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Wednesday, 17 May 1972
Page: 1771


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 appropriate $370,594,000 for certain expenditures to carry on the necessary services of the Government for the first 5 months of 1972-73. The total amount sought comprises: capital works and services $313,533,000; payments to or for the States $32,061,000; and advance to the Treasurer $25,000,000. The amounts sought for capital works ind services are in general to meet continuing commitments. An amount of $30m has been sought for advances by way of loan to the Australian Wool Commission. Whether or not the Commission, in the course of reserve price operations, will be making net purchases of wool in the early part of the 1972-73 selling season cannot be foreseen at this time. In the event that net purchases are made and other sources of finance are not available to the Commission, provision is made for the Commonwealth to advance funds. Provision has been made in the Bill for a subscription of $10m of new capital to Qantas Airways Ltd. The company requires additional capital to assist in financing its capital equipment programme, which includes significant commitments arising from the introduction of Boeing 747 aircraft. The company will need this amount to meet some large commitments falling due in August and September next.

In addition $5m has been included to provide for advances to the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission to assist in financing the 1972-73 capital programme of ship construction and other equipment. An amount of $0.8m is sought as additional capital for the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. Amounts included for payments to or for the States are based on existing arrangements for approved payments from annual appropriations. Generally, they do not exceed five-twelfths of the 1971-72 appropriations but where the arrangement is for quarterly or half-yearly payments provision has been made accordingly. Other payments to or for the States' will be made from special appropriations andthe Loan Fund. An amount of $25m is sought to enable the Treasurer to make other advances which will be. recovered within the financial year, and to make moneys available to meet expenditure on services of the Government, particulars of which will afterwards be submitted to Parliament. I commend the Bill to honourable senators.

Debate (on motion by Senator Wilkinson) adjourned.







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