Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Determinations/Financial (Other) as made
This instrument determines that the State, ACT, NT and local government item, Outcome 3 for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications in the Supply Act (No. 2) 2020-2021 is increased by $250,000,000.00.
Administered by: Finance
Exempt from sunsetting by the Legislation (Exemptions and Other Matters) Regulation 2015 s11 item 07
Registered 03 Jul 2020
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR24-Aug-2020
Tabled Senate24-Aug-2020

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Supply Act (No. 2) 2020-2021

AFM Determination (No. 1 of 2020-2021)

Purpose of the Determination

The Advance to the Finance Minister (AFM) is provided under subsection 12(2) of Supply Act (No. 2) 2020-2021 (the Act). Section 12 provides that amounts can be allocated from the AFM, up to a limit of $24,000 million.  This AFM provision is reduced by the value of AFMs issued under Appropriation Act (No. 6) 2019 2020 ($91.5 million).  Accordingly, the balance available for allocation from Supply Act (No. 2) 2020 2021 is $23,908.5 million.   The Finance Minister must, however, be satisfied there is an urgent need for expenditure, in the current year, that is not provided for, or is insufficiently provided for, in Schedule 2 of the Act, for one of the reasons specified in paragraphs 12(1)(a) and (b).

The Finance Minister is satisfied, based on information provided by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (Infrastructure) that the additional expenditure was unforeseen until after the last day on which it was practicable to provide for it in Supply Bill (No. 2) 2020‑2021 (the Bill), before it was introduced into the House of Representatives. The Bill was introduced into the House of Representatives on Monday 23 March 2020. An explanation of the additional expenditure is provided in this determination under the heading ‘Consultation and Impact’ below.

The Commonwealth Government agreed that this appropriation is essential to provide funding to local governments for delivery of road resilience and community infrastructure projects to boost economic activity following the initial impact of COVID-19. Consistent with paragraph 12(1)(b) of the Act funding is urgent because the timing for the expenditure was unforeseen when it was last possible to include funding in appropriation legislation before the end of the financial year.

The effect of the determination is that Schedule 2 of Supply Act (No. 2) 2020‑2021 will have effect as if it were amended as specified in the determination.

Advances to the Finance Minister generally

The section providing for the AFM is contained in the annual Appropriation Acts. It enables the Finance Minister to facilitate urgent and unforeseen expenditure that was not within the contemplation of Parliament when the relevant Appropriation Act was passed, and was therefore not provided for in Schedule 2 of the Appropriation Act.

A determination made under subsection 12(2) of Supply Act (No. 2) 2020‑2021 is a legislative instrument, but neither section 42 (disallowance) nor Part 4 of Chapter 3 (sunsetting) of the Legislation Act 2003 applies to the determination.

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Appropriation Acts perform an important constitutional function, by authorising the withdrawal of money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund for the broad purposes identified in the annual Appropriation Acts.

However, as the High Court has emphasised, beyond this, the annual Appropriation Acts do not create rights and nor do they, importantly, impose any duties.

Given that the legal effect of annual Appropriation Acts is limited in this way, the increase of amounts in the annual Appropriation Acts through an AFM is not seen as engaging, or otherwise affecting, the rights or freedoms relevant to the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011.

Consultation and Impact

Consistent with Part 1 of the Legislation Act 2003, Infrastructure was consulted in the preparation of this Determination.

The instrument determines that, in Supply Act (No. 2) 2020‑2021, the State, ACT, NT and local government item for Outcome 3 for Infrastructure is increased by $250,000,000.

This Advance is provided to enable Infrastructure to fund the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program to provide funding to local government for the delivery of road resilience and community infrastructure projects.