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Application of AASB 16 Leases

The Commission adopted AASB 16 using the modified retrospective approach, under which the cumulative effect of initial application is recognised in retained earnings at 1 July 2019. Accordingly, the comparative information presented for 2019 is not restated, that is, it is presented as previously reported under AASB 117 and related interpretations.

The Commission elected to apply the practical expedient to not reassess whether a contract is, or contains a lease at the date of initial application. Contracts entered into before the transition date that were not identified as leases under AASB 117 were not reassessed. The definition of a lease under AASB 16 was applied only to contracts entered into or changed on or after 1 July 2019.

AASB 16 provides for certain optional practical expedients, including those related to the initial adoption of the standard. The Entity applied the following practical expedients when applying AASB 16 to leases previously classified as operating leases under AASB 117:

  • Apply a single discount rate to a portfolio of leases with reasonably similar characteristics;
  • Exclude initial direct costs from the measurement of right-of-use assets at the date of initial application for leases where the right-of-use asset was determined as if AASB 16 had been applied since the commencement date;
  • Reliance on previous assessments on whether leases are onerous as opposed to preparing an impairment review under AASB 136 Impairment of assets as at the date of initial application; and
  • Applied the exemption not to recognise right-of-use assets and liabilities for leases with less than 12 months of lease term remaining as of the date of initial application.

As a lessee, the Commission previously classified leases as operating or finance leases based on its assessment of whether the lease transferred substantially all of the risks and rewards of ownership. Under AASB 16, the Commission recognises right-of-use assets and lease liabilities for most leases. However, the Commission has elected not to recognise right-of-use assets and lease liabilities for some leases of low value assets based on the value of the underlying asset when new or for short-term leases with a lease term of 12 months or less.

On adoption of AASB 16, the Entity recognised right-of-use assets and lease liabilities in relation to the lease of office space which had previously been classified as operating leases.

The lease liabilities were measured at the present value of the remaining lease payments, discounted using the Commission’s incremental borrowing rate as at 1 July 2019. The Entity’s incremental borrowing rate is the rate at which a similar borrowing could be obtained from an independent creditor under comparable terms and conditions. The weighted-average rate applied was 0.0867% per month.

The right-of-use assets for Office space was measured at an amount equal to the lease liability, adjusted by the amount of any prepaid or accrued lease payments.

Impact on transition

On transition to AASB 16, the Commission recognised additional right-of-use assets and additional lease liabilities, recognising the difference in retained earnings. The impact on transition is summarised below:

1 July 2019


Right-of-use assets – Property, plant and equipment


Lease liabilities


Retained earnings


The following table reconciles the Departmental minimum lease commitments disclosed in the entity's 30 June 2019 annual financial statements to the amount of lease liabilities recognised on 1 July 2019:

1 July 2019


Minimum operating lease commitment at 30 June 2019


Undiscounted lease payments


Less: effect of discounting using the incremental borrowing rate as at the date of initial application


Lease liabilities recognised at 1 July 2019