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Tuesday, 11 May 2021
Page: 3715

Mr SUKKAR (DeakinAssistant Treasurer, Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing) (20:12): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2021-2022, along with Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2021-2022and Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2021-2022, are the budget appropriation bills for the coming financial year.

Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2021-2022 seeks approval for appropriations from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of $20 billion. This bill provides a full year of appropriations for purposes that are non-ordinary annual services of government for 2021-22, including capital works and services; payments for the states, territories and local government authorities; and funding for new administered outcomes not previously endorsed by the parliament.

This bill also includes a revised Advance to the Finance Minister provision for a maximum of $3 billion. This is down from the total $6 billion that could be issued under 2020-21 AFM provision in the equivalent even-numbered appropriation bill and takes into consideration the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, allocations that have been made to date and the uncertainty around what may be required over 2021-22.

This bill includes appropriations for the National Recovery and Resilience Agency, recognising that this involves a new administered outcome and consistent with the Senate-Executive compact, this should be in an even-numbered bill.

I will now outline the significant items provided for in this bill.

The bill proposes an appropriation to the Department of Defence of $12.7 billion. The appropriation will be used to continue delivering on the government's commitments in improving defence capability as set out in the 2016 Defence White Paper, as well as the 2020 Force Structure Plan and 2020 strategic update.

The bill also proposes an appropriation to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications of over $3.5 billion in 2021-22 to support rail, road and aviation infrastructure throughout Australia and to support local governments deliver key community infrastructure. This bill will provide nearly $400 million to extend the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

The bill additionally proposes an appropriation of $600 million to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. This includes $500 million partly for the plantation development concessional loans to be delivered by the Regional Investment Corporation.

Passage of the bills through the House of Reps and through the Senate by 30 June is required to ensure continuity of the government's programs and the Commonwealth's ability to meet its obligations for the 2021-22 financial year.

I therefore commend this bill.

Debate adjourned.