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Wednesday, 1 April 1987
Page: 1679

(Question No. 1507)

Senator Archer asked the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, upon notice, on 13 November 1986:

(1) Was the Forward Estimate for the ABCI as requested in accordance with the Establishment Agreement of 1981 for the financial year 1984-85 cut by $400,000 to $1.4m.

(2) What were the reasons for this reduction.

(3) What were the specific effects of this decision on the operation of the ABCI generally, and the upgrading program.

Senator Tate —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1), (2) and (3) Forward estimates for the 1984-85 Commonwealth contribution to the ABCI were processed in the same manner as previous years and in line with all other 1984-85 forward estimates of Commonwealth expenditure. I would like to take this opportunity to note that the forward estimates process is intended to give a preliminary indication of forthcoming Government expenditure which is subject (in this area as in all areas of estimated Government expenditure) to continual review and refinement up to the announcement of the Budget each year.

While the estimates were reduced by $395,000 on the basis that the degree of interaction between the ABCI and the National Crime Authority was under consideration, the Commonwealth contribution to the ABCI actually increased by over $150,000 in 1984-85. Significant additional funds were included as part of the National Drug Strategy during the 1985-86 and 1986-87 as part of a co-ordinated approach to the drug problem.