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Thursday, 14 September 1972
Page: 885

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (West ern Australia) (Minister for Air) - I move:

(1)   That the Particulars of Proposed Expenditure for the Service of the Year Ending 30th June 1973 and the Particulars of Proposed Provision for Certain Expenditure in respect of the Year Ending 30th June 1973 be referred forthwith to Estimates Committees A, B, C, D and E for examination and report.

(2)   That the Committees deal with the departmental estimates as follows:

Estimates Committee A -

Department of Health


Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Department of the Treasury

Department of Defence

Estimates Committee B -

Attorney-General's Department

Postmaster-General's Department

Department of Immigration

Department of Social Services

Department of the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts

Estimates Committee C -

Department of Works

Department of Foreign Affairs

Department of Labour and National Service

Department of Education and Science

Department of External Territories

Department of Housing

Estimates Committee D -

Department of Civil Aviation

Department of Trade and Industry

Department of National Development

Department of Shipping and Transport

Department of Customs and Excise

Department of the Interior

Tourist Activities

Estimates Committee E -

Department of Air

Department of Primary Industry

Department of the Army

Repatriation Department

Department of the Navy

Department of Supply.

(3)   That the Committees report to the Senate on or before 10th October 1972.

This is moving away from the normal procedure, but looking back at the sittings of the Estimates Committees last year we see, as I explained to the Senate yesterday, that those sittings extended over 10 weeks. Despite the fact that we have not concluded the Budget debate, I find that there is nothing in our Standing Orders to prevent us from referring the particulars of proposed expenditure to the Estimates Committees. Although, as I say, the Budget debate has not concluded I propose that the Estimates Committees should begin their sittings next week. I suggest that next Tuesday Estimates Committee A and Estimates Committee E should sit from 2.15 p.m. through to the dinner adjournment and then from the resumption after the dinner adjournment to 10 p.m. That is really the substance of my motion.

I have discussed this matter with the leaders of the various Parties, and we have come to the conclusion that there is nothing to prevent us from at least trying to start to deal with the Estimates. As the proceedings of the Senate are broadcast on Wednesday, I propose that the Senate should sit as a whole and discuss Government business and other business which might come before the Senate on that day. I suggest that the Estimates Committees should sit on Tuesday and again on Thursday of next week, and that is what my motion proposes.

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