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Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2020-2021 – Second Reading
Mr SUKKAR (Deakin—Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing) (20:16): I move:
That this bill be now read a second time.
Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2020-2021, along with Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2020-2021 and Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2020-2021, are the budget appropriation bills for the remainder of this financial year.
This bill seeks approval for appropriations from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of approximately $14.9 billion. This broadly represents five-twelfths of the estimated 2020-21 annual appropriations and new measures. Together with Supply Act (No. 2) 2020-2021, this bill provides a full year of appropriations for purposes that are nonordinary annual services of government for 2020-21, 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 for $6 billion, as a part of the reset ceiling of $10 billion between bills 1 and 2. This is down from the total $40 billion that could be issued under previous AFM provisions 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 the balance of 2020-21.
I will now outline very briefly the significant items provided for in the bill.
The Defence portfolio will receive nearly $8.5 billion to deliver on the government’s commitments to improve defence capability, as set out in the 2016 Defence white paper, as well as the 2020 Force Structure Plan and 2020 Strategic Update.
The Agriculture, Water and the Environment portfolio will receive approximately $2.5 billion including for concessional loans to primary producers and related small businesses through the Regional Investment Corporation as part of the measure Drought Response, Resilience and Preparedness Plan—further support for farmers and communities in drought.
The Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications portfolio will receive approximately $1.4 billion, including funding for local councils and the state and territory governments to maintain and deliver social infrastructure, improve road safety and bolster the resilience of our local road network.
Details of the proposed expenditure are set out in the schedules to the bill and the 2020-21 portfolio budget statements.
I commend this bill to the chamber.