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Thursday, 20 May 1965


Senator HENTY (Tasmania) (Minister for Civil Aviation) . - I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill and of the associated Appropriation (Special Expenditure) Bill is to obtain Parliamentary authority for certain expenditure for which provision was not made in the Appropriation Bills 1964-65. The various items contained in this Bill can be considered in Committee, and f propose at this stage to refer only to the major provisions.

Further appropriations totalling £13.6 million are required for ordinary departmental services, but because of savings under other appropriations it is estimated thai the actual expenditure will not exceed the Budget provision of £321.2 million by more than £9.5 million. The additional appropriations include £2,925,000 for salaries, £1.937,000 for administrative expenses, £3,750,000 for the emergency gift of wheat to India, £2,476,000 for the expanded British migration programme, £534,000 for salary increases for the staff of the Australian National University, £394,000 for telephone rental concessions to pensioners and £368,000 for the Commonwealth scholarship scheme.

For capital works and services there is an additional requirement of £7,790,000 although after allowing for savings in other appropriations the total expenditure is not expected to exceed the Budget estimate of £201.5 million by more than £2.5 million. An amount of £3,000,000 is included in this provision for the Postmaster-General's Department to cover mainly the increased price of copper and lead. Also included in the Bill is an amount of £2,150,000 for expenditure under the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Power Act. The Budget provided for an estimated expenditure of £21,650,000 in 1964-65, of which £.10,750,000 was to be financed from the Loan Fund and £10,900,000 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. The overall estimate has increased by £1,200,000 to £22,850,000 due to the accelerated progress of major contract works. It is also necessary to reallocate the total expenditure between the funds for this financial year because of the change in the timing of the Authority's payments to contractors in June. This switch involves a further Consolidated Revenue Fund appropriation of £950,000. Additional appropriations amounting to £1,234,000 are sought for the civil works programme, whilst £490,000 is required for loans for housing in the Australian Capital Territory.

Additional appropriations totalling £16.2 million are sought for the Service departments mainly to implement the expanded defence programme announced by the Government last year. However, as a result of savings under other appropriations it is anticipated that the Budget provision of £296.8 million will be exceeded by only £8.7 million, making an estimated total expenditure of £305.5 million on defence services for the year compared with expenditure of £260.5 million for 1963-64.

Under business undertakings an amount of £2.6 million, excluding capital works and services, is sought, but savings of £900,000 in other appropriations are expected. £1,855,000 is required for the PostmasterGeneral's Department, mainly to cover increases in salaries and £420,000 for the Australian Broadcasting Commission for increased operational costs and salaries.

An amount of £683,000 is sought for the Territories, which includes £370,000 for the Northern Territory and £294,000 for the Australian Capital Territory. The major requirement for the Australian Capital Territory is £172,000 for payment to the Department of Education in New South Wales, which is responsible for the provision of staff in that Territory. Because of savings in other appropriations it is estimated that the Budget provision of £46.9 million will be exceeded by only about £200,000.

When the Budget was prepared it was estimated that receipts of the Consolidated Revenue Fund would exceed expenditures from that Fund by £65.2 million. Accordingly, provision was made in the Budget for the payment of this amount to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve whence it would be available to supplement loan proceeds available for State works and housing programmes and to finance other Commonwealth commitments such as redemptions of debt. At this stage it appears likely that, on the one hand, receipts of the Consolidated Revenue Fund could exceed expenditures from the Fund by more than the £65.2 million originally estimated; but, on the other hand, receipts from public loans will be smaller and redemptions of debt greater than expected when the Budget was introduced. An additional appropriation is therefore sought for payment to the Loan Consolidation and Investment Reserve of an amount up to £85 million over and above the £65.2 million provided for in the

Budget. There are still many elements of uncertainty as to the outcome of Consolidated Revenue Fund transactions for the year and this additional authority should be sufficient to meet all contingencies. It would provide against the most favorable outcome of Consolidated Revenue Fund transactions which could at present be envisaged but should not be taken as meaning that an improvement of this magnitude is expected. I commend the Bill to honorable senators.







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