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Tuesday, 8 October 1985
Page: 793

Senator VIGOR(3.40) —The sixty-second annual report of the National Debt Commission has just been tabled in the Parliament. The national debt sinking fund began operations on 11 August 1923. In 1927, separate sinking funds were established for each State pursuant to a financial agreement between the States and the Commonwealth. The National Debt Commission is responsible for the management of these funds, designed to ensure repayment of public sector loans, securities and other borrowings, as these fall due. The Commission's report provides a comprehensive series of tables which detail the history of the Commonwealth's involvement in sinking funds. It also includes transactions for the financial year ending 30 June 1985 which have been conducted on behalf of the National Debt Commission.

The report brings together in one place the balance sheets and outstanding securities for moneys owed by the Federal and State governments. It outlines moneys paid to the sinking funds from Consolidated Revenue, interest earned, repayments and redemptions as well as repurchases of securities. Table 8 on pages 34 to 35 of the report lists the receipts and expenditure in respect of the Commonwealth's commitment for its own contributions to the national debt sinking fund. It will hardly come as a surprise to honourable senators that these figures have increased at an exponential rate in recent years. From 11 August 1923 to 30 June 1980-that 57 years-the total expenditure for debt redemption was approximately $8.7 billion. In 1980-81 this figure was $1.4 billion. I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Jones) —Order! The time for consideration of papers has expired.