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Wednesday, 17 May 1972
Page: 1768


Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Minister for Air) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to obtain parliamentary authority for expenditure in the current financial year for which provision was not made in the Appropriation Act (No. 1) 1971-72. The total appropriations sought in this Bill amount to $71,075,000. The Schedule to this Bill is the same as that contained in the document 'Particulars of Proposed Provision for Additional Expenditure for the Service of the Year Ending 30th June 1972* which was referred on 18th April for examination by the Senate Estimates Committees. Although additional appropriations are being sought, actual expenditure will not exceed the amounts included in Appropriation Act (No. 1) 1971-72 by $71,075,000. For a variety of reasons, it is expected that savings of about $28.5m will be available in existing appropriations to offset the additional appropriations now proposed. For reasons associated with parliamentary control over the appropriation of moneys for specified purposes, these savings cannot be utilised as an offset in the sense that the total new appropriations sought can be reduced to a net figure in this Appropriation Bill. Thus the Bill seeks parliamentary authority for additional expenditure in the divisions, subdivisions and items set out in the Schedule. To the extent that an item of any annual appropriation is unexpended the appropriation lapses at 30th June in accordance with section 36 of the Audit Act 1901-1969.

For the information of honourable senators a separate document has been provided listing the estimated savings in existing annual appropriations. I emphasise that these are estimated savings. It is not intended to present an accurate prediction of the final expenditure under those appropriations, nor is it intended to imply that there will be no savings under other appropriations. The information is provided by way of background to senators' consideration of the additional amounts now being sought. The various items included in this Bill have been examined by the Estimates Committees and I propose to refer Only to some of the major provisions.

The additional requirement for departmental salaries is $ 14.6m and provides for increases in salaries arising from arbitration determinations, reclassification of offices and additional staff positions approved earlier in the financial year. The amount needed to meet salary increases resulting from arbitration determinations that have become effective in this financial year is approximately Si Om and in accordance with established practice no provision for these was made in the Budget. Further appropriations totalling $ 13.1m are required for departmental administrative expenses including $1.4m for the Department of Civil Aviation; $1.8m for overseas representation; Sim for rents; $0.8m for the Commonwealth Railways; SI. 3m for increased allowances and other benefits for overseas officers of the Papua New Guinea Public Service as a result of the flow-on of salary increases in the Commonwealth Public Service; $0.6m for the Commonwealth Taxation Office; and $0.5m for the Department of Works. The balance is made up of a considerable number of appropriations each of which is less than $500,000.

Additional appropriations amounting to $27.6m required for departmental other services include $0.8m for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation; $2.4m for Commonwealth scholarships to cover a greater number cf awards and an increase in university fees; $1.2m for education services in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory mainly for increases in teachers' salaries; $0.6m is sought for payment to the Aboriginal Advancement Trust Account for the acquisition of land off reserves - further funds pursuant to the policy statement by the Prime Minister (Mr McMahon) of 26th January last will be provided in the Budgets for 1972-73 and subsequent years; Sl.Sm aid for Pakistan refugees before the establishment of the independent State of Bangladesh; $1.5m rehabilitation and relief aid for Bangladesh; $1.6m for migrant education to cover increased salaries and on expanded programme of activity; $0.7m for various services in the Northern Territory; $1.7m for broadcasting and television services, mainly to meet salary increases; $0.9m for repatriation pharmaceutical services; $8m for ship construction; and $1.8m to meet a rise in the number of grants under the Aged Persons Homes Act. The balance is made up of a number of appropriations each of which is less than $500,000.

Additional appropriations totalling $15. 8m are sought for Defence services, including about $2.1m for increases in services pay and allowances arising from the Government's implementation of the Kerr Committee recommendations; and $4.3m for increases in salaries of civilian staff including the effect of arbitration determinations. However, it is expected that, for various reasons, there will be savings of $ 16.1m in other Defence appropriations. The Schedules to the Bills have been prepared in a new format designed to show, in each case where an additional appropriation is sought, the amount appropriated by the Appropriation Act (No. 1) 1971-72 and the actual expenditure for that item in 1970-71. This comparative information should further assist honourable senators in their understanding of the significance of the figures. I commend the Bill to honourable senators.

Debate (on motion by Senator Wilkinson) adjourned.







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