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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2015-16

Budget 2015-16
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2015-16

Part 2: Expense Measures (continued)

Attorney‑General's

Arts and Cultural Programmes — efficiencies

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Attorney‑General's Department .. ‑0.7 ‑0.5 ‑0.5 ‑0.5
Screen Australia ‑0.9 ‑0.9 ‑0.9 ‑0.9
Australia Council ‑1.8 ‑1.8 ‑1.8 ‑1.8
Total — Expense .. ‑3.4 ‑3.3 ‑3.3 ‑3.3

The Government will achieve savings of $13.2 million over five years through efficiencies to arts and cultural programmes administered by the Australia Council, Screen Australia and the Attorney‑General's Department.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Attorney‑General's Portfolio — efficiencies

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Attorney‑General's Department ‑6.2 ‑6.2 ‑7.0 ‑12.6 ‑22.2

The Government will achieve savings of $54.2 million over five years from 2014‑15 through a reduction in departmental funding for the Attorney‑General's Department and efficiencies to a range of administered programmes.

This includes maintaining current funding levels for the Family Relationship Services Programme, Grants to the Australian Organisations Programme, the Australia New Zealand Counter Terrorism Committee and the provision of payments to the International Criminal Court. There will also be a redirection of funding for discretionary legal assistance to ensure a more targeted approach.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Australian Federal Police — future engagement with the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian Federal Police

The Government will provide $1.9 million over two years from 2015‑16 for the Australian Federal Police's (AFP) United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. The funding will support the current mission while commencing a drawdown of the AFP's resourcing in Cyprus, leading to a total withdrawal by 30 June 2017.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the AFP's existing resources.

Biometrics Identification Services

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
CrimTrac Agency 0.7

The Government will provide $0.7 million in 2015‑16 for CrimTrac to finalise the development of a Biometrics Identification Services system business case. The new system is intended to replace CrimTrac's National Automated Fingerprint Identification System.

Disaster Relief

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Attorney‑General's Department 41.4 11.9

The Government will provide $41.4 million in 2014‑15 and $11.9 million in 2015‑16 to individuals affected by disasters through the Disaster Recovery Payment, Disaster Recovery Allowance and ex‑gratia payments to New Zealand citizens for bushfires and cyclones in South Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia, and New South Wales.

Payments to individuals suffering hardship from natural disasters are in addition to those made by the Commonwealth Government to the states for the reconstruction of roads and infrastructure destroyed by natural disasters under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements. (NDRRA). The Government will also provide up to $3.1 million to support primary producers affected by Tropical Cyclone Olwyn in Western Australia under NDRRA.

Further information can be found in the press releases issued by the Minister for Justice on the Australian Government Disaster Assist website.

Legal Assistance Funding — extension

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Attorney‑General's Department 13.0 12.4
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet ‑11.5
Total — Expense ‑11.5 13.0 12.4

The Government will provide funding of $25.5 million over two years for certain legal assistance programmes.

The measure is comprised of:

  • $12.0 million over two years to continue the supplementary funding allocated to various community legal centres;
  • $11.5 million over two years to continue funding for the Indigenous Legal Assistance Programme; and
  • $2.0 million over two years to restore funding to the Expensive Commonwealth Criminal Cases Fund.

The funding for this measure will be offset from within the Indigenous Affairs and Attorney‑General's Portfolios.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 26 March 2015 issued by the Attorney‑General and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women.

National Partnership on Legal Assistance Services — continuation

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of the Treasury 40.0 42.2 30.1 30.6
Attorney‑General's Department ‑40.0 ‑42.2 ‑30.1 ‑30.6
Total — Expense

The Government will provide $1.0 billion over four years for a new National Partnership on Legal Assistance Services for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2020, including $1.0 million over four years in departmental funding redirected to states and territories (states) to support this work.

Under the new National Partnership to be negotiated with the states, the Commonwealth will continue to provide funding for Legal Aid Commissions, and will transfer Commonwealth funding for Community Legal Centres to the states. The agreement will also provide a basis for increased flexibility in matching resource allocations to needs.

Funding will continue to be provided through the Attorney‑General's Department for the Community Legal Support Programme ($11.1 million over four years) and the Expensive Commonwealth Criminal Cases Fund ($11.5 million over four years).

Funding for this measure has already been provided for by the Government.

See also the related expense measure Legal Assistance Funding — extension.

National Programme for Excellence in the Arts — establishment

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Attorney‑General's Department 27.7 27.7 28.0 26.6
Australia Council ‑27.7 ‑27.7 ‑28.0 ‑26.6
Total — Expense

The Government will provide $104.7 million over four years to establish a National Programme for Excellence in the Arts, administered by the Ministry for the Arts within the Attorney‑General's Department. The programme will deliver on a number of Government priorities including providing national access to quality arts and cultural experiences.

The Government will also provide $5.3 million over three years for the continuation of Creative Partnerships Australia's Plus1 matched funding programme. This programme generates private sector support for the arts through matched funding initiatives.

The cost of this measure will be met by redirecting equivalent funding from the Australia Council.

National Security — Combating Terrorist Propaganda in Australia

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Attorney‑General's Department 5.4 5.3 5.4 5.5

The Government will provide $21.7 million over four years to limit the impact of extremist narratives on domestic audiences. The programme seeks to reduce the ability of terrorist groups to nurture extremists through the internet and social media. This measure forms part of the Government's strategy to counter violent extremism.

The measure will support development of social media monitoring and analysis capabilities to better understand extremist narratives and how they affect Australians. It will also seek to reduce extremist material online by working with the Australian Communications and Media Authority, the private sector, and international partners.

The public will be encouraged to support this measure through the introduction of the Report Online Extremism tool. Funding will also be provided to community groups to assist them in working with vulnerable individuals to reject terrorist propaganda.

Further information can be found in the press release of 19 February 2015 issued by the Attorney-General.

This national security measure underlines the Government's commitment to a safe and secure Australia.

National Security — Implementation of mandatory telecommunications data retention

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Attorney‑General's Department 65.0 52.5 13.8
Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman 1.8 1.5 1.5 1.5
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner 1.1
Australian Human Rights Commission 1.1 1.0 1.0
Australian Federal Police
Australian Crime Commission
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
Australian Communications and Media Authority
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet ‑1.1 ‑0.8 ‑0.8 ‑0.8
Total — Expense 66.8 54.4 15.5 1.7
Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman 0.4

The Government will provide $153.8 million over four years to support the implementation and ongoing management of the mandatory telecommunications data retention regime established by the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015.

The funding comprises:

  • $131.3 million over three years for a program of grants for telecommunications service providers to assist them to develop the capability to meet the data retention obligations;
  • $10.6 million over four years for various agencies to provide technical guidance to the telecommunications industry, undertake risk and technical assessments and support the development of standards and specifications for data retention systems;
  • $6.7 million over four years for the Commonwealth Ombudsman to meet new statutory oversight responsibilities;
  • $4.2 million over four years for the Privacy Commissioner to provide oversight of privacy implications arising from the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Act 2015 and the Counter‑Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Act 2014; and
  • $1.0 million over four years for the Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA) to undertake enforcement action to ensure telecommunications service providers comply with data retention obligations.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 26 March 2015 issued by the Minister for Communications and the Attorney‑General.

This national security measure underlines the Government's commitment to a safe and secure Australia.

National Security — Operation Sovereign Borders — Disruption Deterrence Task Group — continuation

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
Australian Federal Police .. ..
Total — Expense .. ..
Australian Federal Police .. ..

The Government will provide $12.5 million to extend the activities of the Operation Sovereign Border's Disruption Deterrence Task Group (DDTG) for a further two years. This funding will enable the continuation of intelligence gathering, disruptions and joint policing operations.

The DDTG is a joint effort led by the Australian Federal Police, together with the Australian Signals Directorate, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Crime Commission. Agency funding will be provided from within existing resources.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.

This national security measure underlines the Government's commitment to a safe and secure Australia.

Native Title Respondents Scheme — extension

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Attorney‑General's Department 0.8 1.6 1.7 1.7

The Government will provide $5.8 million over four years to extend the Native Title Respondents Scheme. The scheme provides assistance for the legal costs of respondents to native title claims, and assists industry representative bodies with Native Title Officer costs.

This measure extends the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2013‑14 measure titled Restoring Native Title Respondent Funding.

Safeguarding Law Enforcement Integrity — continuation

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7
CrimTrac Agency ‑0.1 ‑0.1 ‑0.1 ‑0.1
Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre ‑0.2 ‑0.2 ‑0.2 ‑0.2
Department of Agriculture ‑0.5 ‑0.5 ‑0.5 ‑0.5
Total — Expense

The Government will provide $2.9 million over four years from 2015‑16 for the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) to continue its activities relating to the 2013‑14 expansion of ACLEI's jurisdiction to include CrimTrac, the Department of Agriculture and the Australian Transaction Reports Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

The cost of this measure will be fully offset by the relevant agencies.

Smaller Government — Attorney‑General's Portfolio

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner 1.7
National Gallery of Australia ‑0.1 ‑0.1 ‑0.1 ‑0.1
Total — Expense 1.6 ‑0.1 ‑0.1 ‑0.1

The Government will further reduce the number of government bodies by abolishing the Administrative Review Council with residual functions to be managed by the Attorney‑General's Department.

Building on 2014‑15 Budget measures to achieve efficiencies from government bodies in the Attorney‑General's Portfolio, further savings of $0.4 million over four years have been identified from the National Gallery of Australia by extending its outsourced security and guarding functions.

Transitional funding of $1.7 million will be provided to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner for its functions in 2015‑16, pending the implementation of the measure Smaller Government — Privacy and Freedom of Information functions — new arrangements.

This measure is part of the fourth phase of Smaller Government reforms which reduce the size and complexity of government.

The Smaller Government reforms are eliminating duplication and waste, streamlining services and reducing the cost of government administration.

Streamlining and Improving the Sustainability of Courts

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Family Court and Federal Circuit Court 4.6 2.3 3.1 4.0
Federal Court of Australia 2.2 0.3 0.6 0.8
Total — Expense 6.8 2.6 3.7 4.9
Family Court and Federal Circuit Court 16.1 17.2 17.5 18.8
Federal Court of Australia 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.8
Total — Revenue 20.4 21.5 21.9 23.6
Department of Finance 7.9 11.4 6.1 4.6
Federal Court of Australia 0.7 0.6 0.3 0.4
Family Court and Federal Circuit Court 1.2 0.7 0.8
Total — Capital 8.6 13.1 7.1 5.7

The Government will provide funding of $22.5 million over four years to streamline and improve the sustainability of the Family Court, Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia (the Courts). In addition, the Courts will enhance their sustainability through greater efficiencies, including merging their corporate functions from 1 July 2016.

The Government will also provide $30.0 million to the Department of Finance for refurbishment of Court buildings. Refurbishments will include improvements to holding cells consistent with the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, and improvements to the safety of child dispute conference areas.

The cost of this measure will be met through additional revenue of $87.4 million over four years from changes to the fee structures for the Courts.