The Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry portfolio aims to enhance the sustainability, profitability and competitiveness of Australia’s agriculture, food, fisheries, forestry and related industries.
In 2012–13, the portfolio consisted of:
- the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
- three prescribed agencies under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) that have regulatory roles:
- Australian Fisheries Management Authority
- Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
- Wheat Exports Australia, which ceased operations on 31 December 2012
- one statutory marketing authority:
- six research and development corporations:
Our minister and parliamentary secretary
Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, was responsible for the portfolio during 2012–13. He was assisted by the Hon. Sid Sidebottom MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Figure 5 Portfolio structure at 30 June 2013
Standing Council on Primary Industries
The Standing Council on Primary Industries (SCoPI) was established by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to oversee a national approach to agriculture, fisheries and forestry. SCoPI comprises the portfolio ministers from New Zealand and the Australian, state and territory governments. The Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry chairs SCoPI.
SCoPI is the peak forum to pursue and monitor issues of national significance affecting Australia’s primary production sectors, as directed by COAG priorities. It deals with issues that require a sustained and collaborative effort across all jurisdictions and addresses areas of shared responsibility and funding for Australia’s primary production sectors. Figure 6 shows the structure of SCoPI and its committees.
Figure 6 Standing council structure at 30 June 2013
The Primary Industries Standing Committee (PISC) supports SCoPI in the achievement of its objectives. PISC is chaired by the secretary of DAFF and comprises the department heads or chief executive officers of all government agencies in Australia and New Zealand that are responsible for primary industries policy issues. DAFF’s continuing work through SCoPI and PISC is reported in Part 3: Report on performance.
Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation
The department contributes to the development of food regulation policy and food standards through COAG’s Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation. The forum comprises health ministers from New Zealand and the Australian, state and territory governments, as well as ministers from related portfolios. The Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is a forum member.
The secretary of DAFF is a member of the Food Regulation Standing Committee, which coordinates policy advice to the forum and ensures a nationally consistent approach to implementing and enforcing food standards (see Program 1.10).
This annual report covers the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry only and has been prepared in accordance with the Public Service Act 1999 and the Requirements for annual reports for departments, executive agencies and FMA Act bodies. It includes the:
- annual report required under subsection 26(1) of the Natural Resources Management (Financial Assistance) Act 1992 (see Appendix 5)
- annual report of the National Residue Survey program, required under section 10 of the National Residue Survey Administration Act 1992 (see Appendix 6).
Portfolio agencies table their own reports, which are available on their websites.
Since 1994, Commonwealth departments and agencies have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the service report and the APS statistical bulletin. These reports are available at apsc.gov.au. Since 2010–11, departments and agencies have not been required to report on these functions.
The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by a new National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these reports will be available in 2014 at fahcsia.
The Social Inclusion Measurement and Reporting Strategy agreed by the government in December 2009 will also include some reporting on disability matters in its regular How Australia is faring report and, if appropriate, in strategic change indicators in agency annual reports. More detail on social inclusion matters.