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Tuesday, 21 May 1985
Page: 2240


Senator BUTTON (Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce)(4.40) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to incorporate the second reading speech in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows-

This Bill seeks interim appropriations, totalling $1,752.6m, 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 1985 to 30 November 1985. The amount sought is $40.8m, or about 2.4 per cent, greater than that provided in the Supply Act (No. 2) 1984-85.

The main increases relate to: $32m for payments to the States by way of assistance under section 96 of the Constitution for the purposes of legal aid commissions, which payments were previously appropriated as cost reimbursements under the No. 1 Bill; $45.9m under the Department of Community Services reflecting the expected introduction on 1 July 1985 of the new home and community care program; $93.5m under the Department of Health for payments to or for the States and the Northern Territory, mainly reflecting the increasing proportion of patients electing to be treated as public patients under Medicare; and $58.4m under the Department of the Treasury for increases in funding to the Northern Territory under the existing terms of the memorandum of understanding between the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory Government, largely consequent upon the expected strong growth in Commonwealth tax revenues in 1984-85. This provision is without prejudice to forthcoming negotiations on the funding arrangements.

Certain new provisions in respect of which Government decisions have been taken have been separately itemised in the Bill in accordance with convention. As indicated with respect to the Supply Bill No. 1, the provisions in this Bill do not anticipate decisions to be taken in the 1985-86 Budget context. I commend the Bill to the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Peter Rae) adjourned.