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FOR – Documents — Budget Process Operational Rules; Order for the Production of Documents

Wendy Askew

On behalf of Senator Hume I move general business notice of motion No. 227:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) order for production of documents no. 123 was agreed by the Senate on 7 February 2023, requiring the Minister for Finance to table documents relating to the current Budget Process Operational Rules (BPORs),

(ii) Minister Gallagher wrote to the President of the Senate on 8 February 2023 stating that "I note that the previous BPORs were released after the 2022-23 October Budget process was completed, in the interests of transparency and accountability. Once the 2023-24 Budget is delivered, the Government will consider further requests for the BPORs",

(iii) Minister Gallagher told the Senate on 9 February 2023 that "we did what the Senate asked last time and released them after the budget. I think that's fair and reasonable",

(iv) Minister Gallagher told the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee on 14 February 2023 that "My decision is to not release it until the budget process is finished", and

(v) the 2023-24 Budget has now been released; and

(b) while noting the repeated failure of Minister Gallagher to comply with this order, despite the Senate's previous affirmation of it, and her continued rhetoric about transparency, resolves to:

(i) re-affirm its agreement to the order; and

(ii) require the Minister to comply with the order as soon as possible, and by no later than 5 pm on Thursday, 11 May 2023.

Anthony Chisholm

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Sue Lines

Leave is granted for one minute.

Anthony Chisholm

We're a government that delivers on our commitments, and that is what we have done today in relation to the release of the Budget Process Operational Rules. The finance minister indicated to the Senate, through a letter to the President in February, that the government would be in a position to release the Budget Process Operational Rules after the delivery of the 2023-24 budget. The 2023-24 budget was released last night, and this morning the BPORS were released. That's our commitment delivered. It is worth putting on the record again that those opposite never once released the BPORS following a budget, so this OPD is not only unnecessary but hypocritical at the same time. I suggest that, instead of wasting the Senate's time again, those opposite check for documents on public and accessible government websites before moving unnecessary motions in the Senate.

Sue Lines

The question is that general business notice of motion No. 227, standing in the name of Senator Hume and moved by Senator Askew, be agreed to.

Summary

Date and time: 4:16 PM on 2023-05-10
Senator Pocock's vote: Aye
Total number of "aye" votes: 42
Total number of "no" votes: 20
Total number of abstentions: 14

Adapted from information made available by theyvoteforyou.org.au