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Wednesday, 24 October 1973
Page: 1405

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) -I wish to speak to the Papua New Guinea Loans Guarantee Bill. I was of the impression, after listening to the debate yesterday, that the guarantees which would be given by Australia in relation to the new independent country were perhaps unlimited. I am comforted to see from the text of clause 5 that the guarantees are limited not to exceed $24m. I ask the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Senator Cavanagh) to confirm my understanding of that clause, that that is with regard to the aggregate guarantees that will be undertaken by the Treasurer. I notice that the guarantees must be given on or before 1 July 1 974. 1 notice also that clause 6 states:

Any payments by Australia under a guarantee are payable out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which is appropriated accordingly.

Senator Duracklast night brought forward most impressively several matters with regard to the structure of the judiciary and with regard to internal security. The Minister has moved an amendment to the Papua New Guinea Bill (No. 2). There has been no suggestion from this Parliament that after Papua New Guinea 's independence we will have the slightest control of or influence on this new independency. If we are to give guarantees, there is some correlative obligation owing to us. To my way of thinking, for the proper supervision of these guarantees the Consolidated Revenue Fund should not be automatically imprest with the appropriation of a permanent and continuing nature, but these guarantees should be paid out of the Advance to the Treasurer. This year the amount which is being sought is $50m for ordinary annual services and $50m for appropriations which are not ordinary annual services. The matter should come before Parliament in the Appropriation Bill. I submit that this Parliament has fallen into great error by giving such a huge amount of our revenue subject to a continuing and permanent appropriation. Therefore the expenditure of that continuing and permanent appropriation never comes before Parliament as an item of review. Any payment of a guarantee under the Papua New Guinea Loans Guarantee Bill, I submit, would be more appropriately reviewed on the ordinary annual appropriation. I ask the Minister to comment upon the suggestion that the words which is appropriated accordingly' be omitted.

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