Senate estimates May 2018

Severe weather events, NAPLAN testing and foreign aid were among some of the issues covered by Senate committees during Budget Estimates hearings.

Jun 6, 2018

Often known as ‘Senate estimates’—or simply ‘estimates’—the hearings form an important part of Parliament’s work in scrutinising—closely examining—how government agencies are spending taxpayers’ money.

In estimates hearings, ministers and officials from government departments and authorities appear before one of eight Senate committees, and answer questions about where money has been (or will be) spent. Over a week of hearings, a broad range of issues were discussed including:

  • oil and gas exploration in Australian Marine Parks
  • new medical schools in regional areas
  • noise monitoring around airports
  • plans to allow police to request people show identification in airports
  • how doctors will apply to prescribe medical cannabis
  • Bureau of Meteorology’s findings on exceptional heat events in Australia
  • delays in the rollout of the NAPLAN online program
  • funding for the National Suicide Prevention Trial
  • reviews of voluntary pet food standards
  • Australian aid funding to the Palestinian Territories
  • eradication of red imported fire ants
  • funding for national access to early childhood education
  • radioactive waste management
  • Australia’s involvement in responding to an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • broadband access for small businesses in regional and rural areas.