Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2011-2012

Part 5 Sustainability



HR Services

Staffing, salary and classification structures

Remuneration for Senior Executive Service (SES) employees

The remuneration and other conditions of service for SES employees are governed by a determination made pursuant to section 24 of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 (the Act). The level of remuneration, and in some instances the conditions attaching to remuneration, varies. In general terms, salary increases provided to SES employees depend upon a rating of ‘effective’ or higher as assessed through the SES performance management arrangements.

The remuneration of the statutory position of Parliamentary Librarian is governed by a determination made pursuant to section 38E of the Act.

With the introduction of a Total Remuneration (TR) approach to SES salaries in the previous financial year, for those SES employees on a non-TR arrangement base salaries range from $147,660 to $236,150 and for those on a total remuneration approach the range is $195,700 to $221,450.

Performance-based salary advancement for non-SES staff

For non-SES staff, salary advancement is based on performance assessment as required by the Department of Parliamentary Services Enterprise Agreement 2011 (the Agreement).

The Agreement provides for salary advancement within a salary range subject to the achievement of an overall rating of ‘effective’ or higher through the performance management arrangements.

In 2011–12, a total of 626 DPS employees (86%) participated in performance reviews and career development feedback.

Salary increases under the enterprise agreement

A salary increase of 3% was paid on 1 July 2012, as allowed for under the DPS Enterprise Agreement 2011.

Overview of classification structures

Table 5.4 sets out the non-SES classifications and salary ranges for DPS staff as at 30 June 2012.

Table 5.4—Classification and salary ranges as at 30 June 2012

Classification

Salary range ($)

Parliamentary Service Level 1

44,755 - 52,153

Parliamentary Service Level 2

53,167 - 57,076

Parliamentary Service Level 3

58,346 - 60,972

Parliamentary Service Level 4

62,190 - 67,577

Parliamentary Service Level 5

68,929 - 73,949

Parliamentary Service Level 6

75,427 - 84,774

Parliamentary Executive Level 1

91,789 - 104,800

Parliamentary Executive Level 2

106,895 - 126,751

Staff progress annually through the salary range in 3.5% increments, subject to effective performance.

Table 5.5 (over the page) sets out staff numbers (headcount) as at 30 June 2012. Staff numbers include inoperative staff i.e. those on more than 12 weeks’ leave without pay from DPS.

Management of human resources

Introduction

The HR Services section had a number of priorities during 2011–12. During the first quarter, negotiations were finalised for a new industrial agreement, the DPS Enterprise Agreement 2011, which came into effect on 30 September 2011.

Workforce planning, staff retention and turnover

DPS Workforce composition

The DPS workforce headcount figure remained stable during 2011–12. There were 848 employees at June 2012, compared with 847 at June 2011.

Of the 848 employees, 726 were ongoing and 122 non-ongoing. Ongoing employment accounts for 86% of total DPS employment. Non-ongoing workforce accounts for 14%. Non-ongoing employees are engaged for irregular or intermittent duties (10%) or for a specified term (4%) to accommodate the sitting patterns of the Parliament.

In 2011–12, men comprised 62% of the workforce and women 38%. There was a slight change in numbers from the preceding year.

Employee Separations

There were 133 employee separations during 2011–12. This was an increase of 15 employees on the 118 separations in 2010–11. The overall separation rate for DPS in 2011–12 was 15.7%, up from 14% in 2010–11.

Resignations accounted for over a quarter (28%) of DPS total separations during the year followed by end of contract (20%), age retirements (19%), voluntary redundancy retirements (17%) and promotions/transfer (14%). There were two invalidity retirements and one death in 2011–12. Resignations fell from 32% to 28% this year; however, age retirements and voluntary redundancies showed increases of 5%.

Employees aged 55 years and over (41%) represented the highest proportion of employee separations, followed by 35–44 years (20%); 25–34 years (18%); 25–34 years (18%) and under 25 years (6%). Those employees aged 55 years and over primarily separated through age retirement, voluntary redundancy and end of contracts.

Five employees (26%) aged 45–54 years resigned at 54 years of age as a result of the 54 years/11 months CSS incentive. This represents 13.5% of total staff resignations.

Women and men accounted for 50% each of the total staff separation.

Exit interviews are offered to all employees leaving DPS. In 2011–12, only 23% volunteered to provide feedback on their employment experience at DPS, compared with 31% in 2010–11.

Table 5.5—Staff numbers at classification level as at 30 June 201231

Classification

Ongoing F/T 

Ongoing P/T

Non-Ongoing F/T

Non-Ongoing P/T

Casual

Total 

 

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

Total

Apprentice 1/2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Apprentice 2/3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

PSL1/2

9

76

6

22

1

1

0

0

0

32

16

131

147

PSL 123

0

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5

5

PSL2/3

0

31

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

33

33

PSL4/5

6

4

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

8

5

13

PSL5/6

19

13

18

4

0

0

0

0

3

0

40

17

57

PSL1

1

10

0

0

0

0

0

0

7

4

8

14

22

PSL2

18

14

18

8

1

2

0

2

3

6

40

32

72

PSL3

17

26

4

0

0

0

3

0

10

3

34

29

63

PSL4

28

54

8

3

1

5

1

0

4

7

42

69

111

PSL5

12

32

5

0

0

2

0

0

2

0

19

34

53

PSL6

23

57

5

3

3

1

1

0

4

0

36

61

97

PEL1

42

64

12

3

1

3

0

0

0

0

55

70

125

PEL2

14

22

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

1

16

23

39

Senior Executive Service 1

6

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

6

1

7

Parliamentary Librarian

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

Senior Executive Service 3

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

Secretary

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

Total

197

409

77

43

10

19

5

2

33

53

322

526

848

Table 5.6 shows the total DPS staff separation figures since 2009–10.

Table 5.7 (over the page) shows employee separation by age and gender

Employee Commencements

During 2011–12, the total number of employee commencements increased by 4.7%. The highest proportion of commencements was in the 35–44 years age group (29%) followed by 25–34 years (22%) and 45–54 years (20%). The median age of employee commencements was 40 years. Women accounted for 47% of recruitment compared with 53% for men. Tables 5.8 and 5.9 show employee commencements by year and gender, respectively.

Recruitment

In 2011–12, DPS measured its recruitment performance by the time it took to conduct a competitive selection process. For non-SES employees, the average time to finalise a vacancy was 42 working days. Not only is this an improvement on the 2010–11 figure of 59 days, but it is also 3 days below the APS target rate of 45 days.

Table 5.6—Staff retention and turnover statistics

 

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

Staff Number

848

847

848

Staff Separations (total)

147

118

133

Turnover

17.3%

14%

15.7%

Separations by type

Transfers/promotions

33

26

18

Resignations

42

38

37

Age retirements

11

17

25

Invalidity retirements

1

1

2

Voluntary redundancy retirements

39

11

23

Terminations

2

0

0

Death

2

0

1

End of temporary contract

18

24

27

End of temporary transfer

0

1

0

Exit Interviews

Interviews held

43

37

31

Participation rate

29%

31%

23%

 

Table 5.7—Employee separation by age and gender

Age Group

Female

Male

Total

% of workforce leaving by age

Under 25 years

4

4

8

6%

25–34 years

14

10

24

18%

35–44 years

13

14

27

20%

45–54 years

10

9

19

14%

55 years & over

25

30

55

41%

Total

66

67

133

 

% of workforce leaving by gender

50%

50%

 

 

DPS initiated an e-recruitment project in June 2012. It is anticipated that an e-recruitment system will be implemented in 2012–13 to further streamline manual processing systems.

Staff development and training

In 2011–12, HR Services implemented the DPS Corporate Learning Pathway. The pathway provides a distinctive developmental focus for leadership, management and compliance training and is integrated into the department’s induction, probation, performance management and career development processes. It enables employees to identify their core training requirements against their job role and classification level.

The pathway was developed as a result of declining course attendance in critical employment risk areas such as work health and safety, bullying and harassment, and record keeping.

In 2011–12, HR Services coordinated a total of 63 corporate training events. There was a total of 757 recorded attendances at these events. Attendance at corporate training averaged 10.8 hours per employee.

Corporate training participation rates significantly increased from 59% in 2010–11 to 81% attendees in 2011–12. The increase can be attributed to the implementation of the Corporate Learning Pathway program and a focus on compliance training.

Table 5.8—Staff commencements

 

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

Commencements

74

96

136

Commencement rate

8.7%

11.3%

16%

 

Table 5.9—Staff commencements in 2011–12 by Age/Gender

 

Female

Male

Total

Under 25 years

7

12

19

25–34 years

15

15

30

35–44 years

17

23

40

45–54 years

15

12

27

55 years & Over

10

10

20

Total

64

72

136

% of workforce recruited by gender

47%

53%

 

Employee Induction training

Four induction workshops were held for new DPS employees in 2011–12. The workshops were facilitated by HR Services. These employees also completed the online Parliamentary Service Induction e-learning module and attended training on the Parliamentary Service Values and Code of Conduct, records management, risk management and workplace health and safety.

Compliance training

Corporate compliance training was the main focus of corporate training in 2011–12. There were 560 recorded attendees at compliance training, of which 221 participants attended fraud and ethics training. DPS continued to provide training workshops for employees and supervisors in bullying and harassment and workplace health and safety. Overall, compliance training represented 73% of the total training participation rate for the year.

Accredited Training

During 2011–12, DPS provided formal training (in line with the Australian Qualifications Framework) in contract management and procurement to 24 DPS employees. These employees attained Diploma or Certificate IV level qualification. Non-accredited training in procurement and financial management was also provided as part of the corporate training program and was also well attended by DPS employees.

Leadership Development

Leadership development, targeting middle and senior level employees, was incorporated into the DPS Corporate Learning Pathway. Development activities included courses in Building Team Leadership Skills for PSL4-PEL1s; Conversations that Count for PSL5-PEL2s; Results through People for PSL6-PEL2s; and quarterly senior leadership meetings for the PEL1s, PEL2s and the SES leadership group.

A total of eight employees attended corporately sponsored external leadership development training in 2011–12. One employee attended the Australian Public Service Commission’s Career Development Assessment Centre and seven employees attended an external ‘From Management to Leadership’ residential leadership development program run by Centre for Public Management.

Studies Support

The department provided studies assistance support for 37 employees in 2011–12. Support included time to attend study activities and exams, and financial assistance towards course costs and books.

DPS presently does not have any formal programs in place for skills management and lifelong learning to support employees’ continued employability and assist them in managing their career endings.

Workplace relations

A three-year Enterprise Agreement commenced on 30 September 2011. It provides for an overall 9% salary increase during the life of the Agreement, paid at 3% per annum.

The DPS Consultative Forum, comprising representatives from management, staff and unions, met four times during 2011–12. The objectives of the Consultative Forum are to promote good industrial relations in DPS, improve mutual understanding between management and staff and provide a forum for consultation and open discussion aimed at resolving different points of view in a mutually acceptable manner.

DPS was required to attend at Fair Work Australia during 2011–12 for three separate disputes. Of the disputes, two matters were finalised in 2011–12, and the other is ongoing.

Work health and safety

Harmonisation of work health and safety legislation

As a result of moves to harmonise work health and safety legislation across Australia, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the WHS Act) came into effect on 1 January 2012. The WHS Act, administered by Comcare, covers all Commonwealth agencies.

The introduction of the WHS Act, associated regulations and codes of practice has resulted in a significant review of the department’s policies, procedures and guidelines to ensure they comply with the new legislation. Staff from Comcare’s Education Unit provided an overview of the WHS Act to the DPS Executive in January 2012.

Consultation within DPS on WHS issues

DPS maintains a high level of consultation on WHS issues. Staff are represented in formal joint management-worker health and safety committees that help monitor and advise on WHS programs.

The DPS Peak WHS Committee met four times during the year. The work of the committee is primarily directed at reviewing WHS policies and procedures and taking a strategic approach to WHS management across the department.

The DPS Contractors’ WHS Subcommittee met four times. This forum provides a valuable mechanism to address WHS issues involving the work performed by the large number of contractors at Parliament House, including construction, maintenance, catering and cleaning. Individual branches also hold Branch WHS Committee meetings on a quarterly basis, addressing WHS issues at the local level.

A key component of the department’s approach to health and safety is the Health and Safety Representatives (HSRs) Deputy HSRs and the Harassment Contact Officer (HCOs) network. There are a total of 28 HSRs and Deputies within DPS, and 9 HCOs.

WHS training

A range of WHS-related training was provided to staff throughout the year, including generic induction and refresher sessions. Following the introduction of mandatory attendance in late 2011, a significant increase in participation was recorded compared to the previous financial year. There were 56 staff who attended WHS for DPS Supervisors training (up from 31 in 2010–11), while 63 staff attended DPS WHS Awareness training (up from 39 in 2010–11). DPS also continued bullying and harassment prevention courses, which were attended by 43 supervisors and 80 staff, while around 150 Parliamentary Security Service officers undertook Values, Conduct and Behaviour training. Occupation-specific WHS training was also provided including: first aid; working in confined spaces; working at heights; manual handling; plant and equipment use; licences for forklifts and elevated work platforms; and defensive tactics.

WHS auditing

In 2011–12, DPS continued to undergo six-monthly surveillance audits of its WHS management system. An external audit found that DPS continued to comply with the requirements of the SafetyMAP Initial Level auditing tool. DPS continued to maintain certification to Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand standards.

DPS participated in a Bullying Prevention Audit in 2011 as part of Comcare’s Preventing Workplace Bullying Campaign. This involved a desktop audit of policies and procedures; interviews with various DPS staff, including members of the Work Health and Safety Unit, Health and Safety Representatives and Harassment Contact Officers; and an online worker survey open to all DPS staff. DPS is working through the recommendations of the Comcare report and has already addressed a number of low- and medium-priority recommendations, as well as two ‘best practice’ recommendations. See ‘Ethics’ in this part of the report for a summary of measures to prevent bullying and harassment that were implemented as a result of the Comcare audit.

Incident reporting and investigation

A total of 74 incident reports were submitted by DPS employees during 2011–12. One incident involving a visitor to Parliament House was notified to Comcare in accordance with Section 38 of the WHS Act. The incident was examined by DPS and it was determined that no further remedial work was necessary. Comcare did not conduct a formal investigation in relation to the reported incident.

There were no Provisional Improvement Notices issued under section 90 of the WHS Act and no notices or enforceable undertakings were issued under Parts 10 or 11 of the WHS Act.

Table 5.10 shows the inumber of WHS incident reports and the number of WHS representatives.

Disability reporting mechanisms

Since 1994, Commonwealth departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. in 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s (APSC) State of the Service Report and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au. It should be noted that DPS is not subject to the reporting requirements imposed by the Australian Public Service Commission in respect of the provision of data for the State of the Service report or APS Statistical Bulletin. From 2010–11, departments and agencies are no longer required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by a new National Disability Strategy which sets out a ten-year national policy framework for improving life for Australians with disability, their families and carers. A high-level report to track progress for people with disability at a national level will be produced by the Standing Council on Community, Housing and Disability Services to the Council of Australian Governments and will be available at www.fahcsia.gov.au. The Social Inclusion Measurement and Reporting Strategy agreed by the Government in December 2009 will also include some reporting on disability matters in its regular How Australia is Faring report and, if appropriate, in strategic change indicators in agency annual reports. More detail on social inclusion matters can be found at www.socialinclusion.gov.au.

Table 5.10—Staff health and wellbeing

Indicator

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

Work Occupational Health and Safety (WOH&S) Incident Reports

72

71

74

Number of Health and Safety Representatives

29

27

28

Purchasing

Overview

Purchasing was managed in accordance with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines (CPGs) and DPS Chief Executive’s Instructions (CEIs) and supporting procedures. DPS primary purchasing objectives were:

  1. to ensure the principle of value for money was consistently obtained through:
  1. to support the business requirements of each branch within the department through a focus on better practice procurement; and
  2. to involve small-to-medium enterprises wherever practicable.

DPS has a dedicated procurement unit to facilitate and monitor contracting and tendering activity across the department.

Consultants

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website www.tenders.gov.au.

DPS classifies consultants as individuals, partnerships or corporations engaged to provide professional, independent and expert advice or services to the department. DPS engages consultants where there is a need for independent research or assessment, or where specialised or professional skills not available in house are required.

During 2011–12, 99 new consultancy contracts were entered into with a total value of $4,610,713 (GST inclusive). Overall expenditure on new and existing consultancies in 2011–12 was $5,621,724 (GST inclusive).

The majority of consultancies (66%) were for engineering and architectural services. A further 9% related to information technology and communication services, and 8% to audit and governance services. The remainder related to the provision of miscellaneous management, planning and financial services.

DPS currently has standing offer panel arrangements for the following consultancy services:

DPS also has access to consultancy panels used by other departments and for Whole-of-Government coordinated procurements for the following:

Competitive tendering and contracting

DPS did not conduct any competitive tendering or contracting processes that involved contracting out to another organisation the delivery of government activities previously performed by this department.

Exempt contracts

During 2011–12, no DPS contracts or standing offers were exempted by the Secretary for being published via AusTender on the basis that they would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Asset Management

DPS provides asset management services to Parliament House, both for the building and for infrastructure supporting the delivery of other services to the Parliament. A detailed report on DPS management of these assets can be found in Part 3 of this report.

Accountability

External Scrutiny

Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) Audits

During 2011–12, DPS was the subject of an external compliance audit by the ANAO in relation to its financial statements for the period ending 30 June 2011, and an interim audit in preparation for the 2011–12 financial statement audit. The audit on the 2010–11 financial statements was unqualified.

There were no other ANAO reports during 2011–12 that directly involved DPS.

Senate Committees

DPS appeared before Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee Estimates hearings on three occasions during 2011–12: 17 October 2011 (Supplementary Budget Estimates), 13 February 2012 (Additional Estimates) and 22 May 2012 (Budget Estimates).

On 23 June 2011, the Senate referred the performance of the Department of Parliamentary Services to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee for inquiry and report. The original reporting date for this inquiry was 29 November 2011. The Committee released an interim report on 27 June 2012 and, on that date, the Senate granted an extension of time for reporting until 28 November 2012.

The inquiry has held two public hearings—on 16 November 2011 and 2 May 2012. Employees from DPS, including the Acting Secretary, the Deputy Secretary and the Parliamentary Librarian, gave evidence at the second hearing. DPS also provided a submission to the hearing.

Other Scrutiny

DPS was not subject to any significant judicial decisions or decisions of administrative tribunals, nor did the Ombudsman report on the activities of DPS in 2011–12.

Freedom of information

On 9 May 2012, the Australian Information Commissioner (AIC) amended the guidelines issued under section 93A of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) to state that the Department of the House of Representatives, the Department of the Senate and the Department of Parliamentary Services were subject to the FOI Act. Prior to this, the guidelines stated that the FOI Act did not apply to the departments of the Parliament. This change did not result from an amendment to the FOI Act or any other legislation.

DPS has sought to comply with the spirit of the FOI Act in responding to requests for documents on a case-by-case basis, and continues to respond to requests as they are received. The three parliamentary departments are developing an appropriate framework to deal with them, in relation to other obligations arising under the FOI Act. It has not been possible to have administrative arrangements to satisfy all FOI Act requirements in place immediately. However DPS is committed to progressively implementing any measures necessary to establish appropriate arrangements.

During 2011–12, DPS received eight FOI requests. Between 1 July 2011 and 9 May 2012, DPS had received four FOI requests: three responses were provided; DPS did not hold the information requested for in the fourth request.

DPS’s Information Request Register was established for requests after 9 May 2012, as advised by the AIC and is located at:
http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Information_Requests.
Requests received before 9 May have not been included on the register. Four requests were received after 9 May 2012. Three were for documents not held by DPS, and one request was withdrawn

Discretionary grants

DPS does not administer any discretionary grant programs.

Table 5.11—Advertising costs

Supplier

Item

Amount (GST inclusive)

Adcorp Australia

Recruitment advertisements

$41,561

Earlybird Marketing and Events

Parliament House promotional material including, a marketing action plan, advertising and management, digital and social media proposal, stakeholder engagement, public relations, and development, printing and print management of flyers (external promotion)

$67,967

Environmetrics

Visitor surveys (market research)

$23,595

Orima

Staff survey and customer survey (market research and HR management)

$67,232

Zoo Advertising

Development, printing and print management of self-guided tour brochures and fact sheets, and internal newsletter and style guide

$65,658

Advertising and market research

All Commonwealth departments and agencies are required, under section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, to provide a statement setting out particulars of amounts paid to:

  1. advertising agencies;
  2. market research organisations;
  3. polling organisations;
  4. direct mail organisations; and
  5. media advertising organisations.

Table 5.11 sets out amounts over $11,900 (GST inclusive) paid by DPS during 2011–12. No money was paid to any organisation covered in paragraph (b), (c) or (d).

No advertising campaigns were undertaken by the department in 2011–12.

Legal services expenditure

The Legal Services Directions 2005 (paragraph 11.1(ba)) require FMA Act agencies to make their expenditure on legal services publicly available. DPS has no in-house providers of legal services and therefore requirements for legal advice are outsourced. In 2012–13, DPS sourced legal advice via a panel of legal service providers, using a Deed of Standing Offer put in place by the Department of Finance and Deregulation. DPS sought legal advice on issues relating to workplace arrangements, public liability, moral rights, contracts and licences.

Table 5.12 shows the amount DPS spent on legal services during 2011–12.

Table 5.12—Legal services expenditure

Services

Amount (GST inclusive)

External expenditure on professional fees

$206,509

External expenditure on counsel

$23,736

Administrative disbursements on external legal services

$4,335

Total (legal services expenditure—all external)

$234,580

Environment

Overview

DPS reports annually on elements of environmental performance in line with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 (EPBC Act) on its own behalf and on behalf of the Departments of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

DPS also reports under:

Ecologically sustainable development

The objective of Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) is de?ned as ‘development that improves the total quality of life, both now and in the future, in a way that maintains the ecological processes on which life depends’.

DPS reports annually on ESD through this report. Program 3.1 in DPS Portfolio Budget Statement 2011–12 set energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and recycling targets.

Identification, management and monitoring of environmental impacts

DPS aims to ensure that the vital functions of Parliament House operate effectively, while minimising resource consumption and waste production by:

Many activities at Parliament House, including maintenance, engineering, landscape, ICT, catering and office-based services—have the potential to affect the environment through energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation.

DPS works to improve outcomes in these areas in a number of ways. In 2011–12, actions included:

DPS also emphasises environmental improvements when undertaking the planning and delivery of infrastructure projects.

Project activities adhere to an environmental checklist that includes consideration of: whole-of-life principles; reuse and recycling of materials where possible; and energy, water and waste minimisation.

Communication and promotion

DPS provides information on its environmental performance and initiatives through its website, internal circulars and newsletters. (http://www.aph.gov.au/Visit_Parliament/About_the_Building/Environmental_Management).

DPS also conducted several activities to assist in educating building occupants on environmental initiatives impacting Parliament House, including the following.

Environmental performance

Water consumption

Total water consumption for 2011–12 was 156,853kL. Although this represented a 2.6% increase over 2009–10, it was still the second lowest level since the opening of Parliament House in 1988.

The increase in consumption from 2009–10 levels was mainly attributable to the reactivation of water features and a change back from an election year (2010–11) in which water consumption is typically lower as a result of fewer staff occupying the building.

Landscape water consumption decreased by 5.5% compared to 2010–11. This continued a downward trend over the last six years thanks to a program of introducing water-efficient couch grass and lower evaporation rates because of cooler weather. In 2011–12, the remaining areas planned for replacement around Parliament Drive were completed, representing 20% of the total lawn areas at Parliament House.

Figure 10 shows a breakdown of water use during 2011–12.

In 2011–12, two newly installed 45,000 litre water tanks reached capacity as a result of rainwater collection. The rainwater is mainly used for irrigating greenhouse plants. In future, excess rainwater will be transferred to small watering trucks for localised use in the landscape.

Energy

In 2011–12, energy improvement projects included:

Electricity and natural gas consumption at Parliament House comprised 98%—139,349GJ—of total energy use. Gas is used for heating, general hot water and in kitchens. Electricity powers a variety of services including of?ce lighting, mechanical services, lifts, chillers, computer equipment and boosted hot water heating. In 2011–12, electricity consumption decreased by 3% and natural gas consumption increased by 5%. Gas consumption increased mainly as a result of lower autumn and winter temperatures.

Although signi?cant reductions in energy consumption have been achieved, the analysis shows a small upward trend in recent years. This can be attributed to extra accommodation requirements, ageing equipment and operational demands.

During 2010–11, solar panels—with a maximum capacity of 43kW—were installed on the roof of part of the Senate wing and the Gardeners Compound to test integration with building systems.

As an additional outcome of the successful integration trial, in 2011–12, the total output from the panels was 59,501 kWh, or enough to power the lights in both the Senate and House of Representatives chambers.

DPS is monitoring developments in solar technology and the practicality of expanding solar power for the future.

Figure 10—Breakdown of water use during 2011–12

Figure 10—Breakdown of water use during 2011–12

Text version of Figure 10

Table 5.13 show energy consumption at Parliament House and by transport

Energy-saving initiatives

DPS also undertook an Energy Use and Efficiency Review in 2011–12 to examine how current environmental strategies align with best practice. The review supported the strategic direction of energy efficiency measures in place and made some recommendations on how to better align internal policies and procedures to achieve set targets. Initiatives to conserve energy—including implementing more energy-ef?cient lighting schemes; upgrading building heating and cooling equipment; and improving kitchen equipment efficiency—have been, or are being implemented as set out below.

Lighting

Energy savings from lighting is a continued focus throughout the building. During 2011–12, lighting efficiency projects at Parliament House included:

Table 5.13—Energy consumed at Parliament House and by transport

Indicator

Energy Consumption (GJ)

2009–10

2010–11

2011–12

Parliament House (building)

140,763

139,595

139,349

Passenger Vehicles

1,978

1,694

1,625

Other Transport

39432

377

441

Total energy consumption

143,134

141,665

141,415

10% Energy Efficiency challenge

As reported in Part 3—Report on performance, on 17 August 2011 the Parliament resolved to join the ‘Do Something!’ energy efficiency campaign (the 10% challenge) to reduce energy and fuel usage at Parliament House by 10%.

We're taking the 10% CHALLENGE

Total energy consumption for the building in the baseline year of 2009–10 was 140,402 gigajoules (GJ). A reduction of annual energy use to 126,361GJ will therefore be required if Parliament House is to meet the 10% objective. DPS has set 30 June 2015 as the target date for this goal.

Figure 11—Monthly energy performance (for the 10% challenge)

Figure 11—Monthly energy performance (for the 10% challenge)

Text version of Figure 11

A senior working group comprising executive staff from the parliamentary departments has been established to provide leadership in facilitating actions required to meet the 10% challenge over the coming years. The group met on two occasions in 2011–12.

In this, the first year of the challenge, energy consumption was 138,818GJ—an overall reduction of 1.1%. A half-year energy reduction of 4.3% was achieved at the end of December 2011, but was not sustainable throughout the remainder of the year due to unusually low winter temperatures. Figure 11 shows monthly energy usage in 2011–12 compared to the same period in 2009–10 (the baseline).

Sustainable Transport

Most transport-related energy consumption is associated with private commuter vehicles, and taxi travel to and from Parliament House.

DPS provides bike storage, shower and change room facilities for people who cycle to Parliament House and promoted cycling to building occupants through the 2011 annual Ride to Work day.

Vehicles

Parliament House’s passenger vehicle ?eet consisted of 33 leased vehicles in 2011–12. Eighteen vehicles (55%) achieved a rating higher than 10.5 in the Green Vehicle Guide—well above the whole-of-government’s target of 28% set for the passenger vehicle fleet.

Recycling and waste management

Parliament House waste is generated from a diverse range of activities within the building. The complex nature of waste streams within the building means it is often difficult to identify changes to reported quantities; however, as illustrated in Figure 12, the amount of general waste (excluding construction waste) sent to land?ll in 2011–12 was 403 tonnes. This is an increase of 19% compared to the 340 tonnes sent in 2010–11. DPS provides facilities to recycle paper, cardboard, printer cartridges, lamps, used oil, grease, batteries, landscape, metal, polystyrene and co-mingled waste.

The quantity of paper recycled decreased by 11% from 315 tonnes in 2010–11 to 279 tonnes in 2011–12.

The change may be attributed to less landfill waste generated in 2010 due to an election year, in which there are fewer building occupants, and more paper recycled as result of office clean-ups following the election.

The preferred method for disposing of green waste at Parliament House is to chip the material on site and re-use it in the landscape. When waste generated in the landscape cannot be chipped on site—for example, due to volume or composition—the material is taken off site to be recycled or sent to land?ll. During 2011–12, 256 tonnes of landscape waste was sent for recycling by various private companies and none was sent to landfill.

Figure 12—Annual waste disposed to landfill and recycled

Figure 12—Annual waste disposed to landfill and recycled

Text version of Figure 12

Figure 13 shows annual trends in landscape waste and recycling rates. The peak in landscape waste 2005–06 was because of waste generated by turf replacement projects on the grass ramps. The increases of landscape waste over the last two years, compared to the previous four, are due to project activity in the building.

Co-mingled waste includes metal cans, glass bottles, milk cartons and plastic which are collected in a common bin. During 2011–12, 30 tonnes33 of co-mingled waste was collected and recycled. This was a reduction of 6% (32 tonnes) from 2010–11.

To improve recycling, DPS plans to develop improved signage and bin management in offices and suites together with providing timely recycling education and awareness for staff and building occupants. Figure 14 illustrates annual co-mingled recycling rates.

Figure 13—Annual quantity of landscape waste

Figure 13—Annual quantity of landscape waste

Text version of Figure 13

 

Figure 14—Annual co-mingled recycling waste

Figure 14—Annual co-mingled recycling waste

Text version of Figure 14

 

Organic waste recycling

Recycling organic waste assists the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (methane) and groundwater pollution caused from the breakdown of organic food matter in landfill. Diversion of organic waste from landfill is one of three key initiatives in the ACT Government’s Waste Strategy 2011–2025 aiming to reduce emissions from waste and minimise the impact on diminishing landfill sites.

Waste audits at Parliament House indicate that up to 90% of catering waste comprises organic waste and paper towelling material that can be recycled. A plan to trial food waste recycling, starting with the catering areas in Parliament House, was finalised in 2011–12 and will commence in early 2012–13.

Emissions and effluents

Greenhouse gas emissions

During 2011–12, 27,264 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) were generated from energy consumption at Parliament House. As illustrated in table 5.12, net greenhouse gas emissions decreased from 27,980 tonnes CO2-e in 2010–11 to 27,264 tonnes CO2-e in 2011–12, a reduction of 2.56%.

DPS purchased 10% of its electricity from renewable sources through the whole-of-government energy contract to assist in reducing emissions.

Table 5.14 shows direct and indirect emissions, including SES and operational vehicle fleets.

Table 5.14—Parliament House emissions

Emission Category

Comment

2009–10
(tonnes CO2-e)

2010–11
(tonnes CO2-e)

2011–12
(tonnes CO2-e)

Scope 1

Emissions at the source of the activity (for example, emitted from gas and fuels used at Parliament House and by vehicles)

2,461

2,557

2,688

Scope 2

Emissions generated elsewhere (for example, by the power plants that produce the electricity used at Parliament House)

24,407

20,745

19,993

Scope 3

Indirect emissions, meaning emissions generated during the delivery of electricity, gas and fuel to Parliament House, over which DPS has little control.

4,204

4,678

4,583

Scopes 1 & 2

DPS has direct responsibility for these emissions.

26,868

23,302

22,681

Scopes 1,2 and 3

Direct and indirect emissions.

31,072

27,980

27,264

Figure 15 shows annual greenhouse gas emissions since Parliament House opened in 1988.

Ozone depleting substances

Parliament House uses refrigerants that contain ozone-depleting substances. These are used for chillers, cool rooms and refrigerators.

DPS is reducing the requirement for ozone depleting gases through timely replacement of older equipment with equipment that uses safe refrigerants.

During 2011–12, three new chillers were in operation, using refrigerants with zero ozone depletion. In 2012–13, newly installed cool rooms, freezers and refrigerators will also operate using ozone-safe refrigerants.

Figure 15—Annual greenhouse gas emissions from electricity and gas

Figure 15—Annual greenhouse gas emissions from electricity and gas

Text version of Figure 15

 

Table 5.15—Emissions of air pollutants from natural gas consumption34

Air pollutants

2009–10 (kg)

2010–11 (kg)

2011–12 (kg)

Carbon monoxide

1,814

1,912

2,009

Oxides of nitrogen

2,153

2270

2,389

Particulate matter (PM10)

159

168

177

Particulate matter (PM2.5)

159

168

176

Total Volatile organic compounds

119

125

131

Sulphur dioxide

24

25

26

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

<1 (0.14)

<1(0.015)

<1(0.015)

Air pollutants—NOx, SOx and particulates

The combustion of natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking purposes generates oxides of nitrogen (NOx), oxides of sulphur (SOx) and other air pollutants. Each year, DPS reports on these emissions to the National Pollution Inventory (www.npi.gov.au). Table 5.15 lists these emissions for 2011–12. Parliament House gas combustion increased by 5% in 2011–12 as a result of colder autumn and winter temperatures and, as a result, the majority of air pollution emissions increased in proportion.

Discharges to water

Sewage from Parliament House is required, under a trade waste agreement, to be equivalent to domestic strength. To ensure these requirements are met, the following facilities are in place:

Significant spills of chemicals, oils and fuels

In 2011–12, there were no significant spills of chemicals, oils or fuels from Parliament House.


31. Staffing figures are now reported as at 30 June. Previously they were reported as at the final pay period in the financial year.
32. This number was incorrectly reported as 447 in the 2009–10 and 2010–11 annual reports
33. Co-mingled quantities are based on volume to weight conversion factors. Since co-mingling was introduced at Parliament House, a factor of 250 kg per cubic metre has been used by DPS which was based on an internal waste audit. As part of the 2011–12 sustainability reporting pilot, a conversion factor of 63 kg/m3 was agreed to (based on Victoria’s ‘Waste Wise’ factors) and specified by DoFD. Co-mingled quantities prior to 2011–12 have been adjusted to reflect the conversion factor change and provide comparative results.
34. Air pollutants are calculated using the National Pollution Inventory (NPI) online reporting tool.



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