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Budget Week - 3 to 6 June 2014

Appropriation Bill

The Parliament's annual Budget week sittings occurred from June 3 to 6. Budget week is when the Government introduces its proposed budget to the Parliament, detailing revenue and expenditure for the upcoming financial year of 2014-15.

The Budget Speech was delivered on Tuesday, 3 June, with the Treasurer tabling and introducing the Appropriation Bills. (An Appropriation Bill is a legislative act proposing to authorise the expenditure of public funds for a specified purpose.)

The Second Reading Debate on the Appropriation Bills then occurred on 5 and 6 June. At the conclusion of this Second Reading Debate, the Appropriation Bills were referred to the Parliament's portfolio committees for further scrutiny. This is known as the Estimates Process with each of the Parliament’s seven portfolio committees tasked with scrutinising the proposed budgets for each of the government departments that they are responsible for overseeing.

Committees then held their Estimates hearings on 15 and 17 July 2014, with these hearings broadcast live on the Parliament's website. Each committee then reported their findings to the Parliament on 1 August 2014, with these reports then debated by the Parliament during the two sitting weeks in August.

This scrutiny by the Parliament of the Government's annual financial requirements is an important and powerful feature of the legislature's role.