Scoping Studies

Scoping studies into future ownership operations for Defence Housing Australia, Australian Hearing Services, the registry services of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Royal Australian Mint have been progressed, as announced by the Government in the 2014-15 Budget.

As part of the Government's commitment to smaller government and the efficient management of Commonwealth property, the Department of Finance also undertook a scoping study into the divestment options of six Commonwealth properties in Canberra.

The Government has considered the progress and recommendations of the independent scoping studies as part of the 2015-16 Budget. Further information can be found on the Minister for Finance's media site: Small Government – Transforming the Public Sector; and Getting best value from Commonwealth properties.

Project updates

Inland Rail Project

Following the successful completion of market testing, the Australian Government announced as part of the 2017-18 Budget that it is committed to funding the 1,700 km Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project through an additional $8.4 billion equity injection to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).

ARTC will deliver the project and will enter into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) funding arrangement to fund and construct the Toowoomba to Kagaru (Brisbane) section. This will enable the Government to manage risk, drive value and leverage private sector expertise in the design, finance, build and maintenance of the most technically complex section – Toowoomba to Kagaru (Brisbane) – which includes construction of 8.9 km of tunnels through the Toowoomba range.

For further information see Inland Rail page

Australian Hearing

Following consideration of the future ownership of Australian Hearing Services, the Government has decided to retain full ownership and control of Australian Hearing.

The Government was approached by a consortium led by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, alongside Cochlear Limited and Macquarie University (the Consortium), with a proposal for the transfer Australian Hearing into non-government ownership. On 12 February 2016, the Government announced that it would formally assess the proposal.

The Government was assessing the Consortium’s proposal to ensure that any transition of Australian Hearing to non-government ownership would meet the Government’s objectives.  The Consortium recently advised the Government that it is not able to meet all of these objectives, and has withdrawn its proposal. As a result, the Government has concluded this process.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Registry Services

The Government sought Final Bids for the right to upgrade and operate the Registry and to develop and sell value added products and services. Final Bids were due by 4pm, Sydney (Australia) Time, 29 August 2016. Following the evaluation process, the Government has decided not to engage a private operator for the ASIC registry taking into account the overall financial benefits as well as the costs to Government.

Divestment of Commonwealth Properties in the Parliamentary Triangle

The Government, following a scoping study process, has decided to divest East Block, West Block, ANZAC Park East and ANZAC Park West, while choosing to retain the John Gorton Building and Treasury Building. Divestment will be subject to market testing and will further address the associated heritage and environmental issues, ensuring that adequate protections are in place. The sale process will also consider the best approach for divestment of each building.

The Department of Finance will continue to consult with relevant stakeholders, including the National Capital Authority, the ACT Government, the Australian Heritage Council and tenant agencies throughout the sale process.

Defence Housing Australia

Following consideration of the independent scoping study, the Government has decided to retain ownership of Defence Housing Australia. The Government will, however, take steps to improve Defence Housing Australia's operations to ensure it can continue to deliver quality housing and accommodation services to members of the Australian Defence Force.

The decision to reform DHA and update its business operations does not change the Government's commitment to support the housing needs of the Australian Defence Force members, who will continue to receive housing and related services in accordance with Department of Defence housing policy.

The Royal Australian Mint

Following careful consideration of the recommendations of the scoping study, the Australian Government has announced that the Royal Australian Mint will be retained in Government ownership in its current form, because it is operating as an effective business and it is well-regarded by its international peers. 

 

Further information & useful links

Scoping study FAQs

Ministerial media releases – Scoping studies

Contact for information on this page: feedback@finance.gov.au

Last updated: 13 October 2017