Other mandatory information

Work health and safety

We are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees. The following information details our responses to our legal obligations under Schedule 2, Part 4 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act). We have a rehabilitation management system in accordance with the Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities 2012, issued pursuant to section 41 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

Our work health and safety (WHS) management arrangements aim to facilitate a direct relationship with our employees to enable effective cooperation on health and safety matters, and promote and develop appropriate measures to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of employees at work.

We maintain a proactive approach to WHS in all of our worksites. Each site takes responsibility for its local WHS by conducting quarterly inspections and holding quarterly committee meetings. In addition, each site provides a quarterly report on WHS issues to supplement an organisational WHS report that is prepared for the senior management group. This report is tabled at meetings of the National Consultative Committee, the Risk and Operations Management Committee and the National Management Board.

Our revised Comcare premium for 2018–19 was 1.34 per cent of the payroll, compared to 1.06 per cent (excluding GST) for the Commonwealth.

In 2018–19, there were no notifications under section 38 of the WHS Act concerning health and safety incidents, accidents or dangerous occurrences. In addition, no notices were issued under section 90, 191, 195 or 198 of the WHS Act and no investigations were conducted.

Our vision for employee health and safety and our proactive approach to employee wellbeing is articulated in our Wellbeing@AFSA strategy. Built around six pillars of wellbeing (physical, mental, career, social, community and financial), the strategy embraces principles of sustainable employability to enact behavioural change. It has a strong focus on preventative approaches and early intervention to drive long-lasting behavioural changes.

The strategy looks to equip our employees and managers with the tools needed to manage wellbeing at work and beyond, recognising that work and personal life impact each other. It has made a significant impact on our wellbeing culture and the psychosocial safety climate, as reflected in our 2018 APS Employee Census results.

A number of initiatives were delivered under the Wellbeing@AFSA banner in 2018–19. We:

  • released a series of wellbeing resources in partnership with SMG Health, our wellbeing and Employee Assistance Program service provider
  • held monthly wellbeing-related webinars delivered by qualified practitioners
  • provided online resilience assessments and face-to-face resilience-building sessions, supported by a team resilience risk profile
  • hosted an R U OK? event with Graeme Cowan (the founder of R U OK?) presenting an address on creating a mentally healthy workplace culture
  • participated in Steptember—59 teams took over 63,113,498 steps and raised over $20,000 for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance
  • launched our inaugural Health Week—held across all sites, the week included flu vaccinations, comprehensive health checks and practical mindfulness workshops
  • offered online health risk assessments—accessible anytime, anywhere—with instant health risks reports provided and health coaching resources available to staff
  • continued our wellbeing champions network with champions working alongside the People and Capability team to embed the Wellbeing@AFSA strategy into ‘business as usual’
  • commenced a wellbeing blog (#What’sYourWellbeingStory) aimed at promoting workforce wellbeing through the sharing of staff’s personal wellbeing stories
  • provided access to financial wellbeing seminars from the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation.

Our partnership with our Employee Assistance Program service provider SMG Health allows staff and managers to readily access tools and resources to embed the Wellbeing@AFSA strategy and create sustainable employability through a focus on holistic wellbeing. This partnership also provides useful data to inform proactive work health and safety risk identification and mitigation.

Disability reporting mechanisms

Since 1994, non-corporate Commonwealth entities 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 reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at the Australian Public Service Commission website. Since 2010–11, departments and agencies have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with 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 disability are faring. The first of these reports was published in 2014 and is available on the Department of Social Services website.

Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

The following information is presented in accordance with section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

As we do not administer programs or legislation relating to sustainable development or the environment, the direct impact of our activities on the environment is essentially confined to the operation of our leased office accommodation.

We remained committed to the principles of ecologically sustainable development throughout 2018–19.

Our 2018–19 energy consumption for tenant light and power was 764,320 kilowatt hours, with average consumption of 4,918 megajoules per person. This average consumption is well below the 7,500 megajoules per person target contained in the Energy Efficiency in Government Operations policy. The individual performance of each tenancy ranged between 2,810 and 6,803 megajoules per person.

Our Canberra tenancy is the only tenancy that occupies more than 2,000 square metres, and is subject to a Green Lease Schedule. Under the provisions of the schedule, we invite an environmental assessor to review the environmental performance of the tenancy in accordance with the National Australian Built Environment Rating System. These assessments convert measurable data into an easy-to-understand star rating scale from one to six stars. For example, a 6-star rating demonstrates market-leading performance, while a 1-star rating means the building or tenancy has considerable scope for improvement. Our Canberra tenancy has achieved a 5-star rating or better since our lease commencement in January 2014.

All tenancies are in buildings where the base building energy rating is between 4.5 and 5.5 stars and the base building water rating is between 3.0 and 4.5 stars.

Other strategies that we have implemented to minimise our impact on the environment include:

  • increased access for staff to flexible working arrangements, which reduces energy consumption within the office as well as the impact of transport to and from the workplace
  • the use of follow-me printers, which has reduced our paper and toner usage
  • the use of energy-efficient lighting and lighting control systems that only activate when areas are occupied
  • continued use of communal waste and recycling facilities, resulting in a significant reduction in waste to landfill and contributing to the quick and convenient sorting of waste products
  • consulting with staff, building owners and building managers to improve energy performance, and actively participating in energy, waste and water management programs.

Advertising and market research

During 2018–19, we conducted a small, targeted Google search campaign for our Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) and personal insolvency programs.

Table 22 outlines our total payments to advertising agencies, market research organisations, polling organisations, direct mail organisations and media advertising organisations during 2018–19.

Table 22: Advertising, market research and marketing expenditure, 2018–19



Expenditure ($)

Dentsu X Pty Ltd

Media advertising placement, Google search


Whereto Research Based Consulting Pty Ltd

PPSR market research


Whereto Research Based Consulting Pty Ltd

PPSR report provision


You1 Group Pty Ltd

PPSR user testing


Fuji Xerox Businessforce Pty Ltd

Direct mailing services


Note: Expenditure figures exclude GST.

Freedom of information

Entities 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. This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a section 8 statement in the annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the requirements. Our plan is available at AFSA’s Information publication scheme webpage.