Business News Releases

Parliamentary Committee to review Defence Fuel Transformation project

UNDER the Public Works Committee Act 1969, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works will consider a referral from the Department of Defence for over $286 million in public works supporting the Defence Fuel Transformation – Tranche 2 Facilities Project.

The works will replace, upgrade or remove existing defence fuel installations across Australia. Defence will also set up new defence fuel installations to service maritime, aviation, ground vehicles and power generation sites; construct a new wharf at Garden Island East in Sydney to support the refuelling of fleet vessels; consolidate redundant fuel infrastructure; and do compliance, minor infrastructure and system remediation works.

The aim of the works is to reduce risk to the defence fuel network and supply chain, building on Tranche 1 of the Defence Fuel Transformation Program.

Committee Chair Graham Perrett MP said, "The public hearing will allow the committee to review the Department of Defence’s submission and report on the purpose, need and public value of the proposed works."

The committee wants to hear from all individuals or organisations interested in the project. The deadline for public submissions is October 10, with more information available on the Public Works Committee website.

It is anticipated that the committee will conduct a public and in-camera hearing for the inquiry in late October 2023, where the Committee will hear from the Department of Defence. Interested members of the public are encouraged to contact the Committee Secretariat if they wish to attend the public hearing.

Note: the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works is not involved in the tendering process, awarding of contracts or details of the proposed works. Inquiries on these matters should be addressed to the relevant Commonwealth entities.



PJCIS to review military secrets legislation

THE Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced a review of the Defence Amendment (Safeguarding Australia’s Military Secrets) Bill 2023.

The Bill would amend the Defence Act 1903 to regulate the work that certain former defence staff members can perform for or on behalf of a military organisation or government body of a relevant foreign country, without a foreign work authorisation. The Bill also regulates the training that Australian citizens and permanent residents may provide to relevant foreign militaries or governments without a foreign work authorisation.

The Minister has the power to grant foreign work authorisations and to refuse, cancel, suspend or vary them.

‘Relevant foreign countries’ are any countries not excluded by the Minister in a legislative instrument.

Peter Khalil MP, Chair of the PJCIS, said, “Reviewing legislation is an important aspect of the PJCIS’ role and the committee will look at the Military Secrets Bill to ensure that it appropriately deals with the potential of former defence staff members revealing sensitive defence information and placing Australia’s national security at risk.”

Submissions are invited by Thursday November 16, 2023. The committee encourages concise submissions. Correspondence addressing individuals’ security clearance issues will not be accepted as submissions to this inquiry.

Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.



Intelligence and Security Committee to review citizenship cessation powers

THE Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) has commenced an inquiry into the operation, effectiveness and implications of Subdivision C of Division 3 of Part 2 of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Citizenship Act), which provides for citizenship cessation determinations.

The PJCIS is undertaking this review three years after amendments were made to the Citizenship Act in 2020 that established the current citizenship cessation regime.

Subdivision C of Division 3 of Part 2 of the Citizenship Act empowers the Minister for Home Affairs to make a determination ceasing the citizenship of an Australian for certain conduct, or following conviction for certain serious offences, relating to matters such as terrorism, treason, espionage and foreign incursion. The Subdivision sets out public interest considerations to which the Minister must have regard, and procedural requirements that must be followed, in making any determinations to cease a person’s citizenship. A person’s Australian citizenship may not be ceased if as a result the person would not be a citizen or national of any country.

Peter Khalil MP, Chair of the PJCIS, said, “This review will provide a valuable opportunity to consider the current security environment and the use by the Australian Government of its citizenship cessation powers. Three years into its operation, the review is an opportunity for the Committee to assure itself that Australia’s citizenship cessation regime is legally robust, fair and proportionate.

“The committee will also be interested in discussing the status of these provisions following consideration by the High Court since they were enacted, notably in the 2022 Alexander case," Mr Khalil added.

The committee has requested submissions to the inquiry by Thursday, February 8, 2024.

Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.



Final public hearings: Workforce Australia Employment Services Committee

THE Select Committee on Workforce Australia Employment Services will conduct its final public hearings on Tuesday September 19 and Wednesday September 20 in Canberra. 

The committee will hear directly from individuals with lived experience of employment services and their representatives, as well as from academic and policy experts, peak bodies, and government agencies.

The hearings will focus on the experiences of individuals with lived experience of the system — including older Australians — and their views on options for reform. The committee will also specifically examine Work for the Dole and community and social programs.

Committee Chair, Julian Hill MP, said, “It is absolutely critical that we give voice to the experience of unemployed people. People with lived experiences of the system and those that support and advocate for them have unique insights into what works and what needs to change. The Committee will also hear from specific cohorts of jobseekers — including older Australians — to help ensure that reforms to employment services respond to the needs of an increasingly diverse community.

“The committee continues to hear concerns about what Work for the Dole has become,"Mr Hill said. "It’s nothing like it was when John Howard started it. Mounting evidence suggests that instead of helping people and making them more employable through skills acquisition and meaningful community projects, too often people are forced into demeaning ‘make work’ activities that distract from job searching, stigmatise people and harm their mental health.

"Society must be careful not to make people less employable by making people do pointless activities in unsafe conditions. The committee will engage advocacy bodies, academic experts, providers, and social enterprise as part of its examination of what proper role social and community-based employment programs can play,"he said.

“One day, soon, this inquiry will end and we will table our report near the end of the year. As the inquiry draws to a close, it is important for the committee to re-engage with key peak bodies and research organisations which have provided academic and policy expertise, to consolidate views on key issues and potential options for reform.

“The committee will also examine more technical aspects of the employment services system, including measures to optimise online services and to better utilise data and market insights to improve services for jobseekers, employers, and other stakeholders.”

Further information about the inquiry, including terms of reference, future public hearings, published submissions and hearing transcripts, will be available on the inquiry website.

Public hearing details

19 September 2023

Time:           1.30pm – 5.45pm (Canberra time)Location:      Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House, CanberraWitnesses:    Australian Unemployed Workers Union, Antipoverty Centre, Per Capita, Australian Council of Social Services, WISE Employment, Social Traders Ltd, former Age Discrimination Commissione Dr Kay Patterson AO, COTA Australia.

20 September 2023

Time: 8.30am – 4.15pm (Canberra time)Location: Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House, CanberraWitnesses: Brotherhood of St Laurence, Centre for Policy Development, University of Melbourne, Victorian Government, National Employment Services Association, Jobs Australia, Employment services participants, Australian Taxation Office, Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, Jobs and Skills Australia.

A live audio broadcast of the hearing will be available via the Parliament’s Watch, Read, Listen website.



Charting a Healthier Future: Diabetes Dialogues at Federal Parliament and in South West Sydney

THE Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport is set to hold two public hearings as part of its ongoing inquiry into diabetes. These hearings will provide a platform for key stakeholders to voice their perspectives, concerns, and recommendations, shedding light on this critical health issue.

The first public hearing at Parliament House will bring together a group of advocates, experts, and peak health organisations. The Committee will hear from Diabetes Australia and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association, two organisations that play a major role in supporting people living with diabetes. The Committee will also hear from public health experts including the Australian Medical Association (AMA), the Australian College of Nursing, and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

Parliament House public hearing

Date: Friday, 15 September 2023Time: 8:40am to 4pm AESTLocation: Committee Room 1R4 8:40am – 12pm, Committee Room 1R2 12pm – 4pm; Parliament House Canberra

The second public hearing will take place at Campbelltown Hospital in South West Sydney, an area with a notably high prevalence of diabetes. The Chair of the Committee, Mike Freelander MP, said, "Western Sydney is unfortunately a diabetes hotspot in this country. The committee looks forward to hearing local perspectives about what Australia can do differently to combat diabetes, in particular type 2 diabetes."

Deputy Chair of the Committee, Melissa McIntosh MP, said, "This public hearing will be an opportunity for the committee to hear from health practitioners working at Nepean Hospital and Campbelltown Hospital, including endocrinologists, clinical nurses, dietitians and diabetes coordinators. These medical professionals support patients in Western Sydney living with all forms of diabetes, including type 1, type 2, gestational and other rarer forms of diabetes, and will have valuable insights to share."

Campbelltown Hospital public hearing

Date: Monday, 18 September 2023Time: 9am to 3pm AESTLocation: Education Centre, Building A, Campbelltown Hospital, Therry Road, Campbelltown NSW

The public hearings will be broadcast live via at

The committee intends to hold more public hearings in due course. For more information about the Committee’s inquiry, visit its website.



House Economics Committee to test ideas with the ACCC, NCC, Treasury, and the Productivity Commission

THE House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics will be rounding out its inquiry into promoting economic dynamism, competition and business formation with its next public hearing today from 8am. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), National Competition Council (NCC), Treasury and the Productivity Commission will be appearing.

Committee Chair Daniel Mulino MP said the public hearing would allow the committee to test ideas with experts from the ACCC, NCC, Treasury and the Productivity Commission.

“The committee has heard a range of ideas and recommendations about how to boost healthy competition and productivity throughout this inquiry," Dr Mulino said. "The ACCC, NCC, Treasury and the Productivity Commission are key players in this area, so the committee will benefit from hearing their perspectives and testing ideas with them.”

The committee will also hear from Meta, which will complete the Committee’s engagement with big tech. The committee has previously heard from Apple, Google and Amazon.

More details about the inquiry, including the full terms of reference, are available on the committee’s website.

Public hearing details

Date: Friday, 15 September 2023Time: 8am – 5pmLocation: Videoconference

The hearing will be broadcast live at



PJCIS endorses relisting of three terrorist organisations

THE Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security today tabled a report by statement endorsing the relisting of Islamic State, Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) as terrorist organisations under Division 102 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Criminal Code).

This report concludes the committee’s review of the 2023 relisting of three organisations as terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code.

All three organisations have been previously listed as terrorist organisations under the Criminal Code. Their relisting for a further three-year period ensures the ongoing application of offences under the Criminal Code relating to membership of, support for, or association with the organisations.

The committee reported that Islamic State, Boko Haram and ISWAP "all seek to promote sectarian violence and terrorist attacks in support of their extremist cause. Since these organisations were last listed all have committed and promoted the undertaking of terrorist acts which have caused widespread death and injury to civilians, government officials and military personnel".

Chair of the Committee, Peter Khalil MP said, "Islamic State, ISWAP and Boko Haram all continue to commit violent terrorist attacks causing death and injury. Having reviewed the available evidence, the committee has no hesitation endorsing the relisting of them as terrorist organisations under Australia’s criminal law."

Further information on the committee’s review and report by statement can be found on the PJCIS website.



Department of Defence Annual Report 2021–22 tabled

THE Defence Subcommittee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has completed its examination on the Department of Defence Annual Report 2021–22.

The examination focused on themes of Defence workforce recruiting and retention, Defence support to domestic crises, Space Command and capability and other issues as communicated to Defence.

Defence Subcommittee Chair, Julian Hill MP, said the committee had found the “near-persistent” requirement for Defence to respond to domestic crises was unsustainable and had created concurrency pressures that would soon degrade the Australian Defence Force (ADF)’s warfighting capabilities.

“Over 50 percent of Defence members have been assigned to domestic disaster relief tasks in recent years," Mr Hill said.

“The climate is changing, and State and Territory Governments need to lift their collective game in building resilience and resourcing natural disaster responses.

“The ADF cannot continue to be seen as some sort of ‘shadow workforce’, especially in circumstances where certain States or Territories have not adequately resourced and increased their own capabilities, and community resilience and responses.”

Concerns were also raised regarding Defence’s response to date to the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force Afghanistan Inquiry (IGADFAI), particularly around difficulties and delays in accessing and making redress to Afghan victims and their families. The committee has recommended improvements to how Defence addresses these issues.

More broadly, regarding the long shadow of Afghanistan on the Special Air Services Regiment, Mr Hill said it was “time to draw a line in the sand and rebalance our national conversation about this period. The events of concern occurred well over a decade ago, yet public discourse and some media reporting in relation to these events has implicitly and wrongly conflated the past and the present.

“The rightful acceptance of institutional and collective responsibility for cultural failings, and the process of holding individuals to account, must not be allowed to tar the reputations of the majority of those who served then and who serve today," Mr Hill said.

“As a society, Australia risks repeating another Vietnam and callously increasing Veteran suicide if we lose perspective and balance in how these matters are reported and discussed.”

Defence’s continued underperformance in meeting recruitment and retention targets also concerned the committee, with personnel 5.6 percent below guidance from the last financial year. In 2023, 42 workforce categories and occupations were classified as critical by Defence, an increase of 18 from 2022.

“While acknowledging Defence is taking this seriously and that it is difficult to address in the current strong labour market, the slide in the ADF’s numbers and growth in critical skills shortage areas must not continue,” Mr Hill said.

“If more needs to be done, then more must be done as skilled people are the ADF’s most important fundamental input to capability.”

The committee visited several bases during its investigation, noting critical infrastructure upgrades at remote airbases and bare bases had been neglected. Committee members were particularly disturbed at the state of disrepair while visiting the pier supporting diesel refuelling of the Harold E Holt Naval Communication Station.

“The old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ seems to have been ignored, and urgent action is required within the next few months as this is a critical capability for Australia and the United States,” Mr Hill said.

Australia’s Space Command and capability in relation to warfighting domains was also examined, with the committee making several recommendations regarding how Australia could best position itself as technology and competition continues to rapidly evolve.

Further information in relation to the inquiry and a full list of its recommendations is available from the JSCFADT’s website.



PJCIS to review relisting of Islamic State East Asia as a terrorist organisation

THE Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security has commenced a review of the relisting of Islamic State East Asia (ISEA) as a terrorist organisation under the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Criminal Code).

ISEA is a Philippines-based organisation affiliated with Islamic State. The Australian Government has listed ISEA as a terrorist organisation since 2017. Since its last relisting in 2020, ISEA has continued to make terrorist threats and conducted a number of terrorist attacks in the Philippines.

Relisting ISEA triggers the ongoing application of a number of offences under the Criminal Code relating to membership of, support for, or association with the organisation.

Section 102.1A of the Criminal Code provides that the committee may review listings of terrorist organisations and report its findings to each house of Parliament within the 15 sitting day disallowance period.

Members of the public are welcome to make submissions to this review by Friday, September 29, 2023.

Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the committee’s website.



Security Committee to hear about intelligence oversight legislation

THE Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) will hold the first public hearing for its review of the Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 this morning..

The committee will hear from government representatives, the Commonwealth Ombudsman and academic William Stoltz, to discuss the Bill’s proposed expansion of intelligence oversight arrangements for the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) and the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

The committee’s website has a full program for the hearing, and the hearing will be (audio) broadcast live at

PJCIS Chair Peter Khalil MP said, “The committee looks forward to hearing evidence from witnesses to inform its consideration of the Bill. The committee is interested in understanding how the proposed provisions of the Bill will enhance oversight and provide assurance to Australians about the effective operation of the National Intelligence Community.”

On June 22, 2023 the Attorney-General wrote to the committee to refer the Intelligence Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 for the committee’s review.

The Bill would amend the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986 and the Intelligence Services Act 2001, mainly to expand the oversight of the IGIS and the PJCIS to include all of the agencies that comprise Australia’s National Intelligence Community.

The Bill would also amend and update various provisions relating to the functions and operation of the PJCIS.

Further information on the inquiry can be obtained from the committee’s website.

Public hearing

15 September 20239am – 1.30pm AESTCommittee Room 1S3, Parliament House, Canberra; and via videoconference



Audit Committee tables Interim Report on Synergy 360-linked Inquiry into Procurement at Services Australia and NDIA

THE Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) has tabled an interim report for its inquiry into procurement at Services Australia and the NDIA which were connected with consulting firm Synergy 360.

The report recommends that the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) examine the evidence gathered by the committee to date to determine whether to conduct a fuller investigation to establish the substance of the serious allegations made in relation to former Minister Stuart Robert and Synergy 360.

Committee Chair Julian Hill MP said, “A referral to the NACC should never be made lightly and is not done so here. There appears to be no other appropriate course of action however in light of the serious and systemic nature of the allegations raised.

“The committee has established a number of matters but is unable, given its resources, lack of forensic accounting expertise, and the refusal so far of key witnesses to provide documents or fully answer questions, to make clear findings as to the truth. An agency with compulsory questioning, document gathering, and investigatory powers may be able to properly assess these matters.

“Throughout this inquiry the committee has sought to always act in the public interest. The inquiry is ongoing, and a final report will be tabled as soon as possible.”

Concerning reports were received of alleged financial impropriety, improper relationships and undisclosed conflicts of interest with parties receiving contracts from the Commonwealth.

Rebutting these allegations, Mr Robert, his longtime friend, business partner and political fundraiser Mr John Margerison, Synergy 360 principal Mr David Milo and others strongly deny improper conduct, hence the evidence before the inquiry is directly conflicting.

The committee has also recommended that the Speaker authorise the commissioning of legal advice regarding the nature of the committee’s statutory powers under sections 13 – 15 of its legislation, including situations where a person claims to be resident overseas.

Further information is available on the inquiry website.



Contact Us


PO Box 2144