Significant Developments and Trends 2010-11

The ALRC has been notified of a significant financial reduction to its budget going forward as part of Budget Measures announced between 2009–10. The ALRC will lose an appropriation of around 15% over the next three years and this will require finding additional productivity savings to ensure the ALRC’s ability to provide timely, straightforward and sound advice to Government is not compromised.

The reduction in funding has been responsible for a reduction in programs—from two programs to one—in order for the ALRC to achieve its Outcome. The Corporate Plan 2009–10 has been updated to reflect this change. A reduction in the number of programs has been a necessary response to a decreasing budget.

It has also been considered necessary to reduce the number of full time Commissioners from three (including the President) to just one full time Commissioner, being the current President, Professor Croucher. While under the ALRC Act this does not impinge the Commission’s powers, functions or performance, it will impact the Commission’s ability to undertake several concurrent references. The ALRC has been notified that, pursuant to the 2004 Uhrig Review, the Attorney- General requires the ALRC to move from a Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) body to one subject to the executive management model under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act).

This transition will require changes to the ALRC Act and will also involve the ALRC becoming a statutory agency under the Public Service Act 1999. The ALRC Union Collective Agreement 2007–2010 is due to be renegotiated by February 2011 and the ALRC will both take into account requirements of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and associated tr