Appendix 7: Other mandatory information

This appendix addresses the mandatory reporting requirements in annual reports related to other legislation (page 103).

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 2015–16, the ARC paid a total of $9677.20 for advertising costs comprising $5000 (including GST) to One Mandate Media Pty Ltd and $4677.20 (including GST) to Mitchell and Partners Australia Pty Ltd. The advertising consisted of paid placement of stories to highlight ARC funding schemes and promote high-quality research outcomes funded by the ARC.

During 2015–16, 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 workers who carry out work for the ARC
  • 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 held Work Health and Safety Committee meetings and continued to provide:

  • first aid training to nominated first aid officers within the ARC
  • employer-subsidised eyesight testing for screen-based work
  • training for fire wardens and health and safety representatives
  • influenza vaccinations to employees and contractors
  • workstation assessments
  • mental health awareness training
  • online Work Health and Safety training
  • health checks.

Health and safety outcomes

No incident(s) were reported to the Director, People and Services, in accordance with the department’s incident notification and reporting procedures.

Notifiable incidents

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. The ARC had no notifiable incidents during 2015–16.

Investigations including details of all notices

Under the WHS Act, improvement, prohibition or non-disturbance notices may be issued to the agency. The ARC was not issued with any notices and there were no investigations undertaken during 2015–16.

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 Programme (NCGP) the ARC provides funding support for research in all disciplines and 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) which 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.

Accordance with principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development

The Principles are:

  • Integration: decision making processes should effectively integrate both long-term and short-term economic, environmental, social and equitable considerations
  • Precautionary: 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
  • Intergenerational: the present generation should ensure that the health, diversity and productivity of the environment is maintained or enhanced for the benefit of future generations
  • Biodiversity: the conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity should be a fundamental consideration in decision-making
  • Valuation: improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms should be promoted.

Accordance of the ARC’s activities with these principles is outlined in the Table 7.1.

Table A7.1: Principles of ESD and ARC activities


ARC activities


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.


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.


All ARC funded projects must comply with ethics and research practice requirements including: the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research which includes the requirement that researchers should conduct research so as to minimise adverse effects on the wider community and the environment.


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.

NCGP/ERA outcomes

In 2015–16:

  • of 1216 NCGP projects awarded funding commencing in that year, 228 involved research relevant to the Australian Government Strategic Research Priority area of ‘Living in a changing environment’. These projects were allocated total funding of $103.4 million
  • the ARC 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 released the State of Australian University Research 2015–16: Volume 1 ERA National Report. The report showed that research in environmental sciences (eg ecological applications, environmental science and management, soil science and other environmental sciences) was consistently rated as above world standard.

Environmental performance

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.


Lighting within the ARC offices 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 2015–16 ARC staff participated in the ‘Earth Hour 2016’ initiative held on 19 March 2016. Staff switched off computers and other electrical appliances and were asked not to enter ARC offices during this period. The initiative aimed to raise awareness about energy usage.

Information management

In accordance with the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Policy the ARC has committed to digital information management practices and is transitioning to primarily digital record keeping. As part of this process, in 2015–16 the ARC conducted a shared drive data cleansing and restructure to identify files that could be deleted to help achieve more efficient data storage and management.

In 2015–16 the ARC also 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.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services

The Australian Government ICT Sustainability Plan provides target guidelines for agencies to measure against over five years in relation to procurement, resource consumption and demand, waste and energy consumption. The ARC’s achievements against the summary measures of the plan are provided in Table A7.2.

The ARC continues to improve its operational efficiency and undertakes regular reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of its measures to minimise the impact of the ARC’s activities on the environment. Reporting against the measures in the ICT Sustainability Plan is an important part of the ARC’s review framework.

Table A7.2: Australian Government ICT Sustainability Plan—summary of measures


July 2015

July 2016

Sustainable procurement

Relevant ICT equipment meets ISO14024 or ISO14021 standards at a level of EPEAT silver or equivalent as a minimum standard

Implemented in all procurement processes

Implemented in all procurement processes

ICT equipment complies with current energy star version

Product take-back and appropriate resource reused or recovery for mobiles; toner cartridges and ICT equipment covered by national e-waste recycling scheme of NWP

General use office copy paper

100 per cent

100 per cent recycled

Managing resource consumption and demand

Internal copy paper per end user (reams per annum)



Desktop computers to printer ratio



Desktop devices per end user



Managing waste

e-waste reused or recycled

75 per cent

75 per cent

ICT packaging recycled

85 per cent

85 per cent

Managing energy consumption

Desktop energy per end user (kWh per annum and averaged across agency)



Power usage effectiveness1 in data centres and server room



Desktop computers off after hours

90 per cent

90 per cent


1 Power usage effectiveness figures provided by Data Centre Provider (TransACT Communications)