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Wednesday, 1 December 2004
Page: 73

Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women's Issues) (3:04 PM) —Yesterday Senator Moore asked me about Auditor-General's report No. 15. I undertook to get back to her regarding some questions she had about Centrelink's financial arrangements. I have spoken to the Minister for Human Services, Mr Hockey, and I would respond in this way.

The issues that Senator Moore raised have no impact on payments for Centrelink customers. Payments made by Centrelink are reimbursed by the Department of Family and Community Services on a daily basis through a movement of funds between Reserve Bank accounts. At the end of each day Centrelink's account is returned to a nil or credit balance. There is no interest payable. The Department of Finance and Administration, Centrelink and the Department of Human Services are working to address the issue identified in the Auditor-General's report. I point out that this was noted in the Auditor-General's report, and I expect this issue to be resolved shortly.