Media Release: ABS: Postal Survey Cannot Proceed Without Funding
1.00pm | September 07, 2017
SENATOR JENNY MCALLISTER
CHAIR, FINANCE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REFERENCES COMMITTEE
SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
ABS: POSTAL SURVEY CANNOT PROCEED WITHOUT FUNDING
The ABS today cast doubt on suggestions that the survey could proceed if the High Court decided against the Government.
In submissions before the High Court yesterday, the Solicitor General said that:
“In the event the court were to find that $122m was unavailable there would be a decision to me made by the Government as to whether to revoke that direction. Otherwise, the duty would remain.”
The ABS, however, suggested it would be unable to satisfy this duty during its appearance before the inquiry into the postal survey by the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee.
Under questioning from Senator McAllister about whether a survey could proceed if the High Court struck down the advance by the Finance Minister, the Australian Statistician, David Kalisch said that “…the survey could not proceed without funding.”
The ABS further confirmed that it only began contingency planning last week on how to complete the survey if the High Court struck down the advance from the Finance Minister. It also informed the committee that the ABS only formally recognized lack of finance as a risk last week.
Is the Government seriously suggesting it expects the ABS to find $122 million out of its own, already depleted, funds?
The Chair of the inquiry, Senator McAllister, said: “The government is just making it up as it goes along. The postal survey threatens to fall short of even the Government’s usual mediocre standards. ”
THURSDAY, 7 SEPTEMBER 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: REUBEN RAY 0402 821 188