Work health and safety
We are committed to providing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, and meeting our responsibilities under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. See 'Management and accountability' for our workplace health and safety policies, processes and performance.
Advertising and market research
No payments of $14,000 or greater (inclusive of GST) were made for the purposes of advertising and market research expenditure, as described in section 321A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.
Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance
We are committed to the principles of ecologically sustainable development.
The HWT Tower in which we are located has a 4.5 star NABERS energy rating. Lighting throughout our office is sensitive to movement, meaning it will automatically turn off after a set period of no activity and only turn back on when movement is detected to reduce energy usage on unnecessary lighting. We’ve installed block‑out blinds on all north and west facing windows to reduce our electricity consumption in the warmer months.
Our transition to a mobile workforce means our staff all use laptops, which consume less power than their desktop counterparts. All our office equipment and appliances either have aggressive standby timers or are low power to begin with.
Adverse effects due to transport (causing emissions to the air and use of resources) continue to be mostly due to domestic airline flights. While as a small agency we are not a major user of flights, this has been dramatically reduced in 2019/20 due to COVID-19. The proximity of our office to train and tram networks enables the majority of staff to take public transport to and from the office. Our webinars continue to be very popular and regularly replace face-to-face seminar presentations, extending their reach and reducing the need for people to travel to the Institute to hear them. Our state‑of‑the‑art video‑conferencing equipment means reduced travel for both staff and key stakeholders as it is now very easy to participate in meetings from our office and will be a stronger feature of our working arrangements into the future.
Paper consumption (use of natural resources) is minimised by using recycled paper and ensuring that the office printers default to black and white, double-sided printing. Two new Konica Minolta printers were installed in February 2019 providing updated technology, reduced consumption of resources during use and more granular reporting of print usage.
Paper use in 2019/20 (number of printer/copier impressions) decreased by 22.87% compared to the previous year. While this continues the decreased usage reported over the previous three years, it’s important to note that due to COVID-19, staff were working from home for the last quarter of this financial year. It’s estimated that without COVID-19, our usage would be down 4.2% over last financial year.
Our transition to digital working in line with the Australian Government's digital transition and digital continuity 2020 policies is continuing.
Waste generation is reduced by the separation of paper, cardboard, glass, plastics and organic waste at waste stations throughout the tenancy.
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 from the Commission’s website (see 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 2010–20, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with a 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 a disability are faring.
Information Publication Scheme
Agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a Section 8 statement in an annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the IPS requirements.
Although no new requests were received in 2019/20, a decision made in 2017/18 was reviewed and upheld by the Office of Australian Information Commissioner.