Chapter 1


1.1        On 12 February 2015 the Senate referred the following documents to the committee for examination and report in relation to its portfolios:

1.2        The committee is responsible for the examination of the following portfolios:

1.3        The committee is required to report to the Senate on its consideration of 2014–2015 additional estimates on Tuesday 17 March 2015.[2]

Details of hearings

1.4        The committee considered the Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements (PAES) 2014–2015 for the Social Services portfolio, the Human Services portfolio, and the Health portfolio, at hearings from 25 February to 27 February 2015 (inclusive). The hearings were conducted in accordance with the agreed agenda outlined as follows:

1.5        The committee heard evidence from the following Senators:

1.6        Evidence was also provided by the following:

Questions on Notice

1.7        In accordance with Standing Order 26, the date for submission to the committee of written answers to questions or additional information relating to the expenditure is 17 April 2015.

1.8        Answers to questions taken on notice and tabled documents relating to the committee's hearings will be tabled in the Senate. Answers to questions on notice and additional information may be accessed via the committee's website.

Hansard transcripts

1.9        The committee discussed many of the expenditure proposals and information contained in the PAES. These discussions are detailed in the committee’s Hansard transcripts of 25 February 2015 to 27 February 2015 (inclusive), copies of which will be tabled in the Senate. Hansard transcripts of the estimates proceedings are also accessible on the committee’s website at

1.10      References to the Hansard transcript are to the proof Hansard; page numbers may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcript.

Changes in the PAES

Health Portfolio

1.11      The government has abolished the following agencies and transferred their essential functions below to the Department of Health:

Social Services portfolio (including Human Services)

1.12      Additional functions relating to child care policy and programmes and coordination of early childhood development policy were transferred under the Administrative Arrangements Order of 23 December 2014 to the Social Services portfolio from the former Department of Education.[4]

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