Mandatory reporting requirements under various Commonwealth legislation
- Workplace health and safety
- Advertising and market research
- Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance
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). In accordance with Schedule 2, Part 4 of the WHS Act, the Agency is required to report on initiatives taken during the year to ensure workplace health and safety and the outcomes of those initiatives. It is also required to provide statistics of any notifiable incidents (serious work-related injuries or illness) and details of any investigations conducted during the reporting period.
The Workplace Health and Safety Steering 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 policies and promotion of safe work practices.
Committee representatives worked closely with 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 balance with home life. These initiatives included the following.
Workplace health and safety
- Workplace hazard inspections where staff were encouraged to report accidents or dangers;
- Workstation assessments with the provision of tailored ergonomic equipment as required;
- The availability of sit-to-stand desks to promote movement and active working;
- An Agency-funded influenza vaccination program (participation rate was 44%);
- Presence of first aid facilities and supplies including automatic external defibrillators, 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.
- Flexible work arrangements to manage and avoid staff working excessive hours; and
- ICT remote working capabilities to cover all staff, enabling them to work periodically from outside the office or at home, with manager approval.
- 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 (15 employees, or their families, utilised this service in 2016-17).
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.
Consistent with this 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 $13,000 (inclusive of GST) to advertising, market research, polling, direct mail or media advertising organisations. Sums less than $13,000 are not required to be reported.
During 2016-17 the Agency’s total expenditure for advertising and market research over the reporting threshold was $140,238.93 (GST inclusive). The following table shows the breakdown of payments by category.
The following table shows the breakdown of payments by category:
|Payments by category|
|Media Advertising Organisation||Purpose||Expenditure (GST Inclusive)|
|Dentsu Mitchell Media Australia Pty||Advertisements for Tender in Newspapers||$109,898.48|
|Allegis Group Australia Pty Ltd||Placement of Jobs Ads in Newspapers||$30,230.45|
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 lower 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 tele-conferencing faculties as an alternative to travel, wherever possible;
- Initiatives to reduce paper consumption, such as introduction of paperless processes 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.