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Economics Legislation Committee


In Attendance

Senator Farrell, Minister for Science and Research

Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education


Dr Don Russell, Secretary

Ms Sue Weston, Deputy Secretary

Ms Patricia Kelly, Deputy Secretary

Mr Steven Kennedy, Deputy Secretary

Mr Robert Griew, Associate Secretary

Mr Terry Lowndes, Principal Adviser

AusIndustry Division

Ms Chris Butler, Head of Division

Ms Trish Cattell, Acting General Manager, Innovation Division

Ms Erika Fellows, Acting General Manager, Cooperative Research Centres Branch

Mr Paul Sexton, General Manager, Customer Services Branch

Ms Lisa Peterson, General Manager, Clean Technology Investment Branch

Ms Wendy Launder, General Manager, Business Development Branch

Mr Andrew Lewis, Acting General Manager, Research, Development and Venture Capital Branch

Australian Building Codes Board

Mr Trent Bourne, Acting General Manager Australian Building Codes Board

Australia n Astronomical Observatory

Ms Cathy Parisi, Acting General Manager

Corporate Division

Ms Vanessa Graham, Head of Corporate Division

Mr Brad Medland, General Manager Finance Branch

Ms Ditta Zizi, General Manager Parliamentary and Business Services

Ms Margaret Tregurtha, General Counsel Legal Services

Ms Megan Watson, General Manager Communications and Media

Ms Natalie Marsh, Acting General Manager Human Resources and Strategic Planning

eBusiness Division

Mr Craig Pennifold, CIO and Head of eBusiness Division

Mr Colin Roberts, Acting General Manager, ICT Operations Branch

Enterprise Connect Division

Ms Deborah Anton, Head of Division

Mrs Michelle Henderson, General Manager, Program Performance Branch

Mr Paul Trotman, General Manager, Trade and International Branch

Ms Karen Redshaw, Acting General Manager, Business Improvement Branch

Small Business

Mr Peter Chesworth, Head of Division

Mr Mark Brennan, Australian Small Business Commissioner

Ms Anne Scott, General Manager, Business Conditions Branch

Mr Andrew Joyce, General Manager, Strategic Policy and Regulation Reform Branch

Mr Anthony Steve, Acting General Manager, Branch

Mr Craig Latham, General Manager, Office of the Small Business Commissioner

Industry and Innovation Division

Mr Ken Pettifer, Head of Division

Mr Anthony Murfett, General Manager, Precincts Policy and Coordination

Mr Doron Ben-Meir, General Manager, Commercialisation Australia

Ms Tricia Berman, General Manager, Innovation Policy

Mr Richard Snabel, General Manager, Industry Policy and Analysis

Ms Maryann Quagliata, General Manager, Innovation Analysis

Ms Julia Evans, General Manager, Pharmaceuticals and Transformative Industries

Manufacturing Division

Mr Mike Lawson, Head of Division

Mr Mark Durrant, General Manager, Automotive Branch

Dr Anne Byrne, General Manager Manufacturing Performance Branch

Ms Ann Bray, General Manager Food and Chemicals Branch

Mr Grant Wilson, Acting General Manager Australian Industry Participation Branch

Dr Michael Green, General Manager Manufacturing Innovation Branch

Higher Education Division

Mr David de Carvalho, Head of Division

Dr James Hart, Former General Manager, Higher Education and Infrastructure Branch,

Ms Shame Samuelson, Acting General Manager, Higher Education and Infrastructure Branch

Ms Susan Hewlett, General Manager, Office for Learning and Teaching

Mr Mark Warburton, General Manager, Funding and Student Support Branch

Mr Craig Ritchie, General Manager, Indigenous and Equity Branch

Dr Andrew Taylor, General Manager, Policy and Analysis Branch

Mr Andrew Herd, Acting Director, Funding Policy Section

Ms Kate Woodall, Director, Higher Education Infrastructure Branch

International Education and Science Division

Ms Anne Baly, Head of Division

Ms Susan Bennett, General Manager, Mobility, South and South East Asia Branch

Mr Jason Coutts, General Manager, Scholarships and North Asia Branch

Ms Di Weddell, general Manager, International Strategy Branch

Science and Research Division

Dr Rob Porteous, Head of Division

Ms Clare McLaughlin, General Manager, Research Funding and Infrastructure

Professor Ian Chubb AC, Chief Scientist

Ms Katharine Campbell PSM, General Manager, Science Policy and Agencies

Dr Roslyn Prinsley, National Maths and Science Education and Industry Advisor

Dr Simon Prasad, Assistant Director-Science

Ms Lisa Schofield, General Manager, Research Outcomes and Policy

SKA Project Office

Dr Brian Boyle PSM, SKA Project Director

Mr David Luchetti, General Manager

VET Reform

Ms Peta Furnell, Head of Division

Ms Christine Woodgate, General Manager, Commonwealth State Strategy Branch

Mr Martin Graham, General Manager, VET Transparency Reform Branch

Mrs Kathryn Shugg, General Manager, Unique Student Identifier Branch

Ms Anita Mills, Acting General Manager, Unique Student Identifier Branch

Skills Connect Division

Mr Craig Robertson, Head of Division

Mr Andrew Lalor, General Manager, Australian Apprenticeships Branch

Ms Susan Devereux, General Manager, Foundation Skills Branch

Dr James Hart, General Manager, Skills Connect State Network Branch

Dr Melissa McEwen, General Manager, Trades Recognition Australia

Ms Linda White, General Manager, Industry Skills Branch

Tertiary Quality and Student Support Division

Ms Jessie Borthwick, Head of Division

Mr Adam Luckhurst, General Manager, Tertiary Quality Governance

Dr Lyndal Groom, General Manager, Student Support

Mr Stephen Murtagh, General Manager, Tertiary Regulation and Systems Reporting

Ms Mary-Anne Sakkara, General Manager, Tertiary Strategies and Income Support

Mr Craig Johnson, Director, Tuition Protection Service

Mr Vipan Mahajan, Director, Tuition Protection Service

National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Ski lls and Employment

Ms Sharon Robertson, Head of National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment

Mr Philip Clarke, General Manager

Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency

Mr Robin Shreeve, Chief Executive Officer


Australian Nuclear Scie nce and Technology Organisation

Dr Adrian (Adi) Paterson, Chief Executive Officer

A ustralian Research Council

Professor Aidan Byrne, Chief Executive Officer

Ms Leanne Harvey, Executive General Manager

Aust ralian Skills Quality Authority

Mr Chris Robinson, Chief Commissioner

Mr Justin Napier, National Manager Corporate

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive

Mr Mike Whelan, Deputy Chief Executive, Operations

Mr Craig Roy, Deputy Chief Executive Science, Strategy and People

Ms Hazel Bennett, Chief Finance Officer

Dr Tom Hatton, Group Executive, Energy

Dr Brian Keating, Director, Sustainable Agriculture Flagship

IP Australia

Mr Philip Noonan, Director General

Ms Fatima Beattie, Deputy Director General

Mr Doug Pereira, General Manager, Corporate Services Group and Chief Financial Officer

Ms Emma Deutrom, Chief Human Resource (HR) Officer and Director, HR Projects and Reporting

Tertiary Educati on Quality and Standards Agency

Dr Carol Nicoll, Chief Commissioner

Mr Indhi Emmanuel, Chief Finance and Operating Officer

Committee met at 0 9:00

CHAIR ( Senator Mark Bishop ): I declare open this public hearing of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee. The Senate has referred to the committee the particulars of proposed expenditure for 2013-14 and related documents for the Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio. The committee must report to the Senate on 25 June 2013 and it has set 19 July 2013 as the date by which answers to questions on notice are to be returned. Under standing order 26, the committee must take all evidence in public session. This includes answers to questions on notice. Officers and senators are familiar with the rules of the Senate governing estimates hearings. If you need assistance, the secretariat has a copy of the rules. I particularly draw the attention of witnesses to an order of the Senate of 13 May 2009 specifying the process by which a claim of public interest immunity should be raised, and which I now incorporate in Hansard.

The extract read as follows—

Public interest immunity claims

That the Senate—

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

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

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

(1) If:

(a) a Senate committee, or a senator in the course of proceedings of a committee, requests information or a document from a Commonwealth department or agency; and

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

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

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

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

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

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

(7) A statement that information or a document is not published, or is confidential, or consists of advice to, or internal deliberations of, government, in the absence of specification of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document, is not a statement that meets the requirements of paragraph (1) or (4).

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

(Extract, Senate Standing Orders, pp 124-125)

I would ask photographers and cameramen to follow the established media guidelines and instructions of the committee secretariat. Please ensure that senators' and witnesses' laptops and personal papers are not filmed. I remind members of the public and everyone in the gallery that they are not permitted to speak or interfere with the proceedings or with witnesses at any point during the hearing. Security is present and they will be asked to remove anyone who does not follow these instructions.

The committee will begin consideration of the Industry, Innovation, Science Research and Tertiary Education portfolio with the questions for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and will then follow the order as set out in the circulated program. I welcome the Minister for Science and Research, Senator the Hon. Don Farrell, and officers of ANSTO. Minister or officers, would either of you like to make an opening statement?

Senator Farrell: Thank you for that, Chair, and thank you for that opportunity. There is a matter in respect of CSIRO that I would like to address, but would you prefer that I do that when we are about to start the CSIRO section, or would you like me to do that now?

CHAIR: Do that now, Minister, please.

Senator Farrell: Thank you, Chair. I just wanted to advise that on the weekend the board of CSIRO indicated that Megan Clark, the very hardworking CEO of that organisation, has been reappointed for a further 12 months. Her term was due to expire at the end of this year. It will now expire at the end of next year. I congratulate Megan on her reappointment and indicate that it is welcomed by the government. The board has indicated that this gives them an opportunity to do a worldwide search for a replacement, which they think will take about six months and will start in the next few months.