Known as ‘Senate estimates’—or simply ‘estimates’—the hearings are an important part of Parliament’s work in examining how the government is spending taxpayers’ money.
In estimates hearings, ministers and officials from government departments and agencies 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:
- The coronavirus
- Grants to sports clubs
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business enterprises
- Bureau of Meteorology climate data observations
- Australian Honours and Awards
- A Commonwealth Integrity Commission
- The mental health needs of people in bushfire affected regions
- Nuclear waste storage in Australia
- Addressing occupational lung disease
- The Future Submarine Program
- Centrelink debt recovery processes.