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ESTIMATES COMMITTEE D - 26/08/1993

CHAIRMAN --I declare open this public meeting of Estimates Committee D. On 19 August 1993, the committee was charged by the Senate with the consideration of the following: particulars of proposed expenditure for the service of the year ending on 30 June 1994, drawn from Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 1993-94 and set out in the document designated by the committee as document A; particulars of certain proposed expenditure in respect of the year ending on 30 June 1994, drawn from Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 1993-94 and set out in the document designated by the committee as document B; and expenditure under the Advance to the Minister for Finance for the year ended 30 June 1993.

This is the first occasion on which the committee will operate under the new procedures adopted by the Senate on 6 May 1993. They require the committee, at the conclusion of our normal hearings, to fix a day for the submission of written answers and additional information to be provided by departments and agencies and a day, not less than 10 days after the first day, for the commencement of supplementary hearings.

At the supplementary hearings, senators will ask questions about matters relating to the written answers or additional information or otherwise relating to the estimates, of which senators have given notice not less than three days before the commencement of the supplementary hearings. These notices of matters to be raised at the supplementary hearings will be provided to the relevant Senate ministers and to departmental estimates liaison officers. The supplementary hearings of the estimates committees will take the place of the Committee of the Whole examination of the appropriation bills.

The committee has available program performance statements provided by the portfolios appearing. Members of the committee should refer to the program performance statements as I propose to call on the estimates by program and subprogram as they appear in the statements. The committee will consider the estimates in the following portfolio order: the Department of the Arts and Administrative Services; the Department of the Treasury; the Department of Finance; and the Department of Industrial Relations.

If necessary we will defer discussion of subprogram 1.3, which deals with information and advertising, until after lunch to allow Senator Patterson to be present. When officers are first asked by the minister to answer a question, I request that they state their names clearly and speak directly into the microphones. This will assist the Hansard reporters recording the proceedings.

On 5 May 1993 the Senate agreed to the recording, broadcasting and rebroadcasting of public hearings in accordance with the rules contained in a Senate standing order of 23 August 1990.