Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
02/10/2014
Role of the private sector in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty in the Indo-Pacific region

RUNDE, Mr Daniel FitzGerald, William A Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis, and Director, Project on Prosperity and Development, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Evidence was taken via teleconference—

Subcommittee met at 08:49.

CHAIR ( Ms Gambaro ): Welcome. I have an opening statement to formalise this. I declare open this public hearing of the Foreign Affairs and Aid Subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. The subcommittee is hearing evidence for the inquiry into the role of the private sector in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty in the Indo-Pacific region.

We thank you for your interest in the inquiry and we thank you for making yourself available to give evidence to us in the evening from Washington DC.

Before I invite you to make an opening statement, there are some procedural matters. Firstly, I advise you that the protections of parliamentary privilege, which would normally attach to witnesses giving evidence to parliamentary committees in Australia, does not extend beyond Australia's jurisdiction. Your evidence should be given knowing the limitations of the Australian parliament to protect you outside of Australia. Secondly, witnesses are also advised of the obligation not to give false or misleading evidence, and to do so may be regarded as a contempt of the Australian parliament.

These are public proceedings, although the subcommittee will consider a request to have evidence heard in private. If you object to answering a question, you are invited to state the ground for that objection and the subcommittee will consider the matter. Finally, these proceedings are being broadcast on the parliamentary website and a transcript of the proceedings is being made which will be provided to you.

Mr Runde, I ask you to make an opening statement to the subcommittee and we will then proceed to questions.

Mr Runde : Thank you very much, Madam Chair. It is an honour to speak to you this morning, this evening for me. I spoke before the Canadian parliament on this very topic a couple of years ago and I have also presented on similar topics to US congressional committees. I have been working on international development issues for 12 years, including five years as a political appointee in the Bush administration at USAID and as a professional staffer at the World Bank Group, where I have held a number of roles working with the private sector on a wide variety of projects, and I was responsible for building a range of public-private partnerships.

CSIS, the think tank where I work, is a bipartisan institution and I focus on a broad set of development issues. One of the lenses through which I have looked at the challenges of development is through a private sector lens. I have also worked on the roles of the multilateral institutions, the intersection of governance and economic growth, and the special challenges and opportunities that the rise of middle-income countries presented to donors such as Australia.

It is a wonderful opportunity to be with you today. My programs at CSIS, the Project on US Leadership and Development and the Project on Prosperity and Development, do not receive any funding from any Australian private sector institutions nor the Australian government. So I am speaking in my own capacity as an expert on international development.

Foreign aid was once thought of as the primary delivery vehicle for development in low-income countries. But today private investment and private enterprise are widely recognised as the primary drivers for growth and human progress. Mainstream development thinking reflects this changed reality, including the high-level panel's work around the next round of the Millennium Development Goals at the United Nations, the post-Busan process as well as major thought leaders from the World Bank. The World Bank cites that nine out of 10 jobs in the developing world are in the private sector. In 2012, foreign direct investment surpassed foreign aid into even Africa.

The world is driven by trade and investment, and the private sector is the main driver of progress in the world. At the same time, there are critical roles for government and critical roles for foreign assistance. The Busan declaration, which was the declaration at the end of the Busan process in 2011, in meeting with a broad spectrum of donor countries, including Australia as well as developing countries, came out looking at foreign assistance in a new way, as a catalyst to mobilise resources to achieve development goals. I think that was an important change from before 2011.

I want to make four general points that I think are appropriate to this committee and also for Australian foreign policy and cooperation policy. First is, given this reality, Australia can provide the strongest development impact by encouraging private enterprise-led growth, mobilising increased trade and investment, and deepening its partnerships with developing countries, private companies, non-government organisations, philanthropic institutions and public-private partnerships. This is in line with Australia's new development strategy that allocates 20 per cent of its assistance to economic growth activities. Given the Asia-Pacific's increasing prosperity, Australia has the opportunity to establish itself as a world leader and even the world leader on economic growth, trade and related activities around good governance—all the sorts of assistance that countries increasingly want but often donors do not have money for because often foreign aid dollars are already spoken for.

Second: Australia is well placed to become a donor of choice for middle-income countries of the Asia-Pacific region by focusing on areas of greatest interest to those countries which includes, yes, private enterprise, energy, infrastructure and trade related activities. Australia will still be required, I would want to know, to provide basic assistance like health and education in emergency situations in areas like Pacific islands, Papua New Guinea and East Timor, where Australia has the lead and has historically led. However, given the Asia-Pacific's increasing prosperity, Australia has this opportunity to establish itself as the world leader in economic growth, trade and good governance—again, all the sorts of assistance that these countries want but donors find difficult to provide.

Third: Australia should seek to be a donor of choice for the management of oil, gas and mining revenue by supporting good economic governance, as these resources increasingly come on line around the world. Related to that, Australia should also increase its support for private sector energy and mining activities through its assistance activities as well. So Australia, in my view, should support an all-of-the-above energy strategy and large infrastructure projects by providing finance, risk sharing and advice to governments so that they can provide a full spectrum of energy and road infrastructure projects favoured by developing countries. Many donors are unwilling to take this position for domestic political reasons. China and others will happily fill this void if traditional donors are not willing to. So Australia has an opportunity to fill this void.

Four: to help Australia leverage its existing resources while reducing poverty and creating business opportunities in the developing world, I want to make three strategic recommendations to this committee. The first, 4(a), make broad based economic growth the central tenant of Australian development policy. Australia can distinguish itself by specialising in sectors that support private sector-led growth, utilising these instruments to work with the private sector in initiatives such as supporting rule of law, property rights and good governance. All these enable private sector success as well as supporting competent and reliable governments.

The other thing to note is that in developing countries tax bases are increasing. Developing countries are increasingly able to rely more on what is called 'domestic resource mobilisation', which was talked about in the Busan process and in the post Busan process; it has also been talked about as part of the high-level panel's thinking about how we finance development. In this regard, the development dollar should be supporting self-sufficiency not propagating systems of dependence. So a successful and growing economy underpinned by strong institutions and regulations provide the conditions and motivations for long-term sustainable development.

The second point, 4(b), align Australian development resources and tools to leverage the private sector in promoting development outcomes. Many companies have a large stake in the progress of developing countries and the accompanying business success as a result of good health care and economic vibrancy in the communities where they operate. Many companies, including Australian companies, are pursuing a range of development initiatives either unilaterally or in partnership with NGO and donor governments. Many NGOs often operate as valuable, on-the-ground partners and implementers of significant private resources. World Vision Australia raises 90 per cent of its A$300 million budget through grassroots funding from the Australian public in support of its child sponsorship initiatives. Every time DFAT partners with World Vision Australia, it is leveraging its Australian dollars 10 to one. NGOs like World Vision Australia also provide broad networks through which local implementation is possible and represent the first line of development execution.

Let me just say a further word on this topic of multisector partnerships. The process by which governments partner with the private sector is often difficult to navigate for companies, with multiple entry points and confusing contractual processes. Many countries have introduced partnership vehicles to increase the ability for companies, NGOs and governments to partner more in a multisector way. The United States has a lot to offer in this regard through what is called USAID's Global Development Alliance initiative. It is one of the most successful partnership programs out there, and I commend it to this committee.

The other thing I want to flag for you in this issue of partnerships is the issue of diaspora and remittance flows. In many developing countries in Asia, remittance flows are a significant percentage of the economy. DFAT should consider using its new innovation fund to support remittance and diaspora initiatives. The UN projects that in 2014 remittances to developing countries will exceed $440 billion, with approximately $240 billion heading to the South-East Asia and Pacific region; I know it is a region that Australia cares particularly about.

Finally, recommendation 4(c) is that Australia ought to facilitate broader and more effective engagement in developing countries by utilising the full array of trade and investment instruments at Australia's disposal. Australian development efforts could be greatly bolstered by the creation of an Australian development finance institution similar to the International Finance Corporation or the United States' Overseas Private Investment Corporation. I strongly recommend that Australia consider the creation of a DFI. DFIs fill the investment gap in countries where the business investment or the political climate would otherwise dissuade private sector engagement and are crucial in driving the expansion of local and international companies into the developing world. Following initial funding, most DFIs are self-sustaining and often turn a profit on their investments. If Australia were to create a DFI with a focus on energy and infrastructure, focused on the full spectrum of energy needs, that would serve Australia's interests as well as those of its regional partners. For domestic political reasons, many OECD countries have been unable to engage in the full spectrum of energy opportunities, leaving opportunities in the sector on the table. Australia could become the development finance investor of choice for developing countries in meeting all of the above energy needs. The imperative for new energy to support development in Asia is great, and if Australia does not fill this role then other donors will—and I want you to read in between the lines here: China.

Finally, I want to make one last note on trade. Obviously Australia has been a leader on trade, and trade provides the opportunity for a variety of economic engagements, ranging from a one-way generalised system of preferences to comprehensive free trade agreements. Australia understands this as a champion of free trade, with seven free trade agreements in force, two more signed and eight more under negotiation. While FTAs represent the highest standard for trade engagement, trade and investment framework agreements and bilateral investment treaties are also good intermediate steps that nonetheless strengthen economic ties and drive development. The related field of trade capacity building is a useful development tool promoting development and should be used more often by Australian aid. Trade capacity building chapters in trade agreements help frame up the areas of focus. In the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, Australia has the opportunity to explore cutting edge trade engagements and use trade capacity building as part of furthering trade through the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

I have one final point on trade. If we get a Bali trade facilitation agreement, Australia has a unique opportunity to lead, where other countries are reluctant to do so due to other priorities, by making a large investment in implementing the Bali agreement through finding development dollars for the Bali trade facilitation agreement. If we get an agreement—if the Indians move off their position—we are going to have to move from a trade negotiation paradigm to a development and diplomacy implementation paradigm, and Australia has a unique opportunity and a unique role to play, because there are many donors who have all of their aid money spoken for, and it is not a huge amount of money. It needs to be done in partnership with the United States, Canada and other partners, but this is a huge development opportunity as well as a trade opportunity. With that I am going to end my remarks. Thank you very much.

CHAIR: Thank you very much, Mr Runde. I did not mention in my opening statement that I am in an acting capacity. Our permanent chair, Dr Sharman Stone, is in your country at the moment, at the UN, for a placement for three months. I do not know if you get to New York, but if you do, that is where she is.

Mr RUDDOCK: I am very supportive of the suggestions that there be greater private sector involvement, but I am troubled greatly that the countries that have the greatest development needs tend to be the most corrupt. You have done some work in relation to the costs of corruption relating to, I think, ending tax on private sector-led growth. I just wonder how you can deal with the issue of state protection of corrupt activities when you are putting your aid dollar in and you know it will not deliver all that you might expect of it. I was once the Attorney-General of Australia. I had the responsibility to deal with one of the governments that we give an enormous amount of aid to, and there was enormous resistance to any form of institutional change that we might encourage them to undertake. I will be very specific: it was in relation to Papua New Guinea. We wanted them to have a solicitor-general to stop the state making private sector arrangements where people would sue the government, and they would automatically settle the claims without testing the legitimacy of those claims. Very large payments would be made out. We suggested they should have a solicitor-general, and they resisted it very, very strongly. How do you deal with the corruption issues to ensure that you get the best outcome of the aid support that you are suggesting we might make?

Mr Runde : Thank you very much for that question. It is an insidious tax on development and if you ask publics all around the world, in something like a hundred countries, the issue of corruption in their society is either the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 issue. So, to the extent that Australia, as part of its support for assistance and as part of its public diplomacy, is saying, 'We are going to support country X, and we want to do so in ways that fight corruption,' you are going to be on the side of the people. That is something just to be aware of—that to fight corruption is a popular thing. It is just not popular among the corrupt elites that are benefiting from corruption. That is the first point I would make.

The second point I would make is that how we program dollars is an important thing. There is a temptation to run money through the pipes of government, through what is called 'budget support' or 'sector support'. I am not saying that in every instance we should not do that, but when we do run money through government budgets—foreign aid dollars through foreign government budgets—there is a higher degree of possibility of corruption. So, how we program moneys is important. That is where organisations—and many Australian organisations—like Australian NGOs like World Vision Australia, or consultancies like Coffey International or others that are very well regarded internationally, provide you with a higher level of comfort in terms of what you are delivering and in terms of corruption at the aid level.

In terms of putting aid dollars into a system and enabling a corrupt system, let me come back to this issue of trade facilitation. If we can get a Bali Trade Facilitation Agreement, one of the most important things we can do is fix many of the bureaucratic stoppages at borders, which are in essence opportunities for graft and opportunities for bribes. Of the hundred or so countries that are going to come forward as part of the Bali Process—if we get a Bali Process—to say what they want for their birthdays in terms of foreign aid dollars from Australia, Canada, the United States, the Nordic countries and the multilaterals, we need to be very discerning about which countries actually have the political will to take on some of the corrupt arrangements that are, in essence, running many of these border or customs situations.

You can look at them and say, 'Why is this such an inefficient system?' when you realise that someone is getting paid off or it is some sort of a pay-off. I think one of the ways we can fight corruption is to fix the plumbing at the borders and through this trade facilitation work. Another way we can get at it a little bit more directly is through supporting democracy promotion and funding civil society groups. If you want to have effective oil, gas and mining revenue governance, including through the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative process or some other way—and I know Australia has a lot to contribute to the world on this—one of the ways is to have an independent press and an independent civil society. I think Australia should consider always: how are they supporting independent civil society on the ground and how are they supporting an independent press?

Finally I will just make one last point, which is that one of the most important things we can do in development is to support the work of the World Bank through its Doing Business indicators. It sounds a little bit wonky, and it is, but in essence—I know Australia, as well as New Zealand, has been a big supporter of the Doing Business indicators—if your blood enemy over the mountains is 100 points ahead of you on the Doing Business indicators and you have spent 100 or 1,000 years saying that the neighbours across the way are bad people but they seem to be doing a far better job, that is a powerful instrument of change, on the one hand. On the other hand, making the sorts of changes that are implicit in making improvements on the Doing Business indicators in essence reduced the number of opportunities for graft, for bribes, for needless bureaucracy or regulations where people look for workarounds.

I will just make one final point about this issue of corruption, which is that I think that we need to do a better job. I am a Republican, so I am for the private sector. I think it is clear from my statement. But I am not a libertarian, and I am guessing nobody in the parliament is a libertarian either—or at least no-one in this committee is a libertarian. We need an effective state. We need a state that works. So what I would just say is that we want to think about how we make states that are capable in things like—again, not very sexy stuff but it is these sorts of changes that are needed—strengthening the ability of governments to collect taxes. I think of a region like Central America, where a very small percentage of the people actually pay taxes, and only "stupid people" pay taxes. That is crazy. That means there are a lot of corruption problems and people are not invested in the society and that creates a vicious circle.

Second—and I will stop here—something like 50 or 60 per cent of a government's budget goes through a government's procurement system. Oftentimes in many developing countries the dumb nephew of the minister gets the job of being the head of procurement. It is not a very prestigious thing. There are all sorts of opportunities for corruption in the procurement processes. So strengthening procurement systems is good from an anticorruption standpoint. I would just add that it is also in Australia's interest and in the United States's interest, and let me explain why. Because of pressures on government procurement systems to go for the lowest bid, which is understandable because it is simple and clear, what you are finding is that Australian construction companies or American construction companies or other service providers who may not be the lowest bid but, on an overall life cycle cost or if we looked at it in a more complex or more sophisticated way, would be a better value over time for the taxpayer lose out. One way to deal with corruption is to strengthen public procurement systems, while at the same time it is perhaps also good for OECD countries who offer more sophisticated products and services that developing countries want but we want them to also think about them as they make those sorts of decisions. That is my answer. I know it is a little bit long, but thank you for that question.

Mr RUDDOCK: Thank you very much and for the suggestion on the World Bank index, which I would like my colleagues to note—

Mr Runde : Doing Business indicators.

Mr RUDDOCK: Yes. We might want to come back to that when we are considering our recommendations.

CHAIR: I do not know whether we have a copy of that. We might get some more information on those World Bank Doing Business indicators—

Mr Runde : We will send them to you.

CHAIR: Could you do that for us?

Mr Runde : Absolutely. We can send it to you either tonight or tomorrow morning, my time.

CHAIR: And there is nothing like self-assessment when countries are bidding for foreign aid projects. I am going to have to apologise to you, and I really am very reluctant to leave, but I am going to have to leave at 9:20, because I have a longstanding appointment with our foreign minister, and I am going to hand over to Jane Prentice. But I will now hand over to Melissa Parke for a question, and I will be with you for the next five minutes. Thank you so very much. I have really appreciated it.

Ms PARKE: Thank you, Mr Runde, for your evidence and your submission, which are very useful for us. We know that one of the best ways to promote economic growth in developing countries is to address gender inequality, which of course means that we need to educate girls and we need to deal with issues like water and sanitation and maternal mortality et cetera. Do you think the private sector has a role in addressing those obstacles to women's participation in the economy? Or is that something that governments should do as a matter of aid to NGOs and that sort of approach?

Mr Runde : Thank you very much for that important question. I think that societies are most economically successful when they allow everybody to fully participate in their society. The World Bank has done a number of interesting analytic pieces for governments in Africa saying, 'Look: if you fixed a series of laws and regulations that restrict women from fully participating in the economy, you'd have one or two per cent more GNP growth every year, so it's in your economic interest to fix it an make that possible for women to fully participate in society.' That is one piece of this, so yes, absolutely I think there is an incredible gender piece. I also think that to the extent that we are working in countries that have complex relationships either with Australia or otherwise, similar to this issue of corruption, to the extent that Australia's cooperation is seen as supporting women in participating fully in the economy, starting with girls' education and also through other means, then that is also something that has got to be openly welcomed. It helps create a more open society and a more responsive and accountable society.

The other thing I would mention on this issue of gender is that we have quite a large challenge in making sure that young people fully participate in the economy. The last time I checked, 50 per cent of young people are women, and we need to make sure that we are preparing young women and men to fully participate in the economy through workforce development programs. There is a role for the private sector in that, there is a role for education institutions in that and there is a role for government, and there is certainly a role for foreign assistance in providing glue money for that, or funding pilots. I can think of a number of industries, including the construction industry, which is relevant to Australia, the financial services retail industry, also relevant to Australia, the oil and industry, relevant to Australia, the mining industry, relevant to Australia, and the travel, tourism and hospitality industry—all relevant to Australia—where these are important issues about where they are going to get the next generation of young people, including women, whether it is in Australia or, frankly, in countries like Indonesia or the Philippines, East Timor, Vietnam or Myanmar. These are important pressing issues.

So, when we think about gender I think one of the things we want to think about is how we are getting women and men to fully participate in the economy and make sure that they are able to participate, because we are going to need them to meet many of the challenges. For example, in the case of the global travel, tourism and hospitality sector, over the next 10 years that sector—hotels and the infrastructure of tourism—is going to need an additional 70 million people to fill jobs around the world. That is going to require a lot of training, a lot of women and a lot of men. In conservative societies, one issue is dealing with the stigma of participating in vocational technical training or that sort of track of jobs. But, second, in some conservative societies, how do we make it comfortable for young women to work in places like hotels? That is a perfectly legitimate place of work and opportunity, and there is a career path there as well. So I think this is an important question, but I think that on one hand it is about using analytics to show that you are leaving money on the table for countries to make those sorts of changes and, on the other, yes, there is absolutely room for the private sector. It is in their interests to have trained and capable young men and women to meet their future workforce needs.

Mr RANDALL: I would make the observation that previously much of our aid has been by way of the delivery of tied grants, or tied funding. So, they could not siphon it off very well. Recently, in the last parliament, with New Guinea—which was mentioned before—that was untied so that we could try to do a deal on a detention centre. But that has been generally the successful method of delivery into countries where we have suspicions about transparency and corruption with our aid dollars.

I would just go to your point about the resources sector in some of the developing countries. I come from Western Australia, and we have a lot of what we call mid-cap companies that are into Africa. What I think you suggested was that that is another way of delivering economic prosperity to some of these developing countries—to bring some of its funds into developing its resources for the benefit of that country. But they are not going to do it unless there is some incentive, and I suspect that is probably a taxation break. I do not know how you give them a break in Australia when they are doing it in another country. They are just some of the things I got from your submission and found interesting, and if you have any response then that would be appreciated.

Mr Runde : Given the large number of oil, gas and mining discoveries in Africa and in parts of Asia, the issue of managing these important resources is an important part of the development future of many countries. I was in Norway just last week. Norway has had for the last 15 years an 'oil for development' initiative, and they have been very, very active in standing up the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and actively funding the World Bank's trust fund, which provides technical assistance to countries as they sign on to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. I know that both Norway and the United States have become signatories to the EITI. But I think not so much the standard itself but one of the ways in which Australian aid can make a contribution is to link DFAT's aid development cooperation programs with the experience in parts of Australia around managing very responsibly—and worldwide, respectively—those oil, gas and mining revenues, particularly mining revenues.

I just think it is something that is unique to Australia and it is something that is attractive to many countries, and there is an increasing interest in how to manage those revenues and how to set up systems—taxation systems and property rights systems—whereby it is attractive for folks to invest so that the broader society benefits. The province or the local community certainly benefits. This is one of the great challenges of development, and I think Australia has an important contribution to make in it because of Australia's experience. One of the things I said in my remarks and that I want to underline is that this is an important part of Australia's important and in some ways unique contribution to development—to bring that very successful experience of managing those resources to the conversation. So I would suggest that one thing this committee might do is take a look at how Norway has set up its oil for development and its tax for development initiatives and the ways in which Norway has supported this, because I think, similar to Norway, Australia has a lot to offer in terms of its experience in this space.

ACTING CHAIR ( Mrs Prentice ): You might be aware that our government has made a decision—and this is off to a bit of a different side and topic—to focus on the Asia-Pacific region for our aid going forward, with the biggest percentage. Is the US doing that as well? Or are they still trying to sort of cover all the hot spots?

Mr Runde : I think that is a very good question. The short answer is that I think the United States continues to seek to respond to a broad set of challenges, and they could be interpreted as being almost all things to all people. As a result, sometimes, if everything is a priority, some things do not become a priority. One of the implicit things I wanted you to take away from my testimony is that I think Australia has the opportunity with this government and with a strategy to in essence take on pieces of the development puzzle where Australia has a contribution to make, and it is a large and significant donor, it is a successful country with a great story to share and to focus regionally on those countries that it cares about, focus on experiences like managing oil, gas and mining revenues successfully and bringing that experience in an aggressive and broad way, using its foreign aid dollars in that way, and using its aid dollars to support the trade facilitation agenda, which is something Australia has led on, and be a big donor in that, and also to take pieces of the private sector agenda, including improving good governance and fighting corruption. I can tell you, I know that taxpayers in this country, and I am sure in Australia as well, do not want to write foreign aid cheques to corrupt projects or programs that support corruption. So, I do take your colleague's point about this issue of corruption. I think it is part of the larger conversation around good governance, and we need good governance. We need effective governments and governance for private sector led economic growth to happen.

That is my long way of saying that it is important for Australia to pick and choose regionally and pick and choose a handful of things it can do. That was my intention in my remarks, as I said. I understand why you are picking that region. I understand why you are focusing on economic growth and trade. I applaud you. I agree with you. I would say, think about trade facilitation as part of that. Think about oil, gas and mining revenue and governance, and as part of that Australia should think about creating a development finance institution. I know there are some people in this government who are supportive of that, and I hope your parliamentary committee will inquire a little bit further about the establishment of an Australian development finance institution.

ACTING CHAIR: Thank you very much. Do you have anything further you would like to say at this point?

Mr Runde : It is a privilege to be with you. I want to leave you with this issue of trade facilitation. I just think there is a tremendous benefit for Australia and developed countries. There are estimates that if you could fix the plumbing in developing countries and customs and borders there would be as much as a trillion dollars of increased trade around the world. Half of that—$500 billion—would go to developed countries and $500 billion to developing countries. To fix the plumbing to make that happen is a couple of billion dollars; it is several hundred million dollars, at least in the short run, among countries that are willing to actually make the changes. Not every developing country is going to want to take on the corrupt arrangements that I was talking about earlier. This is a tremendous opportunity for development. There is right now a bit of a vacuum in the development community because most of the aid dollars are spoken for or mortgaged. Australia, because of its new strategy and because of this government—the Abbott government—has the opportunity to really lead on this. This is a very important thing, and I want to leave that with you. So, again, I would say that it is a privilege to be here and thank you very much for having me and receiving me. It is an honour, and I hope to meet you all in person. I will be coming to Canberra in February, so I hope to have a chance to meet with each of you bilaterally.

ACTING CHAIR: That is great. We look forward to seeing you, indeed. Thank you for your attendance and participation, and we appreciate your offer to provide some additional information tomorrow, your time. If there is any other information you think would be of benefit we would appreciate it. Thank you very much. We will send you a copy of the transcript from today so that you can make any corrections you want to. That concludes today's hearings. We look forward to seeing you in February next year.

Resolved that these proceedings be published.

Subc ommittee adjourned at 09 : 29