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Wednesday, 19 October 1983
Page: 1965


Mr LIONEL BOWEN (Minister for Trade)(7.07) —I say to the honourable member for Dundas (Mr Ruddock) that whilst the Government is sympathetic to his proposal it does not feel it should be implemented in this way. I understand that there are obstacles. The Western Australian judges have the status of district court judges. Family Court of Australia judges have superior court status. Apparently, the Attorney-General (Senator Gareth Evans) and most other people are working at how to overcome the practical obstacles. Whilst there is nothing objectionable in what the honourable member has said, apart from the fact that Western Australian judges are paid more than Family Court judges--


Mr Ruddock —Did I say more? I assumed less.


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —The honourable member assumed less, but they are paid more. So it is on that score that I do not think they would be happy about it. All I say is that the proposition is basically acceptable to the Government, but at present it would be an inappropriate way to do it. I understand that the Attorney-General is working at trying to overcome the obstacles that would be created by granting Federal commissions to judges of district court status. So I hope that my honourable friend--


Mr Ruddock —Do you know how long it might be before it is resolved?


Mr LIONEL BOWEN —I hope it will be resolved before the next election.

Amendments negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Proposed new clause 13A (Salary and allowances).