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Mandatory reporting requirements under various Commonwealth legislation

Workplace health and safety

Valuing the Agency’s people extends to recognising the responsibility to promote their health and wellbeing and to meet employer obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).

The Agency’s National Work Health and Safety Committee is the key forum that supports the Agency’s health and safety culture. It oversees and coordinates the Agency’s compliance with the WHS Act and its implementation, including the development of WHS policies and promotion of safe work practices. Committee representatives worked closely with state- based health and safety committees and senior managers and supervisors to deliver a number of prevention and early intervention initiatives to minimise the risk of workplace injuries and enable staff to work in a happy and healthy environment and maintain a work-life balance.

Under the WHS Act, the Agency must provide statistics of any notifiable incidents (serious work-related injuries or illness) and details of any investigations conducted during the reporting period. In accordance with Schedule 2, Part 4 of that Act, the Agency is also required to report on initiatives taken during the year to ensure workplace health and safety and the outcomes of those initiatives.

These initiatives included the following.

Workplace health and safety

  • Encouraging staff to report accidents, incidents or dangers;
  • workstation assessments with the provision of tailored ergonomic equipment as required;
  • availability of sit-to-stand desks to promote movement and active working;
  • Agency-funded influenza vaccination program (participation rate was 45 per cent);
  • presence of first aid facilities and supplies and offer of training for first aid officers, floor wardens responsible for emergency evacuation procedures and staff with specific WHS-related responsibilities; and
  • work health and safety procedural guidance for all workers.

Work-life balance

  • Flexible work arrangements to support staff; and
  • ICT remote working capabilities to cover all staff, enabling flexible delivery from outside the office or at home, with manager approval.

Wellbeing

  • Resilience training to support staff to manage the challenges of organisational change; and
  • staff and family access to an Employee Assistance Program – an independent, confidential and free professional counselling service provided by external, registered psychologists to address vocational or personal issues (51 employees, or their families, utilised this service in 2019–20).

These initiatives have assisted employees in adopting healthy work and lifestyle practices, and reflect the Agency’s commitment to fostering a strong health and safety culture.

No accidents or injuries occurred that were reportable under Section 38 of the WHS Act, and no investigations were conducted under Part 10 of that Act.

Advertising and market research

Under Section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 the Agency is required to disclose payments exceeding $14,000 (GST inclusive) to advertising agencies, market research, polling, direct mail or media advertising organisations. Sums less than $14,000 are not required to be reported.

During 2019–20 the Agency’s total expenditure for advertising, market research and media services over the reporting threshold was $6,788,796.63 (GST inclusive).

The following table shows the breakdown of payments by category. It includes Agency payments for creative advertising and market research services supplied during 2018–19 but processed in the 2019–20 reporting year.

Advertising, market research and media expenditure

Advertising agency

Expenditure
(GST inclusive)

Track Customer Marketing Pty Ltd

853,878.35

Ogilvy & Mather (Sydney) Pty Ltd

550,000.00

Heckler Digital Media Pty Ltd

29,725.30

Market research organisation

Expenditure
(GST inclusive)

Fifty-Five Five Pty Ltd

1,161,809.01

Media organisation

Expenditure
(GST inclusive)

Mediabrands Australia Pty Ltd

4,193,383.97

Total

$6,788,796.63

The above table includes actual payments made in 2019-20 for advertising, market research and media.

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

Under Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the Agency is obliged to report on:

  • ecologically sustainable development – how its activities accord with, and contribute to, environmental sustainability; and
  • environmental performance – how its activities impact on the environment, and measures taken to minimise their impact.

Digital health’s contribution to ecological sustainability

Discussion of the benefits of digital health rightly tends to focus on improved patient outcomes and the delivery of high quality, safe and cost-effective care. However, one impact that is often overlooked is the potential benefit to the environment.

At a macro level, the Agency is helping to build a digital health future that promotes environmental sustainability. In this future, online health records will replace paper files, electronic diagnostic imaging reports will reduce plastic waste from X-rays, and telehealth will reduce reliance on patient transportation by lessening the need for face-to-face consultations.

Agency strategies to minimise environmental footprint

From an operational perspective, the Agency is mindful of its environmental responsibility and has taken steps to ensure both the efficient use of resources and effective waste management through the use of:

  • video and teleconferencing facilities as an alternative to travel, wherever possible;
  • initiatives to reduce paper consumption, such as introduction of paperless processes and follow-me printing in business areas, the use of dual monitors at workstations, large screen displays in group settings, and web-based sharing tools across teams;
  • recycling programs for paper, communal and co-mingled waste, to minimise disposal to landfill; and
  • energy-efficient practices in air-conditioning, computer and lighting, such as lighting control systems that activate by motion sensors.

As the Agency grows as an organisation it will continue to manage corporate activities in a manner that minimises the impact on the environment.