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Tuesday, 21 August 1973
Page: 120

This broad functional heading covets a range of general public services and activities concerned with the organisation and operation of the central Government, including administrative services and foreign affairs and external territories.

A.   LEGISLATIVE SERVICES

Details of actual outlays on legislative services over the past three years, together with estimates for 1973-74, are shown in the following table:

Higher outlays on wages, salaries and administrative costs account for most of the estimated increase of $4.1 million shown for 1973-74.

Parliamentary Expenditure - Salaries and Allowances

The increase of $1.8 million in expenditure for 1973-74 includes the full-year effect ($0.9 million) of increases in remuneration to Senators and Members of the House of Representatives approved on 1 April 1973, and increased allowances to ex-Members ($0.8 million) approved under Parliamentary Retiring Allowances legislation.

Parliamentary Expenditure - Other

This item covers salaries of Public Service officers, administrative costs and capital works associated with the functioning of the Parliament. Of the increase, $0.4 million relates to increased provision for travel entitlements for Senators and Members. Other general cost increases have been partly offset by a reduced requirement of $0. 5 million for capital works in respect of Parliament House.

Australian Electoral Office

Administrative costs of maintaining electoral rolls and conducting Australian Government elections and referenda are included here. The higher level of outlays in 1972-73 and the increase in the provision for 1973-74 reflect, respectively, the timing of elections and the administrative costs associated with the new program for enrolment of 18 year olds.

B.   LAW, ORDER AND PUBLIC SAFETY

Australian Government outlays on law, order and public safety are estimated to total $53.5 million in 1973-74, an increase of $12.5 million compared with 1972-73.

Details of actual outlays in the three years to 1972-73, together with estimates for 1973-74 are provided in the following table and associated commentary :_

Courts and Legal Services

The Australian Government is meeting some 45 per cent of the construction costs for a joint Court complex with the State of New South Wales in Sydney. The Australian Government's contribution in 1973-74 is estimated at $4.0 million.

The increase in outlays for legal aid reflects new initiatives by the Australian Government. In April 1973 the Government decided to supplement the existing legal aid schemes of the States by per capita grants. The first payments, totalling $2 million, will be made in 1973-74. In January 1973 the Government decided to increase substantially the availability of legal aid to Aboriginals; this increased aid is estimated to cost $1.5 million in 1973-74 compared with part-year costs of $0.7 million in 1972-73.

Police, Security and Detention

Provision has been made in 1973-74 for an increase of 66 in the average strength of the Commonwealth Police Force. Most of the increase of $1 .6 million in estimated outlays in 1973-74 is attributable to higher salary and wage payments for the larger force.

Attorney-General's Department

The Department assumed responsibility for censorship, literature review and some functions of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel from 19 December 1972. Increases in staff necessitated by these changes and the full-year effects of higher wage and salary rates account for most of the estimated increase of SI .7 million in outlays in 1973-74.

Public Safety

The decision of the Government to provide $3 million in 1973-74 for grants to the States for a program of traffic management and other low-cost improvements at locations with poor accident records was referred to earlier under the heading of Transport and Communication. In addition to those grants, the Government is providing $825,000 in 1973-74 for road safety promotion and research and an annual grant to the States of $150,000 for promotion of road safety practices.

C.   FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND EXTERNAL TERRITORIES

This heading encompasses most of the costs incurred by the Australian Government in the pursuit of policies designed to foster our relations with foreign countries, and in the administration of Australia's external territories.

The bulk of the expenditures (about 82 per cent in 1973-74) relates to various external economic aid programs undertaken by Australia to assist developing countries, including Papua New Guinea, to achieve faster rates of economic growth and higher living standards. A detailed explanation of these aid programs is given in the White Paper entitled Australia's External Aid 1973-74 issued concurrently with the budget documents.

Total outlays on foreign affairs and external territories are estimated to increase by $84 . 7 million, or 30 . 6 per cent, in 1 973-74 to $361 . 6 million. As the following table shows, the increase in aid payments more than accounts for the overall increase:

Aid Payments

Australia's aid programs are discussed in detail in the White Paper referred to above. That White Paper also brings together other expenditures of an external aid nature, which are subsumed in other functional headings in this Statement, and discusses Australia's relative aid performance. The substantia] increase in aid expenditures in 1973-74 is explained largely by the special efforts now being made to prepare Papua New Guinea for self-government by 1 December 1973.

Cocos (Keeling), Christmas and Norfolk Islands

Included in this item are the costs involved in administering these three small external territories. A new program for the restoration of historic buildings on Norfolk Island will commence in 1973-74. An allocation of $40,000 has been made in the budget for this purpose.

Membership of International Organisations and Other Non-Aid Expenditure Total expenditure under this heading is expected to increase from $7.5 million in 1972-73 to $8.2 million in 1973-74. New items include Australia's voluntary contribution towards the restoration of the Borobudur temple in Indonesia, which is being carried out by UNESCO ($40,000), and contributions to the UN Environment Fund ($706,000) and the Commonwealth Youth Program ($60,000), and costs of membership of other international organisations. Expenditure associated with Australia's cultural relations overseas are estimated to increase from $232,000 to $543,000.

General Administrative Expenditures

This item encompasses the administrative costs of the Departments of Foreign Affairs and External Territories and the new Overseas Property Bureau. The decrease in 1973-74 reflects the expectation that the heavy expenditure on purchases of land for overseas premises made in 1972-73 (including purchases costing $7.3 million in Paris and $1.9 million in Osaka) will not be repeated this year.

D.   GENERAL AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH NEC

The largest expenditure under this heading is that by CSIRO. Also included are expenditures on specific programs of research undertaken by several Government departments and instrumentalities, such as the research activities of the Department of Science in the Antarctic and the nuclear research activities of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission. Assistance for general research activities through the Australian Research Grants Committee and contributions to international scientific conferences are also shown under this heading.

Australian Atomic Energy Commission

The Atomic Energy Commission's major functions include research and investigations into matters associated with uranium and atomic energy and the production and sale of radio isotopes.

Over half of the estimated increase in expenditure by the Commission in 1973-74 is attributable to increases in salaries resulting from awards and determinations made in 1972-73.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization

Expenditure by CSIRO relates to the Organization's activities in the fields of agricultural and biological research and industrial and physical research, and in the provision of research services and facilities.

The estimated increase of $15.3 million in expenditure by the Organization in 1973-74 includes additional wage and salary costs of $7.8 million, and an additional $3.0 million for the construction of the National Standards Laboratory in Sydney. A further $4.5 million is included for expansion of the CSIRO computer network.

Research Grants

Assistance is provided through the Australian Research Grants Committee, the Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship Scheme and the Queen's Fellowship Scheme, for research projects by individuals in the humanities and social sciences, the physical, chemical, biological and earth sciences, engineering and applied sciences and marine science.

Most of the increase in this item in 1973-74 reflects the full-year effect of a substantially increased triennial program ($20 million) for the Australian Research Grants Committee, for the 1973-75 triennium.

Australian Institute of Marine Science

The Australian Institute of Marine Science was established in 1972 to conduct studies in marine science on its own behalf and to co-ordinate and develop marine science in Australia. Initially, the work of the Institute is being directed to studies of the Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea and the coast and adjacent waters of North Queensland.

Provision has been made in 1973-74 for the commencement of work on a laboratory for the Institute in Queensland.

Anglo-Australian Telescope Board

This item covers the Australian Government's share of the cost of construction of a 3.9m optical telescope near Coonabarabran in New South Wales. The total capital cost of the project, estimated at $15.7 million, is to be shared equally between Australia and the United Kingdom.

The construction phase of the telescope is nearing completion and capital expenditure in 1973-74 is estimated at $1.4 million, $0.6 million less than in 1972-73.

Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies

The Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies was established in 1964 to promote, encourage and assist studies of and research into Australian Aboriginals.

The grant to the Institute is to be increased to $1.5 million in 1973-74 so that the Institute may widen its areas of activity and, in particular, undertake work associated with the identification and preservation of sites that are of special significance to Aboriginals, and research into the interaction between Aboriginals and Europeans since the beginning of European settlement.

Other Research and Science nec

Items under this heading include support for the Academies of Science, the Social Sciences and the Humanities, the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science, and contributions toward the cost of conducting several international conferences on scientific topics. Included also is an amount of $0.1 million for grants to existing scientific institutions to stimulate the scientific study of Australia's biological resources.

E.   ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

Included under this heading are general administrative services not allocated to specific functions, together with some common services.

Details of outlays on these services during the past three years, together with estimates for 1973-74, are shown in the following table:

Outlays on general administrative services other than common services and net superannuation payments are estimated to total (245.9 million in 1973-74, an increase of (36.0 million compared with 1972-73. Increases in staff numbers associated with growing demands for general administrative services, combined with the full-year effects of salary and other wage increases granted during 1972-73, are largely responsible for this increase.

Common Services

Included under this heading are outlays of departments and agencies providing general services for the government as a whole, such as construction activities, printing, publicity, and the purchase and leasing of buildings.

Construction Services (net)

The estimated increase of $9.2 million in expenditure on Construction Services is due to expected increases of $5 . 3 million in salaries and other administrative expenses of the Department of Works and $1 . 3 million in expenditure on the construction of new depots and other capital items for that department. Revenues of the Department of Works in 1973-74 are expected to be $3 million less than in 1972-73, largely because of a non-recurring sale of assets to the Papua New Guinea Government in 1972-73.

Australian Government Offices

The estimated reduction of $6.7 million in expenditure on government offices reflects the completion during 1972-73 of new offices in Brisbane, the near completion of a new office building in Hobart and substantially less expenditure in 1973-74 on the acquisition of sites for future office buildings.

Property Management and Services

The estimated increase of $2.4 million is due mainly to increases in salaries and other administrative costs.

Publicity Services

The estimated increase of $2.4 million reflects increased provisions for various publicity programs undertaken by the Department of the Media for government departments and authorities.







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