Juggling issues and egos in Budget Estimates

estimates.jpgA brief note today because it’s Budget estimates. This means I am locked in a room chairing the Finance & Public Administration committee from 9 am through until 11 pm all week.

My committee examines the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, the Department of Finance and also Indigenous agencies.

The seemingly endless questions and (often) theatrical outrage by some senators may appear pointless, but it serves a very important purpose.

Challenging government departments and their officers on policy determinations, expenditure of taxpayers' money and the efficiency of government identifies many interesting aspects of government process.

Some buoy the spirits in seeing positive achievements whilst others leave you tearing your hair out in frustration. Both sentiments are shared by senators from both sides of the chamber.

My role is to manage the disparate agendas, egos and personalities of those wishing to participate. It can be challenging but it can also be a very engaging and enjoyable experience.

That said, it is also exhausting and the weekend at home is a welcome break before we do it all again (with different portfolios) next week.

There’s been plenty on the public policy agenda including Islamic extremism, citizenship, redefining marriage and trying to arrest the growth of the welfare state.

I know readers have a diverse range of views on these topics so feel free to share them with me. I always enjoy hearing from you.