Twice each year estimates of proposed annual expenditure of government departments and authorities are referred to Senate committees for examination as part of the annual budget cycle.
Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said Senate Estimates provided an opportunity for the Opposition to scrutinise government expenditure but answers to questions were not always delivered in a timely fashion.
“During this week’s estimates I will be asking the Government how are they are calculating the employment figures for the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program,” Senator Scullion said.
“The government claims its Indigenous employment targets are being exceeded but have never given any details of who is employed or how the percentage is calculated.
“We will also be exploring the secrecy surrounding expenditure. Where is all the money going? Who approves the alliance budgets and how much are they receiving? Why are such small houses being built when there is an allocation of $450,000 per house?
“This month the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda joined the chorus of prominent voices calling for an independent review of SIHIP.
“It is up to the Government to show it has broken from its past practices of preventing proper scrutiny of this program by providing clear and timely answers to the important questions we will raise this week in Parliament.”
Download media release:
Senate Estimates 21.2.11.pdf