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Wednesday, 3 April 2019
Page: 877


Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital TerritoryAssistant Minister for Treasury and Finance) (13:24): I thank senators for their contributions. I particularly enjoyed Senator Whish-Wilson's 'if I were Prime Minister one day' contribution. It would have been helpful if he'd shared some of the other Greens policies, such as their plans to introduce death taxes, dismantle the US alliance, deindustrialise the economy, allow illicit drugs to be made freely available and open the borders. We didn't get all of the Senator Whish-Wilson vision for 'if the Greens were in charge' but it is a scary thought nonetheless.

But I digress. For the edification of Senator Whish-Wilson, the appropriation bills Nos 3 and 4 before us pertain to the midyear update, not the budget. Appropriation bills Nos 3 and 4 work the same way they do every year and nothing has changed about them this year.

I thank senators for their contribution to this debate. These additional estimates appropriation bills seek authority from the parliament for the additional expenditure of money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Passage of the bills will ensure the continuity of government programs, the commencement of new activities agreed to by the government since the 2018-19 budget, and the Commonwealth's ability to meet its obligations for 2018-19 as they fall due. Details of the bills were considered in the additional estimates process.

In summing up, I would like to highlight some of the particularly important areas relating to delivery of the government's commitments that are supported by these three bills, the Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2018-2019, the Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2018-2019 and the Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 2) 2018-2019. First, the bills include support for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Second, they provide assistance for farmers and farm communities in drought. Third, they include additional funding for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Finally, they deliver critical enhancements to the security infrastructure of Australia's overseas diplomatic network. Once again I thank all senators for their contributions and I commend these three bills to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bills read a second time.