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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2014-15

Budget 2014-15
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2014-15

Statement 8 (continued)

Contingent liabilities — unquantifiable

Agriculture

Compensation claims arising from equine influenza outbreak

The Australian Government may become liable for compensation should it be found negligent in relation to the outbreak of equine influenza in 2007.

Proceedings have commenced in the Federal Court of Australia by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers with Attwood Marshall Lawyers who represent a closed class of 586 applicants claiming damages as a result of the 2007 equine influenza outbreak. No final quantum of damages sought can be calculated. The Department of Finance which has responsibility for Comcover (the Australian Government's general insurance fund) has assumed responsibility for the potential claims under its insurance arrangements with the Department of Agriculture.

Emergency pest and disease response arrangements

National emergency response arrangements for animal, plant and environmental pest and disease outbreaks are largely funded through cost sharing agreements between Australian governments and, where relevant, agricultural industry bodies. Under the terms of the agreements, the Australian Government is typically liable for 50 per cent of total government funding to respond to a disease or pest outbreak. Limited funding is provided in the forward estimates for the Australian Government's contribution under emergency response agreements with States and Territories. This funding is unlikely to be sufficient to meet the unquantifiable costs of a major outbreak or large scale emergency response exercise.

The Australian Government may be expected to contribute bilaterally in situations where an incursion is not covered by a cost sharing agreement or where the relevant industry body is not party to an agreement. The Australian Government may also provide financial assistance to an industry party by funding its initial share of the response. These contributions may subsequently be recovered from the industry over a 10‑year period, usually by a levy.

Attorney‑General's

Native Title agreements — access to geospatial data

The Australian Government has entered into agreements with State and Territory government bodies and/or their agents to access their geospatial land tenure data, which is essential to support the National Native Title Tribunal in achieving its outcomes. Under these agreements, the Australian Government provides indemnities against third‑party claims arising from errors in the data.

Australian Victims of Terrorism Overseas Payment

The Social Security Amendment (Supporting Australian Victims of Terrorism Overseas) Act 2012 inserted Part 2.24AA into the Social Security Act 1991 (the Act) to create a scheme for providing financial assistance to Australians who are victims of an overseas terrorist act that has been declared by the Prime Minister. The scheme commenced on 22 January 2013. Under the scheme, Australians harmed (primary victims) and Australians who are close family members of a person who dies as a direct result of a declared terrorist act (secondary victims) will be able to claim payments of up to $75,000. As acts of terrorism are unpredictable, the cost of the scheme is unquantifiable.

Disaster Recovery

The Australian Government provides funding to States and Territories through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) to help pay for natural disaster relief and recovery costs. A State or Territory may claim NDRRA funding if a natural disaster occurs and State or Territory relief and recovery expenditure for that event meets the requirements set out in the NDRRA Determination. For major natural disasters, payments to individuals may be approved under the Social Security Act 1991. These include the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance. As natural disasters and their impacts are unpredictable, the cost of future disasters is unquantifiable and not included in the forward estimates.

Further, while the current forward estimates for the programme are based on the best information available at the time of preparation, preliminary estimates of the cost of a disaster and the timing of expenditure are subject to change and the total cost of relief and recovery from these events may not be completely realised for some years. Estimates of all natural disasters are regularly reviewed and revised by the States and Territories as new information becomes available, and this, or the occurrence of future natural disasters, can in turn significantly affect the Australian Government's estimated NDRRA liability and payments.

Severe tropical cyclone Ita recently struck Far North Queensland. There is a risk that a preliminary estimate of the Government's NDRRA liability as a result of tropical cyclone Ita will not be available for some time, as Queensland continues to assess the cost of recovery from the event. The total cost of relief and recovery from this event is unlikely to be completely realised for some years.

Native Title costs

The Australian Government can assist State and Territory governments in meeting certain Native Title costs pursuant to the Native Title Act 1993 (the NTA), including compensation costs. A National Partnership Agreement was executed in 2010 between the Australian Government and Victoria, under which the Australian Government provided a contribution towards the settlement of two native title claims. No other agreement has been entered into to date.

The Australian Government will also be liable for any compensation found to be payable under the NTA (and potentially also the Constitution) in respect of compensable acts for which the Australian Government is responsible. The Australian Government's liability in both scenarios cannot be quantified owing to uncertainty about the number and effect of compensable acts and the value of Native Title affected by those acts.

Communications

NBN Co Limited — Board Members' Insolvency Indemnity

The Australian Government has provided each Director of NBN Co with an indemnity against liability as a result of the Government failing to meet its funding obligations to NBN Co. The liabilities covered by this indemnity would be the same as those covered by the NBN Co Equity Agreement, with the exception of any legal expenses incurred by individual Directors arising from this indemnity. Directors are also indemnified in relation to claims arising out of their involvement in the negotiation and entry by NBN Co into the Financial Heads of Agreement with Telstra.

Defence

Cockatoo Island Dockyard

On 13 October 2001, Cockatoo Island Dockyard (CODOCK) commenced proceedings against the Australian Government (Defence) in the NSW Supreme Court seeking full reimbursement from the Australian Government for personal injury claims costs incurred by CODOCK after 31 October 1995 in relation to asbestos exposure. Following decisions in the NSW Supreme Court on 17 December 2004 and 4 February 2005, and the NSW Court of Appeal on 23 November 2006, CODOCK was awarded a complete indemnity from the Australian Government for its uninsured exposure to asbestos damages claims, plus profit of 7.5 per cent.

Land decontamination, site restoration and decommissioning of Defence assets

The Department of Defence (Defence) has made financial provision for the future estimates involved in land decontamination, site restoration and decommissioning of Defence assets where a legal or constructive obligation has arisen in relation to those underlying assets. For those decontamination, restoration and decommissioning activities for which there is no legal or constructive obligation, the potential costs have not been assessed and are unquantifiable. Where there is a possible legal or constructive obligation and potential costs are unquantifiable, these have been disclosed as a note to Defence's financial statements.

Defence non‑remote contingent liabilities

The Department of Defence has 15 instances of contingencies that are unquantifiable.

Employment

Job Services Australia — Employment Pathway Fund

The estimates for the Department of Employment Job Services Australia (JSA) programme include anticipated expenditure for the Employment Pathway Fund (EPF). The EPF provides a flexible pool of funding available to JSA providers to deliver assistance to job seekers to help them find and keep a job. Amounts are credited to the EPF based on a job seeker's assessed level of disadvantage. Experience with the EPF suggests that all credits will not be used during the life of the JSA contracts. The forward estimates do not include the value of residual credits from the EPF that are not expected to be spent during the current contract period.

Finance

ASC Pty Ltd — Directors' indemnities

The Australian Government has provided former Directors of the Australian Submarine Corporation Pty Ltd (ASC) with indemnities in relation to three matters: for any claim against them as a result of complying with the ASC's obligations under the Process Agreement between the Electric Boat Corporation (EBC), the Australian Government and the ASC; for any claim against them as a result of complying with the ASC's obligations under the Service Level Agreement between the ASC, the Department of Defence, EBC and Electric Boat Australia; and for any claims and legal costs arising from the Directors acting in accordance with the Board's tasks and responsibilities, as defined under the indemnity.

Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation — immunity and indemnity

The Governance of Australian Government Superannuation Schemes Act 2011 (the Governance Act) provides for specific immunities for activities undertaken in good faith by Directors and delegates of the board of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC), provided these activities relate to the performance of their functions. These immunities do not prevent CSC from being subject to any action, liability, claim or demand. Under the Governance Act, other than in cases where the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 or regulations under that Act do not so permit, any money that becomes payable by CSC in respect of an action, liability, claim or demand that relates to the superannuation schemes or funds for which it is responsible, is to be paid out of the relevant superannuation fund or if there is no fund, the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF). Amounts paid from a superannuation fund are reimbursed to the fund from the CRF.

Future Fund Management Agency and Future Fund Board of Guardians — indemnity

The Australian Government has provided certain staff members of the Future Fund Management Agency (FFMA) and the members of the Future Fund Board of Guardians (Board members) with Deeds of Indemnity. The indemnities are intended to cover liabilities in excess of the insurance policies of the Future Fund Board and its subsidiary entities and the Agency. Board members are indemnified in relation to the exercise of their powers and performance of their functions as members of the Future Fund Board of Guardians. Agency staff members are indemnified in connection with the performance of functions or the exercise of powers in their capacity as a Director or officer of Future Fund Board of Guardians investee companies and/or subsidiaries. Both staff members of the FFMA and Board members are indemnified, to the maximum extent permitted by law.

Agency staff members are not indemnified to the extent they are indemnified by an investee company or a subsidiary or they are paid under a Directors and Officers policy of the investee company or subsidiary or to the extent that they are granted and receive financial assistance under Appendix E of the Legal Services Directions. Both Board members and Agency staff members are not indemnified for conduct they engage in other than in good faith; or in respect of any liability owed to the Board or the Australian Government; or in respect of any act or omission that contravenes one of the civil penalty provisions of the Future Fund Act 2006 (the Future Fund Act). Board members and Agency staff are not indemnified for legal costs incurred by them in unsuccessfully defending or resisting criminal proceedings, or proceedings against a declaration that they have breached a civil penalty provision of the Future Fund Act. The indemnity is financially limited, in broad terms, to the value of the funds under management by the Future Fund Board of Guardians.

Googong Dam

On 4 September 2008, a 150 year lease for Googong Dam was signed between the Australian Government and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government. The Australian Government is liable to pay just terms compensation if the terms of the lease are breached by introducing new legislation or changing the Canberra Water Supply (Googong Dam) Act 1974 in a way that impacts on the rights of the ACT. The lease includes a requirement for the Australian Government to undertake rectification of easements or any defects in title in relation to Googong Dam, and remediation of any contamination it may have caused to the site. It also gives an indemnity in relation to acts or omissions by the Australian Government.

Indemnities for the Reserve Bank of Australia and private sector banks

In accordance with Government entities' contracts for transactional banking services, the Australian Government has indemnified the Reserve Bank of Australia and contracted private sector banks against loss and damage arising from error or fraud by the entity, or transactions made by the bank with the authority of the entity.

Indemnities relating to other former asset sales, privatisations and information technology outsourcing projects

Ongoing indemnities have been given in respect of a range of asset sales, privatisations and information technology (IT) outsourcing projects that have been conducted by the Department of Finance (Finance), and the former Office of Asset Sales and Commercial Support and its predecessors. The probability of an action being made under one of these indemnities diminishes over time. Details of indemnities in respect of the other asset sales and privatisations have been provided in previous Budget and MYEFO papers, and previous annual reports of Finance and the Office of Asset Sales and Commercial Support.

Indemnities (including the year they were raised) are still current for: ADI Ltd (1998), Australian Airlines (1991), Australian Industry Development Corporation (1996), Australian Multimedia Enterprise (1997), Australian National Rail Commission and National Rail Corporation Ltd (1997 and 2000), Australian River Co Ltd (1999), Australian Submarine Corporation Pty Ltd (2000), ComLand Ltd (2004), Bankstown Airport Limited (2002), Camden Airport Ltd (2002), Commonwealth Accommodation and Catering Services (1988), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (1993 to 1996), Commonwealth Funds Management and Total Risk Management (1996 to 1997), Employment National Ltd (2003), Essendon Airport Ltd (2001), Federal Airports Corporation's Airports (1995 to 1997), Housing Loans Insurance Corporation Ltd (1996), Health Insurance Commission (2000), Hoxton Park Airport Limited (2002), National Transmission Network (1999), Sydney Airports Corporation Ltd (2001), Telstra (1996, 1999 and 2006), and Wool International (1999). Apart from instances noted elsewhere, Finance does not currently expect any other action to be taken in respect of these indemnities.

Australian Government general insurance fund — Comcover

The Department of Finance (Finance) through Comcover, the Australian Government's general insurance fund, provides insurance and risk management services to the Australian Government general government sector. Finance's liability for outstanding claims, which includes the expected future cost of claims notified and claims incurred but not reported, is subject to inherent uncertainty in the estimation process.

Australian Government domestic property

The Australian Government's domestic property portfolio managed by the Department of Finance has approximately 100 properties. A small number of these have had potential remediation issues identified, which are currently the subject of further investigation. Except for one property at Lucas Heights NSW, none of the remaining properties with potential remediation issues has had a provision recognised as the conditions for neither legal nor constructive obligations have been met, nor is a reliable estimate of the obligation currently possible.

Litigation — Davis Samuel case

The Australian Government was subject to a counter‑claim for damages in legal action before the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court. The Australian Government is seeking to recover funds which were misappropriated from the former Department of Finance and Deregulation during 1998. The judgment, handed down on 1 August 2013, dismissed the counter claim against the Australian Government and found in favour of the Australian Government in its claims against the defendants. Final orders are yet to be made. The Court extended the time for appeals to 28 days after final orders are made.

Foreign Affairs and Trade

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation — board member and senior management indemnities

The Australian Government has provided indemnities to Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) board members and senior management to protect against civil claims and legal expenses for unsuccessful criminal claims relating to the implementation of EFIC's alliance/divestment of its short‑term export credit insurance business.

Health

Australian Medical Association

An agreement is held between the Australian Medical Association, the Australian Government, the Australian Private Hospitals Association Ltd, the Australian Health Insurance Association and Beyond Blue Ltd for participation in, and support of, the Private Mental Health Alliance and for the collection and analysis of a national minimum data set from private, hospital‑based psychiatric services. Each party to the agreement has agreed to indemnify each other in respect of any loss, liability, cost, claim or expense, misuse of confidential information, or breach of the Privacy Act 1988. Each party's liability to indemnify the other parties will be reduced proportionally to the extent that any unlawful or negligent act or omission of the other parties or their employees or agents contributed to the loss or damage. The indemnity survives the expiration or termination of the agreement.

Australian Red Cross Society — indemnities

Deeds of Agreement between the Australian Red Cross Society (the Red Cross) and the National Blood Authority in relation to the operation of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and the development of principal manufacturing sites in Sydney and Melbourne include certain indemnities and a limitation of liability in favour of the Red Cross. These cover defined sets of potential business, product and employee risks and liabilities. The indemnities and limitation of liability only operate in the event of the expiry and non‑renewal, or the earlier termination, of the Deed of Agreement relating to the operation of the Red Cross or the cessation of funding for the principal sites, and only within a certain scope. They are also subject to appropriate limitations and conditions including in relation to mitigation, contributory fault, and the process of handling relevant claims.

Blood and blood products liability cover

A National Managed Fund (NMF) has been established between the Australian Government, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (the Blood Service) and the State and Territory governments which spreads the liability risks associated with the supply of blood and blood products by the Blood Service. The NMF provides for liabilities incurred by the Blood Service where other available mitigation or cover is not available. Under certain conditions, the Australian Government and the State and Territory governments may jointly provide indemnity for the Blood Service through a cost sharing arrangement for claims, both current and potential, regarding personal injury and loss or damage suffered by a recipient of certain blood products. If there are insufficient funds in the NMF to cover claim costs, the Jurisdictional Blood Committee will consider a report provided by the National Funds Manager to determine the level of additional funds required. The Australian Government's share of any additional liability is limited to 63 per cent of any agreed net cost.

CSL Ltd

CSL Ltd (CSL) is indemnified against claims made by individuals who contract specified infections from specified products and against employees contracting asbestos‑related injuries. CSL has unlimited cover for most events that occurred before the sale of CSL on 1 January 1994, but has more limited cover for a specified range of events that occurred during the operation of the Plasma Fractionation Agreement from 1 January 1994 to 31 December 2004. Where alternative cover was not arranged by CSL, the Australian Government may have a contingent liability.

The Australian Fractionation Agreement with CSL Behring (Australia) Ltd, a subsidiary of CSL Ltd, which has operated since 1 January 2010, includes a requirement that the National Blood Authority make a defined payment to CSL Behring (Australia) Ltd, in certain circumstances only, in the event that the volume of plasma supplied annually to CSL Behring (Australia) Ltd is less than a specified amount.

Indemnities relating to vaccines

The Australian Government has provided an indemnity to the manufacturer of smallpox vaccine held by the Australian Government, covering possible adverse events that could result from the use of the vaccine in an emergency situation. Further, under certain conditions, certain indemnities have been provided to particular manufacturers of pandemic and pre‑pandemic influenza vaccines for the supply or future supply of influenza vaccines (including H1N1 and H5N1).

Medical Indemnity Exceptional Claims Scheme

In May 2003, the Australian Government announced that the Medical Indemnity Exceptional Claims Scheme was to assume liability for 100 per cent of any damages payable against a doctor that exceeds a specified level of cover provided by that doctor's medical indemnity insurer (currently $20 million). These arrangements would apply to payouts either related to a single large claim or to multiple claims that in aggregate exceed the cover provided by the doctor's medical indemnity insurer, and would apply to claims notified under contracts‑based cover since 1 January 2003.

New South Wales Health Administration Council — indemnity

The National Health Funding Body (NHFB) provided an indemnity to the New South Wales government through the New South Wales Health Administration Council (NSW HAC), in relation to a state funding pool account with the Reserve Bank of Australia. The indemnity includes liabilities or claims arising in relation to the NHFB in two respects:

  1. liabilities or claims arising from acts or omissions of NHFB staff as users of pool account information; and
  2. liabilities or claims arising from unauthorised access to the banking services or system from NHFB premises.

NSW HAC has provided a reciprocal indemnity for the actions of staff of the NHFB to the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Tobacco plain packaging litigation

In 2014‑15, the Government will continue to fund the defence of legal challenges to the tobacco plain packaging legislation in international forums. Further information about these cases has not been disclosed on the grounds that it may prejudice the outcomes of these cases or may relate to commercial information.

Immigration and Border Protection

Northern Maritime Patrol and Response — Triton

The Australian Government has entered into a contractual arrangement with Gardline Australia Pty Ltd until 31 December 2014 for the provision of a vessel to strengthen enforcement activities in Australia's northern waters. The contract with Gardline Australia contains unquantifiable indemnities relating to the use, or other operations, of armaments and the presence of armaments on the vessel. It also contains unquantifiable indemnities relating to damage to any property or injury to any person caused by the apprehended or escorted persons or their vessel.

Southern Ocean Maritime Patrol and Response Programme

The Australian Government has entered into a contract to provide a Civil Charter Vessel to conduct patrols in the Southern Ocean and northern waters to undertake law enforcement activities in relation to illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing as well as counter people smuggling activities. This contract will remain in force until 31 December 2014. The Australian Government's contract contains unquantifiable indemnities relating to the use or other operations of armaments and ammunition and the presence of armaments and ammunition on the vessel. It also contains unquantifiable indemnities relating to damage to any property or injury to any person caused by the apprehended or escorted persons or their vessels.

Immigration detention services by state and territory governments — liability limit

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has negotiated arrangements with a number of state and territory governments for the provision of various services (including health, education, corrections and policing services) to immigration detention facilities and people in immigration detention. Some jurisdictions are seeking indemnification by the Australian Government for the provision of those services.

In December 2013, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection wrote to the Minister for Finance seeking agreement under regulation 10 of the Financial Management and Accountability Regulations 1997 (FMA Regulations) for expenditure that may become payable under those arrangements.

In February 2014, the Minister for Finance agreed that DIBP may consider entering arrangements which include the proposed indemnities, based on the framework parameters. The Minister for Finance also proposed that the framework agreed by DIBP and the Department of Finance be varied to include all states and territories for the police and support services stream.


Jurisdictions
Service Streams
Health Education Corrections Police
New South Wales N/A $5 million per claim or event Uncapped liability $5 million per claim or event
Victoria/Western Australia Uncapped liability Uncapped liability N/A $5 million per claim or event
Queensland/Tasmania/
Australian Capital Territory/Northern Territory
N/A $5 million per claim or event N/A $5 million per claim or event
South Australia $5 million per claim or event $5 million per claim or event N/A $5 million per claim or event

Industry

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation — indemnity

The Australian Government has indemnified the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and its officers from any liability that might be incurred from the conduct of activities authorised under the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation Act 1987. This indemnity is in addition to commercial insurance cover obtained from the Comcover Insurance Pool and other insurers.

British atomic test site at Maralinga

The Australian Government is responsible for 14 unlimited indemnities relating to the Maralinga Rehabilitation Project (1995‑2000). In November 2009, the Australian Government agreed to the handback of the former nuclear test site — Maralinga section 400 — to the site's Traditional Owners, Maralinga Tjarutja. Under the terms of the Maralinga Nuclear Test Site Handback Deed, the Australian Government has indemnified the Maralinga Tjarutja people and the South Australian Government in respect of claims arising from test site contamination.

Gorgon liquefied natural gas and carbon dioxide storage project — long‑term liability

The Australian and Western Australian governments have agreed in principle to provide an indemnity to the Gorgon Joint Venture Partners (GJV) to indemnify the GJV against independent third‑party claims (relating to stored carbon dioxide) under common law following closure of the carbon dioxide sequestration project, and subject to conditions equivalent to those set out in the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. It is proposed that the Western Australian Government will indemnify the GJV, and that the Australian Government will indemnify the Western Australian Government for 80 per cent of any amount determined to be payable under that indemnity. The formal agreement between the Australian and Western Australian governments in relation to the indemnity is expected to be signed in 2014‑15.

Snowy Hydro Limited — water releases

The Australian, New South Wales and Victorian governments have indemnified Snowy Hydro Limited for liabilities arising from water releases in the Snowy River below Jindabyne Dam, where these releases are in accordance with the water licence and related regulatory arrangements agreed between the three governments. The indemnity applies to liabilities for which a claim is notified within 20 years from 28 June 2002.

Liability for costs incurred in a national liquid fuel emergency

The Australian Government has responsibility for the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984 (the Act). In addition, the Australian Government and State and Territory governments have entered into an inter‑governmental agreement in relation to a national liquid fuel emergency (IGA 2006). Under the IGA, the Australian Government agrees to consult IGA parties on a likely shortage and, if necessary after those consultations, to advise the Governor‑General to declare a national emergency under the Act.

The IGA also contains three areas where the Australian Government may incur expenses in the unlikely event of a national liquid fuel emergency. These relate to the direct costs of managing a liquid fuel emergency and include the possibility of the Australian Government reimbursing the State and Territory governments for costs arising from their responses, and potential compensation for industry arising from Australian Government directions under the Act.

Infrastructure and Regional Development

Indemnity provided to the New South Wales Rural Fire Fighting Service in relation to the Jervis Bay Territory

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is required to engage the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) to provide fire management support for the volunteer brigade located in the Jervis Bay Territory (JBT). To provide this service, the NSW RFS requires the Australian Government to provide an uncapped indemnity whereby the Australian Government would be liable for any damage caused as a result of the actions of the NSW RFS in the JBT while fighting a fire. The likelihood of an event occurring that may result in a liability for the Australian Government has been assessed as very remote and the risks are currently mitigated through the training and professional qualifications of the NSW RFS staff.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority incident costs

In the normal course of operations, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority is responsible for the provision of funds necessary to meet the clean‑up costs arising from ship‑sourced marine pollution and, in all circumstances, is responsible for making appropriate efforts to recover the costs of any such incidents. The Australian Government meets costs that cannot be recovered from such incidents. It is not possible to estimate the amounts of any eventual payments that may be required in relation to these incident costs. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has established a pollution response reserve of $10 million supported by a commercial line of credit of $40 million to provide funding should the overall clean‑up costs exceed the liability limit of the ship owner.

Social Services

Business Services Wage Assessment Tool

The Australian Government may potentially become liable for a significant range of costs following the Full Federal Court ruling (21 December 2012) that the use of the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) to assess the wages of two intellectually disabled employees constituted unlawful discrimination under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

The Australian Government's potential liability cannot be quantified at this time.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

In bilateral negotiations, the Australian Government has committed to provide temporary, untied financial assistance to some jurisdictions that expect to have their GST entitlements adversely affected during the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Under this commitment, the expected liability will depend on a range of factors including when all jurisdictions reach full scheme and any impact resulting from the Commonwealth Grants Commission's 2015 Methodology Review, scheduled to be completed in February 2015. The Review will consider the most appropriate treatment of disability services for GST distribution purposes, both during the transition to the NDIS and once the full scheme is operating nationally. Any impact on the Australian Government is not expected to occur before 2016‑17.

Treasury

Terrorism insurance — commercial cover

The Terrorism Insurance Act 2003 established a scheme for terrorism insurance covering damage to commercial property, including associated business interruption and public liability. The Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC) uses reinsurance premiums paid by insurers to meet its administrative expenses and to build a fund and purchase reinsurance to help meet future claims. The Australian Government guarantees to pay any liabilities of the ARPC, but the Treasurer must declare a reduced payout rate to insured entities if the Government's liability would otherwise exceed $10 billion.