Corporate Plan 2016–17

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cover image of corporate plan 2016-2017

Corporate Plan 2016–17
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Secretary's Foreword

I am pleased to present the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development's Corporate Plan 2016–17 for the 2016–17 to 2019–20 reporting periods.

Our Corporate Plan sets out our key priorities and activities, along with our strategic agenda and the actions we will take over the next four years to achieve our purposes.

Infrastructure is the backbone of a competitive and productive economy. The Department will play a pivotal role in ensuring our transport systems are able to respond to growing freight and commuter needs, particularly as our cities and regional centres expand. Our advice supports the Australian Government to ensure Australia's cities and regions are places of commerce and community, supported by safe, efficient and secure transport systems. Our role in administering Australia's territories ensures Australians living in some of our most remote places are able to access services and infrastructure which support the sustainability of these communities, with good governance as a cornerstone.

Rapid advancements in technology will disrupt where and how we work, bringing both new opportunities and new challenges. The Australian Government will need to ensure its policy and regulatory settings are sufficiently robust and flexible to facilitate change and at the same time to ensure the safety and security of our transport systems. Addressing these challenges requires leadership by a professional and capable Australian Public Service, able to harness the benefits of innovative applications of technology while designing regulatory systems that enhance safety and consumer protection. Our work in microeconomic reform, delivery of services to our territories, and our partnership with all levels of government to invest in infrastructure which builds our capacity and connectivity, requires a workforce with strong collaborative skills. Accordingly, we seek to foster and support a high-performing workforce, build on our policy development and delivery capabilities, and further strengthen our engagement and partnership with stakeholders.

Our Corporate Plan outlines the environment in which we work, our view on the right outcome in all areas for which we have responsibility, and how we will position ourselves to respond more effectively to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. It also underpins our internal business planning and individual performance plans, which have a strong link to our strategic narrative and the priorities we will focus on to achieve our purposes.

Mike Mrdak AO
Secretary

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Introduction

I, Mike Mrdak AO, Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, present the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development's Corporate Plan 2016–17, for the 2016–17 to 2019–20 reporting periods, as required under section 35(1)(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. This plan is prepared in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014.

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Purposes

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is responsible for the design and implementation of the Australian Government's infrastructure, transport and regional development policies and programs. Our purposes are to:

  • promote, plan, evaluate and invest in infrastructure and regional development
  • foster an efficient, sustainable, competitive, safe and secure transport system
  • strengthen the sustainability, capacity and diversity of regional economies and support local communities, and
  • provide good governance in the Australian territories.

The performance section of this document maps our purposes to our outcome statements and programs and includes detailed performance information for each program.

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Environment

Australia faces the challenge of growth and economic development. Meeting the changing transport and infrastructure needs across Australia will pose an ongoing challenge for the Australian Government, particularly in a constrained fiscal environment. To meet this challenge, we continue to work with all levels of government to improve the way in which we invest in critical national transport links and systems and improve the viability and sustainability of the transport network, to make the most of our shared investment.

In our cities, which are where the majority of Australians live and work, transport infrastructure is critical to underpin productivity and economic growth and to ensure our urban communities are vibrant and liveable. As populations increase so too does congestion, affecting freight and passengers. The efficient movement of freight in and through our cities is critical to the economy. So too are transport systems which enable people to move efficiently around the city to access employment, goods and services. An effective and sustainable transport system requires that we both manage demand for transport services and invest in new infrastructure where appropriate. The Australian Government works closely with states and territories to improve our planning approaches, strengthen investment decision-making and evaluation, and to reform the way we fund and invest in transport infrastructure.

Rapid advances in and adoption of, new technology offer significant potential benefits and opportunities—to improve mobility options, improve transport safety and security, expand the capacity of existing infrastructure and increase productivity. However, these changes will also bring significant disruption which will challenge existing Australian Government policy and regulatory settings. Australian Government regulation and service delivery will need to be flexible in order to adapt to and facilitate change.

Regional Australia is critical to a resilient national economy and cultural identity. Around one third of Australians live in the regions, and it is estimated that regional and remote Australia contribute over a third of the economic activity of the nation. Australia's regions are also diverse. Regional centres are seeing their populations rise while some towns are in decline. Some regional areas have experienced long-term labour market disadvantage, which makes it harder for people to get jobs and remain attached to the labour force. Others have a thriving workforce. Different regions also have varying opportunities. Some regions have large comparative advantages in natural and social resources that could be marshalled in responding to opportunity.

The Australian Government makes significant investments in Australia's regions. Investments targeted at long-term economic and social returns which will benefit the nation as a whole—ensuring that regional communities are good places to live and work and supporting the productivity growth necessary to enhance Australia's national prosperity.

Key challenges for 2016–20 include:

  • developing sustainable long-term infrastructure planning and investment strategies given the predicted slowing of productivity growth and the potential impact of this on living standards as well as on fiscal flexibility for all levels of government
  • creating the right pricing and regulatory incentives for increased public and private investment in infrastructure
  • improving the safety and security of our people and freight in our transport systems
  • ensuring the right policy and regulatory settings to encourage innovation, take up of productivity and safety-enhancing technology in the transport and infrastructure sectors, and increased competitiveness
  • achieving greater productivity gains from our existing infrastructure and transport investments, while managing and improving the standards of safety, security, and environmental performance of those assets, and
  • providing opportunities for economic growth and jobs in our regions and communities.

The Department's Trends: Infrastructure and Transport to 2030 publication provides detailed analysis and forecasting to outline the most significant impacts on the infrastructure and transport sectors through to 2030. This report can be accessed at www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/publications.

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Performance

To ensure we achieve our purposes the Department has a set of outcomes which are delivered through a suite of programs. Our annual Portfolio Budget Statements provide detailed information on each program's objective, delivery mechanism, performance criteria, targets, resourcing and purpose. The Portfolio Budget Statements can be accessed at www.infrastructure.gov.au/department/statements.

Note: In 2016–17, we will undertake a review of our performance information. We aim to improve the quality and relevance of our measures and better assess the impact of our programs.

Mapping of outcome, program and purpose structure

Outcome 1 Infrastructure
Improved infrastructure across Australia through investment in, and coordination of, transport and other infrastructure.
Program 1.1
Infrastructure Investment
Purpose
Promote, plan, evaluate and invest in infrastructure and regional development.
Outcome 2 Transport
An efficient, sustainable, competitive, safe and secure transport system for all transport users through regulation, financial assistance and safety investigations.
Program 2.1
Transport Security
Purpose
Foster an efficient, sustainable, competitive, safe and secure transport system.
Program 2.2
Surface Transport
Program 2.3
Road Safety
Program 2.4
Air Transport
Outcome 3 Regional Development and Local Government
Strengthening the sustainability, capacity and diversity of regional economies including through facilitating local partnerships between all levels of government and local communities, and providing grants and financial assistance.
Program 3.1
Regional Development
Purpose
Strengthen the sustainability, capacity and diversity of regional economies and support local communities.
Program 3.2
Local Government
Outcome 4 Services to Territories
Good governance in the Australian territories through the maintenance and improvement of the overarching legislative framework for self-governing territories, and laws and services for non-self-governing territories.
Program 4.1
Services to Territories
Purpose
Provide good governance in the Australian territories.

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Infrastructure

Purpose

Promote, plan, evaluate and invest in infrastructure and regional development.

Strategy

Infrastructure investment supports economic productivity across Australia. Our infrastructure investment program works to ensure improved infrastructure across Australia through increasing the efficiency and safety of Australia's land transport infrastructure while strengthening the Australian economy. We will continue to work with states and territories on transport planning to inform future investment priorities.

2016–17 Priorities

Contribute to improved transport infrastructure through sound management and partnered decision-making, as well as cost estimate, assurance and compliance reviews.

Advise on potential projects to be funded under the Infrastructure Investment Program.

Advise on transport planning and potential projects to inform future infrastructure investment.

Implement the Infrastructure Investment Program, including delivery through the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the Moorebank Intermodal Company Limited.

Implement the program of works for land transport infrastructure priorities for funding under the Infrastructure Investment Program, including examining opportunities for alternative funding and financing approaches.

Continue to work with states and territories to improve freight and port productivity.

Continue work on national transport planning, including consideration of the role high speed rail could play in addressing long-term transport challenges.

Work with state, territory and local governments to develop options to support longer-term institutional and governance reform of land transport market investment and charging arrangements.

Implement the Northern Australia Beef Roads Fund to improve the productivity and resilience of cattle supply chains in northern Australia.

2016–17 and beyond—Measuring our performance for Program 1.1 Infrastructure Investment

We will assess our performance in 2016–17 and beyond against the following criteria and targets.

Performance criteriaTargets
Australian land transport networks are safer.

Australian land transport networks are more efficient.
Project milestones are met; payments approved to states, territories and local governments for infrastructure investment projects which aim to increase safety and efficiency and are within 5 per cent of forecast.

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Transport

Purpose

Foster an efficient, sustainable, competitive, safe and secure transport system.

Strategy

Transport systems and infrastructure connecting Australians with their domestic markets and the nation to the global economy are key determinants of our economic growth. Given the current global and local economic situation, Australia's prosperity depends on having a transport system which is efficient, sustainable, competitive, safe and secure.

Our transport programs work to:

  • ensure a viable and sustainable transport security system in Australia through regulation which is designed collaboratively with industry and government entities
  • ensure flexible and proportionate regulation that delivers measurable benefits and ensures that the transport security regulatory model operates efficiently and effectively
  • improve the performance of the surface transport sector for the benefit of all Australians
  • develop a safer road transport system by working to make vehicles and occupants safer, and drivers more informed, and
  • ensure the aviation industry operates within a clear and robust safety regulatory environment and Australian businesses and consumers have access to competitive domestic and international air services.

In delivering our transport programs, we will continue to consult with state, territory and local governments and industry and, where appropriate, with foreign governments and international organisations.

2016–17 Priorities

Support industry and the community by continuously monitoring aviation transport, maritime transport, and offshore facility security regulatory regimes.

Work with industry to maintain a robust, comprehensive approach to transport and offshore facility security.

Work with international partners to shape the transport security environment and build their capacity so as to mitigate security risks to Australia.

Progress and monitor the impact on Tasmanian businesses of the implementation of the Australian Government's response to the Productivity Commission inquiry report on Tasmanian shipping and freight, in particular the expanded Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme from 1 January 2016.

Progress the reform of coastal shipping.

Advise on costs, benefits and next steps of options to reform road transport charging and investment arrangements including light vehicles.

Work with state, territory and local governments to progress the second phase of heavy vehicle charging and investment reforms outlined in the road map for reform agreed by transport ministers in May 2015.

Promote integrated road and rail reforms supporting the operation of single national markets and building on effective relationships with key stakeholders.

Implement the Australian Government's reforms to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989.

Ensure vehicle standards deliver both safety and positive environmental outcomes and are consistent with international approaches.

Provide advice to the Australian Government on options for reducing noxious and greenhouse gas emissions from road vehicles.

Coordinate ongoing delivery arrangements for the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–20, including road safety data collection and progress reporting.

Implement the Australian Government's aviation policy initiatives.

Continue to promote best practice regulation through progressive improvements in guidance materials, regulatory tools and processes.

Implement the Australian Government's decision that Badgerys Creek will be the site for a western Sydney airport.

2016–17—Measuring our performance for Program 2.1 Transport Security

We will assess our performance in 2016–17 against the following criteria and targets.

Performance criteriaTargets
Regulatory settings are reviewed to ensure they are efficient and effective. Amend regulations to meet piece-level screening security requirements for air cargo exported to the United States and commence implementation.

Amend regulations to strengthen the security of airside screening arrangements and commence implementation.

Amend regulations to deregulate port service providers and ships undertaking interstate voyages.

Make the known consignor scheme operational by the end of 2016.

Implement new regulatory arrangements for regulated air cargo agents and accredited air cargo agents.

Amend regulations to improve the design and physical security of the Aviation Security Identification Card and Maritime Security Identification Card.

Amend regulations to streamline transport security programs, improve signage requirements and the application of special event zones.

Hold meetings of the Aviation Security Advisory Forum, the Regional Industry Consultative Forum, the Maritime Industry Security Consultative Forum and the Oil and Gas Security Forum to consult with industry participants.
Industry is well informed about their regulatory obligations and contemporary security threats and risks. Issue new products on threat and risk to inform regulated industry participant's management of security risks.

Undertake awareness raising activities to ensure regulated entities understand relevant reforms to regulatory operations.

Ensure guidance about industry's regulatory obligations is up to date, clear and easily accessible.

Implement regulatory amendments for special event zones, maps and sign requirements.

Regularly brief regulated industry participants with information about current security threats.

Ensure contingency planning for major airports and airlines is completed and well progressed with regional airports and airlines.

Initiate entry and exit interviews with regulated entities to address areas of non-compliance.
International engagement influences and shapes global policy settings. Engage through QUAD and the International Civil Aviation Organization Aviation Security Panel to influence changes to Annex 17 on cyber and landside security standards.

Complete key bilateral agreements to streamline security screening.

Participate in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings and help to drive progress on its transport security and safety agenda.

Implement the review of the Last Port of Call program to improve its effectiveness.

Implement the review of the capacity building program to improve its effectiveness.
Compliance activity is risk based and well informed. 95 per cent of ‘high risk' cases are subjected to compliance activity.
New Compliance Operating Model implemented to improve efficiency, effectiveness and national consistency. Efficiency, effectiveness and national consistency of new Compliance Operating Model is improved as measured by industry feedback.

Compliance data effectively informs the Department's compliance approach.

2017–18 and beyond—Measuring our performance for Program 2.1 Transport Security

We will assess our performance in 2017–18 and beyond against the following criteria and targets.

Performance criteriaTargets
Regulatory settings are reviewed to ensure they are efficient and effective. Trial and refine if necessary, an operational model for risk based screening at selected major airports.

Amend legislation to implement a more risk based and proportionate approach to aviation security regulation.

Ensure the completion of contingency planning for regional airports and airlines.
Industry is well informed about their regulatory obligations and contemporary security threats and risks. Issue products on threat and risk to inform the management of security risks by regulated industry participants.

Regularly brief regulated industry participants to inform them about current security threats.

Undertake awareness raising activities to ensure regulated entities understand relevant reforms to regulatory operations.

Ensure guidance about industry's regulatory obligations is up to date, clear and easily accessible.
International engagement influences and shapes global policy settings. Engage through the QUAD and the International Civil Aviation Organization Aviation Security Panel to influence changes to Annex 17 on cyber and landside security standards.

Complete key bilateral agreements to streamline security screening.

Contribute to efforts to improve the safety, security, and efficiency of transport through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Transportation Working Group.
Compliance activity is risk based and well informed. Ensure scheduled Last Port of Call assessments are completed and action is taken where risks are assessed as unacceptably high.

Use the data it collects from compliance activities to effectively inform its compliance approach.
Air cargo exports meet inbound regulatory requirements of Australia's major trading partners, particularly the United States. By 1 July 2017, all United States-bound air cargo will have undergone to piece-level examination or will have originated from a known consignor.

2016–17—Measuring our performance for Program 2.2 Surface Transport

We will assess our performance in 2016–17 against the following criteria and targets.

Performance criteriaTargets
Australian surface transport networks are safer and more efficient with Commonwealth regulation which is fit for purpose and proportionate to the risk being managed.

Surface transport regulatory systems are continuously improved.

Communication with regulated entities, including those subject to regulatory changes, is open, transparent and appropriately targeted to support them in meeting their obligations.

Lead work with the states and territories to progress heavy vehicle road reform in line with the road map agreed by the Transport and Infrastructure Council in May 2015.
Drive regulatory improvement and reduced costs for the heavy vehicle, maritime and rail sectors utilising the established and effective national regulators.

Consider options for building on the infrastructure of the national regulators to consolidate broader funds to improve benefits to industry and increase productivity and safety outcomes.

Sustain momentum on national transport reform, with jurisdictions working together to build on initial measures and implement longer-term reforms that improve pricing, access, safety and productivity.

Balance investment and productivity outcomes between freight modes to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of road, rail and shipping.

Publish the second editions of the heavy vehicle asset registers and expenditure plans, which are improved based on feedback from industry and state and territory governments.

Lead the states and territories in delivering advice to the Council of Australian Governments on:

  • accelerating heavy vehicle road reform
  • implementing independent price regulation for heavy vehicle charges by 2017–18, and
  • investigating the high level benefits and costs of user charging for all vehicles.

2017–18 and beyond—Measuring our performance for Program 2.2 Surface Transport

We will assess our performance in 2017–18 and beyond against the following criteria and targets.

Performance criteriaTargets
Australian surface transport networks are safer and more efficient with Commonwealth regulation which is fit for purpose and proportionate to the risk being managed.

Surface transport regulatory systems are continuously improved.

Communication with regulated entities, including those subject to regulatory changes, is open, transparent and appropriately targeted to support them in meeting their obligations.

Lead work with the states and territories to progress heavy vehicle reform.
Drive regulatory improvement and reduced costs for the heavy vehicle, maritime and rail sectors utilising the established and effective national regulators.

Consider options for building on the infrastructure of the national regulators to consolidate broader funds to improve benefits to industry and increase productivity and safety outcomes.

Sustain momentum on national transport reform, with jurisdictions working together to build on initial measures and implement longer-term reforms which improve pricing, access, safety and productivity.

Balance investment and productivity outcomes between freight modes to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of road, rail and shipping.

Subject to agreement by the Council of Australian Governments, lead work with states, territories, local government and stakeholders on:
  • implementing phase two of heavy vehicle road reform, including adoption of a forward looking cost base for heavy vehicle charges and independent price regulation of charges, and
  • progressing research and policy development work on land transport market reform.

2016–17 and beyond—Measuring our performance for Program 2.3 Road Safety

We will assess our performance in 2016–17 and beyond against the following criteria and targets.

Performance criteriaTargets
Australia's road and vehicle safety systems achieve safety, emissions, anti-theft and other environmental standards.

Australia's road and vehicle safety systems are more efficient, with Commonwealth regulation that encourages efficiency and where compliance and monitoring is increasingly risk based and streamlined.

Australia's road and vehicle safety systems are safer with Commonwealth regulation and regulatory policy fit for purpose and proportionate to the risks being managed.

Statistical analysis and information published is accurate and robust and supports the continuous improvement of regulatory frameworks.

Communication with regulated entities, including those subject to regulatory changes, is open, transparent and appropriately targeted to support them in meeting their obligations.

Approvals and licenses under the Commonwealth road and vehicle safety regulatory frameworks are issued in a timeframe that meets legislative or other requirements.
Progress and implement reforms to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 where necessary.

Participate in the development of international vehicle standards; assess standards for implementation in Australia consistent with international timetables.

Conduct audits, inspections, information seminars and other compliance activities effectively, with identified issues addressed satisfactorily.

Publish and regularly review compliance and enforcement policy to ensure it reflects risk-based, proportionate and voluntary compliance principles.

Ensure changes to legislation, policies or practices are appropriately canvassed through established stakeholder forums.

95 per cent of applications for new type approvals are decided on within 32 working days.

95 per cent of applications for import approvals are decided on within 20 working days.

95 per cent of applications for used import plate approvals are decided on within 5 working days of the submission of a vehicle inspection certificate.

2016–17 and beyond—Measuring our performance for Program 2.4 Air Transport

We will assess our performance in 2016–17 and beyond against the following criteria and targets.

Performance criteriaTargets
Policy advice is influential in the Australian Government's response to current and emerging international and domestic aviation industry issues.

Aviation regulation, policies and administered items effectively support future investment in safe, efficient and environmentally responsible aviation infrastructure.

Aviation industry operates within a clear and robust regulatory framework.

Aviation entity governance arrangements operate effectively.

Businesses and consumers have access to competitive international and domestic air services.

Cost of airlines providing regular public services to designated remote communities is reduced.

Cost of air operators providing aeromedical services to regional and remote areas is reduced.

Safety and access at remote airstrips is improved.

The approach to infrastructure planning, investment and development in western Sydney is integrated through consultation and coordination with key stakeholders.
Advise the Australian Government on aviation policy issues and initiatives and work on implementation of policy directions.

Promote ongoing investment in infrastructure by government agencies and industry.

Implement Australian Government aviation policy initiatives.

Meet statutory governance requirements in the relevant aviation agency legislation in relation to board appointments, corporate plans and other matters.

Engage in air services talks with key countries.

Subsidise regular public transport services to 266 designated remote communities under the Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme.

Provide rebates to eligible commercial airlines providing services to regional areas under the Airservices Australia Enroute Charges Payment Scheme.

Provide rebates to eligible aeromedical providers under the Airservices Australia Enroute Charges Payment Scheme.

Fund projects related to safety and access upgrades under the Remote Airstrip Upgrade component of the Regional Aviation Access Program.

Create opportunities for key stakeholders and inform the community about the project's progress and address concerns they may have to ensure collaborative planning, and:
  • issue quarterly newsletters to 10,000 households in a 5 kilometre vicinity of the airport site
  • engage with NSW Government and 10 Western Sydney councils, and
  • deliver a dedicated website with up to date information.

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Regional Development and Local Government

Purpose

Strengthen the sustainability, capacity and diversity of regional economies and support local communities.

Strategy

We work to achieve our purpose through facilitating local partnerships between all levels of government and local communities and providing grants and financial assistance.

Our regional development program delivers a range of regionally focused stakeholder consultation and engagement, research, policy development and program delivery activities.

Our local government program works to strengthen local government capacity and better support local communities through providing policy advice to the Australian Government and financial assistance to local governments.

2016–17 Priorities

Deliver the Building Better Regions Fund to support the economic growth and liveability of regions.

Lead the design and implementation of the Regional Jobs and Investment Package to support target regions to pursue new growth opportunities.

Develop and implement policies and programs to support economic growth and services to regional communities.

Support effective planning and coordination across all levels of government on matters affecting local government and regional communities.

Lead implementation and coordinate, integrate and leverage initiatives relating to the Australian Government's northern Australia program.

Progress projects to strengthen regional economies including in Tasmania, Murray-Darling Basin and northern Australia.

Manage regional grants programs, including the National Stronger Regions Fund, Community Development Grants and the Regional Development Australia Fund to support the economic growth of regions.

Support a network of regional development committees to provide a resource for regional communities to have a voice in their economic development, and to provide the Australian Government an opportunity to engage directly with regions on economic development.

Manage the Local Government Financial Assistance Grant program, engage with local government on nationally significant issues and administer the National Awards for Local Government.

2016–17—Measuring our performance for Program 3.1 Regional Development

We will assess our performance in 2016–17 against the following criteria and targets.

Performance criteriaTargets
Regional Jobs and Investment Package is designed and implementation has begun in the nine regions.

Building Better Regions Fund is designed and first round of funding has been delivered.

Regional Ministerial Budget Statement is delivered following the 2016–17 Budget.

Progress in Australian Regions series is published and accessed by the community.

Collaboration on economic and social policies in areas such as health, communications, education, environment and industry deliver benefits to regional communities.

Policy agenda for regional Australia is provided to the Australian Government.

Timely advice is provided to ministers on opportunities on policy and program design which impacts regional Australia.

Projects which receive funding through Community Development Grants, Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Program, Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Package, Regional Development Australia Fund, and National Stronger Regions Fund are delivered on time and on budget.

Provide timely advice to the Minister for the delivery of regional infrastructure funds including the Community Development Grants, Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Package, Regional Development Australia Fund, National Stronger Regions Fund, Drought Communities Program and Stronger Communities Program.

Regional Development Australia committees work with key regional stakeholders and local governments to develop a regionally supported plan, quality priority economic development project proposals and promote Australian Government programs.
Deliver Regional Ministerial Budget Statement in accordance with Budget requirements.

Progress in Australian Regions series is released in a timely manner each year.

Collaborate with relevant portfolio agencies to ensure consideration of impacts on Australia's regions to enhance regional outcomes.

Payments approved are within 5 per cent of forecast.

55 Regional Development Australia committees have economic plans in place and assist proponents to develop grant applications for infrastructure funding.

2017–18 and beyond—Measuring our performance for Program 3.1 Regional Development

We will assess our performance in 2017–18 and beyond against the following criteria and targets.

Performance criteriaTargets
Regional Ministerial Budget Statement is delivered following the 2017–18 Budget.

Progress in Australian Regions series is published and accessed by the community.

Effective collaboration on economic and social policies in areas such as health, communications, education, environment and industry deliver benefits to regional communities.

Projects that receive funding through Building Better Regions Fund, Regional Jobs and Investment Package, Community Development Grants and the National Stronger Regions Fund are delivered on time and on budget.

Regional Development Australia committees work with key regional stakeholders and local governments to develop a regionally supported plan, quality priority economic development project proposals and promote Australian Government programs.

Provide timely advice to the Minister for the delivery of regional infrastructure funds including the Building Better Regions Fund, Regional Jobs and Investment Package, Community Development Grants, National Stronger Regions Fund and the Drought Communities Program.
Deliver Regional Ministerial Budget Statement in accordance with Budget requirements.

Progress in Australian Regions series is released in a timely manner each year.

Collaborate with relevant portfolio agencies to deliver the Regional Jobs and Investment Package.

Collaborate with relevant portfolio agencies to ensure consideration of impacts on Australia's regions to enhance regional outcomes.

Payments approved are within 5 per cent of forecast.

55 Regional Development Australia committees have economic plans in place and assist proponents to develop grant applications for infrastructure funding.

2016–17 and beyond—Measuring our performance for Program 3.2 Local Government

We will assess our performance in 2016–17 and beyond against the following criteria and targets.

Performance criteriaTargets
The annual National Awards for Local Government is considered a key tool for promoting innovation and leading practice service delivery by local government and sponsoring departments.

Delivery of funding in accordance with the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995.
Conduct the annual National Awards for Local Government.

100 per cent of forecast funding for the Financial Assistance Grant Program.

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Services to Territories

Purpose

Provide good governance in the Australian territories.

Strategy

We administer the territories of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands, Jervis Bay and Norfolk Island, and manage national interests in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

Our services to territories program works to improve the quality of services provided to residents of the non-self-governing territories and providing targeted support to the self-governing territories through economic and social sustainability initiatives, delivery of services and managing the Australian Government's interests in the territories.

2016–17 Priorities

Assist the territories to establish and maintain good governance and provide services and advice on administration for the non-self-governing territories.

Progress reforms towards long-term financial sustainability and improved governance.

Manage national and world heritage areas in the external territories.

Provide services, funding support and undertake capital works as appropriate to ensure territory communities have access to similar services as equivalent state communities.

Provide continuous improvement of the administration of inter-governmental agreements and various programs, maintain Australian Government assets and deliver state and local government-type services.

Administer the loan to the Australian Capital Territory Government to implement its Loose Fill Asbestos Insulation Eradication Scheme.

Support the Australian Government with advice on its role in the planning of the national capital and on issues relating to the Australian Government's interest in the Australian Capital Territory.

2016–17 and beyond—Measuring our performance for Program 4.1 Services to Territories

We will assess our performance in 2016–17 and beyond against the following criteria and targets.

Performance criteriaTargets
State-type services and grants are delivered to residents of the non-self-governing territories similar to comparable mainland communities.

Essential infrastructure in the non-self-governing territories meets the needs of communities.

Administration of the Australian Government's interest in self-governing territories is effective.

Legal frameworks are in place in the territories that provide comparable rights and protections to citizens as the rest of Australia.

Service delivery arrangements and contracts meet value-for-money criteria and deliver appropriate levels of services.

Financial and governance reform for Norfolk Island is progressed through constructive partnerships with the Norfolk Island community.
Deliver state-type services to the non-self-governing territories to a standard comparable with equivalent state communities.

Ensure essential infrastructure continues to support the provision of a comparable level of service to that of similar communities and service delivery is ongoing.

Provide advice to the Australian Government and support the Australian Government's interests in the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory.

Progress legislative changes to ensure communities are provided comparable rights and protections to citizens throughout Australia.

Ensure service delivery arrangements will provide services comparable to similar communities.

Introduce federal and state level services for Norfolk Island through financial and governance reforms.

Regulator Performance Framework

The Commonwealth Regulator Performance Framework encourages regulators to undertake their functions with the minimum impact necessary to achieve regulatory objectives and to effect lasting cultural change within regulators. As a key safety regulator, continuous improvement is already at the core of our regulatory vision. We are vigorously pursuing regulatory reforms with a particular focus on achieving efficiencies through administrative improvements and harmonising international and domestic regulatory requirements. We will ensure our high safety and security standards for Australia's transport systems are maintained, while removing compliance costs for which there is no commensurate safety or public interest benefits.

The framework applies to Commonwealth regulators administering, monitoring or enforcing regulation. Within the Department this aligns with all of our programs under Outcome 2. We also provide oversight to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in implementing the Framework.

To achieve the Australian Government's objectives, the Framework comprises outcomes-based key performance indicators to articulate the overarching expectations of regulator performance. These indicators have been incorporated into the planned performance information of each regulatory program.

Further information on deregulation in the Department can be accessed at www.infrastructure.gov.au/department/deregulation.

Evaluation and Review

In order to achieve our purposes we must systematically and objectively evaluate and review our activities. Following the achievements of the first Departmental Evaluation Strategy, we are now embarking on a further five-year strategy over 2016–21. The strategy seeks to embed a culture of reflective and evaluative thinking to ensure we get the best results from what we do.

We offer our employees a range of training, mentoring and information about evaluation. This includes creating program logics, developing monitoring and evaluation strategies, and managing and conducting evaluations.

The Departmental Evaluation Schedule, which lists our priority and planned evaluation activities, is reviewed annually by the Secretary. Our Departmental Evaluation Strategy and Resource Booklet can be accessed at www.infrastructure.gov.au/department/publications.

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Capability

The Department comprises seven business divisions supported by the Corporate Services Division. While each division has specific and targeted roles in delivering our outcomes and our purposes, their work is informed by a vision to build Department-wide capability through: having a view on the right outcome; driving policy reform; leading program and project delivery; leading effective regulation; leading Australian investment strategy and planning; and fostering a high-performing workforce.

Capability Building Flowchart: 1. To have a view on the right outcome; 2. To be a respoected policy reform agency; 3. To be a leading Commonwealth programme and project delivery agency; 4. To be an effective and leading regulatory agency; 5. To be a leading Australian agency for investment strategy and planning; 6. To foster and support a high-performing workforce.

Having a view on the right outcome

  • Identify new and emerging policy challenges which will influence the portfolio's future directions.
  • Undertake research and analysis to provide an evidence base for policy.
  • Engage internationally to understand strategic drivers and address identified issues.
  • Build on long-term strategic relationships with jurisdictions and industry.
  • Engage in national conversations on infrastructure and regional development issues, focused on planning, economic development, sustainability, community development, economic regulation, safety and investment.

Driving policy reform

  • Provide informed policy advice on infrastructure investment, regional development and financing reforms.
  • Facilitate renewed microeconomic reform agenda which delivers more efficient provision and use of infrastructure and transport.
  • Identify and introduce new and improved transport technologies as they become available.
  • Develop policy advice and legislation to maintain effective governance and service delivery in Australia's non-self-governing territories.
  • Develop policies that address emerging issues, support existing Australian Government policies and are based on a strong understanding of available evidence, jurisdictional positions, industry perspectives and international trends.
  • Engage with other agencies on policy issues, including increased interaction with other portfolios on trade, bilateral and regional international issues.
  • Link strategic infrastructure planning and investment outcomes with more effective planning and efficient and sustainable energy use.

Leading program and project delivery

  • Ensure evidence-based policy advice and rationale underpins program design and delivery.
  • Understand the risk environment through effective domestic and international engagement, research and assessment while considering innovative solutions.
  • Assess our performance through continuous monitoring and evaluation.
  • Facilitate a safer transport system through encouraging innovation and implementing fit for purpose safety measures.
  • Assist economic and social development by funding improved land transport infrastructure.
  • Ensure appropriate consultation with both domestic and international stakeholders, including all levels of government, industry and experts.

Leading effective regulation

  • Foster a transparent, responsive and dynamic national regulatory environment which affords the right balance of flexibility and certainty for the transport industry.
  • Support economic and productivity growth through the development of efficient and effective legislation, regulation and policy.
  • Provide clear and consistent best-practice regulation to the transport industry, taking into account Australia's international agreements.
  • Contribute to improving environmental outcomes by managing and monitoring the environmental effects of transport.
  • Promote security and safety across the transport system for the benefit of all Australian individuals and businesses.
  • Seek regulatory solutions that reduce the burden of compliance costs on industry and the community.

Leading Australian investment strategy and planning

  • Provide advice to the Australian Government on issues of policy, planning, funding and financing to support infrastructure decisions.
  • Consider means of making better use of existing infrastructure.
  • Target funding to deliver high benefit infrastructure projects with sound governance.
  • Know the growth corridors which are of critical importance to ensuring the right infrastructure is delivered at the right time.
  • Emphasise productivity, sustainability and liveability in investment strategy and planning.
  • Guide policy and investments in urban and regional Australia.
  • Provide for independent, expert assessment and prioritisation of projects based on a national strategic view of infrastructure and appropriate criteria.
  • Implement a transparent asset management reporting system, capable of informing quality infrastructure demand and capacity forecasting.
  • Understand sustainability, liveability and productivity in investment strategy and planning.
  • Strengthen the sustainability, capacity and diversity of regional economies through facilitation of local partnerships between all levels of government and local communities, and providing grants and financial assistance.

Fostering a high-performing workforce

  • Commit to workforce planning, career management and capability development.
  • Recognise and foster high performance.
  • Focus on performance improvement, prevention of under-performance and active management of performance issues.

Planning and Reporting Framework

Our internal and external planning and reporting activities provide information on our resourcing, operations and performance which support the achievement of our outcomes and purposes. The relationship between these activities is illustrated in the diagram below. The framework allows us to set out what we plan to do at the beginning of the year and what we have achieved by the end of the year.

Outcomes inform Planning. Planning informs the Corporate Plan and Reporting. The Corporate Plan informs the Portfolio Budget Statements and the Annual Report / Annual Performance Statement. The Portfolio Budget Statements inform Business Plans and Annual Report / Annual Performance Statement. Business Plans inform Performance Plans and Business Plan Reviews. Performance Plans inform Mid-Cycle and End-Cycle Reveiws. Mid-Cycle and End-Cycle Reveiws inform Business Plan Reviews. Business Plan Reviews inform Annual Report / Annual Performance Statement. Annual Report / Annual Performance Statement inform reporting. Reporting informs Outcomes. Inputs: Vision; Risk Management Framework; Workforce Plan; Evaluation Strategy; Financial Management Strategy; Information Technology Strategy; Legislative requirements; Government priorities and commitments (includidng election commitments)

Workforce Planning

We place a high priority on our people and ensuring we have the necessary workforce capability to deliver outcomes for the Australian Government. We work to be regarded as a public-sector employer which is professional, has integrity and is a rewarding place to work.

Our annual workforce planning identifies workforce issues and responses to enable us to deliver our work priorities through our employees over the medium to long-term, in line with the business planning cycle.

Workforce planning encourages the Department's leaders to think about where we are heading, the capabilities required, and the strategies we will employ to bridge gaps. Implementing these strategies will ensure we have the workforce we need to continue delivering high quality outcomes for the Australian Government, our stakeholders and the community.

Over 2016–20 our workforce planning is focused on:

  • continually assessing workforce capability requirements in terms of skills, classification structure and size
  • increasing workforce capability through formal and on-the-job learning and development opportunities
  • understanding and addressing skill gaps through partnerships with other agencies, industry and higher education institutions, and
  • promoting internal mobility opportunities.

ICT Capability

Our Information Services Branch is fundamental to our processes and outputs and is a core capability for the delivery of departmental services to clients and employees. Our Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Strategic Plan aligns ICT investments and deliverables to meet our capability needs. Further, the ICT Strategic Plan describes how other environmental factors such as whole-of-Government, security, fit for purpose and cost effective initiatives focus our ICT services and define our major ICT priorities.

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Risk Oversight and Management

Risk management in the Department identifies and addresses the uncertainty in achieving our purposes, ideally before commencing an activity. The outcome of good risk management is to appropriately mitigate risk and assist with identifying opportunities, thereby enhancing our ability to provide the Australian Government with good policy, program and regulatory options.

Success depends upon developing our people, strengthening and adapting systems, and forging strong relationships with stakeholders. By carefully applying appropriate risk management principles that are fit for purpose, we will maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of planning, decision-making, managing uncertainty and our use of resources to obtain desired outcomes.

Our risk framework is designed to:

  • ensure risk management supports our purposes
  • support a culture which encourages people to report incidents and take ownership of problems
  • ensure risk management thinking is embedded in all activities; enabling the achievement of better outcomes
  • ensure stakeholders are consulted to enable the consideration of a broader perspective
  • promote sharing of risk information and experiences within the Department and across the Australian Government to develop more consistent approaches to managing risk, and
  • align with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and the Australian Government's expectations as described in the Commonwealth Risk Management Policy www.finance.gov.au/comcover/risk-management/.

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Values

We are committed to the Australian Public Service (APS) Values set out in the Public Service Act 1999.

Impartial

The APS is apolitical and provides the Government with advice that is frank, honest, timely and based on the best available evidence.

Committed to service

The APS is professional, objective, innovative and efficient, and works collaboratively to achieve the best results for the Australian community and the Government.

Accountable

The APS is open and accountable to the Australian community under the law and within the framework of ministerial responsibility.

Respectful

The APS respects all people, including their rights and their heritage.

Ethical

The APS demonstrates leadership, is trustworthy, and acts with integrity in all that it does.

Compliance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014

ItemTopicMatters to be includedPage
1 Introduction The following:
  1. a statement that the plan is prepared for section 35(1)(b) of the Act
  2. the reporting period for which the plan is prepared, and
  3. the reporting periods covered by the plan.
3
2 Purposes The purposes of the entity. 5
3 Environment The environment in which the entity will operate for each reporting period covered by the plan. 6
4 Performance For each reporting period covered by the plan, a summary of:
  1. how the entity will achieve the entity's purposes
  2. how any subsidiary of the entity will contribute to achieving the entity's purposes, and
  3. how the entity's performance will be measured and assessed in achieving the entity's purposes, including any measures, targets and assessments that will be used to measure and assess the entity's performance for the purposes of preparing the entity's annual performance statements for the reporting period.
8–27
5 Capability The key strategies and plans that the entity will implement in each reporting period covered by the plan to achieve the entity's purposes. 29
6 Risk Oversight and Management A summary of the risk oversight and management systems of the entity for each reporting period covered by the plan (including any measures that will be implemented to ensure compliance with the finance law). 35

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Last Updated: 31 August, 2016