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Wednesday, 11 December 2002
Page: 7755

Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Manager of Government Business in the Senate) (3:52 PM) —by leave—I move the motion as amended:

(1) That estimates hearings by legislation committees for the year 2003 be scheduled as follows:

2002-03 additional estimates:

Monday, 10 February and Tuesday, 11 February and, if required, Friday, 14 February (Group A)

Wednesday, 12 February and Thursday, 13 February and, if required, Friday, 14 February (Group B).

2003-04 Budget estimates:

Monday, 26 May to Thursday, 29 May and, if required, Friday, 30 May (Group A)

Monday, 2 June to Thursday, 5 June and, if required, Friday, 6 June (Group B)

(2) That the committees consider the proposed expenditure in accordance with the allocation of departments to committees agreed to by the Senate.

(3) That committees meet in the following groups:

Group A:

Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Finance and Public Administration

Legal and Constitutional

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

Group B:

Community Affairs


Employment, Workplace Relations and Education

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

(4) That the committees report to the Senate on the following dates:

Wednesday, 19 March 2003 in respect of the 2002-03 additional estimates, and

Thursday, 19 June 2003 in respect of the 2003-04 budget estimates.

We have before the chamber a motion which actually sets all the dates for estimates for next year. I think it is important that ministers and all senators know when estimates committees will be held in the coming year. We have been approached by the opposition to alter slightly the schedule for the supplementary estimates in November, and we are seeking to get an agreement around that. I do not know whether the Manager of Opposition Business would like me to go into details about the negotiations; I do not think it is necessary. There is a small disagreement but basically the schedule for 2003 will be a normal schedule with additional estimates in the second sitting week of February and then the budget estimates shortly after the budget. We are just looking at the structure of the estimates hearings for November—

Opposition senator—And February.

Senator IAN CAMPBELL —No, I have just mentioned February. We will seek to make an agreement next year, but when this motion is passed, which I am expecting to happen in a couple of seconds time, you will know when the estimates are for February and for May, so please mark them in your diaries.

Question, as amended, agreed to.