2. Statement of significant accounting policies

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Financial Management Act 1995 and related Treasurer’s Directions. The Financial Management Act 1995 requires the department to prepare financial statements for the year ended 30 June based on the form determined by the Treasurer. The form of the department’s financial statements should include:

  1. a certification of the financial statements
  2. a comprehensive operating statement
  3. a balance sheet
  4. a statement of changes in equity
  5. a cash flow statement
  6. applicable explanatory notes to the financial statements.

The financial statements have been prepared using the accrual basis of accounting, which recognises the effect of financial transactions and events when they occur, rather than when cash is paid out or received. As part of the preparation of the financial statements, all intra-agency transactions and balances have been eliminated.

Except where stated, the financial statements have also been prepared in accordance with the historical cost convention.

The form of the department financial statements is also consistent with the requirements of Australian Accounting Standards. The effects of all relevant new

and revised Standards and Interpretations issued by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) that are effective for the current annual reporting period have been evaluated.

Standards and interpretations effective from 2018-19

AASB 9 Financial Instruments

The department applied AASB 9 for the first time in 2018-19. AASB 9 Financial Instruments replaces AASB 139 Financial Instruments: Recognition and

Measurement for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2018. The department has not restated the comparative information, which continues to be reported under AASB 139. Where applicable, differences arising from the adoption of AASB 9 have been recognised directly in accumulated funds and other components of equity. The nature and effect of the changes as a result of adoption of this new accounting standard are described below.

Classification and measurement

Financial instruments have been reclassified into one of three measurement bases – amortised cost, fair value through other comprehensive income (FVOCI) and fair value through profit or loss (FVTPL). Classification of these instruments is based on the department’s business model for managing the financial assets and the contractual terms of the cash flows.

The classification and measurement requirements of AASB 9 did not have a significant impact to the department. The following are the changes in the classification of the financial assets:

  • The department’s debt instruments are comprised of receivables and advances paid. These assets were classified as loans and receivables as at 30 June 2018 under AASB 139 and were measured at amortised cost. As these assets are held to collect contractual cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest, they continue to be measured at amortised cost from 1 July 2018.

The department has not designated any financial liabilities as at fair value through profit or loss. There are no changes in classification and measurement for the department’s financial liabilities.

In summary, upon the adoption of AASB 9, the department had the following reclassifications as at 1 July 2018:

AASB 9 categories
Balances at 1 July 2018

Fair value through profit or loss
AASB 139 categories Balances at 30 June 2018
Mandatorily at fair value
Designated at fair value
Fair value through OCI
Cash and deposits 58,199 0 0 58,199 0
Loans and receivables      
Receivables 1,516 0 0 1,516 0
Advances paid 5,332 0 0 5,332 0
Total 65,047 0 0 65,047 0


The adoption of AASB 9 requires the loss allowance to be measured using a forward-looking expected credit loss (ECL) approach, replacing AASB 139’s incurred loss approach. AASB 9 also requires a loss allowance to be recognised for all debt instruments other than those held at fair value through profit or loss.

There have been no changes to impairment losses following the adoption of AASB 9.

Several other amending standards and AASB interpretations have been issued that apply to the current reporting periods, but are considered to have no impact on public sector reporting.

Standards and interpretations issued but not yet effective

No Australian accounting standards have been early adopted for 2018-19.

On the date of authorisation of the financial statements, the following standards and interpretations were in issue but are not yet effective and are expected to have an impact on future reporting periods:

AASB 16 Leases

AASB 16 Leases is effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019 and will be reported for the first time in the 2019-20 financial statements. When effective, the standard will supersede AASB 117 Leases and require the majority of leases to be recognised on the balance sheet.

For lessees with operating leases, a right-of-use asset will now be included in the balance sheet together with a lease liability for all leases with a term of 12 months or more, unless the underlying assets are of low value.

The comprehensive operating statement will no longer report operating lease rental payments. Instead, amortisation expense will be recognised relating to the right-of-use asset and interest expense relating to the lease liability.

The right-of-use asset will be amortised generally on a straight-line basis while the lease liability will reduce to reflect lease payments made and increase to reflect the interest on the liability. Consistent with methodology applied to other long-term liabilities, the lease liability is discounted using the Territory bond rates. As the lease term progresses, the carrying amount of the asset (cost less accumulated amortisation) is likely to reduce more quickly than the liability, resulting in a lower net asset in the earlier stages of the lease arrangement.
The modified retrospective approach has been elected to transition to the new lease standard. This approach does not require restatement of comparative years and the cumulative impact is accounted for as an equal adjustment to the right-of-use asset and lease liabilities, thus having no impact in department’s net assets at initial adoption.

Consequently, it is expected that approximately $0.05 million will be recognised in the balance sheet as a lease liability and corresponding right to use asset from 2019-20.

For lessors, the finance and operating lease distinction remains largely unchanged.

AASB 1058 Income for Not-for-Profit Entities and AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers

AASB 1058 Income for Not-for-Profit Entities and AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers are effective for not-for-profit entities for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019 and will be reported for the first time in 2019-20 financial statements.

AASB 1058 clarifies and simplifies income-recognition requirements that apply to not-for-profit entities in conjunction with AASB 15.

Under AASB 15, revenue from agreements which are enforceable, have sufficiently specific performance obligations, and transfer goods or services to the customer or third party beneficiary will be recognised when or as performance obligations are satisfied, and not immediately on receipt as currently occurs.

Consequently, more liabilities will be recognised in the balance sheet after adoption of this standard.

Where a transaction does not meet the criteria above or is classified as a donation transaction, revenue will be accounted for in accordance with AASB 1058.

Impacts identified include:

  • grants received to construct or acquire a non-financial asset will be recognised as a liability, and subsequently recognised as revenue as the performance obligations under the grant are satisfied. At present, such grants are recognised as revenue on receipt
  • grants with an enforceable agreement and sufficiently specific performance obligations will be recognised as revenue progressively as the associated performance obligations are satisfied. At present, such grants are recognised as revenue on receipt
  • grants that have an enforceable agreement but no specific performance obligations but have restrictions on the timing of expenditure will also continue to be recognised on receipt as time restriction on the use of funds is not sufficiently specific to create a performance obligation
  • grants that are not enforceable and or not sufficiently specific will not qualify for deferral, and will continue to be recognised as revenue on receipt

The modified retrospective approach has been elected to transition to the new revenue standards. This approach does not require restatement of comparative year with the cumulative impact adjusted to the opening accumulated funds.

The standard is estimated to increase the department’s liability (unearned revenue) by $1.6 million with an equivalent reduction to accumulated funds due to the timing difference between the receipt of revenue and performance of obligations. The liability will unwind upon satisfaction of the performance obligation.

The financial statements cover the department as an individual reporting entity. The Department of Primary Industry and Resources is an NT Government department established under the Interpretation Act 1978 Administrative Arrangements Order.

The principal places of business of the department are:

  • Berrimah Farm on Makagon Road, Berrimah NT 0828
  • Paspalis Centrepoint Building, Smith Street Mall NT 0800
  • 33 Vaughan Street, Berrimah Business Park NT 0828.

The financial statements of the department include income, expenses, assets, liabilities and equity over which the department has control (department items). Certain items, while managed by the department, are controlled and recorded by the Territory rather than the department (Territory items). Territory items are recognised and recorded in the Central Holding Authority as discussed below.

Central Holding Authority

The Central Holding Authority is the ‘parent body’ that represents the government’s ownership interest in government-controlled entities.

The Central Holding Authority also records all Territory items, such as income, expenses, assets and liabilities controlled by the government and managed by departments on behalf of the government. The main Territory item is Territory income, which includes taxation and royalty revenue, Commonwealth general purpose funding (such as GST revenue), fines, and statutory fees and charges.

The Central Holding Authority also holds certain Territory assets not assigned to departments, as well as certain Territory liabilities that are not practical or effective to assign to individual departments, such as unfunded superannuation and long service leave.

The Central Holding Authority recognises and records all Territory items and these items are not included in the department’s financial statements. However, as the department is accountable for certain Territory items managed on behalf of government, these items have been separately disclosed in Note 26 – Schedule of administered Territory items.

Where necessary, comparative information for the prior financial year has been reclassified to provide consistency with current year disclosures.

Amounts in the financial statements and notes to the financial statements are presented in Australian dollars and have been rounded to the nearest thousand dollars, with amounts of $500 or less being rounded down to zero. Figures in the financial statements and notes may not equate due to rounding.

There have been no changes to accounting policies adopted in 2018-19 as a result of management decisions.

The preparation of the financial report requires the making of judgments and estimates that affect the recognised amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses and the disclosure of contingent liabilities. The estimates and associated assumptions are based on historical experience and various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates.

The estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Revisions to accounting estimates are recognised in the period in which the estimate is revised if the revision affects only that period, or in the period of the revision and future periods if the revision affects both current and future periods.

Judgments and estimates that have significant effects on the financial statements are disclosed in the relevant notes to the financial statements.

Income, expenses and assets are recognised net of the amount of goods and services tax (GST), except where the amount of GST incurred on a purchase of goods and services is not recoverable from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). In these circumstances, GST is recognised as part of the cost of acquisition of the asset or as part of the expense.

Receivables and payables are stated with the amount of GST included. The net amount of GST recoverable from, or payable to, the ATO is included as part of receivables or payables in the Balance Sheet.

Cash flows are included in the cash flow statement on a gross basis. GST components of cash flows arising from investing and financing activities, which are recoverable from, or payable to, the ATO are classified as operating cash flows. Commitments and contingencies are disclosed net of the amount of GST recoverable or payable, unless otherwise specified.

The department may receive contributions from government where the government is acting as owner of the department. Conversely, the department may make distributions to government. In accordance with the Financial Management Act 1995 and Treasurer’s directions, certain types of contributions and distributions, including those relating to administrative restructures, have been designated as contributions by, and distributions to, government. These designated contributions and distributions are treated by the department as adjustments to equity.

The statement of changes in equity provides additional information in relation to contributions by, and distributions to, government.


Last updated: 23 October 2019

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