Summary of performance

​​​​​In 2012–13, we met or expected to meet 107 of our 125 key performance indicators across two outcomes and 15 programs, as outlined in the Portfolio budget statements and Portfolio additional estimates statements. Our performance against these indicators is shown in the tables at the start of each program in Part 3: Report on performance.

Ten key performance indicators were ‘partially met’ in 2012–13. Four indicators were not applicable and only four indicators for the year were ‘not met’.

Outcome 1

More sustainable, productive, internationally competitive and profitable Australian agricultural, food and fibre industries through policies and initiatives that promote better resource management practices, innovation, self-reliance and improved access to international markets.

Program 1.1: Tackling climate change

We continued to build the capacity of primary producers to adapt and adjust to climate change:

  • making nine methodologies available for agriculture-related activities under the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), as well as farm forestry and establishing long-rotation plantations
  • helping Regional Landcare Facilitators reach approximately 18 000 primary producers, landholders, foresters, extension officers and local communities to promote opportunities under the CFI
  • supporting innovation to tackle climate change, with grants under the Filling the Research Gap, Action on the Ground, and Extension and Outreach programs
  • providing access to financial support, with 743 farmers receiving the Transitional Farm Family Payment.

We met six of our seven key performance indicators:

  • the indicator for establishing a national network of extension officers under the Clean Energy Future program was ‘partially met’. The first projects for this task are underway.

Program 1.2: Sustainable management—natural resources

We continued successful Caring for our Country initiatives to strengthen the capacity of primary producers to develop and use sustainable resource management practices:

  • finalising Phase 1 of Caring for our Country and preparing for the commencement of Phase 2, including a new Sustainable Agriculture stream from July 2013
  • continuing support for Landcare, including regional facilitators who are helping more than 50 000 farmers and land managers to improve their knowledge and skills
  • supporting Australia’s new Advocate for Soil Health to raise awareness of the importance of soil health in meeting global challenges
  • supporting the release of Australia’s Native Vegetation Framework
  • working with stakeholders to implement priority activities in the national strategies for weed and pest animal management.

We met or expected to meet 11 of our 13 key performance indicators. Performance against indicators under Caring for our Country is assessed through annual report cards. The 2012–13 report card is due to be released in October 2013.

Two indicators were ‘partially met’:

  • the implementation of changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 continues
  • the target to improve the quality and extent of national data on soils and land management practices was ‘partially met’ as there are limited resources to invest in soil information.

Program 1.3: Forestry industry

We continued to enable a productive and sustainable Australian forestry industry:

We met six of the nine key performance indicators for this program:

  • the completion of the Asia–Pacific forestry skills initiative was ‘not met’. While the two projects under the initiative made significant progress in 2012–13, both were extended into 2013–14 at no additional cost
  • the target of tabling Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) reports for Tasmania and Western Australia was ‘not met’, as the five-yearly RFA reviews were not completed
  • the indicator for the extension of RFAs was also ‘not met’. The reviews of the RFAs for Tasmania and for East Gippsland in Victoria have been delayed pending decisions on bundling the five Victorian RFAs into a single review and implementing the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement 2013.

Program 1.4: Fishing industry

We continued to support and encourage productive and sustainable fishing and aquaculture industries:

  • supporting an independent review of fisheries legislation. The review found that the management of Commonwealth fisheries is in good shape but improvements can be made in the areas of policy coverage, transparency and stakeholder communication
  • completing reviews of the Commonwealth Fisheries Harvest Strategy Policy and Guidelines and the Commonwealth Polic​y on Fisheries Bycatch
  • leading negotiations for a new treaty to strengthen fisheries management in the Pacific region
  • releasing ABARES’ first Status of key Australian fish stocks report, providing an assessment of state and territory managed fisheries as well as Commonwealth managed fisheries.

We met 10 of the 11 key performance indicators for this program:

  • the target for completion of projects under the National Recreational Fishing Strategy was ‘partially met’. Three of the 10 projects may not be completed until mid-2014 because of rescheduled start dates or extended timelines for implementation.

Program 1.5: Horticulture industry

We continued to advance and improve the competitiveness of Australia’s horticulture, food and beverage industries:

  • starting the removal of horticulture export efficiency powers
  • supporting the wine industry, with legislation before Parliament to merge the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and Wine Australia.

We met all five key performance indicators for this program.

Program 1.6: Wool industry

We assisted primary producers to build a more competitive and self-reliant wool industry:

  • facilitating the successful inaugural meeting of the joint working group to promote cooperation between Australia and India in wool trade and production
  • representing Australia’s interests in building greater cooperation on the production and supply of wool in China.

We met all six key performance indicators for this program.

Program 1.7: Grains industry

We continued to help grains producers build a more competitive and internationally focused industry:

  • continuing to implement the government’s reforms to bulk wheat exports
  • supporting the Grains Research and Development Corporation to establish the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre in Perth.

We met all seven key performance indicators for this program.

Program 1.8: Dairy industry

We continued to support the development of a more competitive dairy industry through engaging our international stakeholders at dairy talks with China and Japan.

We met all seven key performance indicators for this program.

Program 1.9: Meat and livestock industry

We assisted the continued development of an internationally competitive meat and livestock industry through implementing the outcomes from the independent review of the European Union’s high-quality beef quota scheme.

We met all six key performance indicators for this program.

Program 1.10: Agricultural resources

We delivered Australia’s first National Food Plan following two-and-a-half years of development, including a comprehensive consultation process with stakeholders and the community.

We also worked to improve animal welfare outcomes including those for the exporting of livestock, fostering and enabling productive and sustainable food industries and supporting the national registration scheme for agricultural and veterinary chemicals:

  • completing the rollout of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System to our international trading partners
  • working toward new Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for livestock exports and domestic cattle and sheep
  • facilitating agreement on a national centre for plant genetic resources in food and agriculture
  • through ABARES, helping the National Farmers’ Federation develop its Blueprint for Australian Agriculture and producing new agriculture, fisheries and forestry profiles for each region.

We met 11 of the 16 key performance indicators for this program:

  • the target of finalising the rural and research development strategy was ‘partially met’, with legislation introduced into Parliament to implement the Rural Research and Development Policy Statement
  • the delivery of the productivity workplan was ‘partially met’, with several projects delayed owing to resource constraints and the need to align with changing government policy
  • the target of distributing 100 per cent of funds for animal welfare improvements in approved supply chains was ‘partially met’, as there was limited industry uptake for the program
  • the indicator for our work with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to implement reforms to its systems and processes was ‘partially met’. A number of challenges remain including the complexity and range of reform measures required, balancing the views of diverse stakeholders and undertaking parallel reforms to state and territory processes
  • the associated implementation of reforms to the national agriculture and veterinary chemicals system was also ‘partially met’.

Program 1.11: Drought programs

We continued to work to help farmers, farming families and communities improve their resilience and capacity to prepare for and manage the impacts of drought, climate variability and reduced water availability:

  • signing the new Intergovernmental Agreement on National Drought Program Reform in May 2013
  • managing the finalisation of expiring initiatives, including the pilot of drought reform measures in Western Australia, the Climate Change Adjustment Program and the Exceptional Circumstances Exit Program.

We met two of the five key performance indicators for this program:

  • three indicators were not applicable as there were no Exceptional Circumstances declarations in place in 2012–13.

Program 1.12: Rural programs

We helped support primary producers and rural businesses to stay viable:

  • developing the Farm Fin​ance initiative, announced in April 2013, to support farmers struggling with high levels of debt
  • completing a performance audit of the Rural Financial Counselling Service
  • helping to fund a trial of the Rural Financial Counselling Service in the Northern Territory
  • continuing to provide assistance to businesses affected by the temporary suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia in 2011, with 75 businesses receiving support in 2012–13.

We met all five key performance indicators for this program.

Program 1.13: International market access

We worked throughout the year to maintain and build international market access for our portfolio industries:

  • hosting visits by senior officials from key international organisations and supporting high-level discussions (including at ministerial level) with major trading partners
  • creating a new Minister-Counsellor position in Indonesia, reflecting the importance of this trade relationship
  • negotiating to gain, maintain or restore market access for a number of commodities, including significant agreements with the Philippines, India, Russia and China.

We met all seven key performance indicators for this program.

Outcome 2

Safeguard Australia’s animal and plant health status to maintain overseas markets and protect the economy and environment from the impact of exotic pests and diseases, through risk assessment, inspection and certification and the implementation of emergency response arrangements for Australian agricultural, food and fibre industries.

Program 2.1: Quarantine and export services

We implemented reforms to strengthen Australia’s biosecurity system across the continuum—offshore, at the border and onshore:

  • developing new legislation to replace the Quarantine Act 1908
  • reaching agreement with the University of Melbourne to establish the new Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis
  • continuing to develop a risk-return approach to deliver efficiencies for the department and industry through evidence-based risk management of biosecurity operations
  • obtaining parliamentary approval to develop a new state-of-the-art post entry quarantine facility
  • undertaking more than 10 000 compliance audits and inspections
  • continuing to implement export certification reforms.

We met 10 of the 13 key performance indicators for this program:

  • one indicator was not applicable, as no expanded import risk analyses were conducted during the year
  • the indicator for the drafting and passage of biosecurity legislation was ‘partially met’, with the legislation introduced into Parliament
  • the target to start staff training and to develop advisory material on the biosecurity legislation was ‘not met’, recognising the passage of legislation has not occurred.

Program 2.2: Plant and animal health

We continued to strengthen Australia’s biosecurity system to manage pest and disease risks:

We met all eight key performance indicators for this program.

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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