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Thursday, 13 February 2014
Page: 327

Mr McCORMACK (RiverinaParliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance) (09:15): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Today, the government introduces the additional estimates appropriations bills. These bills are:

Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2013-2014;

Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2013-2014; and

Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 2) 2013-2014.

These bills underpin the government's expenditure decisions, including pre-election commitments, and decisions made in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2013-2014 seeks approval for additional appropriations from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of just under $11.6 billion.

I now outline four major items sought in the bill.

First, the bill includes funding to enable the Department of the Treasury to make an $8.8 billion one-off grant to the Reserve Bank of Australia. The grant will strengthen the Reserve Bank's financial position to the level considered appropriate by the board of the Reserve Bank. This will ensure that the Reserve Bank is adequately resourced to conduct its monetary policy and foreign exchange operations in an environment of financial market volatility.

Second, this bill would provide the Department of Immigration and Border Protection almost $750 million. This includes over $400 million for offshore processing of illegal maritime arrivals, and $220 million to address the backlog of illegal maritime arrivals.

Third, this bill would provide the Department of Defence with just over $660 million reflecting four matters. Those are the increased funding for Defence's overseas operations, supplementation for foreign exchange movements, expenditure brought forward into 2013-14 from the forward estimates, and the re-appropriation between appropriation acts of amounts to better align with Defence's current work programs.

Fourth, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would receive almost $335 million. The majority of this amount is to administer official development assistance programs under the former AusAID, the functions of which were moved to the department on 1 November 2013.

On more general matters, this bill reflects the current names of government departments, consistent with the Administrative Arrangements Order of 18 September 2013. For example, the bill proposes appropriations for the Department of Industry, instead of the former Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

Details of the proposed expenditure are set out in the schedule to the bill and the portfolio additional estimates statements tabled in the parliament.

Debate adjourned.