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Wednesday, 6 May 1987
Page: 2715


Mr HURFORD (Minister for Community Services)(4.17) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill, together with its companion Bills, Supply Bill (No. 2) 1987-88 and Supply (Parliamentary Departments) Bill 1987-88, seeks interim appropriations for the services of the Government for the period 1 July 1987 to 30 November 1987, by which date it is expected that the equivalent appropriation Bills, which will form part of the Budget for 1987-88, will have been enacted. Supply Bill (No. 1) seeks appropriations totalling some $8,652.1m for the ordinary annual services of the Government. This is $655.4m, or about 8.2 per cent, greater than the equivalent amounts provided in the Supply Act (No. 1) 1986-87.

A significant part of the increase reflects the full year effects of new policies introduced in this year's Budget, price and cost increases and exchange rate variations. Major increases are:

$221.3m reflecting major contractual defence payments which fall due before the end of November 1987 in respect of the purchase of new, and the replacement, repair and overhaul of, defence equipment and stores;

$63.2m to meet increased demand for veterans and their dependants for treatment by local medical officers and ancillary health care providers, and increases in nursing home benefit and public and private hospital bed day charges. We have also provided for six monthly payments to the Health Insurance Commission which are made on the first working day of each month. Last year only five were provided for and this proved inadequate;

$28.8m for property services, to cover the full year impact of new leases entered into in 1986-87, the renewal of existing leases at higher rates and increased property management costs;

$26.5m primarily reflecting 1986-87 Budget decisions in taxation reform administration and the inclusion of client driven demand in the supply period;

$26.0m for the Australian Bicentennial Authority as it is anticipated that 70 per cent of the national program provision for 1987-88 will be expended during Supply; and

$25.4m for the Australian Trade Commission reflecting a higher provision for export market development grants to pay out, in Supply, the backlog of claims carried over into 1987-88, a change to quarterly payments for property rent, and price increases.

I wish to emphasise that this Bill seeks interim provision only in respect of approved ongoing policies of the Government. It does not anticipate decisions to be taken in the 1987-88 Budget context for which provision will be sought in the Appropriation Bills. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Connolly) adjourned.