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Wednesday, 11 April 1973
Page: 1318

Mr CREAN (Melbourne Ports) (Treasurer) - 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 Acts (Nos 1 and 3) 1972-73. The total appropriations sought in this Bill amount to $129,427,000. Although additional appropriations are being sought, actual expenditure will not exceed the amounts included in Appropriation Acts (Nos 1 and 3) 1972-73 by $129,427,000. For a variety of reasons, it is expected that savings of about $98. 2m will be available in existing appropriations to offset the additional appropriations contained in Appropriation Act (No. 3) 1972-73 and those now proposed.

Honourable members will be aware that as a matter of law, moneys appropriated by Parliament for specific purposes may only be used for those purposes and expected savings under certain appropriations cannot be utilised as an offset in the sense that the total new appropriations sought can be reduced to a net figure in this Bill. Thus I am seeking parliamentary authority for additional expenditure in the divisions, sub-divisions and items set out in the Schedule to the Bill. 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 members 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 honourable members' consideration of the additional amounts now being sought. The various items included in this Bill can be considered in detail in Committee and I propose at this stage to refer only to some of the major provisions.

The additional requirement for departmental salaries is $15.4m and provides for increases in salaries arising from arbitration determinations, reclassification of offices and additional staff positions created since the original Estimates were approved. In accordance with established practice no provision was made in the Budget for salary or wage increases. The amount needed to meet salary increases resulting from arbitration determinations that have become effective this financial year is approximately $ 14.2m. Further appropriations totalling $ 15.7m are required for departmental administrative expenses including $2m for overseas representation; $3.1m for the Department of Services and Property including $1.7m for rents; $1.7m for the Commonwealth Taxation Office including $0.8m for services rendered by the Australian Post Office and by the State government; and $3. 6m for the Department of Works including $2m for fees of private architects and other consultants. The balance is made up of a considerable number of appropriations each of which is less than $500,000.

Additional appropriations amounting to $4 1.4m required for departmental other services include $0.7m for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs; $8.6m for the Department of Education of which $5m has been provided for Commonwealth scholarship schemes to cover increases in university fees and the extension of the Aboriginal secondary grants scheme to all children of Aboriginal descent attending secondary schools and classes from the beginning of 1973; $2.5m for education services in the Australian Capital Territory and $0.7m for educational services in the Northern Territory; $3m for the Department of External Territories to cover special assistance to facilitate the transfer of functions to the Papua New Guinea Administration, emergency assistance to alleviate food shortages in the Papua New Guinea highlands and salary increases for overseas officers of the Papua New Guinea Public Service; $5.9m for Colombo Plan and other aid; $2.8m for broadcasting and television services; $1.2m for the final payment of compensation to sulphuric acid and pyrites producers following the termination of bounty payments; $11. 7m for war service pensions, allowances and other benefits to cover increased rates effective from December 1972; $l.lm for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation for expenditures under the Science and Industry Research

Act; $0.5m for grants to eligible organisations under the Aged Persons Hostels Act; $0.9m for the Commonwealth Taxation Office to cover remission of taxes and fines in special circumstances; and Sl.lm for expenditure under the National Urban and Regional Development Authority Act. The balance is made up of a number of appropriations each of which is less than $500,000.

Further appropriations totalling $57m are sought for the Defence Services. Of this amount $33. 5m is required for Service pay increases following implementation of the Woodward Committee's recommendations and the Government's decision on re-engagement bonus payments. Increased civilian salary and wage awards require an additional $5.9m. A further $6.9m is required to meet increases in general administrative and operational expenses; $3.1m for increases in the cost of refit, overhaul and repair of ships, aircraft plant and equipment, and $2.4m for accelerated deliveries of Air Force maintenance and servicing equipment and other items. An amount of $2. 6m is required for maintenance of production capacity in government factories and production development. Estimated savings in other Defence appropriations amount to some $51. 8m and are due mainly to slippages, cancellation and rephasing of a variety of equipment projects. I commend the Bill to honourable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr Bonnett) adjourned.

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