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Report on Performance

Regional outputs and programmes

Output 2.2.1: Services to Territories

(Territories and Local Government Business Division)

Effectiveness

Territories are assisted to manage their own futures

Ten territories help make up the nation of Australia and are home to more than half a million Australians. Table 4.3 shows the location and profile of each territory.

Each territory is different-economically, socially and culturally-and its relationship with the Australian Government also varies depending on whether or not it is self-governing.

In 2005-06, the department continued to work with all territories within the portfolio, to help them to manage their own futures and to manage the Australian Government's interests.

For non-self governing territories, the department also provided a range of infrastructure and services in the absence of a state or territory government (see Table 4.4).

A brief report on each of the inhabited territories administered follows.

Quality

Territories funding is administered in line with relevant legislation, policies and agreements

In 2005-06 the department continued to collect loan repayments from territory governments, and taxes and fees from the sale of goods and services to territory residents. All revenue is reported and audited as part of the department's financial statements.

Price

$18.1m

The actual price of this output in 2005-06 was $18.1 million.

Overall performance

Table 4.3 Profile of Australia's territories

Territory

Area

Population

Cultural/linguistic features

Self-governing territories

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

2,358 km2

325,161

Norfolk Island

35 km2

1,574

Northern Territory (NT)

1,349,129 km2

202,793

25 per cent Indigenous

Non-self governing territories

Christmas Island

135 km2

1,508

60 per cent Chinese,
25 per cent to 30 per cent Malay, speakers

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

14 km2

621

70 per cent Cocos-Malay speakers

Coral Sea Islands

81 km2

4

Jervis Bay

73 km2

611

About 40 per cent Indigenous

Other

Ashmore and Cartier Islands

2 km2

Uninhabited

Australian Antarctic Territorya

5,896,500 km2

Transient

Heard and McDonald islandsa

367 km2

Uninhabited

All territories

7,248,694 km2

532,000

a Australia's Antarctic/subantarctic territories are administered by the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (www.environment.gov.au).
Source: BTRE, About Australia's regions, August 2005, Table 6, unless indicated otherwise.

Table 4.4 Trends in services to territories

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07 Est.

Price of department output

$106.2m

$108.1m

$18.5m

$18.1m

$9.3m

Administered expenses

  • services to the Indian Ocean Territories

n/a

n/a

$75.2m

$58.0m

$60.7m

  • ACT municipal services

$21.6m

$22.1m

$22.5m

$23.0m

$23.5m

  • ACT water and sewerage services

$8.7m

$8.9m

$9.1m

$9.3m

$9.4m

  • Christmas Island rehabilitation

-

-

-

$3.7m

$1.0m

  • other a

-

-

$0.3m

$6.0m

$3.1m

  • services to Jervis Bay Territory

$5.0m

Total cost of services to territories (departmental and administered)

$137.1m

$139.0m

$125.6m

$118.1m

$112.0m

Note: This table presents a conservative picture of the cost of services to and funding for territories. These statistics do not include the cost of capital works or depreciation of administered assets.
a 'Other' represents the sum of a number of smaller miscellaneous administered programmes for Norfolk Island, NT and the ACT.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Effectiveness/Quality

Territories are assisted to manage their own futures

The ACT is a self-governing territory. In 2005-06, on behalf of the Australian Government, the department:

  • advised ministers about the performance of the National Capital Authority, which ensures that Canberra is planned and developed in accordance with its national significance
  • developed options for responding to matters affecting the national capital.

Australian Government interests in all territories are managed

In 2005-06 the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads consulted nationally about the future of the site of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy. In addition to supporting the consultation, the department:

  • in response to the Uhrig report, advised the government on options for implementing corporate governance reforms to the National Capital Authority
  • continued to advise our ministers on their obligations under 22 pieces of ACT-related legislation, including advice on self-government legislation and cross-border water supply.

Territories funding is administered in line with relevant legislation, policies and agreements

In 2005-06 the department continued to administer payments to the ACT for costs associated with its role as the nation's capital.

Northern Territory (NT)

Effectiveness/Quality

Territories are assisted to manage their own futures

Australian Government interests in all territories are managed

Territories funding is administered in line with relevant legislation, policies and agreements

The self-governing territory of the NT has a diverse economy and operates relatively independently. In 2005-06, on behalf of the Australian Government, the department:

  • supported the NT Administrator, the Hon Ted Egan AO, whose role is largely equivalent to that of a state governor
  • administered loans for assets transferred to the NT when it gained self-government-these loans are mainly for water, sewerage and housing assets.

Norfolk Island

Effectiveness/Quality

Territories are assisted to manage their own futures

Australian Government interests in all territories are managed

Territories funding is administered in line with relevant legislation, policies and agreements

The territory of Norfolk Island celebrated 150 years of Pitcairn settlement in 2005-06. In 2005-06, on behalf of the Australian Government, the department:

  • supported the Office of the Norfolk Island Administrator, the Hon Grant Tambling (appointed in late 2003)-the office provides, among other things, a shopfront for some Australian Government services, including the passport office
  • advised ministers on options for responding to recent parliamentary reports on Norfolk Island issues
  • worked with the Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area Management Board to maintain and interpret heritage values on the island
  • administered interest-free loans for the Cascade Cliff safety project to stabilise a dangerous cliff face overlooking one of the island's two piers, and for resurfacing the runways of the island's airport
  • administered funding to the Norfolk Island Government for urgent works to stabilise and refurbish the island's historic Kingston Pier to ensure it remains useable by the community
  • established the Ivens F (Toon) Buffett Environmental Trust Fund. Revenue from the transfer of Norfolk Island crown leases to freehold is being directed to the trust to provide grants to individuals and groups for initiatives relating to environmental protection, heritage protection, natural resource management and land management.

In February 2006 the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads announced a review of Norfolk Island's governance arrangements in response to the territory's declining financial situation. During 2005-06, the department:

  • undertook research and policy development on possible governance alternatives
  • coordinated reviews by all departments into issues associated with extending all Commonwealth laws, programmes and services to Norfolk Island
  • commissioned supporting research by the Commonwealth Grants Commission and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and an economic impact assessment of possible governance changes
  • provided advice to the Norfolk Island community about the governance reforms, through a website, brochure, information guide and other means.

Jervis Bay Territory (JBT)

Effectiveness/Quality

Territories are assisted to manage their own futures

This 73 km2 non-selfgoverning territory is located on the New South Wales coast, 200 km south of Sydney. Its diverse population comprises people from HMAS Creswell, the Wreck Bay Aboriginal community, residents of Jervis Bay Village, and leaseholders on the western boundary of the territory.

In 2005-06 the department continued to assist the Jervis Bay Territory community to manage its own future by:

  • progressing efforts to resolve a land claim in Jervis Bay by the Wreck Bay Aboriginal community
  • chairing the Justice Issues Group, which addresses welfare, child protection and justice issues.

Australian Government interests in all territories are managed

In the absence of a state or territory government, non-self governing territories are provided with a range of infrastructure and services:

In 2005-06 the department also delivered a range of services on behalf of the Australian Government, including health, education, motor registration, library, dog control, electricity, and water and sewage treatment services. Services were delivered either directly through the private sector or through state and territory governments. In addition, in 2005-06 the department:

  • began reviewing the status of JBT's water supply to ensure its sustainability
  • commenced a review of the effectiveness of all services provided in the territory, starting with a health benchmarking study
  • prepared an ordinance to facilitate the use of community service orders as a sentencing option in the territory.
  • at a reasonable standard and cost compared to similar mainland communities

Services to JBT residents are generally delivered at standards and prices equivalent to the surrounding district.

  • in a way which recognises the cultural and linguistic diversity of territory residents

The department seeks to operate in a way which recognises the cultural and linguistic diversity of territory residents, about 40 per cent of whom are Indigenous people.

Territories funding is administered in line with relevant legislation, policies and agreements

In providing services to JBT on behalf of the Australian Government, the department spent approximately $5.0 million and collected over $0.8m in fees for services including rent, electricity and water charges.

Note: The Services to Jervis Bay Territory Administered Programme was established on 1 July 2006. Previously it was a programme within the departmental budget.

Indian Ocean Territories (IOT)

Effectiveness/Quality

Territories are assisted to manage their own futures

The Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) consist of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Due to their remoteness and small populations, their economies rely heavily on the ongoing support of the Australian Government.

In 2005-06, on behalf of the Australian Government, the department:

  • continued to support the Office of the Administrator, Mr Neil Lucas PSM, who was appointed on 15 December 2005 and commenced duties on 30 January 2006. The Administrator is the Australian Government's representative in the IOT and provides the communities with a direct link to the minister
  • lodged IOT legislative instruments with the Attorney-General's Department. This ensured that these instruments would continue to be in force.

The department progressed economic development initiatives, including administering funding to support recommendations made by the economic development committees on both Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands. It also:

  • assessed options on implementing the recommendations of the Strategic Plan for Economic Development in the IOT
  • progressed the development of a resort on Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • managed the state-type grants programme that provides the IOT communities with access to a wide range of Western Australian state government grant funding programmes.

Australian Government interests in all territories are managed

The department continued to manage a portfolio of properties in the IOT on behalf of the Australian Government. As part of this, in 2005-06 we:

  • continued an upgrade programme of agency staff housing on Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island
  • finalised the sale of residential land blocks in the Buffett Close development project on Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • developed an asbestos register, which will assist the future management of asbestos remediation
  • commissioned a site management plan for remediation of the old Home Island power station site on Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

In managing government interests in the IOT the department provided advice to the minister and Australian Government agencies on IOT-related issues. For example, the department assisted the Department of Health and Ageing to develop draft amendments to the Aged Care Act 1997 to extend it to the IOT. It also:

  • commenced negotiations on a new IOT employees collective agreement
  • commissioned a consultancy to examine options for increasing the water supply to Home Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

In 2006-07 the department will:

  • commence remediation work of the old Home Island power station site
  • finalise a new IOT collective agreement with IOT employees
  • submit recommendations to the minister on how to overcome the current water shortages on Home Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

In the absence of a state or territory government, non-self governing territories are provided with infrastructure and services

A number of service delivery arrangements were managed between the Australian Government and the Western Australian Government to provide state-level services to the IOT. The section 'Administered Programme-Services to Indian Ocean Territories' gives further details.

The department also:

  • continued to manage a number of commercial contractual arrangements with other organisations to provide services to the IOT
  • extended a number of critical supply contracts, including power on Cocos (Keeling) Islands, water and port management
  • established a mammography service on Christmas Island, which is due to commence in 2006-07
  • commissioned urgent repairs to the tower crane and pedestal at Flying Fish Cove Christmas Island
  • progressed the market testing of the IOT Health Service in 2005-06. The complexity of health service delivery has delayed this process, which is now expected to be completed in 2006-07.

Territories funding is administered in line with relevant legislation, policies and agreements

In 2005-06 we administered $58.0 million of funding through the Services to Indian Ocean Territories Administered Programme. The section on the programme gives further details.

Administered programme-Services to Indian Ocean Territories
(Territories and Local Government Business Division)

Effectiveness/Quality

Territories are assisted to manage their own futures

To assist the IOT communities in managing their own futures, the department administered $103,056 in grants to the Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands economic development committees for the promotion of economic initiatives during 2005-06.

The department also administered grants of $815,218 to support and enhance community events and skills, and to assist in the upgrade of community infrastructure through the refurbishment and redevelopment of existing buildings in both territories.

In the absence of a state or territory government, IOT residents are provided with a range of infrastructure and services:

State-level services in the IOT are provided through service delivery arrangements with the Western Australian Government and contracted service providers and directly by the department.

In 2005-06 the department managed 30 service delivery arrangements with Western Australian agencies. It also:

  • entered into a new arrangement with the WA Economic Regulatory Authority and the Western Australian Department of Sport and Recreation
  • expanded arrangements with the Western Australian Department of Consumer and Employment Protection and the Western Australian Department of Environment
  • renegotiated arrangements with the Office of Energy, Legal Aid Commission of Western Australian and the Western Australian Department of Culture and the Arts.

During 2006-07 the department will renegotiate a number of arrangements which would otherwise expire. It will also enter into new arrangements with BreastScreen Western Australian to provide mammography screening services.

The department continued to deliver a number of state-type services directly in the IOT on behalf of the government. In 2005-06 it provided

  • health services that included a range of primary, community and specialist health care
  • land management and heritage services
  • on-island community services, particularly the revision of the Christmas Island Rockfall Risk Management Plan
  • housing in a mixed portfolio of 153 public housing properties and 91 service delivery agency staff and employee properties
  • justice support services including maintenance of the Christmas Island Law Library, coordinating four scheduled magistrate court visits and six local court sittings
  • a total of 29.9 million kWh of electricity from the IOT power stations with approximately 32 per cent of the 24.6 million kWh generated on Christmas Island being used for phosphate mining operations (See the 'Did you know' box for details on the wind farm on Cocos (Keeling) Islands)

For further information on state-type services provided in the IOT please visit www.dotars.gov.au/territories.

  • at a reasonable standard and cost compared to similar mainland communities

The government requires the department to deliver infrastructure and services in the IOT to standards and costs comparable with those for similar mainland communities. In 2005-06 the department continued to deliver efficiencies by:

  • progressing the market testing of health services, which is expected to be completed in 2006-07
  • extending a number of critical supply contracts, including power, water and port management
  • entering into agreements with Western Australian agencies to extend their service delivery into the IOT.
  • in a way which recognises the cultural and linguistic diversity of residents and visitors

Recognition is given to the cultural and linguistic diversity of territory residents, many of whom speak Chinese, Malay or Cocos-Malay. The minister's newsletter and most department community bulletins, for example, are produced in all major community languages.

Cost

$59.2m (up from $58.8m at Budget)

The actual cost of this programme in 2005-06 was $58.0 million. An amount of $60.7 million has been allocated to this programme in 2006-07.

Overall performance

Did you know?

In September 2005 on Home Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an average of 11 per cent of the Home Islanders' power was provided by the wind turbines at the new power station. Over the year, the combined power output of the Home Island and West Island power stations was 5,323 megawatt-hours. It took just over 1.4 million litres of fuel-and some wind-to produce that amount of power.

Administered programme-Norfolk Island-refurbishment of Kingston Pier
(Territories and Local Government Business Division)

Effectiveness

The safety and functionality of the pier is improved in keeping with its heritage value

Work has been undertaken to stabilise and refurbish the island's historic Kingston Pier to ensure it remains usable by the community.

Quality

Payments are administered in line with project progress

Payments have been provided upon the receipt of progress claims by the Norfolk Island Government, the project managers.

Cost

$6.0m (up from $2.6m at Budget)

The actual cost of this programme in 2005-06 was $5.7 million.

Overall performance

Administered programme-Norfolk Island-Memorial for Minister Buffet (environmental trust fund)
(Territories and Local Government Business Division)

Effectiveness/Location

Community groups and individuals are assisted to improve environmental and land management on Norfolk Island

The Ivens F (Toon) Buffett Environmental Trust Fund will provide grants to individuals and groups for initiatives relating to environmental protection, heritage protection, natural resource management and land management.

Quality

Payments are administered in line with project progress

Payments into the trust account are to be made on a six-monthly basis, pending the finalisation of trust guidelines.

Cost

$0.3m (down from $0.4m at Budget)

The actual cost of this programme in 2005-06 was $0.2 million.

Overall performance

Administered programme-Payment to the A.C.T-assistance for water and sewerage services
(Territories and Local Government Business Division)

Effectiveness/Location

The national capital influence on the cost of ACT water and sewerage services is ameliorated

The Australian Government makes payments to the ACT Government for costs arising because Canberra is the national capital. The amount payable is:

  • based on the estimate made by the Commonwealth Grants Commission when the ACT became self-governing in 1988
  • adjusted for increases in the consumer price index.

Quality

Payments are made in line with the agreed schedule

In 2005-06 the ACT Government received, in fortnightly instalments, the full amount payable.

Cost

$9.3m

The actual cost of this programme in 2005-06 was $9.3 million.

Overall performance

Administered programme-Payment to the A.C.T- compensation for the effects of National Capital influence on the cost of providing municipal services
(Territories and Local Government Business Division)

Effectiveness/Location

The national capital influence on the cost of ACT municipal services is ameliorated

The Australian Government makes payments to the ACT Government for costs arising because Canberra is the national capital. The amount payable is:

  • based on the estimate made by the Commonwealth Grants Commission when the ACT became self-governing in 1988
  • adjusted for increases in the consumer price index.

Quality

Payments are made in line with the agreed schedule

In 2005-06 the ACT Government received, in fortnightly instalments, the full amount payable.

Cost

$23.0m

The actual cost of this programme in 2005-06 was $23.0 million.

Overall performance

Administered programme-Christmas Island rehabilitation
(Territories and Local Government Business Division)

Effectiveness/Location

A robust rehabilitation programme targeting high conservation areas within the Christmas IslandNational Park

A memorandum of understanding between the department and Parks Australia provides for rehabilitation services within the Christmas Island National Park.

Quality

Rehabilitation of old mine sites on Christmas Island to an agreed standard

The rehabilitation undertaken by Parks Australia was to a standard outlined in the Christmas Island Rainforest Rehabilitation Programme as agreed in the memorandum of understanding.

Cost

$0.7m

The actual cost of this programme in 2005-06 was $3.7 million.

Overall performance