Part 2: Performance Report (page 5)
Indian Ocean Territories reforms
On 6 March 2013, the Commonwealth announced a package of reforms for the Indian Ocean Territories to improve community decision-making, strengthen governance arrangements and improve transparency. The reforms focus on six key elements:
- Increasing island decision-making by managing a number of local government functions including shire funding through the Indian Ocean Territories Administration.
- Supporting the Administrator with additional staff and resources for functions such as improved engagement and communication with the community.
- Expanding community consultation through the new Indian Ocean Territories Regional Development Organisation. The organisation will play a key role in consulting with the community on priorities for development as well as providing advice to the Commonwealth on projects to be funded under the $1.5 million grants program in 2013–14.
- Fostering economic development by renewing the Christmas Island mine lease and supporting new commercial opportunities such as the dive resort and market garden projects.
- Building local government capacity through funding for integrated planning and reporting for the councils.
- Improving benchmarking and reporting processes to ensure that, over time, the Commonwealth provides more information on investment in the Indian Ocean Territories.
These reforms will support services, enhance local decision-making, support economic development and empower the communities of the Indian Ocean Territories.
Christmas Island New Housing Program—Drumsite Village
In December 2010 the government provided $25 million in capital funding to construct a number of new houses on Christmas Island under the Christmas Island New Housing Program.
The first of the program's three projects was completed in March 2013, with 16 new dwellings handed over to the Indian Ocean Territories Administration. The new houses are being used to accommodate staff providing health care, education and other state-type services to the Christmas Island community. The program is expected to increase housing supply on the Island and place downward pressure on rental costs by freeing up privately-leased properties.
Project Two of the program will provide an additional twelve dwellings which are under construction and due for completion in the middle of 2014.
New Christmas Island mine lease
On 27 June 2013, a new lease was signed between the Commonwealth and Phosphate Resources Limited for the phosphate mine on Christmas Island. The new lease extends until 2034, providing ongoing economic activity for the Christmas Island community.
The new lease provides Phosphate Resources Limited with operational certainty to maintain employment and invest in capital upgrades. The spillover benefits for the community include investment in conservation activities and agricultural projects.
This project is the result of two years of negotiations between the government and Phosphate Resources Limited to reach a beneficial agreement for all parties and the community of Christmas Island.
Christmas Island Port Infrastructure
The installation of a deep sea mooring facility at the Nui Nui alternative port on Christmas Island was completed in June 2013. Having an alternative port facility ensures that essential supplies can be delivered to Christmas Island residents during adverse weather conditions, when the Island's Flying Fish Cove port cannot be used. Completion of the facility also improves the safety of workers on vessels.
Digital television switchover on Christmas Island
The department upgraded the analogue television re-transmitters in the Indian Ocean Territories to digital format. The digital signal originates with the Viewer Access Satellite TV service and residents now receive the same full range of digital television channels as residents in equivalent remote communities in Western Australia.
Norfolk Island Reforms
The department is funding work to help expand and diversify the Norfolk Island economy and support the long term sustainability of the community.
In 2012–13 the department assisted the Norfolk Island Government implement changes to the Island's immigration system. Norfolk Island's Immigration (Amendment No. 2) Act 2012 will now allow Australian and New Zealand citizens to start a business, undertake employment and apply for residency on Norfolk Island.
The department is also funding the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to project-manage a pest and diseases survey over two years. The findings of the survey will support the government's consideration of potential extensions of Australia's quarantine boundaries to Norfolk Island. This will help to further open the Norfolk Island economy by providing increased opportunities for trade with the mainland.
Effective governance arrangements in the Australian Capital Territory
The Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Amendment Act 2013 was enacted on 30 March 2013, giving the ACT Legislative Assembly the power to determine its numbers of members without reference to the Commonwealth. The Act does not change the size of the Legislative Assembly, but acknowledges its capacity to run its own affairs by granting it increased legislative autonomy, consistent with the success of the territory's self-governance over the past 25 years.
Centenary of Canberra
The Australian Government is supporting the Centenary of Canberra celebrations through a $67.7 million contribution between 2012 and 2016 towards three projects:
- Joint national program—The department is working with the ACT Government throughout 2013 on a program of events to celebrate Canberra's role as the national capital.
- Constitution Avenue upgrade—The department and the National Capital Authority are working with the ACT Government on upgrading Constitution Avenue. The upgrade is due to be completed in 2015.
- National Arboretum—The government's contribution supported development of several venues within the arboretum, which was officially opened to the public in 2013.
Improving water supplies in the Jervis Bay Territory
Potable water for the Jervis Bay Territory is sourced from the freshwater Lake Windermere. During 2012–13, the lake's pump and pontoon assembly were upgraded to improve the operational efficiency of the water delivery system. A project to upgrade the software that controls the alarms associated with the water and wastewater systems began in 2012–13 and will continue in 2013–14.
Fluoridation was introduced to the Jervis Bay Territory's water supply on 1 January 2013. The department worked on the project in partnership with NSW Government agencies, including the NSW Office of Water and NSW Health, and its contracted water systems manager. To assess the impact of fluoridation on oral health, the NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy has completed an initial baseline record of children's oral health and intends to track expected improvements over time.
The new houses at Drumsite Village, Christmas Island. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Siaw of GHD.)
Program 3.1 Arts and Cultural Development
Cultural Development, Including Indigenous Arts, Culture, Languages and Reparation
Through the Office for the Arts, the department administers programs and policies to ensure the sustainability of Australia's arts and cultural sector.
The department develops and promotes access to cultural activities, supports artistic production and development, protects and strengthens cultural heritage and expression and encourages opportunities for public engagement with arts and culture.
Table 12 summarises the department's performance against its key performance indicators for 2012–13, all of which were achieved.
Marri Ngarr Rak Dirrangarra children dance the Mosquito Dreaming for the launch of their book Awu Ngawak i Awu Djimbetj Yagatiya (Black and Yellow Mosquito Dreaming) at the Wadeye Festival. (Photo courtesy of Maree Klesch.)
Table 12: Program 3.1: Arts and cultural development—cultural development, including Indigenous arts, culture, languages and repatriation—performance results
|Key performance indicators||Resultsa|
Indigenous programs delivery Indigenous Australians' access to high-quality Indigenous cultural experiences was maintained during the reporting period, with over 330 activities funded. These activities were targeted under the Indigenous Culture, Languages and Visual Arts Program. Regional touring programs Following the release of the report of the review of the Australia Council on 15 May 2012, the Prime Minister approved the transfer of the regional touring programs (Playing Australia, Festivals Australia, Visions of Australia, the Contemporary Touring Initiative and the Contemporary Music Touring Program) to the Australia Council on 21 August 2012. The transfer was formally completed on 30 May 2013. Regional Arts Fund Access to arts and cultural experiences was provided through the Regional Arts Fund, with over 160 community grants projects delivered across regional and remote Australia.
2011–12 result: Substantially achieved
More than 330 Indigenous arts, culture and language activities were supported by the Indigenous Culture, Languages and Visual Arts Program. Of these activities, around 80 were in metropolitan Australia, more than 255 in regional Australia, including 155 in remote and very remote Australia, which included approximately $4.5 million to support 48 activities in priority remote service delivery Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. All projects funded met the key delivery requirements and program objectives set out in the program funding guidelines.
2011–12 result: Achieved
The Educational Lending Right and Public Lending Right programs ensured that access to Australian books in public and educational libraries was maintained or increased. Both programs provide payments to content owners in lieu of income lost through the free public availability of content. In 2012–13, 9,865 payments were made under the Educational Lending Right program and 7,901 payments were made under the Public Lending Right program.
2011–12 result: Achieved
The combined sales of all shortlisted titles, including those that subsequently won the six award categories, increased in the two months after the announcement of shortlisted titles, as compared with sales in the two months before the announcement. Sales of the six winning titles increased by between 65 and 700 per cent in the two months after the announcement of the award winners. The direct effect of the awards on book sales cannot be accurately quantified due to the impacts of other literary awards featuring a number of the same books and announced at different times in the year.
2011–12 result: Substantially achieved
Applications for the location and PDV offsets were assessed within the 15-week timeframe. More information on the department's role in processing offsets can be found in Appendix B.
2011–12 result: Achieved
All applications and referrals were processed and considered in accordance with the Act. Information on the operation of the Act in 2012–13 is provided in Appendix C.
2011–12 result: Achieved
In 2012–13 the seven national performing arts training organisations received operational funding totalling $16.907 million. These organisations provided elite training in a wide range of specialisations, including performance, design and production. This training benefited 1,174 enrolled students and participants in the 2012 academic year and will benefit 1,207 enrolled students and participants in the 2013 academic year. Beyond their core training, these organisations provide extension courses and tuition to more than 1,000 aspiring artists. One of the seven organisations, the National Institute of Dramatic Art, received $7.329 million in capital works funding to improve the Australian Government–owned facility in which it operates.
2011–12 result: Achieved
a Trend information provided where available.
National Cultural Policy
On 13 March 2013, the Australian Government released the national cultural policy, Creative Australia. In the lead-up to the release of the policy, the department supported the work of the national cultural policy reference group. The reference group, which comprised experts from across the arts and culture and creative industries, provided high-level advice throughout the development of the policy. This work built upon continuing intergovernmental dialogue and earlier public consultation processes coordinated by the department.
The department is responsible for implementing a number of key reforms and new initiatives announced as part of the policy, including reforms to the Australia Council and initiatives that support private sector investment in the arts.
National Arts and Culture Accord
On 12 April 2013, Australia's cultural ministers signed the first National Arts and Culture Accord. The accord is an agreement between the Australian Government, state and territory governments and local governments.
It sets out principles and a framework for all levels of government to collaborate on cross-jurisdictional issues across the arts, cultural heritage and creative industries and commits to the development of a work plan that identifies key areas of focused partnership for a period of three years.
The department led development of the accord through the working group of public sector officials for the Meeting of Cultural Ministers and is developing the underpinning triennial work plan in close consultation with state and territory officials and the Australian Local Government Association. The work plan will establish an agreed set of actions to be pursued by accord signatories, and progress will be reported to cultural ministers annually.
Australia Council reforms
The Australia Council Act 2013 and Australia Council (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Act 2013 received royal assent on 27 June 2013 and will commence on 1 July 2013. The Acts follow on from the review of the Australia Council, and update the functions, powers and governance structure of the council to bring it into line with other statutory authorities.
The reform of the Australia Council is the culmination of a number of years of work for the department, starting with the 2012 review, followed by the delivery, in the national cultural policy, of the government's response to the review, and culminating in the drafting and passage of the Acts.
The department has worked with the Australia Council and key arts stakeholders to ensure the council can continue to respond to the needs of a 21st century arts sector now and into the future.