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Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Page: 3475

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongAssistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation) (20:01): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2011-2012, together with Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2011-2012, is one of the principal pieces of legislation underpinning the government's budget.

Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2011-2012 proposes appropriation for agencies to meet:

payments direct to local government, and some national partnership payments through the states, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory;

requirements for departmental equity injections; and

requirements to create or acquire administered assets and to discharge administered liabilities.

Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2011-2012 seeks approval for appropriations from the Consolidated Revenue Fund totalling $7.396 billion.

Appropriation Bill 1 and Appropriation Bill 2 include a one-off contingency clause apportioning the appropriation for the Department of Human Services between the Department of Human Services, Centrelink and Medicare Australia should the Human Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 not receive the royal assent by 30 June 2011. This will enable the three agencies to continue operating from 1 July 2011 until the legislation receives the royal assent. Importantly, these clauses will not change the total amount appropriated by the bills.

Bill 2 also provides for amendments to the Commonwealth Inscribed Stock Act 1911. The amendments will increase the limit on the face value of stock and securities on issue to $250 billion and repeal the special circumstances provision. These amendments provide for the government's financing requirements over the forward estimates and ensure flexibility in implementing the government's objectives for maintaining a liquid and efficient Commonwealth government securities market.

In addition, amendments to the CIS Act will establish two special appropriations. One is for the costs and expenses incurred by the Commonwealth in relation to the issue or sale of stock and the other is for the costs and expenses incurred by the repurchase and redemption of stock prior to maturity. These special appropriations are intended to provide greater flexibility in managing the debt portfolio and thereby support the efficient management of the government's debt portfolio.

These amendments increase the legislative limit on Commonwealth government securities issuance and borrowings as well as establishing two special appropriations for borrowing and debt management activities.

Details of the proposed appropriations are set out in schedule 2 to the bill, the main features of which were outlined in the budget speech delivered by my colleague the Treasurer earlier this evening.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.