industry wants is to get on a level playing field with the New Zealand industry under the current conditions, all other things being equal. 33

11

2.40 The committee sought an update on Trade and Market Access' involvement in the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute with New Zealand in relation to apples. The department informed the committee that the Trade and Market Access division played a specific role in the WTO dispute, however, since the WTO decision was handed down, it has been a responsibility of Biosecurity Services Group (BSG). In response to the committee seeking further information on the dispute process, the Executive Manager of BSG explained:

The dispute process over the several years that it ran was managed by DFAT as the lead agency. Attorney-General's and ourselves through TMAD and Biosecurity Services Group were parties to that exercise. The decision of the WTO was that we bring our risk assessment into conformity with the provisions of the WTO . The criticism that we received is that the quarantine measures that we imposed were not considered to be backed by sufficient science. Therefore the decision was that we bring our risk assessment process into conformity with the various sections of the WTO agreement, and that is precisely what we are doing. We have not been told that we have to do anything specific other than to bring it into conformity.34

2.41 The committee also requested an update on red meat exports from Australia to the Russian Federation. Officers informed the conunittee that in 2010, Russia conducted audits of the red meat plants, which the department has not yet seen. The committee heard that discussions to establish a memorandum of understanding have taken place and in March 2011 a memorandum of understanding in relation to red meat plants was secured. The department explained that it has taken nearly a decade of discussions to conclude, and it now provides Australia with more certainty on issues relating to the trade of red meat. Officers told the committee that it also provides a mechanism to deal with any plants that may be suspended, making reference to the 19 plants that were suspended a few years ago.35

2.42 In relation to kangaroo meat exports, discussions are continuing 'with the endeavour of actually getting that trade reconunencing'. 36

33 Proof Estimates H a11sard. 24 M ay 2011. p. 9.

34 Proof Estimates H a11sard. 24 M ay 2011 , p. 11.

35 Proof Estimates H ansard, 24 May 2011. pp 9-10.

36 Proof Estimates H ansard. 24 M ay 201 L pp 9.

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Biosecurity Services Group

2.43 The committee asked officers to explain the systems involved in checking cargo at ports. Officer explained that only cargo that is marked as a biosecurity concern through the customs system will have its contents inspected. In the past, all cargo had its exterior inspected , however, as a result of a recommendation from the Beale review, a sample of cargo from countries deemed to be low-risk is now inspected, and 100 per cent of cargo from high-risk countries and containers going to or through a rural destination are inspected. 37

2.44 The committee discussed the fmdings of the Draft report for the non " regulated analysis of existing policy for apples from New Zealand at length. The committee asked the department to clarify how it established the risk factors for importation, distribution , establishment and spread. Officers explained:

There are two components ... the first is our assessment and articulation of the likelihood . To reiterate , that includes our assessment of distribution and importation. Then we move into a full assessment of the probability of establishment and spread ... Those components go towards our assessment of likelihood. The second component of risk is consequence. Our assessment of consequence is then taken and used in our appropriate level of protection table and multiplied with likelihood . There are two steps: one is the atiiculation of likelihood; the second is a clarification of the consequences and a multiplication of those across our appropriate level of protection .38

2.45 The committee raised concerns about the validity of each fmding, noting that as a statement of science, each is technically correct, however when you combine the findings it makes the conclusion of extremely low risk of distribution seem unlikely. The Secretary clarified:

It is going through the probabilities, each of which you are saying are there ... You add one to the next and you decrease the probability of the final event. The final event is the infection of blossoms. What we have is a sequence of events which reduces probabilities of the events occurring down to the end, which is not to say that any of the statements that either you said or are in the report are incorrect. They are quite correct ; it is just a matter of probabilities of events.39

2.46 The Minister told the committee that the draft report is open for submissions until 4 July 2011. After which, Biosecurity Australia will consider all comments received and prepare a final report. The current quarantine conditions for New Zealand apples will remain in place until that determination has been made.40

37 Proof Estimates Han sard, 24 May 20 II, pp 18-19.

38 Proof Estimates Han sard, 24 May 20 I I. pp 22-23.

39 Proof Estimates Hansard, 24 May 20 II, p. 25.

40 Proof Estimates Han sard, 24 May 20 II, pp 27-28.

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2.47 Once again, the committee raised concerns about the use of streptomycin to control fire blight on apple trees in New Zealand and the possible risks from chemical residues on apples imported into Australia. Officers told the committee that a recent Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) review into the use of streptomycin determined that the risk to human health is negligible. The committee confirmed with the department that it may be possible for apples to be imported from New Zealand from trees that have fire blight in the season of importation. However, the department clarified that:

That is in the context of a range of other occurrences that would have to take place for an infection to become established and that the probability of that full sequence of events occurring is extremely low.41

2.48 The committee expressed concern about the further spread of myrtle rust. The Minister told the committee that $1.5 million has been invested in the budget to support national pilot programs that will involve a nationally coordinated approach by the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments to deal with myrtle rust. 42

2.49 The department indicated that following an outbreak of myrtle rust in Queensland, the Commonwealth is working with the Queensland Government. Furthermore, officers explained that as myrtle rust is no longer deemed to be eradicable, the approach will instead look at minimising the impact and identifying the susceptibility of areas in the future. 43

2.50 The committee sought an update on Asian honey bees and whether the type of work being done at the border has changed at all since its status moved from 'attempting to eradicate' to 'non-eradicable'. Officers told the committee that the work has not changed and monitoring still occurs at the borders. 44

2.51 The department informed the committee that a number of old hives and dead bees had been found in the last 12 months and the department acted immediately on those findings with state authorities. The committee confirmed with the department that Asian honey bees have still not been found further south than Innisfail,

4-

Queensland. )

2.52 The Minister informed the committee that the Commonwealth has invested $2 million to work on a containment and management strategy for the Asian honey bees. However, the Minister stressed:

[i]t needs Queensland and the other states and tenitories to come on board, and industry as well. It is vitally important that not only the pollinator s but

41 Proof Estimates Hansard. 24 May 2011 , p. 31.

42 Proof Estimates H ansard, 24 May 2011, pp 41--42.

43 Proof Estimates Han sard. 24 May 2011 , pp 39--41.

44 Proof Estimates Han sard, 24 May 2011, p. 45.

45 Proof Estimates Han sard. 24 May 2011, p. 46.

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also the aptansts get on board, too. And having some of the other downstream industries on board as well would help, because this is both a public and a private good issue. The Commonwealth will meet its public good obligations , but I would stress that it is incumbent upon industry to meet its private good obligations as well. 46

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC)

2.53 The committee sought an update on staffing numbers, and any impact from the reduced funding in 2009-10. The RIRDC told the committee that it has a standing permanent staff of 2 7, with six or seven external staff that work with both industry and the RIRDC . The committee heard that it is difficult to compare staffmg levels as the RIRDC receives one-off funding amounts to look at specific projects, which can involve hiring new staff, however, the variation in staffing numbers overall is minimal.47

2.54 The RIRDC informed the committee that it has received an injection of $12.4 million for a program that will look at enhancing productivity through the reduction of weeds. The funding has allowed the RIRDC to employ two extra full time staff. 48 The program will establish a website specifically for weeds, which will incorporate all previous work done by DAFF. The program is scheduled to be completed in 2012.49

2.55 The committee followed up on a report done by the RIRDC in relation to the on-farm impacts of an emissions trading scheme and asked whether or not the RIRDC -has done any follow-up research on tlus report. The RIRDC told the committee that it has not done any further work and there are no plans to do any further work at the moment. The RIRDC informed the committee that, when deciding which projects to conduct, it has an open call for ideas, with advisory committees that look at the ideas and make recommendations about what work should be done. The RIRDC was keen to point out to the committee that the RIRDC does not undertake the research, but invests in the research through other bodies. 5∞

Agricultural Productivity

2.56 The committee discussed the fmal report of the Live Trade Animal Welfare Partnersmp. Officers told the committee that since its release in January 2011, the industry has prepared an action plan that addresses each recommendation identifying

46 Proof Estimates Han sard. 24 May 2011, p. 47.

47 Proof Estimates Han sard, 24 May 2011, p. 67.

48 Proof Estimates Han sard, 24 May 2011. p. 6 7.

49 Proof Estimates Hansard, 24 May 20 II, pp 67-68.

50 Proof Estimates Han sard, 24 May 20 II, pp 69-70.

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areas reqmnng improvement. The RSPCA also responded to the report and raised additional concerns in relation to animal welfare in the live export industry. 51

2.57 The committee discussed the number of abattoirs in Indonesia that employ stunning techniques, and the feasibility of having Australian cattle delivered to those abattoirs only. Officers told the committee that due to the high number of cattle exported to Indonesia, and the few abattoirs that use stunning techniques, only a very small percentage would be able to use the facilities that employ stunning. 52

2.58 Officers informed the committee that one of the difficulties in implementing stunning facilities in slaughter facilities in Indonesia is that there have been customs issues in bringing the stunning equipment into Indonesia. 53

2.59 The committee confirmed with the department that there has been funding of the installation of restraint boxes in various countries through the Live Trade Animal Welfare Partnership and its predecessor. Officers informed the committee of the differences between what is known as a 'mark 1' restraint box, and the later models, such as the 'mark 4' restraint box. The committee heard that later models require hydraulic and other powered mechanisms and that in some places it is not possible to replace the previous models already installed . 54

2.60 The department informed the committee that while Commonwealth funding went into installing the restraint boxes, the department did not inspect them; instead an independent assessment was done as part of the original installation project in 2009-10. Officers told the. committee that one of the elements of the final report was to have an independent assessment of the whole live export chain, including the point of slaughter, which has produced a number of recommendations to address this. 55

2.61 The Minister told the committee that a letter was written to industry in January 2011 indicating that a plan to address animal welfare issues should be developed. The Minister continued:

They have just released a plan-1 think on Sunday-but I am keen to continue to work with both the animal welfare organisations and the industry to continue the improvement that has been started for some time ... One of the important things we need to be able to do is to identif y that the industry is starting to address it. They have been slow to date. They need to accelerate the animal welfare outcomes for the live animal export to continue. One of those things I think they recognised was by bringin g forward the plan, which addresses both the pre-stunning issue and som e of the other issues.

51 Proof Estimates H ansard. 24 May 2011, p. 73.

52 Proof Estimates Han sard, 24 May 2011. p. 75.

53 ProofEstimatesH ansard. 24 May 2011, pp 74-75.

54 Proof Estimates Hansard, 24 May 2011, p. 76.

55 Proof Estimates Han sard, 24 May 20 I L p. 78.

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But to date it is not a plan that I would endorse. It is a plan that the industry has to develop and implement, and demonstrate that they are on a continuous improvement in this area because to date, as I have indicated, my view is that it has been very slow. 56

Wheat Exports Australia (WEA)

2.62 The committee sought an update on grain buyers in the market and their effect on the wheat industry . WEA informed the committee that the amount of wheat sold is 50 per cent higher than the same period last year and that a number of new markets for feed wheat and exports have opened, which has increased the speed of sale significantly.

57

2.63 The committee raised the Productivity Commission's review, in particular its recommendation that the ACCC withdraw access undertaking in 2014. In response to this recommendation, the Minister told the committee 'I have not come to a conclusion or a date yet, but it is not far away.' 58

Australian Wool Innovation (A WI)

2.64 A WI told the committee that wool prices are the highest they have been in 25 years. This can be attributed to a higher demand from the northern hemisphere and China, and the recognition by consumers that wool can be more environmentally f1iendly than other products. A WI told the co11U11ittee that it will be spending additional money on marketing strategies that specifically target these areas to increase demands.

59

2.65 The committee heard that for 2010-11, A WI had a project spend of $24 million , and for 2011-12 it will increase the project spend to $45 million. A WI informed the committee that for this financial year it is projecting a surplus of $21 million. This can be attributed to $12 million of windfall levy, a $3 million operational saving and the removal of the tactical fund, which was not being used.60 A WI infom1ed the committee that all of its spending is voted on by shareholders , and that currently, 50 per cent must be spent on marketing, 30 per cent on on-farm research and 20 per cent on off-fam1 research. 61

2.66 The committee sought further infom1ation on staffing levels . A WI told the conm1ittee that its staffing numbers have increased globally by I 0. A W1 infom1ed the

56 Proof Estimates Hansard. 24 May 20 II. pp 75-76.

57 ProofEstimat es Han sard. 24 Ma y 2011, p. 91.

58 Proof Estimates Hansard, 24 May 20 II. pp 93-94.

59 Proof Estimates Han sard. 24 May 20 11. pp 99-1 00.

60 Proof Estimates Hansard, 24 May 20 II. pp 99-100.

61 Proof Estimates Hansard. 24 May 2011. p. 104.

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committee that approximately half its staff are based in Australia, and the other half are overseas. 62

2.67 A WI told the committee that it has had some negatives this year, noting that flies, lice and even mosquitoes have damaged some sheep stocks. A WI detailed the measures in place to deal with these, including a new program involving skin traction , where a chemical is injected under the skin, and funding towards research into pesticides that will remove flies , moths and lice. 63

Grains Research and Development Corporation

2.68 The committee sought further information on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The GRDC told the committee that as none of the crops grown in Australia are native, we are dependent upon gem1plasm, which is available from overseas genetic resource banks. Officers told the committee that the treaty has been in development for ten years, focusing on material transfer agreements and the benefits for the exporting countries , however, there is no proposed completion date. 64

2.69 The committee asked the GRDC if it had conducted any work on farm-to " farm transfer of seeds and pollen. The GRDC informed the committee that it has not conducted work on this, however, studies have shown that there is the potential for the movement of seeds and pollen in flood events. With relation to genetically modified crops, the GRDC is aware of all GM crop trials underway, and told the committee that

under the management arrangements the people conducting the trials are obliged to report any instances that might affect the results, such as a flood. 65

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)

2.70 The committee sought further information on the number of 'mark 1' and 'mark 4' restraint boxes in abattoirs in Indonesia. Officers told the committee that 109 'mark 1' boxes have been constructed , in 85-89 meat plants, which represents 85 per cent of the slaughter in Indonesia. Officers estimat ed about four 'mark 4' boxes have been implemented, but told the committee that it would take the final number on notice. 66

2.71 The committee heard that the majority of abattoir s in Indonesia cater to a ' wet market', meaning that the animal will be processed, possibly overnight , and then

62 P roof Estimates H ansard, 24 May 2011. p. 100.

63 Proof Estimates H ansard, 24 M ay 2011. pp 99, 101 and 103.

64 Proof Estimates H ansard. 24 May 20 II. p. I 07- 108.

65 Proof Estima tes H ansard, 24 May 20 11 , pp 110-111 .

66 Proof Estimates H ansard, 24 May 2011. p. 114.

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available in the market by dawn, to be consumed soon after. This is because the market has not previously relied on, or had access to, refrigeration. 67

2. 72 Officers informed the committee that there are five stunning trials occurring at the moment, with another five to be running by the end of the year. This will amount to 16 per cent of the slaughter in Indonesia, which the officers deem to be a big breakthrough . 68

2.73 The committee discussed the current journey for live exports, which involves three days of transport, and raised the possibility of investing in a meat plant in Northern Australia . Officers told the committee that there are currently no 'large animal processing works in a line from Townsville to Fremantle'. Officers informed the committee that they are aware of a proposition to build a meat plant in Darwin, which the MLA has assisted by conducting a cost-benefit analysis. However, officers told the committee that MLA's charter is not to invest in meat plants. 69

67 Proof Estimates Hansard, 24 M ay 2011 , p. 114.

68 Proof Estimates H ansard, 24 M ay 20 11 , pp 114-115.

69 Proof Estimates H ansard, 24 May 2011, p. 118.

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Chapter 3

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

Department of Infrastructure and Transport

3.1 This chapter contains the key issues discussed during the 2011-2012 budget estimates hearings for the Infrastructure and Transport portfolio . A complete list of all the topics discussed , and relevant page numbers, can be found at appendix 4.

3.2 The committee heard evidence from the department on Wednesday 25 May and Thursday 26 May 2011. The hearing was conducted in the following order:

"

"

"

"

"

Corporate Services

Infrastructure Australia

Nation Building- Infrastructure Investment

Surface Transport Policy

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

" Policy and Research (incorporating the Bureau of Infrastructure , Transport and Regional Economics)

" Major Cities Unit

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

Australian Rail Track Corporation

Inspector of Transport Security

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 key initiati ves of the department set out in the budget. The Secretary , Mr Mike Mrdak, outlined initiatives in two main areas, planning and infrastructure investment.

3.4 In planning, the government released its national urban policy, which sets out objectives and priorities for improved planning and investment in 18 major cities. There are two key projects within the Sustainable Australia initiative: A $20 million initiative to help improve the capacity of regional cities to undertake strategic planning for urban renewal, and a $61.4 million program, which will fund small

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20

infrastructure technology to reduce traffic congestion and Improve demand . I

management on maJor motorways.

3. 5 In infrastructure investment, an additional $1 billion has been allocated to the continuing work of duplicating the Pacific Highway, taking the total Commonwealth funding to over $4 billion. The Moreton Bay rail link has had $133 million brought forward and savings within the Nation Building Program to fund natural disaster recovery efforts have also been brought into account for the 20 11-12 budget. Furthermore, the five Bruce Highway projects that had been deferred have now been

. d " remstate .-3.6 The committee asked the department to explain the process behind the reinstatement of the five Bruce Highway projects in Queensland. The Secretary informed the committee that the projects were deferred because they were still in the early stages and the deferral aimed to meet the costs of the disaster-recovery requirements in Queensland at the time. It also reflected advice from the Queensland Government that, due to the requirements of the restoration effort, it may not be in a capacity to proceed with the projects. The decision to reinstate the projects came after the Queensland Government advised that it had identified savings elsewhere in the Nation Building Program for these projects. 3

3. 7 The committee heard that the Council of Australian Governments has agreed that Australia will have fully-operational, single national regulators for heavy vehicles, rail and maritime safety by 2013. 4

3.8 The committee asked the department how it planned to meet its efficiency dividend. The Secretary informed the committee that the overall impact of the efficiency dividend is $2.7 million for the department, which will be allocated across the portfolio divisions pro rata, and the department will then seek to gain the efficiencies through systems and non-fixed costs. The non-fixed costs, such as travel, stationery supplies and consulting support may have more discretion in relation to future decisions.

5

3.9 The committee sought further information on the staffing levels for the department. Officers told the committee that 186 staff transferred to the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Governn1ent, and that despite a small increase in staff, the figure is still below the projected staffing level for 2011 .

Proof Estimates Han sard. 25 May 20 I I. pp 4-6.

2 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 20 II, pp 4-6, 49-50.

3 Proof Estimates Han sard. 25 Ma y 2011. p. 6.

4 Proof Estimates Hansard. 25 May 20 11 , pp 4-6.

5 Proof Estimates Hansard. 25 May 2011. p. 11 .

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The small increase in staff has been predominantly in the Office of Transport Security, where positions have been refilled due to staff tumover.6

3.10 The committee discussed the Perth Airport Gateway Roads project and noted it is being funded through the Regional Infrastructure Fund. The committee asked the department to clarify how it defines 'regional'. The Secretary explained that generally within the portfolio, 'regional' is taken to mean regional areas outside capital cities , however, 'in relation to the Regional Infrastructure Fund, the government has made it clear that these are projects which are linked to the resource sector'. 7

Infrastructure Australia (lA)

3.11 The committee discussed Infrastructure Australia's additional $9 million of funding each year for the next four years and what impact that will have on resources. IA informed the committee of the steps involved to make IA more independent and transparent , such as publishing its cost-benefit analysis of projects. IA told the committee that its June report is under consideration as to what cost-benefit figures can be released , however, consultation with some proponents will need to occur prior to publication due to commercial in-confidence issues. 8

3.12 IA informed the committee of the statement of expectations from the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport to the chair of the Infrastructure Australia Council. As part of these expectations , IA will continue its work on remote infrastructure issues for Indigenous communities, with a stronger focus on opportunities for private sector fi

. 9

mancmg.

3.13 In relation to staffing, IA informed the committee that despite the increase in funding, it is not looking to expand its staff level significantly. However, this will ultimately be a decision for the Infrastructure Australia Council. 10

3.14 The committee discussed capacity issues at ports and asked IA how it planned to deal with these concerns. IA told the committee that the National Port Strategy will focus on these issues, with a long-term approach. This strategic approach will aim to address capacity issues before it becomes critical , rather than attempting to fix them afterwards. The prioritising of these issues will take into account immediacy, different interest groups, the capacity to link to Sydney and Melbourne, and congestion issues around road and rail. 1 1

6 Proof Estimates H ansard, 25 May 2011, pp 12-13.

7 ProofEstimates Han sard, 25 May 2011, pp 14-15.

8 Proof Estimates H ansard, 25 May 20 II, pp 17-18 and 21.

9 Proof Estimates H ansard. 25 Ma y 2011 , pp 18 and 31.

10 Proof Estima tes Han sard, 25 May 2011, p. 21.

11 Proof Estimates Han sard. 25 May 2011. p. 24.

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Nation Building-Infrastructure Investment

3.15 The committee requested an update on Black Spot, rail and road projects announced under the economic stimulus plan. Officers informed the committee that of the 605 Black Spot projects announced, 604 have been completed, with the fmal project due to be completed within the month.12

3.16 The committee heard that of the 17 rail projects announced, 11 have been completed and five are underway, with completion dates ranging from December 2011 to March 2013. The final project, the Hunter Valley Liverpool Range new rail alignn1ent, is in planning with a scheduled completion date of mid-20 14.13

3.1 7 Of the 14 road projects announced, 12 are still under construction. The department informed the committee of the specific details for the two completed projects, noting that the remaining 12 all have completion dates ranging between 2012 and 2014.14

3.18 The committee sought an update on truck stop projects and asked the department if the new stops and restorations to existing stops would meet the National Transport Commission's guidelines. The department informed the committee that it could not confirm the final result as the project is still rolling out, however, the Secretary stated:

There is no doubt it is one of the key priorities for the heavy vehicle industry, and we share their concern that we need to invest more into these facilities. This is a matter which I am sure the government will look at in forthcoming consideration ofthe Nation Building Program 2.15

3.19 The committee sought to confim1 the funding for the Mid-North Coast Aviation Plan, in relation to upgrades to infrastructure and facilities as part of the regional aviation plan. The Secretary informed the committee that responsibility for this plan moved to the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government in October 2010 in accordance with the administrative arrangement orders. The Secretary clarified:

Until the formation of the department of regional Australia , my department had a number of discussions with the Port Macquarie council in relation to the aviation projects. From recollection , Mr Wilson and I and my officers met at least three times with the chief executive of the council and certainly at officer level, quite extensively. They provided a number of business plans and business cases to the department in the lead-up to that period. I

12 Proof Estimates Han sard, 25 May 2011, pp 32-33.

13 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2011 , p. 33.

14 Proof Estimates Han sard, 25 May 2011, p. 34.

15 Proof Estimates Han sard, 25 M ay 2011, p. 36.

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cannot comment on what discussions have taken place since October when this matter has been taken over by Regional Australia. 16

23

3.20 The committee requested an update on the North Sydney rail freight corridor study, which was due to be completed in early 2011. The department informed the committee that the report is still underway, with its completion expected in 2011. When questioned on the delay, the department told the committee that it can be attributed partly to New South Wales RailCorp seeking to find a preferred investment program that maximises the freight paths, but also partly to a memorandum of understanding between the Commonwealth and the New South Wales Government which is yet to be signed. 17

3.21 The committee asked officers to detail the progress of a number of road, rail and port projects , their likely completion dates and whether the funding allocated is ongoing or additional. 18

Surface Transport Policy

3.22 The committee requested an update on the progress of the national heavy vehicle reform. The department told the committee that the heavy vehicle national draft law has been going through a period of consultation, calling for submissions and feedback. All states and territories have agreed to the draft proposals. 19 Significant progress has been made, as the Australian Transport Council ministers met and agreed to forward the intergovernmental agreement to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The agreement will detail how the jurisdictions agree on the operational aspects of the nationallegislation. 20

3.23 The committee heard that once the consultati on on the draft laws is complete, providing COAG approves the intergovernmental agreement, the final legislation will be brought to the Queensland parliament. It can then be 'adopted by each of the other jurisdictions as a single piece of national law'.21 The department told the committee

that while differences have been settled , there is room for jurisdictions to retain some local variations within the proposed legislation .22

3.24 The department informed the committee that the expert panel, established to resolve all of the various differences between the jurisdiction s on heavy vehicle law, identified approximately 340 differences between the juri sdiction s which apply to

16 ProofEstimat es Han sard. 25 May 2011, p. 40.

17 Proof Estimates Han sard, 25 May 20 II, pp 42-43.

18 Proof Estimates H ansard, 25 Ma y 20 II, pp 32-66.

19 Proof Estimates H ansard. 25 May 2011, p. 69.

20 Proof Esrimares H ansard. 25 Ma y 20 II. pp 66-68.

21 Proof Esrimares Han sard. 25 Ma y 2011, pp 66-67.

22 Proof Estimates H ansard. 25 Ma y 2011, p. 67.

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heavy vehicles. The Australian Transport Council has agreed to the recommendations of the expert panel which has enabled the items to move forward as a single piece of legislation. 23

3.25 The department informed the committee that it is trying to ensure that there is one piece of legislation that applies across all jurisdictions. 24 The national heavy vehicle regulator is expected to be appointed in the second half of 2012, and the department estimates it will be fully operational by January 2013.25

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

3.26 The committee requested an update on AMSA's progress to becoming the national regulator for all commercial vessels in Australia. AMSA told the committee that there is funding within the budget to establish its systems to become the national regulator, which is on track to take place in January 2013.26 The committee heard that the ministerial council has met, and that the next step will be for COAG to agree to the draft intergovernmental agreement. 27

3.27 The committee sought further information on AMSA's role in the rewrite of the Navigation Act 1912. AMSA informed the committee that it is working closely with the department to provide technical advice, on issues such as the Safety of Life at Sea Convention, to make sure that the new legislation will provide for these necessary conventions. 28

3.28 AMSA told the committee that there will be two aspects to the new legislation: the legislation enacted in the Commonwealth Parliament, and the laws that states and territories will apply to cover what AMSA cannot, under its limited constitutional powers. The committee heard that:

[t]here will be two patis to this, but effectively the text remains the same. It will be amended tlu∑o ugh the Commonwealth parliament. 29

3.29 The committee discussed examples of cases and AMSA explained whether it would come under national law or the particular jurisdiction. 30 AMSA inforn1ed the

23 Proof Estimates H ansard. 25 May 2011, p. 67.

24 Proof Estimates H ansard. 25 May 2011 , p. 66.

25 Proof Estimates H ansard, 25 May 2011, pp 67-68.

26 Proof Estimates Hansard. 25 M ay 20 II, p. 74.

27 Proof Estimates H ansard. 25 May 20 II, pp 74-75.

28 Proof Estimates Han sard, 25 May 2011. p. 75.

29 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 2011, p. 75.

30 Proof Estimates Hansard, 25 May 20 II. pp 76-79.

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committee that the implementation of the law will be nation-wide, however, AMSA will engage with the state jurisdictions to handle the enforcement. 31

Policy and Research (incorporating the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics)

3.30 The conunittee discussed heavy vehicle statistics in relation to accidents and fatalities. The department provided its quarterly statistics on heavy vehicles, however, undertook to provide a breakdown of the cause of accidents over the last 10 years on notice. 32

3.31 The committee heard that the number of fatalities involving articulated vehicles has decreased by 3.4 per cent over the last three years. The department indicated that it keeps a database with information on the causes of those accidents to get an indication of what issues to focus on. 33

Major Cities Unit

3.32 The committee sought further information on the direction of the Major Cities Unit following the release of the National Urban Policy, Our Cities, Our Future. The Executive Director informed the committee that the next step will be to develop the implementation plan of the action plan, which will include a broad range of initiatives covering the Commonwealth's commitments, but will also include work with state jurisdictions. 34

3.33 The committee asked the Major Cities Unit to provide its definition of 'major cities'. Officers informed the committee that the Major Cities Unit works from the Australian Bureau of Statistic's definition of 'major cities', which is all cities with populations of 100,000 and above. This includes the eight capital cities, plus 10 regional cities with that population level. 35

3.34 The committee discussed the proposed Managed Motorways program, which will involve spending $61.4 million on four motorways, to implement ramp metering and information technology systems to improve the flow of traffic. These motorways were identified by Infrastructure Australia as motorways that would receive optimal benefit from the improvements. 36 The performance indicators for this program will

31 Proof Estimates Han sard, 25 May 2011, p. 77.

32 Proof Estimates Han sard, 25 May 20 II, pp 82-83.

33 Proof Estimates Han sard. 25 May 2011. p. 83.

34 Proof Estimates Han sard. 25 May 2011. p. 84.

35 Proof Estimates Han sard. 25 May 2011. p. 85.

36 Proof Estimates Han sard. 25 May 2011. p. 89.

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include improved performance of the motorway in terms of flow, reduced congestion and reduced travel time. 37

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC)

3.35 The committee raised concerns about issues presented in the 7:30 Report regarding track maintenance on the Sydney to Melbourne line, as well as the main east-west track in Perth. The Chief Executive Officer informed the committee that the ARTC is familiar with the issues raised in the program and that it has been subject to an internal review to produce a rectification program to deal with the issues in the

. h 38 commg mont s.

3.36 The committee heard that the Sydney to Melbourne line had been particularly vulnerable to heavy rainfall that created mud holes, which resulted in rail track issues. However, the ARTC informed the committee that it did not believe that the east-west rail line was similarly affected. 39 The ARTC told the committee that it has budgeted $40 million for maintenance work this year, which is consistent with the budgets in place for the next five years. 40

3.3 7 The committee discussed the side insertion method in relation to the replacement of timber with concrete sleepers on the rail track. The ARTC told the committee that in 2007 it looked at a range of insertion methods and it was decided that the side insertion method was the most efficient, as it allowed better access to the track and higher productivity. 41

3.38 The committee considered the practicality of using the side insertion method in places that have a similar rainfall to the Sydney to Melbourne line, where mud holes are known to be a problem. The ARTC infom1ed the committee that side insertion has been used in other areas of Victoria, with conditions not dissimilar to the Sydney to Melbourne line, and the same problems have not risen in those areas. 42 The committee also heard that regular maintenance for most tracks can occur because of mud holes, as their appearance is not rare across a range of tracks. 43

3.39 The committee was interested in other insertion methods, including those used in other countries. The ARTC told the committee that there are other methods of

3 7 Proof Estimates Hansard. 25 May 2011, pp 89-90.

38 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 201 L pp 3-4.

39 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2011, p. 3.

40 ProofEstimat es Hansard, 26 May 2011. p. 10.

41 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2011, p. 4.

42 Proof Estimates Han sard. 26 May 2011. p. 10.

43 Proof Estimates Han sard, 26 May 2011. p. 18.

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insertion, which the ARTC has also employed, and advised that all are acceptable methods of installing concrete sleepers. 44

Office of the Inspector of Transport Security

3.40 The committee asked the Inspector to provide a brief description of the Office's work since its creation in 2004. The Inspector informed the committee that the purpose of its creation was to allow a no-blame style assessment of transport and offshore security in a proactive, rather than reactive, manner. The Inspector stated that as a result of that brief, the Office has conducted inquiries into:

" surface transport following the London bombings;

" an airport security breach at Sydney Airport;

" large passenger ferries focused on the Great Barrier Reef; and . . . 45

" manhme piracy.

3.41 The committee requested further information on the inquiry into man time piracy. The Inspector told the committee that the report was released in April 2011, and the fmdings were as a result of consultation with the United Nations, the Office of Drugs and Crime in Kenya, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Maritime Organisation and the International Maritime Bureau. The Office has since checked all the draft findings and recommendations will those international bodies. The committee heard that while Australia does not have many commercial vessels that travel in that area, it does have a hjgh number of important cargo, particularly livestock and cargo from the mining industry , travel through those waters. 46

Office of Transport Security

3.42 The committee discussed the visitor identification card (VIC) scheme at length, specifically, the process of obtaining a card and the requirements for the card holder once they have obtained it. The committee heard that a visitor must provide photographic identification to obtain the card, even though the VIC does not have a photo on it. The visitor must also be signed in by an Aviation Security Identification card holder who has confirmed their identity. The card only entitles the holder access

to specific areas, with supervision , and must be returned when they exit. The department informed the committee of further specific information regarding the VIC scherne. 47

44 Proof Estim ates Han sard, 26 M ay 2011, p. 16.

45 Proof Estimates Han sard, 26 Ma y 2011 , p. 20.

46 Proof Estimates H ansard, 26 May 20 II, pp 20-21.

4 7 Proof Estimates H ansard. 26 May 20 II, pp 25-26.

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3.43 The committee heard that there is a rigorous regime of compliance checking of airport management systems in relation to VICs. There are on-the-spot compliance checks and the small number of incidents involving non-compliance has resulted in enforcement action. 48

3.44 However, the department told the committee that the Commonwealth has acknowledged that there is a need for continuous improvement and that an enhanced set of regulations has been developed following extensive consultation with industry, and will be in place by late November 2011.49

Aviation and Airports

3.45 The committee sought further information on the planning coordination forums that were created as a result of the Aviation White Paper. The department informed the committee that the purpose of the forums is to bring together senior state officials, airport executives and representatives from local councils and the Commonwealth to discuss broader planning directions and the interaction between airports and surrounding areas when planning discussions take place. 50

3.46 The committee heard that all airports required have established a forum and held initial meetings. The department told the committee that in these forums, the residential areas affected have raised traffic and noise impacts as concerns, and the airports have raised concerns regarding residential infill and increased residential areas in zones affected by aircraft noise. 51

3.47 The committee asked the department if it had conducted any work looking at the possible impact on the Australian aviation industry of an emissions trading scheme in the European Union (EU). The department inforn1ed the committee that it has not conducted a cost analysis of the impact because elements of the scheme that will apply to Australian carriers are still being resolved. 52 However, the department confirn1ed that the EU scheme would not apply to domestic flights in Australia, or the first leg of flights between Australia and the EU and that Australia does not currently have any direct flights to the EU. 53

3.48 The Minister informed the committee that the Commonwealth has stated its opposition to the unilateral application of the emissions trading scheme in the EU, and that it has taken the approach that an agreed, multilateral framework, working within

48 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2011, p. 27.

49 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 20 II, pp 25-26.

50 ProofEstimat es Han sard, 26 May 2011, p. 38.

51 Proof Estimates Hansard. 26 May 2011, p. 38.

52 Proof Estimates Han sard, 26 May 2011, p. 39.

53 Proof Estimates Hansard. 26 May 2011 , p. 40.

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the International Civil Aviation Authority , is the most effective way to address emissions from international aviation. The Minister continued:

The United States air transport association and three US airlines are challenging the aviation inclusion in the European Union's ETS through the European Court of Justice . Media reports indicate that the China Air Transport Association and three major Chinese airlines also plan to mount a similar legal challenge. The Australian government has no current intention to take action and we are not aware that any Australian airline is planning to join the actions by either the United States airlines or the Chinese airlines .

As I am advised, the department will continue to monitor these actions and work with the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in providing advice and updates to the government. 54

3.49 The committee discussed the enroute subsidy and its decrease of funding in the budget. The Secretary confirmed with the committee that the decision to terminate the program took place in 2008, however, aeromedical services will continue. 55 The Secretary clarified:

The subsidy will remain available to aeromedical operators. The subsidy is paid to the operator of the airline or flight service. The subsidy is by way of a recompense for the payment of their en route charges to Air Services Australia. It is not a matter that involves the airport operator. 56

3.50 The committee sought further information on the proposed plan to target the enroute subsidy for routes that are less profitable. The department informed the committee that while these specific changes have not occurred, there are two measures in the place of those changes. First, an extension to the operators that are entering routes where previously it was not available and second, a continuation of the subsidy on all routes that were previously eligible. 57

Airservices Australia

3.51 The committee requested an update on the Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO). The Chief Executive Officer informed the committee that the position was filled in September 2010 and is funded entirely by Airservices Australia. The position was allocated $500,000 for the first year of operation, to cover salary, travel , staffmg and the establishment of a separate office . 58

54 Proof Estimates Han sard, 26 May 2011 , p. 41.

55 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2011 , p. 43.

56 Proof Estimates Han sard, 26 May 2011, p. 45.

57 Proof Estimates Han sard, 26 May 2011 , pp 49-50.

58 Proof Estimates Hansard. 26 May 2011. p. 59.

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3.52 The committee heard that the ANO released its first report in February 2011, which reviewed the complaint handling system of Airservices Australia. The report produced 18 recommendations, which Airservices Australia has accepted. 59

3.53 The committee sought further information about the pricing of firefighting services. Airservices Australia told the committee that it is working with the ACCC to review the pricing proposal for the next five years. This timeframe is seen as an advantage by both Airservices Australia and the airlines as it provides certainty for a definite period of time. 60

3.54 The committee asked officers what bullying and discrimination policies are in place at Airservices Australia . The Chief Executive Officer informed the committee that a number of processes have been put in place. For example, the fair treatment process has been revised, staff have been appointed as contact officers for workplace harassment, an internal campaign was conducted to ensure understanding of acceptable behaviour, and management level staff received training to deal with situations appropriately. 61

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

3.55 The committee discussed declarable interests in relation to CASA employees belonging to the Chairman's Lounge. The Chief Executive Officer informed the committee that officers are required to declare any pecuniary interests each month, which is recorded on an internal document. CASA is receiving legal advice as to whether or not membership of the Lounge should be a declarable interest. 62

3.56 The committee raised concerns about possible conflicts of interest in relation to staff coming to CASA immediately after working for an airline. CASA informed the committee that for airworthiness or flying operations inspectors , there is a 12 to 18 month period before that employee can conduct those investigations. However, officers told the committee that there are variations depending on the organisation the employee has come from and what position they hold at CASA and offered to take the specifics of the question on notice.

63

3.57 The committee sought further information on the fees CASA charges in relation to air operator certificates, noting concern over the price for particular services. CASA infom1ed the conm1ittee of the specific prices, explaining that the hourly rates are based on the skill set of the relevant officer. CASA also informed the committee that every five years it conducts a cost recovery impact statement, which

59 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2011, p. 60.

60 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2011 , p. 61.

61 Proof Estimates Hansard. 26 May 2011 , pp 63-64.

62 Proof Estimates Hansard, 26 May 2011, pp 67-69.

63 Proof Estimates Hansard. 26 May 2011. p. 69.

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reviews all charges within CASA, and then seeks feedback from industry. Once the feedback is received CASA sends its cost recovery statement to the Minister for approval. If there are any changes, they would go through the normal legislative process. 64

3.58 The committee requested clarification on CASA's management of foreign operators in relation to staff training for emergencies. The committee heard that CASA issues foreign air operator certificates to overseas airlines that operate in Australia, and that these are only issued if the cabin and technical crew have the appropriate training systems. 65

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (A TSB)

3.59 The committee discussed the proposed expansion of the A TSB and asked officers to provide further information. The A TSB informed the committee that $3 million of funding has been allocated in 2012-13 to prepare the A TSB for an expansion into the role of rail and possibly maritime investigations. The proposal is being developed in parallel with the establishment of the single national rail safety regulation and the A TSB would have the jurisdiction to investigate all rail safety occurrences in Australia .66

3.60 The committee sought further information on the ATSB's ability to investigate Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) incidents. The ATSB told the committee that, unlike CASA's regulatory limitations for RAAF, there are no constraints on its capacity to investigate, providing the incident involves a civil registered aircraft. The ATSB also informed the committee that Defence and Airservices Australia are both required to notify it of any occurrences. 67

3.61 The committee discussed the nature of airlines reporting to the ATSB in relation to different reporting between airlines. The A TSB told the committee that it has observed variations in the nature of reporting within individual operations, and less so between the air operators themselves. The committee heard that the adequacy of the reporting system has been raised with the A TSB , but that after investigations , the only issue the A TSB found was that operators were uncertain about what was reportable. The A TSB recognises this and informed the committee that it is being addressed by tightening and clarifying the regulations. 68

64 Proof Estimates Han sard, 26 May 2011, pp 71-72.

65 Proof Estimates Han sard, 26 May 2011, pp 71 and 77.

66 Proof Estimates Hansard. 26 May 2011. pp 83-84.

6 7 Proof Estimates Hansard. 26 May 2011. p. 81.

68 Proof Estimates Han sard. 26 May 201 L p. 82.

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Senator Glenn Sterle Chair

292

Appendix 1

Table of contents to proof Hansard transcripts

Budget estimates 2011-2012

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Monday 23 May 2011

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Thursday 26 May 2011

293

34

Monday 23 May 2011

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Hansard page

In attendance 1

Corporate Services /Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy 4

Climate Change 30

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences 69

Sustainable Resource Management 87

Australian Fisheries Management Authority 99

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority 117

Wine Australia 125

294

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

In attendance

Trade and Market Access

Biosecurity Services Group

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Agricultural Productivity

Wheat Exports Australia

Australian Wool Innovation

Grains Research and Development Corporation

Meat and Livestock Australia

295

35

Hansard page

1

4

16

67

71

91

99

106

113

36

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

In attendance

Corporate Services

Infrastructure Australia

Nation Building-Infrastructure Investment

Surface Transport Policy

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Policy and Research

Major Cities Unit

296

Hansard page

1

4

18

32

66

74

82

83

Thursday 26 May 2011

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

In attendance

Australian Rail Track Authority

Office of the Inspector of Transport Security

Office of Transport Security

Aviation and Airports

Airservices Australia

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Australian Transpm1 Safety Bureau

297

37

Hansard page

1

3

20

24

36

58

67

81

298

Appendix 2

Tabled Documents

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Documents tabled at hearing on Tuesday, 24 May 2011

1. Copy of news article "Gillard's address to Parliament", New Zealand Herald, 16 February 2011 -tabled by Senator Chris Back

2. Answers to questions taken on notice during the hearings on 23 and 24 May 2011, in relation to Corporate Services Division, Sustainable R esource Management and Trade and Market Access Division - tabled by Dr Conall O'Connell, Secretary, DAFF

3. Wheat Exports Australia (WEA), "2009110 Marketing Year - Wheat Export Accreditation Scheme- Report for Growers"- tabled by Mr Ted Woodley, Chair, WEA

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

Documents tabled at hearing 011 Wednesday, 25 May 2011

1. Opening statement - tabled by Mr Mike Mrdak, Secretary, Department of Infrastructure and Transpmi

2. Membership of Reference Groups - tabled by Ms Karen Gosling, Executive Director , Surface Transport Policy

3. Fatal heavy vehicle crashes Australia quarterly bulletin - tabled by Mr Mike Mrdak, Secretary , Department of Infrastructure and Transport

299

300

Appendix 3

Topic list

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio

Monday 23 May 2011

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard page

reference

Corporate Services/Corporate Finance/Corporate Policy 4-30 Efficiency dividend 4-14

Staffing 10-11

Graduate program 14-15

Total funding for DAFFin the last 5 years 15-16

Interim Inspector General of Biosecurity 16-22

Possible importation of New Zealand apples 22-27

Departmental planning with the Minister 27-28

Media monitoring 28-30

Climate Change 30-69

WA drought reform Pilot 30-33,38--40

Exit grants 33-35,40--42

Exceptional circumstances 35-38,40--41

Forestry capacity building in the Asia Pacific 42-44

Tasmanian forest contractors package 44-52

Tasmanian Conlffiunity Forest Agreement 52-55

Carbon farming initiative 56-60

Climate change research 60-61

Carbon tax 61-65

Carbon famling 65-69

Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource 69-87 Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Oil usage and Qrices 69-71

Efficiency dividend 71

Impact of floods 71-72

Forest and Wood Products Australia - forestry statistics 72-73 Marine planning 73-74

Vegetable industry survey 74-75

Effect of climate change on fisheries 75

Irrigation survey on fam1 financial performance 75-76

Regional sponsored migration scheme 76

Winter crop harvest 76

Productivity growth in dairy 76-77

Asian honey bee 77-78

Myrtle rust 77

301

42

Access Economics report on impacts of greenhouse gas 78 mitigation strategies for farmers Bumblebees 78-79

Definition of 'regional' 79

Murray Darling Basin Authority 79-83

Global food security in relation to agricultural productivity 83-86 Agricultural census 86

Sustainable Resource Management (SRM) 87-99

Caring for Our Country program 87-97

Working on Country 87

National Heritage Trust 87

Indigenous Ranger program 87-88

No-take zones in fishing 92-93

Australian Feral Camel Management Project 97-99

Australian Fisheries Management Authori!Y 99-117

Boundary changes to the Commonwealth North-West Slope 99-101 Trawl Fishery Efficiency dividend 102-103

Sustainable fish advertisements from Coles and Woolworths 103-104 Southern blue-fin tuna 104-108

Fisheries data 106-107

N o-take zones 108

G ear assessments 109-110

Seismic and exploratory drilling 110-111

Effects of Cyclone Y asi 111-112

Ban on gillnets 112-114

Tenninated programs 114

Harvest strategy policy 114-116

Agency resource statement 116-117

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority 117-125 M ouse plague 117-119

Two-headed fish in Noosa 119, 125

Budget allocations 119-120

Assessment of applications 120-121

Use of chemicals lethal to honeybees 121

Reform process 121-123

Maximum residue levels 123-124

Wine Australia 125-130

Counterfeit wine 125-130

302

43

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard page

reference

Trade and Market Access 4-16

Carbon tax 4-5

Forecasts for the Australian dollar 5

Trade negotiations with countries in Asia-Pacific 5-11 New Zealand apples 11-12

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and 12-14, 16 Agriculture High-impact projects addressing food security 12-14

Economic relationship with New Zealand 14-15

In-country offices 16

Biosecurity Services Group 16-66

Chief Veterinary Officer 16-17

Budget allocations 17

Staffing at airports and ports 17

Inspection of cargo and luggage 18-19

New Zealand apples 19-38

Fungal disease 38-39

Small hive beetle's incursion into European honeybee hives 39-40 Myrtle rust 40-43

Asian honeybees ' 43-48

Varroa mite 45

Equine influenza 48-51

Export certification process 51-63

Australian Standards for the Export of Livestock 63

Mortality figures for sheep exported to the northern 63 hemisphere Australian and New Zealand pork 63-64

Exploding watermelons 64-65

Funding for eradication 65

Slow lorises 65-66

Export of genetic material 66

Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation 67-71 Staffing 67

Weeds productivity program 67-68

Biofuels 68-69

Carbon tax 69-70

Broadband 70-71

Agricultural Productivity 71-91

303

44

Animal welfare/live trade animal welfare 71-84

Milk pricing 84

Horticulture Code of Conduct 85

Regional Food Producers program 85-87

Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial 87 Council National Food Plan 87-88

Global food security 89

Chemicals checked for at the border 89-90

Country of origin labelling 90

Wheat Exports Australia 91-99

Grain buyers 91

Sales 91-93

Productivity Commission's inquiry into wheat marketing 93-96 arrangements Seasonal impacts on harvests 97

Audits 98

Exports in containers 98-99

Australian Wool Innovation 99-106

Wool prices 99

Levies 99, 103-104

Impact of Australian dollar 99-101

Mulesing 101-102

Skintraction 103

Labour shortages 103

On-farm research 105-106

Grains Research and Development Corporation 106-113

International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and 106-107 Agricu1 ture Germ plasm 107-109

Staffing and operational funds 109- 110

Farm-to-farm transfer 110-113

Meat and Livestock Australia 113-119

Live cattle exports 113-119

304

Appendix 4

Topic list

Infrastructure and Transport portfolio

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard page

reference

Corporate Services 4-18

Secretary's opening statement 4-5

Reinstatement of QLD road projects 6-10

State and territory contribution of road projects 9-10 Road and rail constructions 10-11

Efficiency dividend 11-14

Regional infrastructure fund 14-18

Projected funding_ for Western Australia 15

Mining tax 15-16

Inland railway 17

Infrastructure Australia 18-32

Staffing 18-19

National Broadband Netvvork 19

National Freight and Ports Strategie s 19-32

Project Iron Boomerang 20-21

Publishing of cost-benefit analyses 21

Pacific Highway 21-22

Parramatta to Epping railway 22

North-west railway 22-23

Port issues in King Island 23-24

National Infrastructure Schedule 24-25,32

Midland Highway 25

Rockhampton Regional Council 25-26

James Price Point 26-28

Port Hedland port 27-28

Pilbara regional program 28

Oakajee port 28-29

Gateway project 29

Bunbury port 29-30

Albany port 30

Majura Parkway 30-31

Funding arrangements 31-32

Nation Building-Infrastructure Investment 32--66 Economic stimulus plan- Black Spot projects 32-33

Economic stimulus plan- rail projects 33-34

305

46

Economic stimulus plan-road projects 34-35

Truck rest stops 35-38

National Transport Commission guidelines 36-38

Mid-North Coast Aviation Plan 38-40

Bruce Highway 40-42,61

North Sydney rail freight corridor 42-44

Government decisions 44-45

Fitzgerald River Infrastructure Project 46,52

Building Australia Fund 46-47

Parramatta to Epping railway 47-49

Funds for each rail project 47-48

Consultation with NSW Government 49-51

Pacific Highway 49-52,63-66

Great Eastern Highway 52-53

Northbridge Link 53

Peak oil forecasts 54,59

Bike paths 54-56

High-speed rail 56-59

Townsville port 59-60

Mackay stadium project 60-61

Cyclone ready school buildings 61

Flood-proofing between Cairns and Townsville 61-62

Upgrades in Rockhampton 62

Moreton Bay rail link 63

Surface Transport Policy 66-74

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator 66-70, 72-73

Volume loading of livestock 68-69

Safe rates 70

Shipping reform 71-72

Restriction of heavy traffic 72

Tasmanian freight equalisation scheme 73-74

Australian Maritime Safety Authority 74-82

National regulator and standard setter for commercial vessels 74-75, 81-82 Rewrite of the Navigation Act 1912 75-76

Certification of vessels carrying livestock 77-78

Montara oil spill 78-79

National regulation for commercial safety 79-80

Tinny to Tanker 80-81

Policy and Research 82-83

Heavy vehicle statistics 82-83

Chain of responsibility requirements 83

Major Cities Unit 83-96

Staffing 83-84

Our Cities, Our Future 84

306

47

Northbridge Link 84-86

National Urban Design Protocol 85

Defmition of 'major cities' 85

Evaluating effectiveness 86

Public transport, housing affordability 87

Work in Cairns, Darwin and Townsville 87-89,91

Managed Motorways Proposal 89,92-93

Liveable Cities 89-90,92

Suburban Jobs 92

Bike paths 94-96

Thursday 26 May 2011

Division/Agency and Topic Proof Hansard page

reference

Australian Rail Track Corporation 3-20

Track maintenance 3-9 16-18

'

Side-insertion of sleepers 3-7 10-20

'

Speed restrictions 7, 9, 11

Inland rail 8-9

Risk assessments 15

Office of the Inspector of Transport Security 20-24 Summary of Inspector's role 20

Airport security 20

Visitor identification cards 21

Maritime piracy 20-23

Australian Defence Force 22-23

Sydney Airport 23-24

Office of Transport Security 24-36

Sydney Night Patrol contractors 24-25

Visitor Identification Cards 25-29

Screening of luggage 30-31

Wheeler report 31-33

Ex_l)losive trace devices 33-34

Aviation Security Identification Cards 34-35

Maritime Security Identification Cards 35-36

Aviation and Airports 36-58

Answers to questions on notice 36-37

Aviation white paper 37

Planning coordination forums 38

Carbon tax 38-39

Effects of the EU carbon tax 39-43

Enroute subsidy 43-50

Second Sydney airport 50-51

307

48

Leasing at airports 51

New terminal at Perth Airport 52-53

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 53-54

Land disputes at Perth Airport 55-56

Government response 56-57

National Airports Safety Advisory Group 57-58

Airservices Australia 58-66

Aircraft Noise Ombudsman 58-61

Pricing of fire fighting services 61-63

Windshear incident in Darwin 63

Bullying and discrimination 63-64

New tower in Melbourne Aiport 64-65

Just culture 65-66

Brisbane Green Project 66

Civil Aviation Safety Authority 67-80

Instruments issued under Section 42Z( c )6 67

Chaim1an's Lounge/declarable interests 67-69

Restrictions on new employees 69

Cabin crew ratios 69-70

Safety assessments on proposed changes 70-71

CASA services fees 71-73

Private pilot's licences 73-74

Civil Aviation Safety Regulation 20 11 amendments 74-77 Minimal level training 77-78

Air Force towers 78-80

Australian Transport Safety Bureau 81-87

Jurisdiction over RAAF 81

Communication between A TSB and CASA 81

Windshear incident in Darwin 81-82

Just culture 82

Reporting requirements 82-83

Departmental capital figure in the PBS 83-84

Safety of travelling infants 84-85

Confidential reports (aka "repcon's") 85-86

308

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

PARLIAMENTARY PAPER No. 180 of 2011 ORDERED TO BE PRINTED

ISSN 0727-4181