Output Group 3 : Services to Communities

Output 3.1 : Provision of State and Local Government Level Services to Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands

1 : Provision of services to non-self-governing Territories

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Justice and community safety.
  • Education.
  • Environment and heritage.
  • Health and community care.
  • Transport, housing, land management and other urban services.
  • Economic development and tourism.
  • Social and welfare services.
  • Utilities.
Quality: Standard of service commensurate with equivalent mainland communities.

Quantity: Approximately 2700 residents.

Location: Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. (PAES)

Price: Increase in price ($1.004 million) to fund Comcover insurance payments.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

We provided services as identified above to ensure Christmas and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands have government services comparable with those available in similar mainland communities.

The service levels in the Indian Ocean Territories are reported in the Commonwealth Grants Commission 1999 Report on the Indian Ocean Territories.

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Output 3.2 : Provision of State and Local Government Level Services to Jervis Bay Territory and other Services to the Self-Governing Territories

2 : Provision of services to Jervis Bay Territory

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Justice and community safety.
  • Education.
  • Environment and heritage.
  • Health and community care.
  • Transport, housing, land management and other urban services.
  • Economic development and tourism.
  • Social and welfare services.
  • Utilities.
Quality: Standard of service commensurate with equivalent mainland communities.

Quantity: 1300 residents.

Location: Jervis Bay Territory. (PAES)

Price:
Increase in price ($0.427 million) to fund Comcover insurance payments.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

We provided services as identified above to ensure Jervis Bay received government services commensurate with those of communities in the surrounding region.

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3 : Provision of services to self-governing Territories

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Heritage protection and management of the Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area on Norfolk Island.
  • Land management and planning for ACT and Norfolk Island.
  • Legal aid contribution to Norfolk Island.
Quality: Minister satisfied that Commonwealth responsibilities are met.

Timeliness: Norfolk Island legal aid paid quarterly (into Trust Account).

Location: Norfolk Island and the ACT, in accordance with Commonwealth responsibilities.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

Our objective is to assist with the execution of Commonwealth responsibilities in relation to land management and important national sites.

We continued implementation of the Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area Business Plan.

We paid $469000 to the Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area for restoration works.

The Norfolk Island Crown Land initiative is progressing a number of planning and land management issues involving:
  • Norfolk Island Plan Review;
  • heritage regime implementation;
  • plans of management for Reserves preparation;
  • Roads Code preparation; and
  • National Environmental Significance Study.
We made a legal aid payment of $21000 to the Norfolk Island Government.

We reviewed the existing memorandum of agreement between the Norfolk Island Government and the Commonwealth on legal aid assistance. The review was forwarded to the Norfolk Island Government by the Administrator for endorsement.

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Output 3.3 : Services to Regional Communities, including Administration of Programs and Grants for Communities

4 : Administer the Regional Solutions Program

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Regional Solutions Program.

    (PAES New Measure)
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Quantity: 250 Applications. Managing 80 projects.

Timeliness: Payments made within 14 days of execution of contract.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

The Regional Solutions Program provides assistance to regional, rural and remote areas of Australia to build their capacity to identify and implement opportunities to solve local problems and achieve self-sustainability through economic diversification.

From the commencement of the program in October 2000 to 30 June 2001, we received 970 applications for funding and were managing 125 grants in relation to community projects.

We met the Ministers standard performance measures for grant administration and made payments within 14 days of execution of contracts.
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5 : Administer the Special Structural Adjustment Package for the South-West Forests Region of Western Australia

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Special Structural Adjustment Package for the South-West Forests Region of Western Australia.

    (PAES New Measure)
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grant programs.

Minister satisfied with the quality of advice on the program and recommendations on the funding of projects.

Advisory committee satisfied with secretariat service provided. Clients satisfied with the information provided about assessment and monitoring processes.

Location: South-west WA.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

This package supplements private sector investment through assistance to projects which generate long-term employment in the south-west forests region.

The Minister has approved guidelines and an application form for the program.

We lodged advertisements seeking applications for funding in May in the press. The Minister appointed an advisory committee, which met for the first time on 4 April 2001.

We have fielded a number of inquiries from clients seeking advice on the program.

There has been no adverse comment from the Minister, Advisory Committee or clients on the administration of the program.

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6 : Administer the compensation payment to Sydney Airport Corporation Limited for the sale of Sydney Airport land

Activity Performance Targets
  • Compensation payment to Sydney Airport Corporation Limited for the sale of Sydney Airport land.

    (PAES New Activity)
Quality: Effective administration of processes associated with the sale of Sydney Airport land to the NSW Government for completion of the M5 freeway.

Quantity: Single payment anticipated.
Contributing Division(s): Airports
Performance Achieved

We have negotiated contracts, but the financial transaction has been delayed until the NSW Road Transport Authority completes a survey to determine final land requirements.

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7 : Countrylink

Activity Performance Targets
  • Countrylink.
Quality: Systems in place to ensure up-to-date, accurate information is provided in the Rural Book and to telephone inquiries.

Positive client feedback from all Countrylink services.

Quantity: 25000 calls. Ninety-five per cent of all calls answered. Produce and distribute 10 000 copies of the Rural Book. Maintain 325 information stands.

Timeliness: Send out the Rural Book within two days of request. All additional follow-up for telephone inquires addressed within the hour.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

Countrylink provides Australians, especially people living away from capital cities, access to information about Commonwealth programs and services.

We put systems in place to ensure that agencies provide up-to-date, accurate information for the information database, the Rural Book and Commonwealth Assistance for Local Projects.

We received 57500 calls, of which 95 per cent were answered within one minute, the rest within five minutes.

We distributed 35000 copies of the Rural Book.

We maintained 350 community information stands.

We received very positive client feedback from all Countrylink services.

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8 : Manage the National Awards for Innovation in Local Government

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • National Awards for Innovation in Local Government.
Quality: Satisfaction of local government with awards process and follow-up activities.

Quantity: 350 National Awards for Innovation in Local Government applications for 2000 round.

Timeliness: National Awards for Innovation in Local Government awards ceremony to be conducted at the Australian Local Government Association conference, December 2000.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

The National Awards for Innovation in Local Government awards identify and promote local government initiatives that respond to current and emerging issues relating to Councils core business and encourage innovative solutions to local problems.

The 2000 awards attracted a record 387 entries, with a large increase in entries from rural and regional councils.

The awards ceremony was conducted at the the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly on 5 December 2000.

DOTARS commenced a series of leading practice seminars for groups of councils, particularly in regional Australia, to showcase the achievements of category winners in the 2000 awards.

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9 : Manage a Remote Communities Liaison Service pilot

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • A pilot Remote Communities Liaison Service.
Quality: High level of access to information about, and explanation of, government policies. More responsive, integrated and streamlined programs.

Quantity: Increase in support provided to communities in the region. Increased level of inquiries.

Timeliness: Ongoing.

Location: Central western Queensland focus.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

The Remote Communities Liaison Service provides a whole-of-government response, drawn from across the Commonwealth, to communities. We evaluated the pilot service in March 2001 and it was found to be highly effective in:
  • improving access to, and understanding of, Commonwealth programs;
  • tailoring responses from the Commonwealth; and
  • testing joint funding across programs to meet local needs.
The strength of the pilot has been the ability to work with, and across communities in central western Queensland to identify and access Commonwealth government funding opportunities. It has demonstrated that the practical assistance and local interaction communities are seeking can be achieved cost effectively and improve access to existing programs.

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10 : Administer Adelaide Airport Noise Amelioration Program

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Adelaide Airport Noise Amelioration Program.
Quality: Ministers satisfied with quality of advice. Ministers and community satisfied with program administration arrangements.

Quantity: Development of program administration arrangements for insulation of eligible public buildings and up to 550 residences.
Contributing Division(s): Airports
Performance Achieved

We have implemented program management arrangements to insulate eligible public buildings and residences surrounding Adelaide Airport to assist the environmental sustainability of operations at the Airport.

The program has proved attractive to residents, with 94 per cent having registered their houses for insulation.

Customer satisfaction in the limited number of houses insulated to date has been highly positive.

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11 : Administer the Sydney Airport Noise Amelioration Program

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Sydney Airport Noise Amelioration Program.
Quality: Ministers satisfied with quality of advice. Ministers and community satisfied with program administration arrangements.

Quantity: Resolution of program policy issues as necessary. Management of one contractor servicing insulation of up to 1000 eligible residences and 12 public buildings.
Contributing Division(s): Airports
Performance Achieved

The insulation of eligible public buildings and residences surrounding Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport assists the environmental sustainability of operations at the Airport.

One hundred and seventy-eight completed insulation questionnaires were received from residents during 2000–01, with 92 per cent rating the overall outcome of the insulation process as very good or excellent.

Any complaints regarding the insulation work undertaken on properties are fully investigated by the Departments project manager.

We have also negotiated an extended warranty arrangement to cover airconditioners installed under the program.

We have put in place dispute resolution procedures, including provision for review of administrative decisions by an independent arbitrator.

We received no applications for review during the year.

The results of noise testing after insulation continue to show that we are achieving our target of an average aircraft noise reduction of 10dB[A] in bedrooms of brick houses, with a reduction of 5dB[A] or more being achieved in 90 per cent of cases.

Good results (an average of 8.5dB[A]) continue to be achieved in houses of lightweight construction where wall insulation has been applied.

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12 : Administer the subsidy to minimise impact of transition to location-specific pricing for airport control towers

Area of Activity Performance Targets
Subsidy to minimise impact of transition to location-specific pricing for airport control towers. Quality: Air traffic control services at regional and general aviation airports maintained at a reasonable cost to users.
Contributing Division(s): Aviation
Performance Achieved

The subsidy ensures that air traffic control tower charges are maintained at a reasonable cost to users. In 2000–01 charges have remained capped at an affordable level for users at the subsidised 14 regional and general aviation airports.

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13 : Administer the Remote Air Service Subsidy Scheme

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Remote Air Service Subsidy Scheme.
Quality: Advice that will enable the Ministers to make informed decisions on the future administration of the Remote Air Service Subsidy Scheme.

Quantity: Contracts with five operators serving approximately 200 locations.
Contributing Division(s): Aviation
Performance Achieved

The Remote Air Service Subsidy Scheme is aimed at ensuring communities in remote areas have access to essential air transport services.

We established new contracts with five air operators serving approximately 200 communities for three and a half years. These contracts have been operational since 1 January 2001.

Consistent with the Governments May 2000 Budget announcement, the new arrangements require a regular passenger service on all Remote Air Service Subsidy Scheme routes, and funds have been made available to expand the scheme to include additional communities.

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14 : Administer the grant funds for restructuring of Australian National Railways Commission

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Grant funds for restructuring of Australian National Railways Commission.
Quality: Environmental remediation to meet agreed standards. Resolve legal claims lodged against Australian National Railways Commission to the satisfaction of the Ministers.

Quantity: Finalise $50 million environmental remediation programs; estimated payments of $13 million.
Contributing Division(s): Land Transport
Performance Achieved

To fulfil outstanding Australian National Railways Commission obligations following the wind up of the Commissions legal entity, we attended to 12 personal liability claims (the majority of which were mesothelioma claims). In addition, 238 South Australian and Tasmanian remediation sites have now received sign-off. We paid $2.3 million for the environmental remediation program. Payments did not reach the estimated figure of $13 million primarily due to our responsibility for the program being assumed later in the year than originally expected.

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15 : Administer a grant to establish a national secretariat to organise & promote 2002 Year of the Outback

Area of Activity Performance Targets
Grant to establish a national secretariat to organise & promote 2002 Year of the Outback. Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

The promotion of 2002 Year of the Outback aims to raise awareness of regional Australia and its importance in the development of our culture and economic wealth.

We have monitored and evaluated the National Secretariat as per the memorandum of understanding with Outback 2002 Limited.

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16 : Administer the Rural Communities Program

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Rural Communities Program.
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Clear, timely and comprehensive initial assessment of grant applications.

Clients satisfied with the information provided regarding assessment and monitoring processes.

Quantity: Up to 30 Rural Communities Program applications. Managing 300 projects.

Timeliness: Timeliness of advice on program progress to the satisfaction of Ministers. Contracts exchanged and payments made within two months of project approval.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

The Rural Communities Program aims to strengthen regional and rural Australia by encouraging diverse, dynamic and self-reliant rural communities. In 2000–01 we:
  • approved 10 new projects from a total of 22 applications received;
  • attended one formal meeting of the Rural Communities Program Advisory Committee in August 2000 and considered a number of additional matters out of session; and
  • managed 383 projects.

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17 : Administer the Rural Plan Program

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Rural Plan Program.
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Clear, timely and comprehensive assessment of grant applications.

Clients satisfied with the information provided regarding assessment and monitoring processes.

Detailed advice to Ministers regarding project applications.

Provide feedback to prospective applicants regarding potential projects.

Quantity: Managing 45 funded projects.

Timeliness: Contracts exchanged and payments made within two months of project approval.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

The objective of the Rural Plan Program is to encourage diverse, dynamic and self-reliant communities and profitable and sustainable rural industries.

The third and final round of the Rural Plan was approved in June 2000 and we managed the eight projects that were successful in that round.

We managed a total of 53 Rural Plan projects during the year.

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18 : Administer Understanding Rural Australia research program and related research funds

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Understanding Rural Australia research program and related research funds.
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Ministers satisfied with quality of advice recommending initiatives, which will provide better information on rural social data.

Follow-up activity is undertaken to the satisfaction of the committee.

Program funds are allocated in accordance with committee and ministerial priorities.

Timeliness: As specified in contractual arrangements.

Requirements of committee members are met.

Quarterly meetings.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

The object of this program is to understand, manage and support the socioeconomic changes in rural and regional Australia, and was established to progress the techniques and processes that foster sustainable community development.

One Understanding Rural Australia Advisory Committee meeting was held in Canberra in September 2000. The Advisory Committee was provided with required information prior to the meeting. We provided the Advisory Committee recommendations to the Minister in a timely manner and all grant monies for the year were allocated. Quarterly meetings were not required as a satisfactory result was obtained through the September 2000 meeting. Follow-up information was provided to stakeholders on request.

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19 : Administer the Rural Domestic Violence Program

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Rural Domestic Violence Program.
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Clear and timely information to clients.

Rural Domestic Violence Advisory Committees satisfaction with secretariat service.

Quantity/Timeliness: Monitoring up to 17 small grants, to be finalised by June 2001. Development of case study resource material documenting good practice domestic violence strategies. One Rural Domestic Violence Advisory Committee meeting per annum.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

The Rural Domestic Violence Program investigates and seeks to address the particular domestic violence issues that affect people living in regional, rural and remote areas.

We received progress reports from projects in September and December 2000. As at 31 May 2001, 16 projects were completed and one project partly completed. The best practice case studies booklet was completed mid-June 2001. No meetings of the Rural Domestic Violence Advisory Committee were required in 2000–01.

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20 : Administer the Regional and Rural Development Grant

Area of Activity Performance Targets
Regional and Rural Development Grant (formerly known as: Rural Development Centre Grant). Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

Under the Research and Development Programs for Rural and Regional Australia initiative, Regional and Rural Development Grant projects foster community development activities that enhance the community understanding of development techniques and processes.

We provided satisfactory advice to the Minister and stakeholders, resulting in the publication of the Australian Bureau of Agriculture Research Economics report Country Australia Influences on Employment and Population Growth, launched in January 2001.

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21 : Administer the Regional and Rural Research and Information and Data Grant

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Regional and Rural Research and Information and Data Grant.
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

This program provides grants to regional universities, TAFEs, local governments, business and community groups for research based projects under the Research and Development Programs for Regional and Rural Australia.

Four projects were funded during 2000–01 at a cost of $62210:
  • a sustainable regional development kit;
  • rural and regional statistics;
  • supporting documents for the Regional Australia Summit; and
  • a Rural Roads conference.

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22 : Administer the Governments involvement in the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Government involvement in the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (formerly known as: Australian Rural Partnerships Foundation).
Quality: Advice to the Minister and the Secretary is in accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for policy advice.

Quantity: One annual payment.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

As part of the outcome of the Regional Australia Summit, the Foundation assists regional, rural and remote communities to respond to economic, social and cultural change. In 2000–01 we:
  • provided advice to the Minister and Secretary as and when required; and
  • made payments in accordance with the Deed of Grant. Projects funded include assisting regional communities to establish their own foundations, supporting youth initiative programs and schemes aimed at increasing communitys opportunities for business development.

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23 : Administer the Rural Transaction Centres Program

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Rural Transaction Centres Program.
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Communities have sufficient information and support to enable them to develop quality applications and effective administration of Centres.

Advisory panel satisfied with organisation of, and support for, its meetings.

Minister satisfied with quality of documentation submitted for determination of grant applications.

Quantity: Up to 150 applications determined in 2000–01. Up to 40 brokers listed in register.

Timeliness: All Business Plan applications submitted for determination within three weeks of receipt of all relevant information.

Processing of all project assistance applications commenced within two weeks of receipt.

All applications submitted to Minister for determination within three weeks of panel meeting.

All contract material despatched to grant recipients within 14 days of application decision.

Location: Regional, rural and remote communities of less than 3000 residents.

Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government

Performance Achieved

Rural Transaction Centres assist the development of small regional, rural and remote communities by providing access to basic transaction services.

We have met the Ministers guidelines, and their satisfaction with the quality of our performance is high. The Division continually reviews its performance in relation to the Ministers requirements.

We have made information regarding the program available via a national free call number, the Rural Transaction Centres Field Officer Network, our Internet site, newsletter and representation at various conferences.

We conducted a formal survey of the Advisory Panel with positive results.

We determined 206 grant applications.

The brokers register was dissolved with the introduction of the Rural Transaction Centres Field Officers Network.

We received all relevant information for business plan applications within three weeks.

We commenced processing of project assistance applications within two weeks of receipt.

We submitted applications to the Minister within three weeks of the panel meeting.

We did not send contract material within 14 days of the application decision due to the programs evolution, which saw more complex applications, including co-funding arrangements.

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24 : Administer the acquisition of properties on, and neighbouring, the Badgerys Creek site, and management of leases

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Acquisition of properties on, and neighbouring, the Badgerys Creek site and management of leases.
Quality: Effective administration of processes associated with property acquisition and management at Badgerys Creek.

Quantity: Acquisitions settlement of four outstanding compensation claims against compulsory acquisitions and a possible eight voluntary acquisitions. Management of previously acquired properties under two property management agreements.
Contributing Division(s): Airports
Performance Achieved

As part of the acquisition and management of a potential site for a second Sydney Airport we:
  • monitored property management agreements, with directions provided as appropriate on emerging issues; and
  • progressed negotiations for the settlement of three outstanding claims against compulsory acquisitions during this financial year.
There were no new property acquisitions or settlements during the financial year.

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25 : Administer the Road Safety Black Spot Program

Area of Activity

Performance Targets

  • Road Safety Black Spot Program
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Government and community satisfaction with the administration of the program.

Independent review by the Bureau of Transport Economics of the programs effectiveness.

Quantity: Administer one program per State and Territory 400 projects in total.

Timeliness: Timely preparation of State and Territory programs.

Progressive payments to States and Territories, based on confirmation of program delivery.

Location: 50 per cent in rural locations.
Contributing Division(s): Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Performance Achieved

The Black Spot Program is intended to improve the safety of Australias roads through cost-effective treatment of hazardous road locations and, in doing so, reduce the cost to the community of road trauma.

Feedback through community panels indicates strong support for the program.

The Bureau of Transport Economics is undertaking an evaluation of the Blackspot Program.

All State and Territory programs have been approved and comprise 455 projects.

Of these, 229 projects valued at $25.6 million were in rural and regional Australia.

Total payments of $41.182 million were made in 2000–01.

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26 : Administer the Local Government Incentive Program

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Local Government Incentive Program.
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants Programs.

Quantity: As approved by the Minister.

Timeliness: Payments made in accordance with Deeds of Grant.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

The LGIP provides direct support to local government in support of national priorities.

We approved 55 Local Government Incentive Program grants for $4.1 million in accordance with guidelines. Approved grants assist councils in meeting national priorities in:
  • adopting leading practice;
  • sharing resources and expertise across councils;
  • having an enhanced role in leading their communities; and
  • gaining increased capacity to contribute to regional development.

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27 : Administer the wind-up of the Local Government Development Program

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Wind-up of the Local Government Development Program.
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

All projects are completed, including final reports and acquittals.

Quantity: 20 Local Government Development Program projects.

Timeliness: Payments made in accordance with Deeds of Grant.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

The Local Government Development Program aimed to assist and promote local government in addressing social, cultural and economic priorities and community well-being. The program has since been superceded by the Local Government Incentive Program.

The wind-up of the Local Government Development Program occurred in accordance with ministerial, Australian National Audit Office and Department of Finance and Administration procedures. All projects were completed during 2000–01.

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28 : Administer the Local Government Financial Assistance Grants Program

Area of Activity

Performance Targets

  • Preparation of the 19992000 Report on the Operation of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995.
Quality: Grants administered in accordance with the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995.

Minister is satisfied with the quality of the 19992000 Local Government National Report.

Quantity: Grants approved for each State, NT, ACT and quarterly payments made.

National Report prepared and distributed to parliamentarians, councils and other stakeholders.

Timeliness: Submissions from State Ministers analysed and processed for ministerial consideration within one week of receipt.

Quarterly payments as soon as practicable after all legislative requirements have been met.

National Report tabled in Parliament and distributed to councils before the end of 2000.

Location: Regional, rural and remote Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

The aim of the Local Government Financial Assistance Grants is to promote fiscal equity and performance improvement in local government and the facilitation of local governments contribution to national, economic, social and environmental performance.

DOTARS administered $1.3 billion in untied financial assistance grants to local government in 2000–01 under the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995.

This represented a 4.58 per cent or $58 million increase over the previous year (Note: These are cash payments).

We provided local government financial assistance grants to the States and Territories as required by the Act.

We analysed and processed submissions from State Ministers for consideration by the Federal Minister by 15 August 2000 or within one week of receipt (whichever was the later).

We have initiated a review of the operation of the Local Government (Financial Assistance) Act 1995 in line with requirements under section 17 of the Act.

The fifth Local Government National Report for 19992000 financial was tabled in Parliament on 6 March 2001. This did not meet the projected timeframe of the end of 2000 because some States were late in providing input and some staff were unavailable because of other work priorities, thus delaying the publishing and production schedules.

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29 : Administer ACT Special Purpose Payments

Area of Activity

Performance Targets

  • Payments to ACT Government for National Capital influences on the cost of municipal services.
  • Payments to ACT Government for National Capital influences on the provision of water and sewerage services.
Quality: Payments administered according to ACT/Commonwealth agreements.

Timeliness: 100 per cent of fortnightly payments made on time. Location: ACT.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

To assist the ACT to meet the additional municipal costs it bears arising from Canberras role as the national capital, we made 26 fortnightly payments on time administered in accordance with ACT Commonwealth agreement.

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30 : Administer the Flood Recovery Fund

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Flood Recovery Fund.
(New measure not listed in 2000–01 PBS/PAES)
Quality: Expend Flood Recovery Fund on eligible projects and in accordance with requirements for administering grant programs.

Quantity: Fund fully expended.

Location: Areas of central and northern New South Wales and southern Queensland that were flooded in November 2000 and areas of the NSW north coast that were flooded in January-March 2001.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

To provide extra assistance to communities affected by floods for clean-up, repairs and community services, we:
  • advertised the Flood Recovery Fund widely in flood-affected areas;
  • assessed 59 projects totalling $1.4 million as eligible in 2000–01 and paid grants in accordance with requirements; and
  • are still processing further applications at the end of 2000–01.

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31 : Administer Commonwealth Flood Assistance Package Business Grants

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Commonwealth Flood Assistance Package Business Grants.
(New measure not listed in 2000–01 PBS/PAES)
Quality: Contract Centrelink to receive and assess applications and provide reimbursement grants to eligible businesses.

Quantity: All applying eligible businesses receive appropriate grant funding.

Location: Areas of central and northern New South Wales and southern Queensland that were flooded in November 2000 and areas of the NSW north coast that were flooded in January-March 2001.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

To provide assistance to businesses affected by floods toward the clean-up, repairs and restocking, we:
  • advertised the scheme widely in flood-affected areas;
  • assessed 61 per cent of the 736 applications lodged in 2000–01 as eligible; and
  • made payments.
  • Three formal appeals against our assessments were lodged.

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32 : Administer the Regional Flood Mitigation Program

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Regional Flood Mitigation Program.
Quality: Projects are consistent with:
  • Total/Integrated Catchment Management;
  • Ecologically Sustainable Development; and
  • Best Practice Guidelines: Floodplain Management in Australia.
Location: Rural and regional Australia.

Quality: High level of integration of Regional Flood Mitigation Program with Commonwealth natural disaster mitigation, including risk management. In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Quantity: Over 100 projects.

Timeliness: 100 per cent of quarterly payments made on time.

Location: Rural and Regional Australia.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

To assist State and Territory Governments and local agencies in the implementation of priority, cost-effective flood mitigation works and measures we:
  • approved projects that are consistent with
    • Total/Integrated Catchment Management;
    • Ecologically Sustainable Development; and
    • Best Practice Guidelines: Floodplain Management in Australia.
  • Oversaw the Disaster Mitigation Research Project (undertaken by the Bureau of Transport Economics Division):
    • Module 1 Report published Economic Costs of Natural Disasters in Australia; and
    • Module 2 Research of Costs/Benefits of Flood Mitigation Measures commenced.
  • funded a total of 92 projects in the first two years of the Program; and
  • made a 100 per cent payment when the required financial reports and signed agreement for Year 2 initial payments were provided.

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33 : Administer local government payments to Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Local government payments to Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
Quality: Level of grants assessed annually by the WA Local Government Grants Commission consistent with the practice followed for WA shires.

Quantity: One grant to each Territory.

Timeliness: Grant paid to the shires by instalments: due dates
15 August, 15 November, 15 February and 15 May.

Location: Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

To assist Commonwealth objectives for local government, we made quarterly payments to the Indian Ocean Territories shires by the due dates. The WA Local Government Grants Commission assessed the required grants.

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34 : Administer grant funding to the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Grant funding to the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council.
Quality: In accordance with ministerial directions and the Deed.

Quantity: Maintain parity with comparable NSW Aboriginal communities.

Timeliness: As required by the Deed.

Location: Jervis Bay Territory.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

To bring the communitys living standards into line with neighbouring communities in NSW, grant payments were made in a timely manner in accordance with the Deed of Grant and have been properly acquitted as required in the Deed.

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35 : Administer payments to ACT Government

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • French-Australia School.
  • Sidney Nolan Gallery.
  • Registration of Diplomatic Vehicles.
  • International Baccalaureate.
  • Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Diplomatic Staff.
  • Correspondence courses for children of diplomats.
Quality: Payment processes to meet audit standards.

Quantity: 24 payments.

Timeliness: 100 per cent of quarterly payments made on time.

Location: ACT.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

To assist the ACT to meet the additional municipal costs it bears arising from Canberras role as the national capital, we made 24 payments (all on time).

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36 : Administer and close the Cyclone Elaine and Vance Trust Fund

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Cyclone Elaine and Vance Trust Fund.
Quality: Terms of agreement met.

Timeliness: Program to be completed by the end of 2000.

Location: Exmouth Region and Moora, WA.

Change: Locations also include Onslow, Gascoyne Pastoral Region.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

The trust fund is fully committed in accordance with the Trust Agreement. We have commenced the wind-up of the trust fund.

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37 : Administer annual repayment of principal and interest in respect of loans to pay for Commonwealth assets transferred to NT in 1978

Area of Activity Performance Targets
Annual repayment of principal and interest in respect of loans to pay for Commonwealth assets transferred to NT in 1978. Quality: Payment processes to meet audit standards.

Quantity: One annual payment.

Timeliness: Immediately prior to 30 June.

Location: Northern Territory.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

We made the payment in accordance with the agreement.

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38 : Monitor Northern Territory loans taken out on money market guaranteed by Commonwealth

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Northern Territory loans taken out on money market guaranteed by Commonwealth.
Quality: Ensure that the process complies with guidelines, all conditions of loan deed are met and repayments made.

Quantity: 14 loans.

Timeliness: Repayments made every 12 months.

Location: Northern Territory.
Contributing Division(s): Territories & Regional Support
Performance Achieved

Sixteen loans are active; six loans expired during 2000–01. We monitor guarantees and will continue to monitor active loans until maturity in accordance with guidelines.

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39 : Administer the Newcastle Structural Adjustment Fund

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Newcastle Structural Adjustment Fund.
(New activity not listed in 2000–01 PBS/PAES)
Quality: Minister satisfied with quality of advice on projects seeking funding under the programs.

NSW Government delivers the program on behalf of the Commonwealth in accordance with the Deed of Grant.

Timeliness: Advice to the Minister within three weeks of receiving all relevant information.

Location: Hunter region.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

On 2 May 2001 Senator Macdonald and Senator Tierney jointly announced the final three grants under the Newcastle Structural Adjustment Fund.

In all, $11.4 million was committed under the fund for 14 projects. Projects approved for funding during the financial year were the Lake Macquarie cycleway, the Forgacs floating dock, the Varley Fire Commander production facility, Stuart and Sons piano manufacturing facility, Trucksmart heavy vehicles workshop and Exel garden fittings facility.

The original $10 million fund was boosted by accrued interest of around $710 000 and a special allocation of $735 000 approved by the Prime Minister.

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40 : Administer the Rail Reform Transition Program

Area of Activity Performance Targets
  • Rail Reform Transition Program.
(New activity not listed in 2000–01 PBS/PAES)
Quality: Minister satisfied with quality of advice on projects seeking funding under the programs.

Relevant State Governments and Territories deliver the programs on behalf of the Commonwealth in accordance with Deeds of Grant.

Levels of expenditure in the different regions are within the range of projected allocations.

Timeliness: Advice to the Minister within three weeks of receiving all relevant information.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

On 27 July 2000, Senator Macdonald announced, under the Rail Reform Transition Program, the use of $75000 plus interest to appoint a project officer in the Northern Territory to work with central Australian businesses to prepare them for opportunities arising from the construction and operation of the Adelaide to Darwin railway.

In South Australia, $300000 was allocated for the establishment of a water and gas valve manufacturing facility, $250000 for the expansion of three high-tech multi-media companies, $1.1 million for three aquaculture companies to develop their facilities, and $45000 to establish a miniature railway tourism project at Port Pirie.

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41 : Administer the Eden Region Adjustment Package

Area of Activity

Performance Targets

  • Eden Region Adjustment Package.
(New activity not listed in 2000–01 PBS/PAES)
Quality: In accordance with the Ministers standard performance measures for administering grants programs.

Timeliness: Timeliness of advice on program progress to the satisfaction of the Ministers.

Location: Eden region focus.
Contributing Division(s): Regional Services, Development & Local Government
Performance Achieved

On 5 December 2000 Senator Macdonald and the Minister for Forestry and Conservation, the Hon. Wilson Tuckey, MP, announced further funding of $1.8 million under the $3.6 million Eden Region Adjustment Package for three major projects, the Pieman from Snowy River, Goldbat fishing vessel and the Boydtown tourist development. Senator Macdonald and Mr Tuckey have joint policy responsibility for the package but the financial administration of the package is undertaken by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia.

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Financial Performance

Budget*

$104.913m

Actual Outcome

$117.236m

Variation

11.7%

* Budget reflects accrual estimates as opposed to cash estimates which were
reported in the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements 2000–01.

The greater than budgeted expenditure is mostly attributable to the abnormal write-down of assets on the Indian Ocean Territories, including for the Cocos (Keeling) Island Power Station, which was destroyed by fire, and the transfer of local roads on Christmas Island to the Council.

Further, the increase in expenditure is also due to the greater than expected demand for regional programs, in particular the Regional Solutions Program and Rural Transaction Centres and the implementation of new programs, namely the Flood Recovery Fund and the Flood Assistance Package Small Business Grants.

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Northern Australia Forum

Northern Australia: Forum for Growth into the New Century was held in Katherine, NT, 1720 October 2000. The area covered is roughly all of Australia above the Tropic of Capricorn including Cocos (Keeling), Christmas and Torres Strait Islands. More than 200 delegates, most selected by members of their own communities, attended from right across northern Australia.

Given the size and range of issues for northern Australia, a series of 21 pre-forum local consultations were held across the north from April to August 2000. Issues raised at these local consultations were used to set the agenda for the forum.

The Government has already provided formal whole-of-government responses to the top priority items identified in each region through local consultations. The Government will provide a formal whole-of-government response to the major issues identified by the forum in August or September 2001.

The forum identified action needed across a range of priority areas, especially sustainable economic development, community empowerment and improved working relationships across the north, and agreed on a future direction for northern Australia.

Key outcomes identified to achieve this future included:

  • The Federal, WA, NT and Queensland Governments have jointly funded a package of actions Collaboration Across the North.
  • The relevant regional development Ministers will meet regularly to discuss progress on the forum outcomes.
  • A series of seminars to promote the north hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia took place in April and May 2001.
  • Three additional TradeStart offices have been located in the north.

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