Review of selected reports
Standing Order 25(20)(b) provides for the committee to consider selected
reports in more detail. The 2018–19 annual reports of the following bodies
- Outback Stores Pty Ltd;
- Torres Strait Regional Authority; and
- Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council.
Outback Stores Pty Ltd
Outback Stores is a Commonwealth company operating under the National
Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) within the Prime Minister and Cabinet
portfolio (PM&C portfolio). In 2018–19, Outback Stores reported to the Minister for Indigenous Affairs: Senator
the Hon Nigel Scullion (until 28 May 2019) and the Hon Mr Ken Wyatt
AM MP (from 29 May 2019).
Outback Stores promotes the health, employment and economic development
of Indigenous communities by improving access to 'affordable, healthy food' and
providing retail management services to Indigenous-owned stores. As a registered training provider, Outback Stores also facilitates opportunities
for its staff to complete recognised qualifications in retail services.
Outback Stores' work supports three of the Australian Government's Closing
the Gap targets:
- improve life expectancy for Indigenous Australians;
reduce mortality rates for Indigenous children under the age of
- improve employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
Outback Stores' 2018–19 annual report was submitted to the Minister on
31 October 2019, after the deadline of 15 October 2019 prescribed by
paragraph 46(2)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability
Act 2013 (PGPA Act). The report was presented out of session to the
Senate on 12 December 2019 and was tabled in the House of
Representatives on 5 February 2020.
In accordance with section 95 of the PGPA Act and section 27A of the Public
Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule), Outback
Stores prepared a corporate plan for the reporting period, which is available
for review on its website.
The annual report was prepared according to the requirements of the PGPA
Act, the Corporations Act 2001 and Resource Management Guide No. 137—Annual reports for Commonwealth
companies. The annual report also included information required by the Work
Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The committee found Outback Stores' annual report to be compliant with
its reporting requirements.
Organisational structure for the
company and its subsidiaries
Subsection 28E(g) of the PGPA Rule requires Commonwealth companies to
provide an outline of the organisational structure for the company and its
subsidiaries. However, an outline of the organisational structure for Outback
Stores' subsidiary, Cardwell Supermarket, was not included in the annual
The annual report also noted that Outback Stores' directors approved the
sale of Cardwell Supermarket in 2018–19 and noted that it expected to find a
buyer by December 2019.
Decision making process undertaken
by the directors of the company regarding transactions between the Commonwealth
and the company
On behalf of the Commonwealth, the Department of the Prime Minister and
Cabinet (DPM&C) acts as Outback Stores' immediate parent and ultimate
controlling party. In accordance with subsections 28E(j) and 28E(k) of the PGPA Rule, Outback
Stores provided information regarding party relationships and associated transactions.
In 2018–19, DPM&C provided a grant valued at $247 500 to Outback
Stores to assist the delivery of its Nutrition Program.
Changes to the company's financial
In accordance with paragraph 28F(1)(a) of the PGPA Rule, Outback Stores'
annual report discussed events or risks that may cause unreported financial
information to affect future operations or financial conditions.
In addition to its risk register, Outback Stores' Store Assessment Committee mitigated against liquidity risk by reviewing
'the viability of new stores proposed for management agreements to evaluate
required establishment and support funds' prior to entering into a new loan
contract. If a store cannot repay its loan, the amount is funded by grant income received
from the DPM&C (as Outback Stores' parent entity).
The annual report also noted mechanisms in place to mitigate matters
relating to market risk, such as other price, credit, foreign currency and
interest rate risks. Outback Stores reported minimal other price risks (from equity investments) and
foreign currency risks (due to limited foreign exchange exposure). Credit risk was primarily affected by credit worthy counter parties such as
Metcash—Outback Stores' inventory supplier. Interest rate risk was reported to be managed by Outback Stores' treasury
function policy and 'by investing in short term interest bearing deposits, and
lending to stores using varied maturity periods'.
Throughout 2018–19 Outback Stores worked towards achieving seven goals
identified as being strategic priorities by the board of directors and senior management
- to exceed shareholders' expectations;
- be recognised as a reliable retail provider;
- to build strong partnerships with current and potential store
- to develop an effective healthy food strategy;
- be an employer of choice;
- be the most innovative retailer; and
- to make a surplus before interest.
Outback Stores' annual report used case studies to highlight several
achievements in 2018–19. It may assist the committee if case studies were mapped
against the relevant goal set out in the corporate plan in future annual
The 2018–19 annual report assessed the company's performance against six key
performance indicators (KPIs) set out in the corporate plan:
The committee found the annual report's presentation of the target and
result for each KPI was well-presented. The table used to summarise the KPI
results indicated that Outback Stores surpassed targets for five of its six KPIs.
Increase fruit and vegetable
In 2018–19, Outback Stores reported that it increased
the tonnage of fresh produce sold in stores by 4.86 per cent (or 21
tonnes), compared to a target of 2.5 per cent set by the corporate
plan. The annual report noted that to overcome challenges created by extreme weather
events which restricted the availability and pricing of fruit and vegetable
sales, Outback Stores worked with suppliers to deliver fortnightly promotional
programs to ease the impact of procurement expenses being passed on to store
The annual report also noted that work undertaken to fulfil this KPI
supported the Australian Government's target to close the gap in life
expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians by improving
access to healthy food. For example, the Papunya Community Store increased the frequency of deliveries
and reduced the price of a basket of staple products by $20 (compared to prices
under previous management). Outback Stores also continued to support the Australian Government's School
Nutrition Program by providing meals to school children in the Northern
Territory from its Mirnirri, Wetenngerr, Nitjpurru and Papunya community
Reduce full sugar soft drink sales
In 2018–19, Outback Stores reduced sales of full sugar soft drinks as a
percentage of total drink sales by 2.59 per cent (4.2 tonnes), compared
to a target of one per cent set by the corporate plan. Although lower prices for bottled water increased sales of that product by 2.66
per cent, soft drink sales still accounted for 55.21 per cent of total drink
The annual report noted that this KPI supported the Australian Government's
target to 'halve the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five
within a decade' by promoting healthy choices. For example, through its Sugar Reduction Project, Outback Stores supported the Good
Tucker App trial throughout 2018–19 for cooking demonstrations promoting a
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander remote retail outlet employees
In 2018–19, 87 per cent of employees in Outback Stores' remote
retail outlets identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, compared to
an 83 per cent target set by the corporate plan. This achievement resulted in 276 people engaging in the workforce within remote
communities during the reporting period. The annual report did not outline the activities undertaken by Outback Stores
to achieve this KPI.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Outback Stores support office
employees and store management
There were 145 ongoing employees in support office and store management
roles (including 117 employees in the Northern Territory, 22 in Western
Australia and three in South Australia) in 2018–19. Seven of these employees identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander,
which surpassed the target of six set by the corporate plan. The annual report did not comment on any initiatives undertaken by Outback
Stores to achieve this target.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander employees enrolled in accredited training programs
Fifty-three per cent of Outback Stores' permanent Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander employees were enrolled in accredited training
programs during 2018–19 and 25 employees completed a nationally accredited
Certificate II, III or IV in Retail. The result recorded in the annual report indicated that Outback Stores did not
reach the target of 60 per cent set by the corporate plan.
Increase the number of stores
Outback Stores acquired three new stores in 2018–19, compared to a
target of two set by the corporate plan. The annual report did not discuss how Outback Stores achieved this target. As
at 30 June 2019 Outback Stores worked with 741 stores (38 of which operated in
remote communities). Of these stores, 205 were located in Western Australia, 431 in the Northern
Territory and 105 in South Australia.
The financial statements for Outback Stores and its subsidiaries were
prepared as required by section 42 of the PGPA Act and paragraph 17AD(c)(ii) of
the PGPA Rule. The statements received an unqualified assurance report from
the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).
Outback Stores delivered a total operating profit from continuing
operations of $342 344 during 2018–19, compared to a $96 402 profit
in 2017–18. After a comprehensive income loss of $69 061 in 2017–18, Outback Stores
recorded a total comprehensive income surplus of $287 724 in 2018–19. The annual report noted that the surplus was reinvested back into the community
in accordance with its
In 2018–19, the Outback Stores' total revenue amounted to
$20 million ($1.7 million more than recorded in 2017–18). According to the financial statements, revenue primarily came from government
grants, the sale of goods and rendering of services, interest income, rental
income and rebates. Other revenue included commission, consultancy fees, training subsidies and
gains from the disposal of fixed assets.
Expenses totalled $19.5 million in 2018–19 and comprised of
consulting costs, depreciation and amortisation, employee benefits, rental
expenses, grants and administrative expenditure. Employee benefits accounted for 63 per cent ($12.4 million) of
Outback Stores' total expenditure and grants accounted for
13.9 per cent ($2.7 million).
Outback Stores reported a total financial loss of $54 620 for
Cardwell Supermarket in 2018–19. At the time of reporting, all major classes of assets and liabilities for
Cardwell Supermarket were held for sale to the value of approximately $727 000.
Outback Stores' annual report delivered a useful overview of its financial
performance during the 2018–19 financial year and provided a comprehensive commentary
of its financial results, which greatly assisted the committee's assessment.
The committee found Outback Stores' annual report to be well-presented
and informative. For the purposes of its report to the Senate, the committee
considers the company's annual report to be 'apparently satisfactory'.
Torres Strait Regional Authority
The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) is a corporate Commonwealth entity
operating under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005 (ATSI Act).
The TSRA supports community development and delivers a range of services across
the Torres Strait's 17 inhabited islands and the Northern Peninsula region's Bamaga
and Seisia communities.
As part of the PM&C portfolio, in 2018–19 the TSRA reported to the Minister
for Indigenous Affairs: Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion (until 28 May
2019) and the Hon Mr Ken Wyatt AM MP (from 29 May 2019).
The TSRA's purpose derives from its one outcome set by the Portfolio
Budget Statements (PBS) to:
Progress towards closing the gap for Torres Strait Islander
and Aboriginal people living in the Torres Strait region through development,
planning, coordination, sustainable resource management, and preservation and
promotion of Indigenous culture.
The TSRA's work is guided by the goals stated in the Torres Strait
Development Plan 2014–2018 (Development Plan) and the Torres
Strait and Northern Peninsula Area Regional Plan 2009–2029. As the region's Native Title Representative Body the TSRA also performs
separate functions under the Native Title Act 1993.
The TSRA provided its 2018–19 annual report to the Minister by the due
date of 15 October 2019, and was tabled in both the House of
Representatives and the Senate on 3 December 2019.
The TSRA's annual report was prepared according to the requirements of
the PGPA Act and Resource Management Guide No. 136—Annual reports for corporate
Commonwealth entities. The annual report also included information required
by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Environment Protection
and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
In accordance with section 35 of the PGPA Act and section 16E of the
PGPA Rule, the TSRA prepared a corporate plan for the reporting period. The committee notes that the TSRA only maintains its current corporate plan on
its website with previous plans available from the TSRA upon request. The
committee highlights its preference that Commonwealth entities and companies
maintain past corporate plans on their websites to assist the committee and
other interested persons to compare performance and corporate direction over
reporting periods as part of the Enhanced Commonwealth Performance Framework.
The committee found the annual report to be compliant with most of its
Additional reporting requirements set out in the ATSI Act
Subsection 144ZB(2) requires the TSRA to report on any directions given
by the Minister under section 142E and any consultants engaged under section
144T of the ATSI Act. The TSRA reported that it did not receive any formal
directions from the Minister in 2018–19, and provided a comprehensive list and details of consultancy projects in
Appendix 3 of the annual report.
The TSRA is also required to report details of grants under subsection
144ZB(3) of the ATSI Act. In 2018–19, the TSRA provided approximately
$15.4 million in grants to various regional organisations. The details of each individual grant were recorded in Appendix 2 of the annual
In accordance with subsection 144ZB(4) of the ATSI Act, the TSRA did not
disclose any matters known to be held sacred by Torres Strait Islanders or
Aboriginal persons in its annual report.
Section 142D of the ATSI Act requires the TSRA to formulate and
periodically review a Development Plan, which sets out how the TSRA intends to contribute to the Australian Government's Indigenous Advancement Strategy and Closing the Gap targets. The 2014–18 Development Plan stated that:
The outcomes, benefits and targets in the Development Plan
are delivered through the TSRA's annual corporate plans, and achievements are
reported in the TSRA's annual reports to the parliament.
The TSRA reported on its performance results for targets set by the 2014–18
Development Plan in the Program Reports section of the 2018–19 annual report. The
program reports in the 2018–19 annual report provided an extensive overview of
the activities undertaken to support the eight programs set out in the
Development Plan. The annual report recorded each activity as being either 'completed/on
schedule' or 'behind less than three months'.
The committee notes the results presented in the Program Report and the
Development Plan targets. However, for the purposes of assessing the TSRA's
performance in 2018–19, the TSRA's corporate plan stated:
The TSRA will report on its performance in the 2018–19
Corporate Plan and the Portfolio Budget Statement through the TSRA's 2018–19
Annual Performance Statement (Annual Report).
The annual performance statement in the 2018–19 annual report discussed
the results for the TSRA's 11 KPIs set out in the PBS and the corporate plan:
- increase the number of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal
owned commercially viable businesses;
- increase availability of approved business training;
- increase catches by Torres Strait and Aboriginal fishers relative
to total allowable catch (TAC);
increase the number of artists and cultural practitioners that
have access to information and support to ensure copyright and intellectual
- increase the number of Native Title claims successfully
- improve the number of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) with
compensation or other benefits;
increase the number of endorsed community based management plans
for natural and cultural resources;
increase the level of engagement of elected Torres Strait
Islander and Aboriginal leaders in policy development and decision-making;
increase the number of Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) that
achieve Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) compliance as
at 31 December each year;
- increase investment in new and existing regional environmental
- increase percentage ownership of Torres Strait commercial
fisheries by Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people; and
- improve existing regional health, telecommunication and marine
Increase the number of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal owned
commercially viable businesses
The corporate plan stated that this KPI contributes to improving
regional wealth and supports the TSRA's Closing the Gap commitment 'to
halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
The corporate plan indicated that this KPI would be assessed according
to the Community Development Projects audit of businesses in the Torres Strait
area and the number of TSRA business loans.
According to the annual performance statement, the TSRA provided three
business loans to Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal businesses (with a combined
value of $598 187), and supported 11 clients through business
mentoring initiatives in 2018–19. In 2017–18, the TSRA granted five loans to the total value of $647 151.
The annual performance statement did not discuss the findings of the
Community Development Projects audit.
Increase availability of approved
As with the KPI to increase the number of Torres Strait Islander and
Aboriginal owned businesses, the corporate plan stated that this KPI
contributes to improving regional wealth and supports the TSRA's Closing the
Gap commitment 'to halve the gap in employment outcomes between Indigenous
and non-Indigenous Australians'.
In 2018–19, opportunities for business training were facilitated by the TSRA's
You Sabe Business Workshops, Torres Strait Maritime Pathways Project and the
Growing Our Own Tagai Transitions Maritime Project. The annual performance statement reported on the You Sabe Business Workshop
series, which assisted local Indigenous start-ups to develop their business
skills and improve prospects for growth.
According to the annual report, the TSRA facilitated nine courses with a
combined total of 73 participants in 2018–19. In 2017–18, the TSRA offered 12 courses with 113 total participants.
Increase catches by Torres Strait
and Aboriginal fishers relative to TAC
The TSRA presented the results for this KPI in separate tables for each
regional fish species. In 2018–19, Torres Strait and Aboriginal fishers caught:
- approximately 48 per cent of total tropical rock
lobster catches (representing a small decrease compared to the result reported
in 2017–18), relative to the TAC;
- approximately three per cent of coral trout catches
(representing a small decrease compared to the result reported in 2017–18);
- just under six per cent of Spanish mackerel catches
(representing a four per cent increase compared to the result reported
in 2017–18); and
- approximately 58 per cent of bêche-de-mer species (representing a
26 per cent increase compared to the result reported in 2017–18).
The annual performance statement noted that the TSRA's mandatory fish
receiver system commenced at the end of 2017 and therefore was still being
implemented throughout 2018–19. The TSRA expects to see the percentage of catches by Torres Strait and
Aboriginal fishers relative to TAC improve as compliance reporting increases.
Increase the number of artists and
cultural practitioners that have access to information and support to ensure
copyright and intellectual property rights
The corporate plan stated that this KPI measures the number of artists
and cultural practitioners who are provided with information 'about their
rights in relation to the sale and reproduction of their artwork and
intellectual property rights'. The corporate plan set a baseline result of 70 artists.
In the annual performance statement, the TSRA reported that there were
156 artists and 35 cultural practitioners active in the region in 2018–19. These results demonstrated an increase in the number of active artists and
cultural practitioners when compared to results reported in 2017–18 (156
artists and 30 cultural practitioners).
The annual report did not specify if these artists and cultural
practitioners had been provided with information and support to ensure
copyright and intellectual property rights, which limited the committee's
capacity to assess the results for this KPI. It would assist the committee if
the TSRA specified the number of artists and cultural practitioners in terms of
those provided with information regarding copyright and intellectual property
rights in future annual reports.
Increase the number of Native Title
claims successfully determined
The corporate plan stated that this KPI measures the completeness of
Native Title determinations for the Torres Strait region, where a lower number
of outstanding Native Title claims indicates better performance.
The TSRA provided 331 responses to 343 Future Acts Notices that were
received during the reporting period, which equated to a
96.5 per cent response rate. However in 2017–18, 258 out of 260 Future Act Notices received a response,
which equated to a 99.2 per cent response rate.
The annual report also recorded that five Native Title claims were under
consideration in 2018–19 (the same number was recorded for each reporting
period since 2015–16).
Improve the number of ILUAs with
compensation or other benefits
The corporate plan specified that this KPI would be assessed according
to the 'value of compensation regimes negotiated for PBCs on behalf of the
Traditional Owners', with a higher figure representing better performance. The corporate plan also stated the baseline for this KPI was set at 65 ILUAs
registered on the National Native Title Register and $2.4 million in
The TSRA reported that 16 ILUAs were registered with the National Native
Title Tribunal in 2018–19, compared to 13 ILUAs registered in 2017–18 and seven
ILUAs in 2016–17. The annual report did not specify the value of compensation payments received
during the reporting period.
Increase the number of endorsed
community based management plans for the natural and cultural resources
In 2018–19, the TSRA had a total of 49 community based management plans
in operation (12 more than reported in 2017–18).
The corporate plan listed the following community based management plans
to 'be reported on for the purposes of this KPI':
- Dugong and Turtle Management Plans;
- Ranger Working on Country Plans;
- Indigenous Protected Area Plans of Management; and
- Biodiversity Profiles and Ecological Fire Management Plans.
As indicated by the corporate plan, the annual performance statement
included a discussion and progress update for each of these plans.
The Dugong and Turtle Management Plans operating in each of the
14 outer island communities entered a review process in 2018–19. At the time of reporting, the TSRA was supporting Traditional Elders from the
Kaiwalagal region to consider a Dugong and Turtle Management Plan and permit
The review process for Ranger Working on Country Plans, which operate in
all communities across the Torres Strait region, commenced in 2018–19.
Feral Animal Strategies were completed across four communities, as well
as control works to protect five communities from wild dogs and feral cats. The annual performance statements also noted that a cane toad mitigation plan
for Horn Island and Thursday Island had been developed.
The TSRA launched its Torres Strait Regional Biosecurity Plan 2018–2023 in November 2018, which led to the development of 18 subsequent Biosecurity
Action Plans. At the time of reporting these plans were being implemented in consultation
with Traditional Owners, Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate and state
Increase the level of engagement of
elected Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal leaders in policy development and
The corporate plan stated that this KPI indicates 'the TSRA's influence
at senior levels of government' and specified that the results would show the
number of engagements achieved as well as the number of commitments sought.
In 2018–19, elected members of the TSRA participated in 12 high-level
engagements with ministers and senior officials from the Queensland Government
and the Australian Government. The annual report noted that as a result of the prorogation of Parliament in
April 2019, Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal leaders had fewer
opportunities to meet with government ministers.
This result followed 20 engagements in 2017–18 (noting that the Queensland
state election was held on 25 November 2017), and 41 engagements
in 2016–2017 (noting that the Australian federal election was held on
2 July 2016).
The annual report did not specify the number of commitments sought.
Number of PBCs that achieve ORIC compliance
as at 31 December each year
According to the corporate plan, this KPI is measured according to the
number of PBCs below the total number (21) of PBCs in the Torres Strait Region,
with a number below the total representing a negative result. The results for this KPI indicate if a PBC is able to effectively participate
in Native Title determination discussions.
The corporate plan also noted that the TSRA's capacity to achieve this
KPI is limited by compliance and related governance matters being the
responsibility of each PBC Director.
The TSRA reported that most Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate met
the compliance requirements of the ORIC by 31 December 2018. As the annual report did not specify the exact number of PBCs achieving
compliance, the committee was unable to conclude its assessment for this KPI.
However, the 2017–18 annual report recorded that 100 per cent
of PBCs achieved compliance each year from 2013–14 through to 2016–17 until
2017–18 when one PBC was reported not to have met the compliance requirements. It may assist the committee if the TSRA reported these figures in its 2019–20
annual report as per the guidance material concerning the reporting of results
in Resource Management Guide No. 134: Annual performance statements for
Increase investment in new and
existing regional environmental health
According to the corporate plan, this KPI tracks funding to regional
councils and Whole of Government investment, with an increase in value representing a
positive result. As the results for this KPI were reported descriptively, how the results for
2018–19 compared to previous years was unclear. However, the explanations of
each investment initiative's goals assisted the committee's examination of the
TSRA's performance for this KPI.
In 2018–19, the TSRA invested in regional environmental health
infrastructure through a number of initiatives. For example, the annual
performance statements noted that the Australian and Queensland Governments
provided $30 million for the TSRA to commence Stage 6 of its Major
Infrastructure Program, which enabled the TSRA to deliver 12 health
infrastructure projects and a 'range of minor infrastructure projects through
three regional councils'. The Queensland Government also provided $20 million in coastal protection
investment for the TSRA to commence Stage 2 of the Torres Strait Seawalls
Increase percentage ownership of Torres
Strait commercial fisheries by Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people
The corporate plan stated that this KPI contributes to the prosperity of
the region's fisheries resources. The TSRA noted that this KPI is limited by total ownership not being wholly
indicative of total participation in commercial fisheries.
The TSRA reported the following ownership percentages for Torres Strait
and Aboriginal Commercial Fishery Ownership for 2018–19:
- tropical rock lobster—66.17 per cent;
finfish—100 per cent;
- bêche-de-mer—100 per cent;
- trochus and crab—100 per cent; and
- prawn—zero per cent.
The results for this KPI show no change from the results reported in
Improve existing regional health,
telecommunication and marine infrastructure
This KPI overlaps with the goals described for the KPI discussed
previously: increase investment in new and existing regional environmental
health. Although the rationale and targets for this KPI were not
explained in the corporate plan, the annual report discussed its work
undertaken to improve existing regional health, telecommunication and marine
infrastructure in 2018–19. The annual performance statements detailed that initiatives such as the Torres
Strait Digital Foundation Project and the Prince of Wales Island Safe Landing
Facility Project facilitated improvements to 4G technology and repairs for the
Badu Island airstrip.
Commonwealth Performance Framework—'clear
The committee found the relationship between the performance targets set
out in the corporate plan and the results presented in the annual performance
statement to be unclear for aspects of some KPIs.
The ANAO's Commonwealth Resource Management Framework and the Clear
Read Principle audit report noted that the Commonwealth Performance
Framework exists to improve the 'line of sight' between what the entity
intended to achieve and what it reported to have achieved—known as the 'clear
The Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Audit's Report 453: Development
of the Commonwealth Performance Framework summarised the characteristics of
a 'clear read' of performance information:
A 'clear read' means that performance information is being
presented clearly and consistently across all relevant reports produced by an entity
within the annual reporting cycle and also across several annual reporting
The Department of Finance provided further information regarding the
expectations of the Commonwealth Performance Framework:
Performance planning and reporting should draw clear links
between the entity's key activities and the results achieved and provides
meaningful performance information with a clear line of sight between planned
and actual performance. This allows a reader (including the Parliament) to
assess the extent to which an entity's or company's intended results were
achieved and the factors that affected performance.
The committee found the use of case studies in the Highlights and
Achievements section of the annual report to be helpful in demonstrating the
TSRA's accomplishments. It may assist the committee if these achievements were
mapped against the relevant KPI set out in the PBS and corporate plan in future
Although the relationship between the targets set out in the corporate
plan and the results reported in the annual performance statement for some KPIs
was unclear, the committee found the inclusion of tables demonstrating the
results for each KPI over a five year period greatly assisted its holistic
assessment of the TSRA's performance.
The TSRA's annual report included financial statements, which were
prepared as required by sections 42, 43 and 46 of the PGPA Act and in
accordance with section 17AD of the PGPA Rule and the Australian Accounting
Standards—Reduced Disclosure Requirements. The financial statements received an unqualified assurance report from the
In 2018–19, the TSRA reported an operating deficit of $2.98 million. This result followed an operating surplus of $3.51 million for the previous
financial year. Total expenses for 2018–19 amounted to $54.12 million, which primarily comprised
of employee benefits, supplier costs and grants.
The TSRA's total own-source revenue for 2018–19 amounted to $15.15 million
received from the rendering of services, interest and government contributions. Own-source revenue decreased by approximately 22 per cent in 2018–19
from the previous financial year. The DPM&C also provided the TSRA with $35.88 million in corporate
Commonwealth entity payments.
The annual report's financial statements noted that the ATSI Act requires
the TSRA to use funds available under its Housing Fund (including interest)
exclusively for the purposes of housing loans. In 2018–19, the TSRA's cash on hand or on deposit in its Housing Fund was
$374 000 (approximately 52 per cent more than reported in 2017–18). These funds cannot be used for operational purposes.
One contingent liability was reported, which was the result of a bank
guarantee in favour of the Torres Shire Council valued at $166 000. The value of this liability remained steady between the 2017–18 and 2018–19
The committee found the TSRA's annual report to be well-presented and
informative. For the purposes of its report to the Senate the committee
considers the annual report to be 'apparently satisfactory'.
Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council
The Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council (WBACC) is a corporate
Commonwealth entity established under the Aboriginal Land Grant (Jervis Bay
Territory) Act 1986 (Land Grant Act). As part of the PM&C portfolio, in 2018–19 the WBACC reported to the Minister
for Indigenous Affairs: Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion (until 28
May 2019) and the Hon Mr Ken Wyatt AM MP (from 29 May 2019).
Wreck Bay Village is a non-self-governing Commonwealth Territory located
on the Bherwerre Peninsula in the Jervis Bay region of New South Wales with a
population of 250 people. The Land Grant Act stipulates for the WBACC, as the recognised land owner, to
oversee land holding and land management as well as to provide community
services for its members and businesses.
According to its 2018–19 annual report and corporate plan, the WBACC
assists the Wreck Bay Community to manage its own land and seas and promote
economic and community development by supporting the community to 'determine
its own future and lifestyle'.
The WBACC presented its annual report to the Minister on 28 November 2019
after the deadline of 15 October 2019 prescribed by paragraph 46(2)(a) of the PGPA
Act. The annual report was tabled in the House of Representatives on
6 February 2020 and in the Senate on 10 February 2020.
In accordance with section 35 of the PGPA Act and section 16E of the
PGPA Rule, the WBACC developed a corporate plan for the reporting period, which
is available for review on its website.
The WBACC prepared its annual report according to the requirements of
the PGPA Act and the Land Grant Act, as well as in accordance with Resource Management Guide No. 136—Annual
reports for corporate Commonwealth entities. The WBACC also provided
information required by the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
The committee found the annual report to be compliant with most of its
Non-compliance with finance law
In accordance with subsection 17BE(h) of the PGPA Rule, the WBACC provided
a statement of a significant issue reported to the responsible Minister under
paragraph 19(1)(e) that related to non-compliance with finance law.
The WBACC reported that it was found to have not complied with section
41 of the PGPA Act in relation to the management of a single document explaining
its transactions and financial position. A statement outlining the action taken to remedy the non-compliance, as
required by subsection 17BE(i) of the PGPA Rule, stated that procedures were
subsequently introduced to ensure the electronic storage of all documents.
Subsection 17BE(q) of the PGPA Rule requires corporate Commonwealth
entities to report on the particulars of any judicial decisions or decisions of
administrative tribunals made during the reporting period that have had or may
have a significant effect on the entity's operations. In 2018–19 the WBACC
reported one such judicial decision, which was the result of the decision of Williams
v Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council  HCA 213.
The result was unfavourable to the WBACC and made it 'liable for all
repairs and maintenance to housing regardless of whether a tenant has paid rent
and... whether damage has been caused to property by the tenant'. This decision required the WBACC to adjust its approach to housing and resulted
in the development of a Home Ownership Implementation Strategy.
WBACC reported that its capacity to achieve its performance criterion to
'seek regulations to enable enforcement of by-laws' was limited due to
anticipated extensive legislative amendments following the case. The annual report noted that the WBACC intended to pursue legislative and
by-law change in response to the High Court's decision in 2019–20.
Decision making process undertaken
by the accountable authority regarding transactions with related parties
In accordance with subsection 17BE(n) of the PGPA Rule, the WBACC
provided details of the nature and value of transactions with Commonwealth
entities. The annual report noted that the WBACC and related parties transact
with the Commonwealth in the same capacity as ordinary citizens; such
activities included 'the payment or refund of taxes, receipt of Medicare rebate
or higher education loans'. These transactions were not disclosed in the financial statements.
As the WBACC's establishing legislation empowers it to provide services
to the community and business enterprises, transactions take place between
members of the community and the WBACC on a daily basis. The annual report summarised that these transactions in 2018–19 included
childcare and housing services, scholarships, assistance payments and wages,
and community activities. The values of these transactions were not disclosed in the financial
The WBACC's performance for the reporting period was measured through an
assessment of six goals set out in the 2018–19 corporate plan:
- to obtain ownership of the land and waters of Jervis Bay;
- to represent the Community at all levels of government;
- to manage and maintain aboriginal land;
- to provide services to Community members;
- to conduct business enterprises; and
- to undertake skills analysis and skills training.
Several performance criteria were mapped to each goal and were assessed
through an analysis of the activities undertaken, followed by a discussion of
the results and a summary of what steps the WBACC intended to take in the
future to ensure it either maintained or improved its performance.
Goal 1: Ownership of land and
The WBACC's goal to obtain ownership of the land and waters of Jervis
Bay was mapped against four performance criteria:
- petitions made to the Commonwealth Government for action on Regulations
under the Land Act;
- work undertaken to regulate and enforce the community's by-laws;
- expansion of the Joint Management of Booderee National Park; and
- good governance practices to safeguard future land management.
The annual report noted that the WBACC made two petitions in 2018–19 to
the Parliament, which sought grants for several parcels of land within the
Jervis Bay Territory, and highlighted its intention to continue this practice
in the future. The Minister for Indigenous Affairs granted two blocks of vacant crown land in
Jervis Bay Village, but indicated that he would not approve further land grants
until the High Court handed down its decision regarding Williams v Wreck Bay
Aboriginal Community Council  due to its anticipated effects
on its remit to manage housing.
In 2018–19, members of the WBACC met with officials from the DPM&C
to discuss its proposal for amendments to the Land Grant Act to allow for the
enforcement of by-laws. The annual report noted that these amendments would empower the WBACC to
administer its own land, as opposed to the current practice where offences are
pursued through the courts. This process was also put on hold until the outcome of the High Court case was
clear as it was expected that the result would require more extensive
The Booderee National Park has been jointly managed by Parks Australia
and the WBACC since 1995. In 2018–19, the Joint Management Board facilitated
training for its members and considered possible lease negotiations, which were
expected to formally commence in 2019–20. The annual report did not detail what these negotiations intended to achieve
for the WBACC.
Governance and financial training were offered to members of the WBACC's
Board, staff and community throughout 2018–19 to support its good governance
principles. Examples of the WBACC ensuring it maintained its good governance principles
included the development of a Code of Conduct for Board meetings and a review
of half of all childcare, workplace health and safety and community services
policies. The annual report noted that the WBACC intended to review its housing policies
Goal 2: Achieve representation at
all levels of government
The WBACC's goal to achieve representation at all levels of government was
mapped against one performance criterion: 'lobbying of government and training
of community members in issues affecting them'.
Telecommunications, postal services, elections, wages and per- and
poly-fluoroalkyl substances contamination were key drivers for lobbying with
the ACT and Commonwealth governments in 2018–19. Lobbying efforts led to the inclusion of the Community in the National
Broadband Network rollout. Discussions for a contractual agreement between Australia Post and the Council were
expected to take place in early 2020. Other matters were not successfully addressed through lobbying during the
Goal 3: Manage and maintain
The WBACC's goal to manage and maintain Aboriginal Land was mapped against
five performance criteria:
- ensuring Fire Emergency Plan remains up to date;
- reducing and controlling weeds threatening traditional sources of
- reducing fuel consumption;
- engaging in land use planning; and
- maintaining cultural heritage.
Following a significant fire in the Jervis Bay Territory in late 2017,
the WBACC consolidated its existing fire management practices and procedures in
2018–19. The WBACC worked with Comcare to strengthen its emergency management plan and
coordinated with neighbouring communities to ensure that plans were
complementary. Throughout 2018–19 the Wreck Bay Fire Service conducted backburns, maintenance
and drills to prepare for future fire seasons.
The NIAA provided grant funding, of an undisclosed amount, to the WBACC
to employ three staff tasked with managing Bitou Bush and Sea Spurge. While the annual report noted that eradicating the weeds entirely would be
unlikely, the WBACC's efforts to control affected areas were successful during
the reporting period. The annual report noted that the WBACC intended to continue to pursue
opportunities to acquire funding to manage Bitou Bush and Sea Spurge weeds.
The WBACC did not achieve its performance criterion aiming to reduce
fuel consumption as fuel consumption increased in 2018–19 due to an increase in
vehicle ownership and problems with invoices issued to the WBACC by the
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. The annual report noted that the WBACC intended to improve its performance for
this criterion in the future by limiting the need for staff to travel,
providing a mobile mechanic to those requiring equipment to be repaired and
regular vehicle services.
In 2018–19, the WBACC engaged a town planner to conduct a geotechnical
assessment of possible sites for residential buildings and a new cemetery, as
well as academics from the University of Wollongong to assist with research to
properly identify the contamination of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances on
cultural land use projects.
The WBACC successfully negotiated a four-year cultural heritage function
agreement with Parks Australia and received funding to establish a Cultural
Heritage Officer position in 2018–19. The annual report noted the intention to develop plans for a cultural heritage
centre in 2019–20.
Goal 4: Provide services to
The WBACC's goal to provide services to community members was mapped
against five performance criteria:
- improve housing;
- update the town plan;
- increase the uptake of services offered by the childcare centre;
- improve recreation activities and facilities;
create opportunities for employment.
Following Williams v Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council  the WBACC enlisted the assistance of Indigenous Community Volunteers to
assist with its town plan. This engagement assisted with the development a Home Ownership Implementation
Strategy, which at the time of reporting was being considered by the
government. The annual report noted the WBACC's intention to establish 99 year leases in
2019–20 based on the ACT government's crown lease model.
In 2018–19, the WBACC sought to increase enrolments at its Gudjahgahmiamia
childcare centre. Although enrolment numbers remained at 22 at the end of the reporting period, the
WBACC indicated its intention to implement marketing concepts devised by
Gudjahgahmiamia in consultation with Price Waterhouse Coopers in 2019–20.
The WBACC took several steps to improve the community's recreation
activities and facilities through the creation of a community vegetable garden,
wellbeing programs for staff and a health program for women. Additionally, the Community's basketball courts, men's shed and community
centre received upgrades, which led to increased socialisation between members
of the Wreck Bay Community.
The WBACC's annual report noted that it engaged with a number of 'government
schemes designed to assist people [to enter] the workforce', but did not
specify what these schemes were. The WBACC indicated that it had also applied for 'primary industry funding to
facilitate ongoing employment of members of [the] weed control team' as well as
funding from the NIAA for a 'caring for country ranger program', which it
intends to pursue in the future.
The WBACC's annual report included financial statements, which were
prepared as required by section 42 of the PGPA Act, and in accordance
with section 17AD of the PGPA Rule and the Australian Accounting
Standards—Reduced Disclosure Requirements. The financial statements received an unqualified assurance report from the
The WBACC reported an operating deficit of $69 503 for 2018–19. This result follows an operating deficit of $74 706 for the previous
financial year. Total expenses for 2018–19 amounted to $4.21 million, which arose from
employee benefits, supplier costs, occupancy expenses, community grants and
The WBACC is primarily funded by own-source revenue and grants from the
Commonwealth government. In 2018–19, the WBACC received $2.18 million from the rendering of
services, housing rentals, park leases, childcare fees and subsidies. Own-source revenue increased by approximately six per cent in 2018–19
from the previous financial year. The Commonwealth government contributed $1.95 million in funding as well
as $300 000 in land contributions.
The financial statements recorded one contingency affecting assets and
liabilities. The matter arose from the WBACC's High Court ruling in Williams v Wreck Bay
Aboriginal Community Council , which was at the time of reporting in
mediation with the ACT Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal. The cost of this mediation is expected to be $50 000.
The committee found the WBACC's annual report to be well-structured and
informative. However, the report bore minor typographical errors throughout. The
inclusion of explanations for any instances of non-compliance where necessary
greatly assisted the committee's review. For the purposes of its report to the
Senate, the committee considers the WBACC's annual report to be 'apparently
Senator James Paterson
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