Report to the Senate
13 May 2008, the Senate referred to the committee for examination and report the
Particulars of certain proposed budget expenditure in respect of
the year ending 30June 2009 relating to the Defence portfolio and the
Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio, and
Particulars of proposed budget expenditure in respect of the year
ending 30June 2009.
2. The committee has considered the proposed budget expenditure for
the year ending 30June 2009. It has received evidence from the Minister representing
the following ministers: the Minister for Foreign Affairs; the Minister for
Trade; the Minister for Defence; and the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, and officers
of the departments and agencies concerned.
committee met in public session on 2, 3, 4 and 5 June 2008. Further written
explanations provided by departments and agencies will be presented separately
in volumes of additional information. This information will also be placed on
the committee’s internet site (www.aph.gov.au/senate_fadt).
Questions on notice
The committee resolved, under
Standing Order 26, that written answers and additional information should be
submitted to the committee by close of business on Thursday, 31 July 2008.
Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio
Department of Foreign Affairs and
committee acknowledged the attendance at the hearings of Mr Doug Chester, Deputy Secretary, and officers of the Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade.
committee again examined the issue of the two percent efficiency dividend, which
was previously raised in additional estimates in February 2008. The committee
asked the department whether it sought an exemption from the efficiency
Chester, Deputy Secretary, replied that...
You may recall from the additional estimates hearings earlier
this year that, as a result of submission made by ministers, there was a
rephasing of some of the savings measures that applied to the department at
that time and, in relation to our budget for next year, as a result of
considerations by the government, an additional amount of money was provided to
the department pending a so–called root and branch review of the department's
operations. So in a sense those two factors were related to the overall impact
of the 1¼ percent efficiency dividend and the two percent efficiency dividend.
8. The committee also examined the budget papers with regard
to the department's resourcing requirements and 'a change in emphasis' of the
In particular, the committee sought information on 'a large number of new
responsibilities which the government is expecting of the department'.
9. Mr Chester responded:
We are prioritising—applying the resources that we believe
should be applied to particular priorities. We may well be applying less
resources to things of a lesser priority.
We have a busy agenda at the moment. But, as I said, there will
be work done to identify the key priorities that we should be focusing on and
the root and branch will, we have no doubt, assist the department to clearly
understand what is expected of us.
Budget Portfolio Statement
10. A committee
member acknowledged the content of the Strategic Direction Section in the
Portfolio Budget Statement which he found helpful. It identified a long list of
11. The committee also
questioned the department about the methodology used to determine staff numbers
attributed to outcomes.
12. The Secretary
informed the committee that the methodology used to produce statistics
showing the appropriation of staff to outcomes has changed. This updated methodology for
attributing staff to outcomes was based on survey of staff as to the
time they spent on each of the outcome. The new methodology means that the
figures contained in PBS cannot be compared to figures contained in previous
PBS but can be going forward.
13. A committee
member asked questions about reductions of approximately 17percent in
outputs 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 as shown in table 2.1.1. He was seeking an explanation
of model used to arrive at these figures. He expressed concern that the
department could not offer an explanation for these apparent reductions. The
department took the questions on notice.
14. Other matters raised during the hearing are listed
Joint review of departmental
resources (pp. 10–12).
Savings measures made as a result
of efficiencies: staffing in the department and posts (pp. 12–15, 16–19; 24; 27–31; 38–39; 41); travel expenses
Mr Mamdouh Habib (pp. 19–23).
Secondment of staff to the
department (pp. 23–26).
Concept of creative middle power
diplomacy (pp. 26–27).
Climate refugees (pp. 27 and 78).
Heads of missions: appointment of
replacements in various missions (pp. 31–34).
Chief of staff for the former
Minister for Foreign Affairs (pp. 34–35).
DFAT employees employed under the
'MOPS' act (p. 35).
Ministerial submissions in the
minister's office (pp. 35–37).
Australia's relationship with Taiwan (pp. 39–40).
Prime Minister's travel in North Asia, in
particular Japan (pp. 41–43).
Japanese government and whaling (pp. 43–45).
Australia–Japan Foundation and its
funding (pp. 45–46).
Japan and comfort women (p.
Australia–China human rights
dialogue (pp. 46–47).
Australian government's official
delegation to the Beijing Olympics (pp. 47; 110).
Prime Minister's visit to Hong Kong (pp. 58–61).
Tibet and Australia's dialogue with China (pp. 47–48; 110).
Korea and the progress of the six party talks in relation
to North Korea (pp. 48–49).
1.1.2—South East Asia
Burma and the detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (pp.49, 51).
Cyclone Nargis and international
aid to assist the Burmese people (p.50).
Burma's referendum (pp.50–51).
ASEAN and Burma (pp.51–52).
Australian sanctions against Burma;
children of Burmese generals who are studying in Australia (pp.52–54; 64; 03Jun08, p. 44).
Timor Leste and the attacks on Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta (p.54).
Consular assistance to Angelita Pires in Timor
Indonesia and the Australian Prime Minister's visit (p.55).
Direct aid programs and funding in
South America (p.56).
Australia's political and economic engagement with Europe (pp.56–57).
1.1.5—South and West Asia, the Middle East and Africa
Democratic Republic of Congo and the
peace treaty signed earlier this year (p.60).
Sudan and the United Nations (p.60).
Zimbabwe and the rerun of the presidential elections; refugees
and human rights (pp.60–61). Existing Australian sanctions against Zimbabwe (pp.
Darfur and peacekeeping operations (pp.61–62).
Afghanistan and the suspension from Parliament of Malalai Joya;
representations by Australia on her behalf (p.62). Australia's role and objectives in Afghanistan (pp.66–67).
Australia's policy approach to Western Sahara (pp.62–64).
Lebanon and the recent peace agreement (p.65).
Blockade of the Gaza Strip (pp.65–66).
Israel and the 60th anniversary of independence (pp.65–66).
Sri Lanka (p.66).
India and Australia's relationship (pp.67–70).
Iraq and the direction of political events (p.70).
Fiji and threats made against High Commission staff (pp.71–72);
Pacific Islands Forum and preparation for elections in March 2009 (pp. 72–74).
Papua New Guinea and a report by
the Auditor General of Papua New Guinea pertaining to missing funds (DFAT, pp.74–75; 89–90; AusAID, 3June
2008, pp. 30–33).
Pacific guest workers scheme in Australia;
labour mobility issues (pp.75–78;
Pacific island nations and climate
refugees (pp.27 and 78).
1.1.7—Bilateral, regional and multi–lateral trade
Efficiency dividend and the affect
on staffing; specifically, the work on free trade agreements (03Jun08, pp.44–45).
Priority of multilateral
agreements and the role of bilateral trade deals (pp.45–46).
China bilateral trade agreement (pp.46–49).
Japan free trade agreement (pp.48–49).
US–South Korea free trade
agreement and an Australia–South Korea free trade agreement (pp.49–50).
Consideration of free trade
agreements with Vietnam and Philippines, and a feasibility study with India (pp.53–54). FTA
negotiations with Chile (pp. 54–56).
Dohar negotiations (pp.51–53; 54).
Australian Wheat Board and the
single desk (pp.53).
Mortimer review (pp.56–58).
AUSMIN round (p.59).
1.1.9—International organisations, legal and environment
Climate change negotiations (p.78).
Australia's engagements with multilateral institutions, specifically
with the United Nations (p.79).
Australia and the optional protocol to the convention against
1.1.10—Security, nuclear disarmament and non–proliferation
Draft treaty on cluster munitions (pp.81–88).
Regional maritime security
capacity (pp.88; 90–91).
Domestic nuclear power industry in
Australia; global nuclear energy
partnership statement of principles (p. 92). The role of the
Australian Safeguards and Non–proliferation Office and the generation IV
International Forum (pp. 92–93).
Australia's role in nuclear disarmament in the Middle East (pp.93–94).
Australia's involvement in missile defence (pp.94–95).
1.2—Secure government communications and security of
Appropriations: reprofiling of
funding and Post security task force (pp.95).
Security of Australian staff and
diplomatic premises (pp.96).
1.3—Services to other agencies in Australia and overseas
Decline in appropriation, with
particular interest in the department's relationship with Parliament (pp.96–98).
Costs borne by diplomatic posts
when the Prime Minister or other ministers travel overseas (pp.98–100).
1.4—Services to diplomatic and consular representatives in
Decline in services to diplomatic
and consular representatives (pp.100–101).
2.1—Consular and passport services
Department's role in the response
process to the Sichuan earthquake and the cyclone in Burma; Smartraveller
campaign (pp.101–103). Budgetary attribution to consular crisis arrangements
(pp. 103–104). Traveller emergency loans (pp. 104–105).
Transgender people travelling
overseas and passport issues (pp.
3.1—Public information services and public diplomacy
Governments' response to the
Senate Standing Committee on Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Defence and Trade's report on public diplomacy (pp.107–108).
Australia's participation in the Shanghai expo (pp.108–109).
committee acknowledged the attendance at the hearings of Mr Scott Dawson, Deputy Director General, and officers representing AusAID.
committee noted that Mr Davis, Director
General of AusAID, was not present at estimates.
raised by the committee included:
Official development assistance
increased funding (ODA) (p. 5).
Pacific Partnerships for Development; Pacific Islands Forum; Pacific Land Program; Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility (pp. 5–11; 42).
Investing in Pacific public sector
capacity (pp. 10–11).
Percentage of Australian GDP equivalent
in overseas aid (pp. 11–13).
Logging and biodiversity resources
in Papua New Guinea (p. 14).
Australia official development assistance for health, and
specifically, sexual and reproductive health programs (p.15).
Aid budget and programs for Timor
Leste (pp. 15–16).
Reproductive health in Timor Leste
Abortions and Australia's
overseas aid programs (pp. 18–21).
Palm oil harvesting in native
forests in Papua New Guinea; International Forest Carbon Initiative (pp. 21–23).
Guest worker pilot program (pp.23–24).
World Bank approval of a road project
in the Philippines (pp.24–25).
Allocation of funds to address
HIV/AIDS and STIs in Papua New Guinea (pp.24–25).
Asia regional trafficking in Persons Project (pp.25–26).
Australian NGOs involved in the
distribution of aid in Burma (pp.26–28;
Australia's overseas aid program and the AusAID NGO Cooperation
Program (ANCP) (pp.28–29).
Papua New Guinea and a report by
the Auditor General of Papua New Guinea pertaining to missing funds (DFAT, 2 June 2008, pp.74–75; 89–90; 3June 2008, pp.
Official Development Assistance
(ODA) and governance and anti–corruption issues (pp.33–34).
Australian government financial
pledge and the Palestinian territories (pp.36–37).
Australia's commitments to Africa and reintegration of Zimbabwe into the international
Increase in expenditure on
Monash University's APEC Study Centre and its chair, Mr Alan Oxley (pp.39–41).
Fragile States and Peace–building Unit (pp.41–42).
Centre for Democratic Institutions
committee acknowledged the attendance at the hearings of Mr Peter Yuile, Deputy Chief
Executive Officer, and officers representing Austrade.
committee noted that Mr Peter O'Byrne, Chief Executive Officer of Austrade, was not in
attendance at estimates
raised by the committee included:
Sandalwood oil industry (p.60).
Staffing issues and the efficiency
Invest Australia and
Global Opportunities, TradeStart and EMDG—staffing and funding (pp.62–65).
Export Market Development
Grants Scheme (pp.66–71).
Consular and passport services
provided by Austrade (pp.72–74).
Department of Defence
21. The committee acknowledged the presence at
the hearings of Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC, AFC, Chief of
Force (CDF), Mr Nick Warner PSM, Secretary of the Department of Defence, and
officers of the Defence organisation.
22. The committee thanked officers from Defence,
including the Chief Finance Officer, Mr Phillip Prior, Mr Chris Knott and Mr Steve Warne, for providing the committee with a very informative
briefing on the Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) prior to the estimates
23. It was noted that
three chiefs of the Defence Force were attending their last estimates:
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Russell Shalders AO, CSC, RAN; Chief
of Army, Lieutenant General Peter Leahy AC; and Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Shepherd, AO. The committee acknowledged their service to the Defence Force
and their invaluable assistance to the committee over many years.
24. The committee
noted that Senator Sandy Macdonald will
be retiring on 30June and acknowledged his distinguished service to the
committee as a former chair and parliamentary secretary for Defence.
Portfolio Budget Statement
25. The Chief Financial
Officer drew attention to Table 1 in the Portfolio Budget Statement. He
informed the committee that the Department of Finance provides guidance on the tables.
Table 1 is a new table intended to capture all aspects. He explained that, as
now constructed, the table allows for double accounting—there should not be a
final total, because the figures are flow through figures and not cumulative.
In effect this misrepresents the situation.
Changes to outcome and output structure
26. The committee
notes that Defence has implemented a new outcome and output
structure in the 2008–09 Budget. Under the new structure, Defence will
report against the following three outcomes:
Outcome 1: Australia's
national interests are protected and advanced through the provision of military
capabilities and the promotion of security and stability
Outcome 2: Military operations and
other tasks directed by the Government to achieve the desired results
Outcome 3: Defence's support to
the Australian community and civilian authorities to achieve the desired
27. According to Defence:
The new structure...better reflects the Government's Defence
policy objectives and describes what Defence delivers to the Government and the
This new framework will align Defence's outcomes and outputs
with organisational resourcing and accountability arrangements. The new
structure will provide greater transparency to the Government.
28. It was previously
stated that Defence would report against this new structure in its Portfolio
Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2007–08.
explained that it was asked to defer the changes due to 'timing and system
pressures as a result of the whole–of–government departmental reorganisation following
the change in government'.
For a more detailed list of Defence's new outcome and output structure, including
an outline of the previous structure, see Appendix 2.
Chief of the Defence Force opening statement
29. Air Chief Marshal Houston gave the committee a report on his recent visit to the Middle East
area of operations, including southern Iraq and Afghanistan. He informed the committee that:
The Overwatch Battle Group has ceased operations [in southern Iraq]
and commenced its withdrawal. I visited the battle group to ensure they were
maintaining their operational focus to the end of their mission. I am pleased
to report...that I found our battle group was highly respected throughout the
al-Muthanna and Dhi Qar provinces. I also confirmed that the battle group was
energised to maintain the highest standards through to the end of its
deployment. The battle group was operating freely throughout both provinces,
having won the trust of local Iraqis and the Iraqi security forces by actively
patrolling on foot amongst the population they were tasked to protect.
I wish to publicly thank Lieutenant Colonel Chris Websdane, the
Commanding Officer of Overwatch Battle Group (West), and his team for their
outstanding tour of duty. They have upheld the high standards set by their
predecessors in the al–Muthanna task group, Overwatch Battle Groups and
Australian Army training teams. These people all work to help stabilise the
provinces before them. They have all been excellent ambassadors for the
Australian Defence Force and leave behind some important legacies in the form
of greater security, a well–trained local force and reconstruction projects
involving some key infrastructure.
30. In relation to Afghanistan, Air Chief Marshal Houston updated the committee on Australia's
current contribution through Operation Slipper. He explained that:
Afghanistan remains a complex and demanding environment, but I
was particularly pleased with the progress being made by our combined
reconstruction and special forces groups. I was able to fly out over the Chora
valley in our Australian CH–47 helicopters to observe the construction of the
patrol bases we have established and saw the expanding area of stabilisation
first hand. Our special forces continue to disrupt the Taliban fighters in
their sanctuaries, preventing them from interfering with the important work of
our reconstruction troops. This partnership has been particularly effective and
the assertive actions of our special forces have pushed the Taliban onto the
31. The CDF also
outlined the domestic priorities he conveyed to his senior leadership group at
a recent summit, in relation to recruitment and retention. He acknowledged
One definite area where we must and can do better concerns the
retention of women in the ADF...I am determined to do better to allow the ADF to
access or unlock the talents of almost half the population currently closed to
us. To help us on that journey, I am convening an external women's reference
group to present me with alternative and innovative ideas, strategies and
options to break down barriers to women joining and continuing to serve in the
ADF. I have invited a number of prominent Australian women from a diverse range
of backgrounds to support the ADF. I will ask this group to consider issues
such as cultural, attitudinal and behavioural aspects of military service, and
they will give me advice on how to close the gaps. I am keenly invested in this
issue and have decided to use the retention of women as a measure of our
retention performance across the board. I look forward to reporting to the
committee on our progress on this issue once the members of the group have been
32. Air Chief Marshal Houston also updated the committee on the withdrawal of
reinforcements from Timor–Leste
and the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the circumstances
surrounding the sinking of HMAS Sydney II.
Secretary's opening statement
33. Secretary of the Department of Defence, Mr Nick Warner,
outlined the impact of the government's 2008–09 budget on Defence. Mr Warner stated:
Over the next decade Defence will experience a number of
pressures on its funding, particularly from operations and the need to meet the
technology, capability and workforce impacts of the white paper...As a result,
Defence is now looking at smarter, more effective and more efficient ways of
doing business so it can redirect critically needed resources to higher
priorities. That means the savings program to deliver $10 billion over the next
10years will continue in earnest. So far Defence has identified savings
of $565million across the forward estimates and...$477.6 million in savings
While this is short of the annual $1 billion target, Defence is
just at the start of its savings program and more will be found in 2008–09 and
revealed in the next few months. I am confident Defence will find the $1
billion for the next financial year. Defence has also established an efficiency
and economy tiger team to look at possible savings measures...everything from inefficient
practices and processes and duplicated activities to travel, conferences,
unnecessarily expensive renovations and promotional items for internal
audiences, such as coffee mugs and—if I can say this—stress balls.
34. Mr Warner
explained that 'everything except operations has been questioned'
and, in addition, Defence is developing a savings plan to identify long–term
efficiencies and economies for the next nine years.
35. Mr Warner also updated the committee on the findings of the
Commonwealth Ombudsman's enquiry into the HMAS Westralia fire.
36. Other topics
examined during the hearing included:
Portfolio overview and budget
Iraq: number of Australian
personnel remaining (pp.9–10); strategic overwatch (pp.10 and 34); main challenges in relation to stabilisation and security (p.11);
withdrawal of training team
(pp.11–12); training of Iraqis
under the defence cooperation program (p.12);
type of naval vessels used in the Gulf (pp.12–13);
whether cluster munitions have been used
in Iraq (p.13); civilian casualty figures (p.24).
Afghanistan: changing trends in tactics used by Taliban fighters (pp.14–15); use
of special forces in conventional warfare operations (p.15); Reconstruction
Task Force (p.16); tempo and intensity of Taliban activity this year (p.18); implementation
of NATO's comprehensive Afghan strategy (pp.6,
19–20 and 23); engagement with Pakistan (pp.20–21); tactical
and strategic progress (pp.21–22
and 23); timeframe and benchmarks for
withdrawal of foreign troops (pp.22–23);
total cost of deployment (p.24); civilian
casualties (pp.24–27 and 70).
Post–traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) and related illnesses in Australians who have served in Iraq (pp.14 and 18).
Capability and Technology
Demonstrator program: reduction in funding
Gap year program (pp.16–18).
Entertainment of troops (pp.27–28 and 45); unauthorised disclosure of entertainer's name in relation to
allegations of inappropriate behaviour; Secretary's statement that 'Defence did
not handle this issue well' (pp.28–32
Output group 1.1 Office of the
Secretary and Chief of the Defence Force
Cluster munitions (pp.35–41 and 119).
Development of Defence's White
Paper and companion reviews (pp.41–45).
Defence cooperation with China (pp.45–46).
Ministerial press releases (pp.46–47).
Output group 1.12 Chief Financial
Kangaroo cull at Belconnen (pp.49–50).
Impact of rising fuel prices on
the Defence budget (p.50).
Budget reporting (pp.54–56).
Operational reserve (pp.56–58).
Savings and efficiency measures in
the PBS (pp.58–60 and 63).
Costing shortfall in relation to
funding of the army's new infantry battalion; Secretary's statement that the
'fault lies with Defence' whose 'costings at that time...were inadequate' (pp.61–62).
Output group 1.14 Superannuation
and housing support services for current and retired Defence personnel and
other administered items
Impact of same–sex superannuation
legislation on ADF personnel (p.67).
Output group 2.1 Operations
contributing to the security of the immediate neighbourhood and Output group
2.2 Operations supporting wider interests
Operation Paladin (United Nations
Supervision Organisation [UNTSO] in the Middle
Operation Mazurka (Multinational
Force and Observers [MFO] in the Sinai) (p.69).
Role of the 39th Personnel Support
Battalion at Randwick in force preparation for peacekeeping (p.70).
Concurrency pressures and changes
to deployment cycle (pp.70–72).
Output group 3.1 Defence
contribution to support tasks in Australia
Operation Testament (ADF's
contribution to World Youth Day 2008): cost; logistics; military pilgrims
Update on the ADF's contribution
to the Northern Territory intervention (pp.72–73).
Output group 1.11 Capability development
Capability development in relation
to next generation submarines (pp.73–77
Multi role naval helicopters (pp.77–78).
Orion replacement project (p.93).
Defence Materiel Organisation
Contracts awarded to CMAX
Communications (pp.48 and 51–54).
Cancellation of Seasprite
helicopter program, including: cancellation negotiations; cost of cancellation;
legal advice on forgoing the right to sue; lessons learnt (pp.79–84).
Guided Missile Frigate (FFG)
upgrade program, including performance of Electronic Surveillance Measures
(ESM) System (pp.84–85).
Air Warfare Destroyer program (pp.85–89).
Amphibious ships (pp.89–90).
Fuel line problems with Armidale
class patrol boats (p.90).
Wedgetail airborne early warning
and control (AEW&C) aircraft (p.90).
Other projects of concern,
including: High Frequency Modernisation (HFMOD) project; Vigilair; Echidna; Tiger
armed reconnaissance helicopter (ARH); Anzac Ship anti-ship missile defence project; M–113
armoured personnel carriers; lightweight torpedo replacement (pp.91–93).
Exporting of Bushmasters (p.92).
Planned acquisition of Super
Arrangement of foreign military
sales (FMS) (p.94).
Mortimer review of Kinnaird reforms (pp.94–96).
Methodology for Australian
National Audit Office (ANAO) review of major Defence projects (pp.96–97).
facilities and Defence support
Output group 1.6 Defence support
Security challenges due to climate
commitment to establish Defence family health centres; trial sites (pp.63–66 and 101–102).
Transfer of former submarine base
HMAS Platypus to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust; remediation
Mental health issues; lack of
detailed information on the prevalence of conditions within the ADF; suicide
rate; counselling and treatment; McLeod review; mental health review (Dunt
review) (pp.98–101 and 103–104).
Audit of Commonwealth land
identified as surplus to Defence needs; disposal schedule; proceeds of land
Asia–Pacific Centre for
Civil-Military Cooperation (pp.106–108).
Output group 1.13 People strategies
External reference group to advise
on increasing the participation rate of women in the ADF (p.108).
Examination of under-utilised
family-friendly policies in the ADF (pp.108–109).
Work experience for high school
and university students (pp.109–110).
Remaining Defence outputs
Output group 1.2 Navy capabilities
Recruitment and retention of
Output group 1.4 Air Force
VIP fleet; current contractual
arrangements; cost recovery; preparation of flight manifests; whether a doctor
travels with the Prime Minister; whether an Air Force plane was used to
transport a member of the Prime Minister's travelling party for medical
Output group 1.7 Defence science
Reduction in funding for
scientific research programs (pp.60,
63 and 116–117).
MAGSAFE project (pp.117–119).
Department of Veterans' Affairs
37. The committee acknowledged the presence at
the hearings of Mr Mark Sullivan AO, Secretary, and officers of the Department of
Veterans' Affairs (DVA).
38. It was noted that Mr Sullivan is
leaving DVA and this will be his last
appearance at estimates. The committee acknowledged his contribution to the
estimates process, his assistance to the committee and his outstanding
contribution to DVA.
39. Matters raised by the committee included:
Portfolio overview/Corporate and general matters
Mr Sullivan's resignation from DVA (pp.5–7).
Impact of two per cent efficiency dividend on DVA staffing levels and services (pp.10–14, 15, 29, 33–34 and 40).
Outcome 1—Income support and compensation
Partner service pensions: proposed
raising of the age criteria from 50 to 58½ (pp.16–18,
23 and 39).
Partner service pensions: ceasing
of payments to married partners who are separated but not divorced (pp.19–23 and 39–40).
Management of aged and frail care
issues; aged-care beds for veterans (pp.14–16).
Whether consideration is being
given to extending gold card benefits to members of the Australian armed forces
who have not served overseas (p.24).
Mental health: statistics on forms
of mental illness suffered by DVA clients; trend analysis; suicide statistics (pp.25–26).
Funding for veterans' services:
declining population; increasing cost of care (pp.26–27).
Future dawn services at Villers–Bretonneux
in France (pp.7–8).
Update on plans for an Australian
interpretive centre at Villers–Bretonneux (p.8).
Hyde Park memorial in London (p.8).
Commemoration of the 'fuzzy wuzzy
angels' in Papua New Guinea (pp.8–9).
Australia's representation on the Council of the Commonwealth
War Graves Commission (pp.23–24).
Curatorial work on graves of two
former Australian Prime Ministers in London (pp.27–28).
Saluting Their Service program (pp.28–29).
Funding for ex–prisoners–of–war
memorial in Ballarat (pp.29–32).
Planning for next Anzac Day
services at Gallipoli (p.32).
Continuation of the Simpson Prize (pp.32–33).
Government consideration of the
Flanders Fellowship (p.33).
Outcome 4—Advice and information
Impact of cuts to staffing levels
on services under Outcome 4 (pp.33–34).
Complaints and concerns in
relation to the Veterans' Home Care service (pp.34–35).
Outcome 5—Joint DVA/Defence support services
DVA's involvement with the HMAS Sydney II (p.35).
Output group 6
DVA staff currently allocated to
the Minister's office (p.36).
Update on Prime Ministerial
Advisory Council on Ex–Service Matters (p.37).
Overseas travel by the Minister for
Veterans' Affairs (pp.37–39).
Australian War Memorial
40. The committee
acknowledged the presence at the hearings of Major General Steve Gower AO, Director, and officers of the Australian War Memorial
41. Matters raised by the committee included:
Impact of two per cent efficiency dividend on the AWM, including
the use of depreciation funding for this financial year; long–term strategy;
impact on staffing (pp.40–46).
42. For their assistance during its hearings, the committee thanks
the Special Minister of State, Senator Hon John Faulkner, and
Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Prime Minister for Social Inclusion, Senator Hon Ursula Stephens. The committee also acknowledges the attendance and cooperation of the
many departmental and agency officers and the services of various parliamentary
involved in the estimates process.
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