Page 3270 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 16 August 2011

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Financial Management Act—authorisation of expenditure

Paper and statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (3.54): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Financial Management Act, pursuant to section 18A—Statement of authorisation of expenditure from the Treasurer’s Advance in 2010-2011.

I ask leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: Section 18A subsection (3) of the Financial Management Act 1996 requires that where the Treasurer has authorised Treasurer’s advance expenditure under section 18, within three sitting days after the end of the financial year the Treasurer must present to the Legislative Assembly a summary of the total expenditure authorised for that financial year.

The Appropriation Act 2010-2011 provided $29 million for the Treasurer’s advance. The final expenditure against the Treasurer’s advance for 2010-11 was $21.987 million, leaving a balance of $7.013 million to return to the 2010-11 budget. A budget, of course, cannot anticipate all future events. I think it is well accepted that there will always be unknown, unavoidable or uncontrollable events that the government needs flexibility to manage, and this is why the Treasurer’s advance exists.

The Treasurer’s advance covered:

additional costs for agencies that were not foreseen at the time of the original budget, such as higher workers compensation premiums;

the 2010 enterprise agreement sign-on bonus for Health, the largest employer—many other agencies managed this cost within their budget;

additional contract mowing services, in recognition of the significant rainfall and mild temperatures that caused rapid growth in grass around the city over the period;

higher levels of activity experienced at both Calvary and the Canberra Hospital; and

outcomes of a pre-ACTIA insurance claim.

It is worth noting that in 2010-11 the Treasurer’s advance was reduced by $9.7 million, in line with the government’s plan to return the budget to surplus. Indeed

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