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Tuesday, 8 May 1984
Page: 1768


Senator GRIMES (Minister for Social Security)(10.09) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows-

I present the Supply Bill (No. 2) 1984-85. This Bill seeks interim appropriations, totalling $1,711.8m, for expenditure on capital works and services, payments to or for the States and the Northern Territory and certain other services for the period 1 July 1984 to 30 November 1984.

The amount sought is $713m, or about 71.4 per cent, greater than provided in the Supply Act (No. 2) 1983-84. The main factors in this large increase are: $ 308m in payments to the States and the Northern Territory under agreements entered into under Medicare whereby from 1 February 1984 the Commonwealth will compensate the States and the Northern Territory for revenue losses and additional costs associated with the removal of in-patient and out-patient fees in public hospitals; $70m in payments to the States and the Northern Territory reflecting the 1983-84 Budget decision to increase funds available for housing; and $278m for the Commonwealth employment program, expenditure for which in 1983 -84 was provided for under a one-time special appropriation under the Community Employment Act. Excluding these very large amounts the increase is only $57m or 5.7 per cent.

Certain new provisions in respect of which Government decisions have been taken have been separately itemised in the Bill in accordance with convention. These include, in line with the Government's announced intentions, assistance to the steel regions, totalling $9.3m, and $6.5m for bicentennial commemorative projects.

As indicated with respect to the Supply Bill (No. 1), the provisions in this Bill do not anticipate decisions to be taken in the 1984-85 Budget context. I commend the Bill to the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Kilgariff) adjourned.