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Tuesday, 29 March 2022
Page: 1110

Mrs MARINO (ForrestAssistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories) (13:04): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Supply Bill (No. 1) 2022-2023 together with Supply Bill (No. 2) 2022-2023 and Supply (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2022-2023 seek appropriations to facilitate the continuation of normal government business for the first five months of 2022-23. Supply Bill (No. 1) 2022-2023 provides for just over $80 billion of appropriations for proposed expenditure on the ordinary annual services of the government.

The appropriations proposed in this bill are generally based on five-twelfths of the estimated 2022-23 annual appropriations. The 2022-23 estimates are broadly the 2021-22 base, adjusted for economic- and program-specific parameters and the effect of decisions announced as part of the 2021-22 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook or included in the 2021-22 additional estimates appropriations bills. The five-twelfths allocations are adjusted where necessary for programs or entities that have uneven expenditure early in the financial year—for example, administered payments under programs that are made up-front in the financial year.

The bill also includes COVID-19 response measures that have been extended since the 2021-22 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook or the additional estimates processes. This ensures that funding is available over winter and that essential support can continue to be provided in the 2022-23 financial year.

I wish to emphasise that this bill seeks only to fund government expenditure on an interim basis until the 2022-23 budget appropriation bills have passed. Therefore, no new measures for the 2022-23 budget are included in this bill. This arrangement allows for an annual appropriation bill for the ordinary annual services of government to be passed by the next parliament in the usual way.

The bill also contains an advance to the finance minister, or AFM, provision of $2.4 billion to provide the government with the capacity to allocate additional appropriations for urgent and unforeseen expenditure; $2 billion of the AFM provision is set aside for COVID-19 related expenditure and $400 million for other urgent and unforeseen expenditure.

While the COVID-19 AFM provision of a higher value accommodates the ongoing response to pressures emerging from the pandemic, the general AFM provision of a lower value marks a return to standard AFM arrangements. This completes the government's commitment to return to pre-COVID AFM settings when circumstances allow. The COVID-19 related AFM remains a temporary measure and will be ceased in a future year when it has been determined that COVID-19 risks have sufficiently moderated.

In light of the size of the AFM, it is proposed to continue the strong accountability and transparency arrangements that have been in place from 2019-20 through to 2021-22, including a regular media release in weeks when AFMs are issued which reports and reconciles the use of the AFM provision and seeking the concurrence of the opposition for any proposed AFM greater than $1 billion.

Details of the proposed expenditure are set out in the schedule to the bill, the explanatory memorandum and the portfolio budget statements tabled in relation to the 2022-23 budget appropriation bills.

The bill must be passed in this session to ensure that funding is available for the first months of next financial year to all entities from 1 July 2022, thereby ensuring the continuity of program and service delivery.

I commend this bill to the chamber.

Debate adjourned.

Leave granted for second reading debate to resume at a later hour this day.