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Tuesday, 29 March 2022
Page: 1111


Mrs MARINO (ForrestAssistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories) (13:10): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Supply Bill (No. 2) 2022-2023, along with Supply Bill (No. 1) 2022-2023 and Supply (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2022-2023, seeks appropriations to facilitate the continuation of normal government business. Supply Bill (No. 2) 2022-2023 provides for just under $10.7 billion of appropriations that are for purposes that include capital works and services, payments to states, territories and local governments, and equity injections for the first five months of 2022-23.

The appropriations proposed in this bill are broadly based on five-twelfths of the estimated 2022-23 annual appropriation. The 2022-23 estimates are largely 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 appropriation bills.

The five-twelfths allocations are adjusted where necessary for programs or entities that have uneven expenditure early in the financial year—for example, the Government Schools National Support Program in order to provide additional transition support for the Northern Territory government schools to implement reforms agreed under the Commonwealth government's Quality Schools package. The supply bills also include COVID-19 response measures that have been extended since the 2021-22 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook or the 2021-22 additional estimates processes. This ensures that funding is available over winter and that essential support can continue to be provided early in the 2022-23 financial year.

The bill also establishes the debit limits for 2022-23 for general purpose financial assistance payments and national partnership payments. The debit limits in the bill reflect the full year of the estimated 2022-23 debit limits so that agreements with other governments can be established with certainty for the full year. 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.

As with Supply Bill (No. 1) 2022-2023, this bill seeks only to fund government expenditure on an interim basis until budget appropriation bills have passed. Therefore, no new measures for the 2022-23 budget are included in this bill. This arrangement allows for annual appropriations to be passed by the next parliament in the usual way.

The bill also contains an advance to the Minister for Finance, a provision of $3.6 billion to provide the government with the capacity to allocate additional appropriations for urgent and unforeseen expenditure: $3 billion of the AFM provision is set aside for COVID related expenditure and $600 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-19 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 been 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, as outlined in the speech for Supply Bill (No. 1) and as particularised in the explanatory memoranda to the supply bills. Details of the proposed expenditure are set out in the schedules to the bill, the explanatory memorandum and the portfolio budget statements tabled in relation to the 2022-23 budget appropriations bills. I commend this bill to the chamber.

Debate adjourned.