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. A broad range of issues were discussed including:
- Australia Post spending on gifts and bonuses
- reforms to the National Disability Insurance Scheme
- bushfire recovery
- land purchases near Western Sydney airport
- debts owed to the Australian Tax Office
- responses to COVID-19
- the Future Submarine program
- the Australian honours system
- $250 million arts rescue package.