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Thursday, 3 December 1998
Page: 1269


Mr FAHEY (Finance and Administration) (9:50 AM) —I move:

That the bill be now read a second time.

In Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 1998-99 appropriations totalling $255 million—additional to those made by Appropriation Act (No. 2) 1998-99—are sought for capital works and services; payments to or for the states, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory; advances and loans; and for other services. The proposed appropriations are required to meet essential and unavoidable expenditures for which provision was not made in the budget appropriation measures.

The additions are necessitated by certain cost and price increases that have occurred since the budget, together with other commitments that have been made by the govern ment. Areas where significant increases are sought over amounts provided in Appropriation Act (No. 2) 1998-99 include:

. $16 million for rural adjustment largely as a result of a carryover of unspent funds from 1997-98 to 1998-99 and the declaration of exceptional circumstances in Duaringa, Cobar, Monaro C, Wilcannia and Wentworth;

. $3 million for assistance to the sugar industry with funding allocated over four years for research into increasing the sugar content levels of sugar cane and related research;

. $6 million for assistance to specialist pig meat processors in the pork industry through the Pig Meat Processing Grants Program;

. $15 million for computer equipment for the Department of Family and Community Services;

. $100 million to assist people and small businesses who were adversely affected by the interruption to the Victorian gas supply;

. $11 million for a grant and $4 million for a loan to IIF Investments Pty Ltd for the Innovative Investment Fund Program;

. $20 million for payment to South Australia for the runway extension at Adelaide airport reflecting a carryover of unspent funds from 1997-98;

. $10 million for payment to the Northern Territory for continuation of the Northern Territory Health Indigenous Infrastructure Program to improve living conditions and health standards for indigenous people; and

. $19 million for a community education and information program on reform to the Australian tax system.

The remaining $51 million included in Appropriation Bill (No. 4) comprises minor increases in a number of programs across a range of portfolios. I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Ms Macklin) adjourned.