Published: 04 July 2018

Legislative Council Wednesday 13 June

Ms  FORREST  (Murchison) - Mr President, supply bills are not unusual in an election year to tide over the actions of government.  Nurses, police, teachers and treasury officials want to be paid in the intervening period between the end of the financial year and the new budget.  The appropriation associated with that is approved by the parliament.  It was to be expected. 

The Tasmanian Health Service - THS - has been brought back into the Department of Health and Human Services after being in a separate budget paper in the past couple of year.  This makes it very difficult to track the funding.  We must take it on trust that the amount being considered as necessary for the new department is a thorough assessment of what they will spend in June of this year.  This has been rolled into the appropriation for this period. 

It is always difficult when departments are shuffled around and changes made.  It is hard to track the money, as it also is at budget time.  Recently during a briefing with Treasury about another bill, we discussed this.  It will make it more difficult to track the appropriations, particularly in Health, which, being the big one, has more shuffling and changes.  There is no criticism of the Government trying to streamline processes to make it more efficient.  It should never have been taken out, but we are back again, full circle.  It makes it more difficult and we are taking this on trust.

I hope the Leader is able to shed some light on a couple of questions and I would like to direct her attention to the fact sheet.  It is broken down into recurrent services and works and services.  The member for Hobart understands how that is different.  The comment made about the works and services budget particularly is not to initiate new projects, just to continue what has been going on.  What works and services allocation of $4.133 million in Finance-General is under Treasury?  What works and services are costing $4 million in this month?  I am sure there is a logical explanation, but it would be most helpful if the Leader were able to provide that.

Does works and services in Health include the ongoing redevelopment of the Royal Hobart Hospital?  I assume it does, but there may be others.  I am particularly interested in the works and services component.  For example, the works and services area for the Minister for Parks currently has projects underway costing $4 million a month.  I am interested in what those projects are.

I have no issue with the Infrastructure works and services.  That structure is works and services predominantly and there is always recurrent expenditure.  Another $100 000, while is not a lot of money, is in the Department of Treasury and Finance for works and services.  I am interested in what that is.  There is almost $10 million for recurrent services.  I understand that recurrent services fund, but what is the $100 000?  I hope the Leader can shed some light particularly on the works and services aspects of these appropriations.  I am sure they will be detailed in the budget paper about what these things are.  These are not areas in which you would normally expect to see a lot of works and services funding.  I support the bill.

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