Budget estimates inquiry considers report

21 July 2023 Budget estimates inquiry explained

The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) is preparing a report for government as part of its inquiry into the 2023-24 budget estimates.

Members of the committee asked questions of 20 ministers and their department heads across nine days of public hearings held in June.

The government frontbenchers faced scrutiny of their portfolio responsibilities’ annual projected spending and revenue, set out in the state budget released on Tuesday 23 May.

Matters of education, health, youth justice, housing, road safety, agriculture, WorkSafe and transport and infrastructure took centre stage.

‘On behalf of the committee and the deputy chair I would like to thank all ministers and officials who have given evidence to the committee over the course of this inquiry,’ Committee Chair Sarah Connolly said in her closing remarks on the final day of hearings.

The Treasurer and Premier also appeared at separate sessions.

The Treasurer outlined his COVID-19 debt repayment plan and answered questions for several hours on a range of matters including the implementation of payroll tax for some nongovernment schools, the government’s jobs plan and cost-of-living measures.

The Premier took questions on the decision to end native timber harvesting sooner than anticipated, funding for integrity agencies such as IBAC (Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission) and the re-established SEC (State Electricity Commission).

The report for government with recommendations relating to financial management is due to be tabled in parliament by October 2023.

You can read the full transcripts of the public hearings on the committee’s website.