Year in review

Introduction from the Secretary

The department is in the business of helping to deliver a better transport system for Australia and of helping regional communities to face their challenges and take opportunities to further develop and grow.

The department focuses on what matters to the community. Is Australia's transport system secure and safe? Is it sustainable in economic, social and environmental terms? Do people and businesses in our many regions and territories enjoy comparable services and opportunities as in similar parts of Australia? Do local councils have the capacity to serve their communities well? And, what sensible steps can communities take to protect themselves, prepare and recover from natural disaster?

In 2003-04 we set ourselves an ambitious agenda.

After two years of planning and consultation, AusLink - Australia's first national land transport plan since federation - was launched. This $12 billion, five-year plan will enhance road safety, reduce congestion and support faster, easier freight transportation. History was also made with the opening of the Alice Springs to Darwin rail link. The 1420 km track completes Australia's interstate rail system, and stands as one of the nation's great engineering feats.

The needs of regional communities also received attention. We made it easier for communities to access funding grants by merging nine programmes into one - the Regional Partnerships Programme. We also led the way on natural disaster management, working closely with all levels of government to develop a new five-year plan for preparing for natural disasters before they happen.

The threat of global terrorism continued to have a profound impact on the Australian community. Security issues dominated much of our work. We gained international recognition for our success in implementing maritime and aviation security measures. We also provided leadership in the Asia-Pacific region, helping our neighbours meet their obligations under international security treaties.

Within the department, due to the financial pressures identified in our annual report last year, we made major changes to the way we manage ourselves. These changes were encapsulated in the Work out/Work up plan. I would like to thank staff who made significant sacrifices and an enormous effort to support these reforms. Their efforts and professionalism have already delivered results - an independent audit has confirmed that we are now on a sustainable long term financial path.

All in all, we have achieved remarkable results while continuing to deliver the everyday services Australians rely on us to provide. Our success is the result of the hard work of our people, and the strong partnerships we have built with clients, industry and other governments.

It is a legacy I am proud of, especially now, when after five rewarding years, I am leaving the department to take up the position of Chief Executive of the new National Water Commission.

Mike Taylor, formerly Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, will be the new secretary and I wish him every success. We have good quality systems and processes in place, as well as solid teams throughout the department who will provide stability and corporate memory in the months ahead.

The department also will bid farewell to one of our two deputy secretaries, Lynelle Briggs, who has been appointed as Public Service Commissioner. We are delighted at this recognition of Lynelle and I know she will have a great impact as the new head of the Australian Public Service Commission.

The department will continue to benefit from the expertise and experience of Deputy Secretary Peter Yuile. He is a fine Australian public servant who models the very best collegiate behaviour and will provide continuity of direction from the executive.

I want to take this opportunity to thank publicly all members of the department for their friendship and hard work over our years together. I have enjoyed every one of my five years as departmental secretary. DOTARS is a fine department and is making a real contribution to Australia.

Ken Matthews
Secretary

26 October 2004

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Transport and regional infrastructure

A national plan for land transport

After two years of detailed work and consultation the Australian Government launched the AusLink White Paper, AusLink - Building our National Transport Future, in June 2004.

AusLink is the government's plan for land transport infrastructure planning, funding and operation. It is a new approach to the way Australia plans, makes decisions about and invests in national transport infrastructure (see case study).

A new national rail network

We helped broker an end to 150 years of division in the management of Australia's railways. In December 2003, NSW Rail agreed to hand over its interstate and Hunter Valley tracks to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) under a 60 year lease.

The lease enables one body, the ARTC, to provide interstate track access to operators from Perth to the Queensland border - over 3400 km in all. Negotiations to bring the last 100 km of track, between the Queensland border and Brisbane, into the network will begin in 2004-05.

The ARTC, which is wholly owned by the Australian Government, has already begun to invest $450 million in improving the main north-south route. Under AusLink, the Australian Government and the ARTC will invest $1.8 billion on rail projects over the next five years, particularly on the vital north-south interstate corridor.

Another development in 2003-04 was the opening of the Alice Springs to Darwin rail link in January 2004. The 1420 km track, built and operated by a private firm, completes Australia's interstate rail system and stands as one of the nation's great engineering feats. We are contributing up to $190 million to the project on behalf of the government.

Accessible and sustainable infrastructure

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and major insurance industry upheavals, we had to take a number of steps including providing war risk and terrorism insurance indemnities to maintain vital air services. In 2003-04 we were able to end this support as the global insurance market again provided suitable insurance coverage to airports and airlines.

We maintained our efforts to ensure transport is accessible for all parts of our community. We administered payments worth more than $140 million to make key regional air and sea services more affordable (table 4.12). We provided another $1.7 billion to make roads safer under various programmes (table 4.10).

We made good progress also in policies and programmes to ensure transport and regional development is socially and environmentally sustainable (see Environmental Performance and Social Performance for details). Working with other government departments to implement the National Water Initiative will be one of our priorities for 2004-05.

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Regional services

Regional growth

The launch of the Regional Partnerships Programme on 26 June 2003 signalled a new partnership between government and regional communities. By merging nine regional programmes into one, the government has made it simpler for regional communities to access grants for development projects. Communities now only have to deal with one programme, one application form and one standardised funding agreement.

The role of 56 Area Consultative Committees (ACCs) has also been strengthened under the programme. ACCs now have a hands-on role, helping local people and businesses turn good ideas into great projects. They are the main conduit for funding applications and they help ensure funding decisions reflect local and regional priorities.

Through the programme, we have begun to tackle the major challenges facing regional businesses: access to finance, infrastructure and skilled staff. These issues were brought into focus with the release of the independent report, Regional Business - A Plan for Action, in mid 2003. We expect to take more steps to address these issues in the year ahead.

Did you know?
While our rural and remote regions are home to around one third of our population, they generate two thirds of our export income.

Rapid population shifts pose a particular challenge to our regions. While there is a steady decline in some bush populations, coastal populations are rising by 53 000 to 68 000 people each year.

A population jump of just 10 000 people equates to 3700 new households, $25 million in supermarket spending and $70 million in other retail spending. A loss of 10 000 people means the reverse.

Source: Bernard Salt, Population Movement - Myths and Realities, presentation to DOTARS 11 June 2004

Better arrangements for territories

Australia's territories are home to more than half a million people.

In 2003-04, we advised ministers on the appointment of four key office holders, and on legislative changes to bring Norfolk Island's electoral and land use regimes into line with the rest of Australia. We expect to take further steps to improve territory governance in 2004-05, as the Australian Government responds to relevant parliamentary inquiries.

We also made good progress in improving essential services to the 2700 residents of non self-governing territories (see case study).

Relationships with local government

Funding for local councils, which provide essential services to all Australians, has been the subject of vigorous public debate for several years. Last year was no exception, with the release of the Hawker Report in November 2003. Prepared by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration, it recommends sweeping reforms to local government relations and Australian Government funding for local government.

In response to the report, we immediately set up a departmental taskforce and briefed the Local Government and Planning Ministers' Council. We used our annual meeting with staff from local government grants commissions to discuss possible responses to the report. We also convened a roundtable between the council and the presidents of local government associations in June 2004.

As part of the government's response to the report, we have been asked to administer additional payments of $26.3 million over three years to help South Australian councils with the cost of local roads. Future arrangements for local government funding will be a key issue as the Australian Government finalises its response to the Hawker report.

Natural disasters

In 2003-04, we led reforms in natural disaster management in Australia. We built on work carried out with all levels of government to review how we manage natural disasters. The group of senior officials who undertook the review was chaired by our secretary. We also contributed staff to the review secretariat, as did the Queensland Department of Emergency Services.

The review recommended that we move beyond disaster response and reaction towards anticipation and mitigation - an approach that was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in December 2003. We will administer increased funding for disaster mitigation projects, a key part of the new approach, over the next five years.

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Transport security and safety

Leadership in transport security

Security issues dominated much of our work in 2003-04. We set up a new Office of Transport Security to strengthen Australia' transport security framework.

We launched a new maritime security regime and expanded the aviation security regime. Implementing change was not easy for industry or the department due to the sheer amount of work involved within tight deadlines (See case study). We have gained international and national recognition for the way in which the new maritime security regime was rolled out.

We worked closely with state and territory governments and industry to develop a cohesive National Transport Security Strategy. The Australian Transport Council endorsed this strategy in April 2004, and will consider a detailed agreement on land transport security in November 2004. We have also started work with regional airports to improve their security capabilities.

We shared our expertise internationally, and helped our neighbours in the Asia Pacific to meet their obligations under international security treaties. We will continue to build these relationships in 2004-05 through staff based in Jakarta and Manila, as well as through close cooperation with Papua New Guinea and other Pacific neighbours.

We also worked with the United Nations to develop international standards on a range of issues, most notably transport provisions for dangerous goods. We led a parallel process to develop the 7th edition of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code. We expect to release the revised national code later in 2004-05.

Safety focus widened to rail and freight

We implemented legislation to replace the National Road Transport Commission with a broader National Transport Commission (NTC), as planned in early 2004. The NTC will facilitate more cohesive and consistent regulatory reform in and across road and rail transport. Similar changes are taking place at an international level.

We took on a greater role in rail safety with the implementation of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003. The Act empowers the department's Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to investigate incidents on the Defined Interstate Rail Network. It carries across to rail ATSB's highly successful, independent, 'no blame' approach to investigating aviation and maritime accidents and incidents.

We also worked with the Australian Logistics Council to improve handling of domestic freight. The council agreed proposals on the handling and transport of dangerous goods, which will be reflected in the 7th edition of the Australian Dangerous Goods Code. It also endorsed rail infrastructure investment totalling $450 million in key transport corridors.

Did you know?

Australia's transport system is vast. Each year:

  • our airports handle 1.1 million flights and 45 million passengers
  • 3100 ships make 23 000 port calls
  • we export 500 million tonnes of freight and move another 2.3 billion tonnes within Australia
  • transport employs over 400 000 people - roughly 1 in 20 jobs.

Source: BTRE, Australian Transport Stats (May 2004)

Continued support for aviation safety and airspace reforms

We brought forward legislation to give effect to Australian Government decisions on the reform of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Once passed, the Civil Aviation Amendment Act 2003 abolished the CASA Board and made the Director of Aviation Safety the Chief Executive Officer of CASA. These changes provide our minister, who appoints the director, with stronger and more direct control over the governance of CASA.

The next stage of the new National Airspace System (stage 2b) was implemented in November 2003 under the auspices of the Aviation Reform Group, chaired by the secretary. Airservices Australia, as the airspace safety decision maker, is now preparing changes in light of operational experience. The final phase of stage 2 (stage 2c) was postponed to allow more time for industry consultation, training and education and for passage of enabling regulations.

We have prepared for the consolidation of regulatory functions within Airservices Australia, pending their transfer to a new airspace directorate to be set up in 2004-05. Once relevant legislation is passed to effect the transfer, it will free up Airservices Australia to focus on air navigation services.

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Management reforms

Work out/Work up

In 2003 real and increasing financial pressures made us rethink the way we manage ourselves. We took control of our own future through a plan to 'work out' to secure our financial sustainability and to 'work up' our organisational performance to a higher level. Implementing the two-year Work out/Work up plan has not been easy but we have achieved what we set out to do in 2003-04. We have:

We are now focusing on building capabilities in all areas. Through the Work out/Work up plan we have had the financial capacity to deliver:

  • fair pay rises to staff at all levels, as part of our new certified agreement
  • a new 'Developing in DOTARS' programme
  • changes to accommodation to reflect our new organisational structure, and
  • enhancements to our IT systems to deliver better services and performance.

An independent financial consultant has confirmed that we are on a sustainable financial path provided we maintain our strong financial focus. This advice is reflected in our management priorities for 2004-05.

Information technology (IT)

We rely on our IT to access the information we need to do our jobs, and to communicate effectively with clients, particularly people in regional Australia and people with disabilities.

IT was a particular issue for us in 2003-04. The Group 5 contract, to which we were a party along with several other agencies, was due to expire on 30 June 2004. We had already begun an open tender process to identify our preferred IT service provider at 1 July 2003. We signed a four-year contract with Ipex, an Australian small to medium enterprise, in late 2003 1.

The new arrangements have exceeded all expectations. The transition was achieved on time and within budget, with minimal disruption to business areas. It was all the more remarkable in that it involved substantial upgrades to our IT infrastructure, including the bulk of our PC and printer fleet, and with the ongoing costs being less than under the previous contract.

1 In early 2004 Ipex merged with Volante to form Australia's largest domestic IT services provider in terms of revenue.

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Financial performance

The parliament provides us with two types of funding: departmental and administered. We use departmental funds to produce goods and services (outputs) at a quantity, quality and price endorsed by government. We also administer funds, assets and liabilities on behalf of the Commonwealth Parliament, which controls how these resources are to be managed.

Departmental finances

In 2003-04 we reported an operating loss of $59.4 million. This loss was greater than planned mainly due to the government decision that agencies should make specific provisions for asbestosrelated disease claims 2. This decision increased our expenses and liabilities by $63.4 million. Other issues also affected our financial performance:

  • the transfer of immigration staff housing on Christmas Island to the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs increased our expenses and reduced our nonfinancial asset base by $23.8 million
  • the revaluation of our asset holdings in the Indian Ocean Territories (IOTs) and Jervis Bay Territory resulted in the value of our non-financial asset base rising by $20.7 million 3, and
  • despite substantial increases in workload, employee and supplier expenses rose only a modest amount due to self-imposed expenditure restraint under the Work out/Work up plan and slippage in some projects.

Our net assets fell by $12.4 million overall and our financial assets rose by $51.1 million 4. This was a strong result in the circumstances. Roughly two-thirds of our financial assets will be transferred from departmental to administered funding in 2004-05, along with non-financial assets and transactions associated with services to the IOTs.

Table 1.1 - Summary of departmental financial performance and position

 
2002-03
2003-04
Change
Revenue from government
$229.3m
$222.8m
2.8%
Other revenue
$17.5m
$18.9m
7.6%
Total revenue
$246.8m
$241.7m
2.1%
Employee and supplier expenses
$194.2m
$195.8m
0.8%
Depreciation
$12.8m
$14.0m
9.4%
Other expenses
$19.6m
$91.2m
364.8%
Total expenses
$226.6m
$301.1m
32.9%
Operating result (loss)
$20.1m
($59.4m)
Financial assets A
$109.6m
$160.7m
46.6%
Non-financial assets B
$250.9m
$247.9m
1.2%
Liabilities C
$48.3m
$108.9m
125.5%
Net assets = A + B - C
$312.1m
$299.7m
3.9%

Administered finances

At the beginning of 2003-04 parliament made $3.3 billion available for grants, subsidies and other administered payments. A further $513.8 million became available during the year, mainly due to government decisions to:

  • invest in rail infrastructure ($450.0 million)
  • enhance aviation security at regional airports ($35.0 million), and
  • adjust funding for demand-driven programmes ($26.7 million net increase).

We made payments totalling $3.7 billion during the year. While many small programmes underspent by more than 10 per cent, only four programmes reported underspends greater than $5 million (see table 1.2 below). If the provision for natural disaster relief is excluded 5, our estimate of the total funds required in 2003-04 was 99 per cent accurate.

Table 1.2 - Major underspends in administered programmes

Programme
Underspend
See also page
Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements (NDRA)
$88.1m
133
Federation Fund projects
$15.9m
82
Regional Partnerships Programme
$12.5m
111
Regional Flood Mitigation Programme
$5.2m
131

While most taxation revenues rose, overall taxation revenue collected on behalf of government fell by $147.7 million in 2003-04. This fall reflected the government decision to cease the Air Passenger Ticket Levy ($165.2 million).

Non-taxation revenues rose $10.3 million overall. This rise reflected an extra $18.5 million dividend payable by the Albury Wodonga Development Corporation, which more than offset a decline in other non-taxation revenues.

There was no real change in the value of non-financial assets, which are mainly land and buildings at Badgerys Creek and on Norfolk Island. However, financial assets rose by three per cent due to government decisions to invest in the ARTC ($143.4 million) and reduce investment in Airservices Australia ($70.0 million). At the same time liabilities, which largely comprise a guarantee to cover borrowings by the Maritime Industry Finance Company (MIFCo) Ltd, fell 28 per cent as MIFCO continued to repay borrowings.

As at 30 June 2004, administered assets exceeded quantifiable liabilities by a ratio of 10:1. Figure 1A below illustrates the mix of assets we administered at 30 June 2004. For more information, see our audited financial statements.

Figure 1A - Value of administered assets held at 30 June 2004

Figure 1A - Value of administered assets held at 30 June 2004

Table 1.3 - Summary of administered financial performance and position

 
2002-03
2003-04
Change
Taxation revenue
$294.9m
$147.2m
50.1%
Non-taxation revenue including dividends
$132.4m
$142.7m
7.8%
Total revenue
$427.3m
$289.9m
32.2%
Grants
$2 966.6m
$3 549.8m
19.7%
Subsidies
$147.9m
$134.3m
9.2%
Other expenses including depreciation
$38.7m
$44.7m
15.5%
Total expenses
$3 153.2m
$3 728.8m
18.3%
Financial assets
$797.5m
$850.4m
2.9%
Non-financial assets
$85.9m
$85.5m
0.5%
Liabilities
$114.1m
$82.3m
27.9%

2 The Australian Government first disclosed a $0.9 billion provision for current and future asbestos-related disease claims in the Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended 20 June 2003. In light of actuarial analysis, the Department of Finance and Administration advised agencies to report specific provisions in their 2003-04 financial statements.
3 We take stock of and revalue assets on a three-yearly cycle in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards (AASB 1041 Revaluation of Non-Current Assets) and the Finance Minister's Orders. For details of our asset management policies and practices, see our audited financial statements (page 231, Notes 1.11 through 1.15, 1.21 and 2).
4 Our financial assets include cash on hand and appropriations receivable. These assets may not be invested or used to earn income except as permitted by the Minister for Finance and Administration.
5 The actual level of payments for disaster relief depends on the incidence and severity of natural disasters, and on the costs incurred and claims made by state and territory governments.

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Environmental performance

Biodiversity. The territories we administer contain many unique species and habitats. We work closely with Parks Australia and local communities to conserve biodiversity. We also work with local councils to recognise and promote better practice in this area. We have built 32 'crab crossings'; on Christmas Island to protect its unique red crabs from road traffic during their annual migration
Right: We have built 32 'crab crossings'; on Christmas Island to protect its unique red crabs from road traffic during their annual migration (Photo courtesy of and © Parks Australia North) 
Natural and cultural heritage. The territories we administer each have a long and unique history. On Norfolk Island, we manage the best remaining examples of Georgian architecture in Australia. In the IOTs, we manage numerous places of worship. A number of our assets are listed on the Register of the National Estate. Modern school buildings we own on Christmas Island reflect the Islamic heritage of most islanders.
Right: Modern school buildings we own on Christmas Island reflect the Islamic heritage of most islanders. (Photo DOTARS)
Land use. From 2004-05 we will lead reform of land use planning to reduce avoidable risks and damage from natural disasters such as fires, floods and landslides. This will build on our work in 2003-04 with all levels of government to improve how we manage the risk of natural disasters. Major bushfires in 2002-03 highlighted the need for land use planning to address natural hazards.
Right: Major bushfires in 2002-03 highlighted the need for land use planning to address natural hazards. (Photo courtesy of and © Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria)
Inland waters. Access to water is restricting growth opportunities for agriculture and rural towns. In 2003-04, we sponsored work with communities to find solutions to the critical water issues facing our nation, including through the Regional Women's Advisory Council. As drought and dryland salinity forces industries and regions to adjust, competition for grants will rise
Right: As drought and dryland salinity forces industries and regions to adjust, competition for grants will rise. (Photo courtesy of and © Environment Australia)
Human settlement. Noise and its effect on people is rising as residential density and traffic volume rises. We monitor and regulate the environmental and social impact of airport operations. We are also putting noise insulation into homes and public buildings around Sydney and Adelaide airports. Selected airport curfews are one of the ways we reduce the impact of aircraft noise on communities.
Right: Selected airport curfews are one of the ways we reduce the impact of aircraft noise on communities. (Photo Communications Unit DOTARS) 
Coasts and oceans. Shipping and port activity are legitimate uses of our seas. We have introduced regulations to prohibit ships from discharging untreated sewage near coastal areas. We also collect compensation from oil companies to cover the clean-up costs for oil spills. Wreck Bay in Jervis Bay Territory is a place of special significance to local indigenous peoples.
Right: Wreck Bay in Jervis Bay Territory is a place of special significance to local indigenous peoples. (Photo DOTARS) 
Atmosphere. Transport is a vital element of our economy. In that context, we are working to reduce transport emissions by informing consumer choices and regulating to improve vehicle efficiency. We have also modelled the environmental, economic and regional impact of setting targets for the use of biofuels based on current technologies (Appendix B ). By reducing traffic congestion, the AusLink initiative will also help reduce emissions and noise.
Right: By reducing traffic congestion, the AusLink initiative will also help reduce emissions and noise. (Photo Communications Unit DOTARS)
'Think globally, act locally'. We are committed to reducing our own energy usage and waste generation. In 2003-04, we met government energy targets for the third year running, although our overall consumption rose due to changes in our business (Appendix E). Centralised building control systems control lighting and air conditioning in many locations including in our national office.
Right: Centralised building control systems control lighting and air conditioning in many locations including in our national office. (Photo Liz O'Donnell DOTARS) 

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Social performance

Community participation. We aspire to communicate and consult effectively with all stakeholders. We are in regular contact with over 150 different groups (table 7.5), and meet with or set up groups as required on specific issues such as water reform (see case study). One reason for our success - the 500 community leaders who advise us on the issues facing their regions.
Right: One reason for our success - the 500 community leaders who advise us on the issues facing their regions. (Photo Brian Hartigan DOTARS)
Social justice and equity. We are working to address the disadvantage faced by remote indigenous communities. We are sponsoring the pilot of a new 'whole of government' approach in the East Kimberley involving the WA Government and the Australian Government, together with local government and communities as well as indigenous women's gatherings. Minister Anderson with children from Billiluna in the East Kimberley.
Right: Minister Anderson with children from Billiluna in the East Kimberley. (Photo DOTARS)
Client service. We maintained very high levels of client satisfaction in 2003-04, and no overdue ministerial correspondence for a significant part of the year (figure 6D). The Commonwealth Ombudsman made a finding against us in just three cases, down 60 per cent from last year. Some people talk about 'going the extra mile'. Our staff drove over 1.5 million kilometres on official business in 2003-04.
Right: Some people talk about 'going the extra mile'. Our staff drove over 1.5 million kilometres on official business in 2003-04. (Photo David Loch DOTARS)
Value for money. In 2003-04 we made grants, subsidies and other payments on behalf of the Australian Government totalling $3.7 billion. We received $222.8 million from government for our services, which include research, policy advice and regulation - this equates to six cents for every dollar that goes to the community. Many of the projects we fund continue to benefit the community long after funding has ceased.
Right: Many of the projects we fund continue to benefit the community long after funding has ceased. (Photo Communications Unit DOTARS)
Workforce planning. In 'working out' of our financial difficulties, we experienced significant staff reductions mainly through natural attrition and tight controls on recruitment. We modified our plans midyear to take on a greater role in transport security (see case study). Graduates continue to be a key focus for recruitment and development. Here, some of our 2003 graduates help each other climb Jacob's Ladder.
Right: Graduates continue to be a key focus for recruitment and development. Here, some of our 2003 graduates help each other climb Jacob's Ladder. (Photo Erin Cain DOTARS) 
Employee relations and remuneration. We negotiated a new certified agreement (CA) over 2003-04, which received a resounding 'yes' vote in July 2004. Our new CA continues to provide a range of non-financial benefits to help staff balance their work and home lives and to support diversity principles. Each year our staff raise thousands of dollars for good causes.
Right: Each year our staff raise thousands of dollars for good causes. (Photo Nonnie Oldham DOTARS) 
Occupational health and safety. We achieved our best results on record in terms of claims made and weeks lost through incapacity in 2003-04. We are monitoring other indicators of staff wellbeing to ensure we remain a healthy place to work. Extreme heat, snakes and feral camels were all in a day's work for rail safety investigators flying in to inspect 1.2km of damaged track on the Nullarbor.
Right: Extreme heat, snakes and feral camels were all in a day's work for rail safety investigators flying in to inspect 1.2km of damaged track on the Nullarbor. (Photo ATSB Rail Safety Team DOTARS) 
Competitive tendering and contracting. We lead by example in giving smaller regional firms a chance to win our business. Our new contract for the provision of IT services went to an Australian small-to-medium enterprise, Ipex. We exceeded government targets for the use of regional airlines. For more information on purchasing outcomes see Appendix C. Want to do business with us? We list all publicly available business opportunities on AusTender www.tenders.gov.au
Right: Want to do business with us? We list all publicly available business opportunities on AusTender http://www.tenders.gov.au/ 

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Summary of progress on our priorities for 2003-04

This scorecard summarises our top 20 priorities for 2003-04, how far we have progressed against each one and where to find more information within this report.

Table 1.4 - Progress report on our top 20 priorities for 2003-04

Priority Progress *
More info
1. Develop a national transport security framework and implement enhanced transport security arrangements throughout the supply chain including maritime and aviation security

More info

2. Lead the development nationally of more consistency in rail operational and safety regulatory arrangements

More info

3. Establish the NTC to lead the development nationally of more consistency in road, rail and intermodal transport regulatory arrangements

More info

4. Develop a single, flexible funding programme (AusLink), with increased private sector participation, to replace the separate programmes for different types of transport with specially earmarked funds for regional Australia

More info

5. Lead the development nationally of interstate rail network investment and access arrangements and finalise the lease of NSW interstate rail track by the ARTC and access agreements with Queensland and Western Australia

More info

6. Manage and progress transport policy issues in relation to energy, technology and the environment, including energy taxation, vehicle emissions, noise and greenhouse effects

More info

7. Articulate and progress the government's policy approach to aviation, with special attention to aviation in regional Australia

More info

8. Implement government decisions on reform of CASA and develop regulatory and administrative arrangements that complement the reforms introduced in the new Civil Aviation legislation

More info

9. Continue airspace reform through implementation of NAS, integrating Australian aviation into a global model while drawing on the US system as world's best practice

More info

10. Establish a firm public policy base for the future governance of Airservices Australia

More info

11. Conduct safety investigations under the new Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003, including the expanded ATSB role in rail investigations

More info

12. Identify opportunities for more effective cooperation between government and the logistics industry

More info

13. Manage programmes that support equitable access of regional communities to transport services and infrastructure

More info

14. Implement new regional programme arrangements and work further to improve regional and territory services and regional development

More info

15. Lead the development and assist implementation of the government's response to the Regional Business Development Analysis

More info

16. Lead the development nationally of research into the cost of natural disasters and the benefits of mitigation

More info

17. Deliver all DOTARS' responsibilities for the delivery of services to the planned Christmas Island Immigration Reception and Processing Centre

More info

18. Assist in providing efficient and effective local government by reviewing the current local government financial assistance policies

More info

19. Improve departmental IT and information management systems

More info

20. Establish a more adequate departmental budget

More info

* Progress: fully achieved mostly achieved partly achieved not achieved

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