This appendix provides mandatory information referenced in Part 5 Management and Accountability.
Advertising and market research
Under section 311(A) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, agencies are required to report in their annual report on payments made to advertising agencies, market research organisations, polling organisations, direct mail organisations and media advertising organisations.
During 2016–17, the ARC paid $969 for advertising costs to Dentsu Mitchell Media Australia Pty Ltd. The advertising consisted of non-campaign advertisements for ARC funding schemes.
During 2016–17, the ARC did not employ the services of any market research, polling or direct mail organisations.
Safe and healthy work environment
Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act), agencies are required to report in their annual report on the following matters:
- initiatives taken during the year to ensure the health, safety and welfare of ARC workers
- health and safety outcomes achieved as a result of these initiatives
- statistics of any notifiable incidents of which the ARC became aware during the year that arose out of the conduct of businesses or undertakings by the agency
- any investigations conducted during the year that related to businesses or undertakings conducted by the ARC, including details of all notices given to the entity during the year under Part 10 of the WHS Act
- such other matters as are required by the guidelines approved on behalf of the Parliament by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.
Health and safety initiatives
During the year the ARC continued to:
- hold Work Health and Safety (WHS) meetings
- provide first aid training to nominated first aid officers
- provide employer-subsidised eyesight testing for screen-based work
- provide training for fire wardens and health and safety representatives
- provide influenza vaccinations to employees and contractors
- organise workstation assessments where required
- provide online WHS training
- organise health checks.
Health and safety outcomes
No incident(s) were reported to the Director, People and Services, in accordance with the ARC’s incident notification and reporting procedures.
The ARC had no notifiable incidents during 2016–17. Under the WHS Act, a notifiable incident is one involving the death of a person, serious injury or illness of a person, or a dangerous incident.
Investigations including details of all notices
The ARC was not issued with any WHS notices and there were no WHS investigations undertaken during 2016–17.
Any other matters
There are no other matters required by the guidelines.
Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance
Under section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, Commonwealth entities have a statutory requirement to report against two criteria in their annual reports:
- how they accord with and contribute to ecologically sustainable development (ESD)
- their environmental performance, that is, the impact their activities have on the natural environment, how these are mitigated and how they will be further mitigated.
Accordance with and contribution to ESD
Under the National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP) the ARC provides funding support for research in all disciplines, including issues of national significance such as health, social welfare, defence, transport, communications, and the environment.
The ARC is also responsible for Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and the Engagement and Impact (EI) assessment. ERA identifies and promotes excellence across all research fields in Australia’s higher education institutions. Building on this knowledge enables the maximisation of research investment, the co-location of research expertise, collaboration across government and business and the realisation of innovation opportunities. The EI assessment examines how universities are translating their research into economic, social and other benefits and encourages greater collaboration between universities, industries and other end-users of research.
Accordance with principles of ESD
Accordance of the ARC’s activities with the ESD principles is outlined in Table A5.
|Integration: decision making processes should effectively integrate both long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations||Each NCGP funding scheme includes the selection criterion: Will the proposed research maximise economic, environmental, social, health and/or cultural benefit to Australia? Proposals are assessed through a competitive peer review process.|
|Intergenerational: if there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation||The NCGP provides funding for research in all disciplines including research relevant to ecologically sustainable development and environmental protection. ERA identifies and promotes excellence across all research fields in Australia’s higher education institutions. One aim is to build research excellence resulting in outcomes for Australia.|
|Biodiversity: the conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental consideration in decision-making||All ARC funded projects must comply with ethics and research practice requirements including the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research. The Code includes the requirement that researchers should conduct research so as to minimise adverse effects on the wider community and the environment.|
|Valuation: improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms should be promoted.||The ARC complies with the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines ensuring that any procurement takes into consideration, among other factors, the environmental sustainability of the proposed goods and services.|
Of 1346 NCGP projects awarded funding commencing in 2016–17, 185 involved research relevant to the Australian Government Science and Research Priority area of ‘Environmental Change’. These projects were allocated total funding of $152.4 million including:
- $33.8 million awarded to the 2017 ARC Centre of Excellence of Australian Biodiversity and Heritage. This centre aims to track the changes to Australia’s environment, to examine the processes responsible for the changes and the lessons that can be used to adapt to Australia’s changing environment
- $30.1 million awarded to the 2017 ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes—the world’s first fully integrated centre focussed explicitly on the understanding and prediction of climate extremes, launched in July 2017.
The ARC also funded a range of ongoing research projects conducting environment-related research. Examples of larger scale projects funded include:
- the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (established 2011) which is aimed at building on and improving existing understanding of the modelling of regional climates to enable enhanced adaptation to and management of climate change, particularly in the Australian region
- the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (established 2011) which will generate the fundamental knowledge and tools needed to make the best use of available resources for conservation. It will provide new techniques for assessing what resources are required and innovative ways for learning from our investment decisions
- the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrated Coral Reef Studies (established 2014) which aims to provide the scientific knowledge necessary for sustaining ecosystem goods and services of the world’s coral reefs, which support the livelihoods and food security of millions of people in the tropics.
The ARC’s daily operational activities have an impact on the environment through the use of electricity, vehicles, water, paper and other materials, and the generation of waste.
Measures to minimise this impact are outlined below.
The ARC leases office space in 11 Lancaster Place, Canberra Airport, Canberra. This location houses one of the largest tri-generation plants in Australia. Tri-generation is a process where natural gas is used as the single input source of energy to generate electricity. Excess energy that would have been lost during the production of electricity is used to heat the buildings in winter and cool them in summer.
In addition to producing three forms of energy, tri-generation provides efficiencies of 90 per cent. This far surpasses the Commonwealth Green Lease Requirement of 4.5 Star NABERS (the National Australian Building Environment Rating System). It also equates to less than half the carbon dioxide emissions of a 5 Star NABERS building.
ARC office lighting operates on motion sensors and automatically switches off if no movement is detected for a specified period of time.
The ARC undertakes an electrical audit of any personal devices to be used on ARC premises. The audit applies a reasonableness test, considering key priorities, including cost, productivity and environmental impact. Devices that do not meet the requirements of this test cannot be used on ARC premises.
In 2016–17, ARC staff participated in the ‘Earth Hour 2017’ initiative held on 25 March 2017. Earth Hour is a ‘lights out’ event designed to draw attention to tackling global warming. This year marked the tenth anniversary of the initiative as a global phenomenon.
In accordance with the Government’s Digital Transformation Policy the ARC has committed to digital information management practices and is transitioning to primarily digital record keeping.
In 2016–17, the ARC:
- conducted a stocktake to identify paper files that could be destroyed to help achieve more efficient storage and management
- upgraded its intranet to improve information sharing with staff. The intranet is the primary mechanism to engage with staff about matters affecting the whole agency
- established the Information Governance Committee. The Information Governance Committee is responsible for all information matters ranging from compliance, strategy and infrastructure to metadata standards and privacy.
Information and Communication Technology services
During 2016–17, the ARC continued to pursue the principles of the Government’s ICT Sustainability Plan, which ceased in 2015, including:
- sustainable procurement (for example, using recycled office paper and ensuring appropriate resource reuse or recovery for mobiles, toner cartridges and ICT equipment)
- managing resource consumption and demand (for example, monitoring desktop computers to printer ratios)
- managing waste (for example, ensuring e-waste is used or recycled and ICT packaging is recycled)
- managing energy consumption (for example, ensuring desk top computers are switched off after hours).
During 2017–18, the ARC will finalise a review of ICT services environmental reporting processes within the agency.