Mrs. O’CONNOR – How much of the $712.5 million allocated in this year’s budget for roads and bridges is debt-financed, and are you able to break down the components of that funding by source?
Mr FERGUSON – Ms. O’Connor, thank you for the question. I am unable to provide a specific breakdown as this is not how finance works in relation to individual departments purchasing decisions. Finances are managed by the Treasury on a whole-of-government basis. Balances required for borrowing to support infrastructure, for example, are made at the government-wide level, not at the departmental level.
Mrs. O’CONNOR – I would have thought that with an amount approaching three-quarters of $1 billion, there might be a clearer view of own-source revenue, Commonwealth grant or debt-funded share. I’m a little surprised that ventilation isn’t available.
Mr FERGUSON – Budget documents already provide a breakdown of government sources – for example, funding from the Australian government as a contribution to the state roads and bridges programme. But in terms of the borrowings you’ve requested for individual ministries, my view is that it doesn’t work that way. I will ask the secretary to add to this answer.
Mr EVANS – The only thing I can add is that we don’t have that detail in my agency for anything other than Tasmanian Development Board-related loans, which go directly through my agency and which we manage. We have direct visibility on our borrowings, as the board of directors of TD, but we do not have visibility on government-wide borrowings. At the county level, no.