Services to Territories

What this Chapter Covers

This chapter describes the Department's services to territories portfolio Outcome 4, and reports on performance for individual programmes and administered items. The report includes:

  • an overview of the programme's functions and how the programme is delivered
  • a summary of the programme's results against key performance indicators, deliverables and targets
  • a summary of results for any administered items delivered by the programme in 2013–14, and
  • a detailed report on the programme's performance in 2013–14.

Outcome and Programme

Figure 6.1 shows the relationships between Outcome 4 and its programme, and identifies the business divisions of the Department responsible for delivering the programme.

Figure 6.1 Outcome 4 and Programme

Outcome 4
Good governance in the Australian territories through the maintenance and improvement of the overarching legislative framework for self-governing territories, and laws and services for non-self-governing territories.
Program
4.1 Services to Territories
Division or Office
  • Local Government and Territories
  • Policy and Research

Programme 4.1—Services to Territories

Highlights

The highlights for 2013–14 are set out below.

  • Emergency funding arrangements with the Norfolk Island Government were managed.
  • Work in accordance with the Norfolk Island Road Map for taxation and social security reforms was progressed.
  • A review of future service delivery options for the Jervis Bay Territory in consultation with the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales governments and the Jervis Bay Territory communities commenced.
  • A significant capital works programme was undertaken including: new housing on Christmas Island; an extension to the Christmas Island Hospital; upgrades to the air conditioning of the Christmas Island Hospital and Cocos (Keeling) Islands health clinics; and upgrades to existing infrastructure and plant and equipment in the Indian Ocean Territories; Jervis Bay Territory and on Norfolk Island.
  • Provision of services to the Indian Ocean Territories and Jervis Bay Territory communities to a standard comparable with equivalent state communities.
  • The functions and programmes relating to the Australian Capital Territory, including the Centenary of Canberra 2013, service delivery by the Australian Capital Territory Government and the National Capital Authority were administered.

Overview

Programme 4.1 was delivered through the work of the Local Government and Territories Division, with input from the Policy and Research Division. This programme contributes to Outcome 4 through administering the territories of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, the Coral Sea Islands and Jervis Bay Territory, and manages national interests in the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and Norfolk Island. This programme delivers services, provides funding support and undertakes capital works with the objective of ensuring that territory communities have access to similar services as equivalent state communities.

Summary of Performance

Tables 6.1 and 6.2 summarise the Department's results in delivering Programme 4.1 against the key performance indicators and deliverables and their targets published in the 2013–14 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.

Table 6.1 Summary of performance-Programme 4.1 key performance indicators

Key performance indicator Target Result
Frameworks are in place in the territories to provide the same rights and protections to citizens as the rest of Australia. Ongoing provision of appropriate frameworks. 2013–14
Achieved
2012–13
Achieved
2011–12
Achieved
2010–11
Achieved
The Department has continued to manage the administrative and governance frameworks for the non-self-governing territories to ensure the rights and protections of residents are comparable to equivalent state communities. New legislation was developed to improve rural fire arrangements in the Jervis Bay Territory.
State-type services are delivered efficiently and effectively to residents of the non-self-governing territories. Provision of efficient effective state-type services and grants with deliverables achieved. 2013–14
Achieved
2012–13
Achieved
2011–12
Achieved
2010–11
Achieved

In 2013–14 the Department delivered state-type services (including health and education) to the residents of the non-self-governing territories to a standard comparable with equivalent state communities. These services were delivered through various service delivery arrangements with Western Australian Government agencies, the Australian Capital Territory, and through commercial contracts.

State-type services (including health, education and major roads) were delivered to the residents of the territories to the same standard delivered in similar mainland communities.

Essential infrastructure meets the needs of communities, border protection and other national strategic priorities. Provision of appropriate infrastructure within the available budget. 2013–14
Achieved
2012–13
Partially
Achieved
2011–12
Achieved
2010–11
Achieved

The Department continued to provide public infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, ports and airports for residents of the non-self-governing territories. Construction of a hospital extension was completed on Christmas Island to enhance community health services. The new housing programme on Christmas Island was substantially completed, and this will alleviate some of the pressure on the local rental market.

Other projects to deliver essential infrastructure are in planning or budgeting processes.

The Australian Government supported the Centenary of Canberra 2013 celebrations through a $67.7 million contribution to ensure the essential infrastructure needs of the community are met.

Grant funding is targeted, supported by the community and fully utilised. A grant funding programme is conducted. 2013–14
Achieved
2012–13
Achieved
2011–12
Achieved
2010–11
Achieved
In 2013–14 the Department entered into 31 funding agreements valued at $1.4 million to support projects approved under the Indian Ocean Territories Community Grants Programme. The programme contributes to the development and community amenity of the Indian Ocean Territories with a focus on: supporting economic development; development of the territories' communities; improving liveability, culture and sense of community; and support for projects that sought to preserve, protect or promote the natural environment of the Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.
Inter-governmental agreements meet value-for-money criteria and deliver the required level of services to the territories. 37 service delivery arrangements are in place. 2013–14
Achieved
2012–13
Achieved
2011–12
Achieved
2010–11
Achieved

The Department had 37 service delivery arrangements in place.

The Department continued to develop new multi-year service delivery arrangement templates with the Western Australian Government. Existing service delivery arrangements with Western Australian Government agencies were extended for one year. The Department continues to review and monitor all current agreements to ensure they meet value-for-money criteria and deliver appropriate levels of service provision to the territories.

The Australian Government, in consultation with the National Capital Authority and the Australian Capital Territory Government, continues to work to provide services and activities to meet the needs of residents.

The Territories Law Reform Act 2010 is implemented to provide a sustainable financial governance and accountability framework for Norfolk Island. The ANAO's report of the Norfolk Island Government's 2012–13 Financial Statements to be tabled in Parliament. 2013–14
Substantially
Achieved
2012–13
Partially
Achieved
2011–12
Achieved
2010–11
Substantially
Achieved
The ANAO's audit report of the Norfolk Island Government's 2012–13 financial statements was tabled in Parliament on 27 March 2014. This is consistent with the requirements outlined in the Territories Law Reform Act 2010. Reforms to Norfolk Island's electoral system are on-track to be finalised before the next Norfolk Island election in 2016.
Long term financial and governance reform for Norfolk Island is achieved through constructive partnerships with the Norfolk Island Government and the community.

Manage effective implementation of Road Map for Norfolk Island.

Manage funding agreement in accordance with milestones and deliverables.

Effectively manage air services agreement contract.

2013–14
Achieved
2012–13
Partially
Achieved
2011–12
Achieved
2010–11
Achieved
Initiatives in the 2013–14 funding agreement have been undertaken to progress financial and governance reforms as outlined in the Norfolk Island Road Map. All milestones were either achieved or had progressed during 2013–14 and payments to the Norfolk Island Government reflected this. The Department has worked collaboratively with the Norfolk Island Government and administration to achieve the outcomes specified in the 2013–14 funding agreement. Payments were also made to Air New Zealand consistent with the underwriting costs in the commercial arrangement which has been extended until July 2016 to ensure regular flights to and from Norfolk Island.
Sustainable economic, environmental and social policies are progressively implemented in the Indian Ocean Territories. Three initiatives are undertaken in 2013–14. 2013–14
Achieved
2012–13
Achieved
2011–12
Achieved
2010–11
Achieved
The Department continued to develop and implement policies for the Indian Ocean Territories including a range of programmes and governance reforms which will have economic, environmental and social benefits for the Indian Ocean Territories communities such as the establishment of a market garden on Christmas Island, the Community Development Grants Programme and the management of the lease for the phosphate mine.
The roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth and the Australian Capital Territory Government in the national capital are clarified. Shared understanding of respective roles and responsibilities. 2013–14
Achieved
2012–13
Achieved
2011–12
Achieved
2010–11
Substantially
Achieved
The Department continues to work closely with the Australian Capital Territory Government to ensure clarity of roles and responsibilities.

Result Key
Achieved All targets for 2013–14 were met or exceeded.
Substantially achieved Targets were mostly met, and any issues are being managed.
Partially achieved Some targets were met, and any issues are being managed.
Not achieved None or minimal progress was made against targets in 2013–14.
* Result trend data not available.

Table 6.2 Summary of performance-Programme 4.1 deliverables

Deliverable Target Result
Community services, infrastructure, and legal frameworks and processes in the territories are similar to comparable mainland communities. Ongoing provision of appropriate services, essential infrastructure and legal frameworks and processes. The Department continued to manage the administrative and governance frameworks for the non-self-governing territories to ensure the rights and protections of residents are comparable to equivalent state communities. New legislation was developed to improve rural fire arrangements in the Jervis Bay Territory.
Social and economic links to the wider Australian community are strengthened. An economic development strategy is implemented. An economic development strategy is underway. The Department continued to strengthen existing linkages to the wider Australian community to break down issues regarding the isolation of the territories. The Department also worked with the relevant administrators to foster economic development opportunities.
Reforms to promote long term financial sustainability and improved governance are progressed on Norfolk Island.

Manage the effective implementation of the Road Map for Norfolk Island.

Manage funding agreements and contracts in accordance with milestone and deliverables.

The Department is funding work to help expand and diversify the Norfolk Island economy and support the long term sustainability of the community. This funding has been provided through a funding agreement arrangement which makes funding contingent on the Norfolk Island Government achieving key reforms including goals outlined in the Norfolk Island Road Map. The Department also funds the ANAO to undertake an audit of the Norfolk Island Government's annual financial statements, and continues to fund the Department of Agriculture's pests and diseases survey which will support the Australian Government's consideration of potential extension of Australia's quarantine boundaries to Norfolk Island. This will further help open the Norfolk Island economy by providing increased opportunities for trade with the mainland.
Essential infrastructure in the Indian Ocean Territories is maintained and upgraded consistent with the capital management plan.

Four major infrastructure projects are either completed or substantially progressed.

30–40 other capital projects to be completed.

The Department completed a significant capital works programme which included: new housing on Christmas Island; an extension to the Christmas Island Hospital; upgrades to the air conditioning of the Christmas Island Hospital and Cocos (Keeling) Islands health clinics; and upgrades to existing infrastructure and plant and equipment in the Indian Ocean Territories. A programme of preventative maintenance was also carried out across the year for each asset class, including health, power, ports and airports assets. Two major projects were completed and two were substantially progressed. Fifty two other capital projects were completed.

Did you know?

Norfolk Island is just 35 square kilometres in size with 32 kilometres of coast line. There are 80 kilometres of lane ways across the island and cows still have the right of way.

Source: Norfolk Island Visitor Information Centre website.

Table 6.3 provides a summary of the results achieved by each of the administered items under Programme 4.1.

Table 6.3 Summary of performance-Programme 4.1 administered items

Administered Item Result
Australian Capital Territory Government—national capital functions Funding of $1.7 million was provided to the Australian Capital Territory Government for the provision of: the French Australian School; distance education lessons for children of Australian Government officers overseas; International Baccalaureate; curatorial services to the Nolan Collection; registration and licensing of diplomatic vehicles; and registration of overseas births, deaths and marriages.
Centenary of Canberra 2013—joint national programme The Department worked closely with the Australian Capital Territory Government and National Capital Authority to ensure the delivery of the $67.7 million contribution from the Australian Government to the Centenary of Canberra 2013 projects. All projects have been completed and are now open to the public with the exception of the Constitution Avenue upgrade which is expected to be completed in late 2015.
Christmas Island Phosphate Mining Rehabilitation The programme's aim is to restore rainforest on relinquished mine sites to create biodiversity. The Department provided $1.4 million in 2013–14 for the continuation of field maintenance work across 130 hectares, biophysical monitoring, propagation and maintenance of plants and earthworks plus new plantings across six hectares.
Christmas Island Phosphate Mining Rehabilitation The programme's aim is to restore rainforest on relinquished mine sites to create biodiversity. The Department provided $1.4 million in 2013–14 for the continuation of field maintenance work across 130 hectares, biophysical monitoring, propagation and maintenance of plants and earthworks plus new plantings across six hectares.
Norfolk Island—Commonwealth administration The Department administered $0.7 million in 2013–14 for the Office of the Norfolk Island Administrator including the running and maintenance of Government House which was built in 1829.
Norfolk Island—Kingston and Arthur's Vale historic area The Department contributed $0.6 million for the preservation and maintenance of the Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area which was celebrated as one of the 11 World Heritage Australian Convict Sites on 31 July 2010.
Norfolk Island—reforms and services $7.6 million was provided in 2013–14 to progress financial and governance reforms on Norfolk Island and to provide assistance to the Norfolk Island Government for the delivery of local services including the continuation of a pest and disease survey.
Office of Administrator, Northern Territory $0.3 million was allocated to support the activities of the Office of the Administrator Northern Territory.
Services to Indian Ocean Territories $118.5 million was provided in 2013–14 for operational expenses relating to the Indian Ocean Territories. In administering the Indian Ocean Territories, the Department: develops policy advice and legislation to maintain effective systems of governance; administers service delivery agreements; delivers and supports state and local government services, including health, power and grant funding; and manages a capital works programme to maintain, replace and modernise the Indian Ocean Territories' infrastructure.
Services to Jervis Bay Territory $6.7 million was provided in 2013–14 for services to the Jervis Bay Territory. The Department facilitated and funded the delivery of a range of state and local government-type services under various arrangements with commercial contractors, Shoalhaven City Council, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales governments. In administering the Jervis Bay Territory, the Department: provided shopfront customer services; supported the work of local committees in emergency management and environmental health; managed a capital works programme and operational budget; provided policy advice and legislation to maintain effective systems of governance; and provided funding support for the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council to carry out local government and land council activities on their land.

Note: The budget and actual expenditure for each administered item is listed in Appendix A.

Detailed Report on Performance

The following report is against the components of Programme 4.1 in the 2013–14 Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements.

Economic and Social Sustainability

The Department delivered services and contributed to the economic and social sustainability of the external territories through a variety of resources including through service delivery arrangements with state agencies, commercial contracts and the Australian Government. Details of these services are outlined under the following Indian Ocean Territories and Norfolk Island sections.

Indian Ocean Territories

Funding of Shires

The Department provided funding of $3.5 million to Christmas Island and $2.3 million to Cocos (Keeling) Islands through Financial Assistance Grants for the delivery of local government services.

Community Development Grants

The communities of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands had the opportunity to access up to $1.5 million in grant funding in 2013–14 to contribute to the development and community amenity of the Indian Ocean Territories. The grant funding focused on supporting economic development, development of communities, improving liveability culture and sense of community and support for projects that sought to preserve, and protect or promote the natural environment. The programme received 57 applications for funding seeking over $3.5 million in grant funding. 31 projects were awarded grant funding to support community organisations and events, arts and culture, sports, the environment, education, health, emergency services and utilities.

Christmas Island Market Garden

The Department and the Western Australia Department of Lands (with the assistance of an independent agriculture expert) evaluated submissions received in response to the expression of interest for the market garden site. Approval has been provided for a particular proponent to be invited to lease the allocated land subject to final legal advice.

Norfolk Island

The Department continued to progress taxation and social services reforms on Norfolk Island in accordance with the established Road Map. The Department also supported the management of the Kingston and Arthur's Vale Historic Area which is a vital tourism asset for the Norfolk Island community and supported the Office of the Administrator on Norfolk Island.

Delivery of State Governmental Equivalent Services

In 2013–14 the Department delivered state-type services (including health and education) to the residents of the non-self-governing territories to a standard comparable with equivalent state communities. These services were delivered through various service delivery arrangements with the Western Australian Government, the Australian Capital Territory Government and through commercial contracts.

A review of future service delivery options for the Jervis Bay Territory was commenced with the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales governments. Initial consultations were held with the Jervis Bay Territory community.

Managing the Australian Government's Interests

The Australian Government, in consultation with the National Capital Authority and the Australian Capital Territory Government, continues to work to deliver agreed actions, to clarify mutual roles and responsibilities and support the ongoing implementation of key projects related to the Centenary of Canberra 2013.

The Australian Government continued to support the Administrator of the Northern Territory and provided funding of $0.3 million.

Funding of $1.7 million was provided to the Australian Capital Territory Government for the provision of: the French Australian School; distance education lessons for children of Australian Government officers overseas; International Baccalaureate; curatorial services to the Nolan Collection; registration and licensing of diplomatic vehicles; and registration of overseas births, deaths and marriages.

The Department engaged with the National Capital Authority to progress activities such as paid parking on national capital land.

A $67.7 million contribution from the Australian Government to four Centenary of Canberra 2013 projects was delivered in 2013–14 including:

  • the joint national programme of activities to celebrate the Centenary of Canberra 2013
  • the commencement of the Constitution Avenue upgrade
  • the official opening of the Arboretum, including the Pavilion and the Children's Play Space, and
  • the establishment of a tourist walking trail to Parliament House.

The Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories released reports on Amenity in the Parliamentary Triangle and Diplomatic Leasing. Responses to the reports were developed.

State-type services (including health and education) were delivered to the residents of the Jervis Bay Territory to a standard comparable with equivalent state communities.

A review of future service delivery options for the Jervis Bay Territory was commenced with the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales governments. Initial consultations were held with the Jervis Bay Territory community.

Did you know?

Christmas Island is a dot in the Indian Ocean located 2,600 kilometres north-west of Perth, Western Australia. Even though it is an Australian Territory its closest neighbour is Java, 360 kilometres away.

Source: Christmas Island Tourism Association website.

CASE STUDY

Indian Ocean Territories Community Development Grants

a photograph of community houses in Australia

The Indian Ocean Territories Community Development Grants Programme was an Australian Government initiative in 2013–14 designed to provide up to $1.5 million in grant funding to projects which contribute to the development and community amenity of the Indian Ocean Territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

The programme enabled local government organisations, community groups and community members to apply for funding for projects that supported community, economic and social development and promoted the natural environment of the territories. There was strong interest from community groups with 57 applications received seeking over $3.5 million in grant funding. In total 31 projects were awarded funding to support community organisations, events, arts and culture, sports, the environment, education, health, emergency services and utilities.

Among the applications awarded funding was the Mining to Plant Enterprise Stage 2 Project. This Project aims to build on scientific findings from Mining to Plant Enterprise Stage 1 to develop a broad acre merchandised crop development on previously mined land on Christmas Island.

The Project aims to facilitate the introduction of agriculture as a new economic driver on Christmas Island and to develop a sustainable food chain using pulse legumes as the primary source to support small agri-businesses such as poultry, aquaculture and horticulture and to reduce Christmas Island's reliance on food imports.

Specifically this project aims to develop:

  • a six to eight hectare pre-commercial crop development trial
  • a rotational crop trial for food and feed production introducing a variety of crops such as dry rice, sorghum, chia, quinoa and small-scale plots with mushrooms and guar
  • a small-scale shrub trial to test perfume and lumber species for future environmental corridors
  • the initial phase of a whole-of-island microbial prospecting research to identify existing well-adapted micro-organisms that facilitate plant growth and phosphate solubilisation
  • the initial phase of a whole-of-island insect prospecting research to identify species that could be domesticated as a sustainable source of protein to be combined with legumes in aquaculture feed
  • a waste recovery trial, and
  • a fruit and vegetable ‘How to Grow’ guide that combines local experience with scientific input to assist the community in improving domestic gardening techniques.

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Last Updated: 3 February, 2015